Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On the Street……The Designed Cover-up, Sydney

As Americans we’re often overly practical. To that end the big t-shirt has become the “cover-up” for most beach excursions. I was very happy to see the young ladies around Sydney sporting more thoughtfully designed cover-ups. My guess is it’s a cultural thing – that they don’t “go to the beach” like we do. I think in Sydney it is more like how we “go to the gym” on a Saturday or after work – just another thing to do during a busy day in paradise.

PS. A few of you commented that the light in Australia seems very different. You’re right. Actually, it is not that different – but since they are going into Winter the sun is much lower in the sky as opposed to in the Summer when it is very high and has a harsh shadowing effect. That’s why I could take a midday beach shot without all of the hard light reflecting off of the sand. Anyway, I don’t know if you needed to know that, but if I am in Sydney or Melbourne every April for the next few years you will know why.


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  1. auxpaysdesmerveilles

    May 12, 2009 at 10:58 am

    She’s gorgeous, love the way she’s dressed!

  2. Pete V

    May 12, 2009 at 11:14 am

    “on the beach…..”???

  3. Jules

    May 12, 2009 at 11:24 am

    I love their cover ups! Like a dress almost…and yes I find that info you shared about the sun interesting..you learn something new everyday!

    as usual phenomenal post scott!

  4. suzanne nelson

    May 12, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Gorgeous beach outfit – is it vintage? Her sunglasses are great too. i’ve always thought 50s playsuits are stylish beachwear (i love Martin Munkacsi photographs)but i guess they make for terrible tan lines…

  5. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Down here in Brazil we also dress up to go to the beach. Yehaa, it is cultural, no doubt. Unfortunatelly we dont have that incredible australian light!

  6. Brigitte and Serge

    May 12, 2009 at 11:48 am

    definitely an ostrich in the sand.. glorious!

    xoxo Brigitte & Serge

  7. Ashley

    May 12, 2009 at 11:54 am

    I love this look, very retro.


  8. Bianca

    May 12, 2009 at 11:56 am

    gorgeous dress. her bag is mimco, they are so lovely!

    any melbourne pics coming up?

  9. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    love the dress.

  10. Audrey

    May 12, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    wow…classy & tasteful on the beach – love it.

  11. FiL

    May 12, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    WOW great pix, great colors (the sky is a hammer) & nice dress.

    Scott you should try Montevideo & Punta Del Este in Uruguay, and Buenos Aires in Argentina for the light. The sky & the light are also different there.


  12. CW

    May 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I like this. First, this cover-up works. Second, this is not a willowy teen or early 20s model. This woman is older and more normally proportioned, as most customers are.


  13. Kate

    May 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    i love this outfit, she’s beautiful.

  14. Lauren Jo

    May 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    LOVE LOVE LOVE that dress… anyone know where we can find something like this? (I’m sure forever 21 is always an option, but I’d like to go with somewhere a little less well-known.)

  15. Mark P-H

    May 12, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    She looks great. I’m curious about the piece b/c it looks so dress-like. Would she wear this throughout the day and then drop by the beach after work? Or would this be something to change into? My guess is the former based on her shoes and bag.

    Do you think that when Americans go to the gym they wear specific, more thoughtfully designed pieces than when they go to the beach? I understand the basic thrust of your analogy, that because you could get more use out of a designed beach cover-up in Sydney, it makes more sense to have one (like a seersucker suit in the south or something). But it would seem to work the other way as well–that if going to the beach is a special occasion (as it is in most American locales when compared to the effortless beach trip in Sydney), then one would want to have a specially designed piece for such an occasion. It seems that this is probably an old fashioned idea–like dressing up to go to Sears Roebuck.

    Alas, the beach is pretty easy for men. Linen shirts, etc. do the trick both on and off the beach. And I do not think I own any beach-specific clothing except for a bathing suit.

  16. Angeles Almuna Design

    May 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Beautiful picture and she looks gorgeous! :)

  17. *moggit girls

    May 12, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    That blue often tries to be the center of your shots! Amazing.

  18. What's On The Outside...

    May 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    She’s stunning. At first I thought it was Michelle Williams.


  19. MaxW

    May 12, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Gimmie that sand now.

  20. RW

    May 12, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Scott, Great shots as always. I too noticed that the lighting seemed different from your usual shots. The light in Australia seems more saturated.


  21. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    I disagree with your statement that “the big t-shirt has become the cover-up”. I see a lot of tunics and dresses as well as skirts, shorts and sarongs paired with tank tops or just swimsuit tops. Basically, what that girl in the background is wearing is what I normally see on American beaches.

    The white dress is beautiful but I doubt she came to spend a day on the beach. She’s probably on her way home from work/shopping. I don’t think anyone would bring a black leather bag to the beach….

  22. vickie

    May 12, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    i’m pretty sure it’s bcbg from a few spring seasons ago. i remember irina lazareanu wore it down the runway. i looked for it for MONTHS and never came across it, sadly.

  23. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    doesnt she look like michelle williams?
    ps: love the dress! and the light..oh my God!

  24. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Fabulous dress. Is this Coogee beach?

  25. saves

    May 12, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Why don’t you come to Portugal, too? Cities like Lisboa, Porto and Braga have young and well dress people too. You would love it, as I can see.

  26. Tea Lady

    May 12, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    you are right – it is a cultural thing. growing up in Australia, going to the beach was part of my day. I’d go to the beach before work and then after work. Or in my lunchbreak when working by the beach. Until moving to America a couple of years ago, I could never understand why people would get a gym membership when you have parks and beaches.

  27. hc

    May 12, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    dress is great, but it seems a bit heavy for the beach, particularly the side ruffles which give an over-layering effect.

    this would be a great brunch or day drink dress.

  28. Cosima

    May 12, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Us, in the southern Hemisphere consider going to the beach as important regarding dress as any other venue.

    As said above, you should come to Buenos Aires and punta del este, even CarilĂł for that purpose.

  29. Alice Olive

    May 12, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    It’s a cute ensemble but it was not assembled for “going to the beach”. (PS I’m from Sydney.)

  30. Michelle

    May 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Check out the beach in San Francisco. People wear whatever they’ve been wearing for the day. A bit more casual and SF-y. But normal clothes sans the shoe.

  31. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    Dress is by NZ designer twentysevennames


  32. amalie

    May 12, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    thats a great outfit! loove her skirt and shirt . and her shades ;)

  33. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    I’d like to second the kudos on featuring a more “normal” sized girl. Sometimes this site bums me out a little, it’s hard for women with curves to take inspiration from models. More size 8+ women please!

  34. Foster Huntington

    May 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    I love the light in this photo, i am surprised you didnt have problems with vignetting.

  35. life according to celia...

    May 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    absolutely perfect from head to toe!

  36. Jazzbuff630

    May 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    What a gorgeous WOMAN. I like looking at her with the dress on!

  37. Queenie Rosher

    May 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    she looks great….i want that skirt, it’s so cute!

  38. princess glee

    May 12, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Ooooh pretty dress. I like this designed cover-up idea. Think of all the short, easy and semi transparent kinds of cover-ups one could come up with. Not quite a blouse, a tunic OR a dress but a new something. I’m game!

  39. Camelia in the city

    May 12, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    I simply adore the dress!!!

  40. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Real shoes in real sand : that’s luxury!

  41. CJS

    May 12, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    Yo, this is Rachel from a beautiful NZ Label TwentySevenNames. You can buy this dress online at http://www.goodasgold.co.nz!

  42. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    When I go to the Beach in Sydney, My friends and always get all dressed up .. love it .. its part of the experience.. not everyone goes there to swim..We go the markets and cafes.. Ilove getting dressed up even to the beach.. now where’s my lippy ?

  43. Maria

    May 12, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    i’m loving the deep blue skies and the fashion on the beach. you should go to brazil, too!

  44. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Debbie Harry strikes back!! I think she looks so Debbie H., maybe it’s just me. She needs a sandal to keep the sand out, the bag is a tough touch, love the cover-up though! Great shot, Sart-man!

  45. SallyO

    May 12, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    I’m not convinced that there are alot of women on the beaches in Australia wearing ruffled belted dresses and ballet flats, or any other similar ensembles. I think you just happened to find the one! I guess I’ll have to visit AU and find out for myself (someday).

  46. sarah

    May 12, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    lovely to hear you mention the light. I’m Australian, and whenever I come home from overseas its the first thing that strikes me. I love flying across the desert (from Asia/Europe) to get to the east coast and seeing all that desert emptiness beneath me, usually meeting the sunrise as I fly. I do live at the very end of the earth but that light and space makes it so worth it. Its been fab to see your shots. Thanks.

  47. mimi

    May 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    my guess is she didn’t actually go to the beach to GO TO THE BEACH – she probably had breakfast or lunch in bondi (or is it coogee? cant really tell which beach from the pic) and then decided to go for a walk along the water afterwards (or even beforehand).. no matter how stylish or fashionable someone is, they don’t wear black ballerina flats when going to the beach for a swim or a full on “beach day”.. my guess is that she was there for another reasons, hence the fabulous, un-beachy outfit.

    with that said, i think she looks gorgeous. i adore the photo.

  48. shopgirl28

    May 12, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    You’re so right about how practical we’ve become. It’s great of you to post someone who has really put some fashion into cover-ups.

  49. Lara

    May 12, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Love the sunglasses.


    May 12, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I love that you are proving Australians have great style.. and no there are not kangaroo’s hopping about through the city (even if all the movies suggest that)! I am from Brisbane..we have some great fashion up here too! You should visit next time. Enjoy your time down under.

  51. Bookworm

    May 12, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Ooooh. I just love this light beach chic: the belted short dress, flats, sunglasses…..parfait!


    May 12, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    i spotted the difference too. guess i’ll need spf50 in aust! anyway i like that dress. also the blue sky!

  53. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    She looks great. This reminds me of how we use our downtown beaches in Vancouver. The city is literally across the street, so people just use the beach as just another place to sit or walk or eat lunch.

  54. Barbara

    May 12, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Great photo!

  55. Cassy

    May 12, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    I’m intrigued by this concept of a ‘beach cover up’. I’m from Noosa in QLD, Australia and it’s not unusual to go to the beach in regular clothes (or even dressed up a bit). I guess it’s different for everyone though, but being Australian and growing up on the coast I guess it’s all I’ve really known.

  56. Anonymous

    May 12, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    Wear this to any Aussie beach and you’d be laughed off the sand. She’s obviously come down to pose in her lunch break.

  57. missmandi

    May 12, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    She looks great but we don’t dress like that for the beach in Melbourne or Sydney! My guess is that she is on her way back from work, or on lunch break, and has come down to relax for a while.

  58. Venus on a Budget

    May 13, 2009 at 12:26 am

    Ah yes, this is how we Aussies dress for the beach….how do those from other countries dress for the beach?

  59. allie

    May 13, 2009 at 12:32 am

    this woman is Rachel Easting. she is one half of twentysevennames which is a new zealand fashion label. i’m pretty sure the dress she is wearing in this photo is from their current collection? it’s beautiful.

  60. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 1:11 am

    As a sydneysider, that is a bit of an excessive ensemble for ‘going to the beach’. I get the analogy, but I thinl this particular shot takes it one step beyond what you are saying.

    And not to detract in anyway – you have really captured the essence of Sydney very well, particularly the glorious light we get to bathe in take for granted until we go overseas.

  61. Jay

    May 13, 2009 at 1:14 am

    I get a little Kirsten Dunst wibes…

  62. Daisy

    May 13, 2009 at 1:16 am

    Yeah the light is really amazing (not to take away from the beautiful coverup) thats so cool that it changes down there, yet another reason I must visit!

  63. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 1:38 am

    i’m from oz and i really doubt she has dressed for the beach here – the belt makes it too fussy. maybe just a dress would have been more believable.

    of course, the shoes and bag give it away too.

    on her way home from work, i say

  64. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 2:13 am

    her name is rachel easting and is the designer for twentysevennames from new zealand, the dress is from their last collection crazy horse…
    great clothes, great girls!

  65. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 3:06 am

    I am an Aussie living abroad. Thank you for your beautiful photos of Sydney and Melbourne. I miss the light and the big blue sky.

  66. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 3:20 am

    this dress is by talented new zealand fashion label twentysevennames, from their current winter 2009 collection ‘crazy horse’, the sunglasses are karen walker (also nz designer) and YES she absolutely gorgeous!
    no pretention here!

  67. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 5:01 am

    i saw you shooting her on SBS news!

  68. Lotte

    May 13, 2009 at 5:12 am

    Such a beautiful picture and such a beautiful girl!

    And oh, how I miss Oz – I absolutely LOVE looking through your pics, can’t wait to see more from Melb ;)

  69. ...

    May 13, 2009 at 7:17 am

    I have really enjoyed these Sydney shots, though it makes me a little homesick. I forget how brilliant the colours are there, all year.

    Beautiful dress by the way, and very Autumn appropriate for relaxing in the Sydney sunshine.

    Hope to see a few shots from Melbourne too! I’ve generally been anti-Melbourne but hoping your camera can show me the good side.

  70. E(ileen)

    May 13, 2009 at 7:41 am

    You’re always welcome back, Scott, Sydney loves you. Am sure Melbourne does, too, but we’ve got the beaches, the harbour and the bridge…

  71. Mariona

    May 13, 2009 at 7:51 am


  72. Cassiopeia

    May 13, 2009 at 7:56 am

    amazing. love the creamy white against that deep blue sky…


  73. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 8:31 am

    Contrary to your thought on “needing to know”, I find it quite wonderful when you give your short version with regards to whatever you were thinking about the shot, the lighting or whatever.

    Usually the shots speak for themselves but it’s delightful to know how you feel about it.

  74. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Yes, Mr Sartorialist, appreciate the comments on the light. Most interesting.

    While in Paris last Christmas I noticed that the sun stayed v. low on the horizon all day, which produced the most sublime kind of white light.

    As an amateur photographer, always avoid that harsh overhead light.

  75. Jack Daniel

    May 13, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Yeah, good to see the different styles around the world when going to the beach, gym, or anywhere!

  76. mybeautyaffair

    May 13, 2009 at 10:58 am

    wow… I simply cannot get enough of her beautiful dress I love much. Nice photo :))

  77. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    truly voluptous.

  78. joshylola

    May 13, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Lovely dress.Here, in north of Spain we always wear dresses like this to go to the beach :-D

  79. Amanda

    May 13, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    She looks a lot like Michelle Williams.

    Lovely dress.

  80. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    she does look beautiful doesn’t she.
    shes a good friend and has (with her best friend) a very cool clothing label in new zealand…..and this is one of their dresses.
    have a look at some of their other work


  81. Wanderlusting

    May 13, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    But it IS still different – my photographs in a New Zealand summer looked WAY different from my ones in a Canadian summmer – the light is special there, my theory is the lack of ozone…who knows??

  82. harps

    May 13, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    wow its really beautiful, I want to wear it

  83. Anonymous

    May 13, 2009 at 7:23 pm


    Thanks for all the photos of Sydney, I’m proud to be a Sydneysider! Go Sydney wooo!

  84. Anonymous

    May 14, 2009 at 12:04 am

    I’m an aussie, and the best thing about flying home after being abroad, is the return to the aussie sunlight! God I love it! Autumn is probably a good time to visit, because the light will be softer, but I would love to see what you could do in an aussie summer.

  85. AnastasiaC

    May 14, 2009 at 2:19 am

    hope you had a FAB time down under! hope you come again soon!!
    this is a wonderful shot…yep agree that her outfit is lovely!
    beautiful light and sky

  86. Lizz

    May 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    i am a designer who lived in Adelaide for 5 years…and I believe the light there IS indeed very different; i attributed it to the fact that days and weeks would go by with barely a cloud in sight to “filter” the light, and everything to me therefore seemed to always be in “hyperfocus.” That may affect how saturated all of the colors seem as well…the Outback positively looks like a 1940′s Technicolor movie set! The pollution is also much less there…ergo, seeing every star in pinpoint detail at night.

  87. Chelsea

    May 14, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    That outfit is adorable! I love her bag!

  88. M.D. Cameron

    May 14, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    that dress is absolutely beautiful, she looks gorgeous and romantic… great photo!! thanks.

  89. bathing news

    May 15, 2009 at 2:49 am

    beach and dress up…beautiful!!

  90. Anonymous

    May 15, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    this is a great look….i love it a lot but it seems like it would be very uncomfortable to wear on the beach…she looks out of place, she should be walking down time square or something….but overall I WANT IT!!!

  91. Anonymous

    May 15, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    this is rachel easting, one half of fashion label twentysevennames and contrary to some of the above comments she is actually a very petite woman in real life! although this image might give one the assumption she is an 8+ size -don’t be fooled! she in fact is not! but in support I must agree with the other bloggers that it is nice to see somebody on here that doesn’t look like
    a) an extremely wealthy middle aged woman or man
    b) a model
    c) a size 0!
    she just looks nice and she is also one of the most natural beauties i have ever seen in person…

  92. Anonymous

    May 16, 2009 at 1:52 am

    I’m from a little beach called narrabeen in sydney, and it’s a less styled location. It’s not like here – probably Bondi or Manly. People dress up a bit more for the beach in those spots because you have a walk along the promenade and get a coffee or meet friends for brunch or whatever. but where i’m from, because the beach is so local and i live right on it, i go in rolled up track pants and a bikini. sorry to spoil the illusion… But I don’t think this outfit was for a swim and a sunbake anyway!

  93. Anonymous

    May 16, 2009 at 6:54 am

    I think you could say the same for the light in South Africa, Scott.

    Anything below the 30 degrees below the equator must have the same light effect?

    I love your pictures.

  94. Sydney Sider

    May 17, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    beautiful shot! one of the many sydney styles, it is so effortlessly casual that it can be taken from the beach to the cafes and shops in the afternoon.

  95. Anonymous

    May 17, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    i guess we learn something new everyday! the sky looks amazing, and i love how her belt is the same color of her dress.

  96. Eu

    May 18, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    WOW! Nice picture! The sky is dazzling!

  97. k-a-r-i-j-n

    May 19, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Wooow, the sky is soo blue! Great picture!

  98. tresh

    May 25, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    sky style, liking the dress.

    liking much


  99. Anonymous

    June 11, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    For those of you wondering about the bag, it is a Mimco button zip top bag in black

  100. PepperMakana

    June 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Surely The Sartorialist is not attempting to represent the entire population of United States of America w/ the statement "As Americans we…"?A girl in a dress on the beach.Great, but how does that translate to all Americans wear tee shirts to the beach?I lived in Hawai'i for 15 years and trust me I saw plenty of Euros & Aussi's wearing black socks w/sandals, head to toe Aloha prints and trainers the size of club sandwhiches.Oh, and tee shirts to the beach.

  101. Anonymous

    July 7, 2009 at 7:43 am

    i knew it…this is taken from australia, very beautiful and retro..make us proud…gorgeous!

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