Amanda Mallett and Sarah Vivian are the busy mum and style gurus behind the latest up and coming fashion, lifestyle and beauty blog Dancing in the Car. Georgia from the Wellington concept store caught up with the girls to find out more about what makes them and their wardrobes tick!
What prompted you two to start the ‘Dancing in the Car’ blog?
‘Dancing in the Car’ was a flash inspiration. The idea came after Sarah spent hours (literally!!) trawling though websites, and pounding the sidewalks of Wellington, Auckland and San Francisco on the hunt for skinny black jeans. Not a hard task you would think, but for some reason the perfect pair was completely elusive! While pondering the thought that there had to be an easier, more time-efficient way, the ‘a ha’ moment came. How fabulous would it be if we could offer time short, busy women fashion, lifestyle and beauty tips in one easy online place.
Amanda has a background in fashion buying and design. Friends have always encouraged Amanda to share her style insights. So when Sarah came to her with the idea, it was a no-brainer. Dancing in the Car provides us both with the perfect platform to share our thoughts and inspirations. Genuine information backed up with hands on personal reviews and recommendations. Simple really!
Run me through your average day…
Life is certainly busy, juggling work and family. During the week, our days start around 6am with a pretty regular routine. Coaxing kids out of bed, overseeing breakfast craziness, and ensuring school bags are packed with lunches, sports gear, homework and the odd musical instrument.
Breakfast is at work generally catching up on the emails that have come in overnight. It’s around this time, that we pause to remember, ‘when you embrace the chaos, the magic begins’.
The Dancing in the Car blog requires us to do a huge amount of research, meetings with prospective brands, interviews, photo shoots and editing. We are super fussy about who and what brands we work with, as they must align with who we are and our values. This requires time and thought.
We both try to squeeze in some form of exercise 3 to 4 times a week. Often it’s a brisk walk or run with the dog, yoga or Pilates or a game of tennis with friends.
Around 3pm it’s back to family time, school pick ups, and the typical chauffeuring between kid sport activities. Once the family has settled for the evening, we both jump back online. Evenings are a good time to connect with our social media audience. We can spend a good 2-4 hours a night on this and blog writing. It is lucky that our husbands and children are super supportive of our blog!
How does this busy lifestyle impact on your fashion choices?
Our lifestyle of balancing family and work definitely influences how we dress. We appreciate that it can be challenging to always hit the style mark and feel good, when you are juggling multiple tasks, big to-do lists and pressing deadlines.
Understanding your style and having a couple of go-to outfits can make all the difference. When you are pressed for time, accessories are the best and fastest way to lift an outfit.
Take a simple pair of trousers and a single colour essential top, and use them as a blank canvas. By adding a statement necklace, fabulous scarf or some edgy stacked bracelets you can change the look in an instant.
We believe whether you’re attending a work meeting, enjoying a weekend brunch, or wanting to shine during an evening out, it’s important to never underestimate how a beautiful accessory will complete your outfit – no matter how little time you have to get dressed.
How do you use jewellery / accessories to aid this fashion challenge?
As we have matured and seem to have less time than ever, we have found that we have come into our own with regards to jewellery and accessories. Just as we understand the clothes that suit our body shape and style, we also appreciate the jewellery and accessories that work best for us. This certainly helps when choosing what accessory to wear, when we only have a minute to make a decision! We have had to get smarter as we can go from a corporate meeting to watching a game of kid’s basketball or coffee with a friend within half an hour. By investing in accessories and keeping them updated, we have found that you can change your look as needed. Dress it up or dress it down in moments.
A few tricks we use to help us to quickly make the transition between looks are;
Bracelets - they are a great way to dress up or down any look in a hurry. Tone down a tennis bracelet with a leather wrap, or add extra drama and glamour by layering several crystal bracelets together.
Earrings or a scarf – we can easily keep a pair of statement earrings or dressy scarf in our handbag. This is such a quick way to change an outfit and means we are prepared in advance should a girlfriend ask us out for a glass of wine, or we get invited to a last minute style event.
What are your favourite accessories for the winter season? And why?
We believe that it is worth spending the time selecting a few favourite accessories each season to add to your collection and to keep it updated.
Amanda: I am happy to see that grey is the new black this winter, as I have always preferred soft, cooler tones. I love the marble/silver combinations available in bracelets and necklaces. I adore Dyrberg/Kerns’ latest with hand coloured grey enamel inlay. These can be worn on their own as a feature or stacked with other stunning Dyrberg/Kern pieces.
Being a mum of three busy boys, I need to ensure that I have everything in one place - you know the drill! A large slouchy bag is my go to, and is always ready with all my essentials, to grab and run at a moments notice. This season I am enjoying my black Decjuba bag with a chain strap. It gives both a casual or formal look depending on what I pair it with.
Sarah :I love how a scarf styles any outfit. From the casual look of a big chunky knit, to the sophistication of a beautiful silk scarf, I rarely leave home without this essential accessory.Another favourite is a gorgeous pair of Dyrberg/Kern Gold Sela Hoops. My style is naturally conservative, so for a change I like the edge these earrings give me. They also offer great balance to a pair of skinny jeans. I also love a watch and bracelet combo. The black and rose gold Dyrberg/Kern watch I am wearing at the moment has a divine leather strap and sits beautifully with the Dyrberg/Kern Moma bracelet. This is a super easy look to achieve and is my go to in most social situations.
Wow! You two are an inspiration for the modern woman! Who are the stylish women that inspire you?
Every day we are privileged to come into contact with amazing women, doing the most incredible things. Their creativeness, their intelligence and their style are so impressive. We see women create businesses from just an idea, and use the most incredible initiative and courage to keep going. A special woman that we feel sits with our style and values we would say within the fashion industry would have to be Coco Chanel. She has such a hugely inspirational story. Amanda would add her great grandmother who was a successful self-made Australasian Milliner. Outside of fashion Eva Peron (Evita), always incredibly stylish and renowned for her political and charitable exploits - she was ahead of her time.
What’s one piece of style advice you can give busy gals on the go?
Style genuinely comes from within. It is about selecting items that reflect you and your lifestyle. Our bodies change as we mature, and learning to roll with this means you’re going to stress less when getting ready under pressure. We believe that if it doesn’t feel right, then don’t push it. Use blogs as research sites, and adapt the looks to suit you. Each season buy a few key items that keeps your look updated. Earrings, sunglasses, scarves and a great jacket are the items that will keep your look fresh and on trend!