Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


Unless otherwise indicated, all photographs and artworks on this website are copyright
of So Not A Princess and must not be reproduced without permission.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


Powered by Squarespace

Entries in jewellery (182)


Faux Thirties Style

Lapis lazuli is a metamorphic rock of deep blue that has been prized for its colour since antiquity. In Egypt, lapis lazuli was a favoured stone used in jewellery and ornaments, such as scarabs, and Cleopatra herself used powdered lapis as eyeshadow! Not as surprising as it might seem at first, for the same was used until 1826 to make natural ultramarine pigment for paint.

This little trifle I picked up recently in a thrift store is a double-strand faux lapis lazuli choker. It has no maker’s mark on it, and I can’t imagine it was expensive when it retailed, although the fact that it is knotted between each bead is an indication of better quality.

French postcard: (from left) Irene Wentzel, Miss Russia in Paris in 1930; Ingeborg von Grinberger, Miss Austria; Rie van der Rest, Miss Holland. Image from Pinterest

I’m always on the lookout for 1930s style items, and I am more partial to the costume jewellery styles of the era than the fine jewellery, which often seem too ornate for my taste. I prefer opaque stones in any case.

A lot of 30s daywear was high-necked, featuring interesting necklines, collars and sleeves, so very often women did not wear a lot of jewellery, and it is not easy to find pictorial examples. Here are a couple below, however, of Miss Europe candidates of 1930: Miss Russie is wearing a choker; and the April 1930 cover of Vogue magazine.

Vogue April 1930, illustrated by Jean Pages

Photo: September 2019



I love a little word-punning! This cute beaded and sequinned parrot is a hybrid brooch and hairclip, which I have dubbed a clooch … I fully expect that word to take off and quickly become ubiquitous in the sartorial lexicon.

I found this clooch in the jewellery boutique, Lovisa, and was taken with it because I love birds in general. I am yet to wear it, but will more likely do so as a brooch than a hairclip, since I wear hats all the time. Additional bonus: it was $6 on sale, very cheep-cheep!

Photo: September 2019


What I Actually Wore #0156

Serial #: 0156
Date: 31/10/2013
Weather: 18°C / 64°F
Time Allowed: 12 minutes

First of all: LOOK AT MY HAIR! I have no idea how I made it look so perfect regularly, because I am pretty damn lazy low maintenance about hair styling.

It was Halloween, and I decided to go not at all thematic (it’s not really a big holiday in Australia) and wore bright pops of colour instead. The outfit started with the teal leather skirt (the brand on the label is Suede); the ribbed jumper I am wearing is actually a real ultra-violet, but the hue is impossible to capture with a camera (the shade is captured better in the close-up below); and the shoes are cobalt. I like to mix colours that are close in hue, but slightly off or unexpected – the violet and teal are an unusual combination.

The really standout item is the tights; these are not traditional fishnets, but rather skin-toned illusion hosiery with the fishnet pattern applied as flocking. I managed to wear the pair a few times before they laddered.

I’m wearing sterling silver hoops, a cuff and a ring (since lost!), the latter two by the jewellery brand Roun, which is now defunct. I bought quite a few pieces from them in my minimalist phase – I considered the cuff a real investment, although I rarely wear it now.

I’ve been carrying a small bag as well as a larger work tote these days, but back then I was usually only carrying a large tote, which is why there is no handbag in this picture. This day I wore my beloved vintage 70s white leather trench coat that has long since died, and a white leather oblong tote by Elise Carrell, which has also worn out. In fact, the only item from this outfit that I still have in my wardrobe are the suede and patent wedges, and the jewellery, as the jumper and skirt have gone in my most recent cull just last week. Still, overall I like this look.


Jumper: op shop
Skirt: Suede, vintage 80s
Tights: Leg Avenue
Shoes: Mollini
Earrings: Baku
Bangle: Roun
Watch: Kenneth Cole
Ring: Roun

Photos: January 2014


Break the Rools with a Bajillion Jools!

You may have heard of that old adage – attributed to Coco Chanel – ‘take one thing off before you leave the house’ … today I am going to declare war on discretion! I pooh-pooh Parisian chic! I flout thee, minimalism! LOAD EM UP! More is more is more – the more the merrier, I say! Why wear one WHEN YOU CAN WEAR THEM ALL?

I own a lot of costume jewellery – mostly bought on holiday as souvenirs or in thrift stores – and for a long time I have been hesitant about wearing a single strand of beads because it just feels too 90s to me. A much more fun way to wear them I have found is to wear lots and really make them a feature of an outfit rather than a discreet accent.

But there is a secret to wearing a bajillion jools without looking like a Christmas tree, and it is this: pick one hue or theme and stick firmly with it. In these three examples of excess, I have done just that.

The first outfit included a holey wool top, and I decided to embrace the circle theme and wear a jumble of wooden necklaces of similar tones and shapes. In the second example I am wearing three brooches at once, all white, and all birds – note the silver earrings are feathers! And in the last, I am wearing three different green wooden necklaces on a fairly plain cool grey wool dress.

Be mindful to not go OTT with your other accessories to keep focus on just one area. Or you can say hell with that and go all out everywhere! Just be prepared to be goggled at.

Photos: August 2018/October 2018/May 2019


Sweater Clips DIY

I have always wanted a pair of sweater clips, for those times you want to draw your cardigan close, but not button it up, or for those garments that do not have closures, such as vintage 50s outerwear. I’ve searched in thrift stores to no avail, for they are an item one just does not see in Australia. Maybe they simply were never a popular fashion accessory here. I have searched online of course, but with such high shipping costs (when buying from America in particular), they became ridiculously expensive.

So I decided to make my own. First I found a pair of giant 1980s pearl clip on earrings. Then I scoured op shops for a suitable chain. And I waited patiently. And I scoured some more. Finally I found a gold necklace that had a more interesting chain than the usual link. I already had some suitable gold findings from a previous repair, and at last I set to work with some jewellery tools.

I’m really pleased with the result. It’s been a very mild autumn in Melbourne and I’ve yet to break out my vintage cardigans, so I am looking forward to using the clips now that the weather is finally becoming cooler.