So are you like me, already planning next Summer’s holidays?Do you have a holiday tradition like we do?
I’m sure that most of my lovely readers will know by now that my bestie Peta of Trainee Mama is pregnant with twins. She’s already done the baby shower thing prior to giving birth to her son (and my fave squidgy human) Ned, so when I asked what she’d like to do to celebrate the twins’ impeding arrival, I wasn’t sure if she was up for a big ol’ styled-dessert-table situation with nappy games and all that jazz.
I picked Peta up from her temporary home (an apartment overlooking Maroochy River, check out her current reno and moving story here), and then it was time for tea…
This was my first high tea and I had no idea what to expect, but I certainly wasn’t expecting it to be as filling as it was!
Peta and I had thought that we might need to head to a cafe for a sandwich on the way home, because the meal didn’t look that big, but we were full before we’d finished our little cheesecakes and cupcakes!
This was my first High Tea, but it won’t be my last. Tell me, where’s your favourite High Tea?
Whether they’re vertical, horizontal, diagonal, mixed or matched, stripes will forever remain the best looking lines in the whole wide world.
They’re the BFF that has it all: cool enough to wear during a casual day out running errands, polished enough to take out to dinner, relaxed enough to join you for a Netflix and chill session (and let’s all agree that this takes on a very literal meaning when you’re married – like, we actually watch Netflix whilst chilling). They’re also right there for you when you need a little confidence, making all the difference in a basic striped T-shirt, or crisp button down shirt.
Ever since Brigitte Bardot wore striped tees and shift dresses in the 60’s and 70’s, everyone with a fashion clue has resorted to this simple style. It carries a little French allure, and a lot of international cool.
I wear both vertical and horizontal stripes year-round, and whilst I once worked with a delightful human who thought it her right to remind me that ‘bigger girls shouldn’t wear horizontal stripes’ almost once a week, I feel like everyone’s grown a brain, and it’s finally fashionably acceptable for everyone to wear stripes of any direction!
Here are my top picks for stripe dresses, shirts and tees, heading into Australia’s Autumn/Winter season:
A striped dress is perfect for workwear, or almost any occasion when jeans and a stripe tee won’t cut the mustard. It looks so polished and sophisticated, but you ‘re just there feeling all comfy because you’re in the softest of fabrics!
A striped button-down shirt, in either a breezy linen or a crisp cotton is the perfect addition to every possible outfit, especially at this time of year. Throw over your togs when you move from the pool to the bar, or slip one on with a darker denim for instant attitude.
Of course, I’m saving the best for last – striped tops and tees. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a lifelong member of the stripe tee club (I believe our 2016 #teamstripes President, Veep and Secretary are Brooke of Blonde Ambition, Melissa of Suger Coat It and Peta of Trainee Mama… we convene regularly on social media!), and I am always looking for another perfect addition to my stripe tee shelf (which is now two shelves, but don’t tell BB, please).
Regulars here will also know that Winter is my least favourite season, and I only manage to get through July and August each year without depressive bouts of Seasonal Affective Disorder because it’s a great opportunity to wear stripe tees with jeans and blazers. Almost my favourite sartorial situation ever.
It’s so ok to break the ‘seasonal’ rules. I mean, yeah I put a very Summery watermelon print doona cover on our bed this morning, and yes, I know Autumn is well and truly here. But whatever. We snapped up the doona cover from Target for under $20, and I am NOT waiting until December to throw a summer vibe around my bedroom again.
In other homewares news, here are a few things I’ve found around the interwebs and am loving right now.
Well, that Summer season just really whizzed by, didn’t it? I had probably one of my most relaxing Summers ever, with no real craziness, which was amazing. I think that had a lot to do with the fact that I am LOVING both my jobs, and really feel settled and content in them. Now that I’m a casual at Lorna Jane instead of management (I stepped down from management responsibility over a year ago, and hello excellent sleep quality), I worked a little less than I’m used to over Christmas and New Year, and it was grand.
This next season should be a little busier; BB and I have some travel planned (more on that once we’re confirmed), and a few Australian holidays booked (Port Douglas and Melbourne, and even chilly Hobart) before Winter arrives to make me grumpy.
And yet again, there needs to be a wardrobe clear-out. I have struggled the past few weeks, finding my boring black shorts and pants to wear to work, and the clothes I never wear (because they don’t fit or I just don’t like them any more) seem to be multipying, taking up all possible wardrobe space. Cheeky sods. Time to turf ’em and shop smarter, I think.
So, according to fashionista-types, what’s on-trend this season? Well, let’s not look at the catwalk, because IMPRACTICAL. What are real people going to be wearing in Autumn 2016?
Here in (mostly) sunny Queensland it’s all about layering, because our autumn temperatures range from 13 to 25 degrees Celsius from March to May. We still get the odd stinking hot day, however, when the coastal breezes are a godsend!
1. Skinny Jeans
Skinny jeans will always be a favourite for me, as their streamlined silhouette allows you to layer multiple items on top for warmth – although unless you’re headed south, you really only need a tank or tee. Wear them with ballet flats and a light blazer in the day or wedge heels and a beautifully-draping silk top for a night out on the town. These go-to pants can do no wrong, and I’m literally MAD about the ASOS Curve ones.
2. Merino sweater
Nothing says off-duty chic like a crewneck merino sweater. I only have two, but I’ve owned them for years, and they still look fantastic.
3. Fedora hat
A wool or felt fedora is a great way to keep your noggin toasty warm, and hide the fact that it was a little too cold to get out of bed early, so you skipped washing your hair!
4. Statement Coat
In winter your outerwear is the most important aspect of your wardrobe so why not make a statement? A bright coat will add a pop of colour to any neutral or all-black outfit – and this red stunner is going to be a Winter classic. (In related news, I’ve never had a decent wool coat, nor a coloured one before, so I’m excited!)
Super-sexy and warm as toast – ain’t no chilly ankles here. Living on the Sunshine Coast means that I rarely have call for knee-high boots, but heading south to Victoria and Tasmania is always a great excuse to pull them out of the cupboard and dust them off. I particularly love flat riding-style knee-highs, they can be dressed down with jeans and a sweater for a casual day, or glammed up with a dress and tights in the evening.
6. Knitted Jumper Dress
The easiest way to show a little leg and stay cosy at the same time is by wearing a knitted jumper dress. For added warmth, I pop leggings or tights underneath, and a coat on top. Bonus points for finding a stripe version, folks!
7. Blanket Wrap Scarf
While I first scoffed, I’ve grown to quite like a giant scarf wrapped all around me – like a doona on couch situation, really. There are countless ways to style this, either thrown carelessly over your shoulder or wrapped around multiple times. This Surafina version is pretty perfect for any Winter outfit, and will make a mighty fine in-flight blanky too!
8. Turtleneck Top
Once the realm of nerds like Steve Jobs and Velma from Scooby Doo, turtlenecks are actually a fashion classic. My only suggestion is to be careful if you’re big-busted, because chunky versions can make you look like a linebacker! Turtlenecks do look great with pretty much anything though, whether worn under a sleeveless dress, or simply worn alone with jeans.
9. Leather Jacket
A leather jacket is essential for every cool-girl winter wardrobe, so the jury is out if I actually need one. They add instant edge and just scream badass, so at the very least, it might be useful for late night grocery trips when I want to make it through the checkout without chit-chat. Toss a black one in classic moto-style over your jeans and tee on the weekend or grunge up a frock with a beat-up tan version.
10. Ankle Boots
Ankle boots are a perennial wardrobe staple that I jumped on slightly later than everybody else, but am playing catch-up because comfort AND style, people. I love to wear mine with dresses and skirts during the day, skinny jeans or leggings at night. Remember #leggingsarepants and #ignorethehaters.
Who else is looking at building on some pretty awesome Autumn/Winter basics this year? Anything you’ve seen that I just HAVE to have?
Also, for more super-cute AW2016 style, check out Blonde Ambition. Brooke just posted her entire shopping list for the season, and I feel like I need everything.
The winner of my February email subscriber giveaway was Malia H. I’ve emailed you, Malia – so holla me back with a postal address! Congratulations!
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but it’s not just for lovers. I know that lots of folks aren’t keen on the whole commercial Hallmark side of the day, but I’m fine with anything that reminds people to appreciate the people they love, and treat them with gifts, large or small.
I’m also strongly of the opinion that you don’t just need to let partners know that you love them… parents, siblings, best friends, teachers, kids and colleagues. There are so many people in our lives, and it’s important that we make sure we tell them how much they mean to us.
Not coupled up? Who says you can’t celebrate February 14 just like all of the lovebirds out there? Practice a little bit of self love instead and treat yourself to a feel-good gift – it doesn’t need to break the bank, it just need to make us feel special.
Here are my top picks for Valentine (or Just Because) gifts under $50, and an extra-fancy one… because you’re worth it!
Traditionally, flowers are the hot gift for Valentine’s Day. Don’t be lame and pick up a bunch from the service station on the way home from work though (chances are, they’ll have one fake rose that turns out to be a tacky red lace gstring tucked in there – ugh), get a sweet mixed posy in a jar instead! There are so many fantastic local florists across Australia who offer something different for Valentine’s Day, my favourite on the Sunshine Coast are flowerbomb. I’ll share more about Flowerbomb on my Facebook page this week, but in the meantime, check out their Instagram feed, where you can see the beautiful and original arrangements in mason jars that Deb of Flowerbomb is delivering to lucky recipients all across the Coast, for less than $30!
*Hot lovers tip: use discount code ‘katypotaty’ at checkout, and treat yourself, your lover and your Mum this weekend! For more info, head to their page for link and details.
Simply stunning accessories that I loved the minute I saw them, the Balance Bar earrings by MiM Studio would get a run every single day if they were in my bling wardrobe. Perfect for dressing up and down, these babies available from Down That Little Lane are cheap enough that you don’t need to decide on a colour – take all three!
Gold Class Cinema voucher
For the slightly exhausted Mum in your life, whether it’s your own Mum or your bestie with a few kids, a Gold Class movie voucher and a thoughtful card offering your babysitting services is such a well-received gift. What’s even better is if you team up with their regular babysitter, and pre-pay for a night of childminding, so you can go to the flicks too! My tip? Don’t skimp on the Gold Class snacks – those potato wedges go great with a glass or three of wine!
It wouldn’t be a round-up of gifts I love to give without a scented candle, and at this time of year, just before the seasons change and it gets a little cooler, my favourites are by Nocturna. The V. Salem is a gorgeous oriental scent in Nocturna’s signature mysterious black jar, woody and decadent. Perfect for wooing that special someone, or perhaps save it for a romantic solo night in with a good book in the bathtub!
*Hot lovers tip: enjoy 15% off the entire Nocturna range leading up to Valentines Day, by using promo code THELOVERS at checkout.
Bill Bryson book
My all-time favourite way to spend a rainy afternoon is curled up with a good book, and with the rainy Summer seeming to last longer and longer, I’ve recently been engrossed in Bill Bryson’s latest travelogue, The Road to Little Dribbling. Laugh-out-laud moments and lots of quirky facts that had me reading aloud to BB make Bill Bryson books a winning gift for pretty much everyone.
Step away from the chocolate brownie. This is not a gift you are going to want to give away. One of Queensland’s best chocolatiers (seriously, just ask the wise folk at The Urban List), Brigid of Kokopod has delivered some amazingly sweet treats to stockists across the region this week – and you’re going to need to be quick to get your sugar rush!
Head to The Fruit & Deli Co. in North Lakes, Top Spot Fruit in Aspley, Something About Audrey in Sandgate, Raw Sugar Cafe in Toowoomba, Myrtle’s Pantry in Caloundra and Chocolates on Gallery Walk in Mt. Tamborine for the ultimate in Valentine’s decadence.
Lastly, and definitely not least… I do love a splurge gift. It’s not under $50, but it is the coolest dang watch I’ve seen in years.
Oh Kapten, my Kapten. I am freaking in love with Kapten & Son watches. New to Australia, these super-classy timepieces just scream style and sophistication. With so many customisable features including the size of the face, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll be seeing Kaptens cruising everywhere.
I’d love to know, are you single or coupled-up? And do you do Valentine’s Day?
We’re less than a week away from 2016. Let that sink in for a minute or two.
New Year’s Eve is nothing if not the night of sparkly, sequined dresses. NYE is the night I dress unashamedly like a fashion magpie. If it’s sparkly, shiny and/or covered in glitz, I’m wearing it. Because if you can’t sparkle like a Dancing with the Stars contestant on the first and last night of the year, when can you?
Don’t forget to sign up to get Katy Potaty via email to go into my December subscriber draw to win a Glasshouse Christmas Cheer candle!
I’m joining in with the Fresh Fashion Forum. Head over and see what all the fashionable folks are wearing these holidays!
I am finally feeling the festive spirit, after visiting the Southbank Christmas Markets with Brooke of Blonde Ambition during the week. Working in retail always casts a little bit of shade on the Christmas season, but not working full-time during this Summer is an absolute delight – it means I get to do all the Christmassy things!
I had a great time at Southbank, and would really love to make visiting the Christmas markets an annual festive tradition – not least because it’s perfect for picking up some unique and handmade last-minute gifts! The markets are on from 11am-8pm daily through to Wednesday 23 December, except 17-21 December when they will be open until 9pm – so make a night of it and chefck out the Christmas movies showing, as well as the fireworks displays! (Hot tip, while most people are still at work at the start of this week, head to the markets on Monday or Tuesday to avoid the weekend crowds and get the chance to chat to the vendors – quieter days at markets are always my favourite.)
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(Offer is valid for booking and travel until 29 February 2016, subject to availability, minimum 3 night stay & 5 night stay respectively, conditions apply. Visitwww.mantra.com.au for bookings.)
Where have you purchased the bulk of your Christmas gifts from this year? Small businesses and market vendors, or larger stores? Why not experience the wonder of a traditional Christmas Market with a Brisbane twist?
In the 60s, former Vogue editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland called the kaftan (recently adopted from African culture to being resortwear) ‘the most becoming fashion ever invented.’ Ah yes, Diana. You weren’t wrong. I am now firmly a member of the kaftan-wearing society, and I think most Australian women get the chance to wear this super-comfy style at least a few times every year.
This glamorous Anannasa kaftan (I blogged about it here) with its smattering of sequins and beads is perfect for weekend entertaining, or wearing out to dinner on stinkin’ hot evenings – it’s a more opaque georgette and a respectable length, so there’s no danger of having to remember to pack the right undies!
Are you open to kaftans? Do you think they should stay poolside, or do you wear yours out and about?
Want to win a Glasshouse Candle? Sure you do, sign up to get Katy Potaty via email and go into my December subscriber draw to win a Glasshouse Christmas Cheer candle!
I’m joining in today with Kimba of Kimba Likes for Wardrobe Wednesday. Can’t promise that I’ll do it regularly, but I try!