Take two

Blouse: Nina Kay

Vest: Target

Skirt: Sussan

Shoes: Chie Mihara


All right, I’ll admit it. You’re not seeing double, I actually bought two of these ditzy floral blouses from Nina Kay. Or rather, I bought the pink one, then decided I loved it so much I had to go out and get the blue, too. It’s not quite as awesome, but it keeps me going when the pink’s in the washing machine (because God knows I don’t have enough clothes to tide me through otherwise. *snort*)

In considerably more exciting news….

I’m going to America!

The Sophisticate invited me a few months ago to join him on a familial visit, and what’s a girl to say when a delightful young man asks her to go to her SHOPPING MECCA but “I’ll pack my bags right now”?

I’ve got my passport, and we’ve bought tickets, and paid for accommodation, so it almost feels real enough to announce it publicly.

I’ll be there for just two and a half weeks over November, starting with San Francisco, and I’m going to keep blogging so stay tuned for Lilli’s Adventures In The United States.

I’ve been doing a dreadful job of “saving” (see above for case-in-point) and I’m planning to be doing a great deal of sightseeing, as I’ve never been to the USA before and The Sophisticate is very excited to show me his Motherland, but fear not: There will be shopping. And dressing room photos. And visits to those wretched American stores that refuse to ship Down Under but whose clothes I pine for (Banana Republic I’m looking at you). If anyone has any suggestions for Can Not Miss Places I should visit during my sojourn I’d love to hear ’em!


53 thoughts on “Take two

  1. I think Banana Republic ships internationally, now! I know that Old Navy, Gap and Piperlime just started doing so, and it’s fairly amazing. Also, ANTHROPOLOGIE just started shipping here, too! I think it’s because Fifty One finally added Australia to its list of countries that exist.

    ….This probably isn’t motivating you to help save, I suppose.

    ETA: Yes! Just checked BR, and they ship here. Brave new world!

    1. Oh, also: Banana Republic and Gap are fantastic – although my clothes from the gap did get a lot of holes and things. Old Navy is pretty awesome, too – they have a ton of basics, and some really stylish stuff too, cheap as chips.

      Anthropologie is amazing, for accessories if not clothes (their sizes do run small). J Crew is usually pretty awesome. I don’t know if you’re going to New York, but the thrifting scene there is INSANE. Rich ladies apparently wear beautiful designer gowns once and then give them to charity, so you find top shelf stuff in thrift stores for half the price. Lane Bryant has gotten a bit mumsy in the past few years, but they have wonderful underwear there under the label of Cacique! Torrid, on the other hand, can be a bit tarty but…idk, I always end up finding tons of stuff I love in-store, and hating everything on the website, so that might be a new experience. Ann Taylor Loft is gorgeous. Nordstrom Rack has all Norstroms’ cast-offs and can be wonderful. I always find a ton of tiny boutiquey places in cities like San Fran, too. You’ll have a ball!

      1. No New York this time, sadly, but it sounds like I’ll have my hands full getting shopping done in San Francisco. J. Crew and Anthro are definitely on my Must-Visit list!
        Thanks for commenting 🙂

    2. Oooh – that’s good! I know the shipping for Anthro’s pretty high, but if you’ve seen something PERFECT…! It’ll be good to try em all on for size 🙂

  2. Ahhhh! My former employer was based in SFO so I have too many recommendations (both shopping and sightseeing) ! I’ll have to email you!

    Yes, BR et al ship here but the shipping is really pricey. So much better to try everything on when you are THERE!!

      1. Have sent the email – let me know if you didn’t get it… I also second Anthropologie – beautiful stuff but the sizing is tres small… The accessories are great though!

        Also, for Las Vegas, definitely go to Fashion Show Mall – fabulous – and check out the posh shops at the Venetian and the Forum at Caesars! And the painted ceilings at Paris!

        There’s a Premium Factory outlet in LV as well with a good Burberry, Banana Republic and all the usual suspects. Worth a visit: http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=58

        Best buffet is at the Wynn – definitely. And it’s also the nicest Casino on the strip. For a great dinner try Bouchon at the Venetian.

  3. Ooooh I hope we’re on the same filght, I’m going in November too.
    Can’t wait for some good bargains, I’m trying to take as little as possible and come home with heavy cases.
    the dollar is so good right now, I’ve already changed over some savings just in case it plunges.
    will you be there for the Black Friday sales (day after Thanks giving)? it’s apparently crazy, people camp out all night like waiting for rock concert tickets.

  4. New York is amazing for shopping and just to be there! Such a great time to make a trip to the US with the exchange rate so fantastic as well. So jealous. I hope you have a fab time!

  5. Oh I always forget to tell you (and now you are GOING), but my BFF lives in the US and would be more than happy to ship things along, she does it for me all the time!

  6. The best advice I can give is (depending on what your baggage allowance is- make sure you check!) is to only pack a medium sized suitcase, then put it into an empty larger sized suitcase so you have an empty one to fill up and bring home. If you don’t have limits or don’t care about paying (often times, depending on the airline, it’s $20/kg ~ I paid $215 from Toronto for an extra bag when my daughter started uni in Dublin) Sometimes airlines charge only per bag, so then it wouldn’t make much of a difference if it was only $25 or $50 per bag. You’ll have a ball, but I’ll tell you, I almost DIED walking up some of those hills in San Francisco. DIED!
    Get the Sophisticate to take you to the outlet mall in Gilroy (and have some garlic while you’re there!)

  7. Oooh, enjoy! Ambience on Haight St, San Fran has fantastic vintage-style shoes. They mainly do vintage-style clothes, but had very few items in larger sizes when I was there.

    Have you already placed an order at eShakti, to be sent to your accommodation? : )

    There’s an intriguing jewellery store in the East Village of New York called The Shape of Lies – I think it’s on East 7 St, near First Avenue. The woman who runs it has great stories about some of the pieces and she’s just generally lovely. (Oh, and if you’re in the East Village, there’s a fab cheapie Venezuelan restaurant/take away called Caracas. YUM! Too much good food and good shopping in NY!)

    And I second the other commentors – Gap and Banana Republic do some good stuff and just walking around NY is wonderful. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

  8. That’s so exciting! You’re coming to my land! Now if only you were coming to the East Coast…(says the lonely Virginian). It does look like there are several Avenue stores in CA, near SanFran, (http://www.avenue.com/). Their clothes are FABULOUS!!! And there are plenty of frills and frou-frou to satisfy you!

  9. I have to second the recommendations for Ann Taylor Loft and Anthropologie (which in my experience runs all over the place, just try on knits if you get disheartened by their non-stretch stuff). I’m a pretty solid US 18/20, and I can wear stuff from those places, so you’ll be fine. Also, White House Black Market has some cool stuff sometimes, so it’s probably worth checking if there’s one in the area. Also, J Crew is pretty fabulous and drool worthy.

  10. SF advice: stay away from fisherman’s wharf, nuthin to see. Go thrifting in the Mission or on Haight street, also great shoe stores on Haight, shoe biz, rent a bike on haight street & stanyan and bike over the bridge and down to the ocean and back. Spend a day in GG Park, go to the japanese tea garden & get tea, go to the deyoung and the California academy of sciences. Crissy field is a great walk along the water. Go to the farmer’s market (thurs and Sat) in the Ferry building, go to Miette in the ferry building for a sweet treat.

  11. Ha, I’ve been lurking for so long here.

    In San Fran, hit Mission Thrift and Thrift Town for cheapy goodness, and Rare Device for a fix of indie art, jewelry and design. As for Anthro, I wear a US size 16, and you would be surprised at how many items I can find there. I’ve had lesser luck at J Crew’s sister store Madewell, but keep trying because it is so lovely. Their shoes and accessories are fantastic.

    I would also recommend somewhere like Nordstrom Rack (Or Century 21 if you are going to NYC) for designer deals: bags, tights, etc. The Soho Bloomingdales in NYC is hipper and carried the designer’s full size range (so you can find DVF in a size 14, and since the silk is stretchy, it can work), and there are sometimes great sales there. Also hit Beacon’s Closet. And you can not go wrong with a Buffalo Exchange in a hip city – you can find every sort of thing there in like-new condition for much cheaper (A $150 anthro dress, say, for $30 to $50).

    Have fun!!!!

    Enjoy my homeland. Post if you are going to Portland or Seattle. That’s my corner of the world and I would have additional tips for you.

    1. Thankyou SO MUCH, Kristina 🙂 I love your pointers – we’re leaving New York for next time, but I’ll definitely check out your suggestions! Thanks for commenting!

  12. Suggestion: come to TN and visit me!

    says the creepy internet stranger


    i want to borrow your clothes


  13. Ooh! How fun! You should try to make it down to LA. It may have a reputation for being traffic-ridden and ugly, BUT LA actually has so many cool things, including great flea markets and vintage stores. Plus, we have the sun! 🙂

  14. I just have to say: you are a very beautiful person. Don’t care what you wear (well, I love the things you wear), you just look so lovely!

    1. We’re taking the “South Route” from San Fran to Missouri, so through Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, etc. Detours up to visit Las Vegas for a night or two, and a visit to the Grand Canyon are definitely on the agenda though 🙂

  15. I don’t believe it! Everyone I know is going to America!!! Two of my best friends, and my little brother…

    If you are going to New York, you’ve got to check out Fifth Avenue. I am a Melbourne girl all the way, but I want some of my ashes scattered on Fifth Ave when I die.

    I love Rockefeller Plaza (on Fifth), right across the road from Saks and St Patrick’s Cathedral. Round the corner is Burberry. So beautiful, with the ice skaters on the rink in the Plaza and that gorgeous golden statue…

    I want to come too!!!

    Congratulations on your trip Lilli, I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time and I can’t wait to hear all about it.

    1. Hi Jess, thanks for commenting 🙂 No New York this time, unfortunately. I’ve only managed to wrangle two and a half weeks off from my Real Life Job, alas, which has left us a bit pressed for time… next time though, I’ve been promised!

  16. Lilli – thank you so much for the shopping advice when I was in Sydney last week! I had an outrageous splurge, including a fabulous jacket from Anthea Crawford that I couldn’t live without. And now you’re coming over to my side of the ocean soon. San Fran is lovely, I know you’ll enjoy it. Let me know if you’re coming anywhere near Phoenix, Arizona.

    1. My absolute pleasure Sue – I’m glad you found a few things you liked. Anthea Crawford’s got some gorgeous stuff – if you ever come down to Melbourne you should check out her clearance shop on Bridge Road 🙂
      Actually The Sophisticate and I will be roadtripping through Arizona on our way to Missouri. I think we’re following the “South Route” (so he tells me) that passes through Flagstaff, but I don’t think we’re coming as far south as Phoenix. Also no idea on dates yet – I suspect we’re just going as the mood takes us 🙂

    1. LOL, well his folks live here in Melbourne, and are perfectly wonderful, so it’s most of the rest of the extended family. Luckily I won’t be the only friend being introduced to the family either – his younger brother’s taking one along too

  17. Also, grab a prawn taco at El Torro at 6th and Valencia in the Mission, and honestly, I would say skip the Haight. It’s pretty much a touristy hell.

    Have fun!!!!

  18. Just wanted to say that Banana doesn’t have much in the way of 16s in store – they usually have XLs but if you need 16s then best you order online and have sent to your hotel/accom….also the same for JCrew.

    For those of you hyperventilating over the shipping costs via FiftyOne, try comgateway.com. Much cheaper for a similar courier service, and they will consolidate your packages from multiple stores into one! I’ve used them 3 times now and have no complaints.


  19. Where else aside from SF will you be??? That will impact shopping suggestions, but there’s a lot. Anthropologie which folks keep mentioning is great, and in Berkeley there’s a store that sells a lot of their stuff half off http://www.yelp.com/biz/jeremys-berkeley. Also b/c we’re in different seasons you should get some super good deals.

    I bet you’ll also like Gap, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, Ann Taylor Loft, etc…but if you come to NYC I’ll have better suggestions.

    My biggest suggestion is to spend a day at an outlet mall. You will be in utter heaven.

  20. Where else aside from SF will you be??? That will impact shopping suggestions, but there’s a lot. Anthropologie which folks keep mentioning is great, and in Berkeley there’s a store that sells a lot of their stuff half off http://www.yelp.com/biz/jeremys-berkeley. Also b/c we’re in different seasons you should get some super good deals.

    I bet you’ll also like Gap, Banana Republic, J. Crew, Urban Outfitters, Ann Taylor Loft, etc…but if you come to NYC I’ll have better suggestions.

    My biggest suggestion is to spend a day at an outlet mall. You will be in utter heaven. And have lots of burrittos in SF.

    1. Oooh – thanks, Bloomie!
      At the moment the plan is San Francisco for a few days, then roadtripping it along the south route through Arizona, Oklahoma etc to get to Missouri (Where the Sophisticate’s folks originate). Brief stop-overs in the Grand Canyon & detouring to Las Vegas. No New York this time, but it gives me an exceptional reason to come back 🙂

  21. Hey! The best thrift in San Francisco is Clothes Contact in the Mission, lots and lots of cheap and wonderful vintage in lots of sizes. Also Shupaltz in the Mission, Wasteland in the Haight, and don’t forget great coffee at Four Barrel! Random, but if you go through Santa Fe when you’re in New Mexico find this great store called Cowboyz (ha) where they have tons and tons of cowboy boots and other sweet vintage western wear. Have fun!

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