Friday, October 24, 2014

H&M Oz - the labels & the prices

Not all items at H&M are created equal. 

The quality (& price) differs according to the label on the garment. 

In the women's wear at Sydney's Macquarie Centre, the following labels were spotted at opening:

H&M - the black label - "everyday"

The trendy standard label is black. 

H&M - the white label - "classic"

The plainer pieces including the corporate pieces.

The Conscious Collection - environmental 

Each piece is 25% recycled product & environmentally conscious.
There was a serious rayon/lyocell/viscose heavy fabric content here.
In contrast, the main line (black & grey) tended to have alot of polyester. 

Label of Graded Goods (LOGG) - the preppy label 

Think Ralph Lauren. Apparently the
Swedes are into this.
Or think it will sell well.
I overheard an Asian girl tell her
boyfriend that it was the "Japanese" label. 

Like I said - think Ralph Lauren.

Divided - the black label - "youth"

Just when you thought H&M couldn't get any younger......

Divided - the white label - "youth basics"

The youth label on young basics - slightly cheaper than the black
 Divided due to the simpler nature of the clothes

+ - the plus size label

Unfortunately, most of this was straight up & down tops & peasant tops.
Plus some jeans. Nothing A line. 

Designer collaborations - have their own labels. 

Hopefully we'll see lots of those in due course, starting with Alexander Wang in early November. 

Special promotions 


The youth labels are distinctly cheaper than the main line H&M labels.

I'd say the main line quality (grey & black labels) is roughly equivalent in quality to Zara's TRF label. The mantra "you get what you pay for" is the rule of the day. 

The prices of the labels are roughly in line from most expensive to less expensive in the order listed. 


Sunday, October 12, 2014

What's your tee shirt pile look like?

What is this?

It’s SIA’s tee shirt pile.

Actually it’s one of SIA’s tee shirt piles. Don't ask. But all her tee piles look pretty much the same.

Qualifying for the tee shirt pile

To qualify for an SIA tee shirt pile, a tee must meet the following criteria:

* It fits me now. 
* I like it now. 
* The colour flatters my complexion. 
* It's clean & ready to wear now.
* It's not stained or looking like it's had better days. 

What does this tee shirt pile say about SIA’s style?

It says a lot, namely that SIA likes: 

* Clean lines & clean prints with some colour.

* Lots of white, white-white, never off white nor cream.

* Lots of navy.

* Not much black.

* Pops of colour in reds, pink, mint, blue and watermelon. Yes, watermelon is  different to red. The odd lime which I mix with red & navy, never wear alone.

* Minimal prints & mainly graphic prints including a mottled US flag tee. Can you spot it? Oh & a Mickey Mouse graphic tee in mint from Target is in there too. 

* Some spots, a few more stripes.

Note: A lot of these babies go together. 
Note: All these babies go with the rest of SIA’s wardrobe.
These are good "notes" because it’s easier to get dressed.

The funny thing is that this tee shirt pile looks pretty identical to the rest of SIA’s wardrobe.  Maybe the rest of wardrobe has more black/navy as SIA loves wearing those on her bottom half. Can you imagine how easy all this makes getting dressed in the morning?

Isn't this boring? 

Anyone saying "BORING"? I can hear you. 
It's not boring to me. Having a non red carpet life, I have always added jazz mainly with accessories. It's the cheapest way. 

The 80/20 rule

If everything goes together in your wardrobe, your 80/20 rules is likely to be an 30/20 rule or a 40/20 rule. Wearing only 30% or 40% of your wardrobe 20% of the time. That's a fabulous thing. 

Over to you readers

1. What’s your tee shirt pile look like? SIA would love to see a photo posted on Facebook.

2. How close does your tee shirt pile mimic the rest of your wardrobe?

[If you don’t wear tees, then substitute for your shirt pile, or your top pile or your dress pile. It's all the same really.]

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Meet Jenny - Woman of Style

The scene: The mess hall tables at Carlingford Court shopping centre in Carlingford. 

SIA is eating a spud (cheese & doner kebab shavings) and having a cup of tea.

A lady with a little boy sits at the table next to her. Despite being consumed by her yummy spud, she immediately sees the blog worthiness of the lady.

When she asks the lady for photos and tells her about the blog, the lady says she'll check in with hubby and come back. Her name is Jenny. 

Jenny leaves. 

At that point, SIA commiserates with her spud that she may never see Jenny again. SIA wishes she had adopted the stalking technique instead. 

Five minutes later.

Jenny comes back. With two little boys & a hubby in tow. 
SIA excited. 

Hubby was probably checking SIA didn't have two heads and wasn't running a syndicate trafficking in pretty Asian women.

All seems good. Snap, snap, snap. 

Jenny was doing the sport luxe look. 

Why does Jenny's look work?

First, Jenny is tall & slim. But her look transcends her height & figure. It can work for most women, albeit modified.

First, you need a ubiquitous white shirt. Jenny's was crisp white cotton & oversize.
Yours can be fitted, shorter, collared and in cream rather than white. It'll still work - as long as it fits you. 

I asked Jenny whether her shirt was Korean. It looked like the Korean tops SIA has discovered in Eastwood recently. 
Jenny confirmed it was from Korea, but direct Korea, not via Eastwood. 

She wore leggings. They were in a grey/brown leopard print. 
Classy print, funky shape. You can even wear jeans as an alternate. They could be skinny or bootleg (pears). They can be printed or plain. The key though is pants didnt overtake the top. They were subtle. 

Then comes the sneakers - the sneaker is the shoe for 2014 and very running after children friendly. Notice how these are not the sneakers Jenny wears to the gym? They were totally clean, had two strokes of colour on them & were her non gym sneakers. And they worked. 

The bag was a white in a mock croc - subtle but with signs of luxury. 

Then there was the grooming - subtle make up, mani in white, loose carefree waves. Deliberate loose carefree waves. 

Plus subtle status jewellery. Nothing to overtake from the sport luxe look. 

What about me/you? 

Your height, colouring & body shape will determine whether you need to tweak Jenny's look to make it appropriate for you. 

You can turn it into preppy, minimalist even biker chic. It's all possible - as long as you know what works best for your preferences and body.

Do you have Jenny's look (or a modified version) in your closet? 


Friday, October 10, 2014

Missoni 4 Oz Target - Top 10, Bottom 10 & everything in between

Target Penrith, a premium store.
That's code for they had all the loot. 

Pretty bags, huh?
Oops, that's at the end of the day.



Because you have to have a good entry level item to make the dream attainable.

a) Technically,
Leather, rose gold hardware, with leather strippy thing.
Such a cute boxed item.
If you're wondering, the leather pencil case is underneath.
b) Actually, 

The coasters (south east)
Round box, 4 heavy porcelain babies with cork base.
4 different prints.
Totally cleanable.
The other pieces are porcelain plates. 

Yes, realest is a word.

Girls twin set.
The colours, the texture, the weave.
Realest for sure. 
Same with the pink baby piece &
the apricot/orangey baby pieces. 

Same with one pale pink tank (see above photo).

Same with one black tank (at left below).


The stripes on Fido's bowl scream Sonia Rykiel.
Anything channeling two mega design houses can't be bad. 

Oh yeah bowls for Fluffy too. 
Leashes for Fido & Fluffy too. 


The espadrille was a hit. Both at Parra and Penrith. 

But don't be too fussy about the details. 

They are not fabric, some sort of synthetic, but
don't forget to protect your babies. 
Now for the non top 10 shoes....

Leather upper & lining

Leather footbed; a bit stiff

Leather footbed; a bit stiff 

Girls, all synthetic

All the grown up flip flops were $20

Nice neon straps


While it looks awful on the web site (something about being shown with long legs),
this was adorable. Silk blend.
Only for reasonably good figures though. 

Here is the monochrome playsuit, again, silk blend but it
doesn't look as fabulous as the coloured one.


The white men's shirt is outstanding.
In 100% cotton, in a beautiful weave.
You will need ironing skills, but no pain, no gain. 
7. CLASSY SCARVES - The woven ones

These were all linen/silk mixes & looked very Missoni worthy.

This one would have gone home with SIA apart from the fact that the
white was actually quite muddy/off white. It's an elegant print in a lovely fabric. 

Another silk/cotton. 

This one is so versatile with all the colours, but again,
it has warm undertones, even with the off white. 

Here she is again. 

A close up also showing the rose gold metal logo plate and the texture. 

Now for the baby cotton muslin.
Frankly I'd use these as a scarf. 
Lovely quality but an open weave, so could be delicate. 

The scarves which didnt make the top 10. 

These are all the knit (stretch) scarves. 
Loved the fact that the backs were a different print.
Didn't love that these are going to pull if you breathe on them. Far less durable than real deal Missoni, but then far more affordable. 


Nothing said more luxe to SIA than the silk/cotton sleepwear, esp the PJs and the strappy nightie.


As long as you're wearing the mock wrap full skirted dresses. 

Target is calling them "fit & flare" which is really wrong as they have a waist seam & a gathered skirt. 

If you have boobs, waist & hips, at any size, well up to s18, grab either of these. They are 10% silk. 

The ones which didnt make top 10:

The following knits are susceptible to pulls.
They are also not super forgiving. 

Please only wear this if you have a good figure. 

This one was pull city - every one of them which saw.  
Apart from the pulls, it looked amazing. 
Something about the soft salmon colour. 

This dress was a weightier knit with a separate slip. Weightier is gooder.

This is a viscose stretch dress. No slip. Nice style. 

The next few photos are of the same dress as immediately above, but in the green wave version.

Notice the dodgy sewing? Shoes up more with bright colours than with black. But you knew that. 

10. All the kid's wear. And the baby wear. 
The whole lot. 

Great fabrics, natural fibres, Cute designs. Great prices. 

Girl's playsuit in viscose. 

Surprised they kept the baby bag all black.

Love the coloured facings on the boys white shirt.


1. Knits

The knits - dresses, scarves, tops, "overcoats" etc.  
Massive pulling potential. 
Very sad given the printed ones are Missoni trademark prints. Lots of photos above.

Here are some more photo. 

The pencil skirt wasn't too bad in terms of pulling as it was a tight knit. 

A bit of an A line happening here in a rib knit.
This is probably not as sucseptible to pulls as the flat knits, but still risky. 

The green version of this top, aka, this top, looked the best.
The red & the black were a bit predictable. 

This looked lovely & would work with a back or navy wardrobe.
It had nylon in the knit, making it less likely to pull than its pure viscose sisters. 

This was LOVELY actually. Billed as a crop top with elbow length sleeves.
Loved it. But very warm in its colour. 

The top (also in red/white and green/white) looked
amazing with its matching "overcoat".
The other colours didnt have matching "overcoats". 

The pointelle cardis and tanks were alos lovely to look at, but so wide knitted & sheer. Hard to maintain. 
2. The swimwear was made of a flimsy fabric. 

Sorry, no photos...refer web. 

It was lined, but the outer fabric was very thin. 

Oh & the kaftans are lyocell. Which is code for viscose. 

Take care when laundering them. 

3. Knickers

The knickers were a very flimsy fabric and the elastic will disintegrate faster than you can say what happened to my underwear.

4. Indoor towels

The indoor towels in the black & white looked very rough. What I mean by that is that the edges of the colours going from black to white just looked fuzzy.

In contrast, the towels in the coloured wave looked much crisper in their colours.

No SIA comment on the velour beach towels. 
She couldnt be bothered undoing them. 

5. The two upright totes 

Looked a bit cheap.

The fabric was a heavy canvas, but SIA wasnt happy with it.

The handles were leather but also looked cheap & droopy in the way they were attached.

6. The silk blend pieces looked like viscose.

Let me get this clear.
Alot of the pieces were a silk/linen blend & it was slubbed & looked washed/sueded.
It looked like it was a viscose close cousin.

Now, some of the pieces in this fabric were HOT (like the playsuit and the "fit & flare" dresses). But their fabric was not a happy SIA fabric.

L to R: Pointelle cami, palazzo pant, cropped cigarette pant, playsuit

Adorable playsuit

Adorable playsuit but didnt look as good in black as it
did in the colours. 

Nice tailored short in the silk/linen blend

Like the playsuit, the web site shoes the tailored short
with longer legs than the in store version.
The in store version is also quite orangey red rather than pinky red.

On line tailored short photo. 

7. The pure silks 

The pure silks were tissue silks. That means very thin & flimsy.

Unless you iron it/steam it well after a wash. it's going to look well, alot less than smart. None of the these pieces were lined. 

I did like how the contrast was attached to the body of this loose top,
both in this one and the B&W one.
It was with stitching called fagotting - like an embroidery.

8. Acrylic madness

The throws were 100% acrylic. They looked acrylic. 
Nuff said.

9. Soft furnishings 

a) The cushions which were printed were nice. 
The ones with embroidery will pull quite easily. 
Plus you could see the ends of the threads which often were not tucked into the wrong side. Not impressed.

Most of the rectangular cushions had embroidery.
The ones with the terracotta back were harder to come by.

Loved how there was a bold & a softer version of these.
Both has waves on one side & stripes on the other. 
It would be lovely to mix bold & soft on the same couch. 
100% printed. 

b) The quilt covers & the pillowcases were a sateen finish, but lacked substance. They just looked blah. Blah is not good. 

The threadcount was stated as 300, but they just didnt feel lovely. 


10. Aussie men: Where style goes to die

a) Board shorts - Target calls them "volley shorts". 

Make it stop. This was Parramatta's display -
functional rather than in stories. 

SIA proposes that it's 1,000 times smarter to wear a tailored walk short. 
Those lovely Italians made those, but you probably didnt notice them amongst all the board/volley shorts. 

So much nicer than board shorts. In cotton. 

b) Thongs

And then they pollute women's minds, causing them to buy women's thongs.
You'd never see this in Europe. 
And maybe not in Melbourne. 

Shoot me. Now. 


Nice vases & frames

SIA loves stationery, but most of this had a PU cover & looked a bit tacky.

Loved the boxed notebook set.
Rounded corners too and a hard cover case.

Tea towels & melamine

Cute trays

Another cute tray

These were adorable.


Liked the cosmetic cases and that they had a plastic outer for easy wash down.
The bangles were nice as 
were the clear pouch gift sets (all also available in B&W)

Cotton tees for men

100% cotton jacket. Soooo much nicer than a hoodie.

The crop cigarette pant for ladies. 

The black crop cigarette pant. 

100% cotton. So Italian. Males, please buy. 

100% cotton 

100% cotton

This was the Bondi store in the afternoon from reader Belinda. 
Penrith was nothing like this. 

Reader Brooke's loot

Reader Caroline's loot + espadrilles to come

Reader Michelle's loot.
A word about where it's all made

Most of the loot was made in China. The towels were made in Bangladesh & I have a feeling so too was the bed linen (TBC).

What did SIA buy?

1. The espadrille (one of my fave pieces)
2. Two sets of coasters (love them & their presentation)
3. The wave pastel bra (feels super comfy)
4. The moulded cup bra (had the wide lace band)
5. The B&W ballet flat (because my Cavalli Target ballet flat has lived a long happy life)
6. A coloured wave teatowel (just because).

Would have loved the green ballet flat, but found that one foot which has a bunion looked very wonky against a strong pattern runs at 90 degrees to the length of the foot. 

Would have loved the B&W floral silk/cotton woven scarf, but the white was very off white.

The only thing i may go back & look at is the men's knit jacket. Because I love navy & I love textured knit jackets.

I wore the espadrille today - with white (Target) boyfriend jeans and an oversize Witchery white men's style shirt (same style as the two tone chambray shirt). Very happy with my look and the espadrilles got more than their fair share of attention. Even before I would put them in peoples' faces & say "Look, Missoni for target".

SIA would have killed to be a little girl & be able to wear the vibrant coloured twinset trimmed in B&W. 

Overall: 10/10 for Aussie Target despite the web site shenanigans. 

Most happy. Most exhausted. Shopping is such hard work.