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Sunday, August 09, 2015

Thrifted find: Accessorising your winter outfit

accessory bird brooch opshop

accessory hat brooch opshop

accessory tree of life necklace opshop
While the world above us is in the throes of summer, down under we're still feeling the cold. Today happens to be one of the coolest days we've had this winter (around 14-15C) and provided the perfect excuse to stay inside and catch up on some blog work. Admittedly we're a bit spoiled in Perth, there's not much swing between the summer and winter months, aside from the occasional few days of extreme heat or cold. Growing up, winter has always been one of my favourite seasons. There's something delightful about rugging up and listening to the rain fall in the evenings.

So while it's cold outside, there are still plenty of ways to brighten up your winter wardrobe. Vibrant colours are bound to ward off any bouts of seasonal affected disorder. Winter is fabulous because it's the best time to accessorise. Hats, gloves, scarves and jewels! Anyway I hope you enjoy these selections - let me know what you think!

On a side note, today marks the first month my blog has been up! Thanks to you all for your support!

Accessory run-down:
Bird brooch - Red Cross - $3
Gold hat brooch - Salvos - $2.25
Tree of Life necklace - Salvos - $2.25

Friday, August 07, 2015

Flatlay: 50 shades of crimson

Growing up with ginger locks, there are certain things you'll hear a lot: "Are you on fire?" for instance. "Carrot top," "Annie..." The list is endless. And yet, something seemingly innocuous: "Redheads cannot wear red" stuck hard and fast for a few years. The premise that redheads shouldn't be wearing red was drilled into me by strangers. What was I thinking? It may not be my first go-to colour, but it's one we of the titian variety should be embracing!

There's no reason whatsoever not to go completely wild with reds. The deeper and richer the colour the better, but playing with different tones is a must! There's a reason my auburn locks fit with my naturally pale skin tone. Red fabric does too. It has been scientifically proven that seeing the colour red increases a viewer's metabolism, heart rate and respiration. So, to all you lovely redheads out there, be proud of your colour and play it up all you can. Wear redhead friendly colours that complement your scarlet tresses. 

I love this handmade dress I scored at the Salvos. It's the perfect blend of a-little-bit-retro and romanticism in one. It cinches at the waist and is so comfortable to wear. This week I paired it with that deep red cashmere knit and some skin coloured tights for an evening. The sunnies will be great for summer, but they've been carrying me through some of Perth's sunnier winter days too. Some great op shopping bargains here! How do you feel about wearing red?

The look:
Apple and Bee purse - Good Sammys - $3
Truworths tooled leather handbag - Salvos - $3.25
Heine red cashmere knit - Salvos - $1.25
Handmade polka dot dress - Salvos - $4.25
Love Tree red blouse - Save the Children - $1.50
Striped singlet - Salvos - $2.25
Heart sunnies - Salvos - 50 cents
Owl ring - Good Sammys - $2.25
Cellini Sport purse - Salvos - $2.50

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

What's on: Polka Dot Vintage Market (August 15 - 16, 2015)

Photos courtesy of the Polka Dot Vintage Market Facebook page.

The only thing better than hitting the weekend market is stumbling across three at once! If you have a penchant for perusing stalls packed with vintage wares, crafts and antiques, then the 3 in 1 Market at Claremont Showgrounds is not to be missed.

The 3 in 1 Market makes a return for the second time this year, showcasing a range of handmade crafts, antiques and collectables. For lovers of all things vintage, this huge two-day event with over 300 indoor stalls will be a sure hit. The 3 in 1 Market is made up of Handmade Crafts, Antiques and Collectables and the very popular Polka Dot Vintage Market.

The Polka Dot Vintage Market will be the place to pick up a few goodies. Expect to find a range of eclectic and on-trend quality vintage clothing from the 1930s through to the 1990s, vinyl records and more. Retro clothing and accessories, collectables, retro homewares, vintage jewellery, up-cycled handmade wares and pre-loved designer fashions will also be a key feature across the weekend. A door prize of $2,000 is also up for grabs - don't miss out!

The 3 in 1 Market opens on Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16, 2015 from 9.30am to 4.30pm daily. Adult tickets are $7, children under 10 go free. The event is held at Claremont Showground's exhibition centre.

How to get there: Transperth trains will stop at the Showground Station for this event. Make sure you visit the Transperth website in advance to plan your journey.

More details at the Claremont Showground website.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Top 10 Op Shopping Hacks

Op shopping in Australia is fantastic. It's a great way to avoid purchasing new and perfectly good cast-offs from heading to landfill, and you're lending your support to charities around the country. But for people who aren't lifelong op shoppers, these secondhand wonderlands can be confusing and intimidating. 

Admit it, you've been there. You get courageous, venture outside the modern retail store and dabble in a little op shopping... only to take a step through the door and feel instantly overwhelmed. Row upon row of stacked clothes and bric-a-brac in every corner. Eeek! You leave, running for your closest coffee shop to breathe deeply, inhale some caffeine and de-stress. But fear not, sceptical shopper. You can change that situation quicker than you can say 'I love to op shop!'

To celebrate National Op Shop Week (see my blog post about it here), I've compiled a list of my Top 10 Op Shopping Hacks.

1. Be armed with knowledge: Learn about clothing cuts, colours and styles before you launch headfirst into the world of op shopping. The best way to walk away with quality bargains is to stay fashion forward, but be open to trying new things that might work for your individual style. Taking time to know what pieces are of better quality will give you a keen eye for designer finds, quality fabrics and classic cuts. More on that here (Thrifting for Better Quality Brands and Fabrics)

2. Be selective about where you shop: Not all op shops were created equal so you need to be discerning with location. If you're looking for designer items, try secondhand stores in more affluent suburbs or even in regional towns. Depending on the area, stock will vary and some stores will receive higher quality donations than others. Research the shops in your area before you go to find out their main stock drop off days. The days following (when they've been unloaded onto the racks) is when you'll have the best chance of finding new items.

3. Shop when you have time: This is not a challenge to attempt when you're time poor. Op shops are best tackled when you have a whole day or an afternoon dedicated to the task. In that time you could easily get through a few shops in your local area. Having time to shop will allow you to feel fabrics for quality like wool or silk and look out for prints and colours you like. 

4. Dress appropriately: What's the best outfit to wear op shopping? Firstly, it needs to be comfortable to walk around in for a few hours. Secondly, you need to be able to slip it on and off in the change rooms with relative ease. Think about taking a bag with a long strap. You can sling it across your body, leaving your hands free for more important scrounging! Flats or sandals are a good choice for shoes. Go for something without laces or socks to meddle with when you're trying on potential purchases.

5. Be selective where you can: Going into an op shop with an open mind is always the best approach. If you have something specific you're looking for - great! But make sure you're open to other colours or styles. You just never know what you might find while you're there.

6. Know your bargain days: Every week, the Salvos have half price specials on a particular coloured tag, as all items are marked with a colour. So if it's half price purple tag week, keep an eye out for those purple tags! Salvos have also recently introduced a loyalty card system. You can read about it here. Good Sammys also offer discounts throughout the year. 

7. Don't forget the jewellery rack: Some of the best items can be found in the jewellery section, so don't forgo things on the racks, behind the counter or items on display in cabinets before you leave! You can find some real quality items in real silver or gold if you take the time to look. Check out that glass cabinet at the register and ask if the staff can take it out so you can rummage through. You might just find something valuable or unique! Here's a post I did on some of my recent finds.

8. Check the entire store: Hardworking volunteers are the lifeblood of op shops in Australia. They spend hours organising and labelling items up for sale. But combine a huge stock intake and customers who don't always return items to their original home, and clothing can end up all around the store. I once found a beautiful knitted blouse in the children's section. So check out all the racks for fashion and treasures. You never know what you might find.

9. Think 'up-cycle': Up-cycling takes sustainable living to a whole new level. Clothing materials can be up-cycled into children's clothing or bags. Fabrics can make great cushion covers, mugs could be reused as small plant holders. Use that imagination and be creative! Pinterest and Etsy are great places to look for inspiration. 

10. Give back: I'm a big believer in sustainable living and good karma, so when it comes to end of the season a huge spring clean is always in order. Take out those pieces that haven't made it out of the closet all winter and donate them to your local op shop. What comes around, comes around, eh? 

Need some inspiration? Check out my Pinterest account.

If you have any great op shopping tips or experiences, share them in the comments below!

Saturday, August 01, 2015

It's August!

My doodling skills: Just astounding. Haha. Something to work on, I think :p

Hey guys. It's August already - and hasn't the year just flown by! Just keeping it short and sweet today. I'm writing my 20th post since I kicked off Cents of Discovery and time has gone quicker than I can count. Getting started with this blogging gig has been a whirlwind adventure. I'm learning something about the craft every day. Some things are working well, others I'll look to fine tune in coming weeks to bring you a better experience :)

So to you - my readers - I can't thank you enough for the blog support you've given me. Some of you in person, others in comments you've left behind or on my Instagram page. It's baby steps as I move towards the end of my first month. I hope you like what you've been seeing! :) If you do - or even if you don't! - I'd love some feedback. Feel free to leave me a comment or shoot me an email at centsofdiscovery@gmail.com

If you have any ideas for future posts, let me know! 

Lauren xox

What's on: National Op Shop Week (August 23 - 30)

Grab your diaries and pencil this in! Non-profit organisation Do Something has announced that National Op Shop Week 2015 will run from Sunday, August 23 to Sunday, August 30.

If you're a lover of cheap finds and one-off pieces, National Op Shop Week provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate your addiction to vintage scouring. The event supports your local op shops by encouraging shoppers to donate the wardrobe goodies that no longer see the light of day. Enjoy not only the pleasure of having more space in your closet, but that warm feeling of knowing you've helped someone else! There are endless charity stores listed on Do Something's website, so you can easily locate your closest op shop. It's perfect for those on a budget, lovers of eco-friendly behaviour and hipsters.

Network TEN newsreader Sandra Sully will support the event in her role as National Op Shop Week ambassador for 2015. She fronted the week when Do Something launched the event back in 2012. 

This year's campaign slogan is Op Till You Drop and celebrates the important and multi-faceted role of op shops in the community. The week applauds the voluntary staff who man these charities and the joy of bargain shopping, while also promoting re-use of material goods and reducing waste in landfills. 

But it's not all op-shop focused! This week will make it a lot easier for Australians to get involved in community volunteering and charity events. Where you come in: Just type in your postcode or suburb and find an opportunity near you. You'll be shown listings with information about how you can help or get involved in your local community. This year, the website has listings localised to 16,000 suburbs and 565 local councils. So no matter where you live in Australia, there'll be something you can do. Why not get started and see what's happening? 

For more info, visit the website here. If you have a story to share about your op shopping experience, post on the official National Op Shop Week platforms: Twitter - @OpShopWeek and Instagram @OpShopWeek.

How will you be getting involved this year? 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

OOTD: A little splash of colour

On a cold winter day in Perth, it's easy to throw on a dark sweater and a pair of jeans. We've all been there. But I'd like to convince you that making the conscious decision to wear brighter colours on occasion has its own benefits. With this OOTD I teamed up this beautiful bird print dress (That Bird Label - a Birdsnest brand - Salvos) with a mustard yellow crop. Atop that, I threw on a fitted cream jacket (Good Sammys). Here's another example of using mustard in an outfit. This dress is just gorgeous. It's a fit and flare style, with a lovely full skirt that allows you to sway the day away. I've worn it to the races (minus the crop) in summer and in autumn with a little red cardigan. The looks you can pull off with this dress are endless because of the sheer amount of colour on the print! I love that the full skirt on this dress also falls gracefully over your hips.

I'm a firm believer that colours affect your mood. Naturally, we tend to have more positive reactions to brighter colours as opposed to dull colours. This outfit added a bit of colour to the cold surrounds on the day I shot these photos!

I also love the avian print on this dress. The lively colours and playful pattern turns the spotlight back onto delicacy and femininity. On the whole, this was a stellar purchase. It was brand new with tags when I picked it up at the Salvos and has given me plenty of lovely, bright trans-seasonal wear. Not a bad find!

What do you think about wearing bright colours through winter?

Today's look:

That Bird Label dress - Salvos - $6.25
Valleygirl mustard crop - Salvos - $3.25
Cream jacket (no label) - Good Sammys - $4
Green ring - Salvos - $2.25
Jane Debster pink heels - Vinnies - $4 (See my flatlay with these beauties)

Photos by Reg Vardy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Flatlay: Pairing together neutral shades for winter

I love the neutral colour palette in today's flatlay. There's something about this combination which feels beautiful and romantic. We've had a few very cool, wet days in Perth this week - it seems like we're finally getting a hint of winter on the west coast. That's cool, winter. It's only the end of July, no pressure. That in mind, I haven't been in the mood for bright colours this week, so I've been working with some of these cooler neutral colours. They're basics that go with just about anything. Think browns, greys, black, white, beige, etc.

In general, I think neutrals can convey an air of sophistication and elegance. That being said, they can become boring if used exclusively, or if they're untempered by other types of visual interest  (things like texture, detail or even silhouette). These pieces were an easy pick because they're happily layered with other colours and I've been able to pair them with leggings / tights, depending on the weather of the day. I find that the more neutrals you incorporate in your day-to-day wear, the easier it is to build outfits from only a few pieces. A colour combination that I've been loving this winter has been soft pink and grey - it's a beautiful pairing.

For me, the colours in this flatlay conjure images of cozying up in a log cabin on a soft rug, warmed by a roaring fire. But that's just my overactive imagination (and totally wishful thinking!) How about you?

The look:
Jane Debster pink heels - Vinnies - $4
Novo flats (new with tags) - Salvos - $4
Flower tunic - Salvos - $2.25
Evolve bird top - Salvos - $3.25
Cellini Sport handbag - Salvos - $4 (Total score, it was new! These things retail over $100 at Myer / David Jones today)
Rose necklace - Vinnies - 50 cents
Sportsgirl floral skirt - Vinnies - $1.25
Picnic brown top - Save the Children - $1.50

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

What's on: Men's Night at Vinnies Retro Shop (Thursday, July 30, 2015)

Ladies, here's a chance to send your man out on the town for the night. I'm appealing to you as I realise my demographic here is largely women :) And men, if you've managed to find this blog of your own accord, good on you (and thank you for stopping by!) Vinnies Retro Shop (Shop 2 / 142 High Street, Fremantle) is running a Men's Night, this Thursday, July 30.

The event runs from 5 - 6.30pm and celebrates the arrival of new menswear. Help Vinnies improve its men's section. Drinks and snacks will be provided on the night. Sounds like rollicking good fun. Why not go along with your man?

Vinnies Retro Shop in Fremantle is one of two in the Perth area and, as the name indicates, is affiliated with St Vincent de Paul. Specialising in vintage secondhand wares, this shop really is a must for anyone wanting to find some classic vintage pieces. I've shopped there myself in the past and have found a number of really nice pieces. They might be a little more pricey than your average Australian op shop, but the clothes, books and accessories have been handpicked, making the job of trawling for goodies that little bit easier.

Stock at the Vinnies Retro Shop is constantly being replenished, so if you're a regular visitor to Fremantle, this is a spot to return to again and again.

Other op shops to check out in the area (if you want to make a day of it) include the Red Cross shop at 37 Market Street, Down Town Rags at 45 High Street, Dufus Clothing Shop at 130 High Street, Good Sammy at 142 High Street, Anglicare at 181 High Street, Salvos at 3/5 Josephson Street and Boutique Unique at 197 High Street. As you can see, you could easily get through a few within seconds of each other! 

How to get to Vinnies Retro Shop (Shop 2 / 142 High Street, Fremantle): According to the Fremantle website, there is 30 minute free parking available on High Street (west of Market Street), but longer term (paid) parking is also available around the area.

If you're taking the train in and don't mind a short walk, exit the Fremantle Train Station and walk north-east towards Peter Hughes Drive, turn right onto Elder Place and then turn left onto Queen Street. Go through two roundabouts. At the roundabout, take the first exit onto High Street and Vinnies Retro Shop will be on your left. It should only take 5-8 minutes to walk from the station.

What has been your favourite retro find? What sort of pieces do you look for when you shop retro specific? Leave a comment and let me know! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Thrifted find: Vintage rose print mirror

While this little gem might not be an enchanted object, the lovely rose print on this old hand mirror certainly gave me a wave of nostalgia for a youth spent watching - and re-watching - Beauty and the Beast.

"Ashamed of his monstrous form, the Beast concealed himself inside his castle, with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world." - Narrator

I thought it tied in nicely with the Enchanted Rose, the now trademark symbol for the 1991 Disney flick. Don't you just love the detail on the rose print and the ageing gold edges? It's nice to have in my bedroom for those moments I need to check the back of an up-do!