Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Shoesday: Prostitution or Perfection?

Things have dramatically frozen over here in Adelaide, going from a lovely-in-the-sun 22 degrees (this used to be freezing in my books, which goes to show I am acclimatising - slowly) to today's hideous 17 degrees, no sun and bucketloads of rain. The remainder of the week doesn't look much better.

In anticipation of this distressing turn of events, I began researching boots over the weekend. In particular, the over-the-knee boot (also known as the OTKB in blogger talk). This is a tricky trend to pull off - firstly if you're not a supermodel with lengthy, slim-line limbs and secondly if you don't want to be confused with Julia Roberts' perfect rendition of a prostitute with a heart of gold in Pretty Woman

There are a lot of OTKB boots out there in retail-land, be it at bricks & mortar retailers or online. As they're slightly costlier than their to the knee little sister, you don't want to mess this up. Somehow, this decision seems very difficult, and one misstep could lead to complete wardrobe disaster and worst of all, I'll wear them once and banish them to the back of my wardrobe, only to hope to sell them on ebay many years hence when the trend is well and truly over. 

The first trick appears to be to wear the OTKB with a mini skirt of some kind. Pants don't seem to get a look in. I'm ok with that, as I have an aversion to wearing pants anyway (Beyonce, Lady Gaga and I have loads in common). 

Secondly, stick to black. It's safe, sexy and you'll wear it season after season.

The third trick seems to relate to where on your leg the boots finish. Some (like in the above pic) finish just scraping the top of the knee (the more common variety of OTKB), and others go nuts and slink halfway up your thigh. In that case, I suppose they are technically thigh-high boots... 


Finally, and inevitably like all items of clothing, shoes or fashion items of any kind, it really does help to be a supermodel.

What are your thoughts on this trend? Root, shoot or marry? 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Happy Monday

If you don't follow some ridiculous feed on Instagram that depicts adorable animals being adorable (animals in bow ties is particularly great) you are dead to me. #justsayin

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Good Friday

Happy Easter friends! I hope you have a lovely mini-break. I am adventuring with hubby and can't wait to see him in a few short hours.

It struck me last night as I was shopping for Easter eggs from the world's best chocolatier (Haigh's of South Australia - sorry Switzerland) that Easter is about many things - rebirth, hope etc - but it also ostensibly commemorates Christ's sacrifice for all of us - his life for our sins. And yet we celebrate by indulging in one of the great sins: gluttony. So try to keep it real with the chocolate eggs this Easter. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Royal Decree: The Hemline

Ahead of their Australia/NZ trip, Kate Middleton was apparently told in no uncertain terms by her mummy-in-law that she will be required to wear skirts that cover the knee. The new hemline order was issued apparently to mark Kate's transition from High Street girl to regal woman who is married to and mother of future heirs to the Crown.

Some would simply say the longer hems are a tad "mumsy", which Kate most certainly is not (despite actually being a mum), however I must say, I do really like the slightly longer hem.

Here are some shots of her looking regal and gorgeous on her current tour of Australia and New Zealand:

She really is lovely. On a side note, in the moments where her dress has been caught in wind gusts, we've had the opportunity to see she has the slimmest legs EVER! (Apart from all those Victoria's Secret models). How on earth did she get them?? And post baby too? Mental note to get to the bottom of this slim leg business.

Anyway, back to the hemlines. They are longer, and far more demure, and I actually find them rather appropriate - although I hate to disagree with the Queen who is now apparently the last word in fashion, but I think below the knee is just a teensy bit homely. Above or grazing the knee is better... In my humble, lowly royal subject's opinion.

The subject of hemlines came up recently with a bunch of girls as we lamented the inability to buy work dresses that reached the knee. While we all love a good mini-skirt and short shorts, there are certain times that you just need a dress that covers more than just mid-thigh (i.e. EVERY DAY at work). Yet we frequently find that the lovely dresses we'd like to wear simply don't go below mid-thigh, and if you're even remotely tall or have a long-ish torso, you can forget about raising your hands above head for fear of flashing everyone your not-so-slim thighs and your knickers.

Don't adjust your ponytail!
So while I am sad that we will no longer see shots of Kate in hot pants, I am hoping the trend for the slightly longer hemline kicks in and I can comfortably attend meetings without worrying that I'm showing too much leg (or worse).

Too short for Queeny

The cruel irony is that Kate's legs are now totally hot pants-ready.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happy Friday: Gonna Party Like It's Your Birthday

Gonna drink Bacardi like it's your birthday.

Hey Gangastasssssss....! It was my birthday during the week - hooray! So this weekend I am using the anniversary of my birth to allow friends to buy me lunch, coffee, all manner of sparkling beverages and the occasional gift. Milk it, I say!

But one thing that happens with every birthday, is the hangover - which appears less as a creeping surprise, and more of a spine-jarring, body-wracking smack in the face of headachy, carbohydrate-craving horror. Yes, as we age, hangovers manifest and hang around for days longer than we would like.

In recognition of this fact, I have started to curtail my partying ways. As someone previously nicknamed "Boozer" by friends, this is quite a change, although surprisingly, not so difficult to implement. Hangover-free Saturdays are such a treat, more so, hangover-free Sundays. Lately my drinks have been watered down to more manageable shots, with my favourite currently being a discovery from Argentina: the Aperol spritzer.

Aperol is bright orange in colour and made of a combination of bitter and sweet oranges and herbs (including rhubarb) and all sorts of other funny flavours. Once you swizzle it in with some prosecco and soda water (so Italian it makes my eyes water), the Aperol spritzer tastes like a warm summer night following on from a day at the polo. I am not kidding. It is exactly what you will envisage if you close your eyes and have a sip.

No, this blog was not sponsored by Aperol, although if they'd like to send me a bottle that would be fine.
If you are unable to kick the habit, or you know you have a big night ahead of you, I am now going to give you my top-secret, not-so-fail-safe guide to hopefully avoiding a hangover (there are no guarantees in life):

Pre-Festivity Preparation
And so the marathon begins. As well as ensuring you look marvelous, do this:
  • Drink a Berocca
  • Chase it down with a Panadol and a big glass of water
  • Have a sandwich which is delicious but not so flavoursome that if you burp you can smell your sandwich. That is disgusting. Pasta is also fine. Just line your stomach (but not so much your tummy sticks out - you'll be miserable all night).
  • Ensure your mascara/eyeliner is waterproof. Sometimes when you drink it mysteriously falls down your face, even if you haven't been crying because you've been spewing in the toilets. Take all steps to avoid makeup slippage, but also pay attention - oftentimes your makeup will tell you you're drunk before your body does. Listen to the eyeliner!

At The Festivities
This stuff is so obvious, but I'm going to say it anyway:
  • Drink water every now and again.
  • If there is non-stinky food, eat it. Just don't loiter by the food table all night. It's actually anti-social.
  • Take a break between drinks / attempt not to skull / try not to do shots. If you went to college, or if you were part of a small, somewhat incestuous environment that encouraged binge drinking within limited timeframes (usually in costume), you will understand how tough this is, but you've got to go slow - too fast and you'll be drunk without knowing it. It's ok to hold your drink in your hand for a while.
  • Definitely dance on a baby grand piano if it is acceptable to dance on it.

  • Don't be an asshole - saying you were "so drunk, I can't even remember" is a lame excuse, and your friends will rarely if ever forgive that type of behavior, unless it was actually really funny in hindsight. Play nice.
  • Ask your eyeliner how it's going.
  • Selfies should be left for the beginning of the night when you're fresh as a daisy and gorgeous.

The Way Home
  • Pizza or a kebab or a Grill'd burger. Eat it. Why not splurge and get a bottle of water while you're at it?
  • If it's safe enough to, walk home. Studies have proven that a 20 minute stumble home aids sobriety and reduces the severity of hangovers 4-fold. ONLY IF IT'S SAFE. (If it's safe, pre-plan and jam some thongs into your handbag at the Pre-Festivities stage).
When You Get Home
  • Drink water. Have another Panadol.
  • Eat something, if you haven't already. Now that there is a toaster nearby, Vegemite toast is a winner. Ham & cheese toasties are even better, but don't burn your tongue!
  • Wash your make-up off.
  • Drink water.
  • Turn off your phone - no drunk-texting/snapchatting.
The Morning After
  • Breakfast with friends (preferably the ones you went out with the night before). It is essential to find out what outrageous acts you may have performed while under the influence.
  • If there is no one to eat with, Vegemite toast is a faithful friend.
  • Panadol with water if necessary (I do not have a painkiller addiction).
  • Wash your face again. Somehow eyeliner just hangs around.
  • Try to resist the need to broadcast how CRAY-CRAY and MESSY VANESSY you got last night via all avenues of social media. Doth protest too much.

If your head hurts, it's not my fault. You probably forgot one of the many Panadol-pit stops along the way.

Of course, as an old lady, I don't do that shit anymore... ;o)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Shoesday: Mad Men

Shoes at the recent Lolita S/S 2015 show in New York.

As the final season of Mad Men approaches, I couldn't resist these shoes (and, let's face it, that skirt). Definitely something Meghan would wear, and Betty probably would have worn in her happier days, and before she removed all chance of fun in her wardrobe by marrying a Republican politician. Oh, Betty. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy Friday: Time

I post about time quite a bit, and certainly spend quite a bit of time thinking about time. You can't help but be a watch checker, and cognisant of hours slipping away when you're sitting at a bus stop, staring at the departures board as your flight's delay is announced, and as you impatiently wait a week for the next episode of The Good Wife (addicted).

As a wedding gift, my husband gave me the gift of time, both figuratively and literally (there was a lovely box from the Rolex shop too). As he so eloquently explained in the letter that arrived on the morning of our wedding, he was giving me the gift not only of his lifetime but also all of his time, devoted to me - and all he asked from me in return was my patience. *sigh*

Advertising for watches is generally pretty standard: some sophisticated looking man or woman (depending on the watch, obviously), dressed fairly conservatively, doing something luxurious - strolling with a polo horse, popping off in your private aircraft for a weekend in France, effortlessly winning a tennis Grand Slam, sitting with lengthy legs crossed looking sumptuously relaxed.

Karl Lagerfeld has delivered a watch campaign for Chanel that challenges this notion (but also rather fits the type also, I must say). Below are a few images shot by Patrick Demarchelier from the campaign. Essentially, the model's body is positioned in such a way as to mirror the placement of the hands on the watch. I'm not sure if there's a deeper meaning here - synchronicity, in-tune with you - but the images are definitely representative of a certain type of elegance.

Women We Love

I love women. I love their drive, the sparkle they get in their eyes when they're talking about new shoes, a new job or a great idea they've just had. I love the way women approach things - diplomacy, tact, empathy, and not much shouting. I like how women smell nice, wear sparkly things and like to gossip. Women are rad.

It took me a while to get to that point, though. Women used to intimidate me, especially the really good looking ones - and definitely the killer combo of the really good looking/really smart/really nice girls. It used to blow my mind: how could it be possible to be all three things (or even two of that power-three) at once? I used to convince myself these girls were "fake", and that underneath that veneer of niceness was a dragon lady waiting to unleash and steal my boyfriend or my job or my friends. I was really, really dumb.

Maybe it was because I didn't grow up with sisters, and my reference point was generally from my brothers. Probably, it was just plain old insecurity and a dollop of immaturity. Whatever it was, I used to find it way easier to identify with guys than girls, and I would often invest more time in making friends with the male of the species. As I got older and wiser, I realized what a flawed approach this was. This is not to say that male friends aren't terrific (because they are), but female friends are that little bit more solid, more real and we can understand each other much better.

Girls rule.

Zoe Foster Blake, whom I ardently admire from afar (I really think being a stalker must be exhausting), is probably someone I would have been terrified of a few years ago. Today, I just think she is awesome and wish I could meet her. I've mentioned her before (she of Textbook Romance fame) and I am still a big fan. The last few weeks have seen her launch her latest book, The Wrong Girl, and she has just released a skincare range called Go-To.

Being a bit hopeless when it comes to beauty products (I still shop at Woolworths for skincare, and even then get totally overwhelmed and sometimes just walk out with another bottle of Vaseline Intensive care for no particular reason), I will point you in this direction to read about her new range here. It's all available online, and I am thinking of buying some of it - even if it does cost more than the $13.99 I usually pay at Woollies. Given another birthday is creeping up next week, perhaps it's time I started to invest properly in my skin. OR IS IT TOO LATE???!!!

On top of all THAT activity, she is expecting a baby fairly soon to hubby Hamish Blake. MULTI-TASKER.

It's Coming

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Shoesday: Politically Incorrect Upsides of Climate Change

The world is aghast at the latest round of reports from the UN's climate change group, suggesting that summer and spring should now be considered to last 4 months (rather than 3), and that the cooler seasons should last 2 months' each as compensation. These extended seasons could be called "Sprinter" or "Sprummer" or some such bizarre titles bandied about in the press today.

Leaving aside the rather concerning conclusion that humankind will not adapt quickly enough to all the likely outcomes of climate change, is the more immediate, pleasant situation we now have - longer summers. Yes, April has started, I'm in Melbourne (famous for its extended, moody winters) and it was 31 degrees today, and a gorgeously balmy 24 degrees this evening. As an unashamed summer lover, I am rather pleased. It means I can continue to wear Havianas - standard fare for a hot summer's day - and enjoy not lugging a cardigan around everywhere I go just that little bit longer each year.

So thank you (kind of) carbon emitters. While my great, great grandchildren might disappear into a bubble of steaming lava, I can bask in the joy of an extended summer... As I buy a Prius, install solar panels on my house, carbon offset my now considerable flying activities, and investigate all other manner of reducing my carbon footprint.