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!


Not Quite What I Had In Mind But...

So some things don't work out, not meant to be and all that. As in the investment black boots. I've stalked a number of websites for a few weeks hoping that a) the Isabel Marant Alvys might be available in my size and b) that somehow they might be miraculously reduced (even 10% would be appreciated).

But no! And as with anything that I've lusted over for long enough, I get bored and move on. Well, that's not totally true. I mean if a pair were gifted to me this Christmas, I'd willingly take them but I'm over the drooling stage.

Anyway, on a whim I ordered these.

Boden Harper Boot In Aubergine Currently £71.40 (sorry I can't be bothered to work out the discount)

Oh I know they're not remotely like anything that I've been looking at but they'd be pretty useful in my wardrobe right now. I'm wearing lots of navy, grey, black and khaki.

They've arrived and I love them. The colour is slightly less intense than the photo would suggest, not actually a bad thing. I ordered a 39 my usual size and they're a good fit. Oh and did I mention the padded sole? My feet are going to love me.

And I also slipped this pair in.

Boden Harper Boot In Black £59.40 (40% discount)

Funny how the black are cheaper than the aubergine but I guess it's the wooden heel that's putting people off. Personally I like it as it's different to what I already have. It isn't as gingery as it looks in the photo above anyway.

So I guess I have my black ankle boot for this season. They're not the statement boots I envisaged but hey they feel nice and to be quite honest, I'm fed up of looking.

I also ordered the Bow Heel currently £97.30 (30% discount) but they're a tad too pretty for me so they'll be winging their way back to Johnnie B shortly.

Anyway, a very, very successful day at this end. Three solid hours of online Christmas shopping this morning. That's 16 ticks on my presents to buy list. Happy with that. A few hours with friends for a long overdue catch up over lunch and a lazy evening at home with a M&S ready made meal thingy. Bit of a lie in tomorrow (whoop) as the son has a pretty bad sore throat so no rugby for him (although his lunch of sushi seemed to go down well. Akin to eating cardboard if you ask me). Things are suddenly looking up (not the sore throat obviously).

Have you managed to bag a bargain today? I'd love to share mine but the kids sometimes look at the blog. In fact they've been known to go as far as logging on to my Amazon account to snoop. And search the house for presents. So naughty! Top tip: hide presents in locked suitcases and keep the key on your person AT ALL TIMES.

Note to children: all passwords have now been changed.


A New Obsession Of Mine: Knitwear

I just can't stop buying it, it's becoming a bit of a problem really. A fabulous oversized khaki polo neck and a black one with zips purchased just today. I really must stop and crack on with the Christmas shopping (meh).

Anyway, let's skip over the fact that the big man is due down the chimney in less than a month and talk about jumpers. This one in fact.

Cloud Knits Detail Jumper £79

It's from Great Plains, a company introduced to me last year when I went to see Gemini Woman in Stratford Upon Avon. Owned by French Connection, it offers a really well thought out tight collection each season. I've bought a couple of items from them over the last 12 months and have been well chuffed.

Anyway, this time I was kindly gifted the jumper to review (thank you very much indeed).

Let me just say, it's as lush as it looks in the model shot. Oversized but fitted on the shoulder which stops it from looking sloppy (clever hey). Gorgeous detailing on the shoulders and around the hem and cuffs. It's a wool and alpaca-blend. One of the houses near us keeps alpacas, they always look bedraggled and in need of a good groom. But I've got to say they make great jumpers.

Knit - Great Plains
Black coated leggings - Next 
Gazelles - Adidas (similar)

See what I mean by the fit on the shoulder.

I'm not going to lie, it was bitter when I shot these photos. My fingers were literally dropping off but the jumper performed very well. I had a thin t-shirt on underneath and that was it. My body was toasty warm!

So much so that I slung an old wool blanket scarf over the top for running errands.

Blanket Scarf - John Lewis (similar0
Leather & Suede bag - Ichi (similar)

A final note, this colour isn't in my palette. In fact for me, I find pale grey pretty difficult to pull off. The trick is to ensure that the garment is 'interesting' so the ribbing around the neck and slight marl really does help.

Oh and one more thing. How about this as an alternative 'tasteful' Christmas jumper.

Mountain Sparkle Jumper £55

I now feel the need to book a skiing holiday so that I can wear it EVERY night for dinner (except the fam' want a hot winter holiday this year - might look a tad out of place in Dubai). But isn't it gorgeous for Christmas.? Black pleather leggings and a pair of killer heels - sorted. I really shouldn't press send but but but.....

Hope you've all had a good week. Out for lunch with some lovely friends tomorrow and then the usual weekend madness. Lie in? What's one of those? Should I have one?

p.s. there's some bargains to be had at Great Plains with upto 50% off in their Black Friday sale here.


When Is It Acceptable To Wear PJs Outside Of The House? Now....

As the son pointed out earlier, it's Christmas Eve a month today.


Not with excitement but in pure primal fear. Other than two tiny things (we're talking minuscule), I haven't bought a sodding thing. But, I've started a list, that's progress yes?

Funny though, the son has bombarded me with Christmas requests since the 16th August, I kid you not, but committing pen to paper is a totally different matter. I've requested perhaps it would be easier to use just one mode of communication as he has a tendency to ping off What'sApp messages, texts, emails, FB message, verbal (nagging). In fact anything that's at hand when he thinks of something. Totally tiresome when trying to piece it all together. So far, we've had 6 different pairs of football boots (he can't make a decision for his life). And I don't care whether the Nike Magista Obra Ag-Rs will help him play better football, at £230 a pop, it ain't happening. Not whilst his feet are growing anyway. I swear he plants himself in a grow bag overnight. Sis isn't happy that she's now the small one in the family.

I'm hoping my latest What'sApp might get the message over to him (which incidentally was sent when we were sat opposite one another. That's the way we tend to communicate!).

Anyway, I didn't really pop on here tonight to moan about Christmas, more to give you a heads up on some perfect pyjamas that I've found.

Ok, they don't look that much on the website (good 'ol M&S, some things never change) but really they're actually rather special.

Colour Block Pyjama Top £19.50

Colour Block Pyjama Bottoms £22.50

Made from a thickish jersey material with chiffon arms (ok, we're talking pretty much all polyester but they feel nice), perfect for loungewear and lovely to sleep in. I no longer have a fear of breaking down 10 miles from home on the early morning school run; pjs, bobble hat and coatigan and I'm good to go. Obviously I'd rather not break down but at least I wouldn't be arrested by the fashion police. A really unusual combination and a perfect Christmas gift.

I wish M&S would produce another colour way as I'd snap that up too! My only problem is getting them washed and dried fast enough!

And to prove that I lounge in my loungewear (from 6pm every night regardless of whether I have to do my mummy taxi duties)...

Love 'em.

Ok, so back to the Christmas list (or not in the case of the son, he still hasn't sent his). Is it me or does everyone think that Black Friday is pretty pointless for retailers. I'm waiting, fingers at the ready along with everyone else to crash the websites later this week (I won't order anything before for fear of missing out on a bargain). It's their busiest time and they're starting their sale? I don't get it. Mind you, I might have popped a cheeky order in to Boden as their BF has started with 30% off EVERYTHING (code 7H9S). Link here

Black ankle boot update: I can't get those Isabel Marant Alvys out of my head and seem to have searched every website in the Universe (ok, in the UK, I didn't fancy the postage charges from Mars). Harvey Nichols had £100+ discount (woohoo) meaning that the price started with a 4 instead of a 5 (gulp) but limited sizes which have since sold out. I'm hoping other retailers (although my size is in the main, sold out) might follow this week. Be mine Alvys, be mine. I popped into our local John Lewis to have a look what they had to offer (nothing) and on the way out, saw a woman wearing them. After getting over the fact that I wanted to scratch her eyes out, I decided it was a lucky sign!?!?


Sweater Love

I've mentioned a couple of times recently that I now have a job. Well kind of. I'm helping out a friend in his shop which isn't just any old shop. I'll tell you about it sometime. Anyway, about 5 months ago,  we ordered a number of items from Jovonna and received the late Autumn drop last week.

Totally forgotten about this gorgeous jumper I had but as soon as we unpacked it, I knew it had to be mine.

Say hello to the 70s Show Jumper Dress (I'm sold on the name alone).

Jumper - Jovonna
Coated Leggings - Next (similar here)
Bowie Wedges - Ash
Oxblood Shopper - Karen Millen

A close up in all its loveliness. 

It's a lovely soft wool blend and doesn't itch. And you can spend hours and hours playing with the tassels!!!!

You know when something makes you very happy, this does just that. It's my happy jumper. I can't stop sashaying around.

If you fancy a sashaying sweater yourself, I have one S/M (which is what I'm wearing so a size 10/12) and a couple of M/L (size 12/14) left in grey. Also comes in black which I have plenty of stock at the moment. They're £55 plus p&p. I'm happy to get the shop to post them out to you. Drop me an email at iwontwearsludgebrown@gmail.com

We're off in to Manchester tonight (not sure where as it's a surprise for my Birthday) and do you know what, I'm not even going to change as I love this jumper so much. Husband assures me it's perfectly acceptable where we're going. I shall cry if everyone is in sequins!


My Next Mission: Black Ankle Boots

I only have one pair of black ankle boots. I know. I know. How have I survived this long. I should point out that it doesn't include shoe boots by the way (x3) because they are 'filed' under the category of shoes in my wardrobe so they don't count.

My one and only pair of proper ankle boots aren't particularly comfy either. Mind you, they owe me nothing. Providing I chose my moments to wear them (i.e. when I'm not expected to walk for more than 500 yards in one go), I can't complain, they're a few years old and come out every season.

I was thinking of spending a little more than I would normally on a pair of everyday boots (which is silly really, surely I SHOULD be spending MORE money on something I'll hack on daily) but there's not much out there that's tickling my fancy. There's no point in spending several hundred pounds on a pair of tassel boots that will be banished to the back of the wardrobe come next season.

I really, really love the Alvy boots from Isabel Marant.

Isabel Marant Alvy Military Leather Ankle Boots

Not quite what I had in mind for an every day boot but I can't stop drooling. Now someone find me a similar pair for £300 and I'll be one very happy bunny.

Initially, I envisaged a flatter, plainer pair but the longer length (not to mention the military detail) have kind of won me over. I always feel a bit of a clompy dork in flat boots.

This post may well take you and me all over the place - it kind of mirrors what's going on in my head (I really don't have a clue what I want). I was kind of hoping that you lovely people could come up with some alternatives that I may have missed. Or put another way, I'll sit back and you can do the leg work!!!! Ha see what I did there, leg work...gosh I'm funny.

I still love the shape of the Ash Jalouse but my Midnight blue ones aren't particularly comfortable. Everyone suggests sizing down (even the website). They're agony to break in and are only marginally more comfortable 12 months down the line. But they are reduced!

Ash Jalouse in black now £125

So these are a no then.

Mind you, I do love the simplicity of the Ash Ivana

Ash Ivana in Black £129.95

But they're going to hurt aren't they?

Nine West (on the Kurt Geiger website) are offering us an absolute bargain pre-Black Friday and not similar to the Rag & Bone Newbury.

Nine West Hollie Black Mid Heel Ankle Boot (reduced from £139 to £69)

And these have caught my eye from Kurt Geiger purely for their simplicity and the longer length.

Kurt Geiger Denning in black £195

A purse friendly option now (but not leather)  and with more than a designer vibe. They're a bit good New Look footwear people aren't they.

New Look Black Multi Strap Heeled Boots £34.99

But these are leather from New Look and bloody good value as well.

Black Leather Pointed Chelsea Boots £39.99

And a retailer that I haven't really explored too much this season (other than buying and recommending the faux leather leggings and if the number of emails I received are anything to go by, there's lots of you enjoying them as much as me). It's Next.

Next Black Leather Square Top Strap Boots £80

They are squarer toed than they look here and I'm quite liking the change.

I think if I'm going to go with a heel though, the higher ankle boot is the one for me.

Russell & Bromley Runway Heeled Half Boot £275

I like them but I don't love them for £275 and in my little mind, I don't look at them as being less than half the price of the Marants, more, at £275 and almost half way there!! I'm just weird!

Saving the serious contenders until last are these from Top Shop and very purse friendly which leaves me lots left over for something else.

Top Shop Magnificent Sock Boots £79

At first glance they're pretty plain and dare I say it a bit weird looking. But, the thing that appeals to me is the tight fit at the top (I have skinny ankles and legs - it's a nightmare shopping for boots). So I'm thinking they'll fit quite snug under cuffed jeans. And would I be brave enough to wear a dress?

This is probably going to be another Donna boots marmite post isn't it!

So the dilemma:

1. Save up a little more for the IMs
2. Buy the Top Shop ones and have cash left over from the ankle boot budget
3. Explore the flats (my heart isn't in it - I prefer a heel)
4. Do nothing

I'll sleep on it.

A lovely day at home today. Well other than the early morning dog walk in the pouring rain. Husband did a rare supermarket shop. I say rare, I mean it was probably this time last year that he last ventured in to a supermarket). And of course he HAD to see so many people that we know. So now the rumour is what a super husband I have. Let me make it public now. The only reason he was in there in the first place is to pass on sometime whilst his car was valeted. A packet of cheese strings, a bottle of cherry diet coke and a Wispa bar does not constitute a weekly shop. I think we've set the record straight there.

We didn't manage to get out to see Spectre but holed up in our own cinema room to watch yet another Liam Neeson film (quite a hero in this house he is).  Hope you've all had a good one and are looking forward to I'm A Celebrity as much as we are (yep we are very sad but Ant and Dec make us laugh).

Oh and if anyone has seen any nice ankle boots this season, do feel free to share with me. It's doing my head in.


The Boden Cosy Knit Boot Verdict

Well, there was a mixed reaction when I posted a picture of the Cosy Zip Boots from Boden the other day.

If you recall, I wanted a pair of easy wear warm ankle boots for very dress down days; school runs, frantic dashes to the supermarket for wine runs, watching the son play football (on dry days!)....you get the picture! I didn't fancy Uggs again so when I saw these from Boden, I thought I'd give them a go.

I ordered the praline and navy but as soon as they arrived, I realised that I'd get far more wear out of the praline (it seems that everyone else had the same thought as they're virtually out of stock at the moment).

And here they are on.

Cosy Zip Boots - Boden
Winter White Jeans - Marks & Spencer (similar)
Oversized Cream Jumper - Atterley (similar)

I actually really like them. They're toasty warm, suede uppers (which I haven't yet sprayed so Sod's law I'll step in a filthy puddle). I ordered a 39 and they fit true to size. They're more pointed at the front than the Ugg boot which makes them feel slightly more feminine.

Ok, they're not going to take me out in the evening but that wasn't the intended purpose. If I'm honest, I would have quite liked the navy pair too. I didn't try them on because it would have been difficult to part with them so back to Boden they went. Prices start from £90.30 (discounted) depending on the colour - as well as praline and navy, there's also a very unusual grey called faded fatigue which on closer look, I think I'd quite like these as well!! But how many dress down days does a girl really need?

So, I shall stick to my guns and keep them. Well I have to now anyway as I did an 8am school run this morning (urgh - I hate Saturday morning sports). And just to prove I did the school run, here are my feet at 8 o'clock!!

Have I managed to change your mind or are you still not sure? Uggs vs Boden, I know which I'm preferring at the moment.

Hope everyone is having a super weekend. We're hoping to get out to see James Bond at some stage. But when there's a crackling fire, X-Factor and a Chablis in the chiller, suddenly Daniel Craig becomes less appealing (sorry Daniel, you're gorgeous and all that but every girl has a price).

And just to let you know, Boden have launched their Black Friday early with 30% off everything using code 7H9S at this link here. Go forth and shop because I am.


Red Bag Or Telescope: Which Camp Are You In?

Oh I was all over it like a rash last week when I heard that the John Lewis ad was due out. Lucky for me, I had a special preview email from them (well, me and every other JL card holder). I'm sure EVERYONE has seen it now but if you haven't, hello, where have you been. Here's the link

The John Lewis Christmas Ad 2015

There was a mixed reaction to it on my last blog post. I love it and now I'm seriously considering investing in a top end telescope - see, told you I'm a sucker. 

Gosh that sounds impressive (well I'm impressed anyway). This is the ACTUAL one used in the John Lewis ad so I'm assuming we'll see the man on the moon. And it's only £99.95

And then of course there's the Mulberry ad that came out a couple of days before. 

Totally brilliant. I know there's been quite a lot of controversy over it, but for me, it's an absolute corker.

And guess what, I now need a red bag. Oh it never entered my head prior to the viewing. I'd kind of fallen out with Mulberry a few years ago when prices seemed to shoot up overnight. I've been working so hard to build up a wardrobe of neutrals - navy, grey, black, white, stone and nude and then this b*gger sticks it's nose in.

Mulberry Bayswater in red

I've never really been bothered about the higher end bags - shoes are my weakness. 'Several' impossibly high heels that are totally impractical and reside in their box for 364 days a year.

But the more I think about it, the more this bag could really work with my wardrobe. A pop of colour to brighten up a sea of navy or black.....ringing the changes and all that.

Or would a darker shade of red be more practical and have much more longevity? I probably wouldn't tire of the colour so quickly and more importantly, I wouldn't get those knowing glances, "ah she's seen the advert then".

Hello Little Oxblood Number 

But then I have a similar sized oxblood from Karen Millen which incidentally must be ready to earn it's vintage stripes being over 10 years old.

Actually, I think I'm more in love with the advert than the bag, there are better red bags out there to be had. Oh the power of advertising.

I do keep coming back to the Mulberry Lily though. Google assures me that I've visited the Mulberry site 9 times over the last few days (mainly to view this bag). There's something really rather lovely about it and I have zero coloured bags in my small handbag collection.

Lily in Poppy Red Natural Leather

Or the Oxblood

Lily in Oxblood Natural Leather

Or the croc print?

Lily in Oxblood Deep Embossed Croc Print

Ohhh hello Christmas Day. Hubby bought my last Mulberry, wonder if he's up for another? Just to help him along, I LIKE LILY NO. 1 AND NO. 2 EQUALLY.

But maybe I'll get a telescope instead! Or maybe a kaleidoscope - oh yes, he's a very funny man my husband.

At least I'm not loving the Tesco ad, I mean I could end up with a turkey or something!

Do you love Christmas ads as much as me? (Very disappointed with the M&S offering this year).


Let's Talk About Colour (again)

Hello again, how is everyone? Enjoying the unseasonally warm weather I'm sure (even though it's been somewhat grey these last few days).

I haven't shared much of my wardrobe this autumn have I? Lots of consolidating on what I already have and steadily building up a really wearable collection. I promise to share this with you soon. There's lots of neutrals; greys and navy and blush pinks and probably far too much black, camels and tans too. As a Soft palette, I get lots of neutrals and I know that I look my best in soft, muted colours. 

A company that 'get's colour is Kettlewell. Have you heard of the brand? Believe me, the guys there have colour running through their veins. When I was actively consulting, I always had a stash of Kettlewell catalogues to hand out to my clients because every item that they sell is categorised. Even better, they work with both House of Colour (the seasons approach) and, Colour Me Beautiful (the tonal approach). It makes it so easy to select a colour in your palette. Even if you haven't had your colours done. Have a look at this and for a really interesting read, check out Kettlewell's blog here. Probably the best blog I've ever read about colour. Well except for mine that is (lol, I'm joking, they are far more eloquent than me). 

Anyway, I was chatting to the guys over at Kettlewell about something else and they asked if I would like to road test the website.

So first of all, you can shop the conventional way by selecting a category from the Clothing drop down menu. Or  you can shop the look by clicking on one of the stock photos. You can also shop by colour by selecting a shade that is in your palette (if you know it) or that you just love. 

Here, I selected soft berry and it brings up two items. Bear in mind that these will be precision dyed so the colour really will be soft berry. How many times have you ordered what you think is one colour and when it arrives it's a totally different shade? Not with Kettlewell.

But it doesn't stop there. You can also shop by your palette using the drop down box;

Here, I've clicked on the Deep palette 

Love it! You can explore your own palette too. If you're unsure which one you fit into, click on any of the pictures of celebrities on the right hand side of my blog or have a look at Kettlewell's blog here

Phew! That's a whistle stop tour of the website - go and have a bit of fun with it. It's a whole new way of shopping. 

So, I shopped by colour (of course) and chose my Soft palette. Now it would have been so easy to choose a neutral that I would normally wear but that would have been unfair on Kettlewell given that they work so hard to provide perfect choices every time and it would have been a very safe bet on my part. So, I clicked on a colour that I have very little of in my wardrobe, forest green marl.

And these are the items that are available in this colour.

I chose the City Ponch and Ribbed Scarf and this is how they look on. 

City Ponch - Kettlewell
Ribbed Scarf - Kettlewell
Blouse - FRNCH (similar)
Leather Front Leggings - Ichi (similar)
Ankle Boots - Toga Pulla
Leather Hobo Bag - M&S (similar)

I'm totally bowled over by the colour and I need more of this in my life. Both items are made from 100% Italian merino wool. The poncho drapes beautifully and I love the fact that you can move it around to find the best 'drape' for your figure. 

I've already got 5 outfits planned around the poncho. Ideal for this 'meh' weather over a top, perfect for a car to bar cover up and when the weather gets a little cooler, I shall be layering it over a thick knit. And the scarf will add a little something to my plain navy and charcoal coats. 

I've removed the scarf here to show you how the poncho drapes around the neck - gorgeous isn't it. 

And of course I match the trees. It was of course planned.

I lie.

There were workmen on the roof of my neighbour's house and I was too embarrassed to take the photos in the usual spot so the balcony it was. Do you know how embarrassing it is to stand in front of a tripod and try to look natural (blogger woes).

I popped to the post office today with about 20 eBay parcels (following a huge wardrobe purge) and a lady stopped me to ask where I'd bought the lovely poncho from. Chuffed I was which can't be said for the steadily lengthening queue behind me as the parcels were processed. Of course being the nice person I am, I turned around sweetly and apologised explaining that I'd be there again tomorrow at the same time if they wished to avoid the wait. Mwahahahahaha!

Anyway, I'm totally thrilled with my new additions. And as you can imagine, I had such fun on the website. Kettlewell produce fabulous quality, building block pieces. You're not going to find full on high fashion but you will find simple, basic pieces in amazing colours that will last for many years to come. That I can promise!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you Kettlewell. I loved playing with the website and adore my cape and scarf xx

Eagerly awaiting the children's Christmas lists (not). Please be gentle on me. I recall running around like a possessed woman one year trying to find a Po from Tellytubbies. Somehow my mum ended up ordering and receiving 11 from a catalogue (she placed an order by phone religiously every day for 11 days) except they were all Laa Laas so back to the drawing board I went. This year, it appears I may be hunting down a Supreme rucksack - overly inflated prices for average gear but nope, the son won't listen. Beam me up Scottie and set me down on Boxing Day.