Review my Closet

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When I started working in the corporate world I quickly sourced my go to brands for affordable, stylish and flattering clothes. But I think my hands down, absolute favourite brand is Review. It may not be super affordable, but they have several outlet stores in Melbourne (at DFO and on Bridge Road) where you can get a bargain price for these top quality pieces.

I purchased this pencil skirt (along with a jacket that matches) in a shopping spree when I got my first corporate reception job in 2012. I had scrimped and saved and worked every extra shift I could so I could have a little spare cash to get a new wardrobe for this exciting new chapter of my life. My mum came down to Melbourne and we spent the day on Bridge Road stocking up on suits.

This jacket is from another Review skirt suit, courtesy of my mum. I didn’t own a matching black suit and mum tracked this one as it got reduced at her local Myer and eventually bought it for my birthday a couple of years ago.

I find Review has the right cut for me, they always fit my waist and aren’t too tight around the hips. Off the top of my head I can think of 2 suits, 2 skirts, 3 tops, 1 dress and a pair of pants that I have from Review and I love the days that I wear any of them, and even better if I can wear two!

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Working Suits Me

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I recently went a month without working. That may sound like a dream to many people, but to be honest, it was boring as hell! When I got the call to start work in a very corporate environment I was stoked!

It said in the description of the role to wear “corporate attire (preferably matching suit)”, so I was super excited to rock this charcoal pant suit. I purchased this Tokito City suit a long time ago on sale at Myer. I’ve worn the jacket a few times, but the pants sat in my sewing pile with the hem pinned up for WAY too long. When I recently used some of my spare time to finish all my half done sewing projects I pulled them out and tried them on. Turns out all I needed was a higher heel to save me from the painful task of hand sewing a hem.

I felt super boss walking in on my first day, despite being literally the bottom of the corporate food chain. I find young women, in particular, tend to steer clear of a full matching suit these days. I’m one of them most of the time. Being able to mix and match pieces allows for a greater number of outfit options and more opportunity to make your outfit uniquely you. But there is something incredibly satisfying about the classic chic-ness. Add a killer pair of pointed pumps and a complimentary black shirt and it’s time to own the office.

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Back in Black – Going Out

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Can you believe we’ve been talking all black for 2 weeks now? I swear I could make another 76459086 outfits without a spot of colour. But alas, all good things must come to an end and, just like the end of a long work week, it’s time to go out!

I love, love, love getting dressed up and letting my hair down. In my opinion there is no better way to get over all kinds of stress than putting on an outfit that makes you feel fabulous and heading out on the town.

If there’s one thing I want to draw attention to more than anything through this whole Back in Black series is that texture is EVERYTHING! I love the contrast of suede, lace and leather in this look. It’s girly, but tough. Check out more inspiration here:

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I have to talk about these boots. Over-the-Knee (OTK) boots are having a major moment right now. I bought this pair over a year ago wanting to jump onboard with the trend relatively early, but they had a major fault in them (nails coming through the sole – not good!). I did get a refund on them, but had them sitting in my room for 12 months before I finally took them to be repaired. Now they are my No.1 go to shoe for going out this winter.

As for adding colour to this look; firstly I don’t think it needs any colour, but if you feel the need it can be done just as easily as any of my other all black looks. A bright dress will be toned down by the black jacket and boots, but if you wanna go a little further try some different coloured OTK boots or jackets.

OTK Boots and Leather Jackets

So here we are. It’s all done. I will never wear black again.

JUST KIDDING! I will be constantly referring back to this series as black is the basis for my entire wardrobe.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my thoughts in dressing all black for different parts of life. It’s back to business as usual next week. But please send me your thoughts, questions or suggestions here.

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Back in Black – Casual

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I’ll be the first to admit that casual clothes can often mean boring. If I have no where in particular to go I will usually end up in basic jeans and a t-shirt. But even in a monochrome palette jeans and a t-shirt can still have some interest.

I believe the key is mixing textures and proportions. Skinny high waisted jeans, a super soft tee and an oversized knit creates enough interest to fight to boring.

The thing I love about this look is you can wear it all year round in one form or another. Ditch the knit and change the jeans for shorts and you’re ready for summer. Make the t-shirt long sleeved and add a heavier knit and you’re set for a chilly Melbourne winters day.

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 10.00.05 am Best thing about this look is that it’s so easy to make it your own. You a tough chick? Try it with Doc Martins and a leather jacket. Bit of a girly girl? Add some pretty heels and a lacy top. Want to add some colour? Well there are a million ways to do that!

If you’re new to the colour game start with some small additions, a bright belt or a cute scarf, even a statement pair of shoes. If you’re after something bolder, what about coloured jeans? Or a bright knit to cheer you up all winter long?

Not into colour? You can still mix it up with blue jeans, grey pieces or a vintage print t-shirt.

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Back in Black – Work

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Dressing for work can be hard at the best of times. You want to be professional, but you still want to be you. There is a fine line that can be a little blurry in some office environments.

I remember my very first day in a super corporate office at the tender age of 20. I was expecting to walk into an office of 40+ year old males, so I played it safe and turned up in a matching grey suit with a crisp white shirt. From day one I knew this wasn’t the level of dress expected from me. I started to mix it up with trendier pieces and bright colours and 4 years down the track I was constantly pushing the envelope with what I wore to work.

If you are new to the corporate world I believe it’s best to start conservative and slowly suss out what is acceptable in your office and there is nothing safer than all black.

It’s definitely worth investing in a great black blazer and pencil skirt – whether you currently work in an corporate office or not. They are truly timeless and can be worn with a myriad of things to a range of occasions. When I say “investing” I mean taking the time to find the one that’s right for you, not necessarily money. This black Cue blazer has been my go to for many years now and was given to me in a bag of hand-me-downs from a family friend (the same one my leggings were from in my Sporty post) and the pencil skirt I picked up in an opshop for $6 when I first started working.

Once you have these two items there is so much you can do make it work all year round. Check out this pinterest board for some inspiration.

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I’m a huge fan of a satin frill front shirt (examples here and here) over a traditional button up shirt. I love the flow and the contrast of texture, making an all black outfit like this feel a little less mono-toned. It’s also the easiest part of this look to add a bit of a colour or pattern to. I have quite a collection of this style of top in a range of colours and patterns that I have collected over the last 5 years, but depending on your work environment you could switch this up with anything from a cute jumper to a cool vintage t-shirt.

After spending over 4 years doing 9 to 5 I have amassed quite a substantial work wardrobe with blazers and pencil skirts in a range of colours and patterns. Find what works for you and your specific environment and make it yours.

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Back in Black – Sporty

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Let me start this out by saying I am NOT a sporty person. Since quitting gymnastics (which I was actually quite good at) at age 13, I’ve avoided intentional exercise like the plague. Occasionally, however, life calls for something a little stretchier.

I, personally, dress sporty so infrequently that when I do I usually wear my daggiest T-shirt and shorts from my uni days when I was a gymnastics coach, but for those who are more motivated there is a whole world of on-trend, chic activewear available.

In fact, activewear has become extremely trendy in the last few years as the wellness fad has spread across the world (#fitspo) that leggings and crop-tops are no longer restricted to the gym, as illustrated in this hilarious song.

If you’re just starting out your active wardrobe I would suggest beginning with some essential black pieces. Here I’ve gone with a full length legging (these are actually a family friends maternity leggings) an open side tank top and a lace crop top (for a bit of texture).

If you want something a little brighter it’s super easy to start adding colours or patterns to mix it up in any of these 3 core pieces. If you’re a little hesitant start with the crop-top or add some funky coloured runners (I swear I do actually own runners, they are just hidden deep in the depths of my shoe collection).

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Despite more and more boutique activewear lines popping up, you don’t have to spend a fortune on your gear, especially if you’re just testing out your first yoga class. My outfit here cost me a grand total of $13 (both tops from Supre at $5 each, my go to plimsoles from Big W for $3 and some hand-me-down leggings aka. freebie!).

So whether your serious about your sports gear, or just after something comfy to grab a coffee in (and convince that cute barista that you totally lift) there are options out there, black, coloured or patterned, for everyone on every budget.

10 points to anyone who can tell what my cheeky back tattoo says.

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When all else fails…


When all else fails, stick to the classics.

It has been seriously hectic for me over the last week – I’ve had heaps of events to work on, we held a party at my house on the weekend and I’m currently having to cover reception as well as doing all my other work – so apologies for no posts in a while.

It’s times like this that I’m glad I have some seriously stylish dresses I know will work time and time again without too much thought – thank goodness!

Outfit: Dress (DFO, $20), Top (Supre, $8) & Heels (from mum)