Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sunday night review (on Thursday...oops!)...Shop Til You Drop March edition

I can’t believe I’m about to say this but shopping is really getting in the way of my blog. I kid you not. I’ve had so many fabulous fashion experiences and style treats to share with you, but I’ve been so busy visiting my friend Sussan and paying my respects to her friends and enemies that I’ve barely had time to put fingers to keyboard. I so wanted to chat to you about the March edition of Shop Til You Drop, which I know is a little on the late side - the April edition is about to make its appearance on the supermarket shelves, but for the sake of helping you decide to buy or not to buy, it’s only fair I share. So here goes....

My new friend ‘An affair with fashion’ – oh my gawd, I love that name...why didn’t I think of it?...mentioned to me that like so many other glossy fashion mags, STYD is slowly and surely migrating to the dark side. Where there was once a concentration of low to mid looks that appeased our budget conscious desires, we are now teased with an over-abundance of high-end get-ups and glitter that we are never going to consider much less afford. Whilst the Feb edition could be excused for its OTT prices in favour of feeding the kids, its over-all look and feel in all the right places made me want to rush to the shops without passing go to replicate the next big fashion spend. On the surface, the latest glossy lacks the avant-garde flamboyancy of its previous month’s counterpart and requires a strong fortitude to search for the buried treasure that exists. But it does exist. You just need to get past the Roberto Cavalli bag ($2595) and Ralph Lauren shoes ($1195) on p25 of The Reporter to get to the plethora of bargain basement gems you oh so desire, starting with a Hilary Duff inspired en-some on p20. Just make sure you read the fine print otherwise you will miss it.

Despite the latest obsession with everything that has a couple of zeros behind it - it was a good 12 pages of Top ten buys and ‘latest must haves’ before anything remotely within my price range makes an appearance, this a bib necklace from Sussan for under $50 (p32), this magazine offers some cracking advice on what fabulous fashion treats to look out for and how to wear them at very reasonable prices. It also takes a high-end look with more brands than a LA housewife and teaches you how to replicate it. In fact it’s a little bit like a text book only not so boring or expensive. Case in point; the cutsie China doll spread (p48-55). Its vibrant colours and clashing prints are way to exy for my budget, but I discovered I could create a much cheaper version of the yellow Marni dress ($1995) and red Trelise Cooper military coat ($895) on p48 from the Barkins catalogue stapled to the spine at p66 for only $140.00. Do check out the Tony Bianco suede ankle boots ($189.95) however, I’m so in love with them, I want them now!

There is a ripping feature on bras and knickers on pg72-81 that everyone will love, and the Shop Style feature (p84-92) provides great advice on what looks are hot this season and how to wear them. The secret to making this section work for you is to ignore the featured items of apparel which are way to pricey and find your own. It won’t take as long as you think. By the way, just on bras and knickers, this is one area of fashion I try not to skimp on and if you’ve got E cups as famous as mine, neither should you. Take it from my mum who got a right ticking off when I realised she was still wearing bras from the 80s that were at least two sizes too small...a good fitting bra will change your life AND your wardrobe! You’ll find more affordable goodies throughout the Cheap & Chic (p103-116) although the fabulous people at STYD might want to re-think the opening far as myself and anyone else is concerned a lolly-pop pink leather jacket that retails for $599.95 is not cheap or chic! To finish it off, The Accessories Guide is the best thing ever invented since they whacked a DFO at South Wharf(p129-149). There are so many fabulous and affordable delights featured across this section that I may need to re-mortgage the house, starting with the blue suede ankle books for $149.95 from Siren Shoes (131).

So, as April is nearly upon us, my advice is this...if you are a STYD fan but have been feeling less than satisfied from your recent spend...stick with it! At least until the Devil actually does start wearing Prada. The secret to this fashion bible for the budget shopper is to use it as a guide to finding the best looks for the best prices. Most of the higher-end pieces can be replicated simply by sifting through the glamorous glossy pages and marking your fabulous finds. Who needs the bally ankle boots from the opening credits of the last’ve got Siren!

Oh yes, it also comes complete with its own little mini-mag for men with Robert Patterson on the front. If he was into fashion, which sadly he's not (cough cough) I'm sure Dr Love would like it. He'd just have to prize it from my fingers first!

Check it out: Ok, so you’ve got your latest STYD and you’ve found a look that you absolutely love but cannot afford or reasonably justify hiding from your husband in the wardrobe for six months. What do you do? Start sifting, and by sifting I mean pouring over each and every page until you find similar pieces that recreate the whole look for a whole lot less. Cut them out and stick them in your look-book if you must, but give it a go. It’s not going to be exact but it will be close enough and you might even surprise yourself by realising its better than the original because you put it together all by yourself and didn’t have to mortgage the house to do it. It’s the easiest and best way of ignoring what’s not in your price range and rediscovering what is and why you loved STYD in the first place. Enjoy.


  1. love the review, we all love to lust over these items but only few can really buy them , i too loved the Barkins catalogue and the many options to create these hight end looks with, it's online at


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