Tag Archive | dresses

Fashion plate

I feel I must immediately counter the impression given by my Struggle Street trackie dacks in an earlier post. After all, this blog is about my journey to gorgeousness, and those pants definitely don’t even have an economy class ticket for that journey. 

I am not one who follows fashion and buys what is “on trend”, so in that respect fashion plate may be inaccurate as a title. 

However, I do like beautiful clothes and buy quite regularly. I like to look well-put-together, classic, feminine. (Which may make it all the more difficult to comprehend my need to hang onto my worn trackie dacks?)

Ages ago I started posting a stocktake on my dresses. I lost interest as I was taking photos of the dresses when I wore them for real. Time passes and yadda, yadda, yadda. 

So here’s some recent images for you. 

Daytime weekend dressing up. A spring wrap dress with a flattering neck line.c(I have had this dress for about four years. Haven’t worn it much but liking it again so am thinking this will be this year’s spring, dress-up dress.)  A rich navy blue. What you can’t see is the leopard print on the shoes match my sunnies. And I have two bluish-green bangles that tone in with the handbag, which unfortunately I am holding backwards so you don’t see the detail. 


Casual wear. And a colourful print top which lightens up jeans. The top is a bit twisted as I am up close with a friend. The clasp thingie (repurposed from a dead handbag) sits on my hip. Those (as in Fiona and Sarah) who are aware of the colour in clothing divide will understand when I say I bought the pink top in Queensland. 


Middle aged hip. And my current favourite edgey look: black leather jacket with black tights and back ankle boots, glammed up with a sequinned top. 

For those who like detail the black leather jacket is Muubaa, sourced cheap from The Outnet when the Aussie dollar was good for online bargain hunters.  The jacket is the softest and lightest leather. I know I’ve said it before but it is worth repeating. 

The boots are Italian, bought at Liberties. (Jet-setter, that I am. OK, the only pair I could afford in the shoe department.) 

And the tights? 19 years old. How can I be so precise? Cause I bought them when on maternity leave with my youngest. Made in Australia with such thick material.  I wear them in winter as thermals when skiing. (They don’t make clothes like that anymore, the old lady moans.) Oh, you weren’t amazed at how long they’ve lasted, but expressing concern at my clothes hoarding tendancies. Well, we know I am trying to address that. 

But there you have it. Not all trackie dacks and uggies. 


Winter work frocks

I find there is a real problem with winter dresses in Australia.

They either have no sleeves! Yes, I know. Unbelievable! Why have dresses made from wool, made for winter with no friggin’ sleeves.

Case in point, this dress.


It is made of wool so too warm in summer, but no bloody sleeves. Was there a shortage of the material?

Or the winter dresses are really open at the neck. Yes, so my bloody chest freezes.


Look I don’t want to get all old lady fuddy-duddy, but can we have a nice cut. Long sleeves, cinched at the waist, collar, buttoned down so I can do it up or not as the situation allows, warm material. Not much to ask, is it.

Look at this coat worn as a dress!

I really like this. The photo doesn’t do it justice. (Well, it’s more my non-model stance. How am I meant to stand to show off a dress? I just can’t strike a pose.) The dress is quite striking, crisp and elegant.

It’s how I’d like more dresses to be. And the cut suits me. But this is only cotton,so not really warm. And it is a coat, so I use safety pins and Hollywood tape so it doesn’t open at the bottom or I’d be flashing bits that shouldn’t be flashed in public.

Really that’s all I have in the way of winter dresses. I resort to wearing coats over my non-winter dresses and boots or skirts and tops in winter.

Quite depressing. If I find what I see in my mind’s eye, I am buying it no matter the cost.

And for the observant of weather in my neck of the woods – yes, we’ve finally had some crisp mornings – 8 to 12° when I leave for work.

Like dresses? Pop over and see my work dresses or my casual summer dresses. I’ll share more dresses, including my party dresses and new purchases soon.

So what did I wear?

I felt I resolved my dilemma yesterday, and was happy with my choice of dress. And then…

And then, I walked out to see my pile of birthday gifts.


Oh yes, my husband is a master of wrapping. Under the blanket was a garment rail. In the pillow case was a collapsable basket. The Kitchenaid food processor wasn’t wrapped, but much anticipated. And finally, in the shopping bag was this:


Look, I won’t lie. Mr Sans didn’t pick the dress himself. Nor the Kitchenaid. (That leaves two unusual items. But this post is not to evaluate Mr Sans’ strange obsession with all things Aldi.) Funnily, I had forgotten about the dress even though it was bought only a couple of weekends ago.

So what’s a girl to do when presented with a new dress?

Yes, I got changed straight away. And felt gorgeous. Felt slim. Felt as flash as a rat with a gold tooth.

Oh, for honesty’s sake, that’s not me in the photo. No, I won’t lie. I looked better! But didn’t take a photo ’cause I was too busy.

And a dress has done its job when many, many people comment at work how beautiful, how striking, how lovely the dress (and me in the dress) look. “What a beautiful shade of green!” “New dress? It’s very flattering.” “Love the dress. Really suits you.”

PS: it didn’t get to 28°, but was still a plant-confusing warm low to mid 20s, and was still an apparent 17° in the middle of the night. Lucky I hadn’t actually packed away the mid-season blanket after putting on the winter one, after the earlier tease of cold nights.

The end of the end of term break

In every first week of term I am asked, innumerable times, “Did you have a nice break? What did you do? Did you go anywhere?” Just as I have been asked innumerable times prior to a term break, “Going anywhere?”

Why this obsession with going somewhere?

When you answer, “No,” it is as if you have to justify, rationalise yourself. “No, but I’m catching up with friends.” “No, but….”

“Oh, yes, you’ve done a staycation before.”

Even stranger when I say I am going to my mother’s. “Where does she live?”

“Oh, Queensland. That will be nice.”

Well, actually I am going to my mother’s to see my mother, not to Queensland. I won’t be sight-seeing, or going out.

You might think I have given this too much thought, but I have had over a hundred term breaks. That’s a lot of conversations about “What have you done? Did you go anywhere?”

So here’s what I have done for my emotional well-being this term break. And no, I didn’t “go” anywhere.

  • Had drinks to celebrate the end of term. A friend pulled this one out of her fridge.
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    I am sure the French don’t pronounce it as billy cart salmon. However you say it, it was divine.

  • Had a dinner for over 20 people with some long term friends and family to celebrate my sons’ birthdays. (What? No photos? Sadly, everyone was too busy enjoying themselves to whip out the phone or camera.)
  • Slothed, lazed about, day-dreamed, stared into the distance, snuggled under a blanket, sat in the sun, ruminated, fantasised, had slow breakfasts looking out at my camellias flowering.
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    And the plants and birds beyond my verandah.


  • Watched movies – both good and bad. (Sharknado, is so awful it’s funny, but if time is precious to you, give it a miss. Do see The Gand Budapest Hotel.)
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  • Read blogs, magazines, books.
  • Decluttered.
  • Had family over (14 including us) for a curry feast at Feater, I mean Easter.
  • Hosted an Easter Sunday lunch with a neighbouring family for which I whipped up homemade hummus, tabbouleh and sweet chilli chicken.
  • Flew to Queensland and caught up with family. Had lunch out and afternoon tea with female family members. Vegetarians and those avoiding fat and salt, look away.
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    Actually, that wasn’t too bad. The meat, and it was mainly fish, bugs and prawns, were hidden by the hands, wine glass and chips. And the bug on my plate is upside down, so hard to make out. But this shot of the last plate has little lambies all cut up.


  • Watched the sun set from the top of a mountain in the state that is beautiful one day, perfect the next. The sky was so blue and so wide during the day. The sunset so glorious.
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  • Walked every second day. Did some exercises and stretches.
  • Had a therapeutic massage.
  • Bought some clothes. Very different pieces, not chain store items. And the MOST BEAUTIFUL dress. See!
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    This dress has the most gorgeous detail on the neck line. It’s a gold chain wrapped in two ribbons. Beautiful!

    All the clothes were sourced in boutiques in Queensland. I know I won’t run into anyone with the same clothes. And Dar, that dress is actually made in Canada.

  • Had an acupuncturist treatment.
  • Went to the dentist, had a chipped tooth repaired and a routine check and clean.
  • Had my dot painting stretched.
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  • Ate heaps of hot-cross buns and Easter eggs. Bugger! The waist is expanding again!
  • Finally made the vegetarian lasagne I have been meaning to but put off because I find lasagnes too convoluted. And it was THE BEST.
  • Baked a cake.
  • Hung out with my kids and husband.
  • Had my car serviced and rego done so I don’t have to worry about it when it is due during the early part of term.
  • Yep, had a nice break, did lots of things, and didn’t “go” anywhere.

    My favourite casual summer dresses

    When it is hot, I prefer to wear a dress. No waist bands to restrict or to foster sweat. Loose, hanging dresses are so much cooler. I pity males who have to wear shorts and tops. They are just not as cool as dresses.

    And I love a pretty frock. I showed you my current work dresses.

    Here are my favourite summer dresses.

    An oldie but a goodie. This has lost its stretch which is just as well as so have I. It is Mr Sans’ favourite.


    A new favourite. A polo shirt dress. Comfy, flattering, nice colour. Bit long too be really cool but around the house I tuck it up (in my undies. Yeah, I’m all class.)


    This isn’t cool, so it isn’t actually a favourite, but it is on my summer rotation list. The fabric must be mostly plastic. Quite a sweaty thing. But it is OK for over swimmers when sitting on our back verandah or a visit to the stupidmarket.


    One for going out. It is my Edwardian look. It comes with a little pink slip. When I get home, I am know to remove the outer sheath and just sit in the slip. (Again, my all-class behaviour coming out.)


    This one was a hand-me-down from my cousin. Lovely raspberry colour. It has even surfaced as a work dress on hot days.


    And this is a new one. Bought after my Year of No Clothes Shopping, in the post-Christmas sales. The colour is not so clear in the photo. It is actually more orange. The hem is one of those longer at the back type hems, but not suddenly long at the back, more like a gradual bob.


    That brings the total of my dresses I’ve shown to 14. Half way through them. Well, nearly half way.

    Now lest you think I have had manic shopping trips, these dresses have accumulated over the last 15 years.

    Things are still leaving my wardrobe. Remember I am decluttering one item a day from my house. Here’s the latest item to leave: an old jacket. The cut is not only outdated but unflattering to me. Was a cheapie – $20 – bought over 7 years ago.


    My favourite work dresses

    I love a pretty frock.

    And I find dresses so handy for work – feminine, easy to wear, easy to dress in the morning as there is no need to pick pieces that go together, flattering on me.

    And here are my current favourites.

    Wrap dresses hide a multitude of sins. You can loosen them when you gain a few kilos; tighten them when you lose those kilos. I wear tight sleeveless tops underneath to cover the cleavage that wrap dresses reveal as I find them more flattering than camis. Also I hate how camis hang and how they look like underwear. I never show my underwear. Well, I try. Underwear is for under, don’t you know.

    And I love a pattern.

    Blue wrap dress:


    Black and white wrap dress:


    Another pattern wrap dress:


    Now another look:

    Stretchy patterned dress:


    A bright pattered dress, worn here with a jacket.


    Homage to the TV show, Dallas:

    20140131-070930.jpg All padded shoulders (although my iPad is hiding the shoulders so trust me on this), matchy-matchy and geometric design. Take the matchy-matchy jacket off, and it looks like this:

    20140131-071116.jpg Much better for our hot summer working days.

    Some dresses without much pattern. White dress:


    Blue dress:


    Seven dresses that are on my current high rotation list. I have others. (Have I told you that I have 38 dresses, which is down from 42 when I started my Great Wardrobe Diet and Declutter at the start of 2013?)

    Today’s decluttered item = a dress. I am still decluttering, on average, one thing a day. Giving a critical eye to all my dresses for the blog. Mr Sans bought this one for me. It was the first time he ever bought me clothing without me knowing or picking the item. And it was a big win. The material of this dress is now wearing in the way jersey does. And it shows the bulges in a way that is not flattering. So that mean I only have 37 dresses. (Makes up for the recently purchased dress! Lol)


    Where was this one hiding?

    I was listing in my mind my favourite dresses following a comment from Dar a few ago about my extensive dress collection.

    And one that immediately came to mind is this one:

    Yes, it is leopard print.

    (And yes, I forgot to put it in my list of leopard print items posted here. That’s what happens when you have too much of something. You forget what you actually have. You can’t see things in your overcrowded wardrobe.)

    It’s very vavavoom.

    OK, it’s tight. And wearing full Spanx is a must. But breathing is overrated.

    And lest you worry that I have no sense of occasion or that I will permanently disturb young minds at the chalkface, I do not wear this as day wear. It’s actually only had a couple of outings but the impact has been great.

    (Regular readers might have picked up in the fact that I like to be noticed and have compliments about my clothes. Vanity and all. I am nothing if not self-aware.)

    Edited to add: see this dress here: