Apr 5, 2016

In Praise of the Next Suit. Almost Lyfestyled.

I'm going to sound so old as I write today's post, I might as well start off with a picture of an easy chair for us all to digitally ease into.  Because there's a high chance I could put everyone to sleep with today's SSG Soapbox topic: Work Wear or the Lack Thereof.



www.metmuseum.org
Remember the good old days when you could walk into most Australian high street stores and find yourself options to wear to work?  You know, button down shirts, suits, shift dresses...  Things in sturdy fabrics that you could mix and match with what you already owned.  Things that weren't sheer.  Things that didn't make you look like a stumpy sack of potatoes on pasty stilt legs.  Things that actually looked good with sensible shoes.

Don't get me wrong, I know the fashion world has always been about reinvention, new perspectives, juxtaposition and fantasy.  It's just that way back when, allowances were made for real world women.  Women employed in non creative industries.  Women whose daily lives were not dissimilar to doing 16 hours of bootcamp continuously as they went about being all things to all the people in their lives.  Who despite all of this (or perhaps as a response to all of it) still valued looking put together and somewhere in the vicinity of the prevailing trends in fashion.

You've possibly noticed for yourself the changes in many of the stores of our Australian high street.  The phasing out of tailored suiting, the phasing in of the on trend.  Season after season of things that look pretty on the models in the campaign but would translate rather dismally into your reality of commuting, working, household running and machine washing.

There's only so long a woman can cling onto a wardrobe of black trousers, T shirts and cardigans before something has to give.  And at that moment of give, wasn't it lucky that I reacted with a virtual trip to Next Direct?  I'm a regular Next Direct customer for dresses and jeans for myself and most of Preschooler SSG's things but I decided to be brave the other day and try a suit from their Tailoring department.

www.nextdirect.co.uk
This is the suit I ordered as seen on the model on the Next website.  It's a navy stripe suit, lined and in a fabric of polyester and viscose with a bit of elastane.  The jacket is $78 and the tapered trousers $48.  The care labels recommend dry clean only.

Navy pin stripe suit jacket - Next, short sleeved rayon blouse - Uniqlo.


I know what you're thinking.  Synthetic.  Cheap (relatively).  Suit.  But bear with me.  It was such a joy to wear to work on Monday.  The fabric had a decent weight to it and not an ounce of shine.  It was warm but also comfortable with just a bit of stretch.  Next also seem to have perfected the slimming cut and I love how the tapered leg of trousers and their cropped length gave the pinstripe tailoring a bit of a refresh.

The blouse I wore under the jacket is one from the rayon range at Uniqlo.  They're another work wear find of mine.  They are so easy to wear and sit nicely under jackets.  They iron and wash well.  I keep an eye out for the new season versions on the Uniqlo website and click that virtual shopping basket when necessary.


Speaking of Uniqlo..  I'll be wearing it to work for the rest of the week according to my wall-drobe.  All the experts tell us that the key to a smooth working week is to have your work outfits set out in advance so that all you have to do in the morning is to put on whatever's on the hanger in front of you  I've finally decided to listen to sensible advice while also putting the knobs on the higher cupboards of my wardrobe to good use.

Onto a bit of housekeeping...



The results of my fried rice using Woolworths' instant Jasmine rice are in.



It's definitely easier to use instant rice but it does seem to need more seasoning than the batches of jasmine rice I make in my rice cooker.  The instant rice is also harder for some strange reason.  I'm going to have to work on my technique for the next batch.

www.swiish.com

In other news from Woolworths.... Guess who's candles and book were up for sale just outside the entrance of Woolworths Bondi Junction today?  Hope I get the spelling right.  Here goes.. Kyly Clark's Lyfestyled range.  I don't think Kyly herself was there but there was this surreal white space  aglow with candles, elegant floral arrangements and sales staff in immaculately white uniforms giving life lyfe to that spot next to the play equipment before you hit the travelator.






I wish I could have stopped by the space and got the low down on the candles and Kyly's book, 'True to You' for you (oh the rhyming that you get when you read this blog) but alas I'd just been at the gym


and then having a coffee that I was this close to getting Nutella added to.



Not exactly a life styled enough to be Lyfestyled in other words.

Has your life been Lyfestyled?  The candles sounded lovely but didn't seem to have strong fragrance from what I could gather as I walked past.  Your verdict?


18 comments:

  1. I can't really do suits. My shoulders are too broad and they end up being uncomfy. I have one and that is what I will stick to. Otherwise, veronika maine separates or Leona Edmiston dresses always look a million dollars.

    Shoes are my bugbear - very often the comfy is also ugly.

    OMG nutella in coffee - why did I not think of this?

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    Replies
    1. You know, I still haven't gotten around to getting a Leona dress for work, Cilla!

      Must address this very sorry state of affairs.

      SSG xxx

      Delete
  2. Workwear is tricky! Now that I think of it, the majority of my work wardrobe is from the UK as well - Asos do great pencil skirts. In saying that, I do have a few work shirts from Cue but I haven't worn them in years now, not being in an externally facing role any more. I doubt that they would still fit, I should donate them!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the ASOS idea for pencil skirts, Mica!

      SSG xxx

      Delete
  3. I lived in a suit for work a couple of years ago. My trusty navy pinstripe trouser suit emerged for every external meeting I had. It was m&s and bonus, machine washable. I tend to go the separates route these days.
    I think lifestyling would cost me a fortune. Not listening ...La la la la la as my hands cover my ears.

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    Replies
    1. M&S have started shipping to Australia recently, Anna! Must have a look.

      SSG xxx

      Delete
  4. I've experimented with the pre cooked rice also. I used brown rice (can't remember which one but it's a name brand, not home brand) and it worked really well. Separated nicely and didn't disintegrate when being pushed around the fry pan.
    The home brand and white rice versions were disappointing.

    Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for that JP. My next experiment will be to try and make sushi bowl salad with pre cooked brown rice.

      Stay. Tuned.

      SSG xxx

      Delete
  5. I used to mix jackets and pants, rather than all in one suits. Always wore good black wool mix pants or linen mix in summer. Favourite jackets were a hot fuchsia wool Carla Zamapatti, a Red Jaeger wool, an emerald green cord. Of course I also had black jackets too, including pin stripes. Always wore these with white cotton long sleeved shirts and silk scarves that worked with the main colour or contrasted. And maybe a huge statement brooch or necklace. These were my top faves for international conferences or important meetings here in Oz. They were all good quality and lasted for years so had to vary the scarves a lot and wear other colours like navy too as otherwise people might say - "Oh she always wears red, or fuchsia". But in those days it was easy to walk into a good fashion shop and find something suitable. Nowadays it's about shine and transparency and also strange wavy hemlines and floatiness. Men are so lucky - they can wear the same suit day in and day out and just change the shirt and tie. Best wishes, Pammie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Pammie,

      I like your thinking with the colours and use of statement pieces.

      I am so glad that it's not just me that has found that shopping for work clothes has become more challenging recently.

      SSG xxx

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  6. Workwear is the bane of my existence! I'm a really funny shape so tailoring doesn't tend to fit. I have what could optimistically be described as a capsule wardrobe that I draw from as needed, but it needs a lot of improvement. I just find it so hard to invest when I know stuff probably won't fit. Next is generally very good though, especially as they do a tall range online, and there was a fantastic concession in House of Fraser here a few years ago called The Department, but it's sadly been discontinued. Still looking for a decent replacement...

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    Replies
    1. Hello Rachel,

      I will keep exploring options for you on your behalf!

      SSG xxx

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  7. Not remotely Lyfe ANYTHING! Life, with an I, has to be enough;).

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  8. Ooh that fried rice looks delicious! Love the idea of having the clothes out and ready the night before, and that yellow necklace is lovely

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Emma! The necklace is a Lovisa sale special...

      SSG xxx

      Delete
  9. That suit is gorgeous! I miss having a formal workplace to wear clothes like that to (only sometimes though ;)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Alice. Hope all is going as close to plan as usual with working from home whilst the children are on school holidays! Loved your post on how you are dealing with.

      SSG xxx

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