Keeping it real: the Southern Highlands outfit

Nikki ParkinsonEveryday Style, Fashion 38 Comments

Stylers, you know that I’m not shy of a wardrobe challenge, don’t you?

So when the invitation arrived to spend a weekend in New South Wales’ Southern Highlands to celebrate a girlfriend‘s 40th, I did not hesitate to say yes and immediately set about excitedly implementing a wardrobe plan.

I know that many of you may find such actions excessive but you see I live in a part of the world that does not experience a real winter.

Mostly, I’m very happy about that but a part of me yearns to don boots, coat and a scarf in the knowledge that I can keep them on in the morning and not have to peel them off, layer upon layer until (by 10am) I’m wearing something more akin to a spring or autumn outfit.

For three days I got to fulfil my winter wardrobe fantasy, adopting a very Southern Highlands approach to what I packed and wore. According to hostess with the mostess, Beth from Babymac, I almost nailed the SH look … missing only pearls, to which one must apparently clutch at any given moment.

And can I tell you there were many pearl-clutching moments to be had.

I built my SH wardrobe around a number of key “forever purchases”. For the uninitiated, forever purchases are purchases that have a justification factor that surpasses all others. Otherwise known as investment pieces, they are typically classically styled pieces that can be worn season after season, bringing their cost-per-wear factor down to a negative situation.

For me, these pieces were: a wool pea coat, skinny dark denim jeans, long black boots, a cashmere scarf and a black, leather overnight bag.

The Southern Highlands outfit

Mimco hat | Karen Walker sunglasses | Everyday Cashmere scarf* | Sportscraft knit | Sportscraft coat | Sterling & Hyde bag | Mezi ring | WeWood Watch* | NYDJ jeans* @ Zambezee Boutique | Zoe Kratzmann boots*

I need to talk about a few things in this outfit. Firstly, the jeans. You’re not seeing much of them here but, yes, they’re from from favourite jean label, NYDJ. Now, out of my collection of NYDJs this Janice legging-style jeans is my absolute fave. I have them in black, navy, eggplant and now dark denim. And I’ll tell you something for nothing, these are the jeans I’ll be wearing most in the next few months. They are SO comfortable and the leg is slim enough to tuck into long boots or wear just so with ankle boots.

The scarf? I have a growing thing for cashmere. It’s light, envelopes you like a hug, yet keeps you cosy without the bulk. Love the retro style of this scarf with crochet features.

The hat? I bought it at Mimco five years ago for a winter race day thinking I’d be able to wear it a tonne of times “just because” thereafter. Well, of course, living in Queensland there isn’t a whole lot of opportunity to wear a winter-style felt hat, is there? I just may have made up for lost time across this weekend.

The bag? I travel a lot for work and a bit for fun. This is my new fave way of doing that. It’s too big for an everyday bag, unless doing a lot of shopping, but is perfect for stashing everything you need for an overnight flight and laptop etc. I’d love to tell you this is all I packed for my trip south but you know I’d be lying, don’t you? Of course I needed checked-in baggage to carry all my “options”.

Mimco hat | Sterling and Hyde bag

In keeping with the rural theme, I kept my arm party to a minimum with the new WeWood watch and my Noosa Amsterdam cuff. Very much love both. And yes, that watch is made of wood.

Noosa Amsterdam cuff | We Wood Watch

I’m more than a little in love with the Zoe Kratzmann boots. These are up a size than I usually wear on account of having to accommodate my ample left calf but I tell you they feel so comfortable and made me feel like my legs were longer and leaner than they actually are. Not to mention, they look fabulous fireside. That’s important, right?

Zoe Kratzmann boots

Enough of what I wore … here are few of those pearl-clutching moments from a weekend well spent …

… walking down the lane to the pub on a Friday afternoon …

Southern Highlands, New South Wales

… stopping to admire the gardens along the way …

Jonquils Southern Highlands New South Wales

… sitting outside to take in the vista despite it being colder than minimum overnight temperatures where I live …

Southern Highlands | New South Wales

… not worrying about the cold at all because a fireplace always beckoned.


Thanks BabyMac for a weekend filled with laughter, fine food, good company and way too much wine. I very much love your part of the world and I will be back … if only to wear my coat, boots and hat again.

… stay tuned for more from the weekend including a back-to-1973 dinner party and the compulsory donning of a kaftan. Of. COURSE.

Tell me, have you visited New South Wales’ Southern Highlands before?

Items marked with * were sent to me for editorial consideration

Comments 38

  1. Recently I was really, really low on cash and debts were eating me from all sides! That was UNTIL I decided to make money on the internet. I went to surveymoneymaker dot net, and started filling in surveys for cash, and surely I’ve been far more able to pay my bills!! I’m so glad, I did this!!! With all the financial stress these years, I really hope all of you will give it a chance. – q9zb

  2. Love love love the whole outfit Nikki! I am particularly taken with that hat. Oh how I love winter-wear x

  3. Yay! You got the Sterling and Hyde bag! I trialled mine for the first time for a 2 day work trip last week. It’s the perfect overnight/weekend bag and it smells divine!

  4. very atmospheric photos! Last year I was at the ‘original’ Highlands in scotland and it’s basically very similar, you can be wearing a coat in the morning and a t-shirt after lunch! (and that’s IN the summer). The BOOTS… OH THE BOOTS!!!!

  5. Looks like you had a fab time Nikki and I love your outfit. I bought a teal felt hat for the races, but we never got there because of rain! Hmmm it might have just become a ‘forever purchase’ (or perhaps I need to book a girls’ weekend!). I like the idea of a classic peacoat perhaps in camel for me as a long-term buy – our winter temps are similar so I’d probably wear it for 3 months of the year. Layering with scarves etc definitely brightens up winter here! xx

    1. Yes, my thinking with the coat is that it’s here for if I go out at night and want to keep warm to and from (and if it’s outside!) and then perfect for the travel I do too! Got it on sale too which helped.

  6. Whilst I like the idea of rugging up in the cold, I think I would get over it quickly. I think Brisbane is cold enough at the minute! But I do love a hat and think you Mimco one is gorgeous. If you ever have a wardrobe clean out and don’t want it … he hee!! I do also love that watch – what a great and unique thing!! I am off to look at getting myself one.

  7. Where’s the pics from that fabulous 1973 dinner party? I was loving the pickled onions and devils on horseback on Instagram 🙂 Love that Stirling & Hyde bag, did a little research on them on the iPad in front of the fire Saturday night after seeing your shopping pic.

  8. You should go to the Southern Highlands more often Nikki. Gorgeous clothes! It was minus 5 degrees here in the Yarra Valley the other day. It’s a whole other level of wardrobe!

  9. Yes I have and my cousin lives there so I can visit a lot if I want but it is cold enough where I live so I will give it a miss till it is warmer! I love your outfits you wore they are very much like my uniform that I wear everyday,and I do so love cashmere it is a wonderful fabric ,I have been vey lucky in picking up a few cashmere pashmina’s and scarves from my local thrift store ,but I am sad to say it closed last week because of a rent rise they were not willing to pay.I want to get some more NYDJs as they are very very comfy as you say.I will give hats a miss as I said apparently I look like a train driver so I won’t be doing hats.
    I love your pics from the weekend they are lovely and I am so glad you girls had a great time.Thank you Nikki for sharing with us.

  10. We enjoy a weekend and day trips to the Southern Highlands from our home in Sydney. We even have a favourite restaurant in Bowral called “Biota” so we’ll sometimes drive down for lunch on a Sunday.

    I think your outfit is perfect for Southern Highlands, but admit I normally need multiple light wool layers to keep me warm while providing some options for stripping down in front of the fire.

  11. It looks like you all had a fabulous weekend Nikki. Visiting my husbands family in Geelong is usually something we avoid in the middle of winter but with a 70th birthday coming up at the end of July we have decided we should brave the cold.
    I am a bit worried I don’t own enough warm clothes as max. temps of around 12-14 are just unheard of up here in sunny Central Qld. Your outfit looks fabulous and nice and warm. I have been putting off the expensive purchase of a coat but really need to get onto that. I just hope I haven’t left it too late and can still find something good. I think I will be avoiding going outdoors as much as possible.

  12. Or of course you could send ME all of the things so I can wear them? Or whatever…pleasure to have you here. What a lovely weekend it was! x

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