Trying New Things

I never wear turquoise! Is it my colour? I haven’t quite decided yet.

I’m still experimenting with my office style–trying to keep it somewhat work-appropriate but still unique to me. One of my workmates calls me the “office fashionista”, which is kind of nice, considering that they could be calling me the “office sideshow” with all the crazy-colourful ensembles that I’m trying to incorporate into my everyday workwear.

It’s hard to strike a balance when your office is so cold–I’ve taken to leaving a pink double-breasted tweed woollen coat I bought from the church jumble (for $5!) permanently attached to the back of my chair so I don’t have to carry a big pink coat around me wherever I go. Of course that means no matter how sombre and serious my outfit is, at some point during the day, I will be walking around in a bright pink oversized coat.

That being said, I think this outfit is a pleasant mix of serious and playful–I mean, just check out those heels! I haven’t been able to take them off my feet since I bought them.

As a bonus to today’s post, I decided to include a few pictures of Hugo goofing around with me. He can be such a photogenic dog sometimes. Of course, other times he’s just like his mommy with one eye half-closed and a derpy look on his face, but that’s just his lovable personality right there!

If you ever come to visit, ask him to give you a hi-ten. Stubby as his legs may be, those are his speciality.

What I wore:

  • Gold-Plated Bee BroochAliExpress, $2 (On special–I also bought the silver variety!)
  • Linen Pencil Dress – Kmart, $9
  • White Tassle Belt – Forever New (outlet), $6
  • Retro White Mary-Jane Heels – Salvation Army, $8

Simple, and classic. I didn’t give you an accessories rundown in the previous post so I made up any excuse to wear these shoes again so I could tell you about them! I got them from the Salvos a little while ago but the lining had fallen off so I’m not sure what brand they are. All I know is that they say size 7 on the bottom and yet they fit my size 8.5 feet perfectly and I can walk around in them for hours without getting sore. The most important characteristic in any shoes you own should be comfort factor. If they hurt my feet, I don’t buy them.

If you’ll allow me to rabble on about a different topic here, I am proud and excited to announce that I have officially finished sewing my first dress EVER! This is a pretty big step for me as I’ve been sewing for less than a year and have only recently jumped into using patterns. I’m hoping to feature it in my blog pretty soon, and also start compiling a list of resources for the thrifty seamstress–Places to buy fabric and other sewing-related paraphernalia on the cheap.

I’d love to get your feedback on it first though–For anyone who is looking to take up sewing, what’s something you struggle with most?

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

Vision on a Budget

Must-Have Eyewear Frames for 2014

My Favorite Frames for 2014

You don’t see it much on this blog, but I’m an avid wearer of glasses. Not the kind where I’m only pretending to have a major malfunction with my eyes because I think wearing glasses with the lenses poked out is totally cool, but the kind where I’ve needed them since I was a kid and now I can’t see a foot in front of my face without some optical aid. Why don’t I show it more often here? Because I’m embarrassed about how I look. I come from a day where your only options were rectangle or round, and there wasn’t much variety between stores. So because I opted to feel embarrassed and hadn’t fully embraced the concept of wearing spectacles, I’ve been fairly behind on my eyewear trends. That ends now!

I’ve been contacted by a few companies interested in helping me find some updated frames, and I jumped right down that rabbit hole without hesitation. This is the first of a series of posts where I will talk about where to get affordable yet fashionable frames for everyday wear–for the modern bespectacled. Let’s start off with my wishlist–It will cover frames across all different kinds of budgets, from super-tight generic brands ($) to great value designer frames ($$$).

1. Collette Dinnigan – Specsavers, $299
Tortoiseshell frames are very fashionably on-point for AW 2014. Animal prints are always popular during this season and the baroque cutouts on the sides add a touch of elegance, while the shape of the frames are not too out-there to be worn every day. These are definitely one of my favorite frames here, but are a touch on the pricier side of the spectrum.

2. Savannah – SelectSpecs, $15.50
Fifteen bucks, I kid you not. A cheap-as-chips variety of partially-transparent animal print, these glasses come in a classic wayfarer shape with metallic decorations on the corners. The print kind of reminds me of dalmatians and according to reviews, wearers find them lovely and light, which is important when choosing large frames like these.

3. Carrera – Clearly, $129
These frames are reminiscent of the style I currently wear, complete with black borders and green inner. I love this style and the fact that they’re made from a lightweight plastic–my current frames are metal and the paint is starting to chip off, eek! Definitely a style for those who like to play it safe but want a little something quirky as well.

4. Starlet – Specsavers, $39
What kind of list would this be if I didn’t include a pair of traditional “hipster” glasses? The trend is slowly waning in the fashion world for this shape of glasses but is still a very strong contender because of the classic style that just seems to work on many faces. (It was popular for a reason!)

5. Alex Perry – Specsavers, $299
Another one of my favorites from Specsavers, these come in a gentle cat-eye shape with gold flecks on the outer corners of the frames. They kind of remind me of an owl’s eyebrows (in a good way), so they tie in further to the more organic look that designers are trying to emulate nowadays.

6. Alyssa Milano – Clearly, $79
An acrylic version of a softened cat-eye, these glasses were designed by Alyssa Milano (who would have thought that she possessed the talent to fight demons and design glasses in only one lifetime?). They look great on her and come in three neat shades–purple, brown, and black. The black ones featured here have a really neat tortoiseshell detailing throughout the inside of the glasses, which can’t really be seen from the outside, but definitely add just the right touch to this pair.

7. Savannah – SelectSpecs, $15.50
Another uber-budget style, these frames come in a classic rectangular shape that I am oh-so familiar with wearing and a highly polished acrylic exterior filled with a deep cobalt blue. Semi-transparent coloured glasses are for people who want their frames to stick out and make a statement, but the shape of these frames are not so out-there that you’ll get weird looks from people.

8. Astrid – Specsavers, $149
I’ve been toying with the idea of buying blue glasses, and these could definitely be an option, with the metal feeling a bit more demure and toned-down from an acrylic pair. These would offset a pair of blue eyes beautifully but not detract too much attention away from the face.

9. Love – Clearly, $79
For pastel-loving princesses, these cat-eye frames are the kind I wish I was brave enough to wear. Part of me thinks it will look girly and sweet and epic and all those good things, but another part of me thinks I may end up looking like Hipster Ariel, so I daren’t.. or do I?

10. Ray Ban – Clearly, $159
These glasses remind me of the fabulous extreme cat-eye frames that Forever Amber wears, and that’s possibly why I love them so much. She looks absolutely bangin’ in her purple gradient cat-eyes, but it can’t be an easy style to match with outfits! Ombre is still very much ‘in’ for 2014, and these frames rock the trend.

So there you have it, ten of my favorite styles from three different companies at three different price points suitable for any taste or budget. In the weeks that follow, I will be reviewing these three suppliers, their service, and the quality of the products they sell, so that you can feel 100% confident when shopping for your next pair of glasses.

Even if you intend to poke the lenses out after you get them (you hipster).

I would like to extend my thanks towards Specsavers, Clearly, and SelectSpecs for your support towards this series. Certain styles shown above have been provided to me for purposes of review, but the opinions are my own–always have been, always will be.