Dec 7, 2015

Well Heeled. In Search of Christmas in the City.

It's not often that the universe directs me to wear heels to work on a Monday.

But then again, not every Monday is the third Monday before Christmas. Numbers are down which means time on my feet is down proportionately and I also had a very important meeting scheduled for the afternoon.  So patent heels it was instead of my usual sturdy flats. I found these Cole Haans at the Saks Off Fifth Outlet at Waikele many moons ago in Hawaii.

Dress - Nife, $49 via Ozsale.  Necklace - Lovisa.

Got a little festive with today's frock as well.
It was a find from a recent Ozsale event.  I'm a bit hit and miss with Ozsale.  I've been caught with sizing being smaller than what was specified for some brands.  They do have a returns policy but unfortunately, it's only for store credit.

Long story short, I had great success with the Nife range of workwear featured in a recent Ozsale.  Nife is a Polish brand and their dresses suit my needs prefectly.  This red dress is fully lined and sits flatteringly below the knee on me.  It's got enough structure and shape at the neck and bodice to balance the flared skirt.  It's not too trendy.  It's just right.  Especially for $49.

Toddler SSG and I went for a little adventure into the CBD yesterday in search of its spirit of Christmas.  It was there, we just had to look extra hard for it on account of all the construction and road work taking place through George Street.  Despite the perfect weather, it wasn't as crowded as I thought it would be for this time of the year.

We found this Christmas tree  in between the cranes and fenced off work sites of George Street.  Scattered through the area as well were little pop up booths with Christmas gift ideas for sale and plenty of seating for those in need of some shade and a rest.  Come to think of it, the city really does need open air areas like this during summer.  I wonder if they will stay when the light rail is completed?

The gingerbread men at the cafe at The Hilton are highly recommended by Toddler SSG.  It's the first one he's eaten from head to foot.  He's growing up so quickly!  Nearly three but his hands look like mine already.

The tree at Martin Place was as splendid and soaring at it always it.

There was even a little pop up stall selling coffee, cake and gelati next to it.

But to Toddler SSG and the other little ones who were visiting the city at toddler o'clock, the most popular feature of the display was this solid metal podium with its aluminium safety ramping.  A game was soon made of running up and down the ramps as fast as you could which then evolved into a game of jumping on the ramps as loudly as you could. It was tiring work that made sitting in the pram afterwards more attractive than it usually is. 

Never one to let opportunities like this pass, I wheeled a resting Toddler SSG with me into the new COS store that's opened in the historic CBA building that also overlooks Martin Place.  COS (Collection Of Style) is the grown up sibling of H&M who did architecture at uni before embarking on a globally based career whilst embracing minimalism in their wardrobe.  I have a sneaking suspicion COS would be a chai latte drinker as well as a devoted yogi.

But onto the clothes.The store on Martin Place looks amazing.  The play on pale wood, metal and marble gives the store an eye catching presence in the context of the stately old world elegance of the building in which it resides.  I loved the look of the clothes - precise tailoring, vivid colour as well as the neutrals and Marni-esque accessories.  I just need to work my lifestyle up to being able to wearing anything on a day to day basis (many pieces are silk and the cutting all but demand heels or delicate flats to be worn with them at all times).  Prices are similar to Australian high street labels like Witchery and Seed.  COS, like H&M has a business model of frequent drops of new styles and with an outlet to be opening in Bondi Junction early next year, I may get some COS into wardrobe sooner rather than later.

Things got a bit controversial when we went to experience the David Jones windows on Elizabeth Street.  I don't use 'experience' lightly because a trip to the city to see the DJs windows has been something I've wanted to do with Toddler SSG when he was old enough to appreciate them.  In years past, I remember the footpaths outside DJs four people (and prams) deep as families gazed at the magic that was the windows of previous years.  There'd often be children in costume on their way home from a Christmas performance at the Opera House too.  The whole scene just added a sense to Christmas that it wasn't just about the merchandise and sales figures, it was also about families doing special things together to celebrate the season.

The controversy this year was the way David Jones departed from their usual family friendly themes and went for something a bit artsy and hip with a Colour Me In Christmas.  In between displays of gifts, fashion and food are cardboard cut outs that the creator of the display would colour in live in the lead up to Christmas Day.

Don't get me wrong, when seen in person, the displays are pretty.  I just think that they'd be better suited to windows promoting something like fashion or beauty week as the design concept and its presentation would appeal more to an adult audience.  There wasn't much to engage children to look at one window and then want to follow the story from one window to the next.  Which probably explains why there were hardly any people at the windows yesterday and why I managed to get so close to them.

In less controversial Christmas colouring in news, Officeworks are selling metallic pencil sets for $5.85.  Go nuts!  You can never have to much shimmer in your festive season colouring in.  My plan is to use my pencils for a bit of calm and relaxation whilst waiting for the turkey roll to cook.  With a bit of the cheese platter and a mimosa by my side.

Speaking of the turkey, I've started my ingredients shopping list for the big day's feasting.  The trifle is going be based on an amalgamation of at least three different recipes I've found around the place...  And no, your eyes are not deceiving you.  That is a jar of rendang paste on the menu planning table.  Christmas Lunch is going to be a buffet of family favourites mixed in with more traditional fare.

I'm surprised at how well our advent calendar opening is going at the moment.  So far, we've managed to follow the one window per day without too much drama.  

And there's been a seismic shift in my relationship with my work wardrobe.  I've let the iron back into my life.  Shirts, jackets and tailored trousers....  I've been ironing like it's a new hobby this last week.

Do you wear heels to work?

Any comments on the David Jones windows?  What's the Christmas decorating been like around your neck of the woods?

How's your Christmas menu planning going?


  1. I love how you assign stores personalities. I do the same.
    Were you so inspired by my ironing that you thought you might tackle yours?
    I might embrace a theme for Christmas feasting.... maybe sweet and spicy? Pulled pork, smoked and braised ribs, mexican/middle eastern style salads, and a pavlova which I will make at home but not with the thermomix. They kill pavs.

  2. That dress is lovely - and a bargain! I've had more misses than hits with Ozsale, so I'm not going to be buying from there again any time soon. Good for my wallet though! ;)

    I'm lucky that this Christmas I don't have to cook! I pulled it off last year but it wasn't easy, haha! We will be having Christmas day twice in a row on Christmas even and Christmas day (one with each side of the family) and I'm looking forward to it, as I don't have to cook for either! (Apart from the traditional cookies I always bring).

    Away From The Blue Blog

    1. Two of everything over Christmas!! I love it.

      SSG xxx

  3. I do not wear heels to work, especially as my last project was in a warehouse so it was safety shoes all the way! Not attractive but neither is a severed toe.

    Anyway... COS is amazing and it's my aspiration that one day I have a job good enough that my entire work wardrobe can come from there. I'm pleased it's made it over here, it's just all so beautiful. I really like the last jacket you've got a picture of, where's that from?

  4. Thanks for the into to COS! Now 1-2 hour wait till it gets to Queensland... The online store will have to do. I love your dress , Pantene shoes are great especially if rain might be on the horizon... I love your window shopping! Thanks for sharing, Jeni

    1. Thanks for that, Jeni!

      Also, am loving reading your blog too.

      SSG xxx

  5. LOVE that Lovisa flower necklace.
    No decorating here on account that we're off to NYC next week!! I am looking forward to seeing what NYC has in store for us deco wise. Keep an eye on my Instagram. I have a feeling it's gonna be good!

    1. Leanne, I'm going to be stalking your Instagram!!!!

      SSG XXX


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