5 Trends Not to Copy

5 Trends Not to Copy

It’s tempting when we see our fave influencers and celebs wearing the latest looks fresh from the runway to want to jump on board. Beware! Here are 5 “It Girl” trends that shouldn’t be followed blindly. Why? Read on…

1) The Tent Dress

Making frequent appearances at fashion weeks around the globe, the tent dress is not for everyone! In fact, it’s best left to those who are 6 foot 5 and stick thin, or those who are size 18 plus with an oval body shape. Those of us who sit anywhere in between – my advice is to steer well clear of the tent.

If you have a triangle, inverted triangle, rectangle or hourglass shape (check out That Style Chick App to find out your shape for free) it is a big faux pas to swamp your frame and hide your waist under a glorified sack, no matter how on trend it might be. You will look your best in dress styles that complement your waistline. Putting it bluntly, wearing a shapeless tent style will make you look the size of a tent! Not sure about you, but for me that’s a big “no thank you”!!

2) Square Toe Shoes

90’s fashion is definitely having a come back and square toes are back with a vengeance. As tempting as it is to jump on board (there are some beautiful square toe strappy sandals and boots around), I ask you this… Do you wish your legs looked longer or shorter? If you’re pining for pins that go on forever, the square toe is not necessarily the best option for you. Point toes are usually more slimming and elongating.

It’s also important to understand your proportions when deciding on the best shoes. If your top half (crown to hips) is longer than your bottom half (hips to floor) a square toe is probably not going to be your friend. If your torso is on the short side, a square toe could work in your favour as it may help create more balance between top and bottom halves.

3) The Dad Sneaker

Much to my dislike, it seems the Dad sneaker is sticking around. You can find them everywhere, from the high end to the high street.

As with the square toe, the Dad sneaker does not always do legs favours. The chunky nature of many styles can make legs look wider and shorter than they are. I’m not sure about you, but the short chunky leg is not a look I aspire for. If you’re blessed with long, slender legs, by all means invest in a chunky kick as you are more likely to pull it off. Everyone else, proceed with caution. At the very least, opt for a less chunky variety.

4) The Hoodie

We live in an era where it is socially acceptable to call hoodies “fashion”. Does this mean we should all rush out and buy one? Not necessarily! Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should!

Firstly, most of us, particularly us Mums, are doing our damnedest to get ourselves out of activewear more often. Let’s not slide backwards and buy more of it under the guise of fashion. Let me be clear, I am not bagging activewear as the choice of daily attire. Motherhood is an extreme sport and sometimes we need to dress for it accordingly. If wearing activewear day-to-day helps reduce stress and make life easier and more joyful,  then by all means embrace it. Invest in more hoodies if you so desire.

If you are in the group who finds themselves in activewear more often than they would like and who secretly wishes they could look more pulled together for the school run, you don’t need more hoodies!!

My main reason for not advocating hoodies as fashion – most hoodies are over-sized and shapeless. Like the tent dress, they can make us look bigger than we actually are. …even if worn with a fab leopard mini skirt and cute little ankle boot. Whilst Marissa of @twiceblessed_ can definitely pull it off and make a hoodie look chic, in my stylist opinion, hoodies are generally best kept as active wear. That us unless they are somewhat streamlined and give some level of waist definition. Or unless you cleverly tuck and style them, as Marissa has.


5) The Unstructured Blazer

There are lots of great blazers around at the moment; some beautiful checked fabrics and also a selection of block colours. There is also a trend toward oversized and unstructured tailoring.

By now you’re probably getting the idea that for many body shapes, swamping the figure with oversized styles is a no no. Once again, I’m not saying don’t go for an unstructured blazer. I’m just saying be smart about it. Maybe you’re better off choosing a style that has more waist definition. There are also some options for styling an unstructured blazer, which can help flatter rather than swamp a waistline.

For example, you could define your waist underneath the blazer, by choosing a more fitted top, and/or by tucking it into your pants or skirt. If you’ve got the abs for it, wear a bralette under your oversized blazer.

A belt worn underneath a blazer is also a great waist-defining accessory. Belts need not be limited to underneath your blazer. You could also wear a belt over the top, to cinch in your blazer at the waist (or even try a belt bag if you’re feeling fashion forward).

In Conclusion

So there you have it! I’m not saying don’t embrace these trends. What I’m saying is that’s important to understand your body shape and your own style preferences and stay true to that. Make choices that flatter, not make you look frumpy. As they say, fashions come and go, style is forever. It’s also so important to choose pieces and outfits that you love; that make you feel fabulous. If you feel a million dollars in a piece that breaks your body shape style rules, go ahead and wear it. Love trumps rules – always.

Side note: If you’re unsure of your body shape or signature style, you can find out for free by taking your free Style Consult in That Style Chick App.

Give Short Legs the Boot

Give Short Legs the Boot

Almost every woman, no matter how long her legs, wishes they were a tad (or a lot) longer. I am all for loving your body the way it is and I also love using the power of style to help you feel great about yourself as you are, with out the need for dieting or plastic surgery. So, if you want to make your legs look longer and slimmer, read on!

The leg-to-body ratio (LBR) has been the subject of research on people’s physical attractiveness. It was found that there were differences in perception between people from different cultures,[1] but for those of us with Western ideas of beauty, according to the research long legs are one of the things that is considered beautiful.


Make the World Your Runway

First step – straighten up, push your shoulders back and walk with confidence (or as they say in yoga, allow your heart to open). This will make you visually taller and with time, that confidence will become unwavering. I find that practices like yoga and Pilates can serve a double purpose – you get to tune into yourself and find some calm, while improving your posture, flexibility and overall health.

Step number two – use some tricks in putting your looks together and specifically, pay attention to your footwear and waistline. I’m going to share some style tips with you for making your legs longer and slimmer and no jokes, you can look like you’re inches taller. Here we go…

Point Toes Are Your Friend

Image: Lady Gaga at the SAG Awards

Point toe shoes will make your legs look longer and more slender than round or square toes. Shoes that are open at the top and give a bit of ‘toe cleavage’ are even better. Interestingly enough, “how much toe cleavage is too much?” has been the subject of some debate. I say just go with Manolo Blahnik on this. He says, “You must only show the first two cracks”!

You will frequently see celebrities rock point-toe pumps with their red-carpet looks. Now you know why!!

Heels are better than flats for adding length (obvs!!) but a point toe ballet flat can still be a great companion for making legs look longer. I always choose point toe flats over square or round and encourage my clients to do the same.

Set the Tone

Create a single line by tonally matching all the elements in your outfit. This can make your legs look a lot longer. Match the shoe colour to your skin tone, your tights or your pants.

Try a nude point toe heel with bare legs under a skirt/dress, or a black point toe heel with long black pants or black opaque tights. If you are wearing bare legs with shoes that don’t match your skin tone, be aware that the exposed skin will break up the line into segments and potentially make your legs look shorter. This is particularly so if there is only a small segment of exposed skin (for example with a crop pant or a midi length dress/skirt).

Did you know that in 2013 Christian Louboutin introduced pumps and ballet flats in a range of ‘nude’ shades (now 7), because “sometimes, a shoe should completely disappear in favour of the woman”?

Get High Waisted


Opt for longer line pants or jeans with a high waist. This will create the illusion of more length than a lower rise cropped pair. Similarly, go for a higher waisted skirt. With regard to skirt/dress length, both short (above the knee), or long (maxi-style) will do the best job of adding length to legs. If you choose a pencil skirt or a midi length skirt/dress (big right now), be sure to keep the tonal dressing tip in mind and definitely opt for a point-toe shoe. Choose dresses that have a higher waistline.


Go Vertical

Add length by playing with vertical lines. They could be inserts in your trousers, or a dress or skirt with vertical colour blocking or vertical stripes. Have you ever noticed how tights with a line along the back lengthen your legs?

Remember this style rule – vertical lines can elongate and create continuity, horizontal lines can widen and create a visual break. In this case, a horizontal line could be the top of a boot, or the hem and/or waist of your pants/skirt/dress. The goal is to reduce the horizontal lines on your legs completely (eg through tonal dressing), or to maximise the distance between horizontal lines to create the illusion of more length.

Image: MDS Stripes via Net-a-Porter

The Ideal Boot Length

Image: Fendi via Net-a-Porter

Tall boots that lace or zip all the way up have an elongating effect! Thigh-high boots will most likely make your legs look longer than boots that finish at the ankle or below the knee. Get a pair of above-the-knee boots with heels and point toes and your legs will definitely be the centre of the show! If you’re not up for thigh high boots, knee high boots that fit close to your leg are also great. Make sure that they don’t gape too much at the top, as this can make your leg look wider. Once again, a point toe is ideal.

Ankle boots have been a true footwear staple for years now, however I urge you to proceed with caution. Ankle boots, if not done right, can visually breakup the leg (see point about horizontal lines above!).

How to Rock an Ankle Boot Without Looking Stumpy


  • Remember my point about tonal dressing – to optimise leg length, black ankle boots work best with black or dark coloured jeans or pants. Light coloured boots work best with light coloured jeans or pants. A nude colour can work well with bare legs or neutrals.
  • Black ankle boots also work well with black tights under a skirt or dress.
  • The best skirt/dress length to wear with an ankle boot is a maxi, or a shorter style that finishes mid-thigh. Ankle boots paired with a midi style risk making legs look frumpy.
  • Alternatively, wear ankle boots under wider or boot cut pants/jeans so the hem of the pants extends down over the top of the boot. This also allows you to hide the heel under your pants, covering any disproportion between your heel height and leg. This option works particularly well with a point toe boot.
  • If you do pair darker boots with lighter jeans/pants or bare legs, look for ankle boot styles that have a vertical zip going up the front (see images below). Styles with a v-front also work well, such as these crush-worthy Jimmy Choo beauties (we can dream!). The v-front creates a vertical line which has an elongating effect and the heel adds even more length.

Image: Jimmy Choo

Image: David Jones

Speaking of Heels

Even a low heel will add height and length to your legs. I am not advocating we all switch to stilettos. After all, this is not the most sensible footwear for running errands or chasing your kiddos and dogs in the park.

There is a special formula for finding out the optimal heel height for you. Jon Frank breaks it down here. It all comes down to the Golden Ratio, which underlies many of the beautiful pieces of architecture around the world, is seen time and time again in nature and also influences our perceptions of what is beautiful (it underlies many of the styling principals I work with).

Consultant podiatrist Emma Supple has her own shoe maths – the Perfect Heel Height (PHH) that considers the flexibility of your talus. While we’ve all heard how frequently we get our bra sizing wrong, turns out most of get our heel height wrong too!

Another thing to consider is your calves. If they are on the fuller side, don’t contrast them with a skinny heel. Opt for a block heel or one that is wider to create a uniform look. A great option for elongating legs is platform wedges.

As much as I can geek out over formulas and maths, I say experiment and find the height and width of heels that works for your everyday wear and invest in a pair of higher ones for special occasions. I personally love kitten heels, which can easily go from day to night with minimal discomfort.

A Few Don’ts

Ankle straps that create a horizontal line are not really your friend, particularly if they have a wide strap (ultra thin straps are a bit more forgiving). If you have a pair that you just can’t give up, try wearing them with tapered jeans that hide the strap. You’re better to go for a strappy sandal or shoe with a strap that makes a diagonal line, or a criss-cross style.

Whist square toes are big right now, keep in mind that they might be better left for the catwalk models with legs that go on forever. Or try styling them with high waisted, longer line pants, or a mini.

Image: Tabitha Simmons via Net-a-Porter

Be careful with styles that have heavy embellishments: buckles, sequins, embroidery. They might make a statement but may not do any favours for your leg length.

Cuffing your jeans can create a horizontal line and make you look shorter, especially when paired with the chunky white ‘Dad sneakers’ that are big right now. I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m just saying be aware that there may be better options if you want your legs to look lengthy!

While tonally matching shoes to your skin or clothing elongates legs, footwear that contrasts can have a shortening effect. Keep that in mind when buying your next pair of shoes.

Are you planning to rock some fabulous boots this autumn? Keep these tips in mind but remember that they’re just tips. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you do what feels best for you. 


[1]Frederick, D, Hadji-Michael, M, Furnham, A & Swami, V, 2009, ‘The influence of leg-to-body ratio (LBR) on judgments of female physical attractiveness: Assessments of computer-generated images varying in LBR’, Body Image, No 7, pp. 51-55.

5 Dresses to Have Now

5 Dresses to Have Now

What do you do when you are in a rush and have no time to put together an outfit? Or when you’re going on a trip with only a carry-on and want to have a multitude of looks for day and night? Go for dresses! I am such a fan of dresses. They make me feel feminine, powerful, playful, pulled-together, strong, breezy but most of all, they enable easy and hassle-free dressing. Here are my top 5 dress picks…


My All Time Favourite Dress Style – I’m Wrapped

My top pick is absolutely, 100 per cent, hands down the wrap dress. It can go anywhere – school run, office, lunch with the girls, night out, weekend coffee, romantic mini-break, jet setting vacay… You can get long sleeved wrap dresses for winter (just add coat and boots) and short-sleeved or sleeveless for summer (just add sandals). Dress down the wrap dress with sneakers or ballet flats, denim jacket optional. Dress it up with a pump heel for the office (blazer optional), or a stiletto or wedge heel for a night out (be sure to add a pop of colour on your lip and a statement earring or necklace).

What’s more, wrap dresses work for most body shapes (pear, apple, banana, carrot, hourglass, rectangle, oval, triangle, inverted triangle – they’ve got you covered). They and come in an array of different fabrics and prints. The queen of wrap dresses is of course, Diane von Furstenberg.  She basically invented them and offers prints and styles for everyone.

Here’s a few of my DVF favourites available at Net-a-Porter:

You don’t need to spend that much to get a wrap dress you’re wrapped in. Here are some budget friendly options available in-store now:


Alannah Hill

Forever New

While I love wrap dresses and they are a great choice for every body type, I want to talk about some of my other favourites.


Coat Dresses With a Touch of Royalty

A lot of women I work with tend to gravitate towards the classic style and one of the classic style icons is Kate Middleton. She has a number of tried and tested looks that she either re-wears, or comes up with new iterations. One of them is the coat dress.

It’s a great piece to try out, especially as we are moving into colder seasons. At first glance it’s exactly what the name suggests, but it has a more fitted and feminine silhouette than its outerwear counterpart. The Duchess of Cambridge has stepped out in a range of coat dresses and generally prefers hers to be knee-length. This one pictured is from Shein, proving that coat dresses can look regal without breaking the bank.

Coat dresses generally accentuate the waist, which works for a lot of body shapes (especially hourglass, inverted triangle, rectangle, carrot and banana shapes). Coat dresses can also be a great way to cleverly disguise a larger derriere – perfect for triangles and pears.

Styles without collars and lapels would be great for inverted triangles and carrots and those with collars and less flouncy skirts would be suited for triangles and hourglass shapes. If you are not sure what your shape is, take the free style consult in That Style Chick app.

You can also try the coat dress’s close cousins – the blazer dress and the tuxedo dress. Those two might work for the elegant or the alluring styles.

David Jones

Misha Collection

Pretty Little Thing

Shift or Sheath?

I bet even those who have never seen Breakfast at Tiffany’s will immediately have a mental image of Audrey Hepburn in that gorgeous shift dress. Hubert de Givenchy teamed up with the actress to create the piece for the film (and in 2006 one of the 3 dresses that were made for the film was sold for upwards of $900,000![1]).

The close cousin to the shift dress is the sheath dress. What is the difference between the two? Generally, a shift dress hangs down from the shoulders and has clean, simple lines. Most shift dresses are sleeveless, although you might find variations, such as the red Goat Library shift dress below which has 3/4 sleeves. A shift dress is loose and straight. Sheath dresses tend to hug the body more and are form-fitting (a pencil dress is a sheath dress). They follow your curves and accentuate them.

Shift dresses are great if you have an oval, apple, rectangle or banana shape but are not necessarily the best pick for hourglass, inverted triangle, carrot or pear, unless they’re cinched in with a belt. Sheath dresses are perfect for the hourglass and can also work well on inverted triangles and carrots, especially if they have a v-neckline.

Carla Zampatti Sheath Dress

Forever New Shift Dress

Goat Library from The Outnet Shift Dress

A Timeless Classic – The Shirt Dress

In 1916 Coco Chanel turned a shirt into a dress, which was truly rebellious in the time of corsets and crinolines. In the 1950’s Dior added a leather belt to it and a full skirt, and in the 80’s Yves Saint Laurent changed the look yet again with a narrower waistline and broader shoulders.

The shirt dress is yet another universal style. You can wear it as is if you’re a rectangle or banana, accentuate your waist with a belt if you’re triangle, inverted triangle, hourglass, pear or carrot, or wear it with a scarf draped long for ovals and apples. This is a dress that could work for casual looks as well as office dressing. Just make sure you pick the dress in the appropriate fabric and print.

Shirt dresses can also double as an outer layer – unbutton it all the way down and wear over a t-shirt dress or over jeans and a t-shirt. Such a great outfit for those with boho style.


David Jones

Viktoria & Woods

Fit & Flare if You Dare

In 1947 Dior broke new ground by introducing the “fit a flare” style of dress, although it wasn’t until the 50’s that it really gained popularity. Synonymous with vintage 50’s style, the fit and flare style is still popular today and for good reason; it is beautifully feminine and can make almost any body shape look perfectly in proportion. Different necklines work on different body shapes but hourglass, rectangle, triangle, inverted triangle, banana, pear and carrot types will all be flattered in a fit and flare style dress, regardless of clothing size.

Here are a couple that I love:


Ted Baker

Leona Edmiston

When choosing a dress remember to consider what colouring you have (If you’re unsure take the free style consult in That Style Chick app to find out). Whilst the LBD is timeless, it’s not the best option for warm or light colouring and there are plenty of colour options to choose from. As I write this, blue, rust, jewel-tones and gelato hues are popular.  If warm colours work for you, pick a ‘little dress’ in one of your primary colours instead of black. Add the right shoes and a couple of statement accessories to complete the look and help you feel ready for anything the day throws at you!



Make Your Style Your Superpower

Make Your Style Your Superpower

Ever heard the saying, “Never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day”? Think about it… You’re having one of those days, the kids are feral, everything that can go wrong is…

You can always turn things around

If there’s one thing you can take charge of it’s how you look. Even a lick of your favourite lipstick colour can pep you up. We may not want the kids in front of the iPad for hours, but that little device is a blessing when it comes to carving out 20 minutes to shower and dress in peace.

Looking good and feeling like a boss lady needn’t take too much time, stress or money when you know your style rules…. By knowing what works for you and having a handful of “go-to” looks, you can empower yourself to feel fab every day, no matter what it throws at you.


Here are 6 steps to making style your superpower:

1. Know your body shape & the styles that suit your body

There are pieces that are almost universally flattering (hello wrap dresses!), and then there are things that only work for certain body types. One of the misconceptions I encounter most frequently as a stylist has to do with confidence issues around the midsection area. You may have a surgery scar or carry some extra weight there – what you need to consider is for a lot of women their waist is still their narrowest part. Wearing something loose and shapeless might seem like a good idea but in reality it might make you look bigger.

I’m a big proponent of accentuating your waist, and I know a lot of creative ways of doing it. Not sure about what body type you are? Click here to find out how That Style Chick App can help you figure it out

2. Get clear on your signature style & stay true to it

Most of us might have several styles in rotation. I, for one, dress in the classic style some days, and gravitate toward feminine or elegant on others. Yet one style is always dominant (elegant for me!). Working out the style that feels right for you and makes you feel your best means shopping and dressing will be much easier. Who will say no to having less stress in their life?! One good way to figure out your style is to look at celebrities whose style you like (a.k.a. celebrity style icons) and take inspiration from them.

3. Understand the colours that work best for your skin tone or stick to universal colours that suit everyone

Do you find that gold or silver jewellery suits you better? That is generally a good starting point for figuring out your skin undertone. Generally, if you find you look best with silver accessories, you should probably go for cooler tones in your clothing. If it’s gold, then warm tones should rule your closet. This is a great starting point for working out your colour combinations for clothes, a complex matter I’ll be sure to come back to. If you’re confused about your colours That Style Chick In-App Style Consult can help you work it out.

Or you can stick to universal colours, ie those colours that suit eveyone – navy, teal, turquoise, periwinkle, soft white, true red & stone.

4. Donate everything in your wardrobe that you don’t feel 100% fabulous in

I’m sure at this point, everyone has seen the magic of Marie Kondo decluttering on the new Netflix Series. I am a big fan of things ‘sparking joy’, and your closet should not be an exception. Evaluate every piece in your closet: how long has it been since you wore it last? Do you feel good when you put it on? If the answer is no, upcycle or donate it. You can read more on sustainable wardrobe in my previous article

5. Invest in a handful of timeless wardrobe staples

Previously I gushed on the hero that is the navy blazer

Other staples you should have in your closet (and each deserve a post) are things that can really work for you and easily go from day to night and work to play.

See if you already own one of these: a great pair of jeans; a classic white shirt; a little black or navy dress; a black, white, grey or navy t-shirt; a skirt that can be dressed up or down; a great pair of flat shoes; a black, brown or nude belt.

6. Invest a small amount of time to play around with your wardrobe pieces

Most importantly, developing your personal style should be fun and exciting. Set some time aside and have a play around: mix and match pieces you never thought to put together. You might discover exciting new combinations that would make you feel like becoming a style blogger ;). Take photos of outfits you like (posting on Instagram is optional) and use these as inspiration when dressing in a rush.

My All-Time Style Hero

My All-Time Style Hero

If there’s one piece that’s the hero in my wardrobe it’s the ever-reliable navy blazer. It’s such a staple wardrobe piece. It’s the piece that works hardest (along with its close cousin the black blazer) and can complete a look for the office, the weekend, a romantic date or a girls’ night out.


The navy blazer is the perfect middle ground between classic and modern. Navy works for all skin colour types (unlike black, which isn’t as great for warmer or fairer skin tones), and is a versatile colour in that you can match it with lots of other colours and styles. 


The best part? There are lots of navy blazer options for different body shapes. Whatever your size, the navy blazer has you covered. From double-breasted with wide-lapels (great for triangles, aka pear shape bodies), to lapel-less (great for inverted triangles, aka carrot shape), to cinched-in structuring through the waist (great for hourglass and rectangles, aka banana shape), to ‘boyfriend style’ or duster coats (great for ovals, aka apple shape).


A few years ago Kate Middleton’s sighting in the Smythe navy blazer caused it to repeatedly sell out. While some might say ‘it’s just the Kate effect’, a quick search brings up hundreds of other celebrities rocking a navy blazer.  Even the Wall Street Journal calls it a no-nonsense building block of the wardrobe and ‘a new beacon in the sometimes stormy and hyper-trendy sartorial waters. Now I don’t think I need to convince you any longer. Here are a few of my favourite ones to shop now.


This Theory Gabe stretch wool blazer is a perfect example of this wardrobe staple. It’s very understated and would be on heavy rotation in your office outfits. Wear it with jeans and runners and you’ve got yourself an easy off-duty look.

This ASOS luxe for less number is a lighter shade of blue, which makes it more trans-seasonal. The padded shoulders add volume on top so this blazer is a great option for triangle shapes.

The gold buttons on the Mossman Signature Blazer are a throwback to the blazer’s history, as it was transformed from military uniforms. If you choose to wear it unbuttoned, make sure you accentuate your waist under the blazer.

Finally, my personal favourite; the Camilla & Marc Marguerite Blazer in ink.

With such a variety of cuts and shades of blue, you will be sure to find something that works for your body type and colouring. Comment the link to your favourite blazer below and tell me why you love it!

Main image credit @martinyorkboutique


  1. Navy Blazer from Toronto-Based Label Smythe Gets Repeat Wear by Kate.” 2011.The Canadian Press, Jul 06. https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/docview/878638437?accountid=13552
  2.  “Not Your Ordinary Navy Blazer.” 2015.Details, 10, 77.


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