Ladies at Lunch: Style
Did you know it takes just seven seconds to form a first impression of someone? Apart from our body language, how we dress speaks volumes about our personality before we even open our mouth. I catch up with a bunch of lovely ladies to discover what their signature style says about them, over a delicious lunch at Miss Moneypenny’s in Noosa.
Whether you’re a structured suit and stiletto kind of gal, or feel more comfortable in a flowy, boho style ensemble, when it comes to fashion there is no one-size-fits-all. Your style and the clothes you choose have the power to reflect and affect your mood and overall confidence. Superficial as it may sound, what we choose to wear on any given day can mean the difference between feeling like we can conquer the world or wanting to hide under our desk! The lunching ladies had such fun talking all things fashion as we reflected on our biggest fashion faux pas, the best and worst of fashion through the eras, our style icons and lots more.
My guests were Debbie Blumel, CEO of the Children’s Therapy Centre; Jacinta Blundell, owner of Helloworld Buderim; Kelli Spilios, co owner of Indaco Rose boutique at Maroochydore; Suzie Morris, owner of Source Bulk Foods, Caloundra; Sandra Goulton, owner of Maleny Jewellers and photographer Katie Weychardt.
profile: How would you describe your signature style?
debbie: I would say classical. Being tall, I tend to wear more structured outfits. I would rather wear a shirt or a coat with a long line, typically with pants. I tend not to wear highly decorative things. I think when you’re tall you can’t overdo yourself or it tends to be too much! The same thing applies to jewellery. Simple and uncomplicated is my style.
kelly: I think it has changed since I had my son. Not that I used to wear a lot of crop tops or tiny things but I did stop and think I’m a mum now, I need to wear mum clothes! I’ve worked out it’s all about comfort. My style is relaxed but polished. I’m a little bit boho at the moment, but I also like a bit of tailoring, oh and metallic, I love metallic.
jacinta: I would say girly corporate. I love navy, I literally live in it. I find I have a navy, cream and white kind of theme. I will often add a pop of red, I have lots of nice red pashminas. I’m always in very structured corporate wear.
suzie: I would describe my style as a bit eclectic. I like to throw different things together. Tailored shirts and fitted pants are great for work. Outside of that I will try anything. I love loud pants, I have lots. I have a fabulous loud pantsuit – it’s yellow and black and white, I love it. It’s not necessarily about standing out, I just love great fabric.
sandra: I definitely like bright and I like to bling things up. I like keeping my eye out for something different. Since I’ve lost a lot of weight I like to wear something a bit more fitted and embrace the curves. I don’t have a particular style but I go through stages. I used to wear a lot of black when I was heavier.
katie: I make pretty much everything I wear myself. I have a love of vintage. I would describe it as slightly punk, stepford wife. I feel a bit out of place a lot of the time – especially on the Coast. Sometimes I do the school run and I stand out quite a lot because I’m not wearing my Lorna Jane like everyone else. My kids are the best, the boys are like ‘Oh wow, look at your dress, that’s awesome’, and they still ask me to make their clothes, which is cool.
profile: What is your favourite era when it comes to fashion?
suzie: I have to say the ‘40s – tailored, nipped waist, straight skirts, big hair, bright lips. I don’t mind the ‘20s either, the fringes and sparkles.
katie: Me too. All the gorgeous dresses, the gloves, the hats. It was such a fun era.
kelli: I love the glamorous bygone eras too, the femininity and being demure, with things covered beautifully. It’s an overall look. It’s so sexy. I think we could take a leaf out of their book.
debbie: I don’t have one in particular but I do think people should wear what suits them, their body shape and their personalities. I’ve always worn what suits the occasion. I think you have to work out who you are and where you are going and how you want to come across and above all be comfortable. I’m for the sensible era, whenever that was.
profile: Who is your style icon?
debbie: Jackie Kennedy. She was so stylish but not too over the top. So elegant. I always think less is more.
kelli: It changes all the time depending on how I’m feeling. At the moment it is Olivia Palermo she is super fashionable but doesn’t wear anything that is not her. She wears lots of high waisted pants, layering, and amazing colours.
sandra: I have two but they are miles apart. I love Nicole Kidman, she always looks really beautiful. The other one is Beyonce for a bit of fun. I love how she can pull off all these wonderful outfits even when she is pregnant. I suppose that’s the bit of sparkle and bling in me.
suzie: I have a couple, Lauren Bacall, she always wore clothes that were tailored and structured but was willing to push the boundaries, and Coco Chanel. I do also love Lisa Wilkinson, every day she just looks beautiful, so polished.
katie: One of them is my nanna. She was a tiny little lady and she always looked so beautiful. I also like Michelle Williams, she is a little bit quirky. I loved her pixie cut, which I had for years.
profile: What was your worst fashion blunder?
debbie: When I was around 19 I had a white jumpsuit, which I thought I looked gorgeous in but looking back, it really wasn’t suitable to wear to uni!
jacinta: I keep coming back to the ‘80s. I think of different travel conferencing events, where we would often have a formal night and I would decide to go right outside my comfort zone and then I look back at the photos and think what was I thinking. I even look awkward.
katie: I have always had a love of op shop and vintage, which is fine but my friends and I used to have a thing for grandpa pants, like men’s business pants but the old ones. They were too long, we walked on the heels of them, it was terrible but it was cool back then I suppose. You just have to own it.
suzie: Friends of mine were going through old photos recently and they sent a couple of me in the ‘70s and ‘80s. In one I was wearing a really tight red and cream jumper with gold stripes, it does not look good at all. In the other I was wearing a striped jacket with big shoulder pads and enormous hair. I looked hideous.
sandra: I’ve got lots and they are all coming back. It was a primary school reunion in the late ‘80s. My sister and I are nine years apart and Mum made us matching outfits – yellow crop tops with pineapples and matching culottes with plastic shoes.
profile: What is your most treasured piece in your wardrobe?
suzie: My Year 10 formal dress is very sentimental to me. It’s lemon and typical ‘50s style with spaghetti straps, full circle skirt and it has a matching lemon jacket.
My mum made it for me. I also wore it to the first wedding I ever went to. My daughter has worn it a couple of times to ‘50s-themed rock and roll nights.
sandra: Probably my wedding gown. I used to work in a drapery store that sold wedding fabric and I remember working extra hours to pay it off. My friend made it for me. There is something about it. I can’t throw it out.
kelli: I keep all my nice dresses but I never wear them more than once. I have every dress since I was 17 so I loan them all to friends. I actually love shopping and having to find an outfit. That’s how Indaco Rose started, I love dressing people.
debbie: I’m into minimalism so I throw things out more than I acquire them. My wedding dress ended up in the girls’ dressup box. I bought a beautiful jacket in Melbourne recently which zips from the top and bottom. It moves with you when you’re travelling, doesn’t crease and it’s stunning.
jacinta: I have this beautiful Italian cashmere black cape and it brings back great memories of family trips to the snow; sitting with the kids around the fireplace, glass of wine, snow falling. It’s a really emotive piece.
LADIES AT LUNCH REVIEW: MISS MONEYPENNY’S
There’s something magical about strolling along Hastings Street that makes you instantly feel relaxed – the chilled out vibe, the lively chatter echoing from the restaurants and cafes peppered along the bustling strip, the locals and tourists meandering through the eclectic little boutiques, the beachgoers who wander up from the waves to grab a coffee and watch the world go by.
One restaurant that really stands out from the crowd is the revered Miss Moneypenny’s – an uber stylish venue serving up Mediterranean-inspired modern Australian cuisine as well as an impressive cocktail list.
With such an excellent reputation, I had high expectations of this award-winning restaurant and it didn’t disappoint.
With such an extensive menu, and so many delicious options vying for our attention, the ladies and I decided to sample a few different dishes to share, which I highly recommend.
From the delicious fresh salads to the 12-hour lamb shoulder that fell apart on the fork to the melt-in-your-mouth market fish, each dish was an explosion of colour and flavour.
The chocolate brownie was the piece de resistance. Served with creamy ice cream and caramelised banana it really hit the spot.
Miss Moneypenny’s boasts an impressive bar, with just about any cocktail you dare to imagine as well as a quality wine list.
It’s the perfect spot to relax over a leisurely lunch or enjoy a drink and one of their signature Napoli-style pizzas or share boards with friends. Open seven days until late, there is sure to be something on the menu to tempt your tastebuds.
6 Hastings St, Noosa Heads
Ph: 5474 9999