summer

One Two Chi Chi Chi

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If you are looking for a deliciously fluffy, full skirted dress, stop by Chi Chi London for the prettiest, flounciest ones. It’s a pastel and floral frock shock but regardless of your day to day style, tell me you don’t want to have a good twirl and bounce in something so fun. I paired my lovely mint dress with some strappy heels but if you were going to a themed fifties party or garden day, some little sneakers would be just brill too!

If you’re interested in this dress, its made of a lovely thick material but something that you will definitely need to have steamed so it floats nicely. I would also recommend looking in the petite section if you were after a dress that isn’t so long. Available on their own site with free worldwide delivery and also Asos!

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Dress (c/o Chi Chi London) / Heels signoff2

Marble Timepieces and Double Pinstripes

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In the last one to two years, there has been a sudden influx of watch companies popping up over the internet. Over the weekend, I read this article in the Herald about how ironically timed these start ups were – coming in at around the same period as the launch of the Apple Watch. Apparently, the market isn’t as saturated as I originally thought because watch brands that haven’t even hit the one year mark are managing to make turnovers of almost a million.

Today I’d like to introduce to you a new player – Valor Watches, founded by T. Bermejo and launched only a handful of days ago. To give you some context around the title of the post, the Cross of Valour is awarded “only for acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril”. When I look at this watch, it reminds me of one of my personal mantras – I am made of courage, compassion and commitment. When jewellery can transcend its original purpose to become something invaluable for the wearer, you know its a special piece.

The marble face paired with the classic black leather band perfectly embodies what I like to refer to as ‘modern prep’. Carrying the theme into the rest of my outfit, I went with the ultimate preppy pattern after feeling incredibly inspired by the Australian Olympic team’s uniform unveil by Sportscraft earlier this week. To give it that modern twist, I layered two pinstripe pieces but kept the base crisp with white jeans. Front ties have been popular of late and knotting a complementary second piece will give you a similar silhouette.

The white denim, flowers and linen must make you think that I live in the northern hemisphere! Nope! Sydney has just brought a lot of warm weather this month but I’m hoping that the end of daylight saving will bring some colder weather along with it.

Recreate my look:

Shirt / Blazer / Jeans / Watch (c/o)

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My First Denim Jacket

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Is it weird if I tell you that this is the first denim jacket I’ve ever owned? *Collective Gasp* I think its for the same reason that I don’t have a leather jacket either. I often procrastinate buying basics because they’re usually the pieces that don’t go on sale. When ASOS offered to partner up for a back to uni post, I made sure to add a denim jacket to my cart. If you want to pick a piece that gives you lots of layering options, I would recommend a shrunken cropped jacket like this. It allows you to put on a longer item like my cardigan underneath without swamping your body. For an even more casual loungewear look with this cardigan, have a squiz at this post at the beach.

I have a Pinterest Board dedicated to layering and I’ve concluded that it really is an art form. I can’t wait for the months to continue to get colder so I can pile on the layers but you always need to have that base first layer whether it be a plain tee or in this case a classic black slip. Mine’s actually a detachable one from a sheer dress that I never wear anymore and you can see how essential it is regardless of season in this summer post.

Thank you for supporting Style Smorgasbord collaborations! ASOS is one of those big brands that I never even bothered to think about because they have a reach of a few million whilst I’m just in this tiny corner of the internet. If you haven’t already, make sure you visit Monday’s post for some more campus inspo featuring some other great ASOS buys!

Recreate my Look:

Jacket (c/o) / Similar Cardigan (c/o) / Similar Slip / Shoes 

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Biker Jeggings

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These Rockmans’ jeggings with their stitching and panelling are appropriately called ‘biker jeggings’. My first instinct was to run far far away because the word jegging takes me back to my first pair which were from Valley Girl and made of a thin material that was excellent for tucking in to tall Ugg boots but not so much for hiding my neon coloured panties. My second instinct was to pair them with studded biker boots and a leather biker jacket. But that’s not what Style Smorgasbord is about. Instead I pared it back with some neutral boots and a flouncy shirt.

Recreate my Look:

Top / Jeans (c/o) / Boots / Watch (c/o) / Necklace (c/o) / Bag

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Oh Vivonne, Bae.

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When we were in the visitor’s information centre at Kangaroo Island, I saw a wonderful sentiment that I would like to share with you today. “Kangaroo Island is not what it was nor what it will be. It is a story about change, isolation and remoteness. Natural change is never ending. Human activity influences change. Conservation is about managing the rate of change.”

Whilst the main point about conservation is importantly clear, I think its also a great reminder of why you should travel. Do it now and do it often because the places you go today will look different in ten years.

Take Vivonne Bay for example, in a survey of 10 000 beaches, it was judged one of the best beaches in Australia by University of Sydney’s marine studies centre director, Professor Andrew Short. I’m not exactly sure how they reached this conclusion but there’s something magical about those turquoise waters. That magic may disappear in the future but for now I’m just glad that I had the opportunity to see it.

Recreate my Look:

Kimono (c/o) / Tee / Jeans / Watch (c/o) 

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Plaid & Denim for Summer?

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Groundbreaking is what I hope Meryl Streep’s character would say if she looked up at me through her glasses and did a head to toe flick with the eyes. In reality, she’d probably get her assistant to throw me out.

Victoria is known for its crazy four seasons one day kind of weather so I wanted to be as prepared as possible in Mornington Peninsula even if it meant sweating a bit and looking out of place on the beach. Everything about this outfit is a travel essential regardless of the climate you’re jetting off to. Converse are a given, boyfriend jeans are comfortable eating pants and flannels make great swimsuit coverups. Plus, a boater hat and aviators are just good sense.

I spotted this long line of brightly painted beach boxes as soon as we docked and couldn’t wait to get a proper look at them and call dibs for the future. For a cool, 150k you can buy one to store all the flamingo blow ups, boogie boards and neoprene wetsuits you need for a day by the sea. Its a sound investment because the government has stopped allowing people to build new ones only to purchase and repaint old ones. I think mine would be turquoise, with a white roof and a pink door.

What colours would your beach box be?

Recreate my Look:

Flannel / Jeans / Converse / Hat / Backpack / Sunnies / Watch (c/o)

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Black, White & Summer All Over

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My mum has a fantastic collection of blazers. Most of them have BIG shoulders but hidden among her wardrobe are a few gems. I’ve had this white linen United Colours of Benneton blazer sitting in my wardrobe for about two summers and have always been hesitant to wear it because its a bit too broad for my shoulders and the sleeves have yellowed from years of storage.

I kept holding onto it because the fabric was such nice quality and made in Italy – something of a rarity these days on the high street. Then last week I was feeling particularly creative and I decided to chop off the sleeves, seam the edges and reconstruct the leftover fabric as a sash. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I’ll definitely be layering it as we change seasons and also wearing it without the sash and with open lapels. It actually looks like a lot of wrap jackets seen in resort collections and if you were to buy a rope tassel from Lincraft, you could create a vest like this one from Seed.

I styled the vest with my knitted skort (last seen in the winter styled with tights and a coat ‘Four Seasons‘) but I think it could pass as a playsuit if you wore matching linen shorts. I also opted for some delicate silvery jewellery from Iconic-Style to go with the silver woven thread in the shorts. I don’t usually go for v-necks so when I do, I like to add a small necklace and this whimsical star one is the perfect length.

Recreate my Look:

Vest / Skort / Sandals / Ring (c/o) / Necklace (c/o) / Watch 

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Photography thanks to Adela (Styliminal) signoff2

Pier Pressure

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For me, summer means quirky patterned string bikinis, long days by the sea and greasy buckets of fish and chips. It means sticky sunscreen legs, strappy lace up sandals and awkwardly shaped tan lines. The sea-sun where we bring out the little white dresses that we have been saving since EOFYS sales.

Tomorrow is Australia day which means that it will really and truly be time to get back into the daily grind come Wednesday. Luckily, I still have around 3 more weeks until I start working. They say it takes 21 days to instill a habit. I better find something to stick to and make those days count!

Happy Australia Day Eve! I’m sure a lot of you are on ‘sick leave’ today so I hope its been a delightful long long weekend. I’m excited for some lamb and a pavlova topped with this season’s freshest. What are you plans for the 26th?

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Sheer Lace Dress ($35)

Embellished Sheer Bodice Skater Dress ($21)

Flutter Sleeve Midi Dress ($35)

Overlay Dress ($24)

Sandals / Watch (c/o) / Ring (c/o)signoff2

SS Brunch with Uzuri

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I have returned from my holiday with plenty of beautiful things to share with you including the first SS Brunch of 2016. I want to introduce to you Magdel and Emre who are the founders of Uzuri, a newly launched brand that hails from the beautiful and graceful country that is Africa. They have a wonderful vision to clothe the inner dreamer, seeker and scholar and their SS16 Capsule Collection consists of timeless and elegant staples including The Moja which is a 100% leather sandal that has been locally sourced and crafted in Africa. I hope you enjoy this SS Brunch and feel inspired to tread lightly and kindly.

What makes Uzuri African?

Our leather and fabric are sourced locally and the craftsmen with whom we partner are all South African. We aim to design first and foremost for the women of Africa. Women of different ages, races and cultures – all embracing their heritage, inspiring generations to come, seeking beauty, living boldly but also seeking qualify and functionality.

Uzuri means beauty and grace. Do you have any muses that embody these two words?

We were both raised by strong and independent women, we have the privilege of being surrounded by incredible sisters and friends who are passionate about life, who are true to themselves, who pursue their dreams fearlessly. Ladies who live their lives with intent + walk in truth, in grace, in beauty. These are the women that inspire us, the women we want to dress.

What are some of the steps implemented so that your final product is ethical and fair?

We believe in buying local, even if the result is a slight increase in prices, and in  partnering with our South African craftsmen and ladies. We are involved in every single detail. Sourcing, meeting with our craftsmen / ladies, designing + the final quality control – we ensure that all the people in the production chain is honored and fairly compensated for their contribution. Uzuri is a vision that stretches further and wider than clothes + shoes. We love our country and we want to build + dream alongside contributors to continuously invest in + grow this multifaceted country of ours.

Tell me about your creative process, is there a certain time you work, a candle you burn, a beverage that you consume?

We have both been working full time until the end of 2015, so the dream of Uzuri was pursued over weekends, late nights + early mornings. We have been drinking numerous cups of tea + dreaming of a brand that is true + bold + ethical since 1999, when we first became friends in grade 8.

What are you goals for Uzuri in 2016?

Uzuri is still in its baby shoes. We want to continue building a brand without compromises- growing holistically but remaining faithful to the childhood dream. Our aim has always been to rather deliver an ethical product, that embodies beauty and quality, than delivering a bigger, more mainstream, but less ‘hands-on’, range. Of course this has its own challenges, especially in a growing market – the effect being that Uzuri ranges are always limited editions. Moreover we will continue to follow our hearts, work hard, and shine a light on the beauty that Africa has to offer.

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The Moja in Nude Leather  (c/o)

If you want to learn more about Uzuri’s vision as well as visit their newly launched website, click here.  signoff2

Black for the Summer

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Happy New Year! I have had a two week break from Style Smorgasbord because I wanted to recharge, reflect and redirect my energy towards the holiday season. Whilst we should aim to improve upon ourselves daily, the first day of the year is always a great ritual of self assessment that demands personal honestly and reinforces humility. Instead of coming up with new year resolutions for 2016, I decided to create a list of 101 things I want to achieve in 1001 days. You can see my list here

I would say I am a very excitable person. Thusly, I rarely wear black especially head to toe black. However, I love a good oxymoron and black in the summer is refreshingly that. I received this boater for Christmas and plan to wear it forever. The brim is wonderfully wide and perfectly practical and adding it to any outfit just makes me feel like I am on vacation somewhere tropical.

Hat / Top / Skirt / Scarf

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/ Photography Credits – Matthew /signoff2