One of my favourite series is back. Bianca Levins is on her way to becoming a primary school teacher and has the cutest two-year-old son. Her style is relaxed and fun, and she always looks really happy. Today she shares some of her favourite brands, what she wears in the classroom and the scarf she rarely leaves home never without.
First up, what do you get up to in a typical week?
For the past year I’ve been studying towards a Master of Teaching (Primary) - I’m halfway through the two year degree! Woohoo! So when it’s term time, a typical weekday involves getting up at 6am before Archie wakes up, getting us both ready and running off to a 9am class. On Thursday or Friday night Archie might have a sleepover with his grandparents and Lev and I will have a dinner date night! On the weekends we all go out to lunch or yum cha and let Archie run crazy in a park somewhere.
How would you describe your everyday style?
My everyday style is defined by whatever I’m doing that day. Mini skirts and toddlers are not a good combination, but if Archie is having a sleepover and I’m going out to dinner, I might even put on heels! When I’m at uni I need a little backpack and something with pockets to put my Opal card in. When I’m with Archie I wear comfy clothes that I can sit on the floor in and not get upset if they get covered in chalk/watermelon/supposedly “washable” textas.
I'd love to know who or what your style is influenced by.
My style is definitely influenced by my lifestyle. I’m really too busy to sit there putting outfits together. Day to day, I pretty much own 20 identical t-shirts, shorts and jeans and I chuck on whatever is at the front of my wardrobe. OK this is a slight exaggeration, but a LOT of my t-shirts are in the greige zone and I wear sneakers almost every day. But then on the weekends or when I’m teaching I love being fun! Bright colours, contrasting stripes, big patterns. When I’m having fun I want to look fun too.
What are you wearing on high rotation at the moment?
I always, always have an Andeol silk scarf either on or in my bag. I have five of them, they wash and dry beautifully and even on my greyest t-shirt days they lift my outfit and make me feel like I’ve put a ton of effort into how I look. Apart from that, Acne jeans, baggy Bassike t-shirts, Stan Smiths and this polkadot Gorman raincoat that I’ve worn six months out of the year for the last three.
And how do you shop for clothes?
I’ve gone off online shopping lately. I have a few stores that I really like and I go there if I have time, generally with the intention to buy specific things for a specific purpose. Incu and Gorman are my staples. I used to love to browse but I just don’t have time anymore. Seed make the best kids clothes! I wish their women’s clothes were half as good as their kids clothes.
I'd love to know how you found shopping for a wedding dress. Yours was so elegant and I think you may have even tried on the one I ended up getting married in!
Yes! I loved your dress so much and thought I’d found The One when I saw it on the hanger. But it looked so awful on me! I was so confused until I saw it on you and realised thaaaaat's what it’s meant to look like.
This happened to me a lot. I’m really thin! People think that makes shopping for clothes easy but finding a wedding dress was very, very hard. I don’t have the boobs for most of them and for some reason white really accentuated my shoulder bones… not a good look.
I ended up getting it made because after trying on so many I started forming a very clear picture of what I wanted and what would suit me based on bits and pieces from everywhere: high cowl neck, low back, bias cut.
I explained it to the designer who sketched it for me and talked me into getting a mini train (this ended up permanently stained black after I stumbled through Darlinghurst with the 50 or so remaining guests on the way to #ninashouse after the reception finished). My very good friend Emilie put together the beaded back detail and the whole thing came together.
Your son Archie has just turned two - how did you go dressing a baby bump?
I loved being pregnant and was very proud of my bump! I was lucky to be at my bumpiest in summer so I just bought a few stretchy t-shirts, some elasticated shorts and some nice big dresses that barely touched my body for the scorchers.
Did your wardrobe change at all after you became a mum?
I used to spend so much time putting outfits together. My wardrobe was full of very specific pieces that only worked in very specific circumstances and needed full outfit consideration down to accessories. After Archie was born I only wanted clothes that were easy to wear.
You're studying to be a primary school teacher. Do you have a separate teaching wardrobe?
Yes! When I’m teaching I love to wear fun prints that the kids will be into like jellyfish, crocodiles and sparkles. One time I wore sparkly jelly sandals and spotty socks to school and a student came up to me in the playground and asked me if I was famous! She explained, “Because your shoes look like famous shoes.” I said “I am now!”
What's your approach to hair and make-up?
Basically I wash my hair every other day or put it up if I don’t have time. Sometimes I might run a straightener through bits of it to tame the waves that are just too bizarre. I don’t use any products. I could probably spend more time on my hair to be honest.
I don’t really wear makeup but I’ve recently fallen for La Mav’s BB cream. I mix a tiny bit with my moisturiser every morning. If I feel like it, I might curl my eyelashes and put on Ere Perez mascara. I carry Hurraw! lip balm everywhere. If I’m going somewhere nice I do put some effort in! I might even wear eyeliner and lipstick haha.
I'd love to know about accessories too - sunnies, jewellery, hats, and whether you carry a handbag.
I have a couple of Lucy Folk necklaces (from Levins!) that I wear everyday. My fave sunnies are Karen Walker tortoiseshell. I wear a wide-brimmed hat if I’m teaching but otherwise I stay away from them, they just don’t suit me! I’m obsessed with my Deadly Ponies Mr Mini bag. I can hold it with the handles or strap it across my body and it fits my whole life inside and I can chuck it on the ground and it refuses to show any signs of wear.
What do you wear if you're checking out a new restaurant, going to a wedding, and on a lazy weekend?
Going out to dinner I might wear a navy silk top and a long ribbed skirt with low heels. To a wedding, I always feel like I need a high heel even though I struggle to walk in them and just don’t understand them generally. I always wear a dress to a wedding- my favourites are a black wrap dress, a fitted grey dress with amazing hot pink lining that peeks out the sides and a black and white striped dress that I wore when I was pregnant. If I’m going somewhere nice with Archie I still need to be able to carry 13 kilos on my hip, unfold a pram and run after him, so I stick to flat boots or sandals with washable fabrics.