The Model and Me: Harlow

Last week I hopped on a plane to Sydney for my agency’s Christmas party.

It was a 24-hour turn-around scenario that you just do because it’s so damn fun to get together in person with the people who you work with – especially when we mostly talk via the interwebs.

Someone also mentioned there would be margaritas.

So, I booked my flight and BabyMac did what she does best and sorted us with accommodation (can highly recommend this boutique hotel – great location and plenty of character). 

She even had the Villa Maria iced down before we arrived (can you spot the cruise ship?).

Harbour Rocks Hotel Sydney

Now, that evening I could have very much worn a jeans and top combo out to our party venue - Mejico - but I do like to grab a dress-up opportunity and run with it.

So I frocked up instead.

Harlow is an label designed and made in Australia. It creates on-trend fashion pieces for women sized 14 to 24.

I’m at the bottom end of the sizing scale but I very much appreciate a cut of a dress that works with my curves, not against it.

The model

Harlow Lipstick and Leather dress - sizes 14-24

Harlow Lipstick and Leather (pleather and ponte) dress $199

and me

Harlow dress | Salita Matthews necklace | Wayne by Wayne Cooper heels

Harlow dress (I’m wearing size 14)* | Salita Matthews necklace | Wayne by Wayne Cooper heels

Let me explain the many reasons why I love this dress.

It’s the perfect example of when comfort and style come together and co-exist quite happily in the one garment.

I look all dressed up in a minimalist, structured LBD kind of way but – and it’s a big but – wearing this dress is as comfortable as being in a pair of trackies. True story.

Ponte power is not something to be sniffed at ever. This heavy stretch is all kinds of forgiving and allowed me to even ditch the nana pants.

And the pleather adds a contrast of texture as well as an illusion of shape.

Let’s not forget that neckline either. Flattering and then some.

I had toyed with the idea of adding a splash of colour in my accessories but instead went for adding to the texture of the whole look. Patent in the shoes and some industrial chic in the necklace.

This was the very first Salita Matthews piece I bought and it’s still a fave. It’s like a modern take on Madonna’s chain necklace look of 1983, don’t you think?

If I were heading somewhere semi-fancy for New Year’s I’d definitely trot this out again.

Alas, I think it will be a tad over-done for fish and chips on the beach awaiting the early fireworks at Mooloolaba.

Tell me, how did you go with your Christmas party frocking up? What about New Year’s … any plans? What will you wear?

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  • Melissa Walker Horn

    WOW. I missed this, I have no idea how! You look GREAT. I have this dress in blue and love, love it. Harlow make a great dress.

  • Sonia from Sonia Styling

    Holy flipping hotness, woman!

  • Alexandra Sherriff

    I’ve always skimmed past that dress, thinking it’d be too vavavoom. But on you it looks so easy. Comfortable. Effortless. Chic. Just what I’m looking for. I think you could dress this down with some pointed flats and a matte cuff. Pinning this dress now <3

  • Petra

    Nikki, thanks for a great blog, and gorgeous outfits on an “every day woman”! Looking forward to “seeing” you in 2014 and hope the move goes really well and it doesn’t rain, and the weather isn’t too hot! :-)

  • Sam

    Love the dress on you Nikki! I bought a similar one from Sportscraft last season. You are so right about the comfortable yet flattering fit of ponte fabric and the added ‘interest’ factor to the dress, care of the leather. Rock on!

    • Nikki | Styling You

      Great buying Sam! And thanks x

  • Reen

    Love love love this outfit on you, Nikki, and I agree with Lisa, you always look better than the model! My mother in law bought me my Chrissy/Boxing Day/birthday outfit for me yesterday; it’s a Jendi pintuck pocket dress in red, one of my fave colours to wear. Merry Christmas Nikki, look forward to following your blog again next year! Xx

    • Lisa Mckenzie

      That is a beautiful dress Reen ,Have a Merry Christmas :)

      • Reen

        You too Lisa, I love following you on Instagram; hope you have a magical day!

    • Nikki | Styling You

      That’s a gorgeous dress Reen – and snaps to your MIL. you will feel fabulous!!

    • Petra

      Oh this dress is so cute!

  • Kelly

    Love this dress and how you are wearing it – kind of rock chic for those who are not quite 20 anymore! I could see myself in that dress!

    • Nikki | Styling You

      Yes, I felt like it was ok for me to wear it but I got to have fun with the trend, Kelly!

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    Stunning Nikki, I do love this dress on you! Even though you look stunning in colour you really rock a LBD and this dress is divine,i love the Salita Mathews necklace with it and those heels.You frock up gorgeously i don’t think that is a word but i am going to use it.That Beth from babymac is a good egg isn’t she?
    I have sorted my Christmas day outfit it is a Rockmans of all Places Paradiso watercolour maxi dress with a white slip under and panels with splits to the thigh so no holding up the dress when you walk and some pink and gold tie up flat sandals.I don’t know what we are doing for New Year but whatever it is it will be my Camilla,it will be getting lots of outings.Thankyou for sharing your Model and me posts i love them and i always think you look better than the model x

    • Nikki | Styling You

      Thanks so much Lisa and I love that you can rock everything from Rockmans to Camilla!

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        Thankyou That is fashion isn’t it!

  • Amanda

    You look amazing Niiki. I am so glad I found your blog this year,I just love it. And you are so lovely too, I love the way you respond to your readers like an old friend! Wishing you a lovely Christmas and every success in 2014. Looking forward to your book. Amandaxxxx

    • Nikki | Styling You

      Oh Amanda, I’m so glad you found SY and thanks for your very kind words. Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Johanne Taylor

    Looking hot, Nikki!. I love that necklace, but can’t do all black myself, as it is not flattering with my colouring.
    New Years Eve will be dinner at a favourite restaurant where we’ll be able to see the top of the fireworks over Sydney: so not in the craziness! This calls for a frock and flat sandals in case I need to walk home. I’m still tossing up exactly which dress due to the weather’s unpredictability, but will probably go for a Leona dress.

    • Nikki | Styling You

      That sounds like a beautiful way to spend New Year’s … and wise re wearing flats. Nothing worse than NYE and not being able to get a cab and then having to walk in heels!

  • Kathryn

    That’s a fabulous dress Nikki. Looks great on you and on the model. It would definitely be one I’d wear. Is it thick ponte? Too warm for a humid night?
    I’ve worn a Jigsaw dress to a few Christmas parties (different places with different people ;) ) and I’m in love with it.
    I have loved your Model and Me posts this year, many thanks for them.

    • Nikki | Styling You

      That’s a gorgeous dress! And the ponte is normal ponte thickness. I think it would be ok up here except on those one or two nights that we just can’t even cope with any clothes on us.

  • Cheekie

    That dress looks perfect and maybe an extra I keep in the wardrobe for a few smart evenings next year. Camilla all the way this Christmas, lots of drama and colour and bling! New Year in Naudic and haviianas by the beach
    Best wishes to you and thank you for a fantastic daily fix

    • Nikki | Styling You

      It’s the perfect year-round wardrobe extra Cheekie … could easily do this dress for winter with tights and a coat. And thanks for showing up here every day … I do love your Camilla Christmas idea!!

  • Paulette

    That is such a flattering dress. You rock it! Too think it is even comfortable to wear….oh my….I need to see what else they stock.

    • Nikki | Styling You

      It’s a win-win, that’s for sure Paulette!