Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Entries in minimalist (18)


What I Actually Wore #120

Serial #: 0120
Date: 15/05/2013
Weather: 15°C / 59°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

Oh, this jumper! Why did I throw it out? That is the first and most important question I must demand of myself. I cannot offer any sensible answer. Unless perhaps it had become a little worn and pilly. But the colour! Heaven. Literally. It’s sunshine personified.

I actually still like this outfit, although the white toes of my socks make me laugh. I find them a little disruptive, but that is nitpicking. I still own and wear the skirt, and the shoes (I love my Finsk shoes!). The Melbourne designer, Ammo, sadly closed its doors a few years ago, and this is one of the items I still own; I also have a blue silk dress. I always liked Ammo for its interesting and asymmetrical cuts.

The enamel (I have a fondness for enamel) cat earrings are souvenirs from Vietnam, and the pearl ring is a souvenir from a past relationship. I also wore, as it was a cool day, my vintage 60s black velvet coat and a matching hat. I’d still wear this outfit now – abeit with plain black socks or tights – it’s my take on minimalism with a vintage twist.


Jumper: vintage
Kenneth Cole

Photos: September 2013


Winning Silver

Many good things come together in this silver metallic clutch by Country Road that I found a while back in an op shop (thrift store).

So, what’s to love?

  1. A bag on a wrist strap is so kicky! It also makes it much more convenient to hold – clutching a bag under the armpit always feels precarious.
  2. The elegant, slim shape harks back to my beloved, lost envelope purse.
  3. Silver is much cooler (in both senses of the word) than gold, and I have always preferred it.  
  4. Silver, like grey, matches everything! This minimalist style will always look elegant, even when strict minimalism goes in and out of fashion.

I call this a first class thrift shop find!


I'm Back!

Serial #: N/A
Date: 05/12/2015
Weather: 22°C / 72°F, (forecast 31°C / 88°F) – a sultry morning
Time Allowed: 5 minutes

Hellooooo! I’m back! (Do you love the pun?) After a very long hiatus from Snapping, I am staging a comeback (additional pun below: see brand name of top). I can’t promise how often I will post every week, but I shall try for at least once.

I was preparing to post a What I Actually Wore story, picking up where I left off, but I realised that it was so old that I really felt I needed a little interjection first. I am so far behind (more puns) with these – two years! Since then, my style has evolved a little. I tend to swing between two extremes: minimalism, and maximalism, and the pendulum has swung once more to the former.

While I still wear vintage clothing, I style my garments quite differently to how I used to. For quite some time I was, inspired by the Ballet Russes, obsessed with pattern on pattern on pattern; now, not so much. My colour palette is simpler, my clothes more streamlined, and my accessories limited. I find myself gravitating often to white, grey, navy, tan, and sometimes black, alleviated with shots of colour. Occasionally I still bust out the big guns and go bold, like yesterday, when I wore a vintage 70s yellow dress (with tan accessories). I wear prints and patterns rarely.

Fashion is still a joy though, a way to inject some beauty, colour and fun into life, and I enjoy all sorts of looks (my own past style, other people’s), even if they don’t feel quite myself today.

I still have a huge backlog of stories and photoshoots I have not yet posted, so I will take care to note when images were shot.

(Photo: Today)


Top: Backstage
Gerard Darel
#840 Poinsettia, Revlon


Brush Up On Style

I thought this vintage clothes brush was so cute! However, I find the modern iterations more useful – a sticky lint roller is perfect for removing pet hair. Style is important. Good grooming is important. Looking your best is important. By this I do not mean keeping up with the very latest fashion trends – that can very often achieve quite the opposite effect!

Some will consider fashion and attention to personal style frivolous, and meticulous grooming too much bother, adopting a defiant stance of, ‘you can take me or leave me’, or, ‘what does it matter as long as I’m comfortable?’

I believe however that looking your best does wonders for your morale on an everyday basis.

looking your best does wonders for your morale on an everyday basis

Your sense of style is a very personal thing. Sometimes it takes years to develop and it can change quite dramatically at different stages of your life. There are some principles that never change however, such as dressing to flatter your figure, and keeping your clothes and accessories neat and in good repair.

While my style over the last couple of decades has swung between the extremes of a vintage/retro look and a softer version of minimalism, here are some personal standards that have never changed:

Five Things That Make Me Feel Stylish

1. A good hairstyle

I unfailingly feel good about myself when my hair is looking good. I know as soon as it starts getting too long I start feeling distinctly dowdy. (Which is not to say I think long hair does not look chic on other people.) Whenever I go to the hair salon to have it cut short, I always exclaim, ‘Why on earth did I grow it long?!’ Right at the moment it’s grown out of the Klute-style shag, and I’m looking fondly at this short do above, from March 2014.

2. Striking lipstick

Bright lipstick is the biggest makeup statement I make. Regardless of what other makeup I am wearing, lipstick never fails to make me feel done. I tend to favour blue-toned pinks or strong reds.

3. Good quality garments that are well-taken care of

Hemlines that are falling down, missing buttons, holes in knits, split seams, ripped stockings, torn belt loops, clothes covered in pet hair, etcetera, are the antithesis of stylishness. I feel very self-conscious of some of these.

4. Unique accessories

I keep my eye out for unusual accessories, but I never wear too many at a time. I have a huge collection of amazing shoes and hats, but I also love belts, gloves and of course scarves, even if I don’t wear the latter two often.

5. Interesting proportions

I love unusual or avant-garde proportions, but if I’m going to wear something particularly outrageous, I keep the other elements low-key – less colour, less accessories – and let the silhouette do the talking.

Five Things That Make Me Feel Inelegant

1. Ill-fitting clothes

Not only are ill-fitting clothes uncomfortable physically, but they are also unflattering – which makes for mental discomfort. Sometimes that glimpse of myself in a window on the street can be a salutary lesson.

2. Badly-scuffed heels on shoes

I am absolutely ruthless about worn-out shoes. I will not wear them until they have been to the shoe repairer, and I have no compunction in throwing them in the trash when they are beyond help. I won’t donate such shoes to charity either – if I refuse to wear rubbishy shoes on the street, I’m not going to encourage someone else to do so!

3. Ripped jeans

This is a personal peeve. I know for many ripped jeans are the height of fashion, but as soon as even a favourite pair become ripped at the knee – out they go! I just hate it. I recently mourned a pair of Hudson jeans.

4. Fussiness

I don’t like too many things dangling about my person, or too many visual details. My colour palette has changed in the last year – I wear a lot more neutral clothes these days, usually with only one accent colour, or at most two, where the second is very minimal. Interest is in shape and texture.

5. Feet badly in need of a pedicure

I tend to have quite dry skin on my feet, so they require a lot of care to keep them looking good. If I am slack about it, my heels become very cracked – hideous in summer in particular! I’m so minimalist at the moment I’m even on a no-nail-polish kick! I kinda like the look of naked nails.


Have a read through these pages torn from British Vogue (although I can’t tell you which issue they are from unfortunately). They discuss both timeless details and trends current at the time of publication. (Click images for larger versions.)

Or if you’d like some advice on discovering your personal style, click here.


Air Supply

Although I am currently going through a Ballet Russes phase (colour, print, texture, pattern, layers, sequins, stripes, polka dots – PILE IT ON!), I still very much admire the minimalist look as captured in this fashion editorial from Australian Vogue.*

The shapes are simple, but exaggerated; the colours muted and mostly monochromatic, but a great variety of textural combinations, or the contrast of sheer with opaque fabrics give these looks such richness. I don’t even mind that three of these outfits are entirely black!

The velvet Gucci trousers are so lush, especially contrasted with the sheer blouse – its poet sleeves are so graceful too. The origami cut of Antonio Berardi’s skirt is also beautiful, and Calvin Klein’s panelled wool dress is a wonder of subtlety. And I must mention the tassels in the Ferragamo shoes – how sensuous would it be to have those gently swinging at your ankles! The plaited hair is so pretty and bohemian too.

I just wish I had the bank balance and the wardrobe space to accommodate these elegant creations in my life. Sigh.

* Photographs by Nicole Bentley, Vogue Australia, August 2012. It’s not stated, but I suspect this editorial first appeared in an international edition. I didn’t like all the looks in the story either, but that was partly to do with the awkward, slump-shouldered poses of the models (why do they do that?!).