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!


Kimonos Yes or No-Nos??

I've been toying with the idea of buying a couple of Kimonos for a while now, particularly after the lovely spell of sunshine the other week. Sometimes a jacket is too heavy but with certain tops, I would still like a loose covering to hide the lumps and bumps. A  Kimono would do nicely.

So what is a Kimono? The dictionary definition is:

- a long, loose traditional Japanese robe with wide sleeves, tied with a sash

Well, I really hadn't in mind a long one and definitely not with a sash. Dressing gown springs to mind!

After a little more research, I realised that I actually wanted a Haori which is a shorter, light weight coat with wide sleeves used to keep the Kimono from being exposed to the elements. Why I feel you need to know this is beyond me because as far as the High Street is concerned, it's a Kimono.

So how does one wear a Kimono. Over to Pinterest for inspiration...

With denim shorts and a loose top

Ok at my age, I'm really not going to go down this route for my weekly shop at the supermarket but I do like the idea of using a Kimono to throw over a pair of cut offs on my hols for walking too and from the beach, lunchtime etc etc

With jeans

Much more what I had in mind although the last one is a tad long. I'd be the one that gets it trapped in the revolving doors at John Lewis.

So, my brief for this research is as follows:

1. It has to be shortish
2. Not too much volume
3. The sleeves should be elbow length or thereabouts
4. A soft subtle pattern for me (mousey haired) but in the interests of universal appeal, I have included darker, busier prints. Will also consider a plain fabric
5. Definitely no tassels for H&S reasons

And here are my finds...

Let's start at New Look, they've embraced this trend whole heartedly and have quite a few on the website.

White Crepe Floral Print Kimono £19.99

Such a pretty print and it most certainly fulfils my rules. Personally I would wear with a pair of distressed jeans and a white linen loose fit vest top.

And another gorgeous, dreamy print, verging on dressing gown territory so needs to be styled a little edgy.

Parisian Pink Floral Print Kimono £19.99

The next one is a little busy for me although I'd probably wear it on holiday.

Green Neon Tropical Print Crepe Kimono £19.99

Moving on to Dorothy Perkins, this one intrigues me, it's more of a fitted style. I'd like to try it on as it may well just miss the mark of being a Kimono. But I really do love the print. I'd wear distressed, light blue jeans and a nude slouchy t-shirt.

Crowded Floral Kimono £16.99

Now, this is a clever little jacket. The black trim will work the verticals and create a slimming effect. I think it would look fab with 7/8th black jeans and a black linen top to create a column of colour, (read more here). Add a pop of colour (eg. cobalt blue) by way of a bag or shoes and it's a great evening look. Great as a bikini cover up too although I would choose either/or option on holiday. I'm not an advocate of beach to bar dressing!

Black and White Kimono Jacket £30

I keep swaying backwards and forwards with this next one. I'm not a lover of cheap lace but styled in the right way, I reckon this is worth a go. It's one of those colours that if you wear it carefully, most people can get away with it.

Blush Floral Lace Kimono £20

Not wishing to be left out, Next have come up with a stunner and possibly my joint favourite (albeit the sleeves are slightly longer than I would prefer). It's quite a busy print but fairly muted so just about fits my brief. This is exactly how I would style it. Bravo Next!

Kimono £26

Here it is close up

Another slimming one is the black dragonfly again from Next. You could do so much with this. Choose a colour, any colour and it will work (well maybe not sludge brown).

Black Dragonfly Kimono Cover-Up £26

And finally, we have my second joint favourite. It's from Mint Velvet, slightly more expensive than the others but boy is it worth it. It ticks every box for me, the pattern is too gorgeous for words.

Mae Print Kimono £89

Trouble is, I now want the 7/8 white jeans, top and boots as well which makes for a rather expensive Kimono. I shall go and count my pennies and failing that there's always the son's piggy bank.

Here's to a lazy Bank Holiday Monday, anyone bought the Wallis cuff yet??

Donna x


Arm Candy: Wallis Stone Bracelets

I thought I would share a little arm candy with you today! I popped into Wallis to buy a fabulous necklace which I'll show you next week and as I was about to leave, these little beauties called out to me...

Wallis Stone Bracelets

I love my leather cuffs and ok these aren't leather but at £12.50 (currently £10 with the in-store 20% offer), I think they're a great little buy. At that price, you could afford to buy 2 or 3 and stack them up.

How cool would they look on holiday, particularly if you mix the brighter colours (fuchsia and turquoise for example)? As I was short on time, I vowed to look at them on-line. Alas there are only a few of the colours available.

The black and white ones above can be found here and here. I love the idea of mixing silver and gold hardware.

Love, love, love this one..

Fuchsia Stone Bracelet

Other colours available in store but not on-line




And Grey

A couple more online...

Animal Stone Bracelet just delicious

And this one in brown is called Brown Crystal but it looks the same to me

Ok, so now I'm in a dilemma which couple do I choose, I want them all. I really need to replace my black Whistles cuff and I'm loving the grey so should I go down the neutral route or full on colour for the summer. I feel a cup of tea and a ponder is needed. If you're interested in these, I wouldn't leave it too long because they're certain to fly off the shelves.

Here's what I wore a couple of days ago. And oh look, I've got a grey cuff on - but I prefer the one above! You can never have too many!

Pastels and Blazer

M&S Skinny Boyfriend Jeans £35
New Look Pastel Stone & Pearl Necklace £7.99
Next Pink Woven T-Shirt £22
Adidas Gazelles now £55
H&M White Blazer £24.99

Have a great Bank Holiday weekend. Rain is it? I daren't look.

Donna x


How I'm Styling Yellow

Well, well, well I didn't realise quite how much I love yellow until this week. I shouldn't be surprised because if you recall my Stan, I have a Plan post here, I had picked out yellow as a major addition to my wardrobe. Actually, I was thinking more mustardy yellow at the time but that was back in January when I couldn't contemplate wearing anything vaguely summery.

I prefer to wear just one piece of yellow at a time otherwise it feels too matchy-matchy for my liking.

Outfit 1
The yellow jeans and sandals were bought in Spain - I seem to buy a lot from there don't I. The jeans are really soft and very comfortable to wear, well that is for the first hour, then they seem to go all baggy and by the end of the day look more like boyfriend jeans. I prefer slouchy Breton tops as more structured ones make my already angular frame look square.

Outfit 2
Ok, a bit of a cheat this one as it's just a mustard-yellow bag which I bought from Boden last year. It does however lift what would be quite a plain outfit.

Outfit 3
Oh boy, we're talking positively vintage High Street now. This silk top was bought from Zara approximately 8 years ago. It use to have a fixed tie belt around the middle but I chopped it off. This top comes out every summer and owes me nothing. The white toe posts were from Daniel Footwear last year, no longer available but they do have similar and I've included these below.

Outfit 4
I saw this cheery, loose fit yellow striped t-shirt in M&S last week. Of course it went into my basket. It's got a cute little zip on the back. The bag is navy and white edged in cobalt and is still available from Next clearance at a bargain price of £10

So here are a few bits and pieces if you fancy giving any of the looks a go

Are you in love with all things yellow? Have you picked up anything nice that I should know about. Do leave a comment, I love hearing from you.

Donna x

It's All About Oliveira Shoes On The Blog Today

I was recently approached by a lovely lady called Maria Oliveira who has designed and produced a new line of toe post shoes. I always admire people who have a dream and turn it into a reality. Even more so as Maria's dream fell slap bang in the middle of an economic downturn. Gutsy lady.

Her website, here is a testament to what I'm sure has been hard work, blood, sweat and tears (although the result looks effortless), and has culminated in a stunning collection of very unusual shoes that you would be hard pressed to find on the High Street.

Before I introduce you to them, let me tell you a little bit about Maria's journey. Whilst visiting relatives in Sri Lanka she came across a beautiful pair of toe post shoes that set her on the path to where she is today. Having fallen in love with the design, she was inspired to set up her own company in partnership with an ethical company in Sri Lanka who shared her vision for top quality, beautifully crafted footwear.

I was lucky enough to chose a pair of Oliveira shoes from the current collection and I opted for the Lisboa in black. The shoes came exquisitely packaged (these things matter), take a look at the fantastic perspex shoe box with a pull-out drawer. I am totally smitten with this. Imagine storing all your shoes in see through boxes - just brilliant.

Well now you can as Oliveira sells them for £5 each here.

And here are the Lisboa shoes

Handmade with a 3 3/4" heel. The toe post which is surprisingly comfortable is covered in a leopard print material. The straps are leather-lined but covered in the same leopard print interwoven with plain black satin. I love the fact that the heel is covered in the same fabric - no skimping on these shoes. A slightly cushioned sole provides added comfort, I reckon I could wear these all day, a great choice then for a wedding??? At my age, comfort is key.

Styled with the black jumpsuit (here) which I bought for a ball a few weeks ago and didn't end up wearing (come on husband pull your finger out and take me out again). It's from Phase Eight and I've just realised it's gone in the sale grrrrrrrr - now £55.20.

The Lisboa also comes in brown.

Lisboa in Brown

For me, the Lisboa is definitely an evening wear shoe and can give a really plain outfit a bit of a twist.

How about a summer colour, the Rosario in red

It also comes in black and plum, fab for the holidays.

If you prefer something a little plainer, how about Lavinia in black

And the Amora in white, what a stunning shoe for a bride. This also comes in black and blue.

How quirky are these cute little flip flops, they certainly put a smile on my face. The Galle pom-pom shoe comes in three different colour-ways, blue and yellows, orange and red, purple and green.

Maria also stocks a couple of pairs of wellies. I love the Olivellies Stars. These are most certainly on my wish list and make a change from Hunters which I'm becoming more and more disenchanted with having gone through 3 pairs in as many years.

So what do you think? Not something I would normally wear but I think the collection is really sassy.  Oh and did I mention there's free delivery and returns across the whole range plus Maria has very kindly offered readers of the blog 10% discount until 7th June. Quote DONNA in the promotion code box.

I wish Maria and her team at Oliveira all the very best and much success for the future. If this collection is anything to go by, she certainly deserves it.

Donna x


Beautiful People!

Is it me or are young people getting more beautiful? I've just been surrounded by a dozen 18 year olds  suited, booted and spray tanned (and yes that no doubt includes the boys too) at a pre-drinks party, everyone of them looked as if they had stepped out of a glossy magazine. Straight teeth, preened hair, carefully chosen outfits....oh to be young again.

Let me explain. It's my daughter's school leavers ball tonight although officially they don't leave until next week.

Now I thought the year 11 prom was traumatic but oh boy this one has been elevated to a whole new level. We're talking:

- dress (has to be short this time, she said)
- shoes (very high she said. How high I replied. Very, very high she said)
- bag
- jewellery
- nails, fingers and toes with subtle nail art
- spray tan
- hair, hilighted, cut and styled
- make-up

I could go on!

Ordinarily this wouldn't have been a problem had it been left to me. The outfit and accessories would have been sorted weeks ago, hair, nails, spray tan and make-up all booked with time to breathe. But oh no! It's been a mad scramble so much so that she was still at the hairdresser 30 minutes before it was time to go (no make-up, no outfit). I panicked, she didn't. 

To be fair the dress was bought a few weeks ago but I received a mayday call from her last week when she found out that two other girls had got the same dress (I would have been gutted too). Well, that's what you get if you buy from Top Shop. After scouring the shops again, we decided to keep the dress and go with the pastel theme. So pink and mint green it is.

I adore this dress, it's so pretty with the crop overlay. She's off to a wedding in a few weeks so will wear it again (phew).

Top Shop Crop Overlay Wheel Lace Dress

To say pastels are in this season, it's darn hard to find accessories. A lot of the mint bags are the really harsh mint which would totally overwhelm the delicate pink. Anyway, we managed to find this one. Not quite pastel pink but it's just about ok.

New Look White Colour Block Panel Envelope Bag

And finding shoes was even more difficult. In the end she chose these ankle breakers which I disliked on sight but I have to say begrudgingly with the outfit, they are ok-ish.

Ebay High Heel Stiletto Ankle Strap Shoe

The necklace is old. I do believe Trea at Treasures & Pleasures had the same one but it is out of stock at the moment. Do hop over there though as she has some gorgeous pieces. And finally she managed to bag my Tiffany bracelet. She had better come home with it later or else!

So on to the pre-drinks party hosted yet again by the lovely Linda (it's my turn next time Linda). Just a dozen or so close friends for this one.

The girls

Phones never far away

And the boys equally as beautiful. Love this one...

Have a fab evening guys, I wish each and everyone of you the best of luck in your A'Levels.

See what I mean about beautiful people. Natural, self-confident, good friends. I still think they have dodgy shoes though.

Donna x