What Does My Dress Really Cost?

Just as I thought that I would have to pack away my summer dresses for good, the Easter break brought along some beautiful weather. For a Good Friday lunch, I brought out this multi-layered dress from Tree of Life that I purchased at the end of 2018 for a bargain and absolutely adore wearing. There’s just so much going on with the paisley print, the inconspicuous sequins that are dotted all over the fabric, and the pretty under layer that peeks out from the paisley. This dress can also be worn as a long skirt, which I have been matching with a white cotton t-shirt or bandeau top and some nude sandals. I think I’ll keep it in my winter wardrobe for some multi-seasonal use, because I have a feeling that it might look alright as a skirt with some boots and a leather jacket.

 

Dress: Tree of Life

Bag: Markets in Italy

Tree of Life was given a grade C ethical rating in the 2019 Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Guide, which isn’t terrible, but there’s certainly room for improvement. This is particularly important in the face of the climate disaster we are facing, where the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries due to its excessive use of resources. And unless the fast fashion movement is halted, the fashion industry will continue to jeopardise the state of our climate.

This week is Fashion Revolution Week, which aims to highlight the social justice issues that are rife in the industry as well as the environmental consequences that are posed. Fashion Revolution Week is urging people to post on social media a photo of themselves in their clothes with the hashtag #whomademyclothes, directed at the brands they are wearing to encourage transparency in the supply chain. Maybe I’ll ask Tree of Life, or maybe I’ll ask some of the other brands that I love to wear. Either way, it’s important as consumers to recognise the power we hold and to use it to demand the production of clothing that doesn’t cost the earth or the rights of garment workers. And next time I love a dress like the one above, I first and foremost need to consider where it came from and what it’s made from before I hand my cash over.

Thanks for stopping by! x

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We Got the Pink

It was clear to see that pink ruled the day on the 2019 Oscars red carpet, in possibly every bold and stimulating shade of pink there is. This sent a strong message there’s no better time than the present to be brave and splash on some of the divisive hue, as every celebrity who has sported pink this season has looked nothing less than glorious.

So, I have mentioned previously that the only exception to my pledge to not buy any clothes in 2019 is my uniform for work. And fortunately, Witchery decided to unleash a hot pink collection early in the year to which I squealed and exclaimed: “I NEED some pink in my life!”. Even though I haven’t worn any type of pink since the early days of galavanting in my fairy princess dresses, the fashion gods were sending a message that pink is strong, empowering and queenly. I decided that I wanted to be a part of this pink parade, so I bought this silky bright shirt (see pics below) and have been bombarded with compliments every time I have worn it to work. I matched it with my cream high-waisted shorts that I have worn all summer, and white Mimco sneakers which I LOVE due to the patterned detail. All round a vibrant and comfortable outfit for work – not to mention, on trend with the freshwater pearl hoops!

My modelling partner in crime, Sebastian.

Shirt: Witchery

Shorts: Witchery

Shoes: Mimco

Earrings: Witchery

After suggesting to some customers that they should try the pink shirt, they would hold their hands up and say, ‘Pink? No way, that is so not my colour!’ although I assured them it would most definitely become their colour. Maybe it’s the preconceptions of pink being associated with girlishness and children that makes it so divisive, though surely that’s no longer relevant. It may require some confidence to pull off, but there is no better time to seize the day and give it a try. And I am so delighted to finally have something hot pink inhabiting my wardrobe that’s not in the form of a Princess Aurora dress.

What’s your opinion on pink? Let me know in the comments below! x

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!

Seventies Flare

When my mum would describe in great detail the outfits she’d proudly don in the late 70s in all their glory, I tried to hide my disgust (not unlike my reaction to 90s fashion). But no matter how ridiculous trends seem at some point, they always tend to return and are re-rationalised as ‘trendy’. A few years ago I would say that you’d never catch me in flares, but I ate my words when I was immediately drawn to these fabulous Stella McCartney flares. They’re sort of impractical in the sense that I always need to wear them with heels as my mum consistently reminds me (“we wore the highest heels to make our legs look extra long!”), but regardless of this limitation they give me pure JOY.

Whenever I pop into these jeans, I feel like I’ve been transported to the 70s. Admittedly this would be a pretty interesting time to experience, based on my knowledge of the 70s stemming from the Bee Gees, Farrah Fawcett and Anchorman. I suppose the inner disco diva (originating from my mother who claims she was a “famous disco diva” in her day) comes out of me and I feel a need to disco-up the outfit further, as shown below by coordinating the jeans with a plunging bodysuit, a wooly red jacket, some dangly big earrings- oh, and some sky high heels, of course. 

As horribly clichéd as it sounds, fashion is so much fun. I can dress like I’m from an expired decade, occasionally receive some funny looks, but remain totally content with the chosen outfit because dressing up is the best fun. And I think the 70s, just like the decades preceding and following it in the 20th century, will continuously deliver the goods despite the evolving world of fashion.

Jacket: Minkpink

Jeans: Stella McCartney 

Bodysuit: Witchery

Bag: Italy 

Boots: Witchery

Thanks for popping by! x

Black Derby

It was Derby Day the other weekend, the black & white themed event of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival which is arguably the easiest theme to adhere to. So I sifted through my wardrobe, full well knowing that it already contained plenty of options, and I quickly I found ‘the outfit’. The top was actually found in an op shop years ago when my sister was hunting for costumes for an amateur production of ‘Rent’ about 8 years ago, and the skirt was was a special find in a boutique in the Gold Coast. After years of my mum fashionably attending the races, we have amassed a collection of hats and fascinators. So I simply plucked this black hat from the collection, and was all set with a sparkly black Mimco bag and my Topshop mules. My wardrobe is absolutely bursting with clothes collected through the years, so I know that whatever I need will always be in there – even if it requires a twist of creativity.

Racing fashion has progressively become more playful and broad, with headbands, crowns, fashion turbans and headscarves all being applicable racing headwear. Pantsuits and blazer dresses in an assortment of colours have been all over the track this season, with a spot of androgynous dressing being sported by plenty of women making a contrast with the traditional racing styles. I regret not taking photos of some of the unique outfits I noticed during the day – there was so much creativity on show and some really extraordinary looks.

Top: Op shop

Skirt: White Closet

Shoes: Topshop

Hat: Vintage

Bag: Mimco

I wish we didn’t need an excuse to don racing fashion – it’s so much fun to play around with the headwear! x

Racing Mad

When cold days still reign in October and November in Melbourne, the perfect races option for those who can’t handle the cold is a jumpsuit. As women’s fashion is generally becoming more androgynous, two-piece suits and jumpsuits for women are being seen all over the racing fields. The name “jumpsuits” were literally given to the one-piece suits worn by parachute jumpers, and then eventually in the 1930’s it evolved into a fashion piece initially crafted by Elsa Schiaparelli. Since then, jumpsuits experienced their heyday in the 1980s complete with shoulder pads and plenty of colour and sequins. Although most of us don’t exactly care to repeat the trends from the 80s, this trend is only getting stronger, as jumpsuits are still being sent down every major runway to this day.

A part from the inconvenience of getting out of one for the purposes of going to the bathroom, this jumpsuit from Forever New was perfect for the cool, windy day that I attended for the Caulfield Cup. Fortunately I wore a fascinator that was stuck to my head so couldn’t fly off from the wind, and comfortable block-heeled mules from Topshop. To inject some colour into the outfit, I wore my sparkly aquamarine Mimco bag with matching blue earrings. Unless it’s Derby Day, additional colour should usually be included to support an entirely black outfit, even if it’s just a spot of red lipstick. There’s so many beautiful colours to choose from, so why just settle for one?

 

 

 

 

Jumpsuit: Forever New

Bag: Mimco

Shoes: Topshop

Headpiece: Morgan and Taylor

Earrings: Mimco 

Thanks for popping by! x

Lilac Cat-tack

Lilac is blooming everywhere this spring. The colour is typically associated with femininity and less with modernity, but after quite some time, lilac has been thrust into the spotlight with some contemporary updates. Victoria Beckham stepped out in a lilac suit ensemble in early 2018, and the colour has also made an appearance numerous times on the red carpet. Plenty of Australian fashion brands caught on and consequently created collections surrounding the pastel tone just in time for spring, as I could see from my recent lilac-enthused trip to the local shopping centre.

I have never been a fan of pastel hues because of their incompatibility with my skin tone, but I just love the pretty and soft look of lilac. I found an oversized jumper in lilac that happily matched my Mimco drop earrings, and dressed them with a white pencil skirt and accompanying silver shoes and bag. Sebastian insisted on being part of the photoshoot, of course.

Jumper: Trenery

Skirt: Kookai

Shoes: Topshop

Bag: Nine West

Earrings: Mimco 

Thanks for stopping by! x