Monday, 30 May 2011

Brighten My Life

Herve Leger mini dress
$777 -

Elie Tahari floral blouse
$168 -

River Island blue blazer
35 GBP -

TopShop bodycon skirt
$64 -

Leather boot
$1,095 -

ASOS platform pumps
$83 -

Marc jacobs clutch
$395 -

Beading bracelet
$105 -

Chain necklace
$14 -

Autumn Leaf

Sleeveless wrap dress

M Patmos fur jacket
$2,295 -

Elie Saab platform sandal
$600 -

Yves Saint Laurent clutch handbag
470 GBP -

EFFY COLLECTION post earring
$600 -

Meredith Wendell wrap bracelet
275 GBP -

Wide brim hat
$45 -

Autumn Leaf

Mint dress

M Patmos short sleeve jacket
$2,295 -

Elie Saab buckle sandal
$600 -

Meredith Wendell rope jewelry
275 GBP -

3' x 5' rug
$399 -

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Wardrobe Must Haves: 6 items every women's wardrobe needs

During though economic times, it is important that we have items in our wardrobe that aren't only suitable for that current trend of season but items that we can wear season after season, day after day.  We need items that we can dress up, dress down and pair with other 'trendy' items to suit that season.

Here are 6 staple items that every women needs in her wardrobe:

Black Dress! Something that you can wear on several occasions and style a new way everytime. You want something that you can wear to an important meeting, night out with the girls, or something less fun like a funeral.

Black dresses that you can wear for many occasions

Jeans!  You want jeans that are fitted for your body type.  You want a pair of jeans that you can wear every Saturday with your favourite cardigan, jacket or hoodie.

A few different styles of jeans that you can wear season after season

Black Boots!  You need a pair of black boots that you can wear season after season.  Avoid ones that look to be seasonal or in a current trend style. Go for genuine leather and to what ever height that suits your style and personal taste.  I personally prefer the height that sits just under your knee.

Basic style black boots with various heals

White T Shirt!  A white t shirt is a must have as it goes with everything.  You want the t shirt to stay fresh, so you may need to update them reasonably frequently depending on how often you wear it.  It doesn't hurt to have several in your drawer.  To take this one further, you should try and have a few white singles, 3/4 sleeves tops and a least one long sleeve top.  Try and keep them motif free.

White basics to wear with everything

Summer Dress!  Even in Melbourne you need a summer dress.  Summer dresses shouldn't need any work in dressing up.  As long as you choose a dress that is flowy and with bold colours

Pretty Summer dresses

Trench Coat!  When I say trench I am not talking about a coat to your knees, just a basic black trench coat that sits around hips, one with double breast buttons and a belt.  This classic style never goes out of fashion and re-appears year after year for winter.

Various styles of basic trench coats

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Guide to Online Clothing, Shoes and Accessory Shopping

If your not shopping online yet, you are missing out.  If you are not sure what all the hype is, let me teach you.  You have the potential to be shopping from all over the world at prices that you could never imagine back home.  The GFC is still hitting the western world and prices have never been better for the consumer.  However, there are many tricks, scams and problems that you can incur while online shopping.  I have prepared a guide to online shopping which will help smooth over any problems which you may encounter and how to avoid scams.
1:     Newbies to online shopping should start with EBay. There is a reason why EBaying has been so popular over the past 10 years.  There is definately tips and tricks to EBay but generally the format is very simple.  The reason I say to new online shoppers to start on EBay is because it gives you a general overview of what online shopping is while in a secure and protected environment.  You will learn currency conversion, postage details (including worldwide postage) and general online facilities available to shoppers and sellers alike, eg PayPal.

2:     Before anyone does any online clothes and shoe shopping, however, you need to know your measurements!!  Its one thing that sizing is different all over the world but it is another when the sizing isn’t always correct with standard conversions.  For example. my shoe size in AUS is 8 and in European sizing I am anything from a 39-42.  You just need to know what you are in cm or inches.  The other measurements that you should have written down with you while online shopping is your clothing sizes.  Especially your bust size when buying any tops and dresses which have zips.  We have all tried to put tops and/or dresses on that wont zip up.  You really dont want to have to be sending something back (including postage costs twice) as you have brought the wrong size.  This shouldn’t be a deterrent from online either; you just need to know what you are buying.

3:     Now you’re ready to start shopping online.  You may have no idea where to start, but the only way you will find the right online stores is by checking them out.  Here are a few things that can help you determine whether the store is trustworthy or not:

a:     If they are affiliated with PayPal or not (not sure what Pay Pal is? see below);

b:     Change the domain to https from http.  This security enables your page and prevents scammers stealing your credit card details.  If an alert pops up telling you that there was a problem when you tried doing this, the site should be avoided at all costs.  Sites that that automatically change to https are the most trustworthy. This usually happens at the 'checkout' stage; and

c:      postage; when you are shopping online, 99% of the time your item will need to be posted to you.  There are numerous ways for this to happen.  The sender could use express postage, registered postage, Standard post, International Airmail, International Seamail or possibly courier, although the latter is unlikely.  Ultimately you will be paying for the postage. Be cautious when free postage is offered on a single item (particularly EBay), the postage is generally incorporated into the items selling 'price' and therefore is more expensive that its worth.  It is not uncommon for larger online stores to offer free shipping if you spend over $100.00 etc. If you intend on spending that much then go for it.  Be sure to check shipping or postage information o each online store's website.  This should tell you what postage companies they use, expected delivery time and how much it costs.  Some of these new online stores are just 'middle men', they ultimately hold no stock and sell on behalf of the wholesaler retailers.  Once the sale has finished, they give the sale numbers to the wholesaler who in turn send them the items to pass onto the customers.  In the end, the customer save some money but has to wait 4 -6 weeks for thier item.

Here are my suggested online shopping wesites:  This is Hong Kong based website which stocks make-up, skin care and hair care products as well as fragrances.  Delivery is usally 1 week and all items are sent via registered post and its FREE. All prices are cheaper than you will find in any department store.

Sportsgirl- Stocking the same items as you can buy instore, they also have a 'sales' section where you are likely to find items that you wont be able to buy instore.  This principle is the same for any retail store which also sells online.

Supre online has an enormous sale section and for really cheap. If you shop at Supre, shop online. They also offer free postage if you spend over $100.00. is a good one for sales of items that are currently in store but you get to buy them on sale.  You will need to wait around 4-6 weeks to receive your item as it is a 'middle man' website.

For those who are not familiar with PayPal here is a brief explanation; PayPal is an independant website from Ebay, yet they are affiliated. You are allocated with a secure online account which you can transfer money in and out of. This makes it especially easy when you are selling online and then making purchases, as your funds will be paid to you into your PayPal account and you can just as easily make payments with this money.  The best part as the transfers are instant as you are dealing with real money.  Your funds are also guaranteed which makes the site very useful and reliable.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

How to Shop and Be Fashionable on a Tight Budget

When you are on a tight budget it is easy to believe that you cannot be fashionable. These days that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many options available and tricks to know. You just need to know where and when you look.

Firstly, shopping on a tight budget is nothing to be ashamed of, it is actually quite smart. Fashion comes and goes so quickly you dont want to be wasting money on a quick trend. Secondly, sticking to a budget means you could have money left over to buy some accessories to match your new outfit.

Here is my guide to tight budget shopping:

1:   It really pays to know what is in trend and the look you are after.  This way you wont be walking from store to store aimlessly looking at every item that is discounted. Go shopping with an objective, even better, take a list or even have pictures of looks you are after. Also, check your letterbox catelogs and familiarise yourself with the general/average price in which various stores charge for thier clothes.

2:   It is also important to know if 'basic' pieces are needed to be worn with an item you are looking at buying. E.g. if your going for a faux fur vest, you are likely to need a tight long sleeve top to wear under it. You will either have it in your wardrobe or you may need to purchase one. Depending on your budget, this could be a deal breaker on whether you can purchase the item or not.

3:   If you realise you need your basic pieces, here are a few shops which are great for cheap basic items: Cocolatte (singlets $3), Tightrope (singlets $4), Kmart (long sleeve U neck tops $8), you may also see Cotton-On with cheap items, they are cheap but not the cheapest, unless you can get them on sale and cheaper than the above prices (occasionally happens). It is best to buy your basics last, after you have brought your main piece. You may get unlucky and be unable to purchase the item(s) your were after.

4:   Now you’re ready to look for the outfit that you are after. Go to the mid-priced stores first.  Go into the stores and go straight to the sales racks. Go there with intent to find the pieces to make your outfit, but keep an open mind as you may find that a similar, or slightly different, piece is on sale.  In effect, once you get home you will still feel like you got the look you were after and ultimately a new outfit.  The retail and fashion industry is suffering from poor in-store sale, and because of this, they are very regularly having large sales and marking down items which are still very much in season.  This is why going straight to the sales racks can be very beneficial J.

5:   If you have been unlucky while trying the mid-priced stores, here are my picks of how and what to buy from the budget stores.

a.              Kmart!! You will be very surprised with how much Kmart has picked up their game in their clothing department.  You will find some items that are a tacky rip-off of their designer counterparts, but if you have a good look you will generally always find a copy of something that you have seen in a designer store.  Quality is never as issue when buying at Kmart.  I have actually found that they have a very high quality of clothing standard.  A bonus of shopping at Kmart is that they have a very good returns policy if you do encounter a problem with an item that you have purchased from there.

b.              Tightrope.  Tightrope is a store that we have at several shopping centres/malls but you wont find one at every centre.  They have very in-trend clothing at crazy cheap prices.  The quality is mostly good, but there are a few threads that you may need to snip off.  If you by-pass the tacky rip-offs you will almost always find something in there.

c.              Cocolatte.  As above, Cocolatte is a store that you wont find at ever shopping centre.  They have similar clothing to Tightrope and at similar prices.  They are forever having sales on their ‘new arrivals’.

d.              Millers.  Millers, for older women, is great.  They often have all their tops on sale for around $15.00 - $20.00.  Keep an eye one these sales.  I haven’t noticed that these are too frequent though.

e.              Target.  I don’t consider Target to be a bargain store by any means.  When they do have a sale on clothing though it is generally worth checking out.  Particularly during stock-take.

f.               Valleygirl.  There is ALWAYS something in there! You will have to have a decent look though.  Check out their sale racks with tops for $9.95.  There is always one in every store.

g.              Diva.  Diva jewellery, in my opinion, is only worth buying if it is on sale, and when I say sale I mean 3 for $8.00 etc.  The quality is actually really poor if you intend on wearing the pieces daily.  You just wont be able too.  They are great for buying items that you will wear a few times or to jazz up an outfit.  When you see their boxing-day sale, buy up!!

The key to shopping on a budget is knowing when to shop.  Sales are about every month or so these days and they last for longer than they used to.  There is no need to wait for the stocktake sales anymore.  You can either wait for the item you like in the mid-priced stores to come on sale or you can wait for the cheaper stores to stock items similar to what you are after.  The cheaper stores don't tale as long as they used to, to get into the same trends as their higher priced counterparts.  Patience is the key!

Don't be buying items that are sale for the sake of buying.  If it doesn't fit in your budget or in the outfit plan then avoid them.  If you find that after you have purchased your whole outfit and you have some remaining money, then you can consider this.  If this happens, make sure you only purchase items that you will actually wear and ones that you can piece together with items that you have at home in your wardrobe.

Happy Shopping :-)

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

How To Organise Your Wardrobe

Organising your wardrobe may not be something that you consider doing, but if you put in the time you will definitely notice the rewards.  Not only will this make your wardrobe tidier, you may find items that you forgot that you had, find a new way to wear an item, find items to sell on EBay or give away and you may find some inspiration for a new style that you might like to try out.

Here is how to get started on cleaning, tidying and organising your wardrobe:

1:   Pull all of your clothes and other items out of your wardrobe.  They can just be placed in a big pile at this stage.

2:   Organise your items into piles, being, tops, skirts, shorts, jeans, pants, dresses, coats etc.

3:   If you find items that you no longer feel that you want or wear again, put them to the side for now.  Don't commit to throwing them away just yet as you may find a new way to wear your items.  Having pulled your clothing pieces out of the wardrobe they will appear fresher and you may be inspired to pair the piece with an item that you wouldn't have thought of before.

4:   Items that must be hung back up are evening dresses, coats and crease prone pieces.  You can now place your evening dresses and coats to the side of your hanging space.  These items shouldn't be places in the centre as they don't need as much attention and you will be wearing each of those less often.

5:   Lay your jeans out flat on your bedroom floor.  This way you can get an idea of how they look in an outfit.  Proceed to go through your tops and place them over the top of various jeans and see how they look with each pair.  If you have belts that you would usually wear, get them out as well have have a play around with the jeans and your tops.  This is useful to get a better understanding of how the new outfits look.  This is also an opportunity to try the pieces that you thought you were going to throw away moment ago and give them one last try.

6:   You can do all of this mix and matching with other bottom pieces now.  I always advise to start with jeans as they are the most common piece of clothing that you will wear and you want to find as many new ways to wear them as possible.

7:   If you have found that there is still items that you will no longer wear, they can now be put aside for EBay, a friend or the op-shop.

8:   Now to place your items back into your wardrobe.  Place all of your grouped items together.  Jeans with jeans etc.  We also want to organise them by colour.  Being from light blue through to black.  Do this with all of your items.  I like to have Jeans, then skirts and shorts, dressed (not evening) then tops and then jumpers, followed by jackets.  Having your items grouped like this will make it much easier to find outfits and will give you a better understanding of what items you have in your wardrobe.  Having your items in colour order makes it easier to find a piece that is most likely going to match your outfit.

Putting in the time now will really help you in the future.

You can also include shoes while you are going through your wardrobe and piecing new outfits together.

If you have 'fashion' jewellery (accessories) use these as well.  This will help you match colours, styles, shapes and sized jewellery with your new found outfits.

If  you need any help with suggestions on what items you should and shouldn't piece together, leave a comment at the bottom.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

How to dress to hide your "belly"

If you are like most people you probably have a little bit of belly that you would like to hide. Here are some tips to hide your tummy:

1:   Wear shapewear! Dont be affraid of shapewear. It may look unattractive in the store but trust me its about to become your best friend. Have a professional fitting to ensure your wearing the right kind for your needs.

2:   Wear mid-waist jeans. Wearing low ride jeans will only highlight what your trying to hide. High waisted dont work for everyone. Mids are generally best.

3:   Wear a flowing, but not baggy, top. You want your top to be sitting comfortably on your body without clinging to your belly.

4:   Wear a large waist belt.  This, together with your "loose" top with give the illusion of a smaller waist. Your belt will also help hide your belly.

Wearing "frumpy" tops may hide your belly but they can also hide your assets too. Not only are they not flattering they will only make you look larger, particularly if you have a large bust.  You dont want to be wearing clingy tight fitting tops either. "Flowy" will be much more flattering, also, avoid too much cleavage, but a little is your friend :-) .

If you need any assistance with examples, just leave a comment at the bottom.

Autumn/Winter Trends

This Winter is the first time that we have seen some very prominant and obvious trends with colour!  We have the miliary trend that is bringing back the khaki skinny cargos, khaki knitwear, studs, lace-up boots and tan ankle boots and well as feminine combat inspired boots.  We have animal print with leopard, zebra and tiger and we have colours like nude pink, camel and various other browns.  Autumn is a time where we do see brown shades coming out, i guess to match the trees, but until now it has been somewhat hard to wear them confidentily without looking a tad drab.  The key to wearing brown is to not wear it with much other brown or use contrasting shades.  Maybe start with a belt and match with shoes.  This will help you match your colours and see what works and what doesnt with your current wardrobe.