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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!

1.31.2014

Zara Bash



No not as in a party, I'm talking bashing as in over the head. Sorry, I did promise this Zara post but was so excited about my new trainers earlier today that I blogged about those instead and completely forgot.

Never did I think I would be criticising nay let's call it critiquing, I like to give balanced opinions after all. But to me Zara is god or at least the goddess of all things fabric so it pains me to write this post but I need to get it out of my system. And then I can move on.

I can't even remember entering Zara for the first time, it must have been the mid 90s but I do recall the prices. Boy were they cheap! The quality was ok, not great but that really didn't matter when you could kit yourself out for pip squeak pounds (I had never heard of Primark back then).

And as time went by, the designs got better and better. I remember a green blouse that I had, quite Victoriana it was, the detailing was beautiful. Ok the fabric left a lot to be desired, the cheapest of cheap cotton and you wouldn't want to look too closely at the stitching but the design itself more than made up for it. And to be fair it lasted a few years.

But then something went wrong. I blame the recession squeezing the margins which has resulted in workmanship going down and yet prices going up. No longer can you pick up a jacket for £30, you're more likely to part with £70 or £80 a time. And actually, I don't mind that because I do like many of the pieces Zara produce but I refuse to pay for crap quality. I've purchased a couple of jackets from H&M recently, both of which are very well made for the price I paid. So it can be done. Ethically I don't know. That's a story for another day.

Take this cardi-jacket that I had for Xmas. It's my comfort cardi, you know all snuggled up watching the tv. I've already had to stitch the fastener back on and look at the bobbling. For goodness sake we're only just out of January.



A silk top that I bought in the summer split at the seams under the arm so that went in the bin and then blow me down a blinkin hem has come down on a dress that I have worn once, ONCE I say.

The navy jumpsuit I purchased just before Christmas, well that's still going strong, bobbling a little but not too bad. My problem with this is that the pockets are soooo bulky that they stick out. Let me explain , they're knitted pockets so you have all this bulk going on around the hip area. I end up feeling as if I'm wearing something from the military, a little like these circa 1941 Russian soldier's battle trousers...



Oh you may laugh but I have to walk about with my hands in the pockets all day as I don't want to be known as the one with the haunches! More of a design fault that one. Had the pockets been made out of a thiner silky fabric they would have sat much better.

I bobbed into Zara at The Trafford Centre a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't quiet but it certainly wasn't busy. The shop floor was a disgrace, there was stuff everywhere. I took a couple of things into the changing room to try on and this was the cleanest one I could find. It was filthy, dust balls in the corner, dirty tissues on the floor, stray hair...you get the picture.



This was at about 11.30am and had so obviously not been cleaned from the previous day. OCD alert, I really couldn't try the tops on so I just bought them in the hope they fitted. Maybe this is a new marketing ploy!!! Everything seemed so tired and worn, serious investment is needed me thinks. To be fair I know the Manchester branch has just been revamped but it's not very often you see a store in such a sorry state in the Trafford Centre. Maybe it's next on the list.

I still love Zara collections, I'm sure I always will but I'm less inclined to use it as my go-to shop at the moment. The quality just isn't there anymore.

Well, got that off my chest. I feel much better.

And this is what I wore earlier today before I got drenched walking the dog (so over this weather). And, contrary Mary me, yes it's a Zara jacket, and it frays at the edges like mad (it's suppose to fray but the rate it's going at the moment, there'll be nothing left). I love my new scarf which is actually mustard in real life and not cat-sick yellow. The only decent one I've been able to find after a couple of weeks of searching. It's from T K Maxx and was less than £20 if I remember rightly. Good old TK Maxx.




Have a good weekend y'all

Donna

Women's Gazelle OG Trainers...Hit or Miss?



I said no way, absolutely not! I'm not bloody wearing trainers as daywear ever again. I did that 10 years ago when Trinny & Susannah told me to. Been there, done that and got the t-shirt.



Yes, yes I know, I've got the book, there goes any street cred I ever had.

And then I saw lots of lovely cool bloggers wearing their New Balance trainers and the likes. I tried to resist really I did but it would be foolish to ignore a gap in my wardrobe calling out ever so loudly. Ah says she so fickle.

Me being me couldn't just order the lovely navy or burgundy New Balance trainers. Oh no, I had to look for something different. And then I found them, Women's Gazelle Original Trainers in pale grey with a pinky-red tab. Perfect for my wardrobe which is in the main navy, charcoal and nude, perfect for the summer, in fact just perfect!

After receiving approval from fellow bloggers (namely Michelle, queen of all things trainers at MyFashionable40s and Joanna from Poppy's Style and Trea at Treasures N Pleasures) they were duly ordered. And on receipt I was most pleasantly surprised.

Having a 12 year old fashion conscious son, I'm not new to the Gazelle but have always found his (men's size 7) quite bulky and heavy...basically cut for a man. The ladies Gazelle is light, in fact one of the shoes weighs 244g, the men's size 7 374g and I'm sure this isn't down to sizing. And yes, I did weigh them on the kitchen scales.





They actually looked tiny when I took them out of the box which I'm sure is down to the colour but fit like a glove (I'm a 5 1/2 - 6 so pretty much run true to size). The inner sole is shaped giving great cushioning although of course these are not work-out trainers but would be great on a mammoth shopping trip. Anyway, I burn more calories shopping than going to the gym so it suits me just fine.



The flash on the back is true to the colour on the official Adidas pictures, kind of a pinky-red which I rather like and give them a lift. They also come in blue, pink (gorgeous) and black,


Adidas Originals Womens Gazelles £64.99








If you shop around, I did notice that some older colours are still out there at reduced prices.

A hit or a miss? Most definitely a.............................................HIT

So, what do you think? Are you a convert to the trainer trend? Did I do right not buying New Balance (I really like them and may have to do a little more research with my credit card for which I make no apologies).

I'd love to hear from you.


Donna

p.s. I haven't taken the label off yet because sadly one of the inner soles isn't glued down so they need exchanging (boooooo).

p.p.s. I'm much better at being a foot model aren't I (as seen here also). Chop off the head and body, a great improvement. Maybe I should rename the blog My feet won't wear sludge brown.










1.30.2014

How To Style Pastels (...Or Not)



I started writing this post nearly 2 weeks ago but if truth be known, I'm already bored with pastels before pastel season has even begun. Why? I really don't know but my boat is certainly not floating at the moment. You know when you go into a candy floss shop at the seaside and the smell makes you feel sick even though you haven't had any, well, it's the same effect for me, browsing all the pastels, I feel nauseous. But I promised pastels and pastels you will get...

So lets start with a definition:

"A pastel is a soft and delicate shade of colour"

Ooooh soft and delicate, that rings a bell! Remember way-back when I introduced you to 'colour', we talked about soft and delicate palettes. A refresher here and here. So it figures that some palettes are going to have a ball this season, others may be it's a little more difficult to pull off.

I'm going to start with the easy ones (let myself in gently).


LIGHTS AND SOFTS

These palettes are the most delicate ones out of the six so it's pretty easy going for you guys. In fact I'm sure that Lights are already doing pastels anyway as a matter of course. The palest of pinks, blues, lemons and mints are all there for the taking. I think one of the problems for me is that I've been looking at Pinterest and concentrating on top to toe pastels. It's just not doing it for me, I have visions of Miami Vice and 1990s Floridian home decor.

I think personally it works better if pastels are incorporated with your existing wardrobe. Something like this,



(nb. she's a Soft, her hair is greasy so it looks much darker - I know these things!!)

In my mind, it works because there is a nod to the trend and its kind of unexpected to see it with a formal lace blouse.

Light bulb moment: I think I've realised that I dislike the trend when a pastel is made up in the 90s fashion such as the oversized boxy jacket. It feels too regurgitated. I'm thinking as I write here. Worn as maxi skirt (and I know I didn't wear maxis in the 90s), an over-sized clutch and current shoes, it really works.

Or how about this in the depths of winter. I love the idea of teaming with black denim and chestnut. It just seems less twee.



Both Lights and Softs look great when there isn't too much contrast so the light coloured snood is great to add interest but not overwhelm her colouring.

This girl wouldn't look out of place in a Boden catalogue. So all you ladies that bought the Boden spotty trousers last year, update them with a pastel!




DEEPS, COOLS AND CLEARS

Here is where the fun starts.

These are the three strongest palettes because you all have a strong, dramatic look. Strong and dramatic could never be used to describe pastels so you may find it difficult to pull off this trend. Remember, the idea is to look at what is going on with your skin, eye and hair colour and balance this with what you're wearing (strong look, strong colours).

Probably not....



Try wearing a stronger pastels, a contradiction in terms I know, but it does work,



Or with a darker jacket,



(so think this look would be better with a pair of loafers and cuffed jeans, just saying!)

A bit of drama such as a darker top under a pastel jacket, or even a full on statement necklace will all help pull off the trend for you.

The other thing to bear in mind is that white is a strong colour so when we have another glorious summer (lol), you can lift a pastel with white.



WARMS

And then we come to the hardest palette to pull off the pastel trend.

Warms have rich hair colour and either have a really warm or pale skin tone. Pastels are so not rich and warm! You may want to stay away from lilac - such a difficult colour to play with. Yes I know these red headed models look stunning in a vision of pale lilac but let's face it, us mere mortals probably don't have hairdresses and make-up artists on hand 24/7.

I think you can definitely do mint and most certainly yellow. You may want to exchange the more pastel sugary-pink for a nude-pink or even a pale coral so hey we're not doing too bad are we.

As with the other strong palettes, you might find that a pastel teamed with a stronger colour works well.



Ok so this girl isn't a redhead but the pale amber top would look stunning (ha ha a new pastel, pale amber)



And the warm hues in this top would certainly suit and is a nod to the pastel trend (and for what it's worth, I think far better than full on, in your face sickly pastels)




Well, there's a quick introduction to pastels. Remember it's only one school of thought, don't be put off by my ramblings. As for me, I might just stick to nail varnish.




It's all about Zara next time.


Donna x











1.25.2014

Shopping Woes

On dear I'm full of shopping woes at the moment. My 'Stan I've Got A Plan' plan really isn't progressing although not for want of trying.

First up was a new navy blazer. It's not so much I need a new one, I just want one! I fancied a pin stripe and Next had a perfect specimen which nipped in where it should nip and seemed an excellent length. Sadly it wasn't to be as it stood off my hips in a most peculiar way. I think it's a perfect cut for an hour glass though.

Next Navy Pinstripe Jacket £65



My search continues and I would be happy to pay investment prices for a good pinstripe blazer - it will be in my wardrobe for years.

I had high hopes for the M&S Limited Edition Boxy Shirt but ohhh how disappointing. The fabric is reminiscent of school uniform blouses with a slight silky feel. Far too thin (positively see through actually) to give it the structure it requires so it kind of just hangs! No no, not good. The arms also seem to be quite short, a nothing length really. So back it went.

Limited Edition No Peep Boxy Shirt £29.50



I had to order the corset no peep shirt in a larger size as it was too tight....across the bust! What's all that about? It's suppose to be cut for bustier ladies, and I'm no Katie Price. The larger size fitted much better but it was too big on the hips so I would always have to wear it tucked in or under a jacket. Shame really, it's a lovely shirt even though yet again the material is thin.

M&S Collection No Peep Corset Shirt For Fuller Bust £29.50



The beige skinnies are great so they are keepers. They won't set the world alight but as staples go, I really do like M&S skinnies. These were reduced to £9.50 - I'm not sure why as the new shade is barely any different.

M&S Collection 5 Pocket Denim Jeggings



Dreadful, dreadful picture I know. I promise you these aren't as bad in real life. Rolled up and teamed with toe post sandals and a floaty top in the summer, I think will make a nice outfit.

I'm also failing on the mustard front too. There's lots of it around at the moment but nothing is tickling my fancy. Next are doing more of an ochre colour, a little too dull for me and M&S mustard is too dressy. My search continues.

And now for the successes, I've at long last managed to replace my bobbly pale pink thin knit jumper. This one is from Phase Eight and is just the right thickness. It dips down a little more than I wanted at the back but I think it's ok.

Phase Eight Vivian V-Neck Knit Jumper £55



And a lovely light weight scarf from Mint Velvet which will go with E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. It's edged with ivory lace and believe it or not is a subtle animal print.

Mint Velvet Sami Print Scarf £39



A quick nip into Banana Republic saw me bag these little beauties (see below). They're not on line anymore in this country so here is the U.S. link. They had been reduced from £65.99 to £29.99 and then the till rang them up at £13.99!! Happy with that and still full price in the states at $75 - suckers! It's definitely worth revisiting the sales right at the very end. I was also tempted to buy a red blazer which was down from £110 to £20.99 bit it was completely the wrong shade for me so I walked away.

Finally, I bagged a shirt from Zara down to £12.99 (can't remember what the original price was). I thought this would be ideal in the warmer months with skinnies or shorts. It's a great illustration of how a Soft can wear checks - the colour is perfect and the pattern not too harsh.





There were other purchases too such as the soft biker jacket from Next which I really liked but think I tried it on on a 'fat' day so it went back. I may have to repurchase soon.

Next Biker Jacket £50




I failed miserably with regards to sticking to 'Stan' plan but I did try hard, really I did. Maybe it's a little early in the season as shops are hell-bent on getting out their 'headliners' at the moment.

I'll leave you with my new lust which I shared on Twitter last week. I'm not going to tell you where it's from at the moment. But it's not in stock just yet. Any ideas (no don't look at my Tweet). Stunningly gorgeous.



Me, over the last couple of days. Trumpets out, I wore a skirt, I never wear skirts. Ok you can't see it under the coat but it's there. Everything is VERY old. I'd love to be one of those uber-stylish bloggers that wear little vest tops under thin blazers but these days it's full thermals and sensible coats.




Donna x



1.23.2014

Floral Print Stilettos

You know when something hits you, pow between the eyes, well that happened to me in the early hours of this morning.

I saw floral print arrive in A/W 2013 season and it seems to be here to stay for a while. I didn't buy anything resembling a blossom last season so have been toying with the idea of partaking in the floral trend by way of footwear. Always a sucker for a good shoe.

Many of the prints over winter were quite heavy which I struggle to wear and it appears that whilst we are seeing some lighter fabrics, strength and depth is still the name of the game as shown by BCBG at New York Fashion Week




And then, last night, I remembered I use to have a pair of Karen Millen floral print stilettos but couldn't for the life of me recall if I had sold them on Ebay. I managed to stay in bed until 6.30am (didn't think the husband would take too kindly me rummaging through the wardrobe at 3 o'clock) and to my delight I found them! I must have decided that no one would have wanted to bid so they never made Ebay.




They weren't quite as I remembered them, I thought they were plain at the front without the fancy cut-outs and what's the silly silver tag-thing doing across the front. Anyway, your opinion would be appreciated. I would only ever wear them with skinnies (or boyfriends).




Are they a yay or completely naff? Should I keep or get rid? Come on be honest, I need your help as I can't decide.


Donna

p.s. I had the matching bag too - it was vile! You will be relieved to know that this did make Ebay and sold! x
1.20.2014

The Right Jeans For You!


FIRST PUBLISHED 20TH JANUARY 2014. UPDATED 3RD OCTOBER 2014 

I've republished this post at the request of a few ladies who have emailed me recently about finding the right jeans. The basic rules are of course the same but my style must have evolved as I've since tried jeans/styles that I said I wouldn't. Find out for yourself below....

Jeans are probably the biggest wardrobe staple for men and women and yet when I worked with ladies to achieve their perfect look, it seemed to me that little thought was put into this item of clothing. It was always about the top or the jacket or the shoes. The jeans were always an after-thought.

I'm a people watcher (nay stalker) and I can often be found looking at ladies' bottom halves to check that their jeans are working for them, yes sad I know. It's amazing how many get it wrong!

There's so much choice on the High Street, you don't have to spend oodles of pounds to get a great pair. In fact, I popped into John Lewis the other day to try on a couple of tops and grabbed a pair of skinnies from Warehouse as I had a dress on. I think they were £40. OMG, they were the softest, comfiest jeans I had come across in ages. The tops were ditched, the jeans were bought.

So what should you be looking for? A few tricks up your sleeve and it's really not that difficult....


POCKETS

Wow, where do we begin? Well let's start with a definition...

According to the Oxford dictionary a pocket is

a small bag sewn into or on clothing so as to form part of it, used for carrying small articles

Oh but it's so much more. Let's take flat bottoms for example. Back pockets on jeans can create an illusion of the derrière being so much perkier. As long as they actually sit right on the butt. Lots of contrast stitching (double loops for example) also helps build up this area as do pocket flaps.

Mid Wash Matilda Skinny Jeans £40

Take these River Island jeans. The curve of the busy contrast stitching really helps to create an illusion of a bigger bottom.





Now larger bottoms should avoid all of the above. We need to work on minimising this area. Tone on tone stitching is a must and absolutely no detail whatsoever. Pockets spaced wide apart will make the bum look even wider. Too low down and the bottom will look longer. Gosh it's complicated! Get someone to take a photo of your behind and check where the pockets are. Ideally they should sit medium-high. Oh and ensure they aren't over-sized. A nice, neat pocket is perfect.

I've seen these jeans in Next and to be honest I think they give the top end designer jeans a run for their money. Love how Next have used a model with a shapely derrière in their photos - go take a look. A lot of thought has been put into these, no contrast stitching, no detail...perfecto!

Lift Slim & Shape Slim Jeans £45






So that's back pockets, you're aiming to minimise larger bums and maximise smaller or flatter bums.

Front pockets next. It's pretty much the same. If you have large hips, you probably won't want to draw attention to them so lose the detail. Actually, lose the pockets altogether if you can. Find jeans that don't have pockets at the front to give a nice clean line. The eye won't be drawn down to that area - result.

These warehouse jeans do have a pocket but other than the stud, they are pretty plain so I would say acceptable. I continue to be impressed with Warehouse jeans, the fit is great and the denim is soft and comfortable.

Supersoft Skinny Jeans £40





Skinny Minnie's who need to 'create' curves can use detail in this area. The Mint Velvet zip jeans are ideal for building up curves, and this season they have brought the double zip back and.....£10 cheaper than the single zip ones last season. One good thing about writing a blog, it becomes a reference book for past season!

Phoenix Washed Black Jeans £69





TO TURN UP OR NOT TO TURN UP

Personally I love to roll up the bottom of my jeans especially when wearing ankle boots, pumps, converse and flat sandals. I've yet to venture into the territory of turn ups with a court shoe but hey never say never. I have now ventured into the territory of turn ups with a court shoe and I love it. I think if you do wear with courts, a slightly deeper roll looks better, to avoid looking like Pepsi and Shirley of the Wham years.

With boots, this model looks gorgeous...I want to be her! (Oct 2014....I still want to be her)



The problem with a turn up is it shortens the leg, I guess I'm lucky in that I have quite long legs. I would advise against this trend if you are short-legged or short waisted. It will take inches off you and make your frame look unbalanced. If you really want to embrace it, always wear with a heel, make sure your denim is a dark-wash and wear a deep colour above the waist to create a column. I would also go for a higher cut as a lower one will reduce the leg length so you have a double whammy effect. Have a play around and see what you come up with.

The cuffed leg is often associated with boyfriend jeans, not my favourite cut on me (being thicker around the waist) but don't just keep for the bf. Try cuffing straight legs and even skinnies but not boot cut (jokes)! Nb. fast forward a few months and I now love the boyfriend cut but it has to be a skinny boyfriend.

Nb. I loved reading the leaked information last year from Abercrombie advising staff how to roll their jeans....their attention to detail appeals to my OCD. The link to the article is here if you're interested.


COLOUR

We all know by now that darker colours are most slimming. So it figures that this rule applies to jeans as well. A lighter version will definitely add pounds. I'm not saying, don't go out and buy light stone-wash denim (actually don't go out and buy light stone-wash denim) but the lighter 'dirty-denim' needs a lot more thought as to how to style it. I made the mistake of wearing (and posting) a lighter pair of bf jeans earlier in a post, one not to be repeated. And yes, feel free to trawl the blog but I'm not reposting it here! If your aim is to shave pounds off your frame then I personally would suggest you invest in darker denim.

This is probably my favourite dark denim. It's not so deep that they look like chinos, they still look like jeans. Again, Mint Velvet and again I think they could well be cheaper than last year.

Houston Indigo Jeans £59



I wonder though, have you ever considered shading? We're all familiar with the illusion dress by now. Well it stands to reason that clever shading of jeans will also give you a slimming effect. Actually, no! I disagree. I think shading on jeans draws the eye down to the thighs and knees - not what you want! Unless you can find a pair that has the shading on the outside edges of the jeans. They're quite hard to come by. It's interesting isn't it how it works so well on a dress and yet on jeans can be a total disaster.

Hope you have found this useful.


Donna x
1.17.2014

It's My Blog But Not As You Know It

When my daughter suggested that she contribute something to the blog, I thought 'oh goody, my first guest post'. Little did I know that I would be writing it myself, hmmmm not the general idea but hey beggars can't be choosers.

So, let me introduce you to my 18 year old daughter, Ashleigh-Jade who is currently in her last year at school studying A-Levels in Spanish, History and Economics. She thought it would be a good idea to inject a little bit of youth into the blog instead of the ramblings of a 4o+ (that's a very big + by the way) has-been with dodgy shoes and that's her description not mine.

We have such different tastes and very few of our clothes overlap, maybe the odd leather biker jacket but that's about it really. However, there's nothing I love more than an afternoon shopping with Ash, sometimes we go mainly to her shops, sometimes it's mainly mine and sometimes it's a mix but that doesn't matter as we both enjoy every minute of it. And these are precious moments as she'll be off to university later in the year so I'll miss my best shopping buddy (sad face).

I would describe her style as pretty, on trend and age appropriate. If you remember the Style Personality post here, Ashleigh is definitely veering towards a Romantic. She seems to have a knack of putting her own stamp on something quite plain. Our footwear choices may differ hugely but she still has a love of shoes just like her mum.

Ash doesn't have to wear the standard uniform for school. Sixth formers are required to wear business dress, that is, matching skirt and jacket and blouse. And she did...well for the first 2 weeks of lower sixth. Then just like her mum, she's probably broken the rules everyday since. Most of the time she gets away with it (there's no denying she looks smart), sometimes she's hauled into the school office for a reminder of the rules.

Ashleigh has decided to showcase a number of school outfits this week. I hope you enjoy x


Monday



The first rule about teenagers is they only wear 'going out' stuff ONCE! There's really no point in paying huge amounts of money for a dress that will be worn for a matter of hours is there? Ash and her friends are pretty good at swapping clothes, it's interesting to see how each of them style an outfit and make it their own. I also try to encourage the use of Ebay but as you can imagine, I'm the one that ends up going to the post office to send off the parcels and she gets to keep the postage that the buyer sends. How does that work then? This dress was worn for a Christmas Party and I was mighty pleased to see that Ashleigh has recycled it for school wear (apparently, it's ok for school clothes to be worn more than once). It's from Warehouse and is current stock here. By putting a white short sleeved blouse underneath and teaming with opaques, 'dead flat' ankle boots and a blazer, I think she's done a great job of changing this from a going out dress to workwear. The ankle boots are current stock from River Island and here is the link.


Tuesday



A little more casual today in a fluffy pale pink jumper from Primark. This has been worn many times with jeans so a great buy. At least she is wearing a matching jacket which also smartens the outfit! The necklace was from New Look in the summer and boots, River Island.


Wednesday



Like me, Ashleigh is a Soft so her best colours are soft and muted. In fact up until last year, she had very little black in her wardrobe and even less with bold patterns. My feeling is, youngsters look fab in anything so wear it. Best to make your mistakes now than later. Anyway, Wednesday's outfit is black AND bold and I think it really works. The blouse is from Primark (last season) with one of those detachable necklaces that I keep forgetting to remove before washing. She wore this with black jeans for a casual night out so again has been recycled for daywear. It occasionally makes an appearance! This is her favourite type of skirt, the skater, and is velvet from Top Shop. The shoes aren't Versace although she wishes they were, bought in Top Shop and are current stock. You can find them here.


Thursday



I love this dress which she wore on Christmas Day. I really do not know how she gets away with this one at school. Maybe it's because she smiles sweetly at the teachers and answers extra questions on the economic growth of Japan. Anyway, it's from Missguided, now sold out but similar here

Friday



Well given the fact that my daughter was still in bed when she was supposed to be walking the dog before school this morning, I suppose I should be grateful that she actually got dressed! Love the boots that she bought from River Island in the sale (now sold out). We had our eye on these for a couple of months so Ash was thrilled to see them in the sale (I think they were about £30). Everything else is old(ish). The grey jacket has a fine check running through it - wish it fitted me!

So, there you have it, a week in my daughter's life. I think she's got great style, but then I would because I'm her Mum xxx

Have a great weekend, I'll be back with a few updates on my recent purchases next time (it's not going well).


Donna x







1.16.2014

Mixed Feelings, Mango

So Mango launched a new plus size clothing range, Violeta on Monday


Bravo I say, style doesn't stop at any size! And it looks oh so promising...



That is until you look a little closer and realise that not every piece will work on a larger lady. Take these jeans for instance



They doesn't appear to have had a lot of thought put into them. The pockets draw the eye right to the bottom. Do you really want everyone looking at your bum? Wouldn't it have been better to ditch the yellow contrast stitching in favour of a blue. Less obvious so it stands to reason that suddenly the pockets are less visible. A really quick fix without making the jeans frumpy.

And this outfit is so wrong on every level, I mean, come on who would tuck in a blouse like this! As it goes and from what I can see, the blouse is actually ok. The pattern is excellent for covering up those lumps and bumps. I'm not even going to mention the exposed waist band (oh dear).



Remembering my post from yesterday, how could the next model look slimmer, by wearing a column of colour underneath the jacket of course! I'm also not liking the turn-ups. They don't look on trend, they look frumpy and cut off her leg making them look stumpier than they really are.



I could go on!

There are a few nice pieces in the collection, this khaki tencel shirt dress



Normally I would say avoid anything with breast pockets but these are pretty innocuous. There seems to be just enough volume so that it's not clingy and providing you're happy to show your knees it's a pretty good length. Personally I would wear it with tan wedges to elongate the leg and I think they could have added a short sleeve without spoiling the look.

Nothing offensive about this colour block top Shame it only comes in beige though! A good wardrobe staple which covers the tops of the arms (excellent) that could be worn casual with jeans or smarter in the evening with trousers and heels.



And the navy blazer



We're not talking cutting edge fashion here but everyone needs a navy blazer in their wardrobe, yes? The fact that it is jersey is GOOD. It won't be as stiff as a traditional blazer so will follow the curves as oppose to standing off them.

I'm a little underwhelmed with this first collection. There are many 'boring' pieces and some items seem to have been churned out in larger sizes without thinking about the market they are catering for. That said, it's definitely a brand to watch as Mango have invested heavily into Violeta with a team of 40 working on it.

My biggest problem is that the plus-size starts at size 12. Really? What message is this sending out to young girls who are already inundated with images of tiny double zero models. A 12 in my opinion is a good, healthy size to be. It should never be included in a plus range. Indeed, it wasn't that long ago that the biggest style icon in the world, Princess Diana was envied for her stunning figure. She was a size 12. I'll leave you with that thought.

Have a look at the new range (sorry if I haven't included all the links). What do you think? Have Mango got it right? I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time

Donna x