Street scene: ‘I feel good in what I wear and people see that’

Shelley James for Street SceneCredit:Arianna Lucente


I AM AT the Finders Keepers Market, Royal Exhibition Building, Carlton.

I work in marketing for a software consultancy company.

I AM WEARING all Gorman, so from the socks, to the short-sleeve dress, the raincoat, and this jumper, which is a Gorman and Rachel Castle collaboration. I don’t really like wearing sleeveless stuff, so I always have to be a bit inventive about how I will actually wear it. I liked all of the pieces together because of the similar colours. My earrings are by Mazdevallia, who is actually at the market today. One of my rings was a gift, and it’s by an Australian artist called Megan Moss. She does a lot of nautical-themed silver jewellery. My brooch is by a brand called Mox and Co. My shoes are Lacoste, and I got this bag from Lime Stall at a market called Round She Goes in Coburg.

MY STYLE IS… fun and colourful, and I like to mix different prints. The prints might not match, but there’s usually a similar aesthetic, whether it’s a pink or green colourway tying it together. I like things that are vibrant and colourful. I’ve been through phases of wearing dark, black prints and I think it was just a matter of finding a few colourful items for me to start building my wardrobe. There’s certain parts of my body that I’m not comfortable with, so in a way, I have to work harder to find things that I think are flattering on me and makes me feel comfortable. If I was able to fit into everything, I’m pretty sure I’d have some sort of shopping addiction, but I’m sort of lucky because I have to be a little bit more specific about what I choose.

I ADMIRE THE STYLE OF… I like looking at a lot of designers and looks on Instagram, just to get ideas and inspiration from patterns and colours. I have a lot of friends whose style I admire because that’s what makes them feel good. I do notice people on the street and might store it away in my memory. I saw an image on Instagram of someone wearing a cute sequinned mini skirt, a t-shirt and a pink blazer. I probably wouldn’t wear that whole outfit, but I might buy a pink blazer one day, and then it stays in mind as something to look for.

MY FAVOURITE PLACES TO SHOP ARE Gorman and Variety Hour. I’ve always loved Gorman. Variety Hour is a Melbourne made and designed brand by a lady named Cassie Byrnes. She designs all of her own textiles and prints, which are really vibrant and colourful, and turns them into clothing. She’s got a store on Gertrude Street, and I love that I can go into the shop and speak to the person behind the brand. It’s very local and she’s always experimenting with different cuts, styles and sizing, so it’s cool to be part of that process and give her your feedback.

MY BIGGEST FASHION MISTAKE WAS… Oh, there’s heaps of them. Most of them are probably from when I was younger… I remember going through that peasant style phase. I look back at some of those photos, and everything is so frilly, gyspy-like and unflattering. I think my biggest fashion mistake was any time that I fell victim to trying to follow a trend. I was probably in my mid-20s when I started to not care as much, and felt comfortable and confident to explore colour.

WHEN I WAS A KID I WORE lots of shorts and t-shirts. I loved a brand name t-shirt from Nike or adidas, and me and my sister would wear OshKosh and all of that matchy-matchy stuff. I think I went through a sporty phase as well, but pretty much whatever my mum put me in.

I WOULD NEVER BE CAUGHT DEAD IN… Everyone would say my answer would be black but that’s not entirely true because I don’t mind a bit of activewear and wearing all black at times. I would probably just never be caught dead in wearing something that I didn’t feel happy in, and was only wearing it because it was a trendy item that I thought would make other people happy. I think I really dress for myself, and I get a lot of nice comments because I feel good in what I wear, and people can see that.

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