Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style

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Entries in socks (19)

Saturday
Dec012018

What I Actually Wore #145

Serial #: 0145
Date: 12/09/2013
Weather: 15°C / 59°F
Time Allowed: 7 minutes

Ah, ye olde schoolgirle looke. I have issues with this, as technically I am probably a bit old for it (even five years ago), but if I had worn tights instead of socks, it would look less jeune fille. However, at the time I was going through a phase of loathing tights with every fibre of my being, preferring to wear long socks.

According to my notes for this day, I had not intended to photograph this outfit, but apparently I received so many compliments I decided it was worthy after all.

I am pleased to say I still have all these items, except perhaps the socks, unless they have fallen to the bottom of my sock basket, in favour of my newer collection of Mukluk socks. My favourite item in this outfit is the shoes, my all-time favourite red shoes I think, but they are a little worse for wear after five years – I’ve had to have the soles repaired a couple of times, so I deliberately don’t wear them too often these days, so that I can make them last as long as possible.

The jumper is still in my closet. I bought that in a Melbourne boutique I forget the name of, but they imported mostly international labels. It was a great boutique, with a few stores around town, and it was such a shame when it closed down; probably it couldn't compete with online shopping.

While I still own the navy and cream vintage 60s or 70s skirt by Fletcher Jones – an old Australian standby, trading since 1924 – it has also fallen a little out of favour simply because it is quite short. I still love plaid wool skirts, but prefer longer lengths, to lessen the schoolgirl effect … But at least I’m not a naughty schoolgirl!

Items:

Jumper: Ink
Skirt: Fletcher Jones, vintage 60s/70s
Socks: ASOS
Sandals: Wittner
Earrings: handmade by me
Bangle: eBay
Ring: Roun

Photos: October 2013

Monday
Aug062018

What I Actually Wore #0141

Serial #: 0141
Date:
21/08/2013
Weather:
14°C / 57°F
Time Allowed:
10 minutes

It is a sunny but chilly day, and I build my outfit around my over-the-knee socks this morning! I could not bear the thought of wearing tights again. Horrid things. Tights that have lost their tightness and fall down are the worst, aren’t they? Usually I choose my outfit rapidly, often deciding what I’ll wear while I’m showering.

The super-soft cashmere blend socks were a pair by French label Philippe Matignon that I bought on a sale on the website Ozsale. I always wished I had bought more than one pair, for one of them I wore completely to death over the years. These dark browns I still own, and since my sock collection has grown vastly, I wear them sparingly now. I have to purchase most of my socks and tights online, as the socks available in retail stores in Australia are utter, utter rubbish. I cannot emphasise that enough. The selection is really poor, mostly black and navy, with the odd bright fashion colour making a brief appearance. I don’t know why this is so. I know our market is smaller, but our buyers, I believe, suffer from extreme lack of imagination. (Yes, I’m passionate on the subject, but onwards!)

The other driver of this outfit is the vintage 1940s hat, which I purchased on eBay because I fell in love with the magnificent bow. The cool grey and mauve I match with a softer mauve knit, and a warm grey asymmetrical skirt by now-defunct Melbourne designer label Ammo. I bought that knit on sale years ago because I fell in love with the epaulets; I’ve since stopped wearing it, mainly because I dislike the ribbon trim on the shoulders, and am contemplating butchering the epaulets and attaching them to some other knit.

The suede heels by ZU – another vanished brand; it closed in 2015  – in what I’m flatteringly calling donkey brown have since been donated to the charity store, but the jewellery I still own and wear.

I do still very much like this colour combination – I like to mix varying warm and cool shades of one or two tones. It’s more interesting than exact matches, and an elegant change from contrasting hues.

Items:

Tee: Kookaï
Jumper:
Sabatini
Skirt:
Ammo
Hat:
vintage 40s
Socks:
Philippe Matignon
Earrings:
Etsy
Ring:
NGV museum shop
Shoes:
ZU

Photos: October 2013

Tuesday
May022017

The Secret Sock Advantage

I have long been an advocate of stay-up stockings and over-the-knee socks in preference to other winter leg coverings. You don’t have to haul them up and down when you go to the bathroom, and you avoid crotch-rage when those old tights that have seen better days sag infuriatingly.

But there is another, hitherto-undiscovered advantage to socks, I discovered the other day: when you get too hot, you can easily roll them down under your desk to cool off! However, I would recommend keeping this aberrant behaviour strictly under-cover; and really, I don’t think you could get away with doing this with stay-up stockings, even under the desk. What if you had to rise suddenly? On the other hand (leg?), you can easily pull your socks up quickly.

Photos: April 2017

Thursday
Apr202017

Stocking Stuff

Recently I found a stack of 1960s vintage stockings in a thrift store, which was a fun and thrilling find that had more to do with the packaging than the actual contents. This is partly because I am a graphic designer, and mostly because I can’t be bothered with donning garters on a regular basis, especially as I am always dressing in a hurry. In my early 20s I often did wear stockings, and cursed when I had failed to button garters properly. There is nothing like the horror and mortification of a stocking coming down at the most inopportune moment due to failed garters!

Vintage Stockings

There is a set of three pairs of nylon stockings by Bouquet, in a beige skin tone, size 8½; one packet had already been opened and the contents examined – whether by the original owner or someone else I don’t know, but they haven’t been worn.

The wonderful second package – illustrated with a poodle! – contains Kolotex Clings stockings, in the colour ‘Flame’, size 8½–9. If the poodle on the box is not enough to delight you, the interior packaging is priceless. It includes instructions for how to put pantyhose on (I would add to them: file your nails, or else wear cotton gloves when pulling on fine hosiery), and also a promotional pamphlet disguised as a fashion quiz, the cover design of which is in an early psychedelic style. This pamphlet is full of everything you wanted to know about Trikolon, a 2-way nylon: ‘so fine a spider couldn’t spin it’.

While Kolotex was already producing full pantyhose at this point, the owner of these clearly had not yet made the shift – or perhaps they had in fact, which is why the contents of these packages remained unworn relics.

Click for larger version

A Bit of History

Nylon was introduced in 1939 by chemical company DuPont, but WWII interrupted the manufacture of stockings, leading to global shortages and a black market that did not abate until the end of the war. Even after production was reinstated, DuPont could not keep up with the immediate demand, and that lead to nylon riots in America!

Pantyhose were introduced in 1959 and quickly became popular, eventually superseding stockings in sales, especially with the Sixties craze for minidresses. It was not until 1987 that sales declined – though only a little – with the newly invented stay-up stockings. These are my favourite: there is no bother of pulling them up and down whenever one goes to the bathroom, and there is no tiresome fiddling with garters.

The copy in the Kolotex fashion quiz is quite entertaining; click through to the gallery to see all twelve pages.

Photos: March 2017

Friday
Mar172017

What I Actually Wore #129

Serial #: 0129
Date: 01/07/2013
Weather: 18°C / 64°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

This is a very cute outfit! While there are a lot of quirky items, the minimal colour palette of tan, gold, grey and white keeps it from looking too over-the-top, especially when you remember in the office I would have shed the coat, hat and bag. Nearly all of the items are still in my closet too. The socks wore out, and the skirt I gave away to a friend, and only now that I look at it fondly again do I wonder if I should have kept it.

Because the skirt is quite wild, I deliberately chose to wear a neutral grey jumper, and picked out the pompom bandeau to match the circle print on the skirt. I continued the circular theme with my silver bauble earrings and a pearl ring.

The vintage 70s suede and rabbit fur trimmed coat is a beloved favourite. I’ve told the story before, but years ago I learned from a random stranger on a tram that this particular coat was inspired by the 70s film Dr Zhivago. Apparently it was very expensive, and that stranger had it in red. She was so impressed to see that I had found one in such good condition, and urged me to take good care of it.

The truth was that the coat was in terrible condition when I bought it: the original lining was completely shredded, the fur trim was coming away from the suede panels, and some of the buttons were detaching; I paid only $40 for it.

I persuaded my oldest sister Blossom to remake the lining for me as a birthday present (she has been a seamstress since way back). That turned out to be a labour of pure sisterly love as it was a huge job. I managed to fix the buttons myself, and also the detaching trims (that occurred some time after the coat left my sister’s loving hands) by gluing scrap leather on the reverse to reinforce the weak seams. Fortunately my sister had left the bottom of the lining open, so I was able to access the inside easily.

Now I wear the coat only occasionally in order to preserve its life as long as possible – I just have to wait for the weather to cool down and autumn to finally begin!

Items:

Jumper: ink
Skirt:
Anthropologie
Socks:
Philippe Matignon
Hat:
vintage 50s
Coat:
Stephen Dattner, vintage 70s
Earrings:
handmade
Ring:
Autore
Tote:
Elise Carrel
Boots:
Roc

Photos: October 2013