I Lived in Sydney for Six Years—Here's What I'd Never Buy Again

When I moved to Sydney from New Zealand, I was all about stacked friendship bracelets and cocktail rings, fur vests and leopard print. Palazzo pants and high waisted, skinny leg Nudie Jeans were also high on rotation. It was 2011 after all.

The first thing I noticed about fashion in Sydney was the sheer choice—whether you were into high-fashion or high-street, there were endless stores, brands and sales to entice and inspire you. While I like to think my core style remained pretty consistent—a lot of black and a lot of denim—the accessibility to trends saw a few questionable purchases end up in my wardrobe. Living in Sydney meant an endless array of events, gatherings and work functions—and the mentality that you couldn’t (or shouldn’t) be seen in something more than once felt very apparent.

What I’ve learnt, both since moving out of Sydney and as I’ve gotten older is that buying what’s ‘current’ is just not for me. While affordable styles certainly keep your wardrobe relevant, are they truly serving you? For me, the answer is no.

Since working with slow fashion pioneer Kacey Devlin and sustainably conscious dotcom destination The UNDONE, I’ve come to understand more than ever that less is more. I don’t need constant newness and what works best for me is a very formulaic wardrobe that makes me feel good. My aim for the year ahead is to invest in pieces I want to wear forever. Yes that means my purchases are likely to be more expensive, but it’s with the intention that they will be worn over and over, and over again.

Here’s my summer edit of pieces to last a lifetime.

INVEST IN DRESSES

Look for dresses that can be dressed up or down. Don’t look to buy something you’ll wear only once, look for versatile styles that will serve a range of occasions or dress codes. I’m loving the Aje Ansel Dress—dress it up or down, wear it to the office with heels or sneakers or with slides for a more casual look. The Lee Mathews Lilian Balloon Sleeve Tunic—you’ll definitely see me in this with chunky black sandals more than once this summer. The Marle Frida Dress—effortless for the day but sophisticated enough to wear for any occasion. Simply add earrings and a red lip to take it into the night and the Kacey Devlin Pinnacle Midi Dress—a totally wearable and customisable slip dress. Wear it tied at the front, back or draped loosely through the shoulder straps. It’s a wear anywhere piece that I know I will live in.

WHEN YOU FIND A TEE YOU LOVE, GET IT IN EVERY COLOUR

Great T-shirts are hard to come by. You want something that washes well, maintains its shape and is affordable. Tees are such a versatile addition to your wardrobe—tuck them into high waisted jeans or slip skirts, team them with a blazer or throw them on with a pair of shorts for comfy weekend vibes.

I love the wearability of the Assembly Label Classic White Tee. It’s super affordable, super soft and comes in a whole host of colours. The Kacey Devlin Petite Collapse Back Tee is my go-to when I want comfort with a twist. Because lets be honest, no wardrobe is complete without a not so basic tee. The drape of this bamboo jersey tee makes it perfect for tucking plus the cut out back always makes me feel like I’m wearing something a little bit special.

TOP IT OFF

I’m definitely a shirt girl and I’m a sucker for anything with a detailed sleeve. The Kacey Devlin Rational Wrap Blouse and Cy Cy Wrap Blouse are my picks for wearing with high waisted denim and the Anna Quan Sylvie Shirt and Matice Long Sleeved Peplum from Sir The Label are on my wishlist. Zara also does a great selection of affordable shirting, but this year, I’ll be sticking to classic blacks and whites.

FIND THE RIGHT FIT

Silk slip skirts are certainly having their moment but this is one trend that’s here to stay – so investing in quality is an absolute must. The Kacey Devlin Duality Midi Skirt is an essential for all women. It’s an elegant and flattering silk midi skirt that was designed to help women to feel more confident. Let me explain—before founder and designer Kacey Devlin designed her first collection, she observed the way women dressed, she found that lot of them were self-conscious of their hips or waist, but this skirt can be tied and cinched to suit your size and shape and the foldover waistband allows you to tuck in your favourite tank or tee whilst giving you extra coverage and confidence.

THE FINISHING TOUCHES

While a minimal outfit can benefit from a little bit of bling, I’m all about jewellery that is subtle enough to be worn everyday but makes a statement at the very same time. I’m loving this Rope Necklace by All Blues and Holly Ryan Elongated Squiggle Earrings. I also love Sarah and Sebastian and Aristides Fine Jewels.

Opening image: Caroline McCredie