Before I moved to Australia from Scotland, 14 years ago, I hadn’t worn thongs since family holidays in Arran when those old school 70s flipflops cut your feet and toes to mincemeat. Brrrr…but thanks to Havaianas I crossed over.
When we moved to Tropical Queensland in 2010, my fancy sandal and thong collection has moved into the same realm as my sunglasses collection and now Havaianas have a strong contender for the crown with flopZ.
How to have cool nails if you are not a nail girl..
I love fun looking nails but they have always eluded me because;
a) As a working Mama who tries to fit in my work into the school/kindy day (lol) I am always using “dead” time to get something done – email, research, do callbacks, invoice and I find sitting getting a manicure excruciating.
b) I am super duper clumsy and have usually chipped or smudged them before I even get to the car.
c) I am just not the type of girl to play around with nail art if I have an evening without work. Once kids are asleep, chores done, dinner had I would rather read a book, watch 30 Rock or get lost on Pinterest.
In a landscape of endless instagram feeds of beach curls, white dunna covers, black and white flatlays, tanned legs in frayed denims, crop Tshirts and Céline slides I often end up opting for vintage pieces to find a summer wardrobe that I personally find inspiring.
Most readers know I have a wee penchant for Aussie brand Gorman – their prints and fabric are great quality and fun to wear. My Botanical Tshirt, Pineapple silk Tank and Spot grey Sweat were in high rotation throughout SS 13 and AW 14 #ootd selfies and I get comments everytime I wear them.
I was invited to MBFF last Thursday – and here are STEELEMyStyle’s Best Dressed of the night – all photos by the wonderful Ruby Reginato.
I love people watching and as a stylist for the individual I love spotting interesting stylish women of all ages who stand out from the crowd.
Style is timeless and ageless. Whether you are wearing designer, mass market, vintage or opshop. What I loved when I started asking these ladies where their clothes were from was the strong love & support for Brisbane and Australian designers and sustainable fashion.
These gorgeous ladies stood out – women who would not look out of place on the streets of international capitals around the world.
Some readers are aware but many are not that as well as my STEELEMyStyle business and work as a stylist, I also have a film business Gallus & Co and an offshoot of that is my work with brands as Commercial Projects Agent and External Relations for filmmaker and stuntman Nash Edgerton.
Today we get to unveil a new project Nash was involved in – doing extreme testing of Van Heusen’s innovative new range “Move” – so exciting !
The range is now online and instore with more pieces being added everyday – keep a look out for it.
Very often with my Personal Styling clients I teach them how to winterise summer dresses as part of teaching folks how to get more wear out of the pieces in their wardrobe they love. It is not brain surgery I know, but very often people just don’t think about it.
So while Ms 7yr old was home sick this weekend with the Man, I popped Ms 4 yr old in the car up to my Mama’s house and quickly snapped a couple of ways to wear it in Winter.
Scroll down and see gorgeous ladies on the street for more inspiration.
Look # 1
Add a belted Long Cardigan or Duster Coat
Talulah Maxi Daydreamer dress $159.95 (gifted) – Black Maxi Coatigan from UK – Grey felt Pompom Baseball Cap (Sportsgirl) – Necklace choker – (Equip)
Add a Leather Jacket
Talulah Daydreamer dress (as above) Vintage Black Fringed leather jacket, Kmart $9 Boots from my client kit (worn throughout are about the highest I can wear and run around after kids, but different heels can amp it up and change the vibe considerably )
This is a special edition of BEST IN STORE as I threw open the question to the STEELEMyStyle Facebook community.
What are you needing help buying?
What are you struggling with in your wardrobe at the moment?
And NikkiH said “I always struggle with casual winter shoes to go with jeans as a boots alternative”.
Now of course you can choose a plain, more sombre version of the ones below – but at the same time I wanted to highlight that just because it’s casual or comfy doesn’t have to be boring.
I always say Play and Dare more…
One thing I say to my Personal Styling clients is – remember your personality in every single purchase you make. So if your shoes options are a mass of black and beige, crack out the colours, textures, pattern, metallics to make your daily uniform of jeans sing a bit more.
STEELEMyStyle TIP - The key to having versatility is the length and width of your jean from the knee down – aim for as slim as you can go and stopping around your ankle bone. This will allow you to wear all kinds of flats – faded blue jeans can be longer/wider if you can turn up twice – see some examples below of people rocking these 12 classic styles in fun versions.
* Whatever your budget you can find cute sparkly statement slippers – wear with jeans or even your dresses and skirts – this is a great way to dress up all black outfits or a simple jeans and knit type of day – Chiara Ferragni is the gorgeous blogger from Blonde Salad – Probably not the best for muddy soccer days.
2. The Clog
63 Funkis Classic in Leopard – $165 from Funkis .com – Buy
* Since my early childhood holidays in Sweden I have always worn and loved clogs – they are a family staple. These are low enough for day to day and easy to slip on and off. You can obviously wear socks with the sandal versions but the closed in clog is easier for all. Love a bit of leopard … always. Funkis run large so order a size down.
3. The Fun Canvas Flat New Look Pineapple Print – $17.63 from AsosBuy
* Whether a slipper, plimsoll, or sandshoe these are a great alternative and fun cheap way to inject a bit of colour, playfulness or quirky print into your wardrobe – hearts, fruits, cats… you name it.
* I bought my very first pair of Bass Penny loafers back in my university of St Andrews days and wore many different pairs patent, Patrick Cox all through the 90s and noughties – am now saving up for a pair of Gucci burgundy classics… so versatile ..so chic.
7. The Pointed Flat
Aldo Embellished Blue Bee – $60.78 – from Asos Buy
* A pointed flat elongates your leg and works with skirts, dresses etc – I love the bee embellishment on these and the cobalt blue but whether studs, pattern, colour bows, flowers whatever, choose a pointed flat with a bit of oomph !
* I have a few lace-ups some pointed and metallic others plain black or two tone – I like wearing them with dresses too – I love the androgenous quality of them and remind me of Katharine Hepburn for some reason.
9. The Slip on Skate Shoe
Vans Star Wars Themed slip ons from Office UK $90 – Buy
* These are everywhere thanks to Céline’s leopard versions and fashion bloggers everywhere – so i posted another version – just for nerds like me.. You can buy snakeskin, pony hair, checked you name it – along with the retro sneaker they were the 2014 update to the slipper. You can read my post here or look at other on How to wear Slip on and Sneakers .
10. The Retro Sneaker
New Balance 410 – in various colourways $117 – Buy
* The key here is the shape of the sneaker – New Balance 410s, Nike’s Internationalist etc – you want that low cut look and choose a colour way either classic (monochrome/ blue & white/ grey and pale) that works best with the rest of your jeans and wardrobe. Again you can read my post here or look at other ideas on Pinterest How to wear Slip on and Sneakers.
* I love sustainability and I love ethical socially minded companies. Toms are both – for every pair you buy they help a person in need. Toms are worn by every celeb under the sun – including the effortlessly stylish mama poster girl Jessica Alba. These zebra print ones above are so versatile, make a great statement and so comfy there is no excuse to wear Crocs !
So I am not one of those fashion bloggers who does a weekly outfit post in the lovely late afternoon light.
I just happen to write this blog in between my rotation of “day jobs” of Personal Stylist, Shopper, Brand Consultant, Film Creative, Agent & Producer and squeezing it all into the kindy/school day so I can do school pickups & extracurricular activities is always a bit of a challenge.
That is why most of my outfit posts are selfies taken on Instagram as I jump into the car – truly ..
When my lovely friend and amazing photographer Ruby and I decided to meet up for a quick coffee & shoot midweek we ended up spending all the time chatting and then with about 30 mins to go I say – “hey Rubes loving this pink leather skirt from River Island – I have a few other things in the car – how about we do a “3 ways thing” to show how bloomin’ gorgeous and versatile it is.. yeah – which of course turns into 5 ways … ?
Speed styling all the way.
I feel sorry for the poor tradies that might have caught a glimpse of me changing in my car.. “ouch” eyes burning…
And yes I am not a model ..it is a running joke with us – I always look like someone stole my scone if I am not cracking up.
Let’s go …
On Wednesdays We Wear …
Pink Leather 5 Ways
#1 Rockin the “Rizzo” vibe – Leather Jacket, Leopard print & Metallic Heels
Worn with: Zara Black Leather Bomber jacket (from Opshop), Topshop Leopard Tshirt (last year), Peter Alexander Watermelon washbag used as clutch & Wittner Mirrored Metallic Topper Heels (last year now reduced). All jewellry heritage – antiques handed down from great grandparents and beyond.
I would wear this look for work and then easily head out to meet the girls. A leather jacket looks good thrown over anything – even joggers .. instant style plus these metallic heels look great with everything. The watermelon clutch is a bit of fun – it was also a gift from a lovely friend Karen.
This is also an outfit I would wear with sneakers instead or flat points.
#3 Breton stripes & Slouchy Duster Coat
Worn With:Saint James Breton Mariniere – the best and last for ever, Vintage cobalt blue 80s oversized wool duster coat, Kmart Mirrored Sunnies.
Because I am such a dag I suggested Ruby got pics of me moving because I am not a great model. What a laugh we had in South Brisbane trying not to get run down..
Style Tips: Mariner’s stripes are a staple and always a good idea with the leather they add a more casual vibe. Loving the coat which my gorgeous friend Maxine gave me – she will be happy to see it out in the world. Kmart Sunnies – happened to be the other pair in my car I have a Pot of Sunshine near the door with about 30 pairs of cheap sunnies then I keep my couple of pair of “good” glasses out of kid’s reach – I tell my clients cheap sunnies are a fun way to update your look.
#4 With Tuxedo jacket, Polka Dots & Clutch
Worn With:French Connection Tuxedo jacket (part of tux suit) bought in 1996 and still looking good, Dotti (yes i know) Polka Dot sheer(ish) shirt – bought couple of years ago, my Great Grandmother’s Black Leather Silver Monogrammed Clutch, Equip Black Cheap Sunnies, Wittner metallic shoes (as above) – could be worn with any pencil skirt.
This is about as corporate business mainstream as my style goes – but useful for meetings
Here it is – from River Island $180 (size 6-18)
I am wearing a size 8
Not into heels – I have flat pointed versions of every heel I love – (metallic, leopard) so I just pop them on or I sometimes wear my pencils skirts with little ankle boots or lace ups.
PS this is not sponsored post – the skirt was bought and paid for :)
Some things from my past I don’t revisit – puffballs, mullets, pedal pushers, but retro trainers – bring it on.
Some sneakers are classics and will always be in style – my 7 yr old has just discovered Converse or “connies” and was delighted to get a pair for her birthday with flames up the side. Cute.
I’m a sentimental type. I have to admit it.
I remember vividly my excitement when Nike Air Vortex’s came out in 1985 (I was 14), singing Run DMC’s “My Adidas” whilst wearing mine and having a crush on a boy who wore those iconic checker-board Van skate slip-ons when I was 17.
These are not the trainers you wear to the gym but are your footwear choice over loafers, heeled boots etc and can travel from work, play, weekend & beyond.
Most designers have made incredible Spots Luxe sneakers and although I swoon at the gorgeousness that is the Karl Lagerfeld, Balenciaga or Saint Laurent hitops I don’t actually think you need to go Haute to look stylish in sneakers.
Plus realistically I am not spending $600 on a pair of sneakers at the moment. Ballet, tennis, swimming & family memory-making take precedence.
No budgetary limits ? Lucky you – enjoy the new Céline, Lanvin, Martin Maison Margiela options. Just go to Polyvore and search sneakers over $250 AUD or head to Matches Fashion, Farfetch websites.
But for those living in my world – below are 4 of my favourite options at the moment that will give you the most versatility in terms of looks.
Sorry prepping for a job in Sydney today and with sick toddler last week has meant this Best in Store is a bit late to the plate.
This week’s choice is inspired by the anticipated chill in the air.
I love an easy Autumn/Winter layering piece that can work whether I am meeting clients, at brand meetings or school dropoffs.
Versatility is the name of the game.
Best in Store: The Statement Sweatshirt
This is one thing that can effortlessly update your look and allow you to play around with hi-lo dressing.
Don’t expect to see a Zoe Karssen Crème de la bloody Crème or those ubiquitous Kenzo lion ripoffs here – yawn !
Here are six interesting options no matter what your budget, style or lifestyle. Choose from graphic, printed, quilted or just plain – great colours to buy at the moment include staple grey marle, pale blue and pink and orange.
* My UK heritage – I emigrated to Australia from the UK in 2001.
* My Affinity with UK chainstores – my first ever job before going to St Andrews University in 1987 was at WAREHOUSE, earning ₤2.38/hr, 45% off and with a ₤300 clothing allowance ! Girl Heaven.
* I am a working Mama with 2 little ones under 6 – ie the fewer things to think about in the morning the better.
The latter dictates my everyday style a great deal – so in Queensland summers I love a frock and looking towards Autumn I am loving the jumpsuit as my go-to option.
Jumpsuits and their more fashion fearless friend Boilersuits have become really popular and there is a reason – they are really easy, versatile and there’s a style for every shape and fashion sense.
UK brands Warehouseand Oasis now offer free returns & delivery to Australia through their Aussie dedicated websites and Topshop & Asos offer varying degrees of free returns & or local delivery options so it is worth exploring.
So this week’s Best in Store is my Top picks of Jumpsuits/ Boilersuits from those UK brands all priced $70 -$110 AUD.
Shop them now…
Why I love these 4 options:
A Black jumpsuit is such an easy effortless stylish option – wear it with flats, thongs, heels + jacket or blazer for versatility.
Boilersuits are brilliant and look great with sneakers, ankle boots and flats – great if the car breaks down too ;)
Leopard & printed jumpsuits are a statement and a half – printed jumpsuits (florals, checks, polkadots etc) are everywhere and can look great if “tamed” by sleek black /white accessories.
Versatile for work, play, weekend, evening.
Easy to runaround (kids, errands, groceries) etc but still feel stylish.
All in one colour can give an illusion of length & leanness.
Layer pieces on top (sweatshirt, knit, jacket etc) to create a different look.
Only 1 piece to think about on a busy work/life shuffle morning :) – l
The pieces in store I usually only tell Personal Styling clients about that have caught my eye and are worth considering.
This is not about the “it” flat of the moment – so bang on trend but will languish in your wardrobe next season. I am about sustainability and building a versatile wardrobe you love, that you will still love when long duster coats, off the shoulder tops, envelope leather skirts and Kenzo sweatshirts are all passé.
Yes I know metallic flats, metallic oxfords and brogues have been around for a while but who cares. This is about finding a killer pair that have so much going for them.
A small investment. Timeless and add a pop of fun and sparkle into the everyday.
I am always looking for the perfect pair – I think I have found them …..
Why I love it:
They are shiny – yes I love shiny things and metallics I tell clients are a neutral ;)
They are flat and easy to runaround after kids but still feel stylish
Not too much detail or trickiness
If you loved the loafer/slipper you might be able to try out a brogue/oxford.
They are really versatile and can be really girly (see OP below).
Can help to winterise dresses,skirts with black & grey marle tights.
They are classic cool and this pair is especially sleek = easier to wear.
Where’s are they from ? – a favourite store of mine (and now my clients ) Seed Heritage $129.95 - shop online or instore. Check out the rest of their range – they are an Australian brand with a great design sense.
5 WAYS TO WEAR
THE METALLIC BROGUE /LACE-UP/OXFORD
– STREETSTYLE –
#1 Like Olivia Palermo aka with everything from khaki pants, leather trousers, girly dress, shorts and everything in between – take your cue from OP and rock them every which way – day night work party she kills it !
#2 change laces to black and wear with all black ensemble – love it ! – OP does it at night with a pair of shorts – adds a touch of glamour !
#3 Lo-fi statement – effortless everyday style with ripped denims, tshirt & blazer or baseball cap & belted coat – LOVE IT !
#4 With earthy neutrals and lo-fi combat pants & grey sweatshirt like this blogger from Brunette Salad. Awesome look !
#5 With a really girly dress or skirt (not necessarily this short ) but they add a cute twist.
Friends of the STEELEMyStyle blog know that I love meeting interesting, independent, creative Australian women and supporting Australian fashion and film. I am also a vintage girl at heart and love any business involved in style sustainability and upcycling, so when I came across the stunning bags from The Luxe Project, I was keen to get to know more about the creative Australian women behind it.
The talented Mother/Daughter team, Chutisa and Sharidan Bowman behind rapidly ascending Australian brand The Luxe Project spoke to STEELEMyStyle and shared their thoughts on working together, the vision for their socially-minded venture, style, their inspiration and life philosophy as well as their favourite local secrets from Melbourne.
Grab a cuppa or a glass of wine and enjoy.
Chutisa (right above) was born in Thailand, moving to Australia as a teenager in the early 70s. With an impressive resume of 25 years in Fashion buying including Senior Buyer at Coles Myer and Director of Buying for David Jones she left fashion retail to run a consulting business with her husband, but a family trip to Thailand and the Hilltribe communities in 2006 was a bit of a “light bulb” moment.
Sharidan was born in Melbourne Australia, did a BA in Psychology and Media Communications at Monash University, but had a premature quarter life crisis and decided to backpack around South East Asia with a friend. Upon her return, she worked as a Makeup Artist with Mecca Cosmetica for 3 years while doing a Marketing qualification at RMIT. During this time, she realised that her true passion was in fashion and beauty and when her mother Chutisa approached her to be part of her new venture she immediately said yes and The Luxe Project was born.
STEELEMyStyle: Tell us a bit about The Luxe Project ?
Chutisa:The Luxe Project is a Melbourne-based social enterprise that collaborates with artisans in South East Asia to create upcycled, well-designed, stylish fashion and accessories, made from fabric ranging from recycled baby carriers to vintage ceremonial gowns.
Creating a business with a real social purpose with the objective of creating “pattern-breaking social change” is our vision for The Luxe Project.
The Luxe Project is driven by two objectives:
Make a living and Make a difference.
Sharidan: Because mum is from Thailand, we travelled to visit family every year since I can remember. So we have always been familiar with these amazing hill tribe textiles. Then on an unrelated business trip to Chiang Mai we purchased some textiles for ourselves and our friends/family and thought “wow… the world needs to know about these incredible artisans… we could really make a go of this”.
Chutisa:The Luxe Project concept was inspired by our personal vision ‘doing good while doing well’ as well as our personal experiences with finding the perfect handbag.
Designing bags was never our plan. It was a serendipitous turn.
Sharidan: We originally started off designing our bags and trying to select fabrics that would work with our designs but that just didn’t feel right in the end. Now we travel to Thailand with a few loose designs in mind, but at the end of the day, we hand select each vintage textile and design the bags based on what we have selected. We want our bags to showcase the quality and craftsmanship of the textiles and not the other way around. All pieces are made with quality, style and sustainability in mind.
Chutisa: People started asking us where we were getting our handbags and purses. When we explained, they asked us to create bags for them too.We were very fortunate to find someone who treated their workers with respect and dignity (by paying them fair wages), who could help us source vintage Hilltribe fabric and produce our designs. We became really excited about the opportunities in online retail and our chance to make a positive contribution and make the difference in the world – and so The Luxe Project was born.
STEELEMyStyle: Can you describe working together as Mother and Daughter?
Chutisa: I see creating this business with Sharidan as exciting and remarkably generative. For us, running a company together, going on designing and buying trips and working closely with each other is a rewarding experience—both financially and emotionally. It has made us closer, and we love what we have created together.
Both of us bring something different to the table. I manage buying and finances, while Sharidan handles PR, advertising, marketing, and our Online store appearance. Since I have been a buyer for Retail Corporations for over 25 years, I am able to utilize my experience in the international fashion markets to design and source product with ease. Sharidan, a marketing graduate, possesses a keen market sense and she understands what others her age want.
One lesson I learned from working so closely together with my daughter is to be in allowance with each other and to be realistic with both expectations and accomplishments. I always remember to treat Sharidan as I would like to be treated by a business partner. Most importantly I make sure to acknowledge and value her point of view and to know when to be a business partner and when to be a mother.
Sharidan: Working together has been a lot easier and more fun than I could have ever expected ! I have been so inspired by the amazing women I have met along this journey. My mother has always excelled in everything she has done and has taught me the value of hard work, self-belief and to not put limitations on my dreams and what I believe I can achieve. On the other hand, I am so unbelievable inspired by the hill tribe women who create these amazing textiles. The love and time that has gone in to each stitch blows me away every time. Their creativity and skills are unfathomable and the fact that they create all these garments for their families just shows the importance of strong female presence within the home.
I think the most challenging part of this process for me has been to slowly eliminate the bad habit of second guessing myself. I am so confident in our items and in what we are doing, that I have also had to learn how to be confident in myself! It always helps to have an encouraging mother whispering in my ear every time I pause to overthink my actions.
STEELEMyStyle: What has been the highlight so far ?
Chutisa: As a retail buyer for many years I knew first hand that most people take for granted the low prices they want to pay for items without really acknowledging the fact that other individuals may be getting the short end of the stick for their benefit. Many people choose to turn a blind eye to dishonourable working conditions (sweatshops and slavery) so that they could get what they desire for a very low price.
I had always desired to create a sustainable business system that impacts the world and various areas of people lives without serving as just another charitable handout.
I love the fact that The Luxe Project sources and creates our products with a backstory. The onus isn’t just on the quality of the design and craftsmanship but also on the raw materials used and the importance of fair trade and ethical practices. We pay a fair and respectable price for the textiles from the Hill Tribes which, in turn, helps to create well-paying job opportunities that allow artisans to earn a living wage, support their families, reinvest in communities and maximize their potential.
It’s a huge highlight that we are managing to create something beautiful that people love and carry out our personal vision for the business – Make a Living, Make a Difference.
Sharidan: Our trips to Thailand are definitely a highlight for me. Not only is it the most creative part of the job (selecting textiles and designing bags) but it’s also all achieved with the most amazingly beautiful backdrop of Northern Thailand’s amazing mountains and incredibly ornate wats. Have a mentioned food? I think I’ll mention it again. The food is AMAZING! It’s also nice to get in some quality time with mum, I don’t live at home so it’s nice to get some one on one time without the distraction of dads or boyfriends.
STEELEMyStyle: What would you love to do creatively if given half a chance ?
Chutisa: We would like to create a global lifestyle brand that is showcasing just how chic, fashionable and stunning ethically produced fashion accessories could be. We endeavour to create a sustainable business system that positively impacts the world and various areas of people’s lives.
We want our business to be making a difference around the world by helping people in developing countries to overcome the cycle of poverty and create their own sustainable business opportunities.
STEELEMyStyle: What is your work fantasy ?
Sharidan: If Nicole Richie, Jennifer Lawrence or Cara Delevingne even looked in our direction I think I could die a happy lass! But you know what, at the end of the day if we heightened the profile of these hill tribe artisans and what they do even just a little bit I would be profoundly satisfied.
STEELEMyStyle: Which other creative women do you admire ?
Sharidan: For me, I feel like there are so many strong women to admire in our own backyard. We are so lucky to have as many creatives as we do in Melbourne, and Australia in general – I am also blown away by the level of support available within the industry. When I see someone like Lucy Feagin (The Design Files), or the sisters over at Maricor Maricar doing what they love and hitting it out of the park it makes me want to keep on keeping on!
STEELEMyStyle: How would you describe your personal style ?
Chutisa: My personal style is minimalist, practical but tasteful & polished – monochromatic and classic cut, streamlined silhouettes with androgynous approach. I love buying investment pieces that transcend trend and seasons. In my view, elegance, sophistication, and timeless style are always better than of-the-moment trends, which will date—and date the wearer.
Sharidan: We could not be more different, which I think is good actually, it means when it comes to designing bags, we can cross a broader spectrum of tastes and styles. Also as someone who has had to wear glasses since the age of 10, I have grown a massive appreciation for a beautiful pair of specs. I love colour, bold prints, thick glasses and a bold lip colour. I try to balance it out with block colours and basics so I don’t induce seizures walking down the street. For example, today I’m wearing my tropical palmtree fitted harem pants, black singlet, Gorman leopard print socks and black jelly bean sandals!
STEELEMyStyle: How did your childhood in Thailand influence your sense of style and creativity ?
Chutisa: I would describe my childhood as ‘idyllic’ since I had a privileged upbringing in Thailand, with personal maids and lovingly pampered by my mother and grandparents. I was raised in an aristocratic way, paying attention to etiquette, custom and simple pleasures of life and living. My mother was extremely imaginative, very resourceful and remarkably creative. She introduced me to literature, jewelry, textiles and fashion of other cultures, which initiated my curiosity and imagination. So I developed an interest in design aesthetics and fashion from a very young age. She instilled in me a strong inquisitiveness as well as the spirit for innovation and creativity.
When I was younger my style was ….
I seem to have a lot of ….. in my wardrobe
Sharidan: red and yellow
When I wear ……… I feel ……
Chutisa: Giorgio Armani suits … confident and stylish
Sharidan: the perfect pair of jeans … 5kg lighter and ready to take on the world!
STEELEMyStyle: As bag designers, what do you look for in a handbag ?
Chutisa: AHand Bag is the key accessory for me, it adds polish to my outfit.
I always carry an oversized bag from The Luxe Project collection; because it is beautiful and functional item that make the largest statement. It makes an eye-popping statement accessory with any of my outfits.
Sharidan: I look for something that is pretty but also super functional. I need lots of internal pockets and a strong strap to handle all the crap I carry around on a daily basis .
That’s why I always carry around our Pahwanaa bag (pic of Pahwanaa 2 below $120 – others click here) . It is deceptively big but still appropriate for everyday use.
I hate seeing people use plastic shopping bags or supermarket bags as handbags… what a waste of an opportunity!
STEELEMyStyle: What importance do you place on style and interior decor?
Sharidan: At the end of the day, what I wear and what I am surrounded by affects my mood. I love the way these things can make you feel. If I’m having a bad day, I’ll do my hair and slick on a bold lip and I find I’m half way to feeling better! I am super guilty of spending crazy amounts of money on bed linen, candles, flowers and misc. home décor but every time I walk in to my flat I smile so I think it is money well spent!
STEELEMyStyle: Whose style in the public eye (past or present day) most connects with you?
Chutisa: Audrey Hepburn– She wasn’t swayed by trends and her sense of style came from her belief in quality before all else.
Giorgio Armani’s signature style of relaxed yet luxurious and elegant, demonstrated that stylishness and elegance doesn’t mean uncomfortable and complicated. His signature androgynous designs for women made trouser suits chic, both in and out of the boardroom.
Coco Chanel for her modernist thought, practical design, and pursuit of expensive simplicity.
Sharidan: Nicole Ritchie has always been a style icon of mine, people like Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Williams and Adele have always inspired me because not only are they beautiful, powerful women at the top of their game, they handle all things with a grace and style that I admire.
I also draw a lot of inspiration from my friends, we have very similar styles and constantly share ideas and things we’ve seen in our daily travels.
Summer Style tip – When it hots up I ……
Chutisa: wear a simple cotton white dress.
Sharidan: Slap on a tinted moisturiser with a good SPF, a loose fitting tank, fitted harem pants and a pair of jelly sandals.
Night-time style for me is ……..
Chutisa: A Classic Black Dress paired with diamond and pearl earrings
Sharidan: Shift dress and clogs or maxi skirt and sleeveless top.
Which designers do you covet from afar and where I actually shop.
Chutisa: Giorgio Armani and Giorgio Armani when in Florence.
Sharidan:Elie Saab – I think he is AMAZING. I shop at Gorman (pic below), local boutique shops, op shops/savers.
STEELEMyStyle: Do you have any Makeup/Beauty Tips ?
Sharidan: As a makeup artist myself, I think I can speak for all MUAs when I say it all begins with beautiful skin. It does not matter how fantastic your foundation is – if your skin is not right, it will not look right. I have used many, MANY forms of skin care over the years and have found that keeping it simple is always the best. That’s why I use Cetaphil cleanser and moisturizer.
Poorly matched foundation and the over use of bronzer hurts me when i see them- it’s so easily avoidable. Also, lip liner needs to match your lipstick colour, I don’t know what happened along the line for people think that this was not a fact.
Any advice for those seeking their Inner Style ?
Chutisa: Avoid following trends. eliminate the superfluous, emphasise the comfortable and the grace of the uncomplicated
Sharidan: You don’t need to follow trends just because they are in style at that time. Buy what you love and know you’ll wear time and time again.
LIFE OF STYLE & SUBSTANCE
STEELEMyStyle: How would you describe your home style ?
Chutisa: Minimalist style. Art Deco inspired.
Sharidan: Eclectic! I have lots of weird and wonderful nicknacks around the house and things hanging off my walls. I am not one to keep my home style sleek and simple… I don’t have it in me!
STEELEMyStyle: What are your favourite pieces ?
Chutisa: Art Deco sideboard and Dining setting that I got from Phillipe’s auction last year
Sharidan: I LOVE our danish bedside tables and vintage map top desk.
STEELEMyStyle: What art works do you own & love ?
Chutisa: A recent acquisition, a huge painting by Dawn Sime (1932-2001) called Black Apple, oil on canvass
Sharidan: I have a huge Salon Des Ensembliers print that I want buried with me.
Where do you shop for furniture/decor ?
Chutisa: At an antique shop or Auction house
Sharidan: As someone who only moved out of home 2 ½ years ago, our lounge room looks like an Ikea show room. I will always love Ikea and I’m not ashamed of it! But as time goes on, I’m picking up beautiful old pieces from vintage furniture shops and markets.
Sharidan: I always shop small and local – there are so many amazing little boutique shops around us that I find it hard to justify buying anywhere else! Naughts & Crosses, The Woodsfolk and Little Shop Of… are just some of the amazing stores around Melbourne.
Nameyour 3 favourite local MELBOURNE spots …
Chin Chin in Flinders Lane for lunch or dinner, authentic Thai cuisine.
But I realise that I really should be posting here and then pinging the other sites especially if I look at Google Analytics and see the enormous difference in visits.
Starting STEELEMyStyle right in the thick of the last couple of years which has been full to the brim with the real nitty gritty stuff of life – kids’ health and parents health issues and then my darling Dad passing away 6 months ago was probably not the best business plan but hey…
Anyway all of that hardcore personal stuff pulled away focus from growing the business and fulfilling ambitions – and I kind of stopped writing on here and doing my outfit and shopping posts as life was so hard on a daily basis that I couldn’t really bring myself to talk about what ’10 things to keep in your wardrobe’ and I also didn’t really want to blog about the drama of it all either.
That was why there was a wee migration to Instagram because all I needed to do was a wee pic and bingo done and done.
But I see that so many readers get so much out of me posting here more often and so I will.
A new start.
I tell my personal styling clients that a hint of colour or fake tan can hide a multitude and to not worry about that dimple or imperfection here and there – I haven’t worn shorts for about 3 years as I felt that I needed to do a bit more exercise and also didn’t feel that comfortable bending down with a baby etc in shorts.
But my bubba is all grown up and although i plan to do more exercise this year and get sweaty more often and get some muscle tone back
Here is living proof that I am talking the talk I am walking the walk …( sic) dog – take that varicose ,spider, thread veins up yours ! A bit of Palmer’s tinted moisturiser and I couldn’t give a toss and enjoyed wearing these shorts today for runaround returns & shopping for clients, errands and chores about the house in 34 degree heat.
Want to STEELEMyStyle ?
What I Wore:
* Gorman I Like Pina Colada silk tank – was $189 now reduced to $129 – Buy it here
* Zara scalloped hem black shorts (5 yrs old) Buy similar here at Asos for $49 - I wear them on my hips as I don’t like short shorts – they come to mid thigh.
* Novo black patent sandals were $30 now $15 – I love Saltwater leather Sandals but they are too wide for me across the front of my foot so these have been brilliant and I have worn them to death all summer – I have all three colours – Buy them here
* Sunnies – cheap $10 from Equip last year – I have a pot of sunshine and have a lot of cheap and chic glasses for everyday and keep my good Karen Walkers, Han and Linda Farrows for grown up events.
Love the pineapple print but want something dressier ?
Gorman I Like Pina Colada Gorman silk dress is really super cute and flattering for lots of different shapes. Perfect for summer events wear with sandals or dress up with heels – Plus it is reduced to $199 AUD