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.

Authenticity is the New Feminism

Authenticity is the New Feminism

My mother was a feminist. I am not. Before judging hear me out… My mother fought for women to have equal rights and the same opportunities as men. In many ways she and others of her generation and those before her made tremendous headway. In Australia women can now have a seat at the leadership table, pursue careers in whichever field they choose and have equal voting rights.

But all is not equal, far from it.

There are still way fewer women in executive leadership roles; many industries, including the IT industry in which I spent a large portion of my corporate career, are very male dominated. There is still disparity in the salaries of men and women in many companies and industries.

What’s more, is that in order to be taken seriously by their male counterparts and leaders in a masculine world, women have either had to adopt a masculine way of operating and/or be subjected to sexual harassment (or face lost opportunities if they chose not to partake in such conduct). I have personally experienced all of this. Not to mention the cultures and religions that significantly marginalise women.

For a while, I was angry with my mother’s generation. I felt that they hadn’t done enough. Here I was, a woman in the workforce 40 years later, still being harassed, bullied and forced into acting like someone I am not (a man) in order to be successful. What BS!!!

Where are we now?

Then I realised that the women’s libbers of the sixties, seventies and eighties did make a difference. They got Australian women a seat at the leadership table. They got us a voice. I was taking that for granted. It’s now up to my generation and those behind me, to use that voice to drive further change.

I love that there continues to be a unification of women and many men across the globe on this issue. I love that women of celebrity and influence are coming together to shine a light on the gender disparity and unacceptable behaviours of males in positions of authority. I am passionate that this conversation must continue until people of all positions, countries, religions and races are equal in their rights.

I am also passionate that the step beyond truly equal rights and opportunities for all genders is recognising that whilst men and women are equal in our power, we are not equal in our biological or physiological make up. Women are different to men.

I believe the time is now for women in positions of leadership to lead from their feminine energy if this is who they truly are. This masculine world of ours is crying out for feminine qualities such as compassion, community, kindness, empathy, care, tolerance, sensitivity.

What does my work as a stylist have to do with that?

As a fashion stylist I am passionate about supporting women at all levels of leadership, to bring their authentic selves to their work and life. This can be as simple as helping women understand their style identity and their own sense of style and making it as easy as possible to be true to this when dressing every day. I have a saying, “When she loves her outfit, she feels like anything is possible. …and it is!” Personal styling is tremendously empowering. Similarly, not consciously investing in our personal brand can hold us back from putting our best foot forward.

My mother is struggling to reconcile the fact that I work in fashion styling. She fought so hard to break women out of the Stepford mould. She fought for women to not have to preen, groom and polish themselves to their husbands’ specifications and here her daughter is helping women preen, groom and polish themselves.

Embrace who you truly are in style & life

But there is a HUGE difference…. Unlike in the 60’s, today more western women can be who they want to be, in style and life (albeit still with some challenges, as outlined above). If we want to polish our nails, curl our hair and wear dresses and heels we can. If we want to power dress like a man, we can. The choice is ours, with some exceptions of course.

There are those whose religion or culture precludes them from expressing themselves in the most authentic way. Or those whose financial circumstances make fighting for food, safety and shelter their focus over self-expression. I don’t want to downplay the inequality and repression that still exists in these marginalised and disadvantaged parts of society.

Celebrate the changes

I want to celebrate the fact that the shift in perception is happening. I don’t feel like I need to be ‘a feminist’ in the traditional sense, but rather, thanks to all those strong women who came before me, I am simply able to be a female living and expressing myself authentically. For me this means being able to be feminine without being perceived as provocative or weak. It means being able to wear, do and be what I love. We are not there yet but we are making progress.

Authenticity requires complete freedom of choice. Australian women increasingly have more choice and now we must ask ourselves, who am I truly? How can I reflect who I truly am to the world? What do I truly love? How can I bring my unique feminine qualities to my work and life?

Express our authenticity & femininity through what we wear

Of course this goes way beyond physical presentation but the way we dress is part of who we are; it’s the part of ourselves the world sees first. I am passionate about working with women to help them express their authenticity through what they wear; to dress to flatter their feminine form, not exploit or hide it (unless of course they genuinely love to do this); to adopt a signature style that is uniquely theirs. When there is congruence between who we truly are and what we wear, we naturally empower ourselves to put our best foot forward.

The more people, men and women, operating from a place of truth and authenticity both inwardly and outwardly, the better the world will be. Particularly, for women who have been repressed for so long. We have so much good we can bring to the world to create balance to the prevailing masculine energy of the western world.

So what does it mean to be authentic in style? That is a whole other discussion, one that I will most certainly have, just not right now.

Main image credit: @ifoundlucy

How to Fight Fashion Waste

How to Fight Fashion Waste

Building a sustainable wardrobe is one way that you can help make a difference. Added bonus – it can simplify your life AND save money. More on how to do that in a moment, but first let’s take a look at what we’re currently dealing with…

150 billion pieces of clothing end up in landfill each year. A quick search on Google will lead you to believe that the fashion industry is the second highest polluter. While the Pulse of the Fashion Industry report begs to differ it still places it in the top 10 and reveal that only 52% of fashion executives have sustainability and environmental targets.

However, the fashion world IS making a shift towards sustainability. The Ethical Fashion Guide allows you to check whether a brand does enough to protect their workers. There are articles about new materials (there is a fabric made from orange peel!) and businesses like Glam Corner. Sustainable fashion has been embraced by an increasing number of people who seek a guilt-free conscience, good feelings, and the knowledge that they are supporting communities...

The dark side of sustainable fashion

In 2014  Vogue was called out by a writer for appropriating the sustainable fashion conversation and presenting sustainable options as simply one of many, rather than educating their audience on the benefits. More recent research on luxury brands’ sustainability efforts questions whether the consumers are ready to pay more because they support sustainability efforts or whether it is just another ‘means of flamboyancy’.

Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom

At the same time, many publications and bloggers are coming out with great ways to make the way we go about dressing more sustainable, while also still being fun and empowering.

Francesca Willow, the creator of the blog Ethical Unicorn features articles on all things ethical and sustainable covering things from social justice to body positivity. She has featured pieces on a sustainable fashion brand endorsed by the UN and sustainable underwear that supports self care.

So, how can we create a sustainable wardrobe that still turns heads?

Building a sustainable wardrobe could be approached in many ways, and this is a subject I will no doubt keep coming back to. A great way to  do this is to focus on your personal style, rather than fashion. Fashion comes and goes, style lasts forever.

Not sure what your personal style is? Click here to potentially win your own personal stylist for a day!

Aim to focus on building a wardrobe you can wear and wear again, which is always in style and specific to you and your lifestyle. This is the mindset for sustainability.

Functionality and minimalism are essential to a sustainable wardrobe. There are countless guides on how to achieve that, some even telling you a magic number of hangers you should aim for. However, I believe that everyone has their own number that would allow for a sense of wellbeing and harmony.

Try these ideas on for size…

The main thing is that every single item you own should bring you joy and get as much wear as possible. If you have items that have been sitting in a box on your top shelf or in the depths of your drawer, it’s time to do a revision.

The goal is to minimise the cost per wear of each and every single garment you own. Wearing something once or twice certainly doesn’t achieve this.

A sustainable wardrobe is a functional wardrobe

Do you frequently think ‘I have nothing to wear’? Or maybe you buy lots of items on sale without any idea of what to do with them later? Or perhaps you have garments that get no wear because they don’t match anything else you own?

If those things are true for your life, your wardrobe is probably not very functional. (It’s probably pretty expensive, too!)

A functional wardrobe:

  • Contains pieces that allow you to effortlessly build multiple looks.
  • Matches your lifestyle – a CEO and student would have completely different wardrobes.
  • Contains pieces that suit your body type.
  • Follows one main style.

10 steps to achieving a practical and sustainable wardrobe

1 – Assess Your Lifestyle

What roles do you perform (e.g. Mum, business professional, socialiser, fitness buff, couch potato etc)? How influential are these different roles when investing in your wardrobe?

Come up with the ideal number of outfits for each role. This is very individualised – some people are happy to wear the same outfit or two on rotation and others prefer multiple looks.


2 – Know Your Body

What is your body shape? Look at the proportions of your shoulders, hips and waist to determine your shape and learn the style rules for your shape. For example, if you have a narrow waist you don’t want a wardrobe full of unstructured tops and dresses.


3 – Define Your Style

What is your natural style? Are you classic, or are you more feminine for example? If you are unsure, who in the influencer/celebrity world has a style that resonates with you? Look to them to hone your own style. A classic style is timeless, very practical and sustainable.


4 – Declutter

Once you get clear on your lifestyle, body shape and signature style, do a review of your wardrobe. Eliminate any pieces that don’t work for you, or that you simply don’t like or wear and also those pieces that are tired (fabric is balling/pilling/fading, stains that you can’t get out – you get my drift), If you haven’t worn it in a year, it might be time to give it away.

You could donate it to an op shop or take it to one of the brands’ recycling initiatives BUT before you do,  play around with it and pair it with other pieces you would never have thought to put it with. You might surprise yourself and find a new way to wear it.


5 – Build Your Go-To Looks

‘Go-to-looks’ are outfit combinations that work for your shape, style & life, which you have on rotation to make life easier for yourself. Make a list of all the situations that require different types of outfits. Now make yourself a cocktail and set aside an hour or two to play around in your wardrobe. Build looks for each life role, lay them out on your bed complete with shoes/accessories and take photos of each outfit.

Switch accessories or swap a single piece and you can create a completely different look. The key is to keep a photographic record of all the different combos and file them so that they are accessible as a quick reference when dressing. 

This skirt is a star of a dressed-up and an off-duty look.

6 – Identify Your Purchase Approach

Figure out what key pieces you are missing and come up with a plan for filling in those gaps. This approach will more likely lead you to great purchases rather than relying on impulse shopping.
Perhaps you prefer to shop seasonally and build a capsule wardrobe for each season? Perhaps you like to vintage shop? Maybe your approach is to invest in a few luxury pieces and really make them work for you.

7 – Be an Informed Shopper

Do your research to find out which brands use sustainable fabrics and have sustainable and ethical sourcing strategies and supply chains. Be mindful of this when choosing where to shop and what to wear. Some examples of sustainable brands that come to mind are The Fashion Advocate and KitX. You might be surprised to learn that even Zara, Witchery & Country Road rank well in the latest Ethical Fashion Guide.

8 – Consciously Invest –

When pulling together different outfits you may identify missing pieces – “if only I had a top to go with these pants & this skirt”. Put these missing items on your shopping list.

Also think about ‘hero pieces’ ie pieces that you can wear time and time again in different outfits & across all parts of your life (casual, business, going out etc.) – a good pair of jeans, a navy or black blazer, a white shirt etc.When shopping, consciously invest in pieces that will round out your wardrobe and that you can wear time and time again. 

9 – Consider Rental

For special events or occasions that call for a specific look which is not practical for your everyday life, consider renting rather than buying. There are loads of amazing rental options now, especially for dresses and designer handbags. One I used recently for designer bags is Style Secret.

10 – Get Creative With Your Unwanted Pieces

Rather than leaving unworn items in your closet or dumping them on the back doorstep of your local op shop, think about other meaningful uses.

Look at how you could repurpose by having a tailor make modifications to make them more functional; hold a clothes swap with your girlfriends; set up a stall at your local market or on eBay; make your old pieces into clothing/toys for your kids (or have someone do this for you); rent out your occasion wear and make some added $$s as a bonus.

Check out Sarah Tyau’s magic in upcycling clothes

Style can be fun and so can creating a functional and sustainable wardrobe. Like anything worthwhile in life, it requires a little bit of time and a systematic approach to set yourself up, but making this investment can be tremendously rewarding for you, the planet and its people


  1.  Fast Fashion: The second largest polluter in the world. Greenmatch, 06 Dec 2018,
  2. Lundblad, L., and Davies, I. A. (2016) The values and motivations behind sustainable fashion consumption. J. Consumer Behav., 15: 149–162. doi: 10.1002/cb.1559.
  3. Jones, Kathryn Jo Baker. 2014. “Looking at Fashion through Green-Colored Glasses: A Multimodal Critical Discourse Analysis of Vogue’s Sustainable Fashion Editorials.” Order No. 10157665, University of Missouri – Columbia.
  4. Ramchandani M., Coste-Maniere I. (2018) Eco-conspicuous Versus Eco-conscious Consumption: Co-creating a New Definition of Luxury and Fashion. In: Muthu S. (eds) Models for Sustainable Framework in Luxury Fashion. Textile Science and Clothing Technology. Springer, Singapore

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