Role Models

Its super important to ask yourself “who do I Admire?” problems can arise when your authentic self and your conscious self don’t communicate about the new direction you are moving in so you need to use introspective tools like the Daily Dialogue, the Illustrated Discovery Journal and Meditation to avoid ending up feeling confused and disoriented

This seemed like such a strange thing then I saw it included as part of the Life tips for mums that Trinny and Susannah put out in their book, What Your Clothes Say About You. When you look at some of the media aimed at this demographic showing apparently real mums in action like, Toddlers to Tiaras, Dance Mums and any of the Real Housewives franchise. Maybe we do have to stop and put some effort into making conscious decisions as to who our role models are.

In Trinny & Susannah’s What Your Clothes Say About You, How To Look Different, Act Different and Feel Different, they talk about choosing a role model who is roughly your own shape and age who you feel is sexy and desirable. They give some examples: Cate Blanchet, Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Nigella Lawson and Helen Mirren. They suggest you study the way your chosen role model dresses and carries herself in order to figure out what is that makes her seem so seductive.

In Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, she suggests that you use a tool could an Illustrated Discovery Journal (scrapbook) in which you begin to keep clippings and make collages of woman whose personal style you admire. She stresses that this is not to be used to imitate but instead as a source of clues to find patterns that will lead you to better understanding of your own authentic personal style.

In Cheryl Richardson’s Life Make Overs: 52 Practical & Inspiring Ways to Improve Your Life One Week at a Time, She asks you to identify someone who is very successfully doing what you would like to be doing. She then gets you to list three qualities that contribute to their success then to pick from that list the quality that you need to develop most of all. She then gets you to commit to three actions to take over the next week to develop that quality a little more in yourself.


Gleaning Tips From Your Imaginary Self Living Her Secret Life

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy urges you to look within today and have fun thinking about paths not yet taken, the paths of your secret imaginary self. Each of you leads many lives vicariously and often simultaneously. By acknowledging your secret lives and tapping into the wisdom of your alter egos, you can glean tips to help you develop your own personal sense of style. In your Journal answer the following questions:

  • So first divine who you would be if not you, if you had 10 other lives to leave what would you be doing?
  • How do they live?
  • How do they dress?
  • How can you reconcile fantasy with reality & bring more pizzazz into your life?
  • What can you do to bring some of the magic of your imaginary lives into your everyday existence?
  • What are you going to be when you grow up?

Your secret imaginary lives are full of surprises, be open to gleaning their secrets of personal style, so start saving and searching to find them on sale somewhere.


Projecting Your Authentic Self

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy reminds you that an easy way let your authentic self help you evolve into the woman you were meant to be is to gather different mail order catalogues. Find a quiet moment to yourself, sit down and flip through the catalogues. Cut out the pictures of the women you think are attractive and the clothing you’d love to wear. Don’t even consider whether you can afford anything or whether you can fit into it today. This is a creative brainstorming session. Always remember that dream, your creative visualizations, must come before their physical manifestations. Play with the pictures in your Illustrated Discovery Journal. Create a collage of your ideal woman, find the perfect hairstyle, put together a fantastic wardrobe for home or work. Have fun with this. Pretend you’re ten years old and playing with paper dolls. See what you discover. Does anything in your Illustrated Discovery Journal resemble anything hanging in your wardrobe? Consider this carefully. Now make yourself a promise. Since you have embarked on this adventure to awaken your authenticity and discover your own sense of style, be willing not to buy another item of clothing unless you absolutely cannot live without it. no more settling for something that’s not you or that’s second rate. On the Simple Abundance path you’re going to discover the joy of surrounding yourself only with things you love and the pleasure of wearing only clothes that make you look and feel fabulous and project your authentic sense of style. Let the potent power of simplicity begin to work in your life. If it’s not authentically you, live without it.

Wardrobe Planning

Today is the day to finally going to come up with a plan for the perfect wardrobe. In the past you may have tried many wise woman’s theories  and odds are, they have always turned out to be a bit of a flop. I bet most were minimalistic, and did not take into account the different aspects of your life and the different seasons in which you live it. The solution is not to have a capsule wardrobe but instead a series of mix and match capsule wardrobes that you can pop in and out of circulation depending on your needs.

First things first, time to download a great playlist that will get you in the mood and help keep you motivated.

The Clean Closet Playlist (The Style Strategy by Nina Garcia)

  • Destiny’s Child “Independent Woman”
  • Depeche mode “Clean”
  • Outcast “So Fresh, So Clean”
  • Christina Aguilera “Beautiful”
  • Michael Jackson “P.Y.T”
  • No Doubt “Just A Girl”
  • Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow”
  • Blondie “The Tide Is High”
  • Maroon 5 “She Will Be Loved”
  • Prince ” Raspberry Beret”
  • Abba “Dancing Queen”
  • Dee-Lite ” Groove Is In The Heart”
  • Jill Scott “A Long Walk”
  • Destiny’s Child “Survivor”
  • Helen Reddy “I Am Woman”
  • Spice Girls ” Spice Up Your Life”
  • Madonna “Vogue”
  • Neneh Cherry “Buffalo Stance”
  • Nicole Wray “If I Was Your Girlfriend”
  • M.I.A “Hombre”
  • Ciara “Goodies”
  • Lady Saw “If I Was A Rich Girl”
  • Snoop Dogg & Pharrell Williams “Drop It Like Its Hot”
  • Salt’n’Pepa “Push It”

Now take a deep breath, be brave and take everything out of your wardrobe and drawers. Bin anything that is stained, discoloured, stretched or damaged. Put in a bag to donate anything that does not fit. Everything else gets piled onto your bed for sorting. (This way you will have to sort it in order to go to bed tonight.)

Now give your wardrobe and drawers a good proper vacuum, get rid of the cobwebs, dust bunnies and whatever else may be lurking in there. Replace drawer liners, scented wardrobe hangers & Damprid.

Now go through the pile and nicely put back the following capsules that relate to your life ( this is going to be the bones of your wardrobe) Any that don’t immediately relate for example the Summer Holiday Capsule place into storage until needed. If an item of clothing appears in more than one capsule this does not mean you need more than one of it, it just means its really versatile and going to get a lot of use. Although very nice to have one for each capsule if you can.

The Corporate Workwear Wardrobe Capsule

You should have enough workday uniform to get you through everyday of the week without having to do any washing.

  • 5 pairs of good quality black or beige knickers (Jockeys Next Generation)
  • A great plain black & beige bra (Berlei Luminous Smoothing Bra)
  • 5 Superfit merino lace edged camisoles (winter)
  • A pair of cashmere/merino dress socks
  • 3 pairs of  Voodoo Shine Firm Control Tights (summer)
  • Berlei Dig Free Opaque Tights (winter)
  • Voodoo Boot tights (winter)
  • Voodoo 200 Opaque’s (winter)
  • 3 fine knit tops (Winter)
  • 3 silky blouse tops (summer)
  • A well tailored dressy black suit jacket, dress, pants & skirt
  • A coloured dress
  • A pair of less formal fitting pants (casual Friday)
  • A longer tunic style top (casual Friday)
  • A cardigan
  • A good quality classic heeled pump
  • A fine not clumpy heeled boot
  • A tailored not slouchy bag
  • A slim belt
  • A watch
  • Pearl stud earrings
  • Diamond stud earrings
  • A fine chain necklace (if you don’t have to wear a lanyard)
  • A brooch (if you don’t have to wear a name badge)
  • A dressy wool coat (winter)
  • Gloves (winter)
  • Scarf (winter)

Now this is the big priority capsule and gets pride of place as its what you wear most. Five days out of seven you will get up and put on something from this capsule after your shower. These are the things you have to make sure you own and are in good condition before worrying about anything else. Naturally these undergarments go in the top drawer at the front and the clothes hang all together on wooden hangers at the front of the wardrobe. Unless they are out of season, then they are folded nicely and stored with other out of season clothes.

Leisurewear Capsule

I really struggled with what to call this capsule wardrobe which is a real shame because its very important and quite a high priority as it gets the second most wear in my life. Twice a week I go to Yoga/Pilates, once a week a belly dance class, at least every six weeks I have a maintenance day at a spa retreat and I try to get out as often as possible for a walk with the dog. Not to mention lounging around at home.

  • 3 pairs of athletic underwear
  • A great sports bra (Triumph Triaction performance, Berlei Electrify or Bendon Medium Impact Bra)
  • 3 pairs of sports socks
  • 3 tank tops (black, white & a grey one)
  • 2 A-line shaped tee’s (not pink or red)
  • A pair of leggings (Triumph Triaction)
  • A white zipped Hoodie
  • A good pair of athletic trainers
  • 2 tracksuits ( suitable for both exercising & lounging in)
  • A lightweight knit cashmere/merino sweater
  • A pair of jeans
  • A nylon waterproof windbreaker
  • A pair of PJ’s
  • A pair of slippers
  • A headband

Now in the really big drawer usually the bottom one in the dresser nicely fold and place in of this capsule except the trainers, windbreaker, jeans and sweater, which go in your wardrobe just behind the Workwear Capsule.

The Weekend Essentials Wardrobe Capsule

This capsule gets next top billing for me as at least two days out of seven are spent enjoying the day off from work, out of uniform. This capsule is all about casual daywear. For me weekends are all about leisurely breakfasts still in my PJ’s, shopping trips to town, eating in cafes, sports supporting, dog walking, home maintenance.

  • 2 pairs of white underwear (Jockey)
  • 1 regular white bra (Berlei)
  • 2 pairs of cashmere/wool/cotton socks
  • A pair of swimmers & a sarong
  • A Pyjamas/sleepwear/loungewear set
  • A pair of track pants & a hoody
  • 2 cotton tanks (black & white)
  • 2 fine knit cashmere/merino tanks (black & grey)
  • 4 soft, silky organic cotton dress t-shirts in black, white, grey & olive
  • A striped boat neck t-shirt
  • 2 long sleeved cotton t-shirt tops (black & white)
  • A crisp cotton tailored white shirt
  • A colourful silky style floral print button down shirt
  • A neutral coloured long draped fine knit cardigan
  • 1 colourful cardigan
  • A lightweight knit cashmere or merino sweater
  • A fine knit polo neck
  • A casual soft cotton knit modern t-shirt dress
  • A casual skirt
  • A pair of shorts (for summer)
  • A pair of smart jeans
  • A pair of casual pants
  • A nylon waterproof windbreaker (see Leisurewear Capsule)
  • A smart casual leather jacket
  • A smart showerproof trench coat
  • A pair of jandals/thongs/flip flops (for summer)
  • A pair of sandals (for summer)
  • A pair of urban sneakers
  • A pair of black studded boots
  • A pair of smart casual flats such as loafers or ballet flats
  • A pair of walking shoes/boots
  • A pair of funky relaxed sunglasses
  • A soft silver chain necklace
  • A colourful casual silk scarf
  • A bangle stack
  • A casual watch
  • A relaxed belt
  • A carryall tote
  • A relaxed handbag
  • A straw trilby hat (for summer)
  • A woollen beanie (for winter)
  • A pair of fingerless gloves (for winter)

Most of this either goes in the drawer next to the Workwear capsule drawer or is hung in the wardrobe behind the Leisurewear capsule stuff. Naturally the out of season items will be stored away with other out of season items.

The Creative Wardrobe Capsule

Once you have all your basic capsules covered time to add a bit of personality with a capsule to cover all those other jobs you do, such as helping out at fundraisers and hosting events, attending art exhibits, book signings etc

  • A black, white, nude & nice underwear set
  • 4 soft, silky organic cotton dress t-shirts in black, white, grey & olive
  • A striped boat neck t-shirt
  • A crisp cotton tailored white shirt
  • A soft tailored silky white shirt
  • A hip length tunic top
  • A merino dress
  • A peplum dress
  • A pair of leather skinny pants
  • A pair of smart cotton twill slim pants
  • A pair of cargo pants
  • A pair of smart jeans
  • A pair of ankle length leggings
  • A little black dress
  • A smart casual leather jacket
  • A tailored black cotton blazer
  • A neutral coloured long draped fine knit cardigan
  • 1 colourful cardigan
  • 1 lightweight knit cashmere or merino sweater
  • A pair of flat shoes
  • A pair of heels
  • A pair of low heeled studded black boots
  • A slouchy shoulder bag
  • A colourful merino scarf
  • A silk scarf

The Smart Day Wardrobe Capsule

This capsule is all about those smart day appointments that require a little extra dressiness don’t happen everyday. For me this is stuff like, more formal lunches, committee meetings, funerals, appointments with accountants, lawyers, dentist etc.

  • Triumph Miraculous silhouette bra & pants in nude
  • Triumph Miraculous silhouette bra & pants in black
  • 4 soft, silky organic cotton dress t-shirts in black, white, grey & olive (see Weekend Essentials Capsule)
  • A striped boat neck t-shirt (see Weekend Essentials Capsule)
  • A crisp cotton tailored white shirt (see Weekend Essentials Capsule)
  • A wrap dress
  • A pair of dark navy jeans (see Weekend Essentials Capsule)
  • 1 lightweight knit cashmere or merino sweater (see Weekend Essentials Capsule)
  • A neutral coloured long draped fine knit cardigan (see Weekend Essentials Capsule)
  • A tailored black cotton blazer
  • A smart showerproof trench coat (see Weekend Essentials Capsule)
  • A smart casual leather jacket (see Weekend Essentials Capsule)
  • A silk scarf
  • A belt
  • A flat shoe
  • A flat boot (for winter)
  • A classic heal
  • A carryall tote

Evening Essentials Wardrobe Capsule

Next for me is the Evening Essentials Capsule for nights out at parties, restaurants, plays, shows and concerts.

  • A lux silk tank top
  • A soft tailored silky white shirt
  • A classic lace little black dress
  • A jewel toned dress
  • A lace pencil skirt
  • A smart pair of dark jeans
  • 1 lightweight knit cashmere or merino sweater
  • A Rabbit fur gilet
  • A soft tailored tuxedo jacket
  • A cropped black velvet jacket
  • An evening coat
  • hosiery
  • A velvet evening flat brocade shoe
  • A smart pair of strappy peep toe stiletto heels
  • A smart pair of metallic pumps
  • A smart pair of bright suede pumps
  • A silk scarf
  • A decorative gold statement necklace
  • A pair of drop statement earrings
  • A filigree bangle
  • A vintage purse
  • A classic clutch evening bag

Chic Daytime Events Capsule

Last but not least the capsule for those special daytime events like weddings, baby showers, races, charity fundraiser events etc.

  • A smart pair of dark was jeans
  • A tailored black cotton blazer
  • Strappy heeled sandals
  • Filigree statement earrings
  • A sparkly metallic edged tank top
  • A silk brocade jacket
  • A pair of navy tuxedo pants
  • A floral silk tailored dress
  • A tailored wool peplum top
  • Wool skirt with leather trim
  • A two toned clutch
  • A stacked ring set
  • A pair of sleek heels

In The City (urban travel break, preferably in Sydney) Capsule

  • Gorgeous lingerie
  • A slip
  • A gorgeous jersey t-shirt
  • A crisp cotton tailored white shirt
  • A soft tailored silky white shirt
  • 1 lightweight knit cashmere or merino sweater
  • A day dress
  • A day skirt
  • A pair of jeans (your best)
  • A pair of cargo style pants
  • A pair of smart dressy tailored black pants
  • A cocktail dress
  • A tailored black cotton blazer
  • A stylish smart showerproof trench coat
  • A soft warm scarf
  • A tote bag
  • An evening clutch
  • A belt
  • An umbrella
  • A pair of sunglasses
  • A pair of boots
  • A pair of flats
  • A pair of heels
  • Workout gear
  • Swimsuit & cover-up
  • Simple jewellery

 A Summer Holiday (preferably at a resort in Fiji) Capsule

  • A long singlet dress
  • A strapless dress
  • A maxi length kaftan
  • 4 easy to wear resort dresses
  • A neutral coloured long draped fine knit cardigan
  • 1 colourful cardigan
  • 1 lightweight knit cashmere or merino sweater
  • A long sleeved t-shirt
  • 4 soft, silky organic cotton dress t-shirts in black, white, grey & olive
  • A striped boat neck t-shirt
  • 4 tank tops
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • A pair of light casual drawstring pants
  • A muslin top
  • A casual denim skirt
  • Workout gear
  • A straw trilby hat
  • A pair of sunglasses
  • A statement necklace
  • A pair of large hoop earrings
  • A cuff
  • A set of colourful bangles
  • A soft cotton scarf
  • A pair of metallic sandals
  • A pair of Havianna jandals
  • A pair of summery sneakers
  • A pair of athletic trainers
  • A colourful straw beach tote
  • A bright cotton sarong
  • A selection of bikinis & swimsuits

Knicker Drawer Must-Haves Capsule

  • 3 pairs of good quality beige knickers (Jockeys Next Generation)
  • 3 pairs of good quality black knickers (Jockeys Next Generation)
  • 1 nude Jolly brief (Triumph)
  • Triumph Miraculous silhouette bra & pants in nude
  • Triumph Miraculous silhouette bra & pants in black
  • 1 great plain nude bra (Berlei Luminous Smoothing bra)
  • 1 great plain black bra (Berlei Luminous Smoothing Bra)
  • 1 great push up bra (Berlei So Smooth Push Up Bra)
  • 1 great sports bra (Triumph Triaction performance, Berlei Electrify or Bendon Medium Impact Bra)
  • 1 great sexy bra (Pleasure State or Heidi Klum)
  • 1 black slip (Essence reversible slip)
  • 1 nude slip (Essence reversible slip)
  • Nancy Ganz Under Bust Slip
  • Nancy Ganz Black Sleek Slip dress
  • Nancy Ganz black belly band hip slip
  • Nancy Ganz Under bust body suit
  • 1 black camisole (Silk body)
  • 1 nude camisole (Silk Body
  • 2 merino camisoles (Superfit)
  • Voodoo Shine Firm Control Tights
  • Berlei Dig Free Opaque Tights
  • Voodoo Boot tights
  • Voodoo 200 Opaque’s
  • Ambra tights

Jewellery Wardrobe Capsule

  • Pearl earrings
  • Diamond earrings
  • hoop earrings
  • chandelier earrings
  • Bangle
  • Pearl necklace
  • Big, colourful, cheep & cheerful cocktail ring
  • Meaningful delicate short necklace
  • Old fashioned charm bracelet
  • Brooch
  • Long necklace
  • Watch

This is a work in progress and will continually be updated

Creative Movement

In Sarah Ban Breathnach book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy she urges us not to think of working out as exercise or fitness, to forget about gyms, jogging, weights and aerobic classes. To instead spend your time on life enhancing, enjoyable pastimes that she refers to as creative movement. She recommends the following:

*Dancing, ballet, jazz or tap



*Horseback Riding




*Riding a Bike


*Tai Chi



In Kimberly Crossman’s book Love You: Be Your Best and Live Your Dreams she talks about exercise as being an important part of learning to love yourself. About it being pointless doing something you don’t enjoy just because you feel you should and instead to find a sport or hobby that gets you moving that you love. That when you choose something where you get to socialize, learn a new skill and use your brain, it becomes a pleasant experience that you enjoy as opposed to a chore. She also highly recommends:

*Dance classes

*Walking with Friends.

*Switch catching up for coffee with friends to meeting for a walk at the beach or park

*Adding variety and mixing things up to hold off boredom and keep you motivated

*Use Music to help keep you motivated

*Stretching maintains flexibility as you age and helps you heal faster

*Getting your heart rate up helps fight of disease as you age

* Change no carbs to low carbs as you need them to have the energy to exercise


Personally I’m a little bit time poor so I like the ease and convenience of taking a class a gym, I absolutely love Les Mills, Body Flow/Body Balance as it combines Plates, Yoga and Tai Chi into one convenient hour workout which I go to twice a week. If you have read any of my previous Blogs you will know that I also attend a weekly Belly Dance class that I feel works out my brain just as much as my body and I do like to walk although I don’t do it as regularly as I should or would like.

In Caroline Jones book The Desperate Housewife’s Guide to Life and Love: Essential Survival Strategies for Enjoying Your Family, Career, Friends and Sex Life. She recommends a good sports bra, top, a pair of shorts & jogging bottoms for working it when you’re working out.


Thrift Shop Pleasures

After yesterday’s Affordable Luxuries exercise it has become painfully obvious that Sarah Ban Breathnach and I don’t share the same definition of affordable as each other, luckily she is also an advocate of Thrift Shop foraging. I am a firm believer that one size does not fit all and that what looks hideous on one person may look absolutely fabulous on another. So for the price of a little time, a few bucks, a good clean and a quick mend your best ever bargain buy might be just around the corner.

Follow Sarah Ban Breathnach s advice in Simple Abundance: A daybook of Comfort and Joy and this week carve out some time alone when you’re not tired or stressed to go thrifting. Make your first stop a genuine charitable thrift shop, your next stop should be a consignment shop where women discreetly sell of their unwanted last season’s purchases and lastly a vintage clothing boutique where you can find one of a kind gems from days gone by.

When I did this great exercise I found the perfect fitting locally made vintage leather biker jacket at the perfect price.

Definitely something I feel well worth making a new regular pastime.


Affordable Luxuries

There are some times in life when just need a little self-pampering in the form of a treat and more often than not it always seems to coincide with the times you’re more than a little strapped for cash. You don’t want to through away what little money you do have on just some meaningless junk you want something that will give you some genuine joy.

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her Book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy recommends the following:

*Getting some wood for the pleasure of sitting in front of a blazing fire

*Adding real whipped cream & shaved chocolate to hot cocoa drunk in front of the fire

*Investing in cashmere socks while you save for the jumper

*Getting the talc & body lotion to go with your favourite perfume

*Investing in silk underwear

*Investing in white cotton PJ’s

*Investing in a great leather bag that goes with everything

*Forgoing the paper tissues in favour of white linen handkerchiefs

*Getting your hair cut & coloured

*Having a manicure

*Replacing the cheap plastic buttons on something with beautiful quality ones

*Getting a facial

*Having a massage

*Wearing your special occasion jewellery

Sophie Gray: The Destitute Gourmet, in her book Live Well, Spend Less: Easy Ways to Save Money in Every Part of Your Life recommends that you choose one or two things from your luxuries list every time you do your weekly grocery shop to help keep you on track and prevent major blow outs.

Sophie’s Luxury List (Things that aren’t essential but are nice)

*Dangly things to hang in the loo


*Ready Made Items such as fresh or frozen deserts

*Readymade or semi prepared meal bases such as fresh pasta, tortillas, pizza, pizza bases

*Anything from the in store bakery unless its on special

*Heat & eat packet meals

*Beer & wine

*Trendy cereals & drinks

* Fancy oils

* Kids foods like nuggets

*Lunchbox snack products like individual chippie packets, muesli bars, cheese shapes, yogurts & confectionary

*Specialist butchery items such as boned stuffed chicken or marinated meats

*Specialist ingredients like vanilla pods

*Special cheeses like, ricotta, brie, stilton etc.