Happy New Year!

Thanks for reading my blog this year and to those who have made the effort to comment.  I really enjoy reading everyone's thoughts and tips.

Here's to a great 2013!


My two fur babies :)

By the way - it is very difficult to take a photo of both my cats without one of them being nothing but just a blur.

My 10 favourite purchases in 2012

In undertaking my current cull, my most ruthless cull yet (I'll blog the results when I'm done), I thought to consider the 10 best things I have bought in this past year.

In no particular order:
  1. Isabel Marant "Dickers" in anthracite.  What can I say except that these ankle boots are extremely comfy.  I took them with me to the US earlier this year and crossed Manhattan in them - that's how comfortable they are.  I also think that this style of ankle boot looks better with skinny jeans than say the ACNE Pistol which means that they are more versatile for casual wear in my circumstances since I wear jeans every weekend.
  2. Marni at H&M Necklace.  I love this thing. I wear it all of the time. It was waiting for me on the shelf at Madison Avenue H&M the day after the launch. I think someone must have returned it. As I stood in the line for the cashier, no less than 5 women asked me where I got the Marni. Haha.
  3. Mulberry "Alexa" (regular) in black.  Since I bought this bag, I have not stopped using it.  I love that it is light and that I can go hands free.  At the time I also bought the "Alexa" in oak.  It has not made the list as it is no longer mine!  Over Christmas my Aunt did not have to work hard to convince me to swap with her... So I'm now the proud owner of the "Bayswater" in oak that she bought just last month but found too big for her after only using it twice. Thank goodness for an Aunt who buys designer handbags and is willing to swap since I now can't afford to drop a small bundle for just one bag.  I think the Bayswater will suit my corporate job a little better than the "Alexa" since it just fits A4.  You might see the "Bayswater" make next year's list :)
  4. Marni at H&M zigzag top.  This is so flattering on me. I wear it casually with jeans or under a blazer to work. It's really easy to take care of too.  Although comprised from silk, I just throw in my front loader washing machine on the delicates cycle.  All tops should be made like this.
  5. Comptoir des Cotonniers bird print blouse.  I bought this at Bloomingdales in NYC. I really like the vibe of this brand and wish that it would open up shop in Australia. Please?
  6. Jane Lamerton breton stripe top.  I actually bought two of these tops and I'm glad I did.  I absolutely love the style and that fact that there is some Lycra in the fabric, which means it keeps its shape.  If it was re-released again in other colours, I would buy them all.  I think that is saying something.
  7. Étoile Isabel Marant "Lexy" jacket.  I bought this jacket from the comfort of my hotel room in NYC.  I got an email from Net-a-Porter to say that it was back in stock and reserved for me in my cart for the next 24 hours. It only took me a couple of minutes to whip out my credit card to purchase it and I'm glad I did.  It's wonderful.  It's the second jacket I own from this label, and although disappointing that they are unlined for the money, the cuts really work on me.
  8. Fleur Wood "East 63rd Blazer".  I have really enjoyed wearing this... once I finally got around to snipping off the tags.  I feel really neat in it.  It's a great equestrian style and the elbow patches are cute.  Warm too!
  9. MM6 Maison Martin Margiela 2-piece knit.  Another NYC purchase.  It's ingenious really.  It is a knit with a detachable vest so that when worn together, it looks like a thick woolly cardi with a light grey knit underneath.  I wore it all through out Winter as well as the vest buy itself.  It has a real 'grandpa' feel to it, which I love. 
  10. Cue in the City black dress.  This was really cheap.  $60 I recall.  Although not perfect, some how it found itself on my permanent work dress rotation in Winter. A winner.

This year I have struggled in the pants and skirts department.  I have bought a few, but none have really stood out.  Although worn everyday, each and every bottom has its flaw *sigh*.

Also, I should point out that in the past week I have bought a couple of coloured items (!). Quarterly shopping wrap up coming up in the coming days as promised in my last post.

I will stop short at declaring that I want to turn minimalist (the fact that I still own 37 pairs of shoes makes me ineligible to join that club)... but seeing this rack filled with my favourite pieces, has again helped me remember that I really do not want to own anything that I do not love anymore.

This whole culling process has been a long one for me. I have read many other people's culling journeys and they seem so much easier.  I hope my journey ends soon.  I'm getting tired.

The cull diary - My shoe collection revisted

A year ago now I blogged about culling my shoes HERE & HERE.  I thought I would revisit where I stand in the shoe department especially now after a few recent purchases (I will do a quarterly shopping wrap up post in the coming days).

So I had 72 pairs at the beginning of this year, and after my big shoes cull I whittled that number down to 45 pairs.

These days without counting my slippers and sneakers, I own a total of 37 pairs (a pair I store at work is not pictured below).  Not bad for a woman who once owned in excess of 120 pairs!

Here they are in all their glory - together with some commentary.

Chloe "Silverados", ACNE "Pistols' in contrast , Isabel Marant "Dickers" in anthracite and taupe

Apart from the Chloe booties (which I love love love, but just not with everything), the other three pairs are regularly worn.  I would even consider repurchasing each pair upon it wearing out.  Which fortunately is now possible given that some designers are now repeating their most popular items.  What a great "trend"!
Row 1: Witchery black wedges, Witchery brown wedges, Wittner bow heels, Witchery leopard loafers.  Row 2: Robert Clergerie platform sandals, Country Road tan heels, Country Road black heels, Country Road pointy heels

Having now re-read last year's post detailing my shoe collection, the Witchery brown wedges will be culled this weekend (I'll give them to my mum).  I think I may have worn them once this year and I recall them hurting my toes.  Also, the Witchery leopard loafers are cute, but they are not the first pair I grab to wear. Potentially I will cull these too.  We shall see.

Marni heels, Miu Miu heels, Marc Jacobs bow heels, Marc Jacobs studded heels, Marc Jacobs 60s pumps

The Marni and Miu Miu heels, although not regularly worn, get whipped out when the occasion calls for them... they look great and the they are comfortable.  I can't say the same for the MJ heels. Although I like the look of these three MJ pairs, they just don't get worn given their height and lack of platform. My 30+ year old feet just can't handle them anymore. Sad.

Row 1: D&G pumps, Guess pumps, Chloe "Jodie" pumps, Wittner pink heels, Witchery cream  heels.  Row 2: Marni at H&M sandals, Country Road leopard sandals, Witchery gold sandals, Urban Soul tassel sandals.  Row 3: Country Road ballet flats in blue, green and red, Witchery tan ballet flats.  Row 4: J.Crew "Cece" flats, Marc Jacobs "Maddie", Witchery embellished flats, Urban Soul flats

I love the Chloe pumps, but the other 4 pairs on the top shelf do not get any love.  I think I'll definitely cull the D&G pumps and I will look at replacing the Wittner and Witchery heels with a single pair in a light tone but with lower heels. It seems that 7 cm is the most I can handle these days without a platform.

All my ballet flats are regularly worn except the MJ Maddies.  They are a little bit too small for me, yet I just can't seem to let go.  Why is that?

Robert Robert heeled boots, Country Road over the knee flat boots.

I have worn the heeled boots only once or twice in the past year, but I am keeping them until I can find a suitable replacement.  The Country Road boots have been worn a lot and they are ok but just not perfect. I'll look to replace these too.

Since undertaking my big shoe cull earlier in the year and in the course of this last year I have determined the following when it comes to shoe shopping:

1. My feet can no longer handle high heels, so I will no longer buy them.
2. Nice mid-heels are hard to find.
3. It's worth splurging on well made shoes that will be worn regularly. Putting such shoes on and wearing them is a pleasure.  Buying cheaper shoes in a similar style becomes a nonoccurence.  You actually save money in the long term.
4. There is one caveat on the above statement: ballet flats.  I jump at the opportunity to buy ballet flats on sale. Although I can appreciate Lanvin, Chanel and Repetto flats, I cannot imagine paying the big bucks for them since I buy flats for walking in properly, as in to and from work.  Each and every pair I own apart from the J.Crew and MJ flats was purchased for less than $50.

Happy holidays everyone!

So we're off to my parent's house to fill our bellies with Barszcz, Uszka, Pierogi, Śledzie and Makowiec... Then tomorrow to celebrate Christmas the Aussie way at my boyfriend's aunt's and uncle's house.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday period!


Material obsessions: when is enough... ENOUGH?

I never meant for this blog to be a study into consumerism or minimalism... It is not.  But at one point last weekend I realised finally what it is that I am doing here: I'm trying to figure out when enough is ENOUGH.

I have a subscription to Vogue Australia and the January issue arrived last Friday. There was an article in there which I found rather fascinating...  Titled “Material Obsessions“ by Kelly Doust, it narrates one woman's decision to sell her home to upgrade to another.  This involves culling back her wardrobe and putting all her worldly possessions she does not need on a daily basis into storage to better present her home for sale. I will not give away what happens in the end, but it opens her eyes as to the true necessity of her belongings. 

I must say that the contents of this article resonated with me A LOT. 

My boyfriend and I have now totally moved into our new place and as per most Australian homes we now have a dedicated “junk” room. Yay.  This is in fact the spare bedroom in which all our unpacked boxes live. Somewhere in the midst of all the boxes are our dining table place mats – one of the few things in those boxes causing us to say “Where are they? We need them!”. Everything else it seems... we can live without. So why do we have all this stuff?  I don't know why, but I know that I tend to hold on to things 'just in case' or if 'this' or 'that' happens. Or worse still, I have plans for some things that never eventuate.

In reading this Vogue article I asked my boyfriend if he possessed anything which in his mind was irreplaceable. He said that apart from his photographs - everything he owned could be replaced... Suffice to say I feel the same about most of my possessions also. Especially the contents of my wardrobe.

I now know for sure after my last post that I am not a minimalist (I doubt that I could ever call myself that), but what I didn't expect to experience as I unpacked my wardrobe over the weekend is the monumental disappointment that I would feel at the sheer volume of clothing that I own that I DO NOT LOVE.  There are plenty of things I do love, having carefully planned and thought through a number of purchases over the last year, but plenty still that just sit there in my so called 'twilight zone'. 

Back at our old place these pieces could just be stored in my 'twilight wardrobe', but now my so called 'twilight wardrobe' is our only wardrobe and everything we own just does not fit in there.  I could go to IKEA to buy yet another piece of particleboard furniture to store all of our unnecessary stuff... or I could just pare down for real. No more dillydallying... Enough is enough.