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!


Forget The Diet!

You may recall in my previous post here that we talked about the art of column dressing, that is, wearing one block colour from head to toe. It really does shave off the pounds and have a slimming effect. Black, navy, charcoal, brown even damson and dark green. In fact any dark colour does the trick.

But how utterly boring does it become wearing the column over and over and over again. It would be enough to send anyone demented! So let's shake things up a little.

We're going to add a pop of colour by way of jackets, cardis and coats but there are a few rules you need to be aware of.

1. Make sure the hem of the jacket does not finish at your widest point. Remember the girl in the Columns post. It really isn't a good look!
2. A jacket with a nipped in waist (even if you don't have a waist) is really flattering. However I will be showing straight cuts too as sometimes it's good to experiment
3. Choose a colour that suits you, it will make all the difference.
4. For triangle shaped ladies (smaller on top than bottom), make sure the shoulders fit properly. Don't be tempted to 'size up' so that the jacket will fasten. Better to leave it undone and have a good fit at the shoulders. I know, I know, it's cold but beauty is pain and all that!
5. Wait for those compliments to roll...

So this is the kind of look that we are aiming to achieve

I've kept it really simple underneath with a pair of black skinny jeans (but these could be cigarette pants, formal work trousers etc) and a black long sleeved t-shirt. Good staples but boring on their own until you add the wowza jacket and accessories. This jacket is actually really clever. Look at the double layer of fabric running down the front. Anything with vertical lines is slimming. The pockets are also set slightly higher, almost on the waist which is far better than having detail on the hips which drags the eyes down to what can often be our worse area.

A word of caution, if you want to appear taller, forget cropped jeans/trousers. These actually interrupt the silhouette and make you look smaller. Thank goodness for cigarette pants, a much better option.

So what else does the High Street have at the moment...

The jacket from New Look above also comes in pinky-red

And nude

You could layer this over navy, blue, charcoal, whichever you feel most comfortable in.

And white, great with jeans and a denim shirt

I love this cheeky little jacket from Asos. You could cheer any black column up with this. Perfect in the summer too.

Oh look, Massimo Dutti have done the column of colour for me with this leather edged jacket, it looks great with jeans!

It appears Ochre is set to be bang on trend this coming season. This is a softer ochre which is a little more forgiving than a full on shade. Ideal for warm skin tones. The biker jacket is from Next

Shown teamed with black but I think it would also work really well with charcoal or navy

Moving onto coats, I love this mohair one from Zara and it would certainly bring your wardrobe bang upto date

Or the Kensington Coat from Boden in yellow

If you prefer something a little less in your face, have a look at the Pretty Piped Cardigan again from Boden. There are some lovely muted shades. Here it is in grey

And dusty pink

Now, you know me by now, I never miss an opportunity to break the rules! When I said earlier that a dark column is always slimming, well, I think there's nothing more stunning than a column of white (or ivory or cream). I know, I'm a contradictory mare (imagine living with me). Take this gorgeous Jemma Knit from Oasis.

Can you imagine this over a pair of winter white jeans and a cream polo. A pair of Ash Jalouse in taupe suede (my new spring lust) and by god you have a serious outfit.

Oh, and here it is as if by magic, the outfit in my head!

There's so much you can do with a column, it's just up to you and your imagination!

So finishing off with my new Noisy May Lucy Patch jeans (well I've only just started wearing them). They're from ASOS, fit like a glove and a sit on the waist (perfect for me, I hate low rise). They're currently reduced from £55 to £22, some sizes sold out though. The long sleeved breton is current stock from Next which you can find here

So will you be doing the column to look leaner and slimmer or are you one of the good people that actually go to the gym!!

Until next time

Donna x

18 comments on "Forget The Diet!"
  1. Great post! I purchased the blue blazer jacket from New Look and received it a couple of days ago. Haven't worn it yet but can't wait to style it! I did a 3 looks post on it before purchasing here.
    I also love the Massimo Dutti jacket, Next jacket and the Oasis jacket! xxx
    The Jolly Fashionista

    1. It's lovely isn't it. Really like how you've styled it, so versatile. Thanks is much for your comments xx

  2. The New look blazer is fab.....I wouldn't mind it in every colourway, it's gorgeous! It would be the perfect way to perk up an all black outfit!

    You are looking amazing in the new jeans......just gorgeous x

    1. Ahh thanks Michelle, they are super-dooper comfy. I'm getting all my stashed things out to wear, hubby keeps raising an eyebrow lol. I haven't seen the jacket in real life, hope it lives up to everyone's expectations xx

  3. Fab outfits! You look great in your new jeans! I love the NL blazer in the pinky-red! I need to do the column thang! ;) Ax

    1. The pinky-red one is definitely your colour. Imagine rocking up in that to work over the black lol x

  4. Your blog is fantastic !, I love this one and the new look jacket. Think I live near you as well. I'm in northwich

  5. Oh thank you so much, wow, thank you x Yes I'm in Macclesfield so not far at all. Hope you keep reading and enjoying x

  6. Tx ! Love your mango article. I just bought a fab white coat from there though, I haven't snooped there for a while but the coat is gorgeous, just too scared to wear it as I have a 6 ans 2 year old !,

    I work in Alderley edge but may have to work out of our macc site soon !

  7. Love a white coat, so decadent. Your comment made me laugh as I remember when my kids were small, I use to scream 'white coat, white coat' if they came near me.

    I'm guessing AZ in Macc?? x

  8. Hello *waves* I'm definitely a column girl ... it's pretty much how I dress all the time these days. Because of health issues (psoriasis) I haven't been able to exercise for the past few months (I never thought the day would come that I'd actually miss it!) ... so with the weight creeping on, I've found the column style of dressing complete with a great jacket or coat to be a godsend. You've absolutely nailed it in this post!

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