I hear ya girlfriend. The chain stores here are….shocking. That’s the only word I’ll write and refrain from unleashing. And we’re not just talking about quality but the ridiculous prices that are charged for those poor quality items. Shopping centres here in Australia are just as bad, filled with the same chain store after chain store. I swear if you’ve been to one Westfield, you’ve been to all of them because you just end seeing the same signs over and over again. However, having said that, if you’re like me and you’re busy and time-poor and barely have time to yourself, then the local shopping centre will just have to do if you need to go shopping. I hate to admit it but that’s what I used to do – duck down to the shops at work during lunch time and quickly buy the skirt or shoes I need for work and yes, it came from Witchery/Cue/Saba/Country Road/’insert name of chain store’.
Now that I’m on maternity leave, I’ve been enjoying the luxury of browsing through and finding some brands and designer that get me really interested and excited. Some are local, some are overseas but it’s refreshing to find some of these designers and boutiques that are different, unique and definitely not trying to copy the latest runway fashion.
So for those who want to look for something different or in need of style inspiration, here’s a few of my favourites…
Fashion/lifestyle blog by 2 bestfriends based in Sydney. I LOVE their style because it’s exactly my style! Distressed denim, t-shirt, blazer or leather jacket and a classic bag is my idea of the perfect outfit. I get so much inspiration from them and they use a wide variety of pieces to style their outfit – from the high end designer bags to simple cheap t-shirts from chainstores. It’s the way they style the outfits which I love. They also let you buy 10 key items they have picked each month so you can essentially copy their outfits. You can check out their website or follow them on instagram.
A Danish model/singer/mum and now designer. Again, I’m drawn to her collection because of the simplicity without it being boring kind of style she has going on. I’ll warn you up front – the pieces are NOT CHEAP but they’re good quality. I love her shoes and when I’m off my spending ban, I’m definitely buying those moccasins which are handmade. Shipping is free worldwide which is good and she has a lookbook if you’re looking for more style inspiration.
A great website showcasing fashion and style from all over the world. They have ‘Coveteurs’ who are people famous in their field and profiled on the website. Some of these coveteurs will have an open closet where you can shop similar items to those shown in their closet if you find something you really like. Or you can just go straight to the shop on their website where they have partnered up with a few merchants offering a range of brands that are not toooo mainstream. The Coveteur will just act as the middle man if you wish to purchase. Regardless of whether you by or not, I love this website and all the different styles that are shown here as well as some great reading – there’s bound to be something for everyone and no doubt you’ll get some great style ideas.
An Australian online store which offers a select range of designers from around the world. Designers include Josh Goot, Viktoria + Woods (my FAV) and some less known ones such as By Zoe, Nicholas, Secret South. They also have a blog so you can get some styling ideas.
Based on in QLD with a full online store, they mainly stock Australian designers such as Josh Goot, Dion Lee, Karla Spetic (LOVE), Camilla and Marc, Christopher Esber etc. It’s a great one stop shop for Australian designers, especially the ones I like. They offer free shipping if you purchase over $150. Keep in mind there’s HEAPS of other online boutiques that also stock Australian designers – these guys aren’t the only ones so if you have something in mind, shop around.
This is a standalone brand but one of my absolute favourites. Australian brand launched in 2003, their style is simple, wardrobe staple items that will last seasons and seasons. They’re known for their wool collection and most of their clothes are made in Australia. I want practically EVERYTHING in their current AW13 collection! They offer free shipping if you buy online.
So if you have the time, look around. There’s sooooooo many different brands, designers and styles out there – we are spoilt for choice yet due to price and time constraints, I think we tend to gravitate towards the ‘easier’ choices. If you want to invest in classic staple pieces, diversify your wardrobe and create your own style, I think you need to venture out of the normal shopping centre type of stores. I’m not saying they’re all bad, just don’t feel the need to support large chain stores all the time when they’re either copying the high end designer stuff or ripping us off with made in china crap.
Enjoy browsing and hopefully you get a little inspired to adventure out!