Tuesday, August 30, 2011

#97 - Too-short dresses

I've noticed that there seems to be a trend for super-short dresses these days. Sure, there is the occasional midi-dress around, but generally, dresses are way shorter than I want them to be. (Especially those from UK stores like Asos, Topshop, etc. I'm imagining the UK as a land where girls generally go around wearing inappropriately short dresses...) I don't like short dresses, because I am (a) conservative, (b) nearing 30, and (c) in a professional job.

Most of the dresses I own would be perfect if they were an inch or two longer. Maybe the problem is that I'm too tall. I've never really considered myself to be tall (I'm the shortest person in my family!), but I am apparently above the average height for women in Australia.

Anyway, for now I guess I'll have to stick with buying dresses that are cute but slightly short, and googling "how to make dresses look longer" (I'm thinking that wearing a tulle petticoat slightly longer than my dress might help).

This is yet another dress from Cue. Yes, I have now bought 5 dresses there in the past month or so... These are the problems I face in Spring, when all the clothes are beautiful, and the weather is warm enough to wear nice dresses again!

These sequined flat shoes are ones that I usually wear when walking to and from work, rather than as part of my outfit during the day. They've served me well - I've had them for years - but they're really starting to stretch and I'll probably need to replace them soon.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

#96 - Green polka-dot dress

This post is more about the dress than the shoes, because I got the cutest dress from Pinup Girl Clothing recently! Actually, I got two of them in this style, and I'm so glad I did. Usually pin-up style dresses are way too big for me, and I have to get them altered. But this style (Netti from Pinup Couture) fits perfectly!

All the photos I took of myself wearing the dress turned out badly, but at least you can see how cute the dress is :)

These are just some simple white heels from Nine West. I can never have enough white shoes!

Here's a close-up of the dress fabric, and my nails, which are currently a light purplish colour (it's brighter than it looks here) and don't match the dress at all.

I was so glad to be able to wear a dress today, as we've had rain every day for a week, and today it was finally sunny :)

#95 - New shoes and foreign shoe stores

This is just a quick post for a rather boring shoe save/work outfit last week.

Top from Karen Millen, skirt from Banana Republic, and shoes from Imagination, which is (I think) a Chinese shoe/clothing store in town that I randomly discovered one day. Their shoes are fairly cheap, and rather cute, so I bought a couple of pairs.

There's a shopping arcade near my work that is full of little Japanese and Korean stores, both restaurants and boutiques. I had never really bought anything there before, but I was walking through it one day a week or two ago when I saw these shoes in a store window.

I immediately fell in love with them, because of their beautiful print and coral pink ribbon, and I knew they'd match perfectly with a dress I'd bought recently. The only problem was, the store was closed. I walked past a few more times over the next couple of weeks, and it was closed every time I went past. I started to think that maybe the store had shut down, and my beautiful shoes would be trapped inside forever!

But one day, it was open, and I went inside and bought the shoes, even though they are too small and very tight. Have you ever bought a pair of shoes that were the wrong size, just because they were cute? I probably shouldn't have done it, but I've been googling "how to stretch shoes", and I'll see how that goes!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

#94 - 50s style

I've noticed that there have been a few retro/vintage-type events happening in my city lately, like retro car shows, vintage markets, etc. Apparently these types of things are really gaining popularity. I love 50s style dresses - most of the dresses I own are 50s influenced in some way - but I haven't been going to these events. I don't wear red lipstick, or style my hair in retro ways, or try to look like a pinup model (I don't have the figure for it!), and it seems like people who do attend these types of events are pretty serious about emulating the whole retro look and lifestyle. I do sometimes think that this is something I could really get involved in, though.

One problem for me is vintage clothes. I don't own any. I don't admit this to people very often, but I have some obsessive-compulsive traits, and I have difficulties even touching second-hand things like clothes, books, etc. I love to look at them, but I probably wouldn't feel comfortable wearing old clothes. I hope I'll be able to get over this eventually. But for now, I'm happy to stick with my new 50s style dresses!

This is a River Island dress (in the same style as a couple of other dresses I bought there this year - at least this one is the right size for me, though!), and it's very sweet and frilly :)

Of course, it's still cold here, so I ended up having to wear a cardigan with it most of the day, which didn't look nearly as good. I don't remember Winter lasting this long in previous years... Surely it must be getting warm again soon.

I hope I haven't saved these shoes already. I wear them a lot, but I can't remember posting about them. Anyway, they're from Melissa, and the bunny is Oswald, who I believe was Mickey Mouse's predecessor :)

Melissa shoes are so cute and comfortable that I think I could be happy with wearing them all the time!

Monday, August 22, 2011

#93 - Black Lace

I'm almost back on track with my shoe challenge posts! Well, this was last Friday's outfit. As you can see, I don't really do casual Friday... I think of it more of a chance to wear less businesslike but still dressy clothes, rather than being casual like most other people. After all, we have the weekends to be casual, so why waste a day when you could be wearing something nice? I like to dress up as often as possible. After all, you never know when something special is going to happen, and you want to be ready for it, right? :)

So this was my going out for drinks after work outfit. I have had conversations about this dress previously with my mother and my sister, and both of them have said that it looks like a see-through lace dress with nothing underneath because the underlay matches my skin colour. I suppose I have to agree, but I like this dress, and as they weren't around to stop me, I wore it anyway! (Dress from Ojay).
These are some Marc Jacobs shoes I bought at David Jones a while ago, and I think they work well as 'neutral' type shoes, even though they are slightly sparkly and a pretty peach colour.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

#90, 91 & 92 - Week 27

I felt like I was wearing basically the same dress in 3 different colours for my shoe challenge photos this week. They're all fitted, slightly above knee-length dresses with puff sleeves. I should probably point out that I don't wear a different dress every day - on the days I don't take photos, I re-wear outfits a lot more.

This is a lovely dress I got from Betsey Johnson recently. It has a great print, and really puffy sleeves. It also has a lace-up corset-style back, which I'm not too keen on, as I couldn't get it tight enough and the dress felt a little bit big.
These shoes look almost identical to another pair I saved recently, but just to prove they are actually a different pair, I've taken a photo of both pairs below! (The ones in the photo above are on the right). Do I need two pairs of green-ish peep-toe heels? Probably not...
I wasn't sure about wearing this dress to work. My sister always tells me that it's too much of a body-con style dress. So I ended up wearing it with a long cardigan, which is my usual way of making inappropriate clothes wearable to work.
These shoes are by Guess, and I like the pretty floral pattern, but I don't particularly like the sling-backs. Sling-backs are never very comfortable, in my opinion.
I recently went to a local store I love, Jigsaw, and I was hoping to buy a lovely white dress with a green and brown floral print that I'd been admiring in the window for a while. I was disappointed to see that it was sold out in my size, but I while I was there, I found another dress that I liked even more. I've bought a couple of really great work dresses from Jigsaw.
I had no shoes to match, as I'm not usually a huge fan of green, so I wore these lovely Jimmy Choo shoes I bought from my workmate recently.

#86, 87, 88 & 89 - Week 26

Halfway through the shoe challenge, and I've saved most of my shoes already! (Well, I'm not entirely sure how many I have, as I've yet to do a re-count following my recent shoe cull and a few purchases too). I'm surprised at how well it's going, but it's good to know that I'm getting some use out of all my shoes. I've found that I actually haven't been buying too many pairs of shoes this year, and I seem to be focusing more on buying clothes lately. Well, I need clothes to wear my shoes with, right? :)

Although I wear skirts and dresses most of the time, I like wearing jeans on the weekends, and when I go out at night. My sister bought a couple of pairs of coloured J Brand jeans recently, and they were so pretty that I decided to get some too. It was hard to choose just one colour, but I couldn't really see myself in red or yellow, so I ended up with this light pink colour.
These are some crazy coloured shoes that I don't wear often (they hurt! And they don't match anything), but I think they looked ok with this outfit!

This was another of my beautiful Cue Spring dresses. When I was buying dresses at Cue recently, the sales assistant said that some of them would look nice with a light coloured cardigan and shoes, and it made me realise something quite shocking - I didn't own any nude shoes! I think the reason for this is that I love colours, and I'm always going to choose pink or purple over beige.
Anyway, I decided that this lack of nude shoes was a serious problem, and one which I needed to remedy right away! And I must say, I'm so glad I did, as I've gotten so much wear out of these shoes already. They're by Sandler.

I think I bought this skirt from New Look recently for 8 pounds in their sale. Yay! I always feel so much better about my purchases if I get them on sale :)
More flats (argh! Why do I have so many?), from Guess.

I only discovered Ojay fairly recently, but I'm so glad I did! I buy dresses every week lately, and most of them are in the $200-$400 price range. This dress only cost me $99, and I think it'll be really versatile.

I saw some bloggers doing the mixing prints challenge on Everybody Everywear recently, and that inspired me to wear spotted shoes with a striped dress. My photo of the shoes turned out a bit fuzzy, but they really are cute.

#84 & 85 - Week 25

Well, I'm getting quite behind with posting my shoe saves, so I'll try to get all my photos from the last couple of weeks uploaded here this weekend. Maybe I'll get a chance to post about something other than the shoe challenge when I finally catch up!

This was a dress I bought from one of my favourite local brands, Review, recently. It's probably not a style I would usually have gone for, but it actually looked better than I expected. These eter pan collars seem quite popular at the moment.
I don't know what my cat's doing here; he just walked into the photo at the last minute. These are just some simple glittery flats I've had for a while, and they'd be great if only they weren't so tight!

This was quite a boring outfit, but I'm just glad I managed to wear these shoes! They were one of the pairs I was most concerned about how to save, as they really don't match anything!
I bought them from Asos, and they're by Ravel. I'm always drawn to multi-coloured shoes, but they can be hard to pair with outfits if they're too colourful.
I think I'll keep this post short so I can move on to the next week, and hopefully I'll be able to post more regularly from now on!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

#81, 82 & 83 - Week 24

I'm still behind with uploading my photos. These ones are from last week. I'm starting to think I should've done a 'dress challenge' rather than a shoe challenge this year! I wore two of my new Betsey Johnson dresses this week, and while these were classified as 'day dresses' on Betsey's website, they are still basically party dresses. It's quite a feat to make a strapless party dress wearable for work in an office, but I hope I managed it. I love floral dresses. I tried to stop wearing them to work, but lately my theory is that if they're dark-coloured, they're probably work-wearable.

Anyway, this Betsey dress has a really full skirt and a lovely rose print. I had to wear it with a long cardigan to make it look a bit more conservative, but I can't wait to wear it again for a more dressy occasion.
This is one of many pairs of pink flats I own. (Why do I have so many flats? Whyyy?! If there's one thing I've learnt by doing the shoe challenge it is that I should own a couple of pairs of comfortable flats, and that's it). They're from Wittner. I still feel a bit like a clown when I wear colourful flats with black tights. At least the weather's starting to warm up and I hopefully won't have to wear tights for much longer.

Have I mentioned that the Cue Spring/Summer dresses are gorgeous? I think I'll buy my sister one for her birthday this month, as I probably can't justify buying myself a 5th one. They're so beautiful and Spring-like though! I wasn't sure if this one suited my colouring - I usually try to stay away from too much beige - but I liked it too much to care, really.
These are some of the most fabulous shoes I own. They're by Dolce and Gabbana, and I love the leopard-print hearts, although I don't love the way these shoes are super high and make my feet feel numb when I wear them! Still, the prettiness makes up for the discomfort, I think.

Here's my second Betsey Johnson dress for the week (I bought 3 in a sale they were having recently, and got some great deals on them - one was under $100). I wore this for casual Friday, and it's so pretty. I'm trying to wear something nice every Friday (at least the Fridays when I don't have court, meetings etc) because it's the one day of the week when anything goes. Most people in the office are wearing jeans, so I figure I can at least wear something not quite so conservative.
These are some more pink flats, from a Chinese shop I found in the mall a while ago, called Imagination. I bought a couple of pairs of shoes there, because they're cheap, relatively comfortable and they have cute floral designs.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In and out

I need to do a shoe re-count, as I've bought quite a few pairs since the shoe challenge started, and I've also gotten rid of a few, so I have no idea how many pairs of shoes I currently have.

I decided to have a shoe clean-out on the weekend. There were a few pairs that I'd either never worn or was never likely to wear again, and also a few that needed repairing and I knew I'd probably never get around to it. So I decided to throw them out rather than make the effort to save them. I just wanted to share, as I've learnt an important lesson out of this - don't buy shoes just for the sake of it!

I am often guilty of doing this when I'm on holidays. I always think of a holiday as a good excuse to buy shoes that I wouldn't be able to get back home, and while I think there's some merit in doing this when I'm in America and I have access to designer shoes at cheaper prices than I'd ever find back home, I find that in Asia, I always end up wasting money on shoes I don't even really like. So I'm going to be more careful in future, and only buy shoes that I'm actually planning to wear.

Speaking of new shoes, I must admit that I bought some today (even though I have virtually no money and a rising credit card debt), because the circumstances were too good to be true. A work colleague of mine recently bought some Jimmy Choos for a great price on sale at Harrods in London, and she admitted they were something of an impulse buy and when she tried them on later, she found that they were actually too narrow for her feet.

My love of shoes seems to have become a well-known fact amongst those who know me, and so my colleague asked if I'd be interested in buying them from her. I fell in love with them the moment I saw them, and we fortunately discovered that we have the same shoe size. With several colleagues watching, I tried them on and found that they fit me perfectly - it was a real Cinderella moment!

And that's the story of how I bought my first Jimmy Choo shoes. Here's a quick picture which doesn't really capture how beautiful they are (they're a lovely shiny bronze). I had to keep taking them out and admiring them today! I hope I'll get a chance to wear them soon :)