Styling Carrie for the Oprah Winfrey Show – Part 3

This post is part of a styling adventure, based around my reader (and now new friend!) Carrie. She is from the US and she has been selected to be one of the 300 lucky people flying to Australia with Oprah Winfrey in December.

I have the wonderful opportunity to style her for her trip and when she attends the Oprah Shows in Australia.

So last week, I shared a little bit about Carrie and her style.

This week I put together a few styling and outfit ideas I had. They are just ideas at this stage, and I guess you could say they are a kind of “style board” of fashion shapes, colours and forms…for a bit of inspiration!

Styling Carrie for Oprah - Part 3

I wanted to focus on her waist to flatter her hourglass figure, so most of the clothes I’ve chosen are slightly fitted at the waist and skim around the curves of her hips.

Left: Top from Asos.com, Skirt from Birdsnest Online Boutique. Jewellery from Ann Taylor. Middle: Top and skirt from Witchery. Right: Top from Witchery and Skirt from Country Road.

Styling Carrie for Oprah - Part 3

Styling Carrie for Oprah - Part 3

Carrie says she’s a foodie – after all, she does own a catering business. She tells me that she loves food colours, like mushroom, magentas, plums, reds, burnt oranges, modern browns and caramels. So I tried to put those colours into the colour palette.

Top: Dresses from My-Wardrobe.com, Miss Selfridge, Birdsnest Online Boutique, Karen Millen.
Bottom: French Connection, House of Fraser, Fashion Junkee, Browns Fashion.

Carrie also mentioned that she often shopped at places like H&M and Ann Taylor. I wanted her to feel comfortable about shopping to find a new outfit, so I found a few nice pieces from those particular shops.

Styling Carrie for Oprah - Part 3

Jacket from H&M. Skirt from Witchery. Pants from Country Road. Tops and jewellery from Ann Taylor.

Styling Carrie for Oprah - Part 3

And of course you can’t forget shoes! These are my picks for Carrie – Celine in Mushroom, Chic in Taupe, Ruby in Black, Blade in Silver. All from Betts.

Next up, I’ll be hearing what Carrie thinks of my ideas. And then I’ll put together some casual outfits.

I Touched It…

…and it is covered in little bathroom tiles!

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From Wikipedia

“The Sydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007.  It is one of the 20th century’s most distinctive buildings…”

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“…an image of great beauty that has become known throughout the world – a symbol for not only a city, but a whole country and continent.”

Online Fashion Shopping at YOOX

Shorts from Yoox

YOOX is an Italian online fashion boutique that has been around since 2000. I’ve heard of it, but I have never purchased anything from it – till a few weeks ago.

They stock designers such as Armani, Chloe, D&G, Marc Jacobs, Moschino, Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Tod’s etc. And more affordable brands like American Apparel, ZoeTees, IRO, Kookai, Stussy, Ben Sherman. Lots and lots of stuff to browse.

The best things about YOOX are… the SALES, the large amount of stock, and the search filters, which makes it easy to sift through the huge offerings. This is so cool, because you can, for example, choose only to view garments that are available in extra small, or whatever.

I was actually looking for a dress for the upcoming party season…

But… I got distracted by, yes, the sales, and bought some gorgeous Italian pants (which I need to get shortened, so I’ll show you those later) and these black shorts with a belt tie – which I actually bought for beachwear.

I’m wearing the shorts with a white silk top (borrowed from my mother,  it’s actually like 40 years old) and a boyfriend jacket from Singapore fashion label Al&Alicia.

Best Sections to Browse

There were heaps of short dresses under US$100, and I was almost tempted to buy 2 dresses, but I already blew my budget on the shorts and pants.

If you’re a bit of a Spring-scarf-wearer like me, and like to wear unique-looking, silky-cottony designs, check out the scarves here. They make nice gifts too!

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

Check out more of my favourite online shops in my Women’s Online Fashion Shopping Guide.

Goodbye Mr Rake!

I wonder how many long term readers remember my story about the rake?

6 years ago, I bought my first son a plastic toy garden rake for $1.30.

He was 13 months at the time, and he developed a strange obsession with it. He took it everywhere, to bed, to dinner… and even made sure it “sat” down to watch TV with him.

Well on the weekend, we were having a busy-bee in our backyard – cleaning up and throwing away old stuff. When I say “we”, I mean “me”, because while the boys were supposed to be helping me, they were actually just getting into a pointless, bickering fight over any object that one of them happened to show the slightest interest in. This is apparently quite normal for brothers to do, but it is still – challenging – for me to put up with.

To make my solo efforts at cleaning-up a bit easier, I was dragging the big rubbish bin along behind me, lid open, its big mouth ready to swallow anything. In would go weeds, sticks, old chewed tennis balls, broken bits of old toys, etc.

And look what I found! Mr Rake!

rake-old

I suppose 6 human years is a long time in rake years. While Mr Rake has been lying at the bottom of our garden, he has been aged from his once shiny splendour into a bent, weathered, faded, gnarly old man with missing and crooked teeth.

I stood there, and had a motherly moment filled with nostalgic warmth, holding Mr Rake affectionately, as you would an old doll. Awwwww.

My kids, who were now fighting over the garden hose, stopped, looked at me and went “WHAT ARE YOU DOING MUM?”

I wanted to share my warm moment with them, I really did. I wanted to show them how precious my memories of them are, and how magical childhood is. I mean, when else can you make friends with a plastic toy gardening implement, and not be considered mad?

But I also realised that if I showed that I put any value on the old rake, one of them would want it, and they would have a fight over it.

So I said “Oh nothing…”

And then I tossed the rake into the bin. I just couldn’t stand them having a fight over it. I would have just gone mad…

And they immediately went back to a tug of war over the hose. Oh well!

If figured, when they are older, if they want a bit of nostalgia…I’ll send them a SMS to the URL of the first rake story.

(I hope my sons don’t dispose of me as quickly when I am bent, weathered and toothless).

Styling Carrie for the Oprah Winfrey Show – Part 2

Last week I revealed that I was embarking on a new project.

Carrie is an American reader of this blog, who has been selected to be one of the 300 people flying to Australia with OPRAH WINFREY in December.

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Here she is looking fun and fabulous! I love that her bed is covered with a mess of clothes – that is exactly how my bed is when I’m playing dress-ups!

Carrie asked me to help style her, hoping to increase her chances of being selected to sit on the FRONT ROW of the Oprah audience. It sounded like such a cool and fun thing to be part of!

SO. Firstly, I didn’t simply want to bombard Carrie with latest styles and trends and simply say JUST WEAR THIS, THIS, AND THAT. I wanted to get to know her, and HOW and WHY she dresses the way she does.

Getting To Know Carrie
I asked Carrie to rummage through her wardrobe, put on a few of her favourite outfits, and get someone to take photos of her.

Instead she chose to rearrange her bedroom, prop up a huge mirror…and took the photos herself! In the same style as I do. I thought it was utterly hilarious!

She also wrote down a few notes about each outfit, which was great.

After I saw Carrie’s photos, I also really wanted to talk to her too.

I installed Skype on my computer, and then discovered that my old clunker of a computer didn’t have a built-in microphone. Which meant I had to go out to the shops to buy a headset.

Then, as I was working out the time zone difference between Carrie’s part of America, and my part of Australia, I discovered that Carrie lives on exactly the opposite side of the Earth to me. We are exactly 12 hours apart in time. So when it is 8am TODAY for me, it is 8pm YESTERDAY for Carrie (from my point of view). It took a few days to work out our best time to Skype, but it all worked in the end!

So I have learned this much about Carrie’s personality – she is heaps of fun and is happy to laugh about herself.

These are Carrie’s photos of how she dresses now.

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Blue Dress – Carrie says she loves this dress because of the gathering at the shoulders. The length and fabric is a bit “muumuu-ish” and it so happens that she has TWO of these dresses because “all 30-somethings need 2 modern day muumuus you know?”

A  “muumuu” is an American term for a dress that has little shape, especially, no waist.

Brown Dress – “I just LOVE this dress color and style. It’s not an everyday dress, but I wish it was.”

Black Dress – “This dress is very flattering. I wear it when I am in my event manager role at work. I have to look nice, but not outshine the host or guests.”

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Black Dress – “Simple tank dress… with really cute ruffley-material-flowers on the front. It ties in the back.”

Magenta Top – She loves ruffles! Carrie wore this top to her last Oprah Winfrey show. “I LOVE this color. It’s kind of magenta meets plum, but I feel love when I see this color, this material. I just love it.”

Tee and Jeans – She lives in her jeans! “I could wear this outfit everyday! School drop offs, pick ups, running to grocery. It doesn’t draw attention, but it’s also not a jogging outfit. :) “

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Her outfit photos were dotted with silly-fun photos like these and funny captions. I get a good feeling, that Carrie wants fashion to be a pleasure in her life…as it should be.

“I like to look great, not overdone for the occasion, but almost always would rather look overdressed than under. I’m thinking that my outfits are usually 70% complete. Accessories and cute jackets, etc. are where I start to fail slightly. I do need fashion help. Style wise, I’m game for anything, really!”

My Analysis

Carrie is a very lucky lady – she has a gorgeous body, with a desirable hourglass figure and great proportions. She has a waist, hips and boobs – exactly the kind of curves I wish I had more of.  She’ll basically look great in anything!

I’ll be focusing on how to show off her waist to flatter her hourglass figure, without shouting out loud about it.

Carrie currently has a very simple and basic style, with a clear solution for each occasion. I really like that she appreciates that there are lots of occasions when you don’t want to stand out from the crowd.

I believe I was in that very same place about 5 years ago. I remember NOT being very confident about how to style an outfit. I wasn’t confident to buy expensive items, so I always bought lots of cheaper items.

Once I found something that looked good on me, I just stuck with it, bought similar items, and put outfits together using some simple and basic rules. My life was pretty busy with new babies, and practicality took precedence over “looking stylish”. But of course, my wardrobe got a bit tired after a few years, and I wanted to make a change.

So I went on a fashion journey and education – and now I’m loving the art of fashion and styling. And I’m really excited about taking Carrie along this journey too.

The Outfit Plan

I’m going to create a few outfits for Carrie. Here’s the run down of the critical themes she’ll need for the trip.

1) Outfit for the Oprah Show

2) Backup Outfit for the Oprah show (because everyone needs a backup outfit, in case you find out at short notice what you were planning was just not right for the context.)

3) Evening Wear – Going out to a nice dinner at a posh restaurant/cocktail party/reception. This could double as the back-up outfit.

4) Evening Wear – Casual, but smart.

5) Day wear – Casual, but smart.

6) Day Wear – Very casual summer wear!

I’m also going to include some travel-wear.

I have to factor in the WEATHER too. Carrie might find herself in Queensland (hot and humid), Sydney (hot and humid days, nights might be a bit cold) and Melbourne (well, anything goes for this city with 4 seasons in one day).

And I’ve got some rules. Every item has to be something that can be part of an ongoing wardrobe. (The only dress you should ever buy for only one-use only is your wedding dress!)

All the items have to be reasonably priced, relative to how often they can be worn.

Items cannot be part of a one-season style trend, because they will look like a DATE STAMP by next year.

The next step is for me to come up with some visuals to send to Carrie, for her to consider.

I’ll keep you posted!