Young Girl

It has been a while since I wore something from AliExpress. Or even blogged about it! Don’t get me wrong, I still love the place and truly believe it should be every girl’s first port of call for clothes if you like places like Dangerfield or Princess Polly (whom we all know import their stuff straight from Chinese factory floors anyway), my focus has just shifted dramatically to hand-sewn items.

I’m forever torn on the direction of this blog–All stylish sewing, all frugal fashion, or a mix of both?

And what about the cooking segments I promised??

WHAT OF THEM?

Couple all this with the fact that a recent coupling has been distracting the heck out of me, it means I have left this blog quite abandoned, as though it were one of my lesser-favourite stepchildren. (What’s this coupling business, you ask? All will be revealed soon, and this is when we cue the cheesy saxophone solo.)

All that aside, this is one of my favourite outfits this Summer and simultaneously my mother’s most hated. I would wear socks with MaryJane heels all day, e’ry day if I could but dressing like an adult schoolgirl is something that really does turn a lot of heads, and not always for the best reasons. But I keep my head held high and prance around in my sock/heels combination like a show pony regardless. The weather is much too hot to care about what other people think about the clothes you’re wearing.

This outfit also seemed like the perfect opportunity to whip out this awesome bag I was recently gifted. It’s structured, it’s a satchel, it’s full of pockets, and it has gold detailing on it–this is basically my entire criteria list for the perfect bag. I will wear it with everything.

What I wore:

  • Alex Perry Glasses – c/o Specsavers
  • Gold Bee BroochAliExpress, $2 (On sale!)
  • Blue Gingham Pleated Dress – AliExpress, $14 (On sale! Also available in pink)
  • Black and White Bow Belt – Mascotte, $6
  • Gold and Cream Satchel – Gift from Tim
  • White Cotton Ankle Socks – Old
  • Jo Mercer “Hooch” Mary Jane Heels – The Iconic, $60

Total: $82

Anyways, just want to let you know that if you don’t hear from me again in a while, there’s a good reason. Life has been a whirlwind of events as of late, and I’m still trying to follow my yellow brick road down to Emerald City. (This seemed an appropriate metaphor given the nature of this outfit–now all I need is a pair of sparkly red heels.)

Like a Librarian

(Sing the title in your head like the opening of “Walk Like an Egyptian”)

Do you ever have one of those days where you wake up, throw something on, look in the mirror, and wonder if your fashion instincts are trying to tell you something? No? Just me?

If my instincts could talk, with this getup, I’m fairly sure that they’d be telling me to quit my day job and become a librarian.

A sexy librarian.

A Russian librarian.

I don’t know where I’m going with this, it’s Summer and I live in Australia and the heat has gotten to me.

Yet, I find myself in this strange, perplexing position of having to dress like I live in the Northern Hemisphere and ride my Vallhund-driven sled into work every morning. Alright, I may be exaggerating there, but it’s true that I had long forgotten how cold it is having an office job. I didn’t think I shared any genetic code with lizards, but I’m starting to think I have cold-blooded ancestors somewhere along the line, because coworkers be rocking up in to the office in tank tops and shorts and I’m dressed up in woolen coats and tights like I’m in the bloody Ice Capades.

That brings me to this vest! I made wore this ensemble so that I could say with the utmost confidence that the purchase of this children’s Fair Isle knitted vest with faux sheepskin trimming was absolutely worthwhile and not in fact a huge waste of $17.60. Yes, you see, I have worn it with two outfits, therefore it was a financially sound decision, let’s go with that.

(Seriously guys, give me some ideas on what the hell to wear with this thing, it’s too cute to stay buried in my closet.)

A couple of other cool purchases recently are the cherry hair clips and the rainbow-woven wool jacquard pencil skirt I got from Endeavour Retail.

It looks like a mottled brown from a distance but it’s actually black with thousands of different colours woven through it. It’s the perfect shape, fit, and length, and I had to have it. Ever go absolutely nuts for something you see in a shop, but it, and invariably find out that it matches with next to nothing in your closet? Welcome to my life, filled with fantasy pieces that would make a vintage collector squeal that I never get to wear because I don’t have the right shoes or the right handbag or the right belt.

Some would say this is very anal behaviour, but try telling that to someone who has a collection of over 50 different types of belts..

Speaking of belts though, I love love love this one here. It’s never really been featured here because the closing mechanism has annoyed the crap out of me. This belt had rivets in the back and they were facing OUTWARDS instead of inwards. So the damned end that I had to pin on top instead of tucking underneath would just go flippity floppity all over my outfit if I didn’t adjust it to the very loosest setting. Major kudos to my blog photographer Robert for somehow magically removing those blasted things so I could screw in some removable rivets that faced inwards instead. It’s my minor rant of the day but still something that plagued me for months nonetheless (such a first-world problem, I’m sorry..).

What I wore:

  • Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink Glasses – c/o Clearly
  • Black and White Striped Cherry Hair ClipAliExpress, 50c (Lots more colours, and with bananas too)
  • ASOS Double Collar Blouse – eBay, $10 (Old purchase, similar here for $6)
  • Jacquard Vest with Sherpa Trim – Target Kids, $17.60
  • Trent Nathan Wine Patent Leather Bow Belt – Myer, $7.50
  • Kara Rainbow Woven Jacquard Skirt – Endeavour Retail, $12.95
  • Patent Wine MaryJane Heels – Zu, $30

Total: $78.55

Anyways, coming up soon on Carbon Chic is another refashion tutorial, and BIG BIG news–I’m going on a road trip to Sydney on the weekend to visit Annika of The Pineneedle Collective! I’m naturally very excited about this, and can’t wait to share all the little crafting, sewing, and thrifting adventures that we’re planning. For someone who has pretty much never left Brisbane, this trip is going to be amazing in more ways than one, I’m sure! To keep track of my adventure in Sydney and all my other adventures, check back here and on my Instagram account–It’s going to be a busy place over the weekend!

The Wild West

I haven’t shopped on AliExpress for a good while but man, I am loving this new dress.

There’s like a whole rule about redheads wearing red all over that I have completely smashed and broken, but I’m not feeling any regret about this one yet!

And bug-themed accessories are still relevant here, because, I mean, there were bugs in the wild west, weren’t there??

I bought this dress initially for my dance lessons but as we’re ramping up towards the holidays, I’m finding less time to dance as more of my time is spent sewing and sourcing various different Christmas presents for friends and family. I’ve done most of my Christmas shopping well in advance, but I know of some masochists that enjoy shopping for presents on Christmas Eve (seriously, is that the new test for sociopathy?).

In an effort to conserve my money, I’m also looking to craft a few of my gifts, too! I hope to post tutorials on a couple of them soon enough.

Between all the thrift shopping and making my own clothes, I rarely visit the store anymore, and I feel like the origin of this blog is getting less and less relevant as time goes on. Maybe it’s time for a name change, or a shift in perspective. What do you think?

What I wore:

  • Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink Glasses – c/o Clearly
  • Bee Hair PinAliExpress, $2.45 (Comes in a pair, bought during a Black Friday sale)
  • Bee Collar ClipseBay, $1.70
  • Grace Karin Red Cowgirl DressAliExpress, $21 (Again on the same sale. The prices are back up a little, but there’s heaps of other styles and colours to choose from too!)
  • Mollini Tan Heels with Broguing – Salvation Army, $4

Total: $29.15

I have a disturbing lack of accessories with this outfit, and shockingly enough, for once I’m not wearing a belt. But you know what? I think this dress makes a perfect statement on its own.

Spring Blossoms

One of my favorite parts of living in Australia is the various fauna and flora you’ll find, with the warmer climate ensuring that colourful blossoms are as perennial as the grass. I know the Morning Glory flower is known as a rabid weed that most people choose to exterminate, but I still think they make for beautiful photographs.


How cute are these pants, by the way? I’m a monthly regular at the Hamilton Church Jumble now, and every time I go, I seem to find the most wicked bargains. I was worried for a second that these pants wouldn’t fit (they are a size 12 but they’re older than I am so the actual waist size is tiny!) but they slipped on like a dream in the dressing room and I couldn’t not buy them. It’s so hard to find high-waisted pants in this kind of style nowadays. Hipster pants just don’t work for me.



What I wore:

Total: $85.88

These gold flats are basically the embodiment of the phrase “buttery soft”.

On that note, I’m quite annoyed that Mascotte has closed down permanently. I had a few male friends who raved about their selection of gorgeous round-toed leather men’s shoes (much a relief from the usual square/pointy toed hideousness you see in modern-day men’s stores) now they’re all packed up and gone. Ironically, one of the reasons I loved them so much (cheap, high-quality leather shoes) was probably the source of their downfall. You can’t have “70% off everything” sales four times a year and expect to make any kind of profit, really. I have four pairs of Mascotte shoes, and I’m really sad I didn’t go in for more when I had the opportunity.

I basically cherish these ones like they’re actually made of gold.

Earning My Stripes

It’s officially Spring, although as usual, the weather in Australia is as temperamental as ever; throwing us weather events such as windy 5°C nights and scorching 30° days. I, for one, am making the most of my enormous coat/jacket collection while it’s still cool enough to do so, before I inevitably return to my sleeveless blouses and short skirts.

And what a jacket! If there was going to be anyone who could give the colour of this outfit any justice, it would have to be my best friend (and most fabulous photographer) Laura Seeds. We got together near her place for a photoshoot or two recently and these are some of the amazing photos that came from it! (Please note that some images are cropped to better fit into my ridiculously narrow blog layout, but you’ll find the original aspect of the images by clicking and opening the lightbox.)


This has actually become a really common work outfit for me recently, and I can’t seem to stop wearing these pants. They go with everything, and best of all, they are high-waisted, and fit around said waist like a dream. Also, beltloops! They were so fabulous that I bought a pair in the black as well. They supply enough hemline to be let down, but I’m kind of digging the cropped look.. any thoughts?

What I wore:

  • Collette Dinnigan Glasses – c/o Specsavers
  • Long Tassel Necklace – Equip, $3
  • Pink Woolen Jacket w Leather Trim – Igedo, $15 (Although the last purchase I’ll ever make from them after how rudely they treated me when I tried to return a faulty item)
  • Black and White Blouse – Dotti, $15
  • Patent Leather Lilac Belt – AliExpress, $2.30 (Lots of other colours too)
  • Gold Bangle and Lorus Watch – Graduation Gifts
  • Liz Jordan Slim Fit Ankle PantsNoni B, $28 (After 30% off sale items promotion, also available in black and aqua)
  • Charvonne Black Patent Heels – Wittner, $35

Total: $98.30

Whew, that was getting close!

As for the title? I figure it’s about time I got off my lazy ass and got something accomplished, to earn my stripes, so to speak. It’s hard to break into  graphic design without a portfolio, and I’m currently lacking an up-to-date one because of all the faffing about in an industry I’m clearly not cut out for–retail.

I think retail is something everyone should do as a community-service-type deal so they can learn to better treat the people serving them, but my forked tongue would never allow me to succeed in a place where customers thrive off being as rude as humanly possible without any repercussions. I could have continued along the shop girl path and written a whole new blog about working in retail and the weird and wacky things that customers say and do, but in the end, I’d rather settle for working where my skills are put to use and don’t have those horror stories mulling around in my head.

So that being said, anyone in need of a freelance designer/illustrator/developer extraordinaire? Anyone?