Green With Envy E-Boutique

So excited that Green With Envy’s e-boutique is live! I’m not sure how long it’s been live, but super exciting news nonetheless. I loved the store’s collection on the trips I’ve made down south and now I don’t have to wait for a Melbourne trip to get it. Some of the brands they stock I’ve been struggling to find a decent collection of online.
So because it’s lecture recess and I have plenty of time on my hands, here are all of my current lusts from the site! Enjoy!

Therese Rawsthorne 200 Balloons Dress – you may have noticed me drooling over this shape for a while now. I just love this feminine shape and in this case, the way the material and colour contrast it. Can you imagine this with a wicked black pair of (potentially stud covered) pumps?

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Shakuhachi leather angled skirt – if only they had my size. I love the cut of this skirt: classy, yet a little bit interesting and different.

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Nicola Finetti block out full circle dress – as much as I don’t wear pale blue, I adore this. It reminds me of a very chic Alice In Wonderland outfit.

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Manning Cartell magic flute drape dress – the cut of this dress is beyond amazing. And the colour is amazing. I don’t even know what I’d pair this with because I can’t think past the gorgeous shape and colour.

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Lover infinity tuxedo jacket in ruby – I really don’t think this needs much of an explanation. Just amazing. I’d pair it with matching coloured heels and would wear everything else – nice top and fitted pants – in jet-black (including dark eye makeup) for a strong, sexy look.

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Lover serpent mini dress in black – I tired this on in David Jones and wished I hadn’t. So amazing, fit perfectly, and out of my budget.

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Kirrily Johnston stretch leather dress – just wicked.

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Josh Goot clean a-line skirt – is there anyone around who doesn’t love this print?

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Josh Goot leather quilted harness crop top with quilted mini leather skirt – so not my personal style but I love it nonetheless.

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Ginger & Smart inca robot dress

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Ellery barbados bell skirt dress in black

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Ellery Barbados lace dress – oh, look at that lace! Amazing!

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Ellery Scorpio rising blazer in yellow – so not my colour but so ridiculously amazing. What a cut!

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Ellery graphite a line dress in black – I’ve loved this since the moment I set eyes in it. So very me!

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Camilla and Marc Rhiannon draped pleated dress – not too bad a colour but it’s the cut that I love. So sexy and feminine.

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Brisbane trip so far

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So today was technically day one of a girls trip to Brisbane for a 21st. Of course, we’ve had a bit of a shop already and found some decent bargains.
Such as a cute pair of London Rebel red peep toe pumps for $50. Fairly comfortable too considering I wore the clubbing that night and only got a small blister.

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I also discovered Tree Of Life has cute silver jewellery and I bought myself a nice bow bracelet to match my Tiffany & Co R necklace and silver ring from my b’days.

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Tomorrow will be another day of shopping – saw a super cute playsuit and some nice messenger bags – I’m super excited!

Melbourne Shopping

After a week in Melbourne I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the fashion the city has to offer. I love Melbourne immensely and it’s on my list of places I’d like to live in at some point. The weather is obviously a little crazy but the people are nice and the atmosphere is fantastic.

Melbourne Central is probably one of my favourite places. Mainly because I stay at the Mercure Welcome Hotel while I’m down there and the hotel is on the Bourke St Mall and very close to Melb Central. The shops inside the centre are great; a nice mixture between High St fashion and designer pieces. I bought a couple of lovely pieces there such as this easy-to-wear and versatile dress from Country Road. It’s actually a top, however when you’re a petite 157 centimeters tall it’s easy to blur the line between top and dress. 20120109-003941.jpg
I wore the dress for the first time on Saturday and received many compliments on it. Such a Rosie dress and such a great buy for $100!
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I also bought this hot little ensemble from Kookai in Melbourne Central. A simple grey tank is an item all girls should have in their wardrobe to wear under things, on their own or in case you need to throw something on in a hurry. One can never have too many black skirts either – I find especially if you’re young, a girl needs a nicely cut bodycon black skirt for wearing under baggy tops, with a fitted top for a sexier look and for all manner of other uses.
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Now I haven’t bought the above jacket, however I’m seriously considering ringing David Jones and phone ordering it. A bit exxy but this Camilla and Marc jacket is the first black jacket I’ve liked on me.
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Above is the Zimmermann dress I bought at the Zimmermann boutique in QV. Of all the sales assistants in Melbourne, I think these girls were the best. Genuinely happy and nice, they didn’t even bat an eyelid when I kept asking for sizes and colours. Needless to say I was more than happy to purchase this dress there on sale (unfortunately it was reduced again later in the week, oh well). I plan on buying the purple equivalent of the necklace in the pic from Diva and maybe wearing it to my 21st birthday bash. Such a gorgeous dress and I don’t normally wear strapless either. Some self-fashion rules are made to be broken.
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Zara was a very interesting trip. A rather messy store and the locals seem to have pillaged all the good stuff, however, I did still find a great pair of black studded, pointy toe heels. After a trip to David Jones I discovered they’re kind of a knock off of Christian Louboutin heels, only way cheaper while still looking good.

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Speaking of shoes, I feel in love with a pair of Tony Bianco Devon black diesel/black wax boots. I picked them up in Santini thinking “oh wow, these are amazing”, only to look inside and discover they’re by my favourite shoe brand. I purchased them online due to no stores having a 5.5 and by buying through TB themselves I got a $30 discount using loyalty points and my Gold VIP card discount of 10%. So comfortable and such a bargain. Just like the $10 pair of loafers I got from Rubi Shoes. Decent quality for the price I paid too.

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Also on my purchases list, Nicholas shorts from Green With Envy Richmond and a Sass & Bide top from Chadstone (another 21st outfit option).

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Also Mum bought me two bracelets from Dinosaur Designs, the funkiest jewelry shop I’ve seen in a while. Both are great colours and I love that one looks like a lolly snake.

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I also found myself a lovely purple clutch from New Republic. Apparently the owner is linked to wholesale for Country Road. $100 for this leather baby.

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Expect a post about Sydney soon as well as a new favourite outfit of mine I debuted in Melbourne! Happy 2012 all!

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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Tuba Rose, Cairns

If you ever take a trip to Cairns in far north Queensland and don’t know where to head for some cute fashion; head to The Pier on the marina and check out Tuba Rose. With cute clothes by Mink Pink, Blessed Are The Meek, Staple, plus many more, as well as jewelry by Samantha Willis and an array of hot little bags and heels; this well rounded store is definitely worth a visit.
A year ago today I discovered this boutique while in Cairns with family and I went a little crazy and bought heaps. Unfortunately for me, this year’s Cairns trip was on a budget, meaning I couldn’t afford to go crazy a second time. If I could have afforded it, I’m sure I’d have bought a Sass & Bide top or two – a designer only introduced to the store this year it seems – as well as a gold bangle set by Samantha Willis.

“Sorry, there’s no shotgun in retail”

My father has always said to me on the topic of shopping, “if you’re not sure, wait a few days. If it’s still there when you come back, it’s meant to be”. Recently, I’ve twisted this to, “if you’re on a budget, wait a few weeks. If it’s still there when you can afford it – yay you”. Let me tell you, it hasn’t been working out so well.

In case you haven’t noticed, I have a mild Witchery obsession at the moment (probably something to do with it being new to Townsville and me experiencing the initial over-excitement and obsession that comes with it). Gorgeous nude coloured heels – will usually match everything & have a use, especially in my closet. Flowy silk dresses – highly unlikely to experience neglect. Two cute pieces that I really quite wanted.

Alas, I’ve made a pact to myself to save a large sum of money before Christmas and being the accountant’s daughter I am, I’ve put myself on a strict budget. This budget does not allow much spending money, let me tell you. Not when you shouldn’t be heading out having fun due to uni exams and the goal to travel to Japan next year. So I waited, thinking they would stay there, just for me.

Yeah, it doesn’t seem to work like that. Clothes seem to be a bit like lovers: some of them will wait for you, some of them will not; and some of them might be right for you but will only ever be ‘the one that got away’. Neither of those lovely pieces are in store anymore and what’s annoying is, because I haven’t spent money on fashion, somehow, money is spent on unnecessary things on accident, e.g. drinking alcohol and eating fast food. I don’t know how this works. Despite being rather adept at accounting and economics, I don’t know why a lack of clothes buying leads to an increase in junk food buying instead of more savings. The relationship just doesn’t make sense.

Regardless, I’m certain I’ll find something else to want (I can’t help it, I am human after all) and the cycle will repeat itself in some shape or form again.

The Chain Store Dilemma!

I’ve recently discovered while holidaying in Airlie Beach, that telling myself, “I really like that top but we have this store at home so I can just wait and buy it there”, results in disappointment. There is something about buying an item on holidays that has more appeal – despite the fact it may be the same stuff from the same store, just in another city.

Now I don’t often buy cheap clothes these days; however, on the occasion I do it’s either from Cotton On or Supré. The price generally reflects the quality as most items are $10-$50 and really don’t last many months; a much better deal than the surf stores who charge $60+ on stuff that lasts the same (or less) amount of time.

During my weekend trip to Airlie Beach I discovered that the town had gotten both since the last time I visited. Airlie is quite a small town, so other than spend all day on the beach relaxing (or tanning as the case may be for my not-so-sun-safe-friends) or pay money for an expensive cruise to one of the surrounding islands (which we forgot to book before arriving therefore couldn’t afford it) is to go shopping. I didn’t buy Airlie clubbing appropriate clothes, so I bought in a cute simple navy dress from Supré for $20. While at Supré, I finally discovered a flattering pair of black denim shorts that I had been searching for in vain for months. Considering they were the good version of stretch denim, $40 was a steal, but they were a fraction too big in the XS, however had run out of XXS. So I figured, “No don’t buy them here; otherwise you will get home, realise there are XXS sizes at Supré at home and then you’ll seriously regret it.”

So after getting home yesterday, I trailed through all the Supré stores today only to discover that Airlie Beach has such a small store they only stock basic Supré gear and therefore I can only buy the shorts at that store and not even online. Great, my picky-ness has now bitten me in the butt. Such discrepancies confuse me. Surely the basics should be found at any Supré store and only the specialised stuff can be found in the larger stores – that’s generally how the system works.

So now I’m wondering if there is some sort of formula the big chain stores use to determine what stores get what stock? Basics always sell, one would think that all stores get the basics. The more specialised gear, however, should be distributed to the stores it will sell best in. I worked at Jeans West for 4 years and this is generally how it worked. Every store got the core wall jeans and the tops that were a part of the 2 for $40/3 for $50 deals, the stores who made the most money got the fashion lines.

To be honest though, now I cannot find those shorts, they have partially lost their appeal. Because when you’re on holidays there’s something about finding a piece of clothing that grabs your attention above the rest. It adds to your experience and memories, it’s not the same as buying the same thing at home somehow. The thing that caught your eye in a window or display enough to make you want it more than the other lovely things in the same area. A piece of clothing does not just cover or reveal certain parts of the body. It evokes a memory, a time, a place and the feelings surrounding it. Walking through the busy streets of Sydney, a relaxed afternoon at the shops with my father, the fun I have at work with the girls dressing customers and discussing what stock we like. The situation surrounding the time you buy or try on an item seems to have an impact on whether we something or not. A shirt I tried on in Cotton On in Airlie seemed so laid back and so in tune with the beach and the vibe of the town. At home it’s just another shirt and I become unsure it is something I want. This does sound like I am merely indecisive and have short-lived impulses and while I am glad I didn’t get the shirt and now have an extra $20 in my pocket; I still believe shopping is something more than just a want of pretty materials. People shop for fun, for necessity and even for comfort after a stressful day or rough break up. So next time you’re looking into your wardrobe, think about the stories behind your clothes. If you’re trying to be good and donate clothes to charity, try to separate liking an item of clothing, or liking the memory behind it which stops you from giving it away. If you’re indecisive about buying an article of clothing, ask yourself if it’s actually something you want or whether there is an emotional reason behind wanting it. Figuring this out could be beneficial in the long run.

Before I finish my blog post of random ramblings. Have you ever heard of a free sale? In Airlie Beach there is a store called Beachworx and over the weekend they celebrated their birthday (it was either their 12th or their 21st, I wasn’t paying very good attention) and in celebration they had this big section of the shop all for free. Not buy 1, get 1 free – get 1 free and get the 2nd 50% off! Now of course there was a catch, you couldn’t return it and while the deal ran for 3 days, only once during the 3 days could you get it.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t the nicest of stuff. All cheap overpriced surf stuff that I presume they couldn’t move and therefore, were giving away. A risky move, because I know some small business retailers wouldn’t do it, solely because it runs the risk of people (like me) thinking you’re incapable of moving large amount of stock and also sends a bad message to your suppliers. However, great advertising ploy! There were lots promotional of mens shirts and singlets (although many women bought them too) that were printed especially for the event reading, “Airlie Beachworx, the best surf shop in the world, gave me a free shirt”. I got a Billabong skirt for myself, as it was the only free thing that was both nice and fit me, and a promotional Beachworx singlet for my boyfriend (apparently he’s gotten me a present from Europe so I thought I should get him an Airlie present).

In all, a fun trip to Airle, a few clothing realisations along the way and many more adventures to come 🙂 ♥

Health Lab Wisdom sandwich store we found in Airlie!

The free Billabong skirt I got from Airlie Beachworx

Gorgeous necklace I bought at the Airlie Beach Markets

The singlet I bought for my boyfriend from Airlie Beachworx

Camel rides on the beach during the Airlie markets