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This is the Pin Up Girl Clothing, Mary Blair cat print skirt; and it is awesome!
I did very little actual shopping whilst in the USA, spending most of my time working away on plans for this blog and learning a whole lot of new things. A visit to Pinup Girl Clothing in L.A though, was on my ‘must visit’ list and did not disappoint. My timing was impeccable, matching up with their launch of the new range of Mary Blair prints, and oh what stunning choices!
With very limited space in my suitcase, (and my wallet) I chose a piece that would work perfectly with the colour palette I’d planned for my trip. Loads of blues and greens filled my case, so it seemed that this bright skirt would compliment my choices. Having brought only two pair of shoes on my trip, both black, the temptation to add one more pair was too great to resist. These blue heels from Bait Footwear were purchased for the princely sum of $60 and are simply the most comfortable heels I’ve ever worn! After wearing them for days on end, walking for hours and hours, there was not a hint of foot fatigue in sight.
Skirt – Pinup Girl Clothing Mary Blair Cat Skirt in ‘Jenny’ style
Shoes – BAIT Footwear Hometown Stride heels
Kelly Green Cardigan – Trashy Diva
Kelly Green t-shirt – JAG
Wide Belt – Portmans
Earrings and chiffon scarf – Vintage
Red Handbag – “Sexy but Cute” (Bangkok label)
This quickly became my favourite outfit, no only because I simply adore the fullness of the ‘Jenny’ skirt, but the happy kittens are impossible to be too serious around. It’s funny how people still comment on “blue and green should never be seen“, because it seems to me that they make the perfect pairing!
San Francisco! What a city this is. I’ve only had the opportunity to drive through here once before and never really got a feel for it. This time has been quite different, including a stay at what has now become one of my favourite hotels in the world, The White Swan Inn.
As we were planning this trip, The White Swan Inn came up as a small boutique hotel in the area of town we wanted to stay. It is listed as San Francisco’s top 5 places to stay, but we weren’t clear why. I was quite partial to the pictures I’d seen in the reviews, all old world charm and chintz, as well as the description that it was more like a bed and breakfast. Still, there was the feeling that perhaps it may have been a little on the fusty side for our tastes.
Arriving to the discrete canopied entrance on Nobb Hill, The White Swan Inn appears as many period buildings with it’s double fronted glass etched doors and carpeted stairways. It is the little touches, that make the White Swan a superior choice. The cleverly executed blend of modern highlights that bring out the charm of the old world, like the clashing geometric prints, the cubist china birds on the mantle and the houndstooth upholstered arm chairs, giving it a new vivacity.
The little touches are what make the White Swan Inn so amazing. A big jar of cookies freshly baked, sitting in the lobby for everyone to take as they please. Hot breakfasts served in the parlour and a relaxing wine hour by the fire in the same parlour. The champagne and personalised greeting card on arrival, the complimentary water and soda in the room daily. The fabulous make up lighting in the dressing room!
I’ve kept my travelling outfits simple and comfortable. Things that I can layer depending on the weather, as travelling up the coast means that each day brings a new surprise. From mist and chilly winds, to sunshine and bird song, you never quite know what you’re going to get. Just before I left I ordered these sailor pants through Modcloth, knowing I’d need something lightweight, wash and wear as well as things that didn’t crush. Their sailor styling with faux button closures and crepe fabric make them just perfect. They also have a small elasticated section at the back; something I wouldn’t usually consider, but since I’ve been indulging in all manner of local cuisine, it was essential!
I’ve put together this little showcase of exact matches or similar pieces for anyone who’d like to recreate this casual look.
This post contains affiliate links to things I’ve used or bought. When you use these links I receive a small amount of compensation that helps keep this show on the road.
I’ve been in Philadelphia for just over two weeks now, and today I head off to Las Vegas for NMX.
It seems that an early spring day in Philly is much like a Melbourne winter, cold enough that the wind gives me an ice cream headache! When the clouds lifted this morning and the sun came streaming through, warming us for the first time in weeks, the sensation was divine. The overcoat stayed in the closet and the sunnies came out.
It’s going to be interesting taking lots of outfit photos for you while I’m on this journey, as I packed only one case for the ten weeks and only a couple of pairs of shoes. My mix and matching abilities, as well as the way I aim to stick to a colour palette, mean that I actually have a lot more combination possibilities than I first realised when packing. Let’s see how this all works out.
Today’s outfit is made up of a few of my tried and true pieces that have earnt their cost per wear time and time again. While not all of the originals are still available in stores, I’ve put together a bit of a “Shop The Look” for you as these basics are total lifesavers for me.
I’ve finally been able to find an online supplier for the foundation I use, and have included it here in the feature. It is a BB cream by Missha and is by far, my favourite foundation. It is the ideal shade for my porcelain skin, gives great coverage, doesn’t melt or disappear.
My Red Velvet Lime Crime lipstick is another favourite as it wears well and doesn’t transfer onto cups or cheeks! The red chiffon scarf is a vintage one and sadly these are a bit tricky to come by. They are a certain texture that gives them good grip in the hair and I use them to all kinds of different effects. Your best bet is to just keep and eye out in thrift stores for these, that’s how I keep adding to the collection.
And yes, I did treat myself to a little something from Shopbop this week. Joomi Lim creates beautiful and edgy jewellery that you won’t see in every high street store. The skull, spike and pearl bracelet has a matching choker (I’ve yet to debut that one), which has a delicate femininity while also being seriously sharp!
I’d love to know what you think of these little in post features helping you find pieces of the look. It’s something new for me and I like the way everything can be seen at a glance rather than having to go off and click a bunch of links to get the info you want.
MagnaPool is an alternative to traditional salt water and chlorine pools, using a blend of natural minerals. MagnaPool provides pool water that is healthy, nourishing, luxurious to swim in and environmentally friendly. Visit http://magnapool.com/
What a summer this is turning out to be! Such a mix weather wise, not the usual unrelenting heat we have had in past years. With loads of rain things are actually looking lush and green this time and with all the new landscaping we’ve been doing (dare I say it), tropical!
We’ve managed to get quite a number of my new plants in, Elephant ears, Monsteras and Jasmine all adding to the growing picture. So with any luck, if this amount of rain keeps up, I may yet have the lush green pool side vision I’ve dreamt of. The Magnapool has been simply stunning; both to sit by and to relax in on warm evenings. I find that hot weather plays havoc with my legs and fluid retention, so having such an incredible space to soak and revive is an amazing luxury.
Today’s dress I’ve been saving for a special occasion. It is an original vintage Hawaiian piece I bought from a friend who wore it when she won Miss VLV, so it has an illustrious past. It is one of those fabulous numbers that is both gorgeous and infinitely comfortable, meaning it will become a piece I reproduce for myself in the future. There are quite a number of pieces like that in my collection; pieces I’ve had every intention of making patterns from and then remaking them ten times over for love. The reality is though, that I just don’t have the time or the level of skill to do that quickly, so I’m gradually handing these over to friends who can take this on for me.
Dress – Vintage Hawaiian
Bangles – Vintage op shop find
Shoes – Bordello ‘Genie’ style in brown snake skin finish (these have the same last as those sparkly ones I posted earlier)
My plan is to eventually have a small but perfect collection of the vintage pieces I love the most, complete with patterns so that I’m able to reproduce their beauty as they become more fragile or as I need things more suitable to different conditions. Have you taken or made any patterns from your favourites? How do you deal with the inherent sadness of wanting to both wear and preserve them?
MagnaPool is an alternative to traditional salt water and chlorine pools, using a blend of natural minerals. MagnaPool provides pool water that is healthy, nourishing, luxurious to swim in and environmentally friendly. Visit http://magnapool.com/.
In my family we have a little habit. Some would call it a bad habit, I prefer to think of it as an eccentricity. We sing about everything. Yes, you read that correctly, it is often like a broadway disney mash up over here. Every little thing that triggers a line from a song has me singing as much of it as I can recall. My dad did this right throughout my childhood and is now amusing my girls with the same habit. It became a running joke for my brothers and I, often mimicking his rather flat rendition of Beatles songs at odd moments.
I’m just as bad if not worse. When I found this amazing blue velvet vintage style dress at Vicious Venus in Melbourne, I already had the sounds of “She wore blue velvet“, running through my head. (The era of that song tells you quite a bit about my childhood upbringing). It is a beautiful slinky midnight blue velveteen, with the perfect drape and fall. It may not be an obvious choice for a Melbourne summer evening dress, but with travels taking me to all climates, I always buy a great piece when I find it. Unlike a lot of these slinky type of dresses, it hugs in the right places (not the wrong ones) and mearly glances past the bits you don’t want to spend all night sucking in. Because really, if you’re going out for a great night on the town or a delicious dinner, the last thing you want is to feel like a stuffed sausage! I actually decided to go up two sizes just for this reason, then had the shoulders tailored for a better fit.
I’m surprised (well not really), just how often we get stuck by the number on a sizing label and refuse to buy anything bigger or smaller due to vanity, rather than just finding what fits us best. If there is one piece of advice I can give you about dressing well and looking glamorous, it is to buy the correct fit. And if you can’t buy the right fit, spend the few dollars to have someone tailor it just for you. For something you really love and you know will become a go to piece, it is worth every penny. Even though I do have the skills, I don’t have the time, so the wonderful Jayne at Empire Room here in Melbourne does my alterations. as a professional costume maker and seamstress, Jayne is worth her weight in gold!
Such a fabulous dress required equally fabulous shoes and these are simply amazing! Covered in crystals, these heels from Bordello are my new favourites. The last in their shoes are so well made and suit my feet beautifully, making every pair I own incredibly comfortable. Once I discovered that this last worked for me, I’ve gradually been building up my collection of pieces, including all their mules.
This was the outfit I had planned in my head for Christmas festivities, but the way things worked out with travelling and trips, I haven’t had a chance to really get out there in it. Instead I plan on putting it out there on the red carpet for the opening of the Strictly Ballroom musical on Saturday evening; which given the musical stylings this set off for me, seems all too appropriate!
The great irony in building my amazing pool and outdoor area, is that I’m not a sunshine kind of girl. Like all we porcelain white ladies, I burn to a crisp as soon as I look at the sun, so my idea of pool side glamour is very much the over the top, not getting wet version.
This is actually a great and cunning plan, as it allows me to play with my wardrobe of things, creating all kinds of style vignettes that often mirror what I’m reading or watching at the time (American Hustle this week), then enjoy the vision of the pool from the shade until the sun dips down.
Everyday I slather myself in SPF 50+ from head to toe, whether I am planning outdoor adventures or not, I just don’t like to take the risk or skin damage. Large sunglasses and huge hats feature heavily in my summer wardrobe, along with all manner of cover ups and other shade options. So while I may not be the kind of bronzed, Bond Girl who is able to emerge sun kissed from the surf; I’m the one who will mix your martini and throw you a towel from the comfort of my cabana.
I find my pieces all over the place, generally not with one specific outfit or look in mind. It only really comes together when I start to think about the “story” I have in mind for the day. My instant obsession with oversized gold everything began the moment I watch American Hustle (which I highly recommend). The costuming, sets and the story in this one immediately put it in my list of top favourite movies.
The Seventies is not a decade I’ve not really explored too much in my fashion adventures, mainly because I was born then and saw a lot of the fashion first hand. As a teenager I remember thinking, “Who on earth would want to dress like that?” Our house was filled with oversized floral wallpaper, orange kitchen accessories and lots of Mission Brown. Now I am much more partial to its glitzy, decadent charm. The Mission Brown they can keep.