“Out of Shape” at #MWF13

Out of Shape panel at #MWF13

Paola di Trocchio, Mel Campbell and I will be speaking on the “Out of Shape” panel at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival this Saturday.

Hi there, BusiChic – did you see that we got a new face?

But that’s not why I’m freaking out right now. I’m speaking at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival this Saturday and I don’t know what to wear and need your help!

If this was a straight up work event, I would not have a problem. I’d dress, well “business chic”. The trouble is that my talk is at 10am on a Saturday and I’m worried that I will put people off if I wore something “work-ish”? Honestly, how do people feel about seeing “mid-week workwear” at brunch o’clock on a Saturday? Or will I be disappointing people if I’m not dressed “business chic”?

I’m the first person to say, “dress as yourself.” The problem is that there is a difference between what people expect to see (” professional”) and how I actually dress in my downtime (i.e. rather whacky).

“Ummm what about your little black dress, considering that it was the subject that your entire book was about?” you’d naturally ask next. Truth of all truths be told – I can’t comfortably fit into that very LBD anymore – GAH!

Oh and I saw the Director of the whole amazing Melbourne Writers Festival (MWF), Lisa Dempster, last night and she mentioned that tickets for our event sold out so they have relocated us to a larger venue. PRESSURE MUCH?

To get myself inspired, here’s a look at what some of my other favourite people have worn when presenting:

  • Fashionistas – from revered journo, Janice Breen Burns to blogger, Sarah Willcocks (who always has purrrfect hair btw) on a panel at Prospect 360 
  • Stylist Phillip Boon who always looks immaculately tailored when he presents Fashion Torque
  • Patty Huntington – fabulous, colourful vintage that street style illustrator, Leo Greenfield immortalised in this fashion illustration
  • Lucy from The Design Files on Show & Tell. Am I the only one or does anyone else think that Lucy rocks some great tops and frocks? Must find out where she shops!
  • Lou Pardi in a school dress– last year Lou wore a school dress every day for a whole month in order to raise funds for One Girl. I can’t speak of this not-for-profit highly enough. It’s purpose is to help girls in Sierra Leone get an education because when you educate one girl, you can change the world.  That’s why $1 from each physical copy of my book goes to One Girl.

and then have you seen my photos of moderator, Paola, and co-panel, Mel? Fabulous colour and print mixing all-round!

Ok reviewing the above, I’m thinking I’ll wear something colourful because I love how they’ve all worn it so well. That and I am growing my hair out at the moment and I fear that if I wear black, I’ll run the risk of looking like a little beaming white face out of a forest of darkness. So I’ll wear something colourful. And comfortable to sit down in so that I don’t fidget or get self-conscious about a short hemline. Ideally I’d also wear some great shoes because I like those and that might be nice for those in the front rows to see. So hopefully my orthotic-strapped feet will be able to cope with that.  Gosh I hope that I can get them into some nice shoes and walk about comfortably to my talk – the textured grounds of Federation Square can be precarious for the heeled and slippery heeled – I must factor that into my shoes-ing…


So what else am I missing? Any thoughts or advice for me?



Cheryl at Melbourne Writers' Festival

Thanks for your input – I opted for comfort and LOTS of colour by wearing a Mister Zimi dress which I accessorised with a neckpiece by artist, Maryann Talia Pau.

Out of Shape panel #mwf13

What we wore: Here’s me with moderator Paola di Trocchio and my co-panel, the fabulously jaunty, Mel Campbell.

Reflecting on my outfit, I wish that I was able to fit into my LBD as it really would’ve been the perfect canvas for this outrageous necklace that is made up of lollies – an accessory that can sustain 😉


  1. Post a pic of what you wore 🙂

  2. Go for casual I reckon, we would all love to see your non-work style! And definitely something colourful. Good luck with it! I don’t suppose you know where Paola got her trousers from? They are fabulous. xx

  3. How exciting!!! Go for comfort, flattering tailoring and colour where you want the photographers to focus on

  4. Looks great Chezzle. Best of luck for the event! x

  5. I like your idea of ‘Colour’ and ‘Comfortable’. Maybe add a statement piece of jewellery like a great necklace along with your shoes as they look great on stage and in photos.

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