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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Bold, Italics and Underlined

The fear of clashing outfits with another person is fearful itself. Everybody wants to be different, and many forcefully underscore and exaggerate their eccentricities to steal the spotlight- I have definitely been guilty of doing this myself sometimes. I'm not at all saying that it is a bad thing to be different and experimental with your style. In fact, I embrace that. But why has this desire to be seen as an individual morphed into something that can be competed for? 

There's an ongoing seek to be different for the sake of being different by forming our identities through what is materialistic. As kids, we want the latest gadgets and the newest version of Barbie which becomes our badge for being cool. It isn't so different now that we've grown up, only except that we are now the dolls we once used to play dress ups with. 

But the seek to be seen as an individual just for the sake of standing out by defining yourself through tangible goods is limiting- you don't become known for your wittiness, intelligence, creativity, humour- you become known for something that gets thrown into the washing machine at the end of the day. There is no prize for being different unless there's a purpose to be different. 

Yes, what I wear can be empowering and boosts my confidence. I can rock a hot pink mini skirt with rose prints with killer leather heels and feel feminine looking without being too girly to suit the mindset I'm in. But I don't want my outfits to be a distraction, nor do I want them to form my identity. I want to be able to be the wearer of dresses rather than being a stiff mannequin modelling that dress. 

I don't see fashion as a means of forming a self-identity, but as a form of self expression. To me, fashion creates a bridge between what I'm feeling and thinking with my physical appearance. I wear clothes that sums me up rather than adds to me. 

Sportsgirl Hat
Asos Bomber Jacket
Forever New Silk Blouse
Minkpink rose-print skirt (amended)
Siren Shoes

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Thrift Shopping Tips

Every now and then, I go to a thrift store and have a 'Eureka!' moment. My Eureka moment happened a few days ago when I spotted this square dark brown handbag on the top shelf at St. Vinnies. But before I begin sharing with you my tips on how to make the best out of your thrift shopping experience, I want to unleash my inner high-school debater side of me- I want to refute some of the reasons why people are against thrift shopping:

"Thrift shopping is too 'hipster' for me."
Ahh. The typical anti-hipster argument. It's quite funny how being a 'hipster' is now considered 'cool' and a mainstream trend. That means, by being against this 'hipster movement,' you are actually satisfying the definition of a hipster anyway. So at the end of the day, you're a hipster, I'm a hipster, everybody is a hipster. So who cares what is considered 'hipster!' Thrift shopping = good clothes for low prices + the money in many cases go towards charity. What's wrong with that?

"The items they sell aren't very sanitary."
It's true that some of the clothes there aren't in the best condition. And I definitely wouldn't buy second-hand bikinis and underwear. But that isn't to say that ALL the clothes aren't clean. In fact, there are many clothes there are basically brand new and still have the original price tag dangling. Just wash the clothes before you wear them.

"I can never find anything good at thrift stores."
It can be hard finding things at thrift stores, and I don't find something every time I go. But patience, grasshopper. Just go to a thrift store every few weeks or so with an opened mind, and you'll never know what you'll find on the racks and shelves.

Now finally, my personal tips to help you thrift shop:

1. Before you go shopping, look through your wardrobe.
A question you should be asking yourself whilst you're looking through your wardrobe is- 'What haven't I worn in the past year?' After asking yourself this, you have two options in your choose-your-adventure: 
A) Donate the clothes you haven't worn in ages
B) Buy clothes from the thrift store which will match the items you haven't worn in ages. 

2. Don't impulse buy.
Whilst thrift shopping, I'm often tempted to buy items immediately because I think to myself  "Oh gosh if I don't buy it right now somebody else will and I will continue to regret this in my after life." But hold up! Before you walk to the counter, ask yourself- Will I use / wear this? Does it match with anything that I already have? Remember, just because it is cheap doesn't mean you must buy it.

3. Check for original price tags.
Some businesses actually donate some of their clothes or items to thrift stores. Also, some people donate clothes that they bought or were gifted with the original price tag still attached. You can spot these new items by quickly going through the racks and checking if they still have the original price tag dangling. 

4. Learn to sew
This is an extremely useful skill for thrift shoppers. Like the dress but it doesn't fit? Fix it. Like the pleated lower half of the dress but hate the beaded torso section? Turn it into a skirt.

5. Buy clothes and use them as template
Perhaps you really like the design of this cotton dress but you hate its Hawaiian  print. Simple solution: unpick the dress and use it as a template for dresses you can create with different fabrics.

6. Notice the fabric
Maybe there's a dress you hate, but you love the lace it is made out of. You can buy it and use the fabric to create something else. For inspiration, you can check out this gown this blogger named Esther made out of a lace dress she bought at Goodwill. click here to see Esther's beaded leaf gown

7. Check
Check for stains, holes, rips, etc etc before you buy it, and determine whether they're fixable or not. 

Hope you found this useful!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Burgundy Bang

I've always been a massive fan of hats, and I'm glad that floppy hats are now in fashion. Not only do they prevent an uneven v-neck tan (I live in Australia, where thirty three degrees Celsius is very normal), but they also give the final 'omff' to an out outfit.

Anyway, my HSC finally ended a few days ago and I'm still trying to adjust myself to this new sense of freedom.I went to a school where school uniform was compulsory and mufti day was non-existent, so I thought I'd celebrate the end of my imprisonment by starting a fashion / lifestyle / personal blog. I'm now on my break until mid-March, where I will start my university course.That's four months to do whatever  I want, whenever I want- that's a third of a year! Let's hope I don't waste this opportunity and remain productive during the Summer break so I won't have any regrets whatsoever by the time I start university. My final exams during high school really taught me how much I can manage to do within my 16 hours of being awake- let's hope this mentality lasts until March.

I'm also currently working on creating a dress. Pictures will be up soon!

Asos Playsuit
Target floppy hat
Thrifted boots

Time Capsule

To the future,

There are times when curiosity takes over me and I want to find the oldest possible blog post or video somebody published just to see how things have changed. Perhaps you- whether you are a blog reader or future Maria- like to do the same.

I don’t want this blog to resemble an online dating profile, but I thought you ought to know a little bit about me anyway.

Hi, I’m Maria.

I’m eighteen years old and it’s currently my holiday summer break between graduating high school and starting at university. I have a pet dog, Yoshi, who was named after a Super Mario character. He’s a Maltese x Papillon. I also like to read- I’m currently reading ‘Clay’ by Melissa Harrison, and I’m planning to read ‘Norwegian Wood’ by Haruki Murakami. Other than reading, I like to travel around the city with the spare coins in my pockets. I like buying My-multi tickets and jumping on the first bus I see, not knowing where I will end up. I guess you can say that I’m happy that I've found a way to have fun in this boxy little world of mine.