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 a 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.

 

 

 

Cool weather comfort

Dress: DIY from Colette Moneta pattern

Top: Tirelli

Tights: Sonse

Shoes: Comfortview

There’s something about winter that makes me crave comfort. Also summer. And spring. And autumn, I guess.

This layered outfit is – to the surprise of no one, I’m sure – a Very Comfortable Outfit. It’s snuggly and warm, and shapeless (but, like, the good kind of shapeless), and it’s basically been my unofficial uniform since the weather got cold.

I’ve been living in my Sonsee opaque tights rather than trousers this year. I’ve blogged about my undying love for Sonsee before. They’re a wonderful, local company founded in 2013 by the very lovely Vanessa, and since then they’ve gone from strength to strength. The success of Sonsee is in no small part down to the fact that their tights are – hands down – the most comfortable, long-wearing, stretchy tights I’ve ever, ever tried (and trust me: I’ve tried a lot.) You can read my original review here – It’s worth clicking through just to see me fitting both legs into one side of the tights… Sonsee is really stretchy, guys – and I just want to let you know: That pair of tights I’m wearing in that photo from 2013? I’m still wearing them.

In 2015 Vanessa appeared on the first Australian episode of Shark Tank, and won the support of entrepreneur Naomi Simson. It’s a partnership that’s allowed Sonsee to expand their product range into intimates and activewear, which allows me to live in my Sonsee tights in winter, and my Sonsee anti-chafing shorts in summer.

They’ve also had a bit of a brand refresh, and I’m really liking the elegant new packaging. Online orders come wrapped up like a present in a shiny gift box, which is a nice little addition for shoppers (plus you can save $10 off your first order by signing up to their mailing list).

Meanwhile. Have you ever just blown off an unfamiliar shop because you were sure they’d either be too expensive, or too small in size? It turns out I’ve been doing that with Tirelli, which has a fairly schmick and intimidating-looking shopfront in Melbourne Central. The windows are full of the kind of layered, architectural designs that I’ve been loving lately, but I was so sure their largest size would be a 12, and their prices would have an extra 0 at the end of them, that I’ve never been brave enough to go inside.

A couple of weeks ago I saw this reversible knit in the window, and thought maybe I’d just have a tiny squiz. I ended up being pleasantly surprised – Tirelli goes up to a size XXL, which is supposedly a 16, but the shapes and cuts actually work fine for curvier bodies. It reminds me a little of the kind of fashion coming out of Universal Standard, Elvi and Coverstory, and oh man: I’d love to see more of it in the shops, because that kind of voluminous stuff either works, or it really doesn’t, and you never know unless you try it on.

Necklace: FoxtailBoutique

Finally, feast your eyes and your fidgety fingers on my current favourite piece of jewellery. This faceted crystal spinner necklace was a self-gift from Etsy, and I adore it. The crystal spins freely with a little nudge, and I find myself twiddling with it non-stop whenever I wear it. It’s basically a classy, stylish, wearable fidget spinner.

 

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