While living in Australia on a university exchange for the better part of this year, I studied a little, beached a lot—and became totally obsessed with Aussie style. Everywhere I looked, effortlessly cool girls with laid-back looks roamed the streets, and I’m not afraid to admit that I shamelessly stole their best #OOTD tricks.
And now you can, too. Here are six seriously good style hacks from Down Under, as seen on some of my fave style bloggers. You’re welcome.
1. Dress Down Your Palazzos
Aussies understand that #nopantsarethebestpants because they basically live in bikinis, but when you really have to wear them, palazzos are way comfier than a pair of skinnies. Although we might reserve our wide-legs for special occasions, Aussies wear them like a pair of worn-in jeans. Tone down the drama and play up the easy breezy factor by making like Amanda Shadforth (above, left) of Oracle Fox, and wear them with a pullover crop and Vans.
2. Match Your Separates
North Americans know how to work a pantsuit, but our Aussie pals take matching to a whole other level of chic when they feel like turning it up. I spotted perfectly coordinated separates everywhere from Brisbane to Melbourne. Beach babe Tash Oakley (above, right) is my ultimate inspo for making matching work without looking too grande dame. FYI, I’m currently planning my holiday cocktail look based on her daring ensemble.
3. Ace Asymmetric
Straight-across hemlines are totes basic in the South Pacific. Aussies love to mix lengths, shapes and cuts to create multidimensional looks that deliberately don’t fit the mold. How sassy and classy does Sara Donaldson of Harper & Harley (above, left) look in that tunic and tiered skirt look?
4. Pile On The Layers
If you thought Canadians were masters at layering, take a lesson from our Australian cousins who have elevated the move from survival technique to straight-up art form. Exhibit A: Margaret Zhang (above, right), who expertly demonstrates the power of a coat-on-coat look for those unpredictable cooler days (note: their milder winter is June and July!).
5. Tie One On
Sometimes the genius of an outfit is in the perfect cinch—and sure, you could use a belt, but Aussies know that a casual knot is a cooler, more relaxed touch. Tash Sefton and Elle Ferguson (above, left) show us how it’s done in two different but equally impactful ways.
6. Pair a Dress with Pants
While you’re labouring over whether to wear pants or a dress, our Aussie counterparts are slaying style by wearing both at the same time. Witness Zanita Whittington‘s flared-jean-and-lacy-frock combo (above, right) for the ultimate laid-back ’70s look. Inventive? You bet.