Frocking Friday The Fourth – My Husband Thinks That I Look Like An Italian Road Sign (and other stories)

This is an Italian road sign:

and this is me wearing a dress:

An uncanny resemblance right?

This is my face the first time my husband pointed out the resemblance:

and this is me the second time:

and the third time

and the fourth, but unfortunately not the last time:

Apparently I have no sense of humour.

To which I would reply et separatim that:

fine del diritto di precedenza

means “end of current right of way” which is a nice way of saying that one is overegging the pudding.

Don’t you think?


The Gory Details:

Dress:  Tokito, silk purchased from eBay December 2010.

Shoes:  Vintage Spring-o-lators (R) purchased eBay (US)  October 2010.

Stockings: Pretty Polly

Amber Jewellery: From all over the shop.

Frocking Friday the Third – In the Mood for Cheongsams (and Longer Legs)

We have a new dress code at work. Nothing transparent. No dresses above mid-thigh. Absolutely NO fishnets with short skirts.

The new dress code causes me quite a bit of stress as it requires me to exercise aesthetic and spatial judgements first thing in the morning. Not since the days of being at school have I been so careful to check and double check my back, front and side views.

To take some of the stress off, I have been trying to wear longer dresses. Of course, longer dresses, little legs and Sydney summer humidity are not a happy match for each other so last week I fell back on the old long-dress-with-side-splits-to-catch-the-wind-and-yet-still-give-enough-coverage-to-avoid-the-need-for-hosiery look.

Actually, let’s not obfuscate around the bush here – I was in fact indulging myself in my cheongsam obsession. Pure and simple.

Cheongsam from thrift store. Date Worn: Friday 21 January 2011

My love of cheongsams dates back to early Bond movies (Miss Taro anyone?) but my  lust for them grew in earnest after watching Kar Wai Wong’s film “In the Mood for Love” (2000).

In that film, Maggie Cheung appears in a succession of over 30 different designer cheongsams each more elegant than the last.

Try as I might, I am not a patch on Maggie (particularly as I have never once seen her with an escapee bra strap)

Cheongsams are not easy to put on. There are lots of poppers and brocade buttons to contend with. Once on cheongsams are quite hard to pull off,  particularly for short caucasian persons with curvy bottoms like me. The poppers and brocade buttons have a tendency to unpop and unbutton you see.

The trick is, of course, to have them tailored exactly to fit your shape.  This can cost up to $5,000.00 which seems like a lot of money until you see what happens to celebrities who have cheongsam side splits gaping in awkward places.

Until such times as I can have one custom made, I have been collecting cheongsams from thrift stores and eBay. I don’t wear them often and without Frocking Fridays, I probably wouldn’t have worn this one outside the house. Looking at the photos I am disappointed to note that the length of the cheongsam makes me look shorter and dumpier than I think I am. The low heeled shoes don’t help of course.

Without looking at the photos though and listening to the swish of the split skirt and satin chrysanthemums, for a moment I can (just) imagine that I am Maggie undulating in silk and sighs down dark alleyways.

Guest Shoes Post – Walk A Mile by Soshoemi*


This is a photo of me sitting on a former lover’s bed, wearing his shoes.  It was one of those random moments captured in time.  He called this photo “Walk A Mile”.  As is evident from the picture, his shoes were not a good fit.  I could barely get around the block in them.  But it got me thinking, what can you really tell about a person from their shoes?

For example, the owner of these handmade brogues clearly has an appreciation for quality.  But there was so much more to him.  And the shoes simply gave no hint of that.

And he thought I was kind of crazy. And maybe my shoes would give that impression.  For example there are the rainbow eelskin Sergio Rossi boots.

Or the orange and cream patent ruffle Miu Miu pumps.

Or the black suede Dolce & Gabbana platform pumps.

Or even the Roberto Cavalli leopard print ankle boots.

Or maybe all these shoes say is that I have sense of humour and spend way too much money on shoes?

I am definitely a peoplewatcher. In fact, in addition to paying too much for my shoes, I probably also pay too much attention to what other people are wearing.  For example, this trendy guy who is going sockless on Chapel Street in Winter:

Or this woman with her stylish but sensible sandals at Degraves Street café last weekend.

Or these sporty dudes making their way down Toorak Road:

These are impressions I have gleaned from a fleeting (feeting) encounter. But I won’t really know anything about them. Until I have walked a mile in their shoes.


*About the Author:

At that time that she wrote this post, I didn’t really know the guest blogger yet, except that in a funny way I did. She is drawn like a moth towards the flame of outlandish and outré shoes.  She has a thing for leopard print.  Also, I know her shoe size. This is true shoe symbiosis.

She was a Melbourne lawyer with a thing for shoes. Now she is a Sydney lawyer. It’s heriditary (both the law and the shoes not the Sydney thing). Soshoemi!

Frocking Friday #2 – Humidity, Humility & Hydrological Disasters

Things always look different in films.

Violence in films is always choreographed, often almost balletic in the case of Stanley Kubrick’s droog fight in the Clockwork Orange 

Violence in real life is slow, lumbering and brutal.

In disaster movies, flood water is steel grey, metallic looking.

In real life, flood water is brown.

Queensland Floods, Milton Kathleen McLeod Creative Commons Licence CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

It is Friday 14 January 2011. My husband tells me that the humidity level in Sydney is 98%.  There is a trickle of sweat running down each side of my rib cage from the effort of standing here typing this blog.  Everything seems to be difficult except sleeping. So I wonder how those people are doing in Queensland with a wall of water where their homes used to be.  How does one sleep when brackish water swills through the streets?

There are a lot of people who have lost their homes this week.  Some others have lost their lives.  Still more are unaccounted for.

In the heart of disaster, offers of help appear from everywhere. Gumboots are donated en masse Thousands of people have turned up to mop the streets.

It may be that extra help may not be needed. My friend Kathleen McLeod, who took the photo above, noted today that:

Brisbane has _too many_ people volunteering (and I hope that out west has just as many). Imagine what we could achieve if this spirit of generosity and volunteerism continued after the flood clean up? Working bees every week! We could transform our society.

It is true. We become less detached in circumstances where other people are vulnerable.  It is an exercise in humility to lose everything and an exercise in compassion to help.

I wondered, looking at my wardrobe yesterday and trying to figure out how to dress for the 98% humidity, whether to finally bung up some of things that I have been meaning to sell on eBay to raise a bit of extra money for the Queensland rescue appeal.  Then it occurred to me that, other than shoes, I very seldom buy anything off eBay for more than $20 and that I might not be the only miserable sod out there like that. This Tokito silk dress (backless for evaporative cooling qualities) cost me $1.75 for example.

Maybe the thing to do would be to do some free Pilates mat classes or yoga classes out here in Hurstville and get people to offer wellington boots, toiletries and non-perishable food items to the relief effort in exchange for me torturing them?

Any takers?

Frocking Friday* the First – January 7 2010

My daughter, The Minx (aged 3) has a wardrobe full of frocks in vibrant, delicious colours.

There was a time, not so very long ago, when the Minx would only wear dresses. Now she dresses like a waif from a Joan Eardley painting.

I used to look at the Oscar Marzaroli photos of waifs and strays in the Gorbals of Glasgow and think (in my internal Glasgwegian voice):

It is a pure sin so it is that those poor wee weans had nothing to wear but hand me downs and scabby wellies

Now I realise that the weans in question had probably been provided with perfectly lovely clothes and simply went out of their way to wave the vicky fingers at their upwardly mobile parents.

There is a hipster family in these parts, the Miles family, twice featured by Sydney’s second hand Sartorialist, fashion designer/blogger/writer Fernando Frisoni. The first thing that occurred to me when I saw the Miles family, in the year that the Noisy Boy was born is probably no surprise namely – How on EARTH did they get their children to dress in anything approaching a hipster manner without bribery, corruption and copious corporal punishment?

I mean, my children are really very good at chucking a look together.  This week they are mostly wearing swimming costumes. The Noisy Boy is wearing his winter school uniform trousers despite the heat and humidity. When we get to the beach or swimming pool no doubt they will mostly be wearing long sleeved tee shirts and jeans. Or something similar. The problem is getting them to wear anything that I like the look of. This is something no doubt that parents everywhere think when they look at their weans.

So now I must rely on Frocking Fridays rather than the Minx to get my girlie kicks.

And so here it is: Frock the First by Seduce in silk. I was even wearing a slip. Go me.

Date of Wear:    Friday 7 January 2011


*Read all about Frocking Friday here. Personally I would have preferred ‘Thank Frock It’s Friday” but I am a year late to this dress up party and no one loves a pushy unpunctual gatecrasher.

No More Lazy Bastarditis & Frocking Fridays

This time last year I blogged about some of my New Years Resolution – to learn to drive.  That was a fun plan that was ultimately completely unfulfilled. Not a sole met the gas pedal. A shame really because for a while I was idly wondering whether I might buy a pair of driving shoes.

No, not these:














these >

Arguably according to recent safety tests conducted by the Automobile Association stilettos are in fact much safer to drive in than many other shoes – wellies, walking boots, wedged sandals and the worst offenders – flip flops (ok, ok THONGS waves away Australian readers impatiently). In the video link Carol Decker of 80s pop group T Pau recounts a near death experience driving on holiday in platform soles.

If that wasn’t enough to put me off driving for the rest of the year… actually the report was published in September 2010 which means that I was just suffering from a severe case of Lazy Bastarditis prior to that.

Then there was the blogging or the lack thereof. You know things are bad in these digital times when your cousin sends you a handwritten, handmade Christmas card saying:

“I miss your blogs.”

So do I. But here’s the thing.

I have lost my blogging mojo. It’s gone.

But help is at hand.  Wordpress have launched two nudzh, ahem, inspiration campaigns –

  • Post a Day 2011: Post something to your blog every single day through 2011
  • Post a Week 2011: Post to your blog at least once a week through 2011

Bearing in mind that I:

  • lose my house keys at least once a week
  • am late for work due to an inability to find matching stockings with no runs in them at least twice a week
  • get home late from work virtually all week

Post a Day may not be the way for me to keep my marriage and my sanity intact this year. That leaves option 2, Post a Week.

Now here is where it gets even easier for me – somebody somewhere has decided that 2011 is going to be the Year of the Frock. I am all for frocks. These cut the time that it takes me to get dressed by at least 10 minutes. Now I just have to match up all those odd stockings and I am ready for Frocking Fridays.

Anyone care to join in? The challenge is to wear a dress a week on Friday for 52 weeks this year. All ages and genders are invited.

My boss is quite pleased to hear that not only shall I be wearing dresses but I shall also be wearing slips and avoiding fishnets. Well, I shall try…