Monday, August 23, 2010

And as for Sunday...I wore a neutral!!

I have a few minutes while I wait for the little people to drift off to sleep and the tea to draw from the bag, so I thought I would continue from where I left off earlier in the day and talk about Sunday. What a lovely day. It was Dr Love’s mum’s 80th birthday party so drove over the Westgate via the Cheesecake Shop to celebrate with the in-laws. I deliberated widely over what I was going to wear for said celebration and the brand new witchery top that I purchased with a ton of guilt last Tuesday came up trumps from the contents of the smallest-wardrobe-in-the-world. Have to tell you a little story about this top actually, especially considering my recent rant against neutrals! Truth is, I popped down to my local Witchery store last week after being sucked into their current ‘boarding pass’ promotion. The boarding pass, which I secured out of the latest edition of InStyle, contained an unknown dollar amount that would only be revealed after a minimum $40 purchase. Being the sucker that I am for a good bargain and free discount voucher, I bundled BB2 into the Honda and drove the distance reasoning with myself that I needed a new pair of bootleg jeans because the Calvin Kleins that I brought for a song in the USA two years were way to out of date and I simply couldn’t wait until London in October. Anyway, cut a long story short I had absolutely no luck on the bootlegs although I did try on a pair of straight legs that were a little on skinny side. They weren’t all together a bad jean except the size 12 was way too tight and the size 14 way too big, which meant they kind of sucked and it was time to move on...straight to tops that were on sale. I had told myself a number of times of the last few weeks that I was sadly lacking in a blouse that was made from something other than tee-shirt material and that it was time to branch out and buy some silk. So I did and I’m so completely in love with it that I’m thinking of wearing it every day for a week. Despite it being a neutral.

It absolutely fabulous with my dark blue pair of skinny jeans from Sussan, and the cream coloured ear candy and turquoise blue bangle for a touch of colour floated seamlessly out of the jewellery draw to join the party. Now all I needed were the shoes. Hmm, dilemma. I was the habit of only wearing ballet flats or boots to family affairs...all the better to chase the kids around the house but I really wanted to break out of the norm and try something different. The thought of whacking on a pair of sky-scrapper heels however, were a little less than pleasing on a relaxing Sunday with the rellies. Enter the Fluevogs, which I must admit despite looking sadly worn and torn still manage to attract a crowd. I was introduced to the Fluevog in 2003 by a work colleague with an impeccable sense of fashion. In fact, it was because of said work colleague that I am now the fabulous fashionista you read today...if not for her I may still be stuck in Big W hunting down a five dollar bargain before moving next door to Best and Less for a little bit more...not that there is anything wrong with that. I completely adore my Fluevogs. They are the perfect glam alternative for running after little ones because they have a strong and sturdy heel with rubber soles yet haven’t adored my tootsies for at least three years, which is really kind of Stupid on my behalf because every time I wear them I get comments. See Dr Love, I told you people look at your feet! Now all they need is a touch up and they’ll be good as new. As for the party, we had a fabulous time and so did the mother-in-law.  Happy Birthday xx

If you are interested in a little bit of Fluevog, then you buy them from Sole Devotion in Prahran and Melbourne in Victoria, and Fortitude Valley, Brisbane. Click on the link for more information.

Recent posts you might have missed:

So, what did you do on Saturday?
Shop your own wardrobe part 5: Bibbidy Bobbidy Boo!
Long live the LBD…does it come in teal too?

So, what did you do on Saturday?

I had every intention of banging out a post or two this weekend, but I just never seemed to find five minutes to sit down and string more than a few words together. So now I’m playing catch-up on my recent round of style shenanigans, albeit with a difference. You see, I didn’t actually do anything startlingly fashion forward over the weekend, but I had such a fabulous couple of days, I thought I’d tell you all about it starting with Saturday. It began with a couple of hours with my little people in our PJs in front of the TV on Saturday morning before I nipped off to the Estee Lauder counter for a make-over courtesy of a free August promotion. I just love free August promotions, don’t you? If I had not stopped off a few days earlier to pick up a new pure colour eye-shadow that I simply couldn’t live without;  I probably would have missed it. Berry blush with a sassy shimmer, isn’t it divine? While I was there having my make-over, I also procured a new tube of peach-coloured lip gloss to add to my collection. Very smooch-a-licious.

Next stop was the local community centre to vote. I had no idea who I was going to give my preference too, not that it mattered. The country is still in turmoil with a hung parliament and people grappling for power. Thank goodness for honey joys, which I favoured over the obligatory sausage sizzle on the way out. The local senior citz put on a fine cake and bake stall and I picked up a tray of half-a-dozen giant joys for $3.50. This is them right after I taste tested one and immediately before I tried another. They were a big hit with the little people too.
For lunch, I stopped at the local supermarket for some value-packed honey ham, and freshly baked croissants and dinner roles from Bakers’ Delight. I do like a good croissant and they make a fabulous lunch-time alternative despite all the added calories. Luckily it was official ‘pamper day’ for your friendly style-queen-in-training so I gave little thought to my waist line! This was a ham, cheese and tomato combo that I prepared for Dr Love right before I popped it under the grill and burnt it to a crisp! Probably shouldn’t have spent so long admiring my make-up.

After lunch, it was off to the hair-dressers for a new do. I’ve been growing my hair for months, did I tell you? I’ve had really short hair for about 11 years and attempted to grow it out at least three times. In case I haven’t told you already, hair is the ultimate fashion accessory and you should give your locks as much attention as you would give your wardrobe, regardless of its size. Cut and colour can make a huge difference to your ‘look’ so knowing what works best to flatter your face shape and bring out your eyes and skin is just as important on top of your head as it is below. I am absolutely stoked with my new cut, but then again I do have the best hairdresser in the world, so I’m not sure why I should be surprised. She can navigate big hair and flat head better than anyone else I know, and she loves my colour wheel. Makes her job so much easier.

Then just to round out the day, I picked up these oh so cute pair of ear-rings from Collette, a new cut-priced accessories store that recently opened up at my local shopping centre. They were $2.00, reduced from $3.99. Bargain. I’m a little bit partial to baby-bling these days. Not that I have anything against ear accessories that may be on the larger side. I’m just like any other SQUIT who is yearning for a bit of dangly glam but for day wear at the mo I prefer something more subtle and less likely to be grabbed by the inquisitive fingers of my little people! Besides, I lack ear lobes so the sake of style and comfort...the smaller the better.

So, how about you? How was your day?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Shop your own wardrobe part 5: Bibbidy bobbidy boo!

I love a little bit of glam. So, when the occasion today called for something serviceable and dare I say it, sensible, I leapt at the chance to reacquaint myself with a little bit of SJP magic. My inspiration for today’s edition of shop-your-own-wardrobe was two-fold:

1) I was out and about with my little people so I had to be smart. I had to be comfortable and most importantly I had to, if the situation arose, be able to run so fast I would give the Bionic woman a run for her money. And trotting around a pool deck in an asymmetrical floor length number by Lanvin, no matter how much I desired it, would have been completely impractical.

2) I am so completely bored with everything in the smallest-wardrobe-in-the-world I want to beat my head against the ring-in from the shop around the corner (refer to previous post It’s not the size that’s important. It’s what you do with it for further explanation)! Truth is, I am desperate to pop down to my local shopping centre and do some damage, but I am completely guilt-ridden over my recent spends in the last couple of weeks – two tops and a layby – bye bye budget, so I had little choice other than to re-consult with the SATC 2 almanac and attempt to turn a pumpkin into a coach. Working once again with my check list, here is how I did it!

1. Blue skinny jeans: This is a no-brainer for me. I have three pairs of skinny jeans – one washed out black and two blue – one with wisping around the zip and top of the thighs and one in a block colour. I went with the washed out black because they are my favourite jeans of all time and go with everything.

2. Jacket with detail – As luck would have it, I have a gorgeous brown hip length blazer with floral detail that extends from the bottom hem of the jacket just like this white one adorning our favourite shoe-addicted-fashion freak. Sadly it is a tad tight and as I didn’t want to put myself through the torture of putting in on only to take it off again, I went with my trusty suit jacket in rose-brown with the faint pin stripe. Remember this is one-half of a suit and can be worn as a flexible and fabulous separate.

Now this is where I get a little tricky and if I don’t say so myself, a little impressive:

The white jacket with detail featured in this look is a statement piece. It contrasts with the block colour of the tank and jeans and therefore draws attention to SJPs seriously spectacular mid-section while adding a touch of glam to an otherwise bland ensom. I chose to go with a plain blazer, so using the same principal applied to the original, I did this:

3) Tank: I opted for a long tank in a cream colour with a statement motif and sequined detail because if I had gone for another block colour, I probably would have died of boredom. The main splash of motif sits right over the top of my mid section - two kids remember, and keeps it cleverly disguised. The length of the tank elongates my torso, making it appear longer and leaner, which is further emphasised by the shortened hem of the fitted blazer, but also ends an inch above the crutch. This is turn keeps the leg length in proportion with the rest of my body.

I know, I know...sometimes I am so brilliant I surprise even my myself.

Vintage shoes with bling in a colour that contrasts with the trio of neutrals: As it was the day of little people, I opted for a pair of sparkly gold flats. Although technically another neutral, the glammy nature of the flats stood out in contrast with the washed out black denim of the skinny jeans. As I have had these shoes in my wardrobe for nearly five years, they are, in my world considered old enough to be vintage.

For a little bit of glam on top of the glam, I added a single string of translucent peach crystals to give the tank an extra pop and the MFS signature piece...a Diva bling ring.

Some would call this outfit an ‘MFS’ special...whilst others would call it something quite different...isn’t that right Dr Love? So glad you approve! How about you?

Recent posts you might have missed:
Long live the LBD…does it come in teal too?
Channelling monochromatic Miranda...I can do that
Taking photographs of oneself whilst in the middle of a fashion crisis is not easy

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Long live the LBD...does it come in teal too?

There are many reasons why I like my friend Anna, and her latest introduction to Sacha Drake is just one of them. Now, as we all know I am a bit of a main-stream-chain-store-big shopping-centre-retail-type of girl because I’m far too busy for my own good and on the odd occasion, rather lazy. Every so often however, I take the time to step out of my own comfort zone and check out something new. For those not in the know, like myself, Sacha Drake is a Brisbane based designer with a super snazzy website that allows you to search from a collection of fabulous frocks based on your body shape, and we all know I love a good body shape. Imagine my excitement when I realised all I had to pop in a few measurements and wallah...instant glamathon. Despite my recent tirade on all things neutral – kind of weird actually considering I did go into Witchery today and came out with a simply spectacular silk blouse in cream with little black spots reduced to $49.95 courtesy of my ‘boarding pass’ discount (remind me to show you that sometime and yes, before you say anything I did go over my fortnightly budget!), Sacha Drake can be forgiven for doing most things in black...apparently she is the queen of the LBD so in this instance its allowed particularly as many of her frocks are glammy statement pieces and not your usual run of the mill apparel.

It’s fair to say that Sacha had me with the Antigone asymmetrical black dress at $249.00 (pictured above). If you are going to splash out and buy yourself a LBD then you really want it to look like this one, don’t you because let’s face it, if you wore that dress you could pretty get whatever you wanted out of life. Isn’t that right Dr Love? If that wasn’t enough however, she sealed the deal with the teal florian dress for $175.00. Teal...what luck, that just happens to be smack bang in the middle of my colour wheel. It also comes in red and black. I absolutely love this website for its feminine appeal and if you are like me and love a good frock, then you are going to have an absolute ball perusing all this lady has to offer. There is definitely more colour in some of her newer designs and her range broadens to include cute little wrap dresses, 1950s silhouettes and gorgy evening wear. Most of her designs are adaptable for a number of different body shapes and waist-lines courtesy of cleverly placed belts and wraps. I do like a cleverly placed belt and wrap, don’t you? There is a snazzy little guide to locating a friendly stockist and if that fails you can order on line.

How fabulous. Then again, what would I know...I’m reverse saving remember!

Recent posts you might have missed:

Channelling monochromatic Miranda...I can do that
Taking photographs of oneself whilst in the middle of a fashion crisis is not easy
Its not always about the clothes...I like to buy homewares too

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Channelling Monochromatic Miranda...I can do that.

Back from Sydney and really not sure what I was worried wardrobe came together on the day as I knew it would courtesy of the burgundy DF dress I forgot I was picking up from my local dry-cleaners on the Wednesday before take-off. If I had just sat back, stayed calm and trusted in my SATC 2 almanac, which has never let me down, I could have saved myself the wardrobe massacre of the previous day. Silly me. I was hoping to post whilst I was away, but alas, my fabulous room at the Sydney Marriott at Circular Quay was not used for anything but sleeping, showering and dressing such was the bulging agenda over the two days I was interstate. And as for worrying about whether my idea of corporate was corporate enough for the corporate world, I shouldn’t have bothered...I found out pretty quick that a little injection of colour, even in Sydney, went a long way in a familiar sea of black!

So this is my dress. Isn’t it adorable? I know my wonderful friend Mel will concur because she has one exactly the same. This means of course, we need to ring each other before we arrange to catch up on the train, just in case people think we are indulging in a little bit of ‘single white female.’ Originally I had placed it on lay-by at Diana Ferrari when it was on sale for a very reasonable $69.95 (50 per cent off the recommended retail price) but managed to pick it up for a ridiculous $49.00 courtesy of an additional 30 per cent off sale items. Usually once you have put an item on layby, additional reductions don’t apply, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get and let’s face it...I had been there numerous times over the previous couple of weeks and dragged a couple of very valuable buyers along for the ride. I had developed relationships! Anyway, I fell in love with this frock at first sight, partly because of the colour – not exactly in my colour spectrum but pretty close and partly because it had my name written all over it. I’m not kidding, you put an empire waist on top of a knee length pencil skirt and add a bishop sleeve and you’ve got yourself a sale! A bishop sleeve by the way (courtesy of Wikipedia) is a long sleeve that is fuller at the bottom than the top and gathered at the wrist by a cuff. I will admit that I was a little unsure about the frill despite being a sucker for a key-hole button feature at the neck and back tie. There have been many instances in the past where frills and E-cups have been a complete disaster despite my best intentions and had I not taken the time to try on this fabulous frock, I would have missed out on something quite special.  My E-cups love it!

To complete the look, I added a pair of egg plant Leona Edmiston stockings with detail – also brought on sale, and to-die-for metallic Wittner heels I picked up for a bargain at $50.  Seriously, why do I not do bargain for a living??

As far as jewellery went, I kept it very simple. These are the triple-strand beads I rescued from the Mother Fox garage sale I have mentioned previously. They are more closely aligned to my colour wheel, which was a spectacular way of making a colour that was not quite right, more attractive to my skin tone. You can just imagine my horror when I discovered they were bound for a 50 cent box, can’t you? Really woman, what were you thinking!!! My bling-ring was another Diva purchase and a good contrast to the mix of burgundy and purple, and my ear-rings, which are not photographed because they are a tad small and the close up was scary, were a delicate vintage creation in black chrome I picked up from Noni B...yes, Noni B...don’t knock’s not what it was 10 years ago...for 50 per cent off the lowest marked price, which means I paid about $4.95.

I decided, in wearing this dress that I would channel Cynthia Nixon from SATC 2. I been so absorbed in replicating SJP for the sake of illustrating the benefits of shopping your own wardrobe, I almost forgot how much I adored the costumes that adorned the monochromatic Miranda - except the halter-pant suit because that was just nasty.  It is really not worth launching into a how-to on this outfit, because my check-list would really only consist of the following:

Knee length dress in one colour – Yes, and its burgundy, what luck.
High-heeled shoes in variation of one dress colour – Yes. Again, luck; and
Accessories to match – yes, yes and yes.

Doesn’t really get simpler than that!

Oh yes and this is my favourite tea-cup.  It fitted into the well matched colour scheme, I thought I would add it the post.  Just for fun.

Recent posts you might have missed:
Its not always about the clothes...I like to buy homewares too
Shop your own wardrobe part 4: to skinny or not to skinny or not at all

Monday, August 9, 2010

Taking photos of oneself in the middle of a fashion crisis is not easy!

In two days time I’m flying to Sydney for a two-day conference on gender equity and can’t find a single thing to wear. I’m serious...I’ve just spent two hours fossicking in the smallest-wardrobe-in-the world and come up blank. It’s just awful and I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. Even my trusty SATC 2 almanac hasn’t helped. Perhaps its stress related. It will be the first time I will be a part from both of my little people for more than one night and I’m leaving them at the mercy of Dr Love’s questionable fashion sense. Last time I left Dr Love in charge he sent one off to day-care wearing her pyjamas and the other to kinder in a spencer he thought was a top. I’m not kidding; it took me days to get over it. So, rather than put myself through any further fashion torture – I’ve got no shoes either, I thought I would take pictures of myself – let me tell you what an art that is! wearing my new scarf. Cute isn’t it.

I brought this scarf from a cute little french-inspired boutique/gift shop in downtown Williamstown, whose name has completely escaped me at the mo. As we all know, I don’t often do street side boutiques, french-inspired or otherwise because I’m a bit addicted to major chain-stores. Every so often however, when the opportunity presents – usually when I’m child-free, time rich and up for a browse, I break ranks and pop into a little-known shop and for a look ‘round. As this occasion proved, I should really do it more often because as we all know from my last post; I quite like a bit of French and Williamstown does them in spades. Not only that, but I also came up trumps with a weekend scarf that just happens to be in one of my signature colours. Oh yay for me.

Complete impulse-buy of course, I am after all reverse saving but with a 30 per cent store-wide promotion it was well within my fortnightly spend of $30. The colour – egg plant, was definitely what attracted my attention. It practically screamed my name from among all other scarfs that were draped against the back wall. I remember Angela telling me that once I became aware of my signature colours I will start to attract them and she’s not half wrong. It was like a beacon of light in a sea of darkness and I simply had to have it. So I did.

Clearly it’s not an accessory that I would wear in a glammy moment. With the tartan-inspired weave and fringing, it’s more a run around the park with the little people or trek the UK country-side in October kind of accessory. Nor does it really go with my forest green Abercrombie and Fitch tee! Even if I was just playing around to ease my tormented I-don’t-have-anything-to-wear-in-Sydney mind, what was I thinking?  Much better with my marine navy Copper Street blouse with the empire tie. Think I might go get changed.

Recent posts you might have missed:
Its not always about the clothes...I like to buy homewares too
Shop your own wardrobe part 4: to skinny or not to skinny or not at all
Nine little clutches equals a whole lot of love

Its not always about the clothes...I like to buy homewares too

As strange as it might seem, shopping for clothes, shoes and accessories is not my only passion. I know, weird huh! I also like to shop for fabulous things for my two little people and buy French inspired home-wares. When I’m not in a position to buy French inspired home-wares, I buy magazines that talk about them. Country Home Ideas is my particular fav and with a regular 2-for-1 deal, its value for money you don’t find anywhere else. Except maybe Diva! Anyway, as far as I’m concerned style is not limited to what you wear but extends seamlessly into how you live your life, and as your resident style-queen-in-training I feel it is only fair that I share with you my life-style obsession at home, albeit it, still in progress. This is my dining chair, Dr Love and I purchased it as part of a suite from ebay about 12 months ago.

The suite was exactly what I wanted; a round pedestal table (with extension) and six chairs – two of them carver chairs, with cabriole legs as per Louis XV and all the for the bargain price of $320! My original intention had been to go for Parisian-broke and slap on a couple of coats of antique white paint as I had done with my Gran’s antique hand-me-downs, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. The red-mahoney stain on the smooth round surface was so spectacular that every time I walked past my new table, my finger-tips reached out to it in hopeless affection. Even after Dr Love’s fish and chip debacle that left a nasty white mark and a few minor incidents with excitable little people playing with forks, I still can’t do it! Despite my proficiency with a $4 brush from Bunnings and pot of acrylic off-white there was no way I could do its beauty, however currently worn and torn, justice. It was pretty clear from the onset that the chairs were not spawned by said table, but rather lovingly adopted. They were a little on the low-side for the height of the table – hello spare lounge cushions, and the wood was too dark to be a perfect match, but I didn’t mind. I’m a bit of mix-and-don’t-really-care-if-it-matches kind of girl, so I liked the fact the chairs were a bit of a ring in.

Lucky for me, with their dull brown velvet coverings, they were also in dire need of an MFS make-over. I brought the fabric from Spotlight for about $12 a metre and then re-cycled the original caramel brown trim to hide the world’s greatest number of staples I used to hold the backing in place. I don’t envy myself having to pull those suckers out again when I need to recover.

Recent blogs you might have missed:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Shop your own wardrobe part 4: to skinny or not to skinny or not at all

After going on my 30-ep bender of TLC’s What Not To Wear, I decided to take the advice of my favourite new fashion BFFs and try a jean alternative. A what? I hear you ask and I can’t say that I blame you. The notion of wearing something other than my denims on days I have free reign of the smallest -wardrobe-in-the-world was completely foreign to me too. I love my jeans, all six pairs of them to the point of obsession. They are my main-stays regardless of the shape and size – skinny leg, bootleg, wide-leg and flare. You name it, I have it (except light denims or tapered legs because they are nasty) and I simply adore them. I can dress them up with a pair of sexy heels for a glammy night on the town; pop on a pair of flats to run around with my little people; or simply add a pair of warm fluffy socks and hang out with them on the couch. What I didn’t realise however, until Stacy and Clinton pointed out was that my obsession had actually become some more than just a main-stay...they had become a fall-back for everything and that I had, unwittingly turned these fabulous creatures of comfort and style into a uniform. A daily uniform! So, when the wonderful Mel and I arranged to meet for breakie last weekend, I decided to break the denim clad addiction and launch myself into the you-know-what for a touch of retail therapy.

1. Jean alternative – I had planned on wearing the wide-leg denims I purchased from Target not long after BB2 was born. So, I substituted them with a pair of wide-legged winter pants in black and white tiny tweed. Wide-legged pants are fabulous for anyone with thighs as they skim the widest part of the leg and fall straight to the floor. I have had these slacks for about seven years. I brought them from Portman’s for about $69.95 and paid nearly $60 to have them fitted and shortened so I could wear them with flats. I made my money back the same year and more than justified the extra spend. These babies will never go out of fashion and after considerable wear and tear, they still look brand new.

2. Top – my rule of thumb is if you have width on the bottom you need to have a fitted silhouette on the top. For this en-som I chose a trusty short-sleeve tee in airforce blue which I purchased from Jacqui E four years ago. It has a cross-over neckline which creates a deep V at the chest and empire band under the E-ups. There is also gathering along the seams at each side which create some ruching, which in turn helps to disguise any lumps and bumps.

3. Layering – I’ve been watching the fourth season of the Tudors on Foxtel and am completely besotted with the fashion at court, so to give the outfit a little bit of Anne Boleyn (with her head on) I snuck a antique white tee with ruffled neckline under the Jacqui E top. I left a little bit peaking out the bottom for some contrast and a better blend with the black and white weave

4. Jacket In keeping within a complementary colour palette I added a very simple A-line cut trench in olive green, which is not pictured because my camera battery ran out!.  I brought it from Chelsea design over four years ago and wore it alot when preggie with BB1.  Interestingly everytime I did wear it, I felt sick!  Wonder what that was all about???

5. Shoes – following eggs and bacon we were headed to the park down the street, so I wore a pair of Chanel inspired off-white and black flats from my friend Diana Ferrari.

6. Jewellery – Kept it simple with a little black and crystal necklace I  created during my jewellery making days, Tudor inspired ear-rings in black and black metal - also not photoed because of said battery debarcle, and an orange plastic bangle for fun, and finally...

7. Hand-bag – what can I was a pink Hi-5 back pack.

Recent blogs you might have missed:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Nine little clutches equal a whole lot of love

Inspired by a photograph of Corto Moltedo clutch bags that was posted by my blog idol, Liberty London Girl a few days ago, I decided to drag out of the storage space on top of the smallest wardrobe in the world all my clutches and post them for your viewing pleasure. But, after posting my last blog on my frustration over neutrals, I clearly need to have a good long hard look at myself. Despite this oversight in my clutch buying exploits, I love a good clutch. There is something so chic about holding a delicately adorned and fashioned mini-bag in the palm of your hand en-route to a night out with the girls or super soiree with Dr Love and you don’t have to pay a fortune for them. I didn’t. I love everything about them despite the fact that once you’ve squeezed your iphone in, you have no room for anything else!

My first clutch purchase happened about 7 years ago. Up until then I was completely clueless and used Dr Love’s suit pockets to carry all my night-on-the-town wears! It was this gorgeous, vintage inspired oblong heavily adorned with silver sea-beads (Milleni). As you can see, it’s taken a beating from the years from use with broken threads and lost beads. But I still love it and will when I get around to it, will repair it so it can shine in glory again. I’m fairly certain when they are old enough BB1 and BB2 will thank me for my endurance.

This little brown satin clutch is a classic and something everything girl should have in her wardrobe (Olga Berg). I brought this to wear to a fashion parade function three years ago. It was my first night out with the girls since swapping my 35 handbags for an oversized nappy bag. For this particular occasion, I glammed it up with a monochromatic look in chocolate brown. The bag complimented a choccie brown dress which I wore with nude coloured peep-toes and a cute pair of brown-burgandy crystal ear-rings. Sadly, this is the only reminder I have of that particular outfit.

This little gold sequins pouch is an absolute cutie and has that often sought after vintage appeal (unknown) . Funny story surrounding this little number actually...I was on the Gold Coast (poor me) attending a conference as part of my day job and realised I’d forgotten to bring to clutch for the congress night-life. Clearly it was something that I needed to have so I nipped into the hotel based store and picked myself up a little gem. It was the only time I had to dip my hand into my purse for the entire trip! Aren’t I lucky?

I’d been eying off this dusty coral pink clutch in my local Jacqui E for weeks but simply could not justify the spend. I know, a little weird for me don’t you think? Truth was, at the time I was after a little red clutch to complement a lovely post-preggie dress I had purchased from Leona Edmiston for a work function with Dr Love and as I was not working then felt as though I should try and show some restraint at the very least. Lucky for me I found it three months later at the Jacqui E clearance store at DFO South Wharf reduced from $59.95 to $14.95. Restraint over, it had to be mine.

Every girl should have at least one red clutch and this is mine (Kate Hill). Would you believe it is the only one I could find in the whole week leading into the gala dinner Dr Love and I attended. I don’t mind it, it’s cute but it also has a few wine stains on fabric that I can’t remove. I knew I should have brought that hard, faux crocodile leather covered little cube from that random boutique I spotted at South Bank. It would have wiped clean.

I can’t for the life of me remember what the hell I brought this clutch for, but it’s the kind of mini-bag that every girl should have (Olga Berg). Smart, sophisticated, classic and in a pretty shade of champagne gold that goes with anything.

These classic fabric clutches were both gifts last Christmas. The black was given to me by my very stylish sister-in-law Carol two years ago after we attended the races together and she was appalled to find out I owned not one black clutch nor one with bling. The other I purchased from Jacqui E on behalf of Dr Love to give to me last Christmas. It was designed to glam up a day dress but I haven’t had the chance to use it yet.

This was my most recent clutch purchase. I brought this clutch on complete impulse because I had fallen in love with it at first sight. There it was, perched precariously on the edge of the Jacquie E clearance store counter at DFO South Wharf screaming at me to take it home and give it some love, and give it some love I have. It is my favourite.
Don’t you just love it?

Milla Fox; on my soap box. No more neutrals.

Despite the fact that I am supposed to be reverse saving in preparation for the family holiday to the UK, I have been perusing my local fashion outlets of choice and am absolutely appalled and disgusted over the recent lack of colour in many main-stream retail chains. Actually, I was having this same conversation with the most amazing Angela Vrettas – founder and owner of Scent of Life and colour consultant extraordinaire - just the other day and one that I have repeatedly with my wonderful friend Mel as we lament over the fabulous colour choices offered from our new favourite on-line fashion store, Anthropologie as seen here. It seems as though that someone, somewhere decided that as soon as winter sets in no other colour combination other than black, grey, white, beige and muted variations of whatever colour designers choose to ‘pop’ should be found. Well to be perfectly honest, I’d rather grind rocks with my teeth than blend, lifelessly into the background! The neutral-only notion that dictates what we shall wear and when – Melbourne is particularly notorious for this crime - first came to my attention a good 18 months ago. My fabulous and most excellent cousin Glenda was in town and looking for a new handbag for the up-coming winter season. Despite carrying a perfectly fine black bag over her left shoulder, she immediately began to discard anything with a hint of colour and instead concentrated on anything in shades of tar! Eventually she held up said black bag and asked me what I thought. I thought, I told her, it looked like a black bag. Why did she need another black bag? Why not a red bag, or a blue bag? Because she told me, it was winter, she needed a black bag! Now, we all know that I have nothing against black... I have quite a few pieces of black in my wardrobe – remember the Cue suit. Nor do I have anything against any other neutral. Neutrals are important and everyone should have some because after all, we do not what to look like a circus clown do we? But neutrals should not be the only colour option on offer (are you listening Jacqui E? Witchery?) and excuse me for saying so but a ‘pop’ of colour does not count. I don’t want a ‘pop’ of colour, I want to choose from a whole freakin’ rainbow!

By denying us a variety of colour options, fashion houses no matter how main-stream and budget friendly should not dictate what colour they think is appropriate during any season of the year. Nor should we allow them to turn us into little beige, white, black and grey clones of each other. Colour promotes individuality and adds light to an otherwise sombre winter day. Trust me. If you’ve caught the train into the city during the week, you will know what I am talking about. Sadly, the expectation that we will conform to the neutral hue of the season is not limited to the weather. There are also those who believe that your greatest chance to secure your job of choice is to throw on a neutral and blend into the background. But really, who said we had to wear a black suit and white shirt to an interview? Add a white towel over your arm and you might as well bring your prospective employers the cheque. Why not a well fitted, well presented dress in magenta or green? Or, satin shirt with billowing neck tie in a rich plum? Surely my personality, capability and experiences are best complemented by my ability to put together a professional yet glamorous outfit that screams confidence and self-belief in a colour other than a sunless sky?

In thinking about this issue I remembered a branding exercise I coordinated last year on behalf of women in local government. I asked 250 women who worked in the sector how they would dress local government if local government was a woman. The majority of answers were sadly unsurprising - shades of neutral, mostly black and navy with the odd ‘pop’ of colour for the more ambitious. Sound familiar Country Road? So, the next time you reach for that black winter dress or grey suit with white shirt ask yourself this...are you really trying to blend into the back ground because some said you should or are you stuck in pattern of comfort and convenience because the store you are in actually gives you no other choice?

Milla's Hot Tip: Ok, so despite our frustrations over the abundance of non-colours on offer, the vast majority of us continue to shop main-stream retail chains because we are over-committed, always in a hurry and sometimes have one or two little people hanging off our skinny jeans who are one more store away from throwing a monumental tantrum. But that still doesn’t mean you should compromise your potential or bow to the design whim of your most convenient style house. Once you work out what colours bring out your most fabulous facial features, the world is your oyster. Just as long as you can find the bloody thing. Here are a few stores that I’ve visited lately that offer a plethora of colour choice to start you on your way. Please feel free to add others, and in the meantime enjoy a colourful taste of what could be courtesy of Anthropologie.

Diana Ferrari
ReviewCharlie Brown
Sportsgirl (if you are under 35)
Retail chain clearance stores(multiple season discards make for many colour options!)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Breaking up is hard to do...

I never thought I would ever – and I stress the word ‘ever’, hear myself say move over Trinny and Susannah because Stacy and Clinton are in town! Hi everyone, been a bit under the weather lately and despite a record number of days in trackie-pants and long-sleeve tees, you’ve never been far from my thoughts. Now, for those fabulous fashionistas not in the know, Stacy London and Clinton Kelly are the hosts of the TLC’s What Not to Wear, the American version of BBC’s hit little style show that launched the infamous dynamic duo Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine, the latter of whom by the way, allegedly snogged the Viscount Linley when canary yellow power suits and bedazzled shoulder pads were first in vogue. Seriously, I got straight from the opening chapters of the ‘Palace Diaries.’ OMG, can you imagine the shock! Anyway it is fair to say that the glam queens of the British high streets were single-handedly responsible for dragging your favourite and friendly style queen in training out of a black den of cheap and nasty fashion iniquity and into the light, and for that I am greatly indebted. As such, when I sat down to watch the first showing of the nasty style wannabes I was determined, out of principal; I was not going to like it. An hour later however, I was head over heels in love with my first big crush since discoving Fluevog Mary-Janes, and breaking off a six year relationship that endured a multitude of fashion faux pas. Who knew that I would be so captivated by the savvy saviours of American apparel and their entertaining, and often humorous blend of style know-how, touching compassion and down-right style sarcasm that they would surpass my best buds as style icons of choice!

What I like most about Stace and Clint - I’ve been on a TLC WNTW bender since embarking on a 30 episode marathon courtesy of Foxtel IQ and feel as though we are now on a shortened first-name basis - is the common sense approach to getting on with your life whilst looking smoking hot. The shows are jammed pack with great advice on not only what you should buy for your body shape but why! There is less emphasis on magic knickers and a perfectly fitted bra, which is OK for people like me who have been well and truly indoctrinated into the wonderful world of a good pair of Triumphs (but not so good for the clueless), and more talk about doing things differently. Like jeans. Apparently, when you are not working or frocking up for a dazzling night on the town with Dr Love, jeans are not your only option!! Really!!! Stace is also big into walking shorts – which basically are well tailored knee length trousers that look positively scrumptious with flats and heels for the yummy mummy on the go. Just so happens that I am a big fan of walking shorts and have a pair that I will never part with despite my many affirmations to the contrary. Where T&S openly concentrate on apparel and then role out their newly put-together glam queenettes complete with hair and make-up, Stacy and Clinton are ably supported by hair-dresser Nick Orojo (earlier eps, I haven't seen the new guy yet) and make-up artist, Carmindy who has provided little moi' with a brand new aresnal on making the most of my favourite and not so favourite facial features.

And the best can buy the DVD.

Stacy and Clinton, check them out. I dare you not the love them too...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...