30×30 Wardrobe Challenge: Week 3

As the third week of my wardrobe challenge draws to a close, I have a bundle of feelings and none of them are good.  Mostly I’m feeling bored, frustrated and ready to abandon the challenge.

I’m getting exceptionally tired with wearing the same items over and over.  I’m sick of the sight of my capsule wardrobe and I  am so looking forward to the end of these thirty days so that I can go back to being creative and adventurous with my dressing.  I’m so fed up with having to set up the ironing board every couple of days to make sure that I have enough clothes pressed ready for work.  I’m just over it.

The ironic thing is, there’s nobody holding me accountable except myself.  It’s not like I’m doing this challenge for anyone but me.  There’s no external arbiter telling me that I have to keep on going, and yet I am loath to abandon the challenge before the 30 days are up.  Not because I feel like I’d be letting anyone down, but because I’m so darn stubborn.  I don’t want to give up before the end because it feels like a failure.

This week I had the additional challenge of dressing for a convention.  I attended the Sexpo convention in Melbourne on Saturday and I had a really tough time choosing something to wear.  I wanted to feel comfortable but I also hoped to draw confidence from my outfit choice.  I knew that I’d be meeting lots of like-minded people at the convention and I wanted to look awesome.  I had to break the rules and wear a pair of Converse sneakers, because none of the footwear in my capsule wardrobe was going to cut it for an entire day on my feet. I ended up in jeans and a tee shirt, and in hindsight I wish I’d worn a skirt because I was so freakin’ hot after a full day of walking, shopping and socializing.

 

In a tiny way, having less to choose from did save a bit of time when I was selecting an outfit for Sexpo.  Often when I’m dressing for an event, I have a habit of getting caught up in all the different options, considering what image and mood I want to project.  It’s almost like deciding which version of myself I want to be, as though my outfits are costumes I can slip in and out of.  Without a wardrobe full of potential options, I had to go out stripped of my armour and just wear something relatively plain.  I felt oddly vulnerable stepping out without a carefully chosen outfit, but ultimately the day was amazing and I met so many awesome people.

 

I am definitely looking forward to the end of this challenge, but I’m determined to tough it out for another week.  I think with some grit and careful planning, I can get through.

 

 

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30×30 wardrobe challenge: week 2

Week 2 of my 30×30 wardrobe challenge has passed sluggishly.  I’m finding that as the days march on, I’m finding this challenge more difficult.  During week 1, I was wearing each item for the first time and each outfit still felt fresh and new.  Now, I’ve gone through pretty much my entire capsule wardrobe once already and I’m now at the point where things are getting their second or third wear. And I’m finding that tedious.

 

My wardrobe is a source of joy for me.  I see my clothes like a huge box of crayons that I can use to create any picture I want to.  I love putting together different outfits that reflect my mood on a particular day.  Fashion is one of the ways that I express myself. And now that I’m limiting myself to a small fraction of my clothing, I kind of feel as though my wings have been clipped.  It’s like going from having a deluxe set of  Crayolas to one of those crappy four-colour crayon boxes you get with cheap colouring books.

 

I’m noticing that I’m really missing certain items of clothing dearly.  There are a couple of pairs of shoes, some special tee shirts and one amazing dress that I’ve been hankering to wear lately.  But because they are not part of the capsule wardrobe that I’ve created, they’ve had to stay locked away out of reach.  Even though I feel a bit down that I can’t wear these clothes, this exercise has really highlighted to me which items in my wardrobe I love the most.  Those clothes that I’ve been longing for are the things that make me feel amazing.  The items that are comfortable and colourful which just bring joy to me when I’m wearing them.

 

On the other hand, I have noticed that there are a couple of things that I haven’t been missing.  I felt inspired to do a mini clear-out during the week when I realised that there were a couple of things that I wasn’t keen to reach for again once the challenge is over.  Putting a bit of distance between myself and the bulk of my clothing gave me a new perspective.  I noticed a couple of items that were pretty worn out and ready to be binned, and a few things that I just don’t enjoy wearing any more.  So it’s been nice to take a step back and edit my wardrobe critically.  The 30×30 challenge has given me a sense of clarity about which items I really want to keep, and which ones I could stand to throw out.

Week 2 has been a mix of good and bad.  While I’m beginning to get bored with my capsule wardrobe, I also feel as though I’m making some great choices about those items in my closet that I’ve been hanging onto for too long.  As an added bonus, I have a feeling that I’ll be a lot more creative with my outfits once I’m finally finished the challenge and I’m able to colour with all my crayons again.

 

Things I love Thursday 20/10/2016

I am overflowing with joy this week.  Although I’ve been really busy, there are so many wonderful things filling up my days and I just can’t hold in my happiness.

This week I love:

  • Mr Selfridge.  I started watching this show a few weeks ago and I’ve blown through three seasons.  I love it for the vintage fashions and the way it highlights how much shopping has changed in the last century.  By far my favourite character is Miss Mardell.  I can’t get enough of her.  She’s tough and ballsy while still being romantic and kind.  Single and childless, she’s still one of the most successful characters in the show and manages to turn the stereotype of the lonely old spinster onto it’s head.
  • Having a song written for me.  My boyfriend, David, and I celebrated our six month anniversary last week.  He is just the bees knees and he makes me so happy.  He wrote this song about me, and I was crazy excited to have a song with the word “shit” in the title dedicated to me.

  • Mr Ringo.  My poor little man has been very unwell with a urinary tract infection but he is all better now.  We had to take an emergency trip to the vet which was very frightening, but our new vet was exceptional with my anxious little dude and he’s now fighting fit again.
  • Roses, geraniums and daffodils, which are all popping up in my garden.

Stocking my drawer with hand crocheted dish cloths. #crochet #dishcloths #eco #green #craft

A post shared by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

  • Working on some handmade cotton dishcloths.
  • Decluttering.  I’m on a real minimalism kick, which has meant doing some ruthless clearing out of drawers and cupboards.  I have gotten rid of bags and bags of items that I don’t use, and I’m doing quite well with resisting buying more items to fill the space I’m creating.
  • The Conjuring.  I watched it last week and it was so scary!  If you like creepy stories of hauntings that re based on true stories, this could be one for you to check out.

Scored this adorable cardi at the op shop on the weekend. #thrifting #cardigan #outfit #hearts

A post shared by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on

  • Sweater clips.  I’ve never gotten into them before now, but I was gifted this awesome Erstwilder set for my birthday.  This new (to me) cardigan was the perfect companion to my lipstick-and-mirror clips and I now can’t get enough of them.
  • Dark nail polish.
  • Finding PG Tips teabags in the import section at the supermarket.
  • Leaving work at the end of the day with my desk completely clear of paperwork.
  • Dr Pepper and 90’s slasher flicks.

What do you love this week?

In the style of: American Horror Story: Coven

With each season of American Horror story I’ve been utterly blown away by the costumes. But the two seasons that have inspired me most deeply were Coven and Freak Show.  I’ll devote another post to Freak Show at a later date, because right now I’m ready to get witchy.

Season 3 felt like the strongest season of AHS to me for many reasons, but one of the biggest was the solid fashion aesthetic that was woven through the show.  When the season ended I wanted to cover myself in black lace, massive hats and sky-high heels.  It could have been so easy for the costume designers to tread a very traditional path with the coven’s outfits but instead they threw in some unexpected elements and the end result is breathtaking.

Today I’d like to take a closer look at the wardrobes of several of my favourite characters from American Horror Story: Coven

Zoe Benson

Zoe Benson

 

Zoe’s wardobe seems to be filled with items that a person might have purchased it they were told that they were being shipped off to a witch boarding school.  Her clothes are mostly black and white, and everything has a very prim and proper vibe to it.  Her shirts are always buttoned to the neck and she rarely wears anything revealing.  My favourite item in Zoe’s closet is the amazing black wide-brimmed hat that she sports on numerous occasions.  I feel as though Zoe’s style is the least defined of all of the characters, as she regularly borrows elements from the style of the other three student at Miss Robichaux’s Academy.  This may be a wink to Zoe’s newly attained knowledge of her magical powers, a way to show that she’s still figuring out who she is.

Myrtle Snow

Myrtle Snow

 

The two words that leap to mind when I think of Myrtle’s style are “Big” and “Bold”.  We’re talking big hair, bold patterns, bright colours, statement jewellery and voluminous layers.  Myrtle takes her fashion very seriously indeed and every item on her body is carefully curated.  She will wear colours and prints and textures that should all clash horribly but somehow the end result is a masterpiece.  She favours polka dots, embroidery, ruffles, gloves and blazers.  And no Myrtle Snow outfit would be complete without a pair of sharp cat’s eye glasses and a swipe of violently red lipstick.

Queenie

Queenie

 

Queenie’s look is the most casual of all the Coven members, but she always looks sharp and ready for action.  Queenie is a big fan of graphic tees and brash gold accents.  She dresses for comfort in jeans and leggings.  Her outfits are usually topped off with a flashy pair of earrings and sneakers.

Nan

Nan

 

Nan is like a psychic gothic lolita.  Her clothes have a very definite Victorian feel to them, with swathes of black fabric and her ever-present Peter Pan collar. Her dresses are always prim and feminine and are usually in shades of black, grey, white and navy.  She doesn’t wear much jewellery or makeup, just a well-placed swipe of blush and a headband to hold back her sleek hair.

Madison Montgomery

Madison Montgomery

 

Madison’s style is probably the least “witchy” of all the students at Miss Robichaux’s Academy.  She is glamourous and sexy to the extreme.  Her incredible figure is usually bound up in a body con or bandage dress that shows every asset to perfection.  Madison will accessorise with bold heels and furs in dramatic shades.

Misty Day

Misty Day

 

It’s no secret that Misty’s biggest hero is Stevie Nicks.  Her style is very closely modeled on Stevie, with the floaty hippie dresses, tall laced boots and mountains of jewellery.  And of course, none of Misty’s outfits would be complete without a fringed scarf to twirl with. Her wardrobe is filled with earthy tones and shades of blue and green.
Were you a fan of AHS Coven?  Which character’s style would you most like to steal?

Style icons: Harley Quinn

I was pretty rapt with the Suicide Squad movie.  Even though the critics have kinda panned it, I really enjoyed the film. There can be no doubt that a huge part of my love for the film came from the presence of one of my favourite DC characters, Harley Quinn.  After seeing the film, I was so inspired by Harley’s awesome sense of style, and I wanted to dedicate a Style Icons post to the mad clown queen of Gotham City.

 

 

Mod Harley

 

There can be little doubt that Harley is the queen of colour blocking.  She likes large panels of bold colour, usually in a half-and-half style.  Her favourite combos are red and black and blue and red with splashes of white thrown in for good measure.  Her two-tone look even extends to her hair, often worn in pigtails with dip-dyed tips for dramatic effect.
Casual Harley

 

Harley’s outfits are usually form-fitting or scandalously brief.  She loves being the centre of attention so eye-grabbing pieces are a must.  But although you might want to touch, you’d better keep your mitts to yourself.  Harley’s relationship with The Joker is anything but open.  He keeps her on a tight reign, and while their relationship is pretty dysfunctional, there are also strong elements of dominance and submission present.  I really liked the way that bondage gear and winks to Harley’s BDsM relationship with Joker were woven into her costumes.  Her “Puddin” collar, ”Yes Sir” cuffs and “Property of Joker” bomber jacket all speak to her submission to Mr J.
Daddy's disco princess

 

It’s the tiny details that are key to Harley’s outfits.  She particularly partial to diamond shapes, which harken back to her harlequin-inspired costume in the original cartoon.  Jagged edges and circus-goth finishings are also perfect for a girl who is more at home on a tightrope or aerial silks than with her feet firmly planted on the ground.
Rev her up

 

Interestingly, a large number of items in Harley’s wardrobe are inspired by sporting apparel. From her triple stripe sneaker stilettos to her baseball tees, Harley likes to blend a bit of activewear in with her outfits.  This possibly has to do with the fact that her weapon of choice is a baseball bat (when she’s not wielding her comically-huge mallet).  Harley likes to match her baseball jacket with teeny tiny shorts and a liberal application of bling.
I’m head over heels in love with Harley’s look, and it’s so tempting to sprinkle a bit of madcap circus-gal fun into your own wardrobe.  You could quite easily add a few small touches, or go for the full-shebang in two-toned gear, a collar and booty shorts.  It’s up to you how far you take the look, but once you get going, it’s hard not to go a little bit nuts.
Are you a fan of Harley’s look?  Which parts would you like to incorporate into your own wardrobe?

Things I Love Thursday 7/1/2016

Woah, it certainly feels a bit strange to type “2016”.  I’m excited for the very first Things I Love Thursday for this brand, spanking new year.  So let’s all jump right in, shall we?

 

This week I love:

  • Visiting with Nook, my Nana’s friend.  Nook and Nana were friends from the time they were teenagers until my Nana passed two years ago.  I had morning tea with Nook and her husband on Monday and it was so much fun.  She has such a positive outlook on life and has a great way of making everyone feel cherished and special.  And she’s an awesome cook.  I must have eaten about a thousand of her mini Christmas puddings.

Intermission. #cats #musical #olddeuteronomy

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on Jan 2, 2016 at 7:19pm PS

  • Seeing CATS for the third time.  CATS is my all-time favourite musical and my parents bought me tickets to see the Melbourne show for my birthday.  After a six-month wait, I finally got to take my seat at the Regent Theater and soak in the amazing performances.  I’m thinking about writing a full review of the show if you are interested in reading about it in more detail.
  • Shopping for new sexy time toys.
  • Star Wars!  I saw The Force Awakens on New Years Day and I thought it was brilliant.  I had low expectations for this instalment of the Star Wars saga, and I was surprised at how great the film was.  I won’t go into detail, but I thought it was a thoroughly entertaining film and was so much better than the prequels.

I’ve gone a wee bit mod tonight. #vintage #60s #flowers #outfit

A photo posted by Vanessa Bowen (@nessbow64) on Jan 1, 2016 at 11:02pm PST

  • Wearing a fun, silky shift dress and feeling like Queen of the Mods.
  • Brushing the cats.  Although both of my cats have short hair, they seem to shed like crazy.  I am forever vacuuming up cat hair and it seems as though my clothes and bed are perpetually peppered with strands of fuzz.  So I’m trying to get into the habit of brushing the cats regularly to get rid of some of the loose hair before it gets onto the carpet.  Jelly is totally into this, but Ringo has taken a bit of convincing.  On Tuesday I managed to get him to sit still for fifteen whole minutes and I brushed off enough hair to build a brand new cat.
  • Making headway with some of my new year’s resolutions.  I’m trying out a productivity app called Habitica that is pretty cute and it’s really helped me to move towards some of my goals for the year.
  • Jane The Virgin.  I started watching this on Netflix and it’s actually pretty fantastic.  It’s kind of like Arrested Development meets a Spanish Telenovella.
  • Getting my first professional pedicure in two years.  My tootsies were in serious need of some TLC.  Now they are soft and lovely.
  • Salted caramel everything.

What are you loving this week?  Has the first week of 2016 been kind to you?

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Style.

Cowabunga dudes!  Today I’m taking a bit of style inspiration from my favourite crime-fighting quartet: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  These four rad guys were dramatically different, from their personalities to their training styles.  In spite of their differences, they also had a lot in common: they all adored pizza, they all liked hanging out with ladies in yellow jumpsuits and they all banded together as a family.

I was inspired to put together an outfit for each of the turtles, which all had common elements running through them.  I tried hard to capture each turtles’ personality while still keeping a sense of continuity in this collection of outfits.  Each outfit features the colour green, as well as a hidden turtle.

Leonardo

Leonardo leads.

 

Leonardo is the leader, so I wanted an outfit that exuded power.  I decided to look to the 80’s for ideas, as this was the era when the Turtles were created.  The 80’s Power Dressing trend seemed the perfect way to capture Leo’s strength and poise.  Deep shades of blue and classic accessories are accented with a crisp blazer and perfectly manicured fingernails.  You’d certainly look like a leader in this ensemble.

Donatello

Donatello Does Machines.

 

Donatello’s outfit is pure geek chic.  Futuristic fabrics hint at his love of science fiction, but are tempered with chunky knitwear and casual shoes.  A big backpack is a must for lugging around all your nerdy gadgets.  No nerd should be without a pair of funky glasses, and I think that Donatello would approve of this purple pair.  Finish off the outfit with some knit socks and a cyber-style watch.

Raphael.

Cool but rude

 

Rough and tough, Raphael’s outfit has a punky edge to it.  The ripped tights, Dr Martens boots and bold tartan add a rebellious flavour to this ensemble.  Accessorise with tough studs and knuckle rings for maximum impact.  Don’t forget to add a slogan tee with a biting message: you may be cool, but you’re also rude.

Michaelangelo.

 

Party Dude

 

Mikey’s laid-back attitude comes across in this outfit.  From the flowy fabrics to the bohemian accessories, this ensemble has a super-chilled vibe to it.  The surfer beannie and bright sunglasses are perfect for masking bed-hair and droopy eyes when you’ve had a big night out, while the sandals add a sprinkling of surfer-chic style.
Who is your favourite turtle?  Which one of these outfits do you think suits your personality?