Buying inspiration

Since the beginning of the month I have been thinking that I probably need an Autumn wardrobe update. This is a particularly exciting concept because the trends on the highstreet may actually have changed! The Summer ’11 trends weren’t my thing at all (70s floral patterns *shudder*) so I resulted to shopping predominantly online for a whole season and am now subsequently feeling out of touch with the shops. I’m hoping that I will find some items that can be a valuable addition to my wardrobe on my next visit to town but I don’t actually know what I’m looking for or have any mental image of the new style I would like to take on for Winter.

I decided it would help if I made a list of items or features I have felt strongly about over the last couple of years and see where it takes me.

1. The ruff

After studying the ruff as part of my FMP for university I acquired a variety of beautiful images and started making my own to wear.

Inspiration ruffs:

credits left to right: Ashley Smith, Marko Mitanovski, unknown from stylecunt, Bibian blue, unknown, Ashley smith.

My ruffs:

photographer credits left to right: Julian M Kilsby, Neal Lewis, Jennifer Byron, Jason harry

2. Bib/ruffle/bow front blouse

Cute blouses

I’ve had quite a few variations of such items over the past few years but it seems they are still in and while looking for pictures I can across some new season items that might do.

3. Longline bras (preferably worn as outerwear)

topshop longline bras

Most of these are from topshop and I actually bought quite a few of them last year. There don’t seem to be many nice ones out for the new season though so I’ve decided to look out for bustiers instead.

4. Leather jackets

I bought two last winter but since English summers aren’t the warmest I ended up wearing them all through the summer as well so am probably due a replacement.

Jackets left to right: Todd Lynn, Rick Owens, some Balmain rip off, Monsoon, all saints, Burberry Prorsum, Balmain

I found loads of beautiful leather jackets, however most of them were not even slightly within my budget. The winner is the monsoon one in the middle as it has a nice shape and is affordable but if I could choose any I would go for the Balmain one at the end.

5. Patterned tights

Having modeled for (probably the most committed tights comparison site in the uk) a couple of times last year, its been a while since I’ve had to buy tights. Having a dog however, means that I go through them quite quickly no matter how many I get given or how good the quality is (Maybe I should start my own reviews on which ones withstood Scamper’s claws the longest). If I had to recommend a particular brand for quality and interesting designs it would definitely be trasparenze, otherwise you can get quite a good variety on ebay at the moment.

Patterned and fishnet tights

6. Platforms

Since I stopped wearing alternative platforms a few years ago I have been searching for something equally as comfortable that coincides with my current style. Though I have a great collection of heels, boots, wedges and flats I still haven’t found something slightly higher off the ground that is suitable for both every day wear and going out.

variety of shoes from office, polygrove and iron fistkg

I have bought the first one on here, purely because it was ridiculously cheap in the office sale and will probably get an other pair of iron fist shoes soon but generally, I don’t think any of these fit the requirements better than the irregular choice flashing light boots I bought last year.

7. Blazers

Having never been a fan of the preppy look I didn’t really wear blazers until recently but with so many new lace, cropped and stylized variations emerging they are bound to become a new favourite.

blazers left to right: H&M, miss selfridge, forever 21, ebay, monsoon, H&M, ebay

I have a lace one and a short sleeved black one so I will probably go for the monsoon one with the pleated sleeve and the grey one next, something stripey is also a possibility.

8. Leggings

My love of panelled and studded leggings has been growing over the past couple of years as more have become available. At the moment I wear leggings nearly every day as they are comfortable to move around and work in and all my favourite pairs are pretty much ruined. I wish I had the machinery to make some myself as I have a few ideas I’d like to try out and I feel adding some more casual items to my range would be beneficial.

Leggings left to right: minkpink sidekick panel leggings, wolford starlet leggings, club L studded leggings, Eleonora carisi panel leggings, rachel Freire suspender leggings, republic clubL lace trim, Rachel Freire Lynch leggings,Johnatha Ashton panel leggings, alexa slash leggings, Maison Martin Margiela panel leggings

I would actually love all of these!

9. Harnesses.

Harnesses are without a doubt my current favourite body accessory and have been for some years now. I bought my first one from NO:WEAR in Camden 3 years ago and have been constantly buying and making more since then.

Here are a few different styles I found online. I hpe to be able to post images from my own range of harnesses soon as well!


10. Shoulder accessories.

Shoulder accessories are a great way to add interest and detail to any outfit and I definitely need more of them. I currently own shoulder pads and shoulder chains of the large and heavy variety but non of these small, light epaulette type things that can easily be worn day to day. I found a few around, mostly on etsy but non that were perfect for me so I’ll probably have a go at making some. I will try and post a tutorial on here when I do.

Shoulder pads and epaulettes

Making this list has definitely reminded me what the key items in my wardrobe are and has actually led me to purchase a few things already. From the images I have selected to post, I can tell that my new wardrobe will look fresh, even though I already had these types of items in mind. I haven’t included dresses and skirts in this post because I feel they are very shape/size/style specific but I will touch on that subject some other time.


  1. H 16th September 2011 / 12:05 pm

    ahh awesome finds! Where are those blouses from, they are way cute?

    • aestheticcontradiction 25th September 2011 / 4:42 pm

      I don’t think they are all in the shops at this moment, I picked a few that I thought were cute that had good pics online. The red one is in oasis at the moment and they have a couple more in a similar style, I didn’t think it looked as nice in real life though, the polka dots were a bit smudgey and it was in a crepey sort of fabric which I don’t really like the feel of. I bought a nice one in camden recently and an other off gothic revival on ebay. There were also a couple of nice ones in the house of fraser sale. If you look around I’m sure you will find some 🙂

  2. Bertrand 13th September 2011 / 1:23 pm

    Harnesses seems ubiquitous those last few months but I haven’t seen any yet in any other material than leather (and usually rather plain black patent). I think latex would lend itself quite well to this accessory and could easily be marketed outside of the fetish scene.

    • aestheticcontradiction 13th September 2011 / 4:44 pm

      That’s exactly what I thought and I’m glad others share the same view! I have already made a few and I’m please with the results so far but I really want to try and make some out of thick latex. I will post a feature on them when I have a good range 🙂

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