It’s been a long time since I captured Amy’s style.  One of the reasons she originally caught my eye for the real-style project is that she has an easy elegance.  Her style is classical, refined and mature but still relaxed.  And this week’s look is the perfect example of that…

“I think a kind of relaxed but timeless style is how I would describe it.  My style is based around the classics, but I love little details.  In fact you could say it’s all in the details! I love classic pieces that have an unique element. Whether it’s embroidery, texture or a small but important design touch.  Those little things can make a big difference. For example, I might be drawn to an interesting sleeve, neckline, or texture…like this dress.  It is from Beacon Hill, here in Nelson, but it’s Italian linen.  My bag is by New Zealand Designer Yu Mei and I bought it at Palm.  My shoes are from Overland.  Yes, the necklace is by Benjamin Black, and it’s a piece of local argillite set in gold”.

My Style

You might not think that dressing like a nerdy librarian is very cool. But then, what’s the definition of cool? I think of ‘cool’ as being a little rebellious (in my case, against high fashion and being ‘sexy’), wearing clothes with attitude, and expressing non-conformity without regret.  At least, that’s some of the main things that ‘being cool’ means to me.  Of course it’s not always easy to do this, especially if your view of things differs from most peoples’.  In my case, I struggle with my inner nerd, and of expressing her in a way that doesn’t also make me feel too self-conscious.  Afterall, nerds aren’t cool….

Styling Notes

I love long nerdy librarian dresses.  They suit my shape and my sense of feminity, which is never ‘sexy’ nor ‘girly’, but understated.  I also love nerdy elements, like thick framed glasses, nanna knitwear and lace-up brogues.  You could say, this look was built up from all of the nerdiest things that I love.

I chose warm-toned accessories to stand out against the cool grey tones of the dress.  I also chose to work with some of the more subtle details of the dress, such as the boxy styling of the pockets and neckline, repeating those angular references with boxy glasses frames and a rectangular handbag.  Similarly, I repeated the triangle shape in the bag weave, with the ‘v’ knit pattern in the cardigan, the shark’s tooth earrings and silver tooth pendant.

Shapes and patterns on and of clothes and accessories can be a strong styling theme that can unite things and create a visual belonging…

Yes, you’d be right in thinking something like “all of these details are so subtle, they’d not be noticed by anyone!” And you’d be right.  But for me, this makes the most wonderful of outfits – It’s one where otherwise disconnected elements ‘speak to one another’.  It’s one where the wit of it is in the details.

My bag was one bought in Indonesia while on holiday, many years ago now.  It’s a gorgeous piece, and I love the fact that I bought it from the woman who made it.   My shoes are old faithfuls, by Elk from Shine.  My glasses are a gorgeous pair of frames by Age Eyewear, purchased from Matthew’s Eyewear.  They were originally sunglasses, but I loved the shape of them so much I had them converted to eyeglasses! My dress was a recent purchase from an op-shop, found whilst treasure-hunting for my Trade Me Shop.  My shark’s tooth earrings and belt were also op-shop finds.


I look forward to seeing what Brooke will wear.  She is my inspiration for high-fashion.  She always manages to be on-trend without being a victim or a follower.  Like me, she’s no longer a spring-chicken (!), but she nails youthful without looking young….

“This is about the first time in weeks that I’ve actually gotten a little bit dressed up.  And it’s so nice to do!  We have been working on the house and so I have been in old clothes, painting and generally looking pretty daggy.  Yes, I do think that dressing up is important.  Maybe not to everyone in the same way, and maybe it’s more important to me because I love fashion?  Dressing up makes me feel good about myself.  It’s also a creative thing, and being creative is important.  I never compromise on comfort though, and in fact 70% of my wardrobe is denim!  I have Levi’s shorts, from when I was 14 years old, still in my wardrobe!  My top is by Ruby, shoes from Trouble and Fox, and Calvin Klein Bag was an online purchase”.

Morrison Styles

Becci Thackray, Amazon Store Manager & Bo Ade-Simpson, Retail Assistant

I was uncertain about photographing two people for the blog, not having done it before.  But I needn’t have been, at least not with these two!  Talk about photographic chemistry!  It felt like I was on an Amazon lookbook campaign.  Not only did I capture some great images, but I had ridiculous fun and I learned a thing or two about the laidback, summery style that Amazon is so well known for.  Thanks guys…

Becci – “I have a really random diverse style. I adore fashion but my style changes day to day depending on my mood. I love wearing whatever makes me feel good without caring what anyone else thinks. So I wouldn’t really say I have one particular style.  At the moment I’m obsessed with our new Elle x Billabong collection.  It’s so pretty and girly, which fits with one of many of my style personas.  Amazon has a really skate/surf style to the brands it stocks. I love selling things I’m passionate about and  hanging out with cool humans all day!”

Bo – “I love connecting with the crazy characters that come into the store.  At the moment, Recap is my favourite brand. The colours and designs are different than the usual mainstream look, which suits me to the tee.  I think that being unique is key! Being able to express yourself is important to me.

Becci wears bikini top ($99.99), skirt ($79.99) and shoes ($150), all from Amazon and available in their Morrison Square Store.  Bo wears Shirt ($89.99), Tee ($54.99) and Shorts ($59.90) also in store at Amazon

My Style

I’m gonna have to say, I’m just not that into this outfit!  It’s funny because it used to be a favourite.  Yet somehow I now find it vaguely boring.   Perhaps I wore too often last year?  Or maybe my style has evolved in recent times?  Who knows.  But I chose to photograph it anyway.  There are some great styling concepts illustrated by it, and it’s an example of a weekend look that involves the styling of contemporary pieces in a way that’s still ‘me’.


Styling Notes

Sometimes when I get dressed I just throw something on.  Usually these ‘throw on’ moments are when I’m not in the mood to give things too much thought, or I’m running out of time.  When I’m feeling like this, I reach for tried and true combinations – outfits I’ve worn before and I know they work.  This outfit is one such throw on outfit.

In essence it’s a very safe outfit.  Jeans and a contemporary top.  I’ve attempted to make it a little more interesting by throwing in a vintage neckscarf, worn at the neck.  Styled in this way the neckscarf it’s great for a couple of reasons.  Firstly, it’s a nice addition to the one-shouldered top I’m wearing, making it a little less skin-baring and complementing the neckline.  Secondly, it introduces a few other colourways such as beige and black, to the blue and white of my core pieces.  Using the scarf as my colour palate, I accessorised…

Use a multi-coloured, patterned scarf to unite or ‘tie together’ all of the colourways represented in your outfit.

The extra wide cuff is a quirky interpretation of the cropped, ankle breezer length trousers trend.  I also I wanted to make my jeans look more summery, casual.  And big cuffs are a great way to show of shoes.

My jeans are by NZ designer brand Workshop, but along with my scarf and handbag, they were a second-hand find!  My hat was bought from Cheryl Mackie and my shoes, from Andrea Biani (no longer in Nelson, sadly).  My necklace is a staple, a silver Karen Walker pendant I wear almost daily.  And my top is a Mesop treasure that I bought from Shine.


The Great Christmas Market is just around the corner (this Sunday!). It’s a market dedicated to the wares of local makers, creators and artists.  I caught up with its founder Paula Ossevoort to chat about the joys of making.  She shared some thoughts on sewing her own clothes that contribute to her style…

“I love making my own clothes!  So much, that it gets to the point where I feel frustrated if I don’t find the time to sew for myself. Working for Papercut Patterns part-time is always a huge source of inspiration.  Most of the time I’m there I’m dreaming up my next project. My skirt is my own take on one of Papercut’s new dress patterns.  It was a little tricky to manipulate as it’s all cut on the bias.  But I love the way it falls. I’ve made two of the original dress versions for myself too. Hunting for fabrics and bringing a concept to life is hugely satisfying.  My bag and slides are from my trip to Bali earlier this year and my necklace is from Cathy Pope.  The stone is a Carnelian”.


I admire women who make things that contribute to their style. There’s something special about a self-made item.  Perhaps that it is even more authentic and unique because it was created by the wearer from scratch?  I was surprised to discover that not only did Laura make her top, but some of her jewellery too.  Clever lady!

“I love to make things, to create.  I think it is because you get something new and fresh, and I like the idea of actually doing it myself.  I made my top, a pattern from Sewing Revival.  I also made my bangles.  They are resin, and I made them here in New Zealand although I learnt how to do it in a workshop that I went to in Sydney.  The silver rings are also self made.  Yes, they are silver and each represents a member of my family.  I went to silversmith course in Thailand.  No, I don’t think I want to take it up as a hobby, it’s quite precise and fiddly and I can be a bit impatient!  I like to make things fast.  I think that’s why I enjoy sewing at the moment.  My bag was a Trade Me treasure, a tooled doctors bag.  Yes, it was a pretty amazing find!”

Morrison Styles

Maxime Noir, Portman’s Store Manager

Unsurprisingly I am obsessed with clothes, and style.  But to be more precise, I get excited by people and things of style that inspire me.  And so I am always very curious about those things that inspire others’ style.  It was really neat to be able to catch up with Maxime again, to ‘dig a little deeper’ into what influences and inspires her…

“My style is a bit of a mish mash.  It’s a little bit of lots of different styles and looks made up of elements I’ve admired from other people’s style.  But yes there are definitely some women I look up to for inspiration.  Like Miroslava Dumas, an international fashion influencer. She is petite like me and she knows how to dress for it! I also like the twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.  They are also tiny and their personal style pushes the boundaries of fashion for the petite. And I watch so much Korean drama that I can’t help but be influenced by their fashion too!  My wardrobe?  Well it’s full of dresses actually.  I really do love dresses, and it’s one of the things that I love about the Portmans brand.  Oh yes, funny that I’m not wearing a Portmans dress today, though I often do!”

Maxime wears jacket ($169.99), pant ($99.99), top (89.99 and sunglasses ($44.99), all from Portmans and available from their Nelson store at Morrison Square on Hardy Street.


My Style

I made this skirt out of a curtain, the material purchased simply because I loved it.  Vintage curtain materials have a quality you can’t easily find in modern dress-making fabrics, being somehow heavier, richer and more detailed.  I was inspired to make the skirt from it after seeing a street-style image of a woman wearing a similar full and long floral skirt.  She was sipping coffee and reading a newspaper in a Parisian cafe’.  I wanted to be her, or be there with her.  But instead, I copied her clothes…

Styling Notes

Everything about this outfit revolves around my curtain-skirt, my one-of-a-kind piece that I think of as ‘wearable soft furnishings’.  With the basket, high-heeled sandles and cropped top it was shaping up to be a marvellously feminine combination. Girly-girly at its best!

But hyper-femininity? It’s just not me!  So I had to bring the look back to something that was.  I added an overtly masculine jacket, a vintage suede one, purchased on-line from the States.  And I wore a hat.  A nice mannish one, with plenty of substance to give me that boyish swagger I seem to be drawn to.

Balance is an important concept in fashion styling.  In this week’s outfit, I balanced highly feminine pieces with masculine ones…

Because there were so many strong key pieces, I didn’t really feel any need to do much with jewellery or make-up.   I wore a simple plaited leather belt, gold studs, my wedding ring and a brown leather watch.  My make-up was ‘no make-up make-up’.

The skirt was self-made, but I found the curtain material for it at Richmond Antiques and Curios.  My suede jacket was a wonderful treasure I discovered on Etsy, a gobal handcraft and vintage site for independent sellers.  It was sent to me by a dealer in the USA! My shoes are by NZ shoe designer Kathryn Wilson, and I bought them from Taylors shoes in Nelson.  My hat is a Brixton gem bought from Trouble & Fox and my top bought from Stacey in Richmond.  My bag and belt are second-hand pieces bought from charity shops.


Sustainability in fashion is a hot topic at the moment.  Julie and I talked about how investing in pieces that ‘speak to your heart’ is a way of taking a long term approach to buying clothes.  Fewer clothes, but ones that fit with your lifestyle, you love more and you keep longer…

“I saw this jacket in a shop window in Hanmer Springs while on holiday a couple of years ago.  The shop was closed, but there was something about the jacket that had me coming back the next day for another look.  And I ended up buying it.  In the beginning I wasn’t too sure how I would wear it and what to wear it with!  But since then I have built a few looks around it.  It’s something that grabbed me from the start, for reasons I don’t really know.  Yes, a kind of heart response.  I wear a uniform to work, so I am ‘off-duty’ when I dress up.  This is the perfect piece for that.  It makes practical sense as well as appealing to my style”.