Saturday, 25 August 2012

WTFF: Winter Roses

Hello my lovely people out there in interweb land!  Remember me??  Your (not so) trusty blog friend?  I've had a little blogging vacation for one reason or another but you can stop frantically checking your inboxes and refreshing your browsers because I'm back.

And I'm back with a frock.  How apt.  This is a wee bit of a cheat, this dress.  It is a dress.  I did wear it on a What the Frock Friday.  In fact I wore it on two.  So it's last week's frock and this week's frock.  Wearing the same outfit twice??  *gasp*.  I can live with it this time as I wore it in two different cities.  And Oamaru (not a city, in case your lower South Island of New Zealand geography is a little sketchy.  But a lovely town none the less).  So those of you who saw me in it last Friday in Wellington get to relive the experience, and those who saw me in it this Friday in Dunedin will be reading Frock Friday as normal.  Only Phil, Edie and I have seen the frock twice in a week and I'm sure they barely noticed or cared.  But I just had to get that confession off my chest.  It's just as well really as I was hoping to increase my frock wardrobe while in Wellington, but didn't buy a single one for me, only two for Edie (one bought by Nana).  I can't help but feel this is a developing trend.  Dresses for her are so much cheaper.  I hope I don't have to slowly descend from What the Frock Fridays to Jeans & t-shirt Tuesdays to Trackie Thursdays.  I don't really see myself ever being that unselfish actually, so you (and I) should be fine.

This is another old Voon frock and I felt it fitting that I wear it while in Wellington.  Unfortunately we didn't take the camera to get photos of the frock in Wellington and I didn't really get the chance to write about it either.  So it was fitting, and then it was just sensible to wear it again so I could get some snaps and write about it.  The fabric of the dress is interesting.  I've always loved the burnished gold of the leaves with the deep red of the roses, it's like lovely old lady's furniture.  A big inner-sprung couch.  That kind of thing.  And the material itself has a furnituresque (good word huh?) quality to it; it's more like curtain or upholstery fabric than dress material.  In fact the reverse is bright gold. I wish it was able to be see more somehow without me having to do a flasher number.  As a result, it's quite firm by which I mean, it doesn't have much drape.  This makes it a bit odd to wear as it doesn't "pull in" to you as you might expect.  It feels almost like it could be a coat or a robe instead of a dress.  But I love the pattern so much and it speaks so much of winter warmth that I have adjusted to this odd feeling.  The wrap around style of the dress allows you to give it some shape and an advantage of the stiffness of the material is that it hides all your lumps and bumps (the undesirable ones).

In keeping with gold and roses I wore ceramic gold earrings given to me by my sister (I thought I'd worn them before so I didn't take any pics), and a necklace given to me by Aja and Bianca for my 30th birthday.  I wear it a lot as the colours make it a chameleon - it works with a lot of different outfits, and I find the length suits the neckline of a lot of my clothes.  I love the little tree and the quirky charms that hang off it.  It's a bit different which suits me just fine.

Yesterday Edie wore a new dress from Nana.  Mum found this on sale and knew I was running low on frocks for Edie (the situation has been well and truly addressed in the last few weeks) so snaffled it up.  I'm pretty sure it cost the princely sum of $15.  It's a knit so gives a bit of extra warmth while the sun still tries to find its way down to the bottom of the world.  The denim colour looks cute on Edie and I think the little flower on the lapel is a nice detail.  The cardi was knitted for Edie by our older neighbour.  It's lovely and so is she.  Unfortunately, Edie is yet to appreciate this fact and she is the one person who Edie reacts violently against.  I have no idea why as she is so kind.  It's quite embarrassing having your child scream and recoil in horror when someone approaches them.
Edie's tights have a wee daisy on the bum which is very cute but I didn't feel right making my child bend over on cue to take photos of her bottom so you don't see it here.  The shoes are hand me downs from her big cousin, Hamish.  Boys clothing on girls is so much more socially acceptable than the other way round which is sad, but Edie is on the right side of the equation.  The necklace is mine.  Selected and styled by Edie.
Edie is obsessed with steps ("sep") and going up and down them.  Fortunately for her, and unfortunately for her parents, we live down a whole raft of them so that's why our photos are taken in this spot.  I thought it might mean she would pose nicely.  Clearly this was a foolish assumption as she was far more intent on scaling the stairs than posing for photos.  Photos with Child Fail #83.

So there you are peeps, What the Frock Friday on it's return.  More to come soon on lessons learnt while travelling with a child.  It's scintillating stuff I tell you...

Monday, 13 August 2012

Cool Shit Monday: Hibernation

Sorry to be banging on about the Olympics a lot lately.  If it makes you feel hopeful, at least it finished today so I can't bang on about it that much longer.  I've had a few Top Mum moments as a result of two solid weeks of TV watching.  Edie now points at any screen-like objects in a room and says "On?  On?".  She also says "YAAAAY!" and claps her hands a lot from all the cheering she's heard.  I think a bit of TV cold turkey is now required for my wee girl.

This week I decided to pay one last homage to my fortnight of Olympic sloth by providing you with some cool shit that will see you through some serious park-arsing.

Firstly, a bit of Olympic geekery (is that a word?  If it wasn't before, it is now and I think I like it).  This cool little video is about historical data.  I can see the glaze dropping across your eyelids already but WAIT!  This is historical data that's interesting.  Or at least I think it is.  Pretty statistics are always fun.  Thanks New York Times.

When you are sat on your chuff, the staple food item (you can't lose 30mins of quality viewing with a trip to the supermarket) is toast.  But that doesn't mean your toast can't be pretty.  This awesome toaster reminds me of the toasty pie machine we had as a kid.  It hardly qualified as a machine actually.  It had a hinge so it did have moving parts, but basically it was just two big cast iron plates that you squashed the bread between.  No, I'm not 80 years old, it's just that we didn't get an electronic toasty pie maker til I was about 15 because, well, we just didn't.  That machine made the edges nice and crunchy which is really the best bit of toasty pies.  I don't think this one looks like a crunch edge kinda toaster, but it well and truly makes up for it with pretty.

by Minale Maeda
On the off chance you get board of your viewing, having a good board game handy is always wise.  I think people are divided into those who have positive associations with board games - family bonding, holidays, student marathons - that type of thing; and those who don't - family arguments, enforced 'fun times', really sucking at playing, and other afflictions.  I LOVE board games.  I am intrigued by this game.  It looks like it could be a sneaky winner: a game that sounds a wee bit stale, but might cause just the right level of competitive fervour.  Plus it's a bit retro so if it turns out to be crap, it'll make a nice object for the games room.  The added extra British quirkiness is very in theme with the Olympics too so extra points for me.
And finally a blobbing aparatus (I've been watching too much gymnastics.  The artistic kind, not the weird rhythmic kind).  A couch just doesn't cut it.  Phil & I like to make forts.  Making forts is not just for 8 year olds.  Big kids can make a choice fort too.  Big blankets, lots of couch cushions and pillows, possibly a bean bag or two, and Robert's your mother's brother.  But this is the blobber to end all blobbers.  I'd happily add this to my fort paraphenalia.

A human taco

Remind anyone else of the old Toffee Pops ad with the lips couch

Friday, 10 August 2012

WTFF: Going for Gold

I apologise for my slightly misleading title of today's frocky post.  I am not wearing a gold dress.  It has a wee bit of gold in it.  And I'm in the historical gold mine area of New Zealand.  But that's about it.  I am, however, completely obsessed with the Olympics and will probably go into post-Olympic withdrawl when it ends this weekend.  I really did want to pick a dress that was "Olympic" themed and it just goes to show how desperate I was to meet this end that I tried to make this dress my Olympic tribute.  Would you like to hear my tenuous reasoning for this being an Olympic homage?  Of course you would!  So... New Zealand's traditional team colours are black and silver.  This dress is black(ish.  More like charcoal actually but tomaytoes/tomahtoes) with silver through it.  It also has gold because... well I don't really have to explain the relevance of gold to the Olympics do I?  Perhaps I could make it some lame metaphor for New Zealand winning some gold medals.  Yeah, that sounds awesome.  I also wore a nice piece of New Zealand jewellery to continue the patriotic fervour.  My earrings are the closest I could get to Olympic rings.  They're not rings, they're ringlets but let's not get technical.  I think if Grasping at Straws were an Olympic sport then I would be in with a shot at a medal.

Clothes swaps.  If you've never done one, it's worth a go.  The good old adage, "your trash is someone else's treasure" never had a better platform.  This dress/tunic belonged to my friend Helen and it found a new home with me after Helen and I organised a clothes swap at work one afternoon.  I have worn it a lot although hardly at all since Edie was born (breastfeeding again.  Sorry to bang on about it).  It's just a bit different in both the sense that there's not much around like it, and it's unlike things I normally have in my wardrobe.  I like the middle panel on it which actually acts like a big pocket.  Not that I would put anything in it as it might make me look like I had a massive apron of fat or worse.  The silver and the gold means it's versatile in terms of accessories although I've never tried to add a splash of colour so maybe I should try that the next time I wear it.

We've seen the cardi before with this frock but it's returned to it's home, Queenstown.  I like how the dark dress underneath allows the pattern of knit to show when worn with the tunic.

The boots I bought a few years ago (they look a little worse for wear) and I love that they remind me of Puss in Boots.  I think I had a book with that story in as a child in which Puss wore boots similar to these with the fold over top.  The gumboot fear of flat boots was first overcome with these boots, so they hold a special place in my heart.

Phil bought me this necklace a few years ago.  It's a Boh Runga piece of jewellery and like all of the pieces from that range, has a feathered theme.  I like both the weight and delicacy of the wing pendant and it's the only long pendant I own.  I don't seem to wear necklaces that much any more but this is one I do go back to.  The earring my mum bought for me years ago, I think possibly because they reminded her of my curly hair (it used to be long so lots of ringlets).  They're not quite silver or gold which I like as it means they can be worn either way.

Phil, Edie & I have come to Queenstown this weekend for a winter weekend and so gloves and hats are compulsory items.  My beret and fingerless gloves were bought for me by Mum (I'm worried Mum is going to start picking up on how often I write those words and tone down the gift-giving) and come from Forever New.  We don't have a Forever New in Dunedin which I am both sad and glad about.  Sad because they have really cool stuff at chain store prices, and glad because they have really cool stuff at chain store prices.  And I don't have money to spend even at chain store prices.  The same day you last saw me wear the cardi, I also wore the coat.  Love it like a child.  Ok, not quite as much as I love Edie but it's possibly super-ceding the cat in my affections...

Edie had a cute Frugi dress on today but the coat was the feature of the day as we travelled closer to the snow.  The coat comes from Miracle and is a New Zealand made number from a company called Lone Moose.  They use recycled and reclaimed materials as well as new fabrics to make their very cool creations.  I had a hard time choosing between this colour for the coat, or a gorgeous peacock/teal colour.  Perhaps we'll have teal next time.  I love the pixie hood and the cute lining which can actually be worn on the outside as the domes are double sided.  She's wearing a little neckerchief because it looks cute, like a wee polka dot cow wrangler, but also because she is dribbling like a fox at the moment and she's not normally a dribbly kid at all.  Perhaps the next lot of teeth are on their way.  Whatever the reason, Edie gets to rock Aunty Natalie's bandana so it has its upsides.  Also worth noting are the cute purple See Kai Run boots that match the glasses of course.

Right, back to enjoying my Olympics on a fuzzy old TV in a good old Kiwi bach.  All I need is a cup of Bell tea and I'll be a lovely blast from the past cliche.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

WTFF: Paisley & Purple

I had this half written but got a little distracted by the Olympics.  In fact it's amazing I've managed to achieve anything this week as I've pretty much been glued to the TV, soaking up every ounce of Olympic action on offer.  Edie is firmly enamoured by the TV and I keep telling myself that it's ok as it's only 3 (solid) weeks of TV viewing.  That can't harm her little brain too much, right?  RIGHT?!?  Anyway, yesterday while I stared fixedly at the TV, jumped up and down when the Kiwis won Gold (yusssssssssssss), and made admiring comments about the washboard abs of the female heptathletes, I wore a dress.
Stand up straight girl!
I don't know about this frock.  I thought it was fine when I threw it on yesterday morning in a rush before I left the house, but once I looked at the photos Phil took at lunch, I wondered if it wasn't quite as fine as initially thought.  Not that's it's hideous, just maybe a bit dated and I didn't wear it well.  I think it's good to document these days as well as it's a good reminder to take my own advice and look in the mirror before I leave the house.  Also it's good for people to see that others leave the house looking less than their ideal.  I feel like I'm setting myself up for you all to say "oh no, it's lovely" and other placating phrases which is not my intention.  I know I didn't look awful, simply not the way I would like to look if I'd put more time into it.

I bought the frock when I was living in Sydney a number of years ago at a chain store called Review.  I had a bit of a penchant for this place.  It specialised in affordable, feminine clothing - capped sleeves, a bit of frill here and there, but all within the confines of 'street fashion' so you could get a lot of wear out of the clothes.  This dress is a wrap around style which is good for most body types as it gives you a waist even if you don't have one, and so also makes the bust and hips look bigger than your waist.  The knit of the jersey is fairly fine so that's not so flattering as it can hug to all the lumps and bumps.  What saves this dress is the intense paisley pattern that hides any clinginess.  I feel it looks a little like an axminster carpet but I quite like that.  Winter has finally made it's presence felt in Dunedin and this dress has short sleeves so I paired it with a Voon wrap top.

This top is great as it can be worn in approximately a bajillion ways, but as is the case with most items that sport that claim, I end up wearing it two or three ways and I can't be bothered to get my head around the remainder of the bajillion.  Yesterday was the standard 'ballet cardi wrap'.  I should have looked at where it was sitting though as it wasn't so great for making me look like I wasn't already 3 months down the track to having another sprog (I'm not by the way).  If I'd had it just a wee bit more cropped, it would have done me, the dress, and the top a whole lot more favours.  Anyway, the colour is totally great and perfect for my purply axminster dress and it's an awesome extra layer for cold days, so it was far from a complete disaster.

The purple tights got another outing just to follow on with the purple theme, and the boots were a necessary (but stylish) addition as you can't splash around in puddles in ballet flats.  Or you could, but you'd have to be in a carefree "I don't care if my feet become ice, turn black, and drop off" kind of mood.  Oddly enough, I wasn't.

The necklace is an oldy but a goody.  If I remember rightly, Mum bought me this when I was in about 6th form (Year 12 for those of you who don't speak my old-school lingo) to wear to my school's cultural awards evening.  I loved it then, still love it.  It's a bit dated (the choker-ish length is very 1997) but the stones (quite fake but lovely none the less) are a fetching pink colour and I like it.  The earrings are some my sister Natalie sent and I'm pretty sure they're from Accessorize.  I wear them a lot as they have an old-world look about them that seems to fit with a lot of what I wear.  The delicate colours mean they tone in well with lots of things.

Edie wore the frock she wore in my very first What the Frock Friday but I wasn't writing about her frocks then.  It's another Pumpkin Patch number from my mum, plus another wee pair of See Kai Run shoes.  This time a pair of red leather mary janes with white hearts (aww, stop with the cuteness already!).  White tights, a red and white spotty bodysuit with matching hair clip - cute kid perfection.  Especially appropriate outfit for crocodile wrestling.  "'Nap! 'Nap! 'NAP" as Edie would say.  That's "snap, snap, snap" with snapping hand-action for those of you not fluent in Edie-ese.  Edie was too busy straddling the croc and blinding it with her 'dress over your eyes' technique to pose for good photos so these iPhone snaps have to suffice.

I have you now, crocy!
Right, back to watching the Olympics.  I can't believe I actually managed to type a post with Olympics coverage all round me.  I suppose it did take me nearly 24 hours.  Maybe next week's 'frock' will have to be couch-based and Olympic themed.

Monday, 30 July 2012

CSM: Drinks are on me

I seem to have found a lot of cool shit recently that is drink-related.  I'm not a big alcy, in case you were worried, but I do partake every so often.  Also there's something about not being able to drink for an extended period of time (pregnancy/breastfeeding not abstinence by self-discipline) that makes you appreciate the chance to have a refreshing beverage.  It's not just alcohol either.  Caffeine has a renewed focus in my life and now I know I'm not wiring my baby and keeping her up all hours, I'm back on the java like there's no tomorrow.  I actually think what you miss is the rituals surrounding these drinks.  The drinks on a Friday at the local or the Saturday night house party, the G & Ts on the deck relaxing in the sun, the second coffee following a leisurely Sunday brunch.  It's the associations with these things which are so much more precious for their scarcity.  First world problems right there.  Anyway, here are some beverage-related things that are pretty freakin' cool.

You've all heard some saying that warns you not to mix beer and harder alcohols.  Personally, I think feeling rough after combining the two is more to do with the fact that you reached the stage where you wanted to move from beer to hard liquor.  Several beers are usually required to make you want to drink things called "Afterburner" and "Slippery Nipple".  Well this glass flies in the face of all that advice and blatantly encourages you to move from beer to shot and back again.  Although if you try to do both at the same time you may have some issues.  That would be your cue to stop drinking I'd think.

And here's a wine glass for my musically inclined vino lovers.  I can see some awesome party anthems being attempted with these after a couple of drinks.  I can also see them swiftly losing their tunefulness as the drinks continue to be consumed.  But it could be fun for a few minutes.  If you've had a rough week, you might want to opt to play the B flat - 2.5 standard drinks to get to that pitch.

And while we're on the theme of cool vessels, here's one for the coffee lovers.  Your short black and your biscotti in one.  You have to like a bit of sugar with your coffee though because the inside of the cup is a patented sugar coating.  Probably not a good collectable investment but as a quick drink with a snack?  I think I like it.

And if you manage to acquire these fabulous vessels, you will obviously need somewhere fabulous to keep them.  Society Social is the place to go.  A business made with love (always the best kind of business) from a lady who was over being dull so she decided she wanted to make life as beautiful as she knew it could be.  They have fabulous furniture and knick knacks, some vintage, some new, but all utterly wonderful.  She has a particular penchant for bar carts which are the ultimate in great home accessories if you ask me.  Which you didn't but you've read it now so there you go.  I was particularly taken by the photo of the bar cart with in front of the blackboard which read "Hold onto your Highballs".  Puerile humour rarely fails to amuse me.  But this cart is my pick.  Table tennis bats and ping pong balls are surely the pinnacle in bar cart accessories.  Vodka, smarties and ping pong - a match made in heaven.

It's Monday, have a wee tipple people.

Thanks to Design Crush for introducing me to today's drinking vessels.  Always inspirational.

Friday, 27 July 2012

WTFF: Otago Sunshine

It was another beautiful day in Dunedin.  That statement could be dripping with sarcasm, but actually it's not.  We have been having the most incredible run of weather.  There's been the odd rainy day, but mostly, it's been frosts and sunshine.  Now I've put you all to sleep with talk of the weather, let's move on to more interesting topics: my frock.  It was a celebration of Otago and the lovely winter weather.  For those of you who aren't so au fait with Otago, gold and blue are the colours sported by the rugby team so have by proxy become the region's colours.  I didn't apply to the Rugby Union for a fan fashion frock, however, I bought the dress off ASOS.  I very much doubt a British clothing store intended to make a dress to support a New Zealand provincial rugby team so it's pure coincidence but on a lovely day like today, it was very intentional on my part.

The dress (now covered in pumpkin and cream cheese thanks to Edie's food art finger painting, Mumma as canvas) was bought in a sale several months ago.  When you buy things in a sale you must always, always ask yourself the question, "Why is this on sale?".  You will find the answer is often, "Because there is something wrong with it", in which case, you don't want it either.  Here are some hints: read reviews - people will give feedback on a garment that they didn't like; look at the shape - could it be tricky to fit?; look at the material - is it poor quality/wrong for the garment/fugly?.  Here are some reasons why you could be getting a bargain: the price point - was it ridiculously expensive for what it was, but on sale it's fine; it's a definite style - one that not many people choose to rock, but you do; it requires a bit of thought - you can see what you need to do with it but others might have missed the trick.
With this dress, I think it was the colours.  The combination of the gold and blue works, but maybe it's not easy to imagine how to accessorise.  Also they're not very 'in' colours (in combination) at present so the dress looks different from things you see around in the stores at the moment.  That could be bad and good.  I decided it was good.
From a practical point of view, the dress is a wool blend so has a bit of warmth in it (always handy in the deep South).  And from an impractical point of view, it's a pain in the arse to breastfeed in.  It requires lifting the whole skirt up.  Just as well I have few inhibitions in that sense.
Because of the knit fabric, it's really comfy to wear and the shape is flattering and comfortable too - no gut-sucking required.    I like the shape of the skirt with it's slight fullness which complements the waistline and length nicely.  And because of where I live, the colours are great.

The hat.  Don't ya love it??  Phil bought it for me years ago.  It was one of those "Just Because I Love You" gifts that people give each other when they're in love and they don't have kids and boring things sucking up their disposable income.  I'm not a complete cynic.  We do still buy these kind gifts for each other but these days it's more likely to be a trim latte and a cream bun than a beautiful wool hat.  And this is fine as I love me a good cream bun (catch the name of the blog by any chance?).  I can't remember where Phil got the hat but he was so proud of his gift-buying skills when he presented it to me.  He knew I'd love it: I love hats.  My Mum has always had this thing about her not having the right head/face/anything to wear a hat.  Every time she tries one on for fun, she pulls this 'hat face' (Phil and my sister will know the exact face I'm talking about) which makes her instantly look like she's escaped from the funny farm and then reiterates that she can't wear hats.  Perhaps because of this, Natalie and I love the things.  I have a modest collection of hats that I don't wear half as often as I should.  And the sad thing is, I've never worn this hat before today.  I know, I'm a bad wife.  Basically, I have this image in my head of the way in which this hat should be worn, and I have never had the outfit or the occasion to live up to my ideal.  It's not a dressing up hat in the sense that you would wear it to a wedding or to the races.  And yet it's not a snow day, cold outside, wear it on duty in the school playground kinda hat either.  It has its own special place with a black wool suit and 1920's shoes to match its almost-cloche style.  But today I lowered my lofty visions of suited beauty and wore it with my Otago Sunshine dress.  And I liked it.  I know the black ribbon with the blue dress is less than ideal (in my matchy matchy world) but I figured with my black shoes, it ties in top and toe.  I shall try and find more excuses to wear my beautiful hat gifted with love.

The Oompa Loompa tights have made a reappearance this week, as have the noisy shoes.  I am rolling with the tights but I'm still sure I'll look back in 5 years and shake my head at my fashion-victim choice.  And I didn't wear any jewellery this week as I thought the hat and tights were enough accessory for one outfit.  Don't want to get to greedy now.

This week my little Edie Maeve is wearing a repeat frock.  Gasp!  Hey, if it's good enough for Kate Middleton, it's just acceptable for my baby.  And it's a tricksy repeat: it's the reverse side of the corduroy smock I made her.  I chose this sea green cord to tone in with the same Paris pants but I like running with the blue hues instead.  The knitted nappy cover was given to Edie by Aunty Natalie and I love it with the dress.  The t-shirt is a hand-me-down and the tights and hair clip are from Pumpkin Patch.  Her cute See Kai Run Smaller boots (bought to match her purple glasses frames) feature again.  I made another little "flower" to pin to the dress, this time in blue.  A vision in blues and purples.  The pics where she is not charging headlong toward the camera were taken because Edie-hypnotherapy was playing on the TV and it's not what you might think.  I might write a wee post about what keeps her happy because it's bloody hilarious.

A little blue and sunshine from Otago to brighten your day!

And some dancing in the dark to finish.  This is me forcing my husband to take photos when there is almost no natural light left.  But what light there is, is really pretty.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Cool Shit Monday: Fashion - The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

You may be wondering how fashion can be cool shit if it's 'bad' or 'ugly' but it can, believe me, it can.  I shall first lure you in with beautiful things, then entertain you with some astute fashion observations (not my cleverness unfortunately), and then amuse you with some of the Ugly.  Or actually my friend Georgia will.  She's a very amusing person as you'll soon discover.

Because I'm all about making this a positive place, I shall be responsible for the Good in today's Cool Shit Monday.  I've been storing up a few wee gems that have me drooling into my keyboard.  It's amazing it hasn't shorted out yet.  Let me share my excess saliva with you.  "HOORAY", I hear you all shout.

Modcloth.  I've made reference to it a few times around the blog but it's time I come clean and divulge the full level of my obsession with this site.  Modcloth began while its founder was in College.  She needed to offload some of the huge collection of vintage goodies she had accumulated over the past years trawling thrift shops so she established an online shop.  She had such a great response that she extended to vintage-inspired clothing and the rest, as they say, is history.  The business now has 275 employees but maintains a friendly feel and stocks a wide array of products that are simply things that take the fancy of it's creative team.  The best (and most dangerous) news is they do ship to the Shaky Isles and pretty much anywhere else in the world.  Go nuts people...

Bait Footwear are relatively new to the fashion world having only been established in the (Northern Hemisphere) Summer of 2011 but are fast making a name for themselves making cute retro-inspired shoes at a reasonable price.  Their shoes come in the coolest range of colours and look like just the ticket to wear with that summer dress you've had your eye on.  Splash out and make me feel better about my finger hovering over the checkout button.

And when you want to see what your new cute dress and shoes look like together, and some other accessories you might like to try with them, you can go to Polyvore.  I can't decide if this website is useful or just fun, but if it is just fun, it's good clean fun that will help you procrastinate from the productive things you should be doing.  Basically you can assemble outfits so you can... well... make outfits.  You could then share them with people so they buy you the cool shit you find.  You could get ideas for the perfect accessories for your frock.  You could create pretty fashion collages just to make you happy.  The only downside to Polyvore is that you can't put any item in there - you're limited to their selection of (what I assume are paying) fashion lines.  But they have a lot.  And they have Modcloth so I'm happy.

First Floral
My first attempt at a Polyvore -  throw a few items together, and voila! an outfit.  The bag's not quite the right shade, but like I say, a quick first go.

First Floral by charlottecarman featuring yellow leather handbags

And now for The Bad.  I follow a blog called Not So Lonely Londoners.  It's a fashion blog so not unusual at all.  What is unusual about it though is that it's written by a straight male.  I enjoy his passion and perspective on fashion and I love that he fights the stereotype.  I hate stereotypes even though I probably make them and am one all the time.  He wrote this post a few weeks ago about fashion blog posing.  I know this may not be a subject all of you are partial to, that's fine, but I think you will be able to appreciate his observations anyway.  You don't have to follow people's blogs to have witnessed self-photography.  It's a bit like the duck face phenomenon that people are backlashing against (you know, girls who pull that bizarre pouty face in photos): people strike the strangest poses thinking it's hot/flattering/modelesque.  But if they actually looked at those photos objectively, they'd see they look pretty bloody ridiculous.  I'm almost certain that I'm guilty of some of the blog fashion poses he writes about, so I'm not throwing any small, hard objects inside easily breakable buildings, but it is bloody funny.  And it never hurts to have a good laugh at yourself from time to time.  So The Bad of today's fashion themed blog: ridiculous 'fashion' posing.  Have a gander.
The Agony.  Just one of Stu's fashion blogger poses.

And The Ugly.  More specifically, It's Still Ugly, an ever-growing collection of high-priced fashion that might be fashion, but... well the title speaks for itself.  My friend Georgia is an avid fashion follower but is also a lass who calls a spade a spade.  And boy does she dig up some ugly shit.  Georgia brings a bit of reality to the high-flying world of couture and reminds us that just because they tell us the Emperor is wearing clothes designed by someone with a fancy name and a large paycheck, we still may need to be reminded that he's actually naked.  Ok that was a confusing metaphor but I just mean some fashion is crap and Georgia points out why.  She also manages to show that sometimes even the ugly has it's own alluring siren call.  But mostly it's a good healthy kick of realism and I love it.  The Ugly is cool shit.
One of Georgia's short but accurate observations.