What is the dress code? (For an over 40, mother of 2 adult children, who doesn’t want to look like a cat loving spinster or a 17 year old pop singer?)

Cameron Diaz and I are the same age!

Random I know but it will make sense soon.

I want you to picture her and what she wears as a 43 year old woman.

I would describe her style as casual chic.

Jeans, a white shirt or a cute dress. Some nice ballet flats or a heeled boot.

Easy right?

Disclaimer – I am not delusional; although we are the same age we look absolutely nothing alike, except maybe the blonde hair.

**Cameron on the left (just in case!)

Here is my dilemma.

As the mother of 2 daughters in their late teens/early twenties,

“What do I wear?”

I don’t want to look like mutton dressed as lamb but I don’t want to look like I’m ready for the bowls club either.

Apart from being too young for this look, I can never keep white clothes clean.

When the girls and I go shopping we sometimes find that we  like the same clothes.

But who gets precedence?

Who gets to keep the item we both like?

I’ve figured out the way it works in our house.  

They tell me it looks good on me so I buy it and then I never see it because they “borrow” it for 3 years.

They’ve been bloody playing me!

I was so happy for them to tell me I looked fashionable that I didn’t even care.

I was so desperate for compliments from the young and trendy (does anyone say trendy anymore) that I let them convince me  I looked good in clothes just so they could steal them.

To their credit they will also let me know when I look completely hideous and shouldn’t be allowed out of the house.

I recently tried on a top which I thought looked O.K. Didn’t love it but thought I’d see how it looked on.

The top sat a little weird around the bust area but put it down to the old bra I was wearing.

You know the one.  

It’s the bra you can wear when you really want to be in your pyjamas but visitors pop in at the last minute so you feel the need to have a bra and lipstick on.

It doesn’t do any heavy lifting, it just meets a social rule.

As I emerged from the change room my suspicions were confirmed with comments like,

“Oh hey,  great art smock Lisa.”

“Nice mono-boob Lisa.”

Luckily these comments were from the girls and not random strangers.

Top was taken off  and never spoken of again.

I still have the bra though! It’s just too comfortable to get rid of.

I often pray to Cameron (she has become my spiritual guide even though she is still very much alive and has no idea) for advice on choosing clothes.

Can I still show cleavage? And if so how much?

I figure a glimpse of belly button makes it too much.

My legs are good so can I just wear short skirts all the time?  How short is too short?

I do know that if hair removal is required then the skirt is too short.  Der!

Is it still ok to wear my top off the shoulder with my bra strap (good bra) showing? Or will I look like a flashdance tragic?

I can remove my bra without taking my top off. Thanks lady from Flashdance. #lifeskills

Off the shoulder is so in right now, but am I too old?

Or is the fact that I have shoulders like a male triathlete a turn off?

As seen in photo above, I’ve given it a whirl and I bloody love it. I have had pyjamas made “off the shoulder” to maximise on this flattering style.

I tried on a pair of jeans recently and I thought to myself;

“These jeans are so comfortable, I could sit for hours in them without them cutting into my waist”.

What the actual fuck!

Am I 70?

When was the last time I sat for hours?

As I looked at myself in the changeroom mirror I was equal parts shocked and surprised.

These jeans had magical powers but it was an evil form of black magic.

They had taken my arse and magically repositioned it behind my knees.

I am fully aware that I am not blessed with a Kimmy K style backside but I have enough roundness to distinguish my arse from my hamstrings and lower back.

Not in these jeans.

Comfortable denim is a trap to be avoided at all costs.

It will lull you into a false sense of security. You will imagine that this comfort makes you look relaxed and easygoing.

It doesn’t.

It makes you look arse-less and frumpy.

The stretch in the denim will change the shape of the garment within the first ten minutes of wearing it and your body shape will disappear along with it.

I once, unknowingly, made the massive error of wearing junners (jeans & runners).

When the girls saw me, thankfully according to them, before I left the house, they said “No Deal”.

Hanging a boob out and leaving the house would’ve received less of a reaction than wearing Junners.

Why are a pair of straight leg, dark denim jeans paired with some Asics not the same as a pair of 3/4 skinny jeans with a 1950’s inspired white sneaker?

Is this not technically junners?

Who makes the rules and how do I find out about them?

For now I will trust my own instincts and wear what I feel reasonably attractive in and I will be on the lookout for a sign from Cameron.

But trust me if I could, I would still be rocking the shit out of a mid drift top and a pencil skirt.

Lisa XX

For those playing along at home-

Skunners – skirt and runners   Lunners – leggings and runners

Drunners – dress and runners  Shunners – shorts and runners

 

Strap yourself in…….

Shopping a couple of weeks ago I came across a dress I loved instantly.

It was midnight blue (fitting in perfectly with my grey, black, blue palette).

It had a V-ish neck line (a must for the bigger busted women amongst us, according to my daughter).

It had beautiful lace sleeves. Slightly see through but enough to disguise any bingo wing action.

And best of all it had some delicate sparkles. Gorgeous little beads hand sewn onto the dress.

LOVE.

The only feature of the dress that gave me reason for concern was the low back. It didn’t look too low and I convinced myself I could wear a low backed bra with it.

Why is this a worry you ask?

If, like me, you have been blessed (cursed) with big (sagging over time) boobs then you will know that the thought of going braless is enough to cause severe hives and heart palpitations.

There are so few options for the bigger busted, apart from always choose an outfit you can wear a bra with. See, I know this and yet I still allowed myself to part with my hard earned cash (actually won on the pokies, at the casino during a girl’s weekend away) and leave the store with the dress.

Now, I am a believer in patterns and lessons.

Life throws experiences and challenges at us until we learn the lesson that was intended for this particular situation. If there is a pattern of behavior (usually negative) that emerges, it is a great opportunity to sit back and reflect on what might need addressing in your life. Some people see these patterns after a couple of failed relationships,  choosing toxic friends or through addiction.

Not me. My lesson is all around the fact that my boobs need to be secured by something other than tape!

Allow me to talk you through it.

It was 1996. My husband and I had a formal event to attend and I needed an outfit. My lovely sister in law offered to lend me a top that I had admired on her many times. I was about 8 months post baby and I was so happy that it actually fit, I was wearing it no matter what. I decided to team this top with a full length ball skirt (now known as a maxi skirt).

90s-dress
The above picture shows the cut of the top I was to borrow.

During my days of being at home with a young baby I had started watching a lady called Oprah. You may have heard of her. Inspirational!

For all the hundreds of segments Oprah had on her show over many, many years, I remembered the segment on how to strap your boobs down using tape if it was required. The stylist was demonstrating how to get that “I’m wearing a bra” look, if you couldn’t actually wear a bra. It was imprinted on my memory. I didn’t actually remember what tape she had used but……….all tape’s the same right?

Wrong!

Can I just mention here that I get a rash from leaving a band aid on too long.

On the day of the event I was getting ready to strap my boobs down and look glamorous. I couldn’t find any tape in the house. None. No strapping tape from my footballer husband, no masking tape, only a thin sticky tape left over from present wrapping at Christmas. Hollywood tape wasn’t even a thing in 1996.

I headed to the laundry because everything ends up in the laundry. I was in luck, silver duct tape. I knew it was strong because I had seen people fix things with it, perfect for holding my boobs in place all night.

duct-tape

Let me just say that I taped the absolute shit out of my boobs. Those suckers were not moving. I would even be able to dance with abandon.

I was dressed, made-up and ready to leave the house, taking all the compliments being showered upon me by my gorgeous husband. On the way to the function I ask “Is it hot in here?” Husband says it’s not but turns the aircon on for me anyway.

Feeling warmer still as we arrive at the venue.

Seated, chatting, entrée served, drinking water like I’ve just made it out of the desert. Temperature rising, sweat forming, starting to feel a slight itch on my chest. Ignoring all signs, I keep chatting. It gets too much and I head for the bathroom. Oh god!

The rash has come out of my top and is making its way up my neck. I lift my arm and it’s under there too. I head into a cubicle to get a better look. Taking off the top I see that the rash is now heading down my stomach. I panic. I start to remove the tape, but it is really strong and is taking skin along with it. It’s burning.

I head out of the cubicle and I am in a full panic now. I have my top off, I am bent over the basin and have the cold water running while I splash it over my chest. Women are walking in to use the bathroom and they look scared. One woman bravely approaches me and asks if she can help.

I pant, “Table 31, get Scott, NOW!” I am deranged.

Skipping a few (many) humiliating details, I can tell you we ended up in emergency with me being given an antihistamine injection and some help removing the tape. Who knew olive oil would come in so handy? I had a rash for about a week and the skin was sensitive for months.

So where is the pattern?

Fast forward to 2016, yep, that’s this year. Remember the low backed, blue number from earlier?

Well I decided to tape my boobs down because a low backed bra was not an option. Had I learnt anything from my previous taping experience? Of course. I used a hypo-allergenic tape that I had leftover from strapping my ankles for a walk I did.

tapebra
This is what it should’ve looked like….

So different to duct tape right? Well, yes it is different in that it’s not as strong. I used approximately 6.5 meters of tape to create a mono-boob. There was no breast definition at all and my boobs looked like badly made pork buns.

pork-buns
Boobs that look like this!

There was no dancing and the tape started to peel throughout the night. Pleased to report that I did make it through the entire function. I had some mild itching towards the end but no injections needed.

Lessons learnt……

  • your boobs are not perky enough to go braless or to tape them down
  • you are allergic to most tapes and using them will lead to pain
  • cover your nipples, that skin is delicate and hurts like a MOFO when being ripped off
  • choose outfits/dresses that allow for a bra to be worn
  • JUST WEAR A BLOODY BRA!

 

big-bra
Will this fit under a dress??

 

 

So life will send you lessons you just need to be willing to see the pattern and address the behavior. I am confident (today) that I will never tape my boobs again but if they invent a really strong, hypo-allergenic tape, I can’t be responsible for my behavior.

Lisa X

 

Images courtesy of –

http://www.affairlingerie.com/

http://www.palacechinese.com.au/?action=YumChaGallery

http://alldaychic.com/ways-to-tape-your-breasts-for-a-strapless-look/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-stengel/criminal

https://www.buzzfeed.com/leonoraepstein/things-90s-girls-wore-to-prom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mirror, Mirror on the wall…..

I’ve recently starting doing Pilates.

It’s in a cute little boutique studio with a lovely vibe and really encouraging instructors.

My relaxation and switching off from the world starts as soon as I walk in the door. I love the smell, the lighting and the whole vibe the place puts out. The green colour scheme is so calming and god know we all need a bit of calm in our busy lives.

I have splurged and invested in a new sports bra. One that doesn’t feel like I’m wearing a 1920’s corset. I’ve done a bit of running in the past and these boobs of mine needed to be strapped down!  It’s also a bit different getting used to wearing no shoes. I love having bare feet so I think we will get along well.

The class starts with stretching and get this, while laying down.

Any activity that allows me to lay down, encourages deep breathing and helps me stretch away the day is for me.

After 4 or 5 sessions I felt less sore and more strong. I’m not in the class to get skinny, although if it happens by accident I will be ok with it, I am in the class to feel strong. I need to build some muscle to stop my bingo wings and bum both reaching much lower levels on my body than they should.

I’m learning to find my spine’s neutral position, how to isolate my upper and lower abs. This requires me actually finding my abs. Luckily for me you don’t need to be able to see the abs to isolate them.

So as you can probably tell I’m really enjoying Pilates and feel stronger for it.

Here is my one issue.

Mirrors.

The whole wall of the studio is covered in mirrors. As someone who avoids mirrors unless absolutely necessary, it’s like torture for me.

I have this thing in my head where I can see myself doing the moves and I look bloody good. I’m graceful, fluid and elegant.

pilates-reformer-classes
This is how I look in my head!

The mirrors ruin this picture for me and I become sweaty, clunky and a bit uncoordinated.

cfe7352a7d8cbc0d9f901c370d928551.jpg
Reality….

I have the same issue with mirrors in nightclubs or anywhere I like to dance. Again my mind’s picture is much more flattering to me than that mirrored reality and quite frankly I like my delusional head space.

So I will keep going to Pilates despite the mirrors and I will need to muster a new level of self acceptance –

  • My boobs get in the way of some of the arm exercises
  • I have some back fat
  • My stomach is flat when I lie down or stand up really straight and no where in between
  • My legs are skinny and I sometimes look like a lolly pop

The positives, (there are always positives)-

  • I’m still smiling at the end of class
  • I haven’t fallen down the stairs when my legs are shaking after class
  • I’ve met some lovely people
  • My daughter is doing this with me (I’m also competing with her in my head and I sometimes do heavier springs just to have a little victory)

See you when I have Michelle Obama arms!

Lisa X

 

 

 

 

Boobs+Running= Ouch

As I embark on a training regime to enable me to run a marathon I have noticed many changes in my body. My legs are toned and stronger, my arms and back are becoming leaner. I’ve lost a couple of kilos.

Sounds positive right?

Sure, if I didn’t have boobs. These rather voluptuous mounds on my chest were not designed to be carried at a quick pace for over 30 kms. They hurt and they move a hell of a lot.

I have spent a small fortune on the latest sports bras which offer more support than the day to day variety and have the added the bonus of turning 2 large breasts into 1 mono boob.

I have resorted to double bagging. Which sees me wearing 2 bras at the same time. I find this is needed at “that time”of the month when just walking seems to hurt. I now carry around bricks with nipples. Hormones and big boobs can inflict pain like bare feet and small lego pieces.

I have had my husband help me bind myself in non-stretch crepe bandage. Trust me there is nothing more mood setting than having your husband strap down one of his favourite things and make them flat. He looked like a child being punished but not really understanding what he’d done wrong.

Once I have strapped, contained and flattened the offending mounds to stop them moving, I hit the road.

I start to enjoy the sensation of running with only the beat of my feet and not the swinging of my breasts to set my pace to.

Suddenly I feel faint. Am I having a panic attack?

Can’t breathe.

Need air.

I see stars, it’s turning black.

Sitting down on the footpath I start to feel better. Then it dawns on me……….

My lung capacity has just been restricted to approximately half and I can’t take a full breath.

In my endeavour to be able to run pain and pendulum free, I have nearly caused myself to faint.

Research has been done, people have been questioned and I’ve just ordered the Rolls Royce of sports bras. It makes the claim that even people with an E cup could run with little or no movement.

Delivery of this wonder garment is expected any day soon.

I will let you know how it goes.

Lisa xx