Fashion: Looking Cool v Feeling Comfy

I’d Rather be Comfy

image Elizabeth Mall
Elizabeth Mall, Hobart’s shopping street.

I was never fashionable, not when I was in my teens and twenties and certainly not now.

It’s not that I don’t like clothes, I have always enjoyed looking at them. I am always out of step with fashion trends though. I wasn’t the nerdiest looking girl at my High School  but I wasn’t one of the ones with the elastic belts for hitching my skirt up to my thighs either. I was the regulation skirt two inches above the knees girl, just trying to blend in.

I didn’t think I looked good in a mini skirt but I didn’t like maxi’s either. I would never have worn hot pants or see through tops when they were the fashion and as for platform soled shoes I’d have fallen over if I’d even tried to walk in those and I’m sure that stilettos would have killed me.
Platform shoes-Ellie821heel courtesy Wikimedia/commons

I both love and loathe shopping for new clothes. I used to love a Friday night in the city  after work or a morning checking out the shops at one of the suburban shopping centres.  I would always be full of hope that I’d find something I would love. When I was in my twenties and thirties I’d shop for clothes in department stores and be annoyed that a lot of the clothing  was either for the very young and slim or looked “too old”. As I grew older those “old lady” dresses and crimpelene slacks disappeared but I still struggled to find clothes that felt like me.  My working life was spent wearing uniforms, more than twenty years of blue shirts and navy pants just about put me off  wearing those colours for a few years.   Now I’m not working and don’t have either the occasion to wear fashionable clothes or the money to buy them so I live in jeans or track pants, T-shirts and sweatshirts. On the whole I’d rather be comfortable than fashionable though. I don’t really care what’s hot and what’s not and I don’t see the point of buying expensive clothes to wear around the house and get dog hair all over them. Make up doesn’t interest me much either. I never learned how to do it properly and I don’t like how it feels on my face so these days I mostly go without. If I’m going out I do what Mum used to do, lipstick and some face powder.

I have a few fashion rules though. Years ago I read “Color Me Beautiful”by Carole Jackson and discovered that I was a “Winter”. See I do take some interest in my appearance. So I don’t wear yellow, brown or orange.  I don’t wear a lot of pastel colours either because I prefer bright ones. I like white tops but white pants I worry about messing up so I can’t relax in them. You can guarantee that if I wear something white we’ll have pasta for dinner and I’ll spill some on my clothes. I like to wear  black and sometimes charcoal grey as neutrals  and brighten them up with reds, purples, blues and greens. I love red, especially a bright, letterbox, London bus, Ferrari sort of red but now I’m a bit older and grayer I don’t wear such large amounts of it.

I prefer flats to heels although I loathe buying shoes of any kind. Last year I was fortunate to find a pair of calf length boots that fit comfortably and in cooler weather I like to wear them with leggings and a tunic.  I rarely wear dresses now, mostly because then I have to think too much about what I put on my feet. I like my sneakers but even I don’t think they look good with a dress.

In the past couple of years I’ve discovered the pleasure of buying clothes online and from catalogues which means I’ve come full circle as Mum used to buy a lot of our clothes from mail order catalogues when I was young. I do enjoy getting a catalogue in the mail and browsing through it with a cup of coffee. I’ll usually make my selection online though because I like to read customer feedback. It’s nice that so many women take the trouble to write down that dress A is true to size but not the same shade of red that was in the picture or that sweater B is snug and if you are full-figured you should buy the next size up. Of course I can send anything back that doesn’t fit or even if I don’t like it on me after all and it’s no more inconvenient than travelling 50km to the nearest large shopping centre anyway.

If I suddenly had a lot of money to spend on clothing I’d certainly be getting myself a new wardrobe and I’d enjoy choosing it but I probably have just as much fun if not more enlarging the wardrobes of my dolls, and they would look a heck of a lot better in the latest fashions than I would!

image Barbie dolls
If only I could look as good as they do.

For those that don’t know I have a doll blog, unimaginatively called Dolls, Dolls, Dolls. In it, as well as a lot of photos of my dolls, I’ve written about my opinion of the whole “Barbie is a bad role model” debate so I don’t want to go into it here. I feel bad that I even have to say this because to me playing dolls is just fun but I know there could be people who think I have body image issues and I promise you I don’t just because I envy my Barbies their looks. I’m just saying that the things that looked good on me when I was in my teens and twenties don’t look good now.Mum had an expression for it. “Mutton dressed as lamb.” I can make myself look good but I  can’t make myself look twenty.



I was born in England in 1957 and lived there until our family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008. We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. In 2015 David became ill and passed away in October of that year. I currently co-write two blogs on with my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania. In November 2019 I began a new life in the house that Naomi and I intend to make our retirement home at Sisters Beach in Tasmania's northwest. My current housemates are Cindy, my 14-year-old Staffy-Lab X dog and Polly the world's most unsociable cat who is seven.

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