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What I'm Wearing - Jumper from Dotti; Scarf from Aldi; Pants from Best & Less; Belt secondhand; Slim Black Hi-top Converse from Surfstich; Sheer white socks from Topshop.

Surprisingly enough, nearly all of the items in this outfit came from chain stores (cheap ones at that!) - just goes to show that you can co-ordinate an outfit regardless of price! Here's a few tips and tricks I use when styling/dressing:

1. Match, Match, Match:
As I said above, all of these items were quite cheap (under $20, excluding shoes) - you can easily create an outfit just by picking items from your wardrobe that share a common denominator. Try spots, dots, stripes and florals - match from head to toe, or try pairing them with a block coloured pant/skirt/jacket.

2. Monochrome: 
Going monochrome is of course a form of matching; yet using blacks, whites and greys can give your outfit a more modern feel. Monochrome grid patterns are everywhere this season (I even have a phone case in a grid pattern), but any combination of black and white will work. As I have done here, try swapping and reverse monochrome prints to introduce some contrast into your outfit.

3. Belt it:
I know this one sounds pretty obvious but you'd be surprised how useful belts can be. I have a collection of different coloured ties, sashes and belts that come in handy when layering (disguise the bottom of a shirt by tucking it under and belt-ing it! layer a shirt over a dress and tie it!). Belts are wonderful at adding a bit of a waist to an otherwise bulky outfit, or just tying the whole outfit together!

4. Cuff it
The pants in the above outfit are old work pants from Best & Less; elastic waist, tapered leg, extremely high waist. All I had to do to make these pants look a little more styled was fold them up twice. This super-duper-easy technique works for daggy pants, pants that fall at an old length, or for winter pants you want to wear on warmer days. If you want the cuff on the pants to stay permanently - just press and slip stitch.

Listening to - 90s Music by Kimbra

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4 Ways to Choose Your Formal Dress

Casual Formal - Wearing the 'Backless Lover' and an ASOS blouse.
I realise formal dress posts are a tricky topic for many reasons; do I stick to my Australian lingo and call it a 'formal' or go the American route of 'prom' or 'graduation'. Nonetheless, the hardest thing about formal dresses is simply picking one. I've narrowed the options down to four categories to help you with your search. Bonus: none of them tell you what dress is best for 'your body shape', it's all down to what your personal style is!

1. Store Bought
This is the go-to option for most people; it guarantees you a good fit and satisfaction with the style. If you live in a place with a bustling fashion scene, buying in-store is a great option for you. In Australia, most formal dress stores are independently owned boutiques, so you could be paying a hefty price for your gown; yet, buying in-store gives you the luxury of lay-by. Larger retailers such as David Jones and Myer also stock options for your formal occasion, allowing you to choose among designers.

2. Online
From a small town? Not into dragging your feet around the city for hours on end? Simply can't find your style in store? Online shopping offers a much, much wider range of dresses. Unlike the store bought option, you can browse happily from the comfort of your own bedroom. While online comes with some risks (it doesn't fit...it takes too long to ship), online-shopping is an increasing choice for graduates (or anyone who wants clothes, really) of the 21st century. 
Like buying in store, there is a similar choice among online retailers - you could buy a $300 dress for $50 on eBay or you could shop directly from sites such as Fame & Partners. Fame & Partners is one of many online retailers offering a more personal shopping experience - an important feature when investing in such an important dress. They also allow you to make alterations to style and fit, ensuring you won't get a nasty surprise when it turns up in the mail.
ASOS, Modcloth and, as mentioned before - eBay and Fame & Partners - are great options. Find a list of my picks from some online retailers accompanying the collage above.

3. Vintage 
Want something a little more unique? Vintage dresses are gorgeous, individual and there are so many of them! If you are lucky enough to live near some good vintage stores and want a beautifully old dress for your formal, be sure to check them out. Otherwise, sites like Etsy allow you to pick and choose your individual style from thousands of dresses. Find your favourite era - do you like the full skirts of the 50s or the flowing dresses of the 70s. Either way, vintage shopping requires a lot of patience. It can be frustrating trying to find the right fit, finding a dress that isn't damaged/stained/too-fragile-to-wear, and on top of all that -  finding a dress that you love! 
If you are shopping online for vintage I can not emphasise enough, the importance of knowing your measurements. Make sure you know your bust, waist and hip measurments, and if needed, an approximate/desired length of dress. Compare these measurements with those listed by the seller and if you are unsure, contact the seller. Most sellers and shops are only happy to help, and they understand that with vintage sizes and modern bodies, a bit of mayhem can arise.

Here are some of my favourite Etsy shops for your perusal, or just search 'vintage prom dress' and browse at your leisure.

- 1919 Vintage: A lovely array of dresses, mostly from the 20th century; loads of dreamy muted tones and pastel hues!

- Geronimo Vintage: Here you can find dresses from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and more. Each dress is unique and stunning so you can be sure you'll stand out

- Croatia Vintage: This one is a personal favourite of mine - if you're looking for something gorgeous but in a lower price range try out some of their day dresses and style them up with accessories.

- Great Lake Outfitters: Dresses from many different eras - keep your eye out for the gorgeous 50s and 60s prom dresses.

4. DIY
If you can't find anything in the shops, online or anything vintage, chances are you have a definite idea of what type of dress you want but just can't find it. As disheartening as the search for the perfect dress can be, there are tailors, friends and even you, who could whip up a dreamy dress.
Have a sketch of the dress you want? Take that masterpiece straight to a tailors or find a friend who could sew it for you. While the price of tailor-made garments can be high, you can often avoid the dissatisfaction that could come with finding the perfect sizing and style of other options. You will most likely be required to supply fabric, so you can be quite creative with this option.
If you still quite aren't sure what type of dress you want or haven't quite found anything yet try searching for sewing patterns. The luxury of sewing patterns is that you can choose from old and new, and you can get someone to make it for you or make it yourself! You can search Etsy and eBay for vintage sewing patterns galore - as with vintage dresses, remember to check the sizes provided. Or, head into your local sewing sore - here in Australia that's probably a Spotlight or Lincraft - and browse through the pattern books.
If you've decided to sew a dress yourself but aren't to crash-hot with sewing skills - google and youtube are your friends. Not sure what a dart is and what it does? Not sure how to finish up raw edges?

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P.S - There is one day left to vote for me on Fame & Partners for the Fashionista 2014 Competition; you can vote for me HERE. (disregard this if it is too late to vote)

P.P.S - This is not a sponsored post. However I am a member of the Fame and Partners Fame Chain.

:) Good luck!

Fame & Partners Fame Chain Official Blogger

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Our Time

 What I'm Wearing  - Embroidered Shirt from Topshop, Pink Taffeta Midi Skirt from Topshop, Shoes from Topshop

Topshop, topshop, topshop. I actually didn't intend on wearing all things from topshop; it just so happened that the things I ordered a few months ago turned out to be a nice outfit. This skirt is one of my favourite skirts ever, ever, ever; the taffeta and pleats make it sit out amazingly without needing a crinoline. 
Anyhow, I will stop apologizing for the lack of posts as it's pretty standard I have a few months between posts thesedays. As I keep saying though, I hope I can pick up the pace after school is over...which is dauntingly near.

 Since last posting on here I've seen Lily Allen live (again), baked lots of cakes and taken pretty pictures. You can see them on my Instagram, where I post pretty regularly: http://instagram.com/lilysew @LilySew

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Refine and Define

What I'm Wearing - Key Hole Peplum top from Portmans in Black, Price: $49.95; Pink Peach skirt from op shop, also worn here, Price: $7.00; Peach Blouse from op shop (for sale on my etsy here) also worn here; T-Strap Pumps in Black from Yeswalker (similar on sale here and here); Slice-shaped Peach Earrings from a vintage store, Price: $5.00.
These photos really don't do this top justice ('twas hard to photograph alongside such a light pink); it has such unique details like the keyhole back and split and angular peplum. I think my style has not simplified over the past year...rather it has refined. I appreciate details, construction and fit more than being outrageous or daring (even though I do value those qualities in an outfit, they are less and less of a priority). I prefer a garment that is unique and detailed over a stock-standard trend. However, I find that with personal style blogging the notion of an ever-evolving style often goes amiss. We tend to forget that people's style changes as they move, live and are inspired. People's priorities change, and their style follows suit; as this IFB article states "when a brand is locked in with a particular lifestyle, changing that without losing your readers is not so easy." To wrap it up, my style may seem different, but the way I go about styling, dressing and photographing follow the same procedure; I still believe in wearing anything as long as you like it, and following no rules.

Hopefully these photos are an improvement from my last two lazy posts. I'm not too sure what else I should write here anymore so I'll put it over to you; what are your favourite details in a garment?

Quick Links:
- I recently listed some more clothes on my Etsy store, with more to come (a few of the items i've worn in previous posts).
- Follow me on Instagram here.
- Check out Fame and Partners new range (you'll hear about them again when my dress arrives)
- Check out South-Korean indie-electro artist Neon Bunny's new video below.

Listening to - Neon Bunny's It's You:

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Clean Cut

What I'm Wearing - Peach Blouse from op shop (for sale on my etsy here); Beaded chiffon dress from Dotti, price: unknown; I Love Billy Pink Bow Shoes.

Aside from my declining Photoshop skills, I'd like to announce that I now have a partnership with Fame & Partners (I'll be offering discounts on some of their formal dresses so keep an eye out!). I'd also like to mention that the shirt i'm wearing, which is actually part of a suit, is for sale on my Etsy. I also did a major wardrobe clean out and cull so I will have more clothes that I've previously photographed on here as well. As for everything non-sale related (I know, I'm sorry); I was lazy and took these photos in my room, besides the blue backdrop - so excuse the messy desk. :)

Fame & Partners Fame Chain Official Blogger

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White on White

What I'm Wearing - Sheer white embroidered top from op shop, brand: Just Jeans; Sheer white top from Portmans, Price: $50; Black stretchy wrap dress, Secondhand; Black lattice shoes from Sportsgirl (also seen here)

After a loooooooooong long time not posting I thought I would pop this post up for the sake of it - I didn't wear this out. I will be back with some more posts hopefully!
How was your 2013?

What I'm Listening to - 

Flawless - Beyonce

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Steal my sunshine

3 weeks and no posts - oops. I blame it on the exams and assignments for school, and my lack thereof going out and about. I haven't really worn anything other than my uniform and t-shirts for the past 3 weeks. This post isn't going to be topic-specific; my writing is pretty shocking lately. 

Follow me on Instagram @LilySew

(from left to right...)

And I made an 8tracks playlist some time during the past 3 weeks. It doesn't particularly have a theme of any sort, so it's probably not enjoyable unless you have my music taste.

I know I said this at the end of the last post, but I will most likely have a few outfits coming up as I may actually be getting out of the house for once in the near future. Until then I'll leave you with another 8tracks mix that I made tonight. Enjoy. :D

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Under-estimate the girl

Sorry again about the lack of outfit posts, It's mainly because I haven't been anywhere exciting lately. Anyway, I've been making patterns and stuff on Photoshop. I seem to enjoy making patterns, I made this blog's background aswell. If you guys want these available for download or something let me know & i'll try to make it happen. 

What I'm Listening to: Kate Nash - Under-estimate the girl

*Please credit me where possible in using these patterns.

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Yesterday's Jam

It's been a while! Admittedly I did take these pictures a few days ago but didn't get around to putting them up. Nonetheless, here's a post to make up for those 8-or-so days I posted nothing.

What I'm Wearing - Embroidered white blouse from op shop; Black velvet dress (worn backwards and weirdly...); Blazer (worn as skirt); Black lattice shoes from Sportsgirl.

I wore this outfit to a family dinner, it sort of reminds me of a job interview outfit though... Anyway, I figured I really like wearing blazers as skirts, the sleeves make for really cool pockets that look like black-holes. I also have no idea why I wore the dress that way, but it turned out to be a hybrid cape-tank-top contraption. 
I spent the weekend at my friend Rebecca's house. Here's some Instagram (yes, i'm lame and use instagram...) pictures from the weekend:

(view on Instagram) Standard vain picture of myself before the dinner, I changed the top to a yellow tinted one and added a neck-tie thing.
(view on Instagram) It looks like i'm holding a cigarette...but i'm not, I promise (!) Underneath the night-gown thing i'm wearing is a Lily Allen shirt I bought from her concert a few years ago; it doesn't get enough wear.

(view on Instagram) Another standard photo; this time of food (scones with housemade jam, cream & orange juice) . I was too hungry to be one of those people who Instagrams their food before eating it; after I marvelled at the delicious-ness of the housemade jam I felt I should snap a picture of it.

What I'm Listening to: Little Boots - SHAKE

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A Spectacular Tumble - feminist musings on the Oscars

 I don't actually know what relevance these pictures have to the rest of this post - oh well. 

I don't usually touch on 'feminist' topics or issues on this blog but I am someone who loves to state their opinion, and where opportunity arises i'm there. And while I didn't happen to watch the Oscars this year (nor any other year for that matter), I did happen to catch footage of possibly the most controversial issues of the night which, with host Seth MacFarlane, were bound to occur. Unfortunately, 'humour' was a common theme of the night, most of these jokes have erupted backlash. These derogatory remarks were being thrown around frivolously by MacFarlane, who even dared to make a 'joke' about Chris Brown and Rihanna, making light of sexual abuse. 

The main issue I wanted to address, however, is possibly the most controversial and grande, musical-esque performance of the night. The song was titled "We Saw Your Boobs", and with a title like that it was bound to stir controversy. This opening song was a supposed homage to Hollywood's leading actresses. When I first saw it, I was puzzled for a moment as to why I found it unsettling. It wasn't the mention of a female body part, nor the horrible melody. It was the fact that it trivialized these actress' performances and diminished them to mere acts of 'exposure' and nudity. These scenes in movies are perfectly fine and are usually done in good taste, what i'm disappointed in is not nudity. It's a complete dismissal of the actress' effort and skill in executing these roles in popular culture. It ignores the fact that these women's performances did not just consist of being topless. They consisted of hard work, skill and a desire to provide entertainment - after all, that is what an actress/actor is supposed to do.

These actresses themselves were shown in disappointment, Naomi Watts' expression went grim as she was mentioned in the song. Whether these reactions from the females mentioned in the song were real or staged for added 'humour' (I suspect they were fake reactions), it still warrants a concern for the way in which female actresses are celebrated for their work. 

Furthermore, as I flitted around some sites while reading about this occurance I noticed a few other events being reported on from the night and also one too many comments which generalized feminists (something not unheard of) and complained that too many people found the song offensive, often alluding to the fact that those who don't find it funny have no sense of humour. While I understand that humour is truly a subjective thing, it can often cause harm that goes unnoticed. Instances like this call for serious re-evaluation rather than dismissal because it's 'just a joke'.
I'm just going to let this set of comments speak for itself. (Source)

Sidebar of the Daily Mail's 'femail' section. (Source)
Notice (in the image to the left) how the women are making headlines for their "spectacular tumble(s)" demonstrating what  clumsy beings they are (sarcasm intended); and the men are portrayed as talented and fun as they "take home three Best Actor Oscars"and "steal the show...(with) 'high fives."
All in all, I'm glad I didn't watch the Oscars, however it does provide a comprehensive overview on issues that exist in contemporary culture; a microcosm if you will.

What do you think about these instances? I'm completely open for discussion on this one. Do you think i'm over-reacting or were you also disappointed?

ps - Sorry for not posting for a while, I actually wrote this a few days ago but wasn't sure on whether to post it...

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