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Just the thing for the hard-to-buy-for people on your Christmas list.

17 Gifts To Give The Partner Who Already Has Everything In 2018

Your SO might have everything, but we’re willing to bet they don’t have these…

When Shopping For Clothes Is Worse Than Hell

Call it a quirk, but I just can’t go clothes shopping. 

13 Products That’ll Make 2017 Your Fave Year

There’s a reason it’s called retail therapy.

9 Trends Seen At NYFW You Will Definitely Want To Copy

It’s time to shake things up in our wardrobes.

A Fashion Lover’s Ultimate Weekend In Sydney

Where to eat, shop, spa, and stay like a true style queen.

23 Emotional Stages Of Shopping At Sephora

Do I need this $40 contouring kit, or do I NEED it?

17 Things Only High Maintenance Girls Understand

I’m not high maintenance, I just have really high standards.

Size Matters: Should Target Normalise Size 16+?

In a move designed to cater for the diverse female body types of Australia, Target has announced the introduction of size 16 mannequins. They were released on Thursday, September 10 in Target’s Chadstone store, and will be placed in over 49 stores nationwide. These ‘normal’ sized dolls are an attempt to acknowledge that many women other than sizes 6-8 buy clothes, and give larger ladies a sense of body confidence not previously afforded to them.

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Sounds great! What could be better than encouraging women to be proud of their bodies, whatever the shape or size?

I’ll tell you what’s better; encouraging women to eat healthily, exercise more, and not be complacent about a body that’s beyond the bounds of a healthy BMI.

I am all for average sized mannequins. If you looked up the definition of “average female body type” in the dictionary, there would be a picture of me. My shirt/dress size is a 10, my pants size is a 12, and I am 5 foot 5 and a half. However; I go to the gym regularly, I avoid sugary food, I don’t drink, and I watch my portion sizes. Why do I do this? Aside from the fact that I really, really like Zumba, I would LOVE to fit into clothes that are size 8-10, rather than 10-12.

This isn’t because I have some terrible body complex; on the contrary, I am really happy with how I look. But I know that if I kicked a couple of kilos, I would be more comfortable in more clothes, and have less trouble shopping for them. That’s it. Simple. Tiny mannequins don’t make me anxious; I will never be a size 6 as I don’t have the bone structure. However, they do motivate me to get fitter and healthier than I already am. Surely this is a good thing?

Let’s look at what Target Australia’s Managing Director, Stuart Machin, had to say. “The average customer is a size 14, so it’s baffling that the Australian retail industry still uses a standard size 8 mannequin…We want to change the way Australian retailers represent women, and we hope that these mannequins will help to start a new conversation in the fashion industry. We know how important it is to be accessible for real Australians. We’ve always tried to cater for all sizes – from introducing our petites line with our Dannii for Target range right through to the Belle Curves collection that caters for women up to size 26.”

Whoa! Back up a bit! Firstly; if the average customer is a 14, then why not have size 14 mannequins? That is usually a perfectly healthy size. I know my booty expands to a 14 around Christmas, and I’m the poster-girl for average. Secondly; what does Mr. Machin mean by “real” and “everyday” women? Last time I checked, women were trying to move past being defined by their body type. It should have nothing to do with what makes us ‘real’. Reverse body shaming, anyone?

Here’s the thing; size 16 – 26 is not a ‘body type’. I know many women who are this size and are perfectly happy, but they would be much, MUCH happier if they dropped a few pounds. Yes, some women have medical conditions/chronic injuries that unfortunately effect their fitness, but most do not. There is a temptation to get wound up in the ‘love your body’ movement, but it should not be an excuse to maintain a less than healthy lifestyle.

Love your body by keeping it as fit and healthy as you can. Size 16 mannequins may give women a better shopping experience, but they do not give us incentive to avoid the obesity crisis. True body confidence comes with a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind. Remember; the two are not mutually exclusive.

Spring’s Hottest Trend: Lace-Up

Are you as excited about spring in Australia as I am? Finally we can turn off our heaters and put away those big, bulky jackets. In fact, wearing lighter clothes is one of the things I love most about spring; it feels like a huge weight lifted off your shoulder – pun intended.

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With every new season comes new trends in fashion. The 70s are still the decade to channel; think flared pants, flowy blouses and lots of suede. The main trend for spring, though, is anything lace-up.

First seen on the Chloé runway, lace-up sandals, gladiators and clothes have found their way into high street fashion labels’ collections. So get inspired by the following finds of spring’s hottest fashion trend, lace-up.

Chloe lace up sandals

This is where it all started: The original Chloé lace-up sandals are every fashionista’s dream this season. They’re extremely versatile and thanks to a low heel, comfortable, too! With a hefty price tag of $1890, they’re going to remain a dream for me. Thankfully, a lot of cheaper brands have picked up on the trend.

Spring's Hottest Trend: Lace-Up

MissGuided lace up gladiators

These MissGuided gladiators are the more dramatic version of the Chloé ones and are sure to make any summer dress look extra cool.

Spring's Hottest Trend: Lace-Up

Asos lace up denim dress

If effortless had a name, it would be Asos Lace-Up Denim Dress. Not only are denim dresses on trend, but combined with the white laces it takes you to the next level of fashionable.

Spring's Hottest Trend: Lace-Up

Shopbop lace up blouse

For a more elegant, feminine look, opt for this white lace-up blouse. It will take you from work to drinks with your friends effortlessly without a need to accessorise. The lace-up neckline is a showstopper all by itself.

Spring's Hottest Trend: Lace-Up

Yoox lace up pencil skirt

This pencil skirt is anything but boring. With its lace-up details on the hips, it accentuates your waistline and seems inspired by corsets – definitely not for the timid!

Spring's Hottest Trend: Lace-Up

Images via Chloe, Missguided, Shopbop, Asos, Yoox

The Pros And Cons Of Online Shopping

There’s no denying it, online shopping has become a huge part of our lives in the last 5-10 years. Gone are the days when we actually had to go outside to buy something. Ten years ago, I didn’t expect anyone to sell their stuff online.  Nowadays, if a brand or store doesn’t have an online shop, I usually get quite frustrated and question the quality of their marketing department (I mean, hello… It’s 2015!).

RELATED: 7 Online Shopping Safety Tips

I am not a huge online shopper, but I know a lot of people who haven’t set foot in an actual store for a long time. This got me thinking, will there still be shopping centres and stores in 50 years? Probably yes, as there are many benefits, but also disadvantages about online shopping:

Pro: You can shop in your pajamas, from the comfort of your bed. No need to get dressed, put make up on, or even brush your hair. In the virtual world, nobody will see you while you load up your shopping bag.

Con: You are tempted to buy more: Because you are not actually holding or carrying around the items that you want to buy, your virtual shopping bag fills up easily without you noticing that you have just accumulated clothes worth one month’s rent. You’re shocked at the check out and can’t decide what to keep.

Pro: You can shop whenever you want: Who has got time to go shopping during office hours? And being in a shopping centre on a Saturday is like going to Bondi Beach on a public holiday: too many people. Online shops don’t have opening hours. Feeling like buying a pair of shoes at 2am? Done! Ordering a friend’s birthday present during your lunch break? Easy!

Con: You can’t try it on: To me, this is one of the main reasons why I still like to go into actual stores. I prefer to not only see, but feel and try on the clothes, shoes, and accessories I am interested in before buying them. Sure, you can send back any online purchases that don’t fit, but let’s be honest: How many times have you kept something because you couldn’t be bothered to send it back? I thought so.

Pro: You can shop on international sites: In Australia, we know the pain of not having all the cool international labels in our stores. However, the world wide web has given us access to almost all of them and some sites even offer free international delivery!

Con: Nothing is really special anymore: Remember when you used to bring back clothes from your holiday in Europe and it felt really special to have them because they were only sold there? Those days are gone.

 image via expatliving.sg

Unique New York: 5 Unusual Reasons To Visit

New York is considered the greatest city in the world. It’s loud, fast and full of tourist attractions. Times Square, the Empire State Building, Central Park and a myriad of other icons are always mentioned. However, hotspots have become so commercialised and packed that they’re impossible to enjoy. But there are ways you can enjoy a trip to NYC that don’t involve being sandwiched between two people scoffing deep-fried hotdogs in the TKTS line in the middle of winter. Here are 5 of them:

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1. Brooklyn

New York is made up of five boroughs; Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn. Manhattan is where most of the action is at; however, the outer boroughs are seriously underrated! Brooklyn is home to some fabulous eateries, boutiques, and of course the resplendent Prospect Park. It’s generally cheaper than Manhattan and doesn’t have that steady stream of people pouring through the streets. Williamsburg in Brooklyn is particularly cool; very hipster without being emo and populated by a surprising amount of celebrities, including Ed Westwick aka Chuck Bass (thank you, Gossip Girl!).

2. Trader Joe’s

Love chowing down on all the epic food in NYC but hate what it’s doing to your waistline? No problem! Head down to Trader Joe’s supermarket, most notably situated on 14th Street at Union Square. They have everything from bagels to almond/coconut milk to peanut butter cups, and best of all; they only sell products with zero high fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup is a cheap sweetener found in lot of American food; it’s probably the worst possible thing you can put into your body. Shop at Trader Joe’s and get tasty, healthy, and inexpensive food in a flash!

3. Union Square

It’s a giant square (go figure) of cement tiles at the top of the East Village and is a little hive of shopping, food, and a super cool “sculpture” of sky high flashing numbers that I eventually found out was a sort of palindromic clock. Go around Christmas and you’ll get the Union Square Markets. It’s also a great point of reference if you get lost: “Meet you at Union Square?” Of course!

4. The rooftops

On a rooftop, any rooftop, you will find happiness in New York. Unless it’s January, then it sucks. But any other time is great! Because New York is so condensed, everything is sort of stacked on top everything. As such, you end up with these rooftop terraces, all of which have an AMAZING view of that iconic New York City skyline. They are the perfect place for a party, a barbeque, or even a quiet cup of coffee. You don’t know New York until you’ve seen it from the very top!

5. Night time

This may seem like a weird one, but it’s true. If you’re a night person, you will LOVE New York. Nothing in that city opens until 10am (shops, supermarkets, literally anything), which means that loads of diners, convenience stores, quirky shops, etc are open 24 hours. Have a 2am Ben & Jerry’s craving? No problem! Grab your coat and stroll down any street in Manhattan. You’re guaranteed to find at least three places still open. Aside from that, New York is just super cool at night. Something happens to the place, like a magic curtain has been drawn and all the fantasy creatures come out to play. I’ve found myself inexplicably in the middle of Union Square in minus 5 degrees, armed with a tub of ice cream, a fork and no regrets at 4am way too many times. New York at night is like nowhere else!

Image via Workandtravel.biz.tr

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