Dress-less

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Top: Forcast

Skirt: DIY

Shoes: Mel (similar here)

Belt: I Will Fly

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a dress, but it’s actually a skirt and top combined. The two blacks are just slightly different (different fabrics: The top is a stretchy jersey, the skirt a suiting fabric) so to soften the difference between the two I’ve added a feature belt.

This is a great way of getting around the issue of two items that almost butĀ don’t quite work together, and I use it regularly. Not just to match blacks, but to marry two pieces – like two different colours, or two different patterns – together.

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The belt’s an oldie but a goodie. It’s an elastic belt with two fabric hearts that snap together, and I spotted it on Etsy a few years ago. I contacted the buyer about getting one custom-made to my measurements (don’t you LOVE Etsy? Clothes made to fit YOU, not YOU trying to fit clothes)

I bought the top at the end of last year, and its been one of my favourite recent purchases. I hadn’t heard of the brand Forcast before, as their Victorian stores are all in malls I’m not familiar with. I stumbled across them on a work trip, and I’m glad I did because this top is just lovely.

It has a wide flattering boatneck that adds length to my short torso, but miraculously doesn’t make me look ridiculously top-heavy. There’s a built-in shelf bra which is obviously useless for me in regards to bust support but does mean the top doesn’t ride up, and it also provides a double layer of coverage so the fabric doesn’t become sheer.

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The half-length sleeves are a new trend that I’m really starting to appreciate: very elegant and retro, with a vaguely balletic style, but theĀ real killer feature for me is the deep scooped back:

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Lovely.

Replacement Dots

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Fifties Lover Blouse: Princess Highway

Skirt: DIY

Shoes: Seychelles

When I first sewed this skirt back in 2012 I was very certain that it would look great with my favourite navy blue polkadot blouse from Victoria’s Secret, circa 2008. Mentally, I had the outfit all planned in my head, so imagine my surprise when I discovered it didn’t work. At all.

I don’t know what it was. The ruffles? The puffed sleeves? The fact the blouse was really tight? Whatever it was, I just decided to shrug it off and wear the skirt with other tops instead.

A month or so ago I was wearing the polkadot top – which (as you know) I’ve sewn the front of up so it doesn’t gape over my full bust – and when I went to undress the elderly fabric finally gave way, and the blouse tore irretrievably from underarm to button placket.

It’s a staple in my wardrobe and has appeared on the blog countless times, so I was absolutely gutted to have to finally bid it farewell.

A week or so ago I was walking past Princess Highway in the city on my way to an appointment, and what should I see in the window, but a navy blue polkadot blouse with a peter-pan collar, but no ruffles (which was always my least favourite part of the VS blouse. Ruffles+F-cups=total overkill).

Mercifully, it’s one of the pieces at Princess Highway that goes up to a size 16 and it fit comfortably without even needing my customary gapectomy.

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I snapped it up on sale for just $19, which even though I’m budgeting hard at the moment, seemed perfectly do-able for something I know I’ll get truckloads of wear out of (though bewilderingly it seems to have gone back up to $40 now.)

The collar turned out to be false, which is both annoying and bizarre (Like false pockets. What even?) but I’m prepared to forgive it, because to my astonishment it works with my DIY’d skirt. Just like I always knew it would.