Fashion Friday: Slow Dawn

I’m quite excited about this Fashion Friday because there are a few stories around the pieces, and I feel like even though I didn’t think a lot about the outfit, everything fit together quite nicely.

I coloured my hair red a couple of weeks ago so this is the first Fashion Friday I’ve done since. It’s the same red I used a year ago, which I really like, so it’s not going to look that different from other photos you might have seen of me with the same hair.

Full body shot of me standing in front of a wall near a corner pillar
Full body shot near a corner pillar – I love the depth in this photo
Resting my hands on the ledge
My red nails pop amongst the rest of this simple-coloured outfit

I bought a pair of real leather shoes from H&M some time ago, which proved to be super uncomfortable and impossible to break in. I was able to return them (even though I had already worn them) and got a returns card of the same value. Nick got some gym gear using the card, and I got the grey dress in these photos, a short skirt, and a plain top. Really basic items of clothing, too – they were all cheap (as H&M is). So it only worked out to be about twenty dollars over the total amount on the card. It’s pretty funny how much we bought for the same price.

I had been eyeing this dress the last few times I had been to the store. It comes in black, coral and olive green. I think it came in white, too, but I don’t remember. If the coral was more red, I might have chosen that colour instead – but I only like a really specific shade of red. As I have so many clothes in black, I didn’t just want to get more black, so grey was a safe bet. I love the dress. I have wanted a simple, casual dress like this for so long, in this style as well. I adore the high waist and the flare of the skirt, I think it really suits my body shape and size.

Full body shot of me standing on the Hyde Park memorial steps
A full body shot

I’m a big fan of basic items of clothing, and love the ability to dress it up or down (I usually dress up, in case you haven’t noticed). The only concern I have is not being able to do it right. If you don’t get the base right, then everything else will look off. For example, if I picked a simple grey dress that was too long for me and too loose, no amount of work or accessories would make it look good.

I got the white blazer thanks to my lovely friend Monica, who said she owned it for a while but it wasn’t her style. Knowing it would be my style she gave it to me instead. I love the loose fit and the fact that it’s longer at the back and has sleeves that reach halfway down the forearm.

Close shot of me looking back over my shoulder
Looking over my shoulder
Full body shot, side view, of me standing between two windows
A side-on view. Check out those shoes!

I could tell stories about these shoes… they happened to be the only pair in the whole of Australia in my size. I tried on a 36 (6) at the store near my workplace, and it was too big, so I tried a 35.5 (5.5) and it fit well. Since I wasn’t sure about it yet, I gave myself some time to think about it and later asked my mum to order it for me. She also gets a discount as she works at the department store, but the one closer to home.

It turns out the pair I tried was the last one. Afraid that they wouldn’t keep it on hold as long as we asked them to, Nick kindly and patiently came with me to pick it up a couple of days later on the weekend. Sometimes staff members don’t keep items on hold because they just care about sales and commission…

Close up of my pointed heels, standing on a boomerang-printed path
Close up of shoes on some patterned concrete

But yes, I love the shoes. They were worth the money. From a very front-on view, they don’t look super flattering. But the angle of the front strap is really interesting. Straight straps at the ankle don’t look great on short women, but v-shapes apparently do. This is more diagonal than v-shaped, obviously, but the shoes are still very cute. The diagonal strap makes them very comfy to wear, too. Another thing I learned is that pointed toes look flattering on short women too.

I like the different bold colours in this outfit, even though the dress is pretty simple, I think I’ve dressed it up with the shoes and blazer.

I actually painted my nails before I chose the outfit. I was choosing between red or blue and went with red because I thought the silver nail stickers would go better with it. I got the nail wraps/stickers from Scratch and I remember falling in love with the design as soon as I saw it. I love crystals and gemstones and they were just perfect. I had to wait for the red to dry before putting the stickers on, but I just had to be patient.

Close up of my red painted nails with silver crystal-printed nail wraps
Silver crystal-print stickers add even more pop to these nails

It’s also a good thing I didn’t put them on all my nails. I think the subtle accent on just a few nails is better for a design like this! Surprisingly, the red goes with my new red hair colour. I think I picked the grey dress to match my already-painted nails. 😉

The choice of rose gold jewellery made sense since I had red nails as a nice accent to my neutral coloured clothes. They are pieces that have made a regular appearance in my posts.

Close up of rose gold ball and bow earrings
These earrings are just a tiny bit heavy

I chose the necklace because it’s a semi-precious stone with a crystal cut (like my nail wraps!), and it complemented the blazer without being too overwhelming. I feel like I should have worn it shorter to fit with the high neck and waist of the dress… but I read that delicate, long necklaces are flattering for short women because it elongates the figure?

Upper body shot of me walking, without wearing the blazer
The dress without the blazer is quite cute and simple

The name of this Fashion Friday comes from the Smashing Pumpkins song Slow Dawn – I had a domain name by the same name for some time too. I have been talking to Monica recently about the Smashing Pumpkins, my favourite albums of theirs, and what my favourite things are about them. Machina II was one of my favourite albums even though it was not really officially released, and Slow Dawn is one of those pretty songs from a dream-pop, art-rock album. The greys and simple colours in this outfit seemed to fit with the name. The album art is also shades of grey, black and white.

Photography by Nick. ❤️

Outfit details

  • Dress: H&M
  • Blazer: Imprint
  • Shoes: Jane Debster ‘Berkeley’ heel (available at Myer)
  • Wristwear: The Peach Box (Modern Latch Bangle)
  • Necklace: Lovisa
  • Earrings: purchased overseas at a market
  • Ring: The Peach Box (Pearl Fiesta Ring)
  • Nails: Sally Girl (Fire! Fire!), Scratch (Power Crystals)
A casual and relaxed photo of me sitting
Relaxed sitting pose

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Comments on this post

This outfit is so pretty, I love how you made the basic dress very dressed up with the accessories. The first thing I noticed was the shoes. I think they look really good, both from the front and from the side 🙂

I love this outfit. And the dress is super cute. It would look hooker-short on me, as is my problem with most H&M dresses, but it fits you perfectly. And the nails are fantastic!

Thank you! Ah, well I have to admit it is quite short, but it’s still appropriate. I think the style is supposed to be very very short, but it looks normal on me as I’m very short myself.

AHHH HOW CLASSY! I absolutely love the shoes too!! That’s a really nice dress from H&M – it looks like it’s pretty good quality too! Once again I love your shoes.

I had hair that color last summer! I don’t even know how that happened since my hair is impossible to color. I miss it so much. How do you color your hair? It’s gorgeous on you, you look like you could naturally have that color too!! If I first saw you like this I would probably wonder what your ethnicity is! 😧 I used to have a friend who is mixed and she looked Asian until she started styling her straight black Asian hair. We often forget how big of a part hair plays in our look! 🙂

The dress is definitely on the better quality side of things – it’s not thin and flimsy like a lot of their other basic clothes.

I had this hair colour last year too. I always find myself going back to it. I had it copper/brown before this, but I stopped liking it. I colour my hair myself, I’ve only had it professionally done twice and hated it both times. I have trust issues with people dealing with my hair… it is also cheaper to colour it myself.

I had a bob cut and it was cut short across my forehead as well, it was also coloured black, and I think I looked a little less Asian because the cut was so blunt. That said, I always get people questioning my ethnic background no matter what colour my hair is, haha.