“Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination”
~ Oscar Wilde
This next list is really going to show my pretentious side… But I hope you will forgive my materialistic fancies and take delight in the world of shopping. Sorry for any international readers who may be unfamiliar with these stores but if you ever visit down under – you’ll be shop efficient and ready to go!
1. Alannah Hill
Although I have very few items from Alannah Hill I adore it all the same. Sadly, this poor student cannot walk out of this magical shop with a new dress every time.
But it is a wonderful place to float whimsically away as you are surrounded by lovingly made dresses all with the most feminine of airs. The sales assistants (I like to call them “The Alannah Girls”) are pristine perfect! It is like they stepped straight out of a 1950s pin up poster. They greet you with gorgeous smiles as you admire the range of colourful garments.
The stores are absolutely gorgeous – girly wallpaper, velvet couches, white benches and exciting change rooms. What more could you ask for? Maybe a serve of champagne as you walk out the door? Well it happens at special events – so I guess that’s that!
What I most love is the distinct style. Alannah knows who she is: she isn't shy, she's quirky yet wearable and she knows how to have a quintessential girl of a time!
And on the rare occasion I walk out with a new dress wrapped delicately in fine tissue paper and placed in a pretty red and cream ribbon strapped paper bag – my shopping experience is complete and those little details have the ability to make me happy for a month. (I'm easily pleased)
I browse the wonderful store that is Mimco so much so that the sales assistants know me by name… Every Mimco sale, I am there without fail, and yes I usually walk away with a bag in hand. I’m not kidding: Mimco is my kryptonite. I went to a party the other night feeling as though I was sponsored by Mimco:
Friend: “Where did you get your shoes from?”
Friend: “I love those earrings”
Me: “Thanks, they are from Mimco”
Friend 2: “Wow, where is your clutch from?”
Me: “I bought it on sale at Mimco”
Yep! Definitely devout Mimco junkie and hard core groupie number 1!
I have little to no will power when it comes to Mimco. Once; I knew I couldn’t afford these very impractical but gorgeous heels so I walked out empty handed. That night they haunted me in my dreams. I’m not joking when I say my coveted purchases talk to me in my sleep… the next morning I was drawn back through those wonderful doors as I left with the shoes I thought would change my life. Ok, so they might not have changed my life but like the next person I do love a compliment and on their virgin run, compliments endlessly flooded in. I have never regretted a Mimco purchase and no matter how anorexic my wallet gets I don’t think I ever will.
This is a wonderful example of an Australian brand. The garments are all still made in Australia and customer service is excellent. Cue never fails to flatter my body shape and it is my go to for corporate wear. The Cue sales are another must go (I hardly buy full price – one of the reasons why I have a fictional Olympic gold in shopping).
Also who doesn’t love a place which offers a loyalty card? There is something inviting about collecting copious amounts of loyalty cards. You feel as though you are special, you belong. Who doesn’t want loyalty discounts, special offers and VIP events?
4. David Jones
Christian Laboutin, Miu Miu, Akira, Collette Dinnigan, Burberry, Armani, Lisa Ho... the designer’s are endless. Ever since Queens Plaza (my favourite Brisbane shopping destination) had a makeover, David Jones has been a place where I can melt away and dream of purchases way out of my means. I can try on garments with eye popping price tags, sample overpriced beauty products and lovingly stroke leather Chloe bags I can only dream of.
To be fair David Jones is really your average mass corporation department store but I always find myself supporting it, even when I know there are other relatives. I think it's because it is a convenient place to find the most expensive of fashion houses, especially in little old Brisbane. So thanks Mr Jones for providing me with a little taste of opulence.
So I guess they aren’t lying when they say “there’s no other store like David Jones” (insert catchy 90s advertising tune).
5. Mecca Cosmetica
Want the perfect place for pretentious cult brand beauty products – head to Mecca.
I remain somewhat of a skeptic when it comes to beauty with a price tag and yet I find browsing the bright clean shelves of Mecca so inviting. Suddenly this place made me want to part with my money for a tiny bottle of cleanser claiming to be the best, with an ingredient list that might be mistaken for Latin or scientific jargon.
Not turning into a beauty blog but I must thank Mecca for finally finding my one and only mascara – (Kevyn Aucoin The Mascara – volumising) LOVE! Ladies you know this endless search is painstakingly annoying and when you discover that unspeakable one, you never look back! (And you pray the day it is discontinued will never, ever come)
Again, my name is in their database – they know what I have purchased; they ask whether you need a top up, they know their products and they always give you samples! We all know free stuff is a great pick me up!
Just missing out is feminine brand Review – I think of it as the more affordable Alannah Hill and I must admit I own a fair few Review dresses. Again, these wonders are mostly still locally made, the stores are neatly set out and yes there is a loyalty card! Plus, to top it all off paper bags and tissue paper is all part of the parcel.
Also, a quick mention must go to the other department store - Myer. Recently whoever employed the new buyer - snaps! They are really getting in some great Australian fashion talent and unlike David Jones they have an awesome rewards card!
Comment and let me know where you love to shop. I’ll be more than happy to check them out!