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Effortless Styling Essentials

minimal styling essentials

While I've been in the process of curating my dream wardrobe I feel like I've been on a little journey. I'm clearing out quite a few old items to make room for new ones and along the way I've been having a lot of fun just experimenting with my style and trying new things (aka leaving the comfort of my trusty black skinny jeans...). 

Aside from falling in love with the dream wardrobe that I'm creating, I've realised that there are certain pieces, certain elements of putting together a look that just make all my outfits look more cohesive. When I'm under a time crunch, rushing out the door or even if I'm just feeling a little on the lazy side or I'm not sure what to wear, these are the wardrobe essentials I always have at the ready that are complete life (and time) savers.

easy fashion styling pieces
fashion blogger melbourne

I've always found that jeans are the best item in my wardrobe in terms of versatility and wearability and you know what? This may sound dramatic but when I found this pair (that I'm wearing in these photos) of mid waist light wash denim jeans I swear, it was like my entire viewpoint on jeans had been refreshed. Yeah, a good boot leg cut or classic pair of skinny jeans will serve you well over the years because they quite literally go with anything, but jeans offer so many more possibilities. Jeans make for an effortless styling essential of mine, purely because there are SO many styles of jeans out there (especially now) that you can really afford to be more adventurous, branch out and try different jean styles and pretty much no matter what style you go for you'll still be suitably dressed for almost any occasion. Oh jeans, I love you, and now I love you even more and will proceed to buy every nice new style of jeans that I find.

If you haven't guessed it from my other outfit posts, I'm not big on jewellery. I had a jewellery phase when I was about 14 where I would wear bangles all up and down my arms, long dangly earrings and apparently I was trying to set some kind of record for how large of a ring a person could physically wear on their finger because oh man did I like the statement rings. Nowadays I opt for very minimal in the accessories department, usually some simple rings and most recently, a classic silver watch. Since I got this watch I've worn it with all my outfits and aside from being practical (hallelujah I can finally check the time without having to pick up my phone) I'm also wondering how I ever styled my outfits without this piece because it just makes everything look so classy, like the final cherry on top of my outfit. A classic watch is definitely an effortless styling essential.

marc bale the peach box
melbourne minimal blogger

It's hard for me to imagine that there was ever a time that I didn't like, who was I? Now they are the piece that makes me feel the most like me, without one I feel a little naked (this is why I have a problem with summer!).

For the A/W seasons, coats are obviously extremely practical to have as part of your wardrobe but they're brilliant for another reason as well. Let's be honest, coats hide a lot of what's underneath (especially if you opt for a button up coat) so you can wear almost anything underneath and no one will be any the wiser. Commando under your coat, anyone? Just kidding, that'd be way too drafty.

If you're not a coat hoarder lover like me then I'd say for a styling essential, stick with a black coat but if you are like me and can't get enough of them, start collecting your coats like pokemons and get a cream coat, camel coat, trench coat, navy coat, black coat and grey one too! Then you'll have all your bases covered and when A/W rolls around- planning your outfits just got a lot less complicated.

In my mind, there's no better way to add to an outfit than a coat.

styling essentials

Outfit details. 

T-shirt by ASOS
 Coat by ZARA
Jeans by WEEKDAY (shop here)
Boots by JO MERCER (shop here)
*Watch by MARC BALE (shop here)

editorial fashion blogger

Feel free to drop your jaw to the floor, because I have fully realised the errors of my monochrome ways and realised that a pop of colour goes with my usual neutral toned outfits really damn well. I love wearing darker colours and despite being as pale as a ghost I would happily walk around in all black outfits but when you add an accessory, pair of coloured shoes or some kind of pop of colour to your outfit it's like it fills a void that you didn't even know existed (too dramatic again?). 

If you're styling an outfit and feel a little stuck, try leaving your comfort zone (or not, if you already love colour) and add a completely different colour tone to your outfit to make it that much more special. It'll elevate your look without you even really trying. I know there are certain 'rules' out there about what colours go with which, but some of the best combinations I've seen are ones that I completely wouldn't have expected. So even if you think some kind of colour match will look horrendous, try it out because you'll probably surprise yourself. PS- sometimes I've tried this and I do indeed look bloody horrendous but hey, I learn from it, try a new colour combination or adding a different pop of colour and it all works out in the end. 

fashion blog melbourne the sunday mode

What are your styling essentials?

*The Marc Bale watch was gifted to me. The shop links used at the bottom of this post are affiliate links, which means I would earn a small commission from the sales if you choose to make a purchase through those links. 

How To Stop Comparing Yourself

tips on beating comparisons

As a little disclaimer here, I just want to say that with pretty much every single 'tips' type of post that I publish, usually whatever I've chosen to write about directly pertains to something I'm trying to work on myself. So I'm writing about how to stop comparing yourself to others? Surprise surprise, I'm struggling with that right now. At the moment, when I look through my Instagram feed I feel deflated because I can't seem to switch off that part of my brain that's making me compare myself and my own situations to other people's. I needed a healthy dose of reality and so with that, here are 3 ways to stop the comparison cycle:

Focus on what you're thankful for. 
Call me crazy but when I need to stop any kind of pity party I'm throwing myself, I watch a show called "I Survived." For anyone that doesn't know, it's basically a show filled with first-person accounts of how people survived some kind of deadly situation. If I'm comparing my blog content to someone else's and feeling crappy, I watch that show and it's like life is giving me a slap in the face. That person on "I Survived" got attacked by a serial killer and lived? Yeah, my content worries aren't so worrying anymore and I'm all of a sudden very thankful for my current life, to the point where it feels ridiculous to not be overwhelmed with happiness about all the little things I take for granted. You may not be wired the same as me but I'd say that one of the fastest ways to stop comparing yourself is to expose yourself to content that makes you continuously appreciative of everything you have in life. You don't like your nose? Some people are born without noses buddy.

Work toward your best self.
I've found that when I'm comparing myself a lot and feeling bad afterwards, it's probably because subconsciously I'm seeing an aspect of someone else or someone else's life that I'd like to have myself. So say you tend to heavily compare your job to another person's, think really carefully about what it is about that other person's job that's different to your own. Is it that they get paid more? Maybe they have better hours, are in a more creative job or just seem to be happier at work than you? Rather than dwelling and just continuously feeling shitty, try spending your time working toward what it is that you're envying/comparing because that's what you're after. If you're going to spend a lot of time and energy doing comparisons, you may as well take that same time and energy and do something productive.

Remember that everyone's doing it. 
One easy way to discourage yourself from doing constant comparisons is to realise and remember that we're all doing it, we're all humans just wasting our time comparing ourselves to other humans when we could be doing so many other things. When you're struggling with something it's easy to think that whatever you're going through is singular to you, like no one else out there could possibly feel the same way but just remember, you're not that unique. What I mean by that is that if you're struggling with comparing yourself with another person for example, remember that the person in that photo is most probably looking to someone else and comparing themselves as well. It's a small comfort, but at least we can all take some comfort in knowing that we're not alone and I think if we remember that, it's much easier to stop the cycle.

Do you struggle with comparing yourself to others?


3 Changes To Make To Your A.M. Routine

ways to improve your A.M routine

So I'm not great at night routines, that was well established in my '3 Steps To Improve Your PM routine' post. 
 But what about morning routines I hear you ask? (I'm aware no one is actually asking this) but yep- a morning routine I do have and because of that I do actually feel mildly qualified to tell you a few ways you can improve your own A.M. routine. It's not about getting motivated like this post, it's more so about 3 really simple things you can do that can change how your whole day turns out. 

lifestyle blogger morning routine tips
Okay this one is actually really fun to do, and for me it doubles as a kind of meditation. So in the morning when you're laying in bed, think about what you want to do during the day and whatever you have planned, and see yourself going through your whole day. So if you want to go to gym and eat healthily, visualise yourself getting up, getting dressed, sipping some water then hitting the gym, having a sweat session and feeling really awesome afterwards. It's not a magic cure or anything but I find doing this each morning really helps me to get done what I set out to do for the day, because it's almost like just from visualising that I've already done it all! 

3 changes to make to your AM routine
Chances are your job involves looking at a laptop or computer and even if it doesn't, you probably spend a chunk of time looking at your phone throughout the day anyway. To give my brain a break from screens, I find spending at least my morning without a phone, laptop, Ipad or anything like that to be extremely therapeutic. So instead of checking social media or replying to emails in the morning, try staying away from technology or at the least, activating 'Airplane Mode' where you can. Seriously, even just having 15 minutes of tech-free time is calming because there's no interruptions or distractions coming at you and you can just sort of block out the world temporarily and be with your own thoughts.

lifestyle blogger the sunday mode
I can be really mean to myself. Weirdly, I am extremely sympathetic and empathetic to other people yet I struggle with treating myself the same way. One thing that's helped is being aware of my negative thoughts and countering them straight off the bat in the morning with positive thoughts/self talk. Don't click out of the post yet, I know 'positive self talk' is something people find wanky and will roll their eyes at but bare with me.

Your morning sets up your whole day, right? So if I look in the mirror and think "God my eyebrows look weird" (weird example I know) then that obviously doesn't leave me feeling that great. So I try to catch those thoughts and even if it makes me feel stupid, I'll say the opposite aloud. It's kind of a frustrating process at first but if you notice what you're saying to yourself and do this little process, eventually I've found that doing this in the mornings especially means my general thinking throughout the day is a lot more positive and hey, I'm gonna take more positivity wherever I can get it. 

What do you think about making these changes to your morning routine?


Curating Your Dream Wardrobe

how to create your dream wardrobe
It's worth noting that I'm well aware that the term 'Dream Wardrobe' definitely sounds a little....dated. That term is giving me flashbacks of a Barbie dream closet but I couldn't really find another word to describe what I mean. I'm talking about looking into your wardrobe and just being happy with everything you've got, feeling extraordinarily content. 

In the past when I've looked in my wardrobe all I've seen is gaps, the things I need but don't have, or the things I want but don't have. I felt like that for a while and then hit a point a few months back where I just got fed up and figured hey, I'm all for saving my money but you also can't take money with you to the grave so I may as well spend my time and money on things that make me happy, which right now is my wardrobe. I wanted to look in my wardrobe and feel happy, not just feel 'meh.' So I went on the hunt to configure my dream wardrobe, and here's how:

olympus camera au blogger melbourne

Step 1: Prepare for this to take time.

One thing I should preface before I start all this off is that I don't think of the process of curating my 'dream' (there's that word again) wardrobe as something to do on a whim. I think to do this right you have to be fully prepared for the process to take time. I'm talking months or even the span of a year or years. My aim wasn't to buy a bunch of items at once, deplete my bank balance and then have an over-flowing wardrobe. My aim was and is to curate a wardrobe filled with pieces that I need, pieces that I love, pieces that reflect my style and different moods, and pieces that will stand the test of time.

Step 2: Make a Pinterest board or folder for your ideal wardrobe. 

To get the ball rolling on this whole process you first have to obviously figure out what you're actually looking for, and Pinterest, reading style blogs or going online in general can be great for that. If Pinterest is your jam, make a board (it can be a secret board) called your 'Dream Wardrobe' or alternatively just create a folder on your computer. Your aim is to collate a folder/board filled with images that inspire you and make you excited about fashion and styling, as well as images that can help guide you to know what actual pieces or accessories etc you need and want as part of your wardrobe. So spend time searching online, put key words into Pinterest and search and search until you feel content enough to start writing a list.

tips for online shopping and creating a wardrobe you love

minimal fashion and lifestyle blog

Step 3: Figure out what you actually need. 

Once you've gone crazy curating images of your dream wardrobe and images of key pieces you want as part of your wardrobe, it's time to be mindful and figure out the difference between what you want and what you actually need, because the latter is something you can't compromise on.

Do you workout? You'll probably need workout gear and runners. Maybe you've got pets that shed so you need some lighter coloured pieces in your wardrobe that are more pet hair proof. It's all well and good to brainstorm what you want, but remember to be realistic and also think about your lifestyle to uncover what's needed. In my eyes a dream wardrobe doesn't work if it doesn't have everything you need.

Step 4: Make a list and have it at the ready. 

After you've sussed out what you want and need, write out all the pieces you want as part of your dream wardrobe onto a list. For me, I've been keeping my dream wardrobe list in the 'Notes' app of my phone because I just find that to be the most convenient but wherever you decide to write your list, try and keep it (or a copy of it) with you somehow, that way if you're shopping in stores or at home you'll always be able to refer back to that. 

curating your dream wardrobe
styling fashion blogger

Step 5: Start the hunt. 

Oh ASOS you saviour, with your free returns and free postage, god bless you.

After you've got your list sorted, it's time to start the long process of finding the actual items and this is what you have to be really patient with (that's a note to self right there because I am uber impatient). So next time you're searching online or in stores, refer to your list and begin trying to hunt down the pieces on it.

I love online shopping so when I can, I like to take one item at a time from my list (because I'm methodical like that) and I'll search through different online sites until I find a piece I like. Sometimes I find nothing, sometimes I hit the jackpot, it really just depends. (or can be a great way to sift through multiple websites at once but I'd really recommend searching for your pieces on websites with free or cheap returns because then you can buy a bunch of stuff, try it on in the comfort of your own home and then send back what you don't want for free with a full refund. Once I really wanted to hunt down a good basic white tee to add to my dream wardrobe, so I bought 4 reasonably priced white tees (bare with me) from ASOS, tried them on at home and then sent back the 3 I didn't want. I wouldn't recommend searching for everything on your list at once because you may just go broke, but if you can be patient, I promise that either in store on online, you will eventually find everything on your list.
the sunday mode lifestyle blogger

Step 6: Take the time to find the perfect fits. 

AKA don't just settle for anything, even though it's really tempting because then you get to tick everything off your list really quickly... So if you want a good pair of black ankle boots, don't just find a decent pair, add it to your wardrobe and then call it a day. Take the time to really find the perfect fits, things you really love that you feel great in. Whatever is on your list, I don't think it's possibly to really fulfil your dream wardrobe if you just settle so you really have to be patient and wait to find the right pieces.

What do you think about curating a dream wardrobe?

*If you choose to purchase any of the items from the shop links above, I will earn a very small commission of the sale/s. 

Photography Guide: A Cheat Sheet

No matter how happy someone is with their photography, I feel like everyone is always looking for ways they can improve (or at least I always am). When I first started The Sunday Mode I luckily already had a really nice Canon DSLR from back in my university days, but did I know how to properly use it? Nope. Manual settings? Oh I had no bloody clue what I was doing.

Since then I like to think that I've come a long way with my blog photography (see my first ever blog photos here and have a laugh) so I thought I'd share some basic DSLR knowledge I've learnt over time and my best tips for improving your photography and understanding your camera:

LIGHTING- the basics.

Are your photos too dark or light? Juggle your Aperture and/or Shutter Speed.

Shutter Speed is how fast your camera takes the photo. It's the length of time between you pressing down the button to take the photo and your camera actually taking the shot. If you have a low shutter speed number, you're allowing more time before the shot is taken which lets more light in. So a low shutter speed number (i.e, 1/30) is often good for low light situations where you need to let more light in. Depending on how low you go, a very low shutter speed can require a tripod or a very steady hand to avoid getting a blurry image so be mindful of that.
A fast shutter speed on the other hand (1/1000) will take your shot quickly. It's ideal for capturing things like sports games or pictures of animals because you'll be wanting to take the shot quickly before your subject moves. You're usually able to capture a crisper shot with a fast shutter speed as well because the shot is taken so quickly. So by this logic, a fast shutter speed isn't usually ideal for low light situations.

Aperture, often referred to as 'f-stop' is easiest to grasp if you think about it backwards....
The lower your aperture number (i.e, f.2.5) the more light you're letting in to your camera and the higher your aperture number (i.e, f.11) the less light you're letting in (weird logic, I know).

So if your photos are too dark, try letting more light into your camera by lowering your aperture number and lowering your shutter speed.

Need more light in your photography space? Get a light reflector (find my favourite one here). 

A light reflector makes me feel super fancy but it's also the best purchase I've made for my blog photography to date. When the sun has gone down or if I just don't have enough natural light to work with, I use a silver light reflector to 'bounce' whatever light is in the room into my camera's frame and it's extremely helpful.

Are your photos coming out grainy? Adjust your ISO. 

ISO is how sensitive your camera is to the light, so raising your ISO number (i.e, ISO: 400) can be great for low light situations to bring more light into the shot. It's a juggling game though because the higher you raise your ISO number, the more grainy your photos can look so you have to toggle around your ISO number until you find something you're happy with.

DEPTH OF FIELD -explained.

Want a blurry background? You're looking for a narrow depth of field. 

Depth of field is a term usually used to refer to what is or isn't in focus in any given shot. So if you want your subject in focus and a blurry background that's called a narrow or 'shallow' depth of field and if you want everything in focus then you would be aiming for a large or 'wide' depth of field.
To achieve a narrow depth of field (which tends to be super popular for product photography) you want to ideally have your subject as far away from your background as you possibly can and set your aperture as low as you possibly can (i.e, f.18). For a wide aperture you want to do the opposite and set a higher aperture number. Basically-

Smaller aperture number or 'f-stop' = narrow depth of field and blurry background. 
Larger aperture number or 'f-stop' = wide depth of field everything in focus. 

EDITING- a cheat sheet.

Want your image to look more dynamic? Try adjusting the saturation, contrast and image exposure levels.

Although I'm learning how to use Photoshop, for now to edit my photos I literally just use the 'Preview' app that automatically opens when you double click on an image on an apple computer...

So on 'Preview' to edit my photo I go to: Tools -> Adjust Colour.
Everything you need will pop up and you can adjust all your image levels to your liking just by toggling the bars to the left or right. I have a little bit of a formula now for how I like to edit my photos but it's all down to personal taste so literally just play around with your settings until you like what you see.

TIP: Before you start editing a photo, save a copy of the un-edited original file so that if you mess up when you're editing and end up creating an over-saturated mess (like I used to do when I first started) then at least you can start from scratch again!

If you'd like a post talking more about what cameras I use and why or if you'd like any more details about anything for a future post, just let me know in the comments below!


How To Push Your Creativity To Create Better Content

how to make unique content as a creator

You may have noticed (well hopefully you did) that things are changing a little on The Sunday Mode and that's all down to two things: boredom and experimentation. Boredom because I've never been one to enjoy pumping out the exact same type of content and experimentation (aka this post with the hair flip) as a result of me trying to push myself to leave my comfort zone creatively, all the in the hopes of creating better, more inspiring content.

It has felt bloody brilliant. I've always been a creative little egg so trying new things and stretching those creative muscles has been incredible. If you're a content creator and you're feeling like you're ready to change things up, here are a few ways you could get started:

tips to create unique content

how to create interesting, innovative content

Change up your locations and  backgrounds.

This could apply to fashion blogging but also beauty bloggers or really anyone in between. If you're a sucker for a marble flatlay, ditch the marble background and just try something completely different.

I know a lot of people are worried about stepping out of a 'niche' or damaging a certain aesthetic that they've worked hard to achieve but often the best things come from trying new things. I know as a reader myself, I really appreciate it when I see people who are obviously putting a lot of thought and effort into the types of photos and content they create. That isn't to say that if you use the same background that you don't put in a lot of effort but to push yourself, try changing up background (or location if you're a fashion blogger)- you might just find a new aesthetic that you like way better than your previous one.

Also as a reader, I know some blogs out there say that you need to stick to a certain aesthetic so that your posts are easily recognisable as your own, but I love nothing more than seeing people put content out there that's a bit different from post to post. I never know what to expect and I love that because it pushes me to do better myself and it inspires me to think outside of the box.
content creator creativity tips
Experiment with Photoshop and editing programs. 

I say Photoshop because that's what I'm currently experimenting with but there are all different types of post-production editing programs/software out there that you could learn to use. So obviously there are your picture editing programs like photoshop but if you're a Youtuber there's a multitude of video editing software you can delve into as well (eg, Final Cut, Premiere etc).

Learning how to use an editing program, having that skill set and coming up with ways to manipulate your images to create unique content you're really proud of is such a satisfying feeling. I'm no pro at Photoshop (yet) but I already feel more innovative and inspired when it comes to my blog photography. Now when I'm thinking about future blog photos, I haven't even taken any shots yet and I'm already thinking about all the different ways I could edit them into something even cooler. Photoshop man, it really gets my creative juices flowing.

That collage photo up there? Done with photoshop baby, and it was super fun to do. It may not look like much to some but hey, I'm learning!

(PS, this isn't an ad for photoshop or anything, I just really like using it at the moment).

how to be more creative
tips to be more of a creative person

Collaborate with others. 

....I'm still working on this one (#introvert). But seriously, being around other people who are creative is sometimes exactly what you need to stimulate your mind and inspire you to be more creative and produce better content. A fleeting thought to one person could really resonate with someone else and give them an idea that they may have never ordinarily had.
Unique ideas = memorable content.


What comes along with changing up your backgrounds, collaborating with others and learning new software skills to up your content is a hell of a lot of experimentation. Oh...and a lot of trial and error. I mentioned before that I was experimenting with Photoshop and some of the first things I tried to do on there were bloody hilarious in the fact that they failed miserably. I've also been experimenting with my blog photography and although sometimes the word 'experiment' should clearly not be used when doing outfit photos, sometimes through that experimentation comes a reward. Maybe you find a new way of angling your camera to get a really interesting shot or maybe you find out that a certain setting on your camera makes your photos look extra dynamic. Some of my favourite content I've produced has been through pure experimentation and I never would have gotten that content if I hadn't pushed myself creatively. My motto? When it doubt, try it out.

lifestyle blogger tips

Do you have any tips for pushing yourself creatively?

*If you choose to purchase any of the items from the shop links above, I would earn a very small commission from the sales.

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