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Swimsuits to suit everyone: The Fitting Room

Whether the siren-song of the tropics is crooning your name, or the spa pool under the southern stars beckons, The Fitting Room has the swimsuit that completes the picture.



The Fitting Room’s two warm and feminine stores on Fendalton Road and Colombo Street (opposite The Colombo) have swimsuits and bikinis to suit every body, from teens to age-is-just-a-number.

Owner Deborah Lewthwaite says staff try every style to ensure it is flattering and supportive for a range of body types. Looking great is not enough – you want to feel great too and that comes from comfort and secure support. Styles contain shelf support, cup sizing and pre-pocketing to work with prothesis and some styles run to size 26, with cup sizing to J.

Deborah stocks quality specialist swimwear brands, loved for decades: Jets is always elegant and fashionable with rich blues and greens featuring this season; Seafolly has beautiful prints; Jantzen and Sunseeker are ever-popular; Freya swimwear utilises cup sizing, while Kiwi classic Moontide combines style with comfort. Monochrome is always chic and in store, while Deborah’s current favourites are the high-necked styles by Jets.

The experienced team know swimwear shopping can be a testing time but at both stores you can relax and enjoy. They advise setting aside 30-45 minutes and booking ahead works well. The large comfortable fitting areas are ideal for bringing along a friend for a second opinion. “Have lunch opposite at The Colombo or a local café and make an event of it,” Deborah says.



Time to In-Vest

If you were caught in a vest pre-2015, one might think you were trapped in a time warp. But walk down the street today and they’re everywhere, and it’s not hard to see why.



Not only has this 80s trend worked its way back into our lives, but it’s been given a breath of fresh air, with many of the biggest names in fashion, from Louis Vuitton to Gucci, putting their own spin on this wardrobe essential. From a bright fiery red to an earthy khaki green or a classic black, we’re seeing vests in every shape and colour, adding an extra dimension to any outfit.

They are the type of street staple everyone needs in their wardrobes these days, especially in Christchurch where you’ll find all four seasons in one day. Whether it is something to chuck on in summer for a night out with the girls, an extra layer of warmth for a leisurely stroll around Hagley Park in autumn, or perhaps you just need a bumblebee yellow vest to help you beat the winter blues.

When you want something to transform your outfit instantly, this is one trend worth in-vesting in!



Supporting local: The Flock

From her boutique store The Flock, in Christchurch’s The Tannery, Melody Leveridge is helping change the way we shop for the better.



By sourcing natural, organic and environmentally sourced materials, while supporting New Zealand industry and craft-makers, shoppers are discovering they can find beautiful, unique products, and still contribute towards creating a better future.

“Our dedication to supporting designers, crafters, makers and industry in New Zealand is coupled with an appreciation for design from around the world,” Melody says. “We therefore enjoy sourcing goods that are produced responsibly and ethically overseas.”

Designs on offer include From (knitwear), Kowtow, Elk, The Busy Finch, Popkraft, Ingrid Starnes, Triumph and Disaster, Anoint, Pieces of Eight and so much more.

Since taking over the shop, Melody has reduced imported suppliers by 70-80 percent, and enjoys inspiring and educating her clients. “It’s a no-brainer,” she says of the shop’s concept. “It makes sense to have the purchasing dollar in New Zealand, rather than overseas.”

Located at Shop 7, The Tannery. Visit, follow on Instagram or phone 03 389 9242.



Ice Ice Baby

Move over millennial pink, enchanting the runway this year is a brighter, bolder shade of baby blue known as icy blue. This hue brings to mind images of frosted lakes and snowflakes – making it the perfect colour to enhance your winter wardrobe.




Solidifying its place amongst the other bright and bold colours of 2019, icy blue is a fresh and welcome addition to the season’s traditional colour palette of blacks, browns and greys. This cool shade is on the brink of becoming a neutral staple thanks to its ability to be paired with almost all the colours under the sun! Convinced? Read on for our trendy top tips.


  1. Designers across the globe are reviving some of our favourite classics in this glacial shade, so be sure to stock up on other pastel pieces to mix and match; popular picks include pale yellow, lilac and powder pink.
  2. The slight silvery undertone of icy blue makes it easy to combine with classic neutrals like camel, stark white and classic black. Accentuate an all-white ensemble with one or two bursts of this beautiful blue.
  3. For sophisticated balance, add a powerful punch of colour by pairing icy blue with trendy hues like coral, emerald green, ultra-violet and even ochre. Avoid neons as they are likely to clash or outshine.
  4. Easily embrace the chill with an ice blue blazer or full-length wool coat – or cocoon yourself in a plush faux fur jacket in this divine shade. Not only does an icy blue jacket elevate any monotone outfit, it’ll keep you nice and toasty too.
  5. Dare to bring on the bold? Go head-to-toe for serious impact; a jumpsuit, matching two-piece or tailored suit in this shade are three must-haves that are sure to have you looking ‘cool’.
  6. An old crowd favourite, navy is a signature winter neutral that provides just the right amount of contrast when combined with icy blue.
  7. Warm up your winter with a little sparkle – this magical blue works well with or as a glittery statement piece. Silk, patent pleather and lace are also proving to be particularly popular fabrics for this demure shade.
  8. For a sweet splash of blue, pepper in some accessories in this colour to any formal or casual look; think a coordinated combo of high heels, a chunky belt and silky scarf.
  9. Activewear is undergoing a serious sartorial transformation as of late so you can expect to see this bold colourway amongst the athleisure arena. For the ultimate trend-forward look, team icy blue bike shorts with a neutral hoodie and you’re ready to go!
  10. Winter weddings call for a cooler colour palette, so if you or a special someone is getting hitched this season, why not rock a dress or suit in the dreamy hue of icy blue?



Teeny-tiny totes

Handbags are by our sides day in, day out, through thick and through thin. But unlike previous seasons, this year’s must-haves aren’t defined by shape, but rather by size.




Shrunk down to fit no more than a phone and lipstick (if you’re lucky), this season’s most lust-worthy bags are also the smallest – blink and you’ll miss it.

Over the last few years, the world’s greatest fashion houses have played with the size and scale of accessories – swinging from supersized silhouettes one season to teensy models the next. From teeny-tiny totes to baby bucket bags, ‘cute’ is the look that’s taking over the handbag world.

The micro bag: so comically small that they were declared ‘ridiculous’ when an onslaught of them hit the catwalk this year. Jacquemus first revived the trend in 2017 and it’s been making waves since – bags of diminutive proportions hung from the fingers, wrists, shoulders and necks of models from Chanel to Fendi this season, proving that although small, the micro bag makes a big statement.

And it seems there is somewhat of a purpose to these itty-bitty bags. Preventing you from being burdened by the weight of all your belongings (crammed in alongside weeks-old receipts, abandoned chocolate wrappers and empty lipstick tubes), these baby bags are designed to carry just the bare essentials – no more digging around in the black hole of your tote. So what are you waiting for? Downsize that big bag and opt for a dainty cross-body sidekick – or two.



Bellissima!: Molto Bella

The atmosphere in clothing boutique Molto Bella is so redolent of all things Italian, from the friendly welcome of three darling dogs to the gentle trickle of fountain water and the large Romantic period etchings adorning the walls, that you cannot help but be charmed by it all. And then there are the clothes….



There’s a workmanship to these clothes that’s rarely seen and being made from the most delicate of silks, finest of linens, and purest of wool and cottons, you know you are going to look sensational wearing them. Anette Drewery, owner of Molto Bella, is fastidious when it comes to sourcing quality garments that nobody else has.

The predominance of clothing is Italian, followed by French and a small but select representation of exceptionally gifted Australian and Kiwi designers. “Our clothes are simply elegant; they are timeless yet of tomorrow. When a woman wears them, she wears them effortlessly because beautiful fabrics make you feel beautiful,” Anette says.

It’s difficult to draw your gaze from the clothing, but the European leather-crafted handbags shouldn’t be ignored, nor should you bypass the finest napery from Lithuania, or the witty Belgian tapestry cushions featuring character pooches and other animals.

For décor inspiration, European lifestyle magazine, Jeanne d’Arc Living, will enthral you, and yes, those delightful Parisienne ink scrolls on the wall are all for sale! With the online store launching in July, life is indeed bellissima at Molto Bella!

Visit 199 High Street, Rangiora, phone 03 313 1366 or visit



Winter Warmers

We’ve collated this season’s hottest accessories to help you confront that icy breeze with ease.




Statement scarves
You don’t need us to tell you that scarves are the staple of any winter wardrobe and this season there’s an emphasis on the statement scarves, with hot prints like tartan, houndstooth and leopard still going strong. Oversized chunky knits are your go-to for when that silky neckscarf just won’t do; these winter warmers are still very much à la mode, particularly in hot hues like mustard, emerald green and dusky pink.

Heavy hitters
Calling all fashionistas – we’ve got the winter shoe for you! Chunky black boots are stomping into style this season and there’s many different sorts of shapes to go around, from utilitarian, lug-soled combat boots perfect for the snow to more contemporary platform silhouettes for the office. As if we needed an excuse for a new pair of shoes…

Glamourous gloves
You can never go wrong with a pair of supple black leather gloves – they’re versatile, functional and sophisticated, what more could you want? This season, black and grey are making way for punchier colours, varying lengths and statement detailing. Metallic or neon? Perfectly plain or boldly bedecked? Short and sweet or long and elegant? Whatever you fancy, these hand-warmers will keep you toasty.

Bright tights
Warm up your winter by trading in your trusty black opaques for a bolder, funkier pair. Dress your legs in block colours like red, white and green, or inject some fun into a plain ensemble with tights imprinted with monograms or the trendy patterns of leopard print or snakeskin. Side note: a colourful fleece-lined, ribbed or cable knit pair is a sure-fire way to keep your legs cosy under dresses and skirts this winter.

Hot hats
Berets have remained every fashionista’s winter must-have for many seasons now and we’ll continue to see them in every material imaginable this year, alongside other old-school styles like newsboy caps, regular caps, cloches, trooper hats – even good old fedoras! We’re pleased to note that beanies aren’t going anywhere either.





Get your style game on

There may be a proverbial 20-year cycle that dominates fashion trends but men, that’s no excuse to wait two decades until you’re back in style again! We’ve hunted out our top picks to keep your wardrobe at the top of its game this season.




1. Dyed vibe
Street style stars like John Mayer, Justin Bieber, and Jonah Hill brought back the dyed vibe in 2018 and it’s a laid-back look that doesn’t seem to be getting pushed off its perch anytime soon.

2. Not fading away
While there will still always be a place for the dark-rinse, straight leg pair of jeans, light-wash denim isn’t fading off the sartorial consciousness anytime soon. Rocking denim is all about the contrast, so team your light-wash with a cool dark navy coat.

3. Sweet like chocolate
If you’re looking to mix up your neutral go-tos (the classics; navy, grey and white), brown is the new black. Even though chocolate is life, brown is about so much more than these sweet hues, with a range of browns from light oatmeal to dark olive khakis making the what’s hot list this year.

4. Newsboy cap
Newsboy caps are a fun addition to menswear fashions in 2019. To pull it off, stick to a hat in pure wool or a wool blend and interesting textures like tweed and herringbone will get you extra points.

5. All puffed up
These big, bulky pieces of outerwear provide insulation from harsh weather like no other. As always, black is a tempting staple, but the trick here is to bring some colour to the drab streetscapes.

6. Corduroy comeback
It was once hot, then very much not, but it seems for winter 2019 we are set to once again embrace the nostalgic familiarity and dependable practicality of corduroy. Heavy duty and hard wearing is the name of this sartorial game, making it a men’s wear must-have for the cooler months.

7. Do what suits
When it comes to formal wear, double-breasted suits – in their multi-button finery – are a man’s ‘breast’ friend. When it’s time to suit up, plaid, navy and charcoal are firm favourites and, while there are no hard and fast rules for the accompanying trousers, pleated trousers are a popular pairing with the jacket shape.

8. Plaid pant
The seventies have been staying alive in menswear in one form or another for years, but that didn’t stop the era from staging an outright onslaught on our wardrobes in 2018. Thankfully rather than disco hair and platform shoes, this year it’s all about the plaid pant. Make sure you pair your plaid with a common colour in your closet so you can mix and match outfits.

9. Vintage arm candy
Small, vintage style watches have been making a comeback for the last few years and that’s not expected to change anytime soon, as we’re increasingly seeking simple, old school aesthetics with a smaller watch face. We’re starting to see more 40mm watch faces than the 42-45mm these timepieces had crept up to.


Luxe Lavender

Ultra-violet may have been crowned the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2018, but its popularity has planted the seed for a softer take on the colour for 2019.




The pretty pastel hue of lavender is enjoying a newfound emergence in the sartorial sphere this year. A captivating colour that’s softer and more usable than its punchier purple siblings, lavender is a delicate, feminine shade that lends itself to countless variations of styles, making it suitable for both high-fashion and street-style looks; think crisp white shirt and tailored lavender blazer or oversized pale purple puffer and mini skirt.

Alongside winter’s typical dark and neutral hues, lavender is a welcome addition to the season’s colour palette, and when spring rolls round, the captivating colour will fit in well with the other vibrant hues in your wardrobe – pale yellow, powder blue, teal and both light and dark green.

For a minimal chic look, pair this pretty purple with bright white, black or pearl grey – the grey undertones of lavender mean it works well with dark neutrals like charcoal grey and indigo denim. If you’re not shy to go all out, try a full tonal look using other purple hues like mauve, violet or a pale shade of lilac and don’t be afraid to pair it with out-there colours like bright orange or emerald green, or patterns like leopard print or snakeskin.

Lavender-coloured knitwear is divine and sure to cure the winter blues, and sheer and silk fabrics in this shade are proving popular amongst some of fashion’s hottest powerhouses.




Sporty Shorts

It’s the fashion trend we never saw coming. Sportswear seems to be creating its own empire and this season’s latest addition is cycling shorts, but not how you remember them. A high fashion upgrade has made this the trend that fits into every walk of life.




Kim Kardashian loves this trend like it’s going out of fashion. Except it’s not – the atheleisure fad is in full force, and it appears bike shorts are all the rage. After enjoying a strong wave of popularity in the 90s (even the beautiful Princess Diana rocked them off-duty!) these sporty spandex shorts are back, now stamped as an ‘it’ garment amongst both street style and high-end labels.

Who would’ve guessed that this trend would feature in high fashion collections? Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld, the man who once labelled sweatpants as ‘a sign of defeat’, interestingly gave this athelesiure trend Chanel’s seal of approval by bringing ever-so-casual but nevertheless glam lycra cycling shorts and leggings to the runway last spring.

Stella McCartney also put her spin on the style, incorporating the shorts into a figure-hugging floral jumpsuit, while Roberto Cavalli matched beaded versions with crisp button-up blazers and ankle boots.

Top tip: for that super cute weekend look, team brightly coloured bike shorts with a turtleneck sweater or baggy hoodie and some sneakers, or for a classier look, opt for an oversized black boyfriend-style blazer and a plain white tee combo.