Luckily for the British at heart, there are many people looking for a comforting British fix so one can find a tea room or British pub just about anywhere these days. I am always on… More
What is a repliKater to do when she has a large and beautiful collection of Kate inspired clothing spilling out of every closet in the house and an underutilised guest bedroom. The answer was simple and obvious- create a beautiful walk in dressing room where my collection could be displayed and enjoyed every day, not just on the day I happened to be wearing that item. The application was a bit more difficult. It took about 6 months of research and planning to come up with a practical solution that suited my needs and lifestyle but in the end, I created the perfect space that suited all my needs and come in at well under $500. Read on to see my dressing room and hear my tips on how to create your own……
The idea for my dressing room was planted about 12 months ago when I had a team from Australian Womans Day magazine come to my home for a photo shoot to accompany an article on repliKating. At the time, we had emptied out the spare room temporarily and 2 stylists created a walk-in wardrobe.
About 6 months later I began to take the idea a bit more seriously and had two IKEA systems recommended to me. The first was the stolmen system. This system offered mix and match shelving and racks you could piece together to suit your needs using a tension-mounted pole system that you install inside a closet or against a blank wall. This system was quite budget friendly and left all your clothing displayed which I loved but seemed quite labour intensive to get up initially and would put a lot of holes in the walls which we couldn’t do as renters, who need to move interstate every 3 years for my husband’s work.
The second Ikea system I considered was the Pax system. Again, you could mix and match to suit your needs, but this system pieces together traditional wardrobes which would leave my clothes hidden away (out of sight, out of mind) and would be difficult to move and we are due to move at the end of the year.
Finally, I settled on using simple clothing and shoe racks, with a bed side table for hosiery, a full length portable mirror and a feature piece which is my stunning dressing table, given to me as a 5th year wedding anniversary gift in December last year (5 years is the traditional wood for gift anniversary). If you can create a permanent space though I would highly recommend considering either IKEA system.
Below are my tips for creating your own walk in wardrobe space;
- Do your research so you can pick the perfect solution for your needs. Know exactly how many shoes, bags etc. you need to store and are you likely to add more in the future so need a system you can add to. With my simple shoe racks, I can just keep adding them on top as needed. Select your budget. What are your living circumstances? Is it possible you will need to move in the next 6-12 months or can you make your room a bit more permanent and solid
- Matching coat hangers go a long way towards making everything look prettier and neater and saves a lot of room.
- If using portable racks such as mine you will need to come up with an alternative option for heavier items like winter coats. The bedroom I used had a small built in robe where I have my coats and gowns hanging.
- Pick one feature item. If you are using a smaller space, a large vintage full body mirror or a large fashion illustration would be perfect. If you have the room you might want to think about adding a small lounge or day bed near a window so you can also use it as a sanctuary to hide away, drink tea and read. I love my room so much I will use any excuse to be in there for 5 minutes. The inclusion of my dressing table also means I have a little desk space so I also like to use the room to blog and study. I feel really inspired to write about Kate and repliKating when I am surrounded by her clothing.
- Decorate according to your tastes. This room is 100% yours so whatever your obsession is, go for it, no need to worry about upset partners/flatmates is your tastes are wildly different. Paint the walls pink, put up your pictures of Audrey Hepburn or Paris or, like me, fill it with little collectables and trinkets associated with Kate Middleton.
- Even if you can’t create a full room wardrobe like mine, you could probably use a little extra space. You could look at adding a portable rack or two, or some shoe racks to your existing bedroom where you can have a few of your favourite things out on display.
If you are a regular follower of mine, you will be aware that I am a big supporter of the Duchess of Cambridge. I love her fashion, regularly purchase some wonderful British products that she has been associated with, such as Emma Bridgewater and Jo Malone, that I would not have heard of without her association and I like to think that I support her causes and work. Of course, I have heard of the Heads Together campaign, when the surprise video came out announcing that it was this year’s partnership charity with the London marathon I watched it, I loved the informality of the video and rushed to the J Crew website to buy my own breton sweater as Kate had worn in it. I knew the campaign had something to do with mental health. For the next twelve months, I eagerly awaited each appearance associated with the campaign by the Royals. However, it was not until well after the marathon had actually commenced that I had a real understanding of what the campaign was actually about. For today’s post, I am going to be taking a much closer look at the campaign and share my own personal #itsoktosay
Whilst I have come a bit late to party on this important campaign, the hard work that William, Kate and Harry have done in promoting the cause for the last year will be wasted if we all move onto the next issue and stopped having the conversation!
The Heads Together Campaign is the biggest project that Kate has tackled so far. She has spent the last year, along with Princes William and Harry spearheading the campaign to end the stigma surrounding mental health. The campaign brought together key charities from the trios work in areas such as homelessness, veterans and addiction, such as place2be, the Anna Freud center and contact.
The aim of the campaign was to change the national conversation on mental health and well being so we could all feel confident speaking up if we had any issues, without the fear of being stigmatised by admitting we had problems. Through a video made for the campaign and William and Kate’s recent radio interview with BBC1, we have had an unusually personal glimpse into the lives of Royals with Kate admitting she had a difficult time adjusting after the birth of Prince George and William and Harry opening up about the death of their mother, Princess Diana and how, despite the close relationship between the two, they did not talk to each other or support each other enough.
The #itsoktosay was created as a way for people to join in on the conversation surrounding mental health, by either sharing the videos and press releases from the Heads Together campaign or by encouraging their friends to reach out if they had issues or to use it reach out to others with their own issues when they weren’t sure how to start the conversation.
Which brings me to an important issue I would like to discuss which is online bullying. I don’t think there has been any replikater who has posted pictures of themselves in a replikate outfit who at one time or the other has not been targeted by trolls who want to criticise the person’s weight, their lack of own personal style or chastise them for what they see as a frivolous use of money.
At least twice a week I find myself targeted by online trolls who want to tell me I’m fat or would need to spend a million dollars on plastic surgery to come close to looking like Kate. Even the back handed compliment has come up a few times such as ‘you could be so pretty if you lost weight so why don’t you’. For the record, I know that I am overweight and should lose weight for health reasons, I have a long history of unhealthy yo yo dieting. I also don’t believe I look like Kate but I am highly influenced by her style and wearing an outfit, whether inspired by or directly copied from her gives me a confidence boost and makes me feel special and pretty so what’s the harm in that? I have turned down multiple online media opportunities in the past as I know the criticism will be mainly around my weight. I think its sad that I have let these online bullies influence my decisions in this way for what should be happy and exciting moments.
Whilst I am sure there are people who will feel that I have brought this criticism onto myself by posting a picture of myself side by side with Kate, it is the only way that a lot of us can reach out to find other replikaters or people who share our greater Royal obsession as I can’t think of many who have family and friends outside of the online community who support, encourage and understand our obsessions. Posting our replikates is a way to connect with others so we don’t feel alone, another important aspect in promoting good mental health.
I have also been criticised by one of the major Kate accounts for deleting derogatory comments and blocking the people who leave them. If someone came to your front door right now and started to call you fat or make other derogatory comments, what would you do? You wouldn’t invite them into your home, you would ask them to leave and if they didn’t you’d most likely feel threatened enough that you would call the police. Online bullying is such a problem as there is no escape from it, you essentially invite every bully into your home, your own private space, so I don’t feel there is any harm with deleting or blocking the people who are leaving personal and degrading comments. If you find yourself the target, you don’t want to constantly be seeing the degrading comment or giving that person the opportunity to come back and try to make you feel bad about yourself again so we should all encourage and support each other to block the culprits and even report people for their online bullying behavior.
The bullying has at times been so bad that I have considered shutting down both my blog and Instagram accounts and more than once I have been upset enough that I have stress eaten excessive amounts of sugar, which isn’t helping the weight issue the trolls take so much pleasure in pointing out that I need to do something about but on the flip side I have meet some great women who support and encourage each and inspire me to be completely myself. I would hate to think I wouldn’t be there to encourage or support a new Replikater who was going through the same issues as I had let the trolls intimidate me into shutting down my accounts or making them private. Please remember if you do find yourself a target in the future, the bullying says a lot more about the person making the comment then it does about you.
I have found this post quite difficult to write and I hope that by sharing the experience I have encouraged those going through similar issues to speak out and stand up for themselves and to start their own #itsoktosay conversation
Remember back in July last year when Kate attended the art fund museum of the year awards at the Natural history museum in London. She stepped out looking stunning in her debut dress from designer Barbara Casasola, a stretch jersey off the shoulder figure hugging number called the tribal dress.
Janet E has found and shared the most perfect replikate for this dress. Available from Dillards, see link below.
I’m sure I’m not the only replikater who was inspired by Kate’s fashion choices last week to spend a bit of my weekend indulging in my love for Audrey Hepburn by spending Sunday morning enjoying coffee, croissants and of course watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I also spent a large portion of the weekend searching online for the perfect navy hat replikate for Kate’s beautiful Lock and co Tiffany hat, whilst not having much success I did come across many wonderful Breakfast at Tiffany’s products which I’m sharing the best of below. So go on and indulge your inner Holly Golightly!
I can’t think of a more iconic fashion moment on film then the fabulous wide black drop brim hat with white silk scarf that Audrey Hepburn’s character Holly Golightly wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Dramatic, memorable and ever so stylish, it perfectly contrasted with her delicate facial features to create a timeless look.
There were many replicas of this hat on sites such as etsy and eBay and lots that came in packs of Holly Golightly costumes, but if your actually wanting one to wear as a regular part of your wardrobe and not just as a one-off to a dress up party, I think this one from Amazon is the best. Sold by Utopiat, it is described by them as ‘a true labour of love and has taken 2 years to finally perfect to become what we believe to be the most accurate and beautiful rendition of this gorgeous hat’. See the link below;
The Sleep Mask
Remember the scene where Holly first meets Paul. When she answers her door dressed in a white tuxedo shirt, purple tassel ear plugs and the most darling blue sleep mask with gold braid trim, rhinestones and eyelash fringe. Now you can own your own fabulous copy.
Again, I found many copies of the mask but the one that seems to made out of the best quality materials and bears the best resemblancece to the original is this one from sleepy cottage and it’s below $30. check it out here;
Not satisfied with just the mask and after the whole set? Not problem! Buy the whole set here, the only difference is this comes with purple tasselled earrings instead of ear plugs.
Starting with the most recent Royal appearance, yesterday saw Catherine, William and Harry along with other senior Royals including the Queen attend an unveiling of a new memorial dedicated to Britons who had served in Afghanistan or Iraq during 1990-2015. During that time 680 Britons on active service in these areas lost their lives however the memorial is designed to celebrate the sacrifice made by all personnel who put themselves in harm’s way to bring peace and stability to the area.
Kate wore a Michael Kors coat we are all familiar with, having seen it previously during the Anzac day service William and Kate attended at the Australian War memorial in Canberra during their Royal tour to Australia and New Zealand and in 2014 when she officially opened the Magic garden at Hampton court palace.
Kate also repeated many of her accessories, wearing her tanzanite earing and pendent set from G Collins and sons that we have previously seen on multiple occasions, including when the Royal trio hosted the Obamas for dinner at Kensington palace and her trusty muse clutch and Rupert Sanderson navy suede Malory heels.
The fashion stand out piece within this outfit was by far the new Lock and co Tiffany drop brim hat that Kate debuted. Inspired by the infamous black drop brim hat with white ribbon that Audrey Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the hat oozes sophistication and glamour and was perfect for the occasion. Costing 325 pounds the hat is still available here;
I have a military themed day event to attend in May which I think this hat would be perfect for and have been frantically searching for the perfect replikate so you if you have found something similar please drop me a line.
This week was all about Rebecca
It’s not often that another member of the Royal family can completely dominate the headlines over Kate, so the fact that this week, a member of Royal staff completely dominated most of the news stories shows what a valuable and indispensable asset to Kate she was.
The week started with the happy announcement that Kate’s private secretary, Rebecca Deacon, or Becca, as she is affectionately known amongst her family and friends, is soon to wed her partner Adam Priestly. Becca has been given the honor of being able to use the chapel royal at Kensington palace, which Royal watchers will remember from Prince Georges christening, however has been used for many key Royal occasions dating back to King Henry VIII.
Later in the week came the sad announcement that Becca will be stepping down from her role at the end of the summer after 10 years of service to the Royal family. No doubt the heavy workload and irregular hours, though rewarding, make maintaining a personal life difficult. It will be quite unusual to see Kate at appearances for quite a while without Rebecca at her side but I am sure everyone wishes her much happiness and success in the future.
Updates to Kate’s calendar
In exciting news for our readers from Germany and Poland, it has been announced that the Royals will be touring the area in July at the request of the British Foreign secretary to ‘extend the hand of friendship’ and ensure strong relationships between the nations continue post Brexit. This will be Williams second trip to Germany since the Brexit referendum. In a speech he gave during the first trip he stated ‘the depth of Britain’s friendship will not change after Brexit’. Kate has not yet formally travelled to either country.
Whilst it was widely assumed that both William and Kate would not be attending the st Patrick’s day Irish guard parade to hand out shamrocks as the date coincided with the first day of their mini tour to Paris, it has been formally announced that they will be in attendance. It appears they will then travel to Paris so I wouldn’t expect to see many events on their first day in Paris outside of a formal welcome and a possible black tie function that evening. Details will be confirmed as they become available which shouldn’t be to far away as the tour commences on friday. At this point there are no appearances scheduled til friday.
Earlier this week I posted on Instagram a really lovely gift that I had received from a follower, a copy of the official Royal wedding program from Will and Kate’s big day. Since then I have been flooded with requests for looks inside and it appears many people have missed out on seeing the ‘my story’ snaps I added to Instagram so I will be adding pictures of each page at the bottom of this post. First though, lets take a look at my other Royal wedding memorabilia.
William and Catherine Figurines, Hamilton Collection
These wonderful fashion figurines are part of the Hamilton collection which was sold via the Bradford exchange. They have a whole range of fashion figurines featuring Kate pre wedding, in gowns post wedding and with a baby George. Unfortunately no figurine has been made with charlotte. Whilst the figurines are no longer sold directly from Bradford exchange, they are constantly popping up on Ebay so keep an eye out there if you are interested in starting your own collection of Kate figurines.
Royal Wedding Fashion Illustration
I am a huge fan of fashion illustration in general and love the work of Brittany from Replikate It. Keep an eye on her Etsy store around special occasions such as Royal tours and you usually find new art work pop up for sale. I’m not sure what she has planned yet but she told me she is in the process of working on something special for the 20th anniversary of Diana this year.
Royal Wedding Earrings
My lovely copy of the custom-made acorn earrings that were gifted to Kate on her wedding day by her parents were bought on my trip to London a little over a year ago from the Kensington Palace gift shop. They are the loveliest copy of these earrings I have come across and can be bought directly from the Historic Royal Palaces shops at Kensington Palace or the Tower of London or purchased online here; http://www.historicroyalpalaces.com/acorn-drop-earrings.html
Illuminum White Gardenia Petals Perfume
The perfume that Kate wore on her wedding day has proved to be the single most difficult Replikate for me to get my hands on as it is not in stock or shipped to Australia. I was able to purchase a small bottle on Christmas eve from Fortnum and Mason department store and was extremely lucky as it was the last bottle they had in stock. I had hoped to purchase 1-2 of the large bottles. I’m not really sure what I will do when it runs out, maybe plan another holiday to London?!?!?!
Jo Malone Products
Probably the easiest way to add a touch of the Royal wedding into your own home and daily life appears to be through the use of the Jo Malone products that Kate used in Westminster abbey as they are reliably in stock and available world-wide. In an effort to have Westminster abbey resemble a British garden wedding Kate transformed the chapel through the bringing in of trees and flowers and the use of Jo Malone Orange blossom scented candles and hand washes of grapefruit and lime, basil and mandarin.
Official Royal Wedding Program
My newest Royal wedding memorabilia has been recently gifted to me by a lovely follower on Instagram. A local London lady who loves near Buckingham Palace, she wondered down on the day of the wedding and was able to score a couple of the programs. I feel incredibly privileged that she offered to send me this as I truly would not have been able to get my hands on one otherwise and truly cherish it.
I would love to do a follow-up post in April over the Royal wedding anniversary so if you have any memorabilia you would like to share or were lucky enough to be there on the day please get in touch via the contact form or send me a message over on instagram.