Thursday, 31 October 2013

Spooky Thursday

Happy Halloween!! Halloween is a weird day here in Australia. It's not counted as a holiday, so we don't get a day off for it and people don't really celebrate it that much. When I was a kid my mum was particularly against my brother and I doing anything for Halloween because it was so 'American'. All that being said, I love any excuse to dress up and over the years I have grown to love this spooky, freaky day.

Because we don't get a day off, I had to think of something fairly 'work friendly' to wear that was still in the spirit of Halloween. My standard go-to costume is a fantastic backless leopard print leotard I bought at an op-shop years ago, not particularly office appropriate! I figured I'd just go down the 'goth' route and wear all my black lace stuff and do some cool makeup. So this is the result!

My skirt is an old Sportscraft one that I op shopped few seasons ago for $5, I hemmed the lining so you could see more of the lace pattern. I love this skirt but don't tend to wear it that much, it's very dramatic and I don't have many occasions that call for a dramatic skirt. I picked up the lace shirt at an op shop at the beginning of winter, I haven't worn it once, so I think it will be going in to the pile of things destined for my next clothes swap. 

I absolutely love dressing up and standing out but I have to admit that as I was going about my work routine (post office, banking, coffee run etc) I felt a bit awkward about my outfit and could feel people staring at me. You definitely need to be 100% confident if you want to rock this look. I'm not sure I quite pulled it off but for Halloween it was fun to try something different. I do actually love the dark lip, I might have to invest in a proper dark red or purple lipstick (today I'm cheating and just wearing black eyeliner with red lipstick over the top). 

My necklace was gifted to me from my Aunt's jewellery box and my hair flowers are assorted clips I've collected over the years. The shoes are op shopped flat forms, but I actually changed in to regular ballet flats after looking at the pictures, instead of looking like cool edgy shoes (what I was going for) they just look a bit like orthopaedic chemist shoes. Happy Halloween! I hope you all had a suitably spooky day!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Selective Shopping

I have a confession to make… I’m not very good at knowing what clothes will be ‘keepers’ when I’m shopping. Actually, I’m terrible at it. This is the reason I am constantly editing my wardrobe and donating bags of clothes to friends and back to op shops. I wish I had a better knack for knowing what I’ll get the most use out of, it’s definitely a skill I need to work on! 

For the last two months I have been recording how much money I spend op shopping and what items I’m buying. In October I spent $109 and bought four dresses, six tops, a pair of pants, a skirt, a belt, a bag and two scarves. Of that loot, I’ve already given a dress and two tops away to friends after deciding they weren’t for me. Luckily the average cost of each item is $7, so it’s not like I’m wasting heaps of money (and spending money in op shops is never a waste, because it goes to charity!) but I do wish I had a better eye for things that will be long term wardrobe additions. 

I have been trying really hard recently to be sensible with my op shopping and have been looking for items that will help me create more outfits out of my existing wardrobe, rather than buying something that requires a specific top/shoes/belt that I don’t already own. I saw a sleeveless white shirt with a tie up waist in Sportsgirl for $90 (choke!!) and knew that it was the missing piece to my summer wardrobe. I’m not prepared to spend $90 on much and certainly not a plain white top. Luckily for me I found this little white cotton top at the South Street Salvos for $4 last week. I’ve worn it twice already and I know it’s going to be perfect for many of my colourful skirts. 

This outfit is all pretty new actually. My skirt was $7 from Vinnies and my green croc print bag was $5 from Salvos. My blue flats are old Kenneth Cole ones and my little diamante brooch is from my Grandma. I’m going to continue recording how much I spend and what I buy in the hope that it will force me to be a bit more careful/selective with my clothes. Buying 16 items in one month is pretty ridiculous and I know I need to cut down, does anyone have any tips for me?

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Everyday Vintage

I discovered this blog the other and have been reading through it's archives for the past week. I am in complete awe of people who dress in total vintage. Marianne from Esme and the Laneway is one of those people, she looks beautifully put together with perfect vintage curls and gorgeous make up all the time. Well, at least in all of her blog and instagram photos! Perfect hair, perfect nails, perfect make up, perfect clothes, all day every day. In a perfect world that's how I would dress, but it just takes so much time and effort! 

This week (after being inspired by Marianne) I have been wearing some of my more 40s and 50s style outfits and trying a bit harder with my hair and make up, and as much as I'm enjoying it (and I love to look polished) I'm not sure how long I will carry on.

As much as I totally adore vintage dresses and circle skirts and the like, I also love wearing modern things. What I enjoy most about getting dressed is being able to create an outfit that no one else has using my vintage and op shopped pieces from many different eras. I really admire people like Marianne, who are so committed to a particular vintage look, but I don't think it's for me (at least not every day!). 

On this day I was still feeling the 40's vibe and wore my grey spot dress, patent black belt and rolled my hair into a Gibson Tuck-esk style. I bought this dress for a few dollars at the Melville Markets a year or so ago, I love it's full skirt and the rounded neckline. It's been in-expertly taken up (not by me!) so I really need to fix the hem, but otherwise it's a beauty. My shoes are REALLY old, I borrowed them from my cousin about 10 years ago and never returned them (sorry El!), they are on their last legs now and I really need to buy another pair of red patent heels, they are so versatile (I'm serious!). 

Monday, 28 October 2013

Around the World in 15 Outfits - Designers!

Did you have a happy Sunday? It was such a glorious day and I had a great time wondering around the Fremantle Seafood Festival (I ate far too many sardines!). My outfit yesterday was a bit more casual than I normally go, but I received so many compliments on it, maybe I'll have to dress down more often! 

My travel tip for today is to keep an eye out for local designers. When I was in Paris I was determined to find a vintage Hermes scarf or some Dior (hmmm a bit too ambitious I think!), I didn't find any Hermes, but I did stumble across this fantastic Celine t-shirt for 10 euros!

When op shopping in Perth I have been lucky enough to find some European designs hidden amongst the piles of Made In China clothing, but it's still fairly uncommon. Finding something like a Celine t-shirt in Perth would be pretty unheard of, but in Paris it's a little more likely. It's great to do some research about local designers before you go out vintage hunting, just so you know what labels to keep an eye out for. To be honest, I wasn't looking for Celine when I was rummaging about in Paris, but I automatically recognised the label and snapped it up like... well, like Celine in an op shop! 

I don't wear a lot of t-shirts so I struggled to style this for a while. Today I'm going super casual with my $6 denim skirt. My belt is a new op shop find ($1 from Vinnies), my trusty red Sportsgirl sandals and straw fedora are going to be summer staples, I can just feel it! I also whacked on some bangles at the last minute, the white one with gold bows is Ted Baker and the gold one is Givenchy (fancy! I found it in my Grandma's jewellery box).

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Vintage Hair

Last weekend I went to a vintage hair styling course run by the beautiful Ally from The Vintage Valley (one of my favourite blogs, you should check out this seriously stylish lady!). Along with 20 other vintage fanatics and plenty of champagne I learnt I how to do pin curls, the Gibson tuck, victory rolls and a few other bits and pieces. It was so much fun! I have been trying (fruitlessly) for quite awhile to master vintage pin curls, so it was wonderful to have someone so experienced show me what to do. 

Since the course I have been playing around with my hair trying to replicate what I learnt. One of the things I struggle with the most is that vintage hair styles generally require your hair to be curled and my long thick, mostly strait, hair does not hold curl at all. I've tried hot rollers, curling wands and my GHD irons numerous times over the years trying to curl my hair, but after 20 minutes the curls are limp and then after another 10 minutes they are gone. 

Somewhere recently I read about rag tie curls, I remember my mum putting bits of rag in my hair as a kid, so I thought I would give them a try. I cut up one of the boyfriend's old t-shirts and followed instructions from Esme and the Laneway and... IT WORKED! When I took out the rags the next day my hair was in ringlets! The curls stayed in place the whole day and even looked nice the day after. I'm never using my curling wand again!

Next time I put in the rag ties I'm going to use less fabric and make sure they aren't too close to my scalp so the curls aren't so tight. But all in all I am so happy with the outcome, who new perfect curls where only an old t-shirt away?! With my super curly hair I managed to create a couple of passable pin curls, I definitely need more practice, but I was happy enough with these to wear them out of the house and to work.

To match my (nearly) awesome hair I'm wearing a vintage dress, op shopped Witner shoes ($10 from Salvos) and a brooch from my Grandmother. 

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Around the World in 15 Outfits - Remember Where You Live

Shopping when you are on holidays is so exciting! You've saved up a bit of cash and you are ready to splash it about. When I'm shopping overseas I also get struck with the 'oh but who knows when I'll be in (insert fabulous city) again, I better just buy it' train of thought, which is very dangerous! So from that comes my next travel shopping tip... remember where you live.

When I was in Europe I found SO MANY amazing vintage coats. Faux fur, real fur, cashmere, wool, all the good stuff! They were all so beautiful and I loved them and I wanted to buy them all, but I had to constantly remind myself that I live in Perth and weather will never be cold enough to warrant more than one (or maybe two... OK three) faux fur coats. 

I bought this black 1960's coat in a vintage store in Amsterdam, it actually cost quite a bit (about 70 euros from memory). It's the only black coat I have and I love everything about it. Whenever I wear it I feel so glamourous and polished (which is how every coat should make you feel I think!). Even though the fabric is quite heavy, the cropped sleeves mean it is perfect for my home town temperatures. It was the only coat I bought while I was overseas, I had to exercise some serious restraint to stop myself buying several more gorgeous ones that I found along the way. 

It's so easy to get swept up in the style of the city you are visiting. In Prague I convinced myself I needed a fur hat because it was -10 degrees and everyone around me was wearing them, my boyfriend kindly (in hind sight) talked me out of it and I'm so glad he did (those things are expensive!). When I visited Bali in May I was desperate to stock up on loose flowy pants and kaftans because it was so humid and sticky. Luckily I didn't do that either because I cannot pull off yoga-chic style at all!

So that's my travel suggestion for today! Don't forget where you live! Don't buy a floor length cashmere coat if you live in a city that only gets below 10 degrees one day a year. (Or maybe do, a floor length cashmere coat sounds amazing!). 

My dress, belt and shoes are op shopped (check out my $10 Bally ballet flats!!), my bag is new Ted Baker and I'm not going to tell you how much it cost because I still feel guilty for buying it, but I love it so much! The flower necklace is a cheapy from Lovisa and the red beads are vintage bakelite taken from Mum.


Friday, 18 October 2013

Normal Girl Dress

This dress is what I refer to as my 'normal girl dress'. It's op shopped ($4, Salvos), but it's the Big W home brand, so it's nothing snazzy. It's a nice shape, light fabric, easy pattern to wear and I know so many girls who would look good in it.

When I start talking to people about op shopping (which I almost always do because it's my favourite hobby!), more often then not they will tell me they can't pull off vintage. Which is ridiculous, because all you need to 'pull off' vintage clothing is a body and a smile. But never the less I get their point. Some people just want to dress normally. 

My style is pretty eclectic and out there, so I love finding wild and wacky things on my op shop treasure hunts. For all the crazy patterned pants, bejewelled blouses and printed dresses I find, I see SO MANY normal clothes. I'm talking Country Road, Sportsgirl, Witchery, op shops are littered with chain store goodies. I tend to skip strait past these things when I see them on the rack, but I know so many of my friends would snap them up in an instant.  Why pay $100 for a pair of Country Road pants when you can get them for $5?

What I'm trying to say is that you can be a totally normal conservative strait laced kind of gal and still find everything you need (clothing wise) in an op shop. Plain white shirt? Check! Black pencil skirt? Check! Striped cardigan? Check! Regardless of your personal style, you'll be able to find a lot of what you want in second hand stores, you just need to give it a chance! 

Because I hate to look ordinary I 'un-normalised' my $4 dress with an awesome faux fur trimmed coat (bought from Anglicare in Belmont for $6 as a gift from my cousin) and my red felt hat. My shoes are new additions, they are Messeca and are so comfortable! I got them for a steal from Urban Outfitters online. My rings are both super old and I can't remember where they came from. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Growing Up

It's interesting how a few small inconsequential things can make you feel really grown up all of a sudden. Recently I have noticed myself doing some very 'grown up' things. I've started ironing my clothes, I even bought a steamer after being burnt by the iron one to many times. When I bought wine glasses the other day, I didn't buy the cheapest ones, but the ones I liked the shape of best. Most notably, I have started really paying attention to the quality, not just the price, of the clothes and shoes that I buy. 

This shirt dress is a good example of something grown-up Hannah would buy. I've never really been that interested in shirt dresses, I need a bit more structure and shape in my clothes and I find they make me look boxy and large. That being said when I came across this blue and white spotty one in Vinnies last week, I couldn't resist that pattern, the fact that it was 100% cotton and made in Australia. Turns out this dress is awesome! It's beautifully made and fits perfectly. It will be a great one to wear at work as the temperatures creep up.

The dress cost me $8, so I'm still a sucker for cheap clothes, but I think I am slowly but surely edging away from big chain stores (good bye Sportsgirl, Forever New and Cotton On). I try to only buy things I am absolutely in love with and I don't really pay attention to trends, so I want my clothes to last more than one season. I'm sick of disposable fashion and things falling apart or looking crap after a couple of washes. This dress is such great quality and such lovely fabric that I'm certain it will stand the test of time.  

 It's hard to say good bye to chain stores forever, the lure of cheap easy clothes is so irresistible that I know I'll be back in Kmart sooner or later, but for now I'm going to try my hardest to focus on finding quality clothes over quantity. Luckily if you venture in to op shops you don't have to break the bank to wear good quality things.

My shoes are Rachel Antonoff brogues (obsessed with them!), white brooch is from Berlin and the yellow one is hand made by me. This growing up business has taken me quite by surprise, but I'm actually OK with it, good bye disfigured Cotton On t-shirts and hello skirts without creases and long stemmed wine glasses!