Natalie’s current season fashion wish-list

I’ve been out and about in the shops lately, and I thought I might share with everyone my must-have fashion shortlist for the season so far:

Natalies wishlist 2017

 

  1. Rhodes & Beckett Flame and Atlante Paisley Pencil Shirt Dress

As the weather gets cooler with winter, Shirt Dresses become both stylish, practical and comfortable to stay warm in the office. I am not usually a Rhodes and Beckett fan (as CUE does better cuts and style for the similar money) but this shirt dress just looks gorgeous and I fell in love with it at first sight. Until I can afford it with my next paycheck, I’ll keep eyeing it every time I walk past the Rhodes and Beckett boutique!

 

  1. NineWest ‘Xenos’ pumps

Firstly it’s the colour I love – contrasting black and white. Secondly it’s the little bow at the front. And thirdly the heel. The pair of pumps looks contemporary and smart, while a practical 6cm petite kitten heel ensure comfort in the office. 🙂

 

  1. Dita Von Teese ‘Star Lift’ Balconnet Bra

I just had to fall in love with this bra. It’s both sexy and comfy. If only it came in white so that I can wear it under my white shirts and blouses…

 

  1. CUE Check Pencil Dress

Regular followers will know I am a CUE girl. CUE is pretty much my favourite when it comes to updating my wardrobe, be it for work (such as here), or the weekend (here). This classy sleeveless pencil dress I am sure will become one of my favourites, suitable for both the office and the weekend.

xoxo

Natalie

PART 4: UPDATE – A FIRST FOR 2017: ONLINE FASHION SHOPPING

So here I am again, writing a continuation and the final instalment of a first for 2017: online fashion shopping.

 

When I unpacked the shirt, the first thing I noticed was that unlike in the picture on Rhodes and Beckett website, there were no buttons or fasteners for the sleeves.

online shopping Rhodes&Beckett (1)

Comparing what I received (left) with that on their website (right) I thought to myself is that an oversight? Did they forget to send it? Was it sent along with the shirt but dropped out of the box?

online shopping Rhodes&Beckett (2)

I needed answers, so I emailed the Rhodes and Beckett team. They reply promptly, much to my surprise given the company is under receivership. Unfortunately, the reply stated ‘cufflinks are purchased separately and are shown for display purposes only.’

online shopping Rhodes&Beckett (4)

What? Isn’t that misleading advertising?

 

There was nothing on their website that said stated ‘cufflinks are purchased separately’ nor did they mention on check-out that picture on their website are for ‘display purposes only.’ I felt kinda cheated, to be exact.

 

When I actually measured the shirt the second thing I realised was that their sizing guide was way off. Yep. On their guide, I would have been maybe a size 10, but I ordered a size 8 and found that I could probably do even a 6. The inability to try on something like a clothing is really not going to give much joy in terms of fit.

 

The third thing I noticed was when I actually tried the shirt. It says it is a ‘satin’ and ‘fitted’ style: well it isn’t what I’d call satin because it is really more cotton than satin. And the term ‘fitted’ when used by Rhodes and Beckett is ‘loose’ when used by CUE: yes Rhodes and Beckett should try one some shirts from CUE to see what ‘fitted’ actually means.

 

You will already have noted that convenient as it may be, I was not a big fan of online shopping. I must admit I with my first online shopping experience, I still am not. Disappointment? Definitely. Maybe I should report this to ABC’s the Checkout: the TV program that ‘…tackles issues that face all of us when we open our wallets – identifying ways consumers are being taken advantage of, manipulated and ripped off…’

 

Xoxo

Natalie

PART 3 UPDATE – A FIRST FOR 2017: ONLINE FASHION SHOPPING

A number of things happened in my personal life of late, which is why there is an extra long gap lately between by posts. But I am hoping to put all that behind me now…

 

So here I am, as promised, a continuation of A first for 2017: online fashion shopping. You will already have note that convenient as it may be, I am not a big fan of online shopping. But despite Rhodes & Beckett going into receivership I must admit I did receive my online shopping merchandise.

 

It came in a plain, brown box.

online shopping1

Upon opening the box, delivery paperwork appeared next.

online shopping2

Then the shirt, in its packaging with labels attached.

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The presentation is somehow, compared to shopping at a physical boutique, lack-lustre. I bought a new top from REVIEW this week and you got to admit, shopping at a physical boutique is still more attractive. At least the shop assistant takes the effort to carefully fold up and wrap up the garment, making it so much more extra special.

online shopping4

What about everyone else? Are you a fan of online shopping or are you, like me, still prefer to go into a physical retail shop? Leave a reply, send me a message, or email me what you think!

VALENTINE’S DAY – AND I’VE GOT A SECRET ADMIRER!

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Valentine’s day usually isn’t a big deal for me. Sometimes it’s not by choice – when I am single there isn’t actually a point in celebrating, is there? Anyway, rather unexpectedly, I received a bunch of flowers on Valentine’s day! I say rather unexpectedly because I recently became single again, so I wasn’t expecting anything. As much as I try to keep it to myself the word that I am single probably went around…

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So the flowers were delivered to my office, and with it a card with my name. No small gesture I say, sending flowers straight to my workplace. I don’t yet know who sent it, but I could probably make a guess. So far I’ve narrowed the suspects down to a small handful… so for me there’ll be more detective work over the weekend, unless someone wants to own up!

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And finally, given this is after all a (mostly) fashion blog, I am wearing:

NINEWEST heels

RHODES & BECKETT button-up long sleeved fitted white shirt

CUE pencil skirt (black)

Following on from a first for 2017: online fashion shopping

So while I am eagerly awaiting the delivery of my online order from Rhodes and Beckett, I thought I might provide an update. A couple of days after my online purchase I came across an article that says Rhodes and Beckett had been placed into voluntary administration – it means the company and brand is on the verge of collapse. Oooops (or insert profanity of your choice). So now I am uncertain whether or not I’ll actually see the goods I bought online.

Another reason, on top of all the reasons on my last blog, why I am not a big fan of online shopping.

I’ll keep everyone posted on my progress and experience! More soon, when there is more to tell…

 

A first for 2017: online fashion shopping

I am not sure about everyone else but I am not a big fan of online shopping.

 

Advocates will disagree: yes I know it’s convenient, yes I know it’s open 24 hours (quite a bonus for someone like me who is living in Perth), and yes I know it’s fast. But from my perspective most of the good points about online shopping is really skewed in favour of the retailer: they stand to make more money with lower costs.

 

For me the very reasons why I’ve never been a big fan of online shopping is, well, the fact that it is online. I can’t touch and feel the fabric. I can’t inspect the clothing for finish and quality. I can’t try it on and see if it fits. And all these things are quite important to me, especially the last point: fit. Everyone who has shopped will know sizing varies, even within the same brand. Take for example my favourite label CUE: I have a white shirt in size 6 that fits me perfectly, and in fact my other white shirt in size 8 is tighter than that first size 6 shirt – and they are both fitted and both from the same label CUE! My collection of dresses from CUE range from size 6, 8, and 10. So it goes without saying that clothing sizing charts are pretty useless.

 

And then there’s the delivery. The wait can be painful, especially it’s something I have been eyeing and wanting for ages. What if it doesn’t arrive? What if it sends to the wrong address? We all know Australia Post is pretty useless these days… and oh did I mention online retailers charge for postage? And if it doesn’t fit I will have to mail it back, and yes you guessed it, pay for postage again. So all in all you start to see why I am never a big fan of online shopping… even if the retailer accepts returns you’d be worse off by $20 (assuming $10 postage both ways), without the product!

 

So why have I suddenly taken the plunge in 2017? Honestly, I don’t know. The only thing I know is that despite being hopeful, I think I am going to regret when the clothing arrives.

 

So here’s what happened: I keep noticing a particular shirtdress from the Rhodes & Beckett retail shopfront. In fact I think I must have spotted it already sometime last year, but the typical high prices of that label kept putting me off. I keep seeing it pop up whenever I go past the shop. So sometime in late January, when the post-Christmas Sales descended to the point whereby sharp discounting can be found to get rid of unwanted and left-over stock, I found myself accidentally browsing at Rhodes & Beckett’s online store. I wasn’t intending to buy online: just like CUE’s online store which I look at regularly, I was only wanting to know what they had available. And usually when I found something I liked I’d go into the shop and try to locate it and try it on (like how I shop Cue).

 

I found the shirtdress that I was eyeing online, and it looked really good on the online pictures. And it was discounted to $149. I walked into a Rhodes & Beckett retail shopfront the next day, but they didn’t have my size (they only had 2 size 12s!). When I was at the shop I could actually feel and see the fabric, and I am sad to report that the dress in the real shop didn’t quite look as well made and as polished as the online pictures. With doubts now in my mind, I did a bit of googling and found that Rhodes & Beckett doesn’t really have that good reviews – in fact most of the reviews seem to fault their quality and online customer service. More doubts in my head now as to whether I should part with $149 for a discounted Rhodes & Beckett dress, because I know for the same money I could pick up a discounted made-in-Australia CUE dress.

 

And so I sat on making a decision for an entire week. At times my mood swung towards buying it online because it seems only the online store had my size, but at other times the doubts really sank in. In the end, I decided that from the same dress I felt and touch in the retail store, the actual dress will look nothing as polished as the online pictures. Which meant I won’t look as good in it as I think I would. And just when I thought I would walk away from it, I browsed Rhodes & Beckett shirts and blouses and came across their white shirts.

 

Those who know me will know fitted white shirts and blouses are indispensable as part of my office wardrobe. For a really polished and classic look, I usually stick to the clothing label CUE: CUE shirts not only fit me really well, but also for a slim and tall woman like me the sleeve lengths are actually correct and not too short. I just looked in my wardrobe and I can report I have in fact 4 almost identical white long sleeved fitted shirts from CUE, and that doesn’t include the short-sleeved and coloured shirts! (I also suddenly realised CUE has rally made a lot of money off my over the years, damn you!)

 

The problem though with CUE is their designers seem to have an incessant need for innovation. Which isn’t a bad thing sometimes, but for something like a classic white shirt IT’S A BAD THING! So all I want is a classic white long sleeved buttoned down shirt from CUE to wear with my pencil skirts and skirt suits, but what I get every time I am inside a CUE retail shop is white shirts with strange straps and flaps (looking like straight-jackets from a mental hospital) or white shirts with cut-outs front, back, side, or in every imaginable place (seriously uncool to wear with a skirt suit). So now that my 4 almost identical white long sleeved fitted shirts from CUE are starting to turn grey with age, I am forced to look elsewhere…

 

And now back to Rhodes & Beckett: unlike CUE their shirts and blouses are classic – like the way I like them to wear with my pencil skirts and skirt suits. And they were on discount with Rhodes & Beckett online store. I did have my doubts, because the same dress I felt and touch in the retail store looked nothing as polished as the online pictures, but in the end I gave in and decided to give it a try.

 

Fingers crossed!

 

So here it is: my long-winded way of how online shopping for fashion became a first for me in 2017. What about everyone else? Are you a fan of online shopping or are you, like me, still prefer to go into a physical retail shop? Leave a reply, send me a message, or email me what you think!

 

OOTD – The mood is floral on Melbourne Cup day 2016

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I am so jealous of our fellow Melbournians. While they get to revel in the public holiday, and enjoy an excuse to dress up for the races, the rest of us have to go to work as usual. So what is it about the Melbourne Cup that is such a big deal? For me it is not winning (I’ve never won anything in my life, in fact not even those instant scratch-and-win cereal boxes contests, so I am not even going to try…), nor it is the betting (I don’t bet, and unlike my colleagues I don’t even own shares in the stock market), nor it is the access to exclusive race marquees (I am not rich or well-connected enough), but it is about finding an excuse to dress up and having a good time with friends.

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But of course, the races are held smack in the middle of my work day. While some are fortunate enough to head off to the pub for races celebration immediately after the races (what sort of work do they do again?), for me it has to wait until after work in the afternoon. It’s then a quick dash back home to change into my after-work post-races celebration outfit before heading out to meet some friends for a few drinks and gossip.

 

Last year I wore a checked Wayne Cooper dress in the classic colours of black and white. This year, however, my mood is floral. Continuing from the floral theme I wore in winter (which was a darker, more sombre, more subdued palate), I decided with the change of seasons the floral theme should evolve into a lighter and more vibrant palate. So tonight I chose to wear a pretty printed dress from CUE: there is nothing like those little colourful bunches of flowers printed on a cool white background and a pleated hem that sways in the breeze that encompass the mood of spring more. While cotton dresses can look fussy and frumpy, this little CUE dress doesn’t: I can imagine the cool cotton will make it a daily favourite for me for the warmer months ahead, while the dress’ flattering and fitted cut will still keep me looking classy. Its contrasting copper-coloured front zip which zips all the way up to the neck means it is also one of those dresses I zip up all the way to the neck and throw on a blazer jacket if the notoriously fickle spring weather becomes chilly, or unzip the front to show a little more if it gets too warm.

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Xoxoxo

Natalie

 

Occasion: Post Melbourne Cup races celebration/ night out

 

Wearing:

CUE floral party dress with contrast black piping and copper-coloured front zip

Nine West heels