Friday, January 27, 2017

A New You...Shopping your Wardrobe and Thrifting for basics!

Hello! How are you all? I've finished my first week of my New You challenge on a high note.
In assessing my body shape (Petite Plus sized Apple) and my body proportions (petite, short waisted), as well as my colour palette (cool), I've had some real revelations. Suddenly I understand why so many of my choices based upon what I 'thought' my shape was, still did not flatter my figure, age or proportions.
Fifties style dresses with gathered waistbands? No. But yes if they're flat at the waist. Ankle length maxis? I think not! Ripped comfort fit jeans? Nuh-uh. Scarves tied up around the, sadly and this is one I'm still coming to grips with as I love my scarves. But apparently I can wear them untied, and draped so that they create an illusion of length. Who knew, right? Likewise short necklaces, which I always thought drew attention to my face. Long pendants and strands are the way to go, equally to create that illusion of length. Talk about a revelation!
Yes to A-Line and pencil skirts (so long as they're just above the knee), dark coloured boot cut jeans, long earrings (think long and lean for everything for Apple shapes!), simple shaped slimline bags (you don't want to add bulk or thickness if you're an Apple), nude wedge heels to add height to my frame, nude patent pumps to lengthen the leg, black patent low wedge pumps to give a continuous look when wearing black pants, and so it goes on. I'm learning something new almost every day!
The top right photo in my collage above caused some lively debate in the French Chic Facebook group. I asked the question 'how could I adapt this look to make it more French Chic?' and the responses were wide and varied, shall we say ;-)
The second photo was considered acceptable, if a bit casual, and the third was eventually voted the ideal, although many commented that they wouldn't wear white jeans simply for practical reasons.
So armed with this information, and having decluttered my wardrobe, discarding anything that did not fit my new ideal self, I had a re-think.
My own closet yielded a pair of black bootcut jeans that fit the idea perfectly, but I needed a few other items. Most of my bags needed an update not because they were old, but just because they needed a clean, or did not fit my idea of 'neat and structured'. Thankfully they were almost all thrifted, so I did not fear re-donating them. I think the most expensive one was $8!
A trip to my favourite thrift store rewarded me with a slimline tan leather shoulder bag, a long strand of faux pearls (see the real ones I rewarded myself with a few months later, here), a pair of one carat sized cubic zirconia studs, a pair of nude patent medium heels, and a pair of black patent wedge heels (low). After my $20 loyalty discount, that lovely haul set me back just $17!
A quick venture into the local department store then saw me sourcing a light cotton white blouse, with fine blue pinstripes for just $15, and a lovely Ponti black blazer that is the perfect length for petite me, for $25. I love pinstripes. They are slimming and just look classy, I think.
So a total spend of just $57, and I have several new classic basics on which to build my new French Chic self.
How was your week? Did you follow your Self Care Maintenance Plan? Did you add something special to it? Have you had a wardrobe re-think based upon your new found knowledge of your own body type and proportions? It's fun, isn't it?
Here's my beauty tip for the week.
Now this is one that I first saw on a Vogue forum, a few years ago. My friend Annabel at The Bluebirds are Nesting swears by it, and I think it's a winner.
Note: Do not use this if you are allergic or sensitive to Aspirin or Salicyclic Acid.
Aspirin Mask
Crush 2-4 aspirin finely, and mix with about 2 teaspoons of water. Apply this to cleansed skin, and leave to dry. Once it's dried, dampen with your fingertips, rub gently to exfoliate, and rinse off. Now this works because Aspirin is basically Salicylic Acid, and that is the primary ingredient in those expensive BHA facial peels. It sloughs the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin, revealing a soft smooth complexion beneath. Finish with your favourite moisturiser and enjoy! This can be a little drying if you overdo it, so we ladies with Sensitive Dry skin, go easy, okay?
Have a great weekend everyone!


  1. The aspirin facial is a classic! It actually dissolves blackheads... acid sounds a bit drastic but this is what acne treatments are made of also.
    Well I cannot wear short necklaces either. We have similarities I think... I need things that lengthen not shorten. I was taught a trick that your necklace should end where you want to draw attention... for me my thinnest bit is under my bust line so thats where my pendant should sit. This is very effective. One item makes you look slimmer!
    I have a routine and I added the angels on bare skin cleanser that I made... it is really nice! I have tried it as a mask too since it dries then add a little water and gently work it around and wow its good! I would say exfoliation is the number one thing.... basically.
    I used to follow a blogger who was good on stye etc and she taught me one vital thing... cheaper clothes in classic colours i.e. black, white, navy, camel can look expensive. Cheaper clothes in prints and bright colours usually look cheap. I think this is true. Classic things look expensive whether they are or not. Thats my 2c worth! lol
    Have a lovely weekend! Love

    1. Hi Annabel, yes as I said, the mask is a real winner! Interesting that we are similar. I think similar shapes and colouring in many ways? Although I think you are a bit more slender than I am! That's a good tip on having the necklaces finish at the point where you want to draw attention. I like it and it makes a lot of sense. That Angels on Bare Skin cleanser from Lush just smells divine, and even when I made my own a few years ago, I couldn't get the scent right. Maybe you've had more luck. I love this advice on cheaper clothing in dark colours too. So long as they are treated gently, you can still get many years of good wear from them. I don't spin any washing for too long, and I always wash on the Gentle cycle. Everything is hung on hangers straight from the washer, and very rarely do I need to iron. I have a few inexpensive basics that I've had many years of pleasurable wear from, jut by treating them with gentle respect. Have a lovely weekend, and thankyou! Love, Mimi xxx

    2. Annabel, can you share your recipe for making your angels on bare skin cleanser? Thanks!

  2. Hi Mimi,
    Years ago my Dr got me to crush asprin in my facecream and use this on my face and neckline. This was to assist my very badly sun damaged skin to lighten and smooth out. I had forgotten about this until I read your post.
    I just want to add a different point of view to the cheap clothing in classic neutrals. If I wear all over black, beige or even navy I look so washed out. I know now that this is because my colour type is Clear. Clear colour types look best in bright hues and washed out in neutrals. Whenever I have been asked my colour type I have always answered rainbow. I now know this is what suits me. Thanks for this Mimi. So classic styles for me need to be bright.
    I have long legs and a short body, along with being a plus sized pear shape. I need to add details like necklaces and scarves above the bust. Bluey gave me a beautiful diamond short necklace a few years ago. This is my favourite and fits my body profile.
    My skirt hemlines can have detail and need to be below the knee. My shirts need to be empire rather than waisted and finish at the top of my hip.
    When I had done my body shape and proportion analysis I went though my sewing patterns. All my favourite patterns fit my body style.
    My wardrobe has a lot that fits with my personal body style and colour but it also has a lot that does not. My favourite summer shapeless dresses do not fit but I am keeping them. I keep them as the heat means shapeless cotton is the coolest to wear. I change when I go to the shops.
    I did purchase two pairs of leather sandals this week. I now wear my thongs to the beach only, and sandals the rest of the time.
    I have had a lot of fun with this Mimi. I'm looking forward to the next instalment. Time to go and find the aspirin.

    1. Dear Jane, hi and how are you? Yes funny you should mention about crushing the aspirin into face cream as this was also suggested to my disabled son a couple of years ago, to relieve ingrown facial stubble. It worked a treat on that too as it keeps the pores clear of dead skin cells and stops the hair (more common in curly haired men as the hair curls of course)retreating back into the follicle. Now this is interesting on the neutrals debate. I did not know of a category of colour palette named 'Clear', although now that you've said it, it makes perfect sense. I do know that I have a friend who looks spectacular in every bright and crisp colour of the rainbow, which I might add, she frequently wears all at once, and yet she always looks chic and fabulous from the top of her Hermes scarves to the tip of her Chanel shoes, bless her! Bluey must be one lovely man to choose to gift you a diamond necklace. How gorgeous, and why wouldn't you wear that as often as possible! I'm interested in your profile, which is similar and yet subtly different to mine, even though we are both short waisted and long legged. The little tweaks for an Apple shape over a Pear shape are what makes us look well put together, I've learned. You have done so much and now I see you've done your first Jamberry manicure too! Bravo! You'll be converted! Have a lovely weekend. Love, Mimi xxx

  3. My primary aim for the next couple of weeks is to feel normal again.
    Husband & I both ended a horrid bout with pneumonia and my body is soooo tired. Something as simple as taking a shower is causing me to rest!! However, that said, I have tried to do some easy little things to feel better. I swear that all the meds I was taking our leaching out of my body in my skin and hair. Everything feels yucky. So, I did a good sloughing of the skin and soaked myself in my thickest cream. I've also done my feet daily and then put on some thick cotton socks. I have terribly dry frizzy hair so when I wash it, I've been putting old fashioned curlers in to give it some waves. Looks much better! And yes, I take them out before my dear gets home lol. I've also been wearing some long denim skirts and pretty shirts around the house. No sweats & tshirts except for cleaning time. I feel nice wearing something pretty.

    1. Debby, I apologise that it's taken me so long to respond to you here. Busy times! First of all, you poor things! I hope you're well and truly bursting with health again by now. And yes, it's worth the little time and effort it takes, to do what you can to feel good about self, even when you're sick. The simplest things like washing your hair (or dry shampoo if that's out of the question), fresh pyjamas or comfortable clothing, warm socks and so on, do wonders. Oh the curlers! Aren't they still the best things? I'm glad you're not into the sweats and shirts around the house. It's so demoralising I think. Love, Mimi xxx

  4. Hi Mimi, I have just scrolled down and read the last few posts that I have missed and I love your ideas and inspiration. It is sometimes hard to find what looks good on us, especially with some of the style offerings in the stores these days. I love your 'French Look' - so chic. I have a striped Tee and a black blazer and a gold scarf, so I am going to try this. I'm sure my two daughters will be pleasantly surprised! I will have to try the aspirin facial - thanks for the tip! I am trying to spend a little time outside every day to get some fresh air and exercise and that has helped my outlook considerably. I am short, too, but more of a 'pear', so have to be careful of what I wear. I just bought a vintage pattern of a little collared jacket with a small peplum and straight skirt that I hope to make up soon. I find I have to sew or alter most everything I wear. Looking forward to following along on your journey. xx Karen

    1. Karen, yes, it's so difficult I think, especially for those of us who have experienced significant body changes since we were young. I think you would look super cute in that look with the striped top, blazer and gold scarf. I hope you gave it a whirl! Ahhhh...vintage patterns are a special passion of mine. I swear the fit is better. Do you find that too? Everything these days is made or sized, on an androgynous figure! Love, Mimi xxx

  5. Mimi, I am learning so much from these posts! Thank you for doing this!

    1. Patsi, I'm thrilled to hear it! Love, Mimi xxx

  6. Classic style does seem to look classiest. I noticed during the recent inauguration events here in the US that the ladies tended to stick to classic styles and they looked lovely.
    And thanks for sharing the aspirin trick!
    Blessings, Leigh

    1. Leigh, spot on. Style endures, fashion fades :) Mimi xxx


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