Shop it to me

So, because my blogging has been so sporadic lately, I’ve been falling into this trap of buying something, wearing it, loving it, then posting about it three months after it’s disappeared from the shops.

It’s Annoying and Bad Blogger Behaviour and I’m trying to Do Better, which is why you’re getting three OOTD’s in one post today.

I’ve been pretty good about being sensible about money lately. Working full-time out of an office has done wonders for my incidental spending, and, as you know, I’ve been doing a lot of sewing instead of shopping; but in the lead up to my 40th (cripes!) birthday I went on a bit of a binge, so I thought I’d share the spoils.

First up is this autumnal dress from – unexpectedly – Country Road.

Dress: Country Road

Shoes: Rockport

It’s been a while since I ventured into Country Road. There’s one quite near my office, so I wander past on a daily basis, but they only go up to a size 16, and these days I have to really really love something to take it into the changeroom and risk being disappointed when the largest size doesn’t fit.

I really really loved this dress, or rather I really really loved the print. It’s all orange and navy and blush and unexpected pops of mustard, and it’s big, bold floral that drew my eye every time I saw it.

With the gathered skirt, and blousy top I thought that there was a slight chance it might be oversized enough to fit, and that worst-case scenario, I might be able to dismantle the dress and fathack the fabric into something new.

Imagine my delight when I realised that gathered waistband was elasticised, as were the cuffs on the balloon sleeves. And imagine how pleased I was when I discovered it had deep, functional pockets. Now try to imagine me not buying it when – against all odds – it actually fit beautifully.

It’s a fairly light rayon/viscose fabric, unlined, which means that while I can wear it now with tights and a long cardigan (or with lots of layers of thermals underneath), it should also do me well right into spring, and hopefully into next autumn as well.

Dress: City Chic Online

Shoes: Rockport

Also new in my wardrobe is this black midi dress that I definitely didn’t need from City Chic. I’m a sucker for sleeved dresses and wide necklines, and this dress is a beauty.

It’s, admittedly, not the only plain black dress to hang in my wardrobe (it’s not even the only midi-length, sleeved, plain black dress with a full skirt to hang in my wardrobe) but at under $100 it’s a steal. There’s a sleeveless version available in City Chic shops right now, but this sleeved version is an online exclusive.

Made from a heavy ponti jersey, it’s a classy, versatile dress with a princess-seamed bodice, and a full skater-style skirt that boasts – you guessed it – pockets. It’s probably just a smidge too long, and the sleeves are baggier than I’d like, but it’s wonderfully elegant and comfortable to boot.

I thought it might make a good oh-god-I-don’t-know-what-to-wear-today dress (which it does) but it also has a notch neckline that’s wired to hold its shape, that gives spectacular cleavage, so watch out for that if you work somewhere a bit conservative.

Last year, I discovered to my horror that not only were clothing moths not big myth cooked up by Big Wood to sell cedar balls, but that somehow I’d managed to be afflicted with them. I lost pretty much my entire knitwear collection in one fell swoop (including all of my cashmere, *cries forever*), and I’ve been gradually trying to rebuild my winter woolies since then.

One thing that I was particularly devastated to lose was a long merino coatigan that I wore almost every day the winter previously. It was perfect for layering over skirts and dresses, as well as jeans and trousers. It was light enough that I could wear it indoors if I was feeling cold, but warm enough that I could wear it as a jacket outdoors as well.

I haven’t had any luck replacing it, but this “coat” from Seed is a worthy successor.

Coat: Seed Heritage

Top: Tirelli

Jeans: Svoboda

Shoes: Rockport

Seed‘s another of those shops I don’t venture into very often. I don’t have kids, and Seed only goes up to a size 14, so I don’t have a lot of excuses to darken their doors, but I’ve recently discovered the joy of triangle scarves, and Seed struck me as somewhere that might have them. They don’t, but they did have this oversized oatmeal coat on sale, and I kinda… love it.

It’s only a wool blend, but it’s unexpectedly warm, and it has the dropped shoulders that I’m super into at the moment, and pockets big enough that I can stash my iPad in them. In no way shape or form is it worth its original price of $339. It’s not even lined, so realistically it’s not really even worth the $174 that I paid for it, but I’ve worn it almost every day since I bought it so it’s definitely earning its keep.

It’s the perfect length for layering, and teamed with skinny jeans it gives a really stylish vibe. I’ve teamed it today with high-waisted denim jeans from Svoboda, who – tragically – are planning to close their virtual doors.

I blogged about Svoboda way, way back in the early days of Frocks and Frou Frou. They were one of the very first premium denim brands designed for the plus-size market, and it’s very sad to hear that their current line will be their last.

These skinny jeans are super comfortable. Svoboda ran a campaign with them with plus-size women doing yoga, and that’s not an exaggeration – I could comfortably do a full sun salutation in these without batting an eyelid. They looked way too small to fit when they arrived, but the fabric stretches beautifully without bagging.

They’re a true skinny without being so thin that you feel like they reveals all those bumps that you’d rather not flaunt. I sized down on Jessica Svoboda’s recommendation, and I’m glad that I did. The fly pulls a little at my tummy, but apart from that these are just wonderful, and I’m definitely going to grab a few more pairs before they disappear forever.

 

 

 

Life Gets in the Way

Top: DIY from Marilla Walker top

Skirt: City Chic

Shoes: Rockport

Oh God, I’m a terrible blogger and it’s been over a month since I last posted. I’m still here, and happy, and well, and wearing clothes (believe it or not) but I’m afraid life has a way of getting in the way.

It’s been a wonderful life though. The Mister and I have started looking at potential wedding venues, and we’re also madly saving up for a house deposit. Work is a joy – I haven’t felt so enriched and rewarded for years – and the team that I work with are divine.

I’ve been sewing, and baking, and reading, and writing, and catching up with friends, and doing jewellery-making courses, and basically everything but blogging. You’ll forgive me, right?

At least today’s outfit is current! This skirt is available right now from City Chic, but I basically had to wrestle another shopper for the size (I’m joking of course), so you might want to get in quickly. I’ve been looking for a permanent-pleat midi skirt for a while, and this one’s a delicious ox-blood colour that will go with a slew of my wardrobe; including the boxy Maya top that I made from a Marilla Walker pattern earlier last year. It also comes in black, and pleather, if maroon isn’t your thing.

Speaking of sewing, I’m hilariously delighted to tell you that I’ve actually sewn a stack of pussy hats that are now available to buy from Readings Bookshop.

We wear our feminist bias proudly at Readings – it’s hard to work with such a remarkable bunch of amazing and talented women and not feel a little bit in awe of them – and we put our money where our mouth is, so $1 from the sale of each of the hats will go to our Readings Foundation to help promote literacy programs, and further 10% from me to Women’s Community Centres. Readings ships worldwide, so if you’ve ever wanted a Lilli original (LOL), this one will keep your head warm AND support some good causes.

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