Monthly Archives: April 2011

Royal Wedding

Kate Middleton - Royal Wedding

What a spectacular dress. Not way out there or anything – just dignified and elegant and oh so pretty! We know she would have had a lot of guidelines to follow when choosing the design of her dress but she still managed to keep her style intact. This was definitely a throwback to Grace Kelly’s wedding dress and I loved that one too.

What a poised young lady! Kate would have been under strict instructions not to express any emotion during the ceremony and though the lips quivered during the vows, she never lost her composure. But it was worth the wait when she finally relaxed as she and William got into the coach and the smiles came out.

The world will watch them closely and I hope the royal family are kinder to her than they were to Diana.

Dolce & Gabbana Fashion Show

A recent Dolce & Gabbana parade at Fashion week featured heaps of stars and animal prints. All muted colours. I’m not that fussed about much of it but love the last two images. The dress is floaty and feminine with a touch of colour in the shoes. The last is a really sassy take on menswear in a way that no man would ever dress. I would wear both of these outfits and am currently on the preloved sites looking for cheap alternatives. All I need is an idea and I’m off in creating a new look.

Office Beauty

On a regular basis I am going to photograph someone at work who stands out for whatever reason. It might be her clothes, it might be her attitude, it might be her quirkiness.

Today I photographed  gorgeous secretary, Polly, who bubbles with a happy personality and always stays true to her style of dressing whether her skirts are short or long. She is a pleasure to be around and it is apt that she is my first choice.

Polka Dots for Work

Another work into evening outfit. The skirt is made of a simple cotton polka dot fabric with shirring about the basque to keep it close against the body. Then it flares out in gathers and inverted pleats to create a very full hemline.

The top/jacket is in a silky stretchy fabric which slides against the body without clinging. It closes with a zip up the front and at the neckline is a wide gathered frill which sits wide on the shoulders. I often wear a silky singlet beneath so the top can be removed for the evening. Both the skirt and the top were given to me by my sister when she grew tired of them. She is a great source of preloved clothes for me.

I either wear flat ballerina shoes or the ones in the photo depending on how I feel that morning. I always wear the wonderful metal cuff in the picture, which I bought on The sleeves of the top are three-quarter length and I take advantage of the bare skin to wear it.

Heart Truth Red Dress Fashion Show

I was watching Desperate Housewives last night and was, as always, blown away by their beautiful red dresses at the beginning and looked up the 2011 Red Dress Fashion Show. It must have been a spectacle with all those celebrities prancing along the runway.  They must work so hard on their figures to look that good.

It’s easy to find beautiful evening wear in secondhand shops and on trading websites. Often the garments have only been worn a couple of times and are in fantastic condition. Look for the designer labels and you can be sure of the workmanship. Wear your purchase a few times and then sell  it on. That way you have a rotating wardrobe that you never get tired of.

My Latest Accessory Purchases

I get carried away with my purchases of accessories from because they are all so cheap.

– I have several cuffs like the red, jewelled one above. I will show some others another time. I wear this with fairly simple clothes so it makes a statement.

– The earrings are unexpectedly large and don’t get worn too often because they waggle about and hit me in the face if I move too fast but they do get second looks when I wear them. 

– I love the shot of colour the purple belt gives to an outfit and I really want to find shoes or a bag of the same colour.

– I bought the black leather belt because of the spectacular buckle. It lifts any outfit and gives a nice tough feel to a more feminine outfit.

– The lace and pearl clip makes a large statement on a plain jacket. Again I enjoy the juxtaposition of the feminine with the tougher look and would wear a very severe jacket with this.

Highwayman Outfit

I love to have a theme when I dress and this is my highwayman outfit. The trousers are narrow-legged with a smart sewn-in pleat down the centre front.

The white cotton blouse, designed by Trelise Cooper, was bought for $40 on The original price could easily have been close to $500. The frills about the neck and on one side at the hemline is right in keeping with the theme. Trelise Cooper garments are a favourite of mine because of her unique touches. I have bought several items of hers. Occasionally they don’t fit and so I sell them on, always for good money, even making a small profit because I display the clothes well on my mannequin and that makes all the difference.

Over the top I wear an embossed velvet fitted coat I also bought on for about $30. No one else bid for it because they couldn’t see the potential. Many people remark on it when I wear it.

The only appropriate footwear are the  lace-up boots in the photo. The trousers are tucked into them and they complete the look perfectly.

Cropped blazer + Chiffon + Satin leggings


Today I have another outfit which can go from day into evening. This always gets me compliments for the delicate colours. Let’s start:

– The base item here, the satin leggings, are not actually secondhand because I have never seen these at any of  my usual preloved sources. Once you have found these stretchy, Storm leggings, you will never look back. They fit perfectly enough to be worn as slinky trousers as well as leggings. They have topstitched panels that melt around the leg shape. The ones in the picture area beautiful bronze colour and I own black ones too. The colour goes beautifully with the other two items.

– The salmon coloured top is a mix of cotton jersey and a swathe of chiffon draped down the front and back. The front is decorated with giant rhinestones.

– Over the top, a pink, cropped, non-closing jacket  allows this to be worn to work. Take off the jacket for the evening. I roll back the sleeves to reveal the striped lining and so I can wear my beautiful silver cuff. I also accessorize with a big silver ring and crystal earrings to match the rhinestones.

– If I am going out after work or just feel like a little more elegance, I wear the snakeskin heels I bought on Trademe for $20. The boots, which I bought many years ago in an Italian market, are for chillier days. They look a little beaten up but that is part of the appeal. They are a little brighter in the photo than what they are. Their colour is actually a great match for the leggings.

And there you have another great outfit to wear to work and out afterwards.

Welcome to My Preloved Fashion Blog

Preloved FashionHere’s my very first outfit for you. This works well for work during the day and on into the evening. Take off the jacket and dance the night away.

The ensemble consists of:

– An underskirt of a multi-layered tulle skirt. See second photo. I use this skirt under heaps of normal skirts to make a statement with a twist. I bought this on for about $30.

– An overskirt in an abstract pattern of oranges and greys. This is narrow over the hips and flairs out gently with inverted pleats halfway down the skirt. The hemline is very wide – far more than a full circle. It sits beautifully over the tulle skirt. This is one garment which is not preloved. I saw it in one of our cheaper shops on sale and grabbed it. I could immediately see the possibilities with its full skirt. It is a great way to add colour without removing the elegance of the outfit.

– With these two skirts, I wear a sleeveless singlet top which my sister gave me  – family and friends are a great sourceTulle Skirt of completely free preloved clothing. This top is made from a strong stretchy fabric which holds the skirts in tightly to avoid the look of bulging hips which could happen with all that tulle.

– I then define the waist with a wide elastic belt with an interesting buckle. I bought this on for $10. If you could find one to match the skirt colour, that would work well but the match would have to be pretty exact so you couldn’t buy it online because the colours are often deceptive when amateurs take their photos for the listings.

– I then use a cropped, matt satin smoking jacket to lift the outfit soBlack Ankle boots I can wear it to work. The jacket does not close. I roll up the sleeves a little so I can wear one of my great collection of bracelets. Since I wear the necklace you can see in the first photo (given to me by my mother), I would use a beaded black bracelet to stay in keeping and drop black earrings.

– You could wear a pair of black heels with this but I love to mix it up with these boots. They are my one buy that cost me good money. They are super comfortable and add a grunge element to the outfit . I also prefer to wear bare legs so a little skin shows through under the see-through bottom layers of the tulle skirt. Black stockings are a little heavy.

And there you have it – a great day into evening outfit for little cost.