Casual Weekdays

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

Seeing Green

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.

Coat: Asos

Jeans: Witchery

Top: Witchery

Bag: Christian Dior (from the Dior exhibition)

Shoes: Midas

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.

Thanks for stopping by! x

A Summer English Wedding (featuring actual sun)

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.

(This is Dan, who was also a groomsman)

Dress: Alice McCall

Shoes: Mimco

Bag: Novo

Crown: Kitte

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.

Thanks for stopping by!

Fast Festivals

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.

Literally the ONLY photo taken of one of my outfits

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.

Thanks for stopping by! x

But I Love Them So Much

I went and did a bad thing. I bought a pair of boots.

I will admit wholeheartedly that I broke my pledge at the six month mark to not purchase any fashion for 2019, because I fell in love with a pair of Tony Bianco boots. I had been going so well for the past six months to the point that I haven’t even had an urge to buy a single thing – until these boots flashed up on my screen while I was scrolling through Facebook. I tried to switch the wanting off, and I tried to ignore it for a few weeks.  I even re-read Every Women’s Guide To Saving The Planet as a last ditch attempt to curb my desire. But once I performed the dangerous act of trying the boots on (just to tryyyy), I was sold. I just love them so much.

So rather than dwell on my failures, I will accept that I caved and that it SHALL NOT happen again in 2019. I promise to do my best.

The other day I took the cheat boots out for a lovely lunch and matched them with my green ASOS coat, Witchery skirt and top and a red bag.

HOW NICE ARE THEY. They are faux snakeskin, knee-high and with a heel that doesn’t endanger the hips or knees. I will be wearing them plenty through out the winter, so close-ups will arriving on the blog eventually.

I also took some photos of the aesthetically-pleasing and delicious food consumed at Dinner by Heston that afternoon. There was even a dish with what appeared to be a plum, but it actually contained pâté. Surprises all around.

Boots: Tony Bianco

Coat: ASOS

Top: Witchery

Skirt: Witchery

Bag: Marcs

Thanks for stopping by! x

#GIRLBOSSES Jess & Krithika from Solus Shop

I interviewed students Jess & Krithika, founders of Solus Shop (@solus.shop), who started their Instagram business in 2017. These two fashion-savvy ladies scope out op shops all over Melbourne and overseas to find unique and chic second-hand clothing to sell on their Instagram, which has 2,000+ followers and counting. Here’s what these lovely ladies had to say about navigating the world of Instagram fashion business.

Can you tell us a bit about Solus Shop and how it came to be?

Solus began with our love of op shopping, we would spend days going to op shops around Melbourne. It was from here that we decided to start a business. Solus sells vintage and revamped clothing, we also specialise in hand embroidered t-shirts.

Did either of you have any prior business experience? And if not, how have you found setting up a business?

Both of us did not have prior experience in setting up a business, which we have found challenging at times. However it was dedication and a lot of research about prior start-up businesses that managed to really help us out. We also make sure to listen to our customers; it can be as simple as posting polls to see their preferred payment method.

What is the process of finding clothes to sell?

We have spent many hours and days at several op shops and also checking out wholesalers around Melbourne and overseas. We source our t-shirts from other people who have bought it in bulk and no longer need it so it doesn’t go directly to the retailers.

What are the benefits of running a business from Instagram?

Being able to directly communicate through the app with the customers. Having an instant click to show our followers what we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it. We also have the opportunity to help contribute different beauty standards to Instagram which has become full of unrealistic expectations. We seek to have all different types of models and refuse to edit our pictures aside from filters.

How does this business concept fit within the current backlash against fast fashion?

Australian’s buy at an average 27 kilograms of new clothing each year and only 6000 kilograms goes to the landfill every 10 minutes, this was reported by ABC News report. We want our business to be able to reduce this number by reusing clothes to fit the new trends.

LOVE their work and what they’re doing to negate the effects of fast fashion. Check them out on their Instagram @solus.shop!

Winter is Coming….And I Cannot Buy a Thing

This wardrobe is definitely going to get a workout

Winter is coming and my favourite time of year has arrived: the introduction of autumn/winter fashion. I absolutely love it when new clothing collections are draped on mannequins in store windows and brands release photos of their autumn/winter campaigns on social media – it gets me so hyped for arguably the best season for fashion. This is the glorious time when I can begin preparations for my winter wardrobe by selecting new key items that will get me through the cold season that coincide with the current winter trends. What colour coat should I buy? Which style of boots should I invest in? And most importantly, what will be my winter colour scheme (almost always black)? But alas, this cannot be the case this year.

My 2019 resolution to not buy ANY clothing for the entire year has stopped that yearly activity in its tracks, and surprisingly I don’t even mind that much. I see you all shaking your heads in disbelief and cry ‘how?’ exasperatedly. The truth is that my attitude towards fashion has undergone a complete transformation ever since reading the book Every Women’s Guide to Saving the Planet and becoming a subscriber to The Fashion Advocate (see relevant article here). As a lover of all things fashion, I felt an ethical obligation to educate myself on the impacts of one of the world’s most polluting industries and the accompanying social justice implications. When I realised the extent of the damage caused by fast fashion, overconsumption and the exploitation of human capital, I felt ashamed of my past spending habits. I have a wardrobe filled to the brim with clothes and shoes, and although I love every piece I own and have made great attempts to shop ethically in the last few years, why do I really need all of this stuff? Surely I don’t need to anything more and can survive on what I already own.

So, as inspired by The Fashion Advocate’s mission to not purchase any new clothes in 2018, I have decided to embark on the same mission. The only purchasing I have to allow is the mandatory buying of uniform for my fashion retail job (which I have tried to keep to a minimum). And I know that it’s only early days, but I am shocked at my lack of desire to buy anything at all. Becoming educated on the ethical and environmentally-conscious consumption of fashion has halted any inclination to go out and buy, and I hope that I can continue this momentum in three months time when winter officially hits. Of course, I anticipate that I will eventually enter struggletown and want to cave into my favourite act of therapy (shopping with my mum). I will have to continually force myself to re-read Every Women’s Guide to Saving the Planet and The Fashion Advocate to curb any dangerous cravings. But during this journey, I will endeavour to educate others on becoming aware of the environmental and social impacts of fast fashion and the importance of shopping sustainably, because in the words of The Fashion Advocate, It’s not about giving up fashion. It’s about making it better.

So, when an urge kicks in to browse for a pair of black cowboy boots or a faux fur jacket “just for fun”, I will say NO – THIS IS UNNECESSARY, LAURA – and take a scan of my wardrobe to reinforce the fact that I absolutely don’t need any new clothing in my life. I will probably have a lot more spending money by the end of it, develop a greater creative styling ability, and hopefully raise awareness of the fact that we all have the power to minimise the damaging effects of the fashion industry through our consumption choices. Stay tuned!