Friday, February 26, 2010

Style... fashion.. or is it just comfortable?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about style?... fashion? ... what suits?.. lately.

This thinking has been prompted by some real bloopers of outfits that I know lovely bloggers have left lovely comments about but basically something is wrong.. the style ,fabric, colour doesn't suit me. It doesn't suit my lifestyle.. The proof is in the pudding - they don't get worn and end up in the Vinnies bag. That, I think is the hardest part of sewing for yourself, choosing fabric AND pattern all to match YOU and your LIFESTYLE!

Plus you don't want to be boring - you must have read Peter's post about this!

So, I have been throwing out clothes, reading style books - this is the one I have enjoyed most recently. (note - this started before reading Peter's post - it is a longer term issue - nothing to do with Peter's post - it was just very timely!)

As part of this exercise I thought I would (as some other bloggers have done) log my clothes for a week (a 5-day week in this case, as I got 2 days off work, so I figured it gave a representation of my week)..


Work day...Yeah! all sewn by me - but interestingly this is the first time I have actually worn the top - I posted a picture of me wearing it back in May 2008! (boy! - have I changed since then - the gym work is paying off!)

I don't really know why I didn't wear it - I think mainly I didn't know what to wear it with!
I am actually a size smaller since I made this, but it doesn't really matter with this kind of loose top. I have paired it with a Burda skirt that, when I made, I worried I might not wear as it looked like a school uniform skirt, but it is comfortable (esp. with the tab inside the zip), easy to wear and goes with a surprising amount of things. The belt is purchased (Rivers - bargain $10) and the shoes are 'granny' - no offence to grannies but they are designed to be worn with orthotics as I have been told I am getting 'old' and wearing heels is why my feet have been burning at night so I need to be 'sensible' now! - so sensible I am (well, some of the time!)


.. a day at home - pick the Queenslander who grew up in Mt Isa - no shoes at home (no matter what the podiatrist tells me I should do). A day at home to sew - not a great look, but a step up from tracky daks!

Purchased top, denim skirt is my adaptation of a Burda pattern. (It was a really hot day too - 31C - 87.8F)


A day at work - I look very snooty here but don't mean to - I think I am just vain about showing my jowly neck so this is the photo I end up with! A Hot Patterns skirt - love the style, love the fabric - hate the sticking into my back clip (before I learnt to do a nice tab).
Wearing my black crochet cuff (love it), also my bargain Italian leather shoes down from $340 to $100( at a closing down sale) - sensible too!!


A day off - gym for an hour and a half - no photo of that (thank goodness!) - you don't need to see me sweaty and red-faced!

Then off to a lovely day with sewing guild buddies. What a lovely lot - they complimented me on wearing the teal top - said it brought the color of my eyes out - they are lovely and are trying hard to point me in the direction of the right colours for me as they know I am struggling with this a bit! I had a gorgeous day - btw outfit was worn with my orange cuff! Teal top purchased on sale from my favorite boutique - City to Outback & Jeans from Colorado and my newest secret buy! (plus another pair of *cringe* granny shoes).


Another day at work (after gym, of course!). Hot Patterns pant and two tops one Cue (the under-singlet top) and the other bought at DFO. Bag - Guess (another DFO buy) and shoes are my favorite (wide fit) Van Eli brand.

These pants are really hard to match to shoes. The colour of the fabric was called 'tobacco' but it seems to be a cross between grey and brown and brown shoes don't seem to go and black shoes don't work and I will never own a pair of grey shoes so...


...any comments? I think I could accessorise more??? The weather is too hot to layer any more layers on .. ... any clues?? ...boring???

I seem to favor Burda clothes and Hot patterns from all the things I have made - they just seem to fit me better - I am Burda woman - in my dreams!! but I am definitely European in my origin so maybe that is why the fit works for me??

On a side note ...Lulu caught looking totally relaxed..


  1. I think all of the outfits look classy and comfortable, but of all the photos I love the colors on you in the outfit on Friday. That pink really flatters.

  2. Well, since you have asked. Please feel free to ignore.

    I think that you have a very simple clean style--I like it! You appear to like interesting necklines--you might want to experiment with a necklace. I would try simple and large 'statement' type pendants on a simple chain or collar. Or perhaps wearing earrings. I'm thinking of accessories to draw attention to your face.

    My other suggestion is that you might want to play around with hair (gel or mousse to get a little more vertical volume) and makeup --nothing outrageous or overdone, but perhaps a simple lipcolor and eyeliner or mascara. I started wearing mascara and eyeliner (and lip balm or gloss as part of my go-to-work routine and it really makes a difference.

    Great job regarding going to the gym--you are an inspiration to us all!

    Rose in SV

  3. What I notice is that you seem to have really nailed proportion - all the tops and bottoms seem to relate to each other in terms of scale.

    You are also an adventurous sewer which I admire and of course you are in great shape which means you can really wear fitted clothes or clingy/drapey stretch without unsightly bulges.

    Like you I read style books all the time but I mostly ignore them because I just want to do things MY way. Still it's helpful to know what to bear in mind when making choices, but no-one wants to be a slave to a set of rules - we'd all the same, day in day out!

    I have been reading "colour me younger" which is the next generation of the "wear your colours" mantra. My guess looking at what you've made is that you could be a "warm" - with apricots , olive oatmeal, peach terracotta etc. I'm basing that on how Friday's top seems to blend so harmoniously with your colouring.

    Enjoy what you make, you look great.

  4. I agree with Mary Nanna, style books can be helpful, but keeping to rules all the time would be deadly dull. I also think that most of those books do not work in QLD, it is just too hot for all those layers.
    You look trim and terrific, your clothes are in proportion to you and each other and a good shape for your body.You look very professional in your work clothes, and relaxed in your casual clothes. If I saw you on the street I would notice your clothes because you look very put together and smart. I like the deeper colours on you, like the teal, but that is probably my fondness for deep colours, you look lovely in the peach too. I like the soft neck tops on you.

  5. I always enjoy your sewing projects. Sewing is so time consuming, that we need to get the fabric, colour and style right before we begin cutting.I hesitate to comment, in case that implies that I might know what I am talking about, but (my opinion only) I think your look best when you wear more colour in the top half (eg teal top in this post). Paler colours seem to wash you out, at least on the computer monitor. I find it hard to pick colours from those style books, but the Trinny and Susannah "what you wear can change your life" is a bit simpler because it only has 3 groups - cool and bright, warm and mid tones.

  6. I've been reading style books lately as well, and I typed up a list of styles that look good/avoid and keep that in my sewing room (where I can constantly see it!) I'm trying to stick to that list, rather than "fashion".

    I've started getting my eyelashes dyed professionally/eyebrows done - makes a huge difference!

    You look great - the gym work is really paying off! - Cat1

  7. Re shoes: I've started wearing shoes from an Australian company called "Planet Shoes" - they are available from David Jones/Myers. They have a web site. Really comfortable and I think they are stylish! - Cat1

  8. Sue, IMHO it's really hard to be "stylish" in an Australian summer for those of us with a fair complexion. I myself really struggle with it.

    I think you look great. My only suggestion would be accessories. IMHO it's the one thing lacking from all the outfits.

    I do agree with others about colour. I always feel a connection with you because we have the same fair complexion.

    I was told by an image consultant that fair complexion people look best in medium contrast colours. No black, white, bright colours (high contrast) because they overpower, and no pale or beige/natural colours (low contrast) because they wash us out.

    Of course any style advice is far easier to say than do. Most days it's more about what's clean. LOL!

  9. P.S. I forgot to say. :) Re the Friday pants, I have several bottoms in that same colour. For eons I struggled to find the right colour shoes too then this summer I found "pewter" coloured shoes. Pewter is a cross between a grey and a brown, plus the metallic colour picks up the fabric colour. They work well. HTH

  10. Your style is great! You look so good! I'm hoping that my new healthy lifestyle will pay off like yours has.

  11. what strikes me about your week is that you didn't wear any of the great dresses you've made lately. That border print dress is so striking that would have pepped up your day for sure. That said, the teal cowl neck top + jeans combo looks great


Love to hear what you think...