This time of year is a strange one in fashion and seasons. Here in the Southern Hemisphere, we have watched all the Winter fashions unfold in the Northern Hemisphere, having just stored all of ours away in mothballs as our Summer heats up. And then, just as our shops launch their Autumn/ Winter fashions, the overseas retailers are winding up their Winter sales and putting out their Spring/ Summer.

 This can be a benefit, if you use some forward thinking in picking up items for the season ahead. The problem though, is that when it's 40C outside, you don't often wish to be receiving shipments of woollen items and coats, even if they're heavily reduced... it's a long time before you'll be wearing them.

Here in Australia, David Jones (a leading Australian Department store) launched their Autumn/ Winter collection with a big fashion parade in Sydney - on January 28th. That's right, the start of our hot weather (it won't cool down until April or May at the earliest). According to The Australian newspaper reporter, the collection (for Winter) featured cropped sleeveless tops and light skirts, and the David Jones buyer stated that the beauty of featuring these items was that women could buy them now and wear them immediately, without having to wait for actual Winter before getting all their new things out.

I wait with baited breath to see the launch of the Summer fashion in July with coats included (presumably, as it will be freezing at that point in time, and that's what we'll all be wanting to wear right then).

But as the sales finish with the overseas retailers, we end up with an in-between season where we all match up. So I thought I'd post a few things that have caught my eye for transeasonal dressing (or even Summer dressing here in Australia). I bought two new dresses in the past month, and so thought I'd review them here.

They come from Boden, a UK catalogue company that produces Mens, Women's and Children's clothing. They're not well known in Australia (at all) but most certainly are in the UK and in the USA as well. Their pricing is mid range (cheaper than Country Road and Witchery). I buy children's wear from them (I like that they don't have logos all over them, are sturdy and wash up well, and don't make the kids look like mini adults - the colours are great, and the styles are fashionable without being in the fashion victim territory), and I will occasionally put something in the basket for myself, especially when they are doing discounts (sign up for emails if you are interested as you'll get them sent to you regularly).


via Boden

The first dress that I bought was this one above - the Easy T-shirt dress . Boden do Petite sizing, as well as R for regular length and L for long length. They also have online reviews, which I find useful in working out sizing. And as for sizing, they go from a size 6- 22 (UK sizing is the same as Australian sizing), so cover a larger part of the population than local retailers who won't go above a size 14 or 16.

I needed a dress that was a good, everyday sundress. This dress is great - it has a high waist, and the pleats over the tummy bit are reasonably flattering. I say reasonably, because it is a dress that on me can give a slightly.... maternal air... on the wrong angle. That says I need to spend a bit more time at the gym and that I need to stand up a bit straighter in general, but I decided to keep it because it is so comfy, can be thrown into the machine, and overall looks really nice. I've had lots of compliments on it. Plus it wasn't expensive, so is a good everyday dress. I will say though that it is fairly short. It comes about an inch higher than my knees, and I am 5'4". So if you are taller, or like your dresses a little more modest in length, then go for the Long, rather than the Regular. There's also a version of it in a maxi dress. But I don't really do maxi dresses due to being somewhat height challenged - they swamp me unless I wear heels with them.

via Boden

The other dress I bought was this Leila Ponte Dress, above, which I put a photo of myself up in on Sunday's blog post (repeated below). It's a really thick stretchy cotton, with 3/4 sleeves. I thought it would be a good transeasonal dress, and with tights and a cardie in Winter could do for then. Again it has a higher waistline, and the skirt length is short, so the same comments go for above re sizing. It's got a lot of stretch in it, so is really comfortable to wear, and would make a good day dress for the office, that could easily be dressed up for evening.

me in the Leila Ponte dress, a bit shorter on me (and I'm not a tall model....)


So, a couple of reasonably priced dresses that can be worn now, which is nice.

Aside from that while browsing around the internet I found a few items that I have already in my wardrobe (so won't be buying duplicates of), but thought I'd recommend to anyone out there that was looking to pick up a few bargains.

Via The Outnet


Firstly, The Outnet has a large shipment of Tory Burch that has just arrived. One of the items is this Lyot chambray Tunic , above, which is 55% off. I bought this top around 2.5 years ago, and it's one of my most worn items in Spring and Autumn. I wear it like pictured in this image, with white or black skinny cropped pants and ballet flats - the loose top is very comfortable, has concealed pockets in it and is generally a good workhorse of a top with kids. It is quite generously large, so don't feel tempted to size up on it. It has a bit of gold button detailing on it, which makes it look a little bit dressier.

I was also checking out the Cable Melbourne website to see what their new Winter knitwear was like (it hasn't launched yet, but the images are up). In their sale section are a lot of the Summer range, so worth having a browse there anyway, but there are also a couple of the Winter staples that I have, and they're half price. There's only a few left in Larges and XL, but if you're looking for a really high quality cardigan, I highly recommend picking them up during the sale period.... they are certainly worth it. I wrote a post about Cable last year, as I love their things so much. My version of this (in grey) is around 4.5 years old, I have worn it to death, and yet it still looks brand new.

Via Cable Melbourne

Lastly, I was sent an email from Netaporter showing the latest Lela Rose collection which has just arrived with them. I fell in love with this beautiful skirt and top - it's just like a watercolour painting, and is SO pretty. Unfortunately Netaporter did not send me an 80% off code with the email, so I will not be buying it. Sob. It's already selling out at full price, so it seems a lot of others have been very taken with it too. Others with deeper pockets than I....

via Netaporter

They also have this beautiful silk skirt, also watercolour influenced. So pretty

 via Netaporter

So while the shopping stars are aligned here in Australia, we have Winter on sale, Summer on Sale and new season Winter and Summer in the shops and online as well. Talk about seasonal confusion! What are you buying? Summer or Winter?

38 comments:

  1. I always think there must be advantages, though I know the shipping can be prohibitive! I haven't tried Boden for that reason as they only ship to Canada via the UK, not the US, though our Dina loves it and looks marvelous in it and I love your pictures! I am swooning over those florals as well. I love a beautiful floral!

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  2. They are SO pretty... unfortunately I don't have a spare $2,300 to spend on it though. So it's not even a remote temptation!
    The shipping for Boden to Australia is cheap! You must get charged taxes or something? I could easily pay more to drive into the city and park in a parking station for 2 hours and buy a coffee or something after browsing in shops, so to me it's worthwhile! xx

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  3. I'm on the hunt for easy every day, inexpensive chuck in the washing machine dresses - I find them so hard to find.
    You are so right about parking, it's about £8 to park in town here for two hours, online keeps the cost down but I hate trawling the internet, I really need an online personal shopper... Heidi?

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    1. I prefer the internet now, than actually going into a store... i feel almost overwhelmed when I can't see things on a mannequin in a photo!! I think Boden is good for the inexpensive, throw them in the machine type dress though. The cut and colour range and flattering styles are miles ahead of our local offerings. An online personal shopper is a good idea - I see that The Outnet have one, but really it would be good to have someone that went across all the shops for you. Surely there is someone doing that out there?? x

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  4. Boden charges duty and tax on top of shipping so it is expensive for us in Canada, I bought two dresses before Christmas and they ended up being close to $100 each due to the extra charges... then I shrunk them both in the wash. What a dope!
    I am in love with the styles of Lela Rose, those fabrics and full skirts! Gorgeous! Very expensive. I noticed some new things on the outnet the other day. One day I might buy one of her dresses, perfect for a wedding or a special birthday. Of course it would have to be on sale. Where is the 80% discount code?!
    Spring is coming out in the shops, including my favourite Brora but I'm not buying any of it these days, I've been looking at sturdy clothes for puppy-land instead. Our dollar is also sliding while the GBP has gone up so shopping on UK sites is not looking attractive right now. I'm happy I bought a few pieces from the Brora collection last spring which was a favourite of mine.
    Tory Burch tunic tops are fabulous aren't they! They always look good and the cut is very stylish. That to me is a perfect look for day.

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    1. That's a shame re the duty and tax situation. We have none in Australia on purchases under $1000, although they keep talking about introducing it, but can't work out a way to collect it in a cost effective way. The Lela Rose is SO gorgeous - their fabrics and the cut and detailing are really so good. But yes, very expensive. When they're 70% off they're a good buy. You can easily spend the same on a dress that is full priced but is nowhere near as well made/ nice to look at. Sadly our dollar has slid a lot over the last 6 months too, things are not as cheap as they were, and I've adjusted accordingly.
      I think that Tory top would be perfect with a puppy - certainly it's stood up to my life with children, and the pockets are very handy. I've worn it so much over the past few years. xx

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  5. The Lela Rose stuff is so pretty! I bought something online which I rarely do especially as I live around so many shops so I don't tend to buy online but I was looking for loose dresses so bought stuff on winserlondon. Great simple pieces but it was my first time so sidings were a bit wrong but found quality great at great price. I saw a lovely shirt dress on boden but am worried we won't get the spring weather to wear it. There is no real need to buy summer outfits here except for when you go on hols! But I like your boden dress a lot and it does seem flexible for so many occasions. You look great in it! Xx

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    1. It is pretty! No where to wear it though, even if I could stump up $2300 for it!! You have no reason to shop online Naomi - you're in Shopping Mecca. I know that shirt dress - I was tempted by it too, but decided I already had something similar, so left it with them. Funnily enough a lot of what is classified as "Summer" clothing in the UK is what I think of as Spring/ Autumn here - you don't generally need a cashmere cardigan in the middle of Summer here for example, even if it is cropped!! xx

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  6. Shame about the Lela Rose shirt and dress, H. Absolutely gorgeous, and so you. But agree price, current A-dollar exchange rate and no sale code puts it on the wrong side of affordable. How are the lay-bys going by the way? Have they emerged yet? Hopefully while it's still summer.
    There was a deluge in Canberra yesterday! Had done two loads of washing when the clouds swept in and the storms began. Everything is waterlogged - after being parched and dried out and sunburnt last week. Gardener normally comes on Thursdays but he couldn't mow the back lawn this morning - so wet and heavy. But now the sky is blue and the temperature is lovely. Pammie xxx

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    1. Hi Pammie, Oh that dress and skirt is very much on the wrong side of affordable for me! And yes, such a shame... and I suspect I'll have no chance of picking them up in the 80% off section of The Outnet either. I picked up the layby's last month, but haven't had anywhere to wear them yet. We have had a fairly quiet start to the year with dinners etc, and they've been very much casual that we have gone to. Glad you've had some rain too. I've had things on the line drying out then getting wet the past two days as well! Enjoy the sunshine xx

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  7. I buy all of my clothing online, couldn't tell you the last time I stepped foot into Myer of DJ's. I buy mostly everything on eBay as I find I can get good quality, high end clothing from the US for very reasonable prices. Because of this, I buy items at the end of the US season - so currently, I am purchasing items for Winter as it's all on sale, and then around July, I start purchasing Summer clothing when it all goes on sale over there. I have found some absolutely fantastic bargains over the years and find that I can get much better quality items from the US than here. I think Australian stores like Country Road and Witchery, etc, are so overpriced and the quality isn't all there. If they ever bring in a tax for purchases under $1,000 - I am in all sorts of strife! xx

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    1. You're very clever (and brave!) to buy through eBay for so long. I have bought a bit through eBay, both new with tags, and second hand. Have had mixed success. I now won't buy shoes as you can't guarantee that they'll fit, but other things have been absolute steals. I've also sold things on eBay, and made almost no money on them... so someone else maybe got a few bargains from me! Agree with you about CR, Witchery etc. I walk in, look at how cheaply made and poor quality the fabrics are and can't bring myself to buy them. I've been spoilt by buying things at the same price point from overseas and getting a lot more for my money. xx

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  8. You look great in that Boden dress!! My budget is next to nothing these days, plus the Canadian dollar is falling against all other major currencies, so no shopping for me right now... but no harm in looking, right? Those Lela Rose dresses are so gorgeous!! ....I think almost all of my shopping is done online now, except for items like bras and jeans, which I can really only do in person (I have tried in the past, and ended up with duds every time).

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    1. I must say Louise, the Aussie dollar has fallen a lot in the past year, and it's certainly changed my shopping (and I suspect a lot of others as well). For a while there, things were unbelievably cheap for us from overseas. I pretty much buy online only, but agree with you that there are a few things that don't work - swimwear and lingerie are a few of the items I won't buy on the internet. You really do need to try them on. xx

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  9. Thanks for the Boden reviews, Heidi - the blue dress looks better on you than the model!
    I'd probably go for the petite size, but now a bit worried about length.
    I buy almost everything online, as you know. If I still lived in London I might not, but even there I struggle with sizes.
    The Lela Rose items are divine! so beautiful!
    I had a Lela Rose skirt on my wishlist last year and it made it to sale, but it was still just a bit too $$ for my budget at the time.
    I'm currently obsessed with an Emerson Fry Spring coat. I wish I could try it on first to see if it would work for me, as it's such a faff to return items to the US... another reason why I love NAP. They make returns so easy!
    I'll be stalking Cable Melbourne for winter knits this year, and am pondering a Jac & Jack one too.

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    1. You're very kind re the blue dress!! I think the model looked great in it, but it's definitely much longer on her. I doubt they've found a 5'2" model. Read some of the reviews, as there'd likely be a petite person who will comment on the sizing - that particular dress is quite short (as was the striped one). That's sad about the Lela skirt. I think she does absolutely beautiful clothes. Quite like Oscar as they're fairly 'ladylike', but the cut is very flattering. Love Emerson Fry too - shall have to go and have a look at their website. I remember when it started and they were just selling these giant corsage brooches, then gradually branched out into clothes. Amazing what the power of their marketing and blog did for their business! I think you'd love Cable Melbourne - their knits have a bit of an edge to them, I love the detailing. xx

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  10. love the Lela Rose always think of you when I see it.

    I am buying winter stuff now despite the heat!!!

    I will finish Gold finch tonight!!!!

    xxxx

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    1. I do like my Lela. Her things are so beautiful. I too am buying Winter stuff, but it's so cold in Adelaide today that I'm in a cardie and ugg boots tonight!! Weird weather... no doubt will be back to roasting very soon though, so I'll enjoy it while I can. Good work re Goldfinch. Just picked up The Secret History to read as well. xx

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  11. That Leila Ponte is so pretty on you, love the gathers and the belt together. And that skirt - you will totally have to sang that one, could totally see that on you. Sadly I don't have a office to go and it never gets boiling here so I don't get that much wear out of dresses. Embarrassed to say too am lazy about shaving the old legs. (PS, don't you just love those reviews on all the website - they are classic, find myself down a rabbit hole when I start reading them)

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    1. Sadly I don't think that skirt will be making it to the 80% off section of The OUtnet.... it's already selling out on all NAP's sites, so is highly unlikely to make it into my wardrobe. Agree with you about maintenance and the wearing of dresses. A slightly tedious aspect of Summer sundress wearing. One of my friends had her legs lasered so she didn't have to worry about waxing etc. I'm afraid I just couldn't be bothered going to have that done even! I do love a review- I so wish JCrew would allow them, I'd feel much happier buying if I had something to go off of. xx

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    2. Hi Heidi, just checking in to say I and hope all is well with you at the Villa. Have been seeing loads of Oscar de la Renta frocks that would look just corker on you

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    3. Hi Jody, all good here... just haven't had the motivation to put up a post.... too lazy the past week! I have been seeing lots of Oscar and Lela around the traps, but no where to wear them!! Plus they cost too much now with our weaker Aussie dollar. Plus I should be spending money on furniture, rather than dresses.... but thanks for thinking of me! xx

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  12. Good finds Heidi. Especially fond of that Lela Rose dress. I'm just coming around to online shopping now- always preferred to try on first. Too bad its frugal February!

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    1. I just can't believe with two little boys you have managed to go shopping in the past few years! That's how my online shopping began - I could never get to the shops as I'd have to take the kids (=torture for all), and I hate feeling under pressure to make a decision and buy something quickly which is what I'd end up doing. xx

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  13. Dear Heidi,
    I am all about online shopping even my groceries! I find that I can usually get what I want despite the difference in seasons. Being in a sub-tropical clime I can get away with not spending too much on the more expensive winter stuff and anyway tend to favour classic and timeless pieces which work year after year.
    I love the Outnet with all my heart and have bought a bazillion (daughters word) things over the last 7-8 years (including that Tory Burch tunic) . I use both the UK and USA site depending on how the dollar is going.
    I have bought Boden for my grandniece, and can I say the quality and uniqueness of the clothes is just wonderful.
    Have a few Lela Rose cashmere pieces but her dresses are to die for but don’t really suit my life style.
    I really love JCrew and they have amazing sales. I use the USA site and use a parcel forwarding company. The prices on the Australian site are ridiculous. I don't understand this but am happy to have worked out a way to beat the system!
    Kate Bx

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    1. Hi Kate, I too love The Outnet. I can't actually remember what i used to buy before they started up!! I do the same and flick between the sites, depending on the dollar, and sizings etc. I love JCrew too, but have found them a bit hit and miss the past 3 years. Some things have been brilliant, and others have been so poorly made that it seems like they're not from the same company. I've found Tory Burch very reliable, and really like her casual things, so keep an eye out on Shopbop and her website and the Outnet for bits and pieces.
      You're the online shopping Queen Kate B - think I should have asked you to do a guest post! xx

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  14. It's 8am, 29°C and 75% humidity here in Brisbane, so I am feeling faint just thinking about winter clothes, let alone buying any..
    Heidi, I do have to thank you for putting me onto Cable Melbourne though, I bought one of their black waterfall cardigans last year and it is beyond fabulous.
    I love internet shopping, and before that I was a catalogue shopper from way back. Better range OS, better quality, better prices and most importantly, that delicious anticipation of "presents" arriving at the post office!

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    1. I felt like that the other week Minerva! I think with the cooler weather here in Adelaide the past two days the local retailers would be very happy they've got their Winter stock in as they've got half a chance of selling it! Glad you've had a great experience with your Cable purchase too, I really just think they make the best stuff. xx

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  15. I love your fashion posts Heidi! The Boden dress looks great, I love the belt that you have accessorised it with. I haven't bought much from Boden: a few maternity items (the t-shirts were really rather good); and some mini-Boden for which the sizing was a bit all over the place. I must try again now that my girls are older and sizing is a bit easier. I always forget to look on their website, although that might be a good thing!
    I do 90% of my shopping online despite living in a good shopping area. I think it is a combination of work, the desire to get a discount/good deal and having young children. I'm loathed to pay full price in the stores but cannot stand to go during the sales. So online is best for me.
    Love love love the Lela Rose skirt and dress. By the way, I think they have some Lela Rose on the UK outnet which dropped in this week. I just got an invite for a wedding in upstate New York in the summer and thinking of using that as an excuse to justify a new purchase...
    xx

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    1. That belt is as old as the hills Charlotte! I've had it since I was around 20, but it works well with the dress (and probably cost more all those years ago too). I think if I were in your position I'd still be online shopping too - who has time to spend hours browsing through shops on the weekend if you work and have a young family? I saw that Lela Rose, and there are some really pretty dresses... no more for me, as I still have a dress of hers I haven't worn yet, but you should really think about one for yourself if you have an excuse... xx

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  16. Hi Heidi,

    I have just discovered your blog and have enjoyed reading back through some of your past posts. I too live in Adelaide and we are renovating a 100 year old bungalow (although not much has been happening of late). I am a big Boden shopper for my children and I (many of my clothes come from there). I find there is little to interest me in the shops in Adelaide (that is good quality and I can afford). I have been a big CR shopper since I was 18 but have only bought a couple of things in the past 5 years as I feel the quality is now very poor and the cut not as flattering. I love Boden children's clothes. They are especially great for my very tall almost 11 year old daughter, who no longer fits most childrens clothes. I am reasonable traditional and conservative about what my children wear and there is nothing out there for her age that I would buy (other than the odd piece from Zara). Thanks for the recommendation of Cable. I love what I see. My mother bought me up to buy less but buy quality.

    Amellia

    Ps I loved seeing your Tipo Blue china. Our wedding china was Tipo white. We are about to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

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    1. Hi Amelia - snap on the Tipo, how funny! I think they kept the Tipo white for a couple more years than the blue, as I bought a couple of Tipo white dinner plates after I smashed one of the Tipo Blues soon after they discontinued it. You have good taste!!
      You're very clever to have already discovered Boden - not many Australians seem to know them, and I think their teenager ranges are fantastic. There's really nothing good for kids in that age group in Australia. I have friends with older children and they've been excited when Witchery or Seed launch clothes for that age bracket and then are usually very disappointed with what is offered. At least we have options now that weren't available all that long ago. I was the same with Country Road - I used to buy a lot there, but can't think of anything that I've bought in the past 5 or so years. The quality has gone way downhill since I first bought pieces back in the 90's (yet the prices are exactly the same)xx

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  17. I'm in the mood for some lighter spring clothes now after months of layering! It's some time since I bought from Boden but the quality is good and I was thinking of taking a look at the new range. Your Leila Ponte dress was a good choice in blue and it's one of those useful, versatile dresses with three quarter sleeves ideal in the UK too. I love the Lela Rose outfit too as I like florals where only a couple of shades of one colour are used. Just read your last post - hope the weather has settled down!
    PS Thank you for your comment on my London post. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. Interesting to read what happened when you tried to order a ‘flat white’. I would say that it’s slowly becoming more available in the UK now but there are still many cafés where you may well be met with a confused look if you ask for one!

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    1. I think you've had the endless Winter miss b - you must be dying to get a bit of Spring like weather. Funnily enough, a lot of the Boden things that are labelled as Summer are actually better for our Winters!! There's not much call for cashmere cardigans, even if they are cropped, in the middle of our Summers. xx

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  18. Hello Heidi:
    We discovered you via the delightful Tabitha of 'Bourbon and Pearls' and instantly fell in love with your stylish blog. Delving into your blog archive we have found so much of interest, not least of which is the conversion of Adelaide Villa. What fun.
    To find out more about us, we are simply a click away......
    Have a happy and enjoyable weekend.

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    1. Hello Jane and Lance, thank you for dropping in! I will be popping past your blog xx

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  19. That blue dress is the most fabulous tone - that gorgeous blue of English front doors - love it. Unlike nearly all of your commenters above, I get a real pleasure out of shopping in boutiques… I love the whole process…but of course we are spoilt for gorgeous shops here…remember being frustrated when living in Adelaide at the lack of quality, or when there was quality, it was priced outrageously. With the topsy turvy weather of late, my entire wardrobe has been pulled about…summer one day/ winter the next….i think your blue dress would be perfectly adaptable!!

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    1. Hello Virginia! Agree with you about the whole crazy weather - it's the same for us too. Last Friday I was actually in a cardigan and jeans, as it was so cold! I would love the time to shop in boutiques, but find the process a little bit dull. Maybe it's the Adelaide factor. I used to love shopping in Melbourne when I had the time - some boutiques were so well curated it seemed like it had all been selected for me. xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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