Two-ways Tuesday – Sohomode Peony dress

two ways frocks and frou frouBeen a while since I last did a Two-ways Tuesday post, huh? Still, what better way to bring it back than with this divine Sohomode dress?

I spotted the peony fabric in Louise’s shop a couple of months ago, and knew it had to be mine. The full-blown peony print is highly detailed, with defined petals and stamen, and even the ribs on the leaves cast into relief. It reminded me a little of antique Chinese cloisonné enamelware, so after deliberating over it for about seven seconds (‘Surely you don’t need another Sohomode tea-dress, Lilli?’) I realised that if the fabric got snapped up by someone else – which it would – I would have missed out, and I’d be sad foreverrrrrrrr.

Louise made me the same slimmer sash that she sewed for my most recent bark-cloth dress, and knowing my penchant for yellow she picked up the yellow at the heart of the flowers for the piping details. frocks and frou frou frocks and frou frou frocks and frou frou  Dress: Sohomode

Shoes: Seychelles

It’s a lovely party dress, the Sohomode tea-dress. If you’ve been reading long enough you’ll probably remember that I loved the dress so much I dressed my best friends in it as bridesmaids. One of the reasons I did that was because it was going to be HOT, and a cotton sundress seemed like a much nicer thing to wear outside in the Australian summer than some strapless synthetic thing. The tea-dress is also great, because it’s so versatile. I wear mine to fancy events and weddings, but I also wear it to work, to the farmers markets, on picnics, at birthday parties. I wear it in hot weather, and I wear it in cold:

frocks and frou frou frocks and frou frou frocks and frou frouDress: Sohomode

Cardigan: Boden

Belt: Princess Highway

Tights: Sonsee

Shoes: Hush Puppies

So, my best friend Fiona got shortlisted for a major literary prize earlier this month, which is totally wonderful and not even a little bit of a surprise to those who know her and how remarkable she is (really remarkable). Last weekend we went out frock-shopping for something special for the awards night, and she decided on this gorgeous jacquard dress from Leona by Leona Edmiston. She looked amazing in it (of course) and someone told her she looked radiant (which she did), and even though I’m absolutely 100% sure she’s got lots of awards nights ahead of her, I’m really hoping she gets lots of wear out of her new dress, rather than just saving it for super special occasions.

See, I reckon you can dress almost any kind of dress down with a leather belt and a cardi (and in this case, a pair of tights, because it’s nearly winter). Adding a contrast belt to a frock immediately makes it seem less formal, breaking it up from one ooh-la-la ensemble into two pieces that just happen to match each other. Add a cardigan, and you’ve got immediate day-wear.

And THAT’S my two-ways Tuesdays!

Spot the Difference

Dress: Jane Bon Bon – (shop sadly closed it looks like)

Shoes: Hush Puppies


There are some items in my wardrobe that are such statement pieces that really you call only wear them one way, and I find it particularly difficult to “mix it up” with dresses. I mean, you can belt them, and wear them with different shoes or a cardigan, but a dress is a dress is a dress, and really unless you’re a master at layering (I’m not) then there’s not much you need to add to a dress to make an outfit.

This dress – with its gorgeous Echino fabric – always gets worn the same way, but as I was looking at the photos I realised… something was different.

Can you spot it?

I’m missing a bloody button! It must have dropped off at some point during the day when I was out and about, because I can’t find it anywhere!

They’re self-covered fabric buttons, and there’s not enough fabric in the seams to make another one, so I’m going to have to a) just leave it – two looks fine; b) remove the buttons entirely, and leave it blank; or c) make a special trip to Buttonmania and replace all three buttons.

I’m leaning towards “c” because I have a huge soft spot for Buttonmania which is located in the gorgeous 1920’s Nicholas Building, and looks like something out of a Mary Poppins book. You take the hand-operated elevator  up a few floors, then follow the labyrinthine corridors until you reach the broom-closet sized shop with its wall of tiny drawers. Owner Kate Boulton’s a bit of a Melbourne craft-persons legend and has over three decades of experience in the rag trade. I went with my Mum a few years ago to replace the buttons on her coat, and it was such a fun experience that now I take every opportunity to go back!