Your style questions answered

Nikki ParkinsonFashion 13 Comments

Whenever I get a fashion or style question that I think others may be interested in, I’ll answer it in a blog post like this.

If you have a question you’d like considered for this, please email me: [email protected] – I can’t answer all personally but if it has a wider appeal, you may get ideas from these posts.

Please don’t message me via the Facebook page – the Styling You Facebook page gets hundreds of messages and it’s almost impossible to manage as you can’t file them away for answering.

You might also find answers to your questions in the search bar to the right of this blog post or ask for advice in the Styling You forum.

Let’s get stuck in and get your style questions answered.

Occasion dress

I have some events coming up in the next few months and I’m after a dress that I can wear to all of them. One event is the races (Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival) and another is a charity lunch in May (everyone frocks up for it). I don’t wear dresses a lot, but I do like to wear one when the occasion calls for it. I always struggle buying special occasion dresses in autumn/winter (factoring in a jacket/coat, what shoes etc) so your help would be greatly appreciated!I am a 40 year old mum and a size 10 (olive skin, brown hair). Sonya

Whenever I’m thinking of buying a special occasion frock, I always think ahead to how many times I can wear it that season for different events. This makes so much budgeting sense. I also like to think beyond this season and consider whether it’s timeless enough to be worn in years to come, even as a work or office dress with a jacket. The latter may not apply to you, Sonya, but it may to others. The other tricky thing to keep in mind is that while May and June are cooler months, they are not necessarily cold months in Queensland. Your racing outfit should feature some winter elements in it (hoisery, gloves, winter textures in the hat etc) but you may not need them for keeping warm. The charity lunch will most probably be held inside so I wouldn’t worry too much about factoring in a winter coat because, if needed, it will be removed on arrival. A jacket – or a soft trench – can be a feature over a shorter sleeve dress but without being too warm to wear.

My go-to destinations for Queensland winter occasion frocks are Sacha Drake and Maiocchi (check out this dress I featured on the blog from the latest collection) as these are Queensland labels which understand the need for trans-seasonal pieces that can be layered during our mild winters. They both also design not for the latest trends but with the aim of creating timeless wardrobe pieces. Leona Edmiston also offers up some great options. Perth-based label Morrison understands our climate too and creates beautiful pieces that are a relaxed blend of trend and timeless. And good news, the first Morrison store for Queensland is opening at Indooroopilly Shopping Centre next Monday (March 23).

Here’s just one styling suggestion that might work for you.

How to style an occasion dress - autumn

1. Sacha Drake dress $249 | 2. Target trench $129 | 3. Mimco clutch $179 | 4. Adorne earrings $19.95 | 5. Nude heels $149.95

Denim skirts

I am looking forward to seeing your style through the winter months as I tend to wear jeans most of the days of the week and I would like to see other alternatives. I did want to ask a question. I have never seen you wear denim skirts of any kind. I would like to know your thoughts on them for a casual style outfit? Anna

That’s very observant of you Anna – I don’t wear a lot of skirts at all, let alone denim ones. It’s not that I don’t like skirts, it’s just that most are more formal than my usual shorts/pants options I reach for during the week. I do have quite a few stretch fabric skirts that layer well. Some are more summer than winter but my winter ones get a workout with knits, boots and tights when it cools down. I love a leather or leather-look skirt for this season worn with a chambray skirt and heels or ankle boots. I do own one denim skirt too – and your message has prompted me to get it out and wear it more often. At the moment (between seasons) I’d wear it with a half-tucked in white shirt or pale denim shirt and espadrilles or sneakers (for casual); heels (for lunch out). An example of an updated denim skirt look can be seen here; here; here; and here. The longer the skirt, the more the need for a heel. Shorter or to the knee you can work in flat shoes.

Here’s an autumn style suggestion. Roll the sleeves up on the shirt, half tuck it in at the front of the skirt. Alter the skirt so it falls no longer than the top of knee. Wear the knit around your neck like a scarf/wrap.

how to wear a denim skirt in autumn

1. Sportscraft denim skirt $99.95 | 2. Country Road knit $129 | 3. Seed shirt $89.95 | 4. Louenhide bag $99.95 @ Birdnest | 5. Nude flats $129.95

Sleeveless knits

I’m wondering if you might consider doing an upcoming post on styling a sleeveless knit. I’ve just bought this one (pictured below) from Country Road because of its fabulous front opening, which will be perfect for breastfeeding my soon to arrive newborn. However, other than putting a boring white long sleeve top underneath I’m feeling a bit out of my depth in terms of how to style it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. There’s such a plethora of these sleeveless knits in the shops this year that I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling puzzled. Tara

This is such a great purchase Tara – not least because you will be able to easily breastfeed your baby while wearing it. A sleeveless knit like this and yes there are lots of different styles around – long and short – that make great autumn pieces now but can be layered with longer sleeves and coats when it cools down. The knit works to keep the main part of our body warm in a way more stylish way than a puffer vest would (I know, I’m controversial like that!). As for what to wear underneath as an alternative to white (and I don’t think white is boring), a tank looks great now and you could opt for a breastfeeding tank or tee, then as it cools down wear open with a chambray shirt or a plaid shirt; and also look for fine knits or long-sleeve tees in black, navy and stripes for a great contrast. Bonds and Metalicus offer up some great alternatives.

Here’s a styling suggestion.

How to style a sleeveless vest or cardi

1. Bonds top $25 (on sale) | 2. Jeanswest Prima Denim jeans $120 | 3. Country Road tunic $119 | 4. Il Tutto baby bag $149.40 (on sale) | 5. Frankie4 leather sneakers $219.95

Got a question? Email me: [email protected] Got something to add to my advice above, fire away in the comments below!

Comments 13

  1. Thank you Nikki! I feel much more confident about styling this sleeveless knit now, and not looking like I’m wearing the exact same thing every day 🙂 I hadn’t considered a stripe top (I don’t own one!) but I’ll be on the look out now.

  2. Great post Nikki I have a sleeveless white/off white knit I bought from Susan’s ages ago I must ember to wear it when the weather cools down!I love all your tips thank you Nikki Xx

  3. all good tips thankyou nikki!
    I’m loving the country road tunic … sleeveless vest … live in them, as they hide my short waist beautifully! … enjoy your day! … love m:)X

  4. I see those Frankie4 lace ups come in red, too…I’m thinking it may be time to upgrade my red Cons into something more supportive for my trip to Europe.

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