Monday, 11 December 2017

Blue Printed Dresses and Blazers for the Office

Blue is my favourite colour. It always makes me feel confident and happy when I wear it, one of my 'power colours'. I try not to wear it every day (I really could...) but for a stressful work week it was the ideal outfit choice. I picked out two of my favourite blue printed dresses for a hectic and busy few days in the office.

What I wore:

blush pink blazer, blue boho print dress silver ballet flats purple Balenciaga work bag office outfit | AwayFromBLue

blue dress, pink blazer, Balenciaga purple G21 silver hardware work bag | awayfromtheblue

#pregnancyandmotherhood style awayfromblue instagram dress that works in pregnancy and post-baby
JacketJeanswest Nadine 3/4 sleeve dusky pink blazer
DressJeanswest 'Chelsea' printed dress
ShoesMarc by Marc Jacobs silver tuxedo flats
BagBalenciaga raisin purple 2009 giant silver G21 hardware work bag

Why I wore it:

I've never seen this dress as an office dress before, keeping it as part of my casual wardrobe. I kept seeing it and thinking it was overdue a wear, last worn back in May! While I know I have too many office clothes now I'm only working part time, I figured I'd try make this work for the office anyway. I added the blush pink blazer to make it a little more office appropriate. I really liked this outfit!

The only thing I didn't like was that I pulled the elasticated waist down so it didn't give the blouson effect of wearing it higher, but because I didn't belt it, the waistband kept riding up and I was tugging on this dress a few times during the day to try keep the hem down. If I wear this to the office again, I'll definitely add a belt to keep it in place! It was nice to wear this in my business casual office, this dress really does work for so many occasions, including pregnancy!

The colours in this outfit made me happy. I like blue and pink and purple together, they are lovely shades that work well combined and this outfit is a good example of that.

Last worn: blush blazerboho print dress, bow detail flats, purple Balenciaga work bag.

Other ways to wear: blush blazer and purple jeansprinted dress layered for autumn, bow detail flats and skinny jeans, purple Balenciaga work bag and pink pencil skirt.

Perfect for pregnancy: blush blazer in third trimesterboho dress in second trimester, ballet flats and maternity wrap dress.

Blue Printed Dresses For The Office Under $50:

What I wore:

grey jersey blazer, jeanswest navy aztec print dress silver statement necklace with purple Balenciaga bag | away from blue

Balenciaga raisin purple 2009 giant silver G21 hardware work bag | away from the blue

Jeanswest jersey blazer aztec print dress office ootd | away from the blue blog
JacketJeanswest grey jersey blazer
NecklaceJeanswest Taki necklace (C/O)
DressJeanswest Aztec print dress
ShoesMarc by Marc Jacobs logo plaque flats in camel
Bracelets: the usual plus old jade and Roie Designs labradorite bracelets
BagBalenciaga raisin purple 2009 giant silver G21 hardware work bag

Why I wore it:

Another busy day, another favourite blue printed dress. Last time I wore this dress without a belt I wasn't too happy with the results. This time around though, with the longer statement necklace and grey jersey blazer, I liked the dress unbelted. It didn't ride up like the first dress through the day either.

While I was hunting for a particular necklace to wear (this one is nice but wasn't my first choice) I came across these jade and beaded bracelets I hadn't worn in a while, so added them to my bracelet stack.

Last worn: grey jersey blazerAztec print dress, camel ballet flats, raisin Balenciaga work bag (above).

Other ways to weargrey jersey blazer and wrap dressAztec print dress in wintercamel ballet flats and skinny jeansraisin Balenciaga work bag and black pencil skirt.

Perfect for pregnancy: Aztec print dress in third trimestercamel ballet flats in third trimester.

More Blue Printed Dresses Under $50:

How You Can Wear It:

Printed dresses are such easy office outfits, I'm always going to recommend them for working mums - just pull on and go without worrying about coordinating. If your office air con is cold, or you want to make your dress seem even more professional, just add a blazer! Pink works well with blue, but you can always go with a neutral grey if you're unsure about the colour combo.

Today marks just two weeks till Christmas! Still have people left to buy for? Check out my gift guide for a mum or mum to be, everything's under $50! And for your fashionista friend, get them a gift they'll adore no matter your budget with the ultimate handbag lover gift guide!

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Friday, 8 December 2017

Gift Guide For a Handbag Lover (At Any Budget!)

You know I love my handbags (and probably have a few too many!). If you are wondering what to buy for someone on your list who is equally handbag-obsessed, this is the gift guide for you! You don't always need to splurge on a bag to please a bag lover, there are lots of wallet-friendly buys to suit any taste or budget.

Prefer to skip the gift guide as you're only here for outfits? Check out my previous post, showing 30 ways to wear a floral kimono. This will be my last gift guide for the year, the blog will be back to normal posts on Monday.

Gift Guide For a Handbag Lover: Ideas for Any Budget! | Away from the blue blog

Handbag Fan Stocking Fillers Under $50

There are so many cute little gifts you can get under $50. For someone who already has an enviable handbag collection, why not get them something to accessorise the bags they already have? There are so many nice bag charms around, or maybe a makeup bag or clutch to organise the contents of their bag. Books related to bags or their favourite designer are a lovely idea too! Some stores, like Shopbop, do gift cards so you can gift them $50 towards the bag of their choice.

Handbag Related Gift Ideas on a Budget: Under $100

If you're spending up to $100, you have a lot more options. You might not be able to get a bag off their Christmas wishlist, but you can get a few small leather goods from their favourite brand. Think card holders, wallets, and maybe even a clutch. Again, a gift card is a good option at this price point if you know they are saving for the bag of their dreams.

Handbag Lover Gift Ideas Under $500

There are a lot more bags available to buy when you have a bigger budget, and for under $500 you can get them the bag of their dreams from so many designers, and perhaps a clutch or small bag from the more expensive luxury brands. Sites like Yoox and The Outnet have off-season bags at reduced prices to fit your budget. Pre-loved and vintage is another good way to go, if you're buying from a reputable place like Fashionphile or Vestiaire Collective where authenticity is guaranteed.

Splurge-Worthy Handbags Over $500

Admittedly this is out of the budget for most people, but if you're splurging on someone special (mum / sister / wife / girlfriend) you can't go wrong with a classic neutral bag from their favourite designer. If they've been dropping a lot of hints too you might know the exact style and colour you should get.

I hope this gift guide has given you some ideas for the handbag-lover on your list! It's not too late to order most of these and have them delivered in time for Christmas - no matter where you are in the world. If you're curious, this is the bag at the top of my wishlist! (Under $500 too!) Do you have anything handbag related on your Christmas list?

Linking up with Fab Favourites, Lizzie in Lace, Shoe & Tell, Mix It Monday, Hello Monday.

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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

30 Ways To Wear Somedays Lovin' Yakuza Print Grey Floral Kimono: #30Wears Series

New month (how is it December already?!) a new #30wears post, showing some different ways to wear this grey floral print kimono. When I first got this kimono in 2016, I wore it a lot. So much so that I was sure I'd hit 30 wears on it and was surprised at the end of that summer to realise I hadn't! 30 wears doesn't sound like that much for pieces you love, but as I've shared before, if you do the maths it takes 15 months if you wear something once every two weeks, which is probably more frequently than average.

Math aside, I'm so happy with this kimono. It's a frequent go-to, especially paired with my mustard yellow Rebecca Minkoff bag, you'll see that pop up a lot in the photos below and I've previously done a 30 ways to wear a micro Regan bag post on that bag.

#30Wears: Grey Floral and Bird Print Kimono

I picked up this kimono in an ASOS sale 2 years ago and despite feeling like I frequently wear it, I'm just hitting 30 wears now. Quality wise, still looks pristine and new as the day I got it, no signs of wear. It was on sale for $33.60 when I got it so it's just over a dollar a wear at $1.12. It's full retail price was $95 so I'm pretty happy with what I paid and the low cost per wear! It was a great sale find. And as you can see below, a statement floral print kimono can actually be worn with a lot of different things!

30 ways to wear Somedays Lovin' Yakuza floral print grey kimono | Awayfromtheblue blog

Floral Kimono and Green Tops

floral kimono #30wears 4 ways with green tops and denim shorts | Awayfromblue

I find green a tricky colour to wear sometimes, but I've been making an effort to try wear it more often. While there isn't any green in the print of this kimono, with the florals and birds green just seemed like a nice colour combination to try. As you can see, I liked it so much I wore it that way a few times!

Grey Floral Kimono and Grey Tees

floral kimono #30wears 3 ways with grey tees, denim and cross body bags | awayfromtheblue

While I enjoy wearing this printed kimono with bright pieces, nothing beats a classic grey tee. I used to be wary about wearing a grey tee and grey outerwear together, but I gave this kimono a try with a grey tee once and loved it - don't know why I'd never tried it before!  The colourful print helps add some more colour and interest so it's not just grey on grey.

Floral Kimono and Black Tops

floral kimono #30wears 3 ways with black tops and denim shorts | Awayfromtheblue

Colourful tops and grey tops are nice with this kimono, and black tops are perfect with it too! Adding a colourful printed kimono to a basic black top and denim outfit makes it instantly seem a little more pulled-together, and with the neutral top and grey base of the kimono it means you can add a colourful bag to your outfit. Picking an accessory that matches one of the colours in the print is a great idea, as I've done here with the mustard yellow micro Regan bag and blue Balenciaga day bag.

Kimono In Pregnancy With Maternity Denim

floral kimono 30 wears 3 ways in pregnancy maternity shorts | Away From Blue

Having a limited pregnancy wardrobe (and even implementing a capsule wardrobe for the third trimester) meant I reached for accessories more often. A kimono is a wonderfully lightweight piece that adds more interest and colour to your outfit, without making you any warmer, even while pregnant in a heatwave. I loved adding this floral print kimono or one of my many other printed ones to an otherwise simple pregnancy outfit. Kimonos are very bump-friendly too as you never have to attempt to fasten them up over a growing baby bump. They always fit, in every trimester! As a bonus, they work as a breastfeeding cover in the postpartum days too!

Kimonos with Shorts

floral kimono 30 wears 4 ways with denim shorts for summer | Away From The Blue

Denim shorts are a Brisbane summer essential - I couldn't do summer without shorts! As you can see by how many times I've worn this kimono with shorts, easily the majority of the 30 wears! I love how nicely a floral print kimono like this works with denim - it's an easy, fuss-free option. As mentioned above, it's nice to have a light layer for summer that provides some sun protection without overheating too. Picking the right kimono is important to allow it to be breathable in the middle of the summer heat - viscose, cotton and modal are better than polyester.

Kimonos and Skinny Jeans

floral kimono 30 wears 3 ways to wear with skinny jeans | awayfromtheblue

While they are great in summer, it's possible to wear your kimonos in spring and autumn too just by swapping out the denim shorts for skinny jeans. You can go for colourful jeans, or keep it simple and stick to the classic blue or black denim.

Kimono with Dresses and Skirts

floral kimono #30wears 3 ways skirts and dresses | awayfromblue

While I do tend to wear this kimono with denim a lot, I do like to try different things with it now and then. Kimonos work just as well with dresses and skirts as they do with jeans or shorts. The first outfit with the maxi skirt is one of my favourite pregnancy outfits, the slouchy kimono and long skirt just work perfectly together.

Floral Kimono and Print Mixing

floral kimono #30wears 3 different ways to print mix | awayfromblue blog

floral kimono 30 wears 4 ways print mixing with stripes | awayfromtheblue blog

Florals and stripes is a frequently worn print mixing formula. I'm sure you've seen it around on blogs before, even if you've never tried it yourself. With the floral print on this kimono, I was eager to try it with stripes and I love the way this looks. You don't have to stop at stripes though!
Embroidered floral shorts, polka dots or even abstract print, there are so many options. A good tip is to make sure that the prints have a similar colour. The gold polka dots and the yellow florals, or the similarly shaped floral print and floral embroidery together. While I dont always love the resulting outfits, I do have a lot of fun trying new things and wearing different prints with this kimono.

Floral Kimonos Under $50:

How Do I Know How Many Wears Something's Had?

I've had this question a few times lately. I blog what I actually wear - I take photos on my way out the door most mornings. That means if I want to know how many times I've worn something, I just look up the name of it on the blog and get a count. One of the benefits of having an archive of daily outfits for almost 6 years!

This is my last 30 ways to wear post for the year and it's been an incredibly fun challenge - I know you all enjoy the posts too as they are some of the most popular on my blog, so I'm looking forward to continuing with it next year and making it a permanent fixture. It's been a challenge to hit 30 wears regularly, but identifying pieces I'm close to that number with and giving them lots of frequent re-wears is helping me hit my goals. Thank you for following along, the sweet comments, and the sharing and pinning of the posts.

Linking up with Style on The Daily, Oh Hey Girl, Wardrobe Wednesday, Fashion Files, Fun Fashion, Fabulous Friday, Flashback Fashion, Weekend Wear, Passion for Fashion.

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