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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wardrobe Malfunction

How would you handle a wardrobe malfunction at work?

It started as one of those mornings, when you haven’t done the washing in a week, the undies drawer looks a little pathetic, so you reach into the very back of the drawer to fish out the last pair of acceptable undies you own, knowing full well they are not acceptable but they will have to do.

As you pull them on, you hope that you are not in an accident or hit by a bus. Thanks Nanna for years of reminders that this could happen on a day when bad undies are worn.

You also decide to wear a skirt…

Meetings all morning, day progressing well, it’s your turn for the coffee run so you take off to the coffee shop. Undies feeling a bit loose but after an adjustment you’re back on track.

Arrive back at work, hands full of coffee and a bit of spontaneous shopping, then it happens.

The elastic in the band of your desperation undies gives way. You manage to catch them by slamming your thighs together. All the while still smiling and walking. Hands full can’t stop. You power walk, like a geisha in full ceremonial kimono, taking tiny, baby steps, trying to make this look normal and not arouse suspicion.

You make it to the toilets and look for something to secure the waist band to get you through the day. There is no hair tie, no cotton and thread; you’d even settle for a staple gun at this point, nothing. You go with your only option. Take them off, wrap them in toilet paper and bury them in the bin.

You are now going commando, in a skirt, in the workplace!

Making a run for your office you distribute coffee, not stopping to chat, stow away the spontaneous purchases (none of which are new undies) and sit wedged under your desk deciding what to do. Of course 10 people need to talk to you right now! No one has come in for the last hour but they all need something now.

Question – Can one go undieless all day at work, does it breach some sort of OHS policy? What are you thinking? Must get back to supermarket, must purchase underwear.

The thought of putting them on straight out of the packet would normally make you sweat and think about numerous internet posts reporting bugs climbing into crevices, but these are desperate times. The next challenge is to ensure that you exit the car like a lady and aim not to do a Sharon Stone.

Out of car no flash, purchase made, back to staff toilets, underwear on, back to office.

Heart rate returns to normal, crisis has been averted and for exactly 10 seconds you felt a little bit naughty and rebellious. Yes, spare pair now in glove box.

What would you have done?

Lisa xx