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 Wardrobe Transformer

As I've mentioned before, my wardrobe additions over the past 6 months have been of the neutral variety; navy, grey, black, soft white, camel and burgundy. Colour Me Beautiful demotes burgundy tones to fashion colours. I'd argue (quite forcefully) that it's most certainly a neutral. And I've got to say, it makes for very easy dressing. Everything goes with....well, everything. And it's been enjoyable making different outfits from what really amounts to a smallish collection. But inevitably, I'm getting itchy feet. I need a little colour and not any old colour either. Probably one of the most difficult ones to get right, red. 

I own very little red, just 2 items. One being the red Daria dress from Baukjen and the other, a pair of Mango trainers. Oh and a navy and red checked shirt from Fat Face but given it's predominantly blue, I don't count that. It's such a tough one to crack and as much as I break the rules with other colours (black), this is one colour I don't mess with. The mafia of the colour world it is. 

Let's get up close and personal with this rebel. Red can take on many characteristics. It can be vixen as in towering C.F.M. shoes (email me if you don't know what this stands for, I am so not putting it out on here). It can be Parisian, a pop of colour by way of a bag say. It can be summer teamed with white and winter teamed with black or grey. And of course it's the ultimate Christmas party season colour. But for me, it all comes down to the shade. 

Here's a quick round up of how Colour Me Beautiful recommend wearing red. And for what it's worth, I 100% agree.

(If you're unsure of your colour palette, click on the pictures of any of the celebs on the right hand side of the blog and it will take you to a post which explains this more).

Lights and Softs (I'm a Soft)

Your best shade is geranium. Think of the petal of the geranium plant. That's your best red. Soft and understated.

Deeps & Clears 

Your strong look demands a really vibrant scarlet and it will look wonderful on you.


You need to complement your rich colouring with warm shades of red so orangey-red and bittersweet shades are perfect.


The undertone of your skin demands a cool red which means it should have a lot of pink or blue in it. Think strawberry or raspberry shades. 

Having said all that, red seems to take on all sorts of different properties when photographed. Take the Daria dress that I ordered last year, I even went as far to ring Baukjen up to ask them the actual shade. I know, that's really sad isn't it? But as it turned out, something that looked quite scarlet in the photos was actually a much softer red in real life and much warmer than I had anticipated. 

Hint: if in doubt, order it anyway!!

So yesterday in the boutique, we had a delivery of 20 ginormous bags of Brave Soul samples. . Talk about sack surfing, the only way to go for a wee was to climb up and over them. You really never know what you're going to get in the samples. Let's just say. This drop was bloody amazing. Moncler style jackets which we've priced at £15 (yep you read that right, it's not a typo), long school run coats (stylish ones at that), £20. And knitwear. Oh the knitwear!!

As soon as I laid eyes on this gorgeous jumper in the perfect soft shade, I knew it had to be mine. Had it made it onto the shop floor, it would have been priced at £10. Pah! Staff perks, we get first picks. 

See what I mean about it being difficult to work out what kind of red from a photograph. It's much softer in real life. 

Jumper - Pop Up Boutique
Shirt - Husband's (shhhhhh)
Coated jeggings - Next (similar)
Boots - Boden (total bargain now)
Austen Crossbody bag - Modalu  (similar)

By the way, the Boden Harper boots are still available in clearance (some sizes in each colour). I have the burgundy and black and they're unbelievably comfy. Prices start from £35.70.

The husband (who seems to be getting his fair shares of mention on the blog recently) wasn't so keen on the shorter jumper. Hey, I said, you didn't say I looked nice today. No, he replied, I thought you looked a bit of a granny actually. Charming! 

For me, the red jumper can bring new life to black right now. Also with black trousers and camel coat. I plan on wearing it over a navy striped Breton top, jeans and trainers when it warms up. And of course with my beloved white. 

I've had a quick scout around the internet to see what's available although after the husband comment above, you might want to skip this section! And, as I've already mentioned, the colour could be very different in real life. 

Starting with another Brave Soul from ASOS. This looks very pinky to me so Warms would probably want to swerve this one. Great for cool skin tones though. 

As a direct contrast to the one above, this next one appears to have an orange undertone so will look fantastic on warm skinned women. It's actually maternity wear so if you're expecting AND you have a warm skin tone AND you're on a budget this is for you...

ASOS Maternity Jumper With V Neck Now £6 (all sizes with bump available)

Bit difficult to see what shade this Glamorous roll neck is. I suspect knowing Glamorous it will be quite vibrant. 

Love the shape of this one. It looks like a tomato red so perfect for Deeps with warm skin tones. It's a bit sludgy for Clears. 

Bit on the thinner side, more a top really but Next describe it as sweater so sweater it is. 

And a Mango offering, this most certainly has lots of blue added to the red so Cools, I can safely say this is a great shade for you. It's even called strawberry!

This Karen Millen jumper shows quite clearly why it's sometimes impossible to check a shade online. 

The flat image looks distinctly orangey-red, the model shot looks more of a cool red. Impossible to work out it's real shade. So, don't dismiss something that you really love in red. Order it, try it on in different lights and see what it does to your skin. If it makes you look tired and drawn, it's probably not strong enough. If it seems to 'wear' you, it's probably too strong. That said, I love the shape of this jumper. That curved hemline. Ohhhhh!!

And finally, a Boden offering. I'd probably size up in this for a more slouchy fit. Much more versatile as it can be layered underneath with a white shirt. 

So I have me a red jumper fix. Scratched that itch and it cost me pennies. I'm still looking for holiday dresses, I'll report back on my findings next time. 

I really should be putting the house back together following the departure of the decorator (who I have to say has been amazing). Popped in to our local HomeSense earlier to pick up some fabulous coat hooks for the downstairs cloakroom. Not that we need to use them, more accessories really (husband of course doesn't get it). Obviously they'd gone but I managed to bag these cushions for the kitchen. Down filled for £10 each. Bargain. And just 4 left. Obviously my day today. 

That's me done for tonight. Another episode of Prison Break awaits. Catch up soon.

3 comments on "A Wardrobe Transformer"
  1. I'm envious of you and your Brave Souls samples....I've purchased a lovely red check shirt via ASOS that I love! It's quite a rich red with black check.....I think it's a red that works for me xx

  2. I'm amazed your husband is alive to tell the tale after that remark!!! What a bargain - I'm sitting here squinting trying to figure out which red I"d be. I think I'm going for the strawberry shade ... would I be right?

  3. Well as you might imagine, red is a difficult colour for me to get on board with :-D I own one solitary red jumper, and it's probably not going to be hanging around much longer if I'm honest. I must see if I can brave the Cat and Fiddle sometime and come and have a look at the shop though, sounds as though there are some major bargains to be had! xx