Wednesday, 29 January 2014


One of my favourite actresses is Katharine Hepburn. She really is Hollywood royalty. I admire her grace, athleticism and aristocratic bearing. I also admire the way she wore trousers and shirts with a casual elegance that still looks beautiful today. Button-up collared shirts often appear in the lists that fashions magazines make about must-have wardrobe items, along with such exotic species as "the perfect pair of jeans". Button-up shirts and I were never good friends in the past, as I usually ended up with gaping between buttons at the bust and the fabric being pulled up from the waist, the final appearance being blowsy rather than crisp. However, it struck me that my new shape may be exactly what I required to get the Katharine look right!

Shirt:Veronika Maine
Pants:Veronika Maine
Shoes: Joanne Mercer
The shirt is a very soft, light cotton and although it is slim-fitting it has a slightly triangular cut and hence has no darts at the bust line. It has a pleat at the back that gives it a cocoon shape which de-emphasises my chest and whilst the front has no pleats or gathers to create volume, it has enough fabric not to be clingy.

I felt very comfortable and stylish wearing this outfit and I am quite excited to find another style of shirt that I feel happy wearing. With Autumn just around the corner I can see long sleeved button front shirts could become wardrobe staples for the cooler weather. And of course, I love the idea of channelling Katharine! Do you have a member of Hollywood royalty whose style you love and want to emulate?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Your Latest Trick

A piece of advice that I have heard often with regards to dressing post-mastectomy is to wear scarves to provide coverage over the chest. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that friends had sent me these very items, and today I thought I would show you how I have been wearing them.
Scarf:Gift from a kind friend
Top:Veronika Maine
Jeans:Country Road
This long sleeved T-shirt is one of the few pre-op tops that have remained in my wardrobe. Being a knit, it is stretchy and does not hang emptily like most of my woven tops did. The last time I wore a jeans-and-T-shirt outfit, I felt a bit too masculine so this time I wore earrings, boots with a heel and of course the scarf itself, which is quite feminine with it's soft, drapey volume and pretty shades of pink and brown.
I have draped the scarf fairly simply, just pulling one end forward and throwing the other over my back and allowing the loop of fabric to fall at about the level my breasts should be. I have a short neck and so I try to avoid a lot of volume around it, but someone with a more graceful neck could get away with tying the ends to create an infinity scarf effect which would give a more cowl-neck appearance.
My big reservation with scarves is their tendency to shift around and need readjustment. However, I have found quite an elegant solution. I bought a cheap necklace that had multiple small (1cm diameter) rings on it. I took the rings off, and threaded my scarf ends through them. The scarf is soft enough to fit through the rings, but bulky enough for them to be quite firm, thus allowing me to adjust it to the point I want and then be sure that it will stay that way!
Do you have any little tricks that help your clothes stay neat and in place?



Tuesday, 14 January 2014

She's Always A Woman

Well that's a title that really betrays my age, but I do love Billy Joel!
Last week I showed you one of my summer "uniforms" and this week I am wearing the other one I mentioned, namely a flared skirt with a tucked top.
Skirt:Veronika Maine
I am enjoying wearing flared skirts this summer, as to me it feels very feminine to emphasise my waist and create volume over the chest and hips. I think recreating an hourglass shape is the silhouette I feel most comfortable and attractive with.
This top is the same style as the one I showed you a few months ago, and whilst I have not found the pattern to be as versatile as the other one, I like the detail around the neck. It is a trapeze style, so it also looks good untucked; in fact, probably better. But today I really wanted curves!
Last time, I mentioned that this style had an interesting back detail but I forgot to show you, so this time I made sure I got a snap.
I watched "Bill Cunningham:New York" this week, and one of the things he said really spoke to me: "Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life". I have not yet resorted to helmets and shields, but I know exactly what he means and I am grateful that fashion gives me the ability to emphatically define myself as a woman on those difficult days when I feel like I am on shifting sands.


Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A Whiter Shade of Pale

This is a variation of the white-on-white outfit from a few weeks ago. It always feels fresh and cool to me to wear white during the really hot days of summer, and these wide leg pants are sufficiently light and breezy as to be almost as cool as shorts. My husband was concerned that the top and pants were not an exact match in colour. I tried to explain it to him, but it appears that shades of white remains as much of a mystery to him as Shades of Grey was to the rest of the male population!
Top:Country Road
Pants:Veronika Maine
Shoes:Joanne Mercer
Wearing lace-up shoes with a summer outfit is possibly a little incongruous and seasonally confused, but I am catching the bus to work today and we seem to be in the middle of a spate of afternoon thunderstorms, so in the interests of dry feet I have avoided sandals.
This top is one that I really think I should be giving a little more love. It has just the right amount of volume to look good both tucked and un-tucked and the gathering at the neckline is flattering. As you can see, I have also had fun with a statement necklace. The top has enough detail that it looks good without further decoration, but I wanted to bookend the black shoes.
Wide-leg pants and flared skirts have been a bit of a uniform for me over the last few weeks, as temperatures of over 40 degrees necessitate clothes that allow ventilation. I have actually found myself quite satisfied with that and have been introducing variety through accessories and footwear choices. Who could have predicted that I would enjoy a uniform after all those years of Catholic schooling! Do you have a uniform? If so, is it based on silhouette, season or a style you love?