Showing posts with label #6MonthsWithoutShopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #6MonthsWithoutShopping. Show all posts

Friday, 30 June 2017

#6MonthsWithoutShopping: Lessons From a Former Shopaholic

It's here! The end of June! After completing my #6monthsWithoutShopping challenge without a single fashion purchase, I think I'm officially able to call myself a former shopaholic!

I love shopping and bargain hunting a lot. Getting together with friends would be an excuse to shop, I'd shop during my lunch breaks, shop when a sale email came whenever I got the chance basically, and often that meant shopping more than once a week. I'm an emotional shopper too - happy, sad, bored, all were excuses to shop. My parents taught me the value of money so I wasn't spending huge amounts and never more than I earned, but I suspect I was shopping a bit more than average. Especially after discovering designer handbags 😂

Away From The Blue blog: lessons from a former shopaholic #6monthsWithoutShopping no shop challenge

How My Wardrobe Grew

awayfromtheblue wardrobe progress 2008
Wardrobe at my parents 2008

My wardrobe expanded from a single wardrobe at my parents to a wardrobe and a half after getting married and moving in with hubby, then adding on an extra clothes rack and eventually taking over an entire room filled with clothes and bags. I routinely broke the clothes racks from overloading them! I had way too much stuff. It was when my 'wardrobe room' was turned into Toddler T's nursery that I did my first big declutter. I got frustrated at the amount of new with tags items in my wardrobe and resolved to shop better.

The year Toddler T was born I realised if I was going to be adding things to my now limited wardrobe space I'd best be sure I would get use from them - and so started thinking more critically about what I bought.

I attempted a few 'tricks' to help tame my wardrobe and my shopping.

away from blue wardrobe progress 2012
Wardrobe 2012

Why #6MonthsWithoutShopping?

I covered it in more detail here, but basically it was another 'trick' to hopefully curb my shopping and help me use my existing wardrobe more, so I could wear more of what I own 30 times (idea from The True Cost movie). I wasn't sure I could do an entire year, 6 months seemed more reasonable.

away from the blue wardrobe room handbag wall 2014
Wardrobe 2014

How did I manage no shopping for 6 months?

I couldn't make it 31 days without shopping before, so I'm just as amazed as you are that I made it a whole 6 months without spending anything on fashion. There are a few things that helped make me successful this time around that I thought I'd share, in case you want to do your own no-shop challenge for any length of time.

  • Major life change. I mentioned it briefly on the blog, but the later half of 2016 was a bit scary, particularly in December when Baby Boy was admitted to hospital. The next few months involved re-prioritisation and shopping was just not on my radar.

  • Tell people about it. Of course I shared my intentions online on the blog, but I told everyone else about it. Friends, family, everyone was 'in' on it to help me with my goals. I'd meet up with them other places instead of defaulting to shopping as an activity.

  • The long timeframe. I didn't want to be that person that caved in the first half of the challenge, and by then I'd had 3 successful months behind me so didn't want to invalidate it by buying something in the last 3 months. It actually got easier the longer it went on.

  • Timing is everything. The challenge started in summer, and after an autumn full of heat-waves I was thoroughly bored and uninspired by my current wardrobe. When the temperatures eventually dropped, I got to unpack all my winter items and feel like I had something 'new' in my wardrobe. As I don't pack away much of my summer clothes, I wouldn't have had the same enjoyment if I'd started this in winter and had to box away half my wardrobe when it got warmer.

  • Get another hobby. I've always said shopping was a hobby for me - instead I took that time and channeled it into something else. I recently started a volunteer job as an example.

  • Limit your time. Similar to the point above, as Baby Boy grew and he and his big brother napped less, I had less time to shop. Instead of online shopping on the computer when they went to bed, I'd be trying to write a blog post or read the blogs I didn't get to through the day.

  • Have a reward. I purposely asked for (and gratefully recieved) a lot of gift cards for Christmas. It was my 'reward' at the end of the challenge. Didn't make sense to spend money in my favourite stores when I had gift cards just waiting to be spent in July!

  • Practice makes perfect. I didn't always meet my goals when I did No Buy July but I did learn more about my shopping habits - when I was inclined to shop and break the challenge and how I could avoid doing that in future. They were lessons rather than 'failures'.

away from blue wardrobe 2015
Wardrobe 2015

What Next?

I have the gift cards ready to go, I've had 6 months to put together an updated clothing wishlist...but I'm not going to be marking the 1st July with some purchases. I'm going to do #noBuyJuly17 instead, making it 7 months without shopping.

Why another no shop challenge?

As I mentioned above, my parents taught me the value of money and I'd frequently buy bargain pieces to fit my budget. 30 wears and the 6 months without shopping has taught me the value of quality: to have a wardrobe that I love, that I wear often, and where every piece is something I'd want to wear 30 times. It doesn't matter if something was $5 or $50, as long as it's something that's actually getting worn.

I think I have so much further to go to really get value from what I already own in my wardrobe, so I'm not looking at shopping again any time soon. I calculated if I wore some things 30 times I'd have 11 years worth of outfits. Not really feeling the urge to add to that number at the moment! Buying more just means I'll wear the existing things I already love less.

I'm not saying I'm never going to shop again, just that I'm content with the wardrobe options I have at the moment and don't yet see the need to add anything new. I'd like to wear more of my recently unboxed winter pieces before I buy any new ones.

I'm definitely a former shopaholic!

Away From The Blue Blog 2017 current wardrobe
Wardrobe 2017

Have you ever attempted a no-shop challenge? Do you find my tips useful? Or did you just scroll in amazement at my ever-changing wardrobe?

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Wednesday, 31 May 2017

30 Wears: Rebecca Minkoff Grey MAB Satchel Bag

Another 30 ways to wear, with an update on #6monthsWithoutShopping.

6 Months Without Shopping: Month 5 Update

You might find it hard to believe but that's the 5th month of my no shopping challenge completed with no shopping! Of course now I've shared the secret for how I've been distracting myself from shopping for these 5 months - I was working on an eBook in any spare time I had. Not that you get spare time often with two boys under 3!

This month I think I've been more tempted by things, there have been so many sales. I'd usually use a sale as an excuse to jump online to 'just take a look', but I've distracted myself with doing something for the book instead so I've never had the time to think about purchases for too long. It's also easy to talk myself out of wanting things when I realise I've nearly done 6 months without shopping and I'd hate to go and spoil it so close to the end by buying something!

And now, 30 wears. Still finding it difficult to identify clothing that I've worn 30 times, I'm featuring another accessory. The Rebecca Minkoff MAB mini that I've worn over 60 times in the 4 years since I bought it. A surprisingly low number given that when I get it out of its dustbag I tend to wear it for a few days in a row. It's such a good bag I usually wear it for a while before thinking I need to enjoy some of my other bags again.

30 Ways to Wear Rebecca Minkoff MAB Satchel Bag | Away From Blue Blog

#30Wears: Rebecca Minkoff Grey MAB Mini (MAM) Bag

I bought this Rebecca Minkoff mini MAB bag back in 2013, before the boys were born. At the time I liked the flexibility of the bag as you could wear it so many different ways: over the shoulder, handheld, and cross body. It's only now I'm chasing toddlers that I'm really appreciating the cross body feature for more than just a different look, it's a very practical choice for a mum bag! The neutral grey mini MAB goes with so many different outfits and I've worn the bag for many occasions too, as you can see in the 30 ways I've worn it below.

Rebecca Minkoff Mini MAB in the Office

The classic shape and neutral colour make the MAB satchel a great choice for the office! It's just large enough to fit in all of the usual things I carry as well as a small notebook, water bottle and snack - essentials for meetings across the city. While my workplace has a business casual dress code, I think this is the kind of bag you could easily wear in a more formal office too.

Rebecca Minkoff grey MAM bag office Corporate Style | Away From Blue Blog

Mini MAB and Maxi Skirts and Dresses

The beauty of the Rebecca Minkoff MAB satchel is that while it works in a more formal office environment with a pencil skirt, you can dress it down nicely with a maxi skirt or maxi dress for the weekend or stay at home mum style. The rectangular satchel shape of the bag slouches down nicely so it's just as suitable for a casual outfit too.

Rebecca Minkoff MAM Bag and Maxi Skirts and Dresses | Away From Blue Blog

Grey Mini MAB and Print Mixing

The benefit of neutral grey bag is that it goes with anything, so you can be a little more adventurous with your outfit. You can easily try some print mixing and pair different clothes together, as the bag won't clash with whatever you're wearing. Stripes and skulls, stripes and Aztec print, stripes and stars and even polka dots and skulls. I love my colourful handbags, but you can't beat a nice neutral sometimes!

grey satchel handbag with print mixing outfits | Away From The Blue Blog

Grey MAB Bag and Colourful Outfits

Just as a grey bag works in the outfits above when you are wearing different prints, it's the perfect neutral for a more colourful outfit where you're trying a new colour combination. I'm trying to add more colour to my outfits so when I'm wearing two colours I like to opt for a neutral bag. Blue and grey work so nicely together, and continue to do so even when you add in other colours like purple, yellow, pink and red.

bold colourful outfits with grey neutral handbag | Away From Blue Blog

MAB Satchel and Printed Dresses

Of course you don't have to be paring different prints or colours together to wear a neutral bag. A fail-safe grey bas is a good accessory with a bright printed dress too. 'Pick a colour from the pattern on the dress to accessorise with' is wise advice, but you can never go wrong wearing a colourful printed dress and a classic neutral bag.

Rebecca Minkoff MAM Bag with printed dresses | AwayFromTheBlue Blog

Difference Between the MAB and Mini MAB Satchel Bag

I've used MAB and mini MAB (or MAM) interchangeably in this post. The bag I'm wearing is the mini MAB which I think is better for my petite self. The difference is that the mini MAB is 20% smaller than the MAB. It's the exact same style, just a tiny bit smaller. A mini MAB (or MAM) is 13" wide, 8" high and 5.75" deep. Anything bigger is the MAB. 👍

Grey Rebecca Minkoff MAB Satchel and Monochrome Outfits

A you've seen above, an outfit with prints or colours or combinations of them both can benefit from a neutral handbag. You can try different prints and colours together, or try something a little simpler and wear a monochrome outfit. Black, blue and even orange, a grey bag can compliment a monochrome outfit nicely.

4 ways to wear: monochrome outfits and Rebecca Minkoff MAB satchel | Away From Blue

Grey MAB Bag With Jeans and a Tee

Jeans and a tee will always be a go-to outfit for me. A grey tee and denim is a simple outfit, and the grey Rebecca Minkoff MAB works nicely with it too, simple and stress free dressing. I haven't had any denim transfer on the grey leather, even when the bag rubs against my jeans when I wear it cross body. I do spray all my bags with a waterproofer before I wear them though.

Grey tees and jeans with rebecca minkoff mini MAB Bag | away from the blue blog

Anything and Rebecca Minkoff MAB Satchel

As you've seen above, a neutral grey bag with multiple ways to wear it like this one really will go with everything. You can wear it with jeans, colourful outfits, prints, works in so many different outfits. You can wear it year-round, and to multiple activities. It's one of those wear to work, wear on weekend pieces that I wish I had more clothing equivalents of in my wardrobe with my upcoming return to work after maternity leave.

4 ways to wear Rebecca Minkoff grey MAB satchel bag | AwayFromTheBlue blog

If you've been considering a Rebecca Minkoff bag and haven't been sure which one to get, I highly recommend snapping up the MAB on sale. It's on sale right now at Shopbop, in tan too. It's the first handbag Rebecca Minkoff sold back in 2005 and it really is one of those classic pieces. The video below shows just how much it can comfortably fit inside!

Where to Buy the Rebecca Minkoff MAB:

Where to Buy the Rebecca Minkoff MAB Second Hand:

(While the MAB style has recently been re-released, it was discontinued for a while. There are still a lot more colour options available second hand if you want to get one of the older bags like mine. Just remember to check sizes as mentioned above to make sure you're getting the MAB or MAM you want.)

Want more outfit inspiration? All 60+ ways I've worn the Rebecca Minkoff mini MAB on the blog.

30 ways to wear the Rebecca Minkoff MAB satchel! - Click to Tweet.
I hope you found this post useful. Don't forget to share or pin!

Linking up with What I Wore, Oh Hey Girl, Style On The Daily, Budget Bloggers, Thursday Moda, Fashion Files, Fun Fashion, Fabulous Friday, Passion for Fashion, Flashback Friday, Weekend Wear, Friday Favourites, Style Sessions, The Ultimate Rabbit Hole.

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Friday, 28 April 2017

Grey V-Neck Tees and Striped Maxi Skirts | #6MonthsWithoutShopping Update 4

Four months completed of #6MonthsWithoutShopping has meant I've had those days where I'm completely uninspired and don't know what to wear. When that happens I try to find something I haven't worn in a while, like these grey tees. To stay away from the blue denim rut, I picked striped maxi skirts to wear with them rather than jeans.

I'm just as surprised as you are that I still haven't bought any clothes or accessories for 4 months! I have been doing something else with those rare moments I get to myself where I'd usually shop, so will be sharing more about that soon. I'm pleased I'm doing so well with the challenge though, 2 months to go!

What I wore:

Oscar's Law Grey v neck tee, black white stripe maxi skirt, yellow micro Regan bag | Away From Blue

Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan satchel in Harvest Gold, stripe maxi skirt | Away From The Blue
Sunnies: Ray-Ban new Wayfarers
Necklace: Ruby Olive Softies Charlotte teething necklace
TeeOscar's Law 'Break the puppy trade' tee
Skirt: Target black and white striped maxi skirt
ShoesWittner 'Jasmarie' studded sandals
BagRebecca Minkoff micro Regan satchel in Harvest Gold
Nails: OPI Russian Navy

Why I wore it:

Not the first time I've worn this tee with a striped maxi skirt, I really like the combination. It was a quiet day when I wore this, just going to Baby Boy's weekly weigh appointment.

I felt that the grey tee and black and white maxi skirt were a bit dull so added some bright accessories with the teething necklace and yellow Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan bag.

The text on the tee reads "Break the puppy trade and don't buy the lie" and it supports Oscar's Law. If you're a return visitor to the blog you'll have seen the banner on the right and know it's a cause I support. Don't buy puppies from pet shops!

Last worn: Ray-Ban WayfarersOscar's Law tee, black and white striped maxi skirt, studded sandals, Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan bag.

Other ways to wearOscar's Law tee and jeans, black and white striped maxi skirt worn 30 ways, studded sandals and chambray, Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan bag and spring layers.

More Grey V-Neck Tees Under $50:

What I wore:

Grey tee, stripe navy maxi skirt colourful yellow accessories, Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan | AwayFromTheBlue

Atmos&Here Navy and white stripe maxi skirt mustard yellow cross body bag Cooper rescue Shih Tzu
Necklace: Ruby Olive Softies Charlotte teething necklace
TeeAtmos&Here charcoal grey v neck tee
SkirtAT by Atmos&Here Mars striped maxi skirt
Shoes: slim gold Havaianas
BagRebecca Minkoff micro Regan satchel in Harvest Gold
Nails: OPI Russian Navy

Why I wore it:

I wore this grey tee and striped maxi skirt outfit to spend the day with my sister. Just like the outfit above, I picked exactly the same accessories to add more colour to the outfit. I think grey and yellow is a nice colour combination so the yellow Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan bag was again the perfect choice.

This grey tee hasn't been worn for a while either! Last time I wore it (over 6 months ago) I wore it with a plain maxi skirt, and the same accesories. The plain grey tee is a great backdrop for a bright necklace or bag. It's one of my favourites too, although I do wear it sparingly and this is only it's 12th wear in the 3 and a half years since I bought it! I want to be sure it will last and not overwear it to pieces.

Last worn: grey v-neck tee, white stripe maxi skirt, slim gold Havaianas, Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan (above).

Other ways to wear: grey tee announcing a pregnancywhite stripe maxi skirt in the third trimesterRebecca Minkoff micro Regan bag and chambray dress.

More Striped Maxi Skirts Under $50:

How You Can Wear It:

Maxi skirts are a great alternative to jeans that allow you to stay away from the blue denim mummy style rult! They provide the same coverage and are just as comfortable to wear when running around after a toddler (or in my case, two!). A striped maxi skirt and grey tee is an easy outfit for those 'I don't know what to wear' days.

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers, The Ultimate Rabbit Hole, Mummy Mondays, Style Sessions.

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Friday, 31 March 2017

Blue Kimonos, Tees and Denim Shorts with Neon Pink Bag | #6MonthsWithoutShopping Update 3

First, I'm so happy to report that month 3 of my #6MonthsWithoutShopping challenge is done, and I've bought nothing. Still sticking to my challenge. I did buy a hair curler but as beauty and makeup/skincare products are exempt I'm not counting that.

The hardest temptation for me this month was a mustard yellow cardigan in my size for $2 in an opshop. I've been wearing a lot of mustard lately with my little mustard Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan bag so have been wanting more of it. But I left it behind. Even though I keep thinking about it!

Now, what I've been wearing. One colour combination I'll always come back to is blue and pink. Neon, pastels or any shade in-between, I just love the colours together.

The outfits below are really simple with denim shorts and basic tees. Adding a bright handbag and printed kimono creates a little more interest and makes the outfits less plain. Kimonos are a perfect completer pieces for an outfit, even in hot weather.

What I wore:

floral printed kimono to dress up casual shorts and tee outfit neon pink bag | AwayFromBlue

Denim shorts, Rebecca Minkoff neon pink mini MAC | AwayFromTheBlue
Jacket: thrifted Edited floral and bird print kimono
Necklace: Nibbly Bits Abacus teething necklace in pop
TeeAtmos&Here rolled sleeve oversize tee in black (also in grey, 25% off with code 'YAY25')
ShortsJeanswest Trinity Bermuda denim shorts (on sale!)
Shoes: Wittner 'Jasmarie' studded sandals
BagRebecca Minkoff neon pink mini MAC (on sale!)
NailsOPI Rich Girls and Po Boys

Why I wore it:

This was an easy outfit for playgroup, and then a quick stop at the post office in the afternoon to mail some more ebay parcels.

Shorts and a tee is a great warm weather playgroup outfit, and it's what the boys wore too. Adding the printed kimono and bright bag made my outfit a little more colourful and fun. Although the kimono has red in the print instead of pink, I really liked the neon against the navy background. Just like last time I paired the two together.

Cooper wasn't in the mood for photos this morning and tried to hide away - you can see him peeking out in my instgram photo too.

Last worn: printed kimono, black tee, bermuda denim shorts, studded sandals, neon pink mini MAC bag.

Other ways to wearprinted kimono worn two ways, black tee and printed jeans, bermuda denim shorts and button up shirt, studded sandals and printed shorts, neon pink bag and olive tank.

More Pink Rebecca Minkoff Bags:

What I wore:

grey tee, shorts dressed up with printed kimono bright neon bag | Away From Blue

blue nails, Rebecca Minkoff neon pink mini MAC  | Away From The Blue
TeeAsos new forever grey tee (on sale!)
ShortsJeanswest denim cuff shorts
Shoesblack slim Havaianas thongs
BagRebecca Minkoff neon pink mini MAC (on sale!)
Nails: OPI Rich Girls and Po Boys

Why I wore it:

Same outfit formula as the first outfit - blue kimono, basic tee and denim shorts with a bright pink bag. I had picked the bag and kimono first, then the shorts and wasn't sure what top to choose. Went with this neutral grey tee as it's been a while since I last wore it, 7 months! Despite getting rid of a lot of grey tees I obviously still have a long way to go if it's so long between wears.  It was such a hot day I wished I'd picked something with a little less fabric, like a tank instead of this tee.

We spent the day northside visiting the emergency services expo. Although much too hot for us to enjoy walking around an unshaded park, Toddler T and Baby Boy had a fun time jumping up on all the fire engines and police cars and ambulances.

Last worn: printed kimono, grey v-neck tee, denim shorts, Havaianas, neon pink mini MAC bag (above).

Other ways to wearprinted kimono and graphic tee, grey v-neck tee and printed pencil skirt, denim shorts and printed tank, neon pink mini MAC bag and black skinny jeans.

Blue Printed Kimonos Under $50:

How You Can Wear It:

Add more colour to a basic shorts and tee outfit with colourful accessories like handbags and kimonos. A plain neutral tee is a great base for a bright bag and printed kimono as you don't have to worry about mixing in any more colours.

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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Wardrobe Inventory | 6 Months Without Shopping Update 2

Another month over, another month of my #6MonthsWithoutShopping challenge completed!

Just like last month, I managed to avoid the sales and stores most of the time. The continuing heatwaves meant playdates at home in the aircon and so there was no shopping temptations from meeting up in Westfield. Unsubscribing from emails from online stores has helped keep temptation at bay as well.

The biggest help in avoiding shopping has been the boys though! Their naps have gone from sometimes lining up to never lining up so it's extremely difficult to waste time online 'just browsing' shopping sites. That has been the major factor to make this month another easy month for avoiding shopping. I feel it's made me a bad blogger too as it's so hard to read other blogs but baby routines change so much, it's only temporary.

Two years ago I did a wardrobe inventory. I wanted to do one last year but never seemed to find the time. I'd like to make it an annual thing. In 2015, I had 101 accessories and 266 items of clothing.

Since then I have had many more declutter sessions, a wardrobe detox with a personal stylist and another pregnancy. I was interested to see how the count would have changed this year. The totals below doesn't include things like pieces I only wear for layering, pyjamas and loungewear.

Wardrobe Inventory Closet Count for 2017 | Away From Blue Style Blogger

2017 Closet Totals


30 scarves

29 bags

24 pairs of shoes

  • 8 pairs flats
  • 1 pair of wedges
  • 3 pairs of heels
  • 2 pairs of Converse
  • 3 sandals 
  • 2 pairs of thongs (flip flops)
  • 5 pairs of boots


97 tops, including

  • 15 fitted tanks
  • 21 other tanks
  • 24 nongrey tees
  • 7 grey tees
  • 9 long sleeve tops
  • 6 shirts
  • 5 camis

6 jumpers

8 cardigans

20 jackets, including

  • 3 blazers
  • 7 kimonos
  • 3 leather jackets
  • 2 trench coats

16 pairs of jeans

  • 1 set of flares
  • 2 printed jeans
  • 13 skinny jeans

4 pairs of shorts

19 skirts

  • 8 maxi skirts
  • 1 a line skirt
  • 10 pencil skirts

41 dresses, including

  • 3 wrap dresses
  • 11 maxi dresses
  • 17 office dresses

Final totals:

83 accessories
211 items of clothing
294 pieces

My wardrobe had 367 items in 2015 so 294 is a step in the right direction! I do try to share my wardrobe edits on the blog when I've given something its last wear and it is leaving my wardrobe. Sometimes I never give pieces a final wear and I don't like them when I try them on or I remember I didn't like them last time I wore them and so I donate or sell them.

It's wonderful that I've managed to reduce the number of bags and scarves but I'm surprised I've increased the number of shoes I own! I'm disappointed I have so many dresses, after I got rid of a few at the end of the Frocktober challenge. It's good to see I've halved the number of grey tees though.

How Many Outfits?

Since I'm attempting the #30Wears challenge this year I thought it would be interesting to calculate how many outfits I'd have in my wardrobe if I tried to get 30 wears from everything. Keeping it simple as maths isn't my strong point, just looking at tops and dresses and not outfit combinations:

30 wears from 41 dresses is 1,230 outfits. Almost 3 and a half years of outfits. 
30 wears from 97 tops is 2,910 outfits. Almost 8 years of outfits.

And I frequently think I have nothing to wear, wow...😮

If I was to just focus on getting 30 wears out of everything I currently own, I wouldn't need to buy any new clothes for around 11 years. Somehow 6 months without shopping seems like a very short time. You can be sure I'll be looking back at these numbers when I'm tempted to buy something, to help me stick to my no-shopping challenge for the next 4 months.

I really liked looking at how my wardrobe has changed in 2 years and if you enjoyed seeing it too I'll attempt another inventory next year. If you've done a similar count please leave a link to your post in the comments, I'd love to read it.

Linking up with Fashion Files, Budgeting Bloggers, Fun Fashion, Fabulous Friday.

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Friday, 3 February 2017

#30Wears: Balenciaga Red Velo Cross Body Bag

During my 6 months without shopping, I'm aiming to get 30 wears out of as many pieces in my wardrobe as possible. Every month I'll be sharing 30 ways to wear something, from my huge archive of over 5 years of daily outfit photos.

This month it is the Balenciaga coquelicot (poppy red) Velo bag.

30 Wears: Balenciaga Coquelicot Velo Bag

Sharing an accessory this time: the Balenciaga coquelicot Velo bag. I bought this in 2011 and it has been worn over 50 times. (More if you include the year I wore it pre-blog). It ages so well too, very little wear and tear after years of use. Just like the black maxi skirt I featured for last month's 30 wears, it was hard narrowing this post down to just 30 outfits. The velo fits so much inside it's a great bag for many different occasions.

10 Ways to Wear a Balenciaga Velo Bag with a Skirt

The Balenciaga Velo bag looks great with any kind of skirt. Pencil skirts for work, skater skirts or maxi skirts for casual Friday or the weekend. I like wearing it with black skirts as it really pops.

10 Ways to Wear a Red Balenciaga Velo Bag with Denim

While some people worry about denim transfer with Balenciaga bags, I water and stain proof all my bags before I use them and I've never had a problem with my jeans rubbing off onto the leather. I've worn the Balenciaga velo bag with skinny jeans and shorts, the poppy red colour is perfect with all kinds of denim. It doesn't just have to be your standard blue jeans, printed jeans and even red jeans work quite well.

10 More Ways to Wear a Balenciaga Velo Bag

The Balenciaga Velo works just as well with a casual outfit as it does an office outfit. Printed dresses or black skinny pants, it really is a versatile bag. While some people might worry the bag is too slouchy and casual for office wear, it holds so much it makes perfect sense to take to work. The bright red colour is a nice pick-me-up when you sit it on your desk too!

I love handbags, they are my favourite accessory and I have quite a lot. While Balenciaga is one of the more expensive bag brands I have I do think they are worth the money and worth saving up for. That's why I have so many! I've included a few preloved Balenciaga bags below that are a little more wallet friendly, as well as some other brands.

Similar red leather cross body bags:

If you're unsure if you should buy the Balenciaga velo or another Balenciaga style, this video answers that question for you and compares a few of the common Balenciaga moto line bags.

Want more outfit ideas with the red Balenciaga Velo bag? All 50+ wears of the Balenciaga Velo in my archives.

If you enjoyed this 30 wears post I'm always happy to hear your suggestions for what clothing item or accessory to feature next!

Linking up with Weekend Wear, Flashback Fashion, Friday Faves, The Ultimate Rabbit Hole, Let It Shine, Shoe & Tell, Hello Monday, Modest Monday, Mix It Monday, Start the Week Stylish, Monday Mode, On Trend.

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Monday, 30 January 2017

Empire Waist Maxi Dresses and Cross Body Bags | 6 Months Without Shopping Month 1

First month of the 6 months without shopping challenge completed already and I found it pretty easy for once! Didn't buy anything, despite tagging along for a trip to the outlets. Hoping I continue to do so well for the next 5 months.

I spent a lot of January catching up with friends and family and since they knew I was trying not to spend, we avoided the shops. The summer weather makes shops a less attractive option as well. The boys are keeping me busy too so I have less computer time which means less online shopping time.

Even though I'm not shopping there have been a few changes to my wardrobe since I last shared an update post in December. I got a cosy knit dress from my grandma and two scarves as belated Christmas gifts. I'm looking forward to wearing and enjoying them when autumn arrives. I also returned a couple of pieces from my December purchases as I didn't love them when I tried them on at home.

For what I've been wearing, some simple outfits with empire waist maxi dresses. I have always liked that style for maxi dresses, it accommodates pregnant belly nicely and it's wonderful post-baby when you have leftover mum-tum!

What I wore:

Gypsy 05 ombre orange maxi dress for Christmas celebrations red glitter bag | Away From Blue

Mulberry Lily in maroon metallic suede leopard matching manicure OPI polish | Away From The Blue
EarringsA Little Bit of North blue mandala earrings (giveaway prize, close up photo)
DressGypsy 05 orange ombre maxi dress
ShoesRebecca Minkoff Georgina studded gladiator sandals in blush (on sale!)
Bracelets: the usual plus vintage charm bracelet
BagMulberry Lily in maroon metallic suede leopard (get it in pink! Extra 20% off with code 'WINTER')
NailsOPI Breakfast at Tiffany collection 'I got the mean reds' and 'Sunrise...bedtime'

Why I wore it:

Wore this pretty maxi dress to attend a late Christmas celebration with family who were overseas in December. I really wanted to wear this pretty metallic and suede bag as it matched my red and silver manicure (OPI Breakfast at Tiffany collection), and I knew I wanted to wear the dress. Wasn't sure if the orange and red would work together until I remembered something Sheila said - if the colours occur together in nature you know they will look good together in an outfit. Red and orange remind me of sunsets. So pleased I wore both pieces I think they look lovely together and I really liked this outfit!

Despite it not being one of my most popular outfits on Instagram this is one of my favourite outfits, wouldn't change a thing. It's such a simple outfit too. Every time I wear this dress I think of my lovely friend who gave it to me, I always feel good when I wear it.

The earrings are a beautiful prize I won on Instagram - handmade by A Little Bit of North. Highly recommend checking them out, they are based in Canberra. I did add a teething necklace to this but was in a rush so it was still in the baby bag when I took pics that morning.

Last worn: ombre maxi dress, Mulberry red suede Lily bag, Rebecca Minkoff studded sandals.

Other ways to wearombre maxi dress and kimono, Mulberry red suede Lily bag and graphic tee, Rebecca Minkoff studded sandals and chambray.

More orange and pink empire waist maxi dresses under $50:

What I wore:

Mothers En Vogue Havana maxi dress post baby for breastfeeding mustard yellow bag | AwayFromBlue

Rebecca Minkoff micro Regan satchel in Harvest Gold mustard yellow | AwayFromTheBlue
ShoesRebecca Minkoff Georgina studded gladiator sandals in blush (on sale!)
BagRebecca Minkoff micro Regan satchel in Harvest Gold (on sale!)

Why I wore it:

This is an old photo - from November! I'm not sure why this outfit hasn't been shared before now. I was trying to organise my photos to post and realised I hadn't used this one yet. While I take photos every day (as you can see on Instagram), I try to group them together into things that make sense for a post, like breastfeeding dresses or studded sandals and denim shorts.

It's what I wore to a playgroup Christmas picnic before the summer break. I've worn this dress with yellow before and really liked the combination so it was good to recreate it again with this mustard yellow bag. Nice and simple outfit, perfect for a picnic on a hot day and playing with the boys.

Last worn: Mothers En Vogue maxi dress, studded gladiator sandals (above), Rebecca Minkoff Micro Regan bag.

Other ways to wearMothers En Vogue maxi dress at 39 weeks pregnant, studded gladiator sandals and denim shorts, Rebecca Minkoff Micro Regan bag and printed kimono.

Linking up with Budgeting Bloggers, Mix It Monday, Monday Mode, On Trend, Turning Heads, Style Sessions, Confident Twosday, Wardrobe Wednesday, Midweek Inspo, Oh Hey Girl, WIW Wednesday, What I Wore.

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