This story is part of the Stuff Festival of Fashion, presented by Samsung. See more from the festival here.
For better or worse, plenty of fashion coverage and writing centres around the aspirational. What you should be wearing, the products you should buy, how a simple styling trick will change your life.
It’s inspiring for sure, but it doesn’t always reflect the way most of us actually dress for our day-to-day lives, which can be just as inspirational.
Take street style. It’s often beautiful, glossy, accessorised escapism. It can be incredibly clever and humourous (hello Rihanna’s playful self-refferential take on a pregnancy announcement) but those streets don’t look like the streets I live on.
So, to highlight the perfectly imperfect style of “real people”, we hit the streets and went people watching at some weekend markets around Aotearoa. The result is this photo essay showcasing Kiwi style at its unfiltered purest.
There are beautifully quirky regional differences showing through, but each and every person has their own look and vibe. Here they are in their own clothes.
At Auckland’s Central Flea Market
Joseph Mushin, 28, was snapped wearing what he describes as “Sunday vibes”.
Farmer Anna Harding is in “clothes that I got from the Dargaville little theatre costume clearout sale”. 26-year-old social worker student Tommy Fowlie wears a shirt found in a New York op shop.
Christina’s woollen cardigan is the stuff of dreams. But she was keeping its origins close to her chest.
Daniel Bartlett, 27, was a little more forthcoming with the details. He works as a Supply Chain Analyst and chose to wear “Grandma’s quilted alter jacket” for a trip to the market.
Digital Marketer Chris Oliveira, 26 is wearing super soft pyjamas from Kmart. Asked to describe their outfit, Amelia Pillay, 22, who works in client relations, said “casual”.
Mannequin maker Glen Wilkin Holland, 65+, cuts a fine figure in a custom-made jacket from Auckland menswear boutique Strangely Normal.
Terry, 62, works in education. Not one to overthink an outfit, Terry prefers to keep it simple and wears “just what I like wearing”.
At the Cambridge Farmer’s Market
On the weekends, Hannah Blackwood, 21, and Sarah Johnstone 24, reach for “comfortable and casual” clothing. It’s a welcome change from what they wear to their jobs as court attendants.
Artist Fee Teat, 46, picked up her floral patterned dress locally, at Cambridge shop Leven. The natural linen is “nice and cool in the hot weather”.
14-year-old Dione Bax (daughter of model Kylie Bax) likes “summery fashion and nice clothes”. Her white skirt, from Cotton On, fits the bill perfectly.
Despite not being too keen on labels, Brett Monkley, 59, considers himself to be “conservative” in the field on fashion. A manager at a waste recycling company, Monkley picked these shorts and t-shirt on a family trip to Los Angeles.
During the week 56-year-old Darryl Parker works for the Police. Once the weekend rolls around the “Raglan style beach hippie” likes to express himself more. He picked up this pair of Converse in Barcelona.
Healthcare Assistant Hiromi Colquhoun, 35, favours a refined colour palette when it comes to clothing. Colquhoun keeps outfits casual by sticking to “two colours, no more than three”. Her big woven bag, bought in Auckland, is perfecting for carrying home a market haul.
Retiree Jennifer Cleary, 74, loves hot pink, and we love it on her too. Vivid colours are a common occurrence in Cleary’s outfit rotation. She has a “wardrobe full of colour”.
At Wellington’s Harbourside Market
Amineh Curmi, 30, wears her husband’s pants from The Third Eye. Baby Ira Luna is tucked into a wrap from Market Place.
Olga Mugisho, 20, shows off glasses borrowed from a friend, shirt bought online from Shein and pants from Cotton On. The hair extensions were done by a friend.
Writer and indexer, Lee Slater, 51 wears a Volcom cap, Brutus of London shirt, Raglan Shoe Company shoes and jeans from Wellington boutique Mandatory.
Sustainable writer Sarah Bennett, 50, says these floral pants come from “some shop your mother would take you to”. An op-shop sourced hat, NZ designer earrings, a scarf from a flea market in Florence and a Gorman t-shirt complete the look.
Tairū Karaitiana wears a hat made from two op-shop finds and put together by a seamstress. The rest of the outfit is either second-hand or from an op-shop. The 60-year-old plays a guitar by Ibanez.