After the success of “I Let My Friend Choose My Outfit” posts one and two, one of my genius readers suggested I do it with a group of readers. So, I put up a Facebook post asking the readers of the blog to volunteer for a group outing to Savemart. My goal was to see what people would pick for me if their knowledge of my style was largely confined to what they see me wearing on the blog. Since A and K have both known me for over a decade, they have a huge back catalogue of looks to draw on, and so their hit rate for things I’d likely wear is naturally high. How well could two near-strangers do?
Zoe and Megan answered the call. I already knew Megan a little from a shared history in Girl Guiding but since most of Girl Guiding is done in uniform, I felt she was on a pretty reasonable level footing with blog readers. Zoe I had not met before, but suffice to say, one shared coffee at Peoples in Newtown, one Savemart outing, and one delicious lunch at Baobab and we were getting on famously.
The game is always the same: we go to Savemart, I try not to express any opinions except about fit, the person(s) shops up a storm while I entertain myself by also shopping up a storm, we try on all their finds and they pick me an outfit that I then wear on the blog. Hey presto, here we are with not one but TWO looks. I’d kinda assumed the ladies would work on one look but when they asked how I intended it to run I realised I was very relaxed about having a second look/very excited to see what they’d individually prepare.
Look One: I call this “jazzy casual”
Should I ever get married, “jazzy casual” will be the dress code. You’ve been warned.
These pants were a real challenge. Zoe really wanted to use these due to my well documented love of jazzy pants, but finding a top that really worked was a journey that included one top that was actually a very, very unusual bodycon dress with many cut outs. Didn’t make the cut, I’m sure we’re all devastated. I’m going to estimate that I tried on a dozen tops; the breakthrough was, as always, to bring it back to the shoes.
These little espadrille guys are SO COMFY. Because I wear heels a lot, which in case you were wondering are not comfy, when I put on flat shoes that have cushy inner sole action I am always filled with joy and excited exclaiming happens. I probably wouldn’t have gravitated to these, but they are now firmly in shoe rotation for the summer and I am bloody grateful. Anyway, Zoe decided she needed to pull a colour from the shoes to make the look cohesive, and that got us onto a blue track that led us to this shirt.
What I really appreciated about Zoe was that she was so aware of my intense feelings about fabric. While I did try on many (many) synthetic tops, Zoe actively tried to find something that wasn’t too heinously synthetic, which is how I am now the proud owner of this blue silk top. It’s going to be the perfect cover up this summer for hot days at the beach or in the gardens, and after a short chat where we determined that the denim jacket game at Savemart was weak but my denim jacket game was strong, the outfit was determined! Then all I did was throw on my beloved cockatoo earrings and call it a day.
Look Two: it’s party time
Megan is a genius who clearly read about A’s experience of picking a dress and realised that this was the way to succeed at picking a look for someone else (although she did get me to try on various other options, this dress was the winner). This pretty cream and black number jives perfectly with my “young Italian mafia widow” vibe, and I enjoyed how the print is actually four hearts creating these diamond shapes – very clever. The black also saves this from washing me out too much or creating the always awkward naked effect.
However, just the dress by itself lacked a little bit of punch, and this is where Megan had her own experience of trying to find the dream piece to match something you’ve already picked…in a jacket. Jackets can be a real pain in the butt when you’re op-shopping an outfit because the fit has to be right not just for your body, but for the proportions of your look as well. I tried on a smart blazer but this perfectly cropped number was ideal on the day (and that frill down the front just really works with the feminine dress).
Finally, Megan found me a pair of classic black heels to wear, but then asked: how many pairs of black heels do you own already? Three, I own three pairs of black heels, and at that Megan took the shoes away and told me to wear a pair I already own instead of buying another pair (thank you for having my back on that one). I picked this pair from Wittner because I loved the effect of the polka dot with the print but I do think a pair without an ankle strap would have been more flattering on me in this length of skirt. I also cinched the jacket in with this vintage snakeskin belt, and I’m looking forward to wearing it with my tartan midi-length skirt as a party look this year. It’s a great little jacket, and fills a gap in my black jacket collection.
Conclusion: everyone should do this
This was a FANTASTIC IDEA. First of all, always super fun to spend a few hours with people who you don’t know that well but who are sympatico to your lifestyle (aka were not going to judge me for thrifting a green velvet hoodie) because the chats are so good. The topics were many and varied, from the reasons for the teachers’ strikes to our thoughts on fast fashion. But mostly, this was an awesome way to get some fresh eyes on my wardrobe. Here’s an item round up of how we did overall:
The pants: love these, and thought I’d be able to get them altered (the waist is pinned in these shots) but wearing them about properly revealed that they slowly inch down your legs as you wear them. Damn my out of proportion waist to leg ratio. I do have something similar from Trelise Cooper that I bought from a secondhand shop some time ago, so Zoe has given me some good inspiration here.
The top: keeping it, breezing about in it, A+.
The shoes: please see above re: who knew shoes could be this comfortable? In summer rotation.
The dress: I like it a lot and think it could be super wearable as a style; unfortunately, I wore it for an hour or so and spent quite a bit of that time battling static. Due to the competition for wardrobe space, this guy lost out but it has opened my eyes to the possibilities of cream.
The jacket: I love this little guy, and think its cropped proportions and frill collar are excellent. I’ve mentioned an option for wearing it above – I also this this would be ace done all the way up and worn tucked into a pair of wide legged trousers for the office. This was a great choice that I might well have overlooked in my own op-shopping.