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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!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

How to: Thrifting for better quality brands and fabrics

My wardrobe is full of well branded, good quality items. The best thing about it? I've spent next to nothing putting it together.

I love that secondhand shopping is gradually becoming more en vogue, not only in Australia, but around the world. This shift means a number of things: Shoppers are more conscious of how and where they spend their money and they're acknowledging that clothes don't necessarily lose their value, simply because they're pre-loved. Changing my perspective on having items of quality over quantity, and slowly my wardrobe, I've realised how much more practical and versatile a wardrobe of quality is! Use these tips (below) and you will always be well dressed, no matter how many times the item was worn before you scored it
1. Quality bargains last far longer
I won't deny it, trendy and fairly inexpensive chains like H & M and Topshop stock a large number of stylish clothing items to choose from, but they don't last very long. I remember buying clothes from Forever 21 when I was travelling a few years ago. While they were gorgeous to begin with, they soon lost their shape and buttons were popping off left, right and centre. Realistically, you get what you pay for at these stores. When op shopping, check the content label at the neck, in the waist band of the jeans, or in the left side seam to determine a fabric's content and care instructions. As a general rule, natural fibres (silks, cottons and wools) will stand up better than synthetics. I'm a fan of natural fibres, so I prefer cotton or wool (mostly cashmere) sweaters over acrylic because, not only do they feel better, but the fibres retain their shape and withstand repeated washing cycles. Now, I know. It's getting harder to find quality 100% wool, 100% cotton items secondhand. For some items this might not be a big issue, but if you're hunting for a quality winter coat, you may want to purchase garments with the highest wool content that your budget will allow. 
2. The fabric just feels better
One of the wonderful perks of filling your wardrobe with quality items is that the fabric simply feels better. These fabrics are generally softer and hold up to spills and everyday wear. Better quality items are normally made of materials built to last, so naturally they should look and feel better. The best part is that buying secondhand won't necessarily extend your budget any further than a cheaper material would! So take the time to look for quality pieces, you won't regret it. Once you have an eye for spotting quality clothing, you'll be able to find bargains all over the place.
3. Your clothes will hang better
Ever noticed how more expensive items (when you buy retail) seem to fit your body shape so well? It's because these items are built with higher quality and design in mind. Hunt for clothing of quality material, it will lay against your body with elegance and good structure. Just be mindful to purchase items in the correct size!
4. You will love what you own
Owning a number of high quality items lets you love what you own, without feeling remorse for buying items at full, retail price (poor bank card...) You can look at your wardrobe and see it as an investment, an expression of who you are. Clothing says something about you, what you like, and what you prioritise about your appearance. I love that I can show the world part of who I am through my style. 
5. You've saved so much money!
This is possibly one of the biggest returns for the economical shopper today. You can expand your wardrobe for so little money, leaving you with a lot of options to choose from through the season. When you take the time to carefully select what you want to buy, you'll spend less on impulse purchases and splurges and save more money in the long run. Remember, having a wardrobe of quality when thrifting takes time. Start small, donate items you don't love and replace them slowly. One of the ways I find good bargains when I visit an op shop is to take a list of things I'm looking for with me. That might be basic, staple quality pieces, or a specific coloured top. Look for pieces that will last a long time and can be worn often. They don't have to be designer items, just hunt for quality and durability.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on having a wardrobe of quality versus quantity and where you stand! Do you prefer one over another?

Friday, July 24, 2015

OOTD: Nothing but blue skies

The lovely backdrop in today's OOTD is Central Park in Joondalup, Perth. Gorgeous spot in winter!
Photos by Reg Vardy.
Perth's mild winter weather this year hasn't exactly been suited to heavy winter woolies. But that hasn't stopped me from hunting for unique and mildly-wintery pieces in op shops around the city. So... dress + a cute print = a true any-season essential. The equation's a no-brainer, really, but the pattern in question is definitely creative. I've seen a ton of dresses blanketed in some of our finer feathered friends. So whether you're an avian enthusiast, or simply in the market for a kitschy-cool look, this outfit has winter written all over it. 

While most of the choices you find on the shelf today will suit the summer season, I've found you can always team the look with cosy layers for a perfect transitional update. Keep an eye on the blog for a new outfit with that in mind! Some of the vibrant bird motifs I've seen include owls, black bird silhouettes and canaries. Going on my best guess, these might be pink galahs. Orrrrrrr, they're just pretty birds. I'm happy either way. Birds can add an enchanting and sophisticated appeal to an outfit. Hopefully today's OOTD will give you some pretty and feminine ideas for your next look.

How do you incorporate prints into your winter look? Have you found a new love this season?

Today's look:
Bird dress - Save the Children - $4
Tights - My own 
Boots - Girl Express (Mentioned these in a recent flatlay post) - $2.25
Blue cardigan - Salvos - $2.25
Floral ring - Salvos - $3.25

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What's on: UWA Mini Upmarket (Sunday, August 9)

Anyone in the market for original and handcrafted wares should make their way to Perth Upmarket's mini upmarket on Sunday, August 9. 
August's event runs as part of the University of Western Australia's 2015 Open Day and is set to feature the work of over 45 designers.

The mini upmarket pieces together a handpicked selection of artists, stylists, craftspeople and gourmets under the one roof, a sampler of the original event. Perth Upmarket is promoted by UWA as the city's premier quarterly market for original and handcrafted wares. You can see a selection of the retailers here.

How to get there: Parking and entry is free. The venue is easily accessible with plenty of parking available on or near the UWA campus. Parking is generally free on Sundays in the pink car park zones, but paid parking is also available in the purple zones. Make sure you check the signage! P1 will fill up quickly, but the other car parks are only a 5 - 10 minute walk through the university campus. The market is located at Winthrop Hall, at the front of the university on Stirling Highway. Look out for the big clock tower! Here's a handy link showing you how to make your way to UWA via car and bus!

The event runs from 10am to 4pm.

Photos courtesy of the University of Western Australia's Facebook event and the Perth Upmarket website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Flatlay: Blue jean baby

If there's one thing this winter is doing to me, it's making me quite nostalgic over goodness knows what, and pushing me towards my sensitive self. Aside from sitting by the window with coffee in hand, watching raindrops trickle down (perfect daydreaming weather) and bumping into the occasional tree, it's quite great. So even the most basic winter look has me going miles overboard with moods that have no common ground to the look, per se. In a break between the rain yesterday, I took a stroll through a local shopping centre - a rather uncommon move for me these days - and I was pleased to see so many shades of blue on display.
But whether blue clothes are a thing this winter is not important. Though, truth be told, I tend to lean towards greens, purples and burnt oranges, blue is definitely having a major movement. What matters is that the colour looks great on you. So why not give it a try?

Alright, enough daydreaming. Something about this colour is seriously stunning. Adding a blue jacket, top or dress to your daily look is beautiful. It has a quality of fresh luxury. It can be sophisticated, rich or Mediterranean. Put your love of clothes and style to good use by implementing certain colours into your wardrobe. I always dress for myself, but it never hurts to know what colours look good on you. More on that later!
Lauren xox

What colours do you most often incorporate into your wardrobe?
The look: 
Chicabooti dress (new with tags) - Scroungers Day Garage Sale - $8
Vigorella jacket - Salvos - $4.25
Heramay white lace crop - Vinnies - 50 cents
Girl Express blue boots (new with tags) - Salvos - $2.25
Blue drop earrings - Salvos - $2.25
Blue / white stripe brooch - Vinnies - 25 cents
Rockmans necklace (new with tags) - Salvos - $2.25

Monday, July 20, 2015

Event coverage: Scroungers Day Garage Sale

Shenton Park's ParaQuad building was overflowing when I dropped in on Sunday morning. I was determined to face the crowds and find a few bargains at the July Scroungers Day Garage Sale, which I posted about a little over a week ago. To say the event was big would almost be an understatement! With my mother in tow, we joined the seemingly endless queue, curling its way around the industrial building, took a deep breath, and we were in!

There were literally thousands of items for sale in the main area, set up on beautifully ordered tables, each with their own area sign. For the discerning, not to mention early attendee, bargains were aplenty. The event was a collector's paradise under one roof - everything from bottles, jugs, tools, games, bags and buttons to ornamentals, cameras, dolls, pottery and glass.

I think even Imelda Marcos would have reeled seeing the enormity of the shoe rack on Sunday. Were it not for my enormous feet, erm, my hard-to-find demands for size 9 (40) shoes and dislike of stiletto heels, I would have done a lot better out of this part of the sale! Nonetheless, I did take home a cute (and new) pair of brown tie-up flats, which I'll post a photo of later. 

One of the best organised departments had to be the Book Bazaar, adjoining the main hall. Every book held its rightful place in the building, organised alphabetically by author surname, by genre and topic. This really appealed to my love of order and literature. I had the most fun browsing the books that they hadn't been able to categorise. Some of my favourite titles ranged from The Upside of Undertaking, Teach Yourself - Collecting and French First Names :D

Those four books (above) were what I ended up taking home from a section that could have been titled 'Very-very-very-old-books'. A few highlights from The Young Man's Companion or Friendly Adviser to Educational Knowledge, Worldly Council and Gentlemanly Deportment - based on works compiled in 1866: 

"To excel in conversation: Never talk much unless solicited to do so. Suit your conversation to company and occasion. Do not be over fond of telling stories. Do not look at the ceiling, look out a window, play with a dog, or handle a book. Nothing discovers a little, futile, frivolous mind more than this and nothing is so offensively ill-bred."


"Before going to a ball or party, it is not sufficient that you consult your mirror twenty times. You must be personally inspected by your servant or a friend. From want of this precaution, I once saw a gentleman enter a ballroom, attired with scrupulous elegance, but with one of his suspenders curling in graceful festoons about his feet. His glass could not show what was behind."

I love finding these old books, graced with small insights into the opinions and mannerisms of years gone by. You may well be thrown a few of these in coming weeks as I get a chuckle out of the rest of this book :)

Want something to do next weekend? Check out the Golden West Collectors Fair, running across Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26.
What has been your favourite find at an event like this?

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Thrifted find: Genuine leather Avelar vintage bag

I fell head-over-heels for this bag at the Salvos last week. It had been sitting on a shelf behind the counter on my first visit, but a phone call had forced me to leave earlier than I planned. What luck to find it on the bag rack only a few days later! (And for only $25!) 

This is a wonderful, genuine leather handbag made by Avelar in Guadalajara. The bag's interior is roomy and comes with three separated pouches, plus a pocket that comfortably fits my phone. The outside is made with a beautiful tooled leather in an abstract flower pattern.

It's clear some fine Mexican artisan craftsmanship is behind this bag. It's made in a beautiful refined shape and sits well and has been lined with a soft suede. On the whole, a very practical and beautiful vintage bag - I'm a firm believer that good design never goes out of style! 

I've done a bit of Googling since, and I get the impression these bags were doing the rounds sometime in the 1970s - a few different designs are doing the rounds on the internet today and they're valued between $100-350! That being said, I think I was very lucky to find this one - this bag has little-to-no wear on the outer edges and the inside is in great condition. I think it has kept its beautiful vintage charm and will likely last me for many years to come <3

The look: 
Avelar leather bag - $25 (Salvos - Greenwood)

If you know anything else about these bags, I'd love to know! What was your favourite bag find at a secondhand store?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

What's on: Golden West Collectors Fair (July 25 and 26, 2015)

Gorgeous finds will be up for grabs at this month's Golden West Collectors Fair.

Beautiful coloured glass.

Across July 25 and 26, all roads will once again lead to South Perth Community Centre for the acclaimed Golden West Collectors Fair.

The fundraising event, run up to three times a year by Retina Australia WA (RAWA), is part of the Seeking Treasure Series and is set to feature handmade crafts, antiques and collectables and a vintage market.

RAWA will run a 'valuation trail' across the entire weekend, inviting treasure hunters to bring along their coins, carnival glassware, antique metal, Royal Doulton, Wembley Ware and more for a free valuation.

The local charity is committed to raising funds for research that will enable treatment, prevention and cures of Inherited Retinal Diseases (IRD).

RAWA fundraising and events manager Renae Loftus said when someone is diagnosed with an IRD, there is little doctors can do. "The newly diagnosed can expect a progressive, relentless loss of sight, and ultimately, irreversible blindness," she said. "It can take years or decades, but it will happen."

Ms Loftus said RAWA's goal was a simple one - to cure Inherited Retinal Disease. "We know this is a big goal," she said. "But we also know that we can get there. Heart transplants, a cure for smallpox and immunisation against cervical cancer were all difficult to picture once."

Doors open at 9.30am sharp on Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26. Entry costs $6, children under 16 go free. Free parking is available onsite. The South Perth Community Centre is on the corner of Sandgate Street and South Terrace in South Perth. 

For further information, check out their website or call 9388 1488.

Photos have been used with permission of RAWA.

Have an event coming up? Email centsofdiscovery@gmail.com 

Vintage finds like these will be on sale at the Golden West Collectors Fair across July 25 and 26.