Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Look at Moi Mia.

Kath & Kim

I have had my world rocked today, and in the worst kind of way. One of Australia's respected, and well published, fashion journalists / writers Mia Freedman, (former Editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine among others) has penned a piece on her blog that has me in a tizz.

This is a woman who is both a fashion industry insider and a mother of two, but has now lost all her fashion cred in my eyes. Why you ask? Writing a piece entitled, "There are two types of people in life; Those who wear tracksuits and those who don't", Mia confesses to not only being a tracksuit wearer, but a total convert, nay an addict! Now don't get me wrong, there is a place for tracksuits in this world, and I do own some myself, but they go to the gym and maybe handle a tricky furniture painting afternoon, but that is it. How can a woman of such an illustrious fashion publishing career be so enraptured with the joys of the dressy tracksuit? "Bizarrely, I’ve found myself “saving” my dressy tracksuit for special occasions. Like going out to dinner with friends..." If Anna Wintour was in her grave she'd be turning by now.

What saddens me most is Mia's attitude that dressing well need be synonymous with uncomfortable and describes her alternative to the tracksuit as, "your wardrobe is less about comfort and more about looking like a character from Cirque Du Soleil. So for a long time, I took to this theme with relish and embraced my inner French circus clown, silly shoes and all." A bit rich coming from a women wearing one of the most satirized outfits of modern times.

Why is it so all or nothing? What happened to self respect. As a full time stay at home mum who cooks, cleans, plays, and can spend days on end with no one but the girls and Bob The Builder for company, I STILL chose not to just let it all go. Why? Because glamour has power. The power to attract, to enchant, to imbue life with a fascination and romance that can be otherwise altogether absent in the day to day life of a stay at home mum.

How many times have I heard women say that all they want is a little more romance in their lives? It is not all flowers and chocolates; they might make you feel good for the first 30 seconds after they are placed in your hands but it quickly fades. And besides, how many years will you wait for that to happen? Take matters into your own hands and create your own romantic world; nothing will take you there faster than a healthy dose of glamour. And no Mia, I feel neither uncomfortable nor a fashion victim.

I read Mia's piece with caution, not wanting to take away from her own personal 'joy of the tracksuit'. But upon reading that she wore her new, dressy Juicy Couture tracksuit to see the Sex and The City movie, my world was shattered. Mia, I will no longer be reading your fashion advice columns in The Age and I will not be buying your fashion tome. In fact, I will send you the first published copy of mine. Super Kawaii Mama has a new nemesis.... and her name is Mia Freedman.

Roseanne Barr in full sartorial splendor.

*To read Mia's full post click here.
** Apologies to my international readers for what will be some of the indecipherable local references in this post.


Charlie Noodles said...

I got the sense she might just be enjoying slumming it for a change.

For an outsider, fashion oft' just looks like people taking pleasure in the novelty of genuinely ugly clothes.

Francis Girard said...

Wow - Im shocked. Track suit to SATC movie?? Im all for the track pants on a Sunday wathcing The OC re runs but to such a special event, NO WAY JOSE!!!!

Nicole Jenkins said...

Bravo! Thank the gods that you're hear defending the cause of glamour.

I've had my doubts about Mia for some time - strange references have been creeping into her pieces, suggesting that underneath it all she's not really the fashionista she has been portrayed as. She's just outed herself - and I for one won't be reading her any more either.


Rachael said...

I agree with you so very whole-heartedly! (I don't even wear denim, though I do own one pair of track pants - but no matching jacket!)

Can I share your nemesis?

You defend the cause of glamour so wonderfully - I've said it before, but you make me feel less frightened by the idea of motherhood. I'm afraid of losing all of my own identity, but you really inspire me. Thank you!

Amy G said...

Oh no! What a letdown. Even though we don't all have to aspire to movie-star glamour, the least one can try for is to at least be presentable in public. Tracksuits shouldn't go past the locker room and it confounds me how they ever made it past that point in the first place. Keep up the good fight!

Jarra said...

I totally agree with you.

I myself do love wearing my bonds tracky pants and a t-shirt (nothing with track lines runing down the leg or a matching jacket). I only wear them when working out, cleaning or vegging alone at home.

I would never ever be seen going out and about in town wearing them unless I'm rushed for time to get to the gym or needed to do a quick dash to the shops for milk.

I actually went on a date with a guy who turned up in a Track suit!

Now I can't say I dress glamorous, I wish I could and hopefully some day I will. But I draw the line at track suits.

Anyway thanks for commenting on my Blog and Hello to you too :). I really hope Wicked is as amazing as they say. I'll know this weekend if it lives up to the hype.

Anyway thanks again.
Love the blog by the way. Sorry I don't comment, but I sometimes aren't sure what to write.

miss cavendish said...

I've never owned a track suit (too matchy matchy) but wear my track pants exclusively for running. There's a way to be casual without letting it all go.

WendyB said...

Good grief! I certainly have my slovenly gym clothes but I don't brag about them and don't wear them out to dinner!

enc said...

It must have been pretty disappointing to read this. I'm really surprised about it, but then again, I'll give her credit for being honest.

I really can't believe she wore a tracksuit—Juicy or not—to the SATC movie premiere. Incroyable!

Kelly said...

oh my god. This woman needs an intervention. I have one pair of track pants and they are reserved, as others have said, for physical tasks for which my free range of motion is more important than looking good. Or sleeping in the winter. That's IT. There is a middle ground between her denim bustier and what are essentially pajamas. Why don't people realize this?! I think it's a lac

Kelly said...

k of respect for one's self (I don't know how that got cut off of my last comment!)

Hammie said...

Mantra for Mums:
Do not leave the house in anything you can comfortably sleep in!

As a special needs mum I have gone to the end of the driveway to put the kids on the bus on occasion, while wearing yoga pants and a hooded fleece.
But as soon as started driving them to school myself, I got dressed properly and put on my eyeliner before walking out the door.
I did stop and look at velour once in Marks and Spencers while doing my grocery shopping; but called my sponsor (Imelda Mike) and was counselled to back away from the elastane and out of the store.
There is no excuse for this.
Viva la Kawaii Mama.

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Charlie Noodles: You could be correct, but for someone who makes her living as a fashion writer she may be enjoying the end of her career too. And your comment re fashion is understandable too - I'd like to make the point that there this a marked difference between fashion and STYLE.
Francis: Indeed, and I know you are a great example of dressing for the occasion.
Nicole: Thank you, I wonder how many of her reading public have noticed this?
Rachael: Please share away. We will create our own stylish army in no time.
Jarra: A date in a tracksuit?? Given that a date is when people generally present their best selves, that does not bode well.
Miss Cavendish: Indeed.
Wendy B: Imagine that. Oh the horror.
enc: Disappointing it was. Right up there with discovering Santa Claus is not real.
Kelly: Perhaps this post can serve as her intervention. I have written to her but haven't heard back.
Hammie: Excellent work. And having a stylish 'sponsor' can be critical in times of fashion crisis or just plain shopping drunk. (Don't drink and shop people! I speak from experience).

Lady Smaggle said...

Ew. She has 'good' tracksuit pants that she saves for special occasions? I feel like a total slob if I wear tracksuit pants in front of the T.V. I'm more a vintage slip or silk pajamas kind of girl.

A dreamer said...

She wore a tracksuit to the SATC movie? WOW.
There are plenty of ways to dress and well AND stay comfy! She didn't have to resort to the tracksuit...there's a time and a place...

Robo said...

I don't know who Mia Freedman is, but I'm with you, Super Kawaii Mama. I am in awe of your ability to be a glamorous mum. Well done! This Mia lady should take a page out of your book.

Personally, I hate it when people use comfort as an excuse for looking like slobs. Granted, I love my comfy yoga pants, but they're for home or the gym. It takes just as much effort to put on a nicer pair of trousers and a stylish t-shirt with a scarf as it does to pull on track pants, a tank, and hoodie. Let's face it: those pockets on hoodies look like kangaroo pouches and don't do anyone any favours.

Vive la revolution de style!

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Lady Smaggle: Those silk pajamas can be a girls best friend for lounging around.
a dreamer: How has the tracksuit become such an elevated fashion option? A time and a place indeed.
Robo: I can't remember which fashion great said this but, " when dressing purely for comfort, comfort becomes the enemy of style". Thank you for your part in the Style Revolution!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Super Kawaii Mama, it sounds like Mia Freedman is going through a crisis and it is manifesting itself in her clothes (and attitude to clothes). Anyone who publicly admits to owning & wearing a Juicy tracksuit needs serious help. Please tell us if she writes back to you.

Imelda Matt said...

If I see that sloth slopping around the streets of Sydney them I be sure to TASER here her lazy juicy clad arse back to the boondocks!

Mama 1 Mia 0

Gladis said...


I like my workout clothes for going to the actual gym myself, too.

Seeing as I live in FL, I do tend to wear sundresses at home and for some activities out with the kids, but I cute it up w/ pink lipstick, nails, and purse + stylish shoes.

K.Line said...

Rock on, SKM! Glamour is power!!! K

Lady Melbourne said...

Indeed SKM it seems Mia needs some rescuing. I am so dissapointed because I've been reading her musing for years and have followed her career but cannot understand this 'shift' if you like in her wardrobe of late.
I do hope she gets in contact with you and look forward to the outcome.

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Cybill: I certainly will do.
Imelda: Ding ding.
Gladis: It has to work for your lifestyle and climate too, but glamour is an adaptable and universal concept.
K.Line: Your doing a great job fighting the fight at your end too.
LM: I might have to poke her with a bigger stick to get a response I think.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, thank you so much for your post! I grew up in a small town where the donning of a skirt (even the most casual of skirts!) was equated with prissiness and frivolity. From the earliest point in my memory, I made it my mission to try to disprove that theory. Feminine dressing absolutely, without a doubt holds more power than the ratty jeans and tee shirt combo day in, day out. And as we know, a penchant for all things girlie does not imply that we're vapid or shallow. It's simply a choice to take care of ourselves and put forth a positive image.

And well, I think that throwing on a jersey dress,pair of flats, shaking out your hair and walking out the door is so much simpler than finding jeans, socks, sneakers, a matching top...

Long live glamor! :)

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Anon:It sounds like you are an excellent ambassador for the cause. There is amazing power in skirts to generate more respect and goodwill from those around you. And you're correct, it is so much easier to put on a one piece dress than trying to match jeans and tops in infinite combination.

Iheartfashion said...

Amen, SKM!
If she wants to live in a Juicy Couture tracksuit then she chose the wrong line of work! I spend a good portion of my day in my own home with two children and still don't wear tracksuits, much less go out to dinner in them. The horror!
There's more than enough slovenliness in the world. Hooray for glamour!