Dinosaur Designs ring (white) | Vivid Rocks ring (black)

Keeping it Real: the 18th birthday party lunch outfit

Nikki ParkinsonEveryday Style, Fashion 46 Comments

Oh, Stylers. I am hurting.

The annual-gender-non-specific flu has descended on our house. It’s whipped through the youngest one (who’s now bouncing off the walls and thankfully back at school today), laid flat Mr SY and now it’s playing havoc with me, which would be all well and good except it’s not been a weekend of rest around these parts.

As you know, my eldest son turned 18 last Thursday. We celebrated that day and yesterday we had a family lunch (with a couple of his mates too). The party action will apparently happen first week back at uni, by which time most of his mates will have turned 18.

We never let a birthday go by without turning it into an occasion. Sunday lunch at Alex Surf Club it was. The Sunshine Coast put on its moody best.

Alexandra Headland | Sunshine Coast | Queensland | Australia

And because I never let a birthday occasion go past without seizing the opportunity to make a cake, I did just that.

18th birthday

There have been many birthday cakes created for my son over his 18 years … the cruise ship that almost required an engineering degree to construct; the Pikachu cake to fuel the height of his Pokemon obsession … this time I knew I had to go beyond my basic Women’s Weekly kids cake book knowledge. Throwing a packet of lollies over an iced chocolate cake would no longer cut it either.

And then I remembered, I’d ages ago pinned an image of a Tim Tam cake from Sydney blog, Raspberri Cupcakes. Bingo.

Tim Tam Cake (recipe via Raspberri Cupcakes)

And yes, it does fall into the death by chocolate category of cakes … in a malty mix of textures that only lovers of Tim Tams can know and respect.

Me? I did my level best to keep away from it.

See, in the fuzz that was my flu-muddled mind, I thought it would be a terrific idea to pop on a white shirt to wear out to lunch.

Dear readers, as any member of my family will tell you … me and white shirts do not good eating companions make.

There is a 98% chance that said shirt will act like a magnet to any food within a five metre radius; increasing to 100% should said food be of the chocolate or tomato-coloured variety.

I’d like to tell you that this time, I’d beaten the odds. That the shirt was not harmed in the making of this outfit post. But I’d be lying.

It wasn’t the chocolate cake that did it though. It was the sauce from someone’s chips that found it’s way on to the elbow.

Why am I telling you this tale?

Because it’s the tale of the magic Mela Purdie white shirt, that’s why. I’ve talked up Mela Purdie here on the blog before. It’s one of my fave lifestyle labels. It is not cheap but the quality is hard to match, particularly if you need a wardrobe that works and moves with you.

Mela started her label with a line of jersey that doesn’t cling and now includes other fabrics that have passed the travel and repeated use test.

This shirt is made from “technical polyester”.  I know right now you’re thinking … polyester? Sticky, non-breathable, too much static? That’s ok, because that’s what I thought too. Until I wore the fabric.

I’m here to tell you it breathes better than silk and cotton and is more easy to care for too … pop in the wash, hang up, wear. No iron required and food “incidents” are swiftly dealt with.

The other thing Mela gets so right is the cut. This top – and others I’ve worn – drape and hang in just the right way to flatter.

Wearing it as part of my lunch outfit was enough to bring a smile to my puffy, flu-face, and offered a simple backdrop for a couple of cheeky, colourful outfit additions that provided the ultimate deception against how I really felt on the inside.

18th birthday outfit

 Proof sunglasses | Mela Purdie shirt @ Zambezee Boutique* | Sussan scarf | NYDJ jeans | Misano ballet flats* | Dinosaur Design ring (white)| Vivi Rocks ring (black)*

18th birthday outfit

I love a cute ballet flat with a skinny jean. It hasn’t been cold here the last few days so ballets do the trick. Adding a pop of colour on your feet is just a like a pop of lippy on your face. It gives you a lift and adds an element of surprise to your outfit.

Misano green ballet flats

To celebrate 18 years of being a mum, I treated myself to a new Dinosaur Designs ring when I was in Brisbane last week. It’s from the latest Ocean collection. Arrived home to find another ring on my desk … this one from Australian online jewellery store Vivi Rock. Seemed fitting to work them together back with my blue nails (Gellish Up in the Blue).

Dinosaur Designs ring (white) | Vivi Rock ring (black)

Can you see what I’ve done here? I’ve taken a classic denim and white shirt outfit and added a few pops of colour … you don’t have to wait until you’re under the weather to do it. Do it … just because.

I’m aiming to spend the day in bed today. I apologise in advance, my only concession to style will be putting on a pair of fresh pjs.

So tell me? How are you with white shirts and food? Fancy a slice of Tim Tam cake?

Items marked with * were sent to me for editorial consideration

Comments 46

  1. Very late comment/question for you Nicki – finally bought a pair of NYDJ jeggings, of course they are too long, so where do I hem them? At the ankle bone? Any advice gratefully accepted!


  2. As always you look flawlessly stylish Nikki. Love it. Sorry to hear you’re not well, it has hit our house too. My 10 month old son is now suffering the ‘man flu’ lol
    I need your advice please. I am a size 16 and 174cm tall, and desperately trying to find a beautiful pair of skinny jeans that don’t make me look like hideous!! Your NYDJ jeans are beautiful. What is the fit like?? I’ve tried other brands (mainstream) and not had much luck.
    Looking forward to some tips 😉
    PS I will be over on the nina page soon 🙂

    1. Oh dear, bubbas with flus are not good! Re the jeans … I’m a NYDJ convert, don’t wear any other jeans because others don’t suit me. The fit is good for me – this is my fave style of NYDJ. In my opinion worth the investment. I buy a US 12 which is a 16 AUS. Now, I’m 167cm, the length may be an issue for you … but there is extra length on mine that I’m just living with.

      1. Thanks so much for the advice Nikki! I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve ordered myself the ones that you are wearing. They look fabulous on you. I had the most amazing customer service from Sydney Street Denim!

  3. The shoes are divine. I’ve only just managed to read this now as we have all been sick too. Hope you are on the mend. Jo

  4. Loving the look, completely with you on the core outfit and great accessories. Will be checking out the shirt, Already a Mela fan. For any readers on the taller side, Cookie Johnson jeans are NYDJ concept, for a longer leg length and a slightly shorter rise. Enjoying your blog – thanks.

  5. I had the flu last week too… boo hoo! We were away on holidays too – bigger BOO HOO!

    I realised just last week that my wardrobe was missing a white shirt, so I bought two from a Gold Coast Op-shop. Looking forward to wearing them with jeans and a coloured scarf! Such a cute and fresh combination!

    I do hope you are feeling better, precious. Being sick is no fun at all.

  6. Sorry to hear the manflu has spread Nikki! What a great mum you are (so deserving of that new ring!). I love the look and sound of your shirt….just wondering whether it’s quick to dry? (as a travel option). No rush for the answer – just rest up xx

  7. I tried making a tim tam cake for my husband (to make up for his bday being xmas eve!) and it was a complete disaster…might have to check out this recipe and try a second time 🙂

    p.s. love the colour of the shoes!

    1. I made the cake on Saturday and the icing yesterday. I think I’d actually do a different cake recipe next time. Something more moist. I’m not good at sponge-cakes and this turned out a bit dry. The middle layer of icing and crushed Tim Tams was a winner though.

  8. The Tim Tam cake looks amazing! I have been *on the verge* of that dreaded winter illness for a few days and have been plying myself with garlic, horseradish and vitamin C… so far so good. Hope you’re feeling better soon Nikki, there’s nothing better than fresh pjs when you’re sick.

  9. I am sorry you have succumbed to the dreaded flu,touch wood it hasn’t been around here yet! I am sure it will make an appearance soon though.
    You look lovely even if you didn’t feel well,good tricking there Nikki ,love how you have added the pop of colour ,beautiful scarf,I love it.I will pass on the Tim Tam cake but you are a good mum for making it even though you feel so horrid .I have that Womans Weekly Birthday cookbook and have used it numerous times over the years and yes you are right the lollies stuck on top don’t quite cut it for an 18th! I really like how you bought yourself a present for being a Mum for 18 years ,gold idea I wished I had thought of that one,but I think I could do a sneaky purchase this year as my son turns 25 that deserves a pressie right? I do seem to get food on me or coffee or something when I wear white and I have found a white shirt I like you will be happy to know,haven’t worn it yet though it has been too cold,Jack Frost has been hanging around here of late.I am still taking it easy from my fall and I hope you do stay in bed and get better Nikki wear your nicest PJs xx

  10. The cake looks sensational. You give us all inspiration that we can look classy and stylish at any age. Hope you gain your energetic glow back. You deserve a few days R&R! xo

  11. This is one of my go to outfits too. In Winter i wear a bold scarf, in Summer its teamed with a statement necklace. You look gorgeous for being sick. Hope you get better ASAP!

  12. This is look is my uniform for most casual social occasions and overseas travel. I have been so successful with the NYDJ, that I am going to seriously check out the Mela Purdie range. It’s all an investment.

    Just to let you know, I have allocated a day to shopping, by myself, in Seminyak next week, based on your 13 tips for newbies in Bali. Hello Mist, Samantha Robinson, some new silver jewellery and a drink by the beach…

    1. Oh Cheekie … just thinking of that shopping day in Bali is enough to make me feel a little better 🙂 I get to go back myself in October for a girlfriend’s 40th! Can’t wait … so let me know of any tips you pick up while there.

      1. Hi Nikki

        I’ll also be in Bali in October – do not be scared if you get accosted in the street by a fan 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.