Friday, May 12, 2017

What to wear at home: Part 2

I'd found a bit of a gap in my wardrobe which I've been working on filling, and it involved what to wear when I was at home, which is most of the time these days.  Now that I am no longer working in our retail store since we sold it at the end of last year, I spend a lot of time in my home office writing/planning/thinking/dreaming, as well as doing all the other daily things such as housework, organising, grocery shopping, going to the library, etc.

My main work uniform was jeans, jeans and more jeans, which I love, however jeans are not the most comfortable thing for hanging out at home in, or sitting and writing in.  No matter what I'm wearing, late afternoon I change into my loungewear, which at this time of year is leggings and a long-sleeve tee-shirt.  I first wrote about what to wear at home here, and it is currently the most popular post on my blog - of all time - so I know it is something that many of you are pondering as well - what the heck do we wear at home?

I know it's hardly finding the answer to world peace, but I know if I am comfortable in an outfit as well as being happy with the way I look, I am more productive and content in my home life.  I also would like these outfits to be low-cost, good quality and easy to take care of, plus suit my personal style.  Yes, I know I am asking a lot of clothes here.

So, with this gap in my wardrobe I took myself off shopping for some new home pieces.  In the past I've had good luck with a few items I bought at K-Mart so I went back there.  Yes, I am a thrifty girl at heart.  What a bounty they had too!  And guess what, it was late Friday afternoon/early evening and there were so many young, hip, slim and stylish people in their homewares section (I drifted over there).  It gave me confidence that I wasn't shopping at the wrong place.  I also thought it would be a fantastic place to meet people if you were young and single.  Maybe K-Mart is the new supermarket fruit and veggie section.

The items in the top photo are both new from K-Mart: black 3/4 length jeggings in a thick twill stretch, and an overlong, loose black and white striped top with cuffed bracelet-length sleeves.  I have never bought jeggings before (and even the name puts me off a little bit, lol) but I am so happy I did.  They are a good in-between for my clingy, fine loungewear leggings, which don't leave the house, and jeans.  I still treat them like leggings though, where the golden rule is 'my bum must never be seen.'  Bottoms don't look the same in leggings as they do in jeans.

Below, is another new pair of pants from K-Mart, and they are a ponte knit with a kind of scratchy pattern on them.  I had the idea to stretch out the wear of my favourite chambray summer dresses and double them up as a tunic.  I actually wore this out to lunch with these heels and was very happy in it.  My husband said I looked hot too, so that's a bonus.

And my second pair of jeggings below, this time full-length, and in a dotty/line print black and white.  They are actually really comfy and cozy, but I am under no illusions.  I know that anything with stretch, even expensive denim or other fabrics, will eventually stretch out.  To counteract this somewhat, I chose fabrics that felt quite firm and of reasonable quality.  Even in a store where everything is inexpensive, you can get a feel (literally, and with your eyes) for what is going to be cheap without looking cheap and at least hold its shape for a little while.

The top with my dotty jeggings is from Zara, and is quite drapey with a deep-V front and back.  I think I wear it back-to-front, well, the label is in the front the way I wear it, otherwise the V is far too cleavegy for my liking but I love it with the deep-V to the back.

And with some ballet flats for a different look, plus a chunky gold/silver chain necklace.

Coming from K-Mart, these pieces were tres inexpensive as you'd imagine.  Between $10 and $15 each.  I am so happy with my little shopping trip.  What I saved in money I invested in time.  I was in the store for at least 1.5 hours, firstly seeing what they had, selecting my pieces to try on then having to try on six at a time because of their security rules.  I think I had close to twenty pieces to try all up (some were multiples of sizes).

I truly believe you don't have to spend a lot of money to look good.  If think if I had to, I could have replaced my entire wardrobe from K-Mart and been happy with it.

Are you a high-low girl or a thrift shopper (I'm both)?  Does the thought of finding a bargain in K-Mart excite you, or maybe it makes you break out in a rash...  I'm the first type, but I know my sister is the second!


PS.  If you live in the southern hemisphere like I do, it's coming into winter.  Today it's pouring with rain with no sign of letting up!

I would love to share my book with you, called 'How to be Chic in the Winter: Living slim, happy and stylish during the cold season'.  I wrote this book for myself initially, because I found I kept doing the same unhelpful things over and over each year to cope with the cold weather - eating sweet and stodgy fattening foods, feeling lazy and unmotivated, being grumpy and generally an unfun person.  I started gathering all my thoughts on living an ideal chic winter and this book is a result of that.

Included are my favourite winter recipes, because that was my biggest hurdle - coming up with meals that felt comforting and hearty, but which were also healthy.  They are all very simple to make, but also very importantly they don't take too long to put together.  I like to keep prep time to a minimum because I would rather go for a walk or read a book than spend too long fussing around in the kitchen.

Below is a description and list of all the chapters and recipes so you can get an idea of what's inside.  You probably already know this, but you can preview the book on Amazon by clicking on the cover image, and read the first few pages there (I think they show you approximately 10% of the book).  You can also receive an excerpt from this book and all my others too, by subscribing to my weekly posts by email.  You can do that here, and receive all your free goodies straight away.


"Late summer heading into early autumn/fall is a such beautiful time of the year. You can feel everything growing still and soft; nature is slowing down and people are getting cozy. The most stunning colours can be found outdoors at this time.

Despite the natural beauty, despite your looking forward to the coziness of winter, you find that a few short months later yes, again, things have gone awry. You have ploughed headlong into winter without design or plan; you are wearing the same clothes as last year because you have not put thought into your wardrobe; you have put on weight from indiscriminate eating and you are complaining in your head, or worse, out loud that ‘it’s cold today’. This was me!

Many warm-blooded creatures hibernate when it is cold out and go with their natural instincts by doing so. They do not enter the spring season stressed out; rather, animals waking up from hibernation are coming to sleepily, well rested and ready for the warmer season; so, why don’t we?

We would not go to sleep for months on end, but perhaps we can take a leaf out of their book and make each winter a mental spa time of rejuvenation, beauty and pleasure.

I decided to write this book as a kind of insurance, to remind me of my exciting winter plans. It is easy to be enthusiastic about the winter season when the leaves are turning. Fall fashions are always fun to look forward to, even for a non-fashionista like me – the September issue of Vogue! I can rekindle my love for the colours of plum, navy and camel at this time of year. But a few months later the novelty has already worn off.

This book is also a toolkit of all the ideas that have worked so well in previous winters, as well as new ideas I want to capture. I started this book in autumn, and am now finishing it up in spring. I am so pleased to have tried all my ideas out in a ‘test’ environment!

Read ‘How to be Chic in the Winter’ to discover my strategy for not just surviving, but thriving this winter; on how to have a chic and beautiful winter season and emerge, like a butterfly ready for a gorgeous spring and summer."



Chapter 1. Know that winter is a different season
     Start winter with a goal
     Be ahead of the game
     Look forward to winter

Chapter 2. Create a winter menu plan
     Breakfasts that are warming, filling and healthy
     Lunches for work and home
     Dinners – tweak the winter classics
     Fiona’s favourite winter recipes
        Red Lentil and Tomato soup
        Pumpkin Soup
        Vegetable soup
        Spaghetti Bolognese
        Savoury mince
        Shepherd’s pie
        Roast chicken
        ‘Bangers’ (sausages) and mash
        Parmesan chicken
        Crumbed chicken
        Pasta Bake
        Rice Bake
        Apple and Boysenberry Crumble
        Bliss Balls

Chapter 3. Break up the long winter
     Learn something or have a project to complete
     Keep active
     Be social

Chapter 4. Work on feeling good
     Home as your winter sanctuary
     Dress in clothes that make you feel good
     Be cozy when you are at home
     Take care of your grooming
     Keep well

Chapter 5. Keep your motivation up
     Do things quickly
     If you are a summer person
     Make plans for the next six to twelve months

Chapter 6. Create your ideal chic winter season
     Bonus journal questions
     To finish


You can order 'How to be Chic in the Winter' here on Amazon.  Thank you for reading down this far!


  1. Hi Fiona .. do you have a link to the jeggins by any chance?

    1. Yes! I never thought to link them, sorry. (in Abstract Spot) (in Black) (one colour, Black)

      I took my normal size too, (if you are ordering online).

  2. I love your choicie of clothes to wear at home, Fiona. And by careful shopping it's possible to buy quality at a reasonable price. Also, the basic leggings/jeggings/Ts are so adaptable, comfy but they can be dressed up if necessary, just a change of shoes and a new necklace and you have a smart-ish outfit. And if you use neutral colours as you have done, they look both comfy and classy. I love those dotty jeggings!
    Margaret P

    1. Thanks Margaret! Comfort is key at home, otherwise I get grumpy :) But I still want to look nice.

  3. Hi Fiona, I like your loungewear. And I agree, jeans are great but they aren't exactly comfortable for around the house. I tend to sit cross-legged when I'm lounging around reading a book or watching t.v. and jeans are a bit too stiff and inflexible for that. Your leggings are a perfect alternative.

    I've always changed into my pajamas when I got home from work or if I knew I wasn't going out for the day. But being in my pajamas isn't ideal, it makes me feel frumpy and lazy. Even if I'm sick sometimes being in my pajamas makes me feel even worse. You've made me think it's probably worth it to have a small loungewear wardrobe, especially if I can keep the cost low like you have. Our Kmart in California must be different than yours. I've never been able to find anything I like there ... or maybe it's improved in the past 5 or so years since I last went. I might check it out :)


    1. Yes, D, exactly! I like to curl up on the sofa or sit on the floor with crossed legs. Plus, I felt slovenly in my loungewear.

      Our K-Mart is the same as the Australian K-Mart. I've never been to your Target, but it sounds like they may be more similar than the two K-Marts.

      If it's been five years, I say check out both!

  4. I love jeggings as well and they are so comfortable. I buy mine from Millers here in Oz but I think they have stores in NZ as well. Mine are stretch denim and worn very well from last year to this year. I also have some in ponte as well although the stretch hasn't held as well. I do buy some expensive pieces but mostly shop with thrift. I have your book and will re-read it to get some inspiration for the coming winter.

    1. We do have Millers here in NZ but I haven't been inside one for a long time. Thanks for the info, Pieta!

  5. Fiona, your choices are great for a more relaxed lifestyle. Jeggings are always a stylish and comfortable alternative. I like to be comfortable at home without looking slovenly so I love a tunic top, legging/jegging and flats.

  6. Hi Fiona!

    I love this post, as I do all of yours.

    I was just thinking today that it would be awesome if you wrote some kind of daily devotional, similar to one of my favorite books of all time, Simple Abundance. Have you considered anything like this?

    1. I actually have, Jennifer. Thank you for saying so though, I will have a think about it!

    2. I have read Simple Abundance also and had such great fun reading one per day! Right now I'm reading Creating a Charmed Life by Victoria Moran and also reading one each morning with my coffee! as Fiona would say "delicious!".

    3. I love both those books so much, Carla ❤️

  7. Such a great topic! At home chic lounge wear is a need for most of us. I'm wearing shorts from K-Mart right now. They are on their second season and still holding up nicely and I wear them all the time. They really do have chic affordable options.

  8. I've been going to Yoga most days and find that I am living in these comfy outfits after I get home from the studio...I do dress up to go shopping and to play my weekly bridge games but for now I am not stressing too much about changing after my practice.
    I love that striped top and jeggings combination...striped tops feel so French and so energizing! Good to be comfortable while you focus on your writing.

    1. I do love a striped top too, Leslie :) I have several now. Good for you doing yoga most days. I struggle going once a week and it is quite expensive per class too. It feels amazing though!

  9. I've just finished reading your book, Thirty Chic Days, and it really inspired me! I found myself nodding, and even exclaiming "I do that, too!" time and again. Because of the book, when I went bra shopping last week, instead of getting a flesh-toned "t-shirt bra" to replace my old one (I find them boring and not very pretty), I bought a lacy but comfortable confection (two, actually.) -- one in ecru and one in black. Yes, they will show under a t-shirt. So will the fact that I have nipples. So what? Even men have nipples, though why I can't say. The bras are beautiful, comfortable, and I feel chic and sexy in them. Something I could never say about wearing a t-shirt bra.

    And also, inspired by your book, I bought two pairs of black leggings to wear as loungewear, but I actually purchased them at Goodwill. Like one of your other commenters, I used to change into my sleepwear in the late afternoon, after my shower. I didn't like to, but I couldn't see the point in getting dressed up if I wasn't going out. Leggings and a long-sleeved t-shirt is the perfect transition outfit between daywear and jammies.

    I've gotten SO MANY wonderful ideas from your book! I'm going to try your idea for cleaning a little every day instead of all in one day, and I am currently reading the Allen Carr book you recommended. To say that you have altered my life for the better would be an understatement. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Mimi, thanks so much for your wonderful comment and congrats on all your upgrades! Haha, so true about mens nipples - why???

      I would be so grateful if you could copy and past this comment as an Amazon review - so grateful!

      Enjoy Allen Carr, I am still under his magic :)

    2. It's posted, but I tweaked it first; I remembered some other stuff that I was inspired to do (the recommendation on the vlog about hooded eyelid makeup application. HOW could THAT have slipped my mind? My eyes look young and sexy again!)

    3. You're a star, Mimi! Thank you so much, you sexy thing 😉

  10. Gorgeous! I think we are similar high/low style. I have sooo many clothing items from Target and pair them with Calvin Klein or other designers that aren't crazy expensive. I thought I had given up leggings forever but THEN I was looking for pants to wear for my bookstore signings and since my book is YA I wanted a style maybe a little less conservative and sedate than normal to wear with my ripped tee shirt that says City of Angels and I stumbled upon black leggings from Calvin Klein with a faux? leather front (much like Tonya Leigh wears in all her Paris trip photos).I love love love them. And they were on super clearance for $17.

    1. Love the sound of your YA look Kristi! 💋

  11. Fiona, your posting is so timely and I might go so far as to say you have saved my sanity but I think that's long gone ! Ha ha. I, too, am a Southern Hemisphere dweller (north-east coast of Australia). I am now officially menopausal (and very excited to be so !) and despite my high hopes of my body temperature returning to normal after 3.5 year perimenopause-from-hell, I am still warm while everyone else is starting to whinge about the cold..... 'Cold ? What cold ?' .....Like you, my life has changed dramatically: from working full-time in a casual office where I dressed semi-professionally every day after working out every morning on the beach, pool or walking, etc to now being at home most days (due to chronic health issues) and venturing to local supermarket, library, movies, running errands, coffee, medical appointments, etc most days...... My body shape has/is still changing which me no likey !! I thank my lucky stars I'm still here, to be honest, but find that some (ok, many) days it's a push to dress nicely (as one of our favourite bloggers, Jennifer L Scott, reminds us to be presentable always) and still be comfortable. I mean, I'm willing to wear pantyhose, heels and underwear that resembles a trapeze when gussying up for something fancy (such as a family wedding as we did last month) but the other 364 days of the year I need to be able to breathe and eat (and go to the loo without a shoe horn !).

    Just last week I purchased a gorgeous wrap denim skirt that skims below the knee, two navy long sleeve tshirts (one in navy marle with lovely stylish navy lace inserts in the sleeves), a button down shirt in blues and white (for my blue-eyed mum) and a brown faux leather handbag (ok it's vinyl but doesn't faux leather sound posher). From a local op shop......$20 for the lot...... None of which looks like it's been worn, albeit for a slight mark on one strap of the bag......The day before I bought three 100% cotton t shirts for $11 from Big W (like Kmart). My two pairs of jeans (one dark denim, the other khaki) I bought last year from a fancy women's store at their end of year sale for about 50% off, so rather than $130-150 each I paid whatever. My ballet flats (black, grey /black patterned, black, light tan and of course, red) are all a few years old now but perfectly presentable as I look after my things. Ditto handbags, scarves, etc. My jewellery is minimal and aside from my wedding ring, nothing cost more than double digits but has immense sentimental value.

    I do like the look of those 'jeggings' and take note of your positive review. I had previously dismissed them but will rethink.

    Fashion may be ridiculously expensive - a liftout mag in our weekly paper featured a $AU2500 handbag for mothers' day !! - but being stylish and presentable needn't be :))))

  12. ps I have just ordered your chic winter book as a birthday gift for my best friend. She is a mum of two littlies , a wife, a friend, a sister, an Aunty, a daughter, works in a professional office and is always juggling. I hope she enjoys your book - and then lends it to me ;)

  13. Wonderful post Fiona! Those recipes sound wonderful! I will have to try that crumbed chicken. Sounds delish!


Merci for your comment. Wishing you a chic day!

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