Casual Coordinates

Many years ago, when I was a teenage-Megan, I received a school report for P.E. that read “tries hard despite her lack of natural coordination”.  Well, IN YOUR FACE Cambridge High School P.E. teacher, because now I’m fully coordinated.  

(That’s what that report meant, right?  Either way, who cares – P.E. was mandatory games and I’m still of the opinion that forcing someone to do an organised activity with a bunch of people they only know because they’re forced to be with them all day in a confined space is unnecessary. )


In the past few years, coordinates have become a feature of the high street, so much so that you can now go directly to a “coord” section on many websites.  It has taken me a good long while to get around to trying something fully coordinated, but when I saw this little number while out shopping with Julie, I thought I’d just try it on for gags.


WELL, gags are on me, because I think this is a cute as a button combo.  Plus I’ve finally realised what the true beauty of a coord outfit is – it’s that it’s three outfits! At least!  With this one, I wore my shirt knotted a little lower on the waist with some awesome khakis from Kowtow earlier in the day for a spot of brunching and shopping, then tied it higher on the waist to wear with its skirt buddy.  The shirt is also perfect for wearing with jeans, since it has a wee waist line sewn into it and a slight peplum effect, and can be worn tucked into the skirt to create a dress.  Then the skirt!  Perfect with a navy blue shell top, or a coloured/graphic tshirt, or a white shirt. 


You might be able to tell that I am really into tying shirts at the waist this spring/summer, to create a bit of a crop top effect.  You don’t need to have a 22 year old’s washboard abs to pull this off, or even a 34 year old’s stomach that is relatively flat only when her arms are above her head, subject to two hot tips.


First up, pick a shirt with the correct button placement.  This one lets me tie it a little lower and looser for a more casual, retro “I’m picking apples in my whimsical farm” vibe, and then a little higher (as here) for a different proportion with the skirt.  I just undo one more button for the latter option.  It shows more tummy when it’s tied higher, so that might not be a go for you, but the “above bellybutton” bit of tummy is usually the bit least prone to post-pizza binge pudginess, which can make the best of us a bit self-conscious.

Second, learn to tie a flat(ish) knot.  Ideally you want the two ends of the shirt to run parallel with your waistband, and for the knot itself to be tidy and flat.  Who learnt how to tie a reef knot at Brownies?  This is your time to shine!  Keeping the knot relatively flat ensures you don’t have (a) a bunch of additional bulk and (b) a flashing, distracting eyesore right in the middle of your outfit.  If you’re feeling a bit racy, unbutton the shirt and pray you don’t fall prey to a cheeky side breeze.


A quick note on the I AM range from Andrea Moore – I purchased this at Farmers, but bits of it are also available on the Andrea Moore website.  I picked up my black wool skirt from I AM in winter, but the rest of the range had left me a bit cold.  There was an intense amount of synthetic fabric.  As we move into the future, I can accept and understand that there are now good quality fabrics that haven’t ever been an active member of the natural world, but I’m old-fashioned and will opt for natural fibre if I can.  Great news for me, this little combo is 100% cotton!


Coord from I AM range at Farmers.  Sunnies are Glassons, bought when I was caught short one unexpectedly sunny day in Dunedin.  Shoes are Therapy mules, available here