SPRING RACING

It’s finally Spring! The days have gotten longer, the sun is actually out and we don’t need 50 layers

It’s also Spring Racing time – although I’m not the biggest fan of the actual racing, I do love to see the outfits. The people who break the style rules are the ones to watch, whether it be a pantsuit instead of a dress or earrings instead of a fascinator, it’s cool to see how individuals take on the rules for Spring Racing

Image credits: Vogue.com, Vogue.comVogue.com

 

As the big day approaches, you can hear the frantic slam of wardrobe doors and the wails of “I have nothing to wear”! all over Melbourne

But look a little closer and you will find that you can reinvent that dress from last season with a few accessories. Still convinced that you need to buy everything new? Then follow me to Vinnies...

Wearing: COS jumpsuit | Fascinator/Bag/Shoes/Earrings - Vinnies

 

Traditionally Derby Day is reserved for a monochrome outfit. Think all black, all white or a mixture of the two. This is definitely the day for me!

Although I didn’t have a flowy dress that was perfect for spring racing hiding in the back of my wardrobe, I did have this jumpsuit that was just waiting for its time to shine
By adding thrifted accessories, I created a classic monochrome look that is perfect for Derby Day

The Fascinator originally had a giant tan bow on it, that wasn’t exactly the look I was going for so I cut it off
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your opshop finds, by cutting/bejeweling/distressing them, you can make them one of a kind!

The Glo-mesh bag gives the outfit a vintage twist. It also has a detachable strap that can even be worn as a belt or necklace

These shoes were my bargain for the day at only $8. They have barely been worn and complete the outfit perfectly

But say you weren’t a fan of fascinators or wanted a more casual look?

Wearing: COS Jumpsuit | Sunglasses - Neubau Eyewear| Hat/Clutch/Shoes - Vinnies

 

Simply grab a felted hat, a smaller clutch and some sunglasses. The hat tones down the dressy look of the jumpsuit and the clutch gives it more practicality. I would even ditch the heel and slide on a classic loafer shoe to keep me comfortable

Playing with accessories is a great way to transition any look. By adding colourful accessories this jumpsuit can be reworked for another event. You could even tie a beautifully printed scarf into your hair, wear big earrings instead of a hat. The possibilities are endless and thrifted accessories are the best way to let your personality shine through and avoid the cookie cutter store trends

I love to shop at Vinnies as I never know what I’m going to find. An example of that was this beautiful Witchery dress that is basically brand new! I loved the floaty style and thought it would be perfect for Emirates Stakes day or Crown Oaks day

I imagined this dress with a beautiful straw boater hat, but unfortunately, I didn’t find one – such is the luck of op shopping!

Luckily the dress still looks stunning when paired with a simple felt hat and a low suede heel. The brown heel adds a nice contrast. Again I used my Glo-mesh bag as a clutch

Wearing: Thrifted Vinnies Dress | Neubau Eyewear- Sunglasses | Bag/Hat/Shoes - Thrifted Vinnies

 

I absolutely love that all the accessories that I found can be rotated with each dress and can even become staples within my wardrobe

Anyone considering buying a new outfit for the Spring Races should first visit their wardrobe to scope out what dresses they have. Even the most simple dress can look new season with the right accessories. Then visit Vinnies for some Spring Racing inspiration. Even the plainest fascinator can be tweaked to add some personality

So go out there and embrace your local Vinnies and get creative! If you need a little help, just let me know…

I’d love to hear about your Vinnies finds. Comment below!

 

ZERO WASTE?

I have recently embarked on a mission to make my life as waste-free as possible – to live a Zero Waste lifestyle.

“Zero waste is about sending nothing to landfill, and recycling as little as possible. It’s about rethinking the way we do things: refusing what we don’t need, reducing what we use, reusing what we have, repairing what we can, and recycling as a last resort.

Zero waste is about consuming less, making conscious choices when we do need to make purchases, supporting companies who are trying to do the right thing and reducing our environmental impact. It’s about choosing second-hand, borrowing or making do, choosing things that will last and taking responsibility for our personal choices.”
Lindsay – Treading my own path

Zero Waste is about significantly reducing and eventually eliminating the amount of trash we produce and send to landfill. Australian’s produce 1.5 tonnes of waste in a year, enough to cover the state of Victoria. If we continue to live this way, we won’t have an actual Earth to live on.

I know that all sounds very dire straits, but I feel it’s important to lay the facts down. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel, the Zero Waste lifestyle has become a fast growing living change for many people worldwide. People like Bea Johnson, Lauren Singer and Lindsay Miles have paved the way for waste-free living.

The beginning of my journey to Waste Free Living started when I challenged myself to participate in Plastic Free July. I’ve actually written an article about this over at Ecomono –  but basically, I avoided all single-use plastic. Straws, plastic bags, coffee takeaway cups and plastic water bottles are some of the biggest culprits causing harm. I didn’t use a lot of these things -so I challenged myself further… to avoid all things packaged in plastic. No Cadbury chocolate, no chips, no cheese…. the list was endless. The challenge really opened up my eyes as to how much single-use plastic is actually in our world and how much we actually purchase without thinking about it.

It’s now September, so obviously I survived my month without plastic!

How? you may ask…. simple.

I purchased the things that I needed in paper or cardboard, I said “NO” to plastic bags, my fruit and veg go naked or I use my cloth produce bags, I utilized my local bulk foods store for package free goods. If I couldn’t find an alternative I went without or made my own.

To use a plastic bag or a takeaway coffee cup actually seems incredibly silly to me. There are so many other reusable options out there!

I’d love to hear about your plastic free July/zero waste journey.
If you are interested to hear more follow the ladies mentioned above and keep your eyes on my Instagram and my blog – this is something I am extremely passionate about and I’m not going to shut up about it

VINNIES X IRONIC MINIMALIST

The denim in my wardrobe hasn’t been getting enough of a workout recently. I’ve been wearing my favourite pair of pants basically every single day.

Maybe I needed a bit of inspiration to find new ways to style my denim, luckily Vinnies invited me to their August Denim challenge.

Since I love nothing more than finding the perfect op shop bargain, I accepted. Their challenge was to style denim 4 different ways chosen by me.

I headed to my favourite Vinnies on Johnston st that very weekend and got straight to work. After a bit of trial and error with the jeans section (I’m very particular with the style of my denim), I decided to use my existing two pairs of jeans and find some tops/jackets/shirts to wear with them. As any avid thrifter will tell you, it’s always a game of chance when shopping in a thrift shop. You may not find the exact thing you are after, but I think that is the beauty of it. Will you score a vintage Chanel bag or the perfect oversized wool jacket?

After finding my key items (sadly no vintage Chanel, but I did score a really cool 80’s style jumpsuit!) I headed back home to style them.

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Vinnies Shirt | Asos Jeans | Nakedvice Belt | Dr Martens | Camberwell Market Bag

My first look had to be double denim, something I haven’t been a fan of in the past, but I really love this look and I feel it’s very “Brunswick”.

The shirt is an extremely oversized vintage denim shirt that I tucked into my “mom” jeans to give some shape. The bag was also a Sportsgirl vintage score from the Camberwell Sunday Market

I feel like you could also wear this one with a pair of skinny pants and belt it at the waist to give some shape.

Vinnies Grey Knit | Asos Jeans | Vintage Leather Jacket | Nakedvice Belt | Acne Boots| TDE Bag

My next Vinnies find was a grey loose fit turtle neck jumper. I am actually obsessed with high neck tops/jumpers, so I loved this little find.

Again, I used my “mom” jeans and tucked the top in. This look is a perfect casual weekend look. My leather jacket is a wardrobe staple, so that had to make an appearance!

Vinnies Silk Dress | Lee Jeans | Vintage Leather Jacket | COS Heels | TDE Clutch

I don’t usually wear jeans if I (ever) go out. But this silk Lover dress is a perfect addition to skinny jeans and block heels for a casual catch up with friends. I just tucked it in to make it wearable for the cooler weather.
You could also add a touch of deep red lipstick to glam it up.

Vinnies Shirt | Lee Jeans | Vintage Leather Jacket | COS Heels| TDE Bag

Lastly, I couldn’t resist browsing the men’s section. It’s one of my favourite sections for oversized shirts and jackets, (I even found an awesome Qantas PJ set from there!)
This is kind of what I would imagine I would wear in a casual office situation. The oversized white shirt classes up the skinny jeans.

Ever since embarking on my Zero Waste lifestyle, I have discovered that op shopping is an environmentally friendly way to save money and still look good. In all honesty, would you have known that the above looks are from an op shop? So be like Macklemore and hit up your local thrift store before your local Zara.

Thank you to Vinnies
**Sponsored post – all opinions + images are my own**

A.BCH

In my previous post, I mentioned Courtney Holm from A.BCH who hosted the “Build a Sustainable Wardrobe” event held by Council of Textile and Fashion.

After the event, I spoke to Courtney about her brand and what she thought about organic cotton. She was so knowledgeable about her fabrics and so dedicated to A.BCH that I had to learn more from her!

What is the story behind A.BCH?

“The whole idea behind starting the label in the first place was that personally I didn’t think there was a fashion label that was covering important areas in terms of ethics, sustainability, design and integrity. When it comes to sustainability the whole system is based around marketing, brands thinking “how can we get on board this green/eco bandwagon”, but not actually contributing to the issues.

I really wanted to create something that was researched, designed, and developed according to ethical and sustainable practices for our customers. And then, even after we sent out a garment to a customer, there was a path for that garment to go on. I call it circular design, from conception to the death of that item, you have considered and planned what is going to happen to that garment.

Circular design starts with designing something for longevity and isn’t that trend based. But also considering every raw material that goes into a garment, the dyes, threads, labels, and buttons – every little element. Then we educate the customer on how to look after a garment so they can use it for longer. When they are finally done with the garment, we want to show them how to either compost the garment or return it for recycling. This means there is a pathway for that garment to be restored to the earth or into a new recycling program.

Every single thing we create at A.BCH has the circular design/whole garment mentality where it’s all considered and important.

It’s often stuff that people don’t see or think about, but that the point behind what we are doing – it’s a genuine quest to make fashion sustainable, not just a trend or a gimmick.”

 Why are you so passionate about A.BCH and fashion?

“I have always loved fashion – it’s what I studied at uni, its what I’ve always felt I was meant to do with my life and I feel like I’m good at it.
But in terms of sustainability, it’s not just fashion that I am concerned about, it’s the rampant sort of consumerism that is our culture and the throwaway mentality of people. I mean, people just use a cup once and then throw it away and I feel like there are so many instances in the day to day life where these sort of things aren’t thought about.

If you think about the necessaries of life, clothing is one of those things, and I also think that clothing is a way of showing who you are and expressing yourself. I think that fashion is a really amazing tool for self-expression, So for me it’s a holistic thing. It’s not that I just care about sustainable fashion -it’s everything. I hate single use plastics, and as much as I can, try to do the right thing with recycling and reusing materials. It’s been a part of my passion for a long time.”

Tell us about the process used to create one of your organic t-shirts

“I start with getting fabric samples from a variety of sources and just try to find one I really like. Obviously, it has to meet all of the sustainability criteria before we continue. We use GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) organic certified fabrics – if it’s not certified by GOTS then there has to be a reason why it’s not, GOTS might not certify that type of fibre. But the cotton has to be organic and GOTS is the best certification for that.

Even if you grow organic cotton, if the process after harvest isn’t organic then there is no point in growing it organically in the first place. If you are just going to dunk it in a bunch of chemical dye pots, or bleach it, or spray chemicals on it so it can be shipped without wrinkling, then it’s not worth all the time and effort to grow organically. All the processes that come after it are really important that’s why I prioritise GOTs fabrics as they only certify a full product. Organic Agricultural buddy will certify the growing and the harvest and GOTS will certify from harvest through to finish -so essentially the dyes, the treatments and the entire process processes has to be done specifically to become GOTS certified. GOTS also covers social criteria.

So over all, we have strict fabric sourcing guidelines to ensure the fabric we receive is fully certified and organic.

From there, we have to order the chosen fabric. After that, we had to find a GOTS certified organic thread which is harder than it sounds as the industry standard for the thread is polyester (not biodegradable) – as it’s cheap and relatively strong. Once I found the certified organic thread I asked my machinists to use it and they were a bit hesitant and unsure if it would hold, but it did and it’s great! It also meant the garment is fully compostable and you don’t need to pull out the stitches.

Once all the materials are gathered, we bring them in-house, cut and sew them. The distribute them from there.

We either sew in-house or have a local manufacturer in Coburg that we work really closely with.”

As a consumer, I know I feel the pressure of fast fashion. Social media often dictates what we should buy – how do you recommend we overcome this and not buy stuff just because our favourite blogger is wearing it?

“It’s tricky because I don’t think it’s an answer many people want to hear. I think people want to hear that there’s some way to have their cake and eat it too. But I don’t think it’s that easy. as much as I want people to buy my stuff, I want people to think about it first, and decide whether they truly need it before they buy it.

And I think that’s the way it has to be approached. As a consumer, you have to think “Do I need this?” and secondly “Do I love it so much, that I would have worn it 5 years ago?” and “would I wear it in 5 years time?”. If the answer is no, then you have to make a decision – do you just go for the trend? or are your values more important that you decide not to buy that thing? and Its defiantly hard, as the world tells you that you need more stuff to make you happy, even though it has been proven that it’s not true!

And it’s tricky, as it’s really counter-cultural. But I feel like once you come to that decision, you might relapse every now and then. But when you understand what is at stake and what that impact is. When someone has that kind of revelation, they feel very differently about it and that can influence their decision.

For example, The War on Waste series – after that aired, a lot of people were like “omg coffee cups, I had no idea!”. So sometimes it just takes a little push to make people realise. The ‘True Cost’ documentary was a wake-up call for lots of people as well.”

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Courtney and I chatted a lot more, but I shall post that next week.
This gives you plenty of time to watch ‘The War on Waste‘ and ‘The True Cost

xx

O V E R S I Z E D

I’ve been loving slightly oversized knits as of the past few weeks. They provide so much warmth and look amazing with just some skinny jeans.
This particular knit from Clover and Alice is a perfectly oversized fit.
I actually sized up to a medium so I could wear it tucked into my jeans, a little trick to give oversized items a bit more shape.

The addition of the high neck top underneath adds warmth and contrast. All I need to add is my jacket and I am good to go

Follow Clover and Alice for all your winter wardrobe needs!

Clover and Alice Knit | Lee Jeans | Nakedvice Belt and Bag | COS earrings and black top | Tony Bianco shoes

Photos By Julian Barnes