plaid shirt days.

J Crew boy plaid shirt, Joe's Jeans denim, Acne heels, Comme de Garcons pochette. (Photos by Jack Loo)

31st December. Time really does fly though it's quite satisfying to look back and see how much you've grown in 365 days, your achievements and your personal wins. One of the ways I document this is through my blog and I can't thank you all enough for the love and continual support you've shown me through the comments, likes and follows. I wouldn't be half as motivated to keep posting if it weren't for my readers.

It seems fitting I'd ring in the new year with the expertise from the team at Original A salon. As you might have noticed, I chopped off my ombre ends (they were getting a little unhealthy), put some layers back into it and revived ye olde side fringe. Back in my high school days I was known for my side fringe so this look seems a little nostalgic (and I'm still getting used to having hair in my face once again). 

I said it yesterday, but my fondness of this plaid shirt is just beyond. I thought I was crazy to buy it in the middle of summer but any thermometer reading below 23 degrees is deemed plaid shirt appropriate weather (yes, there is a more socially acceptable version of the Lowes plaid shirt). I think my new blog goal is to make as many Taylor Swift song references in my posts as possible and this last post for 2012 is no exception. I believe her plaid shirt days were referring to her short lived relationship with the hunk-a-spunk that is Jake Gyllenhaal.

I hope you all have a happy new year, enjoy the celebrations and I'll see you on the flip side!


There are certain things that every woman should own. None of that obvious little black dress or trusty red lipstick - in my books a boy plaid shirt and Comme de Garcons pochette sit high on the list. Despite the rising temperatures, I seem to be gravitating towards button up shirts more than ever (considering most of my time is spent inside air conditioned shopping centres, I've been wearing jeans about 80% of the time too) and emulating masculine dressing is becoming a regular occurrence. The cold spell this week was enough of  reason to bring out the plaid flannel shirt (three days in a row might I add) especially since it reminds me of a white Christmas... one day.

Full outfit on the blog tomorrow!

underneath it all.

Dress Up tank, sass & bide shorts, Dieppa Restrepo loafers, Forever 21 fedora, Ellery sunglasses.

No, not some reference to fancy undergarments under this no-fuss, low key look. The title is merely a tribute to my once-again discovered love for front woman, designer and mother extraordinaire (with the six pack), Gwen Stefani. After creating a party playlist a few weeks back with plenty of late 90's and early 00's nostalgia, tracks like Underneath It All, Hey Baby, Hella Good and Let Me Blow Ya Mind have been on repeat. 

The best part about this look is that is was taken by the BFF who has had minimal experience behind the camera (last time we tried this was just over a year ago when neither of us had any photography knowledge which consequently made all our photos overexposed and beyond editing-repairable). Perhaps it's her ability to "make her subject feel comfortable" (exhibit A: first image) or her extensive knowledge of blogs and editorials, whatever it is, I'm proud of her first work of art. Expect more from DNav - I'm training her up so that she'll be taking masterpieces by the time we get to Bali in February that may even end up winning the Photography awards in 2013. We can only hope.

Photos by Debra Navaratnam

dress up.

As much as I like to tell myself I'm content with slouchy white tees and denim cut offs, I do dream of the day my wardrobe becomes more successful career woman and less uni student working in retail. Where heels or pencil skirts are the norm and not considered dressed up or over adorned. The number of times I've tried on that amazing designer piece (take this Ellery Cinnamon cape top for example) and had to turn it down simply because I had no occasion to wear it - even if that occasion was a 9 to 5 desk job. If only that extreme shoulder detail wouldn't turn heads walking up and down Eastern Avenue.

It's so strange the way life works. You die to get past the HSC so you can have more freedom working part time and studying at uni, but when you finally get there you long for the closed-off, spoon-fed environment of high school. While you work your butt off at uni, all you want to do is get a real job that actually allows you to have weekends off and a stable income. This is me at present but I have been told time and time again from friends and recent graduates that I should be grateful not to have to deal with any real world decisions and I should appreciate what time left I have living at home with my parents and not having to pay for rent. I honestly can't wait to graduate in a year so I might actually be able to fork out a little more money on clothes (ha what a joke you say) and build up that fancy wardrobe (aka everything on Matches) I've always dreamed of. But since I actually have no career direction right now, I'd say being on my three month uni break is a good place to be. 

yours/ mine.

I can't say my family and I are really big on Christmas. We don't have family here to gather together and since I haven't moved out yet, there's no need for a reunion of sorts. Though it slightly depressed me to see pictures of other people's Christmases on Instagram with plenty of food (though we had a huge dinner at Jack's), a sea of presents under a decorated tree (Mum and I were once again too lazy to put one up), Celine bags and Chanel espadrilles, I can say I looked forward to present swapping with Jack (which actually happened on Christmas Eve because we were impatient). My wishlist was a little extravagant to say the least so I was curious to see what Jack might gift me. And while some of my friends dropped hints about it being 'cheesy', I thought it was extremely thoughtful - and rather impressed he picked it out himself. Looks like I've taught him well.

Like Jack, I also opted to buy online from the most stylish men's e-store Mr Porter. I've actually never bought anything from Net-A-Porter before so he should consider himself lucky that I got him something before me. I was super impressed with the packaging - complete with a name card and Welcome pack with an embroidered Mr P handkerchief and inside, a watch perfect for a man with small wrists (I also encountered the small wrist/ small watch face issue when I tried to buy the rose gold Michael Kors watches last Christmas). 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas spent with family, friends and loved ones, eating food and getting spoilt with presents. I'm off to spend my Christmas cash on more Nike gear tomorrow. And what did you lucky ladies get from your man?

Photos by Jack Loo and me


After spending the morning styling a shoot, you'd think I would have picked up a few pointers from the model. But no. The experience seemed to have crushed my own self esteem reducing me to awkward poses reminiscent of the time I first started taking outfit posts (which was coincidentally just over a year ago - looks like I've come full circle). Though we should be commending the talented Christine, photographer and partner in crime who agreed to shoot me after a solid three hours shooting five looks on our model. I couldn't not loan her skills for a quick post.

Following the success of our in studio shoot a few months ago, I decided to team up with Cai and work on a little something something on location at Walsh Bay. I'm ridiculously excited to see the final results  (BTS shots to follow soon) and if all goes well you'll be seeing more collabs between us in the new year. 

I've developed a fondness for shorts of late, the mid waist, tailored, side pockets, printed kind and these Blesse'd Are The Meek shorts fit the brief. The foliage print which remind me of the illustrations in The Hungry Caterpillar, almost hawaiian in nature are right up my alley. Let me just apologise for the crinkled state of my singlet - it's been bugging me like crazy but after alternating between crouching, standing and carting around a handful of garments, you couldn't really expect anything else. 

Photos by Cai

sunny day real estate.

Standing in front of architecturally perfect houses in a silk button up shirt and bodycon skirt made me look an awful lot like a real estate agent. Nope, not a career change. I've determined that I am destined to stay an intern forever. I was opting for a Parisian chic, monochromatic look (April, May are straight from Paree after all) but it ended up looking more 9 - 5 business chic. Hey substitute those heels for loafers, throw on an oversized coat longer than the skirt (to play with layers Columbine Smille style) and a beanie for good measure and you might just be able to turn it back around.

Uppy and I spend most of our time fawning over the houses in this area with their all white exteriors, symmetry and sunroofs, keeping a close watch on any passing cars or neighbours wondering why we were taking photos in front of their houses. Nothing sus. But with the lack of decent locations in reach (I initially intended to shoot at a heritage park/ farm - what on earth was I thinking) it looks like we'll be frequenting this little slice of suburbia more often.

Photos by Uppy Cee

silly season.

1/ Canon 5D Mark II. 2/ Isabel Marant sneakers. 3/ Lily by Stella McCartney. 4/ Celine trio. 5/ Nike gear. 6/ iPod nano + iTunes giftcard.

It's that time of the year again. Christmas usually makes people all warm and fuzzy on the inside, but when you work in retail (with the added extended trading hours), the shine starts to wear off. To be honest, I'm not really sure what to ask for Christmas because everything on the list I intend to acquire myself with my hard earned cashola. I had warnings from the BFF and boy not buy anything over the holiday season incase they ended up giving me something I had already purchased. I pride myself more on giving gifts. My rule of thumb: Buy someone you'd like to receive yourself. Deb scored herself a Petite Grand initial necklace (I bought one for myself too), Jack's getting some a little fancy (think Mr Porter - who also have incredible packaging) and mumma's getting a new iPad with Retina Display. Luckily all my shopping was done online and way before the delivery cut-off date so I won't be in a last minute shopping frenzy but spare a thought for all the poor retail assistants slugging it out over the weekend and Christmas Eve!

What's at the top of your wishlist?

paradise punch.

Vintage shirt, Ksubi shorts, Benah bag and belt, ATP sandals, Ellery sunglasses. (Photos by April)

Now this is a hawaiian shirt. Plans change last minute and I found myself attending a 90's themed party with no costume. Is it sad that even though I grew up in the decade, followed every bad fashion trend possible (Jelly bracelets, skirts over pants, plastic tattoo chokers), and lived for pop culture - that I couldn't even remember what was quintessential 90's fashion. Enter this incredible vintage hawaiian shirt from Cream on Crown with everyone's favourite summer fruits plastered over the front and back. I didn't even care that it wasn't exactly 90's (Or is it?), it's just that damn cool. Tie a jumper around my waist and you have some semblance of Melrose Place/ 90210 teen fershunz. 

I wore this ensemble to Homebake on Saturday with April, a celebration of home grown music and comedy (loved seeing San Cisco and Ball Park Music) and though it would be somewhat appropriate given our history with hawaiian shirts ie. Mambo/ surfie culture (Do people in Hawaii even wear hawaiian shirts? I am full of questions today) to put a girly spin on the festival look teamed with my favourite denim shorts (I know they are on the verge of denim underpants but I love them so. Should probably stop throwing them into the washing machine though - they fray and therefore seem to get shorter by the week). 

And after months of sitting, waiting, wishing, I finally found the perfect cross body shoulder bag which was a steal from the Benah sample sale. I am also the proud owner of a black leather belt (yes it took me this long). Must stop buying things for myself and start buying Christmas presents for everyone else. Tis the season for giving after all.

Just under a week to go until I draw the winner for the Lioness LBD giveaway x


Gifted Wish top, Sass & Bide shorts, ATP sandalsAndeol scarf (from Basically Boutique), Rayban sunglasses (borrowed from Uppy).

Don't you just love when things fall perfectly into place? Desperate to shoot half an hour before the start of our shift,  Uppy and I pulled together a head scarf/ turban headband with the help of this handy how to from Brenda of Benah whilst using the reflection in the car window as my mirror. First win. 

Then came the location searching. Probably the hardest part of the process. Unfortunately this country is not blessed with the beautiful sidewalks of Los Angeles, canals of Amsterdam or streets of Stockholm and anything beyond Sydney CBD is uninspiring/ looks typically Australian. Obviously this ensemble spells beach with a capital B (I'm picturing myself roaming Bali beaches in this getup), but we were miles away from the sand and ocean. I'll have you know this is actually the ramp to the rooftop carpark at the shopping centre where we work. Did I ruin the magic? The muted tones and faded yellow sand-esque shade of paint made it a deceivingly awesome backdrop. Second win. 

It only went up from there. We managed to smash out all the shots we wanted in ten minutes and all the elements, lighting, my posing were in our favour. This has to be one of my favourite posts to date (I know I say this all the time but I really mean it) and to think it all happened spontaneously and unplanned. It seems the best moments in life always work out that way. 

Photos by Uppy Cee

Don't forget to enter the Lioness LBD giveaway x

black & white.

Armor Lux top, gifted May the Label skirt, Michael Kors watch. 
Photos by April

Simple is always best. In every aspect of one's life. A perfect striped breton and a black skirt showing just the right amount of skin can be as commanding as any other colour happy/ printed/ intricately detailed piece. Which is why black and white has withstood the test of time. Tried and tested over the years, monochrome is back once again thanks to the likes of Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu and Prada. 

A hint of red restores balance from the casual Cons and brings with it an element of sophistication. How powerful is red lipstick? The thing deserves to run its own country. It's taken me twenty one years but I have finally learnt to embrace my plump lips. I always thought a bold shade drew more attention to its size and was a little too attention grabbing for me but in fact a red lippy does the complete opposite - it instills confidence and beauty. I've made it a personal mission of mine to wear lipstick on as many occasions as I see fit and as a result my collection has grown from a lone fire engine red lippy has been joined by a deep wine, raspberry pink and a cold pink verging on purple. You should try it sometime.

PS. Don't forget to enter the Lioness LBD giveaway.

giveaway. lioness black dress.

Lioness LBD styled with Armor Lux breton, Samantha Wills necklace, Daisy by Marc Jacobs, Laura Mercier 'Truly Red' lipstick.

Once upon a time, a few outfit posts ago... Shamelessly loving Taylor Swift's new single (more like Tay Tay's new anything). I styled this floaty dress with a five panel and oversized denim vest and this week I've gone 360, starting with a simple striped breton to create Parisian chic inspired outfit. I tend to go through phases in life - either I can't decide on a particular style or settle on routine or maybe I just like being a chameleon and changing it up to keep things interest. Fashion is no obsession. Last month I was fixated on acquiring as many five panels and boyish wears, last week it was collecting bretons in every colour way and this week I have built up an obsession for plaid and tartan. Now that you've seen the versatility of this LBD (not that you didn't already know that to begin with), Lioness and I are giving you the chance to win your own. 

To win this wardrobe staple in your size all you need to do is:
2. Like the Lioness Facebook page.
3. Comment below with your name and email address.

This giveaway has now ended.

sunsets & silhouettes.

Vintage USC cropped tee, Suboo shorts, Molten Store cuff, Ruby & Kit backpack.

I'm not usually one for prints but when I saw these Suboo shorts, the secretly risky/ daring part of me decided I had to have them. Perhaps it had something to do with a little tropical getaway I've been planning with the bestie to Bali next February (deposit paid and our itinerary is locked in boom!) that put me in the mood to purchase holiday appropriate attire. Never say never.

The print further triggered an exploration of colour - neon orange, yellow and green (I must have been in a really good mood that morning). I went through around five plain singlets or so and but finally settled on this cropped college tee because of the way the team colours matched that of the shorts. Colour overload was taken one step further with my neon (superhero) cuff. It all seemed a little ridiculous to me and I found myself repeatedly asked mum for reassurance (who coordinates orange with green?) but in hindsight I think this is one of the better styling decisions I have made. Or at least a little more gutsy. The start of a new me?

I've dedicated this summer to trying new things, being more spontaneous, working more, blogging more, trying to make things happen and just living life the best way possible. I'm usually homebody (they don't call me grandmel for nothing) but I'm making small improvements - a girls' getaway, seeing M.I.A live in January, participating in the Colour Run, attending music festivals. You could say my philosophy is yolo but I'd rather not call it that. 

Photos by April

monday muse. the decorum.

The Decorum is an online space where the words are as beautiful as its immaculately composed images. This isn't just any blog. It's a visual feast for the eyes produced by five creative minds (and close friends) who have come together to explore the element of style in all facets of life - whether it be as simple as ice tea on a hot summer's day or as luxurious as a crisp classic white shirt. Nothing says a beautiful life quite like home cooked meals, inspiring decor and effortless dressing. The Decorum girls have accumulated experience in styling, journalism, publicity and interior decorating and work at some of the most sought after glossy publications and PR agencies in the country. I've even had the honour of working under and with some of these talented (super)women. How they have time to pull together compelling editorials and curated posts with 9 - 5 weekdays continually baffles me. Professionally they inspire me to work towards my dream job (whatever that may be) but their collaboration has also opened my eyes to an appreciation towards the finer things in everyday life. Just see for yourselves...

All images from The Decorum

SW stationery & homewares.

SW is at it once again and this time she's got stationery and homewares in her sights. Is there anything this woman can't do? I am in absolute awe of this collection. Ever since I first heard about it during my intern days, I've been anticipating the big reveal. Not surprising at all after the success of her jewellery chest and her nostalgia (you see it all the time on her Facebook and Instagram) for sending and receiving handwritten notes in the mail. And I knew it was a match made in heaven when I found out Kelly Smith (one of my favourite fashion illustrators) was on board. Last week I went along to preview the new range at Seasonal Concepts - a beautiful mess of taxidermy, antique furniture and floristry and the perfect backdrop to showcase SW's latest venture. The SW girl is encapsulated in three illustrations: the Huntress, the Wild One and the Sugar Plum. Let me tell you, the hardest part of the day was deciding which one I wanted to take home with me. SW also invited handwriting extraordinaire, Aleksandra, to pen personalised messages and quotes inside the cards for guests to take home (pretty much the best idea ever). Along with the illustrations which come in greeting card and postcard sizes, museum display boxes and placemats will be available in the same wooden carvings seen on the signature SW jewellery box. The collection launches today so head on over here to view the complete range. I know what cards I'll be sending for Christmas this year.


It says Ong... kinda.

 Equipment shirt, sass & bide shorts (similar here), Witchery jacket, Acne boots, Equip necklace, Michael Kors watch.
Photos by April

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, whoever decided that denim cut offs (that border on the verge of underwear) and low cut singlets with added sideboob should be the official festival uniform should be... well I don't know. But it gets a bit old doesn't it? I can't say I'm a pro at festival dressing (Harvest would be the second after Soundwave a few years back) but I tried my best to get that balance of comfortable, practical and cool. I told myself I'd refrain from wearing the more expensive stuff in my wardrobe (in fear of getting it ruined by an accidental drink spill or mud) but I somehow ended up reaching for my Equipment shirt - which was thankfully in tact by the end of the night. And of course the standard khaki jacket that conveniently doubled as a mat to protect my white shorts.

Thanks to miss April who won a competition to report from some of the major music festivals of the season, I was fortunate enough to be asked to come along for the ride. Neither of us are avoid festival go-ers but yolo right? I was so impressed by all the acts I saw - they all had an incredible performance quality and sounded killer live (which is often so hard to witness these days). Especially since some of these acts have been around since the 90's, it was really amazing to be in the presence of such well regarded performers. Of course my highlight of my night was jamming to Santigold complete with three costume changes, backup dancers with serious moves, a band decked out in white on white and her infectious beats. 

Harvest shortlist
Erase Me - Ben Folds Five
E-Pro - Beck
Hoppipolla - Sigur Ros
Go! - Santigold (feat. Karen O)