Hey Guys! How was your weekend? I spent weekend braving the cold trying out the food at Broadway market in Hackney where I chose to give into my Vietnamese craving for some ‘Banh Mi Thit’ (a traditional Vietnamese crunchy bread roll filled with pickled veggies and grilled meat of your choice). If you’re Vietnamese like me or live in Melbourne, you’ve no doubt had one these from the Western or Eastern suburbs and if you’re as old as me, can probably reminisce about the days when we called the rolls ‘Two dollar bread.’ They’re about four dollars now (I gobbled down as many as I could when I was back in Melbourne) and in London, they’re a rip off at £5 and sadly, no where near as good.
Anyway, I seem to always digress … I’ve received a few questions through my blog/tumblr so wanted to share the answers with you guys:
Hi Tien… as a fellow Aussie gal, I really enjoy reading your posts and I love your sense of style. My question is actually really simple… Can you recommend a good brand for a pair of black skinny jeans that doesn’t fade! I am looking for something skinny (though not super skinny), comfy, doesn’t break the bank, is jet black and stays jet black! Thanks x
T-Styled Me Answered:
Hiya! Aww thanks, I’m glad you’re enjoying my posts I always imagine only a few of my friends reading my blog so it’s lovely to hear from readers! You know what, I actually don’t own a pair of ‘real’ black denim jeans – I have every other variation known to man (jeggings, supersoft skinny jeans etc) and I haven’t tried many jeans back in Australia for while to recommend to you however…
From personal experience, I’ve found Saba jeans the best quality for a reasonable price (approx $129) that fit my shape (I prefer high rise compared to mid rise) are comfortable and have kept their shape for years. I currently live in these Saba jeans (termed jeggings but have enough structure to be considered jeans). I have heard that Saba have had bad batches of these jeans so as a warning just to be on the safe side, speak to the staff to see if there have been any issues (I bought mine 8 months ago and didn’t experience any but just in case they’ve changed dyes recently). These are the ones I’m wearing below:
Does your workplace have ‘Casual Fridays’? My department does casual Fridays unofficially and I say unofficially because half the department still suits up while the other half (like me) takes full advantage of the situation by wearing jeans. The plan to continue to do so until we get told otherwise 😛
My previous workplace in Melbourne used to hold training seminars and offsites with a ‘business’ or ‘smart casual’ dress code often with the cavent of “no ripped jeans.” I always giggled at such an obvious exclusion; the thought of the Partners of the firm whipping out their ripped gardening jeans and slashed t-shirts was ludicrous. My colleagues and I would always deliberate on what to wear (strength in numbers or something like that), conscious of coming across as ‘too casual’ and drawing attention for the wrong reasons. Secretly I thought it was all a conspiracy to scare us into wearing business attire to be honest but in retrospect there may have been a bit too much paranoia on my part back in those days but that doesn’t mean it’s still easy to decide what to wear on casual Fridays…
My friend Momo shared a similar gripe a few weeks back about not really knowing what or how to dress on ‘smart casual’ Fridays so I thought it the perfect opportunity to do a TSM styling session with her and put together an outfit she could wear on a casual Friday. As with all my styling session, let’s get in context and get to know Momo a little better:
Momo’s Profile Stats:
- Momo’ Height: 5 ft 4” (1.65m)
- Skin tone: Medium (on the tanned side)
- Build: Slim
- Body shape: Rectangular. Refer to this post if you need a reminder
- General Clothing size: Size Extra Small (XS) i.e UK/AUS 6
- Lifestyle: Busy and active – Momo is career oriented often working long hours, loves spontaneous travelling trips (NY in particular), drinking bubbly and running.
- Shopping preference: Wants basis
- Shopping frequency: Frequently with purchases on average fortnightly.
- Style Preference: Classic and definitely loves her designer brands
- Personality (in three words): Smart, professional and uniquely-Momo xx
Momo felt she always wore the same routine outfit each Friday: black jeans, black flats and a knit top. While she claimed she didn’t have anything in her wardrobe to wear, I begged to differ because the day I had the opportunity to review Momo’s wardrobe, I felt the need to knock some sense in her. She has a fantastic wardrobe that had ME drooling! It was filled with great basics, colourful accessories, bold statement jewellery (nod of approval) and shoes and handbags galore. Here’s the outfit I put together using Momo’s wardrobe:
Momo works in a very corporate environment; regularly consulting for external clients so keeping in mind the professional context, I put Momo in a pair of smart jeans to demonstrate that it’s ok to wear blue denim in the office on casual Fridays and how to dress them up to a chic and corporate level by adding a pair of heels and a smart fitted jacket/blazer. The striped top inside was a causual piece that Momo would usually only wear in Summer with shorts but by teaming it up with the fitted jacket and heels this instantly brought a bit of personality to the otherwise neutral outfit.
Depending on how casualness of your work environment, accessorise your outfit accordingly. For Momo’s professional enviornment, I added the ever classy YSL artsy cocktail ring to match her closed toe patent leather heels. I personally can never bring myself to wear open toe-d shoes in the office no matter how hot or relaxed a workplace is and I think it’s just a personal preference or that fact that I came from a relatively conservative work environment starting out. We added a chunky chain bracelet that I know Momo loves but doesn’t wear nearly enough to tie in the colours of her jacket and top and kept the rest of her jewellery minimal. Continue reading
Hi Tien! Love your blog! I need some help – I usually wear one simple outfit (blazer, trousers, sweater or A&F/RL shirt) and it can look really dowdy, old and boring. I have no idea how to accessorise or make my outfits look different or exciting! Please help!
T-Styled Me Answered:
Thanks for your question Kim! There’s nothing wrong with throwing on a safe outfit that works but if you find yourself reaching for that same outfit each time, you’ll naturally feel uninspired and it’s a sign to start trying new looks! If you feel most comfortable in a blazer and slacks, I’d suggest making this more exciting by mixing up different textures and colours as a start. Here are small changes I would make to freshen up your described outfit.
1. Alternate the RL shirt / A&F t-shirt with …
Source / I love a preppy RL crested shirt and a casual A&F tee but if you swap these for a fine silk or polyester shirt like Miranda Kerr’s above, you’ll instantly soften the look.
2. Replace / alternate your trousers with …
Zara Denim: Instore at the moment … I’ve very tempted!
3. Swap your blazer once in a while for …
Source / A perfect example of how colour and accessories brighten up your outfit instantly
4. Ditch your sneakers for …
Source / An alternative way to wearing ankle instead of always tucking them in
5. Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise ! (This is most fun part!)
Source: Try several pieces of jewellery that have a common colour theme
In my opinion, the accessories and shoes will make the most difference to your outfit so concentrate on taking some time to look through these at the stores. If you ever need a personal styling consultation and you’re in London – let me know and I can show you how!
Love, Tien xo