It’s all so quiet

Hey.

So it’s been real quiet here lately.  I know I fell off the planet for a while.  I’ve found it’s not really safe for me to post anything apart from fluffy fashion slightly soul-less posts (as I get criticized when I post anything else), and I just haven’t haven’t had the energy.

But I feel like I have to post something and acknowledge the craziness of last week – when the USA elected Donald Trump to be their next President.

Where do I even begin with this one (the racism, the mysogeny, the madness)?  I definitely did not vote for Trump.  I was one of those who was absolutely shocked and horrified that he won.  I am now coming to see how divided the US is – it’s bizarre to realize that you are one of the despised educated liberals- seriously, when did being educated and intelligent become something to be looked down upon?  I feel like I’m from bizarro land (Australia and NZ, thankfully, still appear to mostly value education).

I also dread the next four years.  I left the USA in 2007, when Bush was still our President, though obviously at the end of his term.  I spent the first 2-3 years discussing politics with everyone, trying to explain the craziness of how Bush managed to stay president for so long.

I suspect I’ll look back on those years fondly…

I suppose my experience is limited in that I’ve lived in countries that are actually quite far to the left of the USA – NZ and Australia.  But very few people here support Trump.  Generally everyone you meet says: WTF, America?  I’m already tired of this discussion.  But as an American, you have to engage.  You’re the representative of your crazy bizarroland country now.

I wish Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren had been on the ticket.  I genuinely agree that the US’s health care system is completely broken.  After living in countries with single payer systems…  again WTF, America?  Only drastic measures will be able to bring about the changes Americans desire.  And who knows, Trump is so unpredictable we have no idea what the next 4 years will bring.  But I strongly suspect we’re going to see things get even worse.  I hope not, but the changes he-who-shall-not-be-named is seeking to make seem scary, and I struggle to see how they will benefit those who voted him in office.  Seriously…  I look to the future and all I see is the Trumpacolypse.

This is my new official stance:

i-m-not-saying-that-david-bowie-was-holding-the-f

Original source here

For a while I was thinking how I couldn’t wait for 2016 to be over.  Seriously, it’s been kind of a rough year.  But then I realized that 2017 is when Trump will actually take over the oval office…

How to buy from Aliexpress

Hey!  So with me starting a new job and overhauling my wardrobe recently, all I’ve wanted to do is hop shop shop and pretty much buy everything in sight.  However, D is still looking for a job so with us being on 1 income, that is pretty impractical.  So I’ve been super budget lately.  Melbourne is a shopping mecca, but because I can only shop on weekends, it’s also shopping hell.  Because: crowds.  Ugh.  It’s actually quite unpleasant and more or less soul destroying.

So I’ve reverted to what I do best: shop online.

Now, I’ve been ordering from aliexpress for a long time (mostly small value plastic items, make-up brushes, etc), but I hadn’t really forayed much into clothing.  However, if you’re someone like me who likes novelty pieces, they’re really fantastic.  The first thing I ordered were these pac man tights for the gym.  They were $12 USD.htb1-8wjkvxxxxazxfxxq6xxfxxxf

Then I ordered a swimsuit (which required some alterations, but turned out great in the end) for like $20.

Since then, if I see something I really like, I search aliexpress to see if I can find something similar.

So far, I’ve been pretty happy.  No, the quality is not fabulous.  If you’re paying $12 for something with free shipping, what do you expect?  But honestly it’s no worse than say, Zara.  And no, I’m not going to pay $40-50 AUD for a polyester shirt from Zara or H & M.

Yes, I know fast fashion direct from China is probably not ethical or sustainable.  But if you’re cheap, and willing to wait 3-4 weeks for something to arrive (no, the shipping is not fast), then aliexpress may be a good option.

So here are some tips for aliexpress:

  • The search function is terrible.  Everything will be called “Long Sleeve Slit Open Women Blouse Chiffon Hollow Sexy Casual Shirt Plus Size Women Tops Blusas bluse Polka Dots Shirt Top”.  Start with a very general search like “blouse” or “chiffon” blouse and arrange by most orders. Then scroll and narrow your search down by adding things to your shopping basket (I’m serious).  Once you do, a box will pop up with other items “you may also like”.  I know the natural inclination is to close this box immediately but don’t.  Actually scroll through.  This is one of the best ways to find similar items.  Also scroll through the “More Products” at the bottom of the page.  Again, you may come across items that you wouldn’t find through the search function.  Did I mention scrolling through.  Just keep scrolling.  Eventually you may see something you like the look of.  Alternatively, you may find the item you like is actually being sold by someone else for much cheaper.  It’s worth looking.

Untitled 2

Pro tip:  You can have a maximum of 100 items in your shopping cart at a time.  If you want to add more, you need to delete something.  Make a wish list.  As far as I can tell, this is unlimited.

Untitled

  • Found something you want?  Great.  Always, always, always, always scroll down to read the size information!!  Many items are in “Asian” sizes.  Some things are even “one size”.  I often order a size L or XL.  I don’t let it bother me (most pieces don’t even arrive with a size tag in them anyways so it really doesn’t matter).  Know your measurements.
Untitled 10

So I’m a L?  No big deal.  However I do not think these would be long enough for me…  Know your measurements!

  • Look very closely at the photos.  Are they “fashion”photos or photos of the real item?
Untitled 8

Expectation

Untitled 9

Reality

  • Look at the product reviews and store reviews.  Again, scroll down and see if there are any product reviews with real pictures.  The photos reviewers post are much more accurate and will help you decide an item’s quality.

Untitled 3

  • Don’t trust the listing.  Does it say it’s leather, silk, wool?  It probably isn’t (though I did manage to get a genuine leather purse – but you must search “genuine leather” and be very discerning).  It’s all just gobbledygook.
  • Shipping is FREE but it takes a few weeks.  You can get something a bit quicker if you need, explore the shipping options.  Sometimes a faster method is only $3-5/item.  Sometimes, it’s like $30.  You just have to look.
Untitled 4

Free standard shipping

Untitled 6

Other shipping options

Untitled 7

Even more shipping options.  Look, for $5 I could have this in a couple of weeks!

  • A final word of warning: you can’t really return anything.  At least, I don’t think it’s possible.  So you need to be certain, or willing to be out $30 or whatever the item cost.  So just be careful.  There are some protections (you can open a dispute with a seller if the item doesn’t arrive or isn’t as described), but no returns as far as I am aware.

I hope that was a helpful guide, in case you were wanting to try ordering clothes (or anything el from Aliexpress.

 

 

OOTD: Catching up

Hey! I know it’s been a long time. A quick update, we’re finally settled into our house here in Australia! We have furniture, internet, we’re making friends and we’ve been tramping (no, the tramping is not nearly as good as in NZ. There are no mountains here).

I’ve managed to set-up my camera in our 2nd bedroom and am finally getting around to taking some regular photos (yes I look goofy and awkward for the win!)… and then I’ve been really slack about posting them. So my apologies for the photo dump of outfits, but this is what I’ve been wearing lately. Yes, there are a number of new pieces which I’m excited about.  I’ve been working hard to keep to my chosen aesthetic (librarian chic) and a smaller palette.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

top: my ex-work, skirt: aliexpress (new!), shoes: dr. martens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

jersey: uniqlo (new!), skirt: herbergers, shoes: dr. martens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

scarf: camden market, top: zara (new!), skirt: made by my mom, boots: OTBT Hutchinson

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

jacket: amazon.com, top & cardigan: witchery (top is sort of new – I bought it right before we left NZ), jeans: 7 for all mankind, boots: dr marens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

scarf: camden market, cardigan & top: witchery, jeans: 7 for all mankind, boots: dr. martens

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

jersey: princess highway (new!), top: thrifted, skirt: glassons (also bought right before we left NZ), boots: OTBT

P7140069

jacket: amazon.com, scarf: camden market, dress: modcloth, belt: witchery boots: dr martens

Which look is your favourite?