I always harp on about buying pieces in my wardrobe that are versatile, easy to wear and have longevity. But how often do I actually show you? I've long thought about doing a one item three ways feature to show just how truly adaptable certain pieces can be (not including jeans, sneakers or leather jackets - they can pretty much be worn in any situation) and here we are many moons later and I've finally gotten around to it.
I don't know about you, but when I buy something new I wear it to death for the first week or two (as much as I can without people noticing I'm a serial outfit repeater) and I found myself doing this with my Scanlan crepe knit. It's got a slightly higher front and dropped back which makes perfect for layering (even more so when you're a layering novice like me). So here it is: one knit, three ways.
This work look is quite conventional and nothing groundbreaking but not something I'm used to wearing. I've tried many times in the past to recreate the collared shirt under sweater but have failed. Obviously the cut of the sweater has a huge part to play, along with the fit of the shirt (too boyfriend and it looks a bit sloppy) and I've finally found the right items to complete this preppy combo.
I did it. I bought pants. I haven't owned a pair of pants (denim not included) since high school where we were required to wear it during band performances. But that's what the office life does to you. Clearly I can't seem to let go of my sneaker addiction. My trusty Feit sneakers can almost be passed off as brogues and with the white side stripe reminiscent of Adidas tracksuit pants Sporty Spice style, I still somehow managed to turn a 9 to 5 look into an athleisure (my new favourite style buzzword) one. My knit collection is also slowly expanding with another Jac+ Jack addition, this time with a funnel neck sweater. I'm taking baby steps towards a full blown turtle neck (I tend to like my necklines v-shaped or low). I'm learning that it's basically like wearing a scarf and a knit all rolled into one.
Photography by Andrea Lee
I've avoided the midi length for almost 24 years of my life. As someone who is short, it's never agreed with me (nor I with it) and I long envied others who could pull off a sleek midi pencil skirt, midi dress or culottes. Things changed when I found this grey midi dress at LIFEwithBIRD. I figured that now I'm finally at a workplace with some sort of dress code, I might have to look beyond my usual mini skirts and shorts. That's not to say I was sold on this dress the first time I tried it on (I went back a week later to be 100% sure) - I had my doubts it would work with what I had but it has since become one of my favourites and most versatile. I wear it with everything now - leather jacket, denim jacket, blazer, sneakers, ankle boots and have learned to become less conscious of the fact that it is a length that chops me off, though I look classier doing it?
Since then I've been on the hunt for more midi length pieces to acquire but have turned up with nothing. This dress sits knee length on the model which makes the perfect midi length for me but anything that's actually midi length ends up looking like a maxi or that I threw on a sack. I've also found that the tighter the skirt around your legs (or a sleek bodycon cut) the more chance you have of it looking right on you. A slit up the side or the back breaks up the choppiness of it and makes it look shorter when you show a little more skin. I tried so hard to make this one Scanlan ribbed knit midi skirt work for me but let's face it, I probably got lucky with my L.W.B midi. Can someone please produce a petites range where the lengths are accurate on a short person?
L.W.B by LIFEwithBIRD dress, IRO leather jacket, Bergdorf Goodman x New Balance Sneakers.
Photos by Christine Ai
Photos by Christine Ai
You know how people say "all dressed up with no where to go". Well that was has never been my mantra. There's that side of me that wants to wear tee shirts, jeans and sneakers (although most of the time activewear wins) and then there's the part that wished I could dress like the girls in a J Crew catalogue (part Parisian chic, part young working professional) and not look out of place in my casual wear work environment. Well the time has finally come.
A couple of weeks ago I started a new job (and I am beyond happy that I have found the career equivalent to 'the one') that actually had a smart casual dress code. So I spent the weeks leading up to the move revamping my wardrobe from street to smart, picking up pieces like tailored pants, blazers, pencil skirts and button up shirts (most of which came from Scanlan Theodore, Zara and Uniqlo). And I've stopped myself from buying tee shirts or singlets for a while. So here I am now dressing for the job that I have and it's starting to influence my choices on the weekends too. Last weekend I wore a blazer. On a weekend. Expect to see more young professional Mel on Flourished - but of course I'd never give up my love for sneakers.
On footwear (which I have also been panicking about), I came across the sustainable, eco-friendly and ethically made Alohas Sandals handcrafted in Spain with leather materials on the top and recycled car tyres on the sole (so you know it's durable). They make these great slides in a number of colours (white, beige and silver being my favourites) and despite being inspired by the Hawaiian lifestyle, I think I've figured out how to make them work for winter and for the office too. Check Alohas out and if they tickle your fancy, you can take 20% off on me. Just enter the code 'flourished' upon checkout.
Photography by Christine Ai
At the start of the year, I took on the styling reigns again and worked with Christine on a shoot that was lucky enough to be picked up by Fashion Journal. It's my favourite piece of work to date and I was completely blown away by how amazing it turned out. You have an idea in your head of how it's supposed to look but it completely took me by surprise (in the best way possible). A big part of it was this stunner Rosie in front of the lens who really embodied the vibe of the shoot perfectly.
In terms of styling, I played on the contrast between masculine and feminine dressing - pairing a floaty jumpsuit with a tough leather jacket, or an oversized two piece pinstripe suit with a crop top. And of course my girl is always wearing sneakers to dress down her look (and for practicality purposes).
Look 1: Penny Sage jumpsuit, Echoes of You leather jacket, 32.4 necklace, Nike sneakers (available from Glue Store)
Look 2: Mink Pink jacket and pants, Evil Twin crop.
Look 5: Staple the Label trench and dress.
See the full shoot on Fashion Journal.
Photography: Christine Ai
Hair & Makeup: Hilary Ho
One of my favourite pieces this season is their reinvention of the classic tee shirt in a thicker scuba material. Comes in grey and black for those who are monochromatically inclined - and yes I have considered getting both. It dresses down something like a floral skirt but works equally as well with jeans and my latest pair of Nikes.
Photos by Uppy Chatterjee
Once you start working full time, you really begin to appreciate (and start living for) the weekends. Especially when you're adhering to a 9 - 5 dress code, it's even more freeing when you can wear whatever you want on the two best days of the week. Naturally I've been gravitating towards loose, slouchy, comfortable and relaxed - basically anything that has loungewear (borderline pyjamas) written all over it.
PS. I'm back.
Immoni Knit (from Solt Boutique), Staple the Label shorts, Mansur Gavriel bag.
Photos by Uppy Chaterjee