Sunday, 29 March 2015

Hazy Shade of Winter

I had a day off this week, and spent some time at the big shopping centre nearest my home, to see the fashions being stocked for winter and to plan my purchases for the months ahead. It was with some surprise that I found a good number of shops are already having their mid-season sales. This autumn has been so warm that I have barely dipped into my winter clothes at all and I have become quite content with the endless summer. Last winter, I didn't feel very stylish or attractive in the clothes I chose, so this year I have made a rough list of items I think will work with what I already have and the aesthetic I want to move towards. Feel free to skim over this if you hate lists!

Ankle booties: Black. Possibly a tan pair also.
Knit skirt(s): I plan for these to be my default casual bottom. They are SO comfortable, and my husband loves them on me.
Pant: 1 pair only, as I prefer the more feminine vibe of skirts for winter. I was initially thinking boot-cuts or flares, but the heavy rain over the past few weeks has given me a renewed appreciation of skinnies!
Winter tops: Long-sleeved and either trapeze-shaped or cropped and boxy. This will definitely be the most challenging category. I think part of the reason I didn't feel good last winter was because I failed to really get this nailed down.
Bomber jacket: Cue
Pants: Carla Zampatti
Sandals: Joanne Mercer
After my shopping trip, I managed to tick several things off my list. I will show them to you over the next few weeks, but I will start with this top. It is actually a light-weight bomber-style jacket, but I plan to wear it as a blouse. Bomber jackets seem to be very popular at the moment and I think it is a shape that works really well. I like the way the fabric is loose over my torso but fitted on the waist. Cue have done a range this year incorporating prints from from the 70's, and this was one of them.  It is lined, so will be warm enough to wear alone or with just a camisole, but I can also wear a long-sleeved T-shirt underneath for added insulation when the August winds arrive.
I find that the thicker fabrics and boxier shapes of jackets are more forgiving on a flat chest than most of the knits I have encountered, and I plan to use both this new piece and this trapeze jacket from last year as stand-alone tops over winter. Just now though, winter still seems like quite a long way off, lost in the heat haze of a beautiful autumn! Have you starting planning your wardrobe for next season?

Hazy Shade of Winter  cover by Bangles (I actually prefer this version to the original Simon and Garfunkel, which must be a first for me.)

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

My sister has just returned home after spending the weekend with me at the Comedy Festival in Brisbane. This is a birthday tradition for her and the only variation this year was that my sister-in-law came with her. We had a wonderful time, and I thought I would share the photos to give you an idea of how my wardrobe works to meet the requirements of my lifestyle on a weekend with more than the usual number of outings and social events.
Here we are heading out on Friday night to see Will Anderson. My top hasn't photographed well, but it has a sparkly thread woven through it. I teamed it with cropped pants and black heels.

The next day, we went out to lunch at Cove at Southbank. Both of my sons came and brought their partners with them. We had a delicious lunch in an alfresco setting overlooking the river and were feeling very content with life until a severe storm hit Brisbane and we were soaked. To be clear, the restaurant is covered and we were sitting right at the back, so that will give you some idea of the ferocity of the rain and wind!
I wore my trapeze mini skirt, flat sandals and the silk T-shirt from last year that my husband hates. It was a very comfortable outfit for the 30 degree heat before the storm, but wet T-shirts and breastless chests are definitely not a good combination!

My sister-in-law says she was actually quite frightened. My sister says the white chocolate mousse made it all good!

We made it home in time to shower and change for our next sessions at the Comedy Festival - Glenn Robbins and Dave O'Neill, followed by Tom Gleeson. We all agreed it was our favourite night and we had a fabulous time.
I wore white pants with my orange crop worn reversed. That gave me some coverage over my tummy and a small sliver of age-inappropriate skin exposure at the back. Well, we all have to rage against the dying of the light in a way that feels good to us!

Today, we slept in and there was a mad last-second dash to get out the door in time to make the plane. Sadly there was no time to take a photo of the girls before we left.
This is my outfit for today. The top is a favourite which you have seen a number of times before and the pants are a comfy stretch fabric, perfect for curling up on the couch. I felt really happy that there were clothes I felt good in and that were occasion-appropriate for every part of the weekend. I am aiming to achieve the same thing with my winter wardrobe, so I will keep you posted on my hits and misses as the weather cools.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper

Sunday, 15 March 2015


This is the outfit I wore today to attend the baptism of my niece's baby. I realised recently that I am now a great aunt and a new generation of our extended family is coming into the world. It is with both sadness and relief that I relinquish my role in raising children and move into the position of elder. I hope I can offer comfort and support to my children's generation as they contend with the troubles and joys of raising their own families.
                                                           Top: Cue

This top is one that I bought last summer. I really enjoy the asymmetrical hem and the soft fabric, but wearing it today made me remember why I don't wear it very often: the drape at the front has a tendency to gape, so I spent a good portion of my time at lunch trying to make sure that the fabric was sitting as it should. I have already put a small tacking stitch at the neck, but I still need to be wary when leaning over or sitting forward. I really dislike having to worry about clothes and constantly readjust them once I have put them on, so I don't think this top will be making my favourites list any time soon.

The skirt is new. I bought it in the summer sales, thinking to wear it during winter. It is a thick, warm knit and I think will be cozy and comfortable when it gets cold. It gives me the shape of a pencil skirt, but with the comfort of track pants and as an added bonus my husband loves it and refers to it as my "sexy skirt". I will probably buy another one for winter, just based on that recommendation! And I have learned my lesson from this top. Now, when I am trying on tops, I bend over and lean forward in front of the mirror to ensure everything stays covered.

Have you bought clothes that you need to constantly readjust? How did you overcome it?

Zebra by John Butler Trio

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Just A Feeling

Last week, I went out (on a school night!) to see Charlie Musselwhite sing the blues. I must confess that when I go to music venues these day I am always slightly worried that I will be refused entry for being too middle-aged and uncool. Happily, my fears were unfounded. The Triffid is fairly recently opened and whilst it is definitely cool, it is also very welcoming and has a great beer garden for pre-show relaxing. It did present me with a dilemma about what to wear though, and that lead to another fashion breakthrough for me.
                                                         Camisole:Scanlon Theodore
                                                         Pants: Scanlon Theodore
I have two words for you: Fashion Tape! I love having bare arms and shoulders in summer and I think the strappy camisole style is especially sexy and fun for a night out. I could never wear the style before my mastectomy because of the bra issue, but I was very disappointed to find it didn't really work for me after my surgery, either. The two main issues were the risk of scar exposure from the lower, open neck and my anxiety about the appearance of my chest. Then I found this camisole, and realised that wearing something beautiful sometimes gives me as much joy as looking beautiful wearing something more flattering.

As you can see, the fashion tape completely took care of the scar exposure issue. I haven't used it before, but I have to tell you that it works great! I put a strip along the entire top edge of the camisole, and I'm pleased to report that it stayed exactly where I put it for the entire show. And I may have been dancing just a little bit. Don't tell my sons; they would be mortified!
What feelings are the most influential for you when you are choosing clothes?

Just A Feeling  Charlie Musselwhite