Tuesday, April 30, 2013

What I Wore: Lost a Fiancee but gained a (gorgeous) Sweater

In the early 90s I met a nice Greek boy & we got engaged after 12 months. We were due to be married in late November 1995. He was a really decent fellow & smart & funny. But we couldnt seem to agree on anything - he was conservative (& I am not talking politics here) & I hated going with the grain. Plus I was good at spending money which he didnt quite appreciate as much as I did.

Eight days before the wedding, he said to me that he couldnt go ahead with it. I was SO relieved. Best decision ever. The very first thing that went through my head was "Thank God I dont have to tell him about the sweater." No joke. 


The sweater

Back in the 90s there was an amazing designer store called Papoucci in Double Bay. Owned by a very classy Greek lady
called Tina Hatsatouris, her stuff was outstanding. Unfortunately it was also expensive. 

She also had the licence for Adrienne Vittadini in Australia and had concessions in the larger David Jones stores. Did I mention her stuff was expensive? Oh yeah, I did.

All the more reason to camp out for her annual warehouse sale in Double Bay. 

The sale was in the office - not in the store. 

TIP: I NEVER go to warehouse sales held in the store - they are never really reduced by alot and they are far less likely to bring in additional merchandise (which hasnt already been on the floor all season). When the location is the head office - that's when I do a Linda Evangelista & get out of bed for a sale. Because head office sales have the interesting stuff. Plus brands curate head office sales so the discounts are way deeper than the store.

So in 1995, on a Saturday morning in late November, I arrived, first in at the papoucci warehouse sale. I grabbed the navy daisy sweater in the photo. It was $300 which was alot of money back then (for a sweater) but I knew instantly I had to have it. The original was $795. I still have the tags. 

Vittadini did oversize cotton sweaters with daisies, like this most summers, they were featured in Vogue & finally the planets were aligning.

I love the daisy pattern.
It was dark navy (dark navy is my black).
It was 100% cotton.
It had these little baubles all over but had a tight weave (so no pulls).
The yellow & green popped beautifully against the navy & white (but back then I never would have used the word pop) The yellow & green werent overwhelming (since green & yellow are my worst colours).
it was oversize (I love big & sloppy in a fun print).
It was Vittadini (yes, i am a brand slut, but in my defense, its due to the quality associated with brands).

So despite the fact that I had been saving like crazy for the better part of 12 months, I splurged. It was mine. I hid it in the boot of the car, wondering if I would ever have the courage to take it out & show it off. 

As it turns out, a few hours later, I took it out & admired it. I started wearing it the next fall.

Did you notice how the elbows each have a daisy & its not randomly placed?

Look at the back. There is a daisy at the top of the centre back. Too cute & no daisies on the butt (sometimes I dont know what brands are thinking with print placement). No, this baby was carefully thought out & that's what explains the price. 

The only drawback with this baby is that it takes about a month to dry - & I place it on a mesh sweater dryer & it still takes a month! Almost. 

The jeans

Not Your Daughter's Jeans, you've met these before. 

The necklace

This gun metal piece is an Emporio Armani. 
I bought it at a massive warehouse sale at the old casino in the late 1990s. 

Up til that time, the Armani license was held by a Singaporean woman called Chrisitina Ong. Her company was called Club 21. She also had other luxury franchises like Bvlgari & DKNY.

So she decided to give up (?) on Armani & DKNY franchises & held the biggest clearance I have ever seen. Think around the time of the Asian financial crisis hence why I am querying whether she gave up the franchise or the economic climate forced her hand.

A girlfriend of mine & I went & stocked up. I bought 2 jackets, 2 silk shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 1 evening dress and this necklace, all in Emporio Armani (diffusion). The necklace is the only remaining piece I have. The rest have shown too many signs of wear for me to keep, mind you I was wearing them for a long time - they were not one hit wonders. In total I spent about $1,100 on these items.

In addition, I also scored 2 pairs of shoes & a handful of runway jewellery which were Giorgio Armani, main line.  I still have all of these & they still look amazing because they are so unique. This is a good example of why I covet main line items & avoid diffusion like the plague. 

TIP: IMO, its better to buy less diffusion & save up for main line. 

I remember looking through racks & racks of the main line Giorgio racks & thinking they were out of my price range. 
Why? Why? Why? Did I not give back all that Emporio Armani stuff so that I could afford one or two items of main line? I had no brain back them. Obviously.

The rings

The yellow one is a Lovisa ring for $7. I bought a few colours in the silver tone. The yellow was the only one in gold tones. 

The large one is a Jan Michaels piece - a San Francisco jewellery designer who uses semi precious but isnt far into the stratosphere priced. I think I paid $200 for it. Its massive & a very bold piece.

This came from a costume jewellery store in Double Bay called Inro, owned by Caroline Rowe. I think this store has closed recently - it was an amazing place - most of her pieces were French or Italian. She had an amazing eye. 

Interestingly she took all manufacturers' branding off the items she sold & simply displayed the items with the Inro tags attached to them. By eliminating the other brand names, she made it harder for people to track down items elsewhere & made it easier for her to secure the sale at her mark up. 

The shoes

The shoes are from Nine West. Purchased at Birkenhead Point for $15. I also bought the pink version & the yellow version for that same price. About 6 years old. 

Unfortunately, not leather lined, but I pick & choose the days/occasions I wear them so the feet arent trapped in them for a long day.

I love how the grosgrain ribbon is sewn at the ends & not left to fray.

I rolled the jean's hem up to show off the ribbon.

See you tomorrow. 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

What I Wore: Marni girl loves Target

Another grab it & run outfit today.

The sweater

Burgendy red oversize from Target $49
"Cotton/acrylic" - doesnt say the specific mix but feels more cotton than acrylic.

Normal acrylic is against my religion, but I decided to make an exception here.

Also available in a khaki - definitely not my colour

Love the stitching, the vee neck & the way the seams are finished in a different stitch at the shoulders & along the sides.

Oversize sweaters are huge ATM.
Unless you are petite or an apple, you gotta give this a try.
Do it like me & dip your toe with a discount store version. 

The jeans

Not Your Daughter's Jeans

The shoes

You've seen these before.

Marni plastic (rubber?) moulded shoes in navy.
From ebay after seeing them at Belinda.

The bangle

See photo above
Hermes in white & red. A favourite colour combo for me. Always has been. 
Purchased at the Sydney store. Worth every penny. 

The necklace

By Marni from the AW 2005 collection.
From ebay for $300 with the box, dust bag & original tissue.
Love the way I can hang it three different ways.

The rings

1. The YSL dotty ring (another ebay find).

2. A Bottega Veneta silver ring - the ball spins around. Purchased at the Madison Ave store, $330.   There is nothing in this brand I dont like.

3. I bought a set of these Chanel rings in five (4 colours 1 "gold") & from the Sydney boutique.

Then another set of five in related colours from ebay. 

The ebay set overlapped the red & gold, but scored me a purple & pink in addition to the ones in the photo.

I mix them up depending on what I am wearing. 

More evidence that I love circles.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What I Wore - lovin' my men's linen shirts

Today's outfit was a grab & run. 
Grab the first things in sight, scan the tall boys for jewellery & run out the door.

The shirt

The shirt is my favourite.
From Target, on sale for $12, from $39, its a men's shirt in linen.

It ticked all the boxes:

-  100% linen
-  white (not off white)
-  primary colours (love the primary colours)
-  oversize (easy to wear & no exposed midsection when I lift my arms)
-  quality is good (stitching, button attachment, seams)

inside, side seam

I loved how there was no exposed overlocking - it was all sewn inside the seams - see above photo. This is known as French seaming. Finishes like this prove to me that for the same price, men's high street garments are of a better quality than women's garments. 

The jeans

Not Your Daughter's Jeans in a mid blue washed look
My standard cut, straight leg in another colour.

Neck party

A silver dog tag style chain to which I added two silver rings (which must have been strays from another item). I use this as a filler/layering piece with other chains.

A silver pendant on a red metal mesh "chain". The mesh can be pulled out & squashed in, giving a different look depending on whether you want to wear it shorter or longer respectively. It is sterling 925 & I got it from the Fitted for Work Sale Shop for $3. Bargain especially since its a blue-y red, which is my red!

Arm party

A bunch of red bracelets

A mixed crew including Swarovski, Catt Hammill (from David Jones & boutiques) and other beads. Includes a leather mock croc burgendy band which I got from a Ginger & Smart warehouse sale for $10.

The G&S band has 2 posts - one is silver, the other is antiquey gold. You can see these in the photo. I am not sure if that was deliberate on the part of the sisters (as it allows you to mix metals) or a reject (& hence why it was sold so cheap).

Finger party

A massive & multi band silver Russian wedding ring - again witness my obsession for circle jewellery.

A 5 circle silver ring which collapses - I usually wear it all on one finger as the size of the rings isnt well enough thought out to be accommodated on all five fingers. 
From The Family Jewels in Paddington for $90.
TFJ is a terrific jewellery - massive range of costume and semi precious pieces. 

Bottega Veneta bangle from ebay. You've met this one before. She needs no introduction. 

a bit blurry, sorry, but showing the collapsed 5 ring ring

The shoes

On grab & run days you need sturdy comfy shoes. 
But because the shirt was so potentially "sloppy" I wanted heels so that any sloppy element could be neutralised.

Comfy heels. Is that an oxymoron? 

Absolutely not.

These black DKNY rubber & leather pumps were from David Jones in the city at one of the half yearly clearances. They were $120 from $390.

The rubber base is actually springy - the have a bounce to them & so are weirdly comfy.

They ticked all the boxes:

- thick solid heel (easy to run)
- round toe (less damage to shoe than pointy toes)
- non leather heel (hard to damage, rubber is full proof)
- practical & not prissy

See you tomorrow.

What I Wore - Dolce & Gabbana pumps with a Sussan scarf

Even though I think I know everything (about fashion), I am learning all the time. I have been doing these "What I Wore" posts for about a week now and they have helped to crystallise my style in my head.

Yep - as much as I thought I knew about what I liked (& didnt like), I realise now that I love my outfits to have one element of drama amongst a whole bunch of neutrals simple pieces.

What do I mean by an element of drama?

Loud print
Wild texture
An exaggerated line or cut
An oversize bangle or necklace
A loud shoe or bag
Stacked bracelets
Scarves, scarves & more scarves.

Speaking of scarves, a floor length scarf would definitely qualify as drama.

So here goes.....

The scarf

The scarf is two Susan scarves woven together by me to form a very long scarf. The only reason it doesnt go to the floor in the photo is because it doesnt have the benefit of gravity - even with it rolled around my neck three times.

Its 100% wool and each one was $70 and I wrote about the joining process here: 


Not only are they warm, they make a statement. That's drama. That's me.

The white shirt

A men's 100% linen with pin tucks on the front. Its a XXL & I roll the sleeves up & I love it.

I got it on ebay for around $50 and the brand is the Italian, 120% lino - they have a great Facebook page & terrific quality product. The larger David Jones stock them as well as spotted boutiques Robert Burton (Woollahra) and Duck Egg Blue (Balmain). 

By the way, white shirts are a terrific wardrobe staple for women - fitted, loose, linen, cotton, silk, button down, tee shirt style, long sleeve, short sleeve, the possibilities are endless for your budget, your style and your body shape.

Build a collection, bleach them to keep them clean & when they start to fall apart replace them. 

The jeans

My well loved Not Your Daughter's Jeans in dark grey

The neck bling

A silver with blue enamel Najo ball pendant on a silver dog chain- further fuelling the ball jewellery obsession.

The arm party

A whole bunch of bracelets some of which I have made & others purchased. 

An Hermes bangle in B&W - well worn & all it takes is a silver cloth on the palladium to make it new again.

I tend not to mix my Hermes bangles with the bracelets. The card that comes with the bangles says to keep it away from other jewellery (when it comes to clothes & accessories, yes, I do follow instructions) and it makes sense to wear the bangle separately, on one wrist & the bracelets on the other.

The shoes

Since the shirt is so large & "sloppy" I wanted to wear heels to amp up the look.

Since the scarf was doing the song & dance, I didnt feel like the shoes needed to compete.

Enter Dolce & Gabbana pumps in black with a bronzey horse bit. Round toe (comfy), thick stacked wood heel, low vamp (lovin' toe cleavage).

Love the way Dolce line their things in leopard print and that was definitely a selling point. 

The shoes came from David Jones in the Sydney CBD at 40% off. I make it a point of never paying full price on anything that drags on the floor. 

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Nina Proudman - Where to buy the white top

The Season 4 teasers show Nina in a white shirt by Alice McCall.

She is wearing it open at the front. 

The top has bell sleeves & an open embroidered feature on both the front & the back yokes.

The shirt is a previous seasons model and is no longer available in stores (unless you can find old stock). 

However you can find similar styles in surf & jean stores as these stores cultivate the prarie/boho look that this shirt exhibits.

It is also worth exploring other seasons' designs in Alice McCall as designers often repeat features of their collections, these features becoming almost a trademark look as to their brand's style. 

So here are some options I have come up with:

Option #1:

A Wrangler top with a lace pattern on the yoke at the front & back. $100


Its also available in black & the photo of the front was only shown in the black version.

Option #2:

A Target Free Fusion shirt with a lace yoke. $35
Wear it open like Nina. 


Option 3:

Wrangler "Dawn" white shirt $100


This shirt has no lace, but its got that whole boho feel happening with its batwing sleeves. Roll up the sleeves & wear the front open like Nina. 

Option 4:

Witchery Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation white shirt $150
(all proceeds go to ovarian cancer research) 


You can achieve a Nina look by leaving this open, roll up the sleeves, add a long scarf & off you go.

Option 5:

Alice Mccall "Talking About" top, $135 from $260


This top is a pale lavendar, sheer with a small pindot lace.
I can see Nina wearing it even though it doesnt have a button front. 

The top's vee neck is a perfect foil for a long boho scarf.

Option 6:
Alice McCall "Alfons" blouse, original $229, now sold out

I'd be checking ebay, etsy etc for this.

Option 7:

Alice McCall swing top, button front from the autumn/winter runway of 2012.

OK, so I cheated - this one is sold out too.
But hopefully you get the drift of the style to look for.

See anything you like?
Which top would Dr Patrick like best?

What I Wore - Italian navy blazer meets pink plastic pumps

You've seen some of this look before - the pants & the tee. These are also known as the basics.  I dont apologise for that - I think its good to wear & re-wear pieces. That's how you get cost per wear (CPW) down. Always buy things you love & wear them again & again. 

The only real problem arises when you look at your closet and you dont have anything you love enough to re-wear. That's when you have to speak to me so we can sort out your closet.

The only caveat to re-wear is to also wear something that makes the basic item look a bit different each time. 

So back to What I Wore.....

The pants

The pants are Hammock & Vine (I do have other pairs in this brand, & I will wear them after this pair goes into the washing machine, I promise).

The tee

The tee is a scoop neck Coles Mix Apparel for $9.
It could be the black stripe or the navy stripe, I have both, but I cant recall as I type - but either will work.

The jacket

The jacket is a special piece though - Italian brand called High. High do a terrific edgy yet relaxed aesthetic. 
they also have a cheaper diffusion range. 


It is stocked at a classy store in Woollahra called Riada.
Riada is one of my favourite stores in Sydney.

Its a navy single breasted & yes, I need another navy jacket like a hole in the head, but the heart wants what the heart wants. It wasnt cheap & so as not to incriminate myself, I cant recall how much I paid. 

Its slightly shorter than I normally wear and has tighter armholes than I normally wear. But I love it. 

It is a wool blend & I normally never buy blends as long term, they dont wear well. The only thing I have blended with my wools is elastene. 

This time I made an exception.


All the seams.
Look at all the seams.

I love the back of this jacket & yes, I bought a jacket because of the seams.

I love the pin dot lining. 

I love how the pockets are finished.

I love how the sleeves have an add-on cuff with functioning button holes. The cuffs arent removeable though.

I also love the front "button". Its adjustible, kinda like an elastic waistband, but nicer.

oops, gremlins sometimes flip photos sideways,
please rotate  head clockwise to view.

It has two metal buttons strung together with a small chain. Each side on the front has a button hole & each button is placed through each button hole. The result is that the jacket can accommodate plus or minus a waist size. Too sweet!

I like wearing the cuffs turned up.

The bling

An matt silver aluminium ring necklace tied by a black string from Funkis. Its a Swedish company with stores in Sydney's Strand Arcade, in Paddington & I think in Bondi (on the street not the Junction mall). They sell clothes, shoes, jewellery & home decor but with a Nordic slant. 

Usually Nordic isnt my thing, but I am a sucker for circles & this many circles on one piece, well I had to buy it. It was $89 - the cord isnt leather. 

I am also wearing a silver short necklace with 7 silver balls. Again, the ball obsession kicked in when I spotted this at a suburban jewellery store for about $70.

The rings

A marchasite silver ring from Duo in Sydney's Strand Arcade. Around $200 but I have since decided that anything I find at Duo I can find cheaper elsewhere. I like that store, but their mark ups are higher than their competitors and its good to be aware of that.

Marchasite isnt normally my thing - its too delicate & old world for me, for example, but I liked the shape of this ring - it was almost masculine in its styling. 

A cream plastic bow ring from Lovisa for $7. I am pretty pleased with my high-low mixing here.

The shoes

I am especially pleased about these - they are Melissa in conjunction with Vivienne Westwood.

Melissa do plastic shoes - weird breathable plastic and they collaborate with major designers. Its a Brazilian brand.

They are one moulded piece - the heels arent added on.
They are beautifully cushioned - no blisters or rubbing. 

I got these at an OzSale sale at their Smithfield warehouse for $30. RRP is approx $220.

OzSale do primarily on line selling now, so their warehouse sales at at Smithfield arent that fabulous any more. But occasionally something good pops up. I have a number of albums on my Facebook page of their previous sales if you want to see what they typically have - here is one of them....


They carry mens, womens, kids & home stuff. 

The bracelets

The pink Melissas needed to be pulled together with something else - another touch of pink.

Enter a few bracelets.

Swarovski mixed with borlotti look beads mixed with pearls, jet, shells and resin.

Thoughts? Comments?

See you tomorrow.