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Neon Happiness

You know when you buy something so awesome it inspires you to launch into dress up mode immediately? This happened to me a couple of weeks ago.

Solestruck recently had one of their famous 20/30/40 sales. I jumped in on the final day and bought some bronze high tops (Jeffrey Campbell, of course) and randomly threw in a pair of ankle boots by Gold Dot, who I’d never heard of before, purely on the basis of its amazing neon perspex insert in the heel.

I’m obsessed with neon right now. I know I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve never really been one to follow trends when they’re trendy. Neon is just the ramped up version of the standard bright, happy colours I like to surround myself with and this winter I’ve armed myself with as much of it as I can find. My hypothesis: you can warm yourself up starting with your attitude, which is reflected in what you wear, and vice versa. I wear the same colours in summer and winter – read: alllll of them! I don’t discriminate – but I definitely receive more surprised remarks from people during winter when everyone seems to expect you be swathed in black all the time.

So anyway, these boots. They are called “Helga” and other than the fabulous neon lime-y yellow detail, also feature shiny charcoal snakeskin side panels (which haven’t photographed very well anywhere), and have a 5¾” heel with a 2¾” platform. With those perfect “sweet spot” dimensions – thick heel, between 4 and 6 inches, 3 inch incline or rise – it was still an impulse buy, but as my order got en route, I became inexplicably more and more excited about their arrival..

The day the box arrived and I ripped it apart and immediately put on the boots – my, are they amazing?! I don’t know what it is about these. They’re ridiculously comfortable and as if a sign, the neon insert perfectly matched one of the shades of the Aurora Skye leggings I happened to be wearing on the day.

Ever since I’d put the shoes in my cart online, I’d been visualising them paired with my neon pink beetlejuice leggings. So clearly, that had to happen a.s.a.p.

Ow My Eyes!

Helga boots: Gold Dot
Beetlejuice neon pink leggings: Black Milk Clothing
Neon yellow stars and stripes top: ZARA
Breanna beret in Sulfur Spring: Cotton On
Merino ruched sleeve longline cardi in Black: Glassons
Wool blend puff shoulder peplum coat in Black: Glassons
Black chiffon shirt (worn underneath)

It was a Friday night, and I just wanted to head out and grab some Malaysian takeaways for date night in, so I changed back to my original outfit which I’d worn to work…

Bright Skies, Brisk Morning

Helga boots: Gold Dot
Aurora Skye leggings: Black Milk Clothing
Peter Pan collar coat in Teal: Oasis (Sold by ASOS)
Breanna beret in Gardenia: Cotton On
Emo scarf: Pieces (Sold by ASOS)
Chiffon placket top with bow in Moonlight Jade: Vero Moda (Sold by ASOS)
Long chunky knit cardi in black: Jay Jays
Disembodied Legs in Black Milk: Indie

Sorry about the delay in posting Part 2 of my non-leggings nylon winter styling experiment. I have travel photos coming out of my ears that I want to try and get rid of first, so it might be another week or so away. Soon: promise.

Non-leggings Nylon Winter Challenge: Part 1

Whenever I complain that it’s cold on a Melbourne June morning, people brush me off and make one or both of two assumptions.

One: that I should be used to cold because “where I come from” is very cold, because I come from New Zealand, right, where there is snow and stuff?

Two: Melbourne isn’t cold because it’s in Australia, right, and don’t they have desert and stuff? (That one is mostly from people who don’t live in Melbourne, obviously).

Ok firstly, I am from Auckland – the summers are mild, the winters are merely cool, and the average daily low in the coldest month of the year is above 7°C. Secondly, Australia is a big country, ok? Does Texas have the same climate as Maine? Up in the north, winter doesn’t exist. Here in Melbourne, more than occasionally we travel to work on 2°C mornings with Victoria’s impressive oceanic wind chill factor dropping that another 5 degrees or so, and that’s not even the overnight temperature. Sure, it’s no Canada, but we have Canadians here and they ain’t saying that it’s balmy!

So what happens in the coldest state (Tasmania doesn’t count) in the Land of Shiny Nylon when it’s one of those said mornings and you just want to inject some Shiny Nylon goodness into your day? Most will go for the leggings, maybe with some tights under them for extra warmth. But see, I have a lot of nylon that isn’t leggings and I don’t want a huge chunk of my wardrobe to go to waste every year while Melbourne has its five-month weather hissy-fit.

For the non Black Milk initiated, non-leggings items mostly consist of skintight, thin bodycon dresses, hip-hugging mini-skirts, swimsuits/bodysuits and shorts. Things that don’t scream “winter”.

There was only one way to encourage myself to claw out these pieces from the back of the drawers on a crisp July morning – I challenged myself to come up with a dozen general ways to style non-leggings Black Milk for winter. Here are the first six “results”.

These outfits are nothing to rave about (or repost on Tumblr) – they were actually all thrown together rather quickly and photographed in my living room in one afternoon. However, I feel they’re a demonstration of the many types of possible combinations of garments and accessories you can style with nylon pieces to make them cold-weather-feasible. In other words, at least for myself, they will be great starting points or formulas for creating a warm and stylish outfit!

Note: Where an item was still available for purchase at the time of writing (as far as I was aware), I have used a shopping icon which will link you to a store.

1. Weekend Fun
Shorts with opaque tights and a baggy jumper

I would wear this: out to a hot chocolate and shopping date in the city on Saturday, followed by cupcakes. All the cucpakes.

Gingham red shorties: Black Milk Clothing
Nico Shoe in Black Canvas: Jeffrey Campbell
Maffefka sweatshirt: StaffByMaff
Opaque coloured tights in Tomato: Sportsgirl
Boucle pom pom beanie in Red: Cotton On
Rainbow swirl earrings

Aren’t those JCs with the rainbow cork wedge amazing?

2. TGIF Drinks
Knit or jumper tucked into a skirt

I would wear this: on a Friday evening to meet friends for a drink or two

Metallic velvet gold skirt: Black Milk Clothing
Mya Spike shoulder Jumper in Khaki: Boohoo
Lita shoe in Taupe Suede: Jeffrey Campbell
Opaque coloured tights in Moss: Sportsgirl
Lurex knit stripey scarf
Amber and bronze teardrop earrings
Chocolate brown leatherette hairband with gold detail

3. Suit Up
Swimsuit over collared shirt, tailored pants and blazer

I would wear this: to a meeting I’m running, to be stylish and impressive at the same time

Revolution swimsuit: Black Milk Clothing
Sonita T-Bar Shoes in Tobacco: ASOS
One-button Blazer in Vanilla Bean: Victoria’s Secret
Pearl studded collar chiffon blouse: ZARA
Wide-leg tailored pant: Forever 21
Eden Eternity Scarf in Lapis Blue: Cotton On
Brown belt: came with some skirt I bought

4. Cute and Cozy
Dress with chunky or waffle knit jumper and tights

I would wear this: while hanging out at a friend’s place on a lazy Sunday

Beer dress: Black Milk Clothing
Lauren Batwing Jumper in Lilac: Boohoo
Lita shoe in Mustard: Jeffrey Campbell
Opaque coloured tights in Purple: Sportsgirl
Pom Skull Beanie in Burnt Orange: Cotton On

5. Brunch Date
Dress or swimsuit with cardi, tights and a comfy skater skirt

I would wear this: to look cute going to brunch with the girls in South Melbourne

Suicide of Morozumi dress: Black Milk Clothing
Ponti Skater Skirt in Red: Glassons
Lita shoe in Gingham: Jeffrey Campbell
Ruffle Cardi Sweater in Black: Victoria’s Secret
Feather Fedora: Forever 21
Red hoop earrings
Black 80 denier tights

6. Casual Date Night
Dress with “repeating” print over a collared shirt with crop jumper and knee high boots

I would wear this: on a relaxed date night with the boyfriend – Mexican for dinner, and a movie

Chopin dress: Black Milk Clothing
Pleated chiffon crop shirt in Black: Supre
Cropped Fluffy Jumper in Black: ASOS
Knee high wedge heel boots: Hannah’s (New Zealand)
Paisley and Leopard Scarf: Forever 21
“Sharkie” necklace (temporarily removed from original chain): Planet Rawr
Black and chrome chunky necklace
Thick cotton knit stockings with gold flecks

As this is my first “fashion” post, you might have noticed that (arguably other than my addiction to Jeffrey Campbell), I tend to shop at pretty ordinary stores rather than opting for expensive labels. I don’t believe that a scary price tag nor a groundbreaking design are necessary to putting together a unique style.
I would maybe love to shop for one-off boutique pieces all the time but that’s not reality, nor is it that important – I’ve chosen instead to have an expansive and versatile wardrobe of simple pieces with which to throw together styles in which the creativity comes from me.

Tune in soon for part 2, the second installment of my Winter Challenge with the final six ways to style non-leggings Black Milk when it’s brrrrrr!

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