Op-shop summer dress//2nd hand boots (worn throughout)
I am a gal who loves her clothes. Pre-loved, new, and from my mum's 20s, 
my wardrobe contains a large part of who I am. When I wear clothes, 
they aren't just clothes to me. I see a future with them.

I don't think there's ever been a concious time in my life where I haven't loved clothes. From an extremely young age, to my mother's dismay, I knew exactly how I wanted to dress myself. I was always very particular about everything, especially people and my favourite things, which has lead me to be particular about the way I dress. I mean, everyone dresses themselves, but I care about the task. How you present yourself to the world is how you will be received by the world - and I guess I want to look like I know what I'm doing. 
Mum dressed Holly (my twin, scroll to 'It's a Twin Thing') and I all the time, in similar outfits but in different colours and patterns. She did our hair and made us look absolutely adorable - if I do say so myself. This could only last for so long for me, as I saw bigger and brighter things for my day-to-day attire. Upside down sunglasses, tens of brightly coloured plastic beaded necklaces, and purses were my treś cool signature accessories. We had this massive orange dress up box that I shared with Holly [see: It's a Twin Thing] full of scarves, sarongs, and bits and pieces from mum's draws. I would dig through it and create "masterpiece" outfits and collections that we would parade around in for the high profile audiences of our mum and dad - 50c entry. We dressed up from 3 years old - 10 years old, the dress up box was the best entertainment we could've asked for. I still do that, but from my own wardrobe - minus the fashion parades.

Photo A) wearing my most adored item of clothing, my pretty blue dress. I was so attached to it that I wore it until the buttons and zips couldn't do up. I think mum probably figured that from then on I would know which dresses I wanted to be wearing!
Photo B) my twin Holly and I in checks with our bags of essentials - building blocks and dinosaurs, am I right? I'm rocking my trend defying "upside down sunglasses" and jutting my chin out so that they stay on. Mum is looking trés hot as per usual.
Leaving my childhood behind it became apparent to me that there was a whole world where clothes had a place and meaning. The fashion industry was never too far away as I had pretty trendy parents. Mum was a model who started out at the sweet age of 15 and dad, a musician.  I've basically stolen every remaining thing she wore from the ages of 17-25 - along with a few of dad's cool bolo ties that enhance that 'cowgirl' image I secretly adore. 

I found my love for fashion in books and magazines too. We had this old book on 1960s fashion, Radical Rags, that dad had bought mum and I would lay down on the floor with it for hours. Leafing through every page, enamoured by the images, I got my first taste of printed fashion chic. That book incorporated alternative art subcultures with fashion, it wasn't just about the clothes, but about art and music and people. Designers had artists paint their models head to toe, completely naked. Swirling rainbows and patterns on breasts that bled out to the rest of their chest. Those images exuded not only liberation but this exquisite energy of having a good time. There is no better marriage that that of fashion and culture.
Camel hair coast gifted to my mother from her grandmother
op-shop check dress w/ rad second hand leather boots - have never seen any others like them!
 I dress like a bohemian cowgirl who plays rock music, but reads 
fashion magazines, who loves the beach, but 
digs the hills and buzzes in the city.
This amazing vintage dress was from the coolest store dad took me to in Newtown, Sydney
My closet is a mixture of  pre-loved and vintage op shop finds collected over the past 4 years and brand new buys. I have so many favourite clothes and I wish I could've taken a photo of all of them, but I've narrowed them down to a few items that represent 'my style'. Basically, I am not me without: denim (jeans, dresses, jackets, overalls, I love that fabric), boots, and dresses (the ultimate selection if you ask me). I draw a lot of inspiration from the 1960s and 70s - I own this incredible original 1970s maxi that will be with me forever. My style is kinda bohemian come 'rock chick'... I love the way that Alexa Chung dresses, absolutely everything, ah, perfection! Darling Patti Smith with her jeans and white shirt; Joni Mitchell in her long dresses, jeans, and long hair; Kate Moss for always looking so comfortable; and I always adore the feature model's style in RUSSH. They're all gals who's styles stand the test of time, not afraid step over the line between femininity and give you an insight into what I absolutely need, here are my must-haves!

My Top Wardrobe Must-Haves
1. A good pair of jeans - a quality pair that will stand the test of time on your bottom half. Jeans are a gals' best friend in my opinion. They will travel with you, experience many days as your companion, protect you when the wind blows, be pulled off in multiple situations, and make your bum look extra good. (I love them so much I forget how many pairs I actually own)

2. A great pair of boots - my love for boots in endless, and I will never ever stop loving the classic leather boot. It doesn't matter what season, I will brave sweaty feet in summer. 100% genuine leather and they will stay with you for 5years+ and if you look after them, a lifetime. I own several pairs, and I'm looking forward to my collection growing during my Europe trip in two weeks (eep!).

"Spend your money on intimates, jeans, and swimwear. There is no use in buying an overpriced frock to only wear it once. Spend your money on things you will wear everyday." - Wise woman customer at the bookshop 
3. A great jacket & comfy knit - these are essential to a wardrobe. These are items you use to tie outfits together and make them yours, and also to keep you toasty warm - especially during winter. It doesn't matter if you're wearing either one all of the time because it's now your staple winter garment. I prefer a quality knit jumper that you can wrap around your neck or waist whenever need be, and a jacket that you absolutely adore  - no matter the price tag.

4. Colour - more specifically, colours that suit you. My wardrobe is predominantly blacks, blues, and white. Then there are bursts of colour and patterns through my collection of cute dresses which I wear all year round'. I plan on stocking up on more greys, browns, and reds to break up my forever growing collection of black garments!

5. Quality underwear - comfortable, lacy, racey, you wear these everyday. A lady once bought a book off of me at work and we talked for twenty minutes about her life. Her father was the right hand man for the man himself, David Jones. Every season she was taken to the head store with her father and little brother and chose out a new wardrobe full of quality clothes. "Wearing a Dior shirt with a cheap bra underneath does not make you Dior, wearing a Dior bra underneath a cheap t-shirt makes you Dior," is what she told me. She was such a stylish woman who spent years surrounded by stylish business people, she had class. She also spent her time in college doing a fine arts course in fashion and textiles. I wish I had her number.

double denim loving, second hand dress (Broadbeach markets)/hand-me-down jacket
some of my dress collection, new & second hand
It is really special to me that I own items of clothing that have belonged to dad's parents. I own Nana's 3/4 length fur coat and Pop's suede jacket. I never got to meet Pop but I can wear his jacket that he once wore during his everyday life, and that is pretty amazing to me.

I inherited my darling nanna's fur coat after she passed away last year. It is so special to own something that Pop bought her for all their hard work on the family orchard. I would never buy fur as I am against the fur market trade, but this coat smells like my nana's coat closet in her old house and that reminds me of all the times I use to try it on when I was little. It holds memories and sentimental value from a time where I didn't even exist. And that is so extraordinary to me.

nanna's fur, warm and soft
mum's camel hair, pink silk lining, never cold
pop's suede, worn in and solid
So to me clothes are more than just clothes, they can be so much more than material. Sophistication, art, culture, personality...I see fashion today and I see it in the future. I see more people waking up to the fact that the fashion industry, despite its faults, is an industry with meaning. Fashion is powerful, fashion is bold, fashion is subtle and demure... I love my clothes and I love the personal value I have for them, like every clothes' lover has for their closet.

Velvet Villains vest (Melbourne)/Rainbow bag (Byron)/Tony Bianco boots (online)
2nd hand turtle neck/ Wrangler jeans/ Mishkah belt
 Love, Chlo x
ps. this is my last blog post until I'm overseas...see you then