Raspberry Beret

Brrr, it’s cold in here!

Do you ever get that feeling where you’re just bemoaning the current season and then the next season hits you like a tonne of bricks and you’re suddenly bussing to work under 700 layers of clothing and the large, heavy woolen coats you’ve been wearing in your heavily air-conditioned environment suddenly make sense to people around you?

On the bright side, when I walk into the communal kitchen wearing ugg boots (I swear this is the only time I wear them, I swear!) and an oversized pink wool-blend tweed coat I picked up from a clothing jumble for $5 (woohoo!), people now sympathise with me (“Yes, quite cold outside, isn’t it?”) instead of giving me looks normally reserved for mentally deranged homeless people (all those side-eyes, I tell you what).

And now I have an excuse to dip back into my glorious coat collection!

This may also be the Winter of funky tights. Possibly. I haven’t decided whether these bright pink tights make me feel fabulous or ridiculous, but I’m somewhere in that zone.

How brilliantly do they match this jacket, though? When Kmart was selling a bunch of colour-blocked tights for 20c a pack, I couldn’t resist buying a pair in all three colours, and then I proceeded to shove them into a corner of my cupboard, never to be seen again until a year later, and here they are. My legs won’t be cold today, no sir.

What I wore:

  • Alex Perry Glasses – c/o Specsavers
  • Cream Angora Beret with Black Sequin Bow – Temt, $10
  • White Flocked Polka Dot Blouse – Target, $10
  • Girls’ Black Ponti Dress – Target, $15
  • Black and White Bow Belt – Mascotte, $6
  • Gold Mesh Lorus Watch – Graduation gift (similar here)
  • 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)
  • Opaque Magenta Tights – Kmart, 20c
  • Jo Mercer “Hooch” Mary Jane Heels – The Iconic, $60

Total: $116.20


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?

Flaunt Those Faults

It’s been a good day today.

If you can imagine, I’ve been on a shopping slump for months on end, and it was only today that I seemed to be striking it ridiculously lucky in stores. Myer’s shoe department is currently on sale, with most full-priced items 25% off and sale items at 50% off. Naturally, I couldn’t leave the store empty-handed. (The rest of Myer was on sale as well from what I saw, but three football-field-sized levels worth of stuff to work through leaves a frugalista like me feeling a little ill.)

Anyways, these are the babies I purchased. A pair of Basque Hannah Cranberry Pumps and Vince Camuto Verona Ruby Pumps. The Basques are reduced from $139 to $80 to $40 and the Vince Camutos are reduced from $189 to $99 to $50. Awesome prices!

As you can tell, I love suede right now. The downside to suede heels sitting on flimsy sale racks for months on end, however, is that they tend to get damaged. Just a little trauma will scrape suede right off the shoe and unlike plain or patent leather, suede also fades under the powerful halogen lighting. I knew that there was a perfect pair of size 39’s in the cranberry pumps out back in the CBD’s Myer, so I struck it quite lucky, because every other 39 I tried on had a left shoe that was four shades lighter than the right one. The ruby pumps were a little dinged up from being tried on more than a few times, but mostly unnoticeable because of the beautiful feature bow on the front. I did regretfully tell the sales assistant that while I wanted to buy them, I wished that they weren’t damaged, and she told me to tell the front counter that she told me I could ask for a further 10% off because of the damage. So when I did, the shoes dropped to $45! Not a bad deal at all.

Fast-forwards to a few hours later, I was wandering through an alley in the CBD and came across a store called Igedo. Normally I don’t bother with them because they’re quite expensive, but they currently have a lot of sale racks marked down to $19, so I snuck a peek. Lo and behold, I found this gorgeous woollen jacket with leather trims.


I was on the fence about the purchase, because they only had size 6 and 8 left. Since both were too tight for me but I was so in love with it, I picked the larger of the two size 8s on the rack and as I was walking to the counter, I noticed that there was a tiny stain on the shoulder and a pen mark under the lapel. Thinking back to my trip to Myer, I asked the sales assistant if she could give me a discount and she offered the jacket to me for $15–down $19 down from $120! When I got home, I noticed that it matched perfectly with the vintage 100% silk houndstooth skirt I had bought at Vinnies a while back, and that made me even happier!

My last story, though I don’t have any photos, was that I went to Target and found a gorgeous City Dressing dress (it’s white with thick black stripes and red roses along the hem) in the damaged items/no packaging rack for $4, down from $79 in my exact size! To the untrained eye, the zip was damaged beyond all repair, but a crafty frugalista saw it differently and snagged that baby off the rack. A few minutes of my time and the zip was fixed, good as new.

I took photos of the repair process (because it seems like zips are the first things to go on items accumulated in those racks) so if anyone’s interested in seeing them, please comment below and I may just write a little zip-fixing tutorial for you guys! :)

Anyways, that’s all from me for today. The moral of the story is that damaged items give you great leverage when it comes to bargaining because they’re harder to sell, so don’t be afraid to ask for a further discount, many stores will happily give them!