Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Day 2: Reader Q&A - Aisling

Aisling asked:

Many bloggers talk about investment dressing - I'm not sure I agree with the term "investment" for clothes which are disposable items which mostly have little resale value unless they are very expensive - but I digress... I do believe in quality over quantity - where do you shop? There is so little choice in New Zealand. For example, you wore a beautiful DVF dress a while ago in a photo on the blog - did you buy it online?

I personally don’t feel comfortable spending large amounts of money on clothing, Aisling, for all the reasons you have listed.  However I have upgraded myself over the years from only buying cheap clothing or clothing that is on sale.  I still find it hard paying full price for anything, but now I look beyond the cost to ask myself:

Is the quality good?
Will I wear it a lot?
Do I look amazing in it?
Will it add to my wardrobe or is it a duplicate?

Then make my choices based on those types of questions.  I’ve never bought clothing online, I prefer to shop in stores.  I bought my DVF dress when we stayed in Hawaii the Christmas before last.  It came from the DVF store at the Ala Moana shopping centre.  I gave myself permission to buy whichever dress I wanted, since I’d coveted a wrap dress for ages and knew it would be something I’d keep for a long time, being such a classic.  But they had a great selection on the half price rack so I got a good deal.

I don’t often shop, and when I do I tend to buy a few pieces at a time, that way I can go a long stretch between purchases.  Even though I’m mostly at home and rarely travel, I shopped in Hawaii and also at Zara, in Sydney last month.  Zara is an inexpensive store but it felt quite different to other big chains - very European, elegant and sexy.  In Auckland I’ve bought a few things at David Lawrence - an LBD and a leather jacket as soft as a cardigan, that I love.  I used to shop at Country Road but haven't in ages now.

I’ve not checked out many New Zealand designers but it is something I’m keen to have a look into.  Juliette Hogan’s store is absolutely beautiful and the clothing looks wearable and feminine whilst still having simplicity.  I think the problem I have with most designer’s ranges it that they are just too weird for me.  I’m not into avant garde fashion, I just want clothing that is classic-ish and looks good on.  Plus well made.  Is that too much to ask?

A fantasy dream of mine is to design the perfect capsule collection and, if I had all the money in the world, it would be housed in the boutique I describe in this post.  It’s quite a fun thing to doodle when you’re waiting somewhere (make sure you keep a small notebook in your bag for just such an exercise, geeky me).  Imagine what your ten perfect pieces would be and draw or list them.  Something like this would be quite helpful in finding out the gaps in your wardrobe too.


  1. Thanks so much for your reply Fiona. I will check out Juliette Hogan too. I am in Wellington so it is even worse here! I did buy two jackets from Trelise Cooper for work - they were half price but stilll not cheap. I was very disappointed with them - the lining ripped very quickly on both and the fabric pilled badly. My Ezibuy jackets were better quality! The cut was good though. I buy from Boden.co.uk online the quality of their stuff is fantastic and can be cheap on sale. I also occasionally buy a cashmere jersey from Brora - luckily they last for years - my excuse is i am allergic to wool :)) Ezibuy can have some quite good things if you have a hard look and they now stock english brand Next. Glassons have good cardigans and Merino. If you find any new tips in the future - please share :) Aisling x

  2. I have actually bought clothing overseas to get a sustainable item that has not employed people in slave conditions. Eileen Fisher is my go to. I'd love to buy Australian-made but the good sustainable clothing seems to be more alternative than classic.

  3. Thanks for your tips, Fiona!

    Consignment has become my favourite way to shop for clothing. This year I haven't bought much, but what I have has been from a consignment store. I have a couple of local consignment shops (in Canada) I check before I buy anything retail. It's amazing what you find, and quite often things are in new (even with the original tags on!) condition -- mistakes people have cleared from their closets.

    The added bonus is that prices are typically 25 - 35% of the regular prices in retail stores.

    Part of why this works for me is I do have a base of very well-made and versatile pieces that will last a long time such as Brora sweaters and well-made trousers. I don't need very much other than the odd piece to refresh colour/style, or replace a worn-out basic.

    The exception to all of this is shoes and other footwear. Shoes are too tricky -- it's best to find a brand/style that works and stick with it, I find.



Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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