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!



Yesterday I introduced my little project on how to achieve a polished look and put an outfit together. Today, we get down to the nitty gritty starting with the jacket. It's no secret that I love jackets. These are generally my go-to items in the wardrobe. Why? Well take a plain old boring jeans and t-shirt ensemble, add a blazer and suddenly the outfit can take you anywhere. It's smarter, polished and grown-up without screaming look at me.

Here are some of my jackets (I have many more).

I have short and long ones, a couple of high-end ones but mainly High Street, blazers, bikers, Chanel style but one thing is always constant - they're all neutral colours. I mean, I'd love a red blazer but how many times would I actually wear it before I tire of the colour. I'd say no more than 6 times. That's not a great price per wear figure is it? Some of my jackets are 10 years old and I wear every single one of them.

So, what's a neutral colour? Well here's a list although not exhaustive:

Charcoal grey
Mid grey
Light grey
Forest green
Chcolate brown

Not every neutral will suit everyone. You'll need to work out which ones are your best colours. It's probably worth pointing out that spending most of your budget in this area is sensible as you can update your look each season with the must-have colour tops, shirts and jumpers which are far more cheaper to replace.

Here are two of my jackets (and actually not blazers for once)

Neutrals don't have to be boring. This is a chocolate brown Gerry Weber soft biker jacket with detailing on the arm and collar inset. I can wear this with virtually everything in my wardrobe: pink, green, coral, yellow and so on.  It's a hard little worker in the summer because I use it for both day and evening wear.

Here I wore a pair of white jeans and an old snake print vest top for a day pottering last summer. The husband decided that we were going out in the evening so I popped on the jacket for a slightly smarter look. I even kept the same flat sandals on.

And this one from H&M

I think it was less than £20 (and not even in the sale at that). It's slightly warmer than the Gerry Weber above so I shall be breaking it out over the next few weeks. Last year, I wore it with joggers and a casual breton top. It certainly smartened this outfit up. I mean think about it, you could quite easily pop down to the pub in it couldn't you?

Some of you may be balking at the idea of wearing a stiff structured jacket on a daily basis. That's ok, we all have different style personalities. You may be much more comfortable in something less structured and if I forced you into wearing a blazer, you'd be utterly miserable. Find out your own style personality here - it's fascinating stuff. Why not look for more of a knitted Chanel style jacket similar to this one. Honestly it's like wearing a cardigan - just smarter.

Finally, I wanted to show you a couple more outfits that are sooooo easy to wear. You know I said earlier that a blazer can smarten up a pair of old jeans and t-shirt. Ok ok, if you have small kids, white jackets and grubby little fingers don't mix but it would still work with a navy one wouldn't it?

Again a pair of jeans and a marl pink sweatshirt. Believe me this outfit was dire before I put the jacket on. Can you see what I mean about looking slightly more polished?

So where to begin when buying jackets. Well, there isn't a one style suits all I'm afraid. Take for example a fabulous Hush loose fitting grey blazer that I ordered a while back. It was in a beautiful soft jersey material which is ideal for comfort. I was really looking forward to wearing it. It came, I tried it on and I looked like a dogs dinner. I should have known better really. The loose style doesn't suit me at all. So all I can say is try lots and lots on, you'll come across one that is perfect, I promise.

Here's what's out there at the minute.

River Island Light Grey Jersey Blazer £50

A great starter blazer for most body shapes. It's soft and fluid so perfect for curvy ladies and yet still has some structure which suits a straighter body. The fabric also lends itself to comfort (think cardigan territory). The grey can be a little difficult to pull off though so try it on in good light. To be honest, I'd order a selection over the internet, that way you can spend lots of time trying on with your existing tops. By the way, this jacket also comes in light blue and orange - don't be tempted, as much as they look great, you'll get bored really easily.

River Island Cream Tailored Blazer £55

If you fancy a cream jacket similar to mine, this one looks fab and I'll bet can be dressed up or down really easily. It's described as long sleeved, it's actually three quarter but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Slightly more elegant for evening wear but looks cool with a sweater sleeve pulled down too.

H&M Jersey Jacket £24.99

Simple, clean lines - just glorious. H&M produce some seriously great jackets for the money and this jersey one comes in four neutrals (navy, black, pink and grey). You need to be quick ordering though as they do sell out.

H&M Biker Jacket £29.99

Wow, we're doing really well for comfort so far. This is jersey too. This would look brilliant with khaki cargo pants and a breton for a laid back summer look. Equally dress 'down' (yes we've not talked dressing down benefits have we) your favourite black dress with this.

M&S Open fronted Textured Jacket £31.60 (with flash sale discount applied)

This is a little treasure of a jacket. It's shorter than it looks in the picture which lends itself to a more modern feel. I mean come on anyone can exchange their cardi for a jacket as comfortable as this. Sadly it isn't lined but everything else makes up for that.

M&S Zip Through Jacket £36 (with flash sale discount applied)

Bomber jackets aren't for everyone but if you prefer a more casual style, this could be for you. I probably wouldn't suggest zipping it up for fear of looking like a 1980s Harrington jacket. The simple style would work with many tops (possibly not collared ones though) and jeans.

Zara Tailored Jacket £69.99

Back to blazers, this is a slightly textured grey one from Zara. Possibly more formal than the others above (I don't think you'd find me peeling spuds in this one) but a jacket that will be in your wardrobe for years and years. That is, if it doesn't fall apart. Actually I haven't really had any problems with Zara jackets.

Zara One Button Plush Blazer £59.99

Love, love, love this soft blue blazer. Black skinny jeans and a simple white t-shirt for starters. Or this...

River Island Boucle Jacket Now £30

Slipping some soft stripes in and what a great price at £30 (currently half price). Distressed jeans and a navy t-shirt. Black cigarette pants and a cream top. Over a black dress. I could go on...

Mango Suede Biker Jacket in pastel brown £89.99

An all-season perfect biker from Mango. Wear with knits now and swap for t-shirts in the summer. This is a clever purchase. Tans and beiges are everywhere this season but it's not a colour that will date so you can keep on wearing it for many years to come. And it's real suede as well so £89.99 is a  great price.

But oh even better

Mango Suede Biker Jacket in navy £89.99

Navy, yes navy. I need this in my life. I thought the little colour dot was black and nearly didn't click on it. Wish I hadn't because the old credit card is twitching like crazy.

Mango Frayed Hem Jacket £39.99

This is why I love Mango and Zara (even though the latter quality is shoddy - as if you didn't know), it's their imagery. Bob on it is. I love how they've styled what could be a fairly formal blazer in such a casual way. Who hasn't got a pair of black or grey jeans, white top and black jumper in their wardrobe?

I could go on and on and on but I'll leave you to discover the delights of jacket shopping. Next time, we're looking at scarves. Riveting stuff this!!

We've just got our doggy back after his 2 week break with my lovely sister-in-law Anna and partner, Glyn. He sooooo didn't want to come home. Tail between the legs, cowering behind them as they did the handover. I've just given him a stern talking to on the way back in the car and explained that I too feel like that when I go on holiday and he'll just have to get used to it. He's sulking in his basket now.

See you next time.

  1. Great post This right up my street. I didn't think there was anyone with more jackets in their wardrobe than me so it's great to find someone else with a jacket habit that is worse than mine.

    1. Oh believe me, there are many more (hides head in shame) x

  2. I love a blazer, I just find them so easy to chuck on with a casual top with jeans or over a smart evening outfit. I love to see boxy, Chanel style jackets but they really don't work with my body shape so I stick with the winning formula! X

    1. Frustrating isn't it. I love the oversized shapeless jackets but I look pants. And yes I so agree with sticking with a winning formula x

  3. I love your military jacket Donna...that is so cool, definitely something I would wear with boyfriends and my Stan Smiths! I am very taken with the Mango frayed edge jacket....will that be my first purchase in March?! ;0) xx

    1. Thanks Michelle. It's a green leather one bought in Mint Velvet's second collection I think so is a few years old but I do still wear it occasionally. It's either the frayed edge or blue biker for me. Mind you,the Zara blazers are gorgeous too. Oh dear! x

  4. As soon as the weather heats up I will be unearthing mine too. I always think you look fabulous in a jacket and jean combination. xx

  5. I love the mango suede one and the river island sale one. I wear a jacket every day for work- either over dress, skirt or trousers so I like neutrals that I can switch around. Saying that I do have a few bright ones too but I don wear them very often.

  6. I only have a few jackets (it would do your head in Donna!) but even then only wear when the weather warms up - my bones get too cold! I love the H&M navy jacket - will be looking out for that one - and also (surprisingly for me) the Mango Frayed hem jacket! xx

  7. I always feel so weird on a jacket - super smart and super uncomfortable - you make it look effortless.
    Those yellow sandals better be out for the summer ahead - that is one of my most favourite looks on you!

  8. Fiona's just written my comment for me! I agree with her completely - in a smart blazer I feel as though I've borrowed someone else's clothes, but I do have a few more casual ones that I love, and feel much more comfortable in. And I'm absolutely loving that second outfit, with the H&M jacket and yellow sandals, stunning! xx

  9. Oh I adore jackets! Reckon you can never have too many! Tempted by the Mango frayed edge one, but in white :)

  10. You always look fabulous in your jackets, Donna. Love all of these looks. I don't have many jackets really but I do enjoy wearing the ones I have. Lynne xx

  11. I'm loving this series Donna & I certainly need help to polish my look! I don't wear my jackets as often as I should & shall be taking a leaf out of your book this Spring! x