new navy.

Dion Lee Line II top from Desordre | Zara pants and heels | Ellery sunglasses
Photos by Aprilia Love

I'm not sure what it is with my obsession with blue lately - it's the second time in a week I've worn an outfit in shades of blue. Perhaps I'm always opting for it because it's the closest I can get to black? (Never fear, I'm slowly making my way up the colour wheel. My next post features a coral blazer!)

These printed pants are my contribution to the pajama trend. I love the nautical style print (I think they look like tiny buoys) and the loose, yet tapered fit. Perfect for the current pajama climate yet subtle enough to wear once the trend has subsided. Certainly a change from my usual skinny jeans everyday. As for the Dion Lee top, I couldn't go past its unique shoulder detail and collar (certainly a good way to hide my broad shoulders). Dion is truly knows his way around impeccable tailoring, geometric construction and contemporary cuts. 

I purchased the Zara pieces in Malaysia and Japan (you won't believe how much better they have it than us Aussies) - you'd be hard pressed to find something this good in the Sydney store. Time and time again I've been to Zara on Pitt St, hoping to find that 'item of clothing' I saw on an American/ Swedish blogger and it has been nothing but a letdown. I know we're in a totally different season to the Northern hemisphere but that doesn't mean you have to treat Australia like the Zara outlet store! I would feel slightly better if they had an online store that offered shipping here. Anyone else feel like they've been cheated? I sure hope Topshop won't follow in their footsteps. 

monday muse. miranda kerr.

You know those things that get better with age? Like red wine or aged cheese? Well Miranda Kerr is one of them. Not meaning to say she's getting old or anything - she doesn't look a day past 23, but ever since she had baby Flynn last year I've taken much more notice of her off duty style. It's definitely become more refined and simple, but of course being Miranda, always chic. Having to look after a baby (and now a dog I hear) requires practical dressing - outfits that are easy to walk around in all day - run errands, push strollers, walk dogs, go to and from casting calls and shoots. And you can't go past a Celine tote to (stylishly) carry everything you need when you're always on the go. 

 I would define her newfound post maternity style as essentials dressing - white shirt, denim jacket, striped tee, leather jacket, printed denim, wool coat. Everything you could possibly need for a timeless, long-lasting wardrobe. To date, my favourite look has been her navy coat, wet look leggings and Marant sneakers. Super model, super mum.

So the moral of the story is: motherhood not only changes your outlook on life, but also your wardrobe. Sounds like next season's biggest trend is a babe in arm. Now who's with me?... Kidding!

prom night.

Last night, much to my delight, work held a prom night party. Growing up with American television shows, I always wished I had the chance to live out the American high school experience complete with prom, so this was a dream come true. 

 Of course, the dilemma is always what to wear. I considered buying a new dress (top of the list was the Bec & Bridge cloud print shift) but I thought I shouldn’t spend my money on something I would wear once or twice - see, I can be a practical shopper! So I went for the the two pieces sitting in my wardrobe just waiting to be worn: my Dion Lee top (in its full glory) and my Ellery skirt. I didn’t think navy and metallic would be a winning combination but somehow it all fell into place. I’d say I had a pretty banging outfit but my parade was rained on by a girl who wore the sequin fishtail Aje dress... *jaw drops* I know right? 

 My prom night was complete with a corsage (I had to nudge Jack in the right direction), my best friend in a strapless Lover dress, a ride in a Hummer limousine, riding with our heads stuck out of the sunroof and photobooth photos. Unfortunately I didn’t win prom queen so that fantasy will remain unfulfilled - I promise you if I did I would have made some emotional speech like Lindsay Lohan in Mean Girls,  break the crown and throw pieces out into the crowd. 

 I wish I could have taken better photos for you all to see, but I’m sure these pieces will be making more frequent appearances on my blog. If you’re not already, feel free to follow me on instagram (username: _melissao)

singin' the blues.

 Lowry's Farm denim shirt (Japan) | Joe's Jeans denim | Steve Madden pumps | Ellery sunglasses | American Apparel clutch 
Photos by Aprilia Love

Experiencing deja vu? No you're not going crazy. If you've seen my Monday Muse: Ashley Madekwe post you've probably seen this outfit before. To say I was inspired by her was an understatement. This is pretty much a complete replication (minus the Chanel bag, such a pity). In my defence I had actually conjured up this outfit before her post, only to find Ashley beat me to the chase. At least I have the satisfaction of knowing I can put together an outfit that's good enough for Ashley.

Surprised to see me in a sea of blue? I am. I thought similar shades of the same colour would be an issue, but surprisingly it works. And I didn't even realise I was sporting the double denim. I have grown quite fond of my coloured denim I bought Japan. It's ideal for when I'm in a tee shirt and jeans mood (which is everyday at uni) and I have to resist the urge to wear them repeatedly (can't have people seeing you in the same outfit unless you have different classes!). So far, so good - they haven't stretched and they've kept their original shape. The best part is that they come in 54 other colours. What's that saying? If the jeans fit, buy them in every other colour?

don juan.

Photo by Aprilia Love

Probably not the most practical purchase I've made, given the weather hardly warrants my eyes to be protected from the non-existent sunlight, but when the sales assistant says these sunglasses are the last pair in a colour way that won't be reproduced next season, you can't help but willingly pull out your card. I know how bad this looks, first Kahlo and Dion Lee and now Ellery but I promise you I'm no millionaire. I'm a uni student, living at home, working everyday I'm not at uni and hence don't have a social life -  the sacrifices I make to spend all my income on clothes. But I'm sure in a few years you'll all have your own place and a fancy car and I'll be in debt from all my spending (that's what my mother says anyway). 

These, among other beautiful pairs of sunglasses are still available online here.

I apologise in advance for my lack of posts this week - on Sunday I was surprised with a 20% weighted assignment due on Friday. It was my tutor's job to assign people to present each week and guess who was lucky enough to be chosen to go first? Never fear, I have plenty of posts lined up so you can expect things to get busy next week. In the meantime, if you have a 'like' to spare, you can follow me on Facebook.

new things.

You can never have too much of a good thing (not matter how badly it puts a halt to your savings). I went on a bit of spree last week and picked up two lustworthy pieces which came at a price (literally). You're probably thinking, but didn't you just get back from Japan? Well yes, but I have a little friend I like to call annual leave who came to my aid upon my return. And while you may have thought I was in shopping heaven (well I was), I will always have a soft spot for Australian labels. The design talent that comes out of this country is like no other. I am truly grateful to have access to such amazing and unique collections.

Now I just have to make sure these pieces don't end up with the same fate as my one sleeved s&b shirt which took over a year for me to wear. Say no to hiding these pieces in the back of my wardrobe because I have no occasion to wear them and yes to sporting them weekly, treating them like they're a basic tee or a pair of a jeans. Like that's ever going to happen!  

the dark side.

Tommy Ton for

I knew there was something about those Darth Vader inspired visors from Balenciaga, no matter how absurd they may look. I've been anticipating the fashion week season just to see if anyone would be game enough to wear it. Trust Anna Dello Russo and Hanneli to be daring enough to do so. Did anyone notice the sequins when they came down the runway last September? I sure didn't. A rather surprising element to include in an otherwise bold masculine piece. Striking from the back, slightly softer and more feminine from the front. It’s also a perfect way to highlight details of your outfit - like the way it brought out ADR’s clutch and matching red nails. If Darth Vader ever had a dark side female counterpart (which would have been Padme), I’m sure she would have opted for a sequinned helmet. 

While most would see this as a fashion statement, I would find it more useful in avoiding social situations and avoiding eye contact. Like if you're having one of those off days where you feel like the world is against you and you’re not really interested in talking to anyone. Or you got dragged along to a party and don’t feel like engaging in small talk with strangers. Just thinking about all the scenarios it could be useful in is seriously making me consider buying one. Alternatively if you’re chasing after the HBIC title, this is guaranteed to instill fear in all  who cross your path. Now all that’s missing is a breathing problem and a lightsaber. 

 *Hey boyfriend, proud of my Star Wars references?

monday muse. ashley madekwe.

Images from Ring My Bell

I have no shame in expressing my devotion to television dramas, especially when they're concerned with the lives of the filthy rich. Today's Monday muse (and the first one in a long time) is someone you may not be familiar with (hopefully you will be the end of this post!), but someone I've had a girl crush on for a long time. Long before she became Ashley Davenport, party planner and best friend to Emily Thorne (Emily Van Camp) on ABC's Revenge, Ashley was a fashion blogger, whom you may have spotted gracing the homepage of on multiple occasions. 

While of course her on screen is something to be desired (after all she does live in the Hamptons), personally I'm more envious of her off screen style and perfect hair. Ashley's blog, Ring My Bell, which I believe she started around the same time as she was on Secret Diary of a Call Girl back in 2009, showcases her actress off duty style and  red carpet looks. Although a Brit (she's hard to miss on screen with her accent), Ashley lives and works in LA - as if you couldn't tell by her unmistakable downtown girl style. I love the way she combines affordable labels, even despite her Hollywood pay check, like Topshop, American Apparel, ASOS and JCrew, with the odd designer piece (her to die for Prada heels and purple Chanel Bag). Her blog makes me say to myself, 'why didn't I think of that?' The more and more I look at it, the more I think I could pull off coloured denim and a striped tee (wait until I try...). Her looks are uncomplicated, essentially pulled together with basics and yet they still look incredibly effective - give me whatever she's having! I'm yet to decide whether I like Ashley more as a fashion blogger or actress (I'll admit she was the main reason I started watching Revenge), but when the time comes for her to be crowned the next 'it' girl, remember you saw her here first!

pretty in pink.

Banner Banner knit (Japan) | Vintage shorts from Gary Pepper Vintage | Equip bangle | Claire Vivier pochette | Jeffrey Campbell wedges

Pink has never really been my colour. I was a bit of a tomboy when I was little and as I got older, shied away from girly things like floral prints and bright colours. Only recently have I attempted to inject some colour into my monochromatic wardrobe so I thought these GPV shorts would be a good place to start. I really love the versatility of a white knit - the colour makes it appropriate for summer, but being a knit, naturally it's cosy. Call me mad for embracing the knit when we should be savouring our last days of sunshine and no rain but I don't think you understand how deep my love runs for knits.

I've only been back at uni for a week and already I'm starting to struggle. Maintaining this blog has been quite a challenge, especially when it comes to outfit posts. When you and your boyfriend photographer are juggling uni, interning and work 7 days a week, the only time you have to shoot is that 30 minute window after work on a weekend before the sun sets. As a result I've had to recreate outfits I've been wearing that past week. I know that from here on in, things are only going to get busier in my life but I'm making it my mission to update at least 2 - 3 times a week. 


Friend of Mine dress | Rag & Bone cardi | Acne boots | Forever 21 hat | best friend's Mimco necklace | Samantha Wills ring
Taken by Aprilia Love

The best piece of advice I would give is buy a little black dress - no not one of those strapless minis you wear to parties and events. I'm talking a practical LBD, one you can wear on a day to day basis. I found my LBD soulmate at David Jones and I wasn't even looking! One of the best investments you could make - it's like a blank canvas that you can do absolutely anything with. I'm already thinking up new ways to wear it so expect it to make appearances here more often (perhaps I should start a 101 ways to wear a LBD blog?). Not to mention it's a saviour for those days where you just can't seem find anything to wear (despite having an overflowing wardrobe).

The Rag & Bone cardi was one of my big purchases from Japan and I've been resisting the urge not to wear it everyday. I have to say it does come in handy when the afternoon chill kicks in but not at the expensive of having to carry it around all day. The Rag & Bone store in Omotesando was absolute bliss - I would have bought everything there if I could. Consider them officially added to my favourite labels list (joining the ranks of Alexander Wang and Acne). 

Funny side story about this outfit - well not exactly funny but I did receive some compliments (one about the necklace, the other about the hat) from random strangers. Don't you just love when people stop you on the street to ask where you bought something? It means you must be doing something right :)

tea cosy.

Tommy Ton for

Newsflash: beanies are no longer for skaters, bad hair days or ski trips! I know I already proclaimed my love for beanies on this blog only a month ago, but after receiving my Alexander Wang beanie in the mail last week, the flame has been re-ignited. Despite the fact it's not even beanie appropriate weather, I've endured a warm head just to wear my thick wool beanie - it was just too good to leave in the wardrobe until winter. Although the best part was walking around working telling everyone I had 'a Wang on my head.'

Casually browsing through Tommy Ton's street snaps on my lunch break, I realise I'm not the only one who enjoys a good old fashion beanie (although their choice is more justified due to the extreme cold). I've been thinking up possible outfit combinations to go with my new beanie but I keep reaching a dead end. But now I have plenty of proof that you don't need to dress like a boy to pull a beanie off.