Why Vulnerability Is A Strength

Often, we see the term “vulnerable” or “vulnerability” used in a way that implies a negative connotation. We see it mentioned in a way that implies it’s a disadvantage, or that someone may be an easy target because they’re weak. 

*This is a voiceover created by AI and therefore some of the words or pronunciations may be incorrect. We hope you still enjoy this listening experience

In a workplace, I often find that female bosses try not to tap into their intuitive and emotional side but be more firm and tap into their masculine energy.

Even in my own personality traits, I’ve been told that I’m often direct and confrontational which can come off tough. In learning how to better communicate with friends and in relationships, I realised that there is a real power to being vulnerable in the right situation. It’s easy to try to protect your feelings and come off staunch and un-emotive about particular things, but there’s a real power in feeling your emotions, stepping forward and being honest, unguarded and slightly exposed.

vulnerable woman

What is being vulnerable? According to the book ‘Daring Greatly’ by Dr. Brene Brown, a professor at the University of Houston who specialises in the study of vulnerability and empathy, vulnerability is defined as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.”

Vulnerability is a strength in your relationships because it can truly help you to learn more about yourself and your relationships with others. Being able to be vulnerable with yourself gives you the opportunity to work through emotions easier by actually acknowledging them. 

In the past, my general approach to relationships was to be cold and short and try to cut things off if I felt like a person wasn’t 100% interested. With age, time and experience, I learned that by being honest, vulnerable and open with communication, how misconstrued your perception can be. Through the practice of being vulnerable, I’ve seen how it has strengthened my relationships and allowed me to feel more reciprocal and genuine in my connections. 

It’s also increased my self-awareness as it’s made me understand when to pick and choose my battles. It allows you to question whether something is really a problem and if so, how to find a solution to it. Accepting that there is uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure in vulnerability is the key.

Based on a psychological study of 1000 patients at the Eugene Institute, they noted that those who were okay with being vulnerable and explaining a perspective had better mental health than those who didn’t. Those who found passive aggression or non-confrontation easier tended to harbour resentful thoughts which skewed their natural behaviours in other aspects of life. The study concluded that those who were okay with being vulnerable were more willing to be resilient in the face of adversity and even went as far as concluding that they were brave in some contexts.

So the next time somebody uses the word “vulnerable” in a negative connotation, I urge you to disagree. Vulnerability is one of the best ways to get to know your authentic and true self – it isn’t a sign of weakness but one of our greatest strengths.

The Effect Of Tik Tok On Women’s Mental Health

TIk Tok is the app that everybody is currently severely engrossed with. In the few years since it’s been launched it has amassed more than 1 billion users.

Its growth was so explosive, that Instagram has been reduced to the platform known as circulating “recycled Tik Toks.” 

Half the people I know, regardless of age, speak in TIk Toks. From dances, to creatives showcasing the way they make their products, to world news, to beauty tok and testing makeup trends, to people telling stories and/or ranting – it really is a one stop shop for all your entertainment needs. 

Safe to say that as a phone owner in 2023, Tik Tok has a chokehold on us. The viral videos that go around are what everybody uses as ice breakers and talking points, and half the time, I find myself watching a movie and realising that THAT’s where the commonly used Tik Tok sound has been derived from.

I am guilty of aimlessly scrolling on Tik Tok because the content is short enough to remain engaged the whole way through, and it somehow feels like you’re connected to a mass source of information being disseminated. It feels personal yet communal. But as I lay in bed scrolling, I’ve realised that it’s been over an hour and I’m called to consider whether this is in fact healthy.

Put aside the fact that for most Millennials and Gen Z, the use of Tik Tok is almost like a default part of our routine. Statistically, it’s been noted that women use Tik Tok more than men, so is Tik Tok good or bad for the mental health of us women?

The short answer is that it is both. 

Tik Tok is a great platform for those who are creative, self-expressive, confident, and has catapulted a number of seemingly nobodies into extreme fame and success. However, a number of experts fear that it is a significant catalyst for the mental health crisis. 

I’ve reviewed preliminary studies and comments from a number of mental health and psychology clinics such as the Wave Clinic, the Max Planck Institute for Human Development In Berlin, the Behavioural Sciences of Alabama, Depression and Bipolar Support Alliances, Healthline and Everyday Health. Here are my key findings on the detrimental effect that Tik Tok can have on your mental health.

Social media platforms in general tend to have an impact on how people view themselves, but Tik Tok really amplifies this. There’s an inherent recognition of attractive (or conventionally attractive) people on Tik Tok. People like Alix Earle, Charli Damelio, Addison Rae who were normal people prior to using Tik Tok have catapulted to fame for their attractiveness and have been presented with extreme opportunities. This can negatively impact your own view of yourself and self-esteem. Psychologists go as far as to say that constant simulation in this form fuels body dissatisfaction and appearance-related anxiety by distorting our sense of self-image. You hear the quote that comparison is the thief of joy, and that really does become the case as the more stimulus you receive of other people living a life you perceive to be better than yours, the more our own self-image is distorted. This unfortunately, can lead to behavioural disorders in users. 

Women sitting on the floor with her head in her hands.

Another negative effect on brain chemistry that was found is that because users are constantly exposed to new content within minutes, it shortens our attention span for stimulus. I personally have found that because I’m constantly being entertained by 30 second to 1 minute videos, if videos are longer than that, I tend to skip them. Psychologists consider that this is extremely harmful for the way our brain operates in the real world and can have flow on effects such as zoning out of conversations in real life, and failure to retain relevant information.

A further negative discussion is that because Tik Tok feels like an interaction (content is in video form rather than pictures), in some people, it can cause isolation as it may serve as a replacement for social interaction. Instead of wanting to socialise, people may crave isolation to watch videos which still tends to fill the cup of a social interaction. Unfortunately, this can lead to further isolation and people becoming more reclusive.

The app provides a platform for creativity, but experts are worried that it’s also become a place for trauma dumping. Due to the inherently personal nature of the app, it has been flooded with young people posting about the way in which their lives have been impacted. From assault, to death of loved ones, to abuse. The ethos of Tik Tok is fostered in an environment where users are comfortable being incredibly vulnerable and personal and speak about intimate things. Psychologists consider that such users will deeply regret trauma dumping on Tik Tok because whilst it may offer temporary support, it can also lead to additional trauma. Psychologists go on to say that in their industries, there are safe systems and practices for disclosure of such matters, and social media is simply not a safe environment. 

Finally, Millennials and Gen Z as Tik Tok users are known to be the most ruthless of social media users. The comments are often extremely blunt, to the point, and sometimes downright mean. Nastiness on the internet is inevitable, but because of the extremely interpersonal nature of the app, people can often find out other things about the user and use this to bully and harass them further.

So all in all – there are positives and negatives to using Tik Tok. Whilst I think there are so many fun things about the app, there’s also a more sinister side to it. I don’t think you should run to delete the app immediately, but this is a friendly reminder to step back into the real world and not let it run your life. 

5 Travel Destinations For Your Next Getaway

I have always said that travelling is one of the only things that you spend money on that truly makes you richer as a person. With Covid-19 a thing of the past (well, sort of), and travel becoming the norm again, the travel bug is back in full swing.

In 2022, I was blessed to go on two overseas holidays, with far more planned for this year. So I’m here to share with you my top locations that should be on your radar if you’re looking for any inspiration on where to go.

The Amalfi Coast, Italy

Amalfi Coast Italy

Italy is one of the most romanticised holiday destinations in general. From breathtaking lakes like Lake Como, the home of fashion in Milano, the classic Trevi fountain photo opportunity in Rome,  to the canals in Venice… you’re truly spoiled for choice when holidaying in Italy.

Whilst many people love doing Florence and Cinque Terre up the top of Italy, the prize in my eyes, is the Amalfi Coast.

Starting in Naples (the food capital of Italy… hello!), the Amalfi coast has absolutely everything you want in a holiday destination. Breathtaking views, stunning beaches, delicious food and ancient and historical sites. 

If you want to stay for 10 days in Italy, this is the route I would recommend:

Your Italian summer Amalfi Coast road trip should start in Naples, with two days to explore the urban city area and devour some phenomenal street food (they have foldable pizza!). Head down to Sorrento to stay a few days where a visit to Pompeii and Ravello are due, and rent a boat for a beautiful day trip to the island of Capri. I highly suggest making your move to Positano for a few days. A restaurant on my radar there is called La Sponda, which provides sunset views. Following a couple of relaxing days in Positano, check out the towns of Amalfi and Praiano before flying out of Naples airport.

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas

In December, I had the pleasure of visiting Cabo San Lucas in Mexico which was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. 

Mexico is home to all-inclusive resorts (for a fixed price, everything in the resort is free, from buffet meals to massages and drinks). You can also get day passes to all inclusive resorts which is very rewarding if you want a day to unwind.

Cabo is a great location because it provides a local experience mixed with a lavish tourist experience. The marina area is a tourist hot spot where you can do a myriad of activities. We chartered a yacht for a day to take us to the main attractions like the split rock. We also drove ATV quad bikes through the Baja desert which was absolutely phenomenal.

Cabo is home to a number of exclusive restaurants and high end beach clubs that are perfect for sunset dinners. 

It’s the perfect mixture of a beach holiday with crazy adventures dotted in between. I would recommend going to Cabo if you are considering Mexico as a holiday destination – it’s a much better alternative over Cancun which is extremely commercialised and purely for partying. Cabo is the classier cousin!

New York City, New York, USA

Aerial shot of Manhattan NYC

New York has been, and will always be, one of my favourite places to visit in the world. My brother went to University in Philadelphia, meaning that I’d always had the opportunity to go when I was younger. In May of 2022, I had the privilege of being back there.

New York is geographically condensed in its grid-like layout and has a well-connected subway system that makes it a dream to navigate as a tourist. There are so many things to see, delicious cuisines to try and places to visit.

NYC is a treat of culture and creative individuals living a fast paced lifestyle around you. Aside from the very obvious tourist locations like the empire state building, there’s lots to see and do.

My top recommendations are to check out the following:

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art (The MET) 
  • the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), 
  • Rooftop bars – my favourites being Public Hotel, the Crown and LoHi.
  • Take a stroll through Fifth Avenue, which will take you from central to the upper east side – it’s the one with all the gorgeous high-end stores.
  • Have a picnic in Central Park.
  • Walk the Brooklyn Bridge, and have dinner in Dumbo.

New York is also great to visit at any time of year, the perk of a year end visit is the snow, but a summer visit will have you roaming around from dawn to dusk!

Budapest, Hungary


Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is a beautiful city which is bisected by the Danube River, giving it a unique and picturesque feel. 

The Hungarian capital is known for its gorgeous architecture and fine sights, being one of the most photographable capitals in Europe.

The unique and ancient architecture is complimented by a number of bridges and bastions through the old town which provide sweeping views of the city.

I plan on visiting Budapest later this year, and am very excited to visit a lot of the monumental sites. The top things on my list are the Buda Castle, Fisherman’s bastion, the Szechenyi Thermal Baths and the Central Market Hall.

The Buda castle on top of Castle Hill is an architectural dream and is divided into three museums from the Hungarian National Gallery, the Budapest History Museum and the National Szechenyi Library. 

Fisherman’s Bastion is a fortress which provides city views and The Szechenyi Thermal Bath is a sweeping grand spa with both indoor and outdoor pools. This is perfect for a day of rest and rejuvenation. With over 120 geothermal springs, these baths are visually aesthetic, perfect for the gram. Who doesn’t want to soak in a thermal pool with castle-like spired towers in the background?

The Central Market Hall is a gorgeous red brick building housed with a number of fruit, vege, sausage and food stalls. It’s also topped with a food court. 

Also known for an incredible party scene, Budapest has you covered if you’re one for a big night out! 

Honolulu, Hawaii

For those of you who want to slip away for 10 days on a beach paradise which still has a big city and American feel, the capital city of Hawaii should be at the top of your bucket list.

Honolulu is best known for its famous beaches (with Waikiki beach being a true stand out) and for the Waikiki centre being a hub for luxurious dining, nightlife and clubs, incredible shopping (particularly the outlet opportunities), and scenic palm trees.

Honolulu has luxurious accommodation options, with a number of high end hotels. In addition, my top recommendations of places to visit is:

  • Pearl Harbour for its historical significance 
  • Diamond Head which is a dormant volcano landmark
  • Koko crater railway trailhead – a trail that you can do if hiking is something you enjoy
  • Hanauma Bay which is a beautiful natural preserve where you can swim with turtles.

You can’t go to Hawaii without getting shaved ice either, so that has to be on your list!

The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control

I recently came across a book entitled “The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control” by Katherine Morgan Schafler. Schalfer is a multi-talented woman to say the least – a psychotherapist, writer and speaker based in NYC. She’s earned her psychotherapy credentials from both UC Berkeley and Columbia University, so it’s safe to say that she’s well trained in this area.

This is a voiceover created by AI and therefore some of the words or pronunciations may be incorrect. We hope you still enjoy this listening experience

Her book took the world by storm, and was titled an invitation to every “recovering perfectionist” to challenge the way they look at perfectionism and themselves.

This book is well-written, enlightening and a good read because Schafler tells us we’ve got our take on perfectionism all wrong and that we must look at it from a distorted lens. It’s full of anecdotal stories, humour, some darkness and depth, all while being informative and educational. 

She says that for years, we’ve been told that as women we need to find balance to be healthy, but she wants to break that paradigm with a different approach. She wants you to embrace being a perfectionist rather than being embarrassed by it.

In the first half of the book, Schafler focuses on breaking down the meaning of perfectionism so that we can understand the type of person we are. The second half of the book focuses on ways to restructure particular types of habits so that they aren’t working against you. She uses real life examples and stories of her experiences with female clients, so it feels relatable and really lived. 

She breaks down the 5 subtypes as:

Classic Perfectionist

These perfectionists tend to be reliable, consistent, all about the minutiae of the detail and they like their stable routine. They struggle to adapt to any new obstacles or changes, and experience immense inertia. 

Intense Perfectionist

These perfectionists are driven by their ability to maintain intense focus for their goals. Their standards appear to be impeccably high, and they can be extremely judgmental and punitive if their goals are not met. 

Parisian Perfectionist

These perfectionists hold immense value in interpersonal connections and relationships and are extremely intuitive and empathetic. They have an extreme desire to be loved, accepted, valued and seen and left unchecked they can become toxic people pleasers. 

Messy Perfectionist

These perfectionists push through anxiety of change and adapt to spontaneity well, and are naturally enthusiastic and optimistic. They struggle to stay focused on their goals, and therefore end up spreading themselves quite thin and feel a sense of restlessness. 

Procrastinating Perfectionist

These perfectionists love preparing, planning and running admin. They see opportunities holistically and have good impulse control, but struggle to translate that into action and this can result in indecisiveness.

The Perfectionists' Guide to losing control

Schalfer notes that once you understand your perfectionist profile, you can understand how to manage that form to work for you, rather than against you. Upon reading the different perfectionist types, I immediately resonated with the profile for a messy perfectionist. 

I utilised Schafler’s teachings to use that as my power, and harness it in a constructive way. Now, I use my tendencies to focus on the immediate needs, rather than over-committing and under-delivering.

Our Favourite New Restaurant Openings

As a self-proclaimed dining connoisseur, eating is one of my absolute passions. I’m always on the lookout for new openings that house an array of new and fun flavours. 

I have eaten my way through Auckland of late, so here’s a roundup of my favourite recent openings for you to add to your dining hit list.


The beautiful brainchild of David Lee, Aigo is a Korean-centric noodle bar inspired by European flavours located in Ponsonby.

It opened in late 2022, and has been one of my favourites ever since.

Aigo’s food is so unique, fun and inspired but in a humble setting. The sharing style menu is perfect for a friendly catch up that doesn’t break your bank. The must-haves are the scampi noodles and the eggplant which I absolutely devoured.


Sid and Chand Sahrawat (from Cassia, French Cafe and Siddart) opened their doors to Kol, a new Indian dining restaurant in November 2022. 

The premise of Kol is Indian food (with eurocentric flavours) cooked over fire to add the smoky flavour.

Every time I have been to Kol, it has been stacked with people. This restaurant proves that there is far more to Indian food than curry. The menu has so many unmissable items, from the amritsari prawn toast to the vindaloo fries (which is definitely more on the spicy side!) to the goat’s cheese and porcini truffle kulcha. You definitely won’t go wrong ordering everything on the menu.


2022 really was the year of Korean openings taking over. Milford’s Tokki is extremely underrated and over delivers every time. Tokki calls itself a local Korean neighbourhood restaurant but utilises seasonal items for a constantly refreshed menu.  Again, the menu has some absolute stars like the crispy eggplant, the flat noodles and the wagyu rump bulgogi. With flavours that explode in your mouth and generous portions, Tokki needs to be next on your list.


Ragtag has been a cult favourite from its days as a taco truck in Auckland. Chef Dan Freeman opened Ragtag the restaurant’s doors in Westmere in December 2022, and it’s been the perfect addition to Westmere village.

Ragtag prides itself on being a restaurant which is “100% not authentic”  in its Latin and South American style flavours. However, this is some of the best food I have had of that sort since being in Mexico and Brazil. 

The tostadas and quesadillas are filled with unique and quality produce (sweetcorn and ceviche… delicious), and with delectable cocktails to pair, you’ll have no complaints at Ragtag. 


Sourdough pizzas have really taken over. I thought it was at its pinnacle when I first discovered Frat’s pizza in Mt Albert which opened at the end of 2021, but this Dominion Road beauty is a game changer.

Opening its doors in August of 2022 from the creators of much loved pasta bar Pici, Oohfa is the perfect restaurant for a humble pizza and wine. 

The flavours of their pizza are divine to say the least – ranging from tomato and stracciatella to a prawn gamberi pizza. The choices are endless and I find myself struggling to resist the urge to order everything twice over. 

The Oscars: 5 Women Wins That Prove Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number

The 95th Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) was held by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on the evening of March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The aim of the Oscars is to honor films released in 2022 that showed remarkable acting, screenplay, costume and music.

In Hollywood, a common paradigm is that you peak at a certain age, and your chances at an iconic role decline over time. This year at the Oscars, there were two women wins that were significant, impactful and both related to women aged over 60.

Celebrating the fact that you’re never past your prime, the team at WOMAN+ have decided to take a look at 5 wins by women at the Oscars that have shown that age isn’t anything but a number. 

Oscars 2023 – Michelle Yeoh for Best Actress

Michelle Yeoh at 95th Academy Awards
Michelle Yeoh at 95th Academy Awards

Michelle Yeoh, at the age of 60 has made her mark on Hollywood starring in multiple films since her angry mother role in “Crazy Rich Asians.” 

Her win made history for other reasons, which you can read about in our article here

Michelle entered the game late, but in her viral speech she signed off with… “Ladies, don’t ever let anybody tell you you’re past your prime”. A true testament to this fact were some of the other contenders in this category such as Angela Bassett (64 years), Cate Blanchett (54 years) and Michelle Williams (44 years).

Oscars 2023 – Jamie Lee Curtis  for Best Supporting Actress

Jamie Lee Curtis at the 95th Academy Awards
Jamie Lee Curtis at the 95th Academy Awards

Jamie Lee Curtis won Best Supporting Actress for her role alongside Michelle Yeoh in “Everything, Everywhere All At Once” at the age of 64.

She’s been acting since 1977, with some iconic roles in films such as “Freaky Friday” and “Halloween,” to name a few. 

This win marked her first ever Oscar win, which at 64 is proof that there’s no age limit on achieving your dreams.

Oscars 2022 – Jane Campion for Best Director

Jane Campion at the 94th Academy Awards
Jane Campion at the 94th Academy Awards

This one gets double the recognition because Dame Elizabeth Jane Campion is a New Zealand filmmaker. 

She, at the age of 66, won the Oscar for Best Director for her film “The Power Of the Dog” and was the only woman to ever be nominated in this category twice. 

Hitting close to home, we couldn’t be more proud of this Wellington based woman!

Oscars 2021 – Frances McDormand for Best Actress 

Frances McDormand giving the acceptance speech for Best Picture at the 93rd Academy Awards
Frances McDormand giving the acceptance speech for Best Picture at the 93rd Academy Awards

Frances McDormand, actress and producer won both the Best Actress and Best Picture Oscar in 2021 for her work in “Nomadland.” 

Her speech was humble, appreciative and genuine – “We know the sword is our work, and I like work. Thank you for knowing that, and thanks for this”. 

Oscars 2020 – Renee Zellweger for Best Actress

Renee at the 92nd Academy Awards with her award for Best Actress
Renee at the 92nd Academy Awards with her award for Best Actress

Renee, the youngest of this group, at the age of 51, won the 2020 oscar for Best Actress for her performance as Judy Garland in the film “Judy.” 

We love Renee for her roles in films such as “Bridget Jones Diary” but taking a more serious tone, her performance in the film “Judy” was critically acclaimed as she told the story of the tragic life of Judy Garland. 

Best Workday Lunch Deals: Auckland CBD

The work from home lifestyle is slowly easing out and more people are returning to the Auckland CBD for their work day. If an early start to prep your lunch is simply too much, there are ample options for your lunchtime eateries.

With inflation at 7.2% at the end of 2022, it can be a struggle to get a hearty meal for less than $25. Spending that at least 5 times a week gets you to a whopping total of around $125 for that week.

In the interest of saving your lunch money, we’ve rounded up 5 great work day lunch deals that will give you bang for your buck. 

Amano Bakery – Britomart

Amano Bakery - Britomart

As we all know, Amano is a luxurious dining venue in Auckland. It’s a bustling hot spot during the day and night but Amano bakery does the lord’s work by serving up delicious bites at a far lower price point.

Sandwiches at Amano Bakery (everyone goes nuts for the meatball sandy!) are approx $12-13, and they also have daily takeaway pastas written on the wall for $12-14. 

Recently I had the pleasure of devouring an absolutely delectable mushroom tagliatelle which was $12.50.  

Oji Sushi – Britomart and Commercial Bay

Oji Sushi - Britomart and Commercial Bay

Oji Sushi is a delicious sushi and power bowl bar that also meets a high quality sushi and sashimi dining experience (they stock the Ebisu sushi rolls).

For just $7.90 (yes.. $7.90 in THIS economy), they do a sushi of the day deal with 8 pieces of sushi and a free Miso soup. My absolute favourite is the crispy prawn sushi which is the sushi of the day on Wednesday!

You can also go for a power or donburi bowl if you feel like splashing out a little more.

I could not recommend this more if you’re looking for something tasty, healthy and sourced with quality ingredients.

Revive Cafe on Wyndham Street

Revive Cafe on Wyndham Street

Revive, located near Chemist Warehouse on Wyndham street is a 100% vegan cafe which is health-oriented. It has an array of salads, meals, smoothies, juices.

My favourite thing about revive is the fact that their menu changes daily and on a Sunday, they will release the menu for the week. The salad bar has so many options from roast potato salads and noodle mingles to Moroccan chickpeas. If you fancy a hotpot dish, you can get things like a filo borek, a thai curry or a stew. 

A regular sized meal box (i.e. a hot pot and a salad or 3 salad choices) costs $17, but if you go before 12pm or after 2pm to buy your meal and sign up for a revive card, you get $4 off your meal. This is an absolute steal for the amount of food you get!

Chancery Square

Chancery Square

First off, we have O-Bar snack, a Korean restaurant that gives you an option of Gimbap (a.k.a. Korean sushi) with either ramen noodles or rice cakes, all for $11. 

Another option is Jump Rice which serves rice bowls and fried rice from $7.90. They have so many different types and styles of rice. The portions are so generous that often I’m finishing just over half.

Finally, my favourite is Mamak Malaysian Cuisine which is a homely Malaysian restaurant. Although the noodle and laksa dishes range from around $15-17, the roti canai (which is the star of the show and SO filling) is $12 for two pieces of fluffy roti and dahl dipping sauce.

Mr Murdoch’s

Mr Murdoch’s

This last option is a bit more vibey as Mr. Murdoch’s is a rooftop dining spot located on Fort street. 

From 11:30-3pm, the express lunch option offers $12 10 inch pizzas and 3 flavours to choose from – either a mushroom pizza, a buffalo chicken (with jalapenos and ranch) or a classic pepperoni. 

For a fun, cheap and cheerful catch up with a view, this is a great pick. 

Cyclone Gabrielle: Gabrielle has Passed But Her Impact Remains

As you’re aware, cyclone Gabrielle devastated parts of New Zealand. Between 6 to 16 February, the severe tropical cyclone tumbled its way across the world and made a significant impact on cities in the North Island of New Zealand.

As a woman who has grown up in New Zealand, I have never seen weather of this sort (with the earlier flash floods that Auckland had faced a week prior). 

Read our earlier piece on Cyclone Gabrielle here: Cyclone Gabrielle: Sending Love to Our People of Aotearoa. One idea that is really honed in on, is that New Zealanders are resilient. They care deeply about one another, and the sense of community as a nation is strong. We’ve seen this time and time again – through COVID-19, through the Christchurch mosque shootings, and now, with the devastation this cyclone has brought. 

The way in which Gabrielle ravaged New Zealand was inequitable. Regions like Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne were completely demolished and sent back to an archaic and almost apocalyptic way of living for a few days with no cell reception, no internet, no clean water and no power. 

Hawke's Bay post Cyclone Gabrielle
Hawke’s Bay post Cyclone Gabrielle

My partner was in Gisborne for work when the cyclone hit… I didn’t have contact with him for 5 days and my mind was running loops around the worst case scenario. Was he impacted by the cyclone severely? Did he have enough tinned and canned food? What were they doing? Were they able to work? When I finally heard from him (after he connected to a Star Link on a truck that had it) we caught up on the events of the last few days. Pak ‘N Save and other grocers had no eftpos terminals so ordinary residents turned to looting for food and supplies. Nobody could get in contact with loved ones, homes were destroyed and so many people were displaced. 

New Zealand well and truly had never experienced loss on this scale. It’s sad to say that the ramifications of cyclone Gabrielle were beyond expectations and extremely significant. Reports are that the death toll is only rising as days go by. 

Wigan Bridge in Gisborne

As we hit the one month mark from the cyclone, it’s important to remember that people still need our help. The roads to the Hawke’s Bay from Auckland are still severely destroyed, people are displaced without homes and belongings. 

As I sit in my house in Auckland writing this, I think about all the people who still need love, support and a helping hand.

If you want to reach out and do your part, here are some great ways to donate:

  1. Red Cross New Zealand Disaster Relief Fund – a fund established to help assist with natural disaster recovery.
  1. Hawke’s Bay Foundation – a special fund established to help the worst hit region by the cyclone. 
  1. SPCA – helping rescue and look after displaced animals impacted by the cyclone. 
  1. Givealittle donation page with specific people and stories that need assistance.
  1. Red Cross New Zealand’s flood response accepting donations of money and clothes.

WOMAN+’s TV Watch List

We are heading into Autumn, and the nights are getting colder which means you need to have a good tv show to keep you company!  

As a woman who loves good television I thought it would be appropriate to round up some of my top quality watches that are the right mix of clever, well-written and just downright addictive. 

So to get you through the autumnal evenings, here’s our list of 5 absolutely captivating TV shows that you should add to your favourites immediately.

The Last of Us

the last of us

The 2023 release “The Last Of Us” is a post apocalyptic drama television airing on HBO (and HBO is the pinnacle of good TV). 

An adaption of the video game “The Last of Us”, the story follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) as he escorts a teenager across this post apocalyptic world where inhabitants are infected by a mutated fungus. This is a story of heartbreak and sadness, as their journey is far from smooth sailing. 

Currently in the middle of the first season, “The Last Of Us” offers a great insight into living in a post apocalyptic world and the realities of how societies may have to deal with the fall out and rebuild. 



In January of this year, Netflix released an American heist drama television series which gained immediate notoriety for its shuffled order of play.

The story follows a master thief and his hand-picked and carefully curated crew as they attempt a heist worth $7 billion. 

Each member has their own past and reasons to partake, but what makes it far more exciting is that each Netflix watcher will get a random order in which the episodes play, meaning that the method by which you unpack the mystery is scrambled.

It’s important to pay attention and pick up the pieces as ultimately, betrayal and greed undermine their plans.



Jason Segal is back in “Shrinking” on AppleTV+! 

This January 2023 dramatic comedy follows a grieving therapist as he starts to be brutally honest with his clients and tells them what he thinks rather than following the ethical norms of being a therapist. The result of this? The lives of his patients, and himself, begin to change extremely dramatically.

This show has darker themes delivered in an earnest and honest way which makes it fun and compelling to follow. 



“Extrapolations” is set to air on March 17 on Apple TV+ but is on my watch list for a NUMBER of reasons.

It has a star studded cast – I’m talking Meryl Streep, Kit Harrington, Tobey Maguire, Gemma Chan and Edward Norton. But more than a list of familiar faces, the premise of the show has me beyond excited. 

“Extrapolations” appears to be a very black mirror-esque show that has bleak views on our future. The premise of the show follows 8 people’s lives as the planet is rapidly changing due to the effects of climate change. It focuses on how this affects love, faith, work and family on a human scale. 

Poker Face

Poker Face

This murder mystery comedy drama aired at the end of January 2023 and is stylized as a “case-of-the-week” murder show. With only 9 episodes in season 1, it’s short and sweet and has a compellingly addictive performance by Natasha Leone.

Scoring 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, it has taken fans by surprise and become an increasingly  addictive watch.

The premise of the show follows Charlie Cale, who can determine when somebody is lying. As she road trips around the country, she encounters characters and crimes that she just needs to solve. 

The story, script and the fast pace makes this an easy yet addictive watch to add to your list! 

Book Review: The Power Of Letting Go

As humans, it’s in our inherent nature to hold on to something and take things personally. I know that I fall victim to this behaviour pattern more often than not; it’s easy to hold a grudge and be mad about something rather than turning over a clean slate.

While it’s good to have a backbone, there’s also power in letting go of things that don’t serve you or aren’t conducive to your growth. 

John Purkiss’ self help book entitled “The Power Of Letting Go” has helped me focus on both why it’s important to let go, and how to let go in some situations. 

What really drew me to this book was how helpful and practical it is. It helps you dictate the narrative of your own life by giving you practical solutions to clean up negative tendencies and self-dialogue, and gives you real life techniques to make your life more enjoyable. These little changes really can go a long way.

Purkiss hones in on the idea that by letting go of things, you live life in a far more intuitive way. You live with a bit more of a natural flow instead of holding severe attachment to things and being stuck in a particular way of thinking or behaving. Letting go is ultimately one of the best things you can do for yourself because it helps in absolutely any scenario. If you’re feeling stuck at work, in a relationship, or replaying an awkward incident again and again in your head, “letting go” will help you move past it.

So what does “letting go” actually mean? In its rawest form, it means to release something. It could mean that you stop thinking about something that’s happened, release emotions associated with something and move on. 

In this book, Purkiss explores the stages of “letting go” as a state of mind rather than associating it to a specific scenario. 

Purkiss says that stage one is being present and enjoying each moment. Purkiss notes that If you’re somewhere with people, it’s important to whole-heartedly be present. Things can easily make you distracted and in your head when you’re out and about with people, meaning you miss what’s in front of you as you’re focussed on something else in your head. This is a common tendency for overthinkers. For me, when I’m out with friends, I like to put my phone on do not disturb and not get easily distracted. It helps me feed in to conversations happening, contribute and make the outing memorable. 

Stage two is letting go of the thoughts that keep you stuck. Many of us have those moments we go back to that make us want to curl up into a tiny ball and hide. Or some of us may have negative and limiting self talk/beliefs that we have that hold us in our place. It may be that we can never find a better partner than the one we have, or that we aren’t good at our jobs, or that we aren’t worth the pay rise. Eradicating self-limiting beliefs and dialogue is such a powerful way to increase your own self confidence.

The next stage is letting go of the pain that ruins your life. This has a lot to do with trauma that we may hold, which for some is far more significant than others. Purkiss offers actual techniques to let go of deeply rooted pain. He asks you to not recall or talk about the experience but just feel the pain that this event brought you. He noted that a lot of people can locate the pain which is why they are triggered by things later in life. He suggests a technique called completion, which involves you imagining that you’re back in that situation and then reliving what happened in order to feel all the suppressed emotions. Once you feel them, you control the emotions associated with the experience, thereby causing them to lose their hold over you. This is called reliving to relieve. 

Finally, Purkiss says that the last stage is to surrender and tune into something which is far more intelligent than your brain; your intuition. By living freely and being able to let things go, we live far more in flow which is the baseline for a powerful life.

So the next time you’re feeling like holding a grudge, I urge you to pick up this book by John Purkiss that will change the way you react and receive everything around you!

Rihanna’s Back: A Woman That Can Do It All

Rihanna is objectively an icon. 

Robyn Rihanna Fenty has been in the music game since her debut single ‘Pon De Replay’ was released in 2005. As a child, I was mesmerized by this teenager who was beautiful beyond words, made music with a Barbadian twist and had such a unique flair. 

Rihanna was signed to Jay Z’s def jam records when she was 16 years old and after only a year, ‘Pon De Replay’ was released. Her propulsion into stardom was imminent and immediate. Shortly after, in 2007, she released ‘Umbrella’ which was a chart-topping single that catapulted her into a globally renowned star and made her a household name. Earning her first Grammy for this song, we knew she was a force to be reckoned with.

Between 2005 to 2016, Rihanna released eight studio albums and for us millennials, we really got to grow up with her. We had “This is Rihanna” and “Music of the Sun” which served as an introduction to the star as the sweet girl Rihanna who made lighter music, meanwhile, “Good GIrl Gone Bad” reflected a phase that inspired our favourite bad gal Riri. Aptly named, “Rated R” followed the same bad gal trajectory before “Loud” was released – one of my favourite Rihanna albums and had some of her biggest hits like “Love the way you lie” and “Only girl”. Rihanna’s final album to date, “Anti” was far more dark, sultry and adult. 

In this time, Rihanna was a singer, actress and became a fashion and makeup mogul with the release of Savage by Fenty and Fenty Beauty. 

When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017, it was embraced enthusiastically and well received because of its inclusivity and diversity (offering over 40 shades of foundation). 

As Rihanna became older over time, fans grew restless as no new music on her own accord was released since ‘Anti’ in 2016. Rihanna focussed on having a family, with the birth of her son to A$ap Rocky, and growing her makeup brand. 

When Rihanna announced that she was coming out of retirement to perform at the superbowl in 2023, fans around the world were overwhelmed with joy. As a fan who has had the privilege of watching her live twice, I was also extremely excited. People theorized what she would perform and when.

Fans criticized her performance as being underwhelming on the basis that she wasn’t dancing as much as she would have, and that the show was really stolen by her dancers in an all white ensemble choreographed by New Zealand’s very own Paris Goebel. I beg to disagree. 

Rihanna’s performance was a touch of artistic genius which represented her metamorphosis into a mother over the last few decades. She announced her second pregnancy live on stage, which in my perspective, honed in on how her priority has now shifted to motherhood and being with her family. With A$ap Rocky doting on her from the crowd, this much was clear.

Her set list starting with songs like “B* Better Have My Money,” but progressed to songs like “We Found Love,” to “All Of The Lights” and finally concluded with “Diamonds” – illustrating her journey over time and the different phases of Rihanna that we’ve seen. Ending on “Diamonds,” in my view, was to make the point that despite her being out of the limelight, her light will never be dimmed and she will always have a big fandom. Her voice was also far more mature, as a 35 year old, than the twenties Rihanna we loved to watch perform. You could tell that her voice was far more refined, especially as she finally hit that note in “Work” so effortlessly, which she had seemed to miss in the past. 

Her subtle Fenty Beauty product placement by Rihanna touching herself up using her Invisimatte Instant Setting + Blotting Powder was a nod to the fact that she can do it all, and that she’s now a mother and businesswoman (with searches for the product soaring by 833% after the performance).

She also performed at the 95th annual Academy Awards on March 12, 2023 – gracing the stage with a glowing smile, her pregnant belly and performing her track lift me up for the soundtrack of Wakanda Forever. 

Rihanna performing in black diamante

It looks like 2023 is the year that Rihanna graces us with mature, well-sung live performances after a 7 year break. 2023 is the year of Rihanna because she’s shown us that as a mother, musician or beauty mogul… she really can do it all.

The Oscars: Why Michelle Yeoh’s Win Is So Important

The Academy Awards (also known as the Oscars) was back for its 95th time last night on 12 March 2023! Being one of the most prestigious award ceremonies, the Oscars are awards presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to an actor, actress, director, producer or film production crew in relation to a particular category. 

The Oscars are an extremely newsworthy event every year as buzz generates around what people are going to be wearing, who’s been nominated for what and on what basis. I’m not here to talk about dresses or the men getting awards though. 

This year, in particular, there was notable contention, buzz and speculation for who would win best actress. The best actress award is given to an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role in a film released that year. 

The nominees for the 2023 Oscar for best actress was:

  • Ana De Armas – “Blonde”
  • Cate Blanchett – “Tar”
  • Andrea Riseborough – “To Leslie”
  • Michelle Williams – “The Fabelmans”
  • Michelle Yeoh – “Everything Everywhere All At Once”

When the nominations were released, unfortunately, most of the nominees weren’t considered front runners as fans and critics alike decided the real race was between Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh. 

Australian Blanchett had previously won two Academy Awards in her time, and the press release and her outstanding performance in the film “Tar” generated an Oscar buzz from the very moment it came out. Blanchett is 53 years old, showing that there really is no time limit on the success of your career. “Tar” is a 2022 psychological drama starring Blanchett as Lydia Tar, a well renowned conductor who believes that all elements are conspiring against her. Her performance is sharp, compelling and captivating to say the least as she makes the world of western classical music appear sinister and dark.

Cate Blanchett at the 95th Academy Awards
Cate Blanchett at the 95th Academy Awards

Michelle Yeoh, a 60 year old Malaysian actress was nominated for her leading performance in “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” a 2022 Sci-Fi adventure film premised on an interdimensional rupture which unravels reality and creates a new but unlikely hero to fight dangers from the ruptured multiverse. Interestingly, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” received the most nominations for the Oscars coming in at 11. This win in particular is so important for Asian communities as it won categories from best screenplay, to best supporting lead actor for Ke He Quan who grew up in a refugee camp after fleeing from Vietnam as a child. 

Michelle Yeoh at the 95th Academy Awards Luncheon
Michelle Yeoh at the 95th Academy Awards Luncheon

Michelle Yeoh ended up winning the award for best actress and in fact made history by being the first Asian actress to win in this category. Her victory comes 90 years after Luise Rainer, a white actress, had won in the same category for playing a Chinese Villager. Supporters have felt that this moment was important for so many reasons, but also to show the progress of the industry. 

Yeoh has been hot in demand, even at the age of 60 years old, since her standout role as the mother in “Crazy Rich Asians.” Her portrayal of her character in “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is no small feat – particularly after storming this award season and taking not only the Oscar but also the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards. 

Michelle Yeoh accepting her award fo Best Actress at the 95th Academy Awards
Michelle Yeoh accepting her award fo Best Actress at the 95th Academy Awards

Her win is inspirational to minority communities around the world, but particularly the Asian community as many feel finally getting the representation they deserve. In her speech, she signed off with, “Thank you for all the little boys and girls who look like me tonight…” Congratulations to Michelle Yeoh, and all the other winners of the night. 

Auckland Pride Month: The Progress Of Pride

In light of Auckland’s Pride Month this February, the ladies at WOMAN+ thought it would be appropriate to revisit the progress of pride internationally so that we are reminded how important pride month is.

In general, pride is a movement created to ensure the LGBTQIA+ community has an opportunity to connect, embrace their identities and more recently, to display their talents. If you’re in the Auckland region be sure to check out What’s on | Auckland Pride Festival  for the full programme of events and to see what’s on!

There are so many events on from lesbian art walks, to different live art shows, comedy shows, drag performances and live poetry readings – and that’s not even covering half of the activities there! 

Wellington, your turn is up soon with Wellington pride month hitting in March. To check out what’s on, visit Wellington Pride.

Globally, pride has now been celebrated for around 50 years in the form of pride festivals and parades. 

Auckland Pride Parade 2023

The initial pride celebrations began in the 1970’s after an uprising at the Stonewall Inn in 1969. The Stonewall Uprisings were a series of spontaneous protests by members of the queer community in response to various police raids in Greenwich Village, New York City. A number of patrons of the Stonewall, and other queer bars in the neighbourhood fought back with violent police. The riots were considered the turning point event that was the catalyst for the initiation of the LGBTQ rights movement and fights for such rights in the United States. 

In 1970, a year after the initial uprising, to mark the anniversary of the event, the first pride marches took place in major US cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. 

News reports from the New York march noted that the energy was far smaller than what you would see today; New York’s first pride festival was confined to the west village only; being the only neighbourhood that queer people could publically meet. New York is North America’s second largest city, so the parade being geographically confined to a neighbourhood meant that this was small and intimate. The parade, although important to catapult the movement, was still deeply rooted in fear over prejudice due to taunting by passer-bys and a fear of being arrested. 

Over the years, organisations formed more openly, fighting for their rights with the turn outs of many US based pride parades being approximately 5 million+ and comprising over 500+ pride and LGBTQIA+ community organisations. 

Pride festivals now take place in almost 100 countries, with the intention of having fun and celebrating love but also connecting people and activists by giving people a chance to embrace themselves and go out into the open and stop feeling ashamed. 

Although there is still much progress to be made, with members of the community still marginalised and restricted in many ways, a big step in the right direction was made when same sex marriages were legalised. In the US, the Supreme Court legalised same sex marriage by ruling that the Constitution guarantees it across the country in 2015. In New Zealand, in August 2013 the government approved a measure legalising same-sex marriage (garnering support from then Prime Minister John Key). 

So with the history of pride in mind, I urge you to check out some of the events as a member of the community or as an ally!

South Island Markets To Check Out Over Summer

It’s summer; the season of leisurely strolls, fresh fruit and long walks. What better way to soak up the sun than to take a stroll around a market and grab a bite to eat and some artisanal hand crafted products?

Lucky for you, we’ve done a roundup of 5 epic markets to check out in the South Island. 

Nelson Markets

The Nelson Markets take place every Saturday morning from 8am to 1pm. This is one of the best markets I’ve been to in New Zealand because of the range of stalls it has. 

Nelson produce is divine, so in summer you’re always in for a treat with the fruits available. In addition, there’s so much creativity that goes into the handcrafted products available. I found the most incredible crystal tree at these markets. 

This market is a must visit, with freshly baked pies and pastries, and vibrant arts and crafts (and even small brand workout gear!).

Otago Farmers Markets Dunedin

The farmers markets at the Dunedin Railway Station is on every Saturday morning and prides itself on being an authentic farmers market with a suite of more than 65 vendors who grow fresh produce and supply meat, eggs, cheeses, nuts and honey. 

Coined a true “foodie heaven,” the market is known for phenomenal food and baked goods.

Riverside Market, Christchurch

A relatively “untypical” market, Riverside is next level. If you’re visiting Christchurch, I could not urge you to visit here more.

Riverside is an enclosed 7 day a week market running from 8am to 6pm most days, and has such an elevated feel as it resembles an international enclosed food court/market.

Riverside Market overlooks the Avon River and brings local produce, meat, seafood, baked goods and coffee. It brings together a trading shopping environment that is fresh and local but supports small and local businesses. 

The best part is that it is a one-stop shop, where you can have a meal fully cooked in front of you!

Marlborough farmers market in Blenheim

This Sunday morning market runs from 9am, and again is focussed on fresh produce, fruit, vegetables, oils, eggs (in this economy!) nuts and juices. 

Boasting the freshest seasonal fruit and vegetable that Marlborough offers, this market is more intimate than the Nelson markets. 

The Blenheim markets also provide entertainment every Sunday, by having various buskers and performers sing for the duration of the market day!

Remarkables Market

This list has some very impressive markets, so you know I had to end with a bang. 

This Saturday market is set in the unique setting of Remarkables Park, meaning that you have stunning mountain views.

Plus, it’s family friendly with playgrounds and a sandpit, and has a number of picnic mats provided for you to sit back and relax.

Again, the market is home to a number of quality stalls that sell fruit, vegetables, coffee, bread, pastries, cheese, seafood, meats, cakes, wine and juices. They also have stalls with fresh flowers and plants, and some crafts which range from home ware, to ceramics, to jewellery and candles. 

This market is a must visit for those of you trying to get both a hand and creative market fix, but also a great bite to eat!

Three Self Help Books That Are Life Changing

If you’ve read many of my articles, you’ll know that I have an affinity for the Self-Help/Improvement genre of books. I’m a big believer in the fact that you control your own destiny, and that how you view yourself in the world has an impact on how the world treats you. The reason why I love books that focus on shifting your mindset is because they reinforce the notion that you are the author of your own life. These books emphasise how you can achieve whatever goals you wish to – provided you put in the work. It makes you feel far less insignificant and irrelevant, and more in control. 

As we head into the new year, many of us will be considering what we can do from a growth perspective. I’m here to point you toward three self help books which personally changed my life and may inspire you to change yours.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

The 2016 Mark Manson publication was subtitled “A counterintuitive approach to living a good life. This book is so impactful because it deters from a lot of its predecessor self-help genre’s notion that positive thinking automatically creates a happy life. In a quote in the book, Manson says “F* positivity” – if things are bad, you have to deal with it as is. It’s a very ‘it is what it is’ mentality and one which I feel I’ve pushed forward into all proponents of my life. I am generally a very positive person, but bad things can happen which are out of your control. 

We live in a universe with far more resources than ever before, and because of this, we have many opportunities which can lead us to not really know what to give an f* about. The book is raw and honest and emphasises that humans are flawed, but we need to understand and accept our limitations. Once we can stop avoiding our fears, faults and limitations, we start to harness the ability to confront ourselves and others, and become more honest, responsible and curious about this. 

This book is impactful because it doesn’t tell you to be indifferent, but it tells you to give a f* about what is immediate and important, and ultimately, to be accepting of the pain which may attach to achieving your goals.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

A bit older than the other books on this list, this 1989 publication is a cornerstone of this genre. Also a business book, Covey summarises an approach to being effective by aligning yourself with universal and timeless principles (which has held true as this book is still well-acclaimed).

The principal of this book is that by incorporating a series of habits, you progress through the maturity continuum which is the three successive stages of maturity as coined by Covey. The maturity continuum spreads from dependence (which you have at birth), to independence, and finally to interdependence.

The first three habits focus on your shift through the maturity continuum from dependence to independence and represent the achievement of self-mastery, with these habits involving being proactive, beginning with the end in mind (i.e., working toward your personal goal/mission) and providing an order to prioritise tasks. 

The next three habits focus on the shiftto interdependence and the ability to successfully work with others. These habits involve thinking in mutually beneficial win-win solutions in your relationships, seeking first to understand others and only after being understood, synergise by combining strengths of people through teamwork.

Finally, the last habit represents continuous improvement; “sharpening the saw” involves dedicating yourself to consistent progress.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

Following the theme of habits, Atomic Habits is a book whereby Clear conveys a way that you can make tiny changes to bring about the most dramatic results. Un-ironically, Mark Manson (author of Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*) has proclaimed that this is one of his favourite books as it provides “fundamental information about habit formation, so you can accomplish more by focusing on less.” 

This book really does provide a “cheat-code”-esque framework to build good habits and break any bad ones you may have. 

Clear, a world-leading habit formation expert, reminds us that habits are actions that we instinctively do, without thinking about. We don’t often give them a second thought but taking daily action to change/alter a habit can have an extremely powerful effect on your life. He instils the notion that small habits are far more impactful than we think, as results in life really are a measure of habits. Their financial status is a measure of their spending and working habits, health is a measure of exercise and diet habits, and your friendships are the measure of your relationship habits. Bad habits can build up and negatively affect us so Clear contends that the key is to make tiny changes in your behaviour which, when consistently repeated, become habits that reap big rewards.

Clear breaks down the process of habit building into taking cues (or a trigger), a craving for something, a response (what you do in response to the craving) and the reward (outcome). Clear talks about this habit loop and how we can utilise this to learn to replace your cues, cravings, responses and rewards for bad habits to create better habits.

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to pick up one of these books as your new year read!

10 Wedding Guest Dresses For Wedding Season

As the NZ summer wedding season is upon us, I’ve been looking for inspiration on what dresses are the perfect balance of unique and elegant. From linen to silk, colour blocking, florals and prints, it’s hard to know what vibe to go for and what is appropriate. My advice is to always gauge the dress code via people you know who are also attending. If you’re a close friend of the bride, I find it appropriate to run the potential outfit past her so that you’re not misinterpreting the dressiness or casualness of the affair. I’ve been to weddings where a nice linen summer dress was appropriate, and others where the expectation was sequins, sparkles and met gala worthy wedding guest dresses. Every couple is different and every wedding has a different expectation. I mean just check out these unconventional weddings from New Zealand that really had that wow factor.

So, if you’re looking for an array of wedding guest dresses to inspire you on what to wear to the a special day, look no further than my list of 10 dresses that I’ve got my eye on this wedding season which are available for purchase or rent in New Zealand!

AJE Grace Tiered Maxi Dress 

aje light lemon grace tiered dress
AJE Grace Tiered Maxi Dress 

Who said that wedding guest dresses have to be boring? The lime green is such a stand out colour and a perfect tone for summer. The fabric, being a nice breathable linen is wearable and takes you from day to night.

 I instantly fell in love with the relaxed and flowing silhouette of the dress which screams elegant but the gathered insides and waist gives it a lot of shape.

I love this dress so much that I had to purchase this for my summer wedding rotation!

Shona Joy Uli Linen Corded Strapless Maxi Dress

Shona Joy Uli Linen Cordless Linen Strapless Dress

I have no words for this dress except wow”. The rust-orange is an extremely striking colour that I couldn’t stop staring at. 

The print is fun and screams summer. The straight neckline is a different cut to the usual plunges, and just feels far more relaxed yet sophisticated. It is one of the best wedding guest dresses that I have found for summer or autumn!

The fabric is a linen blend which makes it the perfect, breathable, sweat proof fabric for summer.

I love this dress because it’s something you could wear to a wedding during summer, but would make a remarkably stylish resort-fit.

Almais Soleil Sundress

Almais Soleil Sundress

This sundress by Almais instantly invigorates my childlike excitement. 

What draws my eyes to this dress is how beautiful and intricate the detail of it is. As an off-white (don’t worry – it’s BARELY white) dress covered in an array of patterns and mural-esque prints, this dress is so fun.

The fitted bodice, and square neckline makes it a demure yet chic wear that can take whatever dance moves you may pull out. The fitted bodice flows out into a flared skirt, meaning there’s lots of room for dessert.

Made from a 100% linen, this is the perfect fabric for a hot summer day.

Bec and Bridge Amber V Maxi Dress in Granada Geo

Bec and Bridge Amber V Maxi Dress

This maxi dress is a great wedding guest choice for a plethora of reasons. 

First, it’s a V-cut on the bias that has underbust seams and gathering for a cinched waist look, but has a flowing fit designed to skim to the body. This design style is timeless and classic, meaning it’ll be perfect not only for a wedding this year, but any other events you have coming up soon.

The fabric is 100% silk, which makes the dress feel that much more deluxe and exclusive.

The granada geo print is also a more muted colour than some of the other dresses in this list, making this the perfect dress for a sleek and simple guest look.

Rat and Boa Navarra dress in Lime

Rat and Boa Navarra Dress

The Navarra dress by Rat and Boa is breathtaking to say the least. It somehow achieves the perfect balance of elegant and classic, but modern and sexy. After all, who said wedding guest dresses can’t be sexy?

To me this dress screams luxury. Made from silk in a shade of lime green, Navarra has a beautiful cowl neck, a low back framed with cross detailing and a side slit. The fabric is printed with a muted snake print, which adds texture but is softened the perfect amount. 

This dress has such elegance that it is easily appropriate for a beach wedding with strappy sandals or dressed up for a wedding at the museum with old jewellery and black or white heels.

Zimmerman Botanica Bralette Gown in Sunshine

ZIMMERMANN Botanica Bralette Gown in Sunshine

This dress makes you look like a literal ray of sunshine. Yellow is such a nice colour for summer weddings.

Again, in a perfect fabric for summer this gorgeous gown  is made of a 55% linen to 45% silk blend.It is also threaded with silk linen organza lined all through it, giving it the glamorous silky sheen.

The standout features are the feminine bralette cut neckline, which the waist cutouts really compliment. That with the tailored and pleated bodice, but the open back bow tie makes it perfect for a formal occasion.

The most expensive dress on this list (with an RRP of $1,300 NZD), if you’re looking for a similar dress at a cheaper price point, the Bec and Bridge Carla V Maxi Dress is also a great choice!

Camilla and Marc Brixton Dress In Black

Camilla and Marc Brixton Dress

Black for a wedding, particularly in summer, feels bold! But trust me when I say, this dress is worth it. To me, the black is more striking than the other hues of yellow and khaki available for this dress.

The fabric is a Polyester, Rayon and Spandex blend which perfectly compliments the straight, long midi, tight fitting cut. 

This dress looks formal and upmarket, which makes it a perfect choice for a more formal wedding. It’s the perfect dress for a sleek hairstyle and a bright red lipstick to match. 

Caitlin Crisp Forever and Always Dress In Flowerbomb

Caitlin Crisp Forever And Always Dress In Flowerbomb

The Forever and Always dress is a silk-cotton blend dress in a flowerbomb print that feels like a spring and summer romance personified.  

With a gorgeous halter neck and deep v neck, an open back and a flowing skirt with two tiers, it is effortlessly stunning and the perfect option for a long summer day. The re-wear potential of this dress is also great – you can take it from wedding, to vineyard, to resort to a nice summer lunch with the ladies. 

In addition, this is a New Zealand designer and is made in New Zealand, which makes it feel that much more special because it’s closer to home.

Amanda Uprichard Thaddea Maxi Dress in colour Brookeside

Amanda Uprichard Thaddea Maxi Dress

Not often comes a time where I’m drawn towards a dress which is pink, but this dress has something special. 

Perfect for a summer vineyard wedding, this NYC fashion brand has curated a dress which feels trendy and upbeat, but the feminine silhouettes also bring an element of timelessness. 

Made from a 100% polyester, this dress has a traditional v-neckline with a fitted waist, but flows into a tiered georgette skirt with a hemmed side slit for some extra oomph. 

The colour is such a bright pink that it would pair perfectly with nude or white heels, some statement earrings and a simple makeup look.

L’idee Soiree Pleated Halter Gown in Moroccan Blue

L’idee Soiree Pleated Halter Gown in Moroccan Blue

The most formal of the list, this dress has a unique silhouette that is figure hugging and “enhances the female form” in the words of L’idee.

The colour is such a rich cobalt that it’s an eye-catching look for any formal occasion, especially a wedding.

Made from stretch grade polyester, this dress has a high halter neckline and finely ribbed pleats in a figure hugging midi-fit which softens into a more relaxed pleat at the bottom. It stands out from other wedding guest dresses as the length is perfectly between the ankle and the calves in the most flattering way.

The side slit adds an element of glamour, making it a great choice for an evening event paired with a beautiful pair of white strappy heels.

Subscribe & WIN!

Subscribe to WOMAN+ for only $19.99 for the year and you’ll have a chance to WIN 2 Nights for 2 at JetPark Rotorua +
an Evening in the Polynesian Spa.

*You can unsubscribe at any time. By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.