Luxurious Lounging

After a month of deep consideration, I decided to take the plunge and invest in some locally-made loungewear. I wondered for a while whether it’s irresponsible to spend money on clothes during this time, but I surmised that there’s nothing to lose when excessive amounts of lounging are being carried out. Also, I figured that if I’m going to spend my money then it might as well support local designers.

It’s a matching set by Dominique Healy and is ethically made in Melbourne. The material is soft and perfectly comfortable to engage in some lazy lounging – not to mention gorgeous. It arrived the other day and was left in the middle of the driveway. Luckily I wasn’t going anywhere so there wasn’t a chance of running it over with my car. And once I took it out, I wore it three days in a row because it is truly THAT comfortable.

I was reading about Dominique Healy on Well Made Clothes which described how she is tackling the issue of waste in the fashion industry by producing small amounts of stock and minimising textile waste. We know that the issue of overproduction is prevalent with fast fashion brands. Their tactics include trying to to offload excess stock by drastically cutting prices – or worse- destroying billions of dollars worth of unworn clothing which often ends up in landfill. These practices are suffocating our planet, so it’s important to find designers that are making a difference by counteracting overproduction and textile waste. Plus, I’m pleased that my purchase contributed to the local fashion economy. I get to enjoy the benefit of an ethically-made outfit that will last me for eternity.

I would love to purchase her other coordinated loungewear set in cream, however as my partner rightfully pointed out, I’d get it dirty from all the crumbs as a result of my frequent snacking.

Thanks for stopping by! x

We Need to Take Action this Earth Day

Today is Earth Day, which coincides perfectly with Fashion Revolution Week.

We know that the fashion industry breeds significant environmental impacts and is majorly responsible for marine pollution by textile dying and microplastics. Our love for synthetic clothing (which I’m guilty of as a purchaser of activewear) is causing our waterways to become filled with plastic fibres with every wash. This harms our wonderful marine biodiversity, but you may not be aware of the fact that it also affects human health as a result of microplastics ending up in our food. That’s why it is crucial to consider the materials your clothes are made from and what the potential environmental impacts are.

I was basically ignoring these impacts while on an activewear purchasing-spree during the beginning of the year. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I failed to consider what they were made from and who made them. Although I made sure that I needed the items and knew that I absolutely loved them prior to purchasing, I should have done better. It’s difficult to think consciously all the time, especially with the number of brands out there, the lure of greenwashing and hefty discounts. It used to be that we saw something, liked it and bought it. But we can’t be so ignorant anymore. I love the guide for choosing well from Every Woman’s Guide to Saving the Planet.¹ She recommends asking yourself the following before buying clothes:

  • Is it made well?
  • What’s it made form?
  • Who made it?
  • Do I love it?

Actively considering these four questions may be a longer process than usual, but it’s not going to hurt us. On the contrary, we really should be taking this time to make sure that our spending habits aren’t hurting people or the environment. This Earth Day, I’m going to find out from my favourite brands #whatsinmyclothes to learn about what materials are being used and whether their processes are environmentally friendly and kind to their garment workers. As consumers, we need to urge our favourite brands to be transparent and hold them to account if they are failing to implement environmentally friendly and safe manufacturing standards. Things need to change, and there’s no better time to use our voices than during Fashion Revolution Week.

To find out more about what you can do this Fashion Revolution Week, head to: https://www.fashionrevolution.org/about/get-involved/

If you’re interested in Australian activewear brands that use recycled materials – and even plastic waste! – to produce their garments, head to: https://www.brittslist.com.au/article/sustainable-activewear-brands-australia/

Thanks for stopping by! x

¹ Natalie Isaacs, Every Woman’s Guide to Saving the Planet (2018, HarperCollins) page 245.

Isolation Outfitting

I have decided to stay at my boyfriend’s house during this isolation period, meaning my entire wardrobe is back at home. This is a predicament considering that I derive most of my inspiration and joy from clothes. Often, I will take out favourite dresses or shoes to admire if I need to give myself a little pick-me-up. Or, I just parade around the house in my faux snakeskin boots. But this isolation period won’t be spent in vain, because I have brought with me some key pieces that I will be needing. This mainly comprises of comfortable pj’s, activewear, some outfits for ‘dress-up’, and then for the most important: loungewear.

No longer is activewear the beacon of comfort and aestheticism – it is all about LOUNGEWEAR. The popularity of matching pyjama-like ensembles has soared, and for good reason. You can feel great about changing from your pyjamas into slightly more formal pyjamas, which is just perfect for relocating your Netflix-watching activities from the bed to the couch.

Thank goodness for my investment in linen parts at the start of the year. My attempt at a matching loungewear ensemble is exemplified below, with a cream cable knit and earrings that conveniently match the cover of my favourite instruction manual (Every Woman’s Guide to Saving the Planet by Natalie Isaacs). I like to make some attempt to look decent, because interestingly enough I believe that it makes me more productive.

Inconvenient that it’s not a guide to saving the planet from coronavirus

I think that investing in some loungewear would be worthwhile given our current situation and the ongoing versatility of the style. But as emphasised in my guide to saving the planet, it’s important to take the sustainable route when looking to buy. I haven’t had much success in finding secondhand loungewear online, so instead I’ve been searching for loungewear by local brands with ethical values. The hefty price tag on sustainable wear is always an issue for a now unemployed student like myself, but YOLO right? Nah just joking, I can’t afford to live the YOLO life.

On another note, dressing up and down during isolation helps in maintaining some sense of normalcy. To limit the extent of disruption to my normal schedule, I have decided to dress up every Saturday night as though I am heading out for a night on the town. My boyfriend has also been forced to participate. I am hoping that this will maintain my passion for dressing up, even though the only place I have to go is downstairs.

This was me last Saturday:

Apologies for the background

I wore a Bec & Bridge dress, earrings by Swarovski and a Witchery necklace. Don’t ask about the shoes, because I didn’t bring any nice ones with me. But it gave me an excuse to put on my favourite dress, wear my sparkly earrings and do my face up. Personally, I found the experience somewhat rejuvenating and a welcome distraction from the bleak circumstances. I definitely recommend it, even if it’s just getting dressed up to have a glass of wine on the couch.

Thanks for stopping by! x

Thoughts on the 2020 Australian Fashion Summit

Prior to the announcement of Coronavirus cancelling everything, I attended the 2020 Australian Fashion Summit on 13 March here in Melbourne. As the second fashion summit to take place in Australia, it was an action-packed day filled with people from all over the globe and representing different aspects of the fashion industry. Being in a room filled with local and international fashion heavyweights was surreal. From fashion editors, indigenous designers, sustainability activists and CEO’s of fashion brands, we had exclusive access to their views on the future of the fashion industry on a global scale.

The word on everyone’s lips was sustainability. Fashion is great, fashion is fun. But it’s also contributing to the extreme decline of the environment, not to mention the exacerbation of a myriad of social justice issues. It can’t be ignored, and all industry stakeholders have a responsibility to change their habits and practices. This summit was a call-to-action, and it emphasised how drastic our actions need to be in order to achieve some progress. Consumers need to aggressively demand change and brands need to revolutionise their business operations.

The speaker who really struck a chord with me was Eva Kruse. Eva Kruse is the founder and CEO of the Global Fashion Agenda (GFA), the world’s foremost leadership forum for industry collaboration on sustainability in fashion. With her dedication to promoting awareness and action on sustainability, Eva has worked with the United Nations, the European Commission and recently spoke at the World Economic Forum. She is a badass to the finest degree and works tirelessly with a vast range of stakeholders to spread her message on sustainability.

With an initial presentation on the hard-hitting facts, Eva immediately dispelled the myth that the fashion industry is the second largest contributor to pollution by clarifying that it may be true in some areas in the world, but not overall. That being said, she stated that the industry is one of the most resource-intensive in the world. It is also highly exploitative of garment workers (which has been affected by the introduction of the Modern Slavery Act 2018 (Cth)), fostering a demand for human-trafficking and slavery. As stated by Glynis Traill-Nash, the Fashion Editor of The Australian, “name an issue and the fashion industry will have it!”.

Eva Kruse proposed some ideas to reduce the damaging effect of the fashion industry. One concept that she suggested was the abolishment of discount sales. The consumer has become accustomed to only purchasing items ‘on sale’, creating a disillusionment as to the true cost of manufacturing clothes. The psychology of only buying on sale also feeds the concept of fashion being disposable. There is evidence of the fast fashion industry slowly declining, as shown by the collapse of Forever 21, however plenty of consumers are not prepared to pay the fair price for a good-quality garment. Buying cheap clothing undermines the work of textile workers, and indicates that workers are not being appropriately financially compensated. But it appears that discount sales tactics are so ingrained in the retail culture that it would be almost impossible to eliminate them. Brands rely on seasonal sales in order to make money. This could not be more apparent with what’s occurring right at this moment, as essentially every brand is discounting in an attempt to induce some spending.

Eva also suggested limiting fashion week to once a year. Fashion weeks are resource intensive, wasteful and reinforce the need to comply with the latest trends. This aligns with Eva’s suggestion that we need to eliminate the concept of ‘trends’, which was also supported by InStyle USA Editor in Chief Laura Brown. Laura Brown spoke about how InStyle USA stopped including reports on the latest trends, because the concept of designers’ collections being reduced to a single transient trend is ridiculous. And in a world where the demand for vintage and second-hand clothing is on the rise, trends are limiting and should become redundant. Trends feed the need to continue buying, which is further enhanced by the sheer number of collections brought out by designers and brands every year. From my experience as a retail sales assistant, customers continue to demand the release of more collections so that they are constantly exposed to newness. This attitude may change post-Coronavirus, but we shall see.

But what does this all mean for fashion brands? As more brands are going into voluntary administration every week, it is no secret that retail is on the decline. Coronavirus has accelerated the process and the economic repercussions are going to be devastating. Many brands will be incapable of implementing sustainable business practices while remaining profitable, as it would be completely at odds with their current business models. But continuing on this path of environmental destruction is going to have unprecedented economic effects regardless, so the priority needs to be safeguarding our planet.

If the sustainable and socially responsible manufacturing of fashion is going to take place, businesses will close. Consumers will be able to afford much less due to the comparatively high cost of sustainable fashion, leading to decreasing consumption of new products and increasing expenditure on vintage and second-hand clothing. But some brands have been able to successfully navigate the sustainable fashion business, with Outland denim, ELK and Bassike representing just a few of examples of local brands that are making a difference. The founders of these brands spoke about their commitment to supplying customers with the highest standard of products and the need to be transparent. Maintaining a trusting relationship with customers is imperative to survival, and this attitude is central to the success of their businesses. It was encouraging to hear their stories, as they are proof that a viable future for the fashion industry is possible.

Towards the end of the day, there was an announcement that the remaining two days of Melbourne Fashion Week would be cancelled due to the ban on large gatherings. Although the world’s attention is currently on Coronavirus, this may be an indicator of how dire circumstances will become if we do not take drastic action on climate change. We are navigating highly uncertain times and the sense of fear is palpable. However, this summit highlighted the need to be adaptable and resilient. This is true for the battle we are fighting currently and will also be the key to success when making the switch to a sustainable fashion industry.

Secondhand Staples

I am so blessed to have fashion-forward family members. It’s a good excuse to rummage through their wardrobes to find some vintage pieces that probably haven’t been worn since the 80’s. I barely need to head to the op shops. This top is no exception, as it previously belonged to my aunty and even has a matching long skirt. It’s a gorgeous colour, but what is more striking is the sequinned detail at the back. You could even wear the top as a cardigan, but I’ve chosen to wear it as a top with a few buttons undone because it was such a warm evening. I wore it with a secondhand white denim skirt from Solus Shop (@solus.shop), which I would wear with everything if I could because it’s such a versatile summer staple. I love to add a pop of colour so I matched the outfit with an aquamarine bag from Mimco and mules from Midas. I haven’t worn this bag in a while so it was nice to air it out.

I am still determined to wear every piece of my summer wardrobe before the summer ends to carry on with my challenge from 2019. Despite last year’s shopping ban, I still have so many clothes, and I need to continually remind myself that I don’t need to add anything else to the wardrobe. And if there’s anything that doesn’t spark joy by the end of the summer, then it will probably be sent to the op shop!

(No pieces worn are current stock)

Shoes: Midas

Bag: Mimco 

Earrings: Witchery 

Thanks for stopping by! x

And the Ban Shall be Lifted

It is New Year’s Eve and the next decade is literally hours away! Naturally I’ve been contemplating how on earth 12 months has passed so quickly and what I’ve achieved in 2019, which I always think falls slightly short of my goals. But I recognise that I did the best I could, and I leave 2019 feeling exhausted but pleased. After all, I succeeded in what I planned to do in the beginning of 2019 (may have fallen short by a week, whoops) and reached December 26 without needing to shop for my wardrobe. On the outset it’s a superficial endeavour that for some would be laughable, but as simple as it is, I completed my goal and my carbon footprint has hopefully decreased as a result.

SO NOW IT’S TIME FOR A SHOPPING SPREE!

No, just joking. I really don’t need anything, except for maybe a couple of things here and there. But other than that, the minimal shopping thing really needs to continue into the next decade. My attitude towards consumerism has evolved enough to prevent me from going on a massive shopping expedition anytime in the future, as I have enough stuff in my wardrobe to dress myself (and all my female relatives) for a long time. BUT I must confess that I took a trip to the Boxing Day sales for a bit of an adventure. It’s a bit of a joke that someone who practiced a shopping ban attends the Boxing Day sales for fun, but my sister insisted. I bought some new runners, activewear, and a beautiful dress from Sheike. I didn’t get trampled on and nothing was snatched from my arms. It was actually significantly less frightening than I anticipated.

On Christmas, I wore a Witchery dress – of course, as Witchery clothes for uniform were the only clothes I could buy this year- Mimco earrings, and white mules from Zara that I got for Christmas. I can’t go past a teal dress and some matching bejewelled earrings. Everyone in my family dresses up for these occasions, and we had a lovely, food-filled afternoon with plenty of laughs. We are so lucky. Plus, we got a peek of the Melbourne summer.

My main girls

Dress: Witchery

Shoes: Zara 

Earrings: Mimco

Tonight I’m co-hosting a 1920’s themed New Year’s Eve party where I’m wearing a dress of my mum’s from 15 years ago. I’ll be donning a black bob wig, and hopefully I can round up some jewellery from the dress up box to fit with the theme. I wish I had time to watch some Great Gadsby for inspiration, but scrolling through Pinterest will have to suffice. I’ll be posting photos hopefully tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Thanks for following my adventures in 2019, and I hope you have a safe and happy New Year! x

Wardrobe Workout

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.

Shirt: Witchery

Shorts: Glassons

Boots: Tony Bianco

Bag: Prada

Hat: Blue Illusion 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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!