Happy Australia Day, sublime seekers!
While today is traditionally the day Aussies love to crack out a bonds trucker singlet and double pluggers accessorised with an Australian flag temporary tattoo… the reality is we’re home to an increasing amount of fabulous fashion. With that in mind, I’m taking a look at our chic underbelly and celebrating 11 iconic Australian pieces that have earnt their way into the hearts and homes of Australian fashionistas (and fashionistas the world over)!
These sublime finds are a right of passage for Aussie girls, and if you don’t own them already, they’re probably on the wish list! Without further ado, here’s the list:
1. A Seafolly Bikini
Seafolly has been making fun, wearable beachwear since 1975: it’s innovative, long lasting pieces earning it distribution the world over. There’s few girls who love shopping for swimwear, myself included, but I’ve always been able to find something in seafolly that fits well and leaves me feeling as if I can dare to bare at the beach. Each new season brings a great range of colours, patterns and cuts – it’s safe to say the bikini will remain a staple!
2. A Camilla kaftan
Colourful, luxurious and standing the test of time, Camilla Franks started selling her unique pieces in a boutique at Bondi Beach in 2004. The last decade has brought wealth, growth and adoration. Camilla is now stocked in more than 300 locations world wide (including the supremely exclusive Bergdorf Goodman). She’s also feeling the love from the celebrity set: Kate Hudson, J-Lo, Miranda Kerr, Beyonce and Oprah all amongst her clientelle. The thing I love about Camilla’s collection is it’s versatility for the Australian lifestyle, a single piece can be perfectly suited to being a cover up on the beach, an outfit for a seaside lunch or a swanky nighttime soiree. With this in mind, the collection now is built to transform, a long floaty dress becoming a mini with a few adjustments. You need to save your pennies though, expect to be set back upwards of $500.
3. sass and bide jeans
A pair of frayed misfit sass and bide jeans was one of the first pieces of clothing I remember genuinely saving up for. I think I was earning about $6 an hour back then, so I quite genuinely worked weeks to have a ‘sass and bide’ label printed on my bum. Truth be told, the jeans were never a great fit for me (too skinny in the leg or big at the waist) but I wore them to death anyway. Two best friends, Sarah-Jane and Heidi, started selling denim at the Portobello Road markets in London in 1999, and within two years had expanded into a ready to wear collection on the runways of fashion week. The brand that reinvented the stovepipe style has gone from strength to strength. As proven in this pic of Olivia Palermo strutting her stuff in Brooklyn, sass & bide denim is a celebrity fave too.
4. An Oroton handbag
Since 1938, Oroton has been making luxury leather goods for Australians. While the brand has expanded into ready to wear and an optical range – their leather handbags remain central to who they are, and a truly iconic Australian piece. And the leather’s so gooooood. I don’t wear my Oroton bags very regularly, but when I do, I always appreciate the amazing quality and craftsmanship.
5. A bassike tee
bassike has turned beautiful staples into big business. At its inception in 2006, the brand launched their organic cotton tee… but it’s no ordinary shirt. Each piece goes through a process that takes approximately 14 weeks to produce. The product: super fine jersey, luxurious yet adaptable enough to work into a structured wardrobe, or at the beach. Another one to save the pennies for though… tees are $90 and up.
6. A Country Road bag
If this isn’t the do-everything bag for Aussie gals, I don’t know what is. It starts young; a staple of the private schoolgirl set, I remember seeing one pop up at our school formal! I used one as a uni bag circa 2003, a gym bag circa 2010 and have been known to force this very gender neutral piece onto JS as a weekender. Strong, durable, definitely not waterproof, but in a pattern to suit everyone, I’d love to see the stats on how many of these bad boys Country Road have sold over the years!
7. Something girly from Alannah Hill
Despite Alannah herself walking away from her namesake brand in 2013, Alannah Hill remains synonymous with fabulous, girly sophistication in Australia. With everything from quirky to overly beautiful, every Aussie girl’s wardrobe has space for something from this iconic boutique.
8. Cue workwear
Buying something from Cue when you get your first full time job is practically a right of passage in Australia. Proudly declaring to have been ‘taking over this town since 1968’, Cue is all about classic pieces that will last seasons, injected with just the right amount of personality. And craftsmanship! Still proudly Australian made (with the exception of the Cue In The City label) they are absolutely a business worth supporting. My own personal reason to love Cue; their infinitely flattering a-line dresses = a godsend for pear shapes everywhere.
9. Lorna Jane activewear
I’ll admit – these days I’ll walk past a Lorna Jane to visit a Lululemon, but I don’t know too many girls who don’t have a piece of LJ buried in their exercise drawer – myself included. Lorna Jane Clarkson launched her first store in Brisbane in 1990, and has created an empire from her active living, positive thinking brand – there are now 155 stores worldwide. My faves – the flashdance pant, a great staple for when you’re getting sizzle done around the house or out and about. Or you know. Flashdancing.
10. A piece of Samantha Wills jewellery
Samantha Wills launched her extremely successful brand in 2004, with no training in design, just a great inbuilt sense for creating luxury handcrafted jewellery. The brand has expanded to include a bridal range, headpieces, eyewear and handbags. With a price point pitched somewhere between affordable and luxury, the a SW piece will prove to be a a statement you keep coming back to. I’ve always been more preppy than ‘bohemian’, but I just acquired myself a pearl bohemian bardot ring and I loooooove it.
11. Peter Alexander pjs
Last but by no means least, Peter Alexander is the undisputed King of Pyjamas in Australia. Cute, comfortable and playful to boot – it’s the sleepwear you’re happy to be caught in. Plus! Every now and then you’ll find some his and her pieces that match! #allmydreamscometrue
And thats them – the 11 iconic Australian pieces every gal should own at least once in her life! Do you own many from this list? Tell us below!
I hope all your Australia Days turns out to be the perfect balance of kitsch and chic, sublime seekers! x