Today’s Outfit: casual lunch chic

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Top: Forever New
Shorts: One Teaspoon Hawks
Jewelry: Diva necklace, YSL arty ring
Bag: Witchery
Shoes: Natasha

This is a lovely new outfit I wore to lunch the other day. The top was a gift from my Nan for Christmas and I adore the bright fuchsia colour; it goes perfectly with my turquoise necklace. To keep the look casual I wore it with cream high waisted shorts, however will wear it with a black mini skirt to go out sometime soon. The gold ring and bag details tied the outfit together nicely as well. Definitely an outfit I’ll be rocking again! HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

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Today’s Outfit: Christmas Day

I always like to have a new outfit to wear for three events of the year: my birthday, Christmas day and new year’s. Luckily this year on my super-limited-pre-Melbourne-trip-budget I found a great dress for $60 from Princess Polly.

The brand is Paper Holly and they’ve done the cut of dress in quite a few colours and prints—I chose the pinky/beige with a floral print. A word of warning about this dress, the bust space is ridiculously small. I’m normally an Australia size 6 or 0 depending on how it’s sized (US2), however there was no way the 6 was going to do up past my waist. I purchased the size 8 but after wearing it all day I decided that I probably could have gone for a 10 (except it’s likely a 10 waist would have been too big) as I was feeling like I was wearing a corset.

Regardless, I love the dress and will simply get it taken out a centimeter or two when I have time.

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Unhappy shoppers

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It seems as though no matter what retailers do right now, the Australian public is not happy.

I recently read an article on News.com.au about retailers trying to encourage people to spend at the Boxing Day sales. In the comments section below, people were talking about how ripped off the poor average Aussie is and how tough they’re doing it while retailers and high earning white collar people are lapping it up. What I don’t think many people realize is that unlike America, Australia’s labour market is no where near as cheap and therefore as competitive. Cheap labour in America means mark-up does not need to be as high and when you add in that a large amount of goods are manufactured in the US or in China (and it’s relatively cheap to import to the US from China) it really helps keep the cost of goods down.

In Australia, we have a higher minimum wage, therefore in order to cover all your expenses (including import cost which is usually more expensive for Australia because we’re relatively far away from most other developed countries) mark up if often higher and goods are not as competitive compared to the US.

I don’t much of the public realizes this and when they complain about the price of our goods and encourage buying online from overseas companies, I don’t think they realize they’re making the situation worse in a way. It’s the little things that often count the most and the continual trend of shoppers buying online will eventually send some retailers broke. Even buying online from Australia companies is bad in a way. Online stores don’t need as many staff and can be more efficient at their job simply because they are not dealing with customers face to face. Online stores can offer goods cheaper because they can often buy a good in bulk and then distribute it for a cheap retail price due to their lack of expenses (lower staff costs, no cost of attractive fixtures and fittings, lower rent etc).

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Unfortunately some local retailers might be slow on picking up on the fact that they need to prove their worth to the public instead of sitting around in their empty stores pulling sad faces. Eventually even the big boys will realize they need to offer exception customer—the one thing online stores can only offer in a certain way. In one of the last stores I worked in we were encouraged to suggest things to customers that they might like or look good on them. More often than not they appreciated it and bought what you suggested. They would start coming in last minute needing a dress for an event that night knowing we could pick something off the rack for them that would be both appropriate and flattering. It’s something chain stores need to encourage their staff to do. And not just, pick the news shirt and show it to everyone. People will only appreciate you up selling them if it’s something in their taste. You just about need to analyze your customer’s outfit and mannerisms upon entering the store in order to work out their style and even socio-economic background before you lead them to something they’ll dislike. Get it right once and they’ll keep coming back. Get it wrong too many times and they’ll never respect your opinion.

As someone who has always worked in retail yet understand a bargain I know saying this won’t change many people’s habits. I do recommend however that you remain loyal to the stores you love most and who provide you great customer service. It might be your local boutique, it might be a good branch of a franchise or chain store—whatever it is remain loyal to them and both of you will benefit in the long run!

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The Showman

We Are Handsome The Anchorage mini dress

If there’s one brand right now that’s going to undo my savings goal it’s We Are Handsome. If you haven’t heard of this amazing Australian brand yet then I suggest you click here ASAP!

We Are Handsome The Showman mini dress

Created by Indhra Chagoury and Jeremy Jules, the brand is pretty much wearable art. The digital prints on their dresses, one-pieces and bikinis are unlike any other I have seen before. Plus, not only are the prints are high quality, but the materials they use are absolutely fantastic.

Indhra and Jeremy of We Are Handsome

I first discovered the brand through a local boutique in Townsville called Jaxx. During my exam study boredom I discovered a picture on Jaxx’s Facebook page of a dress (by We Are Handsome) with hot air balloons on it (The Dreamer mini dress) and was instantly gobsmacked by it. After commenting on the photo to find out where the dress was and if my size was kicking around I immediately drove to the boutique to find it. You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not. I left the house early in the opposite direction to where I was headed purely to search for a dress that may or may not have looked good on me or may not have been in my size. Luckily that was not the case. What really interested me was the fact the dress was made out of similar material to that of a good bikini. If you read any of my previous posts or tweets you’ll already know that I bought the dress then and there. While finding underwear to wear under the dress due to its pale colour was initially a challenge, I had so much fun wearing the dress that it made it all worthwhile.

We Are Handsome

The material was on of the reasons wearing We Are Handsome’s dresses are great. I live in an extremely hot and humid city and while it’s only the start of the heat I didn’t get too hot and sweaty dancing crazily through the night.

We Are Handsome The Vintage 2011/2012 – Left: The Anchorage mini dress

So my reaction to reading Jaxx’s Facebook status about new We Are Handsome landing in store: I jumped in my car and drove straight there. It was a difficult decision but I ended up putting a dress on lay-by. I chose The Showman mini dress over The Anchorage (which is also amazing). Infact The Anchorage print is so fabulous I may need to consider investing (yes, investing) in the one-piece bikini version of the print. I plan on wearing my lovely Showman dress out on NYE and I should (keyword) be the only one wearing the dress considering Jaxx only got one of the print in. I’m so excited to wear it and I’m already planning how to accessorise it!

We Are Handsome