How Not to Look Desperate!

The 2018 Golden Globes was a showcase of modern fashion – some interesting, some ho-hum and some REALLY TACKY! Since it is our film stars and celebrities that drive the fashion industry forward (luckily there is also momentum from street-and grassroots- fashion) it is only fair to weigh in on the questionable sartorial choices of the stars. (Or their stylists, some of whom need job reassignment :-0 )

Exhibit A. Sharon Stone

Even if you are slender, there comes a time when a dress like this is not a good idea.  At 59 years of age, her skin is no longer as tight as a drum – and this dress showcases that to perfection. Not the effect she was after I am sure.

Here is another lass from the Golden Globes event. How is this for gorgeous? 72 years young, Helen has a wonderful sense of style and always delivers.

Big difference – and Helen is a joy to behold!

So, don’t be afraid to cover up a little – less is more as they say. If in doubt, it probably is not right for you but send me snap anytime and I can give you a second  opinion if you like.

Fashion still is wonderful, transformative and fun – let’s also make it attractive for those that have to look at us too!

Stay Stylish!


2018 Pantone Colour of the Year…YIKES!

Ah, Pantone strikes again with yet another decree as to what colour we shall be

wearing, painting with and buying for the coming year.

Once again they have saddled us with a colour that – how shall I put this – you will slap

your forehead over and exclaim “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!”…(a.k.a. wtf ? )

Here it is…are you ready?

Now I can tell you, as a decorator, purple is one of the hardest colours to work around.

This colour I would use in a children’s room. Fine. But I will tell you now that men

hate purple. In all my years of styling people and homes, I have had one male

client who liked purple, and one of my sons loves it too – HIS purple though, not

this girly one. So ladies, don’t even ask him – he won’t wear it and he won’t want

to look at it on his wall!

Every year it seems, Pantone give us a colour that is not quite right – some

bloggers think this is a deliberate ploy to irritate us enough to talk about it…

may be merit in that!


If you are a Spring colour type, this hue may very well be fabulous on you.

And a few Autumns will also find it a vibrant addition to a cold-weather wardrobe.

Winter types should steer clear; and

Summers will be overpowered by it.

Anyway, what do you think? Love it? Hate it? Meh?

Can’t wait to see what they come up with next year!!

That’s all for now – toodles!


Knickers in a Knot

Click here for a fascinating recent article:

Young Women Say No to Thongs – NY Times

The movie character of Bridget Jones made famous the concept of “Granny Pants” – largish, comfortable underwear that supposedly was an instant man repeller and therefore could not be worn by any member of the fairer sex until they were at least…oh…80 or so.

This concept was later picked up by Gok Wan, who as far as I know, has himself not worn the teensy tiny scratchy numbers he advocates for his makeover victims to look sexy in.

Indulge me while I rant just a litte…

I hate the connotation of “granny pants” – talk about ridiculous. You want underwear that covers, is comfortable, functional and makes your outerwear look as it should.

You don’t see any men in underwear that scratches, has body parts hanging out, cuts into them, rides up, or creates rolls and lines where it shouldn’t. I know we sometimes sacrifice for fashion, but uncomfortable underwear is a bridge too far.

One mission on my recent overseas trip was to find some decent underwear. Brought some home from the UK which is almost all right.

It is beyond belief how much underwear is out there – so many styles – and most of it I consider unwearable. Target has come the closest, but it’s getting hard to find even there. One sales assistant said to me that their fastest sellers were the high cut leg, high waisted styles and they just never got enough of them in (*scratch head*).


So here is the challenge ; a high leg (much more flattering for hourglass shapes); waistband at natural waist; full cut bottom (so there is no riding up or VPLs); a breathable fibre (bamboo, cotton); and elastic that doesn’t dig in. Am I asking for too much???

I Hate “Makeovers”! Part 2

As promised, here is Haley Freeman’s fabulous article: Hadley Freeman, Ask Hadley, The Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU.

Why are women so obsessed with makeovers?
Pete, by email

Are we? Every one of us? It’s true, there are some days when I can barely get out of bed because my mind is so possessed by thoughts of how I can make over myself. But really, I think we can all agree that, when it comes to narcissism, a fashion columnist is probably at the thin end of the wedge.

The truth is, Pete, I don’t think women are obsessed with makeovers. But I do think that media aimed at women, from movies to magazines to TV shows, strongly believe they should be, and this is manifested in a variety of ways. There’s the subtle way: the constant message that women can and must improve their physical appearance in some way, and not to do so will result in loneliness and self-loathing. There’s the less subtle way, which is the media veneration of female celebrities who achieve Nobel prize-winning feats in self-transformation, such as losing weight after having a baby. Then there’s the straightforward no-bother-with-subtlety approach, which is simply to celebrate makeovers in themselves.

The latter has been a staple of TV schedules for so long now, it’s actually impossible to imagine a time when evenings did not involve a woman being marched in front of a full-length mirror and forced to marvel at her soon-to-be-transformed ugliness. The frankly baffling success of Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine about a decade ago – two posh women who went around the country and bossily told other women to change their lives by wearing long T-shirts under V-neck jumpers – was perhaps the most irritating manifestation of this tendency, but by no means the most extreme, or even the worst. For that, I’d suggest The Biggest Loser, a reality TV show in which fat people are screamed at on TV for the viewing pleasure of millions. But really, I hate all makeovers, if only for the simple reason that they almost always make women look worse than they did originally.

Just think of makeovers in movies. They always infuriate me. Allison in The Breakfast Club swapping her eyeliner and cool gothiness for a boring Alice band and sloaniness; Tai in Clueless, being torn asunder from her 90s skater-grrrrl outfits and sweet stoner-ness in order to wear kilts and be a Beverly Hills bitch; Laney Boggs in She’s All That losing her sexy nerd-chic style so as to attract the attentions of Freddie Prinze Jr, for heaven’s sake. Heck, I prefer Julia Roberts’ amazing curly mane of hair at the beginning of Pretty Woman to the tedious Los Angeles blowdry she subjects herself to for Richard Gere’s pleasure. Also, her Beverly Hills outfits are gross and forgettable. Seriously, try to remember a single posh outfit Roberts wears in that movie – you can’t, of course. But the mini skirt and over the knee boots she sports at the beginning? Movie wardrobe classic.

PRETTY woman makeover

And yes, I do prefer Gigi’s adorable schoolgirl outfits in the eponymous 1958 musical to the evening gown her grandmother and great aunt make her wear so as to look like an escort (yes, really). The only film makeover I can vaguely get behind is the one in My Fair Lady, when Audrey Hepburn is transformed from a cockney flower seller to a society queen bee, but that is more to do with bad casting than any improvement in Eliza Doolittle. Hepburn is the most unlikely cockney of all time – and I am including Dick Van Dyke – so watching her force herself at the beginning of the film to drop her aitches and smear mud on her cheeks actually makes me itchy with anxiety, and don’t even get me started on her dubbed-over songs (no disrespect, Audrey Hepburn, but, seriously, that casting director must have been smoking something when he picked you over Julie Andrews for the part).

The point is, the reason I hate makeovers is that they are predicated on the idea that personality and individuality are nothing next to conventional ideas of attractiveness, and anyone with a modicum of a soul knows that this is bullcrap. Makeover stylists insist they are merely helping a caterpillar emerge from their cocoon of badly fitted leggings and become a butterfly. I’d like to see any evidence that a person who is subjected to a makeover on reality TV leaves with anything other than decimated self-confidence. Ahh, tomayto, tomahto. I mean,just look at old (pre-2009) photos of Kim Kardashian and see how much happier she looked wearing patterns and baby-doll dresses than she does now, forced by Kanye West into horrible fashion-forward (read: “fugly”) clothes.

And yet, because so many women grow up with this ingrained belief that self-improvement is all, there will always be something fascinating about looking at Before and After comparisons and imagining that such a transformation is possible. Because it is, ladies, it is. It is honestly not that hard to look like everyone else. The question is, though, do you really want to?

I Hate “Makeovers”! Part 1

As a wardrobe stylist, I have taken a professional interest in the art of the “makeover” particularly as displayed on our television screens. And let’s face it, this is not about learning “what not to wear” – it IS, like everything else on commercial TV – about entertainment. For you, the viewer. Not the hapless victim.

So, you expect some cringe-worthy moments, but I confess that I NEVER get used to them. The worst scenes are where women of all shapes, sizes, and ages, are begging to be chosen by the “experts” to be publicly humiliated on national TV in the name of improving their daggy looks. It’s like giving your baby to Attila the Hun.

Any stylist worth their salt – and your money and time – should have the basics of  CPR for a woman’s self-esteem down pat. A good friend of mine, a charming male, said to me long ago “I have never met an ugly woman.” And he is right. There are as many types of beauty as there are people in the world, and yes, that does include YOU. Sometimes I have to reintroduce a woman to the lovely features about herself she has overlooked in the rush to criticise what she sees in the mirror.

One major problem is that these “experts” have no idea what they are doing! And the finished result is way worse than what they started with. (Hmmmm, shall be be cynical, and say it is all about selling yet more clothing to an already saturated market?)

Hadley Freeman of The Guardian wrote a delightful article recently that I shall share in Part 2 of this post. Meanwhile, here is a pic she included, stating that Julia Roberts was naturally prettier, and more herself in the BEFORE photo. What do you think?

PRETTY woman makeover

Fifty Shades of Crazy

The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomena may not seem relevant to a stylist’s blog. But bear with me here.

Your image – and especially, your image of your own self – is a very important part of your style and how you show up in the world. Caring for  and loving the person you are is crucial if you are ever to achieve sound relationships and worthwhile goals.

So, I’ve declared war on anything in pop culture that denigrates beauty and goodness – and FSoG does exactly that.

Check this marvellous blogger’s views on just why you and yours and everyone you love should avoid the books – and especially the movie- from this wretched trilogy:

And so you won’t feel too ghastly after reviewing this enlightening piece, here is the cartoon of the day:


C ya!

Jeanette x

Colour of the Year

Peak body for all things colour, Pantone has announced the 2015 colour of the year and it is – well – an unusual choice!

MARSALA is the name of this reddish-brown hue, and you will be seeing it in stores and on home-wares, advertising and possibly cars as well. To me, it is a wintry type of colour – so I suspect the winter fashion drops are more likely to carry it.

Here is a selection of items in this colour.


My feeling is that those who wear Autumn tones well, plus some of our muted Summer types will carry this off to perfection. Darker, more intense versions may suit the Winter types, and our Springs will probably loathe it – which is good as I think it will look ghastly on them!

What do you think of it? Would you wear it?

‘Til next time

Stay Stylish!

Jeanette x   

Blokes Get It Easy

Here’s a post for the man/men in your life!

Years ago men would put as much effort into their grooming and attire as women did.

Now before you start snorting with derision let me clarify – I’m talking about 300 years ago!

Take a look at this picture:

C17 fashionable man

C17 fashionable man

Now just how long it took this lad to get out the door is anybody’s guess – but I bet it was the best part of a couple of hours!What a dandy! Just imagine he would have been hogging the bathroom mirror, watching for holes in his tights, and putting up with lots of discomfort in an effort to be fashionable.But of course times have changed, and Australia boasts (?) one of the most casual dress codes in the world. I can hear the womenfolk moaning from here: “After all I do to look good, why can’t my bloke just put in a teeny bit of effort?”As in most things, guys will take the path of least resistance. Not only in that they get their women to buy their clothes (right?) but also keeping them looking more or less presentable.BUT, the good news is it doesn’t take a lot of work for a guy to be really outstanding in his image.Here’s some basics on how to do it:

  1. Pull together a nice outfit – 3 pieces and some stylish shoes will do it. Like this:

2.  Add a scarf to a casual outfit – loop it round the neck or drape outside your jacket lapels

3. Hunt down some killer shoes – women REALLY notice a stylish shoe

4. Forget the acid wash, grungy, hole-y jeans and get some in a dark wash that fit well. Be prepared: you WILL get comments!

5. Wear a hat. It is so rare now (I’m not talking baseball caps here guys!) that a confidently worn hat will get noticed and score points for style.

Check out if you can do with some expert help on your image. No point passing up the big-bucks promotion or that hot date just because you lack the time to sort it all out for yourself.

That’s it for now. ‘Til next time –


Calling All Cows!

People often ask me : “what is in fashion right now?”

The simple answer is “whatever is in the stores”!

Right now you would have had to have been under a rock to miss one of the major looks of the winter fashion season: leather

Which, to my mind, looks best on cows.

But I digress.

If you want to give the leather/pleather/PU look a try here’s some pointers:

  • Little people – ie petites, not leprechauns – need to watch for too much BULK. Not doing you any favours
  • Real leather will have some give; but both fake and real leather can be real hot!
  • Beware the fashions marked as “biker” styles if you plan to take to motorcycling for real. Go to a bike shop and you will see what I mean (and yes, I have a motorcycle license). For instance don’t fall for the skinny leather pants, or you won’t be able to swing your leg over the bike.
  • If you can try to ascertain if the leather is ethically sourced.
  • PLEASE don’t do the head to toe leather thing – just don’t.
  • Remember that leather jackets will “creak” when you move. Nothing wrong with that but it can be off-putting if you are the shy type.
  • Pleather/leather is good for holding in curves – unless it is really shiny in which case it will accentuate every bump
  • If you want to try a style, instead of the $1154 pair of leather pants at DJs, try the Glassons version instead and see how much wear you get from them.
On Sale at DJs $1154 J Brand

On Sale at DJs $1154
J Brand

One thousand dollars cheaper - Glassons

One thousand dollars cheaper – Glassons

Hope this helps – enjoy the new winter fashions!

Need a hand with the new styles – drop me a line


Would YOU Wear this?

As a professional style watcher I am always amused at claims of the next “big trend”!

We were told just a few short months ago, that VOLUMINOUS was in. Big jackets, big shirts, big dresses.

BUT consumers are not so silly these days, and refuse to buy the styles that should just stay on the catwalk as an art-y creative statement.

The only exception – follow me closely here – are the people who have the money to follow every fad – they often look ludicrous.

Here is an example:

 It’s a bit “Sound of Music” isn’t it – what with them making clothes out of the curtains?

When you dress you should dress to flatter your body. This does nothing for the body underneath it, except showcase her knees – which as Karl Lagerfeld points out, in most women resemble rock-cakes.

It is great to have new trends and designs – that is one of the true joys of fashion! But,yes, it does add to the general confusion.

If you want a stylist’s input on whether a new style works on you – give me a call. It is way cheaper than buying stuff and then looking silly in it!