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!


It's Another One Of Those Posts....How To Take A Boring Outfit To The Next Level. Oh And A Blogger Telling Off!

So yesterday, I spent what seemed like 2 hours being berated by my daughter about the quality of photos that I publish here and on Instagram. I was told in no uncertain terms that basically they're sub-standard bordering on embarrassing. She's not telling me anything I don't know. Lecture over, I was made to delete the purple mashed potato post amongst others from my Instagram. "Mum, it's not Instagramworthy - put it on Twitter". Ok, I think I get the hang of it now. Insta is for those arty shots of candles and flowers and handbags strewn with petals. Twitter is for the outtakes in life. The funny ones that we can look at, laugh at and allow the timeline to carry it away to Twit-Heaven.

So here we go a 'doubler' of what I wore for a trip to Leeds yesterday (taken by an iPhone 5s in a dullish University bedroom).

All seen before!!!!

To be honest, they're not much better than my usual offering. I promise when the weather gets better that I'll start doing shots outside. For the time being, you'll have to put up with this rubbish.

Photos are a necessary evil to blogging (for me). I hate being in front and behind the camera. I think I'm better suited to radio to be perfectly honest. Hey, Radio Blog, now that could be the next big thing.

So by way of an apology, here is something a little bit different....it's my half way house to a VLOG (that's Videlog if you don't know). It's got music and everything.

I make no apologies for the usual shocking quality.

Have a lovely, lovely evening.

Donna x  <--- Apparently I need to personalise this too!


5 Things You Might Want To Buy For Spring/Summer 15

1. The Tan Fringed Bag

I bought the black and grey ones in the autumn (daughter stole the black one so it must be good - she's fussy). They've added two new colours this season, tan and powder pink. I'm eyeing up the tan one. But if blue is more your cup of tea, how about this beauty here.

H&M Tan Fringed Bag £19.99

It's surprisingly roomy, pretty well made and actually doesn't look too dissimilar to it's leather counterparts. Tan is everywhere at the moment. You can't go wrong with this.

2. The Throw On Denim Dress

That's what my wardrobe lacks, a few spring throw on dresses. Nothing too formal, just a good ol' frock that works for everyday wear.

Mango Tencel Denim Dress £44.99

Wear with ankle boots and a blazer now. Swap for flat tan sandals and the bag above when the weather warms up.

3. An Isabel Marant Style Top

Boho, ethnic...whatever. They're everywhere. And we all need one! I've had this top pinned for ages and look at it daily.

Isabel Marant Etoile Embroidered Cotton Top £160

But then I saw this

Mango Ethnic Embroidery Blouse £44.99

At over £100 cheaper, it's very tempting! Wear with distressed boyfriends from last year or kick flares  if you dare. I'd stick to the skinny versions though (see below) if you're wearing a looser fitting top.

The Skinny Flares

So you might have missed out on the M&S ones (they were seriously good, let's hope they replenish although it might be doubtful given it's from the Limited Collection brand). If you're going to buy flares this year, try the skinny fit (much easier to wear tops with) and go for a washed denim.

Mango Flared Flare Jeans £39.99

Try them with the boho top above and a quilted jacket such as this one

Nb. did you know that flares were invented by sailors at the turn of the 20th Century who favoured a wider bottom as they were easier to take off in the event of abandoning ship?

5. The Tan Sandal

You can't go all season without investing in a tan something. If you don't fancy the bag, try a sandal.

Next Leather Fringed T-Bar Sandals £58

Nailing two trends: tan and fringe. Wear with flared jeans (above) denim dresses (above) and A-Line denim skirts. We are so rocking Charlies Angels this year. I'm just waiting for the pointy flared collars (not).

Oh look, the makings of an updated capsule wardrobe!

A Few Wardrobe Basics For S/S15

That's me done. I'm off to light the fire and watch Broadchurch. So who actually did it? Personally I'm thinking the vicar guy looks a little suspect.

Donna x

Mini Break Packing - Success Or Failure?

Well it was....

A Big Fat Success!

I went for 5 days/4 nights and to recap, took:

3 x jeans (denim, grey, white)
1 x black pleather leggings
1 x denim cut offs (just in case!)
2 x long breton tops (black & white / navy & white)
1 x short sleeve grey breton t-shirt
1 x white patterned top
1 x black pleather top
Leopard print swimsuit (lol lol lol)
Camel cardigan
Camel coat

Camel ankle boots
White trainers
Black toe post sandals

Navy Longchamp Le Pilage shopper
Black Modalu cross body bag
Leather cuff

I wore everything except the white patterned top and the only reason for that is because I chose to wear a new purchase instead. So, my planning paid off (just). If truth be known, I could have done with another pair of jeans. I'm a one-wear, one-wash kinda girl and needing(!) 2 outfits a day i.e. one for day time and one for evening, there was lots of recycling going on. Don't forget, the above also included travel wear. Ok, yes we have a washing machine but somehow I kept forgetting to use it.

Oh a mini-fail were the trainers. They're new and rubbed my ankle. Note to self, don't take new shoes on holiday ever again.

Here are some of my outfits.

Arrival day, we dropped straight into Puerto Banus for lunch (starvin-marvin). The pilot had said it was 12 degrees. I mean, you'd believe a pilot wouldn't you, he's sensible. So having got straight into the car at the airport without going outside, I was somewhat unprepared for the 22 degrees. A tad warm I was as when we parked up, I still believed the pilot and refused to ditch the layers. Think spontaneous combustion and you'll get the picture. Mind you the locals were wrapped up too but then they're nesh aren't they?

Next Coat here (a great price)
Zara Navy & White Breton Sweatshirt (similar here)
M&S Skinnies here (so comfy even for flying)
Ebay Leopard Print Scarf (similar here)
Modalu Austen Leather Bag here (currently on offer £74)
Next Tan Ankle Boots (similar here)
I changed into my denim cut offs as soon as we got to the apartment (actually this was the only time I did).

A few too many vinos that night I think hence a very cheesy grin and very dodgy decor (it's 5 years old and desperate for a revamp)

Atterley Road Black Pleather & Jersey Top here (& now £19)
Tesco Grey Skinnies here
Modalu Austen Leather Bag here (currently on offer £74)
Next Tan Ankle Boots (similar here)

Don't be fooled into thinking it was great weather in this shot, I spent most of the day in a cardi. Not my favourite of outfits but then I didn't really have much choice did I. The vest underneath was worn as a vest, there's no fashion statement going on here.

Next Yellow & White Breton Top (similar here)
Pure Collection White Linen Top (similar here)
Marks & Spencer White Skinny Jeans here
Adidas Honey Lo Leather Trainers here

And the following evening I wore a new Zara top that I picked up. I tried to be clever and wear it back to front as you probably know that black isn't my colour so I thought that the break in the material would be more flattering. It kind of didn't work as the whole blinking top kept falling forward exposing my underwear!

Zara Black Puffed Sleeve Top here
H&M Black Pleather Leggings (similar here)
Modalu Austen Leather Bag here (currently on offer £74)
Next Tan Ankle Boots (similar here)
Next Coat here (a great price)

Here is the top worn in it's full glory. It really is rather nice.

Zara Puffed Sleeve Combined Lace Shirt (to give it, it's proper name) £39.99  and let's not even talk about those shoes - just ohhhhhh xxxxx

Thursday I think, was bitterly cold and I went out like this...

Next Coat here (a great price)
Modalu Austen Leather Bag here (currently on offer £74)
Zara Woven Nude Scarf here
I hadn't noticed in the UK that Zara do a khaki colour in this scarf. It really is gorgeous - slightly darker than here. A brill accessory to update your winter colours.

Zara Woven Scarf Olive Green £17.99

So I won't be repeating the next outfit. I really should know better that being top heavy, a loose cardi and scarf really don't work. I need to lose the scarf to give the illusion underneath that there is a figure there. It was ruddy cold though. I 'borrowed' a pair of the son's flip flops from his cupboard as the trainers were still hurting!!

Hush Cardi (still love this one)
M&S Skinnies here
Ebay Leopard Print Scarf (similar here)
Havianas Blue here (ladies version here)
Longchamp Le Pilage Large Navy Shopper here
By the way, if anyone has bought the Hush Chunky Waterfall Cardi and it's bobbled, give it a good brush with a cashmere comb (buy here) before you wash it on a delicate wash. These are instructions that Hush gave me when I contacted them. It seems to have done the trick.

I reckon I've bored you to death with outfits now so we'll leave it there. Oh as well as the black Zara top, I did make another couple of purchases:

Zara Printed Shirt £29.99 (€29.99)

I plan to wear this with flared jeans and tan wedges in the summer.

And naughty me, I may have persuaded the husband to buy me a pair of these after lusting after Kat's black ones over the last few months. Can you guess which colour I went for?

Toga Pulla Buckle Boot (blue and black here, can't find the link to the khaki ones) £325 (€379)

Anyway, I hope you all had a brilliant half term. Can't say I'm chuffed about coming back to snow and sleet storms. Eweeeeeeeeee.

Donna x


Packing For A February Mini-Break In Spain

So the daughter is at Uni, the son is skiing in Austria and I'm off to sunny Spain. Actually let's start that again.

So, the daughter is at Uni, the son is skiing in Austria and I'm off to an overcast and wet Spain. Urgh!

Not that I expected anything different to be honest. February sun is scant and if it's wet and windy, well you might as well stay indoors and watch James Bond reruns. There was a whole Sky channel dedicated to him one year when we were out there. Don't laugh, I've done it, got the t-shirt. Except it was too cold for a t-shirt.

Mind you, it rather depends on the weather website you check. I'm going with Google (Google is always wrong). It says we're going to get sun, so let's stick with that then.

As usual, I'm only allowed a carry-on suitcase (we are talking hand bag proportions). Not that the hubby is mean or anything. He's too impatient to wait at the carousel and, because Squeezy-Jet and Ryan-Scare don't pay for the premium hubs, it means a trek from one side of the airport to the other - Malaga is huge these days! Careful packing is the order of the day. No matter how many times I go over to Spain in winter, I always forget what mid-range temperatures look like. I mean 16 degrees - it's a nothing temperature isn't it. Not hot, not cold.

I've gone for camel, black, grey and white (there's also a tiny bit of navy in there too). We're there for 4 days and the sum total of what I'm taking is as follows (sob)..

3 x jeans (denim, grey, white)
1 x black pleather leggings
1 x denim cut offs (just in case!)
2 x long breton tops (black & white / navy & white)
1 x short sleeve grey breton t-shirt
1 x white patterned top
1 x black pleather top
Leopard print swimsuit (lol lol lol)
Camel cardigan
Camel coat

Camel ankle boots
White trainers
Black toe post sandals

Navy Longchamp Le Pilage shopper
Black Modalu cross body bag
Leather cuff

And that's just about it. I'll wear the coat - believe you me, it's needed at night time and I'll have to carry the cardi. No doubt a stroppy air steward will make me put it in my luggage. Well I can't there's no room. So, I'll drape it over my shoulders and pretend I'm French. I've not gone barking mad packing the swimsuit - there's an indoor spa on the development.

By the way, this is a Where's Wally photo except there's no Wally, just a random flippin sock. Where did that come from? Well, I'm not going back upstairs to do it all again so you'll have to make do with this picture.

And as for make-up well, we're talking mini-minimalist here.

I take one travel make-up brush for bronzer and blusher, one lip gloss (this is delicious from Younique - it's called Livid, buy here), I'll decant some foundation into a tiny travel pot, one eye-liner except this time I'm taking Younique's white lid-liner as well and the blusher has been taken out of the Colour Me Beautiful palette which is bulky and replaced with a plastic lid. The mascara is nearly empty and will be ditched at the end of the holiday.

Oh and I have to show you this nail colour, a bit khaki-ish isn't it. Love, love, love so much that I might live in it for a few weeks. It's called Wild Moss from Shellac's Flora and Fauna spring collection. Apologies, my hands are so dry at the moment. I'm on a promise to Joanne, my nail lady to wear rubber gloves!

There'll be little space left in the case to purchase anything unless I mail it home. But I will be browsing, well what else is there to do when it's cold outside. Oh yes, there's the matter of sorting out the apartment. As the hubby keeps reminding me, we're there to do stuff. Great!

So, just waiting for the house sitter to arrive, pack my bags and off we go.

I'll be posting pictures of beautiful blue skies and me in bikinis grey and dank landscapes and me wrapped in layers on Instagram. I'll spare you the decorating.

Have a lovely half term if you're off.

Donna x


Flared Jeans & Boho Jackets

I had a go at the 70s trend today using everything that I already had in my wardrobe...

I think it works - does it? Jeans were originally from Next (years and years ago and can't quite believe they survived the culls). Oh boy are they comfy. I'm on the hunt for a darker wash and slightly more flared. The Marks & Spencer ones are equally as comfy but whoops, a tad long, even with heels.

M&S True 70s Kick Flare Denim Jeans £35

I'm normally a long in M&S. Something's gone wrong somewhere. I've put it down to a dud pair so I'm going back this weekend for another look. Can't recommend them enough other than that little mishap. These were the next size up (although to be honest, there was very little in them) and I don't think the length is quite so bad.

Again, denim shirt is really old. I actually quite like the lighter double denim effect. This one from H&M has been on my radar for a while, it would probably work really well with the M&S jeans.

H&M Denim Blue Shirt £19.99

And my jacket was from Joe Browns last year although it's available again from...

Fashion World Joe Browns Quirky Quilted Jacket £55

I'm loath to put this picture up as it's so much nicer in real life

It's a wonderfully cut jacket (as Joe Brown's pieces always are) and although only slightly quilted, it's actually quite warm.

I also saw a couple of similar styles in M&S yesterday and wouldn't say no to either!

Indigo Collection Pure Cotton Floral Bomber £59


Indigo Collection Pure Cotton Quilted Bolero Jacket £55

Had I seen this one online, I wouldn't have given it a second glance. What a bizarre way to show a jacket, it looks as if it has a weird panel running down the front! We're talking bed jacket-esque here. There is no panel - it's the inside lining!

The tan leather bag is soooooo old but just keeps on getting better and better with age. I gave it to the daughter a couple of years a go but have stolen it back...just for this season. She won't mind, there's a brand new tan bag waiting for her in her bedroom for when she gets back home from Uni.

Loving this one from ASOS which is currently reduced - shame it's not leather.

ASOS Slouch Hobo Bag now £24.50

And this one which is also reduced AND leather. A pretty perfect summer bag given the 70s vibes this year.

Oasis Leather Dixie Drawstring Duffle Bag £31.50

I decided to go with the Ash Jalouse in Midnight on my feet. Originally I tried black pointed ankle boots but they looked really odd. Probably because I wore bootleg jeans and points in the 90s - I don't think we'll be going there for a while yet. Well I certainly won't be.

Ash Jalouse Ankle Boot Midnight Reverse Broken £155

Anyway, I felt like Love Story's Ali MacGraw swishing around in the flares all day until I googled her image tonight and actually her style was very different probably due to the fact that most of the film was shot in winter so it was knitted berries and long belted coats all round. So, I decided I was a Charlie's Angel instead. Going to have to wear them again tomorrow now aren't I.

Right, so I need to know if there are any fantastic mid to dark wash flared jeans out there. I gather River Island Alice Kick Flares are contenders, MIH Marrakesh also look fab but a tad pricey. I'm not loving the bright yellow contrast stitching on the Zara Skinny Flare nor do Zara jeans like me. Next Lift, Slim And Shape need to be examined. Does anyone have any more suggestions for a dark wash, high waisted kick flare preferably that shave 4 inches off the waist (ok maybe not that)?

Back soon with my tales of woe trying to pack for a mini break in a carry-on (read tiny) suitcase. The woes haven't happened yet, but they will, believe you me.

Donna x

Weekend Pick Me Ups

Three little tops, no relationship to each other but they're too nice not to feature.

Soooo in love with the 70s once again and this cute top from New Look is too good to pass over. I'm thinking baby kick flares and wedge sandals in the summer. Providing the jeans are tight(ish) on the thighs, it's ok to wear a loose top. Oh yeahhhhh.

Orange Floral Print Top £16.99

I'm feeling the need to do a stripe post, they're all over the High Street. Let's leave it a couple of weeks longer to see what else arrives. In the meantime, we can croon over this from Top Shop.

Striped Drape Front Blouse £38

And finally, a lovely, fresh little thrown on top from Mint Velvet. This is THE perfect casual outfit top to toe - love it all.

Blocked Candy Tipped Knit £59

All very different, all very nice. I'm supposed to be buying non-patterend clothes this year - I guess the Mint Velvet one is passable but I know I will indulge in the 70s Boho trend so I might as well not pretend. Stripes? I'm not sure. I love the crispness of the strong colours on the whites and creams. Not sure they love me back. We'll see.

Hope you've all got lots of nice things planned for the weekend. Mine is the usual run of kid's activities and football.

Oh by the way, Wallis awarded me Blogger Of The Month. Thank you very much Wallis people.

No outfit posts. I mean, I am getting dressed every day but it's too cold to stand outside (we still have snow on the ground). The selfie stick/arm extended shots are pretty dire.

Donna x


A New Double Denim Way...With A Skirt!

Oooooh look at this!

And this....

And this...

A fresh new way with double denim! Love it all and I for one will be giving it a go when it warms up a little (a lot). It's a a really easy trend to incorporate the 70s vibe that's coming through too. A column of colour = a slim silhouette. It's a win win all round. 

Double Denim

Karen Millen Bag H&M Denim Shirt H&M Trench Gap Skirt Next Sandals & Sunglasses

I love the idea of incorporating a structured bag to a casual look. I pulled my denim skirt out of the wardrobe at the weekend. It's slightly longer than I recall but it will probably work. A slit or button through is a must! And, who hasn't got a denim shirt in their wardrobe already? Mind you this one from H&M is lush. And what about the sandals from Next? Fringe is huge this season and they're most certainly giving off a whiff of the 70s. Consider them ordered!

Do you fancy giving this a go? Very excited to hear if you're with me on this.

Donna x


A Camel Coat Ideal For Spring From Good Ol' Next

Coat. Long jacket. Whatever. This is perfect for spring which seems a long way, away right at this moment. Call me a petulant child but I refused to partake in the winter camel coat for no other reason than I had thrown away a perfectly decent one about a year ago. Ok it was 25 years old but being a gorgeous cashmere mix, it had worn well and it's classic shape wouldn't have looked out of place today. Sometimes, I can be really dim! Green with envy I am, every time I see my fellow bloggers wear theirs. Actually I could poke their eyes out, it's that bad!! (Does My Bum Look 40 In This, Style At Every Age and Mummy Wife & Chaos to name but a few - I'll leave you to browse their posts as it will make me cry if I have to look at the coats again).

So browsing the new stock from Next, I chanced upon this little fella.

Fashion Union Violet Coat £40 (it's not violet!)

Perfect to scratch that itch. I could do with a lighter weight coat for spring and this is just the job. 40% wool mix (really for that price) from one of their cheaper online concessions, Fashion Union. More my daughter's age brand but hey, this is so up my street.

I call it my spring teddy bear - it's very strokeable.

And I shall wear it like this above and with jeans and a Breton and with black jeans and a black polo neck and......... Yes it's another wardrobe worker - it's going to slot in and make itself at home very well. And for £40?????

A quick (rubbish snap)

Next Camel Coat H&M Pleather Leggings Atterley Road Cream jumper similar here
Ralph Lauren Cream Scarf similar here New Look Tan Boots & similar here

This is a size 10 and is roomy enough. I'm normally a 12 in fashion brand tops so I would say it comes up slightly generous. Size up if you're an inbetweenie. Did I say it's only £40?

Hubby and I are popping over to Spain shortly to do a few jobs and I'm 99% certain that this little fella will be coming with me (Spain in February is not nice).

By the way, I didn't really wear it today - it's far too cold. Through gritted teeth, I was hollering to the son to hurry up and take the damn photo.

So, we still have quite a lot of snow - I know it doesn't look much from the above photo but it just isn't budging and the hills are very much white over.

I have confessions to make next time, or maybe the time after. It's not good. It's about the January no-spend challenge. Please tell me you've been naughty too.

Donna x