Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in pleats (19)

Sunday
Jun192016

Sweet Confections

Vanilla, raspberry, peach, lilac, and dove grey – shades so delicious they’re almost mouth-watering. I call it my gelati outfit. They are several tones deeper than pastels, which I don’t wear as they are too wishy-washy for my complexion. On the other hand, icy colours (almost bright white, but with just a tinge of colour) do suit me.

This is one of my favourite summer outfits, a silk crepe top with slashed sleeves by the high street store Forever New, and a pleated floor-grazing skirt by Country Road. I bought them both from thrift shops on separate occasions, but I was very pleased when I saw how well they complemented one another – quite a few people have assumed I was wearing a dress in fact.

I am anticipating summer already: tomorrow is Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year! That, plus the fact I recently purchased an ice cream maker (yes I know that’s weird in the middle of winter, but I took advantage of an online sale).

Excuse me – I’m going to go and make some ice cream now. The only question is: what flavour?

Photo: February 2016

Scroll down for some gelati-coloured inspirations

Eeeeek! I want one! Hat from the SS14 Colori Gelato Collection by Awon Golding MillineryHat from the SS14 Colori Gelato Collection by Awon Golding MillineryPink pops inspiring bridal fashion at Oregon Bride magazineVintage lavender blouse from Standard Edition on EtsyLollipops colour block midi skirt available from ChicwishIce cream's On Me sandals from ModclothPaloma Faith for Boxx MagazineThe best gelato in Rome

Sunday
Feb282016

What I Actually Wore #110

Serial #: 0111
Date: 26/03/2013
Weather: 31°C / 88°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

What a colourful outfit I wore on this day nearly three years ago! Only the jewellery and hat are in occasional circulation still. The espadrilles died an honest death. I wore them a lot, and remember once attending a recital and an elderly lady asked me in admiration how on earth I managed to walk in them! (They were very comfortable in fact.) The skirt was retired a couple of years ago, and somehow, though it is still hanging in my closet, I never pick up that top to wear anymore – I’m not sure why. (It may not survive the cull at the end of this season.)

I was in a hurry to meet a friend in the city for a drink and a quick gallery visit to view another friend’s exhibition that was about to close. Quickly I picked out a vintage 1980s polka dot skirt and a modern plain red top.

Three colours are certainly enough, and the navy and white espadrilles toned in with the bright tomato red and Delft blue skirt. I decided I needed to add a little extra pizzazz, and because it was probably one of the last hot days of autumn, I wanted to wear a summer hat.

Sometimes I forget I am wearing an unusual vintage hat and wonder why people stare!

I was pleased to use a new app that collates one’s wardrobe a little like Cher’s closet in the film Clueless. I’ve only catalogued my hats, as they are spread out and stored in a lot of hatboxes, so I was able to quickly choose and locate one: the peaked navy and white 1940s straw. It was a little breezy outside, so I had to speedily add in a strap to hold it onto my head.

My jewellery includes a grey mabé pearl ring an old boyfriend bought me years ago, and a pair of earrings I made myself from sterling silver balls with larger blue and silver star enamelled beads – they are very fun.

The hat (no surprise) attracts some attention as I walk into the city. Sometimes I forget I am wearing an unusual vintage hat and wonder why people stare!

Photo: April, 2013

Items:

Top: Veronika Maine
Skirt:
Clio, vintage 1980s
Hat:
vintage 1940s
Earrings:
hand made
Ring:
National Gallery of Victoria gift shop
Watch:
Kenneth Cole
Shoes:
Free People

Tuesday
Feb232016

Cinderella’s Sisters’ Closets

When you go op shopping (opportunity shopping, or thrifting), one of the most important things you need to take with you is a large dose of VISION. These days some secondhand stores are highly curated, but every now and then you will stumble across one that has not been rigorously edited.

There, the racks are overstuffed higgledy-piggledy, and it requires a discerning eye to sort the true gems from the dregs of the most puritanical and dowdiest of spinster great-aunties’ moth-eaten, lavender-infused closets. Here most of all it pays to be vigilant. Here you must see past ill-fitting shapes and not-quite-right lengths and ugly embellishments, for with the aid of a pair of scissors or the switch of a few buttons, a dress worn by an ugly step-sister is suddenly worthy of a princess-to-be!

… a dress worn by an ugly step-sister is suddenly worthy of a princess-to-be!

Take this pretty cute dress for instance. It’s black pleated crepe, with a pattern of white and red squares. The skirt has a lovely swishy weight. It’s elegant. But at first glance when I saw it hanging on a rack it was not elegant: it was ugly. It was wearing a modesty collar.

This collar was so frightfully hideous that it would have put off souls made of less sterner stuff than mine: I saw past its cheap cotton frills, its nasty polyester crocheted doily inserts. I saw what it could be with the summary excisement of this excrescence! Also, it was transparent and enormous, and one of the pearl button fasteners on the cuff was hanging by a thread.

I took it into the change room, tucked the collar in, wrapped a belt around my waist, and voila! Sold.

I couldn’t wait to get it home that evening to rip off the abomination around the collar. It was one of the most satisfying uses I had ever put my seam ripper to. I washed it, sewed the button back on, added fun red accessories, a vintage black slip underneath, and subsequently wore it to work, basking in the warm glow of admiration. One more vintage dress saved from oblivion!

Photos: Yesterday

Sunday
Dec132015

What I Actually Wore #106

Serial #: 0106
Date: 29/01/2013
Weather: 21°C/70°F
Time Allowed: 8 minutes

Fortunately I made notes two years ago when I photographed this outfit. Apparently, I dressed on the premise that just because it's a simple outing, it doesn't mean I need to dress dowdily. That simple rule has always been one of my fashion creeds.

Pleats!

I really love pleated skirts, and have managed to amass a large number of vintage pleated skirts and dresses, most of them in just the last few months. This cream cotton micro-pleated 80s skirt was the first however, and I remember being so excited when I found it. I had been on the hunt particularly for micro-pleats; they weren’t to be found even in retail stores at the time. I really enjoy the midi-length too.

Colour!

Old school sartorialists like to say that red and pink clash and should never be paired, but I think they look delicious together! I do enjoy unusual and startling colour combinations. The strawberry pink top was just an ordinary knit tee, (which has since been donated to charity), and the classically-cut leather jacket I still wear occasionally (because I own a multitude of coats and jackets and can’t possibly wear them all often!).

Many of my leather coats and jackets I have bought second hand, but this was purchased new, and was quite an investment, even on sale. Happily I have worn it enough over the years to have made it worthwhile.

Accessories!

These soft leather brogues are very comfortable, and have only recently really come into their own. I bought them on sale website Ozsale. They had become lost in the bottom of my closet, until I rediscovered them when all my other practical walking shoes wore out at once. Decoratively punctured, and with cutouts on the top, they are cool enough for warmer weather. I’ve worn them so much one of my errands this week is to take them to the shoe repairers for heel touch-ups.

I will be the first to admit that enormous pompom headband that looks like the cherry on top is insane. It was chiefly a fun experiment (I hadn’t made a pompom since primary school), but I have actually worn it out once or twice to festivals and parties. It’s certainly a conversation starter!

My other accessories include my favourite onyx jewellery, and my silver necklace dangling with various charms collected during my travels. The patent handbag is vintage, 60s or 70s, and it has been an excellent little basic for a long time.

Photo: April 2013

Items:

Jacket: Toscana
Top:
Elliza Donatein
Skirt:
Ricki Reed, vintage
Headband:
hand made
Earrings:
onyx baubles, hand made
Bangle and ring:
onyx, souvenirs
Necklace:
silver charm necklace, souvenirs
Watch:
Kenneth Cole
Handbag:
vintage, 60s/70s
Shoes:
Miss S

Sunday
Dec062015

What I Actually Wore #105

Serial #: 0105
Date: 10/01/2013
Weather: 27°, balmy evening
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

The amusing thing about writing stories about outfits from so long ago is firstly, being startled by my hairstyles, and secondly, rediscovering clothes which have since passed out of my closet. In the case of the latter, the shoes, which I loved, wore out. All the other pieces are still there however.

I remember this evening, dressing quickly after hurrying home from work, only to rush back into the city to go out for dinner with a friend to celebrate her birthday. We ate Korean barbecue.

It was a warm and sticky evening, hence the lightness of the silk chiffon top – still festive with that delicate beading. It is a very pale pink, and with that cream micro-pleated cotton skirt, the overall effect is light and sugary, which is why I offset with the contrasting black accessories and the burst of strong colour on the feet.

Those yellow suede wedges were so soft and comfortable, and easy to walk in despite their height. I was sad when the tan leather around the platform wore out so badly, but I am ruthless about turfing shoes that have seen better days. All the other items are still in circulation however.

(Photo: January, 2013)

Items:

Top: Sportsgirl
Skirt:
Ricki Reed, vintage 80s
Earrings:
hand made
Bangle and ring:
souvenirs
Bag:
vintage
Shoes:
Sole Society