25 August 2012

socks off

From my experience there are two sure signs that Spring is fast approaching.  1. The Year 10 corridor starts smelling like freshly sprayed deodorant and 2. Primary Schools send out flyers announcing their upcoming Father's Day stalls.

This week I have encountered both. So, I think it's time to focus on what men are going to be wearing this season.

As a Melbournian I am well aware that black is a staple in our city, but this year I encourage men to consider greys and navys - still dark, still classic, but a tad softer.  As an added bonus, you can team it with a crisp white shirt and you won't look like a waiter or a sales assistant at MYER.

jack london baskerville suit
Over the last year hubby has become a huge Jack London fan.  They use a range of interesting fabrics to compliment fine tailoring.  Their cuts seem to suit the more... ahem, 'slender' man.  The baskerville suit is done in a herringbone tweed, perfect for those looking for a slightly thicker material and a jacket they can wear over jeans for a casual but still beautifully put together look.  All pieces are sold separately, so if you're not a fan of the whole three-piece suit thing you can ditch the vest.  But before you do consider how you could wear the items individually with other pieces in your wardrobe.  Would the vest look amazing with a pair of plain black pants and a shirt in a playful print?

Still corporate, but sans suit, I love this look:

jack london daventry mod shirt

Another Jack London, I love the colour of the shirt and the thin, plain tie.  Totally hot.

Hunting for something more casual?  The number of places one can purchase jeans these days is awe-inspiring, if not incredibly confusing.  I am a girl who likes shops that specialise and I favour the places I know I am going to be offered knowledgeable and consistent service and assistance.  And in the vast area of denim, there is no place like Just Jeans.  Great range (they now carry Mavi), and staff who know the cuts, the fabrics and are able to match your needs and wants to the most appropriate choice.

This season it's all about coloured denim.  And while I it takes a great deal of courage for a man to hit the streets in pastel pink pants, a slightly stronger shade is a good option.

just jeans coloured fashion super skinny jean in shiraz

 A final word of advice for those heading out to shop for dad, hubby or boyfriend and for those men going out to bulk up their wardrobe for Spring - lose the socks.  This season men are flashing a bit of ankle skin.  Just let the kids know before they hit those Father's Day stalls.    

18 August 2012

hip hip hooray

I am what is euphemistically referred to as the 'curvacious type'.  For those of you who don't speak bullshit, this means I have hips and thighs.  Real ones.  Jewish ones.  For many, many years this area of my body caused me great anxiety.  You need to understand that I came of age in an era when 'the waif' was all the rage.  In 1992 every teenage girl in the Western world wanted to look like Kate Moss and didn't care how little they needed to eat to achieve this look.

For years I despised what a friend so kindly referred to as my 'childbearing hips'.  Thanks to the cult of Kate I also came to resent my boobs.  Why couldn't I be flat-chested like all those other lucky girls out there?  I chose clothes based on their ability to hang loosely, unaware of the fact that this sort of strategy often makes you look bigger.  I refused to wear tops that did not at least reach past my hips.  I hid under loose sacks, terrified of people getting a glimpse of all those attributes I now recognise make me who I am.  Like many other women, I was ashamed of being me. 

And then I had an epiphany of sorts.  I came face-to-face with a woman so sexy, so stylish and so hippy, she took my breath away.  I met Joan Holloway of  Mad Men.   

Here was a woman who embraced her curves and was loved for it - by men, by women, by fashion designers.  I was and still am smitten.  Joan sashayed her hips as she walked through the offices of Sterling Cooper and you loved her for it.  There was no shame, no attempting to hide the woman she was, or starve into a skeletal version of herself.  I began to change how I dressed.  I bought tailored, well-fitting shirts and pencil skirts.  I recognised that the most important part of a woman's outfit is a well-fitted bra.  I began to realise that stylish isn't the same as fashionable.

So I was thrilled to see the following image on Vogue Australia's facebook page yesterday of women voted this week's 'Best Dressed'.

jessica mauboy, kelly rowland in victoria beckham and jessica biel in zac posen

All of these women have curves.  Luscious, womanly, gorgeous curves.  They have boobs and they have hips and they are dressed to accentuate those features. 

Maybe this is just another trend.  Maybe tomorrow the waif will be back.  But I hope not.  And if it is, there is at least one Cheeky Fashionista who has learnt that loving who you are and paying tribute to the assets you possess is the most stylish thing you can do. 

16 August 2012

spring style

Like many of you, I am totally over winter.  So, while it may still be freezing out there, I am attempting to generate some inner-warmth by planning my next purchases.

For those lovely ladies wanting to add a bit of trend to their Spring look without taking out a second mortgage, consider purchasing one or two key vibrant, colourful items and teaming them with basic black or white to achieve a classic yet funky look.

lisa ho neon flower print pants
This Spring, the fashion gods also bring us the peplum dress.  Perfect for work, or even for the races, this structured style provides as instant put-together look - a blessing for us busy mums. As an added bonus the peplum gives you curves where you want them and often works to cover those less attractive regions - say 'Thank you fashion gods!'.  Team with a slim belt in a bright colour to give a black or white dress a bit of pop, and to draw attention to what will (hopefully!) be your smallest area.  No need to save this one for when the sun starts shining - a crisp white collared shirt underneath keeps this look tailored and elegant.

cue pleat peplum dress

Unique and colourful patterns are showing up everywhere - skirts, pants, jackets and shirts.  Find a lust-worthy pattern, but make sure the cut is flattering!  And if it isn't, put your visa card back in your purse and run.  The print might be gorgeous, but if the style fails to flatter put it back on the rack where it belongs.  Here are two looks I can't wait to try on.  Pray for me!
witchery monet digital denim print

lisa ho orchid print skirt

Remember, it may be cold out there, but it's warm and cosy at Chaddy!   

14 August 2012

alice in frames

Like many other young girls who had eyeglasses thrust upon them at some stage during their childhood, I spent my early adolescence hearing the poetic refrain, "Boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses" or the highly imaginative "Four Eyes!  Four Eyes!". 

For a while during my teen years I tried contact lenses. But ultimately in life we usually end up making choices that reflect who we really are.  And who I am is a chick who wears glasses.  So, my spectacles have become a part of who I am, how the world sees me, and perhaps most importantly, how I see myself. 

Today I would like to pay homage to that other chick who wears glasses, Alice Zaslavsky, or as she is more commonly known, Alice from Masterchef, or in some circles, that chick from Masterchef who wears those big glasses.

alice zaslavsky

Perhaps unknowingly Alice has told Australia that a woman who wears glasses can still look funky as hell.  She is not just bespectacled, she is brave and bold with her choice of frames, drawing attention to what can now undoubtedly be classified as a fashion accessory, possibly the ultimate fashion accessory.  Head into your local OPSM and you will encounter a wall of frames designed by the who's who of the fashion industry - Chanel, Prada, Burberry, YSL, Oroton, Ralph Lauren, Bulgari - and the list goes on.

This season Dolce & Gabbana has come out with the drool-worthy 50s inspired Matt-Silk collection in a gorgeous array of colours.

dolce & gabbana matt silk collection

My pick?  The turquoise. 

What about you Alice?

12 August 2012

jacket fever

There are few things in this world I am actively against.  I am against racism and prejudice of any sort, I am against bitchy girls who actively seek to make others feel bad about themselves and I am against men who assume looking after children is the exclusive domain of their wives or girlfriends.  However, I feel compelled to add to that list the following: grown women hiding under sloppy, pilling, shapeless knitwear.

Gazing out onto an increasingly sunny weekend morning I thought I would provide some alternatives to the cardigan you purchased from Country Road in 1998 and by now should really have found its way to a Salvos bin.

The tailored jacket is out and proud and I for one am thrilled!  Jackets and blazers provide women with shape and an air of elegance.  Team them with tailored pants, a full or A-line skirt or even a pair of jeans  and ankle boots for a smart casual look.  As an added bonus, these little miracles are truly trans-seasonal. On days you feel the chill, pop a fine piece of knitwear underneath and a beautiful scarf on top.  On warmer days, go casual with a simple singlet under your latest purchase.

Because most of us have the traditional black jacket hiding somewhere in our wardrobes, I thought I would bring you some alternatives: 

Thurley is a great brand for well-made, fashion forward items.  Classic tailoring with a twist thanks to fun patterns and edgy cuts.

thurley deco embroidered jacket

Those looking for classic black with a bit of a pop, you might enjoy Paul Smith's latest offering.
paul smith electric peony print tuxedo jacket

Budget conscience ladies here's one of my favourites for this season.  It comes in at the waist, providing wearers with an hourglass silhouette, even when left casually unbuttoned.  Retailing at $199, it also won't break the budget.

seed femme metallic stripe jacket
Finally, for those who want to invest in a piece likely to endure over a number of seasons, try a more casual take on the traditional suit jacket.  The grey marle colour will go with everything and you can funky it up with a scarf in the season's latest colourings.  Plus, at only $149.95, it's an absolute steal!

seed femme jersey blazer

Shove that horrid cardi in the bin, grab your wallet and a friend and head out to find your new jacket.  Trust me, it's worth it.

10 August 2012

proud as prada

There has never been a prouder mum than this Cheeky Fashionista when, strolling past Miu Miu, four year-old Little Fashionista began yelling gleefully. What had caused the outburst?  This little beauty in the shop window:
Start them early, I say!