A fashion and style blog for the over 40s covering body shapes, colour palettes, how to wear neutrals, style personality and capsule wardrobes. Come on in!


A Replacement Velvet Jacket For One That Was Ruined By The Husband (kind of)!

Once upon a time, I bought the most beautiful navy silk-velvet military style jacket. It cost an arm and a leg but oh boy, did I do a merry dance every time I opened that wardrobe door. I wore it out to dinner with the husband, it's very first outing. Sadly it was to be it's last because it was chucking it down (standard Cheshire weather) and the hubby insisted on sharing my tiny microscopic umbrella (you know the one, it fits into your clutch bag with room for a lipstick and phone as well). Now those umbrellas are not made for two and my left arm was drench wet through by the time we reached the restaurant. And that left arm, well it never recovered from the trauma so was never worn again. The end.

Well that's the end of that little story but it hasn't put me off buying velvet except these days I'd opt for a cotton or polyester velvet as oppose to silk. Hardy weather demands hardy fabrics. And you'll be pleased to know that I've recovered (almost) from that experience and Mr B is still around to tell the tale.

I can't tell you how happy I am that velvet has made an appearance for the last two winter seasons. If any fabric epitomises Christmas, it's velvet, although not exclusively because it's perfectly acceptable to wear pre and post the festive season too. Of course some of you will already have lots of it in your wardrobe. I'm looking at you, Romantics (find your Style Personality here). You love touchy feely fabrics and I'll bet my bottom dollar that you can't walk past a row of velvet tops without stroking them!

And of course we should talk about the insulation factor. That pile really does lock in the heat so it's a great choice for the colder months.

Anyway, on to the purpose of this post, take a look at this fab little blazer from Marks & Spencer. Obviously by no means a replacement for my water damaged military jacket but for the sake of moving on and not dwelling, it's healing old wounds.

Velvet Gold Button Double Breasted Jacket £69

teal blazer

Mr B can breathe because it's a polyester velvet so is far more hardy in the rain. Mind you,  he's still not sharing my brolly. It's a lovely soft, touchy feel but still retains structure. No floppy fabric here. Fully lined of course and gold statement buttons.

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with double breasted jackets. Love them on others, not so keen on me. I think that's because they just don't sit right on my bust and belly(!) But they look fabulous on ladies that have a slim upper body frame, the way the front of the jacket drapes is simply gorgeous. This blazer is a bit of a clever cut. That asymmetric front is flattering and the fact that it has very little fabric at the front helps, along with the one button fastening.

Teal. We haven't loved teal for ages have we? It's been slowly creeping back into our lives as it seems is purple. I'll tell you a little secret about teal. It's one of the very few colours in the spectrum that suits everyone. And if you want to know why, here comes the technical bit....it's not too deep or too light, it's not too warm or too cool and it's not too clear or too soft. It's a good all round colour for all. Ok, if you want to be pedantic, a light teal is better for blondes and mousey haired girls while a darker shade is great for everyone else. But yep, teal is good! And a little bit different to the usual black, grey and navy.

I may have been a tad optimistic to wear it with a t-shirt here but I wanted to see what it looked like styled casually. I'll exchange the tee for a thin knit next time (a polo neck could look pretty cool).

teal blazer with black jeans
Jacket - Marks & Spencer
T-Shirt - old
Coated leggings - Next
Shoes - Primark (old)
Watch - Daniel Wellington
Bag - Fiorelli
**By the way, don't forget that for every specially designed bag that is sold in October, Fiorelli will donate £10 to Breast Cancer Care. You can find out more and view the four bags here 

See what I mean about how it holds it's shape when left open which is what I would do anyway, I never fasten my blazers. This is a 10 and I'd say pretty spot so take your usual size.

teal blazer and daniel wellington watch

And it's obviously a great 'going out' jacket too. I mean this outfit is too easy; same trousers, a black cami  and leopard print heels. As Gordon Ramsay would say. DONE.

easy going out outfit
JacketMarks & Spencer
Camisole Top - ASOS
Coated leggings - Next

Shoes - River Island (similar)

So easy, it's almost cheating. Not only does that loose camisole prevent belly cling, the column of black is very slimming. You know I harp on every season about the virtues of such dressing! And if you need to elongate the leg even more, try a pair of heeled ankle boots which will add a few more inches in length to your frame. 

teal blazer and a column of black
Bag - Marks & Spencer (old)
Short Initial Disc Necklace - Lily King
Long Double Halo Necklace - Claudia Bradby

Of course, I couldn't resist a quick look at everything else velvet at M&S.

I dithered over the mustard version of this skirt a few weeks ago and now it's sold out in my size 👹  but red!!! Christmas Day? Just saying. It would be so easy to style with a black shirt and ankle boots. Unless you're brave enough to go full on red....

Velvet Pleated Midi Skirt £35

all red outfit red pleated skirt

It's also available in black and navy.

And then we move on to a pair of easy wear trousers. Because if it's a choice between a swishy pair of trews or a body constricting cocktail dress, I'll take the former thank you very much. What a great festive outfit these would make. Add a black top of your choice and a pair of killer heels. That's it! I'm not so fussed on the styling over on the website but it's so easy to make these your own. I would totally wear these during the day too with a black polo neck and sock boots.

Gold Velvet Trousers £55

mustard velvet trousers

And it just keeps on getting better and better. For goodness sake, I now need a velvet sweatshirt in my life. I recently bought a short sleeve crushed velvet top but took it back because really, when am I going to show my arms this winter? Errrrrr never! But a long sleeve sweatshirt? Yes please.

Crushed Velvet Sweatshirt £25

silver velvet sweatshirt

Wear with a pair of black trousers, pockets are a must for that laid back style and these shoes which I've been drooling over for a couple of weeks. A nod to Malono's if ever there was one. And you've got yourself a really cool outfit that will work for lots of occasions. The sweatshirt is also available in the deepest of dark blue.

Stiletto Pointed Court Shoe £35

pink shoes manolo blahnik dupes

Oh look, black trousers with pockets. What a coincidence! Recently, I've been buying regular length trousers from M&S because I prefer an ankle grazer. Handily, these are available in short, regular and tall.

Cotton Rich Velvet Slim Leg Trousers £35

black velvet trousers

Of course you don't need to do full-on velvet, a nod to the trend is also a good move. I am so drawn to forest green shades at the moment, this reminds me of a blouse that I bought from Zara years ago and I'm questioning why I no longer have it (probably because it fell to bits).

Velvet Trim Round Neck Long Sleeve Blouse £27.50

green shirt with velvet tie

Did I mention that it's also available in red? I haven't seen it in real life so can't comment on the shade but it looks to be a full on orangey-red so good for warm skins. Please do let me know if you've seen it as red is terrible to photograph and often looks different in the flesh.

red shirt with velvet tie

Of course velvet isn't confined to the clothes that we wear and yup they do it every season don't they, pull out a fabulous bag at a great price. A great wardrobe update in a colour that we're seeing lots of and is surprisingly versatile. It's also available in black.

Velvet Drawstring Duffle Bag £29.50

burgundy velvet bucket bag

Or a more dressy version is this star printed clutch. I can't work out if I'm a little bit over stars this season but it's a cute little piece. It has a gold chain that tucks into the bag if you want to use it as a clutch.

Velvet Star Clutch Bag £29.50

black star velvet bag

And finally, what a lovely Christmas gift this jewellery wrap would make for someone. It's one of those pieces that never makes the list but is always gratefully received.

Velvet Star Embellished Wrap £17.50

velvet jewellery wrap

So that's a nice little round-up of all things velvet at Marks & Spencer. I need to check out the mustard and black trousers and that silver sweatshirt even though it's a really cool colour and will probably look pants on me.

Anything tickled your fancy??

p.s. I've purposely included an affiliate link for the Fiorelli bags and all money earned in commission from sales, I will match and donate to Breast Cancer Care which is a marvellous charity.


Practical Stuff: Trainers & T-Shirts

Of course these days, trainers aren't exclusive to the gym. Good job really as there would be little point in me owning any at all. If someone had told me five years ago, that I'd be wearing a pair of white trainers with a blazer and 'proper' handbag, I'm sure they would have got a funny look. I do have one little rule that I abide by and that is that I have to wear at least one smart thing when wearing trainers. It's just a 'me' thing, you may feel entirely different. But, it feels a little bit more grown up. So, I wouldn't do trainers with jeans and a slouchy jumper for example. Nothing wrong with that at all, it's my style personality coming out (find yours here). I think some women pull off the causal look so effortlessly, I look like a washed up, middle aged grandma. 

I'm not really in to labels or more to the point, brand endorsement. My Adidas Honey Lows are the plainest of the plain. All white and at first glance, you wouldn't automatically think, Adidas. And my Gazelles are pale grey and white, very unassuming (similar in the sale here). In fact, I think it's true to say that I'm drawn to the dressier trainer (no Golden Goose for me then). 

You may recall that I upgraded a cheap pair of M&S nude trainers for these earlier in the year.  They're from a company that I've worked with in the past, Holster Australia. 

I love the fact that other than the little tag, they're virtually unbranded. And a tad dressier than the norm but still look trainer-ish. And that's ok by me. None of that 'breaking in new shoes' which I'm sure is down to the Eva memory foam (I know, it's like putting your feet to bed each time you wear them). They're 100% vegan friendly and no, I haven't found them at all sweaty. 

By the way, this colour is a really good way to extend the length of your leg. Well that is if you have similar tone skin to the trainers. It's not going to work for black skin but fear not ladies, I have an option for you below. 

In fact, I wore them today with grey Zara trousers and a matching nude pink coat. 

These are a 6. I think they run ever so slightly small as my toes are touching the end so if you're in between, I'd recommend sizing up.

I've been lucky enough to be sent a pair of black Stardusts that are going to be so useful as we go into winter. A few weeks ago, I was rummaging in my cupboard for a pair of suitable shoes for a shopping trip, followed by dinner. So smart but most certainly comfort was the order of the day. And it was raining buckets so anything suede wasn't going to work. THESE would have been perfect. They fit like a trainer but are so much more! And waterproof. 

They're also available in white with a silver toe cap (here) and would be a brilliant holiday choice. 

Husband would have played merry hell if he had caught me with my feet on the kitchen wall. But he didn't and I couldn't resist! An optical elusion, I look as if I'm stood up but I'm actually lying down. 

See what I mean about always feeling the need to dress up trainers. Can't help myself! 

Boyfriend Blazer  - Glamorous (old)
Men's Shirt - Marks & Spencer (similar)
Coated Leggings - Next
Stardust Trainers - Holster Australia
Navy Bag - Coach (similar)
So if you're after a pair of trainers that are a little bit different to what's on the High Street, go and have a look at Holster Australia's offering. If you're more of a high-top girl, there are those too!

And finally, I stumbled across this long sleeve v-neck t-shirt from ASOS a few weeks ago. You know what it's like, you order a dozen of the same, in my case it was short sleeve v-necks and I threw this one in just before checkout. And I kept the wild card. Hardly wild, but you know what I mean. 

It's a good option for winter but still looks like a t-shirt underneath a jacket or cardigan. It's a lovely soft drape jersey with a rounded hem so if you don't want to do a little front tuck, it still looks great untucked. 

Black t-shirt - ASOS
White Trousers - Winser London

I sized up to a 12 because fashion brands sometimes come up a bit small and it will accommodate for shrinkage. And, the v-neck sits exactly where I like it. Not bad for £16.

So I think I'm in pretty good shape for autumn although, god damn it, I've just spied a couple of pairs of trousers that look amazing so of course I'm going to have to order them. I'll report back if they're any good. Please someone take the credit card off me. How are you all doing?


Investing In Your Wardrobe | Buy Now, Wear Forever

Not in the physical sense of buying a new closet.

And not in the pound notes sense of spending squillions on weird and wonderful haute couture creations. 

No, I mean adding select, dare I say, classic pieces to your wardrobe that will pay you back for years to come.

This means a conscious step off the fashion treadmill. I know, I know, it's going to hurt but it doesn't mean that you can't add on-trend pieces to refresh your look each season.

investing in your wardrobe

Look at it this way, if you buy purely fashion pieces, chances are you're going to have to replace them each year. Take the grey check boyfriend blazer that is EVERYWHERE. Sure you're going to look great now, but what about in 12 months time? Suddenly that jacket is going to look very tired and oh-so last year.

I guess you have three options:

1) Buy the jacket, wear it, enjoy it but be prepared to ditch it next season

2) Don't buy the jacket but find something with a nod to the trend that you'll be able to wear for a few more years. I really had to stop myself from buying a grey check blazer and instead bought this which is more of a classic. Heritage check is a bit like a breton stripe, it's always bubbling away in the background. Mind you it still hurts, not owning that blazer!!!

heritage check coat and baker boy hat
Heritage Check Coat £70 

3. Don't buy it and put the money towards something totally different but will be a great wardrobe worker for yonks (oooh I haven't used that words for....yonks). 

So, I thought we'd concentrate on number 3 and have a look at a few building blocks. Ok, they may not be as exciting as those floral print over-the-knee electric blue boots (yes really) but they will be timeless classics that you'll reach for over and over and over again.

And what better place to shop for these than one of my favourite brand, Winser London. I was lucky enough to be invited to the Yasmin Le Bon new season launch a couple of weeks ago and was delighted to see the whole current Winser London range there too. Kid. Candy shop. Yep, me. It was great to hear from Yasmin herself, where she got her inspiration from for the collection and hands on involvement in developing it. And it was equally great to browse all the lovely things that I've been eyeing up on the website. There's nothing like touching and feeling the fabrics is there?

Yasmin Le Bon collection Winser London
I'm wearing: Baukjen Jumpsuit (similar shape), Mango Blazer (similar)
Yasmin is wearing: English Tailored Six Button Jacket from her own collection here & English High Waisted Tailored Trousers from her own collection here

Anyway, here are my picks. I hope you approve. 

1. A Winter White Jumper

There's something quite decadent about wearing white in winter isn't there? You know me and my ambition to own a sizeable winter white wardrobe. A pure white is possibly too stark but soft white, cream, ivory are all perfect. Find the perfect shade for you by holding different whites under your jawline. You'll soon work out which makes your face look fresher and more alive.

Let's face it, for 8 months of the year, we live in warm clothes so it stands to reason that we should treat ourselves to a few nice jumpers that we can reach for over and over again. This is one of my ultimate favourites from last year. I wore it so much and I'll intend doing the same again this year. Now let's compare that to a fashion-led trend piece from A/W16. Would you be as keen to wear that again???

winter white jumper and leopard print boots
Jumper - Winser London (similar below)
Skirt - Winser London (new colours here & here)
Boots - Michael Kors (these are a great dupe and amazing price at £40)
Bag - Marks & Spencer (old)

It's an inoffensive piece isn't it but dare I say chic?? I'd be quite happy to wear the whole outfit again this year because it doesn't feel dated. So this knit isn't available anymore but it's replacement is this one. Same soft roll neck line which is very flattering and a loose boxy shape that lends itself well to a trendy side tuck. Also available in black. I tend to go for a small in WL as they come up quite generous. For guidelines, I tend to be a 10/12.

winter white jumper
Crew Neck Cashmere Blend Jumper £99

2. The Pull On & Forget About Skirt

I couldn't not include the skirt above could I? It really is all about comfort and smartness for me these days and this skirt ticks both boxes. No digging or pinching and it moves with you as opposed to restricting. There are a whole host of colours to choose from and you know what, if I were still in an office job, I'd be stocking up on these. This skirt is one of those rare pieces that will be whatever you want it to be. Add a jacket, shirt and heels and you'll be bob on in the office. Team with a sweatshirt and long boots and you're ready for the weekend.

I teamed mine with a sweater and trainers for this outfit. This is a small, I think if I were to buy another, I'd try a medium. Sometimes it's better to size up (providing it still fits on the hips) to allow the skirt to skim rather than hug!

skirt and trainers
Skirt - Winser London (same skirt different colours)
Jumper - Next (old)
Trainers - Adidas
Bag - Boden (similar)
Love the duck egg blue which is surprisingly versatile although not a natural choice for me. It looks great with black, grey, brown, white, stone and that's just off the top of my head. You're getting a lot of skirt for your money which typifies Winser London products. Had this been LK Bennett, you'd be adding another 50%, at least.

yasmin le bon winser london
Milano Wool Pencil Skirt £99

And a new addition to the family this season is the Colour Block Pencil Skirt from the Miracle range. It's made from Ponte di Roma (a heavy Ponte fabric) but is still a pull on style. Gosh I love a side stripe! Available in plum/midnight navy also.

Miracle Colour Block Pencil Skirt £89

3. The Go Anywhere Silk Shirt

There's nothing quite like wearing something special to make you feel, well, special. When you're having a wobble day about your figure or have an important meeting or you're going out with new friends, put on a silk shirt. You'll feel great and most of the time, that's half the battle. If you feel good about yourself, you'll project confidence and that's what it's all about really. I adore my silk shirt from Winser London. Why? Well, because there's a bit of magic woven in to that fabric. Stretch! I know, silk and stretch, they're not really two things you'd put together. But as soon as I tried the shirt on, I didn't want to take it off because it moves with you. No more split seams.

Having a really lovely silk shirt in your wardrobe (even if it's only the one) will pay dividends for years and years. You'll know that whatever the event, you can rely on this trusty little number.

Apologies, pants photo but this is my go-to every day kind of outfit. Smart and comfy (I'm like a record on repeat aren't I - sorry). It also looks great untucked as it has a curved hem which as you know, is ultra flattering.

smart casual black jeans and trainers
Silk Shirt - Winser London
Black Skinnies - Dorothy Perkins
Black Blazer - Mango (similar)
Bag - Aspinal of London

Trainers - Adidas
The shirt is on the large side - mine is a small so you may want to size down.Check out the deep cuffs (ignore the personalisation, this isn't a service that WL offer but I'm sure you could find a local company if it tickles your fancy - I mean, why not make it more special?).  You can also add your own cufflinks although it comes with the double buttons which I really like. Heavy cufflinks seem to pull the cuffs too much. And if you're not so keen on a light colour, fear not, it comes in lots of other shades too.

I think these shirts have had a lot of press coverage, probably down to the design and that wonderful stretch. You can find the full range of silk here. And yes, they are a little pricey but you only need one to feel special!

white silk shirt
Tilda Silk Shirt £165

4. The Wear It Daily Coatigan

I have the long white coatigan from the A/W17 collection. It's a joy to wear and the only thing I took to New York last November. Errrr, I mean as in big coats. I wore clothes underneath - obvs! Yeah yeah yeah, a long white coat isn't practical but it's been cleaned just the once and that was only because I spilt a strawberry ice pop down the front of it. Could happen to anyone! If you're looking for decadence, a winter white jacket/coat/coatigan thingy is the way to go. You'll look a million dollars. The long version is no longer available but I thought this one might be more practical without losing the luxe feel. Shorter but still as warm and it won't dangle in the dirty footwell of the car. Just saying!  I'm not the best with cardigans, the front panels seem to end up under my arms so I'm constantly pulling them back in to place. This I feel, is more like a knitted jacket. The edge to edge finish sits in place, that's probably due to the heaviness of the knit.

white coatigan and wide leg trousers
Coatigan - Winser London
Trousers - Winser London
Black Long Sleeve T-Shirt - ASOS
Penshaw Bag - Village England
Shoes - River Island (similar)
Love the side vents and all important pockets. Not sure I'll ever look as effortlessly cool as this but it's the look I strive for. The 'haven't tried too hard but am polished' kind of look. I love outfits that you can put on in the morning and they work for multiple activities during the day; school run, shopping, meeting friends for coffee, work etc. By the way, the shade of this will suit everyone (ladies with darker hair may want to add some depth to the look by wearing a darker colour underneath). And for those of you who are white-phobe, it's also available in midnight navy and a lush Hollywood red. I'm wearing a small (size down, they are very generous).

Cashmere Blend Edge To Edge Coat £199

5. The Easy Wear Trousers

Ok, so I struggle with trouser shapes. There I said it. If it isn't skinny or wide leg, it ain't happening. I've tried so hard with straight leg and boyfriend shapes but nope, they just don't work. But, tenacity is my middle name so I will keep trying 😁  I think the problem is that with the boyfriend and straight leg, there's zero definition from waist to hem line. Some women look amazing in these styles. I don't! Hence the reason why you will still see lots of skinny cuts on my instagram. But, another shape that does work well is the wide leg which has a much more feminine silhouette, it gives the illusion of curves.

Ok, so let's talk about the downside of wide leg trousers first of all. Heels! One pair will not work with every heel height. If they work with flats, they'll be too short with heels and vice versa. So, work out first of all, how you will be wearing them and buy accordingly.

That said, I've found that I can pull up these trousers to sit just below the waist to wear with flats or I can pull them down to sit on the hips for a bit of a heel (they're not overly long so I don't think I'll be wearing them with really high heels).  The stretch in the fabric really comes in to it's own here. And speaking of fabric. OMG. I hadn't got them out of the packaging and knew they were keepers. The heavy crepe jersey holds the wobbly bits in place but drapes like a dream.

winter white trousers and black top
CoatiganWinser London
Trousers - Winser London
Black Long Sleeve T-Shirt - ASOS
Penshaw Bag - Village England
Shoes - River Island (similar)
So probably not every day wear (why though???) but talk about a proper wardrobe investment. These will pay dividends for years and years. Got a wedding but don't know what to wear? No problem. Day at the races? Sorted. A Christmas lunch with friends? Easy peasy. See what I mean? And if you choose a more practical colour (have a look at the French Navy and Dark Grey), you'll be adding many more occasions to that list.

Crepe Jersey Wide Leg Trousers - £125

You probably think I'm barking mad for including all that white. Don't worry, you can swap the colour for something more practical as everything is available in at least two shades.

So, five building block pieces:

A plain jumper
A pull on skirt
A silk shirt
A coatigan
A pair of wide leg trousers

You can add fashion pieces to these each year. There's nothing wrong with mixing a pair of velvet boots from Primark with the skirt for example. I think it shows confidence in your own style. And I do appreciate that we all have different budgets but you can shop similar pieces on the High Street. At the other end of the scale, you could blow a few thousand at Net-A-Porter (why would you, buy these ^^^).

I guess my mantra is to use fashion pieces to freshen your wardrobe. It's a bit like your kitchen isn't it? Get your store cupboard right and then you can add the sexy kale, pomegranate and avocado later. Did I lose you at the store cupboard 😕

**I need to tell you that I was gifted the edge to edge coat (cardigan) but I bought the trousers myself.  I will always endorse (and invest in) this brand because the quality is outstanding. The other items featured are from last year.


Those Baukjen Liv Leather Leggings

I thought that by buying a pair of the Liv Leather Leggings from Baukjen last year, it might get it out of my system. But quite the opposite - I want more.

Ok, they're a bit pricey but worth every penny. I didn't go for the usual black or even navy last year. No, I went for chestnut which has now been discontinued. The reason being is that I'm still more than happy with the coated leggings from Next here. And as I wear them daily, (I have ten pairs, they are my jeans!!), I thought that buying black wouldn't feel special.

They are pull on leggings, no fiddly zips or buttons. And no back pockets which means for me, that they look better with a longer top or sweater. The leather is very soft but not too buttery - I don't think that they would hold their shape if they were too soft. And very comfortable to wear, far better than a pair of tight jeans (yuk).

leather leggings and long boots
Leather Leggings - Baukjen
Boots - Daniel Footwear (no longer available)
Top - Marks & Spencer (old)

I love the wrinkles, there's nothing worse than a pair of spray on leather pants. I have no desire whatsoever  to join Freddie Mercury in that particular trend. No, the wrinkles gives the leggings a little bit of depth.

They seem to ping back in to shape each time I wear them so no saggy bum and baggy knees here thank you very much.

I'm taking advantage of a clean lawn for photos as the gardener came yesterday. No doubt after Ophelia gets her hands on those leaves tonight, it won't look this tidy. And I'm putting it out here now, that I've told the husband that we need to store the garden furniture in the garage. He won't be having it. So, come 3am tomorrow morning, I will not be running all over the field retrieving chairs, tables and sofas. He has been warned!!!

leather leggings long suede boots

Anyway, back to the leggings. I saw these ivory ones pretty early in the season and I think about them often. I have a dream of owning a winter wardrobe full of different shades of white. That would be my heaven. I'm tottering on the edge of ordering. Give me strength!!

Baukjen Liv Leather Leggings (all colours here)

Another great neutral is burgundy. Look how easy it is to style leather leggings casually. But then so easy to change the top and shoes for an evening look. Love a hard worker I do.

And of course there is black and navy too.

So, having had mine for a year now, would I recommend them? Yes I would. They look and feel lovely and once you have them on, they don't budge. My only gripe is that I wish they were ever so slightly higher waisted. They sit just above my hips but below the natural waist line. As they're leggings rather than jeans style, it's highly unlikely you'll do a tuck so another inch on the rise would have been welcome. Take your usual size, if you're in between sizes, go down. I tend to be a 10/12 but wear a 10 in these and they're a good fit.

**STYLE917 will get you 15% off at checkout, free p&p and returns. It's a £50 saving so not to be sniffed at. There's also 20% off dresses at the moment (no code required).

leather leggings and long boots
Bag - Todds (old)
Leather Leggings - Baukjen

So, hunker down, get the candles out and lets's do this storm. Which may result in no more than a huff and a puff because we don't believe everything that the Daily Mail tells us do we??


How To Buy The Right Colours For Autumn

Old chubster up there is definitely getting his winter coat. He's clever like that, changing colour with the seasons, seems to know what to wear and when. In the summer months he's a very light chocolate brown but come autumn his winter coat is a few shades darker. I remember way back when we chose him from a litter of puppies. The breeder said in a rather grand voice, "even though he's pedigree, you won't be able to show him you know". Right, because we're going to join the Crufts circle - not. He's not a normal chocolate brown lab you see, even at his darkest, he's a more browny-caramel. A perfect autumnal shade!

Which brings me on to the purpose of this post. I think we very much take it for granted that this season's colours are geared mainly towards the warmer skin tone; camels and browns, and khakis and mustards to name but a few. They all look wonderful against a warm skin undertone. And, that cool skin tones, well you'll just have to like it or lump it. My feeling is that you should only wear colours that YOU feel good in, not what's dictated to us. We normally have a good intuition as to what suits us so don't just buy something because it's the in-colour this season. Because, there are always other, better options. Options that you'll feel much happier in.

Here are a few things that have caught my eye this week for both skin tones.


I'm always on the look out for easy wear pieces and this olive stripe jumper is just that. The stripes keep it looking fresh - sometimes olive can look a bit dowdy don't you think but this knit looks really sharp. Ideal to wear with black jeans and a blazer as it's not too bulky to layer up. The model has a lovely warm skin tone and look how good the colour looks on her.

Olive stripe sweater £26

Now you see, I'd wear this next little jacket in and around the house in place of a cardigan (husband doesn't get it but that's just me). Ok, it's not outer wear but it's not so thick that you can't put a big coat over the top of it either. Don't let the model over on the website put you off - not loving it on her! A pair of black trousers and thin knit (even a roll neck) would give you a very nice outfit indeed. One of those 'hey, I haven't tried to hard but I look ok' kind of outfits. Also a great option to wear with skirts because it sits just on the hips and I'll bet it will be in your wardrobe for years to come. So lots to like about this then. By the way, they say lime, I say nah, mustard. Either way it's a good option for you.

Frayed edge jacket £59.99

Look through the lack of styling and funny camera angle on this next one because I think it could be a wardrobe winner. Bronze looks stunning on red heads and anyone with a warm skin tone. I'm feeling a trying on session at this end. For goodness sake woman, you're supposed to be exercisign caution on the spending front!!!! Prints are great but gosh, you can do so much more with a plain fabric. And it doesn't have to be boring, soft metallics give a lovely depth without being in your face turkey bacofoil. Look I'm going to have to mention the C________ word aren't I (fill in the blanks yourself). But yes, it would be a good option for the festive period. Black pull on coated leggings (here), shoes of your choice, a little front-side tuck and by jove, we've got a bloody good outfit. I would have no hesitation in wearing this during the day either.

**update** I saw this in the flesh today. It's not quite as bronzy as it looks here, there's a definite olive undertone which makes for a really unusual colour. Makes me love it even more!

Bronze long sleeve top - £27.50

I've got this next dress and only wore it once, last Christmas. I wasn't in a great place last winter, it being the first since losing my mum. So, I tended to reach for clothes that didn't really need too much thinking about. I wore it with leopard print heels, a good going out option. This year it's going to come out lots and I'll be wearing it with long light tan boots and this coat. Cannot wait! It's greener than it looks in the photo and very flattering on. Sizing is generous, mine is a small.

Winser London Merino Wool Dress - £125

Fancy livening up the supermarket when you pop in for your weekly shop? Try this. Full on melon crush! That yellow undertone makes the red totally acceptable to wear. Sometimes, I walk down our local high street and feel sad. I feel sad because it's like looking at a black and white photograph. Most people gravitate towards darker colours in the colder months, And those shades against the grey pavements, black tarmac roads and miserable skies, well I might as well be looking at a 70 year old Lowry painting. Except he did at least inject a bit of vermilion here and there. So why not add your own bit of Lowry with this jumper. This is my kind of Sunday dress down jumper, very easy to wear with a comfy pair of bottoms (whether that be leggings, joggers, jeans, pants - you decide). But then I'll wear it again in the week with a pair of black trousers, ankle boots and a big coat. I tend to reach for this style over and over again because it's such an easy wear. Go check out the Saffron too.

Cashmere Relaxed V-Neck Jumper £135

A warm coat doesn't need to be boring. I suspect, if you are very warm skinned or red headed that your wardrobe will already have lots of autumnal colours in there. This coat would be a perfect pairing. Camel is such a great colour on you. The faux collar is detachable which makes it a perfect option for the warmer weather now. I'm not sure I would buy this if it were my only coat. Worn daily, those checks could drive you round the twist. But, if you have other options, it's a great addition to your wardrobe.

Check Camel Coat - £80

I'm sure that you have already got one of these already. Mine is on it's last legs but I'll get another season out of it. If you haven't got a leopard print scarf, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN. For me it's a great neutral to wear with black, winter white, camel, brown (not sludge) and tan. Whack it over a cream jumper and jeans to polish up your look.

Leopard Print Scarf £15.99


Gosh, I really like this jumper. I'm a sucker for any stripe but the blurry soft ones in this are fab. It's a really soft knit so will be snuggly to wear. The pinks and burgundies make it a great autumnal choice that will complement your cool complexion. I'd keep it really simple with a pair of black jeans and ankle boots but it would look great with an oversized white shirt underneath too. Leave the shirt untucked and pull up the sleeves of the jumper ever so slightly so that you see a smidgen of cuff. Try looking in Primark Men's department. They're cheap as chips and are a great shape with good length but not too long.

Stripe Ombre Jumper - £35

Sticking with burgundy (because it's such a great colour on you), how about this gorgeous burgundy suedette biker jacket? Don't buy it skin tight, it needs to be fitted but you will want the option to be able to layer up too. And if you're new to biker jackets, don't think that you have to wear a shorter top with it. A longer one works really well especially if it has a round hem which is very flattering. It's a good price. And, it's trans-seasonal, you can replace a thin knit with a white t-shirt and jeans in the summer.

Burgundy Suedette Biker Jacket - £52
To me, this blouse looks teal, not forest green but that's ok because either will work with your cool skin. Another festive option but not exclusively. I tend to find that these sorts of shirts will stick around in your wardrobe for a long time. A pussy bow trumps a ruffle any day 😉  so as your fellow women are chucking all out all of their frills next year, you can sit back in the knowledge that your pussy bow is still ok. The fabric and detailing (check out those pleated cuffs) probably elevate this into evening or fairly smart wear.

Pussy Bow Shirt £79

I know you wouldn't immediately associate the colour of this dress with autumn. But start layering it up with black shoes and a burgundy jacket and suddenly it's kind of heading that way. Forget short sleeves, I need my arms covered to at least the elbow in the colder months. It's also quite a thick ribbed fabric making it a practical option.

Smart Day Dress £90
If all else fails, introduce charcoal grey. Bit of a cunning one this jumper because although the red looks to be of  a cool raspberry tone (hint: anything ending in berry will have cool tones), it also features camel which is a definite warm colour. But hey, it's away from your face and the top two colours do more than rescue it for you. Anyway, what is not to love? The play of the pointy pattern and curved hem for a start. It's going to trick anyone's eye, meaning that the focus is moved away from your bad bits! Winning.

Cashmere Colour Block Jumper - £125

Right you're going to have to bear with me on this one. I nearly didn't include it because the colour is very different in real life. So, you're going to have to ignore the orangey colour (Warms: DO NOT order it, in fact, why are you reading this section? Go and make a cup of tea or something until we get to the end). Because it's not at all an orange-red in real life. It's more of a scarlet verging on a strawberry red. Yes, you can tell, I've had it in my sticky mitts. The colour did nothing for me but it will for you. It's a great coat for the money and fully lined too. It's going to go great with your black and different shades of grey, white and even navy.

Red Boucle Coat £68

Oxblood and pink. A colour match made in heaven. A scarf isn't just a thing that you wrap around your neck. It can pull an outfit together, it can elevate a plain old outfit into something else and of course you can wear it to keep warm. This one does the lot!

Pink & Oxblood Scarf - £16

One last thing on colour. You may have a few things in your wardrobe that you know don't work quite so well. If that's because it's the wrong tone, think, can I rescue it by adding a different shade? So for example if you have a warm undertone and own a grey coat, you'll probably find it a bit flat against your skin. Throw on an orange-based scarf and boom you're there!

Happy autumnal shopping.