Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in shopping (191)

Sunday
Jun162019

Keep Those Peepers Peeled!

Who has Holy Fashion Grails? They are those rare, hard-to-find items – perhaps vintage, perhaps not – that you would give your eyeteeth to lay your hands on. I have a ton of them always lurking in the back of my mind, and they come to the forefront when I am thrift shopping, or trawling online marketplaces. I keep a shopping list for items on my phone to refer to when I am out and about – it can be easy to forget things in the heat of the moment when you come upon something else you didn’t know you desperately wanted!

A little while ago, on two separate occasions, I came across two things that had been on my wishlist for a while: yellow leather heels and a watermelon bag. They may seem strangely specific, but I am always on the lookout for anything yellow, so these patent leather heels by Aldo were an exciting find. I’d been looking on sale sites on and off for a while at shoes very similar to these, but couldn’t justify spending big on shoes when I already own so many. However, a pair of barely-worn shoes for under $10 were irresistible.

I first saw a gorgeous straw watermelon bag in a Melbourne boutique many years ago, but at around $100, I regretfully deemed it too much to spend on such a frivolity. Then last year I spotted one online, and that cost even more, even at the heavily discounted sale price. Then sometime later while shopping in a thrift store and waiting to pay for some other items, I spotted this hard-plastic version sitting behind the counter, waiting to be priced. While it wasn’t the covetable straw, I enquired, and a staff member returned to tell me it was only $9. It pays to keep your eyes peeled! I know plastic does not seem very desirable, but after all, Bakelite is a plastic, and vintage examples are extremely collectable now.

Other things I’m always on the lookout for are any 1930s items, a vintage pink-and-white striped dress, a 30s or 40s Hungarian embroidered blouse in white and red, a new old chenille bedspread, and hats of course.

It’s even more of a bonus when one finds great things in the thrift store: both virtuous recycling and a bargain! So always keep an eye out, you never know what you’ll stumble across when you least expect it.

Photos: July 2018

Monday
Apr012019

Tiffany Surprise

Look what I got! A Tiffany & Co surprise! … But wait … No, it’s just a little trifle from a thrift store!

Recently I bought a pair of carved blue shell earrings in a thrift store, and while I was paying for them I expressed my concern that these fragile earrings should not break on the way home. The sales lady agreed, and said she would find a box for me. She disappeared under the counter for a moment and when she popped back up, lo and behold she was holding a Tiffany & Co box in her hand! We were both quite tickled by the incongruity.

I have already worn these once, but I did not notice until after I photographed these today that one of them is actually damaged – one of the flowers is missing a leaf. I suspect the ladies in the op shop didn’t notice either, as the break is quite neat and not immediately obvious. The shimmering, reflective surface is quite distracting too.

I guess I am the April Fool after all! (But I still think they are pretty.)

Tuesday
Feb262019

Hello, Hats!

This enormous red straw cartwheel has no label, but it is probably a modern hat. I purchased this in a thrift store while on a beach outing, and quickly discovered it threatened to be carried off by the slightest breeze. I subsequently added a vintage navy satin ribbon, which answered the problem effectively.I have taken a long but unintended hiatus from posting on these pages, but I promise you I have not slacked off in fashionising! I’ve been hunting high and low for new old treasures over the summer, and I have stumbled over so many wonderful things I couldn’t list them all, but they include vintage hats (naturally); 1950s and 1970s skirts, dresses and ballgowns; quite a few 1930s style items (my favourite fashion era) and an incredible hand embroidered modern silk coat.

One of the most heart-stopping of the 1930s style accessories is a pair of handmade green leather heeled sandals, by the label Jolie – a holy grail item for me! I haven’t heard of the brand (and can’t find any information on it), but the swirling script logo on the insole looks very 1970s. I must confess they are a half-size too small, but I can squish my Cinderella’s sister’s feet into them, and there was no way I was leaving them behind in the thrift store where I found them! Someone had had them resoled, but subsequently never worn them.

Another thrift store find and also lacking a label, this 30s-style conical or coolie style hat is hard to age definitively. It's in such good condition, I suspect it is from the 70s or 80s.But here are some of the hats I have worn in the last month or two – some of these are very new to me, some not, but I don’t think any of them have appeared on these pages previously. Information on each one is within the captions of the photos. I’m still looking forward to taking more summer hats on outings – though the season is nearly over, it doesn’t look like Melbourne is going to cool down any time soon.

Photos: December 2018, January 2019

With an unusual clamshell shape, this hat also features black and white cord trim and a black bead decoration that emulates a hatpin. This 1940s straw hat also came from a thrift store in Albury, a large country town in NSW just over the Victorian border. I spotted it for $12 and couldn't snap it up fast enough!I bought this cute little red straw 1930s derby hat from a Facebook seller named Bonita Markwick. The hat is trimmed with black bows at the back and net.Yet another thrift store find, this modern cloth beret with trapunto stitching is by the Australian label Mimco. Another purchase from the Facebook seller Bonita Markwick, this whimsy hat of black net with red silk roses is vintage 40s. I am wearing it here on Christmas Day with a deep red 50s knitted ribbon dress, bought from Birthday Life Vintage on Etsy.This 40s raffia and straw pom-pom hat is by Sally Victor – another holy grail find for me! I purchased this on eBay.

Sunday
Dec302018

Auld Lang Sock

On this penultimate day of December, we have at last arrived at that time of year when we start to reminisce fondly of auld lang syne, (or consign those evil days to the devil), and to look forward to a new leaf, a clean slate, a fresh start and all those other clichés.

This is also a good time to give old things their marching orders, such as socks that fall down just as ever so soon as you pull them up, no matter how cute and stripey and cosy they are. These are Evil Socks. Gird your loins, Snapettes, and chuck ’em in the bin!

The New Year is also a good time go shopping for new socks. Hello Chicstocking—hurrah!

Photo: September 2018

Monday
Nov052018

How Now, Brown Cowhide

Many years ago – maybe ten or fifteen – I bought a cowhide bucket handbag from a market in Hong Kong. It was quite an expensive purchase, but I rationalised that it was such a classic leather and style, I would be able to use it forever. Well, it hasn’t been quite forever yet, but I think I have justified my belief by now.

Then last autumn, when I was hunting high and low for a classic tote bag to use for work, I came across a cowhide version on the online sale site, Ozsale, and was instantly struck by how similar it was in looks to my old bucket bag. I don’t remember the name of the label, and there is none inside the bag, but it was a homewares brand that used recycled wood and canvas from vintage French army and postal gear.

My main stipulation – besides being stylish – was that the prospective tote had to be large enough to fit my office shoes, my lunch, iPad and other sundry items I deemed necessary to schlep to and from work every day. I also wanted to be sure that the colour would complement most outfits, without resorting to something boring like – ugh – black.

It’s like those tents in Harry Potter … I can just keep putting things inside without it bursting at the seams.

This tote was enormous – the biggest one in the sale – and looked tough and hard wearing, suitable for Melbourne’s winter weather. It would work for summer too, except that I had already found a large straw bag to use in the warmer months. Even better, I had some credit owing me on the sale site, so I was able to purchase the tote for very little extra.

I’m happy to report after several months use so far, the tote has measured up to my expectations, even exceeded them. It’s like those tents in Harry Potter – deceptively enormous. I can just keep putting things inside without it bursting at the seams. I love that I can slot in even a longish umbrella through the end because the zip hasn’t been sewn down all the way to the ends. So much do I like it I haven’t even swapped over to the straw tote yet even though we are well into spring!

Photo: August 2018