Sunday, June 30, 2013

What I Wore: Lose weight by wearing a x body bag

Another cold day of errands. Seems to be the norm these days in Sydney.

The jacket

A black Rena Lange wool knit that a paid in the serious four figures and which I have worn to death. And you'd never know it, its made so well.

About a year or so ago, I found the same item, my size on ebay for $80, from my favourite seller, Linda's Stuff. So I bought a back up. 

STYLE TIP: If you have an item of clothing or an accessory which is a workhorse, if you can buy a back-up. I cant recommend this enough. Especially if you realise the item is amazing & by that time it has gone on sale. 

Single breasted, ruffle all along the front. It buttons on the under edge of the ruffle, so the ruffle stands upwards so it isnt interfered with by the button holes. Very pretty & practical. 

The fabric is a wool in a double knit, which looks and acts like a woven but has the comfort of a knit. 

The top

Simple & easy Bonds black tee which peeks out from under the jacket by a few cm. Since the jacket is fitted, the tee hem also forms a kind of ruffle. 

This is the tee which now has multiple small holes around the belly due to friction with then jeans - need to repair her. 

The scarf

I cant stress enough how important a mens style winter scarf is in a womans closet. In a solid neutral its invaluable. My neutrals are in black, navy & chocolate. I also have a few n colour pops, but the neutrals get worn far more often. 

What makes them men's style?
The width (not wide like a wrap), the sedate fringing on the ends, the length (around your neck both ends hang at approx belly level).

This one is a Jil Sander which came from David Jones in 100% cashmere. Its years & years old. Pretty sure I paid $300 for it, which in today's terms for a cashmere scarf is a steal. Plus it is going in the coffin with me. Definitely a steal.

If you are petite, look for these in a slightly smaller scale, say 20-25 cm wide rather than 25-30 cm wide & make sure the ends dont hang below the belly.

The jeans

OK, OK, the same ol' Not Your Daughters Jeans
I love these babies so much I am noticing the fabric is thinning here & there (knees, buttocks). Maybe that means a few rips, increasing their cool factor? Let's wait & see. 

The bag

I didnt leave the house with this bag. It followed me home from the shops. Italian brand Pelletteria Veneta, stocked at Warwick Dawson stores on the north side of Sydney.

They also sell on line...

Love the red suede inside finish against the orange. 

STYLE TIP: When I wear the bag cross body over an all black base (including the black scarf which fell vertically), the diagonal line of the strap will create a distinct vertical eye movement. Think slimming. Pop. I had to have it. 

For best slim, make sure:

The bag sits on your hip & no lower or higher.
The strap is ideally 1-2 cm, anything thicker adds "weight".
The bag isnt much larger than two of your hand spans.
The bag isnt thicker than 2 cm & preferably 1-2 cm.

Note to self: When I adjusted the bag's strap to the longest setting, I noticed a couple of kinks where there metal buckle used to sit. I need to place that section under some heavy books to flatten it out. 

The scarf isnt in this photo - I really need to get a better photographer, eh? 
There is a slight problem in that I carry the kitchen sink in my bag & always have. This is lucky to fit a phone. No regrets, but I am sure my cost per wear system will be regretting it big time. 

The bangle

Bottega Veneta, from ebay


A short silver chain with little balls on its chain.
A longer double circle antique sterling chain from Zambesi in Paddington (I turned up at the crack of dawn on the first day of a warehouse sale), to pick this up for $100. 

SHOP TIP: If you like avant garde shopping, Zambesi is the place to go.

The shoes

Bruno Magli pumps from the David Jones Warehouse about 10 years ago. I wouldnt have paid more than $120 for these and the RRP back then would have been $500. You'd think I would have cleaned up the dust between the gold metal bars...oops.

These shoes are a classic pump, nothing uber fashionable, just classic.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

What I Wore: Pinstripes, soft style

More meetings. 
Needed a jacket, even though the pants could be casual.

STYLE TIP: Important negotiations? Wear a jacket. You will be perceived as more experienced & capable than if you keep the top layer relaxed.

The jacket

A Sonia Rykiel black wool with a thin cream pin stripe.
Very old & when I bought it, it was really large, so they tailored it for me. Now its a bit snug around the waist, so I have to wear it open. But they kept all the seam allowances in, so it can be taken out & since it's wool, it will steam perfectly so all the seam lines will disappear.

STYLE TIP: When you have clothing taken in, leave the seam allowances in, so its possible to take it back out, later, if necessary.

The thing that really sold this jacket to me was gathers at the hem of the front sections. So cute. I remember thinking at the time that ironing would be difficult. Yes, but that's what steaming is for.

Love the little Sonia Rykiel ball on a front pocket. Each collection has a different bauble and every item in the collection has the bauble, so this could be used to date the item.

The cuff buttons are actually press studs. When we altered this, the sleeves needed to be shortened, so we had to unstitch the sleeves from the shoulders & take them up. It wasnt possible to do a professional job by taking 1-2 cm from the cuff as the button button would be too close to the hem to look appropriate.

The sweater

A Coles Mix 100% wool sweater from last year. Needs de-pilling desperately. Oops. 

You've probably noticed that I wear all my tops out - never tucked in. Its because even though I am long waisted, the moment I tuck in, my proportions go all wonky & I look stubby. Plus I prefer the top out as it hides all my lumps & bumps better than if I tuck in. 

STYLE TIP: The rule for sweaters, skim not cling. 

The jeans

I know, I am being lazy but I LOVE my boyfriend jeans. 
You may be sick of seeing them, but considering I bought them for $20, cost per wear (CPW) is now about $1 & rapidly going down further.

The necklaces

Both the necklaces sat within the vee of the jacket. The multi circle one is adjustible, so it made it even easier to sit them so their curves were in sync.

The multi one was from Belinda, on sale. Its very heavy but sits perfectly. It has silver toned rings with gold tones ones at the ends & in the middle. Its by a New York designer, name escapes me.

The one with the single large oval & the rubber strand is an Italian piece, Jolly Veneza and it came from Beautiful Things By in Beecroft. Love this place - a treasure trove of high end imported jewellery/accessories & normal homewares.

The bangle

Bottega Veneta from ebay, worn many many times.

The rings

The bottom piece is silver from Beautiful Things By at Beecroft. This si the first time you have seen this. Its an oval sitting on top of a circle. Your finger goes into the circle, so the oval just sits on top saying "hello" to the world. 

The top piece is stainless steel. I have worn this before.

The shoes

The Car Shoe black patent flats. Comfy & stylish.

See you tomorrow. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

What I Wore: Pre loved memories from NY's Upper East Side

Another COLD day when I needed to wear a jacket but wanted to wear a comfy sweater.

Enter Mr Armani.

The jacket

70% cashmere, 30% silk
from La Boutique Resale in New York's Upper East Side. 

I dont travel alot, but when I do, I like to shop to remember the trip. Any excuse, eh?

La Boutique in NY has three stores. The one I picked this up from was the least "impressive". By that I mean it doesnt have windows dedicated to Hermes & Chanel....but when you go through the racks there are amazing finds. The address was 227 E 81st St. The other stores are in Madison Ave & Lexington Ave. 

I paid $60US for this.  RRP would be about $2K.

I never do up the buttons even though its double breasted. It has a softness about it that goes hand in hand with an open front.

Its a mid grey with small pale blue dots with a tinge of green. Look at the next photo - which shows the detail of the finishing. Perfect. Love. Alot. 

The scarf

The scarf is a 100% lambswool Country Road. Back in the day when Country Road did 100% wool, let alone doing it for $60. Now, $60 gets you 100% acrylic.

I also have this scarf in a pale pink - when the range went on sale, I bought the pink one to keep the blue one company.

The jeans

My cheapie Philosophy Australia $20 jeans, rolled up boyfriend style. In fact, Philosophy is having a warehouse sale soon - I'd better check the dates. 

The top

A Coles Mix 100% wool sweater in black. I paid $25 for this last winter & its pilled a bit, but pilling comes off with those little gizmo battery operated machines. 

The necklaces

Both are Isabel Marant. The one with the green beads was from The Corner Shop in the Strand Arcade, around $250.
The grey pear drop was recycled from The Frock Exchange for $90.

The rings

I think you've met both of these before. The "scarf ring" ring by Maison Martin Margiela & the Bottega intercaccio which was from ebayland.

The bracelets

On one wrist, the ebayland Bottega bangle and a $3 Diva religious tile bracelet. 

When I bought the Diva one, "you get what you pay for" came true. Every time i wore it, my wrist would be covered in green paint. So I laquered the underside on the tiles & it was still happening. Another coat of lacquer & the problem stopped. Alot of trouble to go to for $3, but now that its done, Val = happy.

On the other wrist, a Hermes bangle in a pale blue. This was form ebay from one of the Japanese lady sellers who have loads of integrity and great stock. It was $300 which is very cheap for one of those babies.

The shoes

A very comfy mocassin loafer in navy, not sexy, but practical with a decent heel, by Antonio Barbato (Venice).

See you tomorrow.

10 Ways with a Beanie

This trend started on the street & filtered it up to the designer world. Its for the young & the young at heart.
Are you game?

1. Cute & tizzy

Add flowers, bling, barettes and anything else that would do Alannah Hill or Laura Ashley proud.

2. Rapunzel style

With a side plait (or a side plait extension) & some curled tendrils on the other side.

3. Soft & neutral

4. Preppy

Add the collegiate cardigan or blazer, the varsity jacket, the Ralph Lauren style shirt & you're ready to go.

5. Traffic stopping

Think loud colour & contrast.

6. With its sister scarf

Be careful with matchy matchy. Try to keep the pattern subtle. Otherwise you run the risk of looking like a mixed up clown. 

7. To dress down a suit.

I like this one.

This applies just as much to the girls as it does to the boys.

8. To dress down your look.

Think grunge print tee, checked shirt, ripped jeans and Converse (not Manolos).

Try to make it effortless dress down, not sloppy, messy dress down.

Frankly I am not convinced Zac & Jake have nailed this. As for Selena, jury's out until I see the bottom half, but the beautiful shiny hair helps her cause so far.

9. Red carpet worthy

in leather....
It's all about the TUDE, & Rihanna know that.

10. My favourite.
With a pom pom. A giant pom pom. 

or two....

or one....

See you tomorrow.