Beautiful Clothes

All this talk of fashion and clothes and why some of us love ’em compelled me to head to Lisa Stack’s shop, Helix (conveniently located in Surry Hills where me and Scott now live). The shop is on Bourke St in what once would have been a corner shop dispensing lollies and milk and newspapers. Now it is filled with gorgeous dresses, skirts, trousers, tops in the most fabulous colours, with luscious prints. No vile pastels or lollipop colours, none of the hippy dippy crap that’s filling most of the shops hereabouts. I wound up buying two of Lisa’s tops and a pair of her silk japanese fisherman’s pants (so very very comfortable—I don’t think I’ll ever take them off again). And a circle skirt by Theresa Jackson made of embossed cotton. It’s shiny and makes me feel like a 1950s goth African fairy princess. Sigh. Much clothes happiness.

Here’s what I love most about Lisa’s shop, not just that her clothes are inventive and beautiful and comfortable, but that I don’t feel like a fool for walking in. In many botique shops I only fit into the largest sizes, and—you’re just going to have to trust me on this—I’m not that big. I’m not particularly tall or fat, and yet in cool shop after cool shop I barely squeeze into the largest sizes. Huh? And the shop assistants make out like this is somehow my fault. Does that make for shopping pleasure? No, it does not.

While I was at Helix three other women tried on clothes. Two of them much older than me, one much younger. One larger than me, two smaller. And here’s the thing: we all looked really good in her clothes. We had fun trying them on. We gossiped and offered opinions on what looked best on each other. It was a gas. I don’t remember the last time I had such a good time in a clothes shop.

And even better, Lisa’s clothes aren’t insanely expensive, are very well made, and last a very long time. What could be better?


  1. bigger than size 6 on #

    in this country if yore bigger than a size 6 and your clavicle don’t stick out then yore fat. No 2 ways about it. I wish there were a store like that in my town.

  2. Cheryl on #

    funny that. when I lived in Australia it was hard to find clothes big enough for me. now i live in the US i have trouble getting clothes small enough for me. i haven’t changed.

    of course you can get smaller sizes in the us, but they tend to be aimed either at teenagers or very rich people. cheaper stores tend to assume that their customers will be fat. which is why i do most of my clothes shopping when I’m back in the uk.

  3. you know who on #

    What number Bourke? Whereabouts exactly? Best tell me what you got so we don’t double up!

    It’s true La Larbalestier’s not monster fat.

  4. you know who on #

    Not that I’m implying you’re any kind of fat. Bugger! That came out all wrong. You knwo what I mean!

  5. Roger on #

    More on the cricket, madam, and less of this clothes stuff. My boys are going to revenge themselves on the Pakistani lions today, afterall.

  6. Justine on #

    bigger than size six: there should be a Helix in every town in the world!

    Cheryl: Well, I guess we should be glad that there are still differences from country to country. And it’s not just a world of Gap stores!

    You know who: you know, I really don’t know who. But the shop is 595 Bourke St. And, um, thanks, I guess, for saying that I’m not monster fat. Much obliged.

    Roger: Um, isn’t it the British lions? You know that even if England does win the one day series it really doesn’t mean anything. Your lot still totally lost the test series. How about that Shoaib Akhtar, eh?

  7. janet on #

    Wow, sounds like a great store. I am jealous.

    You know where this sizing issue gets to be most ludicrous? Maternity clothes. There are stores where you can buy “fashionable” (e.g. non-ugly) maternity clothes, but they are all sized for tiny women who haven’t gained weight anywhere but their bellies.

  8. Roger on #

    That Mr Akhtar really wasn’t very effective, was he? Rule Brittania! Brittania rules the waves! Britons never never will be slaves!

  9. Justine on #

    Janet: the whole sizing is just ludicrous. Do men have to deal with this crap, too? Also you’ve now convinced me never ever to get pregnant.

    Roger: oh, hush, I think his fivefer in the second odi was quite effective.

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