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.

Mint and Mustard

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Top: Gorman

Cardigan: Glassons

Skirt: Etsy

Shoes: Seychelles via DSW

Last year, when I was performing a last brutal cull of my wardrobe pre-New York, I retired the DIY’d grey drape skirt that I’d made back in 2011.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’ve reached for it half a dozen times since then before remembering it’s not in my closet, so I thought maybe it was time to try to source a replacement.

The skirt I made was good, but it was far from perfect. The pleat in front didn’t quite give it the full draping effect that I’d wanted. When I spotted this ruched jersey midi skirt from CT by Couture Time on Etsy I knew I’d found my new drapey skirt.

The pleated hips and front panel reminded me a little of the old Thelma draped dress that I bought from Igigi a couple of years ago, but on-sold when it turned out to be too big for me. I love the look – it’s a bit Deco, a bit Egyptian, a bit sarong-like. I deliberated for ages over colours – it’s available in at least 23 different shades! – before finally deciding that the taupe would be a good versatile choice.

I probably should have gone with a charcoal or navy, but I figured black, grey and blue skirts are easy enough to come by in the shops – I wanted something a little different.

I had it in my mind that I’d wear it with equally drapey layers: the cocoon cardigan from Yours clothing, or the long grey cardigan from Uniqlo. Both looked dreadful, and for a moment I was worried I’d bought another skirt that looked great topless, but didn’t play well with anything else in my wardrobe.

After a bit of trial and error I discovered that there were a couple of tops it worked with, and the gold-polkadot-print tee from Gorman (that I’d stopped wearing because repeated washings had made it look a bit sloppy) was one of them.

Add a cardigan for warmth, and a long necklace and I was ready to roll.

So, hands up who knew mint and mustard went together? Me neither, until I saw the unlikely pairing on Pinterest (ahh mustard. Is there ANYTHING you don’t go with?). I’m glad they do, because it means I can wear it with the adorable ceramic cat necklace that my dear friend, and former housemate K gave me as a birthday pressie.

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Necklace: Jasmin Blanc Boutique

Isn’t it adorable? Whenever I’m feeling blue or introspective during the day I find myself fondling it – it’s like my little happy-place talisman.

One of my workmates – someone who hates internet shopping with the power of a thousand suns – commented on it, and when I told her that the jeweller will even custom-make one for you in the likeness of your own beloved pussycat she announced to my very great surprise that she was going to place her very first online order. So there you go: Lilli: enabler extraordinaire!