Thursday, September 30, 2010

Every dud knicker has a silver lining

The jury is out on the super slim magic knickers by CLiO. Actually, they are so far out that they have left the building altogether. On a scale of 1-10, I would rate these at a lowly three. Despite being comfortable on across the thigh and bum, I have spent the vast majority of the day pulling them up!!! Very annoying. A magic knicker, once on, should not move and should certainly not leave an unsightly bump across the back as they roll down. Completely defeats the purpose. Not sure whether to throw caution to the wind and try Holeproof’s high waisted body-shaper, available for $24.99 from Big W or cut my losses and visit the Bendon outlet at DFO South Wharf for another pair of Naomi & Nicole. Decisions, decisions!

On a more positive note, I took nearly all the accessories from the 'Outfit by Grandma' last week – black tights, Steve Madden peep toe shoes with red mary-jane strap, resin and wooden bangles and dangly ear-rings made by moi’ and added this cute dress by Wish and Guess handbag for a whole new outfit. To be fair, I took this photo at the end of the day so I was looking rather dishevelled, and I really must remember to tidy my bedroom if I’m going to take photographs of myself in the mirror! On the upside, I’m very excited about this dress. I brought it three years ago for my cousin Kate’s wedding (of the Brady Bunch tee-shirt fame) and have only just been able to fit back into it despite the E-cups! By the end of the day the buttons at the bust were pulling just a bit, but nothing a couple of small press-studs can’t fix.

Have a great day


Monday, September 27, 2010

Where does Milla Fox

K-mart! My super slim magic knickers were looking a little bit worse for wear and were in desperate need of an update. I can’t complain, I brought them nearly 3 years ago from the Bendon outlet at DFO Essendon for $39.90 and have been trying to squeeze just one last wear out of them for the last four months despite their plea for clemency. So, I popped down to my local shopping centre, perused the offerings at Bras ‘n things before trying my luck with a CLiO, a cut-price brand stocked by K-mart. I’m actually quite fussy when it comes to magic knickers and as I have tried a few different models over the years, feel well qualified to get into a snit when I can’t find what I want. For my mind a girl needs two styles...1. bust to knee (or mid thigh) and 2. Bust to bum. I favour the bust-to-bum model when I’m wearing jeans as long as they are seamless at the bum and thigh. You really don’t want an elastised gathering around the leg as they are more likely to dig into your flesh and create an unattractive VPL. Similarly, if you are packing some seriously huggable curves around your mid-section magic knickers with a mid-rise...those that stop at your natural waist line or just above can very quickly resemble the much maligned muffin-top and between you, me and your local retail outlet , they are extremely uncomfortable after a meal. A high-rise knicker that tucks neatly under your bra strap keeps everything nice and smooth and as an added bonus you won’t have any trouble breathing either. Brilliant. Now clearly they are not an attractive intimate so you probably don’t want to go flashing them around to your current or prospective partner, but if you are like me and like a nice fitted jersey top, such as this gorgeous teal green number from Review then for $19.00, you really can’t afford to go without, can you!

Check out these Wedges, aren’t they sensational. It’s been a quite a few months since I last pulled these out from the back of the smallest-wardrobe-in-the-world, yet every time I wear them I wonder why it took me so long! You might remember that I brought them from Wittner for about $30.00 a couple of years ago and although I nearly fell off them a few times at first – I blame uneven grass, it didn’t take long to hit my stride. I wore them yesterday with high-waisted flares, Cue blouse and my new cardigan from Jacquie E. I was also inspired to show them off after reading about wedge boots on my second favourite blog Liberty London Girl. Don’t mind a wedge boot and have popped a pair on my ‘try and buy’ list bound for London. Wonder when I’ll wear them next.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Where does Milla Fox Shop?

Today, Jacqui E and at 30 per cent off already reduced prices who could begrudge me such a bargain.

It occurred to me that in my entire bargain hunting-slash-shopping glory over the past few months, I have neglected to reveal my fabulous finds on the day I find them, as I had in the past. So, I have decided to re-instate examples of my shopping prowess under a new title...where does Milla Fox Shop so I can not only share the treasures that are out there to be had, but also disclose where to find them and at what price. Genius huh! I haven’t decided yet whether I should make this an exclusive MFS blog post, or utilise the MFS facebook page for fast fashion tips and shopping finds as they occur. Perhaps I should do both?? What do you think?

Anyway, I was only saying to myself the other day that I really needed a short-sleeve cardigan with a kind of camoflage-slash-animal print and it wasn’t as though it was an impulse buy. I went in, walked out and came back later. So what if I was contemplating a knee length denim skirt or ruffled blouse? Sometimes the best buys happen when you least expect them. AND, it was only $41.95 so I clearly needed to have it on principal. As we all know I do like a good Jacquie E, but have to admit the lack of colour and concentration on neutrals of late has driven me to distraction. On this particular occasion however, a good neutral is a smart find. I can practically wear it with anything. The purchase was also a good lesson in trying something on even if you don’t think it will suit your body shape. Normally I wouldn’t waste my time on anything that I thought would end at the widest part of my thigh, which as we all know will only make it wider. But the shape and cut of this cardi, particularly when left unbuttoned, highlighted all the right areas and cleverly disguised the others. I also love the three quarter length sleeves. Fabulous for hiding those budding bingo-wings when the sun comes out of hiding. This is the kind of outerwear that can be worn for myriad of occasions...with jeans, with a pencil skirt, with walking shorts (by the way Witchery have a nice selection of walking shorts albeit in black!) and even buttoned up with a belt for work. I’m wearing it to drinks with friends this afternoon.

For something completely floral arrangement my fabulous friend Chris put together for me. It's arranged using silk flowers in a second hand cermanic vase I picked up from an op-shop several years ago for $5. Dr Love and I both suffer hayfever so it’s an allergists’ dream and the best thing...will last forever. Chris has recently started her own little silk floristry business and sells arrangements priced from $35 up to $200+ depending on size and design.  She will sell arrangements as made or make one up to your specification, which she did with mine. This one cost me about $75, which when you think about the cost of artificial flowers, its a complete bargain. I just gave her the vase, a couple of flowers and a fabric sample from my dining chairs and she worked her magic to perfection.  I've got some photos of other arrangements Chris has crafted, which I will post at a later date, but if you are interested in more information just leave me a message or send me an email.  As for my arrangement, thanks's like having a little bit of the french province in my own home.  I love it.  MFSxxx

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vale style inspiration, gone but not forgotten

Have you ever had one of those moments when you have no idea what to wear and then suddenly a flash of inspiration passes over you like a glossy vogue fashion spread and you find yourself launching into your wardrobe for a little bit of style heaven? No...bummer. It happened to me the other day. Wednesday. I was standing in the middle of the bedroom in my intimates considering the contents of the smallest-wardrobe-in-the-world and feeling a tad sorry for myself. My grandma had died a week earlier and I had just returned from an unscheduled visit to Perth where amidst the support and love of my family I rode the gauntlet of emotion and memory. She was 91, although if you fancy yourself as a bit of ghost whisperer, pleased don’t tell her I said that...she really didn’t like anyone knowing how old she was except the year she turned 90, at which time she had a ripping party and told everyone who cared to listen. Gran, as most of us affectionately called her was a very big part of my life despite not seeing or talking to her as often as I should since I crossed the Nullarbor Plain all those years ago. Her influence on me however,...particularly the influence that involved those cute little lipstick samples from Avon (ding dong) has been and will be ever-lasting. The temptation in my sadness to drag a plain pair of brown-wide legged trousers and predictable shirt had been great. I was only going to work after-all, so what did it matter? So what if I vowed in public circumstances in January to glam it up for work, it wasn’t as if anyone noticed or cared (!). I even reached for those completely over-worn black patent shoes that had rather unwittingly become my staple AND by-passed the bling! I was tired... extreme emotion and a three and a half hour flight that arrived into Melbourne 45 minutes late and well into the night on my own with two grumpy and irrational children had done nothing to improve my darkened demeanour and the ensom I had chosen to wear that day was a clear reflection of how I felt. As I stood there fighting back tears, I thought of Grandma and was hit with a force of inspiration so powerful (remember the Prada handbag to the head), I practically ripped the clothing from my body and within two minutes (I had to leave the bedroom to retrieve the magic knickers from the suitcase in the dining room otherwise it would have been sooner), I stood in front of the mirror in an outfit that felt so glamorous it was almost a surprise to find out I wasn’t French!

Perhaps it was Grandma talking to me from beyond...we did share a birthday and Grandpa often remarked that we were very much alike. Come to think of it there were times when he said that, I’m not sure he thought that was a good thing ...usually when Grandma and I were paralytic with laughter over something he did not approve...AND she was a very stylish woman (even though she did insist on wearing her Australian-made inspired Avon wind-cheater and Fremantle Dockers cap when gardening). In her younger days, and believe me it wasn’t all that long ago she was always immaculately presented with a full face of make-up that was so skillfully applied you’d swear she wasn’t wearing any. She favoured top and tailing...her handbags matched her shoes and her clothes were always feminine, complimentary and coordinated. She loved belts...they were her accessory of choice and she sewed as though she was born cradling a Jenome in her slender hands. She had a walk-in-robe that my grandpa built for her...ah Dr Love??... which she always threw open whenever we visited for dress-ups and play and she would sit with me and my cousins and tell stories of years gone by as we went through her jewellery piece by piece. As far as my grandma was concerned, standing in front of one’s wardrobe regardless of size whilst seriously contemplating compromising one’s style because one was in a bit of snit simply would not do. So I took action, and here is what I did:

I took a black...yes black, but it’s a statement piece so its allowed, a-line Cue skirt with cleverly hidden pockets in the pleated waist band, which incidentally had received two last minute reprieves from ebay just because its Cue, and teamed it with my new orange and marble grey striped Veronika Maine jersey knit top with three quarter sleeves and neck detail. I added black tights...supporting statement piece (no pun intended) and patent black Steve Madden peep-toe heels with blood red mary-jane strap. My accessories consisted of a dangly pair of triple strand ear-rings with multi-coloured beads, which I made when making jewellery was the in-thing to do and two bangles in beige resin and black wood. To round it out, I added my burgundy Lucca bag and caramel coloured overcoat, also from Cue.

I call it my ‘Outfit by Grandma’...she was my style inspiration in so many ways for so long and although she may now be gone...she will never be forgotten. MFSxxx

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Long lost shoes

While I take a few days to get my head around my plan for shopping in the UK...what a melt-down, seriously you’d think I was an award-winning drama-queen rather than a budding style-queen... I thought I would have a little shop in the smallest-wardrobe-in-the-word and reacquaint myself with some long lost shoes. It’s always very exciting when you rediscover forgotten treasure, which to be honest isn’t hard when you own 57 pairs of shoes that are stacked in unmarked boxes on top of each other in three separate spaces. I will admit that 57 pairs of shoes is pocket change to many Imelda Marcos-types around the world, but let us not forget that I do quite possibly own the most ridiculous wardrobe in the world despite the ring-in from the shop around the corner so space is an issue. Plus, it has come to my attention (and nose!) that in recent times I have also fallen victim to the 90/10 rule... I wear 10 per cent of my collection 90 per cent of the time and the other 90 per cent only on the odd occasion. It’s kind of strange considering I do love a good shoe and have been known to advocate on more than one occasion that one can never have enough pairs of shoes. There are many reasons why one would deprive themselves of their collection of blanket, uniform substitute, plain laziness to name a few but I probably should address it sometime soon because I’m betting that as you are reading this, you are nodding because it sounds familiar. Anyway, I was rather chuffed with the outcomes of my treasure hunt and couldn’t quite believe the jewels I uncovered...some of them, I suspect would even be on the verge of vintage if the cobwebs were anything to go by. Let’s check them out:

Luzia Mirnar denim heels with burgundy crocodile feature and kitten heels, purchased approx. 9 years ago. I was only saying to myself the other day that I needed a pair of kitten heels with pointy toes. Pointy toes are a great way of elongating a leg particularly when you have a thicker ankle and/or calves. Not really an issue in my case because I have hilariously skinny ankles. Pointy toes are also a great way of slimming down a thicker foot and making a shorter foot appear longer...this works well for me as my shoe size is a little small for my height so it helps to balance me out a bit more. Plus they look spectacular and at the end of the day, that’s what I’m after.

A pair of Micam muted hot pink pointy toe shoes with smaller kitten heels, purchased approximately 8 years ago from my first and only foray into Brand Smart. I discovered DFO not long after. If it’s one thing the Governor-General and I have in common is a mutual love of hot pink. Sadly for me it is not a colour that bodes well with freckles but put it on my feet and its whole new, fabulous story.

A pair of pretty printed fabric t-straps with cork heels, purchased from Harrods in London in 2005: When Mother Fox and I embarked on our mother-daughter adventure five years ago, I had but one goal, to purchase a pair of shoes from Harrods. Imagine my excitement when I discovered on the day of the said purchase, the department store of my dreams was having a clearance sale so I brought three pairs of heels not just one.

Another pair of printed fabric t-straps with leather lattice detail also purchased from Harrods in 2005: Every girl should have at least one pair of multi-coloured printed shoes for a bit of contrast when they are currently obsessed with buying and wearing block colours everywhere else. Ah Harrods... the memory of floating through a door, held open by an elegantly clad door man, while holding three green bags en-route to a black cab (right after I visited the Dodi and Di memorial) lives on forever. See you in October.

Blue heels with ankle strap, brought in New York in 2002: It boggles my mind as to why I only brought one pair of shoes on my first visit to New York eight years ago. I hit all the hot spots so it wasn’t as though I didn’t have ample opportunity. It must have been a storage issue....the six handbags I purchased on Canel Street clearly took up way too much space.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Shop your own wardrobe part 6: Morning tea with the Governor-General

A few years ago I was fortunate to par-take in a cocktail party at Government House when the 2005 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships came to town. I remember what I wore as if it was yesterday. A gorgeous black...yes black...I’d yet to really embrace Trinny and Susannah back blouse with cream embroidered lace detail, a stunning pair of cream coloured three-quarter length dress pants that didn’t quite do up because the BB1 baby-bump had popped out, and a pair of pointy toe sling backs I brought from goodness knows where! After the formalities were over, the then Governor of Victoria, John Landy, athletic legend, walked up to me...I was the closest, and introduced himself. As somewhat of an amateur sprinter in my younger days and completely familiar with the four-minute mile, I was so excited I teared up and ran outside to ring my mum to tell her all about it. I honestly didn’t think it could get much better than that until a couple of weeks ago when I received an invitation to a morning tea hosted by non-other than the Governor-General of Australia, Quentin Bryce. The mere thought of a potential was a group thing...had me sprinting, John Landy style to the smallest-wardrobe-in-the-world to find something appropriate to wear because let’s face it, not only is she one of the most well-known, respected and considering the state of leadership in this country, powerful women in the world, she also has impeccable dress sense. It was a lot to live up to.

Now you all know that I love a good frock with a splash of colour, and lord knows my new BFF Diana Ferrari has provided those in quadruplicate. It would have been easy for me to throw on my tried and true burgundy number with the bishop sleeves and neck frill or brave the weather with a lovely short-sleeve brown piece printed with cherry red poppies (you have to see it to appreciate it, isn’t that right Mel? She has one too.) No, this particular shindig called for something chic, something elegant, something...neutral! So with the SATC 2 almanac in hand...don’t worry I completely by-passed the yellow and green striped tee, leopard print heels and the asymmetrical all-in-one with the harem pants and instead focussed my attention on the effortless white Ralph Lauren dress, Hermes purse with snake skin Manolos and boater hat that adorned SJP on her return from Abu Dhabi. Pity for me that I do not own a Ralph Lauren dress, Hermes purse or snake skin Manolos although I did once lay claim to a white boater hat that I am fairly certain found its way into a Mother Fox garage sale. But, how fabulous for me in that I know how to shop my own wardrobe and re-create a look with a whole new and different approach. Don’t you just love having a skill? Here is how I did it...

Simple dress in neutral colour: In lieu of not having a simple white dress, I decided on a classic black...yes we go again... pencil skirt that has been sitting in the SWITW for over a year awaiting a new zip. This particular skirt, which I might add should be a staple of every girl’s wardrobe, has been a favourite of mine for a good number of years. I brought it from David Lawrence about six years ago as part of a suit and it is one of those classic pieces that will fall apart before it dates. It has a very cute pleat detail at the bottom hem at the back.

In keeping with the unbiased colour scheme, I teamed the skirt with my favourite new blouse from Witchery. You know the one...just scroll down a few posts to refresh your memory. I had every intention of wearing a cream cami underneath, but shock horror, there was a stain that looked remarkably like baby drool smack bang in the middle of the bust line which could be seen, and so I went out on a limb and contrasted the sheer cream silk with a fitted black cami instead. SJP eat your heart out.

Grey snake skin Manolos: To add a touch of colour to the en som, I whipped on a pair of Ambra peeptoe panty-hose I picked up from Myer for 30 per cent off the lowest marked price, and my favourite pair of Steve Madden Mary-Jane sling-backs. I love these shoes. I can practically wear them with anything. I brought them in New York a couple of years ago from what was quite possibly the best shoe shop I have ever had the privilege of spending within. What a shame Dr Love didn’t quite share my enthusiasm.

Boater hat: Instead of head candy, I went with ear candy so accessorised with some dangly ear-rings with burgundy sparkles I picked up from Diva on a four for $10 deal and two wooden bangles from Bardot that cost $5 each.

Hermes bag also in neutral: This is where I broke from tradition and added a touch of MFS to an elegant SJP in the form of a burgundy tote from Strandbags. It’s not quite Hermes but it looked fabulous and contrasted well with the neutral theme and red mary-jane strap on the Steve Maddens.

Although it wasn’t quite the hot pink woollen suit with leopard print clutch worn and carried by most lovely and warm Quentin Bryce...yes I did get to talk to her and she is a very lovely...I’m sure she liked it too. Check it out:

Recent posts you might have missed:

I have a plan
And as for Sunday, I wore a neutral
So, what did you do on Saturday?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I have a plan

It’s been nearly two weeks since my last post and I have no excuse other to say that I have completely blow up my reverse saving budget and have been drowning in my own guilt. I even tried to hide the evidence from the latest spend (Tuesday) but Dr Love found it (Veronika Maine bag), which to be quite frank wasn’t very hard...I left it sitting on a chair the back door. What was I thinking?...I have a lot of clothes...he probably would never have noticed the new stuff! I know I’m weak. I know I have no staying power and even less self-control, but I simply couldn’t help myself or wait the remaining 37 days until I hit the UK and high street heaven. But it’s not all my fault. I blame Stacey and Clinton too. Really I do. I’m still catching up on the 30 plus episode marathon of TLC’s What Not Wear...there is a new ep everyday and I desperately needed to re-stock the upper-half of the smallest-wardrobe-in-the-world with something other than tee-shirt material because without the magic knickers tee-shirt material clings and I need suitable backups that float away from the body! I know my wonderful friend Mel understands. She went through something similar before her own holiday to New York earlier in the year and between us we firmly believe it’s an illness. Both of us are sick of not having anything to wear! I know, I know. It was failed attempt at humour but I couldn’t resist. The problem with spending money before you go on holiday during which you are sure to shop some more...Hello Zara, so nice to make your acquaintance... is that you have less with which to spend and more opportunity for credit card guilt.  That said however, I have assured Dr Love that I have a plan, and if it’s one thing you can always guarantee about is I will always have a plan. No kidding. I even had plans to give up smoking 11 years ago that included graphs and pie-charts (thank you to Lovely Lynda from Lilac and Lavendar for that long forgotten but amusing memory). I am to plans what Dr Love is to lists...he practically makes them in his sleep and it drives me mental. Anyway, my plan is this...

...if you (me) are a tad short on cash and bit long on buyer’s remorse (even if it was on sale) and you (me) lack suitable suitcase space in which to spend large because you remember you are also required to pack and shop at Gap Kids for the little people, then make a list...yes Dr Love, a list... of things you really want to supplement or replace in your existing wardrobe with and stick to it. Take the Calvin Klein jeans for example. They are a bit outdated and look sad, so on the list goes a new pair of bootleg jeans. I also would like a couple of good quality cardigans...cashmere in point two and dot point three. Get the idea? It’s easy, right? Wrong! I am completely freaked out over the prospect of stifling my shopping prowess. What if I blow the list in the first three days? Then what? Three shop-less-weeks with two female cousins dying to experience an MFS experience? I don’t think so...! Right, quite clearly, I need to go back to the drawing board and think about this some more. Talk to you later...MFSxx
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