Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday night review...Notebook, Feb '10

Show me a women who does not pack a notebook in her handbag or several scattered about the house and work to record all those life choices...frozen peas or new handbag? and I'll show you genuine Prada on ebay for under 20 dollars.
Milla Fox, Feb 2010

There I was, completely psyched by what was sure to be a rather controversial review of the pinnacle of all fashion mags, Vogue, when out of the box shot a relatively new-comer for the modern woman, aptly named Notebook, and knocked the crème de la crème off the top spot! Ok, so not technically your average fashion magazine...actually not really a fashion magazine at all, but it is, as my wonderful friend Mel says, a “thinking woman’s magazine,” gloriously free from the montage of celebrity heads who try and convince us they are just like the rest of us (!), so it can concentrate on the most important style icon in your life, you!

This mag is more than a style choice, it is a life choice.

It first appeared on the supermarket shelves some four years ago. It was OK, nothing to write home about except it really did resemble an oversized notebook that would needed an over-sized handbag or whole bedside draw to accommodate its bulging pages. It was the first and last edition I purchased until I found myself browsing through a recent publication at my gorgeous friend Cheryl’s house and nearly tripped over my ballet flats in an attempt to scoop up a copy of my own. What I love about Notebook is how in sync it is with the average woman. The Feb edition features over 178 gloriously fabulous pages of nearly every aspect of one’s life in a collage of sophistication, beauty, reality and genuine joie de vivre. The romantic images and graphics appeal to the Jane Austin in all of us, while the content is stunningly real, relative and at times, raw.

What could become my new favourite mag is divided largely into four essential segments – fashion and beauty – but of course, your life, home life and fabulous food – which I do like to read, but am hopelessly inept at executing! This month’s fashion and beauty features a fabulous spread on my current fashion fav, the working week. Love the Lucca bag on p87, and the Diana Ferrari heels on p79 – in fact love the whole look on p79 so much, I launched into the smallest wardrobe in the world and came out with a pretty similar look I didn’t know I had – pity the David Lawrence jacket I purchased in a huff because I couldn’t find what I actually wanted (!) is all wrong for me really.

Those of us not likely to tie the knot anytime soon will still enjoy pouring over ‘Bride on a budget’ (p88) with all its pretty neutrals and sparkles. My lovely friend Lynda will just adore the Supersoft slingbacks on p91 and check out the Simona dress on p89. Oh Vanessa (Warrington) where were you when I got sucked into the traditional-needs- a big-hooped-petty-coat-underneath-cost-me-a-fortune-frock, when I had previously convinced myself I wanted a simple dress that I could wear more than once? Hey Hon, let’s get married again...

The home life section, found toward the back half of the mag is a style delight for the whole house. I’m a big fan of the white washed walls and floors, and adore the clutter free, well worn lived-in look...damn you green carpet and ugly couch. Whilst the whole publication is a treasure-trove of delight, my fav part of the mag is ‘your life.’ This section is truly, madly, deeply style for the soul with inspirational and can-do articles on “Making a change” in your career, finances, health and life. Former managing editor of Elle magazine, Caroline Mead (see her blog takes us on an easy-to-do journey to “Reclaim your style” (not that you need've got me...hehehe) and we meet five completely amazing women who threw caution to the wind to embark on their life-long dreams of owning and operating their own business...anyone want to join me for tea in Collingwood? Mel, you've got to see these Chistina Re tee-shirts, I want them (p53). This month’s edition also features “sew pretty projects” with Cath Kidston, and a host of interesting comments and reveiws. Do yourselves a favour people. “Notebook!” LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

Check it out: You could win a Mitsubishi Colt!

Friday, January 29, 2010

You can't afford to miss out on...

I have three words for you ladies and There I was, innocently perusing the eboutique section of the Shop Til You Drop website – just for fun you understand, when out popped this treasure-trove of on-line fashion neatly categorised into easy to find departments at prices appealing to the budget conscious but fashion addicted, like myself. I was so excited I spent the next three hours studying every page, every option and every delicious delight just so I could impart my newly discovered knowledge to my loyal readers and budding stylettes. Unlike your usual run-of-the-mill eboutique which normally concentrates on contained line of products, this baby is a one-stop-shop for the armchair shopper. It’s all there, wardrobe essentials, clothing, accessories, shoes, sleepwear, maternity, gifts (everyone loves gifts), something for the kids and even DH, who was sadly forgotten and left sitting on the couch in the excitement of it all. Sorry hon...bit busy at the mo! My favourite, I will admit were the ‘tops.’ When I’m not obsessing about Bettina, I’m obsessing about tops. It was my first experience, and let me tell you...not disappointed. I scrolled down in awe at a vast selection of affordable labels – Anise, Fate, Sass, Living Doll, Espirit, Wish and Ladakh to mention a few. I love love love the ‘All About Eve’ Free Bird tee reduced to $39.95. Latte coloured and long lined, perfect for hiding that tummy with a sexy drape back, and shoulder tie. Clearly with my E cups, I’d have to pop a cami underneath so I could comfortably wear support, but when you find something as glamorous as an uber-chic tee, who cares about semantics. In fact, I love it so much, if I wasn’t so obsessed with owning those curvy fit Bettina jeans or debating the jumpsuit, I would definitely buy it!

But wait, there is more. Not only can you search by desire or by category but you can also search by body type. I know, it’s completely and utterly revolutionary. By selecting ‘shop by body type’ you can select the part of your body you want to dress ie. Tummy, hips or E cups, and up pops a selection of clothing that will best suit that element of your bod. Choose a few different combinations, and cross reference the items for a complete look. You can also shop by personality, collection, colour, brand, new arrivals and most importantly, bargains. Love it!

CHECK IT OUT: You won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Casual Friday: What I'm going to wear

Three whole days since my last post, can you believe it? I wouldn’t blame you for thinking I’ve been stuck in some change-room somewhere, but alas it was nothing quite so spectacular. I’ve been a busy actually – back at work, playing with the kids, Australia Day celebrations etc etc etc. BB2 has also decided that waking up and partying at five am is the way to go, whilst BB1 thinks bed-time isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Plus, I’m also still recovering from my first attempt at catching public transport to work. Ok, so I got my tram stop completely wrong, and then missed a couple...and the trains were late as I attempted to find my way home, but at least I looked good. Thank you Jacqui E shift dress, Cue blouse and shoes by Wittner. Pity, I was too tired to write about it!! Anyway, I’m back and tomorrow is casual Friday, so you know what that means...time to glam it up! This week’s outfit started off as a return to tradition with my all-time favourite DKNY skinny jeans. But to be perfectly honest I’m a little bit obsessed with Bettino Liano and am sadly disappointed in my old favourites. My $14.95 skinny pants from Witchery (reduced from $160 remember), which can also be unzipped to magically become bootlegs, are a fab alternative, and teamed with my new flutter sleeve tee by Roxy purchased today for $27.95, look super sensational. I’ve added my new Wittner t-bars for a bit of height (although the ballet flats will do for the rush from train to coffee to tram), the pewter Guess bag DH gave me two Christmases ago, and added Chanel inspired pearls for a bit of glam. For a bit of warmth I’ll either add a chocolate coloured blazer by Diana Ferrari, or my peach thigh length cardi by Country Road. The tee, as a summer garment is pretty thin and a little transparent so I’ve topped it off with some magic knee to bust knickers underneath. Don’t you love it? Let’s check it out...

Trousers from Witchery $14.95
Roxy tee $27.95
Wittner platforms $40.00
Pearls $5 from a Diva sale
Magic knickers from Kmart $17.99
Total cost (without the warmth) $105.89

CHECK IT OUT: A few years ago I brought my first Roxy tee from Surf Attack, a teeny tiny surf shop located on the ground floor at Altona Gate. I loved everything about it...the colour (yoghurt), the cut (empire) and the fabric. I literally wore it to death. Twice a year, I make it a point to visit this fabulous little establishment to pick myself up a new tee at 40-50 per cent off the marked price, and I just love my newest edition. Those flutter sleeve will make anyone’s burgeoning bingo arms look fantastic.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Australia Day barbecue tomorrow and for some strange reason I have a yearning to wear a jumpsuit! Rather weird actually considering I don’t own a jumpsuit, but there you have it. Perhaps it’s a burgeoning obsession with that cute little Camilla number on p66 of the latest Instyle mag that I’m never going to own. Or, I have finally decided to catch up with what was hot last spring. Either way I really want one, except that I have limited resources until pay-day and I voluntarily gave my credit card to DH. Yep, voluntarily...after seven months on maternity leave, no regular income and never ending temptation...I couldn’t be trusted! So, in an attempt to find a bargain that didn’t include a 1970’s nylon number via ebay, I scouted my favourite on-line boutiques and discovered two potentials; the Good life jumpsuit from with the adjustable skinny straps and draped leg with ruched ankle cuff at $99.95, or the strapless ruffle jumpsuit from with the wide-leg reduced from $79 to $49?

The only problem I have with both of these alternatives, besides having no available method of, or reason for buying, receiving and accessorising before tomorrow is the colour. They are both black! and you do know my philosophy on black. Although they could be justified as statement pieces, I suppose. Why oh why didn’t I buy the midnight blue number from Sussan when I had the chance? I got the silk flower.

CHECK IT OUT: For the ultimate on-line shopping experience you simply must check out It’s a bit of a fav of Instyle, which as you know is my fashion magazine of choice. Prices are mortgage friendly and you will be spoiled for choice across a range of classic and uber-edgy looks. Don’t expect to see a ‘sale’ section on the website, however. Oh no, these on-line retailers have gone straight for the ‘clearance’ option, which equates to 34 pages or 408 items of unadulterated shopping pleasure.

Sunday night review...Instyle Feb '10

I know, I know, it’s not Sunday night but we had such a busy weekend filled with friends and family that by the time we got the kids to bed all I could do was sit and stare at the flat screen! Back to work this morning, and I have to say I am seriously excited about the Feb edition of Instyle. Call me biased, I am an Instyle die-hard from way back (except when Lindsay Lohan was on the cover, eep!) but the last three editions have been super sensational. If anything the latest has raised the uber-edgy-slash-glamour bench-mark to an all-time high, placing it firmly above – in my opinion, the mecca of all fashion mags, Vogue! I will admit it’s a little OTT with high-end fashion but the contents still seem accessible, if only as a guide to those us on a post Chrissie sale budget.

Regular features including Your Look (p47 – 47), Shop It (p69-80), celebrities Instyle (p88-111) and What’s now (113-123) fairly pop from the pages in a montage of colour, allure and to-die-for accessories. Instant Style, the first of the Your Look feature has gone tribal in an appealing to the masses kind of way. Australian designer Thurley features heavily - check out the silk on p51...gorgeous, and then again on p77... (you may have seen her on the local red carpet as a fav of Geelong superstar, Gary Ablett’s gorgeous partner, Lauren Phillips. It's way out of my price range at the minute, but it’s fun to look! Meanwhile, Instyle’s love-love relationship with dynamic duo Sass & Bide continues. The You Can Do section is kind of cool for fab ideas on what to mix and match, but if you are like me and have to adopt a k-mart kind of ideology, then stick to what you can afford. It is highly unlikely, for example, that I am ever going to buy a leopard cardigan from Camilla and Marc at $380 (p60-61), but I have a ripping muted zebra cardi from Sussans ($49.95) that will do the trick nicely. Call me crazy, but I do like the Camilla silk ‘day-to-night’ jumpsuit (p66). At $451 however, I wouldn’t actually buy it, but I did see something similar on ebay just the other day at a fraction of the price.

The workplace is definitely a style magnet for fashion mags at the mo. My favourite spread features the relaxed muted tones on pg 72-73. I love the Sambag sequinned cashmere cardi on p72. Back to the coffee money for a cashmere investment me thinks, and you can’t go wrong with any dress from Jigsaw. I have to admit, I’m usually not a fan of the celebrity in-style feature as I have never subscribed to idea of a celebrity as my fashion icon. Let’s face it, they are surrounded by dozens of stylists, make-up artists and hair-dressers and are usually photographed wearing outrageously expensive items that most of us can only scoff at, but I do like the Danielle Spencer spread on pg104-111. There is something earthy about this high-profile wife and mother-of-two, to which a mere mortal such as myself can relate. Oh, and I love the look on p89. To top it off, the beauty (p126), well-being (p150) and life-style sections (P163) offer fabulous tricks of the trade ideas on how to glam up your day to day life.

The Feb edition launches Instyle’s second annual Women of Style Awards, so if you know someone worthy of a mention, get on line The Feb edition of Instyle features Jennifer Garner on the the colour of that frock, and reader discounts at Sportscraft and Priori facials.

CHECK IT OUT: Sambag on line at The on-line shop is nothing to write home about, but you may be able to find a store near you, which could be worth a look. If you are cashed up and don't mind a spot of on-line shopping then also scope They are having a fab sale with most items at 50% off or more! My fav, the Lolo applique dress reduced from $375 to $190. Gorgeous!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Perfect jeans...part 2

Ok, so we didn’t exactly “find” the perfect pair of jeans, but we did find some tremendous maybes including Bettina Liano’s curvy fit dark denims, which gave us the ‘perfect’ start. And, fabulous Sarah did buy the most gorgeous pair of shorts at 50 per cent off the lowest marked price from the Saba sale, which made her look even more spectacular than usual. After much consideration, this is what you simply must take into consideration when buying your next pair of denim duds:

1. The fit – jeans have to fit you properly otherwise you will never wear them. Trust me! Black skinny low rise jeans from Target that keep falling down...not a good look. You want them to fit well around the thigh, hips and bum, especially if they are mid-to-low rise. If you are like me and have learned to love your saddle-bags, find a good tailor who will mould the waist to your shape. They will become your best friend. The tailor and the jeans.

2. Colour – very important for girlies that are bigger down below. Dark denim looks super sensational, and if it has a faded panel in front, even better...but beware, if there is too much colour contrast at the front, it will make your thighs look bigger than they really are. Similarly, a block of colour that has no light or shade in the weave can have the same effect...and seriously, who wants that!

3. Shape – like any item of clothing, different shapes suit different silhouettes . Boot-leg jeans look hot hot hot on hour glass and pear shapes girls, where as stylettes who carry their weight up top look dead sexy in straight denims. Regardless of your shape, you can wear a skinny jean and just balance it out with what you wear up top and on your feet. As for wide-leg jeans...everyone should own a pair.

4. Fabric – We all know that a jean is a jean...and let’s face it, we all love target. But, there is something to be said for a good quality denim. The more you pay, the better the fabric and more likely, the better the fit. Bettina Liano! If you can get it at a bargain, good on you and don’t forget to tell your friends, otherwise be prepared to invest. You could have these suckers for years. Oh, and by the way, if you are hippie in any way shape or form (as in have generous hips, and not “a” hippie. Not that there is anything wrong with that) then go for denim with a bit of stretch in them, you won’t regret it.

5. Purpose – work out where you want to wear your jeans and what for because despite your best efforts, you’ll never get a wide-leg or bootleg...or even a straight leg, into your knee length boots. Trust me, I’ve tried. Way too uncomfortable and kind of dorky. If you want an everyday pair and love your little snub nose ballet shoes then buy a jean length that just skims the floor or in the case of a skinny, can be bunched around your ankle (also allowing you to wear a heel) but not too much as you’ll end up looking like a hobbit. If its heels you want, then you’ll need a longer leg, so take them with you. If dressy is you desire then dark denim is the best the way to go.

HOT TIP: If your bootie is a bit bigger than you’d like it be, hold your impending new purchase by the waist band. If the back of the jean is higher than the front, these are the jeans for you! Don’t forget denim also stretches after a couple of wears. When buying them you want them to be firm but not so too tight. My fabulous friend Sarah swears by the “squat” test, and so should the rest of us, particularly if we are usually attached to a pram!

CHECK IT OUT! Chadstone Shopping Centre in Melbourne has undergone a pretty major transformation of late. You’ll find most denim retailers on the lower floor these days, just down a bit from Myers. My favourite new denim outlet, Bettina is located on the upper level in the shiny new section that also boasts household names like Prada, Chanel and Jimmy Choo! day!

Friday, January 22, 2010

The perfect pair of jeans?

I’m taking my friend, the fabulous Sarah shopping tomorrow to find her perfect pair of jeans. I’m a bit scared actually. Does such a thing exist? I consulted my smallest wardrobe in the world for some answers, and guess really does exist. I have four pairs of them...ok, well maybe only three because my Calvin Kleins are looking a bit dated. I brought them at a bargain $33AUD at discount retailer Filene’s Basement in the US, which I have just discovered filed for bankruptcy protection in May. Not that I’m planning on visiting the US anytime soon but...nooooo! Up until about 10 years ago, I really wasn’t into denim. I was your more run-of-the-mill cargo pant type of girl, but after purchasing my first pair of bootleg hipsters with frayed cuffs and embroidery from Westco on Bridge Road, I never looked back. The big question now is what constitutes the “perfect pair of jeans?”
I’ll let you know tomorrow?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Finally, those heels are all mine

I love my friend Mel, really I do. She is kind, caring, and incredibly stylish and selfishly shares all her Wittner secrets with her friends. In fact, if it wasn’t for Mel then I might have missed out on buying these gorgeous Pansy-miami-glitter heels reduced from $169.95 to $34 during Wittner’s 4-day, 80 per cent off sale! I have been eying them off for months, so imagine my excitement when I walked into my local store and there they were, 80 per cent off! And just when I was thinking, I need another pair shoes. Clearly the stuff dreams are made of. I just adore them, don’t you? In fact, I adore them so much; I have created an entire outfit around them just to wear on casual Friday tomorrow. I can’t wait.

Wittner’s most fantastic sale of the century ends on Sunday, so make sure you get yourself into a store post haste. Most of the shoes on sale do have a heel and quite a dangerous heel at that (or as BB1 puts it “a sharp heel”), but if you don’t like heights, don’t be dissuaded because there is a small selection of cute flats and sandals bound to peak your interest. For my beautiful friends in Western Australia, I am as horrified as you that my all-time favourite place to shop shoes has not it made it across the Nullarbor. You can still check it out and buy on-line at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Best laid plans don't always work

Oh crap crap crappity-crap. My fabulous new pair of pin-striped slacks from Cue was way too big around the waist. How did that happen? I only brought them a week ago. Must be all those veges. I tried to work my magic with a belt, but there was just too much gathering, puckering and excess fabric and quite frankly I looked ridiculous. So, it’s off to the tailor and a quick trip into the smallest wardrobe in the world for a new outfit! Luckily, I had my trusty purple satin Leona (Edmiston) wrap dress on hand from two seasons ago (no photo yet, but wait). All I had to do was re-coordinate my bling with a purple flower ring from Diva and sparkles from Ritual, re-apply my make-up and re-load my fail safe Guess handbag from “Casual Friday” then hit the road. The gladiator shoes looked pretty hot with this frock, and gave it the kind of funky edge I’d never tried before. How fabulous! I did nearly opt for a pair of taupe patent leather peep-toes, but they hurt my feet. Sorry Steve (Madden), sad but true. The jury is still out on the Lulu handbag by the way, and I'm not seeing anyone offer any suggestions. Perhaps if I give it away...

HOT TIP: If you have to cinch your trouser or pencil skirts in with a belt, and let’s face it, those of us with saddlebags and big bottoms usually do, my advice to you is don’t! It can make you look bigger than you really are because it bunches the fabric around your waist or hips and creates a balloon-like affect. Not attractive and very uncomfortable. Do yourself a favour and get them tailored to fit you properly, but be careful. A lot of tailors will often just run a new line of stitching down the back seam, which can completely change the shape of the garment. Ask your tailor how they intend to alter your prized procession and then discuss the options. If they won’t budge, shop around. If you are not sure where to go, ask the store from which you brought your clothes to refer someone. They are usually more than happy to help you out. Like me really.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What am I wearing

Back to work tomorrow and actually looking forward to it! I know, can you believe it! Since deciding to glam it up for the office, I’ve created my very own weekly fashion experience and am reveling in the chance to throw myself into the smallest wardrobe in the world and come out looking like I’ve been dressed by Patricia Fields. Ok, maybe not Patricia Fields because that could quite possibly mean denim hotpants with bum ruffles, which would get me fired, but you know what I mean. This week’s outfit combines an old favourite – turquoise cami with empire tie by Stella, and short sleeve grey jacket and slacks from Cue. I added more accessories than I would normally wear – turquoise necklace & bling ring from Diva, ear-rings from Ritual and last week’s gladiator purchase from Wittner. God, I love Wittner. Not completely sold on the belt – which I do adore by the way. It was a pre-peggie purchase from Kamikaze for $39.95 and I’ve been dying to wear it - or the bag (Lulu Australia). I’ve had the handbag for years, but feel it might be a bit dated. Perhaps I’ll opt for the pewter Guess bag DH brought me for Chrissie, what a thoughtful man.

As per usual, every item was brought for a bargain:
Cue jacket – half price at $119
Cue pants – half price at $60
Stella top – half price less 20%, $35
Wittner shoes – bargain, $50
Belt, full price, but still a steal, $39.95
Earrings, $ 5 from Ritual
Necklace and Ring from Diva, $10
Handbag, can’t remember it was so long ago, but the Guess bag was a present so it’s free!
Total spend $318.00

CHECK IT OUT: Putting together a suit-styled fashion statement does not mean everything has to match. I’ve teamed a lighter grey jacket shot with silver, with a pair of charcoal pin-striped boot-cut trousers – which look absolutely fabulous on anyone with saddlebags, then thrown in a pair of cream coloured platforms for good measure. What are you wearing?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Going going gone...the mischief of on-line shopping

It’s gone! That cute little white dress with the blue geometric print on p42 of the latest "Shop Til You Drop" mag has gone. Never to be repeated. None, zilch, zero. I am gutted, how did this happen? I had already resolved in the early hours of this morning that the very minute I settled BB2 down for a nap and put BB1 in front of the big screen, I would log onto and buy it. I was brimming with excitement about my impending purchase. I had already decided where I would wear it first – lunch with the girls, how I would dress it up - my favourite elastic cinch belt with the faux black patent leather trim ($39.95 from Sussans) and new t-bar platties from Wittner, and how I would dress it down – cream ballet flats and turquoise gypsy pendent I purchased at a steal ($5) from Ritual at Harbour Town, WA. But, not only could I not find the dress, I could not find Alibi, the on-line boutique from which I was to buy. It wasn’t where it usually is... under the eboutique section of the STYD website – although I did find a couple of other cute little eboutiques you all might like, but that’s for another day, and I was fast becoming frustrated. I was about to reach for the phone and give my favourite new publication a piece of my thwarted mind. Fancy teasing us with such a stylish wonder at an affordable price only to deny its very on-line existence. Thankfully in a excellent show of self-control, I dialled the number printed on the promo instead and was delivered the bad news. Nooooo....

In a desperate attempt to suppress my disappointment, I spent the next half an hour scoping all my favourite e-boutiques’ in the hope I would find something that would come close to bringing such joy that I know this frock would have brought. Until my three year old screamed at me that she wanted a tissue that is and wanted it now! It wasn’t until I tore my frantic fingers away from my keyboard that I realised no matter how many flashy fashion sites I visited that all boasted cut-price options with one click, none would extinguish the grief I felt at losing my new best friend, and that perhaps BB1s tantrum was a blessing in disguise, lest I found myself checking out with something that was only ever going to be second best.

So, my advice to you is if you see something you really like, don’t delay. Don’t stop to ponder how fabulous you are sure to look and then wait for an opinion from your loyal readers. Log-on immediately and buy it. It is far better than losing it and spending your hard earned coffee money on a poor replica that you are sure to dislike the moment it arrives.

HOT TIP: There is nothing quite so exciting than buying on-line and receiving your package wrapped up with a smile from the postie. But are clearly buying what you see in one-dimension only, and usually hanging off a super slim glamorous supermodel. In order to shop successfully on-line particularly if you are going in for high-end bargains, then you MUST MUST MUST know your body shape, so you can take one look at the happy snap of your next big purchase and be confident that it is the right look for you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shop til you drop review (Feb '10)

The latest edition of the ‘Shop til you drop’ is a ripping publication. It’s been some months since I last invested...I was somewhat delusional in thinking that if I avoided it, I would not succumb to temptation as I was clearly on maternity leave and at the mercy of the joint bank account. Those of you who know me however, realise how ridiculous that is, because despite two babies, mortgage, maternity leave and ridiculously high child-care fees, I still went shopping as clearly evidenced by this blog. Anyway, if you haven’t yet checked out quite frankly the most fabulous shopping resource ever to behold those of us on a budget, then you simply must. It is full of fabulous fashion ideas and how to get them at any price. In particular, at a price affordable to vast majority of us, child-care or not. Usually a skimmer – you know, look at the pictures, glance at the price and then spend the next 12 hours wondering how to get one, I took my glossy little 190+ page plus friend to bed and read it cover to cover.

I love love love the monthly Reporter – six pages of the latest fashion news, know-hows and style trends. Some of which I do admit I scoffed at ‘cloud print jeans anyone!’ while others completely intrigued the more ambitious stylette in me. Nicole Richie’s House of Harlow, gotta look that up. I am also completely enamoured with “get the look for under $50!” Where? How?. Check out p42 and in particular, the white and blue geometric print dress from Alibi ($49.95). I’m thinking of buying it, what do you think? The Marcs shoes on p124 have also got my name on them, don’t you agree?

Shopping Spree: Working girl (p64) was clearly up my alley, although the sister section – 7 surprisingly office-appropriate way to wear shorts (p44), scared the hell out of me. This month also features a fab selection of on-line sites that will delight all your fashion desires, Click, Click, Shop(p106): I’m about to check out Claire Incorruptible, Jak and Jil Blog, and You must must must also take a look at I found them when I was searching for a bargain basement pair of Christian Louboutin heels. A little out of my price range, but we can dream can’t we.


Not so casual Friday (at a bargain)

Back to work last week after being gloriously sidelined with BB2, and Friday was my first official ‘casual Friday’ in seven months. The pressure was on. Not only did I have to adhere to the traditional definition of the alternate work attire, but I had to do with style, grace and glamour. Yes, beautiful people gone are the days when I simply done a pair of well worn jeans and t-shirt. No, I made a promise to myself that I would skip convention and glam it up when it came to work. So, after a seriously mean foray into the smallest wardrobe in the world, I came up with a truly gorgeous outfit consisting of a gold, red and grey batwing silk blouse from Sussans, high waisted flares from Country Road, patent caramel brown peep toe wedges from Wittner, Guess handbag from Macys in LA and bling ring from Diva. And, true to my style, it was all bought for a bargin. Check it out...

Silk blouse, reduced from $109 to $29.95 during the post chrissie sales '09;
Jeans , $14.95 from the country road outlet at DFO South Wharf;
Wedges, reduced from $169.95 to $30 courtesy of a Wittner clearance sale over 12 months ago;
Handbag, purchased in LA for $95.00 at an exchange rate of $A0.93;
Bling ring, $14.95 during a Diva 2-for-1-sale;
Grand total $184.85

Why not post a comment and tell me what you think?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Milla's guide to restyling your wardrobe

Ok, girls and girls here it is. Milla's guide to restyling your wardrobe. Its all you need to know to save space, organise your fashion life and solve the never ending problem of owning 25,000 items of clothing and 9000 pairs of shoes and having nothing to wear!

1. Throw yourself bodily into your cupboard - not really a problem for me as I have the smallest cupboard in the world.

2. Relocate its contents into the middle of your bed and try not to freak out. Didn’t think you owned so many clothes and shoes did you?

2. Try it all on! And I mean everything including underwear, shoes and accessories.

3. Be honest with yourself. Scrutinize every item based on how it fits and looks in term of shape, style and age. If it doesn’t fit, throw it out. If it is old, faded or tired or has shoulder pads and big gold buttons, throw it out. If it makes your ankles look fat, throw it out but most importantly if your boobs look like a gigantic German sausage strangling your ribcage, THROW IT OUT!

4. I’m not kidding! If it is not you, cannot be adapted (yes adapted!), makes a noise or was commissioned somewhere in the 80s, get rid of it otherwise it will only take up valuable space even if it did you cost you last month’s pay. If its in good condition either sell it on eBay or give it to charity. If you are unsure about one or two items - and this will happen, put it in another part of the house and forget about it. If you haven‘t gone looking for it in six months, get rid of it. Harsh I know, but seriously people, it's sale time. You need the room.

“Sometimes in order to move forward, you have to let go of something you love” (Woodall, T., Undressed., ITV, 2007)

5. Pre-organise, then reorganise - Separate what is left into ‘like’ items…you know shirts, skirts, dresses etc etc, then re-organise into colours. By sorting out your clothes and hanging or storing accordingly you will find coordinating outfits to be a much easier process with less time spent staring aimlessly into space while you wonder what to wear and where the hell to find it in all this mess.

7. Put it away - Decide where you are going to house your clothes and accessories and store accordingly. Invest in some wooden or padded coat hangers because wire ones are evil and should be banished from the face of the fashion world. Your local reject or $2 shop should do the trick. Ikea also sell bundles of wooden hangers for a few dollars.

if you have limited hanging space, reserve it for dresses, tops and good trousers. Denim and knits can be folded without having to resort to the iron. A bonus in anyone's language. House your shoes in boxes, which can be stacked on top of one another to save space.

And finally,

6. Get a good bottle of wine and grab a friend - this is a time consuming process and without appropriate support you’ll only end up hating yourself, your clothes and your husband and he has nothing to do with it.

HOT TIP: If your occupation or favourite past-time (no coffee with the girls does not count) dictates a different style of dress to everyday wear, then keep these items separate. It could mean the difference between a healthy breakfast with your family in the morning, or an over-priced toasted ham sandwich on the run.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Whoops, I nearly did it again!

There I was on my way to the local supermarket to restock on bananas when I happened to by-pass one of my favourite ready-to-wear chain stores. With time to spare I wandered in for an innocent look when I came across a cute little white business shirt with purple pin-stripe and waist belt for the bargain price of $19.95. With much excitement, I crammed myself, BB1 and BB2 into the pint sized changing cubical with business shirt in my grasp and began the almost impossible task of shimming out of my clothes and into my potential new purchase whilst keeping up a continuous monologue about how good girls get chippies lest one of us launch ourselves into a major meltdown. As I further engaged BB1 in a game of ‘how pretty does mummy look’ and continued to marvel at the heavily reduced price, I suddenly remembered that I had purchased a new business shirt barely two weeks earlier. Three of them in fact. From Cue, and lets face it, did I really need another business shirt especially as I had yet to wear the ones I had just bought. I know, I know…this from the girl who was frequently quoted as saying “Need? Want? What’s your point?”

Well, my point is, how many of us have been so blinded by a bargain that we’ve completely forgotten what wonders lay within the depths of our all-too crowded wardrobe. Moreover, how many of us have been so blinded by said bargain that not only have we completely forgotten what lays within our wardrobe, but also forgotten how many of those wonders still have their tags attached to their collars!! Guilty? Yep, me too. So, what you do about it? Easy, follow Milla's guide to restyling your wardrobe and let the fun begin. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Quick tip

Wittner has just opened a factory outlet at DFO South Wharf! Need I say anymore...

Monday, January 11, 2010

My friend Jacqui

It’s been 16 days since the biggest annual event on the shopping calendar - the post Christmas Day sales, and I know what you are all thinking. Where is Milla? Well, I’ll tell you…shopping, where else! I have been out and about perusing stores, checking out change-rooms and rating what I consider to be the pick of the bunch for those of us who are trying to look like we are living like champagne on a beer budget. Kudos to the fashion buyers of the well known chain-stores. In the face of the GFC, they’ve bought up a storm over the last two seasons so that most of the brands affordable to those of us with mortgages and/or dependents are brimming with post Christmas bargains at ridiculous prices. My pick of the bunch is without a doubt, is the lovely Miss Jacquie E. Jacquie Who, I hear some of you more prone to high-end brand names saying in aghast. Jacquie E…she’s pretty, she’s affordable and she is so overflowing with massive reductions that you should shop there just out of principle. What I like best about Jacqui E, is her adaptability. It doesn’t matter what size, shape or age you are…this sexy, sophisticated little lass will deck you out in her finest for half the price. Dresses that retail in season for over $120.00 have been dramatically reduced…some by 50%, others by 70%. My fav (and one I’m trying to find in my size such is its popularity!!!) is a knee length drape dress with beaded detail around the neck in white and orange. Team it with a pair of beige, taupe or black gladiators and you are going to look hot! hot! hot! Or, whack on a pair of thongs and ridiculously large straw hat and glasses and meet the girls at the beach for a decaf soy latte and bit of a chat.

For the more professional, pencil shirts (PS) and shirts and blouses take on a whole new look with daring reptile or geometric prints and pretty frills and flounces. They can be had from as little as $20 (reduced from $80), although depending on your professional style, don’t discount the white and orange number…I want that dress. I fell particularly in love with a classic white PS with beige reptile print and skinny hip belt, but with my thighs…it was never going to happen. Not worry, I was spoiled by choice because that is what Jacquie E does…choice! Just remember to grab as much as you can in one go, and try it all on…preferably as ensembles, not as singles…leave that for another day. My cousin and I went mental just a few days ago and nearly sampled the entire store, much to the sales lady’s delight. Which leads me to another thing…the staff. Always very nice and very helpful, but still in it for the sale. So take a friend.

HOT TIP: If you are lucky to live by a DFO or harbour town then my advice is to skip the regular retail stores and make a bee-line for bargain heaven. Most of the clearance outlets stock the latest discards so you won’t miss out on what was just hot!

CHECK IT OUT: While you are there suss out Jacquie E’s answer to the short-sleeve jacket. It is style heaven for any shape or occasion. It sucks you in in all the right places, gives you cleavage if you don’t have it, and softens it if you do. Button it up for day or night, or leave it open with a tee and a pair of jeans. It is on sale for $99 and worth every penny.

So what if I look like a Sardine

Oh my lord, it's come to my attention that I may just be a hypocrit in the style department! Just a few short weeks after advising if its blue and black take it back, I very nearly did take it back. All the way back from Harbour Town, WA to my wardrobe!! Yep, even I succumbed to the temptation of a heavily reduced number from Ojay (with bling) in all the wrong shades.! My only saving grace, those damned post-baby E cups and a zip that refused to do up!

Now before you roll your eyes, ignore my advice and run off to scoop up your own post Christmas sales in the most inappropriate of colours, I have a few things I would like to say in my defence…

1. It was a complete bargain…reduced from something ludicrous like $99.95 to $19.95...and as a result, I was quite clearly blindsided by temptation;
2. I had not been shopping in a week and was desperate, and
3. The cut and design was simply divine.

Yes, fabulous people, this was a perfect example of compromise whereby the look and fit of the garment was so far beyond the colour, nobody would care if my skin tone took on the look of a well packaged sardine. So, the next time you find yourself standing in front of the reduced rack in Ojay and come across a gorgeous black satin top with inch thick navy shoulder straps and trim, and supported by a crest of silver and pearl bling…buy it! Then think of me…

HOT TIP: The sales at Ojay are particularly impressive this post Chrissie season. Like most stores, the good old GFC (as in global financial crisis, not Geelong Football Club) is prompting retailers to bring their prices down more than the norm in an attempt to persuade shoppers to spend. No further encouragement needed really!! Keep your eyes peeled for some good quality clothes between $30 and $100.00. If you are lucky there will be an extra 20%-30% off the already reduced price, and if you are near a direct factory outlet or a Harbour Town even better. Happy shopping.
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