Self-care casual

  Dress: Asos Curve

Tights: Sonsee

Shoes: Ziera

I’m sorry for how quiet it’s been on here lately. I’ve had a challenging couple of months, and it’s been monopolising my head-space a bit. Everything’s fine in the general scheme of things, and thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to leave a comment or sent me an email – I’m AOK, just a bit scattered and spread thin.

I’m looking forward to the warmer months, and the return of daylight savings. I miss walking home in the evenings (and being able to get my washing dry on the line!). In the meanwhile I’m getting plenty of wear out of this sweater dress, which I bought from Asos Curve at the start of winter.

I’ve been looking for a boxy, comfortable sweater dress for a while – the sort of thing I can mooch about it in over the weekend, but is perfectly suitable to also wear to work. I sized up, because I wanted to play up the oversize angle, and it actually looks a lot nicer in person than it does in these photos.

Teamed with a pair of trusty Sonsee tights and ankle boots, it’s the sort of easy outfit that I can throw on and be happy with (even if I’m one of those I-hate-every-item-of-clothing-that-I-own cycles that I only ever seem to fall into when I’m running late for work).

I recently bought a couple of pairs of earrings from a company called ComfyEarrings, and I’ll be honest: I’m never going back to regular studs.

I’m one of those lazy people who shower and sleep in their jewellery, and if you’re like me I probably don’t have to explain how uncomfortable it is to sleep in a pair of earrings with long posts that stab you in the neck while you’re sleeping (or when you’re holding the phone up to your ear for that matter). ComfyEarrings have a flat screw-back that sits flush against your lobe, so you can – in all seriousness – just forget that you’re wearing them. It’s a similar mechanism to the tiny labret or tragus studs which have been designed for nose or cartilage piercings, but the stud size is more like a traditional earring.

They’re a small company, and totally lovely. I’ve ordered from them twice now and have been really happy with both experiences (and delighted with the earrings). Shipping is fast and affordable, everything arrived beautifully packaged (you get extra backs, which is helpful because they can be a bit fiddly). I’ve been wearing the prong-set crystals non-stop for well over a month now, and they still look brand-new.

The other piece of jewellery that I’m wearing is a porcelain necklace that I – believe it or not – made myself.

Over the past couple of months I’ve done a few weekend craft classes. I’ve done a pottery class, a patisserie class, a polymer clay class, and this one: a porcelain class. (They all start with P – how funny, I didn’t realise until just then.)

It was a really easy and fun afternoon to spend with one of my best friends, and I was really happy with how this ended up.

Keeping myself entertained over the weekend has been part of my self-care strategy recently – along with trash TV, escapist books, and long baths.

And on that note, I’m off to have a long soak in the tub thanks to Butt Naked Skinfood who sent me a sachet of Himalayan and Lavender Scrub to enjoy. This Melbourne-based company makes lovely vegan, organic, and cruelty-free skin care products (and donate 5% of their profits to the Melbourne Animal shelter Save-A-Dog scheme).

The Himalayan and Lavender Scrub is a divinely fragrance mix that consists of Himalayan rock salt, sea salt, lavender and grapeseed oils, and it’s supposed to help with day-to-day stresses. You can use it as a scrub if you don’t have a bathtub, and I can highly recommend it both ways.


Print Envy

Top: Variety Hour

Skirt: Modcloth

Belt: Sportscraft

Shoes: Chie Mihara

Since 2008 (!) when I first started Frocks and Frou Frou, the offerings available for plus size women has just grown and grown and grown, but there’s still some glaring gaps in the market.

I love local indie designers Obus and Gorman (and Miranda Murphy, and Wolf and Mishka, and about eleventy hundred more hipster-cool brands that pop up at design markets) but one of the main things that they seem to share – apart from great prints and contemporary cuts – is the inability to go above a size 14.

Guy, I love prints, but I’ve reached a point where I need more than polkadots, stripes, and florals. I want abstract shapes, and geometric lines, and textile designs not just prints, and honestly, I’m finding them very few and far between.

There’s a girl who works in my office (with the most magnificent tumble-down, golden-red curls you’ve ever seen – if you know her, her you’ll know who I’m talking about). She’s absolutely lovely, and wears all the amazing kinds of cool prints and cuts that I wish I could squeeze myself into. There’s one particular top that she wears with some regularity, and when I told her how much I admired it she told me it was from Melbourne-based textile designer Cassie Byrne. The name rang a bell a few weeks later when I stumbled across Cassie herself at the Finders Keepers Market.

Cassie graduated RMIT in 2014, and has since worked as a freelance designer for clients including Beci Orpin, Milk and Sugar and Kuwaii. Her own brand, Variety Hour, offers cushions, bags, scarves and clothing printed with her bold and beautiful artwork which is often inspired by rock formations and natural fauna and flora.

I couldn’t resist trying one of the tops on… just in case… and was totally delighted to discover that the XL was forgiving enough to fit the Rack of Doom. It’s a boxy, flowing fit with a tapered waist and cuffed dolman sleeves and I wanted it in all of the prints, but limited myself to one – the Tropica.

Inspired by the sub-tropical rainforest of Gondwana, the print was hand painted using pigment inks, then printed in Melbourne on a lovely silk crepe de chine that drapes beautifully, and has held its colour and shape brilliantly over repeated wears and washes.

It’s has the colour and print that I’ve always loved, but with a bit of uniqueness and maturity that late-thirties-me appreciates. It’s definitely one of the more expensive pieces in my wardrobe, but has already proven itself worth the investment.

It was pretty exciting to see that earlier this year Variety Hour was picked up by US cult favourites, Anthropologie (including this top!), and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next for this wonderful, local designer.