Gala’s Style Essentials
I know they’re trendy as hell but I can’t help loving them. Mine are from Urban Outfitters, & I love to throw them on to add a bit of visual interest to an outfit. Sometimes I feel like having them on is a kind of disguise, which can be very welcome on those days when striding out into the maelstrom of New York City isn’t something I’m really in the mood for. My next step is to buy a second pair & cover them in tiny Swarovski crystals… Needless to say, I can’t wait! (Elton John’s demented protégé lives!)
Flat, well-worn boots
Boots are always my default footwear, & while I have more pairs of heels, boots get about a billion times more wear. They’re so versatile, so comfortable & so stylish that it’s almost impossible to go wrong. I wear mine with jeans, skirts & dresses, & always have. (Courtney Love was one of my first style icons — old habits die hard!) I started off with a pair of 8-up Doc Martens, graduated to New Rock combat boots (which my father told me looked like boots for someone with polio — & which I wore almost every day for 12 years!), & am now all about my Frye shortie Veronicas. I still have intense boot fever & voraciously eye them up whenever I go into a shoe store. I’d like my next boot purchases to be pink PVC Doc Martens & a pair of Frye motorcycle harness boots. Yum.
Probably the most versatile item you could possibly own, a super-long or oversized cardigan should be (I think) an essential in every girl’s wardrobe. You can dress them up or down, they go with pretty much everything (especially if they’re in neutral shades like black or grey), & they’re a super-easy solution for warmth or layering on cool nights. You can even rock mad 90s style & tie one around your waist. Another thing I like to do with a long cardigan is to put it on but button it behind me, which turns it into a kind of bolero with tails. A long cardigan with pockets will be your best friend, especially during season transitions. The one I wear most is a light cotton one from Urban Outfitters, but I also have them in black wool (Ricochet, NZ) & grey wool (Country Road, NZ/AU) which make for essential plane-wear. If you can get your hands on a men’s cardigan, the I’m-wearing-my-boyfriend’s-clothing-&-we-just-had-great-sex look is hard to trump.
A statement handbag
I think everyone needs a handbag in a neutral colour they wear all the time — black or tan are great, safe choices — but it’s wonderful to have a handbag which is heavy on colour, style or statement. I only ever used a black bag until earlier this year, but now I have a menagerie of deliciously-hued purses in my arsenal, & I will never go back! They don’t have to be expensive either: the bag I’ve received the most compliments on is a $30 job from Forever 21!
An assortment of cameras
If you didn’t document it, it didn’t happen. True fact, & this is further impacted by the fact that my memory is so atrocious that I have to write things down or photograph them or they just disappear from my mental reserves. Hence, I am always lugging around my Nikon D80 (very heavy) & now my Flip Mino HD, which is probably going to result in a fabulous hunchback by the time I’m 40, but hey, that’s the way it goes sometimes… I don’t think any of you need any further reasons or convincing, we all know how good it is to have real visual evidence that we are living our lives in an exciting manner!
I have a vintage Mary Quant suspender belt which has served me extremely well in the past few years. Almost nothing will make you feel sexier, & even better, no one has to know about it (unless you want them to). You also don’t necessarily need to buy stockings to wear with these — if you’re feeling a bit punk rock, you can just cut pantyhose off at the thigh & wear them that way. I used to do this with black & white striped tights & it looked pretty hot, if I may say so myself. Interesting fact too, a lot of men have never seen a girl wearing a suspender belt in real life. When they actually do, let’s just say that they tend to be pretty happy about it. Now, hop to it!
A good pen
…Preferably with fabulous coloured ink. There’s nothing more decadent & fantastic than having your own pen on you at all times with which to sign receipts, give autographs to adoring fans & scrawl phone numbers with a lavish flourish. Of course, you do have to guard it with your life since for some reason, people’s morality seems to go totally out the window when it comes to the thieving of pens, but it is worth it. Much nicer than scrounging around for a chewed-up old Bic or that marker which comes out all blotchy. Yes, having your own pen is total glamour. (Better work on devising yourself a magnificent signature now too, huh?)
Bag & phone candy
I used to call such things “danglies”, which is really not very elegant at all, but when I found out that Tarina Tarantino called this stuff “bag candy”, I was all over it. So. Bag candy. Phone candy. Etc. This is the name for the lovely bits of deliciousness which serve absolutely no purpose but to prettify something else. A phone without candy is a phone without soul, I say! My tastes tend to run to the likes of rhinestone-encrusted initials, sequinned hearts & hypercoloured cupcakes, but your mileage may vary. Tarina Tarantino & Louis Vuitton have really nice options, but if you don’t want to spend a bundle, your local Chinatown should have at least one store with a veritable plethora of noisy, colourful, excitable things on strings. Titivate your goodies!
Knock ’em dead lip gloss
Balm is good — essential, I’d say — but gloss is better. Balm moisturises & gloss tantalises, so get tingling! My lip balm of choice is anything from Palmer’s cocoa butter collection (dark chocolate & peppermint is my jam right now), while my holy grail lip gloss has been Givenchy Pop Gloss Crystal for what feels like a very long time. At least 6 months, & I still adore it. It tastes sweet, it’s kind of sticky, it shimmers with irridescent glitter & the colour is perfection. It isn’t the cheapest lip gloss on the market, but golly, would you really want that anyway? I think it’s worth it for the way it makes you feel — all pouty & sex kitteny & absolutely ripe for the smoochin’.
A really good concealer
…Because nothing puts a damper on a fire-cracker mood than a stonking beezer-pluke (aka, a big blemish). MAC Cosmetics do great ones, of course, in a variety of formulas depending on what you prefer, but Benefit’s Erase Paste is my new-found friend. It’s really, really great for brightening that sometimes-sallow area underneath your eyes, which means you can totally pretend you didn’t have a few too many mojitos last night & that you really are a responsible member of the team. Oh yes. Worth its weight in gold, I’m telling you.
The more ridiculous the better. Now that my hair is short again, I kind of have a complex about making it as big & impractical as possible, so my latest obsession is buying things to stick in it. I have not yet graduated to the Marie Antoinette school of putting a ship atop my noggin, but I’m sure my day will come. Forever 21 is my favourite place for headbands of all stripes (bows & flowers abound), but I just bought this lucite butterfly headband from Tarina Tarantino in both pink & black. I couldn’t resist. I am going to wear them both at once. Drool.
Other things you will find in my bedroom…
Ears (bunny, maus, sequinned, polka-dot); faux-fur coats; MAC Cosmetics’ Plush Lash (holy grail for eyelashes); a selection of neon & holographic nailpolish; vintage slips in candy colours; bottles of Miss Dior Cherie & The Exact Friction Of Stars; ripped stockings; dresses, dresses, dresses.
 “Beezer-pluke” is a word meaning pimple which I came across at least 10 years ago in this book called I Was A Teenage Worrier by Roz Asquith. It has stuck with me forever, sometimes to my chagrin, & so now, I am passing on this magical word to you.
So, what are your style essentials? I asked Twitter, & here’s what I found…
lesleydenford Style essentials: baby bangs, Converse, scarves, big white flower ring, black liquid eyeliner, MAC blush, & shiny lip gloss.
zimgirl16 I don’t leave the house w/o eyeliner, otherwise my favorites are dangly earrings and feathery headbands for my short short hair
emiliabedilia style essentials: calf length boots -preferably slouchy or biker.
vixel Eyeliner, accessories that match my hair colour, antique rings, biker jacket and a geek to accompany me!
duskyblueskies Mascara, skinny jeans, pointed-toe flats, blazer, aviator sunglasses.
tatvictoria re: style essentials (of late): good hair, bronzer, boyfriend blazer, flats, basic tees, messenger miu miu, a cuff
greyout Big scarf, boots of some sort, black eyeliner, a flat-iron, skirts & dresses (never pants!), greyscale.
declinedesigns candy colored hair, stripes, rose prints, bright colors, and heels!
finalfashion one messenger bag, living in denim, Dr. Martens, black jackets with pockets, plain button down shirts, AA tanks, pencils.
fashiontrix a good bra and dark denim jeans.
ladyjulianne pink-stained lips, coloured tights, my beloved bright pink handbag, purple umbrella, loads of rings, a book
PeachMcGee Fabulous knickers, perfect hair, pristine eyebrows.
TheRawBombshell polka dots, pencil skirts, black liquid liner, red hair dye and heels plus my secret weapon – a smile!
chelseydee I have rhinestones in the balls for my body piercings, the sparkle is very ooh la la 🙂
RokingLTD brand new 501s every 6 months in 32 waist, 36 leg. Cream linen suit. Birkenstocks. Viv westwood t-shirts!
millycupcake leopard print coat (topshop), Bow back mac , Leather boots (in winter) in summer oversized sunnies, jeggings, disney jewelery
ashemischief Funky shoes, polka dots, lightning bolt & unicorn pendant necklaces (for 8 years now!)
PrincessPoochie vintage driving gloves, electronics of all kinds, dark glasses, books
vanitygirl lip gloss with a slight tingle factor, iPhone, a great pedicure
HipMom mascara, lipgloss, great shoes (occasion-appropriate: not necessarily heels!)
kiddetective style essentials? my goggles, of course! goggles and chapstick.
notitles I always must have a purse that’s big enough to carry my notebook.
P.S. Add those stylish girls to your Twitter list — new friends ahoy! Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!