An accomplished, well travelled writer and reviewer, Michele resides in Brisbane. Witty and highly articulate, her rivetting reviews show life through the eyes of a highly Gifted Adult viewing a world where she has an IQ in the top 1% of that world.
Published April 27th 2012
'She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool'
"She's Always a Woman" - Billy Joel
When it comes to winter, we have it pretty good here in Queensland. I know because I've been to Alaska and I've wintered on a remote Atlantic Irish speaking island off the Irish coast. The only reason it doesn't snow there is the salt air. I had a true love in Galway who used to come over and see me. What I wore on dates and bicycle rides for two, I wouldn't be seen dead in here. But he loved me for my Irish eyes and my temper kept me warm.
I wore layers and layers of warm clothes starting with thermals. Then a polo neck, a jumper and a cardigan, leggings, a velvet skirt, two pairs of socks, boots. If I went outside I wore a coat, gloves and at least one scarf, with one wrapped around my head. It was hard to look Vogue, but I did my blessed best and he stayed attracted. If he'd married me, I'd have never returned here. I'd be an Irish farmer's wife in County Galway, milking the cows and dressed to kill.
Back in Brisbane, it's not even May and the electric blanket is on and I'm wearing an Irish cardigan which is harlot red and thick purple socks. But beneath my cardigan is a mere strappy black dress. That's how to do it here. Cardigans from Europe that zip up are great over your summer dresses and you're getting more wear out of them. It can even be done with short dresses. Just add over the knee socks and one of your several pairs of boots. You could wear tights but after years of dancing in them, I get tired looking at them.
If you're going down the Valley in fishnets - put an ankle high pair of black socks under them because they hurt and your toes get tangled, then a pair of socks over them because they're not warm. Wear boots not stilettos. Lose the G-string in winter and go for some butt warmth. One of the best things you can ever own is a shortish black flannel petticoat. It adds warmth under those black Music Kafe summer dresses. With a cardigan or coat and a retro necklace, you can pretend it's a dress.
A look I like is the lace and part of the satin of a vintage petticoat hanging from under my black dress and down my boots. You can hide leggings. Put long sleeve T shirts and polo neck jumpers under your dresses. If you're going for a trench coat, you need to remember two things. They are thin so dress warmly underneath and you need good posture and a strong, in charge stride. If you're going to look like a spy, then carry yourself like one. Sunnies in the day add to the image.
I wear vintage gloves, but not if I can't get the look balanced. Take your gloves off like a lady, starting at the little fingers. When they are on stroke at least one face, even if it's only your own. I did it to a priest. Scarves. I have scarves from all over the world and it's a nice touch if I throw one on. These are not my blanket thick Irish ones. These are various light fabrics. I'm going for style not survival.
Try out head wear. It doesn't suit everyone but a huge amount of heat is lost through our heads. I'm not talking armed robbery hoodies, I'm talking hats and berets. A beret can be worn in a variety of ways. You can even put your hair in it. If you're Alternate, you'll make your own statement with coloured beanies. It's not so vital with berets, but if you wear a hat, then unless you're bending down to lay a wreath or acknowledge someone of significance with a noble nod, keep your head up.
Coats also have European etiquette. Keep your back straight or you look elderly. That frigid granny look, or for a guy- the hunch backed pervert look was never in. In Brisbane, I don't think I've seen a guy get away with looking good in a coat. They tend to look like flashers and I'm always edgy around a guy with a coat up here. I've been flashed at a few times and it's not the humiliation but the sheer ugliness of a penis that lands you in counselling. Men seem to think that they have an object of beauty. They don't. If you are flashed at it is important to triumph on behalf of women world wide. Comments like, "You're very deformed", "Obviously you're freezing" or, "It must have fallen off" can deeply scar this deviant and cramp his style. You were supposed to be impressed. Men in Melbourne and Europe can carry a coat. It's a climate factor thing.
So, ladies, coats are your call. Try not to look homeless even if you are. Do it with style. 'Those boots were made for walking and that's what they're gonna do. One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.'