Style Notes on line


maggie 3 by Sam Walton

I’m still writing my fashion column for the Sunday Age, which you can find at – this blog started out as an outlet for all the other stuff I’m obsessed with (men, music, films, vintage cake decorations, books, wanton wastage of the world’s resources etc).

Then someone put me up to do the Seven Days of Positive challenge on Facebook. I found I loved doing it and I had such a good response to the posts, I decided to make that the focus here.

So now, at the end of every day I sit down and think about what has been great about it. Even on the difficult days, there’s always something and I go to sleep feeling grateful for that.

It’s also for having a chat. I love hearing what you think, so please add your comments to the conversation.

Now let’s have fun.

Maggie x

  1. Love it Maggie!

    Being a huge Country Road fan myself, and telling ALL of my clients to buy those “never fail” pants, it was great to see that you feel the same!

    Great blog – take it from me (for what it’s worth) – Oh SO Stylish on every count!

    Al xx

  2. Maggie,how lovely to discover yr blog. I was in mourning thinking that my daughter and I no longer had yr column to share. Welcome back into our lives, QB.

  3. Found you! thanks so much for your note, completely unexpected but serious bragging material (“Maggie Alderson sent me an email!) – and happily now, I’ve subscribed so Saturday is again worth getting out of the pyjamas for!

  4. Thrilled I’m still getting my weekly fix. Am a CR tragic (hubs used to work there) & those pants of which you speak, I have 3 pairs (2 blk, 1 grey). 🙂

  5. so pleased i have found you..Saturday mornings haven’t been the same

  6. Hi Maggie,
    I have just stumbled upon your website too. Having just finished reading your latest book enroute from Sydney to a new life in Singapore with my husband, daughter (age 7) and son ( age 5), your book will forevermore be associated with the start of this latest chapter in my life. Having worked in the fashion industry before children I was addicted to your SMH column on a Saturday. Sometimes I hated them with a passion and sometimes I laughed out loud! I was a bit shocked to see your column go.The soul has been sucked right out of the SMH.Your latest book with its over the top characters and vintage store setting was right up my alley! Thanks.

    • Jolly good! yes, over the top is my style – you should meet my friends. So glad you found this, if you like getting my column online – please tell anyone you think might be interested. I need numbers to keep it going! xxx

    • Hi Jane – just found your lovely message, thank you so so much. I was shocked to see that column go and I’m still not quite used to not having it. I do the Rules every Sunday (you can read it online), which is fun, but it’s a bit more structured, so I’m loving the blog as it allows me to vent all the other stuff. Thanks also for your kind words about Shall We Dance? – but that’s not my latest book! Since then there has been ‘Everything Changes But You’ which you might relate to as it’s about a couple who move country… See here xxx

  7. Verre pleased to see your “style notes”. Felt desperate that the verre naughty fairfax press doesn’t publish your column anymore…was highlight of weekend papers. Just finished your fab book “Shall we dance”
    A verre funny read and to be highly recommended as high class chic lit. Will tell all my friends how funny it was and even suggest for bookgroup, as girls need a lighter funny read when reading deep, meaningful and morose all year. Best wishes Chris

    • Thanks so much, Chris. Getting the word out about the blog is the hard bit – so please will you tell any friends you think might be interested? I would be so greatful. And also for kind words about book. Would be thrilled to be thought worthy of a book club! xxx

  8. Oh Maggie, just found out you have a blog …. I am so missing you in my Saturday magazine, so now I’m happy !!!

    • Hi Mandy, thanks so much for kind words. Please tell anyone you think might be interested as it’s quite hard getting the message about the blog out there. If you subscribe my Style Notes column will arrive in your inbox every Saturday morning, just like the paper coming through the letter box. x

  9. Hi Maggie, loving your blog. Much prefer it to the printed article which after seeing the error of their ways The Age has reinstated on a Sunday. Hooray!!
    Can you please help me with a contact in Melbourne (or Australia), to be able to purchase the Babyliss Rotating Brush you featured recently. I have 2 girlfriends and myself who would love to purchase this brush.

    • Thanks Cindy. I can only suggest you Google it. Sorry about that. Feel awful that I’ve tortured my Aussie readers… Failing that, get one sent out from the UK where they are definitely available on line. You’d only have to change the plug thingo. Voltage is fine.

  10. Dear Maggie
    The absence of your column in the Good Weekend nearly made me cancel my subscription to The Age! I’m thrilled to have found your blog and can’t wait to keep up with your witty observations on fashion and life in general!

    Take care

    • Aw, thanks for that. Please please tell anyone you think might be interested because getting the word out there is the hard bit x

    • Aw thanks Birgitte, that means a lot. I do another column called The Rules every Sunday in the Age now. That one has a fashion basis, then this is one is where I can vent about everything else xxx

  11. THANK GOD! I thought we had lost you for ever. I have laughed and cried over the years, marvelling at how someone else covets their mother’s button collection, irons their pillow cases, has given in to pink and purple plastic ghastliness for their daughter, loves the whole ‘romantic poet’ young men thing, and who thinks there’s not a great deal separating the Dragon Tattoo series and Dan Brown. While I still really enjoy your new column, I hope we can see more of your musings on life again … and I’ve only just stumbled on your reading blog, now hibernating while you focus on the new one. Good luck with it all, and many, many thanks for kickstarting my Saturdays for so many years. We’ve missed you. Cheers, Caroline

    • Thanks so much Caroline. It is hard gettint the word out about this, so please would you do me a massive favour and tell anyone you think might be interested?

      In pring, I also have a column every Sunday in the Sun Herald and M magazine, in the Age.

      And I’ve got a new book of the Good Weekend columns out (called Style Notes) – and I’m working on a new novel, so you won’t be able to escape me, with any luck!. xxxx

  12. My sisters and I used to scrap over who got to read the Good Weekend first, most of the time I couldn’t help myself and skipped straight to your column. These days the Good Weekend lies on the lawn for 2 days, no one wants it. I’ll be letting my sisters know we can all be nice and share now!

    • oh that is so lovely of you. I am still sad about that ending, but sometimes you need a change. I do The Rules every Sunday in the S section of the Sun Herald and M in the Sunday Age, depending where you live. xxx

  13. (Hi Maggie, this is an unrelated reply on another topic, but I couldn’t find any other way to email/contact you.) A few days ago I saw a newspaper photo accompanying an article about an event in France. In the photo were some pedestrians: 3 young women in their late teens and another woman perhaps in her thirties. The teenagers were all wearing baggy tee shirts, short nondescript shorts (from which ample ‘muffintops’ overspilled) and flipflops. The woman was wearing a similarly nondescript, definitely non fashiony ensemble of plain top and 3/4 length trousers which tied at the calf. We’re always hearing about how trim and styly and scrupulously groomed French women are – yet these women were anything but! Admittedly, it’s midsummer in Europe and the women were from the south of France rather than Paris, and it was only four women out of a populace of millions. But even so… Do you have any comments/ thoughts/ observations about French style, based on your own experience? Are they really as fashion savvy as the hype suggests? Perhaps this might be a topic for a blog post at some stage?

    • Those women were probably English tourists! In my experience the French have an ability to wear their clothes in a very relaxed way that is very chic. But that’s mainly Paris. They also tend to be skinny because they eat much smaller portions than we do in Aus, US and UK and a lot of them smoke… But while they have style, they don’t have the originality that you see in London.

  14. I really loved the column in The Good Weekend but what I like about the blog is that I can read everyone’s responses to it and then your responses to those comments and on it goes – a whole new dimension………..

    • Same! I used to get wonderful letters from people, but it’s so much more fun doing it all out in the open, so everyone can enjoy the interesting responses. Even the negative ones are interesting! mx

  15. I absolutely agree with you re Julia Gillard’s white jackets. I think she looks good – calm and authoritative. Mind you as a kiwi, i had to endure years of the ghastly outfits worn by previous PM Helen Clark. Julia is very stylish in comparison.

  16. Hey Maggie , Can feel a wet and squelchy autumn and winter coming on in Sydney. It’s already wet and squelchy and its summer. So- a question. What are the best boots a woman (50 year old) can buy. Like Country Road and Ralph Lauren types of style and will probably go with black cos I’ve got a great black trench coat. But I do like tan as well but probably not as wearable as often. So what do you think- any wonderful gorgeous leather comfortable, non slip, low heel, knee length boots that come to mind? Don’t mind buying online ….
    Thanks for your input

  17. Hi Maggie, just discovered your blog – great stuff! Have been reading the archives in my quiet moments. Hope all is well with you and yours, Simone.
    PS I’m back making the coffee again, but a tiny little espresso bar. Makes me happy!

    • Hey girlfriend! Where is the espresso bar? I love jobs interracting with people too. Being on my own in a room all day is driving me nuts. I’m on Twitter @MaggieA do you do that? x

  18. Hi, Maggie. Just read your column in The Age M magazine today, and had to get in touch to say I am so glad someone else has noticed these fashionable shoes make a woman’s foot look like a HORSE’S HOOF! You call them “Mr Tumnus hoof shoes”. I’ve been thinking of them as Dressage Without the Pony. I have nothing against dressage. I used to participate in it myself. But I wore flat heeled, riding boots and left the hoof work to said pony. Regards. Samantha.

  19. PS. Maggie, are you on Twitter? Can’t find you there. Regards. Samantha.

    • Thanks for your comment Samantha! I hate those shoes with a passion… It’s so good to know it’s not just me. I’m on Twitter @MaggieA xxx

      • Hi, Maggie. Reading your column in M magazine again. Disappointed that the editor chose the pic of Zoe Saldana in the mustard dress to accompany the text. Chic yes, but not the most interesting look you described, and veering too close to that Victoria Beckhan/Eva Longoria/Kate Beckinsale clone look (in my opinion). I would have loved to have seen the broderie anglaise top/jeans/black bag, boots and shades.



      • Hi Samantha – very good point. I sent them a choice of pictures, because while I loved the broderie top one too, it wasn’t very good quality. It was quite dark and the background was busy, so they chose the mustard frock because it was so clean. If you google pics of her, it should come up! She looked sooooo amazing in all the pictures I really couldn’t choose a favourite and I did think it was a miracle how she made that ugly plain dress work. The lipstick, the brown shoes and bag…. I’m mad about her. Mxxx

  20. Maggie,
    You have probably mentioned previously your thoughts on Governor-General Quentin Bryce but didn’t you think she did a particularly fabulous job greeting the Royal Highnesses this week? She is always a pop of colour in a generally dreary suit-landscape. I thought the white and lime arrangement was superb. To still be getting around in heels at her age is also very impressive.

  21. Hi Maggie,
    wanted to comment on your “The Rules” in the Sunday Age; you wrote how you were ‘over’ cardigans. Noooo…..please spare a thought for those of us over a certain age who need items we can remove and replace when the body all of a sudden heats up! Cardigans are the ONLY solution and big jumpers an absolute no-no! You are obviously a bit younger! Karen

  22. I just read your piece in the M section of the Age, I have to say I was disappointed with your choice of clothes. These clothes only went to a size 14! I think your research would recommend labels that actually had plus size!

    • Thanks for getting in touch about this – and you are by far not the only one! I don’t blame you for being pissed off, I’m not exactly thrilled myself. The thing is I don’t choose the clothes for the picture, I never know what’s going to be there… A stylist does it and she’s very good, but some kind of slip up happened here. I’m going to put up a post explaining x

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