Tue, Sep 13, 2022 6:00 AM

On the Street with Deb Dalliessi


Tessa Jaine

Deb Dalliessi’s vibrant off-duty look makes quite the change from her white and clinical work uniform. Deb says she dresses to lift moods and bring vibrancy to the centre of town.

What are you wearing today?

My orange silk shirt from Sumner recycled shop, a mustard cashmere wrap from mum’s wardrobe, pants from Country Road, silver hoop earrings from the Goldsmith in Christchurch, a necklace from Marlborough’s Latin night market last month, boots from Wittner’s which were on sale and a black Hermes belt.

What is your style? 

An eclectic mix of bohemian chic and classic pieces that I’ve sourced on my travels over decades. Most now boarder on vintage given the date some of my items were purchased!

What is most of your wardrobe made up of?   

Dresses and coats in happy colours; orange, yellow or red, classic white cotton t-shirts and scarves from markets around the world.

What are you loving at the moment?

My orange Vera May bag from Ruby Tuesday boutique.

What are you dressed for today?

A secret mission.

Where do you buy most of your clothes from?

Recycled boutiques, pop-up stores, and markets when I’m travelling. Most of my classic pieces have come from Thomas’s over the years as presents from my mum. Now I take my daughter there when she visits.


What is your approach to shopping?

Never pay full price for fast-fashion items, that’s reserved only for classic wardrobe pieces that will stand the test of time.

What is your all-time favourite purchase?

The leather coat with Italian wool lining I brought for my husband 30 years ago. I’ve worn it for the last 25 years. It feels so warm and I feel close to him.

What has been your worst clothing disaster?

My crocheted poncho with a hood three years ago - works with my stripped PJs though.

What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?

A well-fitted bra, the basis for the crisp white shirt or little black dress to really work.

Do you have style rules you always obey?

Put the shoes on that suit what you’re doing that day, then add clothes, in a colour that brightens up life. Buy natural fabrics that breathe and wash up well. Pass on clothes that no longer fit to others that might enjoy them now, rather than think they may fit again one day.

If you could raid one person’s wardrobe, who would it be?

Amal Clooney - if she was two sizes bigger!

Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…

The same pair of reading glasses. I have half a dozen pairs in different colours because I can never seem to find my actual prescription ones.

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