The one in which Shopping Girl’s credit cards are frozen.

Great sunglasses are a must in my line of work. The reason for this is two-fold. And each reason itself is two fold. So it’s more like four fold. I have the good fortune of living in the sunny city of Sydney. Even when it’s cloudy it’s kind of glary. Like all mothers of school aged kids, I spend a lot of time in the car. Sunny city plus time in car equals need for sunglasses. It’s basic maths. 

The world is so bright after 5 hours of broken sleep. Not only do sunglasses shield your peepers from the overbearing enthusiasm of the morning light, they shield the world from all evidence of your sleep deficit AND they make you look good whilst doing both those jobs too! There is something about a great pair of sunnies that just makes you look polished and together. If you ask me, sunglasses are the hardest workers in your wardrobe. 

People say a great pair of shoes makes an outfit, or sometimes a great handbag. But I say it’s the sunnies that make the look. You heard it here first. 

I was in the market for a new pair of sunnies after the arms of my gold Karen Walkers unceremoniously snapped off. One minute it was attached (slightly precariously it has to be said), the next minute my sunnies were without arm. I have to say I wasn’t devastated. The Karen Walkers were no holy grail sunglasses. They were large, and gold, so made a bit of a splash wherever they went, but they had not “got me” like their predecessors, the brown Chloés (of blessed memory), which were perfection in every way (until their untimely death – they jumped straight off my head and landed one floor down). 

I have a few prerequisites for sunglasses (which I overlooked for the gold pair, so blinded I was by their general fabulousness). They have to be largeish, but not too big. No metal bits against my nose. No straight lines across my eyebrows but wide overall (to counteract my long face). They need to feel like part of my face when I wear them, and MOST importantly of all: they need to sit well on my head (where they will spend most of my time). Snug enough that they don’t fall off every time I so much as lean over to strap a child in the car, but not so snug that they give me a headache. They have to suit my face and not make me look perculiar.

So it was VOSN (Vogue Online Shopping Night) a couple of months ago and I noticed that Sunglass Hut had 20% off all purchases. Sunglass Hut has free returns for 90 days. I was determined to find a new pair of sunnies and went in with a strong game plan. 

Until the brown Chloés, I wore black sunglasses. Big, black sunglasses. Like a Hollywood starlet, avoiding the paps, minus the glamourous lifestyle. And minus the paparazzi. Obviously.

One day, I tried on the brown Chloés, and seriously it was a revelation. The brown suited my complexion. They made my hair look golden. They made me look way more glamourous than the large blacks ever had. I was converted. Brown sunglasses all the way.

So back to Sunglass Hut….. I filtered down on the website to all brown and tortoiseshell. Then I shortlisted all the ones that looked most similar in shape to the (deceased) Chloés. And then I ordered them all.

Except I didn’t. I got an error message when I tried to confirm the order. I tried Amex. I tried MasterCard. I tried PayPal. Repeatedly. And then I got a text from Working Boy.

“Westpac Alert: Transaction blocked on card ending **** at ‘Sunglass Hut 3538’ for $1,229.89 at 20:18. If Genuine, reply ‘Yes’. If Fraud reply ‘No’.”

Crap. I am not sure if they were suspicious that someone would buy so many sunglasses in one go. Or whether the fact that Working Boy was, unbeknownst to me, simultaneously trying to pay a large tax bill made them suspicious that someone who had such a stupid tax bill to pay would still be shopping for numerous pairs of sunglasses. But the next moment he got a text saying our cards were frozen and to expect a call in 20 minutes from the bank.

Yep. There I was in the middle of VOSN and my credit cards were frozen. Me. Shopping Girl. Unable to shop. Unthinkable. (Is it just me, or is this turning a little Roger Hargreaves?)


To cut what has already been an uneccessarily long story short, the glasses were purchased, the boxes arrived a few days later. All I had to do was try them all on, choose a pair, pop the losers back in the box, affix the pre-paid returns label, and drop them off at the post box. Easy.

Easy….except that I had done such a good job pre-selecting my short list, that it was actually very difficult to choose. I called in the reinforcements (Working Boy). He owes me HOURS of glassss choosing. Days possibly. 20 minutes later, I took the tags off these:


It has been said that The Devil wears Prada, but clearly I am the exception to the rule.

XOXO Shopping Girl 

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Cursed

I am cursed. I actually have a shopping curse. It is 5 weeks until First Born’s barmitzvah and I have all the shopping to do. All the shopping. Let’s just enjoy that sentence and concept for a moment. 

Except that I can’t enjoy all the shopping because whatever I try to buy, I find the complete opposite. I have undertaken a world-wide hunt to find the most fabulous dress. And so far, I have not found one. What I have found is some incredible gowns. Gowns that would only really be appropriate for First Born’s wedding. It seems a bit premature to invest in one now. 

I am also going to be extraordinarily well dressed this summer because I have come across a multitude of fantastic summer day dresses. By the time I’d gone through all the dresses on The Outnet, I’d found nothing suitable as MOBB (mother of barmitzvah boy), and everything suitable as MOG (mother of groom), plus I had three more dresses in my shopping basket that would perfect for EDM (every day mother). But not for MOBB. 

Gown options for First Born’s wedding (in approximately 15 years time):


Every day dresses within my budget that I DON’T need that I came across while MOBB dress hunting:




I also had 5 dresses on my wish list which were perfect as MOBB but clocking in at over $2000, I am financially disabled from procurement. However as all good shoppers know, it’s always worth having them in your wish list because you NEVER know when you’ll receive that email from your favourite store to notify you that an item from your wish list is 75% off (a girl can dream). 

Expensive dresses that I cannot buy



Me trying on expensive Stella McCartney dress that I cannot afford:




Last Sunday, I took First Born shopping. He needs a suit, 2 shirts, pants, shoes and possibly a tie. And socks too, apparently. We discovered that somehow he only owns sports socks and school socks.

We went into Oxford. He tried on a suit. I came across some fantastic toe-less booties. I took him into Witchery Man, but not before I spied a fabulous resort dress (you know for all my resort hanging) on the women’s side. I took him into Zara Man…..where we did find a shirt but not before I’d mentally clocked two tops and a dress to follow up on later. We went back to Oxford to buy the suit. We came home with booties (in my defence they were practically free*). 

I went onto Alex and Alexa to find some special clothes for the other boys to wear to the barmitzvah. It is a kids’ website. I came across this:


My initials (Marc Jacobs had me in mind).  In my size. It turns out the 8 in year old in me is alive and well and still likes things with her name on them.

I even managed to buy shoes when I went to buy not-Baby N shoes (I can’t keep track of what he’s supposed to be called). I went into my favourite kids’ shoe shop in Sydney hoping to find not-Baby N barmitzvah worthy kicks and instead I found me fab new cracked black leather Ugg boots. Size 39. Last pair left so down to $50. 

But I can’t wear Ugg Boots to First Born’s barmitzvah, and so the saga continues……

* they were $50

XOXO Shopping Girl

Spring is sprung

It’s the first day of spring and the sun is out in all its glory. There’s that hint of warmth in the air that has me thinking leg wax and pedicure. Just as I waited so desparately for it to cool down after thrashing my post-baby summer wardrobe, I am now officially over my warm clothes and I’m ready for some cool (new) ones. The sales racks are being packed away, and the new collections are out.

This is what I have my eye on. Please note: these are NOT suggestions. They are MY picks…..got it? MINE:

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Sportsgirl Mono Zip Back top
They did this top a while back in Zebra print. I didn’t act quickly and it was sold out by the time I tried to move on it. Lesson learned, love the new pattern.

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Ginger & Smart Floral Confessions Shift Dress
Ohhhhhhh how I love this dress. BFF stay away from this dress (remember the denim floral vest from Little Horrors in 1989?? We don’t want to go there again…….). Ginger & Smart are always bang on with their dresses. I feel like we are spiritually connected somehow. In every collection there is always at least one dress that it seems criminal not to add to my wardrobe. Yes, criminal. At $500 a pop, I’m going to have to wait it out until the sale. Nail-biting stuff. Readers, do me a favour and DO NOT BUY THIS DRESS.

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Karen Millen Pointelle Knit Jumper
I love a detailed back. And this one was a surprise. I normally don’t go into Karen Millen. It’s just not on my radar. But I went in yesterday and I could have walked out with 4 or 5 pieces in that many seconds. This was another favourite:

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which looked gorgeous but a) its soft, fluffy nature is partly due to angora, which makes me itch. There are no two ways about it, I cannot wear angora no matter how divine it is to stroke. b) This looks warm. It is not a spring piece. Not in Australia anyway (although THIS jacket on The Outnet

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almost made me rethink that whole idea, because as I said to Uma (remember her?) there’s always next winter).

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Anyway moving on……this dress from Trenery is surprisingly lovely. It’s a bit of a statement though and I’m worried that statement is “I bought the dress from the latest Trenery advertisement”. I haven’t tried it on yet…..could fall into the category of looks gorgeous on tall, willowy model but less so on regular flawed human. I may not have the height to carry it off and I am more pear than willow so the jury’s still out on this one. I’ve got time – Trenery (and their mum, Country Road) discount so often, I would never consider paying full price. I’ll wait for the next store-wide promo before I think about it.

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The Slouch Knit from Witchery
It’s possibly a little bit Nina Proudman and not so much Shopping Girl. But I’m always suckered in by the slouch. It promises that unattainable stylish insouciance which I am dying to master and never will. I think I am
just a deliberate dresser. I look like I deliberately put on my clothes and that’s because I did. How can anyone look accidentally stylish when NOT walking out of your house naked requires such a purposeful action? On Sunday I just threw on my clothes but far from looking like a Witchery model, I spent the day in a skirt that I’d worn on Thursday and forgotten I’d stained with chocolate whilst baking. Anyway I do really like this top and if her thighs are available I’ll buy them too. PS Witchery has a worthwhile rewards program.

No spring look is ever complete without sunglasses. My beautiful Chlôes died a premature death a few months ago. They were years old and are no longer available. They improved everything I wore. They fit me so perfectly I could not feel them on my face. This proved to be their ultimate downfall because I could not feel them on my head either. One evening I was leaning over our upstairs railing when they slipped off my head and fell to their untimely, irreparable death.

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Anyway I quite like these Tom Fords. They’re not Chlôe…..but maybe I have to move past my grief. Maybe it’s time to let a new pair of sunglasses into my life.

XOXO Shopping Girl