Guest Post
In the spirit of friendship and unity, today’s post was a collaborative effort by fabulous Australian forum members Deborah, Tam, Karen and Sharon. Our down-under readership keeps on growing (the first Australian gathering took place almost exactly a year ago) and we couldn’t be more delighted with the global nature of our community. Here’s how this amazing group of stylish and fun-loving YLF readers spent the day catching up in Melbourne.

The second ever Australian YLF meetup was held on a Spring morning that was cold enough for us Melbournites, and somewhat of a shock to the brave YLF’ers that had ventured down from sunny Queensland. As a result, instead of meeting in the Bourke Street Mall, the early arrivers, Sharon, Deborah, Kirstie (Katiepea), Dawn and Clare made their way straight into the warmth of Zara, to be met shortly after by Kiran (Fruitful), Tamara (Yublocka), Karen (Puffenstuff) and Jodie. 

For some it was an opportunity to meet up with old friends and for others a chance to ‘meet’ our wonderful YLF friends in real life!

We wandered through Zara, browsing each and every rack on display. Although we had arrived before it was too busy, by the time we left there was a long queue for the change rooms. The hype attached to the opening of this new Zara store was still going strong with some shoppers (not the lovely YLF girls of course) displaying quite a frenzied approach to shopping. Deborah and Clare shared a giggle when another shopper literally took a pair of skinny jeans out of Clare’s hands! With the change rooms starting to get busy, Kiran, following through on her philosophy of “never waste time in line that could be spent finding pretties”, discreetly took to trying on outfits in a corner of the store.

We left Zara with varying levels of success. Kirstie and Tam became cardigan twins, purchasing a gorgeous green cardigan. Karen (in her words) went into a fashion coma, picking up anything bright and Summer-y that she could see, the end result of which was her fab new red skinny jeans. Just before leaving, Kirstie tried on an item that had us all in stitches – a bright orange blazer made out of wetsuit material. Possibly appropriate for the day’s weather, but a bit over the top, especially paired with the black sequin dress in the shopfront display.

Next stop was Spencer Street, but by then our tummy’s were calling so we made a pit stop for food (and coffee) and got to know each other a bit better over lunch. We talked about YLF, how uniquely warm and welcoming it is for an online community, and talked about the differences we see in Australian and American tastes and styles. Thus fueled, we hit the shops.

Starting off in a group, we made our way around the circuit of shops and separated into small groups as we spread ourselves out across the shopping centre, but with a plan to all meet up again for coffee mid afternoon. Meeting up again we shared our shopping successes. Karen and Jodie did well in a number of stores, including Rubi Shoes. Deborah scored a great pair of black patent leather flats and by the end of the day managed to take home 4 pairs of shoes in total! Clare found some great sandals at Nine West while Dawn picked up some shorts and tops for her upcoming trip to Singapore. 

After the much needed caffeine stop, we made our way around the shops again, stopping at places we had overlooked on the first circuit. Most people scored a new purchase the second time around. Tam and Kirstie played dress twins again, only this time they both purchased a gorgeous slouchy striped dress from Jacquie E.  They are both now the proud owners of what they insist is the most comfortable dress ever.

Finally it was time to say goodbye – but not before taking the obligatory YLF shoe and handbag shot. Since the day was so cold and nearly everyone was rugged up in scarves, we also took a scarf shot, much to the amusement of many passers by! Kiran’s gorgeous boys then came to whisk her away. Kirstie went to meet her husband and we said goodbye to Sharon, Karen and Jodie.  With some time to spare before their train, Deborah, Dawn, Clare continued on with Tam and popped into Kate Hill where Tam discovered her personal holy grail – a grey leather crossbody bag. Tam had been searching for a bag like this for well over a year with no success; she insists it must have been YLF’s good karma that dropped the perfect bag into her arms. 

It was a wonderful day and plans are afoot for the next one. Each of the ladies was not only gorgeous and stylish, but also friendly and interested in other people. They were also curious about the world, have a well-developed sense of aesthetic, and are good communicators.  As Sharon shared after the meet, she suspects this is why YLF meet ups are so successful. In the end, the shopping is just an excuse to spend time with some really great people.