The Wonderful Effect of Fashion

I haven’t managed to do even half of the things I was planning during isolation. I wanted to finally watch season 2 of You, learn to cook heaps of vegetarian dishes, watch all of The Godfather movies, get back into guitar-playing, read some of the most recent best-sellers, and build an award-winning island on Animal Crossing. But I’ve been so occupied with uni and trying to organise a life post-uni for myself that I haven’t had time to tick those items off my list. And obviously lamenting about unfulfilled experiences of leisure is an extremely privileged position to be in. But I think it demonstrates a common expectation that we are supposed to be packing our time with everything we can while we have the opportunity to do so. This is often unrealistic given how confusing this time is for our emotions.

In a time when our movements are restricted and we’re being bombarded with the  grim consequences of coronavirus, it can feel like everything’s out of our control. So in order to exercise some control during this time, I have diligently been getting up at a reasonable hour, showering, and putting on an outfit that I feel great wearing. I believe that there is significant power in what you wear and the energy you can obtain from an outfit. For some it has been an opportunity to completely detach from external pressures on our appearance, and to simply wear what we want and put in as little effort as possible. I truly appreciate the liberating effect that has had on people. But for me, making an effort to dress has been a motivating force that helps to make me as productive as I can on a daily basis.

This is similar to when I was restricted and bored during my hip operations. When I felt frustrated from my lack of mobility and inability to go places, I found that I could experience some respite and joy through dressing up. Fashion gave me focus and energy, as styling myself offered a creative outlet that in turn made me feel stronger.

I’ve continued to dress up on a Saturday night to mimic my routine when going out and it’s been a blast! My partner was so kind to take some silly flicks of last Saturday’s outfit. You would think from my outfit that I would be heading out to the clubs, but really I had to head to the kitchen to remove the cauliflower mac and cheese from the oven.

Dress: Kookai

Boots: Witchery 

Earrings: Things We Lost 

We put the music up loud, have a cocktail or two and have a little dance around the living room. It psychologically feels like a Saturday night when I put a dress on and slap on some make up. A part from giving us something to look forward to every weekend, it’s plenty of fun (although I am  looking forward to going out for real on a Saturday night in the foreseeable future). It’s amazing how fashion has the power to transform how you feel and even how you behave in any circumstance, and it is certainly true for me.

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.

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

A Little Freshen Up

A new dress can do remarkable things for your wardrobe’s energy. One month prior to the conclusion of my shopping ban I looked around searching for *the* dress I was going to treat myself to once 2019 was over. I searched in numerous Australian designer stores, fully prepared to spend a bit of cash if I found a dress that I loved as much as my snakeskin boots. I knew that I needed a fresh item in my closet to enthusiastically propel me into the new year. But alas, I couldn’t find anything so I abandoned my search. But on this fateful trip to the battleground of Boxing Day, I found a shirt dress from Sheike – my first non-Witchery dress in a while. It was an unexpected and spontaneous purchase that goes against my newfound minimalist approach, but NO REGRETS.  I love the pattern, the colours, the length and the shirred waist. It is pretty much my ideal dress.

I matched it with my white ankle boots (both a summer and winter staple), my burgundy Prada bag and white earrings. I need to wear these white boots more often this summer, they go with everything.

Dress: Sheike

Shoes: Midas

Bag: Prada

I’m not certain how I will go with minimising my buying in 2020 now that I’m released from my ban. The temptation to add to my wardrobe is fairly compelling. So op-shopping is definitely on the cards to curb any potentially unethical purchases, but I think that if you really love something (and not for a temporary timeframe), you might as well go ahead!

Thanks for stopping by! x

It’s the Modern Jazz Age

Happy New Year!

2020 has finally arrived and it feels as though there should be robots wondering around on the streets by this point. But luckily a robot/alien invasion isn’t on the cards as all the movies have led us to believe, and instead we’ve been reminiscing about the 1920’s.  Like a dream come true, we (comprising of me, my boyf and his sister) hosted a roaring 20’s party to lead us into the New Year. As a pivotal time in fashion, I have always felt so inspired by the 20’s due to the glitz and glamour of the dresses, jewellery, androgynous hairstyles and the parties. As the quintessential novel of that decade, Great Gatsby showcased the excessive opulence of the era in addition to atrocities that were often masked by such conspicuous extravagance. But problematic events aside, the fashion was glorious and I had so much fun putting my costume together as inspired by Baz Luhrmann’s movie.

The dress was from my mum’s wardrobe, as they always are, which she purchased a couple of decades ago. I found this wig from Spotlight which looked nothing like the assigned photo and the description of ‘1920s Flapper Wig’. I’m thinking it gives off more Pulp-Fiction-Uma-Thurman vibes, or even Dora the Explorer, but that’s fine. I wore it with my leather, round-toe shoes from Florence and a white opal necklace.

Needless to say, my priorities were NOT sorted and I failed to get any individual photos. The obligatory front pose, side pose and back pose to show the outfit from 360 degrees was noticeably absent as I was too busy hosting. So the photos where my boyfriend performs the same pose in every shot will have to do. He’s trying to be Leo, just BTW.

Trying to be poised and dignified….

…Until we’re not

So just like that Christmas and New Year’s is done and dusted.

On a more serious note, it feels somewhat odd to be celebrating when disastrous bushfires are burning right across the country, and they’re showing no sign of slowing down. The climate crisis is is real, it’s here and it’s deadly. It’s also downright terrifying. But I’m grateful for these moments I can have with my friends and family, where we can join together and enjoy some laughs, have a dance and be safe. Others are not so fortunate and are unable to celebrate with their loved ones over this holiday period as they continue to battle the fires. I can’t pretend to know what that’s like, but I hope that this year we can all work together to mitigate the effects of climate change. Let’s all try to look after each other in 2020, and have a safe and happy New Year.

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!