Thursday, 25 October 2018

WHAT I WORE TO A HIGH TEA PARTY

Hi everyone, hope you are doing well
A while ago my husband and I received an invitation to a High Tea birthday celebration that was taking place at the hosts house and the dress code for the party was "smart casual".  
Well, the "smart casual" dress code is considered by many to be rather tricky as there are as many interpretations of it as is the number of people who have made an attempt to adhere to it.  My take on this code is as follows: "Avoid being over or under-dressed because either way you will be sticking like a sore thumb" and thus the recipe to succeed lies in finding a perfect balance between casual and smart elements of your outfit.  After careful consideration of the above, here is what I wore.
I started with the casual.  I think you would agree that nothing looks more casual than a plain jumper worn over a pair of tan slacks, worn with a linen jacket in a similar neutral colour.  I can't even begin to remember how long these slacks from Zara have been sitting in my wardrobe.  
I bought them in Europe many years ago when we didn't have Zara shops in Australia at all and unless someone who travelled to Europe and came back with clothes bought at one of Zara's boutiques, we didn't even know that such a label existed.  Interestingly enough, that after all these years, this slim straight silhouette of the pants hasn't changed much which reminds us that classic style is ageless. Same could be said about my linen jacket that I bought from American Apparel many years ago.
Then came the turn for the smart part of my outfit and to my strong belief nothing smartens any outfit like a pair of elegant leather shoes and stylish accessories like belts, handbags and scarfs.  My regular readers know how much I love scarves and wear them quite often.  
There are so many ways that you can wear them depending on what look you are trying to convey, they come extremely handy if you want to add a colour, texture or bit of  panache to your outfit.  And let's not forget how practical this accessory could be when you need to look smart and feel warm at the same time.  
My choice fell on the scarf that combines the colours of all other pieces of my outfit which linked them all together into a complete look.
Initially, I was thinking of taking a different handbag but then I realised that at this type of party you need both hands to hold your drink in one, and the food in the other and so it was only logical to take a crossbody bag instead.
The party was really lovely.  The rain had stopped, the day was sunny and warm, the food, beautifully presented, was aplenty and the hired barman knew his craft very well.  The hosts made a great effort in making sure that we all had a good time, that our glasses were full and we had food on our plates.
 As were among the first guests to arrive, I managed to take a few photos of the food before it was all gone.  Looks amazing, wouldn't you agree?
 This is the room where dessert was served.

What is your take on a "smart casual dress code".  Please let me know.

Until then,

Anna
xoxo




















Wednesday, 17 October 2018

MUSTARD JUMPER FOR A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES

Hi everyone, trust you are all well
I believe the first time I became aware how popular mustard colour is this season was when I spotted   Laurie from "Vanity and Me"  looking gorgeous in her new mustard jacket on Instagram.   This image must have somehow crept into my subconsciousness because a few days later, while wandering along the stalls at Bondi Markets, I spotted a mustard coloured jumper hanging on a rack and felt an irresistible urge to buy it. 
I approached the stall to have a closer look and check the price.  The stall holder told me that this was the last one and she was selling it very cheaply to clean up the stock.  It has this uniformed slouchy shape with a knot tie at the front of it that adds an interesting touch to the otherwise simple style.  I bought it immediately without even trying it on.
I wore it the the evening when my husband and I went to see the movie "Ladies in black" at our local Westfield Shopping Centre, that also has, apart from all the usual attributes of the modern shopping mall, a movie theatre and if we are not doing grocery shopping, we like to leave our car at home and take a walk to the movies.  It is about 20 minutes by foot uphill,  so I laced up my Converse sneakers for comfort. 
The earrings I am wearing are from Gorman.  I like their quirkiness, they are my latest crush and I wear them a lot. 
This vintage Gucci bag used to belong to my late mother-in-law who had an amazing collection of scarfs, you can see me quite often wearing them, and handbags which after her passing, were equally distributed by my father-in-law amongst all the female members of the immediate family, young and old, as a way to remember her.
We arrived at the movies a few minutes early and while waiting for the movie to start, went wandering around the food court which was closed for the night, when suddenly I came up with the idea of how to make waiting time to be more exciting and suggested "Let's have a photo shoot". 
After taking few sample photos at different locations, we found the perfect spot and went to "work".   Later on, while I was viewing the images, I came to the conclusion that doing something spontaneous sometimes delivers much better results than the actions that being carefully planned.  I let you be the judge.
Until then,

Anna
xoxo

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

WEARING A "CARIOCA GIRL" BLOUSE

Hi Everyone, trust you are all well

Although, technically, it is almost the middle of the spring season in Australia, the temperature jumps around like a yo-yo and you don't know what to expect from one day to the next.  On the day that I wearing this outfit, it was nice and warm and today I wish that I hadn't put away my winter puffy jacket.
Luckily, today the weather is quite pleasant for me to wear just a light blouse, a pair of jeans and slides.  First of all I want to tell you about my new pair of jeans.  In the last couple of years you have seen me wearing a pair with a lot of holes in it but eventually I've become a little sick of wearing the same pair over and over besides the streets of Sydney have been over-saturated by everyone wearing the identical distressed style to the point that I've become fed up with it and decided that it is time to look for something different.
At the moment all the stores are having mid-season sales and you can score a very good bargain. Following a brief consultation with my fashion forward older daughter, I set out to look for pair of jeans that a) is cropped and b) raw-hemmed and c) without holes.  And last but not least, they should be straight, not skinny.  Armed with all these prerequisites I set off on a quest of a perfect pair.
I generally try to avoid the speciality shops, like General Pants for example, where jeans and all denim related clothes rain supreme mainly because these shops like to play loud music to appeal to a young clientele, the sale staff, for the obvious reasons, consists of young boys and girls who find it hard to stay still for more then 5 consecutive seconds and seem to always move with the beat and most of all, no matter how unflattering you look in their clothes, they always say the same old adage: "This looks good on you".  I cringe every time I hear this praise. 
I prefer to shop in big department stores: they stock the same brands as the designer shops but the atmosphere there is much more relaxing and welcoming and you can spend the whole day trying on garment after garment at your own leisure.  Besides, when these stores run independent sales and if the amount of stock becomes too low, they sell it very cheaply to clear the floor for the new arrivals.
And that's where I found this pair of jeans by Neuw.  I previously bought a pair of black jeans, worn here, from this label so I know exactly what size and style suits me best.  At first glance, they ticked all the boxes and I took them into the fitting room.  They felt very comfortable, the size was right and I liked the extra detail that outside each leg run two slim panels of different colour denim which made them look different from the rest of the pack.  And the original price was reduced almost by half.  What's not to like about them?
Next, my new blouse.  Well, technically it is not, it is a hand me down from my older daughter like the one I showed to you here.  Interesting fact, she bought it while on holiday in Brazil at the shop called Farm, a hip clothing store which she praised very highly and suggested that we should go there while in Rio de Janeiro to check it out and so we did.  I liked the shop and its funky clothes, the swimwear and accessories looked really pretty in bright bold prints and a lot of embellishments, which I thought was a big too much, besides the clothes are predominately designed for "Carioca girl", young girl who likes the beach, parties and nature and everything else related to Rio de Janeiro life style,  and I just felt that it was not exactly my cup of tea.
Six months later, however, and here I am wearing the blouse from that same shop and quite liking it.  I think that having just one thing made me appreciate it.  It is made of very soft wrinkle free fabric in a simple silhouette with a deep v-neck cut that has an easy relaxed feel.  I like the way the red colour embroidery, fringed by the same colour tassells richly decorates the front and follows the shoulder line of the blouse.  The sleeves have a fluted shape with side slits and they too are highlighted by the same pattern as the front of the blouse.
I opted for white slides that I bought in Marrakesh souk during our last year holiday that compliment very well my relaxed easy-going outfit and old leather saddle bag that I bought many years ago in Cape Town from one of the community workshops.

Until the next post,

Anna
xoxo

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

A TRANSITIONAL DRESS

Hi everyone, hope you are all well
It does not matter which season has just ended and which has just arrived, you would need to have something in your wardrobe that you can wear while transitioning from one season to the next.  And I found just the right dress that is exactly what you need when in between the seasons.
For those who don't know me, I am from Sydney, Australia and our seasons come and go in reverse to what you experience in the Northern hemisphere.  That said, we are in the first month of spring.
I found this dress in COS, a contemporary fashion brand that I frequently visit because I like their vision and their ability to reinvent classics and make them look timely and modern.  Their wardrobe essentials are to go to if you work in an office but want to stand out from the crowd dressed in the standard corporate uniform of black skirt and a blazer topped with white buttoned blouse.
Although my office environment is very relaxed and I don't have a need to regularly update my wardrobe, I still like to pop in the store from time to time to view the new collection and pick up a piece that catches my eye.
It was during my recent visit to the store, that I spotted this box-shaped dress which appealed to me for its warm, happy colour and simplicity of style which opens the door to multiple outfit possibilities which will go far beyond the office look.
As it happened, the first time I wore this dress was for a night out.  We were meeting our friends for a pre-theatre dinner and a performance at a local community theatre of which they are patrons.  Not wanting to be overdressed, I opted for low heel court shoes.
On the other hand, my dress looked a tad too plain so I decided that some embellishment wouldn't hurt and chose a necklace that I bought in Sorrento on our last trip back in 2017.  I love big statement pieces and when I saw this necklace on a stand sparkling in all its glory, I couldn't walk away without it.
As for my handbag, you have seen me carrying it here.
We didn't know exactly what was on the program for the night, turned out it was a dialogue with Carlotta, a 75 year old transgender person who back in the 60's was a star of the internationally renowned Sydney's "Les Girls".  Even at her age, she was thoroughly engaging, witty and openly frank answering questions asked by the host of the evening and even treated us to a couple of nice songs and an occasional twirl.  It was a fascinating encounter with a side of life that we do not know much about.
I am wearing a dress from COS, shoes - DVF, bag-Furla, sunglasses - Burberry (old)

Till the next post

Anna
xoxo