Monthly Archives: March 2013

I Spend Easter on an Island

Yep, every year for the past 11 years, I have spent Easter on an island. And it is not the same as it used to be.

That’s because the island I am on is Australia, so the season change isn’t into Spring, it’s Autumn. All those things you grow up associating with Easter in the Northern Hemisphere, Spring, daffodils, warming weather, it’s the opposite going on here. However, I am doing my best to think warm thoughts and hang on to feelings of spring.

This is Easter to me

This is Easter to me

This photo is a perfect representation of Easter in my mind. Purple flowers, fun eggs and bits of bright green and it’s the inspiration behind my Easter look.

Easter on an Island

Easter on an Island

Boyfriend Jeans and Easter Pastels

Boyfriend Jeans and Easter Pastels

Purple, Green and Blue for Easter

Purple, Green and Blue for Easter

The Look: Many years ago, when I was growing up in Northern California, Easter was all about pastel colours and a new dress. Well, I didn’t go for the new dress this year because I wanted to be wearing something comfortable so I opted to work with the pastels…okay, so I started with the pastels! My lavender button-down has a white-collar and cuffs. It also has very small white pin-stripes. Typically, I wear this shirt to work with a pair of tailored pants or a pencil skirt so I thought I would give it a fresh start as a casual weekend look by putting it on under a lime green sweater vest and with a pair of boyfriend jeans that are cuffed at the ankle. And just because I didn’t have enough colour on, I grabbed my cropped tweed  jacket from H & M, purchased in the US a couple of years ago.

Two reasons for adding the jacket, it’s a chilly day and I bought it while shopping with my sister and niece and am missing them a little.

Easter Accessories

Easter Accessories

Spending Easter on an Island

Spending Easter on an Island

Easter Accessories: Accessories for my Easter look were pretty easy. A Mix of peacock hued bracelets and my green and purple jade earrings. A bright blue bag and my adorable stripped flats from Reef. Oh, and can someone remind me not to give the right profile because it shows off the big freckle age spot on my cheek!

Happy Easter

Happy Easter

That’s it! Nothing too exciting but how could I resist such great inspiration for spending another Easter on an island?!

What do you think? Too many colours?

Happy Easter to you all!


Take a Walk in the Park Day

According to my editorial calendar, it’s “Take a Walk in the Park Day”. But then it’s also Easter weekend which means lots of shops in town are closed and many people have gone away for the weekend so rather than the standard park photos, the Fashion Mister and I used this quiet time in good old Ballarat to head to Sturt Street and get some photos.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Ballarat, it’s an old gold mining town. Very wealthy during Victorian times and really EXTREMELY proud of its heritage which means they have preserved a lot of the older Victorian buildings. Something else they have preserved is Sturt Street which is the wide, main street through the center of the city. And in the middle of the big wide street is a bit of a green area with statues, gazebos and any number of historical spots.

Today’s photos were all taken around the Titanic Bandstand.

The Titanic Bandstand

The Titanic Bandstand

Tomorrow there will be more photos of my look. Today as take a walk in the park day is about the plants.

Sturt Street Ballarat

Sturt Street Ballarat

Last Flowers of Summer

Last Flowers of Summer

A little Easter Colour

A little Easter Colour

Take a Walk in the Park Day

Take a Walk in the Park Day

Purple Delphinium in Ballarat

Purple Delphinium in Ballarat

I do love the history in Ballarat and the Victorian architecture. It provides a lot of great spots for photo shoots which I am trying to use more by getting out and around town for photos. Back in the mid-1800s quite a few very large gold nuggets were found in and around Ballarat and just within the last month another large one has been found…if only I had found it in my back yard!

So on this my almost take a walk in the park day, I am promising to share more around Ballarat with all of you. Why? Because it is where I live and I rather like it!!

Playing Tag

Sometimes, it is good to be silly and to have a bit of fun. The Fashion Mister always says, “silliness begets silliness” so you can thank Em at “Confessions of a Shopoholic” for this silliness! It’s time to have some fun playing tag!



Steampunk Inspiration

Steampunk Inspiration



Would you consider yourself a shopoholic?



Really? No, but I can name about a dozen people who would argue that point! I say no because I can go into a store and not buy anything…especially if they have poorly made clothing. Although I LOVE to shop, if I say I’m a shopoholic someone may try to force me into some 12 step program to get me to quit…and I just can’t do that!



How would you classify your style?



Classic with a twist. I tend to like tailored or fitted items and then add a bit of personality to the look by trying to add something unexpected. Of course sometimes I’m far more successful at that than others. Although, I have to tell you that I have this secret hidden desire to go all “Steampunk”! Would that be unexpected?!



What store can you NOT leave without buying something?



Lately my credit card statement might lead one to believe it’s Ralph Lauren…however, it’s more likely Target. If it’s not an item of clothing, then it’s a scarf or towels, or even glassware!



Target HQ

Target HQ (Photo credit: smcgee)

Where do you find the best deals?



Tough question. It really does depend on what I am looking for, however, it’s amazing how many compliments I get on things I do buy from Target. When overseas I tend to try to get to at least one outlet mall to purchase designer stuff. This is especially useful when shopping in the opposite hemisphere because things for my coming season will be marked way down as close-out. Which also makes TJ Maxx and Ross Dress for Less good for bargains when I am in the US. I’m also a bit of an online shopper and like to shop the sale sections of,, and second-hand or thrift shops. You just need to be aware of the sizing differences between the US, Australia and England as well as vintage tends to run small so I can’t just buy a medium because chances are pretty high that a medium from the 50s or 60s isn’t going to fit.



What designer are you willing to splurge on?



I kind of answered this one yesterday in my “I’m Loving” series…and above. I will splurge on Ralph Lauren because they are classic and timeless pieces that I know are going to be a great fit for my shape. AND, the pants are ALWAYS long enough. Which really can be a massive problem when you are a tall person who likes wearing heels!



Ralph Lauren's Window

Ralph Lauren’s Window (Photo credit: garryknight)

Do you have a “go to” shopping outfit?



Nope, I can shop in anything and at anytime! If I know I am going shopping, I try to wear stuff that is easy to get in and out of so I can try lots of things on.



What is your “guilty pleasure”? (not including clothes)



I’m thinking you are going to say that shoes, handbags and scarves count as clothes? Other guilty pleasures would have to be perfume, I currently have three different fragrances from the Chanel Boutique (crazy expensive) and, I love a beautiful cocktail…yes, I am one of those people who will pay $20 for a great drink.



What is one piece of clothing you can’t live without?



A really great, supportive bra! You may be laughing, but I can tell you if you lose 50 kg (100+ lbs) AND are closing in on 50…a good bra is a necessity if you want your clothes to fit properly!



Who is your style icon?



WOW! Hard one. Old, old school would be the usual…Katherine Hepburn (no not Audrey – she was a little too girlie for me), I liked the feminine and masculine mix Katherine Hepburn worked. Just a little old-school, Catherine Deneuve. Yep, another Catherine but definitely a classic. For modern, probably Olivia Palmero, because she does classic with a twist so well.


English: Catherine Deneuve Français : Catherin...

English: Catherine Deneuve Français : Catherine Deneuve (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, now to pass on the fun of playing tag!



Natasha at Free UR Closet



Caroline at Girl in the Yellow Dress






Vanessa at Rant and Roll



TAG! You’re it!





I’m Loving – Designer Ralph Lauren

I know, this isn’t a surprise for anyone who knows me and should be I’m still loving designer Ralph Lauren! I have shared numerous posts about Ralph Lauren trousers that I own and constantly wear. I’m pretty sure I have posted several of my Ralph Lauren shirts over the past year. One of my favourite over-sized sweaters is a Ralph Lauren. I even recently shared my major crush on the mint silk wide-legged pants.

Well the fun hasn’t stopped there! Oh no! On a recent trip to Melbourne for business I had time to stop in the Ralph Lauren shop on Collins Street on my way back to the train. I really couldn’t have believed I was going to get out of there without spending any money and when I found this amazing skirt, that was perfect for transitioning into the coming winter months…the credit card came out.

Yes, more classic Ralph Lauren

Yes, more classic Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren Denim Shirt and Blanket Wrap skirt

Ralph Lauren Denim Shirt and Blanket Wrap skirt

I'm Loving Ralph Lauren

I’m Loving Ralph Lauren

What's not to love? - Ralph Lauren

What’s not to love? – Ralph Lauren

I’m Loving Ralph Lauren: The look is classic, simple, relaxed and chic. Everything I know I will get when I wear anything by designer Ralph Lauren. When I was purchasing the skirt the lass who was helping asked if I need a top to go with it. I didn’t, because I already knew exactly which shirt would look perfect and it also came from Ralph Lauren!

This weekend has been cool compared to the previous few weeks so it was an excellent opportunity to share this transitional look with you. The skirt and shirt are so laid back that it seemed only natural to pair them up with my brown suede boots, a brown leather hand-bag and some turquoise jewelry.

Relaxed Accessories for a Classic Look

Relaxed Accessories for a Classic Look

Accessorizing Ralph Lauren

Accessorizing Ralph Lauren

The Accessories: The natural and neutral colours of this look is continued in the accessories. I have on my well-loved brown suede boot and a brown Bo-ho style handbag purchased years ago at the Salamanca Market in Hobart. Jewelry is predominately American Indian inspired by the blanket-skirt. Turquoise and coral earrings by Samantha Wills, a turquoise and coral necklace purchased at Petra in Jordan and a mixed stack of bracelets in copper, wood and turquoise.

Can I tell you I really am LOVING this look by designer Ralph Lauren! It could be worn just about anywhere and be perfect.

What do you think? Are you loving it as much as I am? Any other thoughts on how to style this skirt?



What to Wear on Holiday

I’d like to thank Liz for asking me what I recommend for her to wear on her upcoming holiday. She is heading to the Northern Hemisphere/Europe in June which will be summer. So here are my recommendation on what to wear on holiday.

First of all, Liz, I’m sorry you only asked for one look but I couldn’t decide which was better so I have my two favourites for you!

What to Wear on Holiday - On the Plane

What to Wear on Holiday – On the Plane

On the Plane and Off: There are so many things about this look that I think are perfect for going on holiday. Starting at the bottom and working our way up – neutral coloured ballet flats – easy to take off and put on so if you are travelling through an airport that requires you to take you shoes off for security screening, you can slip on and off. They are comfortable to slip off during a long flight and forgiving enough to put on at the end of a long flight when your feet may be a little swollen. Plus, they will be handy for all the walking you will be doing while away on your holiday!

A long skirt – I like one in jersey that is wrinkle resistant! Good for the plane because it will look just as good when you disembark and it will keep your legs warm on the flight. While you are on holiday you can mix and match with t-shirts for a casual look or a dressier top when you need something nice to wear.  A neutral coloured t-shirt – again, layers for staying warm on the plane and good for mixing and matching while on holiday. I usually make sure I have one long-sleeved one with me in case we run into cold weather or I get a little too much sun one day. A cardigan – neutral or bright, doesn’t matter, as long as you have the option to layer. I also like wearing the cardigan buttoned up without another shirt when going out to dinner because it is a little dressy and keeps your arms warm if the AC is on full at the restaurant. It’s also good to throw over your shoulders for a late stroll along the beach. A VERY BIG scarf – perfect for layering – practically a must have for Europe and ideal for keeping warm on the plane. Once you get to your destination you can use it as a bathing suit cover, wrap and tie as a dress or sarong and if you check out my post on turning your scarf into a vest it can make a statement. Not to mention you can tie it around your waist as a belt, your shoulders as a wrap or your head as a means to control curly hair. I usually pack two – four scarves for more than 2 weeks away.

Another bonus to all these items is that if they need a wash they can be done in the hotel room and they all dry quickly.

And you have to take at least one large handbag that can be worn across the body and that will keep everything you need including a camera inside so you can head out for a day of sight-seeing prepared.

What to Wear on Holiday

What to Wear on Holiday

Another Holiday Option: Again, the colours don’t really matter, it’s about being able to mix and match. You’ll not it’s the same flats and handbag as the previous photo. I like to make sure if I am facing warmish weather that I have a pair of cotton pants that are either ankle or three-quarter length. I do tend to pack ankle-length because they can be rolled up. I have a khaki pair as well as white and these red ones, any or all could make the cut. For our month in Spain it was this red pair and the khaki ones. Then I have a graphic print tank top. It looks great without the jacket and works well when the weather gets a bit on the hot side. A plain tank would work just as well but I like to add a little personality. A light weight cotton jacket is perfect for layering and a neutral colour or one selected to mix and match with most of your holiday wardrobe is the best option. I like to roll the sleeves up because it is a little more laid back and makes me feel like I”m on holiday. Finish it off with one of the mandatory scarves. I would really suggest being creative with your scarves and how you tie them! You’ll be surprised how much more room you have in your suitcase if you use them to change-up your look.

Plus, if you are on a long trip you can always buy a new scarf to change things up more!

Usually, I would share a recipe with you at this point but hey…if you are on holiday hopefully someone else is cooking for you!

Hope this helped Liz…or at least gave you some ideas about what to wear on holiday!

Any thoughts from the rest of you? What do you think is mandatory for holidays?


Now and Later – Shorts for Cooler Weather

If only this version of Now and Later were much later! Unfortunately, yesterdays now look was actually from about 10 days ago and today’s later look is actually from this weekend…Saturday to be exact. It was needed for the cooler weather.

And I am NOT a happy camper about the cooling weather!

Which is part of the reason I refused to put away the shorts and opted to defy Mother Nature‘s changing attitude.

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Shorts – Later: If only it were much later! So, these are the same shorts from as the pair in yesterday’s post but I have layered up the look to make it more appropriate for cooler weather. Unfortunately, it really was cooler over the weekend. Luckily, by putting together this look I didn’t have to give up my hope for a few more warm days and pack the shorts away. In fact, thanks to this look, I may not pack the shorts away at all!

Again I have played off the gold tones of the shorts and matched it with a Hermes inspired thrift-shop find, topped by a lightly metallic gold sweater, also purchased at the thrift-shop. Which makes this one of the most reasonably priced looks I could possible put together. The shirt is actually a couple of sizes too big but works great under things, so I didn’t mind spending $5 AUD on it.

The Accessories: You may recall that while in Spain I purchased a few pairs of tights. These are one of those. I loved the chevron effect and that the colours were neutral because they can be worn with a lot of what I already own. I also bought the neutral suede ankle boots while in Spain, and while I love my high-heels, sometimes a flat boot is perfect. I’ve also chosen to use my Coach hand-bag with this look and worked with a mix of gold, copper and brass jewelry to mix metals and use all the tones from the shirt.

I think this is a fairly laid-back look but I will be wearing it to work as the cold weather sets in.

What do you think? Have you changed your mind about wearing shorts in the cooler weather?

Now and Later – Shorts

With the weather transitioning back and forth between hot and cool, its got to be time for more Now and Later. This time with a focus on shorts!

Today is going to be a “Now” look for the Southern Hemisphere but tomorrow I will share the “Later” look. Of course if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, you can just flip them!

Now and Later - Shorts Now

Now and Later – Shorts Now

Now and Later - Shorts for Work

Now and Later – Shorts for Work

The Now of Now and Later

The Now of Now and Later

Now and Later – Now: This is a really comfy look that is just nice enough to get away with wearing to work. Or at least I can get away with wearing it to work. The shorts are a pair I purchased last year from, on sale of course, and I have chosen one of my Ralph Lauren shirts to wear with them. I like the gold tones in the shorts and shirt and have carried that threw the rest of the look.

I know for most people this is a look that is far too casual for work but it would be a great weekend look if you were heading out to meet friends. If you need to run a lot of errands you could always wear leather sandals and still look great.

Accessorizing Shorts Now

Accessorizing Shorts Now

Accessories for Shorts

Accessories for Shorts

Accessorizing Shorts – Now: Working with the gold tones I opted for some mustard cork-heel shoes and neutral Coach handbag. The jewelry is my favourite pair of rose-gold earrings, vintage copper bracelets mixed with a couple of wooden bangles, my Marc Jacobs watch and a beaded necklace that ties the mustard and neutrals together.

Again, just dressy enough that I can get away with wearing this look to work.

Well, that’s the Now side of Now and Later – shorts. Tomorrow, the Later!

Do you wear shorts to work? Or are they only for play?

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