Nicole’s wardrobe is a blend of opshop treasure and local favourites.
I grew up in the South Eastern suburbs in Melbourne. Growing up I was always an opshopper, I have a Mum who was always sewing things or going to find some treasure in an opshop. Mum always made our clothes, we had a strong sense of what was good quality and well-made. Now when I’m looking for stuff I always have that perspective.
In my late teens I started thinking about what my style really is rather than buying everything in chains or popular stores for my age group. I’ve loved 1950s-60s silhouettes and very womanly styles. I went through a really bizarre phase during school of loving surf clothes which is wild because I’m not a huge fan of beaches! I remember being really inspired by a friend with South African heritage who had such gorgeous Afrikani skirts with beautiful embroidery and colours. I’ve always liked detail in garments.
I enjoy supporting local Australian and ethical brands. Because your local brands do tend to be more expensive, I’ve slowed down what I’m buying and really focus on investing in pieces that I appreciate and respect. When it’s sale time at KUWAII, Romance Was Born or Alpha 60 I like to splurge, I’m a sucker for a discount. I also really love seconds and samples, I’m not really drawn to what’s “in” with a certain brand but what suits my body. I find myself having a lot of fun in warehouse outlets because it’s the things that aren’t selling that are precious and that’s good for me because it means not everyone will be wearing it.
My red jacket is one of my favorite opshop finds because of the quality of the wool and the style. I’m especially fond of natural fibres and the kind of quality you don’t get in contemporary clothes without a big investment. If I’m looking for furniture I go to the outer city op shops, but for women’s clothes I almost always find things at the inner-city locations. I volunteer at the Helping Hands opshop in Preston and they have an abundance of really good quality women’s wear.
There has to be something about a piece to draw me to it; it needs to have a bit of an edge or a lovely feeling fabric or a colour that suits me. You’ve got to feel good in what you’re wearing, otherwise there’s just no point. Sexiness is a bit more than what you’re wearing; women can exude sexiness in their approach to the world. I don’t really dress to impress anyone, I dress for myself and what I like to wear.
I tend to find my group or community in and around the North. It gives me so much satisfaction when I see a lady in and around our area that is just rocking their own personal style. It’s like they are in your club, they’re trying to make the right choices. My husband and I were in Italy recently and you really had to look hard to find those sorts of local brands there. Melbourne is such a creative city; it’s so full of diversity and artists and there really is that demand for locally produced pieces.