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Entries in pompoms (38)


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.


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.


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.


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


Jacket: Toscana
Elliza Donatein
Ricki Reed, vintage
hand made
onyx baubles, hand made
Bangle and ring:
onyx, souvenirs
silver charm necklace, souvenirs
Kenneth Cole
vintage, 60s/70s
Miss S


White Night Lights

Celebrating the Roaring Twenties in a Special Series

A couple weekends ago, Melbourne celebrated its second White Night. The city streets, laneways, landmarks and cultural institutions were transformed into a cultural playground from dusk-till-dawn. I ventured out to play around 8pm, and literally tripped the light fantastic until 3am, when my steps turned towards home at last.

One of the loveliest experiences was when my friend and I came out of Hosier Lane into a winter wonderland on Flinders Lane. Lights fixed on a group of mirror balls of different sizes suspended high above the laneway created a shifting display of circular lights that bathed us in blue and white light, and turned the streetscape into a snowstorm. It was absolutely enchanting. There were surely a couple hundred people milling about at any one time, necks craned upwards – and cameras held aloft – to catch the flurries of light.

I was delighted when I looked at my pictures later, and immediately noticed the streetscape looked just like the 1927 illustration on the March page of my Vogue calendar. How amazing! I instantly decided to create a homage to Georges Lepape’s drawing – and here it is, with and without a masthead. Scroll down to see the original photograph.

Fashion Notes

I am wearing a vintage cloche hat with a black feather pompom on the side, and a vintage sheepskin collar, a relic from my friend Rapunzel’s Aunty Belle. (The hat is actually more of a Prussian blue, but I tweaked the shade to match the illustration a little better.) The pearl jewellery was purchased in the now defunct Melbourne jewellery boutique Portobello Lane. 

Lighting designer Philip Lethlean’s electrified installation ‘Rags to Riches’ in Flinders Lane, White Night 2014


A Scottish Tilt

The Vintage Hat Series: lilac wool felt 1940s tilt tamHat styles of the 1940s almost defy description, there was such a myriad of unusual and daring shapes, unlike the 1920s for example, when the cloche reigned supreme. The milliners of this later era were extraordinarily inventive, for of all women’s clothing, hats were not rationed during the war. In all that variety, one of the most common characteristics was the tilt: hats sat at a rakish, almost impossible angle on the head. They were supported by a band or strap that went around the head.

This lilac wool felt hat, trimmed on the sides with two bows, resembles a tam o’shanter, the traditional Scotsman’s bonnet; women’s versions are known as a tammy, or tam. The name comes from Robert Burn’s poem Tam o’ Shanter, after the eponymous hero.

The Vintage Hat Series: lilac wool felt 1940s tilt tam

… hats sat at a rakish, almost impossible angle on the head.

Doing away with the traditional pompom, the milliner cleverly conceptualises one with a circular woven section in the centre. The strap at the back forms a hole, through which I was able to pull my ponytail, although it was unlikely to be worn like that in the 1940s. It’s interesting that they didn’t try to hide the strap as milliners do nowadays, but rather made it a striking and integral feature of the design. It’s certainly not a hat for a wallflower!

Here is another, more traditional tam that I own.


What I Actually Wore #0088

Serial #: 0088
Date: 22/08/2012
Weather: 21°
Time Allowed: 7 minutes

Some outfits just come together like magic. This one was like magic out of a storybook on account of the striped jumper and the star printed stockings. Not to mention the red glittery shoes, which always add a touch of fairytale to an ensemble. Someone from my work tried to define my look and called it a retro après-ski style – that was for my pompom scarf I guess! Only the hat is vintage in fact – a 1940s number bought on eBay.

I like this outfit because the graphic elements and bright colours give it a cartoon-style fun without venturing into caricature or the realm of harajuku costume. One of my illustrator friends often dresses her characters in striped tops and bright paints like these, and I like to imagine I look like one of the girls stepping out of her picture books.


Top: Meredith
Skirt: Anthropologie
Hat: vintage 40s (eBay)
Scarf: souvenir (Hong Kong)
The Sock Shop
handmade (by me)
Bangle: souvenir (Vietnam)
onyx, souvenir (Vietnam); silver Roun
Watch: Kenneth Cole
Shoes: Wittner


Call That a Beanie?

After seeing beanies featured on Broadsheet today, I immediately thought of my nightcap style beanie that I bought at the Crazy House (otherwise and more formally known as the Hang Nga Guesthouse) in Dalat, Vietnam, years ago.

As soon as I glimpsed these nightcaps hanging in the Crazy House gift shop, I was captured. Knit in stripes with a pompom on the end of the very long tail, they looked like something out of a vintage storybook. In short, they were irresistible.

But has it occurred to you that ‘beanie’ is the oddest name for a hat? Where does it come from, I wonder? A beanie is a small, close-fitting hat that sits on the back of the head, with or without a button or pompom on the crown. It can be sewn from leather or cloth, or knit from yarn. According to the OED, the origin is 1940s America, perhaps from ‘bean’ in the slang sense of ‘head’. 

These beanies featured on Broadsheet are pretty darn cute too. Click here for the full slideshow. 

Beanie by Benah. Dress by ACNE. Sweater by Jac + Jack. Image by Nick Blair, from Broadsheet. Beanie by Coal. Sweater by Sportmax. Image by Nick Blair, from Broadsheet.