Top Wardrobe and Style tips from Nikki Parkinson, Styling You

I’m a big fan of Nikki Parkinson who writes a very successful blog called Styling You.

Nikki is a really stylish woman, who seems to be effortlessly well groomed for every occasion, and she’s also a very smart and savvy businesswoman who’s set up her blog based on her passion – which is making real women feel confident about getting out of the house, and looking their best.

Last week the blogging community in Perth were in a bit of a tizz because the lovely Kelly Exeter from Swish Design (who designed this site) had organised for Nikki to give a blogging seminar, prior to her book launch at Rydges Hotel the following night. Thirty five of us trotted out in our bestest to listen to Nikki speak, and I for one, learnt so much about the business of blogging.

wardrobe and style tips, Nikki Parkinson, Styling You

Kelly Exeter and Nikki Parkinson

But, mostly – I learnt that she is an amazing woman who works really hard and deserves every bit of success she’s won, and I also learnt a lot about everyday style, which I’d like to share with you today.

The Perth launch of her book “Unlock Your Style” was a lovely event on the terrace balcony of Rydges Hotel. We were served champagne and canapes and mingled with like minded bloggers, fashion stylists and book buyers.

Nikki gave a demonstration showing how we can use good basics in our wardrobes and turn them into several different looks, and the look she chose I think is a perfect fit for women over 50.

How to put together everyday style

“There shouldn’t be anything in your wardrobe that doesn’t make you feel fabulous. And remember, Less really is More,” said Nikki.

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Wardrobe Essentials

“It’s all very well to have a cupboard full of clothes but your wardrobe needs to work for you”, Nikki explained. “When you’ve sorted out your wardrobe you can see where the gaps are. This will generally be basic items likeΒ  pants, jeans and blouses or T’s. Write these basics down on a shopping list and when you’re tempted to buy something sparkly or colourful, look at your list and buy one of the basics in a good fabric and a good cut. This is the sort of item that should last you a long time and wash well.”

Nikki said that the shopping mistakes we make are generally the garments that seduce us – the fun and the sparkly items – oh and don’t I know all about that! You can put in ‘colourful’ with that statement too for me πŸ™‚

wardrobe and style tips, Nikki Parkinson, Styling You

Nikki started out in black casual pants, a white T shirt, a gorgeous colourful silky kimono with a bit of bling around the collar, and a statement necklace.

The Game Changers

1. Then she disrobed and showed us what a light cotton scarf would do to her basic outfit of T Shirt and loose pants. “This is the most simple dress up item you can have in your wardrobe. I have light, floaty scarves in lots of colours and I wrap them around my neck in various ways or just drape them for effect,” she told us.

wardrobe and style tips, Nikki Parkinson, Styling You

2. Next she showed us what a good denim jacket could add to the look, and touted a denim jacket as a great addition to anyone’s wardrobe. The length of the jacket is important and should skim your hips, not reach them, especially if you don’t have much of a waist anymore.

3. Then she showed us how a white jacket (which is this season’s great buy) and a costume necklace would change the basic look for a different occasion.

“You need to feel that you look good and meet the expectations of the occasion.”

4. Finally she slipped on a silky kimono which she said is one of her best go-to pieces. “It not only gives me a bit of sun protection but it adds interest. I’m not trying to complicate the look but rather find a formula that works,” she said.

7Β  top wardrobe and style tips from Nikki

  • Clothing can be like an armour and sometimes we need a bit of superficial armour to make the best of our days.
  • You should have around 11 basic items in your wardrobe and they should all make you feel fabulous all the time. These clothes should be neutral basics, no matter what the season. Then everything you put on top will work for you.
  • For a very smart and up to the minute look try a striped top, white jacket and jeans with block heel shoes.
  • Change your bras every year, and get re-fitted by an expert fitter each time. Also get re-fitted if you lose or put on weight. It will make a big difference to how your clothes fall.
  • Wear seamless underwear. Honey or beige coloured is great for under white clothes.
  • Swimwear – get over yourself. We can all wear swimwear no matter what our shape or size. If you’re squeamish about the bright lights and harsh mirrors in shops then shop for your swimwear online because you can try it on at home in front of your normal mirror. Spend more on a swimsuit if you’re going to use it a lot – youΒ  pay more for good fabric and durability.
  • When asked how she felt about women not wearing bras in summertime … Nikki showed her sense of humour …

“If I didn’t have a bra on my breasts would be heading for my pants – they were heading south even before I had kids,” she laughed, “but if it works for you, then go for it!”

Finally Nikki had the chance to relax with some of us over a glass of wine at Rydges in Perth before heading back to Brisbane the next day for work as usual, and even after a hectic event she still managed to look serene and gorgeous.

wardrobe and style tips, Nikki Parkinson, Styling You



  1. Nikki really knows her stuff. I loved how she took a basic pair of black pants and showed ways to make up different looks. I have invested in a pair of white jeans this Spring and have found them to be the most versatile piece of clothing in my wardrobe. I can wear them with absolutely everything.

  2. Yes, Nikki really made us think about different ways to augment basic pieces Kathy. White jeans are great, hey? I have white capri pants which come out every year – they are looking a little less white – time for a new pair (or two!)

  3. Nikki is fabulous! Although, I think our style is very different – she still has plenty of great advice.

    • I would hope our styles are different Janet … that’s what I’m all about … encouraging all women to show their own personality through what they wear. Would be boring if we all dressed the same!

    • Hi Janet, yes I agree, no matter what our own style, lots of us can benefit from the sensible advice Nikki dispenses from her many years of fashion styling.

  4. Thanks so much Jo – this is a great post about the event – and I don’t think anyone’s ever captured my stripping off and changing at the events before!!

    • Thanks Nikki πŸ™‚ Haha! Perhaps there will be triple the audience at your next launch in anticipation of some ‘real-time’ strip-off and change styling on stage! You were so composed and elegant. I would have been all over the place trying to talk, remember what to put on, and get things off and on in a respectable way.

  5. Love it πŸ™‚

  6. Great post! What I seem to struggle with is finding flattering basics like basic black pants and white t-shirts with a cut I like!

    • I’m the same Ingrid! It’s so much easier to find something sparkly or colourful that I like. As Nikki said though it’s worth spending more to get a really flattering pair of pants or a T that fits well and will last, than buy from the budget stores for these items.

  7. You’d think that as females we’d all have been born with a sense of style – sadly not! Sometimes (more often then not with some) we just need pointing in the right direction. This post has made me look at my wardrobe in a whole different light. Thanks Jo πŸ™‚

  8. Great post Jo – loved have this insider’s sticky beak into the book launch. Sadly I couldn’t make any of the events due to work commitments xx

  9. Aw!! And now I am TRIPLY sad I missed Nikki’s launch last Wednesday!!!

  10. Sounds like a great evening, Jo. I love Nikki’s book and website. We recently had new carpet laid which meant my walk-in robe had to be emptied – oh boy! There was definitely some serious de cluttering to be done but it felt great when I’d finished. Now I can go shopping for those good quality, well-fitting (I hope) basics that will last me for years without feeling too guilty.

    Thanks for sharing the photos of Nikki’s different outfits – they really show what a big difference a simple addition can make.

  11. I love Nikki, she has so much knowledge she is happy to share. I think jeans are my version of black pants πŸ™‚ Rachel x

  12. Wow Jo you really have done a fab job at capturing Nikki in various stages! It was a great presentation, I wish I’d taken notes as my brain doesn’t remember info at the best of times! Loved catching up with you, see you soon x

  13. Johanna, I have had lots of help from Nikki on my styling and it really works for the 50+ crowd too. Fran

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