Beyond the 9 to 5

Anyone working a full time nine to five knows how hard it can be to get that work life balance right. All too often, you find yourself rushing from work to dinner or drinks with friends, or maybe even saying no to social engagements due to the lack of time available to get yourself organised in between. It doesn’t have to be this way! In this post, I’ll be styling one dress two ways so that it can take me from work to play with minimal fuss and effort expended.

Look #1 – WORK

Having picked this silky French Connection dress up at an op shop for a steal, I knew I was onto a winner. The pussy bow tie at the neck keeps the outfit demure and the knee length, flowy skirt is perfect for workwear, without limiting movement – an important factor when your job involves occasionally running after small children, as mine does.

A big bag is a work essential – something that can hold your laptop, lunch, water bottle, plus any outfit changes for later. This Oroton tote has capacity in spades and is crafted in a beautiful durable textured leather.

Simple, strappy, low block heels complete the outfit for a relaxed dress code but you could just as easily swap them for pumps or ankle boots, depending on preference.

Look #2 – PLAY

A few simple tweaks takes this dress from office appropriate to bar/dinner ready. Just by untying the bow at the throat, this versatile dress exudes a relaxed glamour that pairs perfectly with a messy bun.

Faux suede thigh high boots are the perfect footwear to keep your toes (and entire legs) toasty and they roll up surprisingly tiny – small enough to fit inside my work bag, in fact! A small satin clutch in a pop of colour adds some interest and texture to the look.

The finishing touch is jewellery. I always turn to pearls for their raw loveliness – there’s something about the gentle lustre I just can’t get enough of. Pearls are also much more versatile than semi-precious stones, as they lend themselves to being dressed up of down equally. This lariat necklace and twist in hair pin were both purchased from a local small business in Broome – click here to shop.

See, it can be done! See you at the bar!


Perfect Pairs – April Edition

Given the weather we’re still getting (most of the time) here in Perth, a trench coat just isn’t part of my current wardrobe. This month’s perfect pairing is a trench coat matched with a sporty sneakers but I felt the need to add my own little twist! While not technically a trench coat, this snazzy vest from Dotti has a similar vibe and is still wearable in this early autumn heat wave.

The sneakers, in a pale beigey gold and retro style, are the perfect foil to keep the outfit nice and casual but still pulled together. They are also the perfect example of not having to spend an arm and a leg to get something on trend. A sub-$10 Kmart steal (on special), I’ll have no qualms about literally wearing these beauties into the ground.

It is easy to skew too relaxed whenever sneakers are involved but this can be averted, as in this case,  by keeping the fabrics sleek, the colour palette neutral and the silhouette tailored. A silky tuxedo stripe on the side of these Seed trousers put the luxe firmly in the current trend of the moment; sports luxe.

How to Op Shop Like a Pro

Looking through my wardrobe, I’ve realised that I am incredibly lucky. Stocked with workwear staples from brands such as Country Road, Cue, Zara and Witchery, it would be pretty easy to assume that I’d spent a hefty percentage of my pay packet on clothes for much of my life. But it isn’t so, for I have a secret… Alright, alright, it isn’t really a secret at all – just a passion for bargain hunting that has led me to become an intrepid and skilled op shopper.

Op shopping can be a daunting task, especially if you have no plan of attack. On my last excursion into the world of second hand clothing, I had a bit of a think and came up with a couple of tips I would offer to have the most rewarding and successful experience.

Know your style

This doesn’t mean you have to know exactly what you’re looking for – you probably won’t find it – but it does mean being aware of the styles you usually wear and like. It’s easy to get suckered into buying something secondhand just because it fits and looks nice but it will ultimately end up gathering dust at the back of your wardrobe until you eventually send it on its way. This being said, go in with an open mind! You never know what you might find and fall in love with…

Get touchy feely

The best way to evaluate the quality of a garment is by assessing the material. Obviously, different fabrics are suited to different items but, essentially, if it feels like good quality, it probably is. Natural fibres are also a good way to go, in terms of longevity. So just check the care label and, while you’re there, have a read of the washing instructions – good stuff to be aware of.

Always read the label…

It’s possible to pick up some incredible pieces from op shops, you just have to hunt them down. Check what brands pieces are from, as this will give you a reasonable indication of quality.

… but ignore the number

Size really is just a number! It’s a good starting point to work out whether something is going to fit but many op shops have clothing with the label cut out or from other parts of the world that use different sizing systems. Worth a look but that brings me to my next point…

Try before you buy

So often, things don’t look quite how you expect them to, especially if it’s an unfamiliar brand or style. Trying things on is an essential part of the way I op shop and, if trying on clothing previously worn by someone else bothers you, why are you here? Washing machines are wonderful inventions and you’ll just have to stick it out in store until you can get your new purchases home. (Many pieces I pick up have never been worn anyway.)

Be willing to operate

Handiness with a needle and thread is a great skill to have – you can turn a dress from a 7 to a 10 with just a nip or tuck here or there, or maybe all it needs is a button sewn on. In any case, if you can do these little alterations yourself, you’ll save a ton of money and end up with garments that fit your body perfectly.

If you’ve made it this far, here’s a mini op shop haul for you! It is very workwear themed but that’s what I always find myself needing more of. Enjoy!

Dress – Witchery

Shoes – Aldo

Jumpsuit – Zara

Shirt and pants – Zara

Stay shiny! x

Part of the Family

I honestly can’t help it. I sign up to every loyalty program going in a flash – even faster if there’s a birthday reward, I love those. Unfortunately, though, not many pull their weight and make the incessant emails worth my while. Not many, other than the IKEA Family program. As an IKEA fanatic, they had me at hello (or hej) and there are so many wonderful reasons this is a family you should be a part of. As well as regular discount vouchers and member only pricing on many items, IKEA holds invite only workshops and events – which is what I’m about to wax lyrical about right now.

Swedish Food Tasting

As you may know, IKEA not only dishes out the goods when it comes to flatpack furniture, they also have a range of edible offerings. Including smoked salmon, crispbreads, plenty of sweets and much more, this makes me very, very happy. At a recent food tasting event, the awesome IKEA staff demonstrated how to put together an easy assortment of nibbles and sweets using their products. Everything you need for entertaining really can be found in IKEA’s hallowed halls.

Living with Textiles

Silly me, I always thought cushions on sofas were just thrown there, maybe with some thought to colour, pattern, size – whatever. Turns out, no. There’s an art to it, and IKEA has let me in on their secret.

The 3+1 Rule

Start with a plain coloured cushion, add a simple patterned one (checks, stripes, etc.) in complementary colours and then go wild with the third. That’s your party cushion. As long as you can pick out a colour theme between the three, it seems to work. Then to complete the whole business, add a throw rug. Go for a cosy knit in the cooler months and something lighter for summer to stay temperature appropriate.

Rugs on rugs

Did you know you can layer rugs? I didn’t – but then, I’m no interior design whiz. That said, this is my new favourite trick for making a room extra cosy and interesting. Lay down a large flat woven, natural fibre rug – as big as you can manage. I love the way it frames a space, which is especially lovely in an open plan living area. Now, just lay on top whatever rug you would normally put down – et voila! A big bonus is that even thinner mats won’t crumple and move around as much if they have a good base layer.

To find out the many other ideas, tips and tricks that were revealed to me, just sign up and join this wonderfully welcoming family here!

Perfect Pairs – March Edition

Perfect pairs continues! This month, InStyle has presented me with a greater challenge – pairing a full skirt with the item featuring extensively in all of this season trend lists, the belt bag. Now, a year or so ago, I was all about pleated midi skirts so the only difficulty was choosing one from my collection. However, the belt bag, being a trend piece, isn’t something I’ve splashed any of my cash on – time for a DIY. Almost any cross body bag can be converted into a hands free belt bag with a little creativity. Of course, it’s easiest if the strap is adjustable and detachable but a carabiner type clip or key ring will do the trick in a pinch.

Without further ado, here is the outfit I put together. I chose this gorgeous silver midi skirt to be a base for the look, as metallics can play the role of a grown up yet still fun neutral.

This bag is delightfully quirky, and helps to keep the whole outfit from taking itself too seriously. Who doesn’t love lobster?

By keeping the top half simple, the focus is firmly on the cinched in waist. Flat sandals work to keep the look casual and daytime appropriate.

While this isn’t a combo I would have necessarily reached for before this challenge, I can see it working for a chilled Sunday – from Farmers’ Markets to brunch to Sunday afternoon drinks in the sunshine and everything in between. Plus, with the added convenience of having your hands free, this is a look I’ll be tempted to try out on the regular.

Shop it!

Stay shiny! x

Oops, I’ve Done it Again

Oh, Revlon, why? Just when I’m supposed to be saving money, you go out and offer a wonderful free gift with purchase. So, of course, I had to buy something…

Until the end of February (it’s nearly over, guys, how crazy), with every purchase of Revlon products from Myer, you’ll get a beauty bag crammed with cosmetic goodies. To be completely honest, it was the nail polish that really sold me on this offer but I’ll get to that in a moment!

The first thing I’d like to applaud is that you get a choice of cosmetic bags with the gift. I went for the lovely lime and teal over fushia pink and overwhelmingly orange orange. If that’s more what you prefer, I will not judge, I’m just not the most gigantic fan of hot pink.

Relvon’s Ultimate All-in-One Mascara has been a contentious one for me, as long time readers of my blog will be aware. Recently, however, I’ve been working with it and actually finding it quite lovely and wearable, despite my initial experience. Reducing the clumpiness is all in the angle of the wand, apparently – you just have to make sure the little grooves are actually finding and catching your lashes. It’s an all day stayer, with no smudging or transfer.

As a non-lip liner wearer, I was surprised how much I liked this one. It’s a true nude, not too dark or pink like many other lip liners, claiming to be neutral. Combined with the lipstick, I’ve got a very wearable all day colour that doesn’t dry my lips or come off with my lunch. Another win! The lipstick is, again, nude but with enough brightness and warmth to still look healthy.

The rose gold Instablush is maybe just a little of a disappointment. The shimmery, peachy pink is so stunning but there just isn’t enough pigment the justify itself as a blush. I’m going to be using this product as more of a dewy highlighter for everyday use.

Revlon has absolutely nailed the formula of their nail polish and Up in Charms is such a lovely everyday colour. No statements made here, just a subtle, pale pink that I just know is going to look so delicate and pretty. Because I had to make a purchase to get this brilliant gift, it was a no brainer to pick up another nail polish and build that collection! To the Chapel is equally as lovely as Up in Charms but with an injection of fun. Also, how amazing will this colour look with a tan? So summery.

My second actual purchase was this contour/highlight palette. I picked the light to medium combination, as the medium to dark selection was a bit too orange on my skin. My olive-ish skin could definitely take a darker contour but I prefer shades in more neutral tones as it tends to look more natural. The highlight is far from the best (very subtle) but I like the general consistency of these powders and the palette is a great all-in-one – yes, I have holidays coming up, of course I’m thinking about travel!

If you’re looking to try some new products, build up your makeup collection or just love a good bargain, you can go past this deal from Revlon at Myer. I couldn’t.

I’d love to see what you purchase or any make up looks using these products! Tag me on Instagram with @jecaevers

Keep shining!

Perfect Pairs

I love the feeling a fashion magazine can give me. Those bright, glossy pages, full of glorious, glittering baubles – when done well – can be just so inspiring. And there’s one magazine that does it better than most. One specific magazine has been getting it so right of late – one specific feature in that specific magazine, in fact – could I be any more specific? That magazine is InStyle and I live and die for the Find Your Perfect Pair spread.

Having recently committed to a subscription (yay!), I’ll be sharing my takes on the monthly pairing goodness!

February’s perfect pair was a tea dress with a pair of slides. Not just any slides – fancy slides. Surprisingly, finding a tea dress in my wardrobe was the tricky part – I don’t often go in for something so girly. After a little rummage, I put together two outfits that fit the bill and were really a lot of fun!

Though not technically slides, I felt these pom-pom bedazzled flats were still perfect. They have a cheekiness about them that tempers the severity of any black outfit, and the delicate lightning bolt print of the dress only serves to heighten the frivolity!

Outfit number two is a combination of a few of my favourite things: rose gold, silky, and anything orientally inspired. I love that the peachy flowers on the dress mimic the colour of the shoes and bring the whole outfit together. Topped off with a pair of reflective aviators, this look is perfect for weekend brunching and all those other mostly but not completely casual occasions.

I’d love to see your take on this pairing so tag me in your Instagram pictures with @jecaevers.

Did You Say Sale?

We all love lush and we all love a sale. You know what’s even better, though? I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. That’s absolutely correct – a Lush sale! Their Boxing Day sale ran a little overtime this year and we are reaping the benefits.

I picked up a couple of things – you know, just the essentials – and I felt it would be wrong of me to be greedy and keep it all to myself. So I’m sharing with you lovely people! Without actually having to share, of course.

The sale mostly consists of Christmas Exclusives but who doesn’t love the smell of candy canes or a Buck’s Fizz all year round? There is a high percentage of bath products in the sale so now is a good time to stock up on bath bombs and bubble bars for the year. A girl (or guy) can never have too many.

Bubble bars and bubble wands offer so much bang for your buck (Or should I say pop? Nevermind, just trying to make a bubble joke). If you like value for your money, you can’t go past a product that offers easily 10+ glorious uses. The flamingo is fruity and the star is sweet as fairy floss so I’ll just alternate depending on my mood!

I’d been considering Lush’s Toothy Tabs for quite a while before I picked these up but I always found some reason not to. A sale is the perfect time to try something new without the monetary outlay so I picked them up, quick-smart. And… well, let’s just say they’re getting a mixed review from me. I love how clean my teeth feel after brushing and there’s no temperature sensitivity afterwards. Here’s to drinking glasses of icy cold water right before bed! I’m just not a huge fan of the orange flavour and they just make me salivate so darn much! There is also no whitening benefit from these particular tabs and, with my coffee and red wine habits, it’s kind of desirable. Not to be too quick to write them off completely, I’ll have try some different kinds to make that call. Possibly the charcoal ones next – stay tuned.

In descending order, Sugar Scrub, Sherbet Dip and Layer Cake. I think Freud would have something to say about my tower.

I love bath bombs. Part of my bath time zen comes from gazing at the colours exploding, expanding, swirling and mixing together… So I’m always after one I haven’t tried before for a brand new chromatic experience. This being said, I definitely picked Sherbert Dip up for the scent. In need of a pick-me-up? This sour lemon fizzer will have you perky in no time. Not one I would recommend at bedtime!

Not much to say about Layer Cake other than it’s soap and it does the job soap is supposed to do.The lovely fruity lather is refreshing and subtle – just what I’m after when it’s about to followed by Buck’s Fizz.

I’m yet to try the sugar scrub. I thought I’d be able to use it as a solid bar in the shower but apparently that would make it disintegrate… Oops! You’re supposed to wet part of it, break it off and mush into a paste before getting down and scrubby. The process seems a little complicated for my liking but I should probably try it before I complain! Next time I’m having a real deep clean type of shower, I’ll give it a go.

As a lazy person, I like to use products that save me time and an in-shower body conditioner is a great one. I had tried Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner and loved it but a solid one was something new. Side note, Lush is moving away from packaging as much as possible by bringing out many more solid products, such as body conditioner, lip scrub and tint, shower gel, along with the existing range of shampoos and conditioners, bath bombs, soaps, massage bars, etc. etc. etc.

Back to Buck’s Fizz. It smells simply divine, like fresh orange juice and, yes, champagne. So… Exactly like a Buck’s Fizz. Commonly known as a Mimosa. It makes my skin feel amazing and not a bit greasy but it melts like nobody’s business. For best results, you can keep it in the fridge but I’m a bit forgetful and never remember to take it for a shower. So I just deal with the messiness, it’s worth it. Definitely a repurchase forever and ever. Not that I’ll need to for a while – it’s been surprisingly long-lasting so far.

Kerbside Violet is a dark spicy floral perfume with not a hint of sweetness about it. On its own, it’s a little too subtle for my liking but I love layering it with something brighter. It adds an unexpected depth mystery that I love. I also enjoy the ritual of putting on a solid perfume – it feels so thoughtful and sensual.

And that’s all folks! Snowdrop was a gift for a friend so a little hard to review.

Let me know what products you’ve been trying and/or loving so I can compile a shopping list for next time!