I Visited Australia and Learned a Lot About Style—Here's What I Won't Wear Again


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

Last week, I made the 15-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia for the first time. Over the course of the week, I got a taste of the fashion scene by sitting in the audience at dozens of shows and presentations. What I learned is that it’s a fashion week brimming with cool designers that have distinct points of view that that range from strong swimwear (at brands like Matteau and Bondi Born) to elegant eveningwear (just look to Christopher Esber and Michael Lo Sordo). I was also introduced to rising brands like Anna Quan and Double Rainbouu that rightfully gained buzz among the fashion set there to see their new collections.

When I wasn’t taking in the runway shows, I was also meeting with fashion insiders at dinners and events and spending time exploring the fashionable neighborhoods in Sydney. Spending time with the locals and observing the street style scene, it became very clear that style in Australia has its own set of rules that I found myself adopting during my time there. Ahead, find out what I learned about style in Sydney, see my Australian fashion week outfits, and shop the looks I wore.

SKIP: Head-to-toe Designer Looks

WEAR: Mix Luxe and Affordable Fashion


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

Instead of wearing an outfit plucked straight from the runway, Australian fashion girls love to blend luxury designer pieces with more affordable fashion finds. I followed suit by pairing this newly launched set from the Song of Style collection at Revolve with the Chanel heels I've owned for years.

SKIP: Trendy Denim

WEAR: Straight-Leg Jeans


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

One thing I definitely notice more in the States: super-trendy denim styles. Instead of jeans with more experimental silhouettes or finishes, the Aussie fashion set was spotted wearing classic styles like straight-leg jeans.

SKIP: Just Labels From Back Home

WEAR: Australian Designers


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

Whether it's well-established local designers like Christopher Esber, buzzy labels like Réalisation Par, or newer brands like Matteau, a visit to Australia is definitely a time to show support for the local talent. You'll spot the locals wearing all of their cool homegrown labels.

SKIP: Accessories as an Afterthought

WEAR: Thoughtful Accessories


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

During the shows at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, I noticed that accessories were often the focal point of outfits I was seeing on the street style scene. I made sure that mine did the talking for some of my looks like this one where I swapped in tall boots with a suit instead of heels like I would normally wear.

SKIP: High Heels

WEAR: Comfortable Shoes


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

The locals opt for sneakers and low heels over shoes that are challenging to walk in. In Sydney, comfort always wins out.

WEAR: One Major Trend at a Time


(Image credit: @kristenmarienichols)

The Aussie fashion set definitely leans into the trends of the moment, but they limit their outfits to one major trend at a time (like the puffy sleeves in my outfit here).

This press trip was paid for by IMG. Editor's opinions are her own.

Next up: 17 pieces I've been wearing on repeat.

Associate Director, Special Projects

Kristen Nichols is the Associate Director, Special Projects at Who What Wear with over a decade of experience in fashion, editorial, and publishing. She oversees luxury content and wedding features, and covers fashion within the luxury market, runway reporting, shopping features, trends, and interviews with leading industry experts. She also contributes to podcast recordings, social media, and branded content initiatives. Kristen has worked with brands including Prada, Chanel, MyTheresa, and Luisa Via Roma, and rising designers such as Refine and Tove, and her style has been featured in publications including Vogue.com, Vogue France, WWD, and the CFDA. Before Who What Wear, Kristen began her career at Rodarte, where she worked on assistant styling, photo shoots, and runway shows, and at Allure, where she moved into print and digital editorial. She graduated from the University of Southern California, where she studied art history and business, and currently lives in New York.