Hipster Highway

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Marianne Floral Dress: Princess Highway 

Blouse: Dorothy Perkins

Cardigan: Glassons

Tights: Levante

Boots: Ara via Shoebuy 

As everyone probably knows I’m a big fan of positive body image. The media says a lot of things about the “right” way to look, and not a lot of us fit that criteria (I know I certainly don’t) so it’s very easy to start overthinking your own perceived flaws. You look in the mirror, and all you see is your wonky front tooth, or that weird bump that just appeared one day and didn’t go away, or how that black eye you got last year killed some nerves and now your eyebrows don’t work the same way they did before (OK, maybe that last one’s just me). You wear cardigans on stinking hot days because you’re shy about your upper arms, and eschew pencil skirts because you feel like everyone is looking at the curve of your belly and judging you for it. The truth is probably most people are just too caught up in their own inner monologues to notice you at all, but I’ll admit it’s hard to silence that voice, especially if you’re having a kind of crappy day, or something’s happened that’s knocked your esteem for six.

For me it’s my knees.

I’m a bit shy about my legs at the best of times. I don’t know why; They’re strong – like, really strong. Like, a few years ago I had a personal trainer who suggested I look at pursuing professional weightlifting strong – but they’re pretty chunky too. My wide calves often defeat even wide-calf boots, and the little poochy bits of flesh over my knees? Oh my god. When I go out with them exposed I pretty much feel like I’ve painted them red and strapped on a couple of flashing sirens, and maybe one of those wacky waving inflatable arm-flailing tube men. Which is insane.

No-one’s looking at me on the street and going “HAHAHA, Did you see that lady’s KNEES?”, and even though I’ve received my fair share of trolling comments (my favourite’s still “You look like a pig wrapped in cellophane”) no-one has ever specifically singled out my poor, maligned knees.

So I’m trying to embrace them a little more.

A year ago I probably wouldn’t have bought this dress (because, KNEES) but it was heavily on sale at Myer, it’s a lovely soft flannelly fabric, and it buttons down the back. Because of my two month sojourn in New York over summer I feel like I’ve been in a perpetual cycle of autumn and winter for the last year, and I was mightily sick of my cool-weather wardrobe, so I thought I’d indulge. I’m glad I did, because I’ve worn it heaps since then – always in this combination of collared blouse, cardigan, and tights.

The russety autumn colours work well together, and give my super-pale perpetual-winter skin a really lovely creaminess.

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With the cardigan, and the peter pan collar (slightly frayed, because the poor thing is on its last legs) and the black-rimmed glasses (soon to be retired – the wretched things have developed a fatal crack in one of the arms) I’m happy to admit that it’s one of my more hipstery outfits.

Look, I even put a bird on it!

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Brooch: Julia Swaney (no longer available, but similar here)

A Bright, Bright, Sunshiny Day

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 Dress: Sohomode

Cardigan: Boden

Belt: Asos

Shoes: Gorman (similar here)

Well, today was freezing.

Every year I seem to find myself saying “It’s way colder this year than last” but I think I’ve come to the conclusion that actually winter’s just winter, and I just forget how cold it is because I always forget to wear a coat.

It’s grey and winter and wet, and the trees outside my sunroom that in summer gave the most lovely dappled light are stripped bare and barren.

On my walk into work I’m starting to see some little hints of spring – early blossoms in the trees and new green growth – but yep: definitely still cold.

Fortunately this Sohomode tea dress – my very first! – is made out of a heavier bark-cloth, and is perfect for injecting a little bit of floral sunshine into a chilly day.

How’s your week been so far? Mine’s been hectic – I took a flying visit to Sydney for work, caught up with a couple of girlfriends for dinner, and met someone new for coffee. On Sunday I spent a day with Erika “the Queen of Curves” and the super lovely Kerry from Harlow at the Love Your Curves VIP Shopping Event at Doncaster Shopping Centre.

I’d never been to a stylist, and I’ve always been a bit wary about someone telling you what you should and shouldn’t wear (remember my number one fashion rule? Don’t follow fashion rules) so when Erika presented everyone with the old adage about “body shapes” and what styles “flatter” each shape, but then added “So that’s the “box”. Feel free to fuck the box” I wanted to give a little cheer.

I was enormously impressed and heartened by the day that Erika and her team put together – it was way less about “figure flattering” and “slimming” and “thou shalt not wear horizontal stripes”, and way more about body positivity, learning how to silence the negative voices in your head (and some good comebacks for the ones on the outside, too), and how to learn confidence and pride. It was like an empowering and supportive pow-wow with a group of girlfriends, cupcakes, and a bit of fun shopping on the side. Oh, and awesome goodie bags to take away!

It was also nice to be able to hear directly from Kerry about what her philosophy behind Harlow was, her design process, and her vision for the future of plus-size fashion. Plus, as you know I like my internet shopping, but really nothing compares to being able to try the items on and see how they look in person!

I’d definitely recommend bookmarking Erika’s Facebook page and if you’re in Melbourne and feeling a bit down, or if you have a friend who could do with a bit of a self-esteem boost then maybe thinking about coming along to one of the next Love Your Curves events.