Thursday, July 28, 2011

INSPIRATION: Written Word.

As I mentioned here, I am a huge fan of books (and related items). I've been lucky enough to discover some of them represented in the fashion world, so here are a few of my discoveries!

Possibly one of the most amazing things I have ever seen, I absolutely adore these book charms. They also come as earrings etc and can be purchased at The Black Spot Books on Etsy. The cheapest one, which is a little book on its on was being sold for 40 US Dollars. Still, adorable.

The necklace above is from a (seemingly) easy tutorial located here. It also seems quite versatile (for example, you could make earrings or different shapes). My only complaint is that you actually have to cut out pages from books. While you could do it a different way (ie. photocopying pages etc), I don't feel it would have the same effect. Of course, I'd suggest to buy some second hand books if you intend to do this.

Book purse by Retro Grandmother @ Etsy. I found this idea really sweet, and I guess you could probably use the left over pages to make the necklace that I previously mentioned. A DIY version + tutorial can be located here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

06. Master & Slave.

Now this doesn't even remotely relate to fashion, so I'm not going to pretend this is anything more then a quick rant about relationships. Firstly, I know nothing about this couple in regards to their personal life, only what they choose to reveal on facebook (which in some cases, is quite detailed) so I do not claim to know anything about their private life. Really, all they are is an example of something that always bothers me.

The one thing that really irks me about this status is the sentence "I let you have a night with your friends".... I let you. Really ? So, because you're dating you have complete and total control over where he can and cannot spend his time ? No matter how bad your relationship with someone is, even if you're married, been dating for 50 years or whatever, you do not have the right to control every aspect of someone's life. You do not have the right to the power to 'allow' them to spend their time as you see fit.

I'm certain that there are underlying trust issues and what not related to this, and probably is simply a poor choice of words on the behalf of the poster but... I don't' know, I just felt somewhat enraged. I had a partner like that once, I allowed him to basically run my life, not doing things with my friends unless he approved and after going through that I swore never again.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

05. Your Name & Nmber.

A few days ago I purchased an 'Address & Telephone' book from Lifeline for 50 cents. It was brand new, although two of the pages were a bit stuck together until I pried it loose. I thought the floral design was adorable, and to be frank, I have always loved address books.

While I adore technology and would be lost without it (especially computers / internet), it always saddens me when people fall out of touch with writing things down, even if just in an address book. You know, what happens when your phone gets stolen / lost / you get a new one these days ? You make a facebook event encouraging everyone to post their numbers on the wall. Things like that have never appealed to me.

This brings me to the idea of e-readers. I am a huge fan of books /reading and have never considered swapping to an e-reader. Even if I was to purchase one, it would probably just mean I would only have books that are hard to find in real life / would only use it for travelling, and since I drive now, it's not that useful.

This is leading me into my next inspiration post, books and related items in fashion. It'll be posted in the next few days!

Edit: You can find my inspiration post here.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


So I posted this tutorial on how to turn pants into shorts and it got me thinking about the other way you can 'finish' them (ie. studs, rolled edges etc). Here's a collection of the few ideas I came across:

Rolled Edges.

Ripped & Worn.

Decorative Pockets.



DIY Shorts.

While this has been done a thousand times, this tutorial shows how to turn any kind of pants into nice, neat shorts (as opposed to the ripped hems and what not). Most tutorials I've come across for this kind of thing are simply like "Take out pants, cut." This is slightly more detailed, but still very, very easy. Also, this can be adjusted to any height (ie. jeans to 3/4 pants). To see some inspirations in regards to how you can decorate your shorts, click here.

1. Get everything laid out in front of you so you can see:

I started with an old pair of 3/4 jeans that I haven't worn in years yet amazingly still fit me. I then flipped them inside out and laid a pair of shorts that fit me really well over the top so I could see the kind of length I was going for. When you do this make sure everything is smoothed out / matched up as nicely as possible. If you don't have any shorts to match it up, don't worry, it's not that important, just gives you a bit of perspective on what your end product will look like.

2. Measure out your lines:

If you're not worried about having a nice neat edge then this step isn't as important for you. Personally I wanted rolled up edges (as seen in the brought shorts / original 3/4 jeans) so I added an extra three centimetres to my shorts so I could roll them up.

At this point my cat kept sitting on all my stuff, then moving as soon as I went to take a photograph. I also folded mine over so that I could double check they'd be the same length etc.

3. Cut & enjoy:

The top pair are mine with the ends rolled up. All you have to do is add a few hand stitches to hold them in place, or alternatively you can use some double sided adhesive sewing tape (bias tape ?) which you iron on to hold them in place and add a few stitches on the side. I opted for the second choice because one thing that I get annoyed with the original shorts is that sometimes the rolled edges unfold a tad / hang funny and this ensures they always look perfect.

Now I just have to wait for Summer to come round so I can actually wear them!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

04. The Find Of 2011.

On Thursday I came home from work to find my mother & sister had actually been shopping at the centre where I work. They eagerly told me that they had looked at Anglicare (thrift store run by a community church like thing) and had come across a pair of Doc Martens. I raced back down to the shops to inspect them, although was slightly doubtful that I would be lucky enough to find they were original Docs.

This store is more expensive then most of the thrift shops I frequent so I rarely go in, plus it tends to cater towards an older generation / sometimes I feel uncomfortable shopping there for some unknown reason. However, I brought these shoes without a second thought because I have been lusting after a pair of black Doc Martens for over a year now but cannot bring myself to depart with over $100 and at only $25, brand new (I'm guessing like worn once, everyone who I've showed them too has agreed).

Sadly, I am not entirely convinced that they are 'proper' Doc Martens, but for simplicities sake am going to refer to them as such. They feature the stamp on the sole of the shoe + inside the shoe which matches up to the online images:

Online image, pre-2003.

Mine are exactly the same, stating they are oil, fat, acid, petrol and alkali resistant + made in England. However, the 'Highlander' written across the side in gold writing made me somewhat suss of them which lead me to the discovery of 'Solovair', which is, from what I understand is somewhat related to Doc Martens through manufacturing etc, etc. I'm going to sit down and do some more research on them later, but at the moment I'm just too pumped about these shoes.

I was also pretty happy about they fact they are steel-capped, although I'm not entirely sure why I found this exciting. If anyone would like to enlighten me to all this kind of stuff then I would be happy to hear.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Latex is something that I feel is more associated with fetishes then fashion, but personally I find it quite attractive when combined with other materials. With that said, if you decide to look into it after this post, I must warn you that you are most likely (as in almost guaranteed) going to find at least a few pictures of 'adult' nature. Above is the 'alternative' model "Fae Raven" who has a website here, it's from one of her most recent sets and personally I feel the best. I wasn't too inspired by the others. The below image is from ulorinvex at Deviantart. She has many beautiful latex photographs, some featuring outfits by 'Oh La Latex'.

This adorable piece is from 'Ooh La Latex', an etsy shop specialising in Latex clothing. The designs are beautiful (and also really out of my price range sadly). The next few pieces are also by them.

Kate Moss in a shoot, featuring items from Asuko Kudo ('Couture Latex Design'). The website has a list of 'news' surrounding the brand, including celebrities who have used pieces. Not surprisingly, Lady Gaga has rocked a few of their outfits.

Monday, July 11, 2011

03. See My Vest, See My Vest, Made From Real Gorilla's Chest!

I'm one of those people who loves to make lists of things to do... I'm also one of those people who never complete their lists of things to do. While I'm on holidays I've gone pretty craft crazy, collecting ideas and what not. Today I went into a St Vincent de Paul's thrift shop and brought a few things, below is my haul. I think it all added up to around $7 or $8, but when I organised it all neatly on the counter so the price tags were clear the lady just started piling them into the bags and told me just to give her $3 for all of it.

I found this pattern below (originally on $0.50) for vests. I had a quick look inside and seemed to be pretty full of patterns but I'm not entirely that everything is in there (if not, it's not a huge loss + there should be enough to pull it off anyway. I'm mostly interested in 4 & 5 (directly under the green vest and the middle vest in the top row).

I also brought three pieces of fabric, a plain red one (3/4m x 1 & 1/4m), a plain blue one (not hugely attractive but thinking maybe using it for lining, 1 & 1/4m x 1 & 1/4m) and a white one with a blue floral pattern (biggest of the lot, but no size). Originally I was going to make some small bags / clutch thing out of them, however, I think I want to use the floral one as the outside of a vest and the blue as lining.

Yeah, for some reason I thought it was a good idea to take a photo of it on my head...

The red is much richer in real life, and the blue is a bit deeper, it's just the webcam quality that makes them look not as nice. The best thing is that the floral fabric was $3 alone and thus essentially all I paid for.

When I get around to making the vest I'll be posting results / somewhat of the process on here. I'll also shortly be posting a tutorial for a pair of shorts I made.

p.s Yes, the title is from The Simpsons. I promise I don't have any Gorilla chest vests floating around!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

THRIFTING 101: What Is Thrifting ?

So... what is a thrift store exactly ?
Now, as I mentioned here, where I live 'thrift stores' are generally not known as thrift stores. Instead they are usually referred to as 'op-shops' (as in opportunity shop) or second-hand stores (which is essentially what they are). They may also be referred to as a charity shop as many are often run to benefit churches or to help fund thing such as 'Lifeline' which offer services such as crisis support and suicide hotlines. There are also places called 'Recycled' clothing stores or advertise themselves as selling vintage goods (however, I would think that 'vintage' stores are more expensive then your generic thrift store).

Okay, so let me get this straight, a thrift store sells second-hand goods ?
It seems like you've got the gist of it. With this said, some thrift stores also sell new goods. The larger chains in my part of the world not only receive stock from closed-down stores but also receive stock from open clothing stores for whatever reason. For example, at the moment Lifeline has a huge selection of brand new garden ornaments (tags still attached) and the Salvation Army had a selection of cute floral strapless dresses from the shop 'Ice'.

So you buy items that have already been worn by other people ? Isn't that kind of gross ?
1. Thrift stores do not just sell clothing. They sell books, cd's, jewellery, furniture, toys, video games etc. If buying clothing there is not your cup of tea, you can still shop at thrift stores for other goods.

2. Before you have images of hideously stained items run through your head, I have never, ever come across an item like this. When shopping at a thrift store, keep in mind that the goods are second hand so if they are gently worn this is quite usual. While I usually only shop at chain thrift stores, I have never come across a "grotty" item, just as I have never come across one at the smaller thrift stores.

With this said, thrifted clothing is not always in perfect condition, even if it's new with the tags attached. For example, I brought one the (new) floral dresses that were at Salvation Army which zipped up at the back. The zipper had begun to come unstitched - obviously the reason that the shop had donated a handful of them). However, with a few stitches from my mum the zipper was made much stronger then originally.

3. I would also probably advise that if you buy clothing from a second hand store, just throw it in the wash before you wear it. It's common sense.

Right then, so I can buy clothes & other stuff there ... is it cheap ?
Essentially yes. The prices range depending on the location of the store, the chain if applicable (for example, I find that Salvation Army is more expensive then Lifeline and that Anglicare, a church-run thrift store is usually around Salvation Army prices, or a bit more) and the condition of the clothing.

It also depends on who is pricing the items. For instance, I use to avoid Lifeline because there was someone there who was pricing higher then I agree with, but now they seem to be back to 'normal'.

To give you an example of the kind of prices to expect, some photographs (you can also see a few recent floral finds, I posted here):
This is the new 'Ice' dress from the Salvation Army that I've mentioned a few times. It set me back around $6 - $8 dollars. The only issue with them was the zipper, already explained.

These shoes were from the Anglicare and set me back $10.90. They were in really good condition, except were missing two buttons. They came with a spare button so I decided to add one button to the shoe missing two and remove one button from the shoe with all of them, so they were even. I never would have considered these shoes at a store. They're from Verali who at the moment are changing a min of $50 for their flats, so I am left to assume that these shoes probably cost more then that.

This blazer is from Lifeline and in perfect condition, setting me back only $5. It's by Rockmans and judging by their online shop which shows plain button up blouses for $50, I am left to assume that new it would have cost at least that.

Woolblend cardigan from Katie's which set me back $4. They sell cardigan's online for about $50 but don't have anything quite similar enough to this for me to make a comparison. My mother ensures me that the fact it's 'woolblend' means it's definitely of a reasonable quality. Has one tiny pull in the sleeve which is so small that I didn't notice it until after a few wears (possibly meaning that I caused it).

Lace backed dress from Lifeline, from memory set me back about $4. I'm actually embarrassed to admit that's from Supre, a store that I haven't set foot in since I was about 15 (think obnoxious / offensive, loud music, shorter / tighter = better mentality). This find has convinced me that I should probably give the store another chance since they were okay for 'basics'.

Okay, so I really want to start thrifting now but I'm worried that my friends will judge me for wearing 'pre-loved' clothes.
Firstly, as cliché as it is for me to say, a proper friend shouldn't really care where you get your clothing from. Of course, this is the real world and people can and will judge you (even the people who aren't suppose to). I'll be the first to admit that I also felt like this and only in the last year have overcome this due to acceptance displayed by people close to me (last two paragraphs here). Now, these are your clothes and you do not have to tell people where you got them from, so feel uncomfortable then just don't.

If you feel the need to offer some sort of answer, but don't want to reveal that it's thrifted you could simply offer the brand of the item (if the label is there etc) or say you've had it sitting around in your wardrobe for ages / inherited it off an older sister / brother / whatever.

Whatever your choice, remember that it's your body and you are entitled to buy clothes to clothe it from wherever you want.

Where can I thrift ?
I live in NSW, Australia so if you are from there then I suggest trying out Lifeline, Vinnies, Salvation Army or Anglicare. As far as I know these stores are Australia wide and you can search for ones in your area on the website. Just googling the term 'second hand' or 'thrift' etc and your state should reveal some good places for you, google maps is pretty useful for it to. Apart from that I suggest looking at online communities. I've also heard 'Goodwill' mentioned a lot, so try seeing if there is one near you!

Where can I find other thrifters online ?
To be honest I've only just started to explore the online community myself. At the moment I follow 'My Fairy Thrift Mother' on tumblr who often reblogs peoples thrift finds / queries / posts about places they shop etc. I also follow 'fythrifting' and 'thrift hauls'. If you know any good places be sure to let me know in a comment!

Edit: Click here to read five handy thrifting tips.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

02. A Meme A Day Keeps The Doctor Away.

So my goal is to post something everyday, whether it is a proper 'post', an inspiration post, tutorial or whatever. This post in particular is brought on by the fact that I'm used to reading about how wardrobes should have some kind of 'theme' or 'style', but when I looked into my wardrobe I found it hard to get a vibe for what kind of theme / style mine had. As a result, I had a look around the internet for some fashion memes (in the form of a short questionnaire) and decided to see if by answering them, I could come up with some sort of opinion of my wardrobe. I decided on this meme.

1) How would you describe your style:

(Usually) comfortable and ‘cute’. Although some people (my boyfriend in particular), would probably say it has some degree of an ‘alternative’ twist.

2) What are your wardrobe staples:

Short shorts, skinny jeans / jeggings, oversized shirts and black, chunky, thick-heeled boots (usually up to half calve or just below the knee, buckles, lace ups etc). You can see a picture of the first pair I ever brought, here.

3) Most expensive item in your closet:

The most expensive item that I have personally brought is actually only $50, I know I’m such a big spender. The title of ‘most expensive item’ belongs to the boots (mentioned in the previous question), but also to two other pairs of boots that I have brought for the same price.

I also have an Aunt who occasionally buys me clothes / purses for birthdays / Christmases who is rather well off and has brought me a number of “brand” items (ie. Guess Wallet, Mimco pouch etc) which I know have cost me more than my boots.

4) Most wanted item:

Oh man, this is a dangerous question because I could write a whole blog post about my most wanted items. At the moment I'm having a massive love for animal printed things or animal themed jewellery, particularly cats & birds. For example, the cat blouse posted in my inspiration post and some of the following items:

To see more animal themed things, check out this section of my tumblr.

5) Favourite designer:

This is an awkward question for me as I actually don’t have a favourite designer, nor really know any besides a few of the major ones (ie. McQueen), probably because I don’t follow runway fashion / high fashion / whatever etc. For the sake of answering this question, I do believe the designers at ‘Baby, the Stars Shine Bright’ and ‘Angelic Pretty’ turn out some amazing
dresses, despite the fact I would never wear them (or be able to afford them).

6) How much do you spend on clothes:

Personally I don’t feel a lot. This is not to say I do not buy clothes, rather I hunt for bargains (for example, I spent $15 a few days ago and brought a dress, romper, cardigan, shirt for my sister & a pair of earrings which would have cost around $100 if they had been brought for the retail price on their price tags). Personally I would say I almost definitely spend less then $500 a year, maybe even less than $350. The fact that the person before me stated a ‘few grand’, makes me feel pretty good about this.

7) What are your favourite places to shop:

Thrift stores definitely and any kind of shoe store. I’m also a fan of (window-shopping) online.

8) Favourite fragrance:

Another difficult question for me as I don’t actively shop for fragrances. My Aunt (the one mentioned a few questions ago) brought me a little set of 4 perfumes in diamond shaped bottles which is what I use.

9) What is your favourite way to do your hair:

I can do my hair anyway and as long as I have a fringe (preferably a blunt fringe, but a side fringe is fine too) that looks good, I am happy. That said, my favourite way of wearing my hair is as follows:

So yeah, as you can see it only alternates between a blunt fringe & side fringe and that's how it's been for the last nineteen years of my life basically. At the moment I am sitting on a blunt fringe (my favourite). Apart from that, unless I am doing sport I just wear my hair out. Not very exciting.

10) What is your go-to outfit when you have no idea what to wear:

If I’m going somewhere casual it’s just skinny jeans / jeggings with an oversized slouchy shirt.

11) One fashion trend you wish would come back or stay:

To be honest, there isn’t one. I wish people would just wear what they want. That said, I would love to see more love for the more ‘natural’ approach to make up (less is more, make up isn’t a necessity etc). For a while I remember seeing quite a few articles on it, but that seems to have died out lately.

12) Show us the most prized possession in your wardrobe:

This would take so long to do as I don’t have any ‘outfit’ shots (note to self: start taking them). I’ll do a more in depth post answering this question and link it!

So what conclusion did I come to ? I apparently love boots, thrifting and being overall cheap in regards to fashion. Not entirely sure if that's helpful or not.