Category Archives: Fashion

Why did men stop wearing high heels?


25 January 2013 Last updated at 00:45 GMT

_65445024_p06-0013-adetail1Why did men stop wearing high heels?

By William Kremer BBC World Service

“For generations they have signified femininity and glamour – but a pair of high heels was once an essential accessory for men.

Beautiful, provocative, sexy – high heels may be all these things and more, but even their most ardent fans wouldn’t claim they were practical.

They’re no good for hiking or driving. They get stuck in things. Women in heels are advised to stay off the grass – and also ice, cobbled streets and posh floors.

And high heels don’t tend to be very comfortable. It is almost as though they just weren’t designed for walking in.

Originally, they weren’t.” READ MORE


Is wearing flat shoes the new bra burning of feminism?


Recently I was sitting in a train carriage on the way into the city for a meeting and 12 out of 20 women were wearing flat soled shoes!

I thought that maybe this was just a coincidence or maybe they were on their way to work and would change into their heels when they got to work. So I decided to sit in the foyer of a large corporation at morning tea time (about 10am) to see if the trend continued. To my surprise, almost 2 out of every 3 women that walked past me had flat shoes on and it didn’t matter if they were in a suit, or casually dressed. I was not counting sandals or thongs in my mini survey, just closed in shoes. About time I thought, some sense is prevailing and then I thought “maybe this is a reaction to patriarchy just like the bra burning of the sixties”. What do you think? And for a laugh, I have attached a link to one of my recent post’s,  “Have you seen yourself in those Heels?”



This is a great article, So right, women need to be seen AND heard. Really for all women and girls, next time that are about to put on some item of clothing that looks good but restricts your movement, think of this article. I have written about a similar concept with high heels – a design concept reflecting the sexual position of the foot whilst having intercourse (that’s the seen part) and designed to restrict movement. I think that they have also been designed to show women looking stupid with many not being able to walk properly whilst they are wearing them!

finding development

A few years ago, I had a professor explain the history of women’s inhabitations of space. We weren’t talking about outer space; stars, galaxies, and whatnot. We were talking about physical and intellectual space.

Historically, women’s outfits were designed to physically inhabit large spaces (think Victorian era ballgowns) and to draw attention to a woman’s appearance. These outfits took hours to put on and prepare and while they physically took up space (drawing attention to women), women were still restricted by them. These outfits physically restricted women and limited them to inhabiting physical space as opposed to intellectual space.

Sound confusing? It kind of is.. Instead think of it as that saying people used to (and sometimes still) say about kids; “children are meant to be seen and not heard’ and simply replace the word ‘children’ with the word ‘women’. Better?

I struggle with…

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Things are changing in women’s fashion


Some fantastic developments in women’s fashion – things are changing!

One of the main objectives of this Forum was:

To promote realistic design paradigms for women’s fashion by working with designers to recognise the Changing Women’s body.  Enabling comfortable stylish clothes for women will help more women to “Embrace their Shape” and to live free of the pressure of the fashion industry and media.  Let us change the model of what it is to look like a woman!

Susanne Moore Skirt

Susanne Moore Skirt

Many of you may remember the skirt that I designed in early 2011, well now many other well known designers including Armani, Country Road, George Gross, Harry Who and Karen Millen have come up with designs based on the same concept!  This means that someone has been taking some notice of what women want.

We want stylish yet comfortable clothing that is easy to wear and have some ‘give’ so you don’t feel like you are in a straight jacket!  My skirt has an expandable waist band and stretch material down each side for added comfort when you are sitting in the office all day.  It is lined and really comfortable to wear.  I designed and made it because I as I got closer to menopause just couldn’t get comfortable in most of the clothes that I had and just wanted to wear track pants and loose clothes the whole time.  At this time of your life, your weight changes almost daily!  I found that I could wear this skirt all day with a pair of black tights, be comfortable and still look good. You can buy my skirts online at In the Bush at the Beach.

Many of the skirts and pants that are designed for bigger women, or older women (like me), whose changing body is now wonderfully curvy, have high elastic waists.  They often come up very high over your stomach and when you sit down make a big bulge.  Many designers think that they need to make the design so it comes up and over your tummy, but this just results in the skirt fitting tightly at the top and in some cases it just cuts into you when you sit down.  What we really need is a waist band that is soft and wide and sits just under the belly button.  This is tricky, because too wide and the band will roll, to thin and it will cut into you.  If you are like me and are not big but still have a belly bulge, you don’t want anything on your belly, nothing tight and nothing that makes any bulge at the belly line.

George Gross and Harry Who, a well known Australian design group have embraced the shape of ‘real women’ and have a similar skirt for winter (Print Jersey 23 inch Rouched Skirt)  that provides a little more room in the hip area whilst still providing a slim fit look.  It also has stretch side panels and the waist that sits just under the belly button for maximum comfort.

Karen Millen, England has something similar, her high waisted skirt gray, see above far right.  Notice the same stretch material down the sides and the slim waist band.  This is a higher waisted skirt and without trying it on, I can’t tell if it would be comfortable.  It is interesting that many skirts of this style has shown up this season.

So great news!

Thank you to Briana at George Gross & Harry WHO for supplying the photo’s.


George Gross & Harry WHO online store

Karen Millen online store

Susanne Moore skirts available at In the Bush at the Beach online store

Why your clothes don’t fit you like they look on the model


Clothes too tight

We all know that our body shape changes over the course of our lifetime and for women it just changes and changes and changes and changes.  No sooner have you gotten past one milestone, like child-birth, when your body is changing shape again to cope with menopause, sickness, or your changing body may have changed due to a new lifestyle!

Your body may have changed for lots of reasons, but apart from gaining and losing weight, your real body shape changes as your life changes.  Most clothes are designed to fit a body shape that has no bulges, is straight up and down and pretty much straight out of the box as far as design goes so if you have a few extra kilo’s or just had a life changing experience like giving birth or menopause they don’t always fit comfortably anymore.  During Peri-menopause you seem to gain weight every week!  I know that I just keep going through clothes and sizes for a year despite rigorously exercising and being on a controlled diet, my shape changed despite my weight staying the same.  Finally my weight stabilized.  This is very frustrating.  this is one of those times in your life when you really feel like crap but you still want to look good.   During menopause, you are already going through so many changes in terms of your emotions, your thoughts about your life – and now you have to give up your favourite clothes as well!

In desperation, many of us turn to a comfort alternative, like elastic waistbands.  Many of these clothes are designed to fit bigger women, they just make you look shapeless and don’t give you the style that makes you feel good – so too often you chose between comfort or slightly uncomfortable but stylish.  I have a small frame so these types of clothes just overwhelm my body, making me look even more rounded and frumpish than I already feel!

During pregnancy and after child birth a number of things change and whilst will go back to their original shape it can still be annoying whilst you are waiting.  Be patient, your hips will have expanded, your breasts will have increased in size and you may be carrying additional weight around the tummy as a result of carrying a baby.

As you get older, your body does start to change.  You thicken in the hips, the thighs may get a little wider, your breasts have increased in size and your back has expanded.  You may have a tummy as a reward for carefully carrying children through pregnancy.  The tops of your arms will thicken, your fingers will get slightly thicker from years of productive work, and that delicate little necklace that you wore when you were nineteen now looks ridiculous on the neck that holds your wonderful head up.  It doesn’t matter how you started out, you will change – some more than others.

Many of these changes are not taken into account by fashion designers, who continue to show off their clothes on young stick like models that bear little resemblance to a real women.  So you wonder why your clothes don’t fit you anymore, and compare yourself to the magazines and television programs with smaller than small women representing a female body.  Many very well known television and movie personalities have tiny frames in real life.  Even Tom Cruise, who looks as large as life on the screen is actually quite short in statue.  We are not comparing apples with apples when we compare ourselves to some on television.

We all continue to wear clothes based on the current thin flat body shape design model and I want to shift that design model to a new one.  Here are some examples of what I mean about the current design model:

  • When you buy a nicely fitting T-shirt with cotton and added elastine for comfort – do you find that it keeps creeping up over your stomach towards your bust-line and you have to keep pulling it down? This is because it has been designed to fit someone with hips that are not much bigger than their waist so the shirt just can’t stay on your hips unless you have a flat stomach and hips slightly larger than your waist.  The elastine stretches past what it is designed for and just bounces up towards your stomach -much like an elastic band after it has been stretched and let go.
  • Do you find that shirts don’t seem to have enough give in the back shoulder area and when you go to the next size up its then too big in the bust or too long in the arms?  This is because they are all cut from the same pattern.  Of course the sizing changes from a 10 to a 14, etc, but there is no real allowance made for what the change in size really means as you age and your arms thicken and your back expands.  The concentration is on the bust measurement, the arm length and the shirt length.  So if this same model is used (as it is) to increase the sizes it doesn’t take into account the changing women’s body shape.
  • Shirt buttons that gape at the bust line – many shop attendants tell us to “just put a press dud in there to hold it together”.  Again this is due to the standard measurements of bust size that I mentioned above.  There is little thought for the positioning of the buttons for women that actually have a real bust.  When these designs are tested on ‘models’ of course they look good.  Models have little body fat so they are unlikely to have a bra bulge under the arm which puts more strain on the buttons and causes the whole blouse to gap.

I have observed lots of these issues over many years , there are similar problems with dress, skirt and trouser designs.  There are some designers who have taken notice and designing fashion for real women.  Slowly things are changing.  We all want to be comfortable but still look good, and we all have days when we just can’t bear to put something tight on our stomach, so how would it be if you could feel comfortable and look good too?  Fantastic!


If you see advertisements that have unrealistic models wearing clothes that should clearly be for an older women, or the models wearing the clothes could not possibly represent a real person, then write to the company and voice your concern.

Here is an example that I sent to “The Knot” agency on 11 January 2011 after seeing an ad on Facebook for clothes for the ‘Mother of the Bride’, with the response below. (Please note:  email addresses have been removed for privacy);

“—–Original Message—–

From: susannemoore

Sent: Tuesday, 11 January 2011 7:03 PM

To: [Grp] The Knot Support

Subject: [TKAU-GEN] General Enquiry

A message has been sent to you via the Contact Us form.

From: “Susanne Moore”


I went to your page from a Facebook link which talked about dresses for the Mother (of the bride) so I thought that there may be something of interest to me.  Imagine my disappointment when I found that the models representing us “mothers of the bride” to just be old enough to have a child in preschool – if that!  Hardly representing the body shape of an older “mother of the bride” type woman.  Great dresses, but I would not be buying something that looks good on a young clothes horse as this just indicates to me that your designers (and many that I currently use) have not thought about the older woman’s body shape.  Maybe the youngest mother would in reality be 32?  But most, like me, would be closer to 42, 52 or older.  Come on, why don’t you give us realistic models for some of these clothes?  Is it because they really won’t sit well enough on those of us with a tummy, nicely formed hips, often big boobs and a desire to be comfortable whilst still looking great.


Hi Susanne,

Thank you for your enquiry.

I’m sorry you have found the images unhelpful. Unfortunately, the images supplied to us by brands are out of our control as they choose the models ect, and completely understand your disappointment in their choice of models.

We are working on pulling together a gallery of mothers from Real Weddings, who are Real Mothers (funnily enough!) which you may find more helpful- Stay tuned!  Please let me know if there are any particular styles you were looking for?


Alexandra Thompson

Fashion Editor

The Knot”

I tried to contact Alexandra again before posting this to see what had developed, but she has left the company.  Notice the section in bold “Unfortunately, the images supplied to us by brands are out of our control as they choose the models”.  I can understand that if you are selling something then you would like it to look as good as possible – hence the young thin models so the clothes just ‘hang’ as designed.  The problem is that there is an achievable expectation set in our minds of the way the clothes should look so when we put them on and they don’t look the same we blame ourselves.  Instead if we can understand the logic behind the marketing of fashion it will help us to feel better about ourselves and our bodies.

Please let me know what you think, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

Susanne Moore – Changing Women, embrace your shape!

Retailer pulls offensive T-shirts Sept 15 2011


So No to porn t-shirts

So No to this

I’m sorry, I was possibly inciting domestic violence: Topman hung out to dry over T-shirts

Story covered by and reported by Say no to porn T shirts

Some women looking fantastic


I snapped these women recently looking totally comfortable and stylish whilst having coffee at a shopping centre in Sydney.

I just love winter!


I just love winter because you can get so snuggly in your pyjama’s and dressing gown, put on your slippers, socks and a blanket and be warm and cosy.  I love to just sit in my cosy jama’s on the sofa near the window in the sun and read a good biography or do some blogging.  Not at all glamorous, but sooooo so nice and comfy and cosy – just makes you feel great!

Real Women – really being comfortable


I am looking for “real women” whose body has changed due to childbirth, change of lifestyle or menopause who would agree to have their photo of them in their most comfortable clothes added to the #changingwomen website. Please email your photo to or subscribe to this blog for more information.

Comfy, yes but let's see them on real women

If you google “comfy clothes” you  will see lots of examples of women wearing comfortable clothes, but what you don’t see is a REAL WOMEN wearing comfy clothes.  Many are model size women wearing something that looks comfortable, but I want to show how we can wear clothes that fit across your slightly larger tummy, or your slightly expanded hips or your slightly broader back.

 Only your first name will be used on the photo when loaded onto the blog and your personal information will not be passed on.  



Skirts designed to fit your body shape


Susanne Moore Skirt

If you just want to wear something that looks good and is comfortable, have a look at these new skirts designed by me, Susanne Moore. I have designed clothes for the Changing Women after becoming fed up with the choice of clothes for women whose body shape has changed over the years. Sick of being uncomfortable so that you are in fashion and look good? I observed that no matter how fit I was, or how much exercise I did – I had to accept that my body shape had changed and I no longer had the straight, no fat body shape of a model. I have noticed that this can also happen to women whose body has changed due to pregnancy, menopause or aging and I am sure other life changing events as well. Read the rest of this entry