Fashion Over 50s Lifestyle

The Freedom to step out of your fashion comfort zone. Why you shouldn’t judge a dress from the coat hanger

January 22, 2024

‘Never judge a book by it’s cover’ is the old saying and last week I was reminded that you can’t judge a dress or any item of clothing on a coat hanger, because it can look completely different when you try it on. I know you will probably say that’s obvious but it was a pleasant surprise for me as online purchases aren’t always successful.

If you are regular readers or follow me on Instagram you will know that from about mid 2023 I have been fortunate enough to be gifted items of clothing from Fella Hamilton to showcase to you all. Fella Hamilton is an family-owned Australian fashion company making beautiful clothes since 1969. They provide stylish, quality fashion for women and are accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) for their Australian made collection.

So back to the title of my post – The Freedom to step out of your fashion comfort zone. Why you shouldn’t judge a dress from the coat hanger.

A package arrived in the mail and I was excited to see the clothing I had selected from the FH range. I had selected a dress and a shirt both in my size. When I held up the dress and the tunic both in Size XS my husband and I immediately thought they looked way too big, wouldn’t suit my petite size and would make me feel ‘dowdy’ or ‘frumpy’.

I have a slim build and some designs or patterns can overwhelm my body. I usually go for more fitted, classic styles. I don’t usually step out of my fashion comfort zone because I feel once you find ‘your style’ you stick with it.

We were both wrong!

Once I put them on they looked great and combined with accessories I was very happy with the result. My daughter even told me the Pink Dress looked great and she would ‘totally wear it’ herself.

This was another example of my WOTY – FREEDOM, in action. I tried on something that perhaps I would have walked past in the shop or scrolled past online because I thought it wouldn’t suit me and stepped out of my usual fashion comfort zone style. The result was positive and it shows that if you let go of your limiting beliefs even in fashion and style good things can happen.

I tried the dress with a scarf belt which I thought looked good but I also do like just wearing the dress as is.

Stepping out of your fashion comfort zone gives you the self-confidence to maybe go further and experiment with new styles, colours and designers. That includes hats and other accessories as well. In my post Bringing back the Hat! I wrote how for years I had felt that hats didn’t suit me, yet that wasn’t the case at all and looking back over the years I discovered I had worn different styles of hats at different times.

It’s the same with Colour, for years I favoured Corporate Grey and Black but when I retired I decided that I needed more colour in my life and I always feel so much more positive if I’m wearing bright colours. I wrote a post Dopamine Dressing – bringing colour to my fashion world and don’t get me wrong, I still love my Black for a sophisticated look.

What do you think?

I’m wearing Size XS for both dress and top and they both come in a range of sizes from XS to XXL catering for all women and they fit well.

Out it 1 – Bubble Frill Hem Dress in Hot Pink

This dress is made from 100% Cotton so comfortable and perfect for a hot Summer’s day as it is flowing and doesn’t hug the body. It would suit all body shapes and can be dressed up or down depending on how you want to wear it. It comes in 3 colours – Hot Pink, Emerald and Black and has side pockets, elasticised sleeves and frilled hem.

I completed the look Ahela Wood Necklace and as an alternative option the Vallarta Silk Scarf in Multi colours as a belt and a scarf. I also showcased the matching Vallarta Tote Bag and Breton Squash & Wear Hat in Old Rose Pink

I wore my pink sandals and also my new Archies Arch Support Slides in nude.

Outfit 2 – Caledonia Loose Fit Tunic – Watermelon

I fell in love with the colour of this tunic which also comes in Summer Jade (although my size was sold out)

I teamed this with some beach pants from West Indies Wear purchased last Summer and then changed to with the popular Suzy Stretch long pull on jean and I love both looks. So Summery and Stylish!

Accessories were the Ahela Wood Necklace, my Archies Slides and my tan sandals purchased a few years ago.

A special shout out and ‘thank you’ to my darling husband, ‘the photographer’

It certainly helps me, that my husband is such a support to me and does a good job as my photographer and anything else I need to do for our photo shoots. He has become quite involved now and even gives me tips and ideas!

I did tell Mike that we should be booking a Cruise for me to wear my new fashion LOL 🙂 No chance of that at the moment as we are renovating our bathrooms.

Do you purchase clothing online or do you need to physically go, browse and try before you buy?

Do you step out of your fashion comfort zone or stick to your tried and trusted style?

Have a beautiful week and remember –

Be yourself. An original is so much better than a copy.

Sue Loncaric

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way


  • Reply leannelc January 22, 2024 at 11:27

    The colours are lovely Sue and I think it’s great when you can pull a look together from something that you didn’t think would be “you”. I don’t tend to buy many clothes atm as I have so many already and don’t work etc anymore. I’d still be tempted by a dress in a pretty colour though.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 22, 2024 at 16:40

      Hi Leanne, I have cleaned out my wardrobe and like you I don’t need many clothes. I’ve enjoyed receiving really top quality clothes that perhaps I wouldn’t buy for myself. I loved the colours in the dress and shirt and can see I’ll be wearing them often. x

  • Reply marsha57 January 22, 2024 at 11:30

    I’m so glad you tried these on, Sue, because you’re absolutely radiant in both pieces! My favorite look is the one with the necklace and colorful bag. And, that tunic! You should definitely wear these colors all the time! I like how versatile it is, too!

    I do shop a lot online, but I prefer shopping in person. I like to feel the fabrics and see how they flow. Sometimes, you think something is perfect for you only to get it and find out it’s stiff or doesn’t hang as you thought it would.

    My husband, Mike, is also my photographer. Today, he was shivering so badly, I was sure the photos would be blurry! Can’t wait to see your bathroom reno complete!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 22, 2024 at 16:41

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Marsha. I really loved the outfits when I put them on and the colours are so vibrant. Oh my goodness it must be cold to have Mike shivering taking photos. He is very good to you LOL 🙂 x

  • Reply Suzanne@PictureRetirement January 22, 2024 at 13:17

    Great advice Sue. I shop online some, but I much prefer feeling fabric and trying clothes on for fit. I tend to buy the same colors over and over – beige, navy blue, white, black. Once in a while I add a colorful piece (red, green, tiny print floral) but not often. I love the pink dress paired with the chunky necklace, hat, and shoulder bag. I would definitely wear that. You look great in both pieces and can’t go wrong with however you wear them.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 22, 2024 at 16:43

      Hi Suzanne, I think sometimes it is nice to splash out on a different colour although having the basics means you always have something stylish and sophisticated to wear. The basic colours never go out of fashion and you can always add accessories to bright them up. I hope you are doing okay since the loss of your MIL. Sending love to you x

  • Reply Debbie January 22, 2024 at 15:46

    Fabulous post Sue, you look beautiful in these vibrant flattering pieces. The colours are perfect and the easy wear dress looks so comfy. Love it!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 22, 2024 at 16:43

      Thanks, Deb I could see you in the dress. It would really suit you x

  • Reply Melynda Egger Brown January 23, 2024 at 00:12

    Great info, my sister is quite good at taking things in “just to see” me not so much…one day maybe.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 23, 2024 at 08:07

      I don’t enjoy shopping Melynda so sometimes I do try the ‘take it and see’ approach although that can be a waste of time sometimes, can’t it? Have a lovely day xx

  • Reply Janine January 23, 2024 at 14:07

    Both outfits look amazing on you. In terms of shopping I prefer seeing items physically so I can feel the fabric. Natural fabrics are important to me. However once I find a store that I know suits me then I prefer online shopping in the comfort of my own home.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 24, 2024 at 12:14

      Hi Janine, that’s a good idea to check out the brand or store and once you are happy with the product you can save time buying online. x

  • Reply Toni Pike January 23, 2024 at 18:12

    Love how you’ve accented these clothes, Sue x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 24, 2024 at 12:15

      Thanks, Toni, accessories can certainly change a look. x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee January 24, 2024 at 06:48

    They look great – I look the pink dress loose best tho. I have a freind with cancer and her meds have made her gain a lot of weight so she needs new clothes and hates how she looks. We discussed what might make her feel better (clothes wise) and she said “I’ve always worn fitting clothes, that’s my style” and so it was not just finding bigger clothes but getting used to more flowing or loose clothes that ‘hid’ the cancer tummy. She did eventually get her head around it and looks great in the new style. So I think this is quite an important post for a lot of people, more than just about giving it a go. (I found it hard to reconcile that she has this very serious thing going on but was worried about having to change her style…but it mattered to her so that’s what matters…) #WWWhimsy

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 24, 2024 at 12:17

      Hi Lydia, yes the pink dress is so loose and comfortable especially during the heat. I can totally understand your friend’s attitude about her style. I believe we actually cope much better with the serious events in our lives but also the vulnerability shows through by putting the focus on something others might seem trivial. I do hope she will be okay. Cancer treatment is certainly not fun. x

  • Reply Jo January 24, 2024 at 07:11

    I think they look great and the colours are stunning!

  • Reply Denyse Whelan January 24, 2024 at 09:26

    I do love this kind of adventure into trying new things, ideas and even colours. Big fan of colours you have shared. And yes, I can be judgemental of an outfit or whatever until I try it on. Go girl, you are rocking this! And to Mike, great photography. Denyse x

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 24, 2024 at 12:18

      Hi Denyse, Mike has been very supportive of my ‘photo shoots’ although I don’t intend to work with many brands. I like it as an interest. I think both outfits will soon be my favourite ‘go to’ when I don’t need to think about what to wear. x

  • Reply Jennifer Jones January 24, 2024 at 10:47

    Hi Sue I love the pink dress. It looks great on you. I find I have to try on these days so I never buy clothes online.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 24, 2024 at 12:19

      Thank you, Jen. I like to try on rather than online unless I know the brand and the sizing.

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid January 24, 2024 at 21:03

    I love the colour of both pieces and they look fab on you, especially the dress. I much prefer buying clothes in store because you can try before you buy but alas so many high street shops have closed in the UK so online is often the best option.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 25, 2024 at 15:26

      I don’t enjoy shopping Sammie and especially clothes shopping. Online is certainly taking over but being able to try before you buy makes so much sense to me. x

  • Reply Min Write of the Middle January 25, 2024 at 09:14

    Hi Sue, you look fabulous in it all! The colours and styles are beautiful and the dress doesn’t swamp you at all. Your husband has done a fabulous job with the photography too! Thanks so much for linking up with #WWWhimsy and I hope you’re having a wonderful week! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 25, 2024 at 15:27

      Thanks so much, Min. I thought the dress would be too flowy but I absolutely love it and so pleased I can keep it. Mike is very supportive of me which is lovely although I don’t want to do too many of these promotions as they are time consuming and can put the pressure on. x

  • Reply Gail Is This Mutton January 26, 2024 at 17:55

    Such a good post Sue, we all need to break out of our comfort zone and try styles that might not initially appeal. Sometimes we’re pleasantly surprised. Like the different styling options. The colours are both great on you. Thanks for linking!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 28, 2024 at 09:53

      Thank you Gail. I’m becoming much more open in my approach to fashion as I age and also in retirement I don’t have to think about a corporate look so can have some fun with my fashion. I am always inspired by your fashion posts. x

  • Reply Retirement Reflections January 27, 2024 at 10:04

    Hot pink looks stunning on you. Sue. Mike is an excellent photographer!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 28, 2024 at 09:56

      It’s my favourite colour, Donna and yes, I think Mike’s photographer does make me look better LOL 🙂 x

  • Reply Amy Johnson January 27, 2024 at 23:34

    What beautiful outfits. Love the colors. I use to shop with Stitch Fix and I was often surprised when I received something in the box I thought I didn’t like until I tried it on.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric January 28, 2024 at 09:56

      Hi Amy thank you for your compliment and I do love these two colours. Pink is my favourite colour in any shade. I’ve not heard of Stitch Fix perhaps it is a US thing. Enjoy your week and thanks for visiting. x

  • Reply Smridhi Malhotra March 3, 2024 at 18:19

    That such a lovely post!
    I am really in love with the confidence you carry these wonderful summer shades..

    That’s so inspiring!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric March 4, 2024 at 11:54

      Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m pleased you enjoyed my post. I love colour in my clothes!

    I love hearing from you and your comments are important to me

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