Category Archives: Fashion

Would you wear a uniform if you didn’t have to?

Creating your own uniform |

Back when I was just a wee student at the local public school, we were always so jealous of the kids that went to the nearby uniform-free independent school. From the bus, the classrooms looked like treehouses and, clad in their choice of colourful garb, the kids seemingly had their regular classes replaced by guitar jams and skateboard sessions.

While the skateboarding may have had something to do with it, us uniformed types envied the fact these kids were able to boldly don their favourite hyper-colour t-shirts (hello 90s!), without even waiting for an out-of-uniform day.

Between school blazers, sporting team colours and the official shirt and slacks for the weekend job, the majority of our formative years are spent dressing up to fit in. Make of that what you will! By the time you’re free to dress as you wish for the majority of your day, it’s pretty exciting to explore your options and discover who you really are.

Depending on your job, a uniform may still be a factor in your life. If you’re free to dress as you please though, would you consider passing in your option to mix and match your outfits on the daily? Maybe not. But, what if doing so would give you more time in your day, less stress, less drain on you decision making capacity and save more creative juices for the bigger fish you’ll need to fry throughout the day? Tempting, right?

Art director Matilda Kahl decided to do just that. Stocking up on a pile of white blouses and black pants and one statement necklace, Kahl likens it to setting up an auto online bill payment. She says it’s empowering.

The simple choice of wearing a work uniform has saved me countless wasted hours thinking, “what the hell am I going to wear today?” And in fact, these black trousers and white blouses have become an important daily reminder that frankly, I’m in control.

Today, I not only feel great about what I wear, I don’t think about what I wear.

I can definitely see where she’s coming from. There are mornings when precious minutes are wasted when things don’t fit quite right, when the slip that normally goes under that dress is still waiting to be washed, when you’re trying out a new combo but it’s just not coming together.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the concept of panicking about what to wear each day is pretty much entirely foreign to the male species. My partner Michael has a self-made work uniform of chinos, Tiger sneakers and polo shirts. So how come this is all so natural for boys but for women, such a story is a viral sensation?

President Obama famously explained that avoiding decision fatigue is the reason why he only ever wears grey or blue suits.

I’m trying to pare down decisions. I don’t want to make decisions about what I’m eating or wearing. Because I have too many other decisions to make.

Perhaps it’s also why Steve Jobs was so attached to his uniform of denim jeans and black turtle-necks.

So here’s the question, could you do it? Would you be willing to return to the old school days of pulling another shirt out of the wardrobe, just the same as the one you wore yesterday, and the day before that. I don’t know if I could replace everything with Kahl’s uniform but I think that sticking to a curated collection of work clothes, separate to your casual and party clothes, works for me.

It’d certainly be an interesting experiment anyway!

x Liz

Photo note: Image from Death to the stock photo.

Jean Paul Gaultier at the NGV

With a career spanning more than 40 years, it is perhaps not surprising that the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria took my friend & I more than 2.5 hours to make our way through.

Me at the gallery |  Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV |

Gaultier is well known for the cone bra popularised by Madonna. The exhibition shows the evolution of this iconic garment, from the newspaper prototype sported by Gaultier’s teddy bear to the real deal straight from Madonna’s closet. His corseting skills made for a beautiful display.

Madonna | Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV |

Corsets |  Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV |

One of the things I loved about this exhibition was seeing dresses that I recognised from various publications over the years. The below dress was instantly recognisable from this recent Australian Vogue cover promoting the exhibition.

Catherine McNeil |  Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV |

Another dress that I was excited to see was this glorious frock, worn down the catwalk by model Crystal Renn in 2006. While her size has varied over the years, Renn wore this as a curvier-than-your-average model & I remember being blown away seeing a woman on the catwalk who, while absolutely stunning, was quite obviously not from the same mould as the norm.

Crystal Renn's 2006 dress  |  Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV |

The craftsmanship and detail of the more than 140 outfits on display was easy to see – every stunning detail was out in the open for all to admire. There’s no glass cases here and many of the more intricate designs are accompanied by the hours they took to create.

Urban Jungle |  Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV |

Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV |

The exhibit itself is split out into separate rooms, each reflecting a different stage in Gaultier’s career. A curated mix of clothing, photography, film and other media, it’s an engaging display that gives great insight into Gaultier’s professional life. He has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest names and counts Aussies Kylie Minogue, Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett among his favourites.

Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition @ NGV |

The catwalk |  Jean Paul Gaultier @ NGV |

On display at the National Gallery of Victoria until February 8 2015, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk is a must-see for fashion-lovers. This exhibition shows just how much of an impact Gaultier has had on the fashion industry and popular style.

Style tips:

Who What Wear is not updated regularly enough for my liking but they quite clearly focus on quality over quantity. It’s a great source for why-didn’t-I-think-of-that style ideas & an ideal spot to figure out the next big thing you need to keep an eye out for at your local knock-off chain-store retailer.

WhoWhatWear- Style tips

While I think Tip #4 would make me look like an American footballer, and my torso is too long for jumpsuits, (read: they cause me killer wedgies!) I’m totally digging the idea of #6 – the shape of the dress is a bit ho-hum but the mix of colour, leopard & jazzy neckpieces have now been noted in the fashion department of my memory bank.

Don’t like it? Put a chicken on it!

Ahh The Man Repeller does it again: Street Style Takes A Cue From Portlandia

Worst Best thing is, I’d probably wear this hat/scarf/bird combo without a worry:

Man Repeller

Yes, I’d wear an outfit involving an oversized knitted bird that I found on a website called The Man Repeller yet, for some reason, I still wonder why I’m single… Hmm. I also have floral print harem pants as part of my winter layby at Sportsgirl. I’m a textbook case!

Future lovers, be alert but not alarmed – I’m not really trying for repulsion but I don’t need your lame ass if you ain’t down with my happy pants, scarf obsession, oversized jewellery and beloved bomber jacket.

Buckle up: new boots

Even though the weather this afternoon was well above 30 degrees Celsius, I decided to start doing some scouting for winter fashion. I’m really loving the way military stimulus are meshing with bright colours & wild prints for the upcoming cooler season.

After putting a layby on at Sportsgirl (I have no need for battle-ready knits & jackets just yet!) I had my heart stolen by these $80 wonders…

They make me feel like Erin Wasson & will kick butt with everything from denim shorts & jeans to floral skirts & trans-seasonal top&tights combos. Winner!

Busy busy busy!

How busy have I been? So busy that my March 2011 Vogue is still in the plastic it was posted in! It looks so tasty too! Lord knows I love me a colour fiesta! And I die for that Prada skirt (and everything else that went down the runway with it!)

Normal programming will resume soon – moving house has gotta be a good enough excuse?! Ah well, looking forward to getting back on the wagon soon.

Blog Love: The Man Repeller

Deadset loving The Man Repeller! The concept behind the blog?

“outfitting oneself in a sartorially offensive way that will result in repelling members of the opposite sex. Such garments include but are not limited to harem pants, boyfriend jeans, overalls (see: human repelling), shoulder pads, full length jumpsuits, jewelry that resembles violent weaponry and clogs.”

Sums up my fashion philosophy right there really: Dress for yourself, not for anyone else (except maybe your grandma on her 87th birthday)

About this Chanel number,  The Man Repeller says “I call this one straitjacket chic. Girlfriend is going to one fancy mental asylum in that sequin adored number.” Love it.

Best of the web:



A favourite blog of mine for all things fashion & beauty related, Refinery29 always has something to read that’ll be worth your clicks.

The best of the worst: Ugly Fashion Trends digs into those trends that make you want to gag now but that you know, come next November, you’ll have 27 tagged photos of yourself loving life in head-to-toe said trendwear. It’s going to take a lot for me to embrace flat platform sandals though. *shudder*

Casual Friday sorted: How to Wear Jeans to Work is, um, about how to wear jeans to work. Nuff said really!

The eyes have it: Eyeliner Tips for 3 Standout Looks is making me want to rim my eyes in sunshine yellow & fearlessly take on the day. While it might freak out the checkout chick at the local Woolworths slightly, I’m so keen to do wild colourful eyes for my next party night.

Paris Fashion Week: Mugler Menswear Fall-Winter 11/12

Mugler AW11/12 - the slickest fash pic blog around

Why make plain menswear when you can make skeleton-style menswear? While ethereal ghost veils aren’t practical for daytime, they look damn good on a runway! See more photos at Jak & Jil Blog.

Make up makeover

As part of my holy-crap-I’m-nearly-25 awakening, I’ve decided that my make up bag needs to grow the hell up. I’ve always been a mascara, lip balm & concealer kid but now that my mate Katie is on board with Napoleon Perdis, she’s forcing spiritedly encouraging me to obsess over liquid liner, colourful eye shadow & experiment with the occasional bold lip. (For my last makeover courtesy of Napoleon’s Katie, see this post)

I popped in today to see her & walked out with this:

Napoleon purchases

Camera Finish powder, (I’ve never owned powder – my powder-obsessed grandmother turned me off it. Naturally Katie was mortified that I never use it.) a lip pencil, (another item I’ve never really cared for) a light orange sherbet-y colour lipstick & an eyeshadow quad called “Earth” with olive greens & a rich deep blue.

So now I’ve cleaned out all my old stuff, pulled together all the new stuff & am pumped to get ready for work tomorrow; all powdered, lips-lined & lids coloured!