Season’s trends take #2 (fa lala lala laa lala la laa)

In Dresses, Trends, Uncategorized on December 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm


Now for the next set of fabulous trends to pick up for this style season – weather season irrelevant, the looks are universal with a few tweaks in weight and layering.

The last ten years has been the Decade of the Dress. After being in the doldrums for years, to the point where it had become practically impossible to buy a nice frock – one of the issues which drove the vintage boom, in my opinion – they have come to dominate womenswear.

After years of careful shopping I now have a closet really well stocked with lovely dresses – mostly silk, print, with pockets, I can just pull on and go. So guess what? I suddenly want to wear skirts again.


And so it seems does everyone else. I went to a party on Saturday night and two of my homies were wearing versions of my own current favourite dress up look: sequin skirts with sweater/sweatshirt tops, feature necklaces and pointy high heels.

It just feels right and I’m taking advantage of the fashion trend to stock up on the tube and pencil skirts I’ve always felt suit my body shape, currently available at great prices and in a fabulous array of wild prints and finishes in the chain stores. I got navy sequins and the aforementioned (in the last post) pleather in Zara, the flesh pink with sequin patterns in River Island.

If even a sweatshirt is too heavy, they also look good with a lightweight jersey T or silk T-type top.


This trend’s been around for a couple of seasons already, but it’s still relevant – and such a dream to wear. It really is exactly what it says on the packet: silk pyjamas. Or silk-like, pyjama-like shirts and pyjama-like pants. You can improvise a bit.

I have silk-like patterned PJ pants from Zara which I team with a black real silk satin shirt I’ve had for a million years. I also have real silk navy PJ-ish pants, which I wear with a vintage print silk shirt.

The key is to button the shirt just enough to be legal, so it’s flowy and dégagé (French for chicly casual…) and roll the sleeves right up. I also whack on a nice heavy pendant or a string of beads which sit half in and half out of the half unbuttoned shirt.


With a barely-there sandal that outfit got me through some very hot days in Brisbane on my last book tour. I also love to get into this rig out, with my velvet tassel slipper shoes when I entertain at home.

As the terrible clompy stiletto platforms I came so to hate (after a brief flirtation when they first came on the scene…) have officially segued into the fashion blooper zone and the pointy stiletto has firmly taken over, there’s a new brilliant entry to the shoe scene: the party flat.

402083_fr_slThis is a fabulous, embellished flat shoe to wear for posh dress ups. I’ve seen some wonderful celeb pics of long gowns with a flat shoe, so glamorous (just couldn’t find one to put on here dammit, sorry about that).

I particularly love the pointy toe ones by new shoe designer name Tabitha Simmons. And you don’t just have to wear them for evening smarts, they also look great with jeans, or chinos for a day look – as do every style of flat in this flatastic shoe season.


I love silver brogues, leopardprint ponyskin slippers (I got mine from Ecco, of all brands), animal print brothel creepers, the new updated Doc Martens (so fun in Chanel-style quilting), buckled monk shoes, loafers, deck shoes… the list goes on.


My advice is to stock up on walkable style dazzlers while you can…

I’ve written about this for my Rules column this Sunday, December 22nd, so please buy the Age if you’re in Melbourne, the Sun-Herald if you’re in Sydney – or look on line here


This is related to the trend above and I think the best possible way to go for party frocks this Christmas. I love lace dresses in every colour, as sported by the pantheon of celebripeople seen here. Miranda Kerr and Taylor Swift seem to have them I every colour.

I haven’t bought one yet, but if I can lay my hands on a bottle green lace dress this weekend – not too tight and definitely not stretch nylon – that will be my Christmas day look (we always dress up in my family).


Or I might just whip out my first ever purchase from Collette Dinnigan, a black lace dress which is as gorgeous now as it was when I bought it twenty years ago… (And more on my adored friend Collette to come shortly.)

Now tell me – what will you be wearing this Christmas day?

  1. I bought a beautiful Colette Dinnigan black lace dress a few years back which has only come out for special days (though the last couple of years not at all, due to extra kilos piled on). But thanks to you Maggie and Dr MM have shifted those pesky 5 kilos over the past 12 months and it fits again…yay! So either that or dressed down in shorts and T, perfect for drinking wine in the sun in mums back garden. Merry Christmas x

  2. Looking forward to your column on white dresses, because that’s what I’ll be wearing on Christmas Day! And will also be 5kg lighter thanks to you and 5:2. It was more like 7 but the silly season is combined with my bday and my anniversary so every year there’s a pre Christmas spike. Oh well, rather that than to miss out on the celebrations. Just a shame we have to go straight from Xmas/nye straight into beach holiday mode in Australia. Thank god for fake tan! Merry Christmas maggie!

  3. That is so great – two responses and both of you have lost loads of weight Fasting. BRILLIANT. I haven’t been able to do it for really really dull health reasons (nothing serious, but couldn’t not eat and take the meds I had to take – I tried it once!) so I’m hoping 2014 is the year I can lose 5kg on it. Have a great Christmas x

  4. A pink velvet cow onesie- Christmas present from my two little brothers.

    • You’ve opened your present already??? I’m assuming you’re in the UK, because you’d die of heat in that in Australia, by the sound of what they’re telling me. You’ll be cosy in that. Have a great Christmas x

  5. Dear Maggie, Super hot weather predicted for Sydney so I just can’t see myself in a pretty lace dress to serve the entree (lucky me I get to do first course then relax). I will get into the water at Tamarama or Bondi before lunch (so togs for that) and for lunch – a backless light cotton maxi dress – pretty, slightly glamorous and cool to wear.
    Hope you find your perfect frock (and that your ear cooperates) for a beautiful Christmas day.

  6. Dear Maggie,

    Please, please, please tell me who makes those silver brogues. It would not be melodramatic of me to say I CAN’T now live without them. I am mentally planning my winter wardrobe around them.

    I was also delighted to read about the pyjama trend. I wen’t to my “girls’ night at the pub” Christmas do last night sporting Peter Alexander pajama pants with a red rose print teamed with a black top and rose red patent Birkenstocks. Was complimented by all (I blush).

    Have a wonderful Christmas,


    • Those silver brogues are by Dsquared and I found them on the TK Maxx website – only to find they only had them left in size 2.5, which is too small even for my little feet DAMMIT. Other makes have also done silver brogues, so it might be worth a Google search, but those are the most elegant I’ve seen and that little tiny bit of heel is just too too perfect, isn’t it? Have a lovely Christmas xxx

  7. I love that so many fabulous flat shoes are available at the moment, especially brogues. I have bought quite a few pairs reasoning that they will soon disappear again. Well anyway that is my excuse and I am sticking to it! The silver one are fabulous.

    As always I enjoy your writing. Have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous 2014.

  8. Merry Christmas to you, Maggie. I love those party flats. Just hoping for some cooler weather. It’s 40 in the shade at the moment. I think bright colours will be right. Bright orange pointy toed shoes to keep it fun.

  9. Merry Christmas Maggie – may there be many more columns and posts! Wishing you and yours good health and happiness. I too have lost 4.5 Kgs thanks to 5:2 and plan to continue. It is forecast 29 degrees in Melbourne for Christmas day, which will be perfect. I ALWAYS wear a “nice” dress. Just had a floral sheath made whilst in Vietnam – I took fabric from “Flashback Fabrics” in Northcote but i don’t think this will have enough room for 2 big meals. I have a nice white linen Sportscraft frock or a lovely silk Laura Ashley in a brown/turquoise feather print so will see how I feel on the day. I am reeling from knowing you love Joni. xxx

  10. I’ll be wearing my black cossies and a smile on Christmas Day! Maybe a tropical print sarong for a little modesty. For the first time we will spend Christmas with one of my oldest friends and her family. Very low key, on the beach in south eastern Victoria.

    Have a wonderful Christmas with your dear family, Maggie. Thank you for all the joy you bring with your writing. You are much loved here in Australia. xx

    • Oh thanks Jane! What a lovely thing to read on a wild stormy morning in Hastings, UK. Aussie Christmases are so easy compared to Pommie ones. The weather here makes even leaving the bloody house hard, so everyone gets this weird shut in feeling. I’m driving to my sister’s house on Tuesday through extreme gale force winds and then will have to spend the next few days rugged up like a polar explorer (except when round the roaring log fire…) so I’ll think of you in your cosies! xxx

      • I’ll probably be envying you the cooler weather when the temperature here skyrockets again! Quite strangely, I am sitting here wearing a fleecy, contemplating a hot water bottle for sleep time.

        I did have a lovely Christmas back in the UK a few years ago – we booked a little boathouse next to the Thames, in Berkshire. Christmas Eve was so mild, that at midnight I sat out next to the water, phoning Australia to say ‘Merry Christmas’. One month later, though, we were snowed in on the tarmac at Heathrow for 5 hours. Interesting times, weather wise…

        PS I just flicked on ‘Carols in the Domain’. ‘Let it Snow’ was being sung, complete with fake snow sprinkling across the stage. Many years ago I set fire to my living room in Bondi after coming home from the Domain carols. Too many candles.

  11. Last night I walked into American Vintage at QV to buy a belt so I could go out for dinner looking a little less like a bag lady. Well, while I was in there, AV owner Eileen showed me a dress she had just brought back from the US. It had a note pinned to it that had persisted through from donation, all the way through wholesale to retail. This beautiful linen dress with Egyptian themed embroidery had been made by the donor’s mother sometime after 1919. They had gone to Indiana to help the mother’s aunt with her sick (5th) husband and the mother had seen this dress in the window of a shop. She bought the pattern and made her own version (and then they went back to Texas). I tried on the dress and didn’t take it off. It is stunningly elegant and comfortable, falling to just below the knees, with a squarish neck, and ties. It must have been terribly modern at the time and looks like it could have been just whipped up last week. This is what I’ll be wearing to Christmas, down in the country, hoping for not too much stress.
    Happy Christmas and new year to you and your family.

    • What an amazing story! It reminds me of a short story I wrote for a free anthology in 2010 – part of the Get Australia Reading project – which is all about a vintage store and the stories behind the things in it. I’m going to see what the copyright deal is on that and I’ll find a way to get it out there. Thanks for that. And have a great Christmas in that frock. (I’d love to see a picture of it, if you have time…) xxx

  12. Merry Christmas Maggie! Moi? I will be wearing lairy, tropical print, silk dress (Johnny Was) which has an empire waist, so useful on Xmas day! Along with gold flat sandals. This should me see go from family lunch to afternoon poolside party.

  13. I’ll be spending the day with my 89 year-old mum who hasn’t been well for a few months. So, while I’m preparing something Italian and scrumptious for the guests, I’ll choose my trusty housecoat. My mother (a great frequenter of Oz op shops since the 1960s) came home with this little number in the early 80s and I stole it from her. It’s short-sleeved, dark aqua blue with a paisley pattern and self-covered buttons on the left-hand side. I love it because it’s very practical and says “I’ve had my shower but need to wear something that lends itself to cooking and getting the house ready before donning my party outfit”. Perfect!

    • Oh that sounds HEAVEN. I love a housecoat – I think it’s a greatly undervalued genre of garments that we should revive. I’ve got a fabulous black velvet vintage one, that I always wear for the lounging around part of Christmas, I feel sooooo glamorous in it, with my black velvet slipper shoes with tassles. Have a lovely day – and I hope your mum is feeling better xxx

  14. Christmas Day will find me in cossie with coral beach-maxi dress thrown over and silver jeweled t-bar flats. Silver bangles & earrings. Champagne in one hand, plate of salad in the other. Merry Christmas, thanks for a great year on the blog and in Sun-Herald. Always inspiring, including 8 kilos and counting on the 5:2 diet!

  15. Having just had a bout of gastroenteritis that has knocked me off my feet – and removed 4 kilos from my body – I’m really looking forward to Xmas, although it may end up being a spectator sport for me. I just happen to be wearing a really comfy little dress I picked up in a cheapy shop in Terrigal – very light jersey slip with soft lace over. I have three little dresses that I wear as nighties, that way when I get up; I’m already dressed (at least until I have a shower). Xmas day I expect to be wearing as little as possible, couldn’t even entertain the thought of a waistline right now. 40 degrees is forecast, so the lightest little slip dress in my wardrobe.
    Have a wonderful Xmas Maggie, will be thinking of you driving through the blizzard. Have loved all your posts this year and looking forward to the new book.
    Joy Neol xxx

  16. I wore a green floral print full length halter neck dress in silk. Perfect for a hot xmas day here in Melbourne town! I have torn a ligament in my foot but manager to find a comfy yet stylish paid of sandals to hobble around in. Merry xmas to one and all!

  17. Just catching up on my reading! I’m sure you had a lovely Christmas. We were at Mt Buller (in the Victorian high country) so it was a lovely cool 17deg. I always frock up for Christmas Day and the family have accepted that that is what they are expected to do too. I wore a red/green/grey/cream printed (sounds hideous written down but I promise it wasn’t!) silk frock with these mad wedges that were red floral printed silk with a giant red rosette. Covered up with a sensible Christmas apron (which is possibly an oxymoron) to finish the cooking. And my Christmas cocktails matched back to my nails and my lipstick and my shoe rosettes, much to the amusement of the family.

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