Sunday, 31 January 2016

Biding My Time

This is the second experimental sale purchase I wanted to show you. I bought a winter dress by this brand, Alpha60, last year and loved it. This dress was in their summer collection  and caught my eye when I saw it on their website during the sales. Alpha60 don't have a store in my city so I couldn't try it on before buying it, something I always prefer to do. I was a bit concerned that the neckline might be too low or gape-y but I decided that I could always wear a T-shirt underneath and went ahead and ordered it.
                                                             Dress: Alpha60
                                                             Culottes: Uniqlo
                                                             Necklace: Frank Ideas                         
I have to tell you that it is one of the most comfortable and versatile dresses in my closet. On very hot days I wear it on it's own, and the top is just fitted enough not to cause a problem with gaping or chest exposure. I also wear it with a shirt underneath when I want more coverage, and today I have worn it over a pair of culottes to give more volume and length at the bottom of the dress. The asymmetry and drape make it visually interesting and the sides can be buttoned together at the back to create a sleeker look. I am now putting "strappy sun dress" on the list of things that can work for me.

One important point: I do think that fit is important with this style. I suspect that if the top of the dress hadn't fitted quite so perfectly I may have felt much more anxious about wearing it with nothing underneath.
Happily, the Alpha60 size guide appears to be quite accurate. I have had pretty good experiences with ordering the right size online and I think it may be partly because I take chest, waist and hip measurements periodically and use those when deciding what size to order, rather than the number on the tag. The only problem I have had so far with biding my time and stalking pieces online has been that sometimes my size sells out. But as someone over at YouLookFab sagely remarked, "It is not necessary to own every pretty thing in the world"

Do you buy clothes online? Have you been happy with the results so far?
Biding My Time by Busby Marou

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Hot Hot Hot

I live in a city with a warm climate and one of the big advantages is that when the summer sales happen, there is still a good two months of weather that will require summer clothes. Knowing that anything I buy will get good wear in the current season, I have used the sales as a way to try out new-to-me brands and styles or silhouettes that I want to experiment with without too much of a financial commitment. I bought three items at the sales, so I will be showing you the results over the next few weeks.
Top: Manning Cartell
Necklace: Frank Ideas
Pants:Country Road
This top was a find from an Australian design house that I have admired, but never purchased from before. It is a linen blend and has a trapeze shape and an asymmetrical hemline that provides a dramatic train-like effect at the back. I seem to have fallen in love with tops that give me movement and drama when I am walking around!
                                                                                                Jacket:Veronika Maine
The shape of the top, the lustrous fabric and the darts at the bust line actually create the impression of volume over my chest. And I also like it worn with my cropped jacket from last summer, so I can continue to wear it even when the days are no longer quite so beautiful. I am counting this experiment as a success, and will be keeping an eye on this brand in the future.

Do you use sales as a way to dip your toe into the water of a new style or brand? 

Hot Hot Hot by Arrow

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Uptown Funk

I think I confessed in a previous post that I am not generally a fan of the boho look. Whilst I appreciate it on other people, it is almost the exact opposite of my usual style. It is therefore with some surprise that I have found myself wearing a style that definitely has boho roots, namely the peasant blouse.
                                                                  Top:Forever New
                                                                  Pants:Veronika Maine
 I like the way the elastic at the neckline creates gathers that gives volume over my torso. I like the opportunity to show my neck and collarbone without exposing my chest. And I like the way I can tuck it to emphasise the waist. I have chosen a version without tassels or embroidery and in a simple navy and white stripe so it feels quite congruent with the rest of my wardrobe. I guess that is a good illustration that most trends can be made to fit most wardrobes, if the details are done right.

I have seen this style being worn off the shoulder a lot, but I prefer not to expose that much skin during the day. And with this sort of neckline, I find you do have to be a bit careful about gaping when you bend over. I solved that with a little bit of fashion tape applied to the centre front. I don't think it is obvious, and it means I can loll around without concerning myself about possible wardrobe malfunctions.
I am back at work now, so my lolling around opportunities are significantly decreased, but I have had a lovely break and I hope you have too!

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Shut Up And Dance

This is such a party time of year for me, because less than a week after the New Year begins, we celebrate our wedding anniversary. This year is number 26 for us and after the turmoil and stress the last couple of years has put on our marriage, I feel glad to have reached a calmer and happier place. Marriage is full of ups and downs for everyone, so sometimes it's nice to be able to look at the life and the family we have created together, appreciate the good things we have achieved as a team, gaze into each others eyes, turn the music up and dance!

We have been known to forget our anniversary, and when we remember, we usually do something fairly low key. This year I bought us both some new pyjamas to mark the occasion. My husband does not say much about this blog, but he was very adamant about me showing you the result.
                                                              Nightdress:Peter Alexander
I like to wear quite feminine night clothes and have had difficulty finding ones that I felt happy in. Most are low cut and gape at the front. I wanted something that would hide my scars, flatter my shape and feel nice to touch. I often end up wearing the tried and true T-shirt and sleep shorts combination to bed, but I definitely prefer a pretty nightdress. I stumbled across this one on the sale rack, and it is just about perfect for my needs.
The straps are adjustable, allowing me to bring the neckline up as high as I want. The top edge is elasticated, so it sits close to my chest and does not gape. The shape is a gentle A-line, flaring out from the top in a flattering way. It is made from a soft, smooth fabric that feels cool and comfortable to wear. But perhaps most importantly, my husband loves how it looks on me. And I do like to keep my dance partner happy! 

I was tempted to duplicate this purchase, as nightdresses that fit all the criteria above are few and far between. Sadly, the downside of sales is that size availability is limited, so I was only able to find this one. But it has given me a good check-list for what to look for next time I purchase sleepwear.

Do you wear anything to bed? Is your choice dictated by practicality or aesthetic preference?

Shut Up And Dance by Walk The Moon

Saturday, 2 January 2016


Happy New Year to everyone!
I was unfortunate enough to be struck down by a gastro bug shortly after Christmas, so it was an early night and light rations for me, but overall 2015 has been a good year.

I was diagnosed in mid-2013 and spent the rest of that year recovering physically. 2014 was all about difficult conversations, re-negotiating relationships and recovering emotionally. 2015 has been the year I have managed to be me again. If you are struggling with the difficult physical or emotional work a cancer diagnosis brings, please believe that it will get better. And in the meantime, there is always fashion!
                                       Camisole: Uniqlo
                                       Dress: Gift from my baby sis!
My beautiful baby sister sent me this dress for Christmas, and I think she must have read my mind because I have been wanting a shirtdress that I can wear open as a long jacket, for a 1920's style look.
This is not a figure-revealing silhouette and I like the long, straight vertical lines, which I think are quite flattering on a straight body. However, the true beauty of this style is really only captured in movement: the dress billows around me in a very satisfying way. I suppose it is another version of a cape.
I like to wear a top and bottom of the same colour when wearing a long jacket over the top. I think it makes the outfit more cohesive and reinforces the tall, slim look of this style.  I'm wearing a simple, close-fitting, inexpensive Uniqlo camisole as a top and I think the simplicity works well when there are other aspect of the outfit doing the heavy lifting style-wise.

I hope 2016 is a year of dreams coming true for all of you and I am confident that whilst the year will hold both triumph and disaster, we will prevail! Many thanks to all who have read and commented over the last year. I hope I will have your company again this year. xx

Confident by Demi Levato