Pop Up Frock Up Ballarat

My favourite words are “frock” and “pop up”. When the two are together it is an irresistible combination.

I headed down to St Patrick’s Hall on the second day of the Pop Up Frock Up Ballarat with Miss BG.

2014-08-17 13.57.24Miss BG was happy to go and spend some time with mum, especially when the outing ended in cake. Once inside, we marvelled at the range and stalls. Sunday was quieter, and you could move quite easily amongst the stalls.

While it is lovely to have a shopping companion, a nearly seven year old who loves to touch does make you hyper aware that a) the goods on display are fragile and b) expensive. You couldn’t get lost in the racks, flicking through without making sure little hands were not touching too much stuff. I ended up giving her my phone so she could take some photos.

2014-08-17 14.16.38

Glamorous mannequin

The bling was definitely something which caught her eye and the dresses dod not disappoint. Vintage was quite an elastic term, with pieces from the last 20 years for sale, but stretching back to the 1930s.

Coat detail

Coat detail

There were though, a few dresses from the 19th century on display, which made for interesting viewing.

1890's - look but don't touch!

1890’s – look but don’t touch!

 Cake beckoned as Miss BG’s interest was waning as and luck would have, we were right across the road from the Golden City.

It was a lovely afternoon of window shopping and marvelling at the beautiful frocks on display 🙂

#amonthinthelife- Day 14

I don’t usually post photos of myself on my blog, and in the past week I have posted two- but it is a month of my life, so I may as well appear in it :).

Red is one of my favourite colours, and this is one of my favourite frocks. It’s a simple cotton, with pockets (yay!) and I have had it for 3 years now. I took it with me when I went overseas 2 years ago, and it will come with me when I head off to the Us in a couple of months.

The colour red has another significance today, with the conviction of Brett Cowan for the murder of Daniel Morcombe. Championed by Nikki Parkinson of one my favourite guilty-pleasure blogs Styling You, there are a lot of people today wearing red to support the Morcombe  Family and their foundation

Nikki also hosts an #everydaystyle event where people post photos on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and this is the first time I have played along.

The obsession continues. ..


Today I finally entered! I was emboldened by a couple of ladies and a gentleman who ventured inside, with me following in their wake. The frocks were all gorgeous, with a few which had never been seen in the window. There were a couple of shift dresses wirh Picasso style prints that felt so silky, satiny pencil dresses and some exquisite full-skirted frocks and coats. The gentleman owner was incredibly polite and came over, while I was stroking the beautiful fabric of one of the dresses. Maybe he was afraid I would start drooling, but he may have seen the gleam of frock worship in my eyes, as we started talking about the fabric and the tailoring. The prices befit the quality of the frocks, and sadly beyond my reach at the moment. But I have finally braved the doorway, and I hope to be back soon.

Bookgrrl’s Stylin’ Week

Librarians have a reputation of being daggy and while I do confess to a collection of cardigans and comfortable shoes, I have a few things in my favour

1. I have been wearing hipster glasses and lipstick for so long I made them cool (tongue firmly planted in cheek)

2.I would religiously read the magazines before they hit the shelves before the borrowers get to them

3. The Dewey classification of fashion (391) is forever etched in my mind (so too is dinosaurs 567, cricket 796.356 and Australian History 994)

In honour of Frocktober and not to mention a flash of inspiration, this week is devoted to fashion, style and frocks.

While my blog  will not replace the likes of Styling You, Esme and the Laneway or Super Kawaii Mama (all gorgeous and informative), it will be fashion with a Bookgrrl twist- yes books will feature 🙂

Before I go any further, here is my take on  The Sunday Age’s  M Magazine Streetseen where you have a person on the street who is asked to describe their style.

  • I am- a librarian and mum who blogs as Bookgrrl.
  • I am wearing- a black shortsleeved dress from Target, a vintage (bought in 1996) grey jacket from Country Road. Shoes by Wittner, bag from a vintage shop in Clunes. I’ve been at work today, hence my outfit.
  • My style is- classic and comfortable or as Rachel from Small Notebook describes it ‘comfortably dressy’
  • I admire the style of- Audrey Hepburn and the fashion of Mad Men. I love Joan’s curves and how her wardrobe accentuates them. What I love about Audrey Hepburn is her ability to know what worked for her body shape and how to accentuate the positive.
  • My favourite labels are- Pleasure State, Elle McPherson and Bendon…actually I don’t really have any! I have clothes from everywhere- online, opshops, chainstores, with no particular allegiance to a label or shop.
  • My favourite place to shop is- London or Paris- no I’m just kidding! I like Little Collins St, and going shopping without the kids :).
  • My biggest fashion mistake was- a perm in my hair in the mid-80s. Actually the 80s is a pretty big fashion mistake.
  • When I was a kid I wore- handknitted jumpers, a lot of beige and navy blue- it was the 70s.
  • I would never be caught dead in – double denim, hotpants, really high heels, beige, and another perm.

Frocking, socking and not buying in October

The month of October has so many things happening in it, it is hard to keep up!

There is Frocktober, designed to raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research. Some lovely ladies such as Naomi and Fiona are donning a frock every day for the month of October.  The beauty of Frocktober is that you can participate with an event or a commitment to frock up at least once (I can feel a frocktastic morning tea coming up :))There is also a Frocktbober group on Facebook

Socktober which seems to be the month for knitting socks (in Ballarat, any month is a good month for knitting socks), with Tony and Kate participating. I’m simply admiring from afar, as I struggle to finish a cardigan which should have been finished months ago…

And then there is Buy Nothing New Month, in which people pledge not to buy anything new, save groceries, for a month. I did not pledge, but it has been in the back of my head when I’ve thought about getting some gym leggings, or walked past the yarn section of Spotlight, and kept on walking…

What this month has done so far is it has made me stop and think about not only what I buy, but why I buy. The aim of the month was to attain conscientious consumption, to think about where our stuff comes from and our alternatives, and in this aspect I’m getting there.

For a lot of people, this is a not a lifestyle choice but a necessity, in order to make ends meet. When you are a family on a single income with four children you do a lot of opshopping, bargain hunting or clothes making, and you don’t go crazy clothes shopping. At least that was my experience when I was growing up.

I mean, I love going to op shops and having a rummage around now and again, but there is not point in buying things new or otherwise if you don’t need them in the first place. A bargain is only a bargain if you need it.

Is a person who is always buying secondhand goods  because he/she simply wants them (or because it’s trendy) more noble than someone who prefers to buy new items as they are truly needed?

I was going pretty well, then crashed and burned yesterday with a visit to Kmart to get some thongs for the little BGs. And I did buy a couple of books on Book Depository and Readings… In my defence, your Honour, the books were mostly Christmas and birthday presents- well, mostly :).

Frock! Frock! Frock!

Today I felt I had died and entered vintage frock heaven. Well, it would have been heaven if all the clothes could actually fit me :).

I was a very lucky grrl when I attended the inaugural Melbourne Vintage Clothing Jewellery and Textiles Show– I was sans famille and able to peruse the 60 or so exhibitors at a leisurely pace without having to look for giggling children hiding under racks, or be mindful of an extremely patient man lurking nearby who would be silently wishing for it all to be over.

The show was held at the Showgrounds right next door to the Australian Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Expo. Let’s just say the crowds were mutually exclusive- well-dressed ladies and dapper gentlemen on the left, blokes with moustaches, Harleys and hoodies on the right.

I am serious- there were some beautifully dressed people, either as exhibitors, models or the devoted vintage fashionistas. It was a cross between the Sullivans, Happy Days and Mad Men- mainly 40s-inspired, with some 50s petticoats, and a smattering of pencil skirts, high heels and hosiery. I had never seen so many seamed stockings in the one place ever.

There were demonstrations from the Lindy Charm School on applying makeup and styling your hair vintage style- the secret is long hair, a lot of bobby pins and hair spray. There was also a fashion parade of vintage fashion from the 1930s to the 1970s from the collection of Nicole Jenkins the owner of Circa Vintage Clothing in Fitzroy, which was amazing. The models  were gorgeous, stylish and very va va va voom!

I picked up a copy of the OpShop Guide (Victoria) which was launched at the show- it will be a welcome addition to my bedtime reading pile. I also purchased a green polyester polo top for Mr BG, and came away with something for myself- a green 60s coat.

The Vintage Show finishes up tomorrow, so if you want to frock up or simply soak up some vintage vibes, hotfoot down to the Showgrounds.

A brilliant day, topped off with a stop in Bacchus Marsh to pick up some goodies for the little BGs, who were very happy to see me :).

Frock Friday

The best laid plans often go awry. I had been planning a week of reading and writing, but spent it kid-wrangling, gardening, ironing and knitting. Mr BG was away at a conference and by the end of the day, it was all I could do to drag myself onto the couch, watch (bad) TV and knit (the nights were cold, it kept my hands busy and I didn’t really have to think except which row was purl or plain). My internet connection had gone down to dialup speed, and I had gotten to that point where I was sick of looking at a computer screen for my entertainment.

I did manage to get away on Wednesday for a dress fitting for a frock,  from a very talented girl from Rococo Retro. I met her at the Buninyong Maker’s Market where she had a stall.

The frock will be waisted with a tight bodice and full skirt. A very 50s style, which will go down a treat if I go to a cocktail party or to a nice restaurant for dinner, followed by a stay in a fancy hotel. If I keep on saying it, it just might happen :).

Anyway the warmer weather has had me embracing more skirts and dresses. I have currently introduced Frock Friday to get out of wearing the usual work wear of black, layered with black with a dash of grey, or perhaps more black. Today I went floral in a silk dress, with floaty full skirt. Memo to self- avoid said floral dress on windy days. I spent my time outside holding on for dear life to the skirt to avoid flashing my undies to all and sundry. I was grateful I was wearing nice undies though :).

Hopefully the weekend allows for some reading. I currently have Winter of our Disconnect on my bedside table and just brought home Campaign Ruby from the library.

May you have a lovely weekend, whatever you do. xo