Monday, November 28, 2011

The Great Frock Swap (Part 1)

You may recall a couple of posts ago my anguish at the "One That Got Away". (or more aptly explained- "The Dress that Didn't Fit".) You may also recall that my dismay was somewhat thwarted by the excitement of not just swapping the dress for one that did fit- but also timing it so that the exchange happened on the same day the 300 new frocks were showcased in store. I swear the first thing that went through my mind on Friday morning was "Yay! Its new dress day!" Yay indeed. The great frock swap certainly didn't disappoint.

The only trouble with seeing that many great dresses all at once is that you certainly run the risk of that good old problem. Total sensory overload. There is such a thing as too many colours and patterns for any average brain to handle at any one time. Thankfully mine has been well trained over the years (and every day when I walk into the wardroom too!), and I was ready for whatever the racks could throw at me.  After the first walk through I hand picked my favourite 15 and went off for round 1 in the fitting rooms. I whittled 15 down to 3- but then figured it would be silly not to have a second whip through the racks in case I had missed anything. Round 2 in the fitting rooms commenced with another 22 dresses...

I should possibly point out at this juncture that I swear I went into this situation with the best of intentions. I transferred some extra money into my savings account so I couldn't accidentally spend too much. I had a plan. I had 1 dress to swap- and figured I had a buffer where I could come out with 1 more. Maybe even stretch it to 2 if they were amazing. My mental pep talk was clear and I was good to go.

So back in store and I had now tried on a record 37 dresses in one go. The 3 I set aside had now skyrocketed to 7. 7 dresses was WAY more than I intended to buy. After some careful consideration I further condensed my selection into 5 that I absolutely could not live without.

The really silly part is that I felt like I deserved some kind of personal reward for not buying all 7 of them! I swear I even left the store feeling like I had done really well instead of leaving the store realising that I had completely blown out my Friday Frock budget.... Never mind. This is a good time to reiterate my shopping mantra to anyone that questions my decisions. "You can't put a price on my happiness".

So that takes us up to the frock featured today. It was one of the lucky 5 that made it through my stringent choosing process. I particularly like the colour combo in this dress.  A white background (always a brave choice with my history of spilling things down my front!) with an unusual mix of teal green, khaki, coral pink, red, cerise and a deep purple. Lots of options for co-ordinating accessories there. I was also drawn to the pattern given that most 70's frocks have flowers OR stripes. It's not often you get them both in the one garment!

This time around I have matched it with the good ol' red peep toed wedges, skinny red belt and a red hair flower. Next time I will try and be less boring with the accessorising. Red is a great staple- but I feel like I fall back on it a little too often...

P.S Now that "The Great Frock Swap" is complete- I can tell you which shop I went to! Smoove on Little High St in Auckland City. If you have not yet been there- you need some Smoove in your lives. Trust me!

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Friday, November 25, 2011


Ok so it's a little more like Wilma, Betty or Pebbles- but Bamm Bamm packs a bit more punch as a heading doncha think?

Whichever character you think of- there is still a strong element of "Flintstones" in this cute little number. This obviously stems from the zig zagged top and hem. Gives it that certain Prehistoric somethin' somethin'...

As so many others before it- this dress originally hailed from trademe. I fell in love with this lilac and black lace little nunber the second I saw the listing. This can be a double edged sword. Falling head over heels for a dress isn't that uncommon for me. The risk is that someone else may have done the same thing. That is exactly what happened here- and I ended up in quite the last minute bidding war for it....

 Now the reserve was set at a very reasonable $10.00. I was leading the auction with my $10.00 bid for 5 whole days before someone else came and messed with it. In the last 5 minutes of the auction another bidder pushed me further and further untill I finally ended up paying more than 3 times the original amount I bid. Oops. It's an unfortunate time for my super competitive streak to kick in I must say- but hey.


So with my bank account now $40.00 lighter- I patiently waited for my new purchase to be delivered. The built up anticipation made it so much worse that when it arrived the damned thing didn't fit!

There is an obvious theme in these last 2 Frockstar posts. (I am actually still surprised it doesn't happen more often to be honest)  I will forgo my detailed description of the trauma I felt when the realisation kicked in. I don't think it will ever look right on my body shape which is a pity- but I still view it as an amazing work of fashion art. I may not get to view it on my person- but I often have it on the mannequin in the corner of the wardroom for my ongoing visual pleasure.

NB-  How good would these look with this dress!?

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Ol' Snap & Exchange

I seem to have quite good luck when it comes to shopping. I find that I am often in the right place at the right time. Some unseen force must see to it that I am in close enough proximity for the right clothes to find me. I also have very good luck when it comes to online shopping- especially when it comes to sizing. You may be thinking "Well that's not very hard... all you need to know is your measurements". I am not one of those people. I have absolutely no idea in fact. I work around a basic sizing premise - but essentially I am just very lucky that 99% of what I buy sight unseen fits me perfectly.

One might assume that with such good luck getting the sizing right based on photographs on the internet- then surely I must be quite good at picking my own size when I can see the clothing in person.  This is such a logical assumption that even I thought I could do it. Right up until a few days ago that is...

It was a sunny late November Saturday morning. The birds were chirping. The coffee sweet and black. It was a definitive start of Summer kind of day- and 1/2 of Auckland was heading to the 2011 Grey Lynn Festival. As my previous experiences have taught me I knew the markets would be epic- so I mentally prepared myself for a good rummage. I had a good feeling that I would find a good frock or 2 but also knew that there was a good chance I would find something amazing that I wasn't strictly looking for- but would know I needed it in my life once I saw it. It's just that kind of market. (and lets face it... I am just that kind of shopper too!)

I will sidestep in my story ever so briefly to tell you that there is a store in Auckland city that has been doing "Reworked Vintage" for quite a while now. Essentially someone with a very good eye purchases vintage dresses based on their potential rather than their current incarnation. A quick snip here. A tuck here. Raise the hem. Add some buttons or some other form of detailing and they are good to go! Still technically a vintage dress -but with a whole new lease on life. I have been trawling the racks of this store for months now. Unable to commit to just the right reworked masterpiece. They are reasonably priced for the work that has gone into them- but at $80.00 a frock it is a little bit more than I would usually spend on a dress. Hence the additional trouble committing to just the one...

As luck would have it - this store had a stall in the markets with rack after rack of beautiful frocks for me to trawl through. The cherry on my sundae at this point was that they were all half price. That's right dear reader. 50%.  All previous hesitation was now out the window completely and I set my mind on the mission ahead like a woman possessed. Time to commit to taking one of these bad boys home with me! I weaved through  the hoards of other women lining the racks. I got in the hunting zone while still using all the polite market etiquette I could muster. (Read as I didn't actually knock anyone over to get to any racks - but a few more ladies in that small space and things may have been more aggressive!) I fought off the impending sensory overload from looking at so many different colours and patterns and then I saw it. The dress that was to follow me home.

 70's geometric printed fabric. Strapless with a fabric belt. Good shape, good length and one outright amazing colour scheme for unlimited options for future cardis, shoes, hair flowers and any other accessory I wanted to throw that way. My pair of fluro orange rave gladiator platform jandals might even finally get some wear time with this one...  Seriously it had it all.

( I will ever so quickly point out it is very difficult to take photos of your own feet... I could not get a good angle that also sufficiently show cases the fantastic 5" platform foam sole with the faux wood finish)

I did a quick once more through the stall in case I had missed anything. (It was more in case something had been put back a rack after I had already trawled it the first time....) I took my time in carefully looking through all the "possibles" I had in my hand and was finally ready to commit. My shopping logic kicked in and I quickly came to the conclusion that if they were all half price I had better buy 2 of them.  Obviously.

(Even though here would be the ideal place to explain frock number 2 for the continuing flow of the story- it is going to get it's own post later so you will just have to wait.)

There was a distinct lack of changing rooms in this stall but that sure wasn't stopping some women from stripping off in the middle of the racks to try things on. I mentally applauded their dedication to the cause and briefly considered doing the same thing. The realisation that my choice of underwear wasn't conducive to getting it out in public coupled with the fact that the only actual wall in the tent was transparent plastic left me relying on the most basic of size guesswork. To their credit all the dresses had an estimated size on them. This certainly helped. A quick hold up to my front later- and I was confident I was good to go.

A few hours later and I was home. Time to try on my new frocks in the comfort of my own wardroom! I could feel the excitement rising as I pulled out what could have easily been my new favourite Summer dress. The moment of truth was upon me. As I lifted it over my head something felt wrong. My arms seemed to be very close together at this point and were unable to move any further apart....

Excitement turned swiftly to a kind of panic as I realised that the elasticated waist on my newly purchased treasure was much too small. So much in fact that I could not even get the dress over my shoulders. Part of me could see that this was an insurmountable design flaw. Another part of me was in no way ready to admit defeat so I tried another tact. I tried to put it on by stepping into it. Never in my life has the "start from the bottom up" approach been the way to go for my body shape. Quite the contrary in fact. Yet for some reason I held onto a distant hope that basic mathematics and measurements could still pull through for me. Sure I can't get both shoulders in the damn thing- but  I am almost certain I can get it on over my arse! Positive thinking did me no good sadly and I was thrown back into a cruel reality that left me with a fantastic dress that wasn't ever going to be worn by me. A truly devastating twist of events.

(Thankfully I cushioned said devastation with frock number 2 fitting perfectly even though it seemed to be the smaller of the 2... WIN!)

Here is where this chapter seemingly slides towards its conclusion... but the story hasn't ended yet. I have since called the store that ran the market and explained my predicament. (In much less words than I have to you readers obviously....) Not only have they given me the go ahead to pop by and exchange it for one that fits- they have also let me know that there is a bumper crop of 300 new dresses debuting in store this weekend! I get the feeling that this story will get its happy ending after all...

I figured that while it may not have been destined for my wearing pleasure this dress was still worth documenting. I had my mannequin all set up and ready to model it when I discovered something very interesting. It wouldn't fit over my "smaller than my own body type" mannequins shoulders either! While this new information doesn't help me in that I still can't wear the damn thing- it does make me think it is in fact a design flaw and not just that I am a heffalump.

So I now present to you a very different kind of Frockstar Foto. It wouldn't fit on me. It wouldn't fit on my mannequin. It does however fit on a coat hanger- so that's the view you will just have to live with!

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh. Em. Gee.


Ok... so technically I am cheating a bit here. I do not currently own this dress but I would very much like to. Santa- if you are reading this- you can anticipate a detailed wish list letter that tells you my vital measurements as well as current NZ retailers. I'm sure I've been pretty good this year...