Deidaatip how to survive Boxing Day sales

Boxing Day sales work around two myths.

Boxing Day sales are an annual event:

They perhaps used to be. Since the economic downturn, markets have not recovered fully. Retailers are capitalizing on every opportunity to declare a sale. Ranging from Boxing Day sale, Easter weekend and Anzac Day celebrations, Mothers’ Day sales, Valentine’s Day sales and EoFY sales, they have it all. Boxing Day sales have lost much of their sheen.

There are genuine markdowns on full priced goods at Boxing Day sales:

This may be partially true, at best. Many stores create a ‘seconds’ lines for sales and factory outlets..

How do you shop savvy at Boxing Day sales:

Buyer beware:

Shop prudently.Make a list of things you really need and stick to the list. Inspect the goods at point of sale. A sale is seen as an opportunity to bump off defective pieces, shop soiled items, one off samples. It is illegal for retailers to sell defective or substandard goods unless explicitly declared at point of sale.

Know your rights:

Most shops put a ‘no refunds, no exchange disclaimer’ on sale items. In reality, sale items should be governed by the same refund policy as full priced items. Do not shop at stores that put up notices like ‘no refund, no exchange on sale items’. Many online designer stores like Deidaa offer no questions asked refund, even on sale items.

Avoid herd mentality:

There is no reason for you to jump into the fray, because half a dozen women are hunched over a pile of stretchy t- shirts, which are disappearing at an alarming speed. Do you really need half  a dozen cheap t- shirts or would you rather spend your dollars on an investment piece like a designer silk scarf?

Get a shopping buddy:

Do not shop alone. Ideally hire a personal shopper. If not, take a friend, sister or daughter who can give you an informed opinion. Daughters can be brutally frank at times, but come up with some very valuable suggestions.

Do not shop on an empty stomach:

An empty stomach has a nefarious connection with some shopping disasters.

Do not shop when you are upset:

Retail therapy is like chocolates. It has the ‘feel good factor’. If you are having an emotional downturn, chances are, you will do binge shopping.

Do not shop in a hurry:

Take time to try on garments and footwear. Brave the serpentine queues in front of the trial rooms during sales. Right fit is critical to garments and footwear. How many near new garments do you have in your wardrobe, practically unused because they are tight around the bust or hips or the fabric is not soft and breathable. Shoes that look good in the store turn out to be too narrow or too high, giving you blisters, bruises and broken ankles.

Make Boxing Day sale shopping a relaxed affair. Do not get into a frenzy. Pick up right clothes and accessories in the right sizes. Take a break at mid – day. Have a leisurely lunch with your shopping buddy. Who knows, at the end of the day you may have unearthed a few hidden gems!

 

 

Holiday tips 2016 – how to recharge your batteries

Holiday tips 2016 – How to recharge your batteries

End of year holidays mean different things to different people – for some it is ‘we time ‘ with family and friends, while for others, it is recharging the batteries to face the year to come. While my other half likes to fill his holidays with activities, I like to soak up the atmosphere, explore local cuisine, culture and crafts, stimulate my mind and get the creative juices flowing. At this time of the year we are loath to talk schedules and planning, however if we avoid some ‘silly’ mistakes this silly season, the recharge and unwind exercise need not degenerate into a nightmare.

Holiday tips 2016 – Do your homework:

If you are traveling to hitherto unexplored territory, it pays to do some homework. Familiarise yourself with local culture. Learn about protocols you need to follow and precautions you need to take.  Carry a smart traveler booklet with you. Make photocopies of your travel documents and credit cards carry one set with you; leave the other set with a trusted friend or family member at home. Get sufficient travel insurance. Notify your bank about your travel plans. Buy a local SIM card (available at most airports) or use mobile apps to stay connected. Roaming facilities on your mobile phone can cost you an arm and a leg.

Holiday tips 2016 – Pack savvy:

Pack colorful, light weight and crease resistant kaftans. Rolled up, these little numbers can fit the nooks and crannies of your suitcase. Kaftans are perfect as daywear or beachwear. They can be dressed up and down. They are compatible with most cultures. Carry sturdy and comfortable shoes like ballet flats. It is a good idea to wear sneakers while flying. If you are changing flights, the trek from one gate to another can be a good 5 km walk. No kidding, I did that just yesterday at Changi International Airport and ended up feeling very sorry for the woman who was walking ahead of me, wearing a pair of high boots. Another travel friendly accessory is a sling bag. A sling bag holds your essential documents while leaving your hands free for the trolleys.

Holiday tips 2016 – Travel light:

It is wise to travel light. The fewer luggages you have, the less vulnerable you are to loss and theft. Think before you pack the evening dress or the fancy pair of shoes. Beautiful indeed, but do you really need it on a hiking trip? Carry minimal or no precious jewelry. Costume jewelry is fun and if you lose an earring or two it does not weigh on your conscience or your purse.

Holiday tips 2016 – Carry a scarf:

Carry a scarf, in fact two. I cannot highlight enough the versatility of the humble scarf. At the beach, a scarf is a pareo, a bandanna and a throw over bathers. On a sunny day, it is an effective headscarf. If it is nippy, a scarf tied in a dead man’s knot around your neck protects you against the chill. Some religious monuments require you to cover your head, shoulders or legs. Scarves are handy on such occasions.

Holiday tips 2016 – Expect the unexpected:

Go with an open mind. If you have seen ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’ you will realize those that enjoy the most are the ones who embrace and accept. Explore local cuisine, crafts and culture. It helps though, if you make sure that the local signature dish does not contain seafood you are allergic to.

Last but not the least, unwind. After all, this is about recharging the batteries.

 

 

Giftophobia how to combat the fear of exchanging gifts

Are you affected by giftophobia around this time of the year – the fear of giving and receiving the wrong gifts? We know it is the thought behind the gift that matters. However, won’t it be nice if your near and dear ones actually find your gifts useful?

Here are the top 5 tips to master the art of buying gifts.

COMBAT GIFTOPHOBIA – Observe:

Get to know the people you are buying the gift for. Observe their lifestyle, hobbies and interests. Your favourite aunt is Scottish, crafty and crotchety (pun intended). She is an active member of the lacemakers’ guild and loves all things handmade. Will she not love a paisley pashmina scarf or a kaftan with a hand crochet yoke?

The colleague who sits next to you loves the neutral palette. However, she does wear a statement scarf when attending boardroom meetings. Pick up a digital printed scarf that will add an accent to her understated elegance.

COMBAT GIFTOPHOBIA – Listen:

Be a good listener. What has your bestie been talking about lately? The big wedding she has to attend shortly and how she is desperately looking for some beaded clutch bags to go with her spectacular outfits. Or how she can’t wait for the holiday in Bali, where she will do nothing but soak up the sun. This one could definitely do with some kaftans and beach bags.

COMBAT GIFTOPHOBIA – Encourage:

Your little niece is not that little any more. She is taking baby steps towards adulthood. She is experimenting with beauty and fashion. She will perhaps love the cotton pompom and fringed scarves or the sequinned beanies.

COMBAT GIFTOPHOBIA – Cheer:

For your other half, who also wins the title of the ‘Barbeque King’ hands down, you could pick up some cooking aprons with funky slogans.

COMBAT GIFTOPHOBIA – Go by the stars:

Follow astrology. I am a typical Virgo and love organizers and memo boards, while my charismatic Libra friend loves flamboyance and colour.

You could do all of the above or take the easy way out by giving cash, gift cards or vouchers. These are practical and quick, but lack the personal touch. And most of these gift cards simply sit in our wallets, till they are past their use by dates!

If you are still in trouble over buying gifts, write to us and we at Deidaa, the good samaritans, will come to your rescue.

 

 

 

Is your summer wardrobe beach and travel ready?

Is your summer wardrobe beach and travel ready?

Thirty Four sleeps to Christmas!! The holiday season is nearly upon us. After working hard throughout the year, we are ready to spend a few days soaking up the sun at the beach, catching up with friends and family at backyard barbeques or packing the bags and traveling to exotic locales.  Are our wardrobes keeping pace with our holiday plans? Is our summer wardrobe beach and travel ready or festive enough?

Summer wardrobe – beachwear

Australian beaches are pristine and Australia is famous for its beach culture worldwide. Beach culture goes hand in hand with beachwear. Beachwear should be flirty, floaty and feminine. Lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton, chiffon and georgette are ideal for beachwear. Silhouettes like wrap dresses, drawstring tunics and kaftans in floral, graphic and animal prints are on trend this season. Quick to dry and water repellent beachwear dresses can double up as cover ups over bathers or swimsuits.

summer wardrobe – travel

If you are traveling, pack lightweight clothes. Blended georgette dresses and tops are sturdy, crease resistant and take the rigours of travel well. If you are heading off to Northern hemisphere you may want to carry tops and dresses that can be paired with cardis, worn over pullovers or under blazers.

summer wardrobe – maxi dresses

Maxi dresses can double up as casual daywear and beachwear. They come in a wide variety of fabrics ranging from floral cottons to georgettes in vibrant colours. Maxi dresses can be dressed up and down and are ideal for poolside bar be ques.  Accessorised with hoop earrings, stacked bangles and espadrilles maxi dresses make that easy transition from casual to party wear.

summer wardrobe – scarf

Carry a lightweight scarf. Scarves can be worn as sarongs over bathers, can be wrapped over bare shoulder or tied around the neck for some added warmth.

During the holidays, your little ones can be quite a handful. Why not try something different this season?  Replace the usual toys with eye catching kids’ apron sets as stocking fillers and your little will soon be engrossed, decorating the Christmas cake or roasting corn cobs at the bar be que, leaving you with some ‘me time’.

Last but not the least, if you are planning the great outdoors experience do not forget your slip, slap, slop kit – a box of wet wipes, a spritzer, a lip balm fortified with UV protection, a sun block and moisturiser. Carry a floppy hat. Complement your sexy summer clothes and beach wear with comfortable flip flops and have a blast!!

 

Frockaholics’ Guide to Race wear

Caulfield Cup this afternoon heralds the beginning of racing season and your ultimate nightmare is almost coming true – you have nothing to wear!! The frocks you have a re a size too small, they look tired or, worse still, the prints on them are outdated. How do you revamp your race wear wardrobe?

PROBlem 1: Your RACE WEAR wardrobe is overly populated with jeans, t- shirts and tracky daks.

Solution – Get your tracky daks out of the way. Tracky daks, though comfortable, are slob garments. They are ok to take your pooch out for walks, but are a definite no – no when it comes to dressing for the races.

Dresses and hats with coordinated clutch bags for women and suits with roses on the lapels for men are part of a time honoured dress code. Caulfield Cup has a reasonably relaxed dress code. For men, a tie and a jacket are not mandatory, smart trousers, shoes and long sleeved shirts are. Women are encouraged to wear summer dresses or tailored coordinates. A formal fascinator can be replaced with sequined hats or floral headbands.

Races are as much about dressing right as they are about horses.  By dressing right you are only showing your respect for the tradition and etiquette of horse racing.

Problem 2: RACE WEAR Dresses are out of date.

Solution – Invest in frocks that do not date. A well tailored LBD in a classic style is a good example of this.  Make sure the dresses have ample seam allowance (extra fabric inside the dress) which can be taken out or in response to a fluctuating silhouette.

Invest in over jackets in medium weight, all weather fabrics. Thrown over the dresses, these jackets can define or camouflage your contours. Long  jackets have a slimming effect and can effectively conceal the extra kilos you may have gained.

Problem 3 – Cannot select colour or print

Solution – If you have the adventurous streak, opt for the bold and the beautiful – bright reds, tangerines, cobalt blues and emeralds. Opt for feminine frocks, clinched at the waist. Floral dresses work well as racewear. Go wild with African animal motifs or leopard print dresses.  If you want to celebrate all things Polynesian, wear the frangipani or the hibiscus print with gusto. Replace the traditional fascinator with frangipani in your hair and usher in Pacific rhythm in racewear.

It is a myth that black and white suit most women. Black clearly outlines the body contours. It is recommended for women with perfect body shape. White is an advancing colour and makes you look bigger than you are. If you still prefer solid colours, opt for not black, but charcoal and not white, but ivory.

The trick to wearing solid colours is to accessorise correctly. Read more about how to accessorise racewear in the next post in Deidaa’s ‘Frocks and Fillies’ series.

 

Melbourne Spring Racing Festival wrap up

deidaa reviews melbourne spring racing festival

What a grand spectacle! The roses were in full bloom, the frocks were a feast for the eyes and the fillies were faster than lightning. That was Melbourne Spring Racing Festival 2015. It was a riot of colour, tangerine, cobalt blue, marsala, fluorescent yellow, hot pink, vivid red and coral. Floral prints vied with the spectacular roses of Flemington Race Course for attention.  Slim ‘6os shift dresses, lace sheaths or tiny off shoulder numbers were everywhere. Shoulder barred or spaghetti strap maxi dresses reinforced the spring summer theme. Headwear ranged from bold fascinators to floral wreaths.  Turbans, hair jewelry and tiaras were cheek by jowl with fedoras and wide brimmed sun hats. Clutch bags with side slings were popular because of their obvious convenience.

The six top fashion trends that emerged from Melbourne Spring Racing Festival were:

 Lace in racewear:

Lace and mesh took the centre stage this Melbourne Cup carnival. Lace sloppy joes teamed up with palazzo pants. Lace tie up tops were worn with gently flared skirts. Lace sheath dresses and maxi dresses dared to bare.  Mesh overskirts and pouffy ‘50s dresses reinforced the lace theme

 Colourful racewear:

This cup season was about colour. Tangerines, hot pinks and corals, cobalt blues and teal dresses stole the thunder from the blooms at Flemington Race Course.

Horizontal striped dresses in fluro colours made a statement. Cobalt blue appeared to be a popular choice for menswear

 Off shoulder racewear:

Off shoulder or shoulder barred dresses were popular. Jennifer Hawkins made a spectacular entry in a fluoro yellow shoulder barred dress complemented by stark black accessories.

 Statement head pieces as racewear:

Traditional fascinators faced stiff competition from wide brimmed sun hats and bowler hats. A few avant garde shapes were spotted, as were fedoras, pixie hats, miniscule pearl numbers and spiked tiaras. Fresh flowers in headwear epitomized the spirit of spring.

 ‘70s revival as racewear:

The boho trend made inroads into the strict monochrome dress code of Derby Day. Tiered peasant skirts in liberty prints, midi skirts, bell bottoms and gentle flares appeared now and then.

 Beaded Clutch bags as racewear:

Race wear is incomplete without accessories. Melbourne Spring racing festival 2015 was no exception. The frocks were complemented with boxy minaudiere clutch bags and envelope bags with side slings. Ethnic bags with pompoms and danglers infused boho chic into the racewear wardrobe.  When it came to silhouettes for clutch bags, boxy minaudieres and envelope bags won hands down.

The Melbourne Spring Racing Festival 2015 relived the era of elegance and gaiety. The rain came, as predicted, but was not enough to put a damper on the festive mood. On the contrary, it added to the fashion with a few brollies, not to mention the Bunnings brolly that was spotted somewhere! We forgot our worldly worries these few days and lived in times where carefully coiffured ladies partook of high tea served in sliver service and bone china and dandies roamed the streets of London.

 

 

 

Deidaatip how to dress up this New Year’s Eve

Caught up with the Christmas festivities? Did not realize when the New Year’s eve party snuck in on you?

Here are some quick and easy tips to get you sorted for the big night tomorrow.

Glam Up this new year’s eve:

Flick the switch back to the ‘70s. Dress up in psychedelia. Sequins are the way to go this New Year’s Eve. Bring back the disco fever in neon dresses and fluoro pants.  Before you go completely overboard, a word of caution. Sequins reflect light and can easily make you look bigger than you are. If you are on the curvier side, opt for black or matt sequins.  Select a dress that is not sequined all over but has sequin highlights or accents.  Incorporate the sequin theme in accessories like jewelry and beaded clutch bags. Deidaa’s sequinned beanies are just right for adding the glamour quotient to your New Year’s eve outfit.

Flaunt the bling this new year’s eve:

Wear rhinestones, crystals, diamantes’ on not only jewelry but dresses, beaded clutch bags and shoes. Dress up your smartphones with crystal covers, glitter tattoos and diamante danglers.

Get sporty this new year’s eve:

Luxe sportswear is big this season. Wear shiny jumpsuits and metallic jeggings with funky sneakers. Sneakers are a rage this season and can be a fun alternative to sky scraper stilettos.

Go feline this new year’s eve:

Maybelline Master Precise eyeliner is a great tool for creating the ultimate cat eye. Dress it up further with crystals, glitter gel eyeliners and iridescent eyeshadows.

Strike a balance this new year’s eve:

This New Year’s eve strike a balance between glamour, comfort and safety. Carry a mini bag or crossbody bag with your bare essentials. Dress sensibly. A designer silk scarf, discreetly tucked in your bag will save you from an early morning chill. Embellished ballet flats work very well as party footwear and do not give you sore feet at the end of the night. Last but not the least, go easy on the wine!! Have fun and be safe!! Thank you for your enormous support to our fledgling blog in the last four months! Keep those comments coming. See you in 2015!!

Style Tips for Spring Summer 2014

Style Tips for Spring Summer 2014

Slowly, somewhat erratically, spring is making inroads into the dark days of winter. You are bored with the blacks and the greys, tired of carrying around the puffas and hiding your face under the somewhat menacing hoodies. You yearn for the sensuality of flowing maxi dresses, the freedom of flirty, floaty kaftans and the splash of colour to uplift your soul. But you are not quite sure what are trending this spring summer 2014.

Look no further. Follow the key trends of Spring Summer 2014 listed below and ride the wave of fashion.

  1. The white shirt: The basic white shirt is a fashion staple. However, in 2014, the white shirt is not so basic anymore. It comes with a twist. It can be asymmetric or embellished with fabric manipulations like appliqué. A reverse appliqué white shirt is a good investment.
  2. Geometry: Geometry may or may not have been your favourite subject in school but remembering the geometric shapes will stand you in good stead in 2014. Graphic prints rule the roost. Graphic or Aztec printed kaftans are trendy, versatile and comfortable in summer 2014.
  3. Bling is king: The jeweled look is abundant, in clothes and accessories. Make sure your Aztec kaftan is highlighted with crystals and your beaded clutch bag sparkles with faux gemstones
  4. Ladylike: Voluminous lady like silhouettes like gathered or puffball dresses and tiered skirts are ideal for the spring racing season and lazy summer afternoons
  1. English countryside: The demure damsel look is reinforced further by delicate floral prints in pink, coral and aqua blue. Think coral red poppies and bright yellow daisies.
  2. Lace: Lady like and lace are never apart. Lace in garments like skirts and accessories like scarves completes the Jane Austen look. Finish the look with a lace parasol.
  3. Black and white: Black and white is here to stay. It manifests itself in stripes, graphic prints and chevrons.
  4. Cold shoulder: The ’70 flower power theme is taking over the runways. A flowing spaghetti strap maxi dress is reminiscent of the boho chic of the ‘70s. Complete this carefree look with pompom scarves and crochet kaftans.
  5. Metallic: Metallica and psychedelica bring back the disco fever. Opt for chainmail, sequins and grunge.
  6. Go orange: Go orange instead of going bananas. Orange is the new black. Wear an orange hand tie dyed kaftan and get your Woodstock look right this summer.

 

 

Deidaa Styletips on trend and within budget

Deidaa styletips on trend and within budget!!

Does your wardrobe look outdated and tired at the beginning of every season? You have nothing to wear to the races and the pre Christmas functions and your ‘Miss fat bank balance’ friend will score over you at every event? Do not cry over a wardrobe full of wrong choices. The key to being on trend is to invest in a few key staples – a crisp white shirt, well fitted jeans, a little black dress – and combine these with on trend accessories every season.

Deidaa styletips accessories the fairy Godmother’s magic wand

Accessories are the fairy Godmother’s magic wand that can transform every Cinderella into a princess.  Throw a chevron pleated pashmina scarf around your neck to celebrate that hot new trend – chevron. Lightweight and multi coloured these scarves are perfect Spring accessories, just what the style doctor ordered for some tired garments in your wardrobe.

Another accessory trending at the moment is the ‘mini bag’. The cavernous ‘it bag’ is somewhat passé’ this season. Bigger than the micro bag, the mini bag holds all the weapons in your arsenal – credit cards, bronzers, lipsticks, smart phones – without breaking your back and shoulders, literally! Mini bags with side straps can be slung across the body or over the shoulder, leaving the hands free to grab a caffeine fix when you are making the early morning dash to work or uni.

The beaded clutch bags are the more formal versions of the ‘mini bag’. The new generation beaded clutch bags come with metallic side slings. They can be clutched or slung when you go to the races. They are sequined and beaded with Aztec or animal motifs. The boxy minaudiere’ is classy and timeless.  Hand embroidered or embellished with chainmail or rhinestones, a  minaudiere’ can elevate a staple LBD into a red carpet ensemble. Every bride deserves the ivory minaudiere’ encrusted with faux pearls and diamantes’.

You do not have to break the bank to stay on trend. Combine a few in season accessories with investment staples and don’t tell your ‘Miss fat bank balance’ friend how you get it right – every time! Cheerio!

Are you being size bullied?

Are you being size bullied? reinforcing fashion stereotypes

Recently, a popular television network did a story on how plus size women are sidelined by clothing stores. If you are anywhere above a size 14, you have little choice when you are shopping for clothes. This is a sad commentary on a society that celebrates and reinforces fashion stereotypes.

Are you being size bullied? who defines a plus size?

Who defines what a plus size is?  A bunch of self –proclaimed fashion gurus who wear blinkers and have a narrow tunnel vision? Isn’t it time we saw the rainbow at the end of the tunnel? We are living in a globalised world that has little room for narrow fashion stereotypes. Beauty means different things to different people. In many emerging markets, a woman with curves is considered to be feminine and beautiful.

Are you being size bullied? dispelling the myths

While extra flab makes you predisposed to certain illnesses, it is a myth that all plus size women are unhealthy and all skinny women are fit. A woman may be naturally curvaceous or have a big bone structure, but may be otherwise fit. On the contrary, resorting to extreme measures and fad diets to look like some of the high priestesses of fashion can be outright unhealthy.

An ex Miss World was ridiculed by the media because she had committed the ultimate crime of making an appearance at an international fashion festival without shedding the extra kilos post childbirth. The media failed to notice how resplendent she looked, basking in the glory of motherhood. Why this unrealistic urgency about getting back to size zero, again to comply with the so called fashionable body proportions?

are you being size bullied? getting it right

If you elect to go under the knife or go on a diet, please seek professional help. Alternately, you can play with floral, animal and geometric prints, colours and necklines to create an optical illusion of a desired body shape. Kaftans in mid-weight fabrics like georgette and receding colours, flowing maxi dresses, tunics with box pleats that hide the mummy tummy can be flattering to a plus size silhouette. There is abundant choice in plus size maxi dresses and kaftans online.

Let us be comfortable in our own skin. Let us use fashion to our advantage … with a little help from professional stylists and plus size online stores.