Thursday, 31 October 2013

Mr E's Beautiful Blues

A little shout-out to The Eels, as it is, indeed, a beautiful day and this blue top is one of my favourites!

I discovered it in Target about a month ago, and found it so comfortable, flattering and easy to style that I immediately bought another one in a different colour! Having to replace enormous chunks of a wardrobe is not an inexpensive proposition, so finding something reasonably priced, in a style I liked, was a real win.
Skirt:Country Road
The style gives great coverage with the high neckline and armholes, and the ruffles add volume over my chest and provide textural interest and movement when I walk.
This is one of the few tops that I own where I feel that the side view is also quite flattering.

Oh, and did I mention it is machine washable? It really is the top that keeps on giving. I wear this or it's sister at least once a week. Do you have a style that has become a wardrobe workhorse for you? And if so, have you ever been tempted to buy it in other colours?

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Good morning, sunshine

Summer is on it's way, and as you can see from these photos, the sun is already very bright even quite early in the morning.

I was always a sucker for a cowl neckline. There is something quite elegant about them. This, however, is not an elegant top. With the bright colour and bubbly texture it is bordering on a bit too young for me, but I enjoy wearing it for casual occasions. Sunshine yellow in the morning sun seemed appropriate for a Sunday morning! The pants are crops that I bought this season in order to have a light-coloured casual bottom to wear on weekends.

I think the draping and gathering of this top is quite flattering. It manages to both disguise the absence of breasts and give the appearance of a waist,  desirable qualities for clothes in my book.

My one concern was the cowl flopping open and exposing more than I wanted. I solved that little problem with a well-placed safety pin. Not the most elegant solution, but it got the job done. I may put in a little stitch once I am sure I am happy with how it sits. On a side note, the necklace was a gift from a friend and although I loved it, I couldn't work out what to wear it with. It turns out that it matches this top perfectly and fills in the empty space above the cowl beautifully. It was clearly meant to be. I love wardrobe serendipity. :)

Friday, 25 October 2013


With apologies to Justin Timberlake - I'm sure he did not intend his song to be used as an anthem for middle-aged women!

One of the issues I have struggled with since my mastectomy has been how to dress in a way that made me feel attractive again. I had an hourglass shape before surgery, and I enjoyed dressing to show off my curves. Whilst I recognise that my fairly straight body can also look alluring, I do miss the bombshell look occasionally. So when I found this dress, I was very excited.
Dress: Country Road
Sandals:Joanne Mercer

It has a lot of gathering around the neckline and down the front, giving the illusion of curves and it is a very soft, silky material, so it feels very comfortable to wear.

Even the side view is fairly flattering, and the bright colours just scream summer!

Sometimes, what we wear can be as much about how our clothes make us feel as how they actually look. When I wear this dress, I feel like I've got sexy back and that is a very welcome thing!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Pump it!

I exercise most days. It keeps me healthy, it makes me feel good and it has helped me gain back some sense of power and ownership of my body. I love exercise. Exercise clothes, not so much. I found two main problems with most of the work out gear I had in my closet:

1.They are tight. And aside from being flat-chested, my chest is still a bit lumpy and bumpy. Yes, I know I'm probably the only one who would notice this, but it does make me feel self-conscious.

2.They are low-cut. I really don't want to show everyone in the gym my mastectomy scars every time I bend over or raise my arm. The end of my scar is visible with the low arm hole of this tank.

Luckily, there was a simple solution!
It turns out that a lot of sports wear is designed for women with small breasts, and a many of the sports bras and crops available have a significant amount of padding, in addition to good coverage.

The padding is very lightweight and removable and does not interfere with my work-outs, but gives me enough shape and coverage that I feel very comfortable wearing my usual gym wear.
Crop, singlet and tights: Lorna Jane
I bought this crop at Lorna Jane, where they have them in a variety of colours, but I am sure it would be possible to purchase something similar at any shop that sells women's sportswear. I have also found a few gym tops with high necklines, but I will save those for another day!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Hi ho, hi ho...

Well, this is an outfit I put together for work. The skirt is pretty much what I would have worn before my sugery, but the top is new. I chose it because the pleating at the neckline gave it enough volume not to cling to my chest, whilst the pattern was so happy and busy that I couldn't resist!
The mornings are still fairly cool here, so I put a jacket on over the top. The jacket is also quite drapey, although I have an eye out for a proper waterfall jacket with more volume in the front.
Here is another photo with the jacket off, and also a close up of the pleat detail on the top

 The side view is not quite so flattering, I don't think, but I have concluded that I will have to accept a certain level of difference between how I would like to look and what is actually possible. :)

I take part in the wonderful community that is You Look Fab,( a fashion blog and forum run by the talented and generous Angie and Greg. I always find it a supportive place to post a picture and get constructive criticism or reassurance and happily this outfit got the thumbs up! Angie, a fashion stylist, was kind enough to give some tips for those of us facing the challenge of no breasts. She recommends high necklines, fluid fabrics and drapey style tops over structured bottoms. I will be following her suggestions to the letter, as everything she styles looks fabulous.

Monday, 7 October 2013

In the beginning...

Well, I suppose every blog has to start somewhere, and where better than with an awkward explanation of who I am and why I am writing.

I am Sharon.
I am 45 years old.
In July 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and within a couple of weeks I had a bilateral mastectomy.
And amongst all the scary, serious questions like "Am I going to die?" and "How badly is this going to mess up my life?" was the question that some may consider superficial, but over which I experienced considerable angst. And that was "What the hell am I going to wear now?"

Almost all the information I saw on the web was about prostheses or reconstructions. What I wanted to know was how to dress without breasts. I enjoy fashion and loved my clothes, but going from an E cup bra to not requiring any bra at all meant that none of my clothes fitted me, let alone looked good.

So this blog is my chronicle of my attempts to dress myself in a way that makes me feel good about the body I have ended up with after cancer. Hopefully, it may help someone struggling with the same dilemmas, or at least give them an idea of what they want to avoid. If nothing else, it will provide me and my family with a record of my breastless years.