I had lunch with a friend a couple of months ago, and she was wearing a gorgeous lipstick pink velvet blazer.
“Where did you buy that?” I asked.
“I found this great boutique just near me,” she replied.
“You should go.”
And so when I found myself in the Kings Cross neighbourhood last week, I popped in.
And the clothes were lovely, all designed by the owner for her label Baz Inc, and made in Australia.
They had everything going for them; beautifully designed, wearable styles that had just the right amount of edge to keep them interesting, such as a fluorescent striped ribbon sewn down the sleeve of a crisp voile floral peasant blouse, a bomber jacket for evening in low key lurex and silk satin skirts with sporty details at the waist.
The prices were reasonable, the fit forgiving.
As I was flicking through the racks, Baz said “this just came in today” and handed me a navy blue silk satin tea dress, cut on the bias, finishing just about the ankle.
“Try it on,” she urged.
I rushed to the change room, praying that it would fit.
I pulled it over my head, and felt it glide easily over my hips.
Short sleeves that covered the tops of my arms, a v neckline that was not too low.
It tapered under the bust, making me look like I have a waist.
And, wait for it, it had pockets.
This was my absolute dream dress come to life.
“Oh and I have this one” she said, offering me another one in the same style, but this time in black silk with a fine pink spot.
I was feeling giddy with excitement.
The perfect dress. Times two.
“And how about this?” she said, pulling out a bright electric blue version in a slightly stretchier fabric.
It looked just as fab as the other two, and it was a colour I would never normally consider.
“I can’t buy three in the same style can I?” I asked Baz.
“No, I think you can have two,” she said sensibly.
But which ones?
The navy silk was a no-brainer.
It had a bit of a vintage Downton Abbey feel about it, and I could see it with a red lip and diamante jewellery.
And what’s not to love about a classic spot?
“I don’t know that I’m going to wake up every day thinking I want to wear electric blue,” I mused.
“I can always make you one later on in black,” Baz said helpfully.
I left with the navy and the spot, and it hit me as I strolled back to the car what a brilliant experience it is to shop locally, in a boutique where the owner/designer/dressmaker knows you, and understands your style.
This has been the bonding experience of many generations of women, who have walked past a shop window and seen a pretty dress that they simply had to have, and that made them feel a million dollars.
Online shopping may be convenient but isn’t it great to know who made your clothes?