Top summer styling tips from fashion blogger, Chasing Cait

 

Caitlin Taylor
Chasing Cait

Caitlin Taylor is an Auckland personal stylist and everyday fashion blogger. She likes raspberry liquorice, is left handed and spends her spare time watching cats on the internet with her husband (I mean, who doesn’t right?!).

You can find more of her over on her blog, http://www.chasingcait.com

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This time of year is always my favourite time of year (well now until April, so basically any time it’s not cold, that’s the Queenslander in me!).

Want to know why I love it? Because you can pretty much wear what you want!

It’s not super-hot, it’s not really cold, so if you feel like wearing jeans, the temperature is perfect for jeans, but if you want to break out the summer dresses (like I have, it’s the Queenslander again!) it’s warm enough to wear them too!

BUT, as a personal stylist, this is also a busy time of year for me because I know that it’s when you start to look at your wardrobe and maybe realise you don’t have that much to wear that you feel good in.

That’s where I come in, so I’ve got four top tips to kick-start your style in time for summer…

Chasing Cait
Get your styling help for summer!

 

  1. Chasing Cait
    De clutter your wardrobe and make some room for this season!

    Clean out your wardrobe

You need to start with a relatively clean slate!. Get rid of what you aren’t wearing, and make way for some fun new stuff (check out my e-book Kick-start Your Style in 10 Days for the EXACT steps to a great wardrobe cleanout and more)

  1. Hit the shops at the right time!

Ugh, Christmas shoppers right? Make sure you choose the times you hit the stores well. Extended Christmas hours haven’t kicked in yet, but some malls now have extended trading hours most nights (Sylvia Park is open to 7pm most nights and 9pm Thursday AND Friday)
Or, hit the stores first thing – the staff are fresh, the stores are tidy and the carparks aren’t as full, all keeping your stress levels down!

  1. Learn to love the skin you’re in!

Summer can be a scary time for us girls, because, you know, arms. But guess what, no one is as worried about your arms (or tummy, or varicous veins) as you are.

It’s really important to love the skin you’re in, after all, the body you have is the only one you’ve got so dress to show off your good bits (yes, we all have them!) and go out and enjoy the mild weather!

4. Come to one of my styling workshops! (shameless plug here, but trust me, they are really educational and fun!)

Held in central Auckland every month this workshop is designed to help you build your confidence through learning how to dress best for your shape, size and personal style, in a fun, laid-back environment on a Sunday afternoon.

I’ve worked with hundreds of women in Australia and New Zealand in my time as a personal stylist. I’ve taken all that knowledge and bundled it up in to an easy-to-follow and practical workshop, to help you get the most out of of your time with me. You’ll get take-home worksheets so you can put into practice what we learn in YOUR wardrobe and everyday life at home!

The workshop is limited to 8 people, so there will be time to get one-on-one help and advice.

More info, or to book, head to my website here: http://chasingcait.com/personal-styling/finding-your-style-workshops/

So the moral of the story, be prepared, shop smart, feel good about yourself, and if in doubt, ask for help!

Happy Shopping!

Cait xoxo

Fashion styling workshop
At Cait’s workshop

 

Where to get your wedding dress made!

10/10/10 – we had the date picked, the venue, the menu and the guest list organised. Now for the simple matter of the perfect wedding dress. But after looking at dresses on enough racks to make me consider postponing the entire shebang, I needed a one-of-a-kind wow. But who to call? How would I find a good designer/dressmaker? Are there people who can take what’s in your head and make it a reality??

Rosemary Smith
My gorgeous wedding dress and organza cape!

Without Kate Middleton’s budget, I still wanted something unique and had a vivid picture in my mind. Alas it was not a picture I had seen in any wedding magazine, it just resided in my head. I needed a genius to interpret a Cruella De Vil type of Dalmatian fur cloak. But without killing any puppies.

Then out of the blue and quite serendipitously, while browsing Vogue pattern books and fingering faux fur at Centre Point Fabrics in Newmarket, in popped couture designer Rosemary Smith.

The vivacious 60-something had her long blonde hair tied up in a loose bun and shock of red swiped through the front. Dressed in a big baggy jersey and leggings, and sporting a laugh that could stop traffic, I discovered she is the unlikely designer to the rich and famous and can boast Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Lady Clare McKinnon as clients.

Revealing that I was on the hunt for the perfect designer, we nipped upstairs to her studio where outfits at various stages of completion hung on a huge rack that took up one wall, and current projects were pinned on mannequins, hidden from prying eyes by sheets. Photos pinned to her notice board show the breadth of her work, but when she whipped out a piece of butcher’s paper and quickly sketched me with dramatic collar bones and a perfect 1960s silhouette with a nipped-in waist, I loved her immediately.

Rosemary Smith

I started talking collars (I’m all about a little piece of fabulous on the neckline) and soon we’d moved from puppy fur to organza. Oooh, I said, with eager eyes, now we’re talking. What about the dress, she asked. I hadn’t really thought about it. I did like Julia Roberts 2001 Oscar dress with the Y shaped neck. She continued to draw. I also like cowl necks, I added, requiring an entirely new sketch. Oh and I’ve seen some really cute oyster coloured sequin fabric downstairs…

Down we went to have a look and a feel. She loved the fabric as much as I did and another new drawing was required. This time a cocktail-length dress with fluted hem and criss-cross straps emerged from the butchers paper. But my piece de resistance – the fabulous organza coat with flowing train and poofy collar – made it spectacular.

Rosemary Smith wedding
Rosemary decided I needed this little wrap for before the ceremony 🙂

In just five fittings of half an hour each, she had made my two stunning pieces.

“It’s all in the engineering,” she explained at one early morning fitting before work, her voice muffled by the pins in her mouth. A dart here, a tuck there, lift the waist. She makes it look easy, but then when you know what you’re doing, anything looks easy.

She puts in around 60 hours a week these days. “I have the most wonderful life,” she enthuses. One week she might be making a bright pink and purple medieval wedding dress and the next a christening gown or a pair of golf shorts.

Rosemary’s mantra is “it must be better than you dreamed of”. That’s a high bar to set, but given that she’s on the guest list of most of her brides and even travels abroad to attend her clients’ big day to style them before their journey up the aisle, it’s clearly a bar she manages to leap over time and time again.

Click here for Rosemary Smith Designer and make your appointment!

These boots are made for walking!

Shoe reviewAfter a month of traipsing over cobbled streets in Europe and walking for more kilometres than my phone app was able to bear (average over 9,000+ steps per day, and that includes whole days flying!) at the time of writing I have walked 202km – or nearly five marathons! I needed good footwear.

I also have plantar fasciitis. Uggh. It’s a painful foot condition due to my high instep and the way I roll my feet when I walk. I hobble around every morning to get my feet into the day. Since visiting the podiatrist a year ago and having some temporary orthotics made that I can slip into boots, things have quietly gotten better. Not all better, but we’re getting there. Basically I need good instep support, so it’s no more flats for me or cheap shoes made on production lines (which are so cute!)

The solution!

Before I left New Zealand for our month-long trip which included a 12-day cruise in the Med followed by the aforementioned days and days of walking I paid a visit to Ziera shoes.

To be honest, I always thought they were a little too fuddy duddy, but their delightful PR (that’s you Lou!) told me about their new designer and the new looks she’s bringing out. Did you know it takes about two years for a new design to hit the shelves?

Ziera shoe heel
This constructed heel is called Joanie (my grandmother’s name.) Perhaps I’ll get them anyway…

But I did find some cute pairs that also have the construction that I need for my poor old feet. I spent nearly an hour trying on everything from a gorgeous heel (my instep is so high that on a wet foot print the ball of my foot and my heel have no mark between them) it didn’t quite have the support I needed. But ohhhh… >>

I tried on some great metallic trainers and some very cute ballet flats that all have a little support – but still not enough.

In the end these little black beauties (they have sparkly sides, which is hard to see on this pic) have been the absolute best shoe I’ve ever worn for hours of walking. They have metal in the sole. I know this because every time I got back on the ship and went through the metal scanners I beeped.

Ziera walking shoe
Not the most flattering of angles, but I was trying to get the sparkly sides!

I have walked around Rome, Florence, Cannes, Athens, London, Barcelona and more and while I do have to confess to having sore feet by the end of the day, they are so much better than they’ve ever been. Seriously.

I also got these little jandals/flip flops/thongs (whatever your penchant) for the ship – and summer. Once I broke my summer toes in (you know what I mean after the soft skin of winter?!) these are the most comfortable jandals ever for feet like mine. They have a shaped instep that gives me great support – and I think they look adorable! I know I’ll live in them this summer.

Ziera jandal
The comfiest jandals I’ve ever worn

Then lastly I grabbed a pair of these little baby dolls (called Verona). To be honest, due to the fact that I was walking so much each day, I wanted to wear a shoe with socks, so these haven’t yet been thrashed. Instead I threw them on on the cruise ship and also could feel the support under my foot. They’re sweet and will be good this summer with leggings.

Ziera shoes
My cheeky little Verona
Ziera shoe review
And sometimes your shoes have their own fun on a cruise!

So there you go, my advice for feet that hurt and travellers needing something sturdy but cute to wear, have a look at. You can click here and see their catalogue too!

If you liked this post, I think you’ll like my next one: A Personal Post for the Girls… How not to sweat all round Asia!

Shoe of the week!

Shoe of the Week

If you see a great shoe, take a pic and email it to us pics@aucklandscene.co.nz with how much it is and where you can get it. Add your name and we’ll make sure you get the credit!

 

We’re loving this red suede pop for winter

$490 from Mi Piaci

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This week’s shoe is this killer orange suede heel.

$79.95 from Novo

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This one grabbed my attention today

$79.99 from Dotti