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The Queen’s Style Is a Royal Lesson in Modern Dressing, Says Sarah Harris



The Queen’s Style Is a Royal Lesson in Modern Dressing, Says Sarah Harris

Imagine never getting it wrong. Ever. Stylistically, every day of your life, nailing it. Never feeling overdressed, underdressed or otherwise just wrongly dressed. Queen Elizabeth II’s style choices are, and have always been, faultless. Always correct, composed and confident, and though it may look relatively straightforward in terms of shape and silhouette, her attire never fails to convey a message of optimism, diplomacy, hope and stability.

That’s a lot to semaphore in a look. Sure, we’ve witnessed the occasional frill and flounce over the course of Her Majesty’s 70-year reign, but over the last decade or so the monarch, like all women with innate style, has honed hers to a winning formula. More often than not, it doesn’t deviate from an immaculately tailored dress and coat that falls below the knee, accessorized with a matching hat (striking, but not so high that it becomes difficult to maneuver out of a car, and the brim not too wide to impair visibility), a three-strand pearl necklace and heirloom brooch, smart Anello & Davide loafers, white cotton-jersey gloves and a glossy framed handbag by Launer, carried in the crook of her arm.

If the Queen’s inimitable style is consistent and somewhat simple in form, it’s anything but when it comes to her unwavering commitment to color. Hues are plucked from chalky, pretty pastels to bold paintbox brights to shimmering metallics and even a punchy palette of retina-searing verging-on-neons. And astonishingly, with her pale-peach complexion, light blue eyes and silver set curls, she suits each and every one of them. 

One assumes the Queen must enjoy dressing in block color, but all are a considered choice to ensure Her Majesty, a petite 5ft 3”, stands out in a crowd of well-wishers: candyfloss pink for a royal garden party at Buckingham Palace in 2019; lemon yellow for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding at Westminster Abbey in 2011; letterbox red at Windsor Castle in 2020 to give thanks to volunteers and key workers for their help during the pandemic; cyan blue for church on Christmas Day in 2012; and fluorescent green for Trooping The Color in 2016, a look that popped among the majority of the Royal Family, resplendent in red and gold finery but entirely blending in with Buckingham Palace’s balcony, decorated for the occasion in, well, red and gold finery. There isn’t a hue Her Majesty hasn’t worn, but then, with hundreds of engagements to attend a year and often having to change up to five times a day, variety of color is everythingThe woman responsible for the Queen’s style is trusted advisor Angela Kelly, who joined the royal household in 1994 as one of Her Majesty’s dressers (she sold her washing machine to buy a smart outfit for her interview at Buckingham Palace) before working her way up to Her Majesty’s personal assistant, advisor and curator (of the Queen’s jewelry, insignias and wardrobe). Kelly, the straight-talking Liverpudlian daughter of a seamstress, is probably second only to the late Duke of Edinburgh when it comes to offering an honest opinion on Her Majesty’s style choices. Once the Queen asked Prince Philip what he thought of a printed jacquard fabric intended for a dress and he quipped, “Is that the new material for the sofa?” Kelly writes in her memoir, The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe. By 2001, Kelly—who is also tasked with wearing-in Her Majesty’s shoes, since they share the same size—was designing the Queen’s outfits as her first in-house designer.Beyond made-to-measure, there’s some clever trickery built into all of this. Weights are discreetly sewn into hemlines if more than a gentle breeze is forecasted, any heavily beaded dresses will often have extra lining at the back for cushioning (dense embroideries are uncomfortable to sit in) and while the choice of fabric must always be regal, suitable for the occasion, climate and the time of the year, perhaps most importantly it must be immune to creasing. Every fabric is rigorously twisted before purchase to check it can withstand wrinkles.

Fabrics that make the grade are collected and cherished over the years and stored in a stockroom on the Dressers’ Floor at Buckingham Palace, which Kelly regularly revisits for inspiration. The golden dress worn at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert 10 years ago—and inspired by the golden figure on top of the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of the Palace—was made from a fabric purchased in 1961. Other fabrics have been stored here since Her Majesty was a princess. It’s ironic that some of the world’s best designers have only in recent seasons discovered “deadstock” in their drive to claim greater sustainability credentials, but this kind of thriftiness and approach to style has long defined the Queen. Remember, her Norman Hartnell wedding gown was purchased using clothing ration coupons. Granted, she received extra coupons from the government, but the point is it was a show of stealth and camaraderie, not excess and status. It’s a fine line Her Majesty has masterfully balanced her entire life.

Before clothes are made, the Queen approves every sketch and fabric sample. She has a keen interest in fabrics, in particular a fondness for Singaporean silk. It’s understood that during visits to Singapore, local tradespeople will bring their wares to the airport for her arrival. The Queen will browse and make her selection and purchases will be collected on the return home. Said to be incredibly decisive, Her Majesty rarely changes her mind about an outfit that she has previously agreed to. The monarch even does her own make-up every day and for every event (the filming of the Queen’s Christmas message is the only exception). 

“Her Majesty is always thrifty and likes her clothes to be adapted and recycled as much as possible,” writes Kelly. “Typically, the lifespan of an outfit can be up to around 25 years.” After two or three public appearances, designs are altered or they become relegated to off-duty wear. Much like most of us, in fact, in the way that something will often start off as “for best” before it gradually loses desirability as it clocks up years and wear; unlike most of us, though, I imagine it’s harder to lay claim to never getting it wrong.

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Choosing the Perfect Costume Wig with A Guide to Natural Hair Wigs



Choosing the Perfect Costume Wig with A Guide to Natural Hair Wigs

When it comes to creating the perfect costume or theatrical look, a wig can play a transformative role. Whether you’re dressing up for a special event, a theatrical performance, or simply for fun, choosing the right wig is crucial. In Australia, the popularity of natural hair wigs has been on the rise, offering a realistic and versatile option for those seeking authenticity in their appearance.

Understanding Your Needs

Before diving into the world of wig shopping, it’s essential to understand your specific needs. Consider the character or style you’re aiming to portray. Are you going for a historical figure, a fantasy character, or a modern celebrity look? Knowing the details of your desired style will guide you in choosing the right type of natural hair wig.

Material Matters

Wigs come in various materials, each offering unique benefits. Natural hair wigs, often made from human hair, are prised for their realistic appearance and versatility. In Australia, where the climate can vary, natural hair wigs are preferred for their breathability and comfort. Synthetic wigs, while more affordable, may lack the natural look and feel that human hair wigs provide.

Consider Your Budget

While natural hair wigs are known for their authenticity, they often come with a higher price tag. Before embarking on your wig-shopping journey, set a budget that aligns with your financial comfort. Keep in mind that investing in a quality natural hair wig can pay off in the long run, as they tend to be more durable and offer a more authentic look.

Choose the Right Style and Color

Selecting the perfect style and color is crucial to achieving the desired look. Natural hair wigs in Australia come in a variety of styles, from straight to curly, short to long. Consider the character or look you’re going for, as well as your personal style preferences. Additionally, pay attention to the color – whether you’re matching your natural hair or trying something bold, finding the right shade is key to a convincing appearance.

Focus on Fit and Comfort

Wearing a wig for an extended period can become uncomfortable if the fit is not right. Natural hair wigs are often adjustable, allowing for a customised fit. Look for wigs with adjustable straps or elastic bands to ensure a snug and comfortable fit. Prioritise comfort, especially if you plan to wear the wig for an extended period during events or performances.

Research Reputable Suppliers

When it comes to purchasing natural hair wigs in Australia, it’s crucial to buy from reputable suppliers. Research online reviews, seek recommendations from friends or fellow performers, and ensure the supplier has a history of providing quality wigs. Reputable suppliers often offer a range of styles, colors, and price points, allowing you to find the perfect wig within your budget.

Care and Maintenance

Once you’ve chosen the perfect natural hair wig, proper care is essential to ensure its longevity. Invest in wig care products and follow the recommended care instructions provided by the supplier. Natural hair wigs can be styled and treated similarly to your own hair, but they require gentle care to maintain their quality.


Choosing the perfect costume wigs , especially natural hair wigs in Australia, involves careful consideration of your needs, budget, and style preferences. Embrace the transformative power of a high-quality wig, allowing you to embody your chosen character or style with confidence. By understanding the materials, fit, and care requirements, you’ll be well on your way to selecting the perfect natural hair wig for your next adventure in the world of costumes and theatrical performances.

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Sleep comfortably in pyjamas



Sleep comfortably in pyjamas

Pyjamas are often more comfortable for sleeping than other sleepwear.

Womens pyjama sets are more comfortable than sleeping in a T-shirt or shorts. This is because they have sleeves and legs, which provide warmth and protection from the cold air outside. They also help keep you warm when you’re as little as wearing them around your house at night before bedtime!

Why should you wear pyjamas at home?

Here is a list of reasons why you should consider purchasing pyjamas:

Pyjamas are an excellent option for sleepwear.

Women’s pyjama sets are a good choice for sleepwear. They’re comfortable, easy to wear and they look good too.

Pyjamas are an excellent way to prepare for bed in the morning, whether you’re going on vacation or want something that feels more relaxed than pyjamas. And if you’re planning on lounging around the house all day long, pyjamas can be dressed up with any number of accessories—like tights, socks, and shoes—to create an outfit that works well with whatever else is going on in your closet at home (and maybe even outside).

Some people say that the colours of your pyjamas can change your mood.

Some people say that the colours of your pyjamas can change your mood. For example, if you are in a bad mood and wear dark blue or black pyjamas, they will generate negative energy and worsen your mood. This is because these colours are associated with sadness, depression, and loneliness; therefore, wearing them will increase your body’s stress, which may cause headaches or insomnia.

However, other people claim that wearing bright-coloured clothing makes them feel happier than others who wear duller colours such as grey or navy blue because these colours seem more promising than darker shades which can give off an impression of being more relaxed than their surroundings (i.e., it’s easier to see through).

Some women find it empowering to feel confident in wearing pyjamas as sleepwear.

They feel more relaxed, comfortable, and at ease with their skin when wearing them.

Pyjamas are essential to a woman’s wardrobe; they can be worn during any year’s season. They can be used as bedwear or loungewear, depending on how you want to use them and where you choose to store them when not in use.

Pyjamas are a convenient and comfortable choice as sleepwear.

Pyjamas are a good choice for sleepwear. They’re comfortable and practical, easy to take care of, easy to wear and clean—and they can be worn with anything from t-shirts to blouses.

Pyjamas had come a long way since they were only for pyjama parties or slumber parties (a concept that may still exist). Nowadays, you can get any pyjamas in almost any colour combination imaginable.

Keep in mind a few things:

Using silk pyjamas around electrical devices, like a computer or TV, is not recommended.

Silk is a very soft material, so using silk pyjamas around electrical devices is not recommended. This is because silk can be damaged by electrical appliances and could cause them to short out or malfunction.

If you use your silk pyjamas with a computer, it’s best not to do so while they are on your bed, as there may be static electricity in the air that can damage your computer.

Pyjamas help insomniacs.

Pyjamas are a great way to relax. They’re warm and comfortable, which helps insomniacs get a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble sleeping at night, try wearing pyjamas every night before going to bed. This will help you fall asleep faster and sleep better throughout the night.

Pyjamas are also perfect for staying warm in bed while relaxing or sleeping soundly during winter when temperatures drop below freezing outside (or if your room is under construction).

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Luxury sector impatient for return of Chinese tourists



Luxury sector impatient for return of Chinese tourists

The European luxury sector is welcoming the end of pandemic lockdowns in China, as the return of big-spending Chinese tourists could sustain further growth.

Prior to the pandemic, Chinese tourists visiting Europe were a major source of sales for luxury houses.

The Chinese accounted for “a third of luxury purchases in the world and two-thirds of those purchases were made outside China”, said Joelle de Montgolfier, head of the luxury division at management consulting firm Bain and Company.

Their return has led RBC bank to revise up its growth forecast for the sector this year to 11 percent, from seven percent previously.

“China reopening is one of the key ‘mega-themes’ for the luxury sector in 2023,” RBC Bank said in a recent note to clients.

After a drop in 2020, the luxury sector managed to surpass its pre-pandemic sales in 2021.

“The Chinese consumed, but only in China,” said Bain’s de Montgolfier. “In 2022, it was much more complicated with unexpected confinements in the country,” she added.

Nevertheless, that didn’t hold the sector back from making an estimated 22 percent jump to 353 billion euros (384 billion dollars), according to a November forecast by Bain and Company.

That growth was supported by the wave of post-lockdown US tourists visiting Europe armed with a strong dollar, as well as Korean and Southeast Asian tourists.

Another pleasant surprise was Europeans “who had been ignored for decades… and were more interested in luxury goods than expected”, said Erwan Rambourg, a luxury industry insider turned analyst and author of the book “Future Luxe: What’s Ahead for the Business of Luxury”.

‘More staff’

With the lifting of travel restrictions in China “there will be a considerable return of Chinese tourists but that will be more likely in the second quarter”, said Arnaud Cadart, a portfolio manager at asset manager Flornoy.

“The pandemic is still very active in China and it will affect lots of people.”

The Chinese tourists may be needed if the flow of US tourists slows. “European boutiques need this rebound in Chinese clientele to replace its American clientele which could buy locally,” said Cadart.

They also need to readapt to Chinese customers, who tend to travel in groups, and will join a large number of US tourists.

“There are already lines in front of the boutiques even without Chinese clients… they need more staff,” said de Montgolfier. Otherwise, they risk a “degradation of the experience” of shopping in a luxury boutique.

Another concern: the volume of merchandise that Chinese customers will want to buy is unclear. The sector likes to keep volumes low and does not discount to ensure exclusivity.(AFP)

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