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.

Pin Curls & Pencil Skirts

I’m having a blast with this “short hair” business. I can do so much with it. I can.. pin curl it? That about all I’ve come up with so far.

I’m still trying to figure out ways to keep it behind my ears to avoid something that resembles a blunt bowl cut (which is always a risk when you cut your hair too short and add bangs to the mix), and so far I’ve come up with pin-curls, head bands (just when I thought that period of my life was over!), and pig-tails. I want to figure out something to do with upside-down french braids so I can fake some kind of milkmaid hair-do, but apart from that, I’m all out of ideas.

But I’ve also started experimenting with a whole new area–hair bows. On the day I got my haircut, to celebrate, I bought a shiny little bow from a My Cube store for a couple of bucks.

Has anyone ever seen those before? They’re a store where multiple different sellers hire out cubes in the wall to sell their stock without having to pay the undoubtedly exorbitant fees associated with renting the entire area. I was considering selling something in one of them but ultimately I have no good ideas for that sort of business venture. I can barely bring myself to sell my old clothing.

But enough about my hair–How about this gorgeous two-toned silk pencil skirt? At first I wasn’t entirely sold on the green/magenta combination (why couldn’t it be something more harmonious like magenta and blue, or magenta and red or something?) but it’s kind of grown on me, and you know I’m a sucker for quality fabrics. Please note that means I prefer quality materials, not that I will reject polyester, because my wardrobe is pretty much as flammable as it gets–thank you eBay.


What I wore:

  • Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink Glasses – c/o Clearly
  • Nautical Hair Bow – My Cube, $2
  • Diamond-Patterned Pussy Bow Blouse – Target, c/o MA
  • Gold Bangle and Lorus Watch – Graduation Gifts
  • Gold Tassel Belt – Forever New, $6
  • Duo-Toned Silk Pencil SkirtEndeavour Thrift Store, $6.95
  • White Kidskin Leather Heels – Mascotte, $28

Total: $43

Definitely feels a bit Mad Men around here lately.

Thanks for your support of my short hair, by the way–I’ve gotten lots of feedback via social media channels and everyone seems to really like the change, which is awesome, because I’m a low-maintenance gal and this hair is about as low-maintenance as it gets. So it’ll be sticking around for a while, still..

Clearly: A Review

Wearing Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink

Clearly, these are no ordinary spectacles (Look at me, using the same joke twice in one post! Aren’t I funny?).

When I was first introduced to the idea of glasses, it was almost as though the only styles stocked at the optometrist’s office were bottle-cap or rectangle spectacles. I reluctantly settled on the latter and hoped that my vision would correct itself over time with enough squinting and heavy doses of denial. It didn’t.

So needless to say, I feel like a different person now that I’ve embraced the idea of glasses as a fashion accessory and not just an aid to poor eyesight, and it’s so easy to do with the huge range of glasses out there nowadays. Magenta-coloured glasses were definitely on my wish-list and Clearly were more than happy to provide me with a pair of my own to review. I had already been using Clearly for a long time to order my contact lenses because of their fantastic service (my mum still wears the free wayfarer sunglasses they surprised me with when I ordered my first set of contacts), so I was beyond thrilled to have an opportunity to test-drive a cute pair of stylish rims.

Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink

For my selection, I trawled over their entire website, through some of the most stunning frames, and found these beauties. Who knew that Alyssa Milano designed glasses–And affordable glasses at that! Her frames start from a tiny $79 a pair. She instantly became my new style hero. I debated for hours on whether to get teal, black, or pink, and I’m so glad I settled on the Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink pair.

Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink

I really admire the fact that they possess a little bit of femininity in the colour without being completely overbearingly pink, like something a cat lady would wear. Indeed, from the front, they look mostly black with just a tiny hint of magenta along the rims.

More on how they wear–This particular pair is delightfully light, and despite the acetate material, I find the nose-pads conform well to the sides of my nose and don’t have the annoying issue of sliding down my face (like most plastic frames tend towards).

They came well-packaged inside a plain Clearly Contacts branded case inside a sturdy box, complete with microfibre cloth and a cute little glass-cleaning kit. I wish I took a photo of it now–the kit came with anti-reflective lens cleaner, a branded microfibre cloth, and a miniature screwdriver set on a keychain (which would have totally helped me out that time the screw in the left arm of my old glasses decided to jump ship in the middle of class and take the entire left arm off with it).

Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink

The funniest thing about these glasses is how long it took me to get used to this style of frame. I was already half-through composing a guilt-ridden letter to their PR agent, thinking there was no way I could pull off such sassy spectacles, when I figured I had nothing to lose and I should really give them a fair trail. It was the best decision I made, and I now wear them constantly!

All in all, I’m thrilled with my new glasses and would still recommend Clearly to anyone who asks. As far as mid-tier budget eyewear goes, they have an excellent range, and I am very proud of their efforts to try and keep eyewear low-priced for everyone.

They’ve recently released a “One Pair, One Price” promotion where you can select between some gorgeous frames and buy complete prescription glasses for only $49–I highly recommend taking a peek if you’re in the market for new eyewear or just want to mix it up a little bit.  It’s this bespectacled blogger’s opinion that they’re well-worth the look.

Touch by Alyssa Milano 102 Black Pink