Hi, I'd love to give you fresh style tips!

Author Archives icadmin

Colour Analysis Interview ABC Radio Sydney

Colour analysis is popular again!

What’s it all about? It’s the practice of draping large pieces of different coloured fabrics under your chin to discover which ones suit your skin tone, eyes and hair. Your best colours make you look healthy and vibrant. The less optimal ones leave you looking sallow and tired, emphasising shadows under your eyes and chin.

Two photos of the same woman. The photo on the left shows her in a white top with no makeup. In the photo on the right, she is draped with colours that flatter her complexion. She is also wearing flattering makeup colours.

Before & After: Colour Analysis

Colour analysis became a global phenomenon in the early 1980s when Carole Jackson’s book ‘Colour Me Beautiful’ was published. The theory used then, is the same theory used today. Your best colours match the intensity, undertone and value of your hair, skin and eyes.  

People were categorised into four seasons: Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. These days, colour systems are much more nuanced to accommodate our multi-cultural society. I use a system that has 18 different colour palettes!

Recently, I was interviewed on ABC Radio Sydney Mornings about the rise in popularity of colour analysis again. Many women called or text to share their stories about how knowing their best colours has enhanced their lives.

Two women stand in front of an ABC Radio Sydney sign. The lady on the left is Toni Matthews; radio presenter and interviewer. The woman on the right is Ann Vodicka, a colour analysis expert based in Sydney.

Toni Matthews from ABC Radio Sydney interviews Ann Vodicka about colour analysis and its benefits for you.

This is something many people ask about. If you want to know more, you can listen to the recording here.

If you need help knowing the colours that look fabulous on you, the swatch of colours you receive at your fun two-hour colour analysis session will make shopping for clothes, accessories, makeup and hair dye quick, easy and successful. Plus, you’ll gain more confidence and feel great too!

April 13, 2023

9 Essential Layering Clothes For Autumn and Winter

Layering garments is the best way to transition your outfits from warmer to cooler months, as you can easily use trans-seasonal pieces to create stylish outfits. If you’re unsure which wardrobe elements you could add without compromising your style, check out this list of what I find to be my essential layering clothes for autumn and winter.

Early Autumn is the optimal time to invest in these pieces to prepare for the months ahead as you can find the best range of styles and colours.

Layer with a Camisole

You may already own cotton knit camis and tanks that can easily be used as a layering piece and may add a touch of colour to an outfit as they peek out the neckline of your V-neck tops.

Layer with Body Fitting Thermal Tops

Lightweight, half-sleeve or long-sleeve thermal tops are handy base layers to wear under your regular clothes. They should fit close to your body with no gaps around the arms, neck and waist (to keep the heat in).

Layer with Longline Cardigans

A longline cardigan is such a versatile layering piece. Wear yours with jeans and a tee for a relaxed, casual look, or team it with a dress and heeled boots for a dressier vibe. Remember: bulky knits add bulk, and finer knits are slimming.

Tip: If you have a defined waist, use a belt (either on top of or underneath your cardi) to flatter your figure.

Layer with a Blazer or Jacket

 Own at least one stylish blazer or jacket in a solid colour in one of your best neutrals so it mixes and matches with everything in your wardrobe. Choose a timeless, classic style for longevity. A blazer or jacket is an excellent staple to have in your wardrobe and can be worn all year round. You might choose a denim or moto style jacket or one of the current blazer styles depending on your style preferences.

Layer with Fine Wool Jumpers/Sweaters

Fitted jumpers. ‘Sweater weather’ is widely used in America to describe cold days. Jumpers made from soft, lightweight wool, luxurious cashmere, or a blend of materials like 70% wool, 20% acrylic and 10% cashmere are excellent layering items.

Wear a simple tee, cami, or thermal as an underlayer. Or, elevate the look by teaming your sweater with a button-up shirt underneath or wear it under your blazer when it’s chilly.

Fine knits are very versatile. Wear them with a longline cardigan and a scarf for colder days for extra warmth and cosiness.

Layer with Scarves

Scarves protect your neck from cold weather. They keep the air around your neck where it is. Your body warms the air around your neck, and a quality scarf will keep the air there, keeping your neck warm. Choose from natural fibres: cashmere, fleece, wool, and silk.

Plus, scarves are a great way to add colour, texture, and interest to your outfit.

Tip: If it’s really cold, wrap your scarf over your head and ears for extra warmth.

Layer with Hosiery

Tights and socks are great layered under dresses, skirts, and pants. They’re useful under dresses and skirts to protect your legs from cold air. Keep it simple with opaque neutral tones like black, grey, and brown. Or, liven things up with fun, bold hues or patterned tights.

A women is standing in a garden. She is wearing various layering clothes for the cool autumn day. These items include a leather jacket, teal coloured hosiery and a woollen scarf.

Fun layering clothes for Autumn: colourful tights.

Layering Clothes for Autumn: Trench Coat

The classic trench coat is timeless, as they are always in fashion. Choose styles without overly fashion-forward features, such as oversized collars, and ensure it is a comfortable weight and drape for you, so it doesn’t feel heavy or stiff.

Layer with a Leather jacket

It can be either genuine or faux leather. Either way, leather-style jackets are an ideal wardrobe staple for the cooler months, mainly if they are lined.

Choose from the blazer, biker or motto style jackets depending on the look you want to achieve.

Five leather jackets suitable for women. The colours are tan, black, maroon, off-white and apricot.

Click the image or here to shop the leather jackets.

Styling Tip: If your upper body looks bulky due to wearing many layers, keep your lower half more streamlined to create visual balance. This concept is called the ‘Principles of Volume’, which you can learn more about here.

If you’d like a ‘style best friend’ to help you select the perfect layering pieces for your Autumn/Winter wardrobe, so you’re sure the items you buy are ideal for you and will last for years, a Personal Shopping Trip is a fun, hands-on experience that will elevate your style and save you time, money and stress. Be your best stylish self today!

March 22, 2023

How To Create More Outfits With Clothes You Already Have

Do you wear the same outfits day in, day out? (And are bored with them.)

Do you have a wardrobe full of clothes but know you only use about 20% of those clothes 80% of the time?

Do you struggle to see new and interesting ways to create multiple outfits from the clothes you already have?

Read on if you answered “Yes” to any of the above.

This blog encourages you to ‘shop’ in your own wardrobe – without having the need to buy more items. It explores ways to experiment with your existing clothes, shoes and accessories and tap into hundreds of new outfit combinations that are waiting to be discovered.

How To Shop Your Wardrobe

Experiment with one patterned top 

Mix items together that you’ve never tried before.

  • Start with a patterned top that you rarely wear.
  • Lay it on your bed. Look at the colours in it.
  • Now, choose all your pants and skirts that include any of the colours in that pattern.
  • Next, physically try on the top with each of your bottoms.
  • Create two piles of bottoms: 1) Items that don’t work and 2) Items that do work.
  • Then start playing with your shoes, bags, and accessories.

A women wears three different outfits using one patterned blouse. She created the outfits using clothes she already had in her wardrobe.

TIP: Photograph the winning outfits and pop them in an album on your phone for future reference. When you’re running late in the morning, this photo album will be a great source of inspiration and will save you valuable time.

Creating everyday outfits with special occasion garments

Do you have some items you keep for special occasions only? It could be sequined, shiny or shimmery. Team that item with clothes you might consider to be more on the smart-casual side. Think about changing the style of shoes you wear with this item or the jacket you decide to wear with it. For example, you could wear your sequin jacket with dark denim jeans (instead of a more formal dress or skirt), a stacked heel rather than a stiletto, and a good-quality tee.

Use Colour to link garments together

Link the new outfit combination using colour as the ‘glue’. Make sure the undertone and intensity of the colours harmonise to achieve a stylish and cohesive look. If you’re unsure which colours suit you best, a Personal Colour Analysis will put you on the right track.

Not everything will work

Let’s say the items you’ve just put together aren’t working. Can you do or add something to tweak the look so it works? For example, you’re wearing a maxi skirt with a boxy tee. The combination makes you look shapeless and wider. Could you add a belt to create shape? Could you tuck in the tee so there’s less volume up top, making you look narrower? Or, could you find a more fitted tee?

Use Accessories to create different outfits

Play with your accessories to change the look of the new top and bottom combination you’ve put together. For example, wooden beads and flat sandals will create a casual look. Shiny beads and sandals with a higher heel will elevate the look.

Seven pairs of strappy sandals are displayed. These sandals can help you create a casual outfit look. Team them with clothes you already have to create multitudes of outfits.

Click here or click on the board to shop these sandals.

Do you need help creating outfits with the clothes you already have?

If you’d like to get more value from your existing wardrobe and you are time-poor or lack the patience and creativity to put new outfits together, a wardrobe mix-and-match session is a fun ‘dress-ups’ session where I help you style your existing pieces to create new combinations and different looks. You’ll get more wear from your clothes and save yourself time and stress in the morning because you’ll have many photographed outfits you can refer to for inspiration. And, just as importantly, you’ll look stylish and feel fabulous too 🙂

February 15, 2023

7 Style Tips to Make Your Bust Look Larger

If you have a small bust or would like to enhance the size of your bust, here are seven style tips.

Forget ridiculous suggestions like “wear two bras”, “sleep on your back”, or ‘tape your boobs”. Instead, all you need are some carefully selected clothes.

Use these 7 easy styling ideas to create the optical illusion of a fuller bust.

Choose tops with detail and interest over the bust area, e.g. logos and graphic patterns. If logos aren’t your thing, beading or ruffles will create the same effect. Small to medium prints worn on your top half will also enhance the area’s appearance.

Wear lighter, brighter-coloured tops. They will accentuate your upper body as well as draw attention to your face. If you’re unsure about your best colours, I’d love to help you find them with a Personal Colour Analysis.

Shiny fabrics have a reflective surface. Light bounces off the surface, making your bust appear more prominent.

Jewellery: Choose small-scale necklaces. The bonuses of this tip are twofold: a) your bust will appear fuller, and b) you’ll be adding an extra element to your outfit, which raises your ‘style game.’

Another way to make you bust look larger is to wear gathered or frill-fronted necklines. The extra fabric will add volume and make your bust appear fuller.

Three women wear tops that make their bust look bigger. One lady wears a top with frills over the bust area. Another woman wears a bright pink top with pin tucks. The third lady wears a red top with gathers at the neckline.

Find these tops here.

Textured or bulky fabrics worn over the bust make your boobs look larger. Also, the extra layer of material used for breast pockets on items such as blouses and denim jackets creates the optical illusion of more.

Lastly, high necklines maximise your bust and draw attention to your face. Boat, crew, turtleneck, and mock turtleneck are some options.

If you’d like to find out what really works for your body, so you stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and are more connected to your style, find out about the incredible value of having a Personal Style Consultation here.

January 26, 2023

24 Party Dresses to Celebrate the Festive Season in Style

You’re busy, busy, busy. Places to be. People to meet. What to wear to a Christmas or New Year’s Eve party is low on your priority list.

Your easiest option is a dress. It’s a one-stop, ‘throw it on and go’ option. No mixing and matching is needed. One piece – that’s it! 🙂

If you’re strapped for time and want something new, I’ve curated a collection of stylish Christmas and New Year party dresses. Some are casual, and others are dressier, depending on where you’re going.

Tip: What’s the dress code? You’ll feel more comfortable and confident if your dress is appropriate for the occasion. For example, if you are attending a work function, choose a dress with a neckline and hemline that’s not too revealing.

These 24 party dresses will have you celebrating Christmas and New Year in style.

Click on the board or the link below to find your fabulous going-out dress. Remember to choose a colour that blends with your perfect colour palette.

Do you have great ankles or killer legs? Flaunt your assets with these colourful styles.

Do you prefer more neutral tones? These dresses would be perfect for a Christmas or New Year get-together.

Are you attracted to patterns? These dresses are fun and have great visual interest.

Is your tummy your concern? Look at these styles for inspiration.

Midi and maxi dresses are floaty and festive – perfect for Christmas/New Year celebrations.

Once you’ve found the dress, add a bit of bling to show you’re in a festive mood. Anything with some sparkle. Think earrings, a necklace, glittery shoes, a handbag, high-shine lipstick or lip-gloss.

Wishing you a happy and stylish festive season!

December 16, 2022

11 Questions to Ask Before Buying at Black Friday Sales

They’re so tempting.

Black Friday sales. Clothes, shoes and accessories are reduced to excellent prices.

You think, ‘That’s a great deal! Quick, I better buy, buy, buy!’

WAIT ✋ – I’m putting on my party-pooper hat here.

Does it pain you to think how much money you’ve wasted on unworn sale items over the years? 

It’s something to ponder.

Filling your wardrobe with random items leads to “I have a wardrobe full of clothes but nothing to wear.”

A woman is wearing a winter coat and carrying two 'Sale' bags.

Here are 11 quick questions to ask yourself before clicking the ‘Buy’ button or tapping your card in-store:

  1. Would I buy this item if it wasn’t on sale?
  2. Does this item suit my style preferences? 
  3. Which three things in my existing wardrobe will mix and match with this new purchase?
  4. Does it fit my current body shape and proportions?
  5. What are the cleaning/laundering instructions? An everyday blouse with a ‘Dry Clean only’ label translates into an expensive garment.
  6. Is it a colour that is flattering on me?
  7. Is it comfortable? (especially shoes.)
  8. Is it good quality, so it lasts?
  9. What is the fabric component? 
  10. How often will I wear it? (this question is related to cost per wear per item.)
  11. Is it very similar to something I already own?

Shopping with intention ensures you wear what you buy because it ticks all your boxes. Answering the questions will keep you in check. Your bank balance, psyche and wardrobe will thank you for it. ❤️??

November 23, 2022

7 Ingenious Tips for Choosing the Right Stripe In Your Outfit

Wearing stripes is an easy and stylish way to incorporate patterns into your wardrobe.

These simple, straight lines are classic and timeless: from Breton nautical stripes stemming back to Napoleon to pinstripes that featured on the suits of bankers in the early 19th century.

French sailors wear Breton stripe tops as part of their uniform in the late 1800s

The Breton stripe top was first introduced in 1858 as a uniform item for French naval personnel.

Today, there is a stripe for everyone and every occasion.

So that you feel confident and look your very best, here are a few style guidelines to keep in mind when wearing stripes. These are general guidelines because, as you know, there are always exceptions to ‘the rules’.

7 Ways To Know The Stripe Is Right For You

1. Creating Curves With Stripes

Big, bold stripes broaden and give the illusion of more curves and shape.

Three women wear wide striped garments which creates the illusion of a body with more shape and curves.

Create shape and the illusion of curves with large stripes. Shop this board.

2. Elongate with a Narrow Stripe

Small stripes that are closer together lengthen and slim your body.

3. Communicate with the Colour of  Your Stripes

When you wear neutral colour combinations such as navy and white, your outfit appears classic and chic. A more colourful combination comes across as fun and playful.

If you want to appear more professional and business-like, choose traditional colour combinations in medium to dark shades such as charcoal and white.

4. Use Stripes to Balance Your Body Shape

Stripes are perfect for creating optical illusions too.

For example, if you have an ‘A’ or pear shape body type, you can widen your top half with light, bright horizontal stripes.

If you have a V shape body (broad shoulders, no hips), add horizontal stripes to your lower half to balance your shoulders.

Vertical stripes, if narrow and close together, will elongate.

If you have a short upper or lower body, place vertical stripes in that area to create the illusion of length.

5. Mix and Match Patterns with Stripes

Of all the patterns, stripes are the easiest to mix and match. Play with different widths and different directions if you’re feeling courageous.

Speaking of being courageous, why not mix your stripes with prints like florals and geometrics? An easy way to combine them is to have a unifying colour in both patterns.

6. Use Stripes to Create Illusions

Diagonal stripes create movement. They can draw the eye up, down, in, or out. For example, a diagonal line that starts down on your right side and ends up on your left will draw others’ eyes up to your face.

Bold light and dark stripes such as black and white will appear larger and stronger. Whereas combinations where the colours are more similar in value, like light grey and white, seem more subtle and less obvious.

7. Choosing the Right Stripes for You

Unsure if stripes are for you? A smaller item like a piece of jewellery, a small handbag or some fun shoes might be a way to test the waters. Or, how about a stripe down the outer seam of your pants?

When you’re trying on a striped garment, look in the mirror and do the blink test. Close your eyes, count to five and reopen your eyes again. Use this technique to see where your eye is drawn and if the stripe placement is right for you.

Are you wondering which stripes are right for your style and body shape? During a Personal Style session, we uncover the prints and stripes that are most flattering for you. It’s three hours of fun and style information specific for you – you’ll never have to Google another thing about your style again 🙂

August 26, 2022

8 Ways to Include Fashion Trends Without Becoming A Fashion Victim

Woman at an open air market wearing golden yellow coloured coat, teal felt hat and animal print scarf.

Want to try a new fashion trend and not sure if it’s you? Buy a less expensive item, like a scarf, and wear it in small amounts.

I get it. You want to look current and modern, but not appear like a fashion victim. So, how can you look stylish and up-to-date yet still be true to yourself and your style preferences?

Fashion trends are there to inspire us. They inject a sense of newness and interest into our wardrobes and keep you looking fresh.

Holding onto clothes that are past their use by date can make you look frumpy. But, dressing head to toe in the latest trends that don’t suit you will have you looking like a fashion victim. How to find the perfect medium?

Use these 8 easy ways to include fashion trends without becoming a fashion victim:

  • Combine an ‘on trend’ item that speaks to you and pair it with timeless classics. All you need are a few current items mixed with clothes you already own to stay looking up-to-date.
  • Only buy the trends you love and that resonate with your personal style preferences. This includes your personality, body shape, and your colouring. Be careful about being too influenced by others who you see as stylish wearing the latest trends. For example, you might love that floaty boho (bohemian style) dress on Sienna Miller or your best girlfriend but it doesn’t mean you’ll rock it if your personality style leans towards classic.
  • Choose from the current selection of trends – the ones you love, then wear them, wear them, wear them! A few years later you’ll be ‘over it’, the trend will have died, the garment will have worn out and it will be time to let the item go and find a new trend to play with.
Smiling woman wears a red and white stripe blouse with white jeans. She has her arms crossed.

Stripes are always in fashion.

  • Spend less on fashion trends, yet still buy quality. You want the fabric and fit to be on point.
  • Ask yourself: Does the trend flatter my body shape and proportions? If the answer is a definite “no” and your aim is to look and feel your best, then leave it alone or find a way to modify it. E.g. If oversized shirts and jackets swamp you, wait until more fitted styles are available or buy two or three sizes smaller than your standard size.
  • Colour trends are worth considering as well. Currently, greens are everywhere in stores, make sure you know which is your best shade because the wrong shade will make you look unwell. Not sure which versions of green suit you? A colour analysis will be a great investment to save you time, money and energy when shopping.
A multi-coloured scarf in orange, blue and leopard print.

Use the colour swatch from your Personal Colour Analysis consultation to choose clothes and accessories in the colours that are perfect for you.

  • Patterns come and go, but there are some that are classic like stripes and animal prints. Florals are always around, but their expression changes. Only choose the patterns that you really love and skip the others.
  • If you want to include a trend that isn’t a true representation of your style wear it in small amounts rather than an entire outfit. E.g. If animal print is trending, wear a scarf or a belt rather than head-to-toe leopard print.

Do you struggle figuring out what really works for you?

Would you love to find the right current trends to modernise your wardrobe? I’d love to help make this a fun, stress-free experience. Book a shopping trip and I’ll help you get your style sorted.

June 27, 2022

Create a Versatile Wardrobe in 9 Easy Steps

Is owning a versatile wardrobe something you’d like to achieve but think it’s in the ‘too hard basket?

Many clients tell me they’re tired of owning a wardrobe full of clothes and feel they have nothing to wear. They confess they only wear about 10 to 20% of their clothes. And, they tell me they’re not interested in being ‘slaves’ to fashion fads and trends.

This is a quote from the famous actress Joan Crawford, "Make your wardrobe as versatile as an actress. It should be able to play many roles."

What they want are fewer clothes and less decision fatigue. They’re keen to wear all their clothes more often and get better cost per wear per item. They love the idea of a capsule wardrobe where pieces mix and match effortlessly to create different looks for various occasions. They want to get dressed, look good and feel good in record time. And they know a versatile wardrobe will save them money in the long run and contribute to a healthy planet.

So many wins!

There are no set rules when it comes to a versatile wardrobe. It can be any size you like. You might decide to create two collections to adapt to seasonal changes, i.e., Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter. Or, you could curate one capsule for work and another for play. Your personality style and lifestyle will influence your decisions.

Dreaming of Owning a Versatile Wardrobe? These 9 Easy Steps Will Get You Started:

1. Does it work for your current lifestyle?

Begin with a lifestyle analysis. Where do you spend your time? What are the activities? What clothes, shoes, and accessories do you need for these activities? List and prioritise the items you need to support your lifestyle.

2. What do you want your clothes to communicate?

Have a clear understanding of what you want your visual image to project. What is the story you want your clothes to tell? How do you want others to perceive you? Armed with this self-knowledge, you’ll make informed, selective buying decisions about items that deserve a place in your wardrobe. They will be items you love, feel comfortable and confident wearing, and want to wear repeatedly.

Not sure? Let me help you with a Personal Style Consultation.

3. Do the colours make you look healthy?

Base your wardrobe around your ideal colour palette.

Clothes, shoes, and accessories coordinate with little or no effort when they have common elements, i.e., undertone, intensity, and value.

There’s a colour palette that’s perfect for you! It blends harmoniously with your colouring, i.e., your skin tone, hair, and eyes. These colours are incredibly flattering on you. Wearing them together creates a cohesive, flattering look. You can mix and match your palette in thousands of different ways – they will always work well together, adding to your wardrobe’s versatility.

4. Should you keep it or let it go?

A) If you love an item, but it doesn’t fit quite right, an alteration is a great investment.

B) What do you already own that deserves a place in your new wardrobe? Items that are never or rarely worn because they are too big, too small, damaged, the wrong colour, an unflattering style etc., won’t make a selection – best to let them go.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your wardrobe, let me help you edit your wardrobe, so you only have the best garments for you.

5. Build your wardrobe around your best neutrals.

The motto here is quality over quantity. Invest in quality basics in your best neutral tones: pants, skirts, jackets, plain basic tee, handbags, belts, and shoes. These items are the workhorses of your wardrobe, so they should be ‘built to last. Superior fabrics. Timeless designs.

If you have cool undertones, choose from grey, rose brown, black, white or soft white, mushroom, mahogany, or navy.

Folks with warm undertones select from khaki, olive green, tan, camel, green-grey, warm white, cream, russet, and marine blue.



Three models wear neutral coloured clothes e.g. black, white, tan, burgundy and beige. All of these neutral tones are useful to have if you want to create a versatile wardrobe.

Click the image to shop the board.

A model wearing a black coat holds a black handbag. There are four handbags on the left hand side of the image. They are brown, tan, soft white and beige in colour.

Click on the image to shop the board.

Six versatile handbags. Four are black. One is tan, and the other is maroon in colour.

This is a shoppable board.

Creating a functional wardrobe 

6. We all need a hero.

Once the foundations are sorted, add some carefully selected statement, aka hero pieces. These items inject your unique personality style into your outfits. They could be bolder colours or have an interesting pattern or adornments like fringing, studs, or sequins.

A personal shopping trip might be ideal if you don’t love shopping and are unsure what hero pieces would work for you.

7. Think layers.

Select multi-seasonal items that you can wear alone or layered to accommodate different weather conditions. The photos below show me wearing the same patterned skirt in summer and winter.

Ann Vodicka is a personal stylist in Sydney. This images shows her modelling the same floral skirt in two different ways. In the image on the left, she wears a rust coloured sleeveless top and suede slides. In the right hand side image she wears a teal polo neck jumper and rust coloured boots.

8. Laundry matters.

Choose fabrics that are easy to launder. Most of the clothes in your versatile wardrobe will be on high rotation, so the last thing you need is not to be able to wear an item because it’s at the dry cleaner or waiting to be hand-washed.

9. Finally, add accessories.

They alter the look of your outfits, take up very little space, and inject interest into clothes on constant rotation. Accessories can also be a fun and inexpensive way to express your style.

Does your current wardrobe offer you versatility and freedom? If you find sorting out your style tricky and would like some help curating a wardrobe that requires less thought, has greater impact, and works for your life and style, I’d love to help.

May 25, 2022

4 Secrets You Can Learn About An Elevated Wardrobe From Coco Chanel

The Devil’s in the Detail

Gabrielle Chanel was a fashion trailblazer. She designed timeless, elegant, luxurious clothes and accessories that are still used to create garments we buy today. Her personal style, individuality, and how that translated into her designs are beautifully displayed at the ‘Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto’ exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria (Australia).

I hadn’t realised before my visit that Chanel’s genius lay with her apparently simple designs paired with divine attention to detail. We can use her creations as a source of inspiration. ‘Simplicity with a twist’ is something you might consider when creating your own outfits.

Excerpt from L'art et La Mode, 'Chanel's creations are always the epitome of grace and youthfulness, and delight through the simplicity of the line and carefully considered details.'

Excerpt from L’Art et La Mode, September 1932.

Look at the skirt and top ‘sportswear ensemble’ below. The outfit appears unadorned, but cast your eyes down to the arrow-like features on the skirt – so subtle, yet very distinctive, and a luxury design detail that elevates the outfit to a whole new level.

This Chanel soft white sportswear ensemble consists of a sleeveless, collared blouse and a straight skirt with distinctive 'arrow-like' details on the front.

Over to you: What are the components of your outfits that make your look elevated?

How Chanel created outfits for her lifestyle

Coco Chanel designed garments to suit her lifestyle. She was active (thus the short skirt in the image above), forward-thinking, had a strong practical side, yet had a deep appreciation for elegance and femininity. She loathed the restrictive clothes of the past; tight corsets, long skirts, high necklines, and layers of fabric. Instead, she favoured styles that allowed freedom of movement and comfort and allowed for the practicalities of everyday life.

Photo of a white Chanel dress made from cotton chiffon. It has spaghetti straps and eleven ruffled tiers from hip level down.

Over to you: What’s not working for you in your wardrobe?

Chanel was the master of the timeless wardrobe.

One huge room in the exhibition featured dozens of Chanel’s iconic suits with their collarless, buttoned, boxy jackets and straight A-line skirts. Yes, they all had similar lines; however, each one was unique due to the interesting details that had been added.

Three Chanel suits. All are cream in colour with different red and black trim details.

A selection of nine classic style suits and coats in khaki, coral and cream colours.

Over to you: How much of your wardrobe is classic and more timeless, and how much is looking dated?

Practical Chanel

Gabrielle Chanel was free-spirited, was a rebel, and she enjoyed experimenting with style. She created garments on a mannequin rather than sketching them first. Fabrics such as jersey that had only been used as underwear were now outerwear in garments such as the Breton tee. Jersey fabric is easy to wash, with no special care required.

The quilted 2.55 bag – She threaded a fine stripe of leather through the metal chain, so it didn’t make any noise and was quiet to wear. Inside the bag was a special compartment for your lipstick (How often has your lipstick got lost in the bottom of your bag?)

A classic, black Chanel 2.55 bag. It is quilted and features a metal chain strap that is threaded with a fine strip of leather to minimise noise.

Chanel’s two-tone slingback pump was beige, so it’s elongating and very versatile. The toe was black, so it was easy to polish if it got dirty or scuffed.

Prototype of two-tone slingback pump in beige and black.


Over to you: Is your wardrobe working in the practical way you would like it to?

What have you realised about your current wardrobe after reading this? Is it as elevated and stylish as you would like it to be? Is it a pleasure to wear because it’s comfortable? If you’d like some help curating the wardrobe that really works for your life and style, discover how you can work with me. I’d love to help you create a beautiful wardrobe that makes you feel stylish, comfortable, and confident.

March 15, 2022