Anti-fashion: 5 great looks for women

I was thinking about personal style yesterday when I went to my BodyCombat class at the gym. There were two women in the front row in heavy eyeliner (think Amy Winehouse in her heyday sort of thing). By the end of the class, which is a pretty ferocious hour of mixed martial arts-style leaping, their eyeliner was running down their red faces, mixed with sweat.

Each looked like she’d been crying for a lover, when in fact it was just the manifestation of hard physical work.

I thought they looked glorious.

This made me think about what makes for a great look. This is what I like.stompy boots

  • Stompy boots
    Stompy boots look great whether you’re 3 or 103.  My current stompy boots of choice also have a pointy toe, which comes in handy when you want to kick some ass.
  • Nose in a book
    Actually, this is a great unisex look – who doesn’t look good with their nose in a book? If they are wearing glasses as well then it is pretty much Top Trumps. Nose in a Kindle is, sadly, not quite the same, and nose in an iPhone is substantially worse.
  • A friendly demeanour
    You know, the sort of person who looks like you could cadge a hug off them pretty easily. I don’t have this. This is why no one speaks to me on the school run.
  • Breastfeeding whilst tweeting
    You see this a lot at blogger events – women feeding their child in one arm whilst cradling an iPad with the other. I always think it looks amazing. Breastfeeding purists would probably have you believe that that you should be sniffing your child’s head and focusing 100% on them. But the truth for most mothers is that life is one big multi task. So I love it when you see people combining feeding their baby with simply getting on with their day.
  • Proud of who she is
    This isn’t so much to do with what you’re wearing or how you’ve gussied up your hair – I think it’s more a question of body language and how relaxed in their own skin a person seems to be. And it’s nothing to do with body size either. It’s just one of those looks that you know when you see it, because you want to stand up and applaud as she enters the room.

Of course we could try and kid ourselves that how we look doesn’t matter, but it does. What I think matters less, is fashion, the size of your arse and when you last had a hair cut. What do you reckon?


  • Yay, I can tick numbers one (I have size 7 hooves and can in no way be described as petite, so Stompy Boots have been my favourites for years – my all-time love affair is with a pair of M&S Footglove stompies that are incredibly comfy AND have a 2-3 inch heel, and my current extra-stompies, a pair of New Rock Reactors, chunky Goth motorbike boots with buckles a-go-go and great big chunky soles with bits of metal on. Stupidly heavy, but seriously stompy. And BTW, I love the pointy points on your stompies, very scary), number two (I’ve had my nose in a book since 1969 when I learnt to read, and see no reason to extract it now, though I confess, I am surgically attached to my Kindle… it’s just so convenient to be able to carry hundreds of books in one hand without spraining anything! I get the extra points for being bespectacled too, so happy days), number three (I am eminently, mysteriously huggable. I try not to be, I aim for badass, but even my baddest ass apparently merely results in more huggableness. As an evil villain on TV, I’d be an embarrassment, so it’s probably just as well I’m a writer not an actor), and number five (is it possible to assess yourself for number five? I feel pretty relaxed being myself most of the time these days, though I do fret about incipient bearded-ladyness and the fact that it’s actually impossible to stick your chin out 100% of the time and avoid the chinless-wonder look bestowed on one by one’s genetic heritage… yeah, thanks for that, genetic heritage, grrmmff). I cannot, alas, go for the nurturing-plus-technodweebette look of number four, as my youngest daughter turned 15 recently and would sue me. But hey, four out of five ain’t bad!
    Fashion, the size of my arse and when I last had my hair cut? Meh, not so much. I may be lying about the size of my arse, mind you. I’m heading for the gym this morning, though frankly, the size of my bouncy Buddha belly is annoying me more today.

  • yay, I like it, I can tick most of those, although I’m the same as you on the school run, don’t have that friendly demeanour, and can’t fake it (have tried). Don’t breastfeed any more but used always to have my nose in a book whilst doing so which I think counts.

  • Thanks all for great comments!

    @Kinetikat – for four out of five you definitely qualify as Empress of Awesomeness. I salute you and your fabulous boots

    @Tricia – what is it about the school run that does that to us? I’m perfectly friendly the rest of the time, just can’t seem to cut it then.

    @Magda – don’t be fooled by the heel, they give good stomp. I have to disagree with you on the trainers front though, I’ve got quite a selection of those.

  • MagdaDH

    Isn’t it strange how cool stompy boots look (though yours have a high heel????), but I mean walking boots for example; and so do wellies – while trainers are just soooo unacceptable.

  • yes, double points for that one because it’s quite challenging to achieve

  • *mental note – get hair cut*
    I think you are spot on with your suggestions, although I pretty much fail on all counts, no boots, kindle, no baby and no applause last time I walked into a room. But I have a friendly demeanor which I reckon counts as double points, no?

  • Empress of Awesomeness, ooh, I likes it! May have to change my blogging name to that…
    My uber-stompy New Rocks are visible on my blog being stompy at the Highland Games, which is an unfeasible amount of fun and very therapeutic!

  • herfordshire


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  • Zentai

    Hey, that’s pretty cool. I haven’t really tried these in a while. Might just work out. 🙂 Thanks!

  • I can’t work out if those last few comments are real or not. Perhaps spammers have finally worked out that extreme flattery is the way forward.

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