Friday, January 31, 2014

Summer outfits, winter wishlist

Quick post today. Summer has hit its stride here and it's hovering around 30 degrees most days. Pleasant, and not too hot, unlike last year when it was a furnace-like 40 degrees + for weeks on end. I shouldn't tempt fate, as I know many other states are experiencing an awful heatwave, and it is only the end of Jan. It may well heat up yet. 
I realise that it is frigidly cold in the North America right now, so I guess I should be very pleased that it's so pleasant here.
Despite the heat, my mind is turning to my winter wardrobe. This year I won't be buying much. I've got more than enough coats for our (usually) mild winters. If I'm being honest, I probably don't really Need anything.
However, it's unrealistic of me to think that I won't be 'refreshing' my wardrobe a bit. Here's a list of things I might be adding:

Black cashmere crew neck sweater
Dark grey marle cashmere crew neck sweater
Black cashmere leggings (thanks, Tabitha, for your suggestions!)
Mid blue slim jeans, not too skinny, but not too baggy.
Black knee high flat boots - not too flat, say 3cm heel
Skirt - just above knee, slight A-line in a slightly graphic print or light-weight tweed

That's about it. Where I will source the above is a total mystery, so I'd love your help: do you have any suggestions for where to source the above? 
The possible problem is that I'm petite, so a lot of mainstream labels don't really work on me. I don't mind the sweaters being slouchy, but I don't want to disappear in them!
I'm about 5'2" (157cm) on a good day.

Any links or other info would be very gratefully received.

Have a great weekend! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Australia Day weekend: de-cluttering and a taste of the chaos to come....

This weekend is a long one to mark Australia Day. It's also the last few days before the start of the school year. M is starting High School - a big milestone for all of us.

It's been a week of sorting things out, trying to cull the huge amount of 'stuff' we seem to have in our house, and a time of trying to get organised. J and I managed a day off earlier this week together, and it was a much needed moment of respite in what had otherwise been a quite busy week.

We had lunch in a pub and then walked around a bit. I'm sitting in a rather cool swing/seat thingy in a local park.

The other big thing this week was the arrival of our new (second hand) wardrobe, purchased for a very low price from the Sydney Antique Centre. We live in an Edwardian terrace, which has almost no storage. We really needed a wardrobe or something to store clothes, as we've been living with plastic boxes piled up in the bedroom for years. We are panning a renovation this year, but only downstairs, not up. Thus, the bedrooms need some tlc to keep them functional until we can afford to do the upstairs too.

The wardrobe was delivered by two guys in a truck. They tried and failed to get it up our very narrow staircase, so they ended up winching it up and over the front balcony:

Pics aren't great, sorry, but here it is going over the balcony:

Through the ancient sash window....

And finally installed in all its glory! 

I spent the rest of the day going through old stuff and culling. 3 massive bags of clothes went off to the local charity shop, but there's still just So Much Stuff!

I have no idea how we managed to accumulate so much in such a relatively short period of time...up until 1999 we lived out of suitcases, more or less. 15 years and two children later and we are far from those minimal times!
Anyway, it's a liberating feeling to have got rid of so much crap, but there's just so much still remaining I despair! 

How do you deal with clutter and stuff? 
Do you have lots of storage so you can shove it out of site, or are you truly minimal?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Hervé Léger dress arrival!

All's well that ends well on the Hervé Léger dress front. It arrived on Friday complete with fully functioning zip and doesn't disappoint in the slightest. I wore it out to a dinner do on Saturday, and got a few blurry shots taken by J:

It's a dark navy blue, demure enough not to frighten the horses, but certainly not without a hint of waywardness.
I wore it with Chie Mihara sandals and a turquoise Acne clutch (not in these pics). It's hot in Sydney right now, so there was no need for a jacket, although I did take a canary yellow cardigan, just in case. No jewellery. I think the dress looks best with no adornments. If I were going to a more cocktail-y event I would wear pumps and bling, perhaps.

Excuse the undergarment malfunction. It was hidden when we went out!
The evening was good and rather loud! We were all rather dusty the morning after....

So, it's back on the spendthrift bandwagon now. 

Did you have a good weekend?
Any scandal? 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Hervé Léger dress saga continues

Well, the dress has been returned to NAP in Hong Kong, and I've requested a refund. I got an apology email, promising a swift refund of the price and shipping, so that's good.
Happily (or at least I hope so), I managed to track down the same dress on another website which is on its way!

I hope to get it before the weekend, possibly even today, so will update with pics if the new, replacement dress is a winner or not.

In the meantime, a few pics of my Christmas present scarf from my parents:

Andeol Scarf

As it's pretty warm in Sydney, my summer uniform has come out. It consists of pencil skirt + singlet and cardigan for aircon office, or a dress and sandals. Not very adventurous, but simple and easy for 30 degree + days.

Black Wolford singlet, J Crew Factory skirt, APC sandals. DVF dress and APC sandals (yes, I have three different pairs). M&S singlet, Paul Smith tweed skirt, J Crew cardigan and L'Autre Chose sandals.

Hope you're having a good week and that your weather isn't crazy!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The horror of a broken zip

I am distraught, bereft, disappointed and many other extreme emotions. 
My much anticipated and deeply discounted Herve Leger dress has arrived, but is faulty!!!

I was so excited when it arrived! I opened the box and held it up against myself. It looked small (I ordered xxs as the site recommended for my measurements), but perfect in terms of cut and colour. It's a beautiful deep navy blue, with a double zip down the back and a demure boat neck.

However, my anticipation and excitement were short-lived. J assisted me into the dress, but once he had got the zip down, he realised that it wouldn't go back up.

The zip was faulty!

The end of the zip was crooked and didn't match up properly. You can see in the pic below the difference in the hem:

I'm not brave enough to attempt to fix this, so with great regret, the dress is going back today to see if it can be fixed or not.
It has sold out on NAP, so unless someone else returns one in my size or the NAP folks can magic the zip back to normal, I think this dress is just not meant to be :-(

There are no pics of me wearing it as I never did get to do up the zip - I think it would have fitted and looked good..... On the positive side, it means that I can return to my previous smug state of not having shopped since late October.

Have you experienced a clothing malfunction?
Any experience with broken zips?
Should I have attempted to mend it or did I do the right thing returning it?

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Shoes, and how Net-a-Porter has ruined my shopping ban

In my previous post, I mentioned that I hadn't bought any new clothes since the end of October. This is true, but I have bought some new shoes.

While my wardrobe is quite comprehensive, I feel there's still some room for new shoes (I know, I know), so when I spied these Chie Mihara sandals in my local boutique, Pretty Dog, I got that shoe feeling.... you know, the excitement, the already planning outfits, the general 'new shoe high' that some of us get (do you?)

They're higher than any other shoes I own, but have a slight platform and lovely padding on the ball of the foot, so while they aren't super comfy walking shoes, they're fine for a sitting day or a night out.

Chie Mihara Japan sandals, J Crew Andie chinos

The colour is a taupey-grey shade, with dark navy/black inserts at the toe:

Worn here with black Acne jeans, Gorman stripey knit and very beachy hair.
J was quite enamoured of them, which is unusual for him, but he has made me promise to throw out a couple of pairs of sandals that he hates, so I'll be doing that this weekend.

Something else happened quite unexpectedly the other night. I'm blaming Net-a-Porter and *Heidi from An Adelaide Villa. 

About 5 months ago, in a moment of boredom, I played 'fantasy shopping' on Net-a-Porter and created a wishlist of all the things I'd buy if I had a money tree. I do this from time to time, but rarely ever buy anything from my list, as practicality and budget get the better of me.

On tuesday night, the Luxury Shopping gods sent me a sign (I'd been reading Heidi's post on her NAP shopping success and NAP sent me an email, too).
The sign told me to login to my NAP wishlist to see if anything was on sale, and hey presto:

I think you can probably guess the rest.
$1728 reduced to $417. How could I resist?

It hasn't arrived yet, so no idea if it will fit or even work for me, but with NAP's fantastic free returns, it really doesn't matter if it's a no go.
So much for the shopping break.

Have you ever had a sign from the shopping gods?
Do you get that shoe feeling?
And how's your new year going so far?

* Sorry Heidi! I don't blame you really!!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Back from hols

I've been absent from the blogworld for almost a month for a couple of reasons:
1) I was struck down with a lurgy on Christmas Day which wiped me out for the following 3 days. This was almost certainly due to being totally burnt-out from the silly season and the end of the working year.
2) We escaped to the beach for a week and I didn't really look at a computer for the whole week, although I did take pics and spam instagram!

I'm now back at work, but am still feeling very slow from our very restful trip to the beach.
Here's a summary of the last 3+ weeks.
Warning. This post has a LOT of photos. 

We finally got a tree on 22nd and put it up. Lots of presents, although I'm still waiting for my gifts from J, as he ordered them from the UK and the post has been very slow.

Here are some of the presents. Lots of lovely smelly things and books.
On the morning of the 25th I was struck down by some awful lurgy and spent the next 3 days in bed sleeping. I didn't even have the strength to read, although I did manage to eat some cake....

New Year.
We went down South to the beach for a week.
The weather was perfection: not too hot, but warm enough to swim every day, and go on long walks.

Our friends' beautiful house. C crocheted that rug below. She is super creative!

There were 3 families in the house for the New Year. 6 children and 6 adults.
The children had a great time with sparklers:

The adults indulged in lots of oysters, prawns etc, but I forgot to get good pics.
We also played bowls:

C also crocheted us a throw in the most beautiful colours:

I read a couple of good books. The Psychopath Test is a very interesting and humorous read. I managed to get through it in one day - such a rare treat to have the time to read ALL DAY!!!

Other books on the go, most of which I got for Christmas. I haven't started 'Far From the Tree' yet, but the others are in progress. The David Crystal book 'Spell it Out' is about the quirks of English Spelling, and I highly recommend it if you're interested in language/linguistics.

Finally, shopping.
In October I decided to give clothes shopping a bit of a break, and I'm pleased to say that I haven't bought any clothes at all since the end of October. I did get a scarf for Christmas (the one I wanted!), but apart from that, no new items have been acquired!

I'm sure the urge will return, but it's been pretty easy to resist so far.
I wish I could say the same for shoe shopping. But I'll post about that another time....