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!

 

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A.BCH PT. 2

 

Part 1 of my chat with Courtney Holm of A.BCH

 

How can I tell if a brand is ethical or uses organic materials?

“GOTS certification is really great to look for. Fair trade is also really good. I wish there was an easy answer for that question.
You need to do your research and you really need to know. I rarely say “we are sustainable” because at the end of the day we’re really using resources of the planet. What we’re doing isn’t like “helping the planet in itself” but it’s much better than whatever else is out there.
When people are like “oh this is like so green and so sustainable” I’m like a bit suspicious about it. I dislike when brands mislead, you have to kind of know a bit yourself. I think one of the best things you can do is research fibre. Knowing what fibre is sustainable.

For e.g., this is largely debunked, but a lot of people think bamboo is a sustainable fibre. And bamboo itself is a growing plant, fantastically sustainable, it grows crazy without chemicals and limited water. But when you cut it up and process it, it’s the processing that’s not great. It uses a really heavy chemical process, but a lot of people forget about that. But it’s not sustainable. There is actually no trace of bamboo in bamboo fabric in the end. Unless you use bamboo linen, which is bamboo beaten up into fibres and processed into a yarn without any chemical process. It’s done manually without any chemical process and is labour intensive and hard to find.

Most bamboo that you find is bamboo viscous. They take the bamboo, pulp it and then put it in a chemical bath. It’s turned in to a sludge. The sludge is pushed through a spinneroutte, and then put into a bath of acid and turned in to a fibre essentially.

And stuff like that is really hard for someone to know….. and if you knew about the bamboo process and you saw a company marketing it as sustainable you would know it’s not right. So, having fibre knowledge would help.

You know “Good on you” the app, I think it’s a really great start for people who don’t know where to start. I think they are very rigorous in how they check for what a brand is doing. I think it’s a great place to start. I still think that you can do a lot of your own research as well – not just taking one weird article for gospel, but rather researching. I think that someone reads an article “organic cotton takes more water than normal cotton”, they think it’s it right etc. It all takes a bit of time and effort unfortunately.

You can say that “ok cool, that fast fashion brand is doing something good and it’s better than nothing”. But in my opinion, fast fashion and sustainability are not compatible, as they are based on mass consumption. And the whole system is floored, if we keep on going at the rate then we are going to run out of natural resources.

I don’t think the big turnover companies are able to be ethical or environmentally friendly. I don’t think that’s possible. I wouldn’t shop there personally. I would look for smaller to mid size businesses that are able to fulfil that promise, and not just greenwash or use it as a way to make more sales.”

What are your tips for a sustainable/ethical wardrobe?

“There are lots of different ways to have a sustainable wardrobe, but a good start is to take a look at your wardrobe and look at the items you already have. It might mean its time for a clean and a cull, but keeping the things you really love and have formed a bond with. You might be able to keep as it is or re invent it in the future.

When shopping for new stuff, buying from local labels and researching their ethics and standards before purchasing. Keeping local helps to support the Australian industry and helps local labels to become bigger and better in terms of ethical manufacturing and sustainability.

Reinventing and remaking your existing or thrifted garments, and turning it into something else or something new with a quick DIY. If you aren’t a good seamstress, you can keep your wardrobe fresh by finding cool garments at the thrift store – it’s a bit harder now days to find those standout pieces because of all the crap there. But there is always something there.

Knowing about fibres and looking at labels and decipher them. Don’t just look at the brand as a whole, be knowledgeable about the fabrics they use. Its easy to be tricked by the brands “feel”.

Using Good on You app to research ethical brands.

Keeping in mind the idea of having a capsule wardrobe, keeping it streamlined and classic. Easy to move from season to season. An ideal wardrobe is about 30 pieces or less, that can be worn over and over again. Even transformed to be worn in different ways.
Having a capsual warrobe helps with the “what to wear” decision in the mornings. That “oh my gosh, I have nothing to wear” delima. You can actually be a bit more clear minded about what you are going to wear for the day as you have less choice and aren’t overwhelmed.”

What do you have planned for the future of A.BCH?

“We are working on new products all the time. Focusing on building our customer base in Australia. Hoping to vertically intergrate the business so we are sewing everything in house and keep tabs on every aspect of the business. Finally, the plan is to expand to the US and have a US headquarters and then we can reach the rest of the world.”

Can you recommend some more ethical/sustainable brands?

Kowtow – NZ brand Organic cotton/fair trade. Made in India, fair trade certified. Supporting the fair trade cooperative

Nudie – Melbourne based. Organic cotton. Developing Eco friendly dyes. Good sense of sustainability

Artisanal brands such as Lois Hazel and Scott Benedictine– are a great way to start out and support local labels. If the product is great quality you won’t have to replace it for a long time

Elizabeth Sussan – make everything to order. Conscious of firesrs and use hemp. Wearble for women in different shapes and sizes.

Zady – American brand. Detailed in research. All ethical growth to production is legit. Basics. Good ethos and research.

Thank you, Courtney, for your time and sharing all your knowledge with me and my readers.
I really appreciate it and I can’t wait to see A.BCH grow!

xx

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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**

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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

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BLAAX

I recently wrote an article about Living a Minimal Styled life for Australian watch brand, BLAAX.

BLAAX create minimalistic inspired watches for everyday wear. Their range features simple, refined watches with clean faces and contrasting bands (which you can interchange).

My favourite watch is the Asher, which features a grey leather band and white face with black hands. I love that the Asher is so simple, yet has that pop of soft colour with the grey band – perfect to pair with a monochrome outfit.

BLAAX and I are offering you 15% off any BLAAX purchase. Just enter JENNA15 when you checkout!

You can follow BLAAX on Instagram and Facebook to find out about new collections and special offers

Photos from Blaax Instagram

 

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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

 

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S U S T A I N A B L E

For a while now I have been interested in the sustainable and ethical side of the fashion world. Slow fashion is a move that goes against the current trend of ‘fast fashion’, consumers buy with a conscious and choose natural organic fabrics, ethically produced garments and less of them.
Things such as Project 333, The life-changing magic of tidying up and Minimalism has all sparked a worldwide movement in Slow Fashion.

A.BCH and Council of Textiles and Fashion recently held a “Build a Sustainable Wardrobe” event at St. Collins Lane in Melbourne. Courtney Helm, founder of A.BCH discussed a wide range of topics on how to build a sustainable wardrobe including capsule wardrobes, buying locally, re-invention of garments, labelling and fibres.

Each section was super informative and had beautiful models featuring looks from the designers.

The event also featured a look at other Melbourne designers ranges – Lois Hazel, Lott Studio, Scott Benedictine and Vincent Li. Each designer had a beautiful selection of garments featured for you to try and buy!

I highly encourage you to visit one of the CTF pop-up stores (Emporium and St.Collins Lane) – they rotate different designers, so there will always be a new one there! Also, check out their events if you are interested

Feel free to share your thoughts on the slow fashion movement below

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VOGUE SHOPPING NIGHT

Vogue online shopping night is upon us! The one night (well, the best night) where we can practice all those skills that midnight shopping has taught us. And we can actually PURCHASE those full shopping carts, and not abandon them due to *empty wallet syndrome*

Here are my pick for Vogue shopping night which officially started at 12 pm. Ready, Set, GO!

* The Daily Edited – it’s time to join the monogrammed clutch/bag trend with 20% off their online store

* Alias Mae – A Melbourne label with a cult following from creating high-quality leather footwear. 25% off all styles online

* Neuw Denim – time to top up those black skinny jeans that have faded from last winter. Maybe even grab a new jacket? Neuw have 25% off their online store

* Tony Bianco – everyone knows the way to a person’s heart is via SHOES! 20% off storewide

* Camilla and Marc – their VAMFF runway collection is still echoing in my head, so now’s the time to snap up the perfect shirt. 20% online and in boutiques

* IN BED – Since you will be doing most of your shopping in bed, its seems only suitable to order new bed linen for further in bed browsing. 20% off all IN BED branded products online

* SIR the label – beautifully created garments featuring minimal silhouettes and luxurious fabrics. One of my favourite labels. 20% off online

* Holly Ryan – Who doesn’t know about these beautiful, timeless jewellery creations? 25% off online

* The Undone – although not on the retailer’s list, this online store curated by Sara of Harper & Harley has everything the blogger could need! 20% off sitewide with code FLASH20

All images from corresponding retailers website 

My wishlist

THE DAILY EDITED
ALIAS MAE
NEUW DENIM
TONY BIANCO
CAMILLA AND MARC
IN BED
SIR THE LABEL
HOLLY RYAN

Sneaky tip: some online stores are having % off deals but aren’t listed on the retailer’s list, so sign up to your favourite brands and labels to catch those deals

Enjoy your shopping night and don’t forget to show me those new purchases!

xx

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C O A T S E A S O N

The one thing that makes me excited about Autumn/Winter is the wide array of coats available. Everything and anything goes as long as you are warm! And now that the Autumn/ Winter season is upon us in Australia, it’s time to stock up on coats. There is nothing better than a warm, snuggly coat hugging you on a freezing cold day. Even better if it looks good!

This oversized military inspired coat from ICE express is the perfect accompaniment on a dreary winter’s day. Paired with either jeans or some statement pants, this coat is ideal for whatever the season throws at you. Rug it up even more with an extra woollen layer underneath and a cable knit scarf for warmth.

Do you have a favourite style of coat?
Or any key tips for keeping warm during winter?

 

 

Wearing: ICE Coat, ASOS long sleeve Top, COS Pants, Nakedvice Backpack, Gucci Loafers

Love this coat? Contact me for suppliers

*Coat on loan from ICE Express*

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S T Y L I N G

My love of fashion has evolved into an interest in a future as a Stylist, so I am excited to announce that I took that leap and enrolled in a Stylist course at Australian Style Institute. I am excited to develop my newfound skills by gifting three people one of my styling packages, in exchange for a testimonial describing their experience.

 Each session would be normally valued at $997 and will include:

– A style consultation – a one-hour styling session based on finding your style and learning what you need.

– A wardrobe makeover – a three-hour session sorting and refining your wardrobe.

– A personal shopping session – a three-hour session where I will help you explore your shopping needs.

– Wardrobe integration – a one-hour session where we match those new purchases to your existing items to create a wide range of outfits for you.

This package is ideal if:

 – you are struggling to create the perfect wardrobe for the upcoming autumn/winter seasons

– building a capsule wardrobe

– transitioning to a different/new career

– a lifestyle shift resulting in a change of body shape

– looking for a gift for a friend or loved one (Mother’s day!)

If this is something you are interested in, please contact me at [email protected]

*Please note: offer expires 30th May 2017 and $997 value is not redeemable for cash*

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