If you're not already acquainted with Paddo to Palmy, your wardrobe will thank you for this introduction. Known for their perfectly wearable dresses that are both bohemian spirited and seamlessly elegant, the brand is a staple in wardrobes across the globe.
Of course, one of those wardrobes is founder Heidi Carter, who has recently relocated with her family from Sydney to Singapore. Heidi kindly took us for a trip inside her wardrobe for a week, which – of course – featured a selection of Paddo to Palmy’s most coveted pieces. With an emphasis on high quality and easy-care natural fabrics, the label focuses on feminine and flattering silhouettes that make you feel comfortable and chic – the ideal summer wardrobe staples. Go to www.paddotopalmy.com.au Photography by: Laura Bell
What is your process like getting dressed every morning? Are you planned, or do you impulsively choose your wardrobe based on your mood in the day?
Since moving to Singapore it’s a lot easier to plan given that every single day it is 30C with a chance of rain! But no, I don’t think I have ever planned an outfit the night before (apart from a black tie function) so yes would definitely fall into the impulsive camp. I love wearing floaty maxi dresses – it’s a slight pear-shaped body thing, coupled with the fact that my legs aren’t my best feature – I feel more confident in a dress as it’s just a more flattering option for me. I don’t own anything black in my wardrobe apart from my Lululemon leggings and Decathlon jodhpurs! So it’s more a question of, “Shall I go for the dusty pink floral, the brown polka dot or the white linen?” It is definitely a predominantly feminine vibe going on in my wardrobe! Each morning I force myself to get into my workout gear (a very unglamourous short and cotton T-shirt combination) in preparation for my morning walk to the gardens with our dog.
How do your weekday outfits differ from your weekends?
Having your own business and working from home isn’t the most social existence, so I really find I have to make an effort to dress for myself. It just makes me feel better, otherwise, the PJ rut can easily set in! On the weekends, I do tend to go to a bit more of an effort as we have more social engagements to go to. There is also more time in the morning without the school rush. But outfit wise I wear the same kind of clothes – dresses!
Your pieces are fabulously versatile. How do you like to dress up or dress down your pieces?
I am all about designing timeless clothing that is flattering and can easily be dressed up or down. Changing your footwear from sandals to a wedge or heel and adding a statement earring can do wonders. And of course, the power of makeup – upping the eyeliner and adding a bolder lipstick.
Do you have a failsafe outfit that you choose when you need a pick me up?
The power of a well-cut maxi dress in a statement print goes a long way. It really depends on my mood. If I want to go more understated, I opt for a linen sundress.
What is your top styling tip for mothers trying to look both effortless and pulled together?
For time-poor mothers, it’s hard to go past a dress – it’s one item so you don’t need to think what it will go with. A tightly pulled back low bun and a good dusting of bronzer, your sunnies and voila – no sleep or time to wash your hair – no problem!
How has your approach to dressing changed since moving to Singapore?
Moving to a new country is always an opportunity for a fresh start. I own my own business and work crazy hours (albeit from home), but in Sydney, I was falling into a bit of a rut (previously referred to as the pyjama phase!). When we moved to Singapore, none of our family was particularly keen on the move, but we approached it with the most positive attitude that we could. I also made a pact with my daughters that we would be the best versions of ourselves. In short, we were all going to make more of an effort as we were all guilty of becoming a little lazy when it came to everything. I made a pact to myself that I was going to make more time to do the things I no longer had time for in Sydney – it was mainly my social life and exercise regime that had fallen by the wayside. Making more of an effort was the aim of the game, and so now (with the help of a permanent summer climate), I exercise every day, am back horseriding after a 20-year hiatus, I play tennis and am proactively social! I put makeup on and I try to dress nicely. It may sound a bit shallow, but I am the happiest I have been in years.
You have the ultimate selection of dresses in your arsenal. What are your favourite pieces for an easy option when running around after kids, to meetings and everything else that makes up a busy life?
My girls are 11 and nine now, so thankfully my running after/leaning over/picking them up days are over (however my arm muscles have considerably declined as a result!). Linen and cotton are such great fabrics to wear in the tropics as they breathe so well, so I have been living in my navy halter dress. It has a built-in loop belt which cinches in your waist and a very flattering skirt. It’s formal enough for meetings or drinks with girlfriends and not too dressy for school events. The Les Jolie maxi dresses have also been on high rotation – I add our brown leather loop belt to make it more casual during the day. With my husband’s work, I have had quite a few more formal events to go to which call for a ‘corporate casual’ dress code, so I have wheeled out the Olivier shirt dress and Fontelina brown dot, which might just be my all-time favourite dress!
What are some of your favourite pieces in your current collection?
On our recent holiday in Croatia, I lived in the Harbour Island maxi dress in pink Indian Paisley. It was perfect to throw on and feel instantly chic with no ironing required. Our Gisele Tie Front also fell into this category!