Friday, 15 December 2017

Capsule Wardrobe - 5 Outfits, 5 Days! International Style Challenge with Black and Burgundy

My blog friend Ruth does these 5x5 style challenges on Instagram. Another blog friend, Eileen and I started talking with her about it and thought it would be fun to participate. We decided to do an international style challenge a couple of weeks ago near the end of November.

The rules: 5 pieces of clothing to create 5 outfits over 5 days, with a black and burgundy colour scheme. Accessories like shoes, necklaces, scarves, handbags, outerwear, can be added as needed and don't count as one of the 5 pieces.

Who took part: Ruth @ruthyannie, Eileen @eileensed and myself, @awayfromblue. Ruth did this over autumn in the cold weather, and Eileen had to dress a growing baby bump too! I have so much admiration for them both!

This is going to be a bit of a long post as I share with you what we wore over 5 days! I hope you'll get a lot of outfit inspiration from it though, and discover some new ways you can rewear pieces you already own.

5 outfits 5 days, 5x5 International Style Challenge capsule wardrobe 5 outfits 5 days, 5x5 International Style Challenge capsule wardrobe | awayfromtheblue

My Capsule Wardrobe

After a few last minute swaps and changes, these are the 5 pieces I came up with for the challenge.
  • black drawstring waist maxi skirt
  • black denim shorts
  • burgundy jersey dress
  • black, burgundy and cream shirt dress
  • burgundy slouchy tee





My choices were limited by the colour scheme which helped me make decisions about what to pick as my 5 pieces. The last time I did a capsule, it was my third trimester capsule wardrobe and the growing bump helped limit my options there too! I did have to go into the office for one day which made me pick the shirt dress, even if the print is more red than burgundy. I figured it was close enough!

The main worry I had was around structuring the pieces I wore to allow me to have them washed and ironed ready for the next wear With two messy toddlers it was highly unlikely I was going to be able to wear things twice in a row without washing them! In the end I came up with 6 outfit ideas so that if something wasn't ready in time, I'd have a fall back option.

What I wore - Day 1


 5 outfits, 5 days outfit 1 burgundy tee black drawstring waist maxi skirt for playgroup | awayfromblue

Rebecca Minkoff metallic silver mini MAC | awayfromtheblue

awayfromtheblue instagram international style challenge 5 outfits 5 days day1
Necklace: Nibbly Bits Feather pendant in peach (C/O)
TeeZalora Basics maroon stepped t-shirt
SkirtJeanswest Luxe jersey maxi skirt
ShoesWalnut Melbourne 'Ava' black lizard ballet flats (also available in silver)
BagRebecca Minkoff metallic silver mini MAC

Why I wore it:

For the first day of the challenge I went with a classic tee and maxi skirt combo. When I'd first started planning outfits and pieces for the challenge I'd went with a different burgundy tee, and changed my mind and swapped it for this tee instead. I didn't like the way this one sat with the maxi skirt though, I was a bit frustrated with it both tucked and untucked and wasn't as comfortable with this outfit as I could have been. Easy outfit for playgroup though.


Last worn: burgundy tee, black maxi skirtblack ballet flats, Rebecca Minkoff silver mini MAC.

Other ways to wear: burgundy tee and navy kimono, black maxi skirt in autumn, black ballet flats and pencil skirt, Rebecca Minkoff silver mini MAC and printed jeans.

Perfect for pregnancy: burgundy tee in first trimester, black ballet flats and maternity wrap dress, Rebecca Minkoff silver mini MAC and maternity shorts.

What Ruth Wore - Day 1:


A post shared by ruthyannie (@ruthyannie) on


What Eileen Wore - Day 1:


A post shared by Eileen (@eileensed) on






What I wore - Day 2

5 outfits 5 days day 2 atmos&here nigella printed shirt dress | away from the blue

Marc By Marc Jacobs Classic Q Fran bag with gold hardware in carob brown | away from the blue

awayfromtheblue instagram printed shirt dress marc jacobs fran bag
NecklaceRoie Designs pearl and antique gold long necklace
DressAtmos&Here Nigella collarless shirt dress
ShoesRMK Chester black ankle boots
BagMarc By Marc Jacobs Classic Q Fran bag with gold hardware in carob brown

Why I wore it:

This was as 'formal' as my outfits got during the challenge, the majority of them were casual outfits. I had to go into the office, so picked this shirt dress to fit in with the business casual dress code. I found myself fussing with this outfit too during the day though, the dress seemed to ride up a lot and I was constantly tugging it back down. I much prefer wearing this dress as a kimono, or layering it up with tights in winter.

I knew with the darker black and red print on the dress (it's a geometric print although it looks like polka dots in the pics!) that this Marc Jacobs bag would work perfectly with it. This bag doesn't get worn as often as it did when I first got it, but it's still a nice choice for work. It's been tagged in 62 posts on the blog and most of the time it featured in both outfits of the posts, so you can see it was worn a lot in the past! Such a unique colour too, a deep purple-y brown.


Last worn: geometric print shift dress, black ankle boots, Marc by Marc Jacobs Fran bag.

Other ways to weargeometric print shift dress layered for winter, 30 ways to wear black ankle boots, Marc by Marc Jacobs Fran bag and maxi skirt.

Perfect for pregnancyblack ankle boots and pregnancy announcement, Marc by Marc Jacobs Fran bag at 40 weeks pregnant.



What Ruth Wore - Day 2:


A post shared by ruthyannie (@ruthyannie) on


What Eileen Wore - Day 2:

A post shared by Eileen (@eileensed) on







What I wore - Day 3

5 outfits 5 days international style challenge 3 burgundy dress black mimco bag ankle boots | awayfromblue

Mimco black button bag | away from the blue blog

awayfromtheblue instagram international style challenge 5x5 5 outfits 5 days outfit burgundy dress
NecklaceZanele 40 handmade rope necklace
DressFrench Connection star dancing jersey dress in red rust/almond
ShoesRMK Chester black ankle boots
Bag: Mimco black button bag

Why I wore it:

The simplest of all my challenge outfits, and also the most popular. I wore this to work from home and attend a specialist appointment with baby boy in the afternoon. With the burgundy star print dress, I added black through my accessories, with the same ankle boots I'd worn the day before and another little worn bag, my Mimco button bag.

This was actually my first expensive bag purchase, despite how little I wear it now I'm never going to let it go. I spent months thinking about it and saving for it and picking out the perfect colour combo I wanted and I still remember the excitement of going to the store to pick it up! Very treasured even if not frequently worn now. I think I bought it in 2007 at the height of the button bag trend, still looks great. Sadly it's discontinued, the closest thing is the Mimco Turnlock bag that's around $200 more expensive than the button bag was 10 or so years ago, or to go to ebay for the classic style.


Last worn: burgundy star print dress, black ankle boots (above, day 2), Mimco button bag.

Other ways to wearburgundy star print dress in third trimester, black ankle boots and skinny jeans, Mimco button bag for the office.

Perfect for pregnancyburgundy star print dress for travel in Melbourne, black ankle boots in second trimester.



What Ruth Wore - Day 3:


A post shared by ruthyannie (@ruthyannie) on


What Eileen Wore - Day 3:

A post shared by Eileen (@eileensed) on





What I wore - Day 4

5 outfits 5 days day 5 medical appointment Christmas shopping burgundy tee shorts dress as kimono | awayfromblue

Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan satchel in Harvest Gold | away from the blue

awayfromtheblue isntagram 5x5 international style challenge 4 burgundy black shorts dress as kimono
JacketAtmos&Here Nigella collarless shirt dress (worn as a kimono)
Necklace: Nibbly Bits Feather pendant in peach (C/O)
TeeZalora Basics maroon stepped t-shirt
ShortsJeanswest Sara distressed hot short
ShoesConverse Chuck Taylor All Star low in black
BagRebecca Minkoff micro Regan satchel in Harvest Gold

Why I wore it:

An incredibly busy day called for a comfortable and casual outfit, and the first wearing of the last of my 5 pieces, my black denim shorts. Added the comfy slouchy burgundy tee and the printed dress was worn as a kimono. Converse were a practical choice for a busy day, and the mustard yellow bag was a fun touch of colour with the black and burgundy.

Baby boy had some more tests at the hospital in the morning, so I had the day off. With my mother in law available to watch the boys, as it was a day I normally work, I made the most of it and she looked after them both once the testing was done so I could gt a rare child free afternoon to go Christmas shopping. And I shopped up a storm, getting the majority of the things remaining on my Christmas present list!

Last worn: shirt dress as a kimono (day 2), burgundy tee (day 1), black denim shorts, Converse, Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan bag.

Other ways to wearshirt dress and ankle boots, burgundy tee and skinny jeans, black denim shorts and stripes, Converse and skinny jeans, Rebecca Minkoff mustard micro Regan bag and red maxi skirt.

Perfect for pregnancy: burgundy tee in first trimesterConverse in the second trimester.


What Ruth Wore - Day 4:

A post shared by ruthyannie (@ruthyannie) on


What Eileen Wore - Day 4:

A post shared by Eileen (@eileensed) on



What I wore - Day 5

5 outfit 5 days final day burgundy dress worn as top with black denim shorts turquoise accessories | awayfromtheblue

Rebecca Minkoff mini MAC in aquamarine with python embossed leather | away from the blue

awayfromtheblue instagram | burgundy jersey dress worn as a top with denim shorts 5x5 style challenge
Necklace: Turquoise and gold beaded necklace from my mum's wardrobe
DressFrench Connection star dancing jersey dress in red rust/almond (worn as a top)
ShortsJeanswest Sara distressed hot short
Shoesblack slim Havaianas thongs
BagRebecca Minkoff mini MAC in aquamarine with python embossed leather

Why I wore it:

For my fifth and final outfit with my 5 pieces, I wore my denim shorts again and the lovely burgundy dress as a top. I added turquoise accessories with the necklace and Rebecca Minkoff mini MAC bag for an extra touch of colour. I've won dresses as tops before, it's a nice way to wear something a little differently. The extra dress fabric wasn't too bulky although it was a bit of a pain tucking it in to the shorts every time I went to the bathroom! I had considered doubling up on the dresses and wearing the shift dress as a kimono over this again, but despite how little time I spent with the boys the day before it still got messy and had to have a wash. That was the hardest part of this challenge - making sure everything was washed and ironed in time to wear again!

This was a nice outfit to finish the challenge on, I ran around with the boys completing a few errands.


Last worn: burgundy star print dress (above, day 3), black denim shorts (above, day 4), Havaianas, aquamarine mini MAC bag.

Other ways to wear: burgundy dress layered for winter, black shorts and polka dots, aqua mini MAC bag and maxi dress.

Perfect for pregnancy: burgundy dress and second trimester bump, aqua mini MAC bag and maternity shorts.



What Ruth Wore - Day 5:


A post shared by ruthyannie (@ruthyannie) on


What Eileen Wore - Day 5:


A post shared by Eileen (@eileensed) on




Hope you enjoyed seeing the different outfits we were able to create for the challenge. While it was a fun challenge for me, I was looking forward to getting back into my regular wardrobe at the end of it! Especially after buying lots of new pieces that month that I was eager to wear.

Thanks so much to Ruth and Eileen for inviting me to take part - if you don't already, you should follow them on Instagram!


Linking up with Passion for Fashion.


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Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Long Sleeve Dresses For Summer And Louis Vuitton Speedy Bandouliere

Thanks to my friend who gave me the idea for this post! I take photos every day, and you can always see on Instagram what I'm wearing, but for my blog posts I like to try group my outfits together into a similar theme. When my friend told me she had to snap up a similar piece to my floral dress, I realised it would be a good theme for a post.

Both of the outfits below feature long sleeve dresses for summer. I've included where to find similar pieces under $50 too.

What I wore:

Zaful floral print ruffle hem dress in ginger with LV speedy bandouliere and converse sightseeing theme park outfit | away from blue

Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene 30 speedy bandouliere bag | away from the blue

Sea World Gold coast outfit yellow floral dress Converse LV speedy bandouliere | awayfromtheblue Instagram

Toddler T's first rollercoaster Sea world gold coast
DressZaful floral print ruffle hem dress in ginger
ShoesConverse Chuck Taylor All Star low in white
BagLouis Vuitton Damier Ebene 30 speedy bandouliere

Why I wore it:

We had a planned day out at Seaworld, and it was supposed to be a warm day, but we woke up to it being cold and wet in Brisbane. I decided instead of sandals to wear my Converse to keep my feet warm. I regretted that decision when we got to Seaworld, it turned into a glorious sunny day! This dress is a loose, swing style so it's perfect for not overheating, but socks and shoes was a bit much for my feet! Very comfortable for a day walking around at Seaworld though.

The boys had a blast going on all the kids rides. Toddler T even went on his first roller coaster (after settling for the kid's coaster despite him asking many times to go on the big rides). It was so sweet to see him so excited - he dragged all of us on it with him and kept wanting to go on again and again.

It's the second time I've worn this dress, and I do a purchase review with everything after I wear it twice. My usual rule is to wear something twice in the month I buy it, but with this dress it took over a month to arrive and got here right at the end of October so there wasn't enough days left to wear it then! I did manage to squeeze in this second wear by November though. I'm just very behind with blogging.

When the dress arrived I was unsure if the quality was worth the $28.93 I paid for it given all of the threads it had coming off of it. It also arrived crushed, so I had to spend a while ironing it before I could wear it, and I hate ironing. The more I wore it though, the more it grew on me. And I was thrilled to find after that first wear that when you wash it and leave it to air dry (as I do with most of my clothes) it actually has a nice crinkled texture you can see here - no ironing required! This dress is definitely a winner, even if I will have to spend time cutting loose threads off as they appear! I'm looking forward to wearing this more over summer, and it will layer up beautifully in autumn and winter too.


Last worn: yellow floral dress, white Converse, Louis Vuitton speedy bandouliere.

Other ways to wearyellow floral dress and aqua bagConverse and maxi skirt, Louis Vuitton speedy bandouliere for travel.

Perfect for pregnancy: Converse and maternity shorts, Louis Vuitton speedy bandouliere and maternity pencil skirts.


Long Sleeve Dresses for Summer Under $50:







What I wore:

zara navy tunic printed dress with louis vuitton speedy bandouliere bag Converse high tops | awayfromblue

navy printed tunic dress with Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene 30 speedy bandouliere worn crossbody | awayfromtheblue
Necklace: Happiness Boutique turquoise and coral pendant necklace (C/O)
Dress: Zara printed bib front tunic dress
ShoesPurple high top Converse look-a-likes
Bracelets: the usual
BagLouis Vuitton Damier Ebene 30 speedy bandouliere

Why I wore it:

Not as fun of a day when I wore this, no theme park trip! I just did the daycare dropoff and pickup and worked from home in between. A nice comfortable dress like this was just what I needed.

I don't often wear this dress with the sleeves down like this - it has little tabs so I can roll up the sleeves and keep them in place and that's my preferred way to wear it. For something different though, I thought I'd leave the sleeves down.

Despite a dress being an easy and quick outfit option, I did spend a few minutes in the morning worrying about what necklace to wear. Tried on a few but none of them looked quite right so I settled on this one. A compliment from Ruth on Instagram made me happy as I hadn't been loving the combo, I was pleased to see someone liked it.


Last worn: navy printed tunic dress, purple high tops, Louis Vuitton speedy bandouliere (above).

Other ways to wearnavy dress and denim jacket, purple high tops and skinny jeans, Louis Vuitton speedy bandouliere and maxi dress.

Perfect for pregnancy: tunic dress belted in third trimesterLouis Vuitton speedy bandouliere and maternity denim.




More Long Sleeve Dresses For Summer Under $50:







How You Can Wear It:

Long sleeves in summer has the benefit of extra sun protection, and if you pick light fabrics, they are still very breathable despite the heat. Cotton, viscose (the blue dress), rayon (the floral dress) or linen are good options. You can also roll the sleeves up too if you find them too warm. Light long sleeve dresses also work perfectly for bikini cover ups at the beach.



Want a Long Sleeve Dress to Wear On Christmas Day?

There's still time to order and get your purchase before next week!





Linking up with Style on The Daily, Fashion Frenzy, Oh Hey Girl, Fun Fashion, Fabulous Friday, Weekend Wear.


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Monday, 11 December 2017

Blue Printed Dresses and Blazers for the Office

Blue is my favourite colour. It always makes me feel confident and happy when I wear it, one of my 'power colours'. I try not to wear it every day (I really could...) but for a stressful work week it was the ideal outfit choice. I picked out two of my favourite blue printed dresses for a hectic and busy few days in the office.

What I wore:

blush pink blazer, blue boho print dress silver ballet flats purple Balenciaga work bag office outfit | AwayFromBLue

blue dress, pink blazer, Balenciaga purple G21 silver hardware work bag | awayfromtheblue

#pregnancyandmotherhood style awayfromblue instagram dress that works in pregnancy and post-baby
JacketJeanswest Nadine 3/4 sleeve dusky pink blazer
DressJeanswest 'Chelsea' printed dress
ShoesMarc by Marc Jacobs silver tuxedo flats
BagBalenciaga raisin purple 2009 giant silver G21 hardware work bag

Why I wore it:

I've never seen this dress as an office dress before, keeping it as part of my casual wardrobe. I kept seeing it and thinking it was overdue a wear, last worn back in May! While I know I have too many office clothes now I'm only working part time, I figured I'd try make this work for the office anyway. I added the blush pink blazer to make it a little more office appropriate. I really liked this outfit!

The only thing I didn't like was that I pulled the elasticated waist down so it didn't give the blouson effect of wearing it higher, but because I didn't belt it, the waistband kept riding up and I was tugging on this dress a few times during the day to try keep the hem down. If I wear this to the office again, I'll definitely add a belt to keep it in place! It was nice to wear this in my business casual office, this dress really does work for so many occasions, including pregnancy!

The colours in this outfit made me happy. I like blue and pink and purple together, they are lovely shades that work well combined and this outfit is a good example of that.


Last worn: blush blazerboho print dress, bow detail flats, purple Balenciaga work bag.

Other ways to wear: blush blazer and purple jeansprinted dress layered for autumn, bow detail flats and skinny jeans, purple Balenciaga work bag and pink pencil skirt.

Perfect for pregnancy: blush blazer in third trimesterboho dress in second trimester, ballet flats and maternity wrap dress.



Blue Printed Dresses For The Office Under $50:






What I wore:

grey jersey blazer, jeanswest navy aztec print dress silver statement necklace with purple Balenciaga bag | away from blue

Balenciaga raisin purple 2009 giant silver G21 hardware work bag | away from the blue

Jeanswest jersey blazer aztec print dress office ootd | away from the blue blog
JacketJeanswest grey jersey blazer
NecklaceJeanswest Taki necklace (C/O)
DressJeanswest Aztec print dress
ShoesMarc by Marc Jacobs logo plaque flats in camel
Bracelets: the usual plus old jade and Roie Designs labradorite bracelets
BagBalenciaga raisin purple 2009 giant silver G21 hardware work bag

Why I wore it:

Another busy day, another favourite blue printed dress. Last time I wore this dress without a belt I wasn't too happy with the results. This time around though, with the longer statement necklace and grey jersey blazer, I liked the dress unbelted. It didn't ride up like the first dress through the day either.

While I was hunting for a particular necklace to wear (this one is nice but wasn't my first choice) I came across these jade and beaded bracelets I hadn't worn in a while, so added them to my bracelet stack.

Last worn: grey jersey blazerAztec print dress, camel ballet flats, raisin Balenciaga work bag (above).

Other ways to weargrey jersey blazer and wrap dressAztec print dress in wintercamel ballet flats and skinny jeansraisin Balenciaga work bag and black pencil skirt.

Perfect for pregnancy: Aztec print dress in third trimestercamel ballet flats in third trimester.



More Blue Printed Dresses Under $50:









How You Can Wear It:

Printed dresses are such easy office outfits, I'm always going to recommend them for working mums - just pull on and go without worrying about coordinating. If your office air con is cold, or you want to make your dress seem even more professional, just add a blazer! Pink works well with blue, but you can always go with a neutral grey if you're unsure about the colour combo.





Today marks just two weeks till Christmas! Still have people left to buy for? Check out my gift guide for a mum or mum to be, everything's under $50! And for your fashionista friend, get them a gift they'll adore no matter your budget with the ultimate handbag lover gift guide!


Linking up with Turning Heads, Confident Twosday.


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