Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dress Like A Wasp's Nest

I feel like a cocoon today.  Or a wasp's nest, what with all my gray, lumpy layers:

Which isn't to say I don't like this outfit.  I actually really do.  It's cozy as hell and it's as comfortable as pajamas. And it's successful deployment of a maxi dress in cooler weather, which is something I've struggled with in the past.

What it's not, is figure-flattering.  I know as a blogger I'm supposed to be demonstrating how to dress in the most flattering way (Right?  Isn't that what I'm supposed to be doing here?), but I just can't do it.  You want to wear something that swallows your shape?  Go for it.  Dress like a wasp's nest, if you want.  I totally support that.

Happy Tuesday, All!


Sunday, November 10, 2013


Summer All White fashion on Friend in Fashion Summer All White fashion on Friend in Fashion Summer All White fashion on Friend in Fashion Summer All White fashion on Friend in Fashion Summer All White fashion on Friend in Fashion

To me nothing sums up summer fashion more than white.

Last week, after a chaotic move back from overseas, I caught up with my good friend and Zoie boutique owner, for an impromptu shoot.

I couldn't resist styling this beautiful cutout halter neck top, with an always classic pencil skirt - all white of course.

The sun was shining and it was good to be back home in Melbourne after six month abroad.

As the saying goes... No one realises how beautiful it is to travel until she comes home and rests her head on her old, familiar pillow.

Photos / Zoie

Friday, November 8, 2013


I guess this cardigan could be called "red" but red is boring and I grew up looking at J.Crew catalogs, so I'm calling it cranberry:

Dress: c/o eShakti  Cardigan: thrifted   Tights: Spanx   Boots: Nine West "Darsy"

I know it doesn't seem like enough for cold November weather, but it's a lovely wool/silk mix and is warm as heck.  I thrifted it a couple of years ago and don't wear it nearly enough, I think because the proportions are a bit difficult to work with.

Then I remembered that I have trouble with proportions anyway so I just slapped it on over my eShakti sheath dress and some tights:

In case you were curious, the dress is oatmeal with an ink trim and the tights and boots are ebony.

Happy Friday, All!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Growing Up Tall

Quite some time ago (longer than I care to admit, actually) a reader asked me to talk a bit about growing up tall, including how my personal style evolved as a tall girl.  It took me so long to write this (sorry, Terra!) because I wasn't sure I was the right person to do so because growing up tall wasn't really a struggle for me.  But, then, I realized that maybe that's why I am the exact right person.  Because I didn't agonize about fitting in or adopt terrible posture to seem shorter or worry about being taller than all my friends.

And why didn't I?  In a word, sports.  I know it seems cliche and I understand that not all children are athletic but I believe very strongly that sports are good.  Especially for girls.  And especially for tall girls.

Sports were great for me for several reasons.  One, being long of limb can often be awkward; sports helped me be more graceful and to feel more confident in my body.  Two, playing sports was a great way to meet other tall girls.  Not all of my friends are/were tall, but many of them were/are and I met many of them through playing sports.  It was definitely nice to know I wasn't alone.  And three, sports gave me confidence.  Not just in my movement, but in my height.  I was able to walk down the hall without slouching because of the confidence I gained from being an athlete.

In fact, I'd say fashion and style was one of the few issues I had with growing up tall.  And even then, I don't think it was as bad as it could have been because I was an athlete.  Athletes, for better or for worse, often get a pass when it comes to style because they're so often in sweats coming to or from practice.  A lot of athletes take advantage of that and just wear sweats constantly because, especially for women, finding anything other than sweats that fit properly could be a nightmare.

Especially back in the day.  I don't recall a single retailer that offered tall sizes when I was growing up.  Al Gore hadn't invented The Internet yet so your only hope was to stumble upon a pair of Levis that seemed slightly longer than most.  At which point you counted yourself lucky and bought them in multiples.  Shoes were difficult as well because there were never larger sizes in youthful styles.  You could sometimes find up to size 12, but they were more suited for grown women than teenage girls.  Back then, shoe designers apparently thought that tall women wore a size 9 until they turned 30 and then suddenly their feet grew to a size 12.

Now that I think about it, the same was pretty much true for pants and shirts as well.  You couldn't find them in youthful styles or brands.  If you did find tall items they were almost always more office-appropriate than high school-appropriate.  Again, retailers seem to be laboring under the impression that tall women didn't actually become tall until their first day at the law firm.  Like having a job is what makes you shoot up to six feet!

So, how did I develop any personal style at all given the dearth of available stylish clothing?  Well, the first thing that I did was stop worrying about being trendy.  Even if I could find Guess jeans long enough, I couldn't afford them so I looked for alternatives.  Like wearing a lot of skirts and dresses.  Especially once I got through middle school.  I was a tomboy until then when my final growth spurt made it impossible to find pants that were even remotely long enough.  Once I got over the need to wear what everyone else was wearing, I began shopping thrift stores to find pieces that appealed to me in color and fabrication the way retail offerings didn't.

Today, I still wear a lot of skirts and dresses.  And I still do a lot of thrift shopping.  But, happily that's because I want to, not because I have to.  

What about you, Reader Friends?  Did you grow up tall?  If so, how did you cope with the clothing shortage?

Happy Thursday, All!


Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I'm definitely a jumpsuit kind of girl and this one is beauty.

When I was in Los Angeles, I had the pleasure of picking my favourite pieces from local label, Flynn Skye and shooting with my girl Chanelle Leslie on Venice Beach.

This is the final instalment of our collaboration - check out part one (CALI GIRL) and part two (TEAM PARIS).

There's definitely something about LA which brings out my inner beach babe.

Sun in the sky, sand in my feet.

80s + Plaid = Love

This sweater is one of those fabled plaid pieces I thrifted this summer in anticipation of cooler weather:

Sweater: vintage, similar   Scarf: DIY   Jeans: Banana Republic   Boots: Nine West "Darsy"

 Well, cooler weather has arrived, and I finally (finally!) got to wear my beloved plaid cardigan.  And it was a delight.

Except that the super-low-v neckline gave me a bit of trouble.  It's not as though the girls popped out and waved at folks, but I could feel them thinking about it.  I tried to mitigate their overwhelming friendliness with a scarf, and I think that worked, but I was awfully warm all day.

I tell you, Friends, it's a rough day when a gal has to choose between sweating and flashing people.

Happy Wednesday, All!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Literary Stylings # 5: The Blind Assassin

Damn it, I just realized I completely missed the opportunity to dress like an assassin.  And, alternatively a peach woman, a lizard man or a mute slave girl; man, this was a great book.  Instead, I'm wearing an outfit based on what the narrator and her sister wore before the narrator married rich and was outfitted in silks and furs and silk-lined furs (and probably fur-lined silks):

This look is an amalgamation of an outfit that plays a pretty prevalent role and of a pond that also gets a lot of mention in the book.  The outfit in the book is a modestly cut velvet dress with a white collar. The pond has lily pads, statuary and, in my mind, swans.  So, of course, I layered my jeweled Peter Pan-collar sweater over my swan print dress:

Basically this outfit is meant to represent pre-wedded-Iris (the narrator), as the pond was at her ancestral home (she was given a rock garden at her new one) and she wore the dress prior to her marriage but never after.  Also, before she married money, she came from a family that used to be wealthy but had fallen on hard times; for me, the jeweled collar on this sweater represents a little money, but not much:

Again, if you haven't read The Blind Assassin, I strongly recommend it.

And now it's your turn; please to add your link below!

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!  And thanks, as always, for playing along!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Abstract Animal

As much as I love animal print (and I do love animal print), one of my favorite things about this Phillip Lim 3.1 for Target skirt is that it's not straight animal but, rather, abstract animal:

It's been blown up so that it's still recognizable as an animal print, but is still unique.

The other thing I love about this skirt is that it's mustard and therefore awesome:

Skirt: Target   Sweater: Jones New York  Tights: Spanx  Necklace: BaubleBar*  Boots: Born "Mabel"

I don't know why I love mustard so much.  I admit that it's a hard color to wear, but it just makes me so happy.

What about you, Reader Friends?  Are you a fan of mustard?

Happy Monday, All!


*BaubleBar Invitation Code: 20210652

Saturday, November 2, 2013

eShakti Fall

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have noticed that I spent part of last night Pinning the heck out of eShakti's new Fall line.  Because it is gorgeous.  Seriously, have you seen it?  I want everything!

But, as I don't have the money for everything, here's a few of my very favorite pieces.

Cowl Neck Sweater

The color of this sweater just slays me.

Gradient Houndstooth

This is dress combines a very cool, very modern gradient houndstooth print with a vintage style dress.  I love that.

Plaid Perfection

I told you I was mad for plaid and this skirt is plaid perfection.

More Houndstooth

Because you can never have enough.


Okay, this one isn't from their Fall line, but I think we can all agree that giraffes are great all year round.

If you're in the mood for some giraffes, or houndstooth, or plaid, head on over to eShakti.  This weekend you can get free shipping.  And, if you're a new customer, you can get a $30 new customer gift coupon by using the code GRACEY53PH.  That code is valid through November 30th.

I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend!


**All images via eShakti.com**

October’s Books

Hello, Party Peoples!

This is your better-late-than-never reminder that my always exciting Literary Stylings Link Party is coming up on Tuesday the 5th.  If you want more information on this rockin' good time, you can find it here.

So, October was a very strange and stressful month for me and I’m afraid I didn’t get around to reading many books.  In fact, I only read two.  But, I figure this will allow me some room to talk more about them. 

Let me start by saying that, happily, this time around I enjoyed both of the books that I read.  More or less. 

Please to allow me to explain that last bit.

The first book I read is The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan:

According to Wikipedia, “a panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow a watchman to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether they are being watched or not.  (Wikipedia goes on to say that Bentham thought the panopticon design would be great for all matter of institutions, including daycare facilities!  Seriously.)

If that definition and daycare suggestion doesn't quite help you picture what we're talking about, this is a panopticon:

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about the book.  As I said, I enjoyed this book.  It was heartbreaking at times, but I think that just means the author did a good job.

The novel is about a troubled youth named Anais, who is sent to a panopticon institution.  Anais believes that her life is not really her life but is part of an experiment where she is under constant surveillance by the watchers.  As you can imagine, being sent to an institution designed to keep you under constant surveillance is not easy to handle for someone who already suffers from the sort of paranoia Anais suffers from. 

The author did a good job with this concept and with Anais’ voice.  Really, my only complaint about this novel is that it is written in the Scottish (I think) vernacular and I have the hardest time reading things in vernacular without saying them aloud.  Fagan wasn’t as difficult to read as Irvine Welsh, but I did a LOT of mumbling to myself as I read all the “cannae” and dinnae” statements in this book. 

Also, just as a warning, in case you’re thinking a book about a 15-year old heroine would be a great book for the young reader in your life, this is NOT a YA novel.  At all. 

The other book I read is Margaret Atwood’s The Blind Assassin:

Yes, more Atwood.  What can I say; she’s one of my favorites.  Although, having read both her futuristic fiction (The Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood) and her historical fiction (Alias Grace and The Blind Assassin), I think I prefer the futuristic fiction.  Don’t get me wrong, The Blind Assassin is a lovely novel, just as Alias Grace was, but I prefer the others more.

That’s just a personal preference though; The Blind Assassin is really very good.  It’s sort of two books in one and it’s a mystery as well as historical fiction and I highly recommend it.  This was a book that I couldn't stop reading because of how well it was written.  Atwood’s device of setting a novel-within-a-novel added to the mystery and worked very well.

So, why do I prefer the futuristic fiction?  Because I’m afraid of the future.  I don’t mean the future as in tomorrow, or next week or even next year.  No, I mean the future as in 2033 when things get all dystopian and stuff.  And, like anyone else who watches/reads scary stuff, I like that little frisson of fear.   For example, Oryx and Crake?  Just the ChickieNobs Nubbins alone scare the crap out of me.

And don’t get me started on The Handmaid’s Tale; seriously terrifying stuff.  Speaking of which, I guess there is a new cover for it now?  Have you guys seen this?

Isn't that both horrible and perfect for the book? 

Anyway, read The Blind Assassin, it’s good.  And if you like dyslit (dystopian literature), read Atwood’s futuristic fiction; there are frissons galore.

And don’t forget to join in on Tuesday!

Happy Saturday, All!


Friday, November 1, 2013


I was recently invited by Wish to participate in their blogger style challenge.

For my look, I chose to style summer pastels, taking this very pretty Wish lace detailed tunic and teaming back with my favourite harem pants, neutral lace-up heels as well my favourite Celine trio bag.

The weather has started heating up here in Melbourne, which makes me even more happy to be back at home. Bring on summer!

Photos / Tim Florea

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sweater Weather

After a few weeks of unseasonably warm weather, sweater weather has finally arrived in Oregon.  So, I dressed accordingly:

Actually, I overdressed, as I do.  This sweater (thrifted) is alpaca and it's ridiculously warm.  Almost too warm actually.  But, I've been waiting for months to wear it and the weather finally dropped below sixty so I decided now was the time.

Also, it's the perfect excuse to wear orange and burgundy together:

Cashmere scarf: Nordstrom, similar  Skirt: thrifted, similar  Tights: Target  Boots: Born "Mabel"

Not that I need an excuse.  But, I do think it makes my friends and family feel better when I can point out that there is both orange and burgundy in the sweater so therefore the scarf and the tights totally make sense. Sometimes people need things to make sense.

Personally, I just like to wear orange.

Happy Thursday, All!


Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Flynn Skye dress | Team Paris sweater | ASOS shoes 

As mentioned in my last post (HERE), when I was in LA last week, I teamed up with friend,  Chanelle Leslie, to shoot a California-inspired story. Here is part two.

In the last couple of years, I've been back and forth between LA and must say, it has quickly become one of my favourite cities. This time round, I chose to stay in the eclectic neighbourhood of Venice Beach, where I had the pleasure of meeting designer behind the label, Flynn Skye. An accomplished business woman, and genuinely kind and all round fabulous person.

Flynn Skye, represents the true essence of Venice Beach and the California-beach inspired lifestyle.

One of my favourite labels.

Photos / Chanelle Leslie

Houndstooth and Harlequin

Today I've paired houndstooth with harlequin:

And, frankly, I'm surprised it took me this long to put these two together.

The houndstooth blouse (thrifted Jones New York, similar) is a natural fit with the harlequin sweater vest (thrifted vintage JG Hook, similar).  Thank goodness I found these two hanging out together in my closet or this may never have happened:

Can you imagine??!!

Really though, though, those two did the hard work. I just added a midi skirt (thrifted vintage, similar), tights (Spanx Tight End Tights) and ankle boots (Nine West "Darsy").  Oh, and my new favorite tiger diadem necklace (Hive and Honey via Piperlime):

It's not my fault it goes with everything.

Happy Tuesday, All!