Friday, February 9, 2018

Authentically You...Try something new...

I know I'm behind the times. I only just finished binge watching Mad Men. Sorry.
For so long I wondered what the fuss was about.
Now I know.
The dresses. Sigh.
The shoes...swoon.
That hair...envy, envy.
I've always loved the era of the 50s and 60s for fashion. All those pretty dresses. And shoes. And scarves. And big hair. And petticoats. And jewellery.
People cared about how they looked.
And don't give me all that Stepford wife codswallop. I'm not talking about Female Emancipation or lack thereof.
Just that People. Looked. Nice.
Mostly these days, a look like this one below, is considered After Five exclusively. Nobody would dream of wearing this day in, day out.
For at least half of my life, I've bemoaned the passing of that era when women had the nouse to dress up every day.
Now my own family is grown, and we are less busy, I realise that I simply didn't have time to dress up every day for all those years. Not to stay at home. It's a commitment folks. Big time.
When you dress for a career, you're sort of on auto pilot. You wear the same things, with the same accessories, and you get into a nice little routine. Ditto, you don't have sticky fingers, and all manner of bodily fluids to deal with as I have for at least 31 of the past 38 years worth of child rearing, which included raising a totally physically dependant disabled son.
It makes a difference.
So now I have time for me. I've educated myself. I've read. I've experimented.
I've taken on board the wonderful advice from Marie-Anne Lecouer at The French Chic Academy. I've had a year of doing the whole French Chic pared down look. I liked it a lot. I especially like it in Winter when those darker colours, monochromatic schemes and minimalist accessories really work.
But here in the Sub-Tropics, the warmer weather brings new challenges. Especially if you're plus sized and a bit lumpy like I am.
Thankfully Marie-Anne Lecouer deals with how to make prints work for you, and how to disguise a big tummy. And make the most of your better attributes. Really useful stuff.
So having admired the inimitable Christina Hendricks as Joan on Mad Men, and armed with my newfound knowledge on adapting styles to suit my Apple shape, I've been discovering a new Warm Weather Me.
You can do it too.
Rule for Apple shapes...we generally have a generous bustline, slender arms and good legs. Our tummy region is the problem, but you know what? It's all about smoke and mirrors. It's about enhancing our...assets...which in turn, minimises our less desirable features.
Christina has great...assets. She uses them to her advantage.

My assets are not as impressive. But as per Marie-Anne's advice, I can still utilise a scooped or V neckline, and pretty detailing to draw the attention to my face and shoulders, rather than have everyone notice my blobby tum.
Colour and detailing matter too. Christinas dress above, is heavily bejewelled to cleverly draw the eye to her face.
For me, it's a bright colour in my dress, that makes the eyes pop, and a bright lipstick to assist.
Ahhh..the fit and flare dress. How many long years have I wanted to wear these. And how many times did I try them on, but without a savvy stylist to help me accessorise, simply inwardly wept, and decided I could not wear them and look good.
The secret?
Again, it's in the detail.
Look above at Adele. She displays a wide or detailed neckline. Slim fitting sleeves. A full skirt to balance her silhouette. Generous chest and generous hemline gives a faux hourglass shape.
Well, I'll be darned. I can do that.
Scooped neckline above.
Slim fitting cropped cardi that creates a column of colour centre front, magically slenderises.
Slim fitting sleeves make arms look trim and youthful.
Flouncy skirt that finishes just below the knee, and shoes with a low vamp (the top of the shoe) complete the long and lean trick to the onlooker.
Metallic dots on the shoes, echo the dots on the dress, pulling the look together.

Look here at Melissa McCarthy.
Now this would be an ensemble that I'd admire on her, but never would imagine in a million years on myself.
But again....look closer.
This works because:
The colour scheme is fairly monochromatic.
The print in the skirt draws the attention to slim ankles and pretty shoes.
The skirt does not sit ON the waist. It has a wide waistband, sitting ABOVE her natural waist, creating an almost Empire Line effect.
The skirt is not gathered. It's bias cut, giving volume at the hemline, without creating volume at the waist where you least want it.
The top has a V neck, tricking you into seeing long and lean.
It's skin coloured which sort of fools the eye into diminishing a large bustline.
The top also has a pussy bow neck trim, which is NOT tied into a bow, adding volume to the neckline, but rather left long and loose, giving a centre line of focus, and again, adding to a long and lean effect.
Her bird cage shoes, not usually recommended for Apple shapes as they cut our legs off at the ankle, are a nude colour, so she gets away with looking on trend and taller than she actually is.
Well, dang.
I reckon we can do that as well.
I'm working on that one now.
What do you think?
Are you ready to take the plunge and try something new?
Are you going to use these tips to find a gorgeous new self?
I'd love to hear from you.
Send photos to if you'd like to be featured.


  1. You're ahead of me Mimi. I have never seen Mad Men but will follow your lead and watch it for the fashion if for nothing else. I've just finished the second series of The Crown and seriously considering a double strand of pearls featured in most episodes being worn by the Queen as part of her day

    Mmm, well I'm putting a little more effort in these days and today I received the second compliment on a bracelet I bought from a church thrift stall. I bought it because I wanted to support the stall and the lovely ladies who run it. Talk about style - those elderly ladies look a million dollars. The bracelet has a mother of pearl pattern and apparently it's quite eye catching,thus the compliments. I'm liking it a lot more now and very pleased that I bought it. The Trinny and Susannah book discusses accessories and how these little things make an impact. So true it seems.

    I didn't realise that it was Melissa McCarthy in that last photo. She looks really good and that colour looks great on her.

    The hot pink colour looks great on you too.

  2. The Marvelous Mrs. Maizel has lovely color combinations and classic 1950s styles that treat the eye and inspire. The makeup of the 1950's has always been my favorite feature as it was subtle with a pop of liner, nice brows and a bright lip which I find vastly more appealing than the current on trend look of highlighted/lowlighted nude and bland colors that make every one look quite robotic.


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx