Your Guide to Packing for a Summer Escape

by Sophie Hart

Your Guide to Packing for a Summer Escape

Style expert Sophie Hart gives you the lowdown on how to pack for a sunny getaway.

Most of us take the opportunity to book a last minute tropical escape to beat the Winter chill, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll also be packing at the last minute.

Here are a few of my essential packing tips to get you through.

The Transit Outfit

This outfit is just as important as every other – maybe even more. Key items here include a comfy pair of stylish low-slung pants or leggings, a cotton tee – something breathable and comfy is perfect, a cardigan which comes in handy when you get a little chilly in air conditioning on the plane or in transit (try cashmere) and a leather jacket (soft and durable). Roll up a sundress (made from non-crush material) in your hand luggage so that you can pop this on just before you land. Good headphones, lip balm, neck pillow and a soft shawl are a must!

Combination Outfits

If you’re conscious of packing light, lay your selection of clothing out on your bed before you start packing. This gives you a really good indication as to how many outfits you can piece together by getting a clear idea of how everything works tonally. After you have done this – cut it in half!


To avoid ironing on your holiday, try to avoid high-maintenance fabrics that crush easily – you want to pack light, natural fabrics like cotton, silk or linen. These are also perfect for summer weather as they breathe.


Shoes can sometimes be the bulkiest item in your suitcase, so packing the right shoes is a game-changer. Always make sure you have a pair of thongs that you can wear to the pool, beach and outdoor bathrooms. A classic heel will go a long as they should match most outfits you have packed. Don’t forget pair of walking shoes – you’ll thank yourself after a day of seeing sites.


Accessorizing is the perfect way of mixing up your outfits. For a day to night look, you can pair your favourite necklace and rings with your day dress. It will keep you feeling and looking fresh.


Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Bra During Pregnancy

Top Tips for Choosing the Perfect Bra During Pregnancy

Finding a bra during pregnancy that is comfortable, adapts with changes in your body and makes you feel attractive can be a nightmare!

A poor-fitting bra worn during pregnancy and nursing is not only incredibly uncomfortable, it can lead to back and neck strain says Tracey Montford founder of maternity lingerie brand CAKE Lingerie. “Hormonal changes results in rapid growth and fluctuations of the breasts. The skin and tissue is placed under a considerable amount of strain. This is followed later by loss in elasticity and volume.”

Structured and supportive maternity underwear is designed to protect breasts against ligament damage and provide a much desired relief and comfort for pregnant women and new mums.

Tracey explains: “There are six different types of bra tailored to suit a woman’s body shape and requirements based on the stage of her pregnancy. This begins from as early on as 0-3 months, up until she finishes nursing.”

0-3 months – An increase in cup size begins early on in a pregnancy with hormones creating glandular development and leading to engorgement in the first three months. Tracey advises on a stretchy, seamless maternity bra. “This will grow with you and will provide relief as you begin to develop,” she said.

3-6 months – The breast growth will start to slow during this period, however the ribcage will begin to expand. Tracey suggests: “Select a flexible-wire, non-wire or contour bra with six hooks and eyes. This will provide greater support and will allow extension with the body to manage growth.”

6-9 months – Cup-size at this stage will last into the first four weeks of nursing. “Purchase a minimum of three supportive nursing bras providing you with one to wear, one in the wash and one for your drawer. I recommend a flexible-wire, soft cup, contour, or fuller figure bras,” Tracey says.

Nursing – Flexibility is a necessity. Tracey explains: “Your breasts will swell and rapidly change size as they try to regulate milk supply. Use a non-wired, stretchy, seamless maternity bra that grows with you. A comfortable, non-restrictive bra can help avoid complications such as mastitis.”

Tracey’s top tips for maternity underwear shopping

1. Select a bra that fits comfortably to the near-tightest hook to accommodate the ribcage as it expands from the second trimester onwards.

2. The bra should provide good bust support and, importantly, doesn’t flatten or squash your breast. Your breasts should appear separated and fit clearly into each cup.

3. A bra must comfortably fit towards the loosest hook. This will accommodate the ribcage as it contracts to its original size.

4. If you only need to increase your band size, remember to drop a cup size and vice versa. Bra bands are designed relative to body size.

5. Properly fitted flexible-wire bras provide superior, unrestricted support. When selecting one, ensure it sits under and behind the breast tissue.

6. Importantly, your size will most probably vary with each pregnancy. It’s best to be re-sized to ensure you receive the right levels of comfort and support.

Finding the Right Fit

Finding the Right Fit

The right bra can eliminate the dreaded ‘back fat’, lift breasts and create perfect cleavage.

So why are so many of us (statistics state over 70%) still wearing ill fitting bras?

Follow these hard and fast tips from Simone Pérèle’s senior lingerie fitter, Marlene Hassett to find the right bra that will not only make you look great and your clothes feel better, but feel great too.

1. Make sure your bra sits in a straight line around the body

2. Always fasten your new bra comfortably on the middle hook

3. All underwire should be sitting on the rib cage and not on breast tissue

4. The centre separator should sit firmly against your breast bone

5. The bra straps should be firm but not dig into your shoulders

6. There should not be any spillage over the cup or over the arm hole of the bra

7. Forget all of the above and be professional fitted. They can not only recommend the correct size but also the correct style that will best suit your body type.

Find The Perfect Sunglasses

Find The Perfect Sunglasses

The perfect pair of sunglasses can totally rock your summer. It’s the one accessory that instantly communicates style, mystery and even a great sense of humour or a certain seriousness.

Take, for example, one of Lindsay Lohan’s favourite styles — an elegant modernised cat eye (Dior’s Bagatelle) that suggests Catherine Deneuve respectability rather than Paris Hilton frivolity.

Effective as they are as a fashion statement and mood booster, designer shades can also make a major dent in your budget, with high-quality lenses running $200 and up. So it makes sense to choose this season’s pair with an eye, so to speak, on fresh new shapes, great frame colours and lens tints — and most important of all, the silhouette that flatters your features and channels your personality. To find that elusive pair, you’ll need an open mind, the stamina to try on at least a dozen pairs, and a sunny afternoon.

Choose the Shape That’s Right for Your Face

There’s no hard-and-fast rule for choosing frames for face shapes, but the experts suggest these guidelines for finding a flattering pair.

For round faces:

Metal frames with adjustable nose pads will keep lenses from resting on fuller cheeks, says Eden Wexler, who has the title “Celebrity Shades Consultant” for Solstice Sunglass Boutiques. Excessively round or square styles will exaggerate facial roundness, she adds.

For square faces:

Avoid frames that are flat on the bottom, as this will mirror the face shape. Instead, suggests Wexler, “look for a frame that has some curve or uplift — that’ll draw attention away from the jawline.”

For narrow faces:

Choose a frame shape that’s rounded or curved to add a touch of width to your face.

For every face:

In general, frames should be wider than the widest part of the face. When trying on sunglasses, do the “smile test.” “If the glasses rise up off your nose bridge when you smile, they’re not for you,” says Wexler. Eliminate pairs that press against your brows, touch your eyelashes, or squeeze your temples or your nose bridge.

Build a Sunglass Wardrobe

“Think of your sunglasses as you do your earrings,” says David Gonzales, owner of Fred Segal Eyes, in California, who’s known in Hollywood circles as the “Sunglass Whisperer” for his savvy ability to match faces with the right frames. “They’re like hoops and studs. You wear different things for different situations.”
To that end, he suggests at least two pairs: an updated aviator for sporty outings, and frames with a classic Jackie O vibe for dressier affairs. Beyond that — if it’s in your budget — the boutique owner recommends picking up a pair that’s just for fun.

“Experiment with colour,” suggests Gonzales. “Try a champagne frame with a bottle-green lens or a soft-gold frame with a plum lens.”

What’s Out

Frames studded with crystals, shields (glasses with one continuous lens instead of two separate ones), big splashy logos and super-oversized styles. “In general, ostentation is out,” says Solstice’s Wexler, a point that Gonzales echoes. “My celebrity customers now look for subtle details that suggest personal style,” he says.

Easy and Fresh Summer Fashion

Easy and Fresh Summer Fashion

Summer – it’s the season for bright breezy colours, inventive fashion and showcasing your unique style – and no one knows this better than Jana Kachel: designer of feminine woman’s wear line KACHEL.

Creating pieces that are versatile from day to night, and acknowledging that true fashion is about creating a unique, personalised look with a nod to trends, we asked the designer to weigh in on her hot tips for summer fashion.

What are the key trends we should look out for this summer?

To me this summer it’s all about feminine dresses in electric bright prints that you can mix and match creating a girlish boho feel.

What’s the inspiration behind the KACHEL summer collection?

Kachel’s Summer collection embraces the endless summer of love. Delicious creamy vanilla, with tangy sorbets and fresh sapphire blues combine to create the ‘love in a mist’ colour palette. The eclectic prints are vibrant, bright and fun, created whilst daydreaming of tropical getaways.

This feminine collection is designed to mix and match and create confidence in the wearer helping her explore ranges of colour, prints and textures.

What are your favourite KACHEL pieces for summer?

Hard question because I love them all, however this collection I adore the silk pants in both prints (I wear them almost every day to work) I also love the sapphire lace pieces as they are feminine and perfect for mixing and matching. The Ellie Dress in Positano printed silk is also one of my favourites; this dress is a classic shape in a fun bright print perfect for fun summer nights.

What’s the secret to take an outfit from day to night

I’m a full time working mum so all my outfits take me from day to night, meetings to play dates and walks in the park. Layering helps to mix up an outfit and I always add fun accessories where I can.

What are the 3 items every woman should have in their wardrobe?

I think this summer every woman should own a printed pair of silk pants a coloured lace dress and a bright blazer.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Don’t be afraid to mix/clash colours & prints.

Who’s your style icon and why?

Kate Moss – She has an effortlessly chic style with the ability to look fashionable without even trying.

In for the Kill: How to Dress for a Killer Interview

by Sophie Hart

In for the Kill: How to Dress for a Killer Interview

Getting dressed for an interview sounds simple, but there can be a few complexities that come along with it. You want to impress, feel confident and also look your best.

Here are some simple tips from our Style Expert, Sophie Hart, to make it easier for you to go in for the kill!

Dress for the job you want: If you’re going for a job as a personal trainer, it probably won’t be appropriate to turn up sporting a suit, and vice versa. If the work environment is corporate and formal, present yourself in a similar fashion. I’m not recommending your stifle your personality, but do dress appropriately – you want to impress by making the interviewer feel that you will reflect the brand and business appropriately.

Nothing too sexy: This is key. Stay away from sheer fabric, anything too fitted and definitely no short skirts. Keep it classy.

When pairing heels with your outfit, try something mid-sized. Avoid stilettos and don’t even think about turning up in your thongs! If you have to wear a flat, try a nice sandal or ballet flats.

Accessories should be simple and understated. Make sure you have clean hair and nails – from top to toe and keep your makeup on the natural side. Don’t forget to make sure your foundation is blended correctly and it matches your skin tone!

Is Your Wardrobe Ready for Summer?

Is Your Wardrobe Ready for Summer?

Is your wardrobe equipped with everything you’ll need to look your best this as the weather heats up?

The sun is well and truly shining and temperatures are heating up across Australia. Before you reach for your worn-out thongs and oversized tank top, have a think about shaking up your summer wardrobe this year.

Start by thinking about your summer wardrobe’s colour scheme. If you usually stick to basic black and neutrals all year long, why not add a few hints of colour this year?

Take inspiration from the Pantone Fashion Colour Report, which highlights placid blue, cayenne and radiant orchid as colours to watch out for in 2014.

If you’re hesitant to wear bright colours, introduce them slowly by way of jewellery, silk scarves and straw handbags. Before too long you’ll be brave enough to step out in a full on multi coloured outfit!

Wardrobe essentials

If your budget doesn’t quite stretch to a complete wardrobe overhaul, stick with the basics. All Australian summer wardrobes need a good pair of thongs, a pair of denim shorts and a failsafe barbecue outfit.

Women may want to incorporate a floaty summer dress and a pair of wedge heels to navigate more sophisticated affairs, whereas men can often make do with a short-sleeved collared shirt and some dressier shorts for those occasions where a little class is called for.

Don’t neglect your beachwear, either. The perfect swimsuit is hard to find, so hit the shops now to make sure you’re covered for Christmas cavorts in the surf.


As much as we Australians love our thongs, sometimes a restaurant, wedding or party calls for something a little more upmarket. The sweltering heat at this time of year may mean socks and dress shoes are out of the question, so men could investigate a stylish pair of leather sandals or some on-trend boat shoes.

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