What I wore: a birthday in Wonderland

For as long as I can remember, I’ve adored Alice in Wonderland and Through The Looking Glass.  As a child the story opened up a world of impossible creatures and grand adventures.  The older I get, the more I appreciate the surreal elements of the story and the riddles hidden within. Alice in Wonderland has also had an influence on my personal style and I’ve done a number of Alice themed outfits over the years.

When ACMI in Melbourne revealed that they were holding an entire exhibition devoted to Wonderland, I was keen to check it out.  And what better day to head along to this event than my birthday?  My lovely boyfriend David and his mum and stepdad came along with me to celebrate my 32nd birthday.

When I was choosing what to wear, naturally I knew that it had to be Wonderland themed.  I had two dresses in mind, one that reminded me of Alice and another that was more Queen of Hearts in style.  Ultimately I decided that on my birthday, I really wanted to dress in a manner inspired by the accidental heroine of Lewis Carroll’s tale, Alice.

I am wearing:

  • Vintage blue and white checked dress
  • Black bodysuit from Missguided
  • Razzamatazz polka dot tights
  • Black and silver flats (thrifted)
  • Vintage playing card bracelet
  • Teacup earrings from Disney Couture
  • Teacup ring from One Day in Paradise
  • Teapot ring from Equip
  • Crinoline petticoat from Vicious Venus
  • Kitty ear fascinator from Louvisa

I blended numerous Wonderland elements into this outfit.  I wanted to look like a pinup, rockabilly version of Alice.  I wore my hair up in a pomp and added my kitty ears as a nod to the Cheshire Cat.  I kept my shoes low and comfortable but added a pop of colour with bright blue polka dot tights.  My crinoline petticoat gave my skirt a full look, mirroring the way that Alice’s skirt poofs out when she’s drifting through space down the rabbit hole.

 

Fun cup and saucer earrings from Disney Couture to call back to the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

This playing card brooch was a gift from one of my friends last Christmas and I just adore it.  It’s so unique and it was the perfect adornment for a trip to Wonderland.  So much of the style of Alice in Wonderland is inspired by playing card motifs, from the Queen of Heart’s court to the guards that protect her castle.

I went with a 1960’s inspired makeup look, with a pop of blue eyeshadow, cats-eye eyeliner and nude lips.

David and I snapped a few selfies while we were waiting to go into the gallery. At this point I was so excited and I was rearing to get inside and see what the exhibit had to offer.

This was the first time I’ve ever been to an exhibition at ACMI where you have been allowed to take photographs inside.  I took quite a lot of photos but I don’t want to share them all because it would spoil the exhibit for any Melbourne-based readers who are yet to check it out.  There was so much to see and do, and the whole experience was very exciting and interactive.  There was a large section dedicated to Lewis Carroll himself, with original notebooks and letters in his hand.  The exhibit showcases costumes, props and artwork from many of the early Alice in Wonderland films as well as animation cells and concept art from the Disney version.  There are a lot of exhibits that show how certain visual effects were achieved and lots of props for you to take your picture with so that you look smaller or larger than usual.  My favourite part was a room filled with costumes and props from the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland, including Alice’s suit of armour which is just stunning.  The exhibit ends with a tribute to all the ways that Alice has permeated pop culture, from Gwen Stefani’s music videos to The Matrix.

I had so much fun at ACMI and it was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday.  If you’re an Alice fan and you’re in Melbourne between now and the 7th October, I definitely recommend that you check it out.

 

What would you wear if you went to the Alice in Wonderland exhibition?  Would you take inspiration from Alice or a different Wonderland character?

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What I wore: royal purple

A few weeks back I was on my way to pick up the office’s stationery order when I passed the local Red Cross shop.  In the window was a gorgeous long-sleeved vintage 70’s dress in the most lovely shade of purple.  It was a fairly simple design, a straight skirt, boat neckline and button detail, but my eye was instantly drawn to it.  The following day I made the decision to go to the shop in my lunchbreak and pick up the dress.

Alas, when I arrived it was no longer in the window.  My heart sank when I realised that it had probably been sold, and I resigned myself to taking a quick look in the store to see if I could find a consolation purchase.  And there, on the rack with the other dresses, was my purple marvel.  Silly me!  It hadn’t been sold, they’d just changed the window display!  I snapped it up for $5 and walked gleefully back to work with my treasure.

I am wearing:

  • Royal purple vintage dress (thrifted)
  • Black boots from Ebay
  • Mrs Doubtfire pin from Amy Blue Illustration
  • Celtic knot brooch (gifted)
  • Art deco earrings (thrifted)

I wore this particular outfit for mother’s day brunch with my family.  I chose my jewellery carefully.  These two brooches are to pay tribute to two mothers who are important to me but who weren’t present for Mother’s Day this year- my late Nana Dot and my ex-mother-in-law-now-friend Judith.  The Celtic knot was a gift from Judith and I always think of her when I wear it.  I chose Mrs Doubtfire for Nan because it was a film that she loved and we used to laugh our asses off watching it together.

 
I’m thrilled with this dress.  I have very few long-sleeved vintage dresses, so this was the perfect addition to my winter work wardrobe.  The colour is superb and the slight stripe texture makes it a bit more interesting than just a block colour.  I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this now that winter is here and the temperatures are dropping.

What I wore: Benalla Shorts film festival.

I feel very blessed to be from Benalla.  Even though it’s such a small town, we have a lot going for us.  There’s the yearly Wall to Wall street art festival, a huge number of amazing cafes and restaurants, gorgeous picnic spots and the mural.  A relatively new event that’s sprung up is the Benalla Shorts film festival, which showcases short films made by local and national film makers. This year I scored tickets to the event and frocked up to attend.

 

I was very unsure about what to wear.  I wanted to be dressed up, but not over the top.  It was also absolutely stinking hot the day of the festival so I needed something that would be cool and comfortable.  So I opted for billowy, printed trousers and monochrome accessories.

 

 

I am wearing:

  • Black and white silk trousers (thrifted)
  • Black tank top from Uniqlo
  • Black patent heels from Nine West
  • Leopard print fascinator from Dangerfield
  • Art deco locket (thrifted)
  • Cubic zirconia earrings (belonged to my Nana)

 

 This turned out to be the perfect outfit to wear to the film festival. I was so comfortable and I felt confident in my monochrome ensemble.  The fascinator was a fun touch, and added the perfect amount of whimsy to the whole outfit.  I feel like without it, I’d have looked a bit more casual and that’s not the vibe I was going for.

 

The festival itself was so much fun.  The winning film was called iRony, an animated take on how technology and social media is affecting our life in a negative way.  The most impressive thing about that film is that it was hand-animated, written, narrated and produced by one person….and he’s eighteen.  I was blown away by the sophistication of the film from such a young filmmaker.  I also voted for a film called Munchies, which was an adorable claymation feature about a farmer with a snail problem.

 

I feel that my black and white outfit was perfect for a cultured afternoon of short films.  I hit the mark and didn’t feel overdone or too casual, and I was truly confident in the way I looked.

What I wore: Wall to Wall 2018

Every year, my home town of Benalla holds a street art festival.  For one amazing weekend every year, artists set up their paints, brushes, dropsheets and spray cans to create masterpieces on buildings and fences all over the town.  In addition to the artwork, there is live music, food trucks, market stalls and guided walking tours.

The Wall to Wall festival weekend is one of my favourite weekends of the year.  It’s so exciting to watch the artwork taking shape and trying to guess what each piece is going to be.  Last Saturday I dressed up nice and comfy to take a long, lazy walk around the main street and soak up the artwork.

I am wearing:

  • Captain Planet tee shirt
  • Denim shorts from Target
  • Converse All Star sneakers (thrifted)
  • Apple headscarf (thrifted)
  • Mistress D and Master Rick pins from Geeky and Kinky


I was particularly proud of my makeup.  It had been so long since I’d worn a Tank Girl inspired ombre red lip so I revived that look for the day.  It’s such a 90’s trend but one that I still enjoy wearing.


In addition to the street art, this year the Wall to Wall festival also features an art installation by Callum Preston called The Milk Bar.  Mr Preston has build a milk bar inside the Benalla Art Gallery complete with a Telecom phone booth and Australia Post red post box out the front.  It’s really quite incredible, as you walk inside through the plastic strip curtains you’re greeted by shelves and shelves of colourful products all lovingly hand-painted, a rack of magazines and a counter staffed by a very sweet woman with pink hair and a pinny.  I had such fun reminiscing about all the lollies that I once loved which are no longer available (remember Snap n Crackle bars?) and lamenting the fact that Bubbalo Bill ice creams seemed so much bigger when I was a kid.

The Wall to Wall festival is even bigger in 2018 than in any other year.  Best of all, the street art remains up for a full year so if you’re driving through Benalla you can stop off and take a gander.  It’s well worth the trip if you like awesome artwork in unexpected places.

What I wore 13/2/2018

I recently found out that a local Thai restaurant that I used to frequent is now doing all-you-can-eat banquets during the week.  So naturally my parents, my aunt and uncle and I wasted no time hopping in the car and hauling ourselves to sample the dinner fare.  And we were not disappointed.  But before I headed out for an evening of deluxe food and first-rate company, I had to decide on what to wear.

I often make the mistake of overdressing for events such as this.  It’s so easy to get carried away and winding up wearing something that’s much too much for the occasion.  For this particular dinner, I wanted to look dressed up, but not over the top.  My solutioin was to pair a fairly casual tee shirt with a simple skirt and then jazz it up with fancy hosiery and shoes.  And I think it worked a treat, don’t you?

I am wearing:

  • Cruella De Vil tee shirt from Threadless
  • Emerald green skater skirt from Princess Highway
  • Nude fishnet tights from Razzamatazz
  • Gingham heels from Scooter
  • Drop pearl earrings from Louvisa

 

 

 

Nude fishnets are one of my most favourite types of legwear.  They look effortlessly vintage, they go with every colour and they are so easy to wear.  These ones have lasted me so many years and they’re ideal to wear in summer when you don’t want to be completely bare-legged but it’s too hot to don full stockings.

I was so comfortable and cool in this outfit, but I still felt dressed up enough for dinner out with the family.

 

30×30 wardrobe challenge: Week 1

I’ve completed the first week of my 30×30 wardrobe challenge and I thought it was about time for an update.  I’ve been posting daily outfit photos on my instagram feed, but I’d like to delve a little deeper here and share some of the struggles and insights into the first week of this minimalist challenge.

 

I have to be perfectly honest here and admit that I’m not really enjoying this challenge so far.  I expected that once I’d picked my clothes and gotten started, it wouldn’t be nearly as difficult as I thought and I’d just sort of cruise through.  That hasn’t happened at all and I’ve had a few struggles this past week.

First of all, the weather really hasn’t been playing ball this week.  It’s been unusually cold and windy for November and I’ve had to cheat almost every day by adding a jumper or jacket to my outfit for warmth.  When I put together my 30 item wardrobe, I made the mistake of thinking that the temperatures were going to be climbing as we headed towards summer, and so everything I chose is lightweight with short sleeves.  Additionally, most of the shoes I selected are sandals, with few closed-toe options.  In hindsight I really should have included at least one jacket and a pair of boots in my wardrobe.  However, on the day I chose my capsule wardrobe I was very focused on selecting clothes that could be worn multiple ways and didn’t want to “waste” a valuable spot with something I might only wear once.

Additionally, I’ve already been feeling bored with having so few choices.  I know that many people who do the 30×30 challenge find a smaller wardrobe more liberating, and enjoy having fewer items to choose from in the morning.  I’ve found it really limiting so far.  Not so much on work days, as my outfits tend to be fairly similar when I’m heading to the office, but on the weekend I found it tricky because I wasn’t really in the mood for jeans…and yet that’s what was on offer.  I also kicked myself for not adding any sneakers to my capsule wardrobe because on Saturday I was travelling and I really wanted to wear my Converse All-Stars.  It’s been a bummer to know that there are items that I feel like wearing, and yet I’m not “allowed to” because of the rules of this challenge.

 

 

I’ve also run into a wee dilemma with new purchases.  Although I’ve been reigning in my spending on new clothing this year, I do allow myself the occasional splurge.  On Sunday I was in Melbourne and swung by Dangerfield and Princess Highway.  They had all their new season stock in and lots of items on sale.  I could quite easily have bought half the store.  But instead I limited myself to one purchase: an emerald green skater-skirt.  I’ve wanted a skirt just like it for ages and it was a perfect fit and 20% off to boot.  I simply couldn’t leave it there and I know it will be something I wear a lot.  However, now I have this stunning new skirt in my wardrobe and I’m not allowed to wear it for another 21 days.   This displeases me.

 

There have been a few benefits that I’ve discovered in week 1.  Firstly, putting together outfits in the morning has taken less time because I have fewer things to choose from.  Even though I’ve felt like wearing items that weren’t in my capsule wardrobe, I’ve diligently stuck to the rules and it has saved a lot of umming and ahhing in the mornings.

 

Additionally, I’ve been more efficient with my laundry because I have to make sure that my capsule wardrobe is clean and ironed so that I have enough choices for the week ahead.  30 items isn’t a lot and I’ve needed to keep on top of my laundry pile to ensure I don’t run out of clothes.

So far I’m not loving the 30×30 challenge but I’m going to stick with it and do my best.  If nothing else I’ve learned the importance of including clothing for a range of weather conditions in your capsule wardrobe and my laundry hamper is looking emptier than ever.

 

Stay tuned for my Week 2 update post and don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for daily outfit photos.

What I Wore: Too pure to be pink

I think that pretty much everyone has a few “holy grail” wardrobe items that they’ve hankered for.  Things that might be slightly impractical or tricky to find, but that you want all the same.  For me, one thing I’ve always dreamed of owning was a Pink Ladies jacket.  Ever since I saw Grease for the first time, I longed to proudly wear one of those pink satin bomber jackets to proclaim my membership of the coolest girl gang ever.

 

So when a pre-loved Pink Ladies jacket popped up as part of Nerd burger’s annual Instagram closet sale, I nearly swooned with excitement.  I’ve been trying so hard to curb my spending on unnecessary items, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to own a Pink Ladies jacket.

 

The jacket is pretty lightweight, so I’ve been waiting for the weather to warm up enough for me to wear it.  I had so much fun styling the jacket.  I wanted the overall look to have a 50’s feel, but to be kinda punk-inspired as well.  I started with seamed stockings and a bodysuit, and added rough animal prints and dainty accessories.

 

I am wearing:

  • Pink Ladies jacket (purchased second hand from Nerd Burger)
  • Black bodysuit from Missguided
  • Black sheer seamed stockings from Voodoo
  • Silver ballet flats (thrifted)
  • Fairest of them All brooch from Erstwilder
  • Dice earrings from Equip
  • Silver signet ring
  • Tiger print mini skirt from Target

 

I opted for bold pink lips and strong winged eyeliner. I felt a little like Debbie Harry with this heavy eye makeup, but I also really enjoyed wearing strong lips and eyes together.  I felt sexy and tough and certainly not too pure to be pink.

 

What are your “holy grail” wardrobe items?