Bibelot - Dessert Boutique South Melbourne
Fashion, Home, Music, Travel

This Month I’m…

My May is pretty flat out – lots of commitments (both work and play) – business travel, a friend’s wedding, catch ups and farewells and, well, you get the idea. In between all that, this month I’m…

Listening to my May Playlist on Spotify. It’s got everything from French hip hop to a cover of Stand By Me(!).

I’m trialling FitBit Premium (it’s free to try and just $60 AUD a year). You already know I’m hooked on my FitBit, but this takes it to a new level, pushing you to go the extra mile (er, no pun intended).

I’m booking hotels for a trip later in the year to the Greek Islands. My current go-tos for gorgeous hotels are Tablet Hotels (curated selection of the best-of-the-best), Jetsetter (a Trip Advisor edit) and Hello World (a modern-day travel agency).

I’m shopping for boots, and currently eyeballing these beauties by Laurence Dacade (below) but at $890 AUD, remain unconvinced. All recommendations welcome!

Laurence Dacade Pete Boots
I’m extremely excited to be meeting with The Den Interiors to discuss some serious overhauling of our house which is about a year overdue.

I’m eating all the goodies I can get my hands on at Melbourne’s new dessert boutique, Bibelot (top). “A dessert boutique?!” I hear you say? Yes, it’s as good as it sounds.

Finally, I’m wearing all the Uniqlo mens crew neck merino wool sweaters ($50 AUD) I can get my hands on. I need to take an extra small, but it’s a true crew neck, fits better than the women’s and damn do they last and last and last.


The Daily Edited
Fashion, Home, Style

Friday Finds: The Daily Edited, Boden, Edward Kwan and Grovemade

Regular readers know well by now how much I love a good monogram. (It feels like a throwback to years gone by when we owned fewer, better things, cared for them and kept them long enough to stamp your initials on them.) So you can picture my delight at discovering The Daily Edited (above). A clutch or card holder here, a personalised notecard there… all able to be monogrammed. Complete the Insta-look with their desktop delights like quirky stationery. Monogram leather goods start at $50 AUD. Sign up to their newsletter for 10% off your next order.


If you’re already a fan of stores like Anthropologie and Gorman, you’re going to want to know about Boden. Pretty-yet-punchy in every colour imaginable, Boden is the absolute antithesis to the monochromatic palette favoured by Melbournians and the Insta-set. Boden doesn’t just stop at womenswear though – they’ve got gents as well as the littlest people in your life covered (or is that clothed?), too. Prices vary but to give you an idea, the swimsuit shown above is $90 AUD.


I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s a lot to be said for having multiple careers over the course of your life and it would seem that Edward Kwan agrees. A Melbourne-based dancer-turned-lawyer with a sideline making quirk-tastic bowties and neckties, Edward Kwan isn’t settling for just one job. If only I had an iota of her style, I’d be using this as an excuse to channel Janel Monae and get my manstyle dressing on. Unfortunately, I’m just not that hip so I’ll be admiring these babies from afar. Handmade in Melbourne, bow ties start at $60 AUD.

Is your workspace feeling dull and uninspired? Is your laptop / screen perched atop a stack of phone books? Are you using a promotional mouse pad? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, have I got the answer for you! US-based Grovemade creates the chicest of chic desk accessories and carry-kit to order by hand, right from their studio. Streamline your life and be the envy of any office. Perfect! Prices start at $30 USD for a dish.

Mecca Cosmetica Beauty Loop Level 2
Beauty & Health

Sample your way to gorgeous

Back when I worked in retail during my uni years I had a coveted role as a makeup artist on a department store cosmetics counter. Retail, like hospitality, as anyone who’s worked either job will know, gives you a rather unique perspective on the human condition. (General rule of thumb, by the way – the more someone acts like they own the store, the more likely their card is to be declined due to insufficient funds.)

The most frustrating of all customers? The serial sample shopper. This customer never actually buys anything and instead subsists entirely upon freebies gained by feigning interest in products. Of course for those of us who are genuine beauty junkies, samples are the backbone of discovery, allowing us to try new things without fully committing. Sample shoppers give the rest of us a bad name.

The good news? With online shopping now firmly a way of life for many of us, you can sample shop guilt-free, anytime you like. Here are my favourite places to try new things…

Cult Beauty – a smattering of trial sizes so you can pick up a little of something interesting as well as free luxury samples with every order over £40.

Mecca Cosmetica – sign up to Mecca’s loyalty program, Beauty Loop and spend more than $300 AUD a year to get a palette of benefits like four boxes of samples a year (no purchase necessary!) and a free makeup session on your birthday.

Lucky Scent – specialising in rare and hard-to-find fragrances and perfumes, here you can pick up a sample of almost any scent in their library for as little as $3 USD.

B-Glowing – a store full of obsession-worthy products and the best in emerging beauty with your choice of three free samples packed for each and every order. Enough said, right?


Jan Logan Piccadilly

Bling: The Genuine Thing

There comes a time in every many a woman’s life when costume baubles just don’t cut it any more. With your engagement / wedding frosting on one hand or your splurge sparkles in your ears / around your neck, the plastic, brass and glass one-hit wonders from your local high street seem pale by comparison.

In years gone by, jewellery was the way women accumulated wealth over generations, unable to own other types of assets. Today of course that’s not the case but hey, if ‘investment’ is your excuse you won’t hear any contradiction from me.

In recent weeks I’ve developed a bit of a casual hobby – eyeballing stones and settings on my phone whilst waiting in cafes and so forth. Other than becoming a Google scholar on gemstone grading techniques, I’ve discovered there are two ways to get your sparkle on. Buy a jewel already set, or choose your rock and then have something made around it. Arguably they both have their pros and cons, but given this is something you’ll wear (hopefully a lot), I’d suggest you buy what you love.

For gems in their solo form, here are my current haunts:

Gem Rock Auctions – a marketplace for jewels, tending toward the more affordable end of the spectrum.
AJS Gems – a dazzling range of all kinds of stones across a broad price range.
The Natural Sapphire Company – both set and single stones which can be shipped as-is or set to your specifications.
The Planetary Gems Co – natural only.

Now as soon as you start scoping out genuine bling, you’ll discover the market is absolutely flooded with bridal jewellery and everything else takes a back seat. With this in mind, other varieties tend to get a little ‘samey’. A few of my current favourites that fall at least a little outside the norm below…


Left: Deco 11.37ct rubellite tourmaline ring (price on application), right: Flora 5ct aquamarine ring (price on application), both by Coffin and Trout.

Left: Vasari 9ct onyx ring ($1,250 AUD), right: Palmer 18ct diamond ring ($5,500 AUD), top: Piccadilly south sea pearl and black diamond ring ($1,850 AUD), all by Jan Logan.

Odyssey pearl, ceramic and diamond ring ($2,380 AUD) by Paspaley.

Left: Regina single link sapphire and diamond ring (price on application, right: Regina single row stackable black diamond and rose gold ring (price on application), both by Canturi.

Lane Crawford
Beauty & Health, Everything Else, Fashion, Style

Yet Another 12 Excellent Online Stores That Ship Worldwide

If you’re a regular reader and you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that these posts I’ve written rambling on about my favourite online stores that ship internationally are amongst the most popular of all time. So, you asked for it… here’s another 12! These online stores ship to America, ship to Australia, ship to Europe, ship to Asia… in fact, they ship most places (but be sure to double-check your location before you get too excited. A geographical in-basket disappointment is just the worst.)

  1. ASOS – I’ve got no idea how I’ve managed to leave them off my list ’til now… but better late than never, right? ASOS delivers to all corners of the globe, quickly, efficiently and FREE. No matter your style, budget or gender, ASOS has something to fit your brief.
  2. MyTheresa – high fashion, high prices, high style. If you’ve seen it in a international fashion week street style shot, chances are good you can find it here, and have it in time for the weekend.
  3. Farfetch – I like to think of Farfetch as a highly curated, luxe marketplace where only the most covetable boutiques from across the globe get to sell their wares. No matter where they are, though – down a little laneway in Milan or on the chicest strip in Paris – they’ll ship to your doorstep.
  4. Shopbop – ship worldwide? Pfft, Shopbop don’t just ship worldwide, they express ship worldwide AND for free. These folks stock a veritable who’s who of the fashion world from denim to dresses and everything in between, but unless it’s sale time, don’t go clicking if you’re on a tight budget.
  5. Revolve Clothing – One of the originals, these folks are still going strong for a reason… and on the shipping front they now offer free international shipping for orders over $100 USD (or equivalent). In terms of style, there’s no argument – Revolve is definitely for the younger amongst us (sartorially speaking anyway).
  6. Lane Crawford – the Hong Kong based mecca and one-stop-shop for everything you need to get that Insta-worthy, street style savvy, it-girl cool (and they’ll ship your goodies to you free, anywhere in the world).
  7. Saint James – if you’re as much a sucker for a stripe tee as me, you needn’t look any further. Saint James may actually be where it all started.
  8. Strawberrynet – all your makeup, skincare and fragrance needs, all in one place, all at a discount. Check back regularly though, the stock changes daily. (And in case you’re wondering, I’ve bought from this store close to 50 times now and have never had a problem with authenticity).
  9. Luisa Via Roma – all the delights of the famous boutique in Florence, shipped worldwide. Dangerously delightful.
  10. She Style – Ridiculously cheap fashion at ridiculously low prices.
  11. Thread Etiquette – Watches, bracelets, ties, sunglasses and other such essentials, shipped straight to your door, no matter where that may be.
  12. Wolf and Badger – the best of up-and-coming fashion, at your finger tips (and most importantly, in your mailbox).

Want more? Here are the other three posts with this theme: 12 Fantastic Online Stores That Ship Worldwide, 12 Online Interiors Stores That Ship Worldwide, 12 More Online Stores That Ship Worldwide.

We Are Handsome - White Knight Activewear
Fashion, Home, Style

Friday Finds: Amour Vert, We Are Handsome and Cultiver

You know those days when you just wish you’d win the lottery or end up with an unexpectedly enormous inheritance from an unknown distant relative? This won’t help…

I always pay that bit more attention when I stumble across a sustainable, ethical clothing brand that is going out of its way to produce a morally sound product, so it’s no surprise Amour Vert caught my eye. The whole kit and caboodle is American made using non-toxic dyes, sustainable fibres and zero-waste design methodology, but frankly even if you don’t care an iota about all that, you’ll still be swooning over this label for its laid-back-but-polished appeal. Prices start around $80 USD for a singlet.

They’ve been bringing some POP to beach scenes the world over with their bright digital prints since 2009 and now We Are Handsome are taking it to the streets with the launch of their activewear range. It’s just the motivation you need to get your workout on. Prices from $90 AUD for a bralet.

If you like your little daily luxuries but don’t want ‘what she’s having’ then you’ll be happy to hear about decadent boutique linen brand, Cultiver. Initially just offering the most sumptuous of bedlinen, the range has now expanded to include vintage silk velvet cushions, Turkish cotton robes, and sleepwear. Bring on those lazy days… Prices start around the $130 AUD mark for pyjamas and cushions.


The Outnet
Beauty & Health, Fashion

Friday Finds: 100% Pure, R+Co, Got Wood and The Outnet

This week’s finds are all about being a little bit experimental…

100 Percent Pure Fruit Pigmented Foundation

Without a doubt one of the more interesting products to ever grace my bathroom, 100% Pure’s Fruit Pigmented Water Foundation is neither a cream nor liquid foundation but more like a gel-cream and as you may have guessed from the name, it’s 100% natural (and vegan). The finish is more tinted moisturiser than foundation, but for the rather curious texture and purity-factor alone, it’s worth a try. $40 AUD via Nourish Life (or order a sample pot for $10 AUD).

R and Co Analog Cleansing Conditioner

Haircare brands are a dime a dozen these days, and frankly it’s down to personal taste as to which one scores a spot in your caddy on any given month. So it’s a refreshing sight to see a brand doing something a bit different. Don’t get me wrong, R+Co have the same stable of sea salt sprays and shine shampoos that you’d expect, but they’re getting their rebel on with products like the Analog Cleansing Foam Conditioner ($30 USD). It’s got the texture of a mousse and doesn’t lather, so offers a rather interesting option for those intrigued, but not quite ready to take the plunge into the giving-up-shampoo-altogether club.

Got Wood Toothbrush

For filing under “why didn’t anyone think of this sooner”, is Got Wood. Very simply, they’re chic, minimal, biodegradable, fair trade, sustainable toothbrushes. Really, how didn’t anyone think of this sooner? $6 AUD.

Finally, it’s only a tiny innovation and they’re certainly not the first, but purveyors of discount luxury goods The Outnet (top) now do free returns. Thank me later.

Stonemen Underwear

101 Things To Buy Before You Die: Boxers, Bras, Briefs and Lingerie

If you haven’t seen the previous posts in this series, I’m taking Maggie Davis and Charlotte Williams’ book 101 Things To Buy Before You Die and updating it to give you my go-to for each category they originally outlined. Today’s category? Undergarments.

The originals: boxer shorts and bras (and later ‘panties / knickers’). The update: boxers, briefs and lingerie.

I’m not going to lie. Calvin Klein is still going strong, and with good reason. They’re simple, they’re comfortable and they last. For something a little more modern though, I’m a big admirer of Australian label, Stonemen (top). A range of cuts to suit any bloke (or babe, they do women’s, too), these folk partner with photographers all over the world to create limited edition prints on their seam-free styles for maximum comfort and collectability. (Yeah, I said collectability… who knew jocks could be considered collectable?).

Bodas Lingerie

For women, Calvin Klein is a pretty reliable place to start too, but if you want to choose from every imaginable cut and shade for your knicker basics, Bodas (above) is where you go. With several kinds of ‘nude’ to choose from and lots of styles too, you’ll be hard pushed to not find what you need. They even make skintone look sexy, with semi-sheer fabrics.

For something more special-occasion however, Eres (below) is the only label to know. These Frenchies have the balance between feminine and simple down to a fine art. Not so cut-out and frilly that you can’t wear them under anything in your wardrobe, yet not so minimal that you’d call them basics. Everything they make is undeniably divine, but you can expect a price point to match.

Eres Lingerie

Everlane Cotton V Tee
Fashion, Style

Found: The Perfect White Tee

I love investing in good wardrobe basics. Sartorially speaking, they stand the test of time and, when chosen carefully, last long enough that you’ll notice they haven’t gone out of style. Of course, everyone has their own idea about what constitutes classic wardrobe staple and I’m not about to tell you what should make your cut. Universally however, they all have this in common: finding your go-to is like finding the holy grail – a deceptively difficult journey which may actually never occur in your lifetime.

Personally, the one that has eluded me for what feels like eternity is the simple white tee. I’ve written before about the myriad of ways to wear a white t-shirt, yet never actually managed to find the perfect one myself, until now.

As it turns out, my perfect white tee (shown above and below), comes from a label I’ve written about before – Everlane. It’s slim but not snug, long but won’t be mistaken for a nightly and just a tiny bit sheer yet not so much it’ll make my colleagues feel uncomfortable. And it’s just $15 USD.

Now to find my perfect pair of jeans…

Everlane Cotton V T-Shirt

Adriana Degreas
Fashion, Style

101 Things To Buy Before You Die: Swimwear

It was an idea that made sense at the time: revisit Maggie Davis and Charlotte Williams’ book 101 Things To Buy Before You Die and give you my go-to for each item outlined therein. It’s a mammoth task and it’ll take a while so I’m taking it one piece at a time. Today’s installment… swimwear.

The original: bikinis. The update: swimwear.

Marysia Swim - Honolulu

One piece, two piece, cut outs and mis-matched pairs. They’re all on offer these days.

For minimalist but edgy, head to Marysia (shown above) for styles that are simple at a first glance, but clearly aren’t run of the mill.

For a more no-holds-barred extreme gypset-meets-bombshell approach, you can’t go past Brazillian label Adriana Degreas (top).

Finally, in an industry overflowing with options, Zimmermann (below) has stood the test of time. Australian women have been clamoring for their feminine pieces fusing fashion and swimwear since the early 90s. Fortunately, they now ship (and stock) internationally so you can have your fix wherever you are.


Want more? Read the first installment in the 101 Things To Buy Before You Die series.