Thursday, June 24, 2010

80's In Red

I realise that horizontal stripes in a stretch cotton dress may not be a safe option for an outfit- but I couldn't resist this 80's inspired number!

I bought this dress from Myer in Adelaide. My god that's an amazing department store. I had a rare but intense moment of sensory overload at one point while I was browsing through the racks. So many amazing clothes in one place...

I don't know what you call the feature in the middle. Flap? Frill? Over skirt? Whatever you call it- I think it's a grand addition to this dress. I especially like that the direction on the striped pattern changes with it- and gives it an extra little something something.

I must admit that I also like that there are elements of a nautical theme to this dress too that can potentially be exploited in future ensembles. My mind is already ticking over at the possibilities...

I have kept this outfit pretty simple and not accessorised with anything other than some black peep toes heels. I may yet go for a belt in future wearings too- but have not yet committed to the right one. Good things take time after all....

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Brain Coat

This is the very first vintage coat I ever bought. It must have been about 14 years ago now- and I remember it like it was yesterday.

There used to be a great second hand clothing store in New Lynn called "The Wonder Warehouse". I'm sure that this store single handedly paved the way for the Savemarts we have today! (The first Savemart started in the same premises when Wonder Warehouse was phased out you see)

I still have a few great pieces from the days of the Wonder Warehouse- but none so special to me as my "Brain Coat".

It is a genuine 50's Astrakhan with a (real) fur collar. Close up the twists in the fur do look just like a brain.

While I don't condone killing animals to wear them by any stretch- this coat was made in a time when it was acceptable to do so. My feelings on fur are not going to change the fact that this coat exists. I guess it isn't a great deal different to wearing leather at the end of the day.

I spent $100 on this coat all those years ago. That was a big investment for me at the time. Turns out it was a smart investment too. I recently saw a similar coat for sale in a vintage clothing store for $600..... Woah. I am fairly sure I could never spend that much on any one fashion piece!

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The Perfect 50's Housewife

While I am fairly certain that demure isn't often the first thing most people would think when they think of my style- I think this outfit could almost help me pull it off!

This is a new addition to the wardroom. I purchased it on my recent trip to Adelaide with my roller derby league. One of my absolute favourite things about Australian shopping is Dangerfield. I cannot understand why we don't have it here in NZ! Probably lucky for me really. They would get too much of my money if there was one I had regular access to...

I went in to the store knowing that I would be coming out with a new frock. Must be psychic.

I found this beautiful 50s style within the first 5 minutes. It is a really classic cut that makes me think I should be greeting my man at the door after a long days work wearing pearls and an apron with a tray of baking in my hands. I have not yet made this a reality- but I have the pearls covered at least!

The pattern on the fabric is a great mix of black and white gingham and dusky pink roses. The cut has a collar that sits almost off the shoulder. It has a button detail to one side of the waist- and a circle skirt that works very well with a crinoline petticoat underneath.

With my 50's housewife pearls- I have also added my gangster wing tip black and white brogue heels. I'm still working on the apron and the baking....

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Black And White And Herringbone

In case you hadn't picked it- I love Trademe. I am really good at trawling the internet for vintage gems- and I can literally spend hours looking through hundreds of listings on that site. The thrill of the find- the warm fuzzy's you get from "winning" a treasure- it is one of my favourite parts of modern technology. The world is quite literally your own personal garage sale.

Without Trademe I would not own a big chunk of the wardroom. Without Trademe I would not own dozens of my favourite pieces. Without Trademe I never would have found out that the Otaki Theatre was closing down and selling off all of it's costumes. Like this coat!

This was another one of my "out of season" purchases that was too good to pass up. It is kinda weird being delivered a full Winter weight coat in the middle of January- but was worth the wait to start wearing it.

So back to my story. Otaki Theatre decided that no more actors would be treading it's boards. I'm sure culture in Otaki will never be the same- but it meant that I got to take this beautiful original 50's Eastex woolen double breasted herringbone coat with faux fur collar and cuffs off their hands. AND it was a steal at $40. EEEEEEEEEE!

Originally I justified buying it under the pretence of being able to sell it on and make a profit. I swear I even fooled myself into thinking that is what I would do. Right up until I tried it on for the first time. It just felt so... right. Too right to be contemplating an on sell.

This is no "between seasons" piece of clothing. This is a "Holy crap I am freezing and need to feel like I am wearing a few layers of blankets" sort of deal. There are few things more satisfying than walking down the street on a freezing cold morning being toasty warm in a great coat... Best teamed with hot cup of coffee and a pair of skeleton gloves. Perfect!

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Blue 70's Trenchcoat

Some shopping days are much better than others. Some days you trawl dozens of second hand stores and come up with nothing. Other days are so incredibly epic you can hardly believe your luck all came up on the one day. This coat was bought on one of those EPIC shopping days.

I was living on Waiheke at the time and had come into town with a good friend of mine form the island. We made a day of it and started out at the K Rd Markets. I bought 2 incredible coats within 5 minutes of each other. One was my kermit green leather bomber jacket (previously featured HERE) and the other was this beautiful full length 2 tone blue leather 70's trench coat.

Baby blue leather with a darker cornflower trim- this coat is all kinds of awesome. It isn't in particularly high rotation at the moment- but you almost couldn't get it off me the entire Winter after I bought it. It was an absolute bargain at $40 and my god have I got my money's worth!

The lining deserves it's own special mention. I always thought it was a pity it wasn't more on show. Such a great example of 70's diamonds and paisley. I often wished I had a dress in that same pattern....

The shoes are an incredible match even though they were bought years later. They came from a vintage store that was closing down on K Rd- and everything was being sold for $10. (another epic shopping expedition- but I'll save that story fro another day) The shades of blue are so perfect with this coat that it's like they were actually made for each other.

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Gold Shoes

All outfits have to start somewhere. Often it begins with a big piece like a dress or jacket. Sometimes it starts with a colour or theme concept. It has been known to start with a particular hairclip- but this outfit started from the ground up. With the shoes.

I am blessed with size 8 feet. My shoe size is everywhere and I am extra grateful for this coming from a family with small feet. My Mother has tootsies that are around the size 5 mark. Not quite so bad these days with the inception of the Number 1 Shoe Warehouse and other such stores- but back when I was in school my poor mum couldn't get shoes to fit her anywhere. She literally had to buy her shoes in the kids sections! I can almost pinpoint the moment that my personal shoe infatuation began in fact because of my Mum and her own lack of footwear options. We went on a family holiday that included a week in Hong Kong when I was 9. My mother suddenly had Asian shoes sizes and actual grown up shoes at her fingertips so obviously she needed to stock up while she had the chance. I roughly calculate that 20 pairs of heels came home with us after that trip....

But I digress.

This pair of shoes that started my outfit were another great buy from The Paper Bag Princess. ($14.00) There is a reasonable amount going on in them- and they were quite hard to really do justice in a photograph. First of all they are gold. Bright and shining in fact. They are also peep toes with a slight wedge heel. They have white detailing around the toe and heel- and if all that wasn't enough- they have a slight shot of colour running through them that includes reds, blues and even yellows. (not a common combo with gold)

Now given that these are obviously a statement pair of shoes- you need to be careful they don't get over powered by the rest of the outfit. Keep. It. Simple.

In this instance I have played it especially safe and gone for a plain black halter neck with a slightly flared skirt. To lift it enough to keep up with my feet- I added a feature belt that has a faux snakeskin finish and an irregular shape.

I think it's enough to be interesting without taking away from my toes....

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Creepy and Kooky

Before you say it I know. This dress screams Wednesday Adams. My collar and cuffs may be red instead of white- but there is a certain theme running through it.

This has been one of my favourite Winter dresses for a few years now. It's a wool blend and is easily teamed with thick black tights and boots. (As I was playing up the Adams family ties here it seemed more appropriate to go with mary-janes....)

I love the exaggerated collar and cuffs. I love the red stitching. I love the subtle pleats in the skirt but the best part of this dress is easily the rose buttons down the front. Actual tiny roses!

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Turquoise Dress Coat

I have a rule that I'm only allowed to buy 1 new Winter coat a year. (This is predominantly for storage purposes. ) Thankfully I set this rule myself so I don't have anyone to answer to if I break it. I'm not sure I have managed to stick with it through an entire chilly season so far. It's a nice idea but too easy to bypass. Especially when you find great coats out of season. I conveniently "forget" I have bought my allocated coat for the year in Summer and will have been known to buy another when it starts to get colder...

This is one of those "Buy it when it's too hot to wear it" kinda deals. I found it in a tiny little vintage store in Grey Lynn. I wasn't sure if it was a dress or a coat. I guess it's both.

I have a soft spot for turquoise and green at the best of times- but throw them together with a 70's floral print and how can I refuse?

(I could not get a good close up that did the colour any justice. The photo's that show the entire coat are true to it's shades- but I have included the close up so you can really appreciate the incredible 70's pattern too... )

The cut is double breasted and even had a dome right up the top of the neckline to alter the collar when it's done up.

Overall I think I prefer it undone and co-ordinated with a turquoise belt over a black dress underneath. (as shown) I have also pieced it with a pair of turquoise peep toes with bow detailing.

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Green Picnic Frock

First of all- I need to apologise for my lack of Frockstarring in the last month or so. I have been sick. Like really sick. I have had the flu not once- but twice within the last 30 days. Hardly seems fair. So I'm sure it isn't surprising to hear that the last thing I felt like doing was being in photo's showcasing outfits for the blog...

I am well on the road to recovery now- so figured I had some catching up to do here!

This little number is a new addition to the Wardroom. It is a recent purchase from The Paper Bag Princess- and while it is kinda out of season (bring the middle of Winter and all) it was only $14.00. Summer will be back and it will all make sense soon enough.

The top actually needs a little bit of adjusting. It is a halterneck but it doesn't sit quite right. I have turned it into a strapless dress for the sake of this picture and added a pale green cardi to cover up my ghetto alterations.

I really like the way the skirt sits and I knew I could fit a crinoline petticoat under it too. Add to that the great shades of greens, purples and reds- and we have a winner!

I have teamed it with red accessories for this pic but could quite easily go for darker greens or purples for a slightly different affect.

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