Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What I Wore: The magical powers of a rectangular scarf

The beauty of having lots of clothes in black (& navy) is that you can mix them all together and no one can accuse you of having gotten dressed in the dark. It's layering made easy. 

The jeans

Today I popped on the trusty Not Your Daughters Jeans in denim wash.

The top

The top is a Marni cotton very A line top/dress with an empire bust. Its as thin as you can imagine, but God bless Marni, its double sided all over. 

STYLE TIP: Empire busts are great for pears.
An empire bust is where the horizontal seam is just under the bust & the top/dress flares out from that point (rather than flaring out form the waist, like a traditional waisted piece).

Looks like a maternity top...hehehe

SHOP TIP: Bought from a designer recycled shop which is no longer - Trunk in Paddington. This was Robby Ingham's store but he closed it soon after his retail manager left his employ. She was the same retail manager who set up The Frock Exchange for the Belinda group. I have bought quite alot of accessories from this store, namely Chanel & Lanvin...stay tuned.

The sweater

On days when you want to feel warm/cozy, any black cashmere will do. This is a NZ brand called Sophie Boxer, which used to be sold by Belinda. This is a 42 and I also bought a 44. The sweater are very plain except for a 2 velvet blingy ribbons sewn on either side of the vee. I unstitched those & voila, I had 2 plain sweaters.

The truly amazing thing about this brand is that it has never pilled. Ever. Apart from my Armani cashmere, this is the only brand I have ever owned which hasnt pilled. 

STYLE TIP: I dont think I have ever bought cashmere at full price. Both the sweaters were purchased at 60% off, around $200 each at one of Belinda's warehouse sales - if you look around you can always find cashmere on sale...it just takes time to locate it & watch it until it does go on sale...

Slight problem now - it has a critter hole which I need to darn up. So sad this happened to one of my basics. 

STYLE TIP: If you love wearing items in toning colours, especially neutrals, you've made getting dressed fast - as your clothes are easy to mix & match. Since the colours worked together with this top and sweater, all I had to do was ensure the proportions worked. The top peeked out enough from the sweater hem to have a ra-ra skirt effect. I never thought I'd be going for this look, but it looked cute and gave the look a feminine feel.

The scarf

STYLE TIP: I cant emphasise enough how a rectangle scarf slung over your neck can hide a multitude of sins.
It is the easiest way to add spunk to an outfit, or if necessary, a distraction.

The only reason I grabbed a bright scarf was b/c the rest of the outfit was so dark and "grab it & go".

In hindsight, I needed it to hide the critter hole. So stylish, not!

The other thing a scarf like this is good at is hiding a belly. 

Back to shopping for cashmere....once Belinda's stores stopped stocking Sophie Boxer cashmere, the lady who owned the licence to distribute in Australia, started having warehouse sales for a mailing list clientele. That's where I scored the scarf. 

I turned up bright and early (just before it opened at 9 am) on a Saturday morning in Rushcutters Bay & this if I hadnt grabbed this, someone else would have. It was the only bright coloured item there. Everything else was neutral.

STYLE TIP: Every warehouse sale has one offs or items which are special. They get grabbed by the people who are the first ones to walk in when the door opens. Its good to be on of those people.

STYLE TIP: The scarf is quite wide & quite long. If I was petite I wouldnt be advising myself to wear it. 

Mr scarf was $150 I think and is 100% cashmere and its in my colours. Worth the loss of sleep to be there early.

The necklace

I have previously introduced you to some of my silver necklaces by Ann Demeulemeester. When I scan ebay for her stuff, all sorts of interesting things come up.

This leather coin purse with silver hardware was one of them. I think I paid about $100 for it & its leather & looked new. Its not soft & sqashy - its moulded & hard. 

Due to my obsession with circles & balls, it had my name on it. She also did an oval egg shape too which I saw later, but I prefer my ball.

It had a cacky cotton cord on it which I disliked, so I threaded a black grosgrain on it, put clear nail polish on the end so it wouldnt fray, tied a bow & voila!

The rings

Multi ring ring was from Funkis (I think).
The wide ring was an ebay find from Linda's Stuff. 

Arm party

I grabbed a bunch of beaded bracelets from my collection which tone in with the colours in the scarf and piled them onto one wrist.

The other wrist wanted to wear an Hermes cuff.

I bought this cuff many years ago when The Frock Exchange opened in Balmain. It cost me $95 and was in mint condition. 
Unfortunately there was no box, but I did a happy dance anyway. Its so classic and will last forever.

SHOP TIP: The Balmain branch of The Frock Exchange has now closed - only the Clovelly branch is still alive. Since these stores are linked to Belinda, they are a gold mine.

The shoes

Black pumps by Tino Lanzi, who has a store in Westfield Sydney, which I used to wear to work. Nothing "fashionable" per se, but good workhorses for those days you need a work horse.

Paid a bomb & they are about 12 years old. If I polish them up a touch, you'd never know they are older than last season. 

STYLE TIP: I am too poor to buy cheap shoes. 


Probably the main thing I want to emphasise today (other than make sure you protect your woolens from critters) is the power of a rectangular scarf to hide lumps & bumps (belly included). Just swing it around your neck & off you go. 

That & "I am too poor to wear cheap shoes".

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