Bachelorette star: Why I wear cheap clothes and can’t stand snobs
From figure hugging gowns to combat fatigues, Ali Oetjen has worn it all in the name of reality TV, but what does the former Bachelorette turned wellness warrior wear when she's not in the spotlight?
The answer is activewear - and a lot of it.
"My wardrobe is probably 80 per cent active wear and 20 per cent normal clothes," she says, describing her style as 'relaxed boho'.
"As long something is comfy, flattering and good quality, it's a done deal," she says, adding that Australian brands Lorna Jane and Shona Joy both make multiple appearances in her wardrobe.
How would you describe your personal style?
Relaxed boho and I'm almost always in my active wear.
Do you remember your first big fashion splurge?
Yes, I spent $900 on winter boots when I sold my first home 10 years ago. I've never spent that much in something again, and won't ever!
What's your favourite kicking back at home outfit?
My Seed Heritage towelling shorts and a loose shirt. It's a comfy combo.
What are your favourite brands?
At the moment I wear Lorna Jane for my active wear and Shona Joy for beautiful dresses. As long something is comfy, flattering and good quality, it's a done deal. I'm not showy when it comes to expensive brands.
Who are your style icons? And why?
Anyone who looks vibrant and comfy in their skin, where you can see the piece of clothing enhances their complexion and movement.
Clothes hoarder or minimalist?
How much of your wardrobe is activewear?
Ha, my wardrobe is probably 80 per cent active wear and 20 per cent normal clothes.
What's the newest addition to your wardrobe?
My leather satchel, it doesn't even feel as if it's on my hip!
Shoes or bags?
Heels or sneakers?
Top three wardrobe must haves?
My sports watch; a classy crisp blazer and a comfy loose t-shirt.
What's the best fashion advice you've received?
There's a quote by Emma Watson that I love: "Wearing unbranded and cheap clothes doesn't mean you're poor. Remember: you have a family to feed, not a community to impress." I've never been a 'brand snob' just for the sake of wearing a particular brand. I can't understand spending thousands on a bag when I could invest that money into creating more love and more healing in so many ways.
What is the most sentimental item in your wardrobe and why?
I still have my little blue cardigan that Mum knitted for me, I used to love it; it's a sky blue colour with small glass buttons and pretty floral detailing.
Denim or Dresses?
Are there any trends you embraced that now make you cringe? Or any fashion faux pas?
I remember wearing bright pink pedal pushers at school, I used to think I was so cool!
COCKTAILS FOR A CAUSE
The power of friends can never be underestimated. One only needs to look as far as Brisbane's bayside to see an amazing example of this. Four close friends and Manly residents are behind what has become one of Brisbane's most popular annual fundraising events. Cocktails for a Cause was established in 2018 and fast forward to 2020 such is its popularity that the organisers have had to schedule a second event for the following night.
The fab four behind the event that will be held this Friday and Saturday evenings are small business owners Tracey Lucock, Kara Vallins and Kirrily Page and fashion identity and former model Anna Stokes Zerner.
With the event known for attracting a super stylish crowd, as the sun sets and under a fairy-lit marquee at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron at Manly, guests will be indulged with fresh local cuisine, festive cocktails and have a chance to bid on auction prizes including a stay at the fashionable Calile Hotel. Given the challenges endured by so many due to the COVID-19 crisis, the funds raised this year will be donated to the Black Dog Institute for mental health and suicide prevention research. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at trybooking.com
A "gay romantic comedy from Spain" is hardly a description one hears often for a Brisbane theatrical offering so it understandably piqued A-list's curiosity.
A little probing gleaned more details about Smiley, an acclaimed work from noted Spanish playwright Guillem Clua. The two-hander has been adapted and directed by Brisbane's Liam Burke for this production sponsored by Brisbane Pride and stars Chilean actor Sergio Ulloa Torres and USA-born/Australian Matt Young.
Revolving around two men who meet over the phone after one dials a wrong number when trying to contact his lover who has ghosted him, it is a tale of fated love. This isn't the first time at this particular rodeo for Torres, who immigrated to Brisbane in 2018 and is also a model and yoga instructor. The 34-year-old has previously taken on the role of jilted lover Alex in 2016 for a run in his hometown of Santiago but there's a big difference this time around. That production was entirely in Spanish, Torres' mother language.
For this English version, Torres has had to take classes to soften his Chilean accent, however, some of his humorous mispronunciations have been kept in the show with the actor telling A-list, "It's made us laugh a lot in rehearsals. I'm sure the audience will also laugh about it and love this show." Smiley runs at BackDock Arts from Thursday to Nov 29. Bookings: tickettailor.com/events/backdockarts
SWIMMING IN SUCCESS
Summer is off to a great start for Sunsoaked - the brainchild of Brisbane's Kate Davis-Steer - which has already sold out multiple pieces of their new sustainable and Australian-made ready-to-wear collection.
The six piece ready-to-wear range, made from premium sustainable cotton and linen blends, reflects an effortless aesthetic and complements the brand's Swim collection.
Kate was inspired to source new fabrics, rethink, redesign and make the collection locally after COVID hit.
"2020 forced a pause and reset button that I am eternally grateful for. I chose to see the challenges as an opportunity and being an independently-owned company we were able to be nimble and adapt quickly to our new normal," she says.
"The new collection is as at home on a chic city rooftop bar or part of a staycation wardrobe as it is on your summer holiday."
GEM TO WATCH
One to watch: Brisbane's Ryan Guy, a jewellery apprentice with Gemcraft Australia, has taken out TAFE Queensland's top honour in the prestigious Apprentice Jeweller of the Year Awards.
Ryan, who has been undertaking his apprenticeship at Gemcraft in Newstead for the last three years said being able to use his creativity to design unique bespoke pieces, or breathe new life into much loved older pieces, is what he enjoys most about being a jeweller.
He also won the Best Technical Aspects award, which acknowledges the quality of his workmanship, the strength, durability and wear-ability of his designs as well as the overall quality of the finish.
EVENT OF THE WEEK
Women in Media Queensland end-of-year event, The Boundary Hotel, West End
More than 100 women working in the media industry caught up at The Boundary Hotel on Thursday night (Nov12) for an end-of-year event.
Held in The Boundary Hotel's Hardgrave Room, guests made sure to mingle at a social distance given the evening's guest speaker was the Chief Health Officer.
CHO Jeannette Young told the guests about how she has managed her workload and stress levels during the pandemic.
She conceded she had had sleepless nights at the start of the pandemic, but was so proud of the position Queensland now found itself in.
Generous sponsors provided an array of sponsors for a raffle, which will help Women in Media Queensland to fund a career boost scholarship in 2021.
Pictures: Megan Keene
LOOK OF THE WEEK
Event: Astille "Casablanca" Collection Launch
Location: Dutch Courage, Fortitude Valley
Name: Judy Brine
Dress: By Johnny
Shoes: Christian Louboutin
Style Icon: Cate Blanchett/Audrey Hepburn
Picture: Claudia Baxter Photography
Originally published as Bachelorette star: Why I wear cheap clothes and can't stand snobs