Style Quickie – Sherlock Holmes (BBC Sherlock)

Is it just me or are we getting an influx of extremely well-dressed male characters lately? Or shall I say, GQMFs? Even though I’m probably the only geek in existence who isn’t watching the new Doctor Who I decided to check out Steven Moffat’s new Sherlock series because I’d heard such rave reviews about it.

Sherlock, my friends, is GQMF (I mean he’s actually in GQ). No deerstalkers to be seen (not that there’s anything wrong with deerstalkers), only shirts, suits, scarves and a magnificent winter coat that GQ says only cost oh £1000. He also inexplicably wears designer shirts and suits but I don’t care because the costume designer Sarah Arthur is my hero:

“Holmes would not have any interest in fashion so I went for classic suits with a modern twist: narrow-leg trousers and a two-button, slim-cut jacket,” she told us. “I also went for slim-cut shirts and a sweeping coat for all the action scenes – it looks great against the London skyline.”

It’s getting a little warmer here in the Southern hemisphere while it’s getting cooler in the North but during temperature and weather-appropriate times, do consider wearing a great large winter coat over a suit. Even better – pop up the collar for that sort of film noir look and say that you were just uh, keeping your neck safe from the elements. Specifically you might want to look for a double-breasted black coat with large lapels that goes down to just past your knees. A super-nice version of said coat would be pleated from the lower-back and flare whenever you whisked around the streets of London.

Unfortunately I can’t direct you to where you might be able to buy such a coat but the one I own I grabbed at a thrift store for $30 in the height of summer (it’s double-breasted and tweed-ish and finishes mid-calf and fits me perfectly and have I mentioned that I love it? Yes, I’m just bragging now).


Worn Wild

I’m sorry I’ve been lax with posting guys! To tell you the truth I’ve been on my Inception waistcoat stupor for the past month or so and felt too comfortable to change gears. As of now I think this blog will work better as a update-when-I-feel-like-it sort of thing – which is what I’m doing anyway – and if I have multiple updates to bring you I’ll try to schedule them a week apart.

I try very hard not to make this blog too narcissistic and fill it with stuff that’s less “what I wore today”, more “how to wear x, y, z”. But then Omega linked me to the official photos for the Melbourne Worn Wild (alternative fashion market… thingy) and thought I could totally combine narcissism and inspirational practical knowledge, but not really because I just wanted to show off how awesome I AND everyone else there looked.

Have a gawk at the photos over at Ellyway because I definitely got inspired from some of the lovely well-dressed people at the event. You’ve got your cybergoths, your lolitas, your rockabilly, your Victoriana…

And here’s me:

Believe it or not, the bulk of what you see is from Target. My pants, shirt and waistcoat probably cost me under $50 together and I consider them all wardrobe basics.

The hat and gloves you might recognise from this post. Pocketwatch was about $15 from eBay, umbrella/parasol was $7 from Queen Victoria Markets because the stall was closing down, bandanna was $2 from a thrift store.

My white rabbit brooch was from Little Shop Of and my cheshire cat necklace was from Tartx (both of which are linked under Shopping). Shoes are those $100 Tony Bianco boots that seem to go with everything.

I’m not actually wearing anything particularly flash, but note the combination of waistcoat + puffed sleeves give a more neo-Victorian silhouette, especially with the top hat. Add on the (pocketwatch) chain, cameo brooch and cowel bandanna and you get a very Victorian look indeed.

Compare this to the Inception GQMF look and I’m essentially wearing the same thing swapping puffy sleeves for the white long-sleeved shirt and bandanna for the buttoned up collar and tie. Pretty small differences that fundamentally change the style of the outfit.

Also despite my not having much money and being determined not to spend any, I bought the following wonderful messenger bag from Elvy Ess. It is extremely well made, gorgeous lining on the inside (and has a small pocket with more screenprinted creepy-crawlies), and it’s roomy and fits all my law readings! Gosh I wish I had the money to buy her clothes and maybe more bags. It did occur to me to get a job sometime in the future.

I am in the middle of writing up a long-ass outfit post for next week (hopefully going up Monday, but definitely within a week) so maybe this will tide you over for a little while.

Stay sexy!

How to Shop

I admit it, I was actually going to skip this week because I was feeling tired and didn’t have a post lined up ready to go. However at ten to midnight I decided that a short one-picture post was better than no post at all.

This Cue dress rocks my world

In the past two weeks I have been on the prowl for a cheap plain black dress. I had some parameters of course – it had to be above the knee but not too high, have a high neckline, short sleeves, be figure-hugging and look good. I browsed some stores online (Sportsgirl, Supre, Cotton On) and visited a lot of them in person. Supre’s website looked most promising but when I went to the store I found while the items were cheap, so was the fabric. $15 for a nasty rayon/viscose dress? No thanks.

A couple of days ago I went into Myer with my mum and found this awesome black dress by Cue on sale for $60. It cost four times more, but the dress was at the very least five times better than the one in Supre. (More like 13 times better if you compared it to the original price.)

I do have a couple of super-cheap items in my wardrobe, but for the most part my wardrobe is thrifted, mid-range basics, sale items and super-expensive luxury stuff (that were probably also on sale). At this point in my life money is still an issue as a student, and I can’t afford the quality items I’d like at full price. Price is only one consideration, most of the time I try to shop by value:

  • Price – can I afford it?
  • Source – second hand, mass manufactured, independent label, handmade.
  • Materials and Workmanship.
  • Fit.
  • Versatility – how many different looks can I get out of this?
  • Durability – how long will the item last or how long will it be “fashionable”?
  • Alternatives – can I get better value elsewhere?

When buying new items durability is probably one of the biggest factors for me. I hate the capitalist culture of disposability because it creates demand for more of our scant resources while simultaneously creating waste. I tend to go thrifted when I can, or save up for items that will last me a lifetime, not just a season. I believe this is the most sustainable way to shop.


1. Browse often, buy occasionally

This applies mostly to thrift stores, but you can probably extend it shopping in general. I indulge in impulsive purchases very rarely – in most cases I let the decision ferment like a fine wine. 😉

It helps if you have a thrift store you pass regularly; because item turnover is so high it’s worth going back every week to see what’s new instore (if you do this weekly it should take only 5-10 minutes to scope out the new items). Finding the right item is a matter of luck, but you can increase your luck by going often. I buy something maybe 1 of 5 times I go thrifting.

2. Save your money

My USD$150 Skingraft skirt was one of the best things I’ve bought and it was worth every penny. Similarly my $100 Tony Bianco boots are going super strong (reheeled once). Even if you don’t have a particular thing you’re after it’s worth saving money for that day you come across the perfect whatever, at which point you can buy it and still eat for the rest of the month.

3. Take care of the things you own

Enough said, right?

4. Learn to DIY

Knowing how to sew is really useful if you find an item with a small hole, missing buttons, broken zipper or a weird fit either in a thrift store or on sale. I’ve altered a couple of new items that had a strange cut and I don’t regret using the scissors and thread.

On the flipside it’s also great for clothing that’s outlived its purpose. I’ve turned old pants into a pair of spats, t-shirts into skirts and Gibbous Fashions makes a living out of it.

5. Try on everything

So many times I’ve seen something on the rack and hated it only to have it look freggin awesome on. A lot of times something on the rack will look awesome and be a fashion disaster when I wear it.

If I’m looking for a specific thing I try on as many different styles as possible. If I’m just browsing I tend to try on the weirdest, most complex-looking thing on the rack, but that might just be the type of clothing I gravitate towards.

6. Know when to leave it

If something doesn’t fit (DIY opportunities aside), then leave it. Seriously. If it doesn’t fit you now there’s no guarantee it will ever fit you in the future. It’ll probably just sit at the back of your wardrobe making you feel sad because a) you can’t wear it and b) you wasted money on clothing you can’t wear.

7. Sharing is caring

Sell or donate clothing you don’t wear. Or better yet – have a clothing swap with some friends. Your old loved items will go to people who’ll appreciate it, and you’ll get some funky new items as well.

I will be attending an 80’s theme party next week so my upcoming post should be fun…

Mid-year sales

I got such a positive response for my last NeckThingy post and I just want to thank you all for reading, commenting and linking (again). A lot of people seem to be planning to make one so please send in pictures because I’d love to see what you come up with. I will try to post more easy DIYs in the future but for now you’ll have to humour me this shopping post…

It’s the end of the financial year and retailers are getting their sale on. Here’s a handful of items I picked up on sale that I absolutely love and that will probably crop up in this blog again:

Fingerless Leather Gloves

Sportsgirl was having a super massive sale on these for $20. I’d seen some Very Nice pairs from Dents in Myer but I couldn’t justify $40 on gloves. Luckily weird leather gloves have been in season (I blame Lady Gaga) so Portmans, Dotti and all those types of stores had them on their accessory rack. Sportsgirl was the cheapest and I had to trample around the city from one store to another looking for the right size.

I’ve wanted a pair of these for so long and now I can’t stop wearing them. The leather is very supple and allows a lot of movement while keeping your hands warm during winter. I’d retroactively wear them with almost all the outfits I’ve posted: Noodle, KK, Tonks, the soopar sekrit upcoming character outfit and my steampunk airship first mate.

Top Hat vs Derby Hat

Wildilocks had a massive 2 for 1 sale before their stocktake day and I managed to pick up this hat for $55. The height is much shorter than a regular top hat; it’s like a derby hat but derby hats (or bowler hats) have a rounded crown which this one doesn’t. I already own a top hat but it’s quite high and unwieldy to wear everyday and not nearly as shapely as this one. I love the upturned sides and the slight concave shape of the crown.

I’ll definitely be doing a post about my hat collection in the future. I’d wear this one with steampunk, Mad Hatter or Sandman’s Death inspired outfits.

Black Buckled and Tulle Skirt

The free item from Wildilocks’ sale above. I’ve been looking for a short black ruffle-y skirt and while this doesn’t exactly fit the bill it’s a pretty close match. I plan on wearing this by itself, layering this with different underskirts and pretending I’m a goth ballerina. I’d switch out the skirt in KK’s outfit for this one.

Here’s a picture of me wearing everything and pretending to be Lady Gaga

Haute Macabre Clothing Swap

Haute Macabre, the fashion blog for growned up goths, ran a giant ridiculous clothing swap where they matched blog readers of similar sizing together so people could pass on some wardrobe they didn’t wear and receive some exciting surprise clothing for the cost of a mailbag.

Well my parcel came in the mail and it was basically bulging with funky new clothes! Thank you Emma from the ACT! I am in love with this jacket and skirt.

Not pictured:

  • Polka-dot shrug that fits as long as I don’t button it up (actually the only thing that fit a bit funny)
  • Light grey jacket with 3/4 sleeves