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!
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.
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
I wish we didn’t need an excuse to don racing fashion – it’s so much fun to play around with the headwear! x
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?
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.
I have had these jeans since I was 13. I remember purchasing them clearly from Just Jeans, because moments later I lost my beloved Guess wallet and I was in tears for the remainder of the day. Losing a wallet sucks, but at least I had spent the $100 of cash I had in there for these jeans, and $100 for a mere 13 year old was A LOT of money. But the passing years have demonstrated how you can’t beat investing in good quality pieces that will last you forever, and fortunately I didn’t do any growing since I bought these jeans.
My wardrobe is literally an accumulation of pieces I have collected for the last 10 years. Early on, my mum instilled in me the need to purchase timeless and quality pieces that I could use for years to come. Not only has this taught me how to be an economical and sustainable shopper, but it has led me to appreciate my wardrobe and force me to use plenty of creativity. Styles are always repeating themselves, which makes it easy to use some of my older clothes and accessories (who knew cummerbunds were back in fashion?!). Certain items can always be updated by pairing them with newer styles, so I’m almost never exasperatedly heading to the shops to buy a new outfit for an occasion. Whatever I need can be found in my wardrobe – and that’s a challenge I never get sick of! That’s not to say that I don’t shop around, and I’m not going to pretend that my wardrobe isn’t overflowing. It definitely is and I probably need a wardrobe the size of the one Big made for Carrie in order to store all my stuff. But hardly anything in my wardrobe becomes obsolete unless it’s of terrible quality – and I made the decision a long time ago to try and avoid shopping at cheap fast fashion brands.
Only time will tell the of the true investment value of good-quality pieces, but you can definitely be assured that it will show as the seasons pass. I’ve paired these jeans with a classic trench coat from Witchery and some Prada lace-ups that I found at the designer outlets in Florence for an absolute steal. Already heavily discounted, there was an additional 20% and the shoes ended up being substantially cheaper than some non-designer leather sandals that I purchased a month later. How satisfying are designer bargains?? It would be nice to come across them more often.
I absolutely cannot get enough of teal as you probably well know from my previous posts. It may even be a bit of a concern. In my attempt to override the hoard of black in my winter wardrobe, I’ve gone a little crazy with this colour as show by my most recent purchase from Kookai.
Before finding this dress, I had really wanted a new winter dress for this season that was a) teal, and b) long sleeved with a high neck. And then I walked into Kookai, and somehow my thoughts materialised into reality. Don’t you love it when that happens? It also happened to be the exact same shade as these Lovisa earrings that I purchased at the beginning of the year, a purchase that was sure to foreshadow my affinity with the colour for the rest of the year.
I’m not usually up for wearing an outfit comprised of one colour (unless it’s all black), but I figured that the floral boots added some diversity. Plus, if you find a colour that makes you feel confident and cheerful, why not go all out?
What’s your favourite winter colour? Let me know in the comments below! X