There’s less than a month to go until my fashion ban is over!!
My goodness how time has flown by. Uni is over, Christmas preparations are in full swing, and summer in Melbourne has arrived. I may have failed occasionally with the odd purchase of earrings, the dress for the wedding, aaaand the boots (as you will see below), but I don’t regret anything – least of all the things I have not purchased this year and the few things I did. I probably shouldn’t celebrate the fact that I’ll be able to buy a brand-spanking-new outfit (GUILT FREE!) when the clock strikes 2020, because I really don’t need anything. My wardrobe is still overflowing, and the combinations of outfits I’m able to create are seemingly endless. So we’ll see if the lifting of my self-imposed ban will actually make a difference to my sparse spending habits – I’m actually fairly certain that my growing dissatisfaction with raging consumption will curb any unnecessary buying.
So, to further exercise the depths of my wardrobe, I turned to this white button-up Witchery shirt that I haven’t worn in yonks. I’ve probably neglected it because it crushes so easily and is the biggest pain to iron. My schedule does not always take into account ironing time, so the clothes that need to be ironed usually remain far back in the wardrobe. But not this time – I am determined to wear EVERY SINGLE ITEM in my wardrobe this year.
I slapped on my corset-style belt and transformed it into a shirt-dress (with little black shorts underneath – don’t want to experience any mishaps) with a matching black felt hat from Blue Illusion.
The pièce de résistance is obviously the Tony Bianco boots, closely followed by my burgundy Prada bag. These boots are still everything to me. I am trying to to shake off the belief that clothes buy happiness, because I’m actively trying to stop myself from giving in to consumer culture. But for me, fashion is often the source of some kind of happiness, and it’s not fleeting or superficial.
This is the face of a gal who loves her boots like she loves her cat.
I love a white shirt dress. It’s a traditionally masculine item of clothing that has been transformed into a statement-making piece thanks to a few feminine touches. I’ve also worn this shirt with blue jeans, on top of bathers and with a pleated skirt. You can’t really go wrong with a long white shirt as it’s easy to coordinate and works well in both the summer and winter months. But before you buy, just make sure that you won’t have to drag your iron out before each wear.
My lovely sister and I headed to the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne on the weekend for a Grand Budapest Hotel-themed soiree. As big fans of the Wes Anderson film, we couldn’t miss the chance to attend this Underground Cinema event and to get all dressed up in our 1930s gear. We will take any opportunity to dress up – especially if it’s fancy.
Sorting out a 1930s-themed outfit was tough work, as it’s not considered a prominent time for fashion. I had to scour the internet for inspiration, then burrow into my wardrobe to find something resembling the trends, until finally I had no other choice but to rummage through mum’s wardrobe. As always, she provided the goods. I found this sparkly Cue dress that at least had the classic length of the 1930s and a little flair at the hem. Then I added her faux fur black cape, black evening gloves and some low heels. Even in the 1930s I’m sure I wouldn’t have been low-key, so I thought I’d go full glam on this occasion.
The actual event was super fun. Everyone threw themselves into the spirit of things, with all the guests dressed to the nines and actors wearing purple uniforms like the hotel staff in the movie. With ballroom dancers and hilarious acting sequences keeping us entertained, there were food and drinks to keep us happy and refreshed.
My sister and I loved going along with the dialogue of the actors, because secretly we just want to become actors ourselves. If they’re looking for volunteers for next year then we’re happy to help! We already have our outfits sorted.
After enjoying the grand environment of the Windsor hotel, we swiftly moved to a nearby church where we enjoyed a viewing of the actual movie. I can’t say I’ve ever watched a movie in a church before, but it was certainly a cool experience (notwithstanding the sore backside by the end of it). And when you’re finishing the night off with a bit of Wes Anderson magic, you can’t go wrong.
With the winter weather hopefully on the way out, I’ve been on a mission to wear every last piece of winter clothing in my wardrobe. Of course, I’ve been wearing a lot more of my wardrobe than previous years thanks to my fashion ban, but I know that I can go further. I’m aiming to counteract the statistic that on average we only wear 20% of the clothes in our wardrobes, and only wear each item of clothing about 7 times before they’re neglected or discarded. How crazy is that! The cost per wear is through the roof, and studies have also found that an item is deemed ‘old’ if it’s worn a few times. Our obsession for newness is wasteful and darn expensive.
Social media has a significant impact on this by creating a taboo in being photographed in the same outfit twice. And the proof of this ridiculous fascination over ‘outfit-repeating’ is evident by the controversy that occurs when Kate Middleton wears the same coat a couple of times in a year. How dare she pluck a coat out of her mountainous wardrobe that has already been photographed by the tabloids! It really is laughable.
So, everyday I’ve been digging through my wardrobe to find something that’s been somewhat neglected recently to wear. I picked out this lace Witchery top because I haven’t worn it in a while, and matched it with Witchery floral boots. I borrowed my mum’s new black coat which I LOVE as it’s so versatile and warm, and accessorised with silver jewellery and bag. The outfit is practically all Witchery, which is proof that my wardrobe has been lacking diversity in the last four years. You find that your disposable income decreases dramatically when you work for a fashion retail brand.
Coat, top, jeans and boots: Witchery
It’s been a refreshing exercise in repurposing old clothes to fit new trends, and sometimes we just need a reminder that we already own some pretty cool fashion. I still need to try out my Sportsgirl ponchos from 2010 that are kept in the back of my wardrobe, so that will be the next challenge. Stay tuned! x
I purchased this coat over a year ago from Asos – prior to my pledge to not buy clothing for 12 months. I get so many compliments on this coat and I truly cringe when people ask where it’s from. Considering I am trying to adopt the slow fashion lifestyle, wearing a brand that promotes the fast fashion ethos doesn’t present me as being too committed. But the truth is that I loved this coat when I saw it and it was delightfully affordable and affordability is still pretty important to a student like myself.
Despite the low prices, I no longer want to support these prominent fast-fashion brands. My shift to becoming a more sustainable shopper is a process that hasn’t immediately resulted in me shopping at exclusively certifiably ethical brands, and I recognise that this is the next step once I complete my pledge. But eliminating the option of surfing Asos, Missguided or Boohoo for cheap and cute outfits is a step in the right direction. A couple of my friends have expressed their frustration over the difficulty in cutting out those online stores from their lives despite knowing the impacts of fast fashion. These brands are a lot to give up considering you can find practically any item you could dream of for a cost that doesn’t break the bank. But as inconvenient as it is (and I mean that with the greatest understanding), the consumption of fast fashion cannot hold a place in our future.
Nevertheless, I don’t regret buying the not-so-sustainable articles of clothing currently in my wardrobe because I love them and know that I will continue to wear and appreciate them. Just hopefully they will stand the test of time.
So, back to that infamous Asos coat. I popped the coat over wide-leg jeans and a black skivvy (both from Witchery) and accessorised with a canvas tote bag and white ankle boots. I just love the colour it brings to my typical jeans and black top combo, and the length is long enough to keep me properly warm for cold mornings such as these.
Bag: Christian Dior (from the Dior exhibition)
Ultimately what I’m learning from this experience is that if you want to adopt a slow fashion approach, you should only buy what you absolutely love. And after taking some time to contemplate whether you should buy something, you may actually find that you didn’t really love it the first time.
But maybe that’s what I tell myself to squash the urges.
Over in England on our last day, we escaped to London just for the afternoon. I was so desperate to see the city again after spending just 14 hours there two years ago, which was clearly insufficient. I also had another motivation to go, being to visit the recently-refurbished Harrods and their *amazing* food hall. I couldn’t handle the thought of being near London and not seeing it for myself, as I had just watched Lydia Elise Millen’s vlog on her visit to Harrods and was completely transfixed. It features all the designer fashion and beauty brands all in one place, with delectable cakes as well as a wine bar – how can life be any more perfect?
It certainly did not disappoint, as Dan and I were wandering around in awe for a good couple of hours. It was practically heaven, besides the extortionate prices of food. I splurged regardless because HARRODS and because who knows when I’m going to visit London in the future? Unlikely to be anytime soon with my student budget.
After our Harrods adventure, we strolled around London and quickly visited some tourist sites. After that we enjoyed a couple of pints at the pub, because it would be rude not to. I wore mostly Witchery, and I just love wearing this paisley pleated skirt. I purchased this one recently for my work uniform (because I’m still banned from buying anything else!) and I will probably wear it everyday this spring.
Top, Skirt and Bag: Witchery
Until next time, London, when I can hopefully take the time to properly enjoy this exciting city. Thanks for stopping by! x
The day finally arrived! I travelled to England to attend the wedding of my partner’s sister in a majestic country house in Cheshire just over a week ago. The sun was beaming, the birds were chirping, and I truly felt like I was enjoying a typical Australian summer’s day. But alas, we were in England, and the weather gods blessed the occasion with plenty of glorious sun. We enjoyed the sights of Arley Hall and the surrounding gardens (which is Thomas Shelby’s home in Peaky Blinders, for all the peaky fans out there) with some lovely food, drinks and great company.
To prepare for attending my very first British wedding, I knew I needed a new outfit. I despaired over the fact that most of my dresses would be just too formal for this sort of wedding, and any other appropriate options were either black, white or worn to death. So, in order to continue to abide by my pledge to not buy any clothes in 2019 (which, let’s just say, is not getting easier) I was fortunate enough to be gifted this Alice McCall dress for my birthday. It’s still probably cheating, but what the heck – this was THE dress. It exemplifies ‘summer garden wedding’ to the very last metallic flower AND features puffy sleeves. And we know that puffy sleeves are 2019’s most inflated trend (ha) and should eternally be in the best-trends books alongside sequinned dresses.
Now, onto the accessories. I had watched plenty of Bridget Jones and studied most of the recent royal weddings, and knew for sure that headware is a fundamental thing for British weddings. I found this metal headband adorned with pearls in David Jones to pick up on the dress’s metallic print. I matched the headband with a silver Novo clutch, and wore my black Mimco heels that feature blue jewels in the silver block heels. You could say I looked fairly low-key with bejewelled heels, a leaf crown and Snow White-worthy puffy sleeves.
Dress: Alice McCall
It really was a stunning wedding, with full-use of the venue’s beauty, a few cute surprises here and there, and plenty of romance scattered through-out the day. The bride and groom are definitely off to a wonderful start to their married lives.
I took a few days off in July to travel to the beautiful Byron Bay with my man for Splendour in the Grass, renowned for being one of the biggest and best musical festivals in Australia. We were welcomed with a sunny 22 degree day, a perplexingly difficult tent to put up, and a confiscated bottle of vodka. Nonetheless, we persisted through the minor setbacks as we experienced non-stop musical acts and a plethora of food trucks, with the highlights undoubtedly being Childish Gambino, Foals, SZA and the chilly billy burger. I needed to have a couple of them over the weekend.
And how could I not mention the amazing fashion at Splendour? The opportunity for festival fashion almost supersedes the importance of the actual music. You could tell that people put months of thought into elaborately creating these impressive festival looks for each day of the festival. People were decked out head-to-toe in fully coordinated outfits, from their hair colour matching their shoes, to matching leopard-print boyfriend and girlfriend outfits. Dan and I missed an opportunity there.
It was wonderful to see such creativity and what is essentially art with some of these spectacular outfits. But it was a shame to think that quite a few of the clothes would have been sourced from fast-fashion brands and would be immediately discarded after the conclusion of the festival. Because realistically, you don’t walk around and see anyone typically flaunting the kind of clothes that were seen at Splendour. Furthermore, plenty of these clothes were made from environmentally-damaging materials such as sequins and synthetics, and some looked as though they would fall a part after a night spent in the mosh pit. So it is a bit of a problem that festivals are perpetuating the appeal of fast fashion when there is such a desire for inexpensive (and, often outrageous but fabulous) clothing at these events that can be used as once-offs. And since we have just passed Earth Overshoot Day on 29 July (being the date that humanity’s demand for earth’s resources exceeded what the earth can regenerate in a year), the need to curb our consumption of fast fashion has never been more urgent.
Rather than eliminating the show of fantastic fashion entirely, op shopping would be a more sustainable option for festival-goers who are looking to create unique and insta-worthy looks (because we can’t deny that part of the motivation to dress up is for the ‘gram). Alternatively, if you rummage through the wardrobes of your friends or family, you may find something super exciting like your dad’s lairy shirt from the 80’s. If this doesn’t satisfy your desire for something fabulous, then scope out businesses that provide outfit rental services and do some renting for the weekend, on the proviso that the clothes don’t undergo any damage, that is.
Ultimately, festival style doesn’t need to be purchased brand-new and festival-goers should refrain from doing so if the intention is to wear it for once and then to discard it once its purpose has been fulfilled. My pledge meant that I had to choose from what was already in my wardrobe, and my probably unnecessary concern for getting my clothes ruined did slightly inhibit my outfit choices. But it was pretty easy to find a few things to wear when I did some mix and matching. It just challenged me to be a bit more creative.