Fashion and shopping, Melbourne style


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Entries in socks (21)


What I Actually Wore #118

Serial #: 0118
Date: 26/05/2013
Weather: 21°C / 69.8°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

It is a mild day, and I quickly choose an outfit for work, starting with one of my go-to skirts for this kind of weather. It is a navy linen skirt that I had bought from an online sale website a couple of summers ago. It features an asymmetrical cut, a style I have always favoured.

I pair it with a purple and red striped Sonia Rykiel knit which, with its skinny tie at the neck, has a 20s flavour. I have always been partial to purple and red worn together; it can be a startling and vibrant combination but really works. I match the top to a red wool felt hat, a modern hybrid of cloche and fedora.

As the morning is not warm, I wear ribbed over-the-knee socks with my patent and wood wedges, and add a 1960s black velvet coat with a fur collar. I spotted that coat in a country Salvos store when I was on a visit with my niece. I certainly didn’t need yet another coat, but I fell in instant love and bought it. I’ve worn it many times, and it is surprisingly warm for a cloth coat. Also from this era is the black patent bag I carry often. For a vinyl bag, it has lasted well. I wouldn’t ordinarily buy vinyl, but it is permissible for a fun vintage item!

One of my work colleagues compliments me, and tells me I look fabulous, very 1920s, which had not really been my intention (the 20s part, not the fabulous part!). I guess a reminiscence of certain eras is inevitable when one is attracted to the style and shapes of particular eras. I love Art Deco, which covers the 1920s–40s, as well as the 70s revival.

Very regrettably, this knit got eaten alive by evil and hungry moths (which happens to me a lot), so I ended up donating it to charity a year or two ago – I had darned the first couple of holes but then even more appeared and in a ruthless moment, I decided it was a lost cause. It must have been a particularly tasty merino wool. The skirt has also retired from active service, but with my new interest in navy, it’s very possible it will make a comeback in the summer.

I don’t normally talk about the watches I wear, but this favourite Kenneth Cole with its chain band was recently repaired, so I am most excited to be able to wear it again! The chain had lost a couple of links and had stretched out, thus becoming unwearable, until I finally got around to taking it to the jeweller to have it repaired (along with two others). I now have four to choose from, which is a bit mad. I’d love to add to the collection a vintage 30s or 40s man’s watch, one with a large round dial and a tan leather band.

Photos: September 2013


Top: Sonia Rykiel
vintage 1960s
Milana (available at David Jones)
silver – Roun (now defunct); onyx – souvenir
Kenneth Cole
Bag: vintage 1960s


What I Actually Wore #117

Serial #: 0117
Date: 20/04/2013
Weather: 16°C / 61°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

Several things are amazing to me in this outfit: first, it’s so old! I’m more than three years behind with these stories. Secondly, I actually still quite like it and might even wear it today. And thirdly: MY HAIR! It’s making me want to book a long-overdue appointment with my hairstylist immediately.

The silk dress has a kimono cut featuring the typical enormous sleeves, and a grosgrain belt that peeps through at the front and back, threading through slits at the waist. I really loved those red tights because they exactly matched the colour of the suede peeptoe heels – a sneaky technique to lengthen the legs.

I really loved those red tights because they exactly matched the colour of the suede peeptoe heels …

This dress was a great one for evenings out, and I wore it to a friend’s birthday party in the city. It was a freezing night, and I wore my black vintage 60s faux-sealskin coat, a black velvet cloche cap both of which are fur-trimmed, and carried my 60s black patent bag (all of which I forgot to photograph).

I actually snagged those tights that very evening, and the pull developed into a large hole on the upper thigh. Disappointingly I’ve never been able to find the exact same colour since, even at the same store. The dress I culled from my wardrobe years ago (although I think it may still be in storage), and I wear the coat and hat irregularly as I have so many coats to choose from, so it’s unlikely I’ll be wearing this outfit again after all.


Dress: Luella
Sock Shop
handmade onyx beads

Photos: September, 2013


What I Actually Wore #114

Serial #: 0114
Date: 05/04/2013
Weather: 25°C / 77°F
Time Allowed: 10 minutes

I chuckle every time I open up the folder of one of these archival fashion shoots and see some outlandish outfit like this one. It’s so OTT! But I should reiterate at the time I was on a real Ballet Russes kick that year. That ballet company was famous for its extravagant and wildly colourful costumes, many of which featured a multitude of patterns.

I remember buying that Anthropologie cardigan new on eBay (and we still don’t have a brick-and-mortar store here in Australia). I deliberated for a long time because it was quite expensive, but I did love it. I’ve teamed it with a classic black and white striped t-shirt from Zara (bought in Portugal while on holiday to replace a previous iteration that just became too worn), and a vintage 1920s navy straw hat that has a striped effect by way of the velvet piping. There are pearls scattered over the hat too, and two little velvet bows at the back. I bought it on Etsy from an American seller.

Black patent T-bar heels (by Scooter, a brand that no longer seems to exist) and bag (vintage 60s), grey over-the-knee socks, and sterling silver and enamel earrings complete my accessories. I made the earrings myself, from small sterling silver ridged beads, and larger beads that are enamelled in blue with silver stars. The design is a variation on my favourite simple style of a dangling single round bead – I call them bauble earrings.

The effect of the whole outfit is quite doll-like, and far too cute for me to wear anything remotely resembling that these days. The cardigan has since been donated to charity, the linen skirt as well I think (or it may only have made it as far as a bag of prospective donations, in storage) and the shoes also wore out and were trashed. The other items I still own – a 50% retention rate is not too bad, I suppose.


T-Shirt: Zara
vintage 20s
hand-made by me
vintage 60s

Photos: April 2013


Instructions on the Proper Usage of Hosiery with Peeptoes

Fun texture of winter cable knit contrasts with suede heels. Verdict: cute! This past autumn, my friend Audrey and I held an important summit on a controversial topic: Is it sartorially forgivable to wear hosiery with peeptoe shoes?

It was Audrey who brought up the subject, for she had observed my breaking of this hitherto unpardonable sin. After a serious and in-depth discussion we brokered three rules:

  1. under no circumstances are beige pantyhose to be worn with open-toed footwear
  2. seams along the toes must be invisible to the naked eye
  3. toeless stockings are an abomination and not to be considered for a moment

Beige pantyhose. Visible seams. Verdict: vile! Within this framework, we decided, it ought to be possible to don fun and attractive legwear with peeptoes and thus expand one’s footwear wardrobe over the cooler months. This includes lace socks, over-the-knee socks and tights of all persuasions. The jury is still out on fishnets, although the larger the net, the less likely they will work with open-toed shoes – how silly would toes look poking out of the holes?

I have since discovered, in the 1970s, the incumbent fashion editor of Australian Vogue was apparently a proponent of beige pantyhose worn with open-toed sandals. This is an atrocity. (It also probably means it will soon be back in favour, probably beginning with hipsters.)


Does anyone in fact still wear beige pantyhose in this day and age? In my view, the only acceptable beige hosiery is between 10–15 denier, so sheer as to be almost invisible, or the tattoo stockings that are currently in vogue.

Scroll down for additional pictorial examples of shocking no-nos and stocking yes-yeses. 

Right sock, wrong place. Visible seams make this verdict: vile. Cream lace socks with scalloped tops look pretty with T-bar peeptoes. Verdict: cute! Go all the way with bright colour contrast: sky blue with raspberry red. Verdict: cute!


Over The Top

I’ve been waxing lyrical over socks recently, namely all these over-the-knee socks I purchased online in recent weeks. And here they are! Aren’t they lovely?

The merino wool striped pair are from Free People, and all the others were bought from Asos. I made sure to buy socks that were, if not 100% (allowing for Lycra for a better fit and non-saggingness), mostly made from natural fibres – from cotton, wool and angora.

I am excitedly awaiting autumn so that I can wear them, but with the seemingly endless heatwave in Melbourne it looks like those days are still a long way off.