Sunday 8 May 2011

Lady Melbourne, Westfield, and Shopping Extravaganzas.

Once upon a time I was fashion girl.  I loved shopping.  I loved looking for the perfect shirt, skirt or, my greatest love, shoes.  Unfortunately my Carrie Bradshaw taste was accompanied by the salary of an allied health worker in the public health system,with a husband, two kids and a mortgage. 

Still, I was undeterred by my meager finances.  I was bargain queen.  I could smell a 70% off sale a mile away and spot a red 'sale' sign at 100 paces.  I could mix and match with ease.  I would drive across 10 suburbs to get to a great op shop that was renowned for it's treasure of vintage pieces.  I always carried my wardrobe contents in my mental filofax.  I knew exactly where a particular piece of clothing or accessory would fit.  I could shop for hours and come home with only one piece, but it would be the perfect piece, that slotted in seamlessly with the rest of my wardrobe.  My own fashion version of Tetris.

I would frock up for work each day in a killer pair of heels, carefully selected vintage or classic inspired outfit with the perfect accessories. 

Then Bob came on the scene.

Slowly, bit by bit, my fashion sense went the way of my health.  Part of it was the exhaustion.  I simply didn't have the energy to do it.  It was a case of practicalities.  Ensuring adequate coverage for everything that needs to be covered in public became the number one priority, anything more was simply in the realm of fantasy.  Mind you that didn't stop me from going to work with my top on backwards, or forgetting to iron half my shirt.  If my hair was brushed I was pretty happy, as using a hair dryer was just too much effort.  Makeup went out the window except for a quickly applied bit of lippy.  I ended up with a wardrobe filled with slacks and shirts made from that hideous no-iron material. One less step to worry about in a world where energy was in short supply.

When I stopped working I gave up on fashion all together.  I slipped into a funk that if I'm honest, was quite comfortable.  There were small flashes where I would find a moment of care and put in some effort but they wee few and far between.  When your permanently exhausted it's hard to care.  With Bob my body shape also changed.  I really have no idea what size I am now, all I know is that most of my pre-sick clothes nolonger fit.  I don't really want to know more than that. 

Now I wear the uniform of the sick, PJs and old trackie dacks (see below).  Bugger brushing may hair, whip it up in a hair band and I'm set to face the world.  When you're stuck at home for the most part, why put in the effort?  I'm pretty sure my dogs are ambivalent to my permanent fashion faux pas.  My only concession to personal grooming these days is my bottle of Chanel No. 5 that sits by my bed.  A squirt every day to remind myself that once life was different.  
 (Abandon all hope ye who enter here.  
2yrs post leaving work.  Looking chic in pasty sick, 
with hideous dressing gown, unbrushed hair, dog chewed couch,
and large Thor sized accessory).
 (Mixing it up with old trackie dacks, which I still wear, 
and hair pulled back in a hair band, with small Freyja puppy accessory)
  (Ooh look, more pj's and another dog accessory, I have it going on.  
Note carefully crafted bed hair and pasty chic look)
 (And yet another pj, dressing gown and dog shot.  I am serious need on the fashion front.  
Good lord, even I can't believe my lack of style.)

Lately, I've been thinking that I need to put in some effort.  My eldest monkey boy is doing his deb with his best girlfriend and I really want to not look like the bride of Frankenstein's frumpier, pasty sister, when we do the mum and son dance.  PJs are simply not going to cut it.  Bob's not going anywhere and I really need to find my mojo again.  With his recent escalation I really need to put some serious effort into locating my elusive fashion sense once more.  (Though despite my stupor even I know that jeggings aren't pants, and that orange spray tan is only acceptable if you are an Oompa Loompa.  Maybe there is a remnant of my fashion sense left after all). 

Whether it's kismet or fate or whatever, but one of my favourite fashion bloggers, Lady Melbourne, (Phoebe was the inspiration for my Dorothy Shoes post last year) ran a competition for a $1,000 Westfield shopping spree with a stylist.  And,

I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know.  I can't believe it either.  I ran around (well stumbled around) the house yelling "I won", and doing a happy dance that may or may not have resembled the famous Elaine dance from Seinfeld.  I then took my laptop out to Mr Grumpy to ensure I wasn't delusional from lack of O2 or in the midst of a super brain fog.  But it's true I won.  My name was right there on the computer screen.  I have had emails from Lady Melbourne herself, and now have a pair of Westfield shopping centre gift cards in my hands.  No need to pinch me, it's not a dream.

Phoebe has been lovely, managing to squish me in on short notice before Monkey Boy's deb on the 14th so I will be all gussied up for the big night.

So this Wednesday, May 11th, which just so happens to be my birthday, I get to meet Phoebe, shop with a stylist and have the best birthday ever.  My gorgeous friend Kerri is coming along to help me out, carry bags or piggy back me at need.  I don't care how badly behaved Bob is on the day I am going to shop till I drop,  I don't care if I end the day being felt up by a pair of burly ambos or staggering like a drunken sailor and scaring small children and grey-haired grannies.  There will be fitting rooms, coat hangers, seams, hems, buttons, zippers and most importantly, fun.

And just think, with a stylist I will actually have a chance at avoiding the dreaded Mutton Dressed as Lamb Syndrome (at nearly 38 I am classed as high risk) or a bad case of What Was She Thinking Disorder.  Because lets face it $1000 on clothes can be spent wisely or very badly.  I think Princess Beatrice has taught us all a lesson in that money cannot be trusted to purchase style.

 (This must be avoided at all costs)

I will post photos of my new fashionable self after the big day and there will be no pjs or trackie dacks in sight!

The soon to be re-mojoed Michelle ;)


  1. yeah, well done on the shopping spree, couldnt of come at a better time. enjoy your day, and happy birthday too!!!

    drs always thought i an anemia, the pasty look followed me around too. dog pictures, i do that.

    good luck, cant wait to see the pictures. x

  2. Em - thanks so much I really can't wait. I thought you might have a doggy pic or two. Mind you I do have human children, not that I put them on the blog. That's all, "so embarrassing" apparently. Precious teenagers.:)

  3. HA! Take THAT, Bob! Congratulations on winning the big prize, lady! You are going to have quite the birthday this year. And you know we expect pics. Of you. Modelling the new gear. No chickening out! Although those pink stripey pjs are looking mighty comfy to me...

  4. Veg - thanks babe. Watch out ANTM here I come. I can hear Right Said Fred's 'I'm too sexy' already.

    PS I may or may not be wearing those pjs right now as I type. :)

  5. I'm so excited for you I could piddle. Truly. And I'm not just saying that because I pee a lot.

  6. Elly Lou - thank you for piddling for me, I feel very special, big smooches Mwah!

  7. Congratulations Michelle! I hope you have a fabulous time and find some beautiful pieces. I love the puppy photos too, they are absolutely the best fashion accessories ever!

  8. Elizabeth - thanks, it's going to be a great day. It will be great to have the input of a stylist to point me in the right direction. As I was going through my old photos for the post I did start to realise that I take A LOT of dog photos. I do have human children as well, really I do.

  9. It will be Hair melbourne
    great to have the input of a stylist to point me in the right direction. As I was going through my old photos for the post I did start to realise that I take A LOT of Melbourne hair

    dog photos.


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