Sunday, March 31, 2013

50 over 50

Iris Apfel, 91

The Guardian have published their guide to the 50 best-dressed people over 50.

I'm closer to 50 than 40, so was pleased to see a feature on people on the more mature end of the spectrum. As the accompanying articles says 'The very concept of a level playing field is anathema to fashion. This is unfair, politically incorrect, and makes People Like Us very cross. But it is what it is: if you are young, beautiful and slim, you have a head start when it comes to looking fabulous, before we even start on finances.'

As I get older, I find older people far more elegant and interesting to look at than some of the scantily-clad whipper-snappers in the public eye. Smooth-faced perfection has its place, but I prefer a bit of character and cragginess in a face.
I'm certain that many of the people featured in this article have succumbed to some cosmetics enhancements, but I naively hope that not all of them have. I really think that we should be embracing ageing as a wonderful and beautiful thing, rather than desperately trying to cling to our youth. No enhancements for me as I age. I'll be allowing nature to mess with my face rather than a surgeon.

What do you think? Is ageing beautiful or will you fight it?

Helen Mirren, 67

Carine Roitfeld, 58

Bill Nighy, 63

Tilda Swinton, 52

Lucinda Chambers, 53

Aung San Suu Kyi, 67

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter outfit with no boot!

Today was my first day walking without the boot. It's been 3 days since I've been able to weight-bear/walk, but I've been wearing my boot to do that. Today it came off, and I've graduated to ugly running shoes plus a crutch. Exciting times!

I honour of the occasion I wore purple J Crew Minnie pants and a red J Crew Jackie cardigan.

About 65kg of chocolate has been consumed (the Easter Chicken visited our house), and a mocha cake has been almost demolished.

Hope your Easter has been good if you celebrate it. We don't celebrate Easter as we're not Christians. We do like eating, though, so we celebrate Food, Family and Friends.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A J Crew bargain!

A while ago I was pondering the relative merits of two styles of J Crew pants: the Minnie pants and the Pixie pants. I got a lot of very useful information from the wonderful J Crew Aficionada blog, and here. The general consensus is that they're both great. I have a couple of pairs of Minnie pants in purple and red, but they are both Petite sizing, and therefore very cropped. I don't mind this, but I really wanted some slightly longer pants for winter.
The feedback I got on both styles made it even harder to choose between them. The Minnies are less legging-like, the Pixie pants apparently have magic corset-like properties for the belly.
The price of both pairs is high at full price: approx $135

I finally decided on the navy Minnies in my usual 00, but got regular instead of petite for extra length. They were on promo, and I got the extra 30% off.
They've arrived and they're great, very chic and suitable for when I need to look a bit professional at work. They're also a good length, hitting right at my ankle. The only downside is that the regular size seem to be bigger in the hips and waist, so they are a touch baggy. I'm keeping them anyway, as I can get them tailored a bit at the waist.

I couldn't afford to get the Pixie pants as well as the Minnies (and to be honest I really think that they are overpriced), but thought I'd stalk eBay just in case I could get some cheaper.
Imagine my excitement when I found some in 00 for $29!!
Fingers crossed they fit, but really, for that price I won't be too bothered if they don't.

I'll post some pics and a comparison review of both of them once they arrive.

Hope you're having a good long weekend if your country has one!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

In search of the perfect boots

My boot wardrobe is abundant, but old. A recent audit revealed 4 pairs of knee-high boots, the newest ones purchased in 2005. Ankle boots are also in abundance, as I've mainly worn them for the past 7 years or so.
I'm almost embarrassed to publish how many pairs of ankle boots I have, but in the interest of honesty and full disclosure, here we go:
Hmm perhaps that's not so bad, given that three of those pairs were bought in the late 80s.

I can't help thinking that there's a gap in my boot collection, though. I have tan, heeled knee-high Dries Van Noten boots purchased when pregnant with my youngest son.
I have black, knee-high, kitten-heeled Marc Jacobs boots purchased when I was pregnant with my eldest child. I also have black Costume National flat, Wellington boot-like ones from 1999, and black mid-calf flat Robert Clegeries from 1996. They squeak when I walk.
So, I have been lusting over some black stretch suede boots to update my wardrobe. It's a good time of the year to be buying, as the sales are on.

These are the ones I've found so far:

The Valentino ones are divine, but I'm loathe to spend over a grand on boots I haven't tried on. The Stuart Weitzmans are also lovely, but again, a touch $$. They are available here, but at a highly inflated price, so I guess I could go and try them on to see. The other two pairs I found on They're both a good price, but I'm leaning towards the Daniele Arancani ones, as they are lower in the shaft and have a perfect 5cm heel.

Any advice? Have any of you seen or tried any of these?
Or any other recommendations?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dress lust.....

I made the mistake of checking out the sale items on J Crew last night. They usually upload new items just at about 9:30pm Sydney time. Convenient!
I'm not sure if I've even seen this dress before, but last night I spotted it in my size.
It looks to be a good, basic shift style, and I love both the purple and coral colour.
I ended up ordering the purple one.

J Crew V-neck Wool Crepe dress
Has anyone got this dress? Any reviews or thoughts? Hope it's not awful. I'm hoping it's not quite as short on my 158cm frame.... although I'd probably wear it with opaque tights so it wouldn't matter too much. Plus my job isn't one that requires a particularly conservative style of dress. In fact, I could probably rock up in a vinyl mini and no-one would notice (well, students might!)

Nice orange version

I've also been perving this dress, since Gigi reviewed it here
J Crew Multistripe dress

I won't be ordering this, though, unless it's reduced quite heavily.
Have you succumbed to any sale or new items?

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Gigi's Gone Shopping: Fab giveaway

The fabulous Gigi from Gigi's gone shopping is having a giveaway!

for US residents, there's a gorgeous J Crew necklace:

Gigi's Gone Shopping: Don't worry...I gotchu, too.

For us non US peeps, there's a $15 J Crew gift card - yay!

Gigi's Gone Shopping: Like little clams.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I must be going crazy... J Crew wants

Yet more new items for Spring on the J Crew site. I'm like a moth drawn to a light... unable to stay away even though I may get burnt.

Here are some things that caught my eye. It's almost Autumn here, so I have no need of new summer raiment. Nonetheless, I managed to find goods to the value of almost 2K to buy. I really must be totally Mad. Or bored. Probably both.

Colour mix statement necklace $228
This necklace looks nice. I so rarely wear jewellery that there is absolutely no point in me even considering this. My friends would all think I was bonkers, too, if I rocked up wearing it. Still, there's something about it that makes my silly mesial prefrontal cortex go "want!"

Colour mix bracelet $135

This would go so well with the above. Want!

beach ball bracelet
This bracelet makes me hungry just looking at it. Not sure why, as it's supposed to look like a beach ball.

Sparkle Dot dress $245
I'm a bit worried about this girl's posture. Perhaps the weight of the knowledge that this dress is overpriced is causing her to collapse?

Collection Crepe Shift $383.50
I love the colour and shape of this dress - it's the sort of thing I would definitely wear a lot. However, for this price I would expect a wool or silk/wool mix. But no! it's Triacetate/Poly! Yuck! I can just imagine the foulness on a sweaty day. What a disappointment!

Tippi sweater in Pop Art $130
I really love this. Someone talk me down.

Collection Cashmere in multistripe $328
This is also lovely. But very $$$

Collection cashmere in candy stripe $328
I think this would look great, but probably not on me. I still love it though.

What are your thoughts on the new stuff over at J Crew? Do you have any lusts?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday outfit

My youngest offspring is turning 8 this week, so today we had a small party with this cake (made my my wonderful mum). You can see her sandal in the pic...

The new J Crew op art tee got an airing, as did the boyfriend sweater. As you can see in the last pic, crutch use can lead to an annoying riding up of tops. Luckily I'm wearing a cami underneath so you can't see my gut.

The pants are Isabel Marant cords with handy ankle zips, so they can be rolled up to accommodate the boot.

What are you doing this weekend?

Friday, March 15, 2013


Tonight we're off out for dinner at an old friend's house. As usual, the clothing conundrum has reared its head. I'm usually far more decisive about my outfits, but the crutch and boot make a lot of sartorial choices impossible. Add to this the need to wear a 'sensible' shoe and it's a recipe for prevarication.
This is a contender:

Acne dress (present from J) - looks much better with pumps, obviously, but makes me feel a touch glam anyway. 

Wolford Athens top with J Crew clover tweed skirt - a touch matronly with the boot.

DVF shirt dress. 
Love this, but the crutches really need a tight fitting top, otherwise everything looks frumpy and pulled up.

Wolford top, J Crew pixilated houndstooth skirt.
I think this is the winner for tonight. I'll wear it with a Nike runner (oh the glamour!), a J Crew Jackie cardi in bright red, and a black bangle.

Have I mentioned how much I'm looking forward to being able to walk/stand/move again?
Only 13 more days to go!

Cheers and have a good weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

J Crew Sterling skirt

My penultimate J Crew purchase for this season has just arrived!
I snapped this up late at night last week when it appeared briefly on the site. Inspired by JScrewed, Beach Chic Style and Bourbon & Pearls (via Gigi's gone Shopping) I hit the order button without too much thought for whether or not it would fit.

Happily, it fits perfectly. In fact, I think it might be my New Favourite Skirt. It's such a vivid shade of jadey turquoise, such a perfect slight A line shape.... Now all I need is two functioning legs and some cooler weather and I will truly rock this skirt!
Note the lovely grosgrain facings on the waistband! If only it were lined in silk!

J Crew Sterling skirt. Size 00P. Colour Retro Jade.
Styled here with a J Crew vintage tee in navy and a hospital crutch.

As an aside, I still find it bizarre that I take a 00 in J Crew. Really slim females must be totally sized out of a lot of clothes these days due to vanity sizing. I have a couple of 'vintage' pieces that show just how mad sizing has become these days. As an example: a Jean Muir pea coat from the late 70s I'd guess. It's a UK size 12 and fits me fine after a bit of bust and arm slimming.

On my reading list

The paradoxical luxury/tedium of enforced house-arrest since ankle surgery has given me lots of time to read (and shop online and start a blog).
Back in the days before children and online shopping, I used to read far, far more than I do now. It always amazes me how much time spare time I had, even when the children were little. Now they are school age they seem to take up far more time than when they were under 5.

Since surgery, I've read more than I have in ages. A book that annoyed me intensely was Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan. I found his female character very unbelievable. So much so that I dumped it and decided to have a break from fiction. I have a low tolerance of poor character development, so sometimes it's safer if I stick to reading journals and non-fiction.

I've just finished this book:

I really enjoyed it. I have a bit of a train fetish - spent a lot of time travelling around Europe and India by train in my 20s and early 30s. The author is a British journalist with Indian parents who returns to her roots and travels around India. Although it's not quite as packed with adventure as some travel books, I enjoyed her focus on the journey aspect of her travels rather than the places.

I love Christopher Hitchens. He was/is on my fantasy dinner party guest list. I heard him speak in 2010 and he was an amazingly inspirational man. This book was written when he was diagnosed with cancer, and is a truly wonderful read.

William Dalrymple is another of my favourite authors. He has written extensively about India and the Middle East (Check out 'City of Djinns', 'The age of Kali', 'In Xanadu', 'White Mughals' and 'The last Mughal'). He's a historian and travel writer who manages to make history super relevant and engaging. This is his most recent book about the first Afghan war in the mid 19th Century. I'm about to start this.

For a bit of escapism, I love a bit of Scandinavian Crime. I'm totally addicted to Danish crime on TV (The Bridge, The Killing, Unit One and The Eagle), and the Wallander thrillers get my vote of approval, too.

What are your favourite reads? Do you get impatient with bad characterisation in Fiction?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Shoe arrival

My much longed-for bargain Fendi shoes have arrived and I am v v v v happy with them. Of course I can only try on one of them at the moment (and won't even risk trying to wear them with crutches. It's running shoe only if I walk at the moment)

I can't wait to wear them:

Sunday, March 10, 2013

1 More Shopping Blog: Spring 2013 Giveaway

The lovely Rose from 1 more shopping blog is having a giveaway! Visit her blog here:

1 More Shopping Blog: Spring 2013 Giveaway

New arrivals from J Crew!

Just as I was about to start a Skype meeting this morning, the DHL man arrived with lots of goodies!
From J Crew: Pixilated Houndstooth skirt, Pop Art tee, Neon Fringe necklace and Wool Flannel Boyfriend jacket.
From Barneys: Fendi shoes (Yay!)

I'll review the shoes another day, but thought I'd review the J Crew items today.
I should apologise, however, for the generally rubbish pics and poor styling. I've had ankle surgery recently, so am in a cast and on crutches. It's virtually impossible to take decent photos on crutches, and the boot/cast makes decent footwear impossible. Once the foot is back in action at the end of March/beginning of April I will endeavour to up my sartorial and photographic game. In the meantime, you can enjoy slightly blurry pics taken in my bathroom at strange angles!

First up, the skirt. I got this in my usual JC size, 00P. It's a good fit, although there's no room for a big dinner! I'll certainly need to keep my yoga practise going over the winter to ensure this fits!
Measurements are 24" around the waist, 18.5" long. I'm about  158 cm or 5'2" ish, so it's a good length on me, although I could perhaps have gone with the regular 00 for a bit of extra length and gut-room!
I'm wearing it here with a selection of new arrivals.
Once I'm walking again, I'd wear it with some orange sandals or tan wedges and a navy shirt or tee. In winter, I'll be wearing it with tan boots and sweaters in various shades of blue. I quite like it with the purple jacket, although I think it will look better with my black leather motorbike jacket.
As you can see, it's a beautiful colour. The fabric is definitely going to pull, though... But, I love it so will put up with that.
Next, the pop art tee. This is an xxs, and I love the fit and design. It's quite short, but so am I, so it's not a problem. I can see this being worn with jeans and black pants. The linen is lovely and it's not too sheer. I've got a black cami under it in these pics.
Next, the neon fringe necklace. This is very neon! It's a bit bling for me, but I will keep it to add a bit of drama to dark outfits. I got this for a good price, but would have been cross if I'd paid full-price as it's a bit light.
Finally, the boyfriend jacket (inspired by the lovely Rynetta). I love this! I got in in 00 Regular, and was a bit worried that the sleeves would be too long. However, it's perfect, and I think the petite might have been too short in the sleeves. The fabric is a perfect weight for Sydney Autumn and warmer winter days. My only slight issue is the buttons. I'll probably change them as they are a bit cheap looking to me.

Jacket, necklace and skirt, J Crew. Cami, Marks & Spencer:

Hmm. A bit too much methinks, although the J Crew stylists would be proud of me:

close up of the fabric:

Neon Fringe necklace. Very bling indeed!

The crutch really adds a certain glamour:

An over-abundance of J Crew: