Cankles – What to Wear and What to Avoid

Cankle – “The absence of a defined ankle on a person – whereby the calf of the leg merges directly into the foot.” Urban Dictionary

Ankles and calves come in a variety of shapes and sizes, just like most other body parts. Some women are naturally slender in the lower leg and others are not. Hormonal changes, pregnancy and fluid retention can also cause temporary thickening and swelling of the ankles.

Here are a few of my favourite tips on what to wear to visually lengthen and slim the lower leg and ankle, and what you should bypass to avoid highlighting or visually thickening the area.


Full Length Pants – Opt for a straight leg or boot cut style over leggings or skinny leg pants unless you’re wearing long boots.

Boots – Long boots worn over leggings or skinny leg pants will elongate and slim your legs. There are are a few stores that stock boots made for wider calves, such as Autograph Fashion but if you are unable to find a comfortable fitting pair, try some ankle boots, which can be worn underneath your boot cut or straight pants, or  matched colour with tights and leggings to wear with dresses and tunics.


Chunky Shoes – Look for some height and thickness in the heel of your footwear. Think proportionally – a more substantial shoe will make your ankle appear slimmer. Details on the front of the shoe, open backs and round toes are all features to look for.


Cropped Pants – These will draw attention to your calves and ankles. 

Ankle Straps – Direct attention to your ankles and also cut off the length of your leg, visually shortening.

Pointed Toes and Kitten Heels – Will make the foot look too large for the shoe. Think proportionally.


But wait….there’s more!

The length of your pants and boots, and the hemline of your dresses and skirts must also be a factor. Avoid anything that is mid calf length, instead find the narrow part(s) of your lower legs. This is usually just above and just below the knee.

Hemlines should be simple (no frills or flounces) and sit at the slimmest part of your leg. Try matching your hemline, hosiery and shoe colour for a longer, leaner look. 

Last but not least….Draw the attention upwards with a statement necklace, bold earrings or a scarf. Distraction works a treat!

Robyn X

I am available for Personal Style workshops, public speaking, wardrobe and colour consultations and personal shopping styling sessions, based in Perth, Western Australia.

Three Wardrobe basics to buy during Winter Sales.


Winter sales are about to start in most clothing stores and although I’m not an advocate of waiting for it to go on sale before buying a garment, here are three items that you need in your winter wardrobe and can be bought on sale.

  1. Coat.


Metalicus Austin Textured Coat $199 (was $299.95)

A good quality coat in a timeless style will last much longer than just one winter.  A beige trench coat or a classically styled wool coat can be almost an investment, so buy the best quality you can afford. Which is even better if the coat is on sale. Make sure the colour and style will mix and match with your current wardrobe – you will want to be able to wear your new coat with everything. Look for a flattering fit and length.

2. Jeans

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Jeanswest Tummy Trimmer Slim Straight $23.99, reduced from $69.99

Sale time is the perfect time to buy a high quality pair of jeans. When trying on jeans, remember that they will give almost a full size, so make sure the fit is super snug. Generally speaking, if you want a dressier pair of jeans, choose dark or black denim, but for a casual look, go for a lighter or faded denim. And yes, no matter what your age is, you can wear ripped jeans, while they remain on trend. For solving problems often encountered with buying jeans, read my blog here.

3. Leather boots.


Sandler Lennox Black Glove boots at Myer $174.96, reduced from $249.95

Not only will you be stepping out in style with a brand new pair of stylish leather boots, you’ll also have a spring in your step if you managed to get them at discounted price!

One of the most important thing about choosing boots, besides comfort, is the correct length. A flattering boot will lengthen and slim your legs, while the wrong boot will do the reverse. Choose a style that fits with the clothing you already own – if you have a wardrobe full of classic clothing, a pair of cowboy boots are not going to get much wear!


I am available for Personal Style workshops, public speaking, wardrobe and colour consultations and personal shopping styling sessions, based in Perth, Western Australia.

Using a Personal Stylist – Why it’s the New Norm

In the early 1990’s, I was a young mother of two working part time as an aerobics instructor at various local Tasmanian fitness centres. One day, I came home and told my husband that I had an idea for a business, but that I would need to travel to mainland Australia to do the training for it. I discussed my idea with a few close friends, most of whom told me to forget it. I was living in a small Tasmanian city, and they could not see how my business vision would ever work.

No-one in their right minds would ever pay $20 an hour to have someone physically train them – personal trainers were only for the very wealthy and famous. I persisted and became one of Tasmania’s first female personal trainers.


Me! Circa 1995 – Photo by  Karleen Minney

More than twenty years later, Personal Trainers are used commonly by the general population. Everyone I know has used one at some stage, for a variety of reason.

A few years ago, as owner and manager of a fashion boutique, I did a Graduate Certificate of Business at University of Tasmania, and completed an assignment predicting that, in the same way people now use personal trainers to maximise their fitness goals, there would be a rapid growth in the use of Personal Stylists.

Why use a Personal Stylist?

We live busier lives these days, with different priorities. The rise of social media has made us become very much aware of the importance of our image. More and more women and men are choosing to use a stylist to help with their wardrobe, either on a one off basis, or two to three times a year.  You may think it’s expensive (around $100 per hour is an average fee) but go and add up how many items you have in your wardrobe that you’ve only worn once or twice, or, even worse, never. And how many hours and hours have you wasted trying to find the right outfit!

Instead of thinking “Can I afford to use a stylist?” ask yourself if you can afford not too?


Who uses Paterson Personal Styling?

Most of my clients are not rich and famous – most of them are everyday women living in normal circumstances who are feeling frustrated  and lost with their clothing and that their clothing doesn’t really reflect who they are and is not flattering to their body shape and colouring.

And I can fix that!

The benefits of using me as your Personal Stylist

My clients come to me because it saves them a lot of time and stress, and also quite a bit of money. Together we create a wardrobe that mixes and matches, is flattering shape wise and colour wise, and is in line with their lifestyle, personality and, importantly, budget.

before after 2

And you know what I love about personal styling particularly  in comparison to personal training?

The results are IMMEDIATE! I can make you look younger, slimmer and taller in about two hours!

Without you even breaking a sweat!


I am available for Personal Style workshops, public speaking, wardrobe and colour consultations and personal shopping styling sessions, based in Perth, Western Australia.


Rockingham Long Table Lunch – What to Wear



Photo courtesy of Rockingham Long Table Lunch

The Rockingham Long Table Lunch is coming up this weekend, and it’s one of the most exciting events on the calendar here. I was lucky enough to secure VIP tickets for myself and my husband and I have been looking forward to it from the moment it was announced!

The event is held ON  the beach – yes, the real beach with sand and salt water – and if you’ve ever been to the Rockingham foreshore, you’ll know just what a stunning location it is.

No matter what outfit you choose, you’ll need a sunscreen and a hat.

Ladies, now is your chance to wear a brightly coloured and patterned kaftan. Team with a pair of bejewelled sandals or thongs (we’re in Australia, but if you’re not, I mean flip-flops or jandals) and you have the perfect outfit for this occasion.

Maxi dresses are another great option, and again I suggest you choose something colourful, or add some bright accessories.

If dresses aren’t your thing, then printed pants combined with a brightly coloured top will look great.

Men, you’ll look great in a pale linen shirt and either shorts or chinos. Roll your sleeves up to just below the elbow, and team with boat shoes for a smart, casual and practical look. A paper fedora  will top your outfit off perfectly. And literally 😉

Enjoy yourselves and see you there!

Travelling with only 4 Pairs of Shoes

If you choose your shoes carefully, you can travel for extended periods of time successfully with only four pairs of shoes. As you’ll be wearing one of these pairs, you only have to pack three pairs into your case, giving you more space and weight for souvenirs!

Take into consideration the climate and purpose of your travel before choosing your shoes, but here is my guide:

  1. Comfortable and good looking walking shoes. You can wear these for sightseeing, exercising and shopping. Try to choose a lightweight and washable shoe, like this style from Diana Ferrari.

    Diana Ferrari ‘Scottie’washable sneaker $139.95  Available from Williams.

    2.  A pair of flat shoes. Ballet flats for a cooler climate OR sandals for warmer weather. Choose a neutral colour that will coordinate well with your clothing. Wear with jeans, dresses, skirts and shorts again while sightseeing or shopping.


    ‘Prima’ballet flat from Spendless shoes. On sale for $19.99


    ‘Moonta’ sandal from Spendless shoes. On sale at $19.99

    3. Versatile heels. Choose a colour that matches with all your clothing, and a heel that you can comfortably wear for hours. Wear with dresses, skirts, jeans and trousers for lunch and dinner, or anywhere where you want to dress up. A closed toe for cooler climates or strappy sandals for warmer weather.




    4. Thongs OR Boots. In hot climates, throw a pair of thongs (flip flops, jandals, or whatever you call them where you live) into your suitcase. Great for the beach, wearing around the pool or shopping in casual areas. If you’re travelling to cold weather then a pair of boots will be very handy. Choose a comfortable style in a neutral colour, with a low to mid heel. The length of the boot can be ankle, calf or knee – your preference.


    Shoe bootie from Dotti, $69.95


    Roxy Viva thongs, City Beach, $15.99

    And that’s it! Trust me, you do not need any more shoes. And seriously, if the worse happens you do find you need another pair, go shoe shopping. You have plenty of room in your suitcase to bring home one, two or three brand new pairs.

Sizing up Accessories

You’re probably all aware of the fabulousness of accessories  You can draw attention to your best features, complete an outfit and create vertical lines with the right pieces.

But it’s also important to get the scale right, and match the size of the accessory to your frame.

For a petite woman, wearing big and/or chunky accessories will swallow her up and she will  look all out of proportion. This is especially noticeable when a petite woman wears high chunky heels. The eye is drawn straight down to the feet.

Petite women should choose necklaces with finer details and small to medium sized handbags.

A larger framed woman will look fabulous when she chooses big accessories – think bold statement necklaces, big totes and handbags, and chunky heeled shoes. Avoid thin strapped stiletto heels, small clutches and fine, short necklaces.

Larger framed women should choose longer statement necklaces, wrist cuffs, thick heels and medium to large sized handbags.


Recommended for large framed women – I especially like the narrow ankle strap. From Novo Shoes


A good choice for petite woman, from Novo Shoes


Petite women should choose small to medium sized handbags like this one from Colette Hayman.


Larger framed? Choose a medium to large sized bag like this tote from Colette Hayman


Necklace for a petite woman from Katies Fashion


If you’re a larger woman, you can choose bigger, bolder statement pieces like this one from Katies Fashion

6 Cool Tips for Heatwave Dressing

Extreme high temperatures are expected here in Perth, Western Australia, for the next few days. Dressing stylishly and keeping cool at the same time can be challenging – although not as challenging for me as stopping my make-up from sliding down and ending up on my chest somewhere! But that’s another blog…..

Here are my six top tips for cool dressing:

  1. Pick your fabric. Choose from cotton, linen and viscose rayon because they absorb moisture and allow air circulation. Avoid synthetics, silk and wool.
  2. Hang loose, mother goose. Choose breezy dresses over tops and pants. Avoid wearing tight or clingy clothing and go for looser, flowing garments.
  3. Go light. Dark colours absorb heat so wearing white, beige and pastels will keep you cooler.
  4. Wear Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. Okay sunscreen itself won’t cool you down, but it will prevent sunburn. And sunburn is hot. This heatwave is going to last a few days, so if you get sunburnt on the first day, you will be more uncomfortable during the following days. Choose a paper or straw hat for air circulation.
  5. Go sleeveless. Avoid underarm sweat stains. If you’re self-conscious about your upper arms, deflect attention away by highlighting your wrists – wearing bright, big bangles will draw eyes.
  6. Flat Feet – Heat makes feet swell, so avoid heels and go for pretty, flat sandals.
Just Jeans

Just Jeans Crossover Maxi Dress $79.95 (95% Viscose)


Jeanswest Embellished Sandals Sale $62


Colette mixed bead and stone wristwear pack $12.99

Target flppy

Target floppy hat $10