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!

6.24.2014

Joe Browns' Summer Sale & The 13 Year Old Muscling In!


Do you know what, I blooming love those guys over at Joe Browns, partly because I lived in Leeds for a while and they are a Leeds based company and partly because the staff there are ace. They all seem to have a passion for the brand which lets face it, is something different to what the High Street has to offer. You wouldn't be wrong in describing it as quirky (quirky in a good sense though). You can be as wacky as you want to be in Joe Brown's clothes. As you probably know by now, I'm more of a boring mainstream type of girl but hey that's ok, JB does mainstream too.

Anyway, I  got to preview the S/S14 sale, all in the cause of research mind. Don't go thinking I enjoyed  browsing the sale catalogue, glass of wine in hand, in the sunshine. You know, it's a hard life being a blogger. To make it even tougher, the guys at JB set me a challenge - they gave me £100 of virtual money to put together a wish list - I interpret that as an outfit. A full outfit, £100? That's tough. Erm, actually no, it's not. We're talking proper sales here not miserly discounts. So, what did I choose?

Well, I decided to go for a transitional outfit. Something to wear on slightly cooler summer days (look, it's all downhill now I tell you, we had the longest day on Saturday). I think this outfit does just the job.
Awesome Fit Straight Jeans £16.95 (previously £34.95)
Santorini Blouse £21.95 (previously £34.95)
Tremendous T-Bar Sandals £16.95 (previously 34.95)
Quirky Canvas Tote Bag £16.95 (previously £34.95)

I've heard great things about JBs Awesome Fit Straight Jeans (particularly the generous rise) and at £16.95, they are an absolute steal. The blouse is a little nod to the boho trend that we've seen the High Street embrace this year. It's different but not too different. I like that! And the sandals and bag finish off a summer look (these could be changed for something more substantial come September.

So, how much did I spend?

£16.95 + £21.95 + £16.95 + £16.95 = £72.80 

Yes! That's £27.20 change.

And I was going to leave it there, until that is, my 13 year old son looked over my shoulder and said, you've got some change there Mum. What's in the menswear section?

These!




'I've never heard of this brand before' he said 'they do some cool stuff mum. You can order those with the change' notwithstanding that 

a) it's virtual money and 
b) he's now taken me over my budget of £100 by £2.65. 

That's a lot of swag for £100 though isn't it?

So what else caught my eye?




But of course, it would as I've already got it and I wear it lots....





It's a fab little jacket and I get so many people commenting on it.


A girl can never have too many pairs of white jeans.



Chance Of Romance Dress £29.95 (previously £44.95)

How wonderful would this be for the holidays?



Glamorous Kaftan £19.95 (previously £29.95)

Staying with the holidays, this is so pretty. I love the white border running around the bottom of the kaftan. Ideal for evenings with a black cami and white jeans (see above!!!) or as a beach cover-up. But not both! You know my thoughts on day to evening outfits - that's just too gross to contemplate. Do it the other way round, evening to daytime.



Beautiful Beaded Cross Body Bag £16.95 (previously £34.95)

I wasn't sure about this but when I zoomed, in, I could see how pretty the colours are and given I don't wear much pattern, this bag will add that extra something to my holiday wardrobe. It also looks a decent size for 4 x mobile phones, keys to the hotel room, husband's wallet, lipstick, camera and anything else the family can palm onto me. And I rather like the idea of using it as a clutch.



Fabulous Cut Out Tote Bag £19.95 (previously £39.95)

This nearly made it to my outfit board but I changed it for a more summery look at the last minute. Joe Browns suggests it's a great summer choice, I say no way, this would work equally as well in colder months. It's too nice to put into the back of the wardrobe.



Go on over and have a browse at Joe Brown's sale, you may be just as surprised as me.

Anyway, here is what I wore a couple of days ago for a shopping trip with the hubby (he got bored after one shop, the less said about that, the better).


Jacket, Wallis last seen here
Top old, similar here
Jeans, Next last seen here
Bag Mulberry Antony here
Sandals old similar here



Donna x

6.21.2014

Mamma-Mia, She's Nearly 70!

Alternative titles for this post:

1. A Mature Woman's Closet
2. How To Dress An Apple (Round) Body Shape
3. Cool Colour Palette - Your Best Colours
4. Mrs Clothes Horse

I'll just call it, My Mum

I've been meaning to write this post for ages. If there is one person who I truly believe dresses well for her age, it's my mum. That's because she dresses age appropriate, knows her body shape and which colours suit her. Put all that together and I think you get one classy lady. Mind you she drives me demented, every thing has to match, even the earrings (she's a Romantic style personality). I often feel a snort of disapproval should I ever dare to wear a silver bracelet with a gold necklace!!

Ladies with apple body shapes always seem to me to be the least confident, dwelling far too much on their imperfections and forgetting what great legs they have. It's just a matter of knowing how to dress your shape. Apples should ensure clothes hang from the shoulder as oppose to following the bodyline. Clothing lines should be straight and fabrics soft and fluid to avoid unnecessary volume or bulk. And most importantly, use lots and lots of accessories to draw the eyes away from your bad points.





I've only just noticed she has a matching watch on! I've seen it all now. Anyway, I love this mint green top, the detail on the arms is gorgeous. Bang on trend colour wise but a really flattering cut, it drapes softly over the bust but isn't too voluminous. The top is from Wallis here. Mum has accessorised it with navy blue trousers, a navy clutch and a chunky long necklace.

A well polished lady will know which colours are the most flattering. You'd be hard pressed to find sludgy beiges and khaki greens in Mum's wardrobe - she leaves that to me (urgh). Instead there's an array of cool colours, blues, pinks, purples, strawberry reds and so on which flatter her skin tone and complement her gorgeous silver hair.

Take this little butterfly top from New Look here (I didn't know she shopped at New Look, you go girl). The pretty tones on a white background really do suit Mum's skin tone.



And such a pretty top deserves a close up.




So, she shops in New Look but still dresses age appropriate. Good sleeve lengths, drapey fabrics and choice accessories all help. There's no mutton moment in this girl's wardrobe. Take this next outfit, the black top is from Marks & Spencer here, paired with white jeans, black and silver sandals and matching accessories (did I mention, she's a Romantic style personality).



Stunning, absolutely stunning. I love it all. Let's recap: the right colour (yes she gets black), the right shape (most definitely) and length (another tick), age appropriate (yep). So it's a perfect outfit - yes?

70 next month and she can even work an iPhone.



So we've established that she's great at dressing for her age but hey, let's not forget the fun factor. Throw a pair of Converse in the mix to shake things up. Love it. Teamed with dark jeans and a red studded top from Wallis (I can't find it online), I reckon she pulls a more causal look off with pazzaz. Wearing jeans that have a more formal cut are crucial and of course much more comfortable.



And so that's a brief look at what my mum is wearing at the moment. No doubt she'll refresh her wardrobe again come next week - I do keep telling her that clothes aren't disposable and they can be worn more than once!!!

So it's her birthday soon and as you would expect she'll be celebrating quietly in front of the television with her knitting. Well that's a big fat lie isn't it as I know full well she's off to Liverpool with Dad, her brother, sister and husband for a weekend of partying (apparently there are lots of museums and cultural things too).

Happy 70th birthday Mum, sorry I won't be there on the actual day.



Love you lots


Donna x

6.20.2014

A White Lace Blouse & Denim

Pinterest! Are you a voyeur like me? I love Pinterest. Not as a participant, purely for spectating purposes. Those young whipper-snapper females seem to make style look effortless and I'm just a little bit jealous.

My current obsession is white/off-white/ivory/cream lace and here are some current images from Pinterest.







You will notice that the images I have chosen have two things in common:

1. White lace tops
2. Denim

That's because this is my favourite combination. I don't want to look prissy so I tend to wear my lace tops with distressed denim. It makes the whole look a little more current. 

Here is my interpretation:



I know, I know, I always look too neat. I've even tried to mess my hair up but I can't get that 'just got out of bed and look how cool I look' look. By the way, they are real glasses (I don't make a habit of wearing sunnies in doors). The blouse, shoes and bag are old. The jeans can be found here.

I love how the detail at the bottom of the top runs right through to the arms too. It appeals to my sense of neatness - doh!




So, what's out there on the High Street at the moment?


The shorter length would work great with denim cut offs whilst the longer vest hides the belly.





Only small available online but they may have more sizes in the shop.







One to put in the wardrobe for autumn. Love the oversized look with skinny jeans and ankle boots. 






Ok, this isn't going to set your wardrobe on fire but it's a pretty useful top to wear under jackets. I'd wear it with distressed skinnies (again) and my tan leather biker jacket.




A boxier top and I think the more modern cut would work well with cigarette pants as well as jeans.







Divine! 




Pure gorgeousness (and with my colour analyst hat on, the tones of the top, jewellery and jeans are perfect for her). I'd still prefer to see it with denim though.




And the back....




So, that was a quick zoom around the 'net' to see what's out there. Can you find better? 

A guest model next time, I need to condense 100s of photographs to a dozen, bear with me.

Here's to barbecues, wine and good weather this weekend. Cheers.


Donna x




6.18.2014

Animal Print T-Shirt Dress from F&F Aka Tesco For FIVE POUNDS

I popped into the 'big' Tesco Extra yesterday for photo copying paper and on the way to the stationery section, this little number caught my eye

F&F Animal Print T-Shirt Dress £5








Of course I had to stop and take a closer look. Originally £10, now just £5. Perfect, you're coming with me I said. Just what I'm looking for, for the holidays. Not dissimilar to the Whistles shell dress last year (it's slightly boxier than it looks in the first picture) although of course not the same material. This one is a viscose mix. I had it screwed up in a bag and it came out looking pretty darn good. Oh and it's designed AND made in good old Blighty. Quite incredible for the price.

I had intended to wear it for sightseeing during the day and then demote to a day dress at the hotel the following week. But, but, I'm going to see if I can make it work for an evening dress first of all.

I'm thinking...

Yellow Carvela Sandals £85
Black Quilted Bag Marks & Spencer now £20
Black & Gold Cuff Betty Jackson @ Debenhams now £12
Banana Republic Luxe Links Necklace now £29.99

And for the pool....


River Island @ ASOS Fedora £18 
Next Black Sunglasses £10
Jane Norman @ House of Fraser Monochrome Beach Bag £38
Next Yellow Bikini Top £12 & Bottoms £8
Next Strappy Toe Thongs £16


I'm probably barking but I'll give it a go later. Right now there's a barbecue with my name on it. Loving this weather.

I didn't have much time to browse but did notice a yellow striped t-shirt almost identical (except for the zip at the back) to the one I have from M&S. It's been reduced to £3 in store but I can't find it online. This is the M&S one to give you an idea.



Oh and the photo copying paper? I forgot all about that.

Go forth and shop for your lettuce summer stuff at Tesco (never thought I'd say that)!


Footnote:

Ok just had a few minutes to play with the dress. This would be my city day-dress look. What do you think? Could I get away with wearing it 3 times on holiday? Getting my monies worth lol.




Donna x








6.13.2014

A Mint Velvet Moment

I'll fess up now. I'm trying not to shop at the moment. We're off to the States soon and I really want to save my pennies to spend over there so it's a big no-no. And it's killing me. I keep getting little emails popping up all over the place showcasing lush summer clothes that suddenly I need - I'm talking to you Mint Velvet. Stop it!

You see it's a conflict of interest being a blogger. On the one hand, I need to look what's out there at the moment but when I do, I automatically want everything for myself. I can't extract the two.

I nearly caved yesterday, so very close to getting out my credit card. It was suppose to be a day of shopping for birthdays and Father's Day pressies but then I saw this in Mint Velvet...

Stone Satin Biker Dress £99


It's gorgeous! A great throw on summer dress (love a bit of arm coverage), drop waist which is ideal for those who don't have a waist (me) and a fab colour. It's one of those little dresses that you can do so much with....change your footwear, change the look. Wear dressed down, wear dressed up. A real wardrobe-worker.

It also comes in another great neutral, slate.



I also clocked this one too, a slightly more casual look. Perfect for a holiday day dress.

Cool Blue Jersey Easy Dress £59


It also comes in ivory, candy and a breton stripe.

I didn't see this dress in the shop but it looks amazing. I think if you have the legs, a shorter length on a shift dress is much better - it looks less boxy.

Ivory Eyelet Shift Dress £99



Also in Black



And in the top which again would be a useful wardrobe edition.

Ivory Eyelet Tee £69



I also love the layered tops that they have in at the moment.

Pearl Peplum Double Layer Top £69



It also comes in navy and black. The model has tucked in the under-layer vest top. I think I prefer it out personally.



And the stunning Cara Print Trousers £69



Bit of Saturday Night Fever, with these fab, super flattering Cream Wide Leg Trousers £69




And the black (don't you just love the fact that MV use proper women, not stick thin models).



Moving on to footwear,  I love these  Neutral Lola Leather Strappy Sandals £99 (also come in black)




And you don't need to save them just for 'best'...



Or some flatties (can we describe them as sliders with straps?)

Leopard Gabby Sandal £79



I could go on and on and on but I'll leave you to check out the Mint Velvet website for yourselves.

So, I'm sat pondering. Do I cave in and pick up some pieces now or wait a few more weeks for the hols? It's a difficult one isn't it!

Here I am the other day at another charity bash. I had high hopes of winning a Chanel handbag (actually a 1 in 100 chance - not bad odds) or a piece of Louis Vuitton luggage (same odds). Alas, I came home with nothing except a goodie bag and a lasting image of a butler very much in the buff. I'm not prone to violence but I could have wrestled the young girl (she must have been 18 tops) for that Chanel bag. She won't appreciate it until it's wrecked.



The butler in the buff!



My chances of winning the bags (by purchasing a key ring and a necklace, the white chocolate chips were for a holiday to Washington DC).




And finally a picture of my lovely friends (not the two on stilts at the back I hasten to add).




A recreation of my outfit
Dress similar
Necklace similar
Shoes similar
Bag similar
Brown cuff
Gold bangle


Once again, apologies for my very poor photography. Let me explain. My family won't take the photos as they say I'm too fussy (they're just not very good). So, I have to get out the tripod, set up the camera, put it on a timer, use a prop such as an umbrella for the camera to focus on, press the button, run to the spot, throw out the prop, sort out my hair, untangle the necklace (invariably the long ones are hooked around a boob), look unflappable and smile effortlessly before the shutter comes down. It's all very traumatic. Hence my laziness recently, it's so much more lady like using an iPhone in front of a mirror - yes?

Until next time.

Donna x