SECONDHAND STYLE : Clothes That Tell a Story

“This shirt is old and faded, All the colours have washed away, I’ve had it now for more damn years, That i can count anyway, I wear it beneath my jacket, With the colour turned up high, So old I should replace it, But im not about to try…”

These are the lyrics to the first verse of Mary Chaplin Carpenter’s beautiful song “The Shirt” and the inspiration for this month’s ”Secondhand Style” blog post with Jane from The Small Fabric of My Life. It’s a meaningful tale and if you listen in full, its all about how the most ordinary object (a shirt) can hold meaning, memory and emotion (Chapin’s words). Which has me thinking about my own and the garments that have been with me on my journey so far. Are you like that? Sentimental about what you have worn at certain times in your life or garments that have a story of their own? Perhaps you have a shirt? or a pair of shoes? I most certainly attach feelings and memories to the clothes in my wardrobe.. which may explain why i rarely rid myself of any 🤔 but what i thought i’d talk about is a piece i featured on IGTV last year, but have never written about. And since I print each of my blogs out and place them in a file marked: For Annabel and Penelope, “So you thought you knew your mother”, I thought this the perfect opportunity 😂

The Maker

This coat is not mine, I am just it’s custodian, and have been for a year of so. This coat belongs to my eldest daughter. Last year, after the passing of her Grandmother, my mother-in-law, the emptying of her wardrobe was the emotional task beautifully and meaningfully undertaken by her daughter. At the end of which she thought it would be nice if family and close friends perhaps look at her clothing and choose a piece or two. I took my daughters with me and we each chose a piece. My youngest and I have a bag. Annabel chose this coat, of which i will now tell you what I know….

My husband’s Aunt actually inherited the coat from her Mother-in-law, who, to keep it simple is my daughter’s Great Grandma. (And then gifted it to my Mother-in-law) Her name was Dulcie and this is the story of Dulcies’s coat. Dulcie was a great lady, who loved the best of everything. Tall, beautiful and vivacious, no one enjoyed a party like she did (my late father-in-law’s words about his Mother), she always had a ciggie in one hand and a G & T in the other. She was a Melbourne socialite who married into a successful and very hard working large Irish-Australian Family. The same family I married into. Actually, they are more than a family, they are a CLAN!!

And as a member of Melbourne’s high society, Dulcie had her clothes made by dressmakers. I’ve tried to find out about the maker Diedre Anita Reynolds, but to no avail. Although the address is quite exclusive, so i’m imagining the process involved pattern sketches, fabric selection and perhaps a few other garments ordered at the same time. The coat itself is exquisitely made. The fabric is a heavy weave, lined in the most stunning red, and there is a hand stitched hem. The pattern matching is impeccable! Oh those were the days! Pure couture!


While Dulcie loved to party, play tennis and golf, she was also married to a man who was keen on horse racing. He owned many horses and raced them in Grand Nationals, Steeples and even The Melbourne Cup. The reason i tell you this , is that I can imagine Dulcie wearing this coat trackside. Perhaps a scarf covering her ears to keep out the cold and large sunnnies to disguise the hungover eyes from the fun had the night before….Looking quite the lady I imagine, with her stature and elegant coat as she watched the trainers run their horses. No one in the family can verify this, but its a nice image in my mind. And its how i think of her when i put it on. When I am “wearing clothes that tell a story…”


And for a little more style inspiration, here’s the beginning of the IGTV i featured last year…

I’ll put the full episode up in stories on Instagram.

So, while this post isn’t about my own clothes memories, it has now become so. I’ve attached meaning, memory and emotion to ” Dulcie’s Coat”. A garment that spoke to my daughter and now its story will continue….

I wonder how Jane will interpret Mary Chapin Carpenter’s words. Why not pop on over to her blog now by clicking on the link below..

THE SMALL FABRIC OF MY LIFE

There’s a Spring in my step..


We are halfway through the first month of Spring! Yay! Warmer weather is on the way 😊 and i just realised that i haven’t written much about what’s been going on behind the scenes of my little Insta page…

The biggest change social media wise is that I’ve taken myself off all platforms except this blog and Instagram. I felt like i was spreading myself too thin and I wanted to claim some “real life” back. I even took the month of August off from shopping and ”sharing” new product. This gave me time to step away, go within, think and reevaluate why i spend so much of my time on here and what i want to achieve from it. I needed the break to do this. I felt like i was on a hamster wheel…does that make sense? Share, style, promote, share, style, promote … you get my drift. And while I know that is how I’ve grown this page, and i do love doing this, sometimes it becomes about too much “stuff” and ladies, that’s not all I want this to be about….

Speaking of which, the most delightful bundle of fur came into our lives this month. Meet Billy Ray, a brother for four and a half year old Joseph. What a joy he has been and oh so needed! With lockdown after lockdown, he has been the most welcome distraction 🙏🏻 Although, tbt, ive been thinking and looking for another Spoodle for about a year, in fact he was named in August 2020 and he has been on my ”futureboard” since January…so it was just a matter of time 😉 and that time, thanks to the universe 🙏🏻 was Now. Great time for a new pup, lots of nice weather for outside play, and with lockdown, lots of house training opportunities 😂 10 more days and he’ll be fully vaxed and another walking buddy for me 😊

I do love to walk! So i got myself a new pair of trainers, thanks to the generosity of Cinori Shoes. I know it’s not the most flattering stance, but these Woden Pernille leather sneakers above (in bright white) have been on my feet quite a bit. They seem to go with everything, and the cork innersole makes them shock absorbent. So for everyday casual wear and short walks to run errands, they are perfect! Cinori kindly gifted me the sandals in the top pics too. You will see them on my feet a lot this SS21. I do believe that for the warmer months, all I need are variations of these three neutrals in my shoe shelves.

Taking August off from ”sharing new product” allowed a different kind of sharing 🙏🏻 and I was lucky to be selected by African Fabrics Australia to take part in their creativity search. I chose a lovely batik fabric called Binta, an artisanal hand dyed cotton from Senegal. Being in “Lockdown”, I creatively drafted a simple pattern in newspaper from an old kaftan and managed to make a delightful one myself. It had been a while, but it was definitely satisfying sitting back in my sewing seat. And it was the reason i picked the Asailor in natural sandal from Cinori.


I also performed a couple of creative alterations on bags:


And there has been a little wardrobe rearrangement, in anticipation of warmer weather! And while I wait for that, it’s been so nice to dust the shelves, polish shoes and prepare for the new season. And since we are still in lockdown, i certainly have had the time! These four walls bring me such joy. Especially now we are homebound. I walk through this room from bed to bath several times a day. It’s a thoroughfare. But to me, its more than that, it’s my dressing room, my hobby and my passion. I really do love it and all it brings everyday.



And now Spring is here, and i’m ready for it, thanks to the wardrobe refresh, my break and the fact that I’ve recently embarked on a #feelgoodplan…but more on the latter in another blog post…

There’s certainly a spring in my step 😉

Sarah xx

SIGNATURE STYLE: Jeans 👖

My Jeans Collection… interestingly, all dark denim 🤔

This month on SIGNATURE STYLE Cindy, Kim and I are talking Jeans 👖 ….

Did you realise that there are more pairs of jeans on the planet than people? I heard that statistic on a podcast recently 😳 so then I started wondering what the average number women own is 🤔 and I discovered it’s 7 ….and the very same Ms Average apparently buys two new pairs a year! So together, with my current intention to be an under-consumer, this has me feeling pretty good when I admit to you that I own only 5 pairs (although I never wear the black skinny Dr Denim’s anymore) ! Which btw, range from my 10 year old (that’s a guess) thrifted Citizens of Humanity flared hipsters, to my 4 month old 1964 Denim Company high waisted bootlegs, meaning I average out at a new pair every 2 years. While all these facts and numbers mean something to some and nothing to others, it tells me I’m not really a Jeans buyer nor a Jeans wearer. I may use them a bit in my styling, but truth be told, they don’t get many “real” wears, hence I purchase them minimally. And considering denim is far from the most sustainable textile because of the required chemicals it needs, thousands of litres of water used and huge energy consumption to produce the finished product it’s a WIN WIN for me and the planet 😊 however…..

The good news is there are loads of Jean producing company’s addressing these supply chain issues to produce incredible sustainable and ethical denim garments and I’m going to share some of my current favourites with you 😊 and in doing so, will focus on what I would buy (or at least try) if I needed a new pair. And that is the wide leg. I covet comfort above all things, and being an A Shape Body Type (thighs being my largest area), I need the leg width to fall from the top of my thigh rather than cling to it, otherwise every time I stand up, I feel like I need to pull my jeans down from this part of my body. I’m sure there are readers out there that get this 😉 and it also explains, why all my denims are dark. I do look better when I dress my bottom half in a darker colour and my top half lighter! So, if I was to be looking for a new pair, I would be interested in trying these…

In addition to being A shaped, I have shorter legs and a longer torso. So ideally, a full length jean with a heel is a great casual leg lengthening look on me (if I don’t have to walk far or stand for too long…. I’m seriously loosing my interest in heels!) I do however, still wear a wide cropped jean, it doesn’t look too bad if I wear a flat form style shoe or trainer, although it’s certainly not leg lengthening! And thanks to COVID lockdowns, a little thigh hugging 😫 Here are a few looks of me in my jeans.


The 1964 Jeans Company bootlegs are a pair I ended up buying new this year. While current, they no longer seem to be available. The higher waist is flattering, the stretch fabric comfortable and I can almost talk myself into them being sustainable if you read the label and the blurb on Big W’s website (but at $24 I have serious doubts). I do think they look quite good. Press here for the new design for SS21. When I wear a boot leg jean, it usually involves a longer cardigan or coat worn over the top. So I’m not one for fancy back pockets, because no one usually sees them. With fitted jeans, I go for “illusion” dressing. Wearing a long length top disguises where my bottom ends and my shorter legs start. It’s a style habit I picked up from Trinny Woodall years ago. Wearing a dress over them looks great too, but I haven’t done this for ages…. although it’s now got me thinking 🤔 And if you head over to Pinterest, there are lots of inspiring pics like the ones below. It looks to me, like the secret is not to wear a dress too voluminous or structured, and the length of the dress long, although on me, I think calf length (midi) is probably best. The jean also appears to be straight, which is a style i don’t own, and slightly cropped or with the hem rolled above the ankle. It’s certainly a look and idea that i would enjoy to play with. It may even make me wear jeans more and look at them differently. Plus I really like the idea of this with sneakers!


Here are two straight leg jeans in a shade that i quite like. Both would work with the dress over jeans idea. Although, when it comes to jeans I definitely have to try before i buy and being in lockdown i don’t think that will be anytime soon.

So until I up my style game, I’ll keep wearing my bootlegs like I do. But I also have a wider leg jean. These “pant like” denim jeans are about 4 years old. I love the depth of their blue. They feel and look quite smart. When I wear these, I’m more likely to expose the back, like in the pics below. In the first, I’m full tucking a linen shirt, the next is with a turtle neck with cashmere wrap. As it’s no secret I love a loose pant, these are probably my current favourites. And the bonus is they also look great with a flat shoe!


So that’s my Jeans style 😉 I wonder how Kim and Cindy wear theirs? And what they have to say about their Signature Style on Jeans? Best pop on over and see… that’s what I’m doing next 😉

CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

NORTHERN CAL STYLE

Sarah xx

SECOND HAND STYLE: Why I shop this way 😊


Welcome to a new blog and a new monthly instalment called “SECOND HAND STYLE”, this time with blogger and charity shopper extraordinaire Jane from The Small Fabric of my Life. Each month we will be talking about a “second hand” topic from our own perspective… and today it’s a little introduction of how we started shopping this way 😊

I can’t really remember a time I haven’t owned something second hand. Whether it be handed down, salvaged or intentionally purchased. My home is full of curated treasures! So it’s no surprise that my wardrobe is too 😉 Since I started this blog and the Instagram page that accompanies it, I like to think my “second hand style” has slowly made its way from the back to the front of Sarah London Style. And all quite naturally, firstly I introduced you to the clothes in my wardrobe and now I share with you the way they get there.

I love old! I was brought up to love old! (Its no accident i’m a History Major 😉) Although if you asked me when I was ten, if I’d rather wear the old hand me downs from Di and Sue (family friends daughters who were a couple of years older than me) or be taken to the local shopping centre, I would have chosen the latter. You see, my parents were (and still are) thrifters! I grew up with them frequenting antique auctions, markets, garage sales and the advertised section of the newspaper, all in search of what they needed, and when they found what they were after, they always managed to make it work! They rarely threw things out, always chose to repair and often repainted, reupholstered and repurposed. Talk about sustainable! But this was the late 70s and it wasn’t uncommon then, and because my family happened to be good at it, it was fun!

And then I turned 14! December 1980 and I got my first job at the local delicatessen… and an instant cash influx and my parents love of thrift turned into mine. Trash and Treasure Markets at car parks were my favourite! These were the days when I could find a pair of 1960’s winkle picker stilettos for 99cents (I did), vintage was everywhere and it was cheap because with the emergence of Fast Fashion, no one really wanted it. Except me and my 80s gal pals! We were music crazy and always wanted to look like some star on the cover of UK mag Smash Hits! I was a “Mod” 😂, and my friends were “Punks” and “New Romantics” and where did we find our clothes? We bought and repurposed from secondhand….

That’s me in the middle in my secondhand stiletto winkle pickers and trilby 😂


Fast Forward forty years, and while my style no longer replicates a “mod” or those on the magazine covers 😂, second hand clothes are still an important part of who I am. Yes, I have dabbled with Fast Fashion, I’ve even worked in it! (thank you Myer Miss Shop). And I’ll even admit that I got on the Zara bandwagon for more than a few years 😩. All because I loved clothes and it was easy and cheap. But at the same time, I’d never forgotton my roots and the “upcycling” style habits of my upbringing. So markets on the weekend, op shopping, designer recycle for the “it” bag (albeit a couple of years late) and eBay have remained constant. But now I have more time (thank you mid life and COVID), I find myself reflecting and “deliberately” going back to what I was brought up to know….

Recent secondhand and forever acquisitions 😊

And that is, you create your own style! You wear what feels like you and you wear it your way! Which to me, means pulling together an outfit from various sources. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to love it! And most often than not, one item I decide to put on will be second hand! And while I could attribute it to sustainability, going green, saving from landfill, the environment and all that, I won’t… I simply shop like this because it’s what I’ve always known. And it’s freeing. No ties to having the latest trend, just adapting which ones you like from what you have, and dare I say, even creating your own! The aim is to feel good! And shopping this way does that! Take for example the photo below.. all secondhand! The coat I picked at a consignment store. The scarf a local op shop, the jeans and boots from designer recycle. All aged from 12 months to 14 years old. All my style, in my wardrobe and still being worn by me 🙏🏻.

Oooh… Valentino on my feet 😉 thank you as.if.designer.recycle 🙏🏻

Now please pop on over to Jane’s blog and read about why she shops this way.

Sarah xx

SIGNATURE STYLE: Skirts 🖤

It’s that time again… SIGNATURE STYLE with Cindy, Kim and me! And this month each of us dive into the style of skirts…

If you asked me if I wear skirts, I’d say “sometimes”. If you asked me if I like them, I’d say “sort of”. If you asked me if I owned any, I’d say a couple. So when I actually went into my wardrobe to take a deeper dive, it was a surprise to me that I actually own nine!!! What is no surprise is that they are all in natural fabrics: Linen, Cotton and Leather 🤍. (Although I did own, until recently, a couple in polyester, but in a deliberate move to try and create the perfect sustainable wardrobe, I cleared them out by selling them and donating the funds to charity).

SS2018 Shanty Corporation Linen gathered waist skirt with a high low hem in Natural

I am the biggest fan of linen, so much so, I featured “linen skirts” as my first episode on my 2020 IGTV Series “Collections” I love the way linen feels against the skin, the fact it breaths beautifully in hot weather, softens when worn and washed, and that it always looks so Euro-chic! Above is a favourite linen skirt of mine. A Shanty Corporation linen gathered skirt. I picked it up on sale a few years ago and took it on an overseas trip. I find the creases in linen perfect for a summer holiday. It relaxes me 😂 I let go of trying to feel so “perfectly ironed and pulled together” and I just take it easy and go with the flow…. I think it looks wonderful with white, whether it be a singlet, tshirt or shirt (and a little fake tan). Press here for a similar updated alternative. There is something about linen that looks understated and elegant. Perhaps it’s the timeless, ageless sustainability of the fabric! So it’s no surprise my linen skirt collection now totals four…


And then we come to my leather skirt. A buy once, buy well purchase. I can’t imagine there will ever be a time without it in my wardrobe. I adore it. The colour is incredible. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is superb. I feel good about the fact that it’s 100% ethically sourced leather, and from a socially responsible Scandinavian label Gestuz. I found it at a wonderful samples store that I frequent called The Wooden Hangar. They are primarily a fashion agency who distribute amazing European labels to high end boutiques. But the benefit to we the consumer, is that they sell off their samples to the public at a fraction of the price! If you live in Melbourne, there are two stores under their name and an online samples store called Faith which also has an outlet. A great store to keep popping into for European style inspiration. I think there is a size 12 still available here. Press here for a black ethical alternative.

So while my skirt styles vary, I do wear them mostly in Summer. And while I’m not actively looking for another, there is one type of skirt that currently eludes me: the denim skirt! This is one that I will keep my eye out for, and until I find it, here is a little luxe inspo:


My fave is actually the tiered Chloe! It’s divine and looks like a much lighter denim than the others. I also think it would look the best with flats! Out of my reach for the moment 😂, it has inspired me to wait until I find the perfect design ! Although, this one has caught my eye on eBay.au :

But is it just right? The style is, but the shaded denim isn’t. The old Sarah would have said, but it’s only $30 and placed a bid…but now I don’t! In fact, how I look at anything I purchase now, is that it must be absolutely stunning in my eyes, not just okay 😑, looking at adding new garments like this means I actually buy less and wear more of what I have! Not to mention when I do find it, all the money I will have saved on “okay” purchases will have piled up so I can say yes! Mindfully purchasing ☺️ (and mindfully styling) That’s part of my SIGNATURE STYLE…. Now, go read what style of skirts interest:

CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA STYLE


And then watch my introduction (full video on Insta later today 😉) to my skirts collection here:

Sarah x

When you know better, do better 🙏🏻

What a delight to have shared two wonderful new brands from my studio with everyone in the last month! Both sustainable and ethical Smitten Merino and Cara Cashmere are the most wonderful companies to be an ambassador for. They believe in everything I believe in, and they have done so way before I decided to become more “consciously aware” in the world of style. So what is that? Both are small Aussie brands that ship globally, both design here in Australia, one supports our manufacturing industry here, the other supports a small free range goat herding family and a family based manufacturer in Inner Mongolia. Both ensure that all the workers (and the animals) involved are respected, treated well and paid fairly. And both companies send their item in recyclable packaging and of course, they both also sell the most incredible stylish natural product garments! Slow fashion 🙏🏻

I was so lucky to be sent a few items by Smitten, to share with you all. A Mary dress (which I love), two styles of cardigans- the Boyfriend and the Drape and scarves! I was blessed enough to be able to keep the dress and have already worn it four times. The Mary Dress was named after the Hobart girl who became the Crown Princess of Denmark 😉 classic, and understatedly elegant it sums up the dress and HRH perfectly! I chose the French Navy because it’s one of my colours (hope you read my blog on colour) and it looks and feels incredible on. Loose, but shapely, the wool falls beautifully into a flare skirt with fabulous deep pockets. I feel utterly chic in it. The cardigans speak for themselves in the pics below, timeless in quality and style!


Cara Cashmere sent me two lovely pieces that will also be with me forever! A wonderful scarf and a wrap. Annie was so lovely, she let me choose colours in both! I chose the True Red scarf, because this is a colour that brings life to my face, and it’s also a colour that I don’t have a lot of. The wrap I selected in a neutral cream, because I know it will just go with absolutely everything in any season. Both of course are available in many colour options. Aren’t they divine?


Talk about both brands being the change you want to see in the world of fashion! Both ethical and sustainable, it’s no coincidence I shared them with you! I’m very deliberate about who and what I promote. One of my favourite quotes of all time is Maya Angelou’s “when you know better, do better” 🙏🏻 I like to think I’m doing this with my blog, my styling page and everyday! So, on visiting the Mary Quant exhibition, I very much wanted to make my “mindful and slow fashion” point by wearing sustainable and ethical clothing. I wore boots I’ve had for over 12 years, my Smitten Merino wool Mary Dress, an old coatigan that is a cashmere/wool blend, aged leather belt, my new ethical Cara Cashmere scarf, a 100% merino wool beret and an old (perhaps 10 years) MUI MUI bag I splurged on ( secondhand) years ago. I mixed it up. Old with new! All “buy well” pieces styled my way. SLOW STYLE. It felt good. In fact it felt fabulous. And I think it looked alright too!

Sarah x

SIGNATURE STYLE: A Winter sombrero and berets!

It’s all in the handcrafted details of this Alberta Gomez Sombrero

Today on the blog I’ll be discussing Winter Hats, the ones I wear and a few I wouldn’t mind trying on my head now the weather definitely calls for them here in Melbourne! Cindy and Kim on the other hand, are in the throws of a heatwave, so will be putting their personal spin on Hats to wear in Summer… be sure to press the links at the end for their inspiring style!

I have to start by saying I have a love hate relationship with hats 😂 I do absolutely love them, especially when they are crafted to perfection, by means of design, material and detail! But on my head, this artistry can be a bit hit and miss! While there are many style guides out there on the best hat shapes for face shapes, I have found them contradictory and that trial and error is perhaps my best guide. I have a round face, so strictly speaking I should be trying to elongate my head and not flatten it. So a sombrero with a crown (mine below is 12cm) higher than the brim (mine below is 9cm) is perfect! And this handcrafted Mexican beauty of mine that is available in various colours and styles from Esplora Australia is perfection! This is a forever hat, one that deserves the best of care and a box of its own. Hand blocked in wool, it is one of only 600 hats that leaves its workroom in a little corner of Ocotlan de Morelos each month to be shipped to suppliers globally. I consider it a piece of art.

If I do intend to elongate my face in a hat, strictly speaking I should steer away from the snug head hugging type, but I find there is so much to love about this type of hat! The beret has been worn for centuries, from the floppy felt peasant, to stiffened military, to chic Parisian and everything in between, (including the tam’o shanter – which I wore as part of my Winter school uniform 😂). A beret is definitely my go to for Winter. Because it is just so easy to pop on and style in so many ways. It can be worn over the forehead, back on the crown, over the ears, behind them, straight or on a slant. And that’s before you come to the different types! Regardless of the material or style, I always tend to wear my hair down. In my personal collection I have a khaki cotton one that I have been wearing for about 10 years and a recent rabbit fur beret from House of Nicholetta. The latter is available in 4 colours!

A rare glimpse of me with my girls circa 2012!

This Winter I invested in a wool pom-pom beret in one of my favourite colours, Navy! It’s a stunning slouchy knitted beret made from certified pure merino wool. Knitted in a geometric cable stitch with a cute pom-pom at the top, it’s finished with a rib band. It is the loveliest of textures and although sold out in Navy it is also available in burgundy and cream. It’s called The Clover and is from Australian hat and bag label Helen Kaminski. It has started to get very cold here in Melbourne, so it’s time to add a warm layer to our heads.

My HK Clover Beret

Helen Kaminski is an Australian hat and bag designer, who started by making raffia hats to protect her children from the harsh Aussie sun in 1983. Her love of natural fibre lead to her selling the raffia hats and then bags. While the company has grown, and Helen has stepped back, the quality remains and its now renowned worldwide! The brand is synonymous with natural fibres, craftsmanship and sustainability. It’s a definite go to… and here is what else has caught my eye (Winter Hat Wise) on the website 😉


Bisque Traders also have a great range of rabbit skin hats that are made in Australia. They have an aged and well worn appearance, very “Buffalo Girls”! I adore the stitch details, the imperfections, and that “I just got off a horse” look ! Very cool indeed 😎


When it comes to buying Winter hats, I am no expert, but what I have learnt is that if you stick to what you love and in colours that suit you around your face, chances are you can make them work! So if you aren’t a hat wearer, I do encourage you to give it a try 😉 They certainly ooze style!

Summer hats are a different story for me, and while I’ll save that for another season, you don’t have to wait as my Northern Hemisphere gal pals are onto it 😊 Please click on the links below to see what has caught their eye…

CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA STYLE

Colour as a FEEL GOOD….


Isn’t it funny how things we often write about affect us more than what we talk or think about ? That was the case a couple of blogs ago when it came to talking Black and White with Cindy and Jennifer. And boy am I grateful for that 🙏🏻 because it really got me thinking about how these colour choices in my wardrobe make me feel. (And yes, I know black and white aren’t technically colours 😉)

I’ve always loved colour, and the way it makes us feel when we look at it and cover ourselves in it. I personally love green! It’s been my favourite colour since I was a teen (before that it was chocolate brown 😳… which explains my 1970s Burnham Beeches wall mural). Most people have a favourite and (I think) favour it in what they surround themselves with and even wear. Back in my 40’s and early 50’s with young children, I wore a lot of black (because it was easy) and often punctuated it with green (I’ll never forget wearing my emerald green Juicy Couture tracksuit and matching Nikes when meeting my kids at the school gates 😂). I refer to this stage in my style life as my “rock chic” phase, because any excuse to get out of the house “ dressed loud and proud” was my idea of fun fun fun! I wore a lot of black and I thought I was very chic and cool 😎 But now my youngest child is about to leave school and I’m nearing another milestone (55), I find myself reflecting on this colour and style choice. I still have many of these well worn pieces in my wardrobe and am now asking, do they serve me like they use to? Because if they don’t, why am I holding onto and wearing them just because I have them? ….especially when they no longer make me feel good.

As I’ve aged, I’ve changed. My idea of fun, fun, fun is no longer as loud, I shy away from making wardrobe statements and head to toe bright colour. I feel like I’ve done that and it’s no longer who I am or what I seek. I’m far more relaxed, and a more natural, organic way of dressing, where being deliberate in what (and from whom) I choose to buy and hence “wear” makes me feel good! With age comes this wisdom if you let it in 🙏🏻 And with my years, my skin has also changed. It’s no longer as olive and plump as it use to be, the bags under my eyes have darkened (these I inherited 😐) and the wrinkles continue to emerge. While I happily accept this external badge of ageing (I am just so truly grateful to be here), I do look after myself on the inside. I exercise regularly, eat well (I’m plant based), I don’t do caffeine or alcohol and I sleep well ( the positive side effect being I have few peri-menopausal signs). So while I see others fighting what naturally occurs by attempting to reverse the external ageing process, that’s just not me. I don’t want that pressure and I certainly don’t want to send that message to my daughters! So I’m wondering if there are colours I can wear that will give my face a natural lift and glow? Colours that will soften the lines and accentuate the positive just like style can. If so, I’m sure wearing them will not only make me look great, they will make me feel great too! And knowing that black definitely is not my friend, its time to take stock, reassess and begin what I’m calling my:

MIDLIFE WARDROBE OVERHAUL!

(Which has me thinking this whole blog/ Instagram page could be my crisis 😂)

To simplify things, I’ve removed the “rock chic” black (the juicy couture is long gone) from my wardrobe and popped them in a spare room (there was a time when the house wasn’t big enough… now with only 1 child at home, it seems too big). This spare room is now my home studio, complete with lights, cameras, sewing machine, over locker and it’s very own WIR 😉, which stores garments in several categories:

  1. Vintage pieces that rarely get worn but will never be given away (think Grandma’s fur coats, Grandpa’s suede jacket 😉),
  2. Garments that I’m keeping for my daughters 💕,
  3. Pieces that suit me but may need to be altered or repurposed; and
  4. those I’d like to sell !

This overhaul has even worked its way into a short five part Colour Series on IGTV, where I looked at the remaining colours in my wardrobe that I wear during the Winter months and asked, do they suit me? And how do they make me feel? Indulgent I know! But it’s aim, and this blogs is to get you thinking about your own wardrobes and how the colour choices you wear make you feel. Navy, Teal, Olive and Tan are definitely my go to colours. The latter being more of an accessory than a garment (and something I’m going to stick to). I secretly love the idea of a boot and matching bag in every shade of brown😉 I also looked at Gold (knowing it suits me, I removed the silver). But what has been the biggest revelation are the colours red and coral. Never in a million years would I ever consider these as colours I should wear more of. I like them but have never really looked at them with favour. The red I suit is a warmer red, and I own very few pieces in it. I’m not sure if I’ll deliberately seek the shade out, but I am open to it if there is a style that suits. But coral… this colour I only have one Winter item in! and it was bought on a whim on sale last year 🥰 and now I find myself obsessing over it. It’s soft, feminine, romantic, and the absolute opposite of rock chic black 😂 ….so watch this space!

LOVING THE MIX OF TEAL WITH CHOCOLATE ACCESSORIES

While I have always focused on finding my own seasonal colour palette (by trial and error), using IGTV as a medium allowed for an influx of comments and opinions from you all. Thank you! But what I have discovered thanks to yourselves and the kindest follower Vicky @stylepixie_consulting is that I actually fall over 3 seasons. Vicky is a qualified colour analyst, makeup artist, personal stylist and hair dresser! If you are on Instagram, give her a follow. Her colour stories are sublime! And I am beyond grateful for her generosity for gifting this to me. And without giving away too many details of what she does (she fully explained why I can wear 1, 2, and 3), I am primarily a “Warm Autumn” and since these are the colours I have, love and feel good in, it will be what I will focus on from now on.
Here they are:

WARM AUTUMN PALETTE

And I’m beyond thrilled to now have this palette on my phone whenever I go! (Vicky actually sent me a more detailed one, but I won’t divulge her trade secrets 🤐). From my wardrobe, to my studio, to out and about, I now have an accurate updated version of “go to” look good colours! (BTW… this was done virtually from photos without makeup, so feel free to contact her if you are interested in having it done!) It really is incredibly satisfying to have my questions answered! I know which seasonal colour palette I am and why! This is such a FEEL GOOD! So there you have it, my colour journey so far (the abridged version anyway… I could ramble but won’t), truth be told, I feel like it’s really only the beginning of my wardrobe overhaul anyway 😉

Sarah xx

SIGNATURE STYLE: Resort Wear 101 🦀🐬☀️


How exciting is this months “Signature Style” ? Resort Wear! The very sound of it conjures up walks along the beach, reading by the pool, sleep ins, dinners out, and if you are like me… a little holiday shopping ☺️ I wonder what it means to Cindy from Cindy Hattersley Design and Kim from Northern California Style? Be sure to press the links at the end of my post for further inspiration 😉

And what it conjures up, and what you plan to do, is really how you should pack! That way, you can pack light when you travel. All I need is a small carry on suitcase and a multipurpose tote for 2 weeks away in the Sun ☀️. That way I always return with everything worn 😊 … And my little secret to having the perfect resort wear is colour coordination (or mix and match as some call it). I’ve even been known to pack by a colour palette (I’ve packed Whites, Blues and Brights in the past – see “Brights” pics above).

For walks along the beach I will pack one activewear outfit (something I can easily hand wash and dry in my room each day) and a casual trainer (make sure you wear them in beforehand). Choosing a simple white pair can double up as a day shoe with dresses, as well as be your travelling shoe, so as to reduce the bulk in your suitcase. And chances are I’ll be barefoot on the sand anyway 😊

Reading by the pool will require a fab swimsuit, hat, sunglasses and sarong. I currently own two one piece and usually alternate each holiday. I have one in black/white and another in red. With these I have opted for a high neck but I love the idea of an off the shoulder with tummy control, like the one below. I have a great neutral packable wide brim hat that I wear whenever in the sun. It has a bendable rim, allowing it to be worn wide or curled like a cowboy hat. Very cool 😎 Glasses are also a must to shade the glare and again a neutral can work with anything. I particularly like these sunglasses from Vilo Australia, it is a small sustainable Australian Wooden Frame Sunglass Company who ditch the plastic, have a sunglass recycling and a give back program … OMG! I want all these 😆


And a simple carry on scarf can double up as a sarong (or is that the other way around).. not to mention, the Bec from Get Robed could also be worn out to the beach bar in the evening as it comes with robe ring and tie. And as it’s easy dry, could even be used as a towel. I do believe investing in such a piece that can be used as all of the above is definitely a worthwhile investment! Something else for my wish list!

Sleep ins, dinner’s out and holiday shopping are what fill the rest of my case except for sunscreen and minimal toiletries – I don’t wear much makeup when away, just mascara and a lip to cheek 💋. (It’s actually a great opportunity to give your skin a chance to breathe and even indulge it with some spa treatments!). I must say I do love to spend time lounging around on a beach facing balcony, reading, writing and sipping tea…so I always include a cotton dressing gown in my sleepwear. Just like this one on Etsy… and as it is a Kimono, it can be styled as a duster over loose pants and singlet too ☺️

And then we come to dresses, my favourite item to pack! But I always keep some space for a new one (or two) that I may pick up while I’m away. Nothing too formal, just breathable, airy and cool 😎. And I always include one WOW dress when I pack, for that extra special evening out! And I adore my pink kaftan below! It’s old season and a one size fits all (AU 8-14), but the brand is Miss June Paris and they are available worldwide💕. Here are a couple of inspirational ones available from some Ethical Australian Brands that ship worldwide:


In addition, I always take a pair of havianas (mine are a rose gold), a pair of open toe slides (in tan – keeping them neutral, they will work with everything) and a low espadrille heel sandal. And one clutch. And that’s all I really need for a week or two at a resort 😉 now I have my packing sorted, I just need somewhere to go 😂 but perhaps Cindy and Kim will be travelling soon? Why not find out, by pressing the links below…

CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA STYLE

Black and White 🖤🤍 …

Wow! I’m just so excited to be joining Jennifer from A Well Styled Life and Cindy from Cindy Hattersley Design to talk all things style in Black and White this month. I’m a novice when it comes to style blogs, so be sure to read what they have to say after you’ve read mine 😉 not to mention, they certainly know a thing or two about style!

I must admit I jumped at the idea of collaborating with these two bloggers without even thinking about the topic… BLACK and WHITE … hmmmmm 🤔 Those of you that know me know I don’t do black! Which is surprising since we Melbournians are known for it being our uniform. When I say I don’t do black what I really mean is that I won’t buy it anymore. There is something about it’s cool tone and formal air that no longer appeals to me. I prefer warmer colours, because they appear more relaxed, which suits me and my lifestyle. However, I still have some stunning older pieces that I do wear on occasion, usually softening them by adding olive, tan or cream to the ensemble. Now 🤍 WHITE 🤍on the other hand, I will wear in all shades and it is one of my go to colours in Spring/ Summer, along with a little fake tan 😉 But black and white together… that’s something I haven’t styled up for ages… so here goes!

My secret weapon to feeling fab when wearing black and white is great hair and a bright lippy 😂 The hair I’m pretty happy with achieving myself, the perfect red lipstick is still a work in progress! But here are three different black and white outfits I do have and that I do wear, with fresh hair and a red lip 💋I think they all work on me and this is why:

Picture 1: polka dot dress- this outfit is softened by the use of a floaty chiffon fabric in a relaxed tiered style. In this fabric pattern, the white polka dot softens the block black and diffuses the contrast between the two. Being a small scale spot quietens the dress as do the loose sleeve and open collar. It’s not stiff and formal. And while the white trainers are probably the sharpest part, a current casual elegance is still achieved. Workwear ready!

Picture 2: wool jumper, cotton shirt and leather pants- while the colours sharply contrast, layering the black and white from top to toe, breaks the block colours. The scoop hemline, and the rolled neck add soft lines. And the cropped pant allows for a much needed pop of skin. Contrasting textures of the wool, cotton and leather, give it a natural edge, and even the espadrille sneaker with its row of sisal in the heel contributes. And wearing this as opposed to a boot, creates a smart yet relaxed chic ensemble. Definitely an everyday way to wear B&W!

Picture 3: pants, cape and snow leopard blouse- the solid black of the angular pants are broken by the curved hem of the cape. Tonal and in silk, this floaty blouse with its organic pattern diffuses the sharp triangular shapes of the wide leg pant and cape. Leaving the cape open, softens the outfit even more by exposing the design in the centre as well on the sleeves. While the open neck and long cuffs are still formal, it looks approachable not stiff, classic but chic. And boots not shoes add an edge! I’d only wear this to a formal event!

These outfits aren’t current and they range from 12 months to 7 years old. They’ve all been worn before… but if you do like them, here are some lovely alternatives, $$$, but gorgeous ☺️ ( I like to think of them as buy once buy well). 😉


If you’d like to see how these clothes move on me, watch this introduction to a video I have posted on my IGTV (the rest you can see on Instagram) :

Now be sure to pop on over to read what Jennifer and Cindy have to say on black and white :

A WELL STYLED LIFE

CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

Sarah xx

A deliberate pivot …

Peponi Hotel, Lamu circa 1995 facing Shela Beach complete with Dhows 💙

I can’t believe that I’ve already published 12 posts on this blog (and on May 11 it will be 12 months since my first IGTV 😉) What started as a “feel good” narrative on my styling journey is now a lovely way to share my shop small, shop local, shop Australian business message to a wider audience. But what I’ve found doing both, is that as my style evolves, my message does too, and it’s time to reflect on what that was, is and will be…. 🙏🏻

You know I like to wear my clothes repeatedly (aiming for at least 30 wears a garment), I have many pieces that are very old, I buy new items for the long term (knowing I want to be wearing them for years to come) and when I do buy I look for quality fabrics and well cut garments in timeless styles. And while I’m hesitant to use the words “sustainable” and “ethical” about my style (I prefer mindful 😉) I can honestly say these words are now at the front of my mind and have been for a while. Last month I purchased a pair of jeans which (I thought) was neither, and although I love how they look and feel on me, I didn’t really like the way they made me feel when I bought them 🤔 So I decided to do some some research, and I discovered that the company I bought them from, is in fact a lot more caring about the planet than I thought. Their story respects human rights, sources responsibly, and addresses living wages in their offshore factories. In fact, they have so much information on their site about how they have and are making sustainable and ethical decisions that it got me feeling good about the purchase… which has me thinking that I should adopt this approach too!

So while reflecting about last months shares, I am thrilled to say I featured a sustainable and ethical brand. Frockk is a small Australian company, who design here but have their garments ethically made in the villages of Bali. They support a wonderful group of sewers, talented fabric printers and dyers who all work comfortably from their homes, not factories! Frockk sustainably source natural fibres, with a strong focus on linen (the ultimate sustainable fabric) and produce limited quantities, making their designs unique. Their colour palette is muted and their styles are ageless. All of which results in a beautiful product that you will wear for a lifetime. I was lucky enough to meet with the owner, Kathryn, in her small boutique and then share two skirts in my studio. Aren’t they lovely? 💚💚


Another wonderful brand I shared is Ali Lamu 💙. Although not Australian, they are distributed in Australia by Esplora. Ali Lamu is a hand and heart made company that recycles dhow sails into bags and paints them (truly sustainable) all by hand. Each item is bespoke, unique and ethically made in the village of Shela on the small island of Lamu off the Kenyan coast. So far, I have a pouch, a clutch and a tote, although I’m sure my collection will grow. I adore the handcrafted up-cycled element, not to mention the heartfelt message on each, plus, it’s where I honeymooned (see top photo.. not the best, but it was pre-digital 😂). So when I use these bags I am transported back to a beautiful place and time. Trust me when I say that these bags are just as magical as the location they are made (Shela Beach is by far, the most beautiful unspoiled beach I have ever been to). We are so lucky to have companies like Esplora who roam the planet to find such treasures and share them with us 🙏🏻


And these two sustainable and ethical brands are examples of what I would like to “deliberately”share from now on. Of course I will remain loyal to those small businesses that have supported me from the start, but I will be more inquisitive about their stock. So now, I find myself editing my shop small, shop local message from my intro to add these questions: Where are these clothes made?, by who? and are they paid fairly? And if the answer “feels” right with me, I may just purchase and share. It’s a deliberate pivot in my “feel good” direction 😉

Sarah xx

SIGNATURE STYLE: Spring Dresses

I’m super excited to be joining Cindy from Cindy Hattersley Design and Kim from Northern California Style on this month’s SIGNATURE STYLE. These women are not only superior interior stylists (you should see their homes 😍), they also have an incredible sense of what looks good on them and what they like to wear. And while their personal styles differ to mine, I do find myself oohing and aahing over clothes they wear, looks they put together and their style suggestions 🙏🏻 So it’s such a treat to chat Spring dresses with them both….in my Autumn 🍂

To be honest, no matter the season, I could talk dresses all year long. They are, by far, my fave garment in my wardrobe. But not just any dress, I lean towards the long dress, not the formal ball gown but the casual looser kind. So much so, I got married (actually I eloped on a Kenyan beach) in a linen midi dress. I adore most styles of midis (where the hem hits at mid calf) or maxi’s (where the hem hits the ankles) these include kaftans, the shirt dress, the wrap dress, the strapless, the off the shoulder, the empire waist, and the kimono. They all have my attention and pride of place in my wardrobe. In fact, every time I’m out and about and walk past a shop window I can’t NOT look to see if there is a dress in it I fancy 😊. And while I really have no need for any more, I unapologetically will never promise that I won’t add to my collection. Why? Because they are my “go to”, they get worn most days and that is how we should shop… for what we wear most days 😉

Custom Made Linen “Wedding” Midi Dress circa 1995

My current Spring/Summer Dress Collection stands at 45 (including my wedding dress). Sounds like a lot, but I have been wearing (and hence) collecting them for a while. That’s the thing about maxis and midis, if you choose carefully, they become timeless (just look at my 1995 dress above). They transcend trends, are stayers in your wardrobe and get repeatedly worn. And gosh, I love that! But instead of showing you what I have (you can see that on Instagram), I thought I’d share what is currently on my radar for SS21. New brands and businesses that I am currently looking at and that ship worldwide! I haven’t bought from any of these (yet), but when I feel the need … I may 😉 and you may notice a colour theme 🤍

It’s no secret I love linen and I’ve admired Seaside Tones from afar for a while now. This highly successful global brand was established in Poland in 2015. The Australian arm Seaside Tones Australia followed in 2019 and their garments are available from local stockists. They offer high quality ethically made garments in natural fabrics (but mostly Baltic linen). Below are three dresses that have caught my eye…

A style I’m quite well known for wearing is the patterned maxi. I have so many! These I pick up on my travels as well from a couple of small local boutiques. However, as my style evolves, I find myself leaning now towards simplicity. A quieter look and feel in which the cut of the dress speaks volumes and not the print (this also increases the chances of a dress being timeless). Below is a dress from Indecisive the label. This brand caught my eye in 2020, and I now have myself drooling over them in 2021. Established in 2015 this brand is sustainable and their products are made in Australia 🙏🏻 again, the design epitomises casual chic. No styling needed… superb, isn’t it?


My obsession over the white Spring/Summer Dress isn’t new.. I filmed an IGTV about earlier this year (below is the intro), and if you have time you can pop on over to my Instagram and scroll down to February 4 to see the rest of my Collections episode on White Dresses… you may just notice that there isn’t a white linen 😉

I really hope this has you thinking about the Spring Dresses in your own wardrobe and really looking at the styles, colours and patterns you repeatedly wear. This may help you establish an idea of what you should be looking at adding and also what you need no more of. Doing this, will help you only purchase those dresses that will get worn repeatedly and be with you for years. Now why now pop on over to see what “Spring Dresses” Cindy and Kim love…

Cindy Hattersley Design

Northern California Style

My Top 5 Spring Picks from Down Under !

What a buzz it is to put the SLS spin on Spring Style Inspiration (in my antipodean Autumn), by joining stylish US bloggers (in order from the photos above 😉) : Eugenia (The Age of Grace), Mary Ann (Classic Casual Home), Kim (Northern California Style), Cindy (Cindy Hattersley Design), Rhoda (Southern Hospitality) and Annie (Most Lovely Things). And my spin is to introduce you to 5 small Aussie brands or businesses that I love, frequent and wear in Spring (and beyond as Melbourne has a temperate climate) and they all happen to ship worldwide!

And these are in no particular order of adoration 😉

1. Hut Clothing – the shirt

I’ve been wearing the Hut Clothing Linen Boyfriend Shirt for a few years now and am happy to say I have a few 😊 I am a size AU8 top (US 4/UK 8/EU36) and wear an XS or S. These are a must have in my Spring Wardrobe. The brand was created by the gorgeous Donna (and Marc) who have a lifetime of fashion industry experience and simply wanted to make quality, classic and casual styles for the Australian Woman! And they succeeded 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻. It’s no secret that I adore Linen (although the Boyfriend Shirt Style also comes in cotton) and the fabric in this shirt is super soft against the skin and incredibly easy to launder (as it’s been pre-washed to prevent shrinkage). The style has an oversized fit, is wide, loose and relaxed. It has chest pockets (great for hiding a bra), long sleeves with a button tab and a scooped hem. And it’s available is so many colours 😍 I style it in so many ways. Sometimes I’ll front full tuck, sometimes half front tuck, sometimes no tuck. Sometimes I knot it at the front. Sometimes I’ll roll and tab the sleeve, sometimes I’ll do what I call the “Linda Wright”, sometimes I’ll button it at my wrist. All of which you can find on my IGTV 😉


2. Kiitos Living By Design – the pant

It didn’t take me long to fall in love with Maria’s Greek Linen or the beautiful Maria! Her lifestyle store and brand bring a joy to everyday living 🙏🏻 And so worth a visit to get you in the “Spring” frame of mind… You can see my fave Kiitos pants in Navy in the pic on the right above. It’s called the 620 Pant and I also have them in Army (below left) and Stripe (below right). Trust me when I say, once you own a pair, you will go back and buy more! They also come in black, white, beige, mustard and rust! Again, a stunning linen that is soft and so easy to launder. Again, RELAXED… (I think you are getting a pic of how I like to feel when I dress). They come in a size S/M (AU 6-14) M/L (AU 14-18) and L/XL (AU 18-20). I wear the S/M and am a AU10 bottom (US6/UK10). And because these pants are wide in design at the thigh and have a soft stretchy elastic waistband, you really can’t go wrong with sizing! Linen really is such an amazing fabric, especially as you age. It’s cool, absorbent in the heat, it’s sturdy, timeless and because it’s generally worn loose, extremely forgiving 🙏🏻 You can see me style these pants all over my IG account as they really are a staple in my wardrobe… …oooh and they are stylish… so much so, I’m currently considering adding them to my wardrobe in the beige 😉


3. DEED Bags – the tote

Hand made in Melbourne, these bags are bespoke! They are handmade with a big heart in the small home based studio of the super chic Emma 😍 Initially designed as a stylish alternative to replace single use shopping bags, they have grown to become so much more than this in my wardrobe! To me, they are the perfect tote! Available in a large range of fabrics (all of which is saved from landfill by being sourced from dead stock, off-cuts and end-of-runs), each design is unique and made in limited quantities, which makes some limited edition! What I love is that each is embellished with the DEED bag twist of the perfect ruffle, bow, pom or heart😍 in fact, you can contact Emma direct and have your own designed! In addition to the sustainable feel, with designer appeal, with each bag sold Emma donates $1 to the education charity Ardoch, of which she is a Literacy Ambassador 🙏🏻. There is a wide range of designs and I’m sure you will find the perfect Spring option in the DEED bags collection. From hearts to bespoke and everything in between, I have a few in my wardrobe (you can see the luxe in the pic, above left, which I take to the supermarket) and when I can, around the world because as PRETTY, PRACTICAL, KIND bags … they really are my “IT” bag ! But remember they are handmade..so the wait will be worth waiting for!


4. House of Nicholetta – the maxi

Spring is the time to start thinking about one or a few fabulous dresses! I adore the longer styles, the midi and the maxi. And in the warmer weather they are my “Signature Style” and my “go to” boutique for these is The House of Nicholetta. Nicholetta has a particularly good eye for finding printed boho inspired pieces. And I always seem to find one or two I love from them! One such brand is Miss June Paris. Designed in Paris and with registered designs, you will get a style that is unmistakably them. Usually in sheer fabrics and with slips, each dress also has a mini and blouse version in the same fabric. So if the longer style isn’t for you, there is always a wonderful alternative. Another stunning brand Nicholetta stocks is Greek Archaic Kori. And again, shorter and blouse versions are usually available in the same fabric design. I love the way this style makes me feel with the change in weather… chic, relaxed and ready to welcome the sun! And while both labels are only available from small local boutiques like House of Nicholetta (who ship everywhere), these brands are also available from others worldwide 😉

5. Talamaya – the everything

There isn’t anything I wouldn’t wear from this lifestyle label. Developed with an extensive fashion background on her resume, this yoga teacher has cleverly designed a brand steeped in wellness and sunshine 🙏🏻 and that is how it feels when it is on. I don’t want to accessorise it, I simply want to connect with the way it feels. As luxe loungewear, each garments composition prioritises organic and natural fibres. The styles can work alone or you can layer with other pieces in the collection to create trans-seasonality. Which makes it the perfect Spring addition to your wardrobe! Early spring may see you wearing an oversized Daily Catch Cardi over the Seascape Organic Breezy Pant and matching High Low Tee (LOOK 1) only to be replaced as the sun warms mid season with the Beach Break Poncho over the Seascapes Organic Flow Pant and Swing Singlet (LOOK 2). All have a relaxed fit and are incredibly soft against the skin. When I wear anything from this small Aussie Brand (that has an LA connection 😉) I just want to kick off my shoes, slow my pace and be one with the air, wind, sea, sun and sand. It takes me to where I am truly happy 😊


And on that note, why not find more Spring Style Inspiration by reading what these lovely ladies have to say:

Eugenia THE AGE OF GRACE

Mary Ann CLASSIC CASUAL HOME

Kim NORTHERN CALIFORNIA STYLE

Cindy CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

Rhoda SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY

Annie MOST LOVELY THINGS

SIGNATURE STYLE: Sneakers – a soft shoe worn for sports or casual occasions; a trainer.

I call them trainers, Cindy calls them sneakers. They really are the same thing. Trainers, sneakers, plimsolls, runners, joggers, kicks… and there are probably a few other names that refer to what Cindy Hattersley and I will be talking about this month in “Signature Style”.

This style of footwear has obviously been around for decades! But interestingly, it wasn’t until late 2017 that I finally got on board with the above pair of Stan Smiths (the first pair of Stan Smith trainers was launched the year before I was born, 1965). I’m not sure why it took me so long to wear a white trainer again, perhaps it’s because I wore them so much as a teen myself (anyone remember the Dunlop volley?) or that in the 80s women embraced them for the commute to work only (then popped on power heels once there) ? or even that my own teenage children were wearing the very same brand at the time 🤔. Whatever the reason, since putting this pair on my feet over 3 years ago, I’ve become a convert ! Initially because of the comfort factor, but more recently because my lifestyle has changed. It’s never been so relaxed and casual. And this is the perfect shoe option for just that, (As Balenciaga’s CEO Cedric Charbit said “sneakers…they blend nicely with the way we live” 😉), plus I do believe a pair of trainers/sneakers (you choose what you wish to call them) do make whatever we wear in midlife look and feel fresh. And that is certainly a good thing!

So what do I wear my trainers with? I’m definitely a dress girl and think nothing looks more modern than a maxi (or midi) with a clean crisp trainer. I also love them with my linen pants, with my jogger pants and jeans. I also wear them with skirts. In fact, I don’t think there is anything I wouldn’t wear them with. Infact, I took my silver pair with me (in a small black bag) to a Wedding recently, where I took off my killer heels and donned them for dancing. So much easier and so much fun, not to mention a great idea!

In my own collection, I now have quite a few pairs. A mix of looks, from laces to loafers and beyond. Mostly white or off white, I find they work with so many outfits. I wear them most days, and in every season, alternating the colours and styles so I don’t feel like I’m wearing the same ones, which also happens to extend their life! I’ve bought from small and large businesses and a couple from below are still available. Click here and here to find those 😉

If you haven’t bought a pair yet, or are interested in a new pair, here’s what I look for:
1. I prefer leather, because I find it reasonably easy to keep clean (as opposed to canvas, which I learnt the hard way). I use a household product called Gumption to do this, although I have heard that the Magic Eraser does a great job too!
2. At 163cm (5 foot 4 inches) I like a flat form, which is a flat platform. I like the “bulk” of it, which gives me height and helps balance out my chunky calf. But if you have finer calves and are taller you may suit a lower pair.
3. I prefer mine unbranded, as I’m not a huge fan of large advertising logos on anything, so I steer clear of these. In fact, for the past 3 years I have lent towards simpler plainer styles, and for these I shop around.

But now I am comfortable with my base collection, I’m beginning to step out of my comfort zone and look for more fun additions. You might have spied the fur ones above 😉, these were a recent purchase. Called the Unisa Fulvia, I can’t seem to find them anywhere online… but here’s a video of my styling them in my wardrobe last month.

And if my budget would allow, I’d step further towards cool and choose these chunky wowsers 😮:

Trainers really are a wonderful shoe alternative any time of the year. Perfect now for Spring in the northern hemisphere and for Autumn here in the southern. They are extremely comfortable and so versatile, they go from day to night, from work to play. They are the “it”shoe of the moment and have certainly become a part of my Signature Style… but I do wonder what Cindy Hattersley thinks of them 🤔, press here to find out!

Sarah x

Hello Ladies, welcome to my Studio 😉

The SLS Collaboration Studio, featuring Since I found You

Hello ladies, welcome to my studio! A new concept I launched this month. And I am so grateful to one of my collaborator’s for planting the seed for its creation, my great girlfriend Jackie 😘 for loaning me the vintage mannequin (isn’t she gorgeous? I’ve named her Lady J😉), a little online shopping for my clothes rack and a pre-lockdown dash to source a trusty rug! That’s all I needed (and a spare room) to take my hobby-cum-side hustle to the next level – a small brand 😊 Well, that’s what I like to think I’m doing. Taking Sarah London Style with all its “feel good in midlife vibes” somewhere different, and I’m so excited about where that may be!

So who and what is the SLS brand? Well, it’s simply me 😊 and it’s what I stand for in my wardrobe, on my blog and my social media channels. I’m on all except Twitter 😉. And if you’re a long time reader of my blog, the following will reiterate what you already know. I am a 50 something woman who’s aim is to feel good. And my style has become a big part of that! Not the fancy super influencer kind, but the “I’m stepping out in something that has the shape, colour and style to make me feel good” kind. Everyday style for everyday women somewhere in midlife, all over the world. I LOVE SAYING THAT! It’s about finding what truly works for you, in your life right now! And I do this deliberately and mindfully, by shopping inside and outside my wardrobe. From within it, I share style tips, style ups, my personal collections, and the occasional purchase. All with the purpose to get you rethinking and reworking your own style, starting with pieces you already have in your wardrobe. I encourage the wearing of them, the accessorising of them, and the curating of them, so then, if a new item does make its way into your wardrobe, it suits you and your style! Which is why I created my “Studio” 😊 a fresh, minimal space to showcase pieces that I believe in! They are buy once and buy well. Garments and accessories that I would purchase myself, that I would wear all the time, have for many years, and that are all either from small, local or Australian brands and businesses. This is a my non-negotiable 😉 It’s been a really hard start to the millennium and one place that hurts are the small, local, family owned (I support mainly female) run businesses that sit online and on the local high street. While it is my aim to build a connection with them while showcasing their garments, I’m also creating awareness of an alternative place to shop, so that when you do mindfully add that stylish sparkly new thing, it can make a difference to the owner, who is usually a woman just like you or me. And that helps keep their dream alive, and your supporting me by watching, commenting and liking what I do keeps mine 😊 … now isn’t that the ultimate feel good?

And the showcasing began in my Studio in lockdown #3. Appropriate since SLS was launched in lockdown #1! First I presented a variety of clothes from the gorgeous online boutique Since I found You (my incredibly talented school friend Phillipa owns this) and then came another instalment from the House of Nicholetta (this time Greek dresses from the beautiful, generous and my first ever collaborator, Nicholetta ). I know what I do is primarily a business transaction, but it’s actually more than this. I really enjoy connecting with the owners of these small businesses to share their product. My aim is to showcase well made, reasonably priced garments that I would wear. I keep it informative yet personal, style the selected garments beautifully but casually, just as I would if they were mine. So if you can see yourselves in them too, you will choose to shop from these little businesses as well. It’s a win win 😊.


There are other Australian brands and businesses that (fingers crossed) you will see me showcase in my Studio. I’ve already shown you so much of them from within my wardrobe already, but I’d like to name them as their collaboration has got me to where I am already. They are Kiitos Living by Design (with the magnificent Maria at the helm of her gorgeous Greek linen brand), Deed Bags (owned by the super talented, and my fashionista bestie Emma), Talamaya (the zen Sheridan and her zen product that always make me feel so relaxed), Zia Lozen (whose gorgeous founder Zia trusted me in my early days), Hut Clothing (with the lovely Donna and her perfect linen shirt), Rebecca Thompson (the vivacious, iconic RT) and I Love That Necklace (with the impeccable Leisa and her chic clothes and accessories). Without them and their loan/gift of product, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I’ve done so far.

And of course, all this would not be possible if it wasn’t for you – the follower…but I simply can’t call you that 😩 You are so much more than this ladies, you are individuals, with your own style, who enjoy spending time looking in your own wardrobes (and others) to create that for yourselves! Just like me 😊 and like me, you want to feel good in midlife, and your style is a part of that. We are more similar than different. And for you, I am forever grateful 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Sarah xx

SIGNATURE STYLE: My Necklace Constitution…

I always look forward to collaborating on style with Cindy Hattersley Design and this month we are talking necklaces! One of our favourite things to wear… and collect 😉 we both love a statement, have had pieces for years and use them to define our signature style.

In my wardrobe, I wear three types of necklaces, the long dangly kind, a structured bib style and my signature jewels (heirloom pieces, that have been inherited). These are in a mix of materials such as wood, stone and metal, all neutral in tone and interestingly, I own very few in colour 🤔 The first falls from around the neck usually finishing with a pendant mid body, just above my bellybutton. While I adore this for it’s casual relaxed look, it also helps reshape my proportions. When worn on a dress, this not only draws attention to the smallest part of my frame (my waist), it also happens to elongate my legs by finishing just above my long waist. My bibs also aid in redefining my proportions. This necklace ties around the neck like a collar and tends to cover quite a significant area of my chest. Being big (on my frame), they help balance out my larger bottom half and because they are quite statement, draw the eye up to my smaller top half and away from my larger lower. Who’d have thought an accessory can have such an effect? But that’s not the reason why I wear them, I wear them because: 1) they are what I am attracted to, 2) they feel right on me …and (like my signature jewels- which do nothing to alter my proportions), 3) I love them 😊


When I wear which style can be determined by the weather. On warmer days I favour longer looser necklaces as my clothes are often less structured and suited to this style. I also don’t want anything too heavy around my neck, strangling me in the heat! On cooler days, it’s the opposite. A chunky bib necklace can make quite the statement over a crew or v neck. Because of this, all my necklaces get worn, I never tire of them, and they constantly change up my outfits. Last year, during lockdown, I started styling on IGTV and used all of them far too liberally! In fact, I admit, on occasion, for the sake of entertainment, I probably went a bit too far 😳. Wearing more than a few at a time, I experiment with the Iris “more is more and less is a bore” approach. But after taking a good hard look at where I want to take my style, it became quite obvious, that (on me) this bordered on costumery. And while I love the drama of this style on others, it isn’t really me. So, to counteract the overstyled look, I’ve come up with my own necklace constitution 😂 a few simple guidelines that I can follow to ensure my overall look appears more stylish:

  1. Consider the neckline of the clothing and choose a complimentary necklace shape/length. (I usually wear turtle, crew, and v necks, or small collars so this makes my three necklace types easy to wear).
  2. Pay attention to the pattern and print of the clothing. (If it is large in scale and busy- the focus will usually be on the clothes, so there is often no need for a necklace. If it is plain, it will probably benefit from a lovely one). THIS IS A RULE I CONSIDER BUT OFTEN BREAK ON A PRINTED MAXI DRESS.
  3. When making a statement with a bib necklace, it should sit by itself. (I rarely go for a matching set of necklace and earrings – so I will choose a smaller complimentary earring, allowing the necklace to shine).
  4. Whether it long or short, one is good, two necklaces are company, but three is usually a crowd (I have a small frame so this makes sense).
  5. Steer clear of chokers. (On my short neck they do just that- choke me).
  6. When adding a waist belt (other than self tie), consider a fine necklace or no neckpiece option. (On me, no necklace and larger earrings are a much better look)- note hip belts are a whole other story!
  7. Avoid matching. Coordinate instead. Mix your metals and materials to create an eclectic look. (This is my challenge, as I love a bit of matchy-matchy 😉).
  8. Be aware of your overall appearance, making sure that what’s on your wrist (watch and bangle/bracelet) and sunglasses don’t over style the look!
  9. Feel free to experiment and break the constitution rules as you see fit 😂

This is a great guide I found online for which style of necklace works with which neckline. It’s rather traditional, but if you choose accordingly and then follow points 2-9 above, I think it makes sense.

So how does this translate in my own wardrobe? A picture tells a thousand words.., so follow left to right…On a dress without a belt (or a self tied one) I will usually wear long beads or a bib (which means on a dress with a statement belt, I usually go without). I wear small collars or none, so this allows for a bib-collar necklace to be placed over the top, a long dangly necklace to fall down over the placket, or an inherited signature necklace to shine with an unbuttoned look. If I wear a V neck, I may fill the space with a similar shaped bib, or again, cover it entirely. If you’d like to see more ideas, please watch my latest IGTV on “Collections – the bib style necklace” 😊


But what about with jeans and pants? I go back to my guidelines. If the blouse I choose is tucked and there is no belt I may wear one or two. Like in the image below. If I had added a belt, I would have gone with my small signature jewel. Below right is a bib style necklace I picked up on EBay, worn with a tucked white tee, my fave linen pants and a second hand utility jacket (from my daughter’s wardrobe). If I wore the top untucked and loose over the pants, I’d probably wear a longer dangly necklace. You get the idea. And I do too! In fact, that is why these looks and the way I wear them have become a part of my signature style… 😉


Now, why not read about what necklaces Cindy likes to wear (and her signature style), by pressing here.

Sarah xx

Deliberate: done consciously and intentionally, careful and unhurried…

And this is my word of the year 🙏🏻 It succinctly describes how I will choose my wardrobe and it’s adventures this year. From what I wear each day, to what I style, to what and how I choose to purchase (and showcase) … all will be deliberate choices based on what I have, what I need and where I want this journey to go😉

With this is mind, I chose not to partake in any New Year Sales 😳 and chose instead to reexamine my wardrobe for what I needed. And this resulted in some deliberate purchases from two activewear brands. Both stores were local, but not small and only one Australian. Frustrating as that is, I simply can’t buy these clothes from online sites. I need to try before I buy!

Ideally, there is a long list of how I like my activewear wardrobe to look: a warm down puffer coat ✅, a puffer vest with detachable hood (needs to be replaced), 3 x long thicker leggings for Winter (I have one), 3 x 7/8 leggings for Spring/Autumn, 3 x 3/4 leggings for Summer, 3 long sleeve tees(got 2/3), 3 x singlets (still need 1), 3 pairs of socks✅ and 2 pairs of cross training shoes (need replacement). I rarely go out and purchase all at once, but it’s been a while so I did in fact, purchase three items, which I’m happy to report completes my need for 3/4 and 7/8 leggings. And these are my fave pair:

I’ve delved quite deeply into my style this month, focusing on what suits me and my lifestyle. This allows any purchases I make to be deliberate and intentional. There really is nothing worse than buying or styling just for the sake of it. That means nothing to you or me. And i’m all about leading a meaningful life 😉 So far i’ve looked at my linen skirts, denim jacket, trainers and my belts. These are items that are timeless, ageless and great pieces to collect. Hence the “Collections” series. They are items I will always look at picking up any time of the year if the right style, fit and colour comes along. Watch this space for some new trainers!

No longer in lockdown, I do find myself with a social commitment (or two) each week. They are usually casual affairs, but it has been nice to plan the outfits ahead of time with my “Good, Better, Best” series. This not only creates the look well in advance (taking any stress involved away) but also creates looks for future events. It allows me to consciously rotate what I wear and choose pieces that I haven’t worn that month, this upping the number of times an item gets worn. I’m still aiming for 30 wears a piece 😉 and am happy to say that since starting my Instagram page, I’m certainly getting there.

Focusing on style that suits my shape is one way of consciously shopping. This month I looked at face shape and earrings. Having a round face I have decided to let go of wearing a hoop and now wear more a drop or chandelier. I featured this on an IGTV, and can honestly say, when I look back at video of myself, I can see when it looks right or wrong.

I had a wonderful collaboration event with a small Australian linen label called Kiitos Living by Design. I was invited down to Barwon Heads to their main store to share my love of the product and how to style it. A new experience for me and something moving forward I am going to say yes to. It was wonderful to see a few followers pop in to say “hi” and to support this small local business.

Around the middle of the month, I launched an additional blogpost. Called SIGNATURE STYLE, it is a collaboration with a muse of mine 🙏🏻. Cindy Hattersley is an incredibly stylish and experienced blogger and I’m thrilled to be a part of her style world. This blog will be dedicated to the style in our wardrobe. This month it was “How I found my Signature Style”… you will have to wait until mid month to find out what February’s feature will be 😉

I’ve also started to focus on tweaking my style moving forward. While I will always wear a collected look, I’m currently playing with the idea of parring it down, wearing a more casual ensemble, adding less volume, focusing on coordination as opposed to matching, styling tonally, and fingers crossed 🤞🏻 the finished result is beautiful and unhurried. I’m looking in a more refined direction. This may mean I’m in my wardrobe less, but please be reassured I’m here behind the scenes, deliberately creating 😉.

Sarah xx

SIGNATURE STYLE: My Style Philosophy…

Welcome to a first for me, a monthly collaborative blog on style with the collected look herself, Cindy Hattersley. Cindy kindly featured me in her “Ageless Style” Blog last year, in which she asked me some revealing questions that will give you a little background into me and my style. So, if you missed that post, and before I dive deeper into this months topic, “how I found my style”, it may be a good idea to read this 😉

Style. That is always my focus. Why? Because style is the manner or way I dress and that never fades as opposed to the latest fashion. My style has evolved over time, and while I’m always experimenting, I like to think it falls somewhere within the classic realm, but with a bohemian, artsy (and always feminine) twist, so I call it eclectic. I invest in pieces I love, with colours and shapes that suit me, pieces that will complement my existing wardrobe, that I will wear for years and that ultimately make me feel (and look) good. And then, I add my style twist (usually with an accessory) to wear them my way.

I’ve always had Muses and #1 is my Mum. An incredibly stylish lady, who, when I was young was given the title Princess Grace (by my Grandma, her Mother-in-law). And it stuck. Not because she looks like Grace Kelly or is styled like her, but because she dresses beautifully and carries herself gracefully. No matter what she wears, be it a home made kaftan and beads (she’s a talented seamstress and avid jewellery maker – as am I) or a safari suit from the thrift shop (she introduced me to this joy), she always looks great! So much so, that as a teen in the 80s, my friends and I would raid her wardrobe and wear it 😂. Although her style mellows as she ages, it continues to evolve and she recently announced that on her 80th Birthday, she would be “unleashing her inner flapper girl”. I hope I’m as adventurous!

Having my Mum and various artists as muses, I spent my teens and twenties experimenting with various looks, usually copying some celebrity outfit for outfit (big mistake but thank you sewing skills). But boy have there been fashion faux pas along the way, just ask my friends 😂 And then in 2001, the iconic makeover show What Not to Wear introduced me to Trinny & Susannah. Two stylists with extremely good taste! And I can honestly thank them for opening my eyes to dressing for my body shape and wearing colours that suit me. This was the pivotal moment when I took charge and started owning my own style. Knowing my shape (I’m a pear…like my Mum 😊) was a game changer is establishing the signature pieces in my wardrobe that have become my style. Maxi Dresses is colours and prints, preferably A-line to skim over my proportionally short legs and larger hips and thighs. Wide or flared legged jeans, to skim or balance out my saddlebag. Statement neckpieces to draw attention to the smaller top half of my body. The belt, to cinch me in and show off my best asset – my waist. And the wedge, chunky heel or long boot to balance out or cover my fleshy calf (although these days I tend to opt for a flat form trainer as it achieves the same effect). And colours that suit my skin tone (I’m a warm) think Autumn… And while I sometimes stray (more mistakes 🙄), knowing all this has enabled me to create a wardrobe I love and wear everyday. These are my staples, they suit me, make me look good and subsequently feel good. That is my ultimate aim with my style. To feel good, as my bio says.. when you feel good everything else just falls into place. But my secret to personalising this style is to add your own twist to these staples…

And that is done with an Accessory. They are the key to styling a garment in my wardrobe my way. And I have more than a few. I collect them on travels, handmake some, pick them up at markets and second hand. I love them all. Scarves, Necklaces, Belts, Earrings, Bags, Brooches, Bangles. And while I wear them constantly, what I love most about them is the story behind when and where I got them, which transports me to a lovely memory when I wear them. I still have a wooden bangle from my Kenyan childhood, bracelets from my teenage travels, necklaces from my honeymoon, and clip on earrings from the 90s! All still worn (well, maybe not the clip ons). But my most loved accessories are my simplest. I call them my “signature jewels”, a few gifted and inherited pieces, collected over the last 30 plus years from my family and friends. When I wear them, I always have a sentimental moment and that makes me love them all the more. Which, if you read the article above and follow me on INSTAGRAM at sarahlondonstyle, you will know is the key element of how I wear what I have. I called it styling mindfully. And it’s definitely “feels good”!


But more recently I’ve taken my style inspiration from my lifestyle. Perhaps that’s a sign of my age (I’m 55 this year) and the times we live in. I no longer work full time (no need for smarter attire or heels), I exercise more (stylish activewear is a daily must have), I prefer a lunch over a dinner (a dress and flat shoes preferable) and a beach holiday to a sight seeing one (lucky I live on the coast, as I’m not going very far in the near future). So the detailed eclectic style I often wear is currently being pared down. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to fade away 😂, I love my style too much! I will still wear my floaty maxis, but with flats not wedge heels. I’m leaning towards colour and tone rather than pattern and print. I love a statement belt, but the detailed ones stay in the drawer and I choose something simpler. My neck pieces are worn on occasion, and I now reach for one necklace, not two. And I’m now more mindful than ever about what comes in and what goes out of my wardrobe. I no longer feel the need to over consume, am more than happy to wear what I have on repeat, and when I do purchase, am more aware of how it will complement what I already have. And I now deliberately seek well made garments in natural fibres from small, local Australian boutiques and brands.


And that is how I found my Sarah London Style, although I’m quite mindful that it may be that is how my style found me. I believe our style is the product of what we love and how that makes us feel. Everyone has their own. It’s unique. Sometimes it just takes time to identify and implement it. And if you haven’t found yours yet, but are interested, go back to the “Ageless Style” link at the top and start by deeply thinking about and answering the questions Cindy asked me 🙏🏻

Now, why not take a look at Cindy’s Signature Style?

Looking for a Silver Lining… (excuse the fabric pun)

And just like that 2020 is over. It was supposed to be my year of “ease and flow”. Words I chose back in 2019 of how I would like my year to be. And while it’s been far from the “ease and flow” year I expected, it’s ironic that during a pandemic, using these words to slow down, go within, breathe, accept and think has somehow organically created what it is that I really love to do…

If I could spend all my days surrounded by beautiful designs from small, local Australian brands and businesses (not to forget preloved 😉) and share them by filming a styling session in my wardrobe I would. I simply adore doing it. It’s no secret I love clothes. I always have, just ask any of my nearest and dearest. But what i’m really enjoying as I age, is being more mindful about the pieces I’ll allow into my wardrobe. They must suit me, work with pieces I already have, be well made, and of quality fabrics. If I can find out a little bit about the business or brand behind the item, even better. Ultimately what I’m after is a connection to each and every garment. Because this elevates shopping and wearing clothes to much more than just that. It gives it meaning and purpose. Which in turn, makes me feel good. And isn’t that what we all want? …

While I’ve collaborated with a few designers this year. The most recent collaboration with http://www.talamaya.com resonated with me. This brand is the brainchild of a beautiful soul who started her own label because she couldn’t find what she wanted in the industry she worked in. It’s fabrics are of exquisite quality, natural organic cottons and the softest yarns, it’s designs are casually chic, as well as comfortable and draping in all the right places. It’s become my lifestyle brand and since I’m most comfortable barefoot and makeup free, I feel so at home wearing it.

Talamaya Seascape Organic Cotton Breezy Dress in Salt

And home for me is the beach. I was born and raised by the ocean and am my happiest here. So a six day pre- Christmas break on the surf coast was the perfect December lifestyle choice. If you follow Sarah London Lifestyle, you’ll know my favourite way to start my day is with a walk along the sand, and with superb weather, I enjoyed these each morning, followed by days reading on the sand and afternoon siestas before dining at Lorne’s finest restaurants. This is my idea of the perfect holiday. And I feel so lucky to have such destinations at my doorstep. Plus, it meant I got to #shopsmall #shoplocal and #shopaustralian 🙏🏻

Being at the beach enabled me to discover two regional businesses who supported me during lockdown. http://www.deluxelorne.com is a small local business in Lorne that helped me source a mask for a piece of clothing during Stage 4 restrictions. The owner, really went above and beyond by messaging me when an extra one came her way after it was sold out. I wanted to say thank you by showing her little store to the world in my series Boutique Discoveries. Another store I featured in the series was http://www.kiitos.com.au This is a store I have been meaning to visit since I first bought their Greek linen elsewhere. Maria, the owner and designer, really has been one of the kindest, most generous business owners I have had the privilege of working with. So when I rocked up on the spur of the moment to her gorgeous Barwon Heads store, it was no surprise that she welcomed me with open arms, a hug, and a warehouse where I could film up whatever I wanted to. And this was when I had the epiphany that this was really what I wanted to do. I was surrounded with beautiful garments from a small, local, Australian business, and I had the opportunity to share them with the rest of Australia and the world. I was in my element..

Kiitos Mia Top in Stripe, Talamaya Organic Breezy Pants in Deep Blue, Django & Juliette Sina Trainers in White

Shopping small, local, prelove and Australian is what I’m really about. This message is what keeps me on my SarahLondonStyle IG page. It feels grounded, authentic and true. (It didn’t start off this way, but soon pivoted when I began to question my pages purpose.) And that purpose was to make what I do in my wardrobe feel better. I started to call myself the MINDFUL stylist. Encouraging wearing clothes at least 30 times each, talking about fashion repeats, buying once and well, and creating meaning in what we wear. All with the intention of wearing what we already have. And by promoting small, local, preloved Australian businesses mindfully suggesting that any further purchasing be from shops like them. And now, as a new year dawns, I find this page becoming my own little side hustle 😊 and with it the offers to advertise product grow. So it’s a good feeling, to know that anything I choose to showcase will be mindfully selected. They need to fall under the “small, local, preloved or Australian” umbrella. And they must be something I would buy and wear! Or I simply won’t do it! Why? Because this is what keeps me authentic, brings me joy and gives my page the meaning and purpose I need for spending so much time on it and in my wardrobe … now what will my word for 2021 be? 🙏🏻

Wishing you all the very best for 2021.

Sarah xx

Write your own story…

… and trust the universe to deliver it 🙏🏻 My transition from lockdown to my new normal has gone surprisingly well. Actually, I’m not surprised, because if you’re like me, you ask or write the story of how you would like things to be….. and I always like thing’s to unfold organically in the right direction, and at the right pace, which is how this month has been. No hurrying, no feeling pulled apart, just ease and flow, all in the direction of feeling great (and I managed to play more in my wardrobe than I thought).😊

Peacock Bloom Wrap Dress by Zia Lozen

My love of discovering and promoting brands that align with my philosophy of shop small, shop local and being mindful about both continues and this month I was incredibly blessed with collaboration opportunities. Zia Lozen http://www.zialozen.com.au is a luxe brand I featured over 3 days in my Boutique Discoveries series. Zia’s clothing is designed and made with a sustainable focus, here in Melbourne. Her colour palette is exquisite, her prints fresh and feminine and the silk fabric she uses feels fabulous. All this culminates in a luxurious label feel without a hefty price tag. Hers are clothes worth investing in as they are timeless and will be worn again and again in my wardrobe over many years. They actually fall under the mantra “buy once, buy well”, one I’ve adopted from HRH Prince Charles. To me, this means asking myself before I buy anything, will I have this in my wardrobe in 5, 10, 20 years? Will it wear well? Wash well? Outlast a trend? If the answer is yes, chances are you will only need to buy it once for a very long time. This is true Of Zia Lozen. It is true too of Australian linen label Hut Clothing http://www.hutclothing.com . I became a supporter of Hut, before they started supporting me. The cut of their Boyfriend Shirt defines casual chic, and that its organic linen is pre-washed to avoid shrinkage, that it softens with wear and somehow still manages to look so darn cool every time it’s on makes it the perfect “buy once, buy well” piece, …. although it’s available in so many lovely colours, you may want to buy a few.

And not all purchases have to be new. I’ve showcased designer recycle boutiques, second hand sites and op shops this month. Shopping this way is a genuine love of mine, and has been for the last 40 years. So it’s only natural to encourage others to consider joining in the fun. There are such treasures to be found in pre-love shopping, and it’s a sure way of finding something you genuinely adore without the marketing hype telling you what you should like..

Pre-loved brooches 💕

“Buy once, buy well” …as I was repeating this in my mind, out came “live once, live well”… and my mind has taken me back to lifestyle, the very reason I started this page nearly 4 years ago, and to my very first Sarah London Style Instagram post ever:

And so, after very little thought … and because it’s ultimately what makes me feel so good, I’ve decided to launch an Instagram page called Sarah London Lifestyle. Dedicated to everything (other than styling clothes 😉) that does in fact make this 50 something woman feel great in her life, it’s really just a scrapbook of pics and motivation for me, no IGTV, just feel good snaps … but follow along if it’s your thing…

It’s really when I’m my happiest.. no makeup, no style, just exercise and sea air 💙

At the beginning of every year I write a list of things I’d like to achieve during it. And while 2020 has lead to many items on it being transferred to 2021, an important one has recently been ticked off. Number 5 read “to work 3 days a week”. While I work 2, my magic work number is 3. I know this because anymore and life becomes chaotic, and I am in fact pulled in different directions and any less, I’m looking for ways to fill the day. So what a wonderful surprise it was when Nicholetta from The House of Nicholetta asked me if I’d be interested in working a day a week for her in her boutique. And I’ve got my little styling page to thank for it… isn’t that wonderful? All this styling during lockdown (making good use of my time when I couldn’t work) ended up with me being offered a casual position for the day a week I was after. So don’t be afraid to write down what you want in life (and as we are nearing the end of the year, it’s perfect timing to consider new beginnings) and then trust the universe to deliver it…. I’ve already written the story of what I’d like December to bring 😉

In the doorway of The House of Nicholetta wearing Anannasa Taj Dress

(btw… a few other biggies on my list were manifested too)

Sarah X 🙏🏻

A little bit about what lead me here…

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Hello Ladies and welcome to my blog. I’m more a natural talker than writer, so please forgive any grammatical errors that I’m bound to make… I’m just hoping you find the message in this more important than how it’s being written. And what is that message ? Well, ladies, it’s all about how I made the change to start feeling really really good. With myself, my life, and my everyday… despite outside circumstances…. and it all started a few months before my 50th Birthday nearly 4 years ago.
I like to think I’ve always been reasonably upbeat, but turning 50 is a milestone and while the thought of it wasn’t particularly daunting to me, all I seemed to hear was “oh my god, you’re turning 50… how do you feel?” implying that I was old, and that I had already experienced the best years of my life….both the opposite of upbeat and feeling good. And it really got me thinking… how do I feel? Certainly grateful that I was here (one of my favourite quotes is “ old age is a privilege denied to many”)… but what I wanted to feel was better than just grateful, I wanted to feel good! 

Being aware of this was my starting point, and having Oprah as an integral part of my 30s and 40s, I began rereading many of the books from guests she’d had on the show. Cheryl Richardson, Ilanya Vanzent, Louise Hay, Deepak Chopra … you name them, I got my hands on their books. But one book that wasn’t new to me and a book I had always kept on my nightstand…. was Sarah Ban Breathnach’s “Simple Abundance” .. this is a life changing book about gratitude and before children was something I lived by (but like many women who have young kids, you get so busy with their lives that you neglect your own) so it sat there for many years untouched…until I was 50 and I was lead to it once again and this time I made a change. Instead of writing down things I was grateful for each day, I started posting a pic about what I was grateful for, what I loved about my day, or what caught my eye onto a public Instagram page. Three and a half years later, I still think of the page as a scrap book of moments I love in my day….. and it’s why I’m beginning this blog.. to share more.. more of what I love, because sharing makes me feel good 😊