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Cardigan: Katies

Skirt: Target

Tights: em tee see

Well hello, and welcome to Autumn, folks! Can you believe it’s March already? Time for me to dust off my tights and cardigans and embrace my favourite season.

 I’m already on the look-out for patterned tights and stockings to wear with my skirts and dresses. As ever Sonsee’s my go-to brand for basic opaques (though stay tuned – they launched a couple of pairs of brightly coloured printed leggings at last weekend’s Curvy Couture Roadshow) but I’m on the continuous hunt for polkadot and printed tights that can be teamed with my floral printed skirts and dresses.

Last year I was a bit spoilt with BigW doing a range of cotton-blend tights in marled hues and teensy dots. The sizing was inconsistent, but they were cheap enough that it wasn’t that big a deal.

This year I’m fairly excited with a new range that I’ve discovered on Etsy: em tee see.

Based in the UK, their motto is “Jewellery For Your Legs”, and they specialise in handprinted and embellished tights and socks.

The tights come in either a 30 denier nude, or a 60 denier black, and from a UK size 8 to 24. I bought the XL’s and they fit me and my extremely full thighs comfortably and didn’t cut in at the waist, though I had to perform the usual knickers-over-tights trick to keep them aloft.

What I really love about em tee see are the discreet but edgy little design elements: the parade of ants that crawl up the side of a leg, the comic book blast on a calf, the beaded beetles that flash at you from a pair of ankles.

Because I’m obsessed with stars, I bought the stars.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe stars are printed on in a silver foil, so they don’t become stretched and misshapen as the tights stretch to fit. They pull a little at the fabric, especially around my thighs where the fabric stretches further, but it’s not terribly noticeable. The 60 denier fabric is far from fully opaque, meaning that the tights would be best for trans-seasonal wear when you’re not necessarily looking for warmth.

I’ll confess that I was a little disappointed that on a larger pair of legs the star print was much less dense than on the model pictured, but I really loved the random placement of the stars and the way they were printed on both the front and backs of the tights.


After a long day walking around the ankles were bagging a little, suggesting that I could potentially go down a size – certainly if you have long legs you shouldn’t have a problem with drop-crotch. They’re a hardy fabric though, and despite repeated wears I haven’t had the smallest issue with runs.

Honestly, I love them, and the em tee see shop policy suggests that they do customised orders, so if you were sized out of the XLs (or wanted a different colour) you could very possibly send a pair of tights to the designer Lauren, and have her make you your own exclusive pair (don’t you love Etsy and being able to work directly with the designers?).

I’m extremely tempted to ask whether I can send her some pairs of my seriously comfortable Sonsee tights, and get them printed for the best of both worlds: fit AND style!

il_570xN.642205325_ot5pThe flocking birds are fairly spectacular .

il_570xN.642085012_1fsnI love how you can wear these cute little cat faces on the front or the back.

il_570xN.709560558_jkkuHilariously, these stars actually glow in the dark.

il_570xN.713133667_tscgI think these sparkly silver polkadots would be super cute peeking out from under a tea-length wedding dress.

il_570xN.620502151_5jglI’ve got a girlfriend who I know would just love these Bee-print tights

Have you got a favourite?

Tit for Tat

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Top: City Chic

Skirt: Target

Shoes: Carla Milani

Tonight we ring in a new year, hoo-bloody-rah! It’s a good time to take stock of the previous twelve months, to gird your loins for another year, and to set yourself some resolutions if that’s your thing.

My friends R, JC and I have always preferred to set a theme for the upcoming year rather than individual goals. Themes like “Expand Horizons”, or “Take Chances”.

My theme for 2013 was “Survive”, 2014 was “Rebuild”. I’ve done both of those things, and I’m in a much better place today than I was twelve months ago. My sister is well, I’m surrounded by a network of incredibly loving and supportive people. I have a home that I love and a job where I feel challenged and valued. New people have come into my life who are enriching it every day. I’m happy. Hopefully 2015 will continue on the same trajectory, so my theme for the year will be something along the lines of new growth, building momentum, having direction.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that a few months ago I gave myself something to remind myself to value the person that I am.

I call myself Lilli, but most of you know by now that the name on my birth certificate is Lian. It’s a Chinese name in honour of my Chinese grandfather, and it means “The Graceful Willow”. This is a bit of a running joke with me, because I’m not particularly graceful, and I’m certainly not willowy. At the start of this year I discovered a Chinese constellation called The Willow and it inspired me to research what my name actually symbolised.

It turns out my Mum got it right. In Chinese mythology the willow tree stands for strength, but it’s a strength that comes from being able to bend without breaking. It’s a tree that can withstand great storms and survive. It also symbolises resilience, because it has deep roots that allow it to recover even after it’s been cut back.

I thought about it for a while, consulted some friends, did a few preliminary sketches, and then finally handed everything over to the talented Melanie Knight at Forgotten Son who designed and inked this wonderful, permanent reminder of something I should be very proud of having: Strength and resilience. An abiding and unwavering sense of self. Deep convictions. A strong network. The ability to withstand challenging times and recover from setbacks.

constellation tattooSo. That’s the serious stuff done, now on to the fashion! Do you like my top? I somehow missed it on the City Chic website, and it wasn’t until I saw it being worn by someone on the Aussie Curves FB page that I spotted it. It reminds me so much of this Marlies Dekkers bra that I couldn’t resist. It’s sexy and strappy, and a bit edgy, and not something I thought I’d be able to pull off, but I really like it.

Frocks and Frou FrouI’ve worn it today in an all-black ensemble with a floaty skirt from Target and some great new Carla Milani flats that I bought en-masse from a little stall that had set up shop in Melbourne Central.

Carla Milani FlatsThe guy who served me was a total riot, and I ended up walking away with three pairs of ballet flats, but they’re soft, leather, kid-lined (no socks required), cheap, and he promised they wouldn’t give me blisters (which they haven’t) so I don’t feel too guilty about it.

My bangle is very important to me too. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to talk about why yet so I’m just going to put up a photo of it and let you admire it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHappy New Year, my lovely readers, and here’s to a wonderful and fulfilling 2015 for all of us.

Love, The Graceful Willow.