Like wearing Santa sweaters at Christmastime, pastel gingham at Easter and an adult diaper and quiver on Valentine’s Day, I think that birthdays are an opportunity to dress thematically. This year I will probably dress as a human piñata; violently colourful and stuffed with candy.
This MSGM striped raffia flared dress would be perfect. Also, so versatile! I can’t think of a single themed party that you couldn’t wear this to. Superheroes and villains? Throw on some heavy-duty dishwashing gloves and go as Aquaman. Around the world? Sit on a wicker patio chair all night and be a hot air balloon. Circus? Curly wig, red nose – instant clown. Under the sea? Gormless expression and separation anxiety – instant clownfish. Black & white? An attention seeker.
As if it wasn’t cool enough, this dress has pockets! Finding pockets on a cocktail dress is like finding $20 you didn’t know you had, in your pocket. Which would be possible, with this dress.
Cue Natasha Bedingfield: I got a pocket, got a pocket full of sunshine. I’ve got a love and I know that it’s all mine…
So I was rereading one of my favourite fashion blogs Daddy Likey the other day (as I’m wont to do when nostalgia for the noughties hits; ah those halcyon Internet days when adult services advertising was less in your face, and Neopets was a thing!) and had a sudden flashback to the outfits I used to wear as an undergrad.
Perhaps the most heinous was the Karen Walker cream seersucker dress, which I styled with pink tights, pink scarf and a matching raspberry beret (thanks a bunch Prince – worst fashion advice ever!). Or the Alannah Hill romper made of parachute material that squeaked in protest when I walked. To add insult to nylon camel-toe injury, I’d occasionally layer it over a white Kookai singlet that had taffeta shoulder bits that looked like Libra nightpad wings.
My wardrobe is much more function and inoffensive now. It consists of:
Hands down, glasses are the ultimate accessory. Not only do they make you look about 10 IQ points smarter (and in my case, avoid the awful squinty panic of spotting a friend 20m down the road, doing the smiley ‘Omg, hey!’ and then realising you’re going in to hug a complete stranger who freaks out and beats you with their knapsack…) but they create an aura of mystery. I think this is probably because frames these days are so heavy that they obscure most of your face. Sort of the hipster equivalent of the netted hat veil.
A few months ago I decided that new glasses were my ticket to cultivating a bookish air and avoiding the need for mascara (or eyebrow-shaping, depending on where the rims sat). Target: BIG frames.
I went in to a bunch of stores but ultimately ended up ordering my men’s Tom Fords online because the salespeople I encountered kept trying to steer me towards ladies specs.
A typical exchange:
Today was my official course welcome (and more importantly, photo day!) so I wanted to look the part. Unfortunately my 23kg luggage limit from Australia hadn’t allowed me to bring more than the bare essentials so much as I wanted to don a silk tie and aquamarine dressing gown (which Legally Blonde tells us is the uniform of a serious law student) I had to slapdashedly put together an ensemble with my few non-jersey/trackie-dack items.
This is the face of someone who knows they look like a cater-waiter and isn’t pleased about having that memorialised in the Profile Book.
On the upside, while others struggled to get their hands on a drink at the Reception after, the kitchen staff inundated me with trays of wine and crudités!