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 🙏🏻

Blossoming…

Six months ago I posted my first video on Instagram @sarahlondonstyle and since it’s introduction, my three and a half year old lifestyle page has evolved into one of pure style 😎 .. it’s funny, my intention remains the same, “to be grateful, feel good, and share what I love” but the direction from what I thought it would come has changed. No more plant based recipe posts, no more workout motivation, no more interiors inspo … just style. And the wonderful thing is, its changed organically. I’ve never had so much fun, felt more authentic, or had more engagement. And now I find my page is not just for me, it’s grown 🙏🏻

“The Maggie” Maggie Lam Blue Wonder in Ivory Wrap Dress

I call my page Sarah London Style and not Fashion… for a reason. Fashion, to me, is the current trend, and it comes and goes seasonally. Yves Saint Laurent once said “Fashions fade, style is eternal”. Which is true. Don’t get me wrong, I always like to keep my eye on what’s out there, but our Style, that should be the focus, as it’s the manner or way we dress. And knowing your own can be the difference between wearing something once or for 20 years. So, yes, while we all like to know what the latest look is, the idea is not to jump on it, it’s to take a piece of it mindfully and adapt it to our own way of dressing. There’s a huge difference. Everything I style on my page, whether it be in fashion or not is done so my way, the Sarah London Style way. I know my style. And while my style is not for everyone, what I do hope is that people will love an element of what I present and make it theirs. Which then organically creates their own style. It’s something every women should have. Because when you know your own style, (and you do in fact own it) you will wear your wardrobe eternally. And that is something I love!

A Kidz Wardrobe Snakeskin Coat

One of my IG page’s aims is to share style mindfully by showcasing second hand, small, local brands and boutiques. I’ve showcased some new designers this month including New Zealand Textile Designer Maggie Lam and Brisbane Dress Designer I Love That Necklace. What an honour both have been to style. Maggie was the first person to reach out to me, and ask if I would wear her label 🙏🏻 so her dress, which I call The Maggie is something I will treasure forever. It’s not only beautiful, (as you can see by the picture), it has immense sentimental value and you know how much I love that! Leisa from I Love that Necklace is someone who trusted me to take three of her own designs and make them mine. That’s pretty trusting, since her label’s aesthetic is quite different to my own. But I think that’s what people like, to see someone like them put it together is very different ways.

I have also begun to discover new boutiques and share them. A Kidz Wardrobe in Ivanhoe is one. Introduced to me by a follower and it’s owner, I now proudly have of a couple of pieces that I am really happy with. This boutique is a small, single business that carries an abundance of Australian and imported brands for ladies of all shapes and sizes at a reasonable price point. I’ve been told it’s an Aladdin’s cave of treasure and I can’t wait to get there and see it for myself. Shopping like this is exciting! It’s an adventure of discovery. Which is why I called this new ongoing series BOUTIQUE DISCOVERIES. I really want to open peoples eyes to the gems they may find in the smallest of local shops giving them an fresh alternative to the “cookie cutter” pieces found in larger shopping centres. I’ve also created another ongoing series called PRE-LOVED DELIGHTS. Based on my love of thrifting, it really is the most wonderful way to make a financial difference to others and environmentally to the planet. It’s the ultimate sustainable shopping option! So please follow along…

I Love That Necklace “Annina Dress” in Tea/Black

And so, there goes October and the last 6 months of vlogging. What a blast you’ve been! Infact, Instagram, and those who follow along, you have both been my saviour during lockdown! Thank you 🙏🏻. And now, as Melbourne starts to open up, the weather improves and my reality no longer requires me in my wardrobe, you may find me in it less. I will remain loyal and shop those businesses and brands I love. I will continue my love of sharing style on my blog and page. I will mindfully promote my love of second hand, small and local. And still make videos along the way. But my free #giveback promotions project will now come to an end. It takes a great deal of time and effort to do this, and my spare time now becomes more precious. I have a few ideas of how I would like SLS to move forward. So I’ll ask the universe for these, knowing that in doing so it will all unfold naturally. And that makes me feel good. 😊

Sarah x

September Feel Goods 😊…

With a clear desire to make my posts and vlogs mean something more, (and having more time on my hands than usual), this month I found myself offering my amateur styling services to small local businesses free of charge. Businesses that bring me joy, whose clothes I wear and who I would hate to see as Covid Casualties. I call it #giveback and it’s about the joy of sharing (and styling) what I love. And while it promotes them, it raises awareness of becoming mindful from who and why we buy, so if we do want a shiny new thing (and gosh I’m a sucker for that) we are aware that our choice can make a difference in keeping a brave small business owner’s dream alive. If you’re familiar with my Instagram you know who they are, but if you don’t, I’ll name them. The House of Nicholetta, Rebecca Thompson Fashion, Frankies Melbourne, and Kiitos Living by Design… and boy has this sharing of small and local made me feel good, so much so I’m going to continue it into October 😊

Kiitos Living by Design

Not quite ready to say hello to Summer, but definitely ready to say goodbye to Winter, I’ve been experimenting with a Spring transitional wardrobe. By placing items on a rack I plan on wearing, I’ve paired outfits I know will work, created new ones and and also looked at items that I would benefit from purchasing mindfully to streamline them all. In hindsight, this is probably best done in August to allow for delivery of any new pieces to complete it in time. Lesson learnt. But from it, I’ve come to realise that I now have everything I need for an Autumn transitional wardrobe for next year (which allows me the indulgence of honing in on my favourite things, accessories). Doing this the month before the end of each season, creates calm in your wardrobe. You know what fits, what works and what you can throw on easily. It also stops the need to constantly purchase new things, freeing up time and money … and that makes me feel so good 🙏🏻…. you can watch my Spring Transitional Wardrobe Series on the link below 😊 and feel free to follow along as I’ll be featuring my Summer Wardrobe series in late October.

This month I’m honoured to being featured as someone with “Ageless Style”. It’s on a US blog called Rough Luxe Lifestyle by designer Cindy Hattersley. You can read it in the link below 😊 What a happy dance of a moment this has been! To be recognised from my little page has made me feel so darn good! If you’ve read the previous blog, you’ll know it’s why I started this page. Feeling good is my everything, and that I can share what I love and have it well received by so many of you is wonderful. But to have a complete stranger from the other side of the world write about it, is truly amazing . I am so thankful for both 🙏🏻 So I’ll keep on doing what I’m doing, share snippets of beautiful things in my day while encouraging any of you out there, to do the same. I’ll follow you! Social media can be such an uplifting experience and there really is a wonderfully supportive community of likeminded women out there to cheer you all along 😊

Sarah xx

A little bit about what lead me here…

d825c007-4a05-48c6-aec5-b0505a4551ae 
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 😊