Someone on Tumblr asked me a few weeks ago for style tips and it made me realise my general fashion style boils down to: ‘don’t shop in Australia and shop in Asia’. Since I haven't got plans to go to Asia anytime soon, my fashion at home essentially amounts to finding new ways to wear my existing wardrobe (pro tip: accessorise and layer!), thrifting and occasional online purchases when on sale (see: Tony Bianco boots which were originally $200+ and which I got for $60). Without deep diving into the realm of ethical consumerism just for now, online retailers are realistically inescapable for the average student who doesn't have the ability or inclination to fork out thousands for their designer investment pieces on a regular basis. Working within that framework, the key is to be able to pick out reliable retailers and know what clothes work for you, which gives you a critical eye when assessing trends. Also, give your closet the KonMari treatment (post on that to come - it's been 6 months and I love it).
It's been almost exactly two years since my first self-portrait session. Since then, I've shot about 4 formal editorial projects and a lot of event and informal portraits. I thought I would do a revised version to commemorate my favourite season and try two drastically different looks (can you tell I'm not usually a red-lip girl?).
TOBI is a relatively unusual example of an online shop that produces its designs and photography in-house, which means the website is easy to use, the items are beautifully photographed and prices are in AUD. There's a wide variety of pieces so there's probably something for everyone, though I did have to 'hunt' a little to sift through pieces that weren't my style.
There's free shipping to Australia with no minimum order, which is always a huge plus in my book. I'd say the wait is long but at the edge of standard for USA-to-Australia situations (ordered on 8 May, items arrived 31 May).
My favourite of the pieces I got was the Arrowhead Oversize Cardigan in a seasonally appropriate rusty colour. The fit is boxy, with a slight batwing effect on the sleeves and made of a combination of knit patterns, which gives it some visual interest. The quality feels sturdy and even though it's a fairly loose knit, it's quite warm. Also - gigantic pockets. Always a huge bonus.
The Rise Above White Lace Top is a very photogenic accent piece, especially layered above a dark shirt (or wide pants). The medium was a little large for me but the loose fit still looks good, and will be great for summer. The lace is also very sturdy, almost like a crochet. I was, however, disappointed with the Elida Moto Jacket. I've been hunting for a good leather/pleather jacket as a staple in my wardrobe and was hopeful that this would be the one as it's quite a classic design. The pleather is quite soft to touch but the lining is thin and polyester, meaning it won't retain warmth. Considering its RRP, it's really sad that the zip pockets are fake. I've seen this jacket on sale at Tobi for about $60AUD and that's the most I'd pay for it.
Tobi does have pretty amazing sales (up to 70% off), so I'd recommend earmarking a few pieces to try and catch them when they go on sale (Sofie from The Milk Club recommended Shoptagr so I've been using that and liking it).