Sunday, 26 April 2015

Working For The Man

I work with a number of men and I must confess that it is one of the pleasures of my job, as they are all delightful. I definitely make an effort to dress well when I am going to work, irrespective of the gender of my colleagues on that day. I aim for professional, modest but also feminine. Not everyone at the places I work knows about my cancer diagnosis and treatment and I prefer to keep it that way, so I also tend to avoid anything that is tight or revealing across my chest. That can be a bit of a challenge in winter, where long-sleeved T-shirts are often the warmest and most practical option.
This is the top I bought this autumn in my quest to solve my winter wardrobe blues. The first picture isn't particularly flattering, as it stretched the fabric over my chest, but I wanted to show you the dolman sleeves. This is a style I have avoided in the past, but as you can see in the second picture, when I am in a more normal position the excess fabric drapes and falls really nicely over the front.
This was the outfit  I wore to work today. I think it meets my work criteria pretty well. The high neck is modest, but the welted waist brings the top in, giving a hourglass shape which ticks the "feminine" box for me. I think the simplicity and neatness looks professional and the texture of the fabric and the cut of the sleeve makes it less revealing than wearing a knit T-shirt.

And, perhaps most importantly, it is a wool blend and is consequently warm and cosy to wear.
Working for the man is a positive joy when you have the right clothes for the job! Do you dress up for work?

Working For The Man by Roy Orbison

Sunday, 19 April 2015

All About That Bass

It took me quite a while to become accustomed to not wearing a bra. Having worn one every day for my entire adult life, I felt quite naked when venturing out without anything underneath my tops. In summer when the weather is warm that is a good thing, but as the weather cools down I begin to miss the extra layer of insulation. I discovered the Uniqlo Heatech range last year and have found their camisoles to be soft and warm. I have been wearing one most days now that the temperatures are starting to drop and I am enjoying both the comfort and the visual simplicity that allows it to be worn either as underwear or as a simple base to allow a statement piece to shine.
                                                              Camisole: Uniqlo
                                                              Jacket: Cue
                                                              Belt: Elizabeth Kelly via Etsy

I had to show you this outfit, as I received the tan obi belt I ordered in February and this was it's first outing. A very kind older lady flagged me down in the shopping centre and told me I looked smart and that she loved what I was wearing, so I am counting it as a win! This jacket is one I bought last year but found difficult to style. I think with this outfit I may have hit on the right formula: creating waist definition, sticking with a simple top and skirt, and allowing the jacket and belt to be the stars of the show.
Sports-style jackets are having a big fashion moment currently and I like the way they look on a flat chest. The style is cut fairly straight, so it avoids the empty front of more tailored jackets and the colour-blocking and knit inserts provide the appearance of curves. The combination of a camisole and a jacket provides the perfect level of warmth for this time of year. I think I will be repeating this formula frequently over the next few months.
This was a good lesson for me, that sometimes a good base is all you need.  Except try to do a little better than I did and make sure your camisole edge has not rolled up and made a lump under your skirt. Sometimes the camera can be cruel!

All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Time After Time

A few weeks ago, I was complaining about the difficulties I experienced last winter in creating a wardrobe I felt comfortable wearing. I think I may have mentioned that I have all but abandoned wearing jeans, as I felt they were too masculine now that my body is so straight. I bought several button down shirts last year, but also struggled to style them in a way that didn't feel too mannish. Well, YouLookFab came to the rescue this week, with a challenge on the forum to dress in the style of decades past. I tried 20's, 40's, 50's and 80's and to my surprise managed to style a button-down shirt in a way that felt both modern and feminine.
                                       40's and 50's style as posted on the YLF forum
I especially liked the 50's look and decided to try and recreate the silhouette in a slightly less costume-y way by taking off the scarf and swapping the kitten heels for a more contemporary shoe.
                                                          Jean:Country Road
                                                           Shirt:Anne Fontaine
This was my recreation of the look for a weekend at home. Despite consisting of a button-down shirt and a pair of jeans, I felt very feminine and a bit sexy! I think the combination of the unbuttoned front, the bow at the waist and the illusion of curves created by tying the shirt, completely overcomes the menswear look of the shirt and pants. The camisole gives me warmth and coverage and the  volume of the shirt hides my chest and gives me some shape! I am so excited to have discovered a way of wearing jeans that makes me feel good. It has also made me think about whether styling tweaks could make a difference to some other items in my wardrobe that I am not feeling good about wearing currently. Using the past as a style guide has been incredibly helpful and enlightening and I am enjoying having a new perspective on how to wear my clothes.
Is there any era that inspires the way you dress?

Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper

Saturday, 4 April 2015


A few years ago, I watched a film that I enjoyed immensely and that I still recall with affection. It garnered a lot of attention at the time of it's release, as it is very violent and the script had a 7 year old girl dropping the c-bomb, which made people very upset. However, when I think of the film I think not of the language but of the concept of being a superhero in your own life. Of trying, when you are almost certainly going to fail. Of taking action, when what you do is unlikely to change anything. Of letting your heart rule your head. What I loved about Kickass was its idealism. I was reminded of this today when I heard a radio story about Comicon  and the cosplay subculture. Maybe the opportunity to become the superhero on the outside that you already are on the inside, goes some way towards explaining the increasing popularity of these events. And some way towards explaining why fashion and dressing up has the capacity to bring us so much pleasure.
                                                            Shirt: Uniqlo
                                                            Pants: Cue
                                                            Cape: Cue
                                                            Boots: Wittner
These are some items I bought in my pre-winter shop last week. I especially love the cape. Because, everyone knows that only super heroes have capes. This cape also happens to be quite practical, though. The lack of full sleeves allows it to be worn over both short and long sleeved tops and gives me a great option for the many times in Brisbane when it is slightly cool in the mornings and evenings, but warm during the day. I also love the coverage it provides across the chest as it gives me the opportunity to wear my long-sleeved T-shirt knits underneath without looking too boyish. And it provides a simple way to add an element of dressiness to an otherwise casual outfit.

The pants and boots are also new. I had toyed with the idea of buying flares or boot cuts, but the combination of a run of wet weather, and the realisation that most of my favourite tops have some degree of volume that works better with a fitted bottom, resulted in me buying these skinny pants instead. They have a cool, crushed velvet texture and a high waist that will work well with my loose crop tops, and they are thick enough to be quite warm. I have already worn my cape once this week and I am looking forward to using it more in the months to come. In the meantime, I need to look into developing a superpower, choosing a name for my alter ego and finding a nemesis.

Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down