Friday, 28 July 2017

Printed Tanks, Cardigans, Colourful Bags & SKinny Jeans

First, Jeanswest are having a 40% off everything sale for members! Online and in store, ends Sunday!

I've mentioned before I'm happy to keep my summer pieces out and wear them year round. On a mild winter day (which is most winter days in Brisbane to be honest) all I need is a cosy cardi on top and it's perfect.

What I wore:

Jeanswest Cecile dove grey skinny jeans magenta Balenciaga day bag matching purple cardigan | AwayFromBlue

Balenciaga 2005 magenta chevre classic RH day bag hobo on shoulder | AwayFromTheBlue
Necklace: For King & Country Priceless Australian coin and crest necklace
TankJeanswest 'Rowena' print tank (Currently 40% off everything!)
Jeans: Jeanswest Cecile dove grey skinny jeans (gifted, currently 40% off jeans!)
ShoesMarc by Marc Jacobs black logo plaque ballet flats
Bag: Balenciaga Day bag in 2005 magenta (20% off with code 'REAL')

Why I wore it:

First wearing of these new jeans! I was lucky enough to know someone doing the $5 challenge who saved more than they expected and decided to surprise people by using the money to treat them. (Can't share who it was as they are surprising multiple people!). I said I didn't need anything with my no-buy challenge, but there is that loophole where if someone else buys it for you it's not breaking the challenge! 😉

I went into Jeanswest, just for a look, and saw these jeans which were the perfect candidate to replace my old (10 year +) grey jeans I wasn't entirely happy with. I prefer a higher rise now. Super excited to have something new in my wardrobe, although it does mean saying goodbye to these old jeans. They had a good run and hadn't been worn a lot recently - I can see very few times in the past few years I've had the blog anyway.

As this was a quiet day, just a couple errands and grocery shopping, I decided to try something I'd been thinking about for a while and pairing the similarly coloured magenta bag and cardigan together. I actually really liked the combination! It was good to get this old tank out too. It hasn't been worn in a while after outgrowing it in pregnancy.

Last worn: purple cardigan, animal print tank, bow ballet flats, Balenciaga magenta day bag. First time I've worn the jeans as they are a recent gift.

Other ways to wearpurple cardigan and chambray dress, animal print tank and denim shorts, bow ballet flats and flares, Balenciaga magenta day bag and breastfeeding dresses.

Perfect for pregnancy: purple cardi in first trimester, printed tank hiding 20 week baby bump, magenta day bag and novelty pregnancy tees in third trimester.

More Printed Tanks Under $50:

What I wore:

red printed tank black nobody denim skinny jeans Rebecca Minkoff saddle bag | Away From Blue

oie Designs pearl, howlite and hematite and Swarovski beaded wrap bracelets, Rebecca Minkoff saddle bag | Away From The Blue
Jacket: Paper Scissors grey wrap cardigan
Tank: Emerson crochet lace bib print top
JeansNobody Denim Siren skinny super high-rise jeans in power black denim (C/O, on sale!)
ShoesConverse Chuck Taylor All Star low in black
Bracelets: the usual plus Roie Designs pearl, howlite and hematite beaded bracelets and black leather Swarovski beaded wrap bracelet
BagRebecca Minkoff unlined saddle bag in cherry red (on sale in blue!)

Why I wore it:

A much more colourful printed tank in this outfit! :) The last time I wore this tank it was the height of summer and despite the heatwave we headed out to see Thomas the tank engine at the rail museum.

Although it was winter this time around, I ended up swapping my thick wool cardigan for this thinner one, as it looked like it might warm up. It was again a hot and sunny day, I was pleased I picked the thinner cardigan! I loved this tank, bag and cardigan together when I wore it with flares so I knew I'd like the combination again with different jeans.

Had a lot of fun with the boys running around the museum and playing with all the Thomas toys, and it was good being able to take a picture in the same spot with the same tank but a different season! Just goes to show you don't have to put all your summer tanks away when winter arrives.

Last worn: grey drape cardiganprinted red crochet detail tank, Nobody Denim skinny jeans, Converse, Rebecca Minkoff studded saddle bag.

Other ways to weargrey drape cardigan and flaresprinted tank and striped maxi skirt, Nobody Denim skinny jeans in monochrome outfit, Converse and a dress, Rebecca Minkoff studded saddle bag and maxi skirt.

Perfect for pregnancy: printed tank in second trimester.

How You Can Wear It:

Your summer printed tanks can still be layered up and worn in winter with a cosy cardigan. Layering with printed pieces doesn't have to be tricky. For a neutral printed tank, try a plain block colour cardigan like in the first outfit. Neutral layers work well with a textured and colourful printed tank too. Monochromatic greys and black like in the second outfit make a colourful printed tank really pop.

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Wednesday, 26 July 2017

2 Ways to Add Colourful Accessories to Dresses in Winter

When I have a rare child-free day to myself I like to wear a dress. While I've worn dresses in the past with the boys, they aren't always a practical choice when chasing after two toddlers. It was good to have a reason to get these dresses out again. It's been a long time (almost 2 years!) since I've worn both of them as they aren't breastfeeding friendly.

Winter weather doesn't put me off of wearing dresses - fleece lined tights, ankle boots and a cosy cardigan or leather jacket keep me warm. While winter outfits can look a little monochromatic with all the neutral layers together, I've added a different colourful accessory to each outfit.

What I wore:

ScarfMarc by Marc Jacobs bright blue stole
DressAsos grey skater dress
ShoesRMK Chester black ankle boots
BagBalenciaga part time in black 2010 with SGH

Why I wore it:

I loved this outfit. The cobalt blue scarf was the perfect pop of colour with the monochrome outfit. Kept me warm on the cold morning too.

I had a physio appointment, and I find wearing a dress with leggings under it works best for all the exercises. (I just swapped the fleecy tights for leggings when I got there). I wasn't sure how I was going to meet the 'tied at waist' style challenge on Instagram and figured I could wear this dress with a belt. After almost 2 years since it was last worn, it was time to get it out my wardrobe! Changed my mind when I remembered I had this cosy cardigan with a belt, perfect for the challenge. It kept me warm as I rushed around between appointments while my mother in law stayed home with the boys.

I had to have a procedure at the dentist so was feeling a bit sore in the afternoon, it was nice to stay snuggled up in this cardigan.

Last worn: black belted cardigan, cobalt blue scarf, grey skater dress, black ankle boots, Balenciaga Part Time bag.

Other ways to wearblack belted cardigan and skinny jeans, cobalt blue scarf and stripes, grey skater dress in summer, black ankle boots and jeans, Balenciaga Part Time bag with pink tank.

Perfect for pregnancy: cardigan in first trimester, skater dress in second trimester, ankle boots for pregnancy reveal, part time bag and maternity pencil skirt.

More Blue Blanket Scarves Under $50:

What I wore:

NecklaceUniquely Made with Love Sea Change necklace
DressAtmos&Here navy stripe tee dress
ShoesAsos Cleo leather boots in tan
BagBalenciaga Day bag in 2005 magenta (20% off with code 'REAL')

Why I wore it:

Although I was feeling under the weather, I still had to get up and get dressed for an appointment so I pulled on one of my old favourite dresses. I wore this so much the year I got it, but pregnancies and breastfeeding has stopped it being worn recently. Like I mentioned on Instagram, I was so happy to unbox this when I got all my winter clothes out of storage.

Even though I wasn't feeling the best, I did love wearing this dress again. Always good to get old favourites out! The magenta Balenciaga day bag was a great cheerful and colourful pop against the navy and black too.

Last worn: printed leather jacket, striped tee dress, tan boots, Balenciaga magenta day bag.

Other ways to wearprinted leather jacket worn 30 ways, striped tee dress and Converse, tan boots and skinny jeans, Balenciaga magenta day bag and denim shorts.

Perfect for pregnancy: striped dress and small second trimester bump, magenta Balenciaga bag and maternity shorts.

More Pink Bags Under $50:

How You Can Wear It:

You can add a little colour to a monochromatic outfit with a bright accessory. Winter is a good time to experiment with this - you can swap out any one of your neutral layers for a pop of colour. In the first outfit I added colour to a monochrome outfit with a bright cobalt scarf. In the second outfit, I was scarf-less but the bright magenta bag was the perfect pop against all of the black and navy.

Layer up your dresses and wear them all year! A cosy cardigan, scarf or leather jacket with boots and tights makes dresses work even in winter.

Linking up with Fun Fashion, Fabulous Friday, Passion For Fashion, Weekend Wear.

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Monday, 24 July 2017

Winter Outfits for Returning to Work After Maternity Leave - Fit and Flare Dresses

After an extended maternity leave, I'm back in the office and sharing my business casual office style again. It's been a while! Thanks for all your sweet comments when I hinted at my return earlier, and for the encouragement on Instagram as I've been sharing my office wear and return to work struggles.

Just like last time I returned to work, I'll clear up a few things first.

  • In Australia you are legally allowed a minimum of a year's maternity leave. You have the option to extend it to 2 years if it suits the company you work for, or go back sooner if you wish. My team, boss and workplace is flexible, understanding and supportive.
  • Yes I took a longer maternity leave this time around than last time. (If you followed me in December you'll know why).
  • I am back in the office part time again, so I'll continue to have SAHM outfits and corporate style outfits on the blog.

And although it's completely repetitive as I said it last time: "Everyone does the right thing for them and their child (or children) at that point in time. Mums always know best. And that means for me, that I've returned to work. "

Now that's out the way, the simple fuss-free outfits I wore for my first days back:

What I wore:

Scarf: navy bird print scarf
Necklace: Eye Candy LA 'Sasha' statement necklace
DressJeanswest 'Rita' stripe jersey dress
ShoesRMK Chester black ankle boots
BagRebecca Minkoff medium MAB tote in moon navy (on sale in pinkor in white)

Why I wore it:

No surprise, I went with my comfort colour and wore blue for my first day back. I also took advantage of being child free and wore the biggest most non-baby friendly statement necklace I have. I missed wearing it, last time I wore it I was very, very pregnant! The scarf kept me cosy for my early morning commute and I ended up keeping it on in the office too. A big blanket scarf is the closest you'll get to cosying up to a blanket at your desk!

My first day back was much like my return to work two and a half years ago - lots of emails to sort through and trying not to cry when I thought about being away from my boys. It took me a lot longer to go through my emails - I could delete all the meeting requests and event related emails, but there were a lot of changes while I was away so it was helpful to read the emails covering the changes, and there are so many colleagues that moved around the organisation or even left so it was good to try wrap my head around what it all looks like now.

As much as I missed the office and enjoyed being able to do things in peace and quiet for a change, I was so pleased to come back to my boys and my mum in the evening.

Last worn: navy mac, bird print scarf, striped fit and flare dress, black ankle boots, Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote.

Other ways to wearnavy mac and chambray dress, bird print scarf with jeans and blazer, striped fit and flare dress for a baby shower, black ankle boots and monochrome jeans outfit, Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote with the same dress 2 years ago!

Perfect for pregnancy: stripe fit and flare dress hiding a second trimester bump, ankle boots in second trimester, Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote in third trimester.

Fit and Flare Dresses For The Office Under $50:

What I wore:

camel trench black dress burgundy scarf navy tote bag, winter office wear | Away From Blue

camel trench, Rebecca Minkoff medium MAB tote in moon navy | Away From The Blue
Jacket: Barkins beige trench coat 
ScarfForever New Skye Foil Feather scarf in berry / gold (on sale!)
DressJeanswest tucked ponte black dress
Belt: Kmart thin gold glitter belt
ShoesAsos leather Chelsea boots in tan
BagRebecca Minkoff medium MAB tote in moon navy (on sale in pinkor in white)

Why I wore it:

Another day in the office, another fit and flare dress. I have this dress in the stripes above and in black here and I have no plans to get rid of either of them - they are perfect for work. Easy to wear in summer with less layers too.

The only thing these dresses aren't suitable for is expressing breastmilk at work. I don't have to do that as Baby Boy's older, but would that be something you'd want to see me call out with my office outfits, which ones would work for expressing/pumping? While I've not had to do it at work I have had to do it at home and occasionally on the go for both my boys so I have a little experience there. Shea has a wonderful guide on how she makes exclusive expressing work for her that could be helpful too.

Last worn: burgundy feather foil scarf, camel trench, black fit and flare dress, gold glitter belt, Chelsea ankle boots, Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote (above).

Other ways to wearburgundy feather foil scarf and flared jeans, camel trench and print mixing, black fit and flare dress in spring, gold glitter belt and maxi dress, Chelsea ankle boots and skinny jeanspencil skirts and Rebecca Minkoff MAB tote.

Perfect for pregnancy: trench coat in first trimester, fit and flare dress hiding an early baby bumpgold belt over a baby bump, Chelsea boots and belted dress in second trimesterMAB tote and plaid shirts in first trimester.

More Fit and Flare Dresses Under $50:

How You Can Wear It:

Returning to work after maternity leave is an emotional time - no matter what length of maternity leave you had! Pick easy, fuss-free outfits for your first few days back. Plan them out beforehand and have them hanging in your wardrobe ready for you to grab and go.

I like fit and flare dresses as they nip in at the waist without being too tight and flow flatteringly over the stomach if you have a leftover mum tum like I do. Plus a dress is an instant outfit, you didn't need to think about how pieces will look together.

If something makes you feel happy, comfortable and confident, it's the perfect outfit for your return to work.

Linking up with On Trend, Confident Twosday, Turning Heads, Fashion Frenzy, Style on the Daily, Fashion Files.

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