Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A New You....Get Fussy!

If I've learned nothing else this year from The French Chic Academy, I've learned to be Fussy. To be Particular. To CARE.
All of the elements of French Chic, like dressing for your shape, using optical illusion to trick the eye into seeing you more slender, taller, healthier and so on, are really just about being fussy, particular and above all CARING about your appearance.
For many long years, perhaps ever since I embraced full time Motherhood and child rearing, some 20 years ago (which I've truly loved and valued), I've been putting myself second. That's what Mums do, right? That's certainly what my Mum did, and hats off to the New Age Mums who don't see why that should be the case now. I embraced that idea with enthusiasm.
The children still at home, my disabled son, and my only daughter, took the lions share of my time, energy, and effort, and it was only when we secured independent living accommodation and funding for my son to live an Adult life like his brothers do, that things started to change. That was 7 1/2 years ago, and suddenly my days no longer consisted of endless carer tasks necessary for a totally physically dependent family member. Suddenly I could paint my nails knowing that a manicure would last longer than a day, I could wear nicer clothes, knowing I wouldn't be hoisting my son into or out of his wheelchair. I could show off my pretty jewellery without having to worry whether it would scratch him in sensitive places or accidentally fall down the loo when I was toileting him. A whole new world, right?
Not. Quite.
The habit of wearing flowing shirts and leggings or capri pants for ease of movement as a Primary Carer, was hard to break.
Mostly I dressed like these two pictures. A standard oversized denim jacket being my concession to fashion, when needs arose.

Enter the impending finalising of my youngest child, and only daughters schooling in just 11 short days, and the realisation late last year, that I now had time to get my act together and start behaving like the glam girl I once was. Oh the joy...and the fear!
Letting go of the me that I was comfortable with, was daunting. I didn't know where to start. I floundered around for a while, trying to work out whether I should go Arty Farty Nanna, or Glam Gran, not really knowing what either of those would entail. Then I found my Angel, Marie-Anne Lecouer. Her advice didn't come cheap, but then many things worth having shouldn't be measured only in financial terms. I bit the bullet and leapt in to The French Chic Academy with both feet, soaking up the knowledge like a sponge, and reinventing myself.
I went from this last December... this just this week, 10 months later...
... and there's no turning back!
I still have a way to go. I've lost 5kgs (12lbs) and several centimetres from my petite 163cm (5'3") frame, and I still want to lose at least another 5kgs. But I have made huge leaps and bounds, even weight loss aside.
The sheer thrill of wearing a dress that sits above the knee, heels, and a flattering hairstyle, is motivation enough to edge me ever closer to my goal weight.
But note that Marie-Anne Lecouers advice was NOT to lose weight to look like a French woman. Her advice, plain and simple is to know your body shape and dress accordingly. In short, Get Fussy!
One of the things that had to go, was my beloved denim jacket. Sturdiness and versatility aside, it just wasn't flattering on my newly discovered Petite Plus Apple shape. Too boxy. The wrong colour. Too masculine. I needed the versatility of a traditional Jeans Jacket, with a more feminine edge.
So, this is the bit where, for perhaps the 150th time this year, I Got Fussy.
Here are the details I was searching for in my new Denim (Jeans) Jacket:
Dark colour as dark colours help to minimise body faults
Minimal detailing to assist in a streamlined look
No collar to echo a more Chanel style jacket
Three quarter sleeves to show off dainty wrists
Hip length to elongate a petite frame
Nipped in shape to avoid a boxy look
You'd think that would be easy, right?
I found this one, but it had too much going on. In fact upon closer inspection, I don't think it's even a denim jacket. It looks like velvet. And I don't have the figure of a 20 year old Asian woman, more's the pity.

This one showed up in an eBay search and was almost right...collarless, minimal detailing, dark wash, and I was tempted. But I chose to Be Fussy, and noted the boxy shape, and the full length sleeves. Also it just looked cheap, which is definitely a look to avoid!

 This one was close. But still no cigar, as the saying goes. Too boxy. Be Fussy, remember!
These two ticked all the boxes, but although hip length on these sweet young things, were more likely to be up around the armpit on me. Be Fussy, be careful, be choosy.
This one looked like a winner, but it was the wrong colour. I wanted dark wash, remember. Be Fussy.

This one looked great, until I realised it had long sleeves. Yes I could roll them up, but that's not a streamlined look either. I wanted a neat streamlined appearance. Be Fussy.
I gave up looking online. I looked in my wardrobe instead. I had this mad idea that I could refashion the Jeans Jacket I already had, into what I actually wanted.
Lo and behold, hiding in the depths of what I laughingly call the Winter Section of my wardrobe, I found this little gem...
Well I'll be. I purchased this in the end of season sales a few years ago, and had worn it no more than a handful of times. Why? Because I didn't know how to style it! I was wearing it with jeans and feeling a bit like a remnant of the 60s Hippie movement (yes I lived through that era, albeit as a child). I should have been wearing it with pencil skirts, and fit and flare frocks and heels! Dang...who knew, right? There's something to having a bit of knowledge, I tell you!
Here it is, with my new lemon print Fit and Flare dress and heels...
So there it was. And for a measly ten bucks, a few years ago. Hiding at the back of my own closet, unworn, and unloved. A wardrobe staple, which you can be certain I'll now make good use of.
All because I was Being Fussy.
When I shop now, whether for a Jeans Jacket, or a pair of Nude Heels, I have a list of the details I want. And I stick to my list. Close enough is NOT good enough. Not any more. I've been around long enough to know that if I just exercise some patience, the right thing will come to me. Or it will magically appear in the back of my wardrobe.
Hmmmm...maybe I wasn't all clueless after all. Maybe I just needed a push in the right direction.
What about you? Have I inspired you to Get Fussy?


  1. Gorgeous!!! I am in the midst of raising my family as well, and with a full time job and lengthy commute, I find myself putting all needs before my own. Thanks for the reminder that just having the right pieces makes it that much easier to be put together when everything else in life is crazy!

  2. How funny that it was in that wardrobe all the time. Definitely pays to have a good look through before committing to buying something. I've had a similar experience. Great reminder. Janiebabe

  3. Firstly, congratulations on your journey. It couldn't have been easy at all . As for fussiness, I think I am and that is why I hate clothes shopping. I really do not like to go shopping. I much prefer the right thing to find me when I am not looking for it. If I looked I know that I wouldn't find it.


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