Archive for December, 2009

December 31, 2009

New Year = Clean Slate

So here we are, at the end of another year. Not only that – another decade! The end of the year is always a good time for reflection. Time to think of things we’ve achieved and things we are yet to achieve. Long forgotten “resolutions” (‘eat better, workout more’ sound familiar?) and regrets are best left in the past. It’s time to keep moving, keep looking forward and keep reaching for our goals. Make this year the year you focus on yourself. Focus on what brings you peace and what makes you truly happy. Be a good person, a kind person, an inspiring person. Do not be afraid, be thankful. Be thankful that you’ve made it this far in life. Look forward to another year of the unknown. Recycle. Do everything you can to heal yourself and heal the planet. Tell your family and friends that you love them. Tell yourself that you’re beautiful, because you are. Read more books. Seek out knowledge. Stop and look around you. Make a difference. Have a voice. Believe in yourself. Help a stranger because you can. Inspire yourself so you can inspire others. Meditate. Reflect. Have fun with life, because life is just a crazy game. Love as many people as you can because we’re all in this together. Be positive because it really makes a difference. Use your energy for good. Be yourself. Just BE.
December 30, 2009

Organising Your Wardrobe – The Office

I spend 5 days a week (sometimes 6) at work, so the majority of my wardrobe contains work wear. At first I found this a struggle and was annoyed that all I seemed to be buying were clothes “for work”. But I’ve since adapted, and changed my habits so that when I shop for work clothes I make a conscious effort to choose pieces that I can mix and match for work & play. Here are some guidelines for building your wardrobe for working in an office.

Think about your job. What is appropriate for your office? Not all offices are the same, so not all office dress codes are the same. Your office should have a standard dress code within their company policy/procedure manual. If you haven’t received this, don’t be afraid to ask for a copy from your manager or supervisor. If your office does not have a set list of guidelines, take a look around at your co-workers. They should be a good reference for what is appropriate. When in doubt, dress UP. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Unless of course you are one of the lucky ones who actually HAVE the job that you want.

Start with good quality basics. After thinking about what is appropriate for your workplace, invest in a good set of pieces that you can mix and match. This would be a good time to think about what kind of outfits you would like to put together, keeping in mind what your personal style is and what will suit your body type. Whether you’re buying pants, skirts, dresses or a suit – look for pieces that are well made and from good quality material. Keep in mind the fact that you will probably wear these items the most, so you want them to last as long as possible.

Find inexpensive “filler” pieces. Building your wardrobe is a gradual process, and in the mean time it’s important to find inexpensive filler pieces that you can wear while you are looking for the perfect items to fit into your wardrobe. You can usually find v-neck or scoop neck tops, blouses and plain cardigans or sweaters for reasonably cheap. Further down the track you can replace these with better quality items if you so desire.

Be well heeled. In my opinion there are two types of women in this world. Those who can walk for miles in heels, and others (like me) who are not so lucky. Those of you who are like me will need to get yourself some comfortable flats to wear if you have a commute to/from work. (please no sneakers!!!) Keep your heels stored under your desk or carry them with you to and from work. Keep your shoes subtle at work. Go as high as you like as long as you can walk in them, but anything too flashy will probably be inappropriate. You can’t really go wrong with a good pair of black leather round toe pumps.

Keep your accessories classic. I like to keep it simple when it comes to accessories when at work. I never really wear much more than my diamond stud earrings (or white gold studs, depending on my mood) and my engagement ring. If you’re going to wear jewellery to work, keep it low-key and classic. Giant chandelier earrings and statement necklaces might be great for going out on weekends, but they’re usually not a good idea for the office.

The main point to keep in mind is that when you’re at work you are not only representing yourself, you are representing the company that you work for. So keep things neat, classic and respectable at all times.

Note: This post was in response to an email from a blog reader. If you have any post suggestions or questions you would like to ask me, feel free to email them through!

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December 30, 2009

NYE Style / Blaine Ashley

Every year I get excited for New Years Eve, and every year it seems to be a major let down. I’m assuming that this year will be no different, but I’m hoping that my low expectations might help to make it a more enjoyable night! (twisted logic, I know) One thing that always makes me happy though, is shopping for a dress for the big night. What better way to ring in the new year than in a beautiful new outfit? If you’re in the market for something uniquely beautiful why not check out Blaine Ashley for some ideas. Blaine Ashley is an online boutique that carries a select range of contemporary designer pieces, run by Oahu based stylist Blaine Ashley. I have my eye on quite a few items, but my choices for New Years Eve would be…

If the name wasn’t enough to catch my eye, the dress certainly was. Worn with a casual up-do and some gold sandals, this dress would be perfect for a summery New Years Eve celebrated in Australia – preferably with a cold cocktail in hand!

If there is ever a time to glam it up, it’s New Years Eve. And what better way to do that, than in a beautiful long length jumpsuit? Worn with high-HIGH heels, super long hair (and maybe some diamonds), this jumpsuit would be perfect to ring in the New Year somewhere glamourous.

If you’re opting for a more casual night, this dress is the perfect choice. It’s simple and comfortable, but the gold zip front and tiered ruffled skirt give it a little something extra. Worn with loose, feminine waves and some comfortable flats, this dress would be great for a NYE spent somewhere stylish but low-key.

If any of these pieces catch your eye, be sure to head over to Blaine Ashley to have a little browse for yourself! While you’re there be sure to take advantage of the generous 20% off that Blaine Ashley has offered to the readers of The Belle Lumiere. Just enter BELLEPERK at the register until January 15 to receive 20% off of your purchases. Happy shopping!

December 19, 2009

Imogen Morris Clarke

Honestly, I have never been a huge fan of models. They are so otherworldly in their beauty that I find it hard to draw personal inspiration from them. There is something so untouchable about them, something so unreal and almost unlikeable. Occasionally though, there will be models that I am drawn to, models that have a certain quality to them that I find inspiring. Imogen Morris Clarke is one of those models. Her face just blows me away.

image source: style

December 18, 2009

10,000 Hits Giveaway Pt 2

Seems like today will be the day! We are getting closer and closer to 10,000 hits. Don’t forget to screencap the site (with the hit counter showing) if you are the 10,000th reader! Once you have screencapped the image, email it to me at thebellelumiere@gmail.com. If you are not #10,000 but are relatively close, be sure to screencap it and send it my way anyway. The closest reader to 10,000 wins – but there will be a runner up prize too. Good luck!

ETA: We have our winners! Congratulations to Cait from Lefevre Style! You were first in, best dressed. And congratulations also to our runner up, Em from Emscharitykiss! Thankyou to ALL who entered, it was a lot of fun!

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December 17, 2009

ShopStyle StyleBook

Before Polyvore, there was ShopStyle! This was the first site that I really used to style and put together different outfits. If you want to see some of my early “styling” work, check out my profile here! I haven’t updated since 2007… I should really get on to that…! I also have a Polyvore stylebook but so far every look on there has been created for challenges on various websites…

Did you have a stylebook on Shopstyle or Polyvore? Share the link!

ETA: I have already had a couple of emails from people asking me for styling assistance after this post, which is lovely! I have helped style my family and friends, and friends-of-friends in the past. If you need any help with personal styling, drop me an email at thebellelumiere@gmail.com