Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Green and Yellow Tulips

I do love splashing colour around on a cold day. I know that I have already touched on this subject a BUNCH of times now- but why oh why do New Zealand women insist on wearing such dark colours in Winter? After a quick "previous post" check I can see I touched on this just a few posts ago. So I will save you my drawn out diatribe on it again. This time. This dress is a timely reminder for me of how well other people can react to a stranger wearing bright colours when so many.... just don't.

It was a bout a month or so back now. My lovely man and myself decided that we would get up early on a Sunday morning and go and make a day of it. Armed with coffee and cameras we went on a mission to get some good early morning sunrise shots out over Auckland harbour. It was a beautiful day. Crisp air with just enough sunshine to warm our bones. After our first stretch of adventures- we went to the Takapuna markets for a look around and to get some more coffee.

These markets are great and I would love to get over to them more often. It is a very eclectic mix of stalls full of plastic toys, fresh produce and flowers, faux designer sunglasses, home made crafts and the odd "garage sale" looking spot full of bric a brac and curio's. There really is a little bit of something for everyone.

I think my man must have seen the bargain crazed glint in my eye when I saw the possibilities of a good rummage- so made a plan to go have a coffee and read of the paper while I did so. I was more than happy to have a wander and meet him afterwards. Half the fun of markets like this is not knowing what you are looking for exactly, but knowing when you see it. I came out  with a beautiful vintage crystal bowl, a cake stand, some freshly cut white proteas and an Ella Fitzgerald record. As I was on my own at this point I was more than happy to do a slow meander through the stalls checking out everyones wares. I swear that I have never had so many strangers come up to me in such a short space of time to tell me how much they liked my dress. It wasn't even just the little old ladies either. I managed to get a pretty good spread of people in the range.

This story finally ties in with the point of the post as the dress is question is the one I am writing about! (Insert B Grade horror stabbing organ music here while pulling a shocked face)

This dress hails from Smoove on Little High St. I have a pretty good track record of loving the dresses I have bought from there in the past- so I am happy to spend a little bit more on them than I would usually be prepared to on a frock. (Around $80.00 a dress but they do deals on 2 for $140.00). The day I bought it I accidentally (no.. really) caught them on a day they were having a 50% off sale. A smarter person may have relished in the money they saved on their purchase. I did not. I just bought 2 of them. And I regret NOTHING.

The tulips on the fabric are in gorgeous bright shades of marigold yellow and orange. This is nicely off set by the kelly and kermit greens of the leaves- and set against a black background for optimal effect. I haven't had this dress over the Summer months yet, but it has provided me much wearing mileage over Winter teamed with black tights and boots (or green heels) and a perfectly matching marigold yellow cardigan.

Thanks to the strangers that told me how lovely I looked that Sunday morning (*BLUSH*) I now have a very positive pairing associated with this outfit these days!

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Tropical Orange 70's

I may not know what the weather is doing where you are dear reader- but I can tell you that here in Auckland it's starting to feel very Spring-y. We had that first really sunshiney day that pops up at the end of a dreary and wet Winter earlier this week and suddenly there is a better mood all over the city.  The office workers were out in force exercising in Victoria Park and I was there too. I wasn't so much exercising as appreciating their energy from a safer distance. (Basically translated as sitting on my arse in the grass with a sandwich and juice) I was enjoying the first signs of warmer weather in my own way however. I took my cardi off to give my bare arms some sun time- and I ate my first strawberries of the season too. They were delicious. Thanks for asking.

With the warmer weather coming so does the increased outfit options coming up with the seasonal rotation in the wardroom. I will always be a sucker for a good "out of season" bargain so there is often a stash of new things ready to be tested out once the seasons start to change over.  I am quite skilled in squirreling things away so now I get to rediscover Summer frocks that found me on rainier days.  It is always an exciting time I can assure you.!

This particular 70's maxi was another trademe find. When I originally purchased it I swear it was a red dress. To this day I do not know if it was my poor old eyes starting to fail- or the resolution of the computer I was sitting at. Either way it matters little. Turns out I like this dress even more as an orange frock anyway.

I know I have said it before- but there is something about migraine inducing bright colours on a polyester fabric that just get me every time. This particular maxi certainly has some notes of Hawaii coming through too, So much in fact I wore it to a luau party we had recently. Next time I will be mindful of having a tropical themed dress up party in the middle of August. It was a good idea in theory- but the older I get the more I find myself being genuinely concerned about people being cold. It is usually in the context of my inner monologue and often comes with a mental finger waggle. You know the type. The "I bet your mother doesn't know you're out in public dressed like that young lady. You will catch your death of cold" kind of a deal. Anyway. I digress.

I have teamed this bright orange piece with yellow heels and matching hair flower for this picture but it also lends itself nicely to a pair of orange cork platforms I have kicking around too. With the fabric showing tones of green, yellow, and white- it gives me a few colour options to play around with when it comes to my footwear and hair accessories anyway.

Wearing a yellow lei seems to give the dress a certain somethin' somethin' too. Pictured above standing in front of our party art installation. "Stair Lei To Heaven". Seriously. Don't ask....

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Circus Striped Blouse

It's nearing the end of a cold and wet Winter in my hometown. Every Winter I find I get an abundance of strangers approaching me in the street to comment on how nice it is to see someone dressed in bright colours.  I don't know why so many women play it safe (especially in the colder months) and stick with a colour palette consisting of black and shades of grey. Any other colours represented anywhere are still heavily in the "Winter Shades" which basically means dark and/or muted. (think forest greens, burgundy, dark purples....) Why oh why don't more people feel comfortable in bright colours in Winter? I don;t know if it is just me- but I always feel so much better injecting some artifical sunshine into my day through my outfit. Enough people comment on it on a regular basis for me to think that just maybe I am injecting some into their days too.

But as usual- I digress.

As far as brightly coloured outfits go, this one isn't as out there as others that get walked out of the Wardroom. In the scheme of it this one is almost even bordering on tame. It is a nice mix of a "grown up office worker" ensemble while still injecting a healthy dose of my own personality into it. Not always an easy line to toe I can assure you. The office I work in sure has seen some interesting attempts in the past! (Thankfully they are used to me and my intepretation of corporate wear...)

Red is one of my favourite colours to highlight an outfit with. (Also good for those not used to injecting colour into their winter wardrobes as red is a great off set with blacks and greys..) Red shoes, red belt and red hair flower. I have an instant outfit whatever I choose to wear in between these key peices. It's so easy it actually makes me feel a little lazy that I'm not putting in more effort...

This outfit is a variation on that basic template. Red is an easy match with the bold colours in this striped shirt and I am especially fond of the (equally bright) royal blue and shades of purples. Its a nice way to be bright and still stay within a Wintery palette.

This shirt has a bit of a sheen to it. Not quite a satin- it is definitly part of an early 80's polyester at least. As if this blouse didn't already have enough going for it- throw in some puffed sleeves and we are away!

You may notice I have titled this post "Circus Striped Blouse". When it first arrived as a package sent to me at work (thanks again trademe!), I was keen to show it off. I showed a dear friend of mine and he started singing this tune whilst pretending to juggle. To this day I am still not entirely sure if he meant that I looked like a clown or the big top....

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