My Style

Blogging about my own personal style for the first time was always going to be an awkward moment.  It is one thing to share the voice and style of another woman. But to share your own?  Well, let’s just say there were many false starts, and some serious procrastination went on behind the scenes.  But here it is!  Here I am!  Finally, painfully, and somewhat awkwardly, my style…

I intentionally chose a ‘safe’ look to blog about as a first.  It’s one that made me feel good the day I wore it and one that wasn’t too challenging to myself or the people around me.  Although my workmates at my ‘day job’ know me well, and are never too surprised, there are days when my attire becomes… conversational! This look drew no comments, and got me through the day unnoticed, which was just what I wanted.

From a fashion styling perspective, the key elements of the look are the colours, the textures of key pieces, and careful styling of accent accessories.

Blue, being a cool colour, is always set off beautifully by warm neutrals, such as beige, camel and caramel.  In keeping with this, I unconsciously selected natural textures for the neutral elements, like suede, wood, tortoiseshell and cane.

My earrings, which were a gift from my sister, ceramics artist Marita Green, were my statement piece.  And while most of the time my styling choices are in fact intuitive, I consciously matched the circular white swirl print on my blouse to the white circle of porcelain from the earrings.  The off-white leather lace-ups completed the look.

My coat is vintage suede, bought from Nostalgia in Nelson.  My jeans and shoes are both by Elk and from Shine.  My blouse was a charity shop find, actually bought for my on-line Trade Me shop! (but I fell in love with it and kept it for myself). I do not recall where I got my cane basket from, but it is a second-hand find.  My glasses were an ‘investment buy’ from Palm and they are by Karen Walker.  My Marita Green earrings were a gift, but similar ones can be found at Nelson’s Craig Potton Gallery.


It was a beautiful spring day when Judy and I got together.  We lamented dressing too warmly, and how wintery and ‘drab’ our clothes were for the day…

“I almost wore a dress –  I am actually making myself a dress at the moment – it looked like it was going to be a glorious day.  But then I thought we have the whole of spring and summer ahead of us, so to make the most of winter.  But now I feel so drab!  I do love dresses and wear alot of them as long as they’re not too… girly girly!  I do admire ladies that do heels and gorgeous floaty pieces, but it is not something that feels right for me.  I am a creator, a designer and a maker of things, and I love simple straight lines and no flounces or frills.  It’s just how I feel on the inside”.


Morrison Styles

Jeff Hunt, Rodd & Gunn

It’s a Silk Purse, Oily Rag milestone!  My first man-style post, setting a new precedent for the blog.  Jeff is this week’s Morrison Styles personality from Rodd & Gunn of Morrison Square.  And what a fantastic shoot it was too! Jeff is a retailer with a genuine passion for what he does, and a love for helping people.  We talked about working in retail, and how neither happiness nor style is guaranteed by money…

“I have always been a retailer by trade, but one day I decided I needed to experience something new and I went to Wellington to study.  After completing a Bachelor of Commerce at Uni I worked in a professional role with a Human Resources firm.  But I discovered my true passion was in fact retailing!  I really do love it, and a lot of people are surprised that I would go back into the industry.  But you have to do what you are passionate about.  Not everything is about the dollar, and while money may give you other opportunities I feel like they are wasted if that is the only reason you are doing it.  And money doesn’t give style.  I love my role because I get to help people every day to feel and look their best.  And not only that, I get to provide a level of service and quality that the customer deserves.  It really is so touching when someone says that they have appreciated your time and advice”.

Jeff wears pure Egyptian cotton shirt ($149), pants ($169), jacket ($399) and made in NZ satchel ($699), all available from Rodd and Gunn of Morrison Square, in Nelson on Hardy Street.


I have found the word! It’s “old worldly”.  And it’s a word I’ve been searching for to describe Jacqui’s (and others’) style.  It’s not vintage or retro, nor is it old-fashioned.  But it has a sensibility that resonates with a way of dressing that reminds me of times gone by.  This is not by accident…

“I am not sure if it’s a 1930s look, but I am inspired by that era.  I love it.  My Nanna has recently moved to Nelson to be closer to our family, and she was a young woman during the 1930s and 1940s.  She is my style inspiration.  She tells stories of when she worked at Ballentynes during the 1940s, and of the dress etiquette that they had to abide by.  It was all about hats and gloves and stockings.  So elegant.  When stockings became scarce during World War II, they would pretend to be wearing them by drawing a fake stocking backseam down their legs.  I have always been fascinated by the elegance of her style sense, she is my inspiration.  No the hat style isn’t very 1930s nor any item I am wearing, really.  But the long feminine silhouette is, and the boots and stockings.  The idea of it is there”.


There was something a bit different about Catherine this week.  Her look was less girlie, darker and somehow more earthy.  She showed me how to work an all black outfit in a way that wasn’t… all black!  We talked a little about this…

“I definitely don’t have a sense of having a particular look or way of dressing all of the time.  I would like to think that my style is quite varied.  I dressed from the skirt upwards, so to speak.  As in, I decided I wanted to wear it and then just styled the rest around it.  It is by New Zealand label World, given to me by a friend.  It has an interesting ‘bustle’ at the back.  I liked the plain black merino top as it’s a good backdrop for the necklace, which is a real art piece in it’s own right.  It is by Neil Adcock and from the Gallery.  And the bag too, which is by Loyal Workshop.  The boots are mine from Overland and yes, I suppose the black lace-up boot is a little bit Victorian like the skirt!”.


It was neat to be able to photograph Char from Edito – Nelson based International Furniture and Design Company – for the first time.  Even better, to learn more about her and her inimitable chic style…

“My style isn’t just something that relates to how I dress.  It’s something that applies to everything, including our home and business.  Yes, that’s right, Edito is very much an extension of my sense of style.  My taste is very understated I suppose, classic but still modern. I do love my neutrals!  You won’t find very much colour in my clothing, but I like texture and natural or classical elements, like leather and wool and denim.  Few will know this but I am a trained fashion designer and spent many years overseas working as creative director for a British boutique denim brand, ‘Merci’ and ‘Bravo’.  I do love and know denim well”.

Morrison Styles

Maxime Noir – Portmans Store Manager

I have always known Maxime to be genuine, warm and friendly.  When she’s in the store I’m often drawn in for a quick look and a chat, even when I probably should be doing something else!  What I did not know until photographing her for the blog was her genuine passion and ambition for fashion…

“I knew that I wanted to work in some area of fashion.  And although at the time I did not have any experience, I applied for the position at Portmans and got it.  I do want to take it further in fashion, perhaps some other behind the scenes aspect of fashion, but it is a great job and I enjoy what I do.  The best part of being in retail is the people.  I learn so much from the women who come in.  That is where I get most of my ideas and inspiration from.  I don’t really follow any celebrity or label or icon or anything.   It’s the people I meet who inspire me.  Although I would not say that I am a text-book “Portmans girl”, I do own and wear a lot of the label, because it’s fun and fashion forward and there’s always something new and different.  We are not required to wear top to toe Portmans in the shop, but I choose to”.

Maxine chose to wear the Samara ruffle dress ($119.99), Page zip coat ($179.99) and Kristin sunglasses ($44.99).  All are available from Portmans at Morrison Square.  Her shoes and stockings are her own.



It was only the second time we’d met, but it felt as if I had known Dusa for years.  Not only does she love fashion as I do, but she also has a very resourceful and creative approach to her style.  Like me, she is always looking for newness and creativity…

“My wardrobe is bursting at the seams.  It really is full.  And it probably could do with an overhaul.  But I am reluctant to get rid of things.  I might not wear something for a long time, but then I will get it out and it will be something fresh and different to me.  I think that’s why I do so much op-shopping.  I like things that are different and new.  I couldn’t deal with a small wardrobe based on perfectly coordinated classics or whatever because I would get bored.  This dress was bought from Savemart, and I made the earrings with a friend who works with leather.  These were made from leather off-cuts.  The bag was purchased from Trade Me – I got it at a bit of a bargain price, as it was brand new and by Deadly Ponies”.


It has been too long since photographing Tessa!  She is an elusive and camera-shy subject.  But we did get together this week on a bright and blustery Nelson day, and it was truly lovely to see her again.  This is something of what we chatted about…

“I am not always sure if I have the answers to some of the questions you ask me about my style.  I have never really given it much thought, beyond knowing what I like.  I could tell you that ‘I don’t like lace, or lacy things’, but then next week I might be out and about and spot something lacy that I really like.  I just know what I like when I see it.  Like this ‘Dressed’ pinafore dress that I recently bought at the Shine sale, I loved it straight off.  And the gold pendant that I am wearing.  We were on holiday and shopping at a market and I spotted this table full of beautiful jewellery.   My husband said ‘Oh I think Tessa will like these’ and he was right.  I could have bought everything!  But I could only afford the one thing.  And I just love it”.

Morrison Styles

Centre Manager, Angela Leonard

I have always enjoyed Angela Leonard’s style! And so it was exciting to photograph her as the first of the Silk Purse Oily Rag sponsored shoots for Morrison Square.  Thank you Angela for agreeing to part of this, and to Morrison Square for sponsoring the fortnightly blog posts…

“Yes I do love fashion!  I have a Diploma in Fashion and before coming here I was involved in personal styling, corporate styling for Air New Zealand, and fashion retail management.  Given our focus on fashion here at Morrison Square, it did make a lot of sense for us to part of the blog.  We love the real style focus, of the style choices that women make for themselves.  It’s going to be great to showcase our fashion in this way.  Today I chose to wear a contemporary classic look from Portmans.  It’s very much my style, which I think of as ‘classic with a twist’.  I really like Olivia Palmero’s style.  Do you follow her?  She is always so elegant, fashion forward and interesting, but still very classic and timeless at the same time”

Ange wears Portmans Milla Metallic Rose Gold Tee ($59.99), Pipe Ponte Blazer ($129.99), GW Black Coated Jeans ($119.99).  Her sunglasses are from Sunglasses Style and are by Kate Spade ($350.00), and her bag is from Merric ($69.99).  All styles are available from  Morrison Square.