Sunday, 28 September 2014

In These Shoes?

One of the ideas that has captured my imagination over the last 12 months has been that of the capsule wardrobe. I really like the idea of having collections of items that work together, are appropriate for the activities of my life and express my style in a cohesive way. I have enjoyed reading the blog Unfancy, as I think Caroline has great style, and manages to achieve all those things with a carefully chosen seasonal wardrobe. Seeing her outfits has allowed me to realise that my heart belongs to neutrals, and I resolved to attempt to organise my own wardrobe along the lines she suggests. I find casual dressing quite difficult, and I hoped the Unfancy inspiration would help me put together some stylish weekend outfits.
Shirt:Anne Fontaine
Pants:Country Road
This was my first attempt. I liked the colours. I liked the silhouette. It felt easy to wear. Yet somehow it just didn't feel right. So I tried switching out the shirt for a pleated tank.
                                                              Tank: Country Road

I felt so much better wearing this, and it suddenly occurred to me that the first look was quite androgynous. Trousers and button-downs are not very feminine and it seems that I need a big dose of feminine in my outfits for them to feel like they belong to me. But what about my button-downs? One of advantages of having a flat chest is that for the first time in my adult life, I can actually wear button-downs without them gaping and looking blowsy. I really didn't want to abandon them!
Skirt: Veronika Maine
Luckily, I found that one or two feminine aspects to an outfit are enough to make me feel happy in my clothes. At last, the origin of my love of high heels becomes apparent! What parts of your style are central in making your outfits feel like "you"?

In These Shoes? by Kirsty MacColl

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Silver Linings

This week I experienced a major clothing disappointment. One of my favourite stores, Cue, had a 30% off day and there, on the rack, was the most beautiful dress. It was similar to the one Marilyn Monroe wore in "Seven Year Itch", except it had a crew neck and I briefly got excited that it might work for me. The scene in the movie where Marilyn stands over a grate is the definition of sexy in my husband's world and I had visions of surprising him. Unfortunately, the bodice had princess seams which just looked silly without breasts to fill them, so I sadly put the dress back on the rack. And then sulked about how unfair life is.

I usually manage to be much more accepting of what works and what doesn't. When I had breasts, there were many clothes that I couldn't wear, either because I couldn't squeeze my breasts into them or they were designed to be worn without a bra, or they would have shown cleavage. So today I decided I would celebrate my new body by showing you a few outfits that I love and that I never could have worn before my mastectomy.
                                                          Top: Carla Zampatti
                                                          Pants: Cue
One of the advantages of having a flat chest is that it is easier to get away with showing a bit of skin without it looking like a sexual display. I would never have worn this before: the visible bra issue and the display of cleavage would have felt too much. This top makes it quite obvious that I have no breasts, so it feels less revealing than it actually is and I feel confident and comfortable wearing it.
This  next outfit reminds me of being a small child in the 70's when my mother dressed me in trouser suits.
 I  previously avoided tops or dresses without structure at the waist, as they would tend to fall straight down from my bust and make me look like I was wearing a tent. A flat chest allows the triangular shape of the dress to become obvious and provides a gamine look that I would never have achieved in a million years before my surgery.
                                                         Dress: Cue
                                                         Pants: Cue
The conclusion I have come to is that no matter what your body type, some things will work and some won't. Looking for the silver lining by choosing clothes that make you look and feel great can be a powerful tool in accepting and loving your body. Do you have styles you can wear now that you couldn't in the past?

Silver Linings by Kacey Musgraves

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The First Cut Is The Deepest

A few weeks ago, I mentioned how much I was enjoying the crop top trend and my intention to buy a few more of them. It's quite exciting to me to discover a silhouette I feel so comfortable in and it brings back fond memories of my adolescence when I wore them the first time around. I spent the weekend doing a bit of sewing so I thought I would show you the result of my efforts and the two crop tops that I have added to my original one from last year.
                                             Skirt:Veronika Maine
                                             Crop: Veronika Maine
                                             Shoes: Wittner
This is a skirt I wore a lot in summer last year. When I tried it on this week, I still liked it but it felt a bit short. It seems that my eye has become more accustomed to midi skirts and the proportions just looked wrong to me. I spent a chunk of Saturday sewing a wide piece of lace edging to the bottom of the skirt, giving it a bit more length. I was really pleased with how this turned out. This is the crop top I showed you a few weeks ago, when I layered it over a long top. It is just long enough to be worn on it's own without exposing any skin, so today it is going solo.
                                                Crop: Carla Zampatti
This is my new crop, which I have had on layby for the past 6 weeks. I was so excited to get it home. It is much shorter and I am wearing it as a layering piece over a camisole. It feels so pretty and feminine and I love the textural element of the fabric.

I was trying to analyse what it is about crop tops that is so appealing to me, and I have concluded that they perform a number of valuable services: they cover up my chest and provide me with a sense of privacy and protection, they allow me to expose my waist and project a feminine shape even in the absence of breasts and they give me the opportunity to add interest  to some of my plainer, simpler outfits. And perhaps the first time we wear a fashion  in our younger years leaves an indelible impression that we never fully leave behind. Do you have any fashions from your youth that you still truly, madly, deeply love?

The First Cut Is The Deepest by Cat Stevens

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Father's Day

This has been a very busy weekend for me. Sunday was Father's Day and also my eldest son's 23rd birthday. I tell my husband that I am a pretty fabulous gift-giver. Not many men get a son for Father's Day! The other fun thing happening at the moment is the Brisbane Writer's Festival and on Sunday we spent the day there listening to some fascinating panel discussions and talks. I wanted to wear something comfortable and loose, but also a little dressy because we planned to go out for dinner afterwards.
                                                                 Pants and T-shirt -Veronika Maine
                                                                 Shoes-Joanne Mercer
This is a little brighter than I normally wear, but I like the happy, arty vibe. These pants are from last summer. They are very soft and loose and extremely comfortable for both listening and eating! I wore a scarf across my chest which turned out to be fortuitous as the breeze was quite cool and the extra layer was welcome. I bought this short jacket this month and really like the cropped style and the warmth it provides as we slowly transition to Spring.
                                                                Jacket-Veronika Maine
After the Writer's Festival, we went out to Harajuku Gyoza for dumplings and sake, and then for ice-cream. It was lovely to have my family together. We all took turns at telling a story or fond memory about the birthday boy, much to his embarrassment, but I hope that the evening will become a fond memory for him. Here is a photo of him enjoying his birthday dinner.

How did you celebrate Father's Day?
Father's Day by Weddings, Parties, Anything