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 Checked Coat Bargain From Atterley Road With Change For A Short Break

A quick one....

I've been soooo impressed with Atterley Road this season and browsing last night, came across this.

Vero Moda Check Coat reduced from £110 to £39

And here's how I would wear it.

It's all about the checked coat

You could have this shirt from Net-A-Porter for £180 but the one above is just £27 from Benetton here

You could have these Stan Smiths from Adidas for £67 but the ones above are just £28 from Next here

You could have this Rag & Bone cross body bag from Selfridges for £565 but the one above is just £99 from Modalu here

You could have these cigarette pants from Joseph for £215 but the ones above are just £38 from River Island here

That's a saving of £835, enough for a nice little weekend away.

Food for thought huh?

Donna x


How To Wear Khaki - It's A Tough One

So, khaki is back. Love it or hate it, we're going to see the High Street awash with this colour over the next few months.

Let's examine the colour first of all. Well it's a yellow based colour (as oppose to a blue based one) so will suit any warm skinned ladies. An easy test is to try khaki against your skin and then try a bluey-green. If you look better in khaki then it figures you're a warm skin tone. You're looking to see what each colour does to your face. Hold the fabric/garment/tea-towel whatever you have in khaki under your chin and do the same with the other colour. Which one seems to make you look more vibrant? Does one make you look tired or cast shadows underneath your chin? It can be hard to work out but give it a go.

So we know that khaki works well on warm skinned ladies. What happens if you're cool skinned? Don't wear it of course. No, I'm joking. If you're a die-hard fashionista you're going to wear it regardless so team it with a cracking colour that you do suit. Black or white near the face would work if you suit either of those. Clash with pale pink or hot pink, navy, light grey. Or keep it totally away from your face and buy it in jeans instead.

Pinterest is throwing up khaki teamed with black pleather and a white shirt. I'm liking this combo.

Or with a Breton top.

With trainers.

Even Vicky B is wearing it.

A fab summer outfit and this lighter shade is perfect for blondes.

Update last seasons tan purchases

A more forgiving way to wear khaki if it's really not 'you'.

And finally an old picture but a great example of how to team it with a nude pink which is perfect for blondes, mousey-haired girls and for generally 'cooling' down the colour.

For goodness sake don't search khaki and pink on Pinterest - theee most random outfits!!

So what's out there for us at the moment. Top Shop have a whole page dedicated to the colour.

Love this wide necked jumper (perfect for balancing pear shapes too as it elongates the shoulder line). Brilliant with black pleather leggings and ankle boots now. And a great casual look come spring with white jeans and Stan Smiths. Yes, I'm really liking khaki with white.

Slouch Neck Ribbed Jumper £36

Ok not for everyone as it's only a couple of inches deeper than my belts but the wrap skort would be another piece that you could get your wear out of. Thick tights and ankle boots now, flat sandals and a breton top later.

Textured Wrap Skort £36

This shirt dress is bordering on military territory but it kind of works for this season. I'd team it with my tan leather biker jacket and leopard print pointed slippers for a perfect comfy outfit.

Tencel Shirt Dress £40

I keep coming back to this shirt over and over again. As I've said I'm really liking khaki and white. So white skinnies and converse for starters. But also with black cigarette pants and heels for a dressed down evening look. It's all about the baggy for me now, hides a multitude of sins. I'll probably give this one a go.

Tie-dye crinkle shirt £32

And finally in Top Shop, the high waisted Jamies. Even the daughter has moved over to the dark side and gone all high waisted. They're also available in the Leigh if you prefer a lower rise. Being a neat freak, I prefer to keep the top half smarter if I'm wearing distressed/ripped jeans so a charcoal fitted blazer and white t-shirt.

Khaki Ripped Jamie Jeans £42

Moving on to Zara, these are amazing but Jeez Louise look at that rise. Not for me but I can appreciate their gorgeousness.

Trousers with faux leather piping £29.99

Sticking with the bottom half, how about a cropped pair. The little feminine top really works.

Cropped Chinos With Pleated Pockets £25.99

Contrast edging is going to be everywhere too so why not combine both. The loose cut is not lost on me either.

Kaftan T-shirt £25.99

Going all 70s with this shirt. Adore it all.

Checked shirt with pocket £25.99

Only one thing that caught my eye in Next, these pants. This girl is a Cool, if you enlarge her face on the website (click here), you can see the sallow undertone. Wearing black on top is the best way forward for her.

Khaki Utility Tapered Trousers £30

A useful little layering top from Warehouse - one for me to try on next time I'm in there.

Green Marl Burnout Top £20

Staying with Warehouse, we're obviously looking at the long cardigan here but oh I love it all especially how the white really sharpens the look up. I've actually got everything in my wardrobe except the cardi. It would go with so many things too. White or grey t-shirts, bretons. Personally I couldn't do black as it's all a little heavy but girls with a stronger look could so pull it off.

Green long side split cardi £36

Again Warehouse, love this dress but it's so wrong for me on every level - you really need to have a small frame (including a small chest!) which is lucky as there are only small sizes left. And it's so wrong for someone as pale as this girl. Put a red head in it and wow!

Green Pleat Detail Midi Dress was £70, now £20 (yes £20)

And finally a couple of bits from New Look (although they have many, 126 items in khaki actually). A cheap and cheerful t-shirt dress which will look stunning in the summer with a tan and strappy gladiators (yes they're back as well).

Khaki T-shirt dress £17.99

Or if you're a dress and ankle boots kind of girl, these chunky monkeys. They look brown to me but no it definitely says khaki.

Khaki studded buckle strap ankle boots £27.99

There's lots out there and yes I'll probably partake as it's one of my colours. In the meantime, I'll continue to enjoy my khakish parka.

Very brave I was today. Went out for a meeting and a 7 minute journey back home took 3 hours because of the snow. Curse the day I changed my 4 wheel drive. I ended up abandoning the car in a pub car park and walking but it was ok, I went prepared. I had my credit card to scrape the windscreen and my very expensive Tori Burch boots on (why I wore those today, I'll never know). I think the word t*sser was mumbled a few times.

Before the abandonment

Before the boots got wet

Mind you, I did pass an elderly couple well into their 80s by the looks of it. She had a pair of loafers on (no socks) and he had a pair of lace ups and was walking with a stick. Bless, I felt so sorry for them and they wouldn't accept any help. Secretly I think they were enjoying it.

Anyway, what do you think to khaki. It can be a bit of a meh colour can't it. How will you be wearing yours?

Donna x


How To Look Slimmer And Forget The Diet

This made me howl the other day...

Oh yes I seem to have these little blighters in my wardrobe. I try to be good, I really do and then it all goes badly wrong. Take yesterday for example, I was doing well, toast (no butter) and marmalade for breakfast with a cup of coffee, avocado and a Club biscuit for lunch (every day this week) with a glass of water, afternoon cuppa and then the son brings this home from school that he made in Food Nutrition.

Take a closer look. See all that jam oozing out.

I can report that it went downhill from there - a great big black ski run type of downhill (there were 8 pieces, now there are 4 - I'm saying nothing).

So, let's forget the diet and learn how to dress slimmer instead. Here are my 5 top tips.

1. Wear A Column Of Colour

What exactly does this mean? Well, wearing top and bottoms in the same colour eg. black trousers and a black top. Heck that's boring, let's shake it up a bit. Why not wear a column of charcoal grey or brown or navy. Pretty safe colours and yes they're all fairly dark shades. The reasoning being that darker colours are slimming. Just choose the ones that suit you the best. With careful cuts, you can do a column in a lighter colour too. White looks stunning in the summer and one of my favourites, nude pink. The idea is to wear the same colour top and bottom which creates a column (read slimming) effect.

Practicing what I preach...

Now for the fun bit. Add a pop of colour by way of a jacket or scarf - it doesn't have to be boring

Here's a look from Massimo Dutti, a perfect illustration on how to wear a column of denim.  More details of the outfit can be found here

2. Work Those Verticals

Eh? Plain edge to edge jackets, coats with a straight cut, a scarf draped around your neck. It's all about tricking the eye - a straight edge doesn't allow the eye to settle anywhere, it disguises the bad bits and it elongates our torso.

Take this coat for instance, The eye won't settle on the straight edges - it will subconsciously focus on something more interesting such as the the neckline of the top. So we take away the focus of our bad bits i.e. tummy and thighs. My blue coat above has the same effect (which incidentally is now so reduced Damart are practically giving it away, see here)

Baukjen Marino Car Coat What the heck is a car coat? Well whatever it's a perfect transitional piece.

3. Get The Right Fit

Don't settle for second best. If it doesn't fit, don't buy it. So that means forgetting a dress if it's too tight around the middle or, the top that pulls at the top of the arm. Try sizing up, sometimes a looser fit Breton top can look much better if it's slightly baggy at the hem. A pair of jeans that aren't as tight at the waist are so much more forgiving on the old muffin top. And underwear - there's nothing worse than seeing the outline of your briefs. Again size up.

If you're a pear shape, make sure your jackets fit at the shoulder line. Ok, they might not button up but honestly you'll look a million times better...and slimmer. Yes I know you might be cold, buy a scarf!!

4. Watch The Fabric

Stiff fabric will add pounds as it strains against the body shape. So voluptuous ladies should ensure the fabric has Lycra and the garment skims the body shape as oppose to clinging. Skirts with suck-it-all in linings are great providing the actual skirt has some stretch. Tops that drape are much better than stiff cotton ones. Even belts, choose a softer fabric such as suede or buttery leather.

Your enemies:
  • stiff cotton
  • thick structured wool
  • taffeta
  • linen

Your friends
  • relaxed wool crepe
  • jersey
  • polyester
  • fine knits
  • silk/chiffon
  • linen cut on the bias (it has stretch in it)

This Mint Velvet knit is perfect. The soft fabric drapes across and around the body. 

I would however avoid the navy as the band at the bottom can draw attention to larger thighs. See how it breaks up the column of colour too. What a shame because these make great wardrobe staples. 

5. And Not Forgetting Those Patterns

Patterns can actually disguise your bad bits. The eye isn't good at settling on busy fabric so will automatically look up at your face. Bingo, they didn't clock the bulging tummy. Just make sure you've got fab lipstick on.

A word of warning though, a small ditsy pattern on a larger lady can actually have the opposite effect because the pattern will look overwhelmed. If you are of a larger frame, don't be afraid to choose larger patterns - it's all about balancing.

Isn't this just the perfect slimming dress, the Multi Print Shift Dress from Atterley Road. It skims the body, is a soft fluid fabric, covers the arms and the print is a great size.

So there you have it, my top 5 tips. Have a go, it really is magic.

Donna x


Wardrobe Refresh

It's been a moan free zone here in my house. I'm fed up of going on and on about the weather so that topic has been banned for the last two days. 

Instead, I'm looking forward. Forward to spring when I can put hats, scarves and gloves away for a few months. I've been thinking about easy ways to refresh our wardrobes with a few easy buys. 

So here goes...

1. The Biker Jacket

Here's Rosie Huntington-Whiteley rocking hers. 

This jacket is going nowhere, it's become a wardrobe staple earning it's place along the side of skinny jeans and ankle boots. And it doesn't matter whether it's leather or pleather...either does the job.

Here's me wearing mine this week. Obviously not looking anywhere near as fabulous as Rosie.

Probably the most useful jacket you can have in your wardrobe. Wear now with a polo neck and boots, in the spring with a shirt and trainers, in the summer over a maxi for a chilly evening out. I've even been known to wear mine with a dressy dress. 

Get yours here...

2. Little Navy Dress

Ok, it's no secret, I love navy. It's my black! Black can be so predictable and I think navy looks really fresh and contemporary. So my number 2 wardrobe refresh is a navy dress. Christine Bleakley loves her navy too and looks stunning in this one.

And a favourite of mine which is a light navy.

We've had a love-in with this colour for a few seasons and I hate to use the phrase but it is a classic so won't date. You'll reach for it time and time again. Oh and did I mention, everyone gets navy in their colour palette. So, ditch the black and refresh with this.....

Glam it up with heels and a clutch for weddings and christenings (actually, changing the accessories will give you lots of different options). Dress down with the biker jacket for a more casual evening out. pop a jumper over and you've got a lace skirt.

3. A Basic White Jumper

There's something really fresh about a gorgeous white jumper isn't there. Take Alexa Chung for example...

Hers is more of a winter white teamed with a black leather skirt and that brilliant bag. I'm thinking more towards summer so a pure or soft white version (this colour is going to be HUGE this year, there's no getting away from it). 

Worn with a simple pair of skinnies and leopard print skaters, it's an outfit that needs minimal effort. Recently, I've been wearing mine layered with a denim shirt. 

I'm thinking I'd quite like one that's slightly more fitted. Such as....

 I like the idea of rolling up the sleeves and popping a navy and white breton underneath. Oh and don't forget the shorts, it would look great with a pair of cut offs at the end of a summer day when it gets a little brrrrrrrr. 

4. A Pair Of Metallic Shoes 

It would seem that all over metallics featured heavily in some of the catwalk shows for Spring/Summer 2015. Me, I prefer to keep this trend firmly on the feet. 

Georgia May Jagger chose a silver pair a couple of months ago 

I've got a Kurt Geiger pair in bronze but they have a built in sole so I doubt they'll be coming out to play this year - they just look really dated. Now if I were to choose a new pair, they would look something like this...

And yet more versatility. I can see black skinnies, tuxedo jacket and t-shirt for a casual night out with the girls or black pleather leggings and a white shirt for a slightly smarter look. Mmmm very tempted. 

5. A Tan Bag

Regardless of whether tan bags are current (they are by the way), every girl should have one (or two). Christina Hendricks looks super chic carrying hers. Love, love, love this outfit.

My poor old Jimmy Choo tote has seen better days, but it owes me nothing. 

I should really be replacing it with something like this...

We're still loving our structured bags and the High Street is awash with them. Don't get me wrong, I love my JC but it's an absolute pain. It doesn't stand up and the contents get tossed around inside. I've lost many a Tunnocks chocolate tea cake in there. Structure is the way to go. If you're striving for the city chic look, add a tan bag to a pair of jeans and navy blazer and you'll look as if you've stepped right out of a St Tropez postcard. Tan is definitely a neutral too so goes with just about every colour you can think of.

So there's my top 5 wardrobe refreshes, easy pieces to update and enjoy. Oh did I forget to mention where you can buy them from? Wallis. Yes really. Go forth and shop.

Donna x