Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Entries in hosiery (15)


Starry Tights

While we’re on the subject of stars, let me bring your attention to these amazing starry tights I once owned. I have often waxed lyrical about my love for long socks, but once upon a time I went through a phase of “tattoo tights” – that is, nude hosiery with printed patterns that gave the effect of a tattoo. (Imagine tattooing your legs all over with stars!)

I managed to amass quite a collection before my hatred for all hosiery made me abandon tights almost entirely for a few winters. These tights are by Leg Avenue, and not only did I have stars, but polka-dots and fishnets too! I have a strong feeling that I shall be soon investigating the basket of tights in my closet – there are quite a few unopened packages lurking in there. Stay tuned for more stocking shenanigans!

Photos: October 2013


What I Actually Wore #0149

Serial #: 0149
Date: 07/10/2013
Weather: 18°C / 64°F
Time Allowed: 8 minutes

I was on a minimalist kick at the time, and this is a rare all-black outfit for me, but the best thing about it is obviously the tights. The giant fishnets are not true net tights; the pattern is actually printed on nude hosiery – if they were actual net, I imagine it would be quite a task to make sure all the lines were straight.

I have a love-hate relationship with tights. They are obviously practical in winter, but I find it a bore pulling them up and down – and heaven forbid they are a little worn and saggy! That is the worst. This pair, which I bought online at Ozsale, were quite fragile too, and I ended up ripping them after a few wears. Fortunately, I was able to replace them when they reappeared on the same site.

The dress is by Australian label Saba, and I purchased it at a thrift store because I liked the cut – it had an origami-like fold on the right side. However, I did not like the fact that it was polyester, and it ended up going back to the op shop a year or two later.

Odd earrings – one silver and one black onyx bauble – and two rings of the same materials, and black patent Mary-Jane heels finished off the outfit.


Dress: Saba
Tights: Leg Avenue
Shoes: BCBG
Earrings: handmade
Ring: (silver) Roun, (onyx) souvenir

Photo: January 2014


What I Actually Wore #0132

Serial #: 0132
Date: 11/07/2013
Weather: 16°C / 61°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

There are some colour combinations that are easy to choose, and never fail: black, red and blue is one of them.

This outfit was put together like building blocks, starting with the kimono-sleeved dress. It’s really a summer dress, so I put a three-quarter sleeve grey top underneath. This is the trick with adding a fourth colour – it would have been too much to choose a matching blue, but the grey is neutral and subtle.

Blue tights printed with white stars add a fun touch; a more obvious – and storybookish – pairing would have been black and white striped tights. Red Dorothy heels, current favourites, sparkle on my feet. They are actually not very comfortable as they are not leather, which is more yielding, but they look fabulous!

The red wool jacket adds warmth, but I also wore on top my 1960s faux sealskin coat, and a velvet close-fitting cap. My jewellery – black onyx bangle and ring, silver bauble earrings, charm necklace and silver watch complement the colour of the clothing.

I had my bangs trimmed that evening, and one of the salon staff exclaimed in delight when she took my coat and saw my outfit. I looked so cute, like a doll, she said. It has never been my ambition to look like a doll, I must confess; I’d rather look like a woman. In fact, in later years on one of my wardrobe culls, the dress, the tights and the shoes all fell victim to my ruthless dictum: anything that could be considered ‘cute’ was immediately cut! I still have the jacket and the jewellery however. The haircut is long grown out, but I’m considering growing my pixie into a bob again.


Dress: Luella
Sock Shop
souvenir and vintage
Bangle, ring:
Kenneth Cole

Photos: October 2013


What I Actually Wore #126

Serial #: 0126
Date: 10/06/2013
Weather: 16°C / 61°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

It was a rather chilly day today, and I dressed for the weather. This outfit was built around the cashmere jumper, which reminded me of a cheerleading sweater when I first saw it on eBay. It’s in a favourite shade of robin’s egg blue, and I also love cherries!

The pleated navy and cream houndstooth wool skirt is a vintage (possibly 80s) find from years ago, while the 1940s beret-style platter hat is a purchase from Etsy. The jewellery is a mixture of handmade (silver bauble earrings) and souvenirs from travels (various ‘charms’ collected on a sterling silver chain).

The suede shoes are also favourites; I still wear them, and will continue to do so until they fall apart! They’ve already had their soles repaired once or twice. I used to have a pair of tights that exactly matched the cherry-red of the leather, but after they were ruined I was never able to find another pair that matched so closely. These are over-the-knee socks I am wearing, held up by suspenders as they always sag.

I call this cute look preppy with a vintage cheerleading twist and a cherry on top!


Jumper: vintage
David Jones
Sock Shop
Warners (on Shop Style)
handmade, souvenir, vintage
Kenneth Cole

Photos: October 2013


A Thrifty Kindred Spirit

Welcome to Clementine, a stylish woman with an independent and eclectic sense of fashion, a keen op-shopper, all-round lovely person, and a true kindred spirit. Her outfits always catch my eye at our shared workplace, and this floral number she’s wearing had me smiling reminiscently of Eighties fashions.

How did you put this outfit together this April morning Clementine?

I actually packed this outfit into my yoga bag the night before – I was planning to get up and go to an early morning class … but then I slept in. Oops! But it was nice to have an outfit pre-organised. Pre-packing means I need things that won’t crease, and the skirt and cardie are good like that. But I started putting the outfit together around the tights.

I’m enjoying the change in seasons at the moment, and it’s nice to feel snug on these cool autumn mornings. I was a bit stuck on which top to put with it, and then I saw this one on the drying rack – my sister just passed it on to me recently and it actually goes rather nicely with the skirt I think.

The outfit does seem very ‘you’.

Yes it is actually very representative of my whole wardrobe – a lot of op shop finds and ‘pass-alongs’ from friends and family, with a few new pieces thrown in here and there.

When you aren’t pre-packing, how long does it usually take you to get ready?

Time to choose an outfit depends on how awake I am … some mornings I just stare at my options and can’t decide! I guess this was an outfit of convenience more than anything – I really should try pre-packing (or at least pre-selecting) more often.

I bought the heels on the same day I found my antique wedding ring, so I always have happy thoughts when I put them on!

Can you tell us a bit more about the individual items?

The apricot knit top was given to me by my sister; I think it’s from a Postie party.

What is that?

Postie parties are just like Tupperware parties – you shop from someone’s home, and there is a stylist to give advice.

I can’t believe I’ve never heard of them – clothing exchanges, but not this. [You can read more about Postie parties here.] What are your other items? That floral skirt has a particularly retro 80s vibe.

This skirt is from Forever New, from a revival a few years ago. The cardigan doesn’t have a label, but was given to me by my cousin in Italy. I think it belonged to a friend who cleaning out her cupboard, and she snapped it up. It’s travelled all around Europe with me. The heels were from an op shop in Camberwell [an inner-Eastern suburb of Melbourne] – I think they are RMK. I bought the heels on the same day I found my antique wedding ring, so I always have happy thoughts when I put them on!

And what about the stockings that started the whole outfit? I am partial to cable knit too.

They are from Sportsgirl. (Opening in 1948 Sportsgirl is an Australian chain store that has been around for nearly seventy years!)

I know you and I share a love of op shopping (thrifting), but before we get to that longer discussion, tell me where else you shop.

I’m actually struggling with mainstream brands in Australia at the moment – I feel too old for some high street shops, and too young (or too casual) for others. But I tend to buy jeans and pants from Sussan [another Aussie standby, around since 1939], as I find their cuts flattering for me – I like that the waistband sits above the hips! If I’m going past a shop I like, I’ll stick my head in. I rarely go out specifically to find a particular item.

And do you shop online much?

Yes! My favourite shop would have to be Anthropologie – I’ve bought quite a few things online, in spite of the expensive postage. I’ve found almost every item I’ve bought from there to be really well made, and I like that the designs are a bit different to what we find here. I’m a sucker for a beautiful email, catalogue image etc.,which is probably why Anthropologie always wins me over.

They are pretty gorgeous. So: let’s get onto op shopping. Why do you like it?

I’m definitely a browser style of shopper – I just find it very relaxing to flick through the racks. The atmosphere is so much nicer than the bright, noisy stores at shopping centres – the music is usually quirky, the volunteers are relaxed and genuinely pleased to see you – and when you find something unique, you feel like you’ve won the lottery!

I also enjoy knowing that in some small way I’m helping the community a little, by recycling and supporting charity. That’s very important to me.

… when you find something unique, you feel like you’ve won the lottery!

That’s great – you are a woman after my own heart! Good shopping ethics.

When I do buy new clothes, I’m conscious of buying quality items that will last, rather than cheap things that can only be worn a few times – and when I do have a wardrobe cleanout, I take as much as possible back to the op shop. And I’m not afraid to donate a really great piece if I’m honestly not wearing it – because I know there’s probably someone else out there that can enjoy it. And I think it brings good op shop karma!

Is there anything special you are currently looking out for?

I could currently use a couple of new tops for work – but I’m sure I’ll find them at some point. I’d love to support more independent Australian designers, but I haven’t found a style I love at a price I can afford just yet. But I’m keeping my eyes open.

On that note of hope, Clementine you bright young thing, I shall thank you for agreeing to appear on the pages of SNAP. Happy treasure-hunting!