Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Monarch scarf, outfits and a work trip (HELP PLEASE!)

A short post today due to being busier than usual.
Last night I broke my J Crew ban (again) and ordered the red Monarch scarf, which is the same print as the skirt:

I've almost bought this more times than I can remember, but I've managed to stop myself, in keeping with my promise to myself not to buy anything at full price.
Last night the scarf went on sale, so I pounced! The MAGALOG15 code is still valid for 20% off and free shipping, so it was not a bad price.
Don't think I won't be wearing it with the skirt!!
I probably would have ordered the matching sweater too, if it had been merino wool and a better price, but at $300 still it's not worth it.

The weather in Sydney has been channeling the UK: dreary rain and low skies. So, to cheer myself up, I've been wearing an abundance of colour.

Today's outfit: Black Country Road dress with J Crew mad bird sweater on top, old Lover leather jacket, old Dries van Noten boots.

I'm off to New Zealand at the weekend for a work trip - A conference at Auckland Uni, so will be pulling my hair out deciding what to pack. It's a 5 day trip, with one day back home, then off to the South Coast for 4 nights for the school holidays. The weather will probably be schizophrenic, plus I need an 'outfit' for an evening do! Eeeek!
I almost always end up over-packing for short trips. I find I need as many shoes as I would for a month-long trip. Not to mention the bucket load of slap I always carry!!

So, PACKING GURUS do you have any magic tips or tricks to help me be a minimal and organised packer?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Rainy beach weekend, playing with fire and J Crew Fall pre-orders

This weekend we went down to the South Coast of NSW to stay with our friends at their amazing beach house. Usually, the weekend revolves around cooking, eating, going for walks to work up an appetite and repeating. 
There's usually a fair amount of boozing too. This weekend was no exception.

Bread and Mead. Saturday brunch. We also had home made salmon fish cakes with a selection of C's pickles. She is the pickling queen!

Even though it was cold and squally, we managed to get a couple of walks in.

In the evening, I cooked a lamb shank tagine. J cooked couscous and aubergines with chermoula, as well as Swiss Chard with spices. No pics, as it was too dark, but here's a pic of me after rather too many glasses of McClaren Vale Shiraz.

The boys made mini hibachis and cooked bacon on them. They also had the brazier going, so despite the 7 degree C weather, we sat outside being somewhat loud til late.

Walking off the hangover.

All in all a great weekend. I love weekends with friends and family, just hanging out and eating.

On a slightly more fashion-related topic, I've been eyeing up the J Crew Fall stuff on their website. Some of the items are available to pre-order, so I fired off an email enquiring about the price and availability of the items below:

This morning I got a reply from the lovely Tiffany, a Very Personal Stylist, who thanked me for 'reaching out' (what kind of bizarre phrase is that? I was just enquiring, not instigating a full-on relationship) and sent me the following information:

The Collection Palma Sweater (Style #03329)

·         Offered in 1 color (Moss Indigo Guava) - sizes XXS-XL

·         Expected Release: August 2013

·         Tentative Price: $498.00


The Collection Topper Coat in Printed Wool (style #04909)

·         Offered in 1 color (Yellow Multi) – sizes 00-12

·         Expected Release: Late September 2013

·         Tentative Price: $1,200.00


The Collection Iris Pencil Skirt in Chichimila Tweed (Style #05256)

·         Offered in 1 color (Neon Orange Multi) – sizes 00-12

·         Expected Release: Early October

·         Tentative Price: $475.00


The Collection Mila Jacket in Chichimila Tweed (Style #05840)

·         Offered in 1 color (Neon Orange Multi) – sizes 00-12

·         Expected Release: Late October

·         Tentative price: $TBD


The Collection Zelda Cashmere Crewneck Sweater (Style #08152)

·         Offered in 1 color (Burgundy Violet Blue) – sizes XS-L

·         Expected Release: Mid-November 2013

·         Tentative Price: $458.00

I must say, I do love the Palma Sweater (that's the very Dries van Noten - esq mosaic sort of design sweater) but I'm not sure I love it enough to pay almost $500..... I'm going to see if it's cashmere or not. 

The jacket is beautiful too, but I can't justify $1200.

The other items are arriving a bit too late in our winter to be worth buying at full price, so I will wait to see if they ever make it to sale later in the year.

Did you have a good weekend? I hope your weather was better than ours!

And, are you intrigued by any Fall pre-orders? Will you be splashing the cash on J Crew?!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Lurgy and new J Crew

First of all, apologies for my silence in the blogosphere over the past week. I was suffering from a vile, pestilent lurgy of the gastric kind. It was horrid, but fingers crossed, I'm the only person in the family to succumb to it, so far.
Today, I dragged myself to work and that made me feel a bit more human, although it was fiendishly cold today here in Sydney.
On my arrival home, I had a look at the J Crew site. I must say that I've been very underwhelmed by the Spring/Summer collection so far, and the final rollout is no exception.
It's probably due to it being winter here, but that never usually stops me perving and lusting after clothes of inappropriate seasonal or lifestyle relevance.
Nevertheless, I can't stop myself from an almost Pavlovian checking of J Crew, especially when there's new stuff coming out.

Here are the few things that got my attention:
No 2 Pencil skirt in 'academic green'
love those colour names!

This necklace is very pretty, too. Rather pricey, though.

Even though I'm not a floral person, this print looks lovely:

I won't be getting any of the above, though. I'm saving myself for other things.
And perhaps the Fall/Winter collection, which looks far more interesting than the very blah stuff that's online at present.
Before I stop my rant about J Crew, can I also put it out there that I think their sale prices for International customers are outrageous. OUTRAGEOUS I say.
Lower your prices for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere and we might buy some of your languishing old pieces from the sale section. We're the only customers who need winter stuff, so why on earth not try to flog them off to us at a lower price?

Here's what I wore today. You've seen it before, but it cheered me up as I'm still feeling a bit off colour.

Any new J Crew for you? Or are you jaded and tired like me?
Any weekend plans?
We're off to the beach. Yippee!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Coats of many colours

Just a quick post on the subject of coloured coats. I used to be firmly of the opinion that coats should be black, navy, grey or camel. I'm not sure when I got over that bizarre belief, but I think it's got a lot to do with the number of years I've been living outside of my home country, the UK. 
I grew up believing that certain colours or combinations of colours were a total faux pas. 
"Blue and Green should never be seen" "Never trust a man wearing suede shoes" blah blah blah....
Were any of you subject to these odd, made up conventions?
 I'm sure that it's not just because I'm English.... I'm sure it's also due to my age and the era and society in which I grew up.

Anyway, I'm happy to say that after over a decade of living in Sydney, Australia, I'm very much over the conservative colour rules that I imposed upon myself.
I've got coats in a variety of different colours, and I'm no longer worried about mixing colours up.

Exhibit A: Mustard Yellow coat with blue diamond scarf
(Coat: Gorman. Scarf: Trenery. Jeans and boots: Acne. Sweater: Skin & Threads.
Bag: Coach)

Exhibit B: Raspberry Red coat and stripes.
(Coat: Lover by Susien Chong. Sweater: Karen Walker. Jeans and boots: Acne)

Exhibit C: Black coat with multi-coloured diamond sweater and blue scarf.
(Coat: Lover by Susien Chong. Sweater: J Crew. Same jeans, boots, scarf and bag)

Exhibit D: Bright cobalt blue with bright green floral, beige boots!!
(Coat: J Crew. Scarf: J Crew. Jeans: Nudie. Boots: Acne)

 Do you live dangerously with colour? What rules and conventions did you grow up with regarding clothes and colours?

Have a lovely weekend wherever you are!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A long weekend

This weekend was long, thanks to the Queen's birthday. I'm no monarchist, but it's at times like this that I appreciate the Royal family.
The weekend has been pretty relaxing. Lots of time hanging around with friends and family. No birthdays either!
Saturday outfit for shopping and general loafing:

Skin & Threads cashmere sweater (quality is WAY superior to J Crew - no pilling!!), J Crew Compilation necklace, Isabel Marant cords, old red pumps.

Saturday night was a bring-a-dish curry night at a friend's. There were 9 of us, with 6 different curries, twndoori fish and chicken, sambal, raita, chapatis and pickles. It was fabulous!

I wore my new skirt, with black Margiela sweater (worked out it's 11 years old - now that's good quality!), leather jacket, new necklace and black VĂ©ronique Branquinho pumps.

Yes I did wear the scarf too. Pattern overload!

Here's my plate with a selection of curries.

And a possum eating tandoori sauce outside! Hope the poor thing was ok and didn't suffer a bad gut from all the spices!

How was your weekend? Spicey?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A very red week

As you can see it's been a very red/black week so far:

J Crew skirt, black Country Road sweater, black Prada coat, pink scarf and black Daniele Arancani boots.

Red J Crew Minnie pants, Navy J Crew sweater, Black Lover coat, Jenny Kee scarf and black Acne boots that are nearly dead. Wish the Minnie pants were a touch longer....

Black Margiela sweater, Red butterfly J Crew skirt, Black Lover jacket, blue scarf and Daniele Arancani boots. 

Phew. A lot of red and black. Must try to branch out a bit over the weekend.

Talking of which, this weekend is a long weekend here to celebrate the Queen's birthday. I'm absolutely not a Monarchist. In fact, I'd vote for a Republic here, but I am Very Happy to have a 3 day weekend.
We're going to a friend's dinner party, and having people over for a big lunch on Monday. Apart from that I'm going to try to do very little. 

How about you? Are you stuck on colour repeat or varying your hues?
Any exciting weekend plans?

Monday, June 3, 2013

Monarch madness - new J Crew

Today, the Collection Monarch skirt arrived!!
As you can see, it's very bright, with HUGE butterflies all over it.
The description from the mad J Crew copywriter is as follows:
"This silk-linen pencil skirt gets a look-at-me upgrade in a monarch butterfly motif whipped up by our women's designer. (The vivid print was inspired by the colorful botanicals in Time Life nature books he used to look at as a child.)"

I'm not sure if I'm going a bit eccentric in my middle-age, but I absolutely adore this print. J, my husband, was pretty horrified by the look of it on the J Crew site, and thought I was daft to order it, but even he admits it's pretty amazing in real life.

The fabric is a fairly substantial 51% silk 49% linen mix. Lined with polyester (boo).
It is a bit longer than the usual pencil skirts: 24" or so.
It also has a daring split up one side:

Please excuse the terribly blurry, dull photos. I was so excited to get it that I had to take pics immediately, even though it's too dark, really.
I'm wearing it here with a black Martin Margiela sweater, my new J Crew Compilation necklace and some black Veronique Branquinho pumps.

Here with a grotty grey AA tee and beige pumps.
This is a size 00. I was a bit worried about it fitting because there was some talk of it being a small fit. Luckily it's fine. I usually buy P00 in J Crew bottoms as I've got fairly slim hips and a flat bum.
It's a little roomy in the hips, but I think it's good to have a bit of room. It wouldn't look good too tight.
I'm about 158cm (5'2" ish) on a good day, so as you can see, the length is sort of glam 50's just below the knee:

I'm going to wear it with black opaques and boots for our winter, as it's too cold for bare legs right now. I'll wear it sans tights and with sandals once the weather warms up in September.

Altogether, I am thrilled with it. I love the print. If I had lots of $$$ I would order the cashmere sweater in the same print and wear them together.
See, I am turning into Crazy Crew Lady.

Today it was chilly in Sydney. I wore a J Crew cashmere boyfriend sweater, my new punk floral scarf (Thanks C!!) black jeans, grey ankle boots and an old Lover by Susien Chong black coat.

Here's one final pic where you can see the necklace a bit more clearly.
I'm planning to wear this outfit to a friend's dinner party at the weekend if it's not too freezing.

Thanks for reading. Do you ever have the urge to wear lots of very loud prints altogether?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Stripes and Sydney Harbour and new J Crew!

It's been a busy week this week. First up, some work loo pics of a couple of outfits. I seem to be subconsciously having a stripey moment:

J Crew shirt, Topshop jeans, Acne boots, coach bag.

And the following day:

Gorman stripey cotton sweater, same jeans, boot and bag. It's sometimes too hard to be adventurous and original in the work outfit planning. 

On Saturday we took M and 3 of her friends to Luna Park. It's an amusement park on Sydney Harbour. Heaven for children, not so much so for adults. Or so I thought:

J and I found a restaurant with views over the harbour, food and booze, all for not too much $$$. Score!
The girls had unlimited passes to all the rides, so we could relax in the bar while they had a great time. We checked in with them every hour or so, and had lunch together outside. It was chilly, but not too bad - and the rain held off until later in the day.

J and I even managed a quick walk along the foreshore of the harbour to Lavender Bay. It's such a beautiful walk, even in the dreary weather.
I'm wearing a J Crew sweater, as some of you may have spotted!

Shame about all the ugly high rises along the foreshore.

Today, my friend C returned from her business trip to NYC. She did a bit of shopping for me:

J Crew Compilation necklace - I love this - I've been lusting after it since seeing it on Rynetta and Gigi. It didn't disappoint me at all. It's fairly heavy and really is a 'Statement' necklace. I'm not sure whether I'll manage to wear it in the way that the J Crew stylists favour, but I'll try!

The other J Crew item she bought for me is the scarf in punk floral:

I love this print, but knew that that shirt and skirt were too faffy for me. The cashmere sweater would have been great, but too much for a non classic cashmere and it looked more teal than green.
The scarf seem like a good way to add a bit of brightness to my winter outfits:

I'll take some better pics tomorrow. Today was very grey and rainy, so no natural light to speak of in our house.
In other exciting J Crew-related news, the Collection silk skirt in Monarch print (butterfly red skirt for those who don't memorise J Crew's complicated names) is due to be delivered! It was back-ordered until July 12th, but evidently someone returned one in my size or they miraculously found one hanging out in the warehouse.  Anyway, I hope it'll arrive tomorrow afternoon, so I'll post pics of it soon (if it fits).
I'm a bit nervous, as some people have found it a very small cut. We will see.

Hope you've had a good weekend.