Turn Down the Air Conditioning!!

Formal jackets for a winter wedding
So the other day I was thinking what I could wear to a wedding.

And in particular, what jacket could I wear, that looked formal enough, and a bit more interesting than “a black dinner jacket”.

Because hey, that was the part where I always fail at weddings.

I would find a gorgeous dress to wear, but most of the night, I would hide inside my husband’s black dinner jacket, because my own jacket wasn’t warm enough ha!

And I’m not talking about an outdoor wedding, this is for inside a restaurant or ball room! Because I always find the air conditioning too cold even if I’m just sitting having dinner.

So I thought I’d put together some formal jackets and coats, to see if I can look relatively stylish while I sit and eat at a formal event.

I started with a lovely blue dress I own (from ASOS). And then tried to find some coats that would match.

But really, these coats would match many different styles of formal outfits.

Formal jackets for a winter wedding

Fur jackets. Whether you’re a fur lover or a faux fur lover… the look of fur is a classic one, and it will always add a splash of glamour to your outfit. Halston Heritage Faux fur coat (my-wardrobe.com), Liska mink shawl (farfetch.com).

Formal jackets for a winter wedding

Sequin jackets. A tasteful sequin jacket can be a very pretty addition to an outfit. They are nice to wear all night long during the evening, especially to take the bite out of the crazy-cold air conditioning.  And ok, maybe you’ll need an extra coat! Antik Batik cardigan (stylebop.com), Milly bolero (net-a-porter).

Formal jackets for a winter wedding

Satin jackets. These are particularly nice for day time formal events. They pair well with floral and pastel outfits.  Philip Lim satin jacket and Maje Efi white blazer (net-a-porter).

Shawls or Pashminas. I’m actually not a fan of either. When I wear a shawl, I always feel like an “aunty”. But who knows, I might change my mind as I get older.

All these jackets are fairly classic in their styles, meaning they will always look stylish, and will last for seasons. They are pretty much investment pieces for any wardrobe. If you have any two of them, you’re set for dozens of formal winter events.

As for what I wore – I chose to wear a cream faux fur crop jacket with my blue dress. And yes, I was snug as a bug.

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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

Silver Linings in The Daily Grind

Today was one of those simple, effortless and enjoyable days…

monday-liam

In the morning, I dropped my two big children off at school. Then I took my 2 year old to the local library for a Story Time Session. It’s a little class for children 0 – 3 years to do a bit of singing, hear a story, and do some craft. It’s very low stress, which is what I love about it.

Liam is not too impressed with the set up (he doesn’t like the Scary Singing Librarian Woman).

But I feel that the class gives him a good chance to hang out and watch other kids who are his age. He does everything reluctantly, and I completely ignore his bad mood. I’m the one humming away, having a splendid time colouring in his worksheets like a graphic artist pro.

“We” even got a sticker for the awesome colouring in.

monday_karen

Then we took a walk to the park and ate some fruit. I bumped into some mothers I knew, who were doing the same, and had great catch up. While we were talking, we noticed a group of guys in the carpark on the other side of the park packing things into their cars. And then they started TAKING OFF THEIR CLOTHES!

We tried not to stare, but by the time there were down to NOTHING BUT UNDERWEAR, we found it a little difficult to keep our eyes away – will they or won’t they go the whole monty?!?!

Unfortunately for us, they started to re-dress. They put on some corporate clothes, and drove away. So we assumed that the bunch of guys were from the same office, and were on the same sports team having a practice session? Nothing beats a morning strip tease to entertain a bunch of stay at home mothers! Sorry, no pics…

monday_trees

Then I drove to my mother’s house, where I did a “Dump and Run”. As in, dump the child, and run away as quickly as possible, so I don’t have to deal with my son crying as I abandon him.

Thankfully my mother loves the company. I go to visit 1-2-3 times a week… and it’s like our second home.

While I was gone I completed a whole list of errands – going to the bank, the post office, researching the price of furniture at 3 different stores, donating some things to the secondhand shop and a touch of shopping. I felt so good that I got so much done!!

monday-noodles

I returned to the house, to find that my mother had played, sang, cuddled, tickled, talked to and entertained my son for the whole time I was gone… AND cooked him lunch – fresh wonton noodles, with char siew and roast pork that she made herself the previous night. That kid is spoilt I tell you! (As am I.)

My son didn’t seem to appreciate my mother’s cooking. I ate two plates of the noodles with chilli and fried onions. It was GLORIOUS I tell you.

Then I sat back to have a cup of tea and a chit chat with my mum.

I must admit, I don’t feel this happy and appreciative everyday. Most days I’m too busy or stressed or feeling down or my mind is whizzing around.

But today, I felt a great clarity, a great calmness, and a deep contentment.

And it makes everything seem magical.

Fuzzy and Chunky for the Weekend

Fuzzy Knit Jumper

I bought this fuzzy jumper from Sportsgirl – and I just looooove it.

It’s a large knit jumper with big holes so you can see what is worn underneath. It’s slouchy, has lots of texture, looks casual yet kind of sophisticated.

The knit has feather bits in it, so it feels as soft as cashmere and from afar, it looks like cashmere. I like wearing it over bright coloured tops and skinny black jeans.

White Pants + Denim Shirt

I found a very nice denim shirt by a Korean label called Beige, from YesStyle. It was a little costly, but the quality is great and it has been well worth the price. It has been great to wear on its own. Or worn open and layered with a tank top, cardigan, and trench coat.

And these yummy white pants are by Fendi, an ebay bargain.

ASOS Chunky Heels

Chunky heel platforms from ASOS. Ah what more can I say. I’m a sucker for shoes, especially classic beauties like these.

(BTW I hear ASOS are having a massive 20% off all brands. Free worldwide shipping too!)

( See all my Daily Outfits here )

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

Sticky Tape Solutions: Practical vs Fashionable

Whenever I go cycling or jogging, I have to wear a watch. I like to time myself, and I have to keep a time check to make sure I don’t go over time.

Sticky Tape Solutions

Anyway, my favourite sports watch broke a few weeks ago. The battery cover fastener thingy fell apart, so the battery just fell off whenever I took the watch off. It was most annoying.

In my hurry out the door, I got a bit of sticky tape and wrapped it hastily around the back of the watch. Classy right?

Not very fashionable, but very practical.

And it just became one of those things.

I kept reminding myself, “I need to get a new watch”

“I must bring that to a watch fixing place to see if they can mend it”

“I must take that tape off and see if I can glue it back myself”

Days turned into weeks. And no one noticed.

Heck, I didn’t even notice it. The clear sticky tape just blended into the white colour of the watch.

It was only when the tape started to get old, lifting off at the edges… filling up with dirt and sweat.

It was then my brain went “IT’S PROBABLY TIME TO STOP USING THE WATCH KAREN!”

It may still be practical, but even I have to admit that it is beyond fashionable, and bordering on STUPID and GROSS.

So yes, I have stopped using my favourite watch. It sits above my monitor, still wrapped up in sticky tape, ticking away faithfully and telling me whether I have gone over time.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

On Saturday morning, I drove over to the Claremont Showgrounds for the annual Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale – one of the biggest fundraiser for the Red Cross in Western Australia.

At 9am the Jumble Sale began. It was a warehouse full of secondhand items – women, men and children’s clothes, all sorted out into tops, dresses, skirts, pants, shoes, accessories etc. Most items were priced from $1 – $10.

At 10am the Designer Clothes Sale (new and selected secondhand items) began in a different warehouse. But here’s the BIG tip.

You have to start lining up at least 1 hour before, because the queue was enormous by 10am! The smell of high profile designer garments on super cheap sale had brought out a huge crowd of bargain hunters.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

I went in at 10:05am and this is what I saw. Thousands of garments hung on racks, organised by sizes and type of clothing. There were hundreds of people there! It was CRAZY – in an exciting and fun way.

I squeezed my way through the madness and started to browse. I wouldn’t say women were actually fighting each other for the clothes, but there was definately a “Boxing Day Sale” fever to the speed with which girls were trying clothes on, and then going back for more. The clothes that were plonked in the returned basket from the dressing rooms were plucked out by other shoppers before the volunteers could re-rack them.

I guess it was fun because nobody was pretending to be dignified in an upmarket boutique, and just browsing. This was RAW shopping – with intent.

Some of the brands I saw at a glance – J Brand, ACNE, Josh Goot, Vivienne Westwood, Scanlan and Theodore, Bec and Bridge, Breathless, Flannel, Hussy, Wayne Cooper, Country Road, Witchery, Cue, Saba… and so many more.

Prices were colour-coded – $15, $20, $30, $40, $50 and $60. Volunteers were going along the check-out queues taking handfuls of cash from shoppers.

I found 6 items that caught my eye – but in the end I only decided to buy two.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

I bought this Tee Dress, by Josh Goot, which was originally priced $520 on the shop label, but I got it for $40. It was sized S and in the most amazing blue! I didn’t try it on but I figured I could get it tailored to fit me.

And I bought a lovely knit top by Bianca Spender for Carla Zimpatti for $30.

Everything I browsed through was in great condition, like new. They weren’t stained, old, worn out, broken, or pilled. The Red Cross team definitely had great quality control on the garments.

The organisers told me that all items were either donated secondhand by the community, or donated BRAND NEW by local boutiques and designers moving on out-of-season stock.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

In addition to the sale, the event holds a designer outfit auction. About 20 outfits were displayed on mannequins and interested buyers could walk up to them, feel the fabric and quality, and ask to try on certain items. But you had to bid on the WHOLE outfit. A great idea.

Some labels I saw on the auction mannequins: Moschino Cheap and Chic, Marc Jacobs, Versace, Chloe, Flannel, Vintage Oroton, Michelle Jank and more.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

I really, really enjoyed myself! I felt so thrilled that everyone seemed to be grabbing a bargain. The atmosphere in the air was as if everyone hade just won a lottery and was about to do a happy-dance. It was sooooo much fun chatting to random, happy strangers about clothes.

Bindaring Red Cross Clothing Sale 2011

And to top it all off, there were raffles, and a coffees and cakes stand! All homemade by the volunteer team, of course.

This sale makes the most money in one fundraising event for the local Red Cross. It has been running for 48 years and they have raised over $1.4 million in total.

It is all run by volunteers, and they made over $100,00 in a couple of hours.

WOW! What a cool fashion experience.

I’ll run a story about it before next year’s sale, in case you want to go!