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!


Blogmas Day 6: Stocking Fillers & Secret Santa Gifts

We're half way there (happy dance, happy dance). I'm not going to lie, these blog posts are killing me. I'm waking up in the earlier hours with ideas, two nights ago it was posh drinking chocolate for the Cosy Things post. I mean seriously woman, GET A LIFE. My own Christmas shopping has come to a grinding halt because I can't feature anything on here that I'm thinking about getting for the kids as they'll see right through it. Anyway, keep the comments and messages coming through, they're spurring me on and you are a funny lot. I was in trouble this morning for laughing at an Insta message that someone had sent. Well it was 6.30am and the husband had been working late.

Today we're looking at stocking fillers and secret santa gifts. I refuse to partake in anything secret related ever again after two family members (yes, you husband and daughter) recycled a bicycle bell and rewrapped a half eaten box of chocolates one year.

So let's start with a baby gift. I want one. I want one. Not a baby you fool, a cute sippy cup! It will keep them entertained for hours.

Sophie La Girafe Sippy Cup (currently £8)


Blogmas Day 5: Cosy Things

I was stood in Mint Velvet earlier admiring their lovely table at the front of the shop full of winter warmers and it really did feel like Christmas. Fluffy socks and winter jumpers, wild fig candles and hot water bottles. I didn't dare cross over to The White Company because we would have had a dangerous credit card situation on our hands. These shops are bloody good at making sure we part with our money aren't they?

Anyway, we all like a bit of cosiness in our lives at this time of year don't we? So here are my winter warmer picks. 

First up, pyjamas. Initially I was really disappointed when I looked at women's nightwear in Marks & Spencer yesterday. It all seemed LOUD and BRASH and very BUSY. Everything I hate about pyjamas but I did spot a couple of lovelies. 

You're going to need to be quick to bag these as there aren't many left online (although there were a few in my local store). I have pyjama-pyjamas and pretend pyjamas. So the first ones are ones that if you answer the door, the delivery man will say, yep she was in her 'jamas. And then there's the second kind which look more like loungewear that you sleep in. Are you still with me? These fall in to the second category.

Personally I'd size up for a slouchy fit. Fitted pjs don't really do it for me! 

Cotton Rich Long Sleeve Pyjamas £30


Random Stuff In Marks & Spencer: Practical Bits, Brights & Wrinkly Boots

And once again I'm distracted from the Blogmas posts and we're only on Day 5. That will have to wait until tomorrow because I couldn't resist a scoot around M&S earlier. After all, it felt very Christmassy as I drove past, snowing and everything, it was. Well ok, it was more of the hail variety (as evidenced on my InstaStories) but you know what I mean. So with half an hour to spare, I zipped in, just for a look mind you.

(Click on the small images that display the price for links - sorry, it saves me so much time doing it this way but if you really hate it, let me know and I'll go back to written links).

First up is this quilted jacket. Sometimes needs must and practicality wins over style. I saw this online and honestly thought it was more pewter than khaki (they say sage so I should have believed the description). Anyway, it's a fab little jacket in real life and is also available in safe navy and a more outrageous raspberry. There are few sizes of the navy left online and I think they were a little lean in number in the shop as well but plenty of the other two colours.

Sometimes I need a practical jacket to throw on when I'm running errands or doing the school run (7 more months and I'm a free woman 😁 ). And when it's warmer, for walking the dog because my Barbour is falling to pieces. This one is water repellent although I'd read that as shower proof rather than rain proof. It isn't overly quilted which is a good thing. Padding is horrendously weight gaining isn't it? And I love the tan detailing.


Blogmas Day 4: Useful Gifts

There's definitely a fine line between useful gifts and embarrassingly practical ones. I'm looking at you, brother and sister-in-law when you asked for towels the other Christmas. Not special ones, just towels. Lots of them. We won't be doing that again will we?

So here's a run down of gifts that I hope fall in to the useful and well received category.

Starting with a beautiful gifted item from Mimi & Thomas. Owner Janet told me about a new range of travel accessories that she was developing at the beginning of the year and I was delighted to receive a set a few weeks ago. Christmas has come early to the Sludge household 👍

Leather Travel Set £94 

Travel Set - Mimi & Thomas
Hat - Somerville Scarves
Ski Goggles - Trespass (old)


Outfit Ideas For Those Christmas Family Days At Home

I've been asked more than once to pull a few outfits together to wear at home over the festive period. You know, when you have friends or family over and you want to look as if you've made an effort but need to be practical too. Actually that sums up my dress style 365 days of the year!

I guess the considerations that we need to keep in mind are:

1) Smartish
2) No dangly ties on the arms if you're cooking
3) Comfortable (of course): elasticated waists are good
4) Print is good as any spillages tend to be camouflaged
5) Easy to wear
6) Tunic styles and baggy tops are fab for hiding belly flab
7) Avoid heavy jumpers if it's a day at home - you'll melt!
8) Flattish shoes are great! I'm the silly bugger that wears heels and kicks them off after an hour

With this in mind, here are a few suggestions. Rather than link each item, you can access the links by clicking on the little icons. Sorry, I'm being a tardy blogger aren't I but it will save me heaps of time.

Outfit Number 1

A casual sweatshirt is taken to a whole new level when it's made out of velvet, team with your favourite black trousers or jeans (of course mine are the coated skinnies but I'm stuck in a time warp).  I'd size up in the top for a bit more slouch and bum coverage. And add a pop of colour with a pair of pink flatties.

Blogmas Day 3: Twinkly Things

I'm a bit of a sucker for a new necklace or bracelet, are you? It doesn't have to be expensive, I'm not talking carats here so the kids know exactly how to win me over at Christmas. Three or four years ago I was happy to run in to Wallis and pick up a necklace to wear that evening, even Primark, but OMG is it just me or have they seriously not moved on at all? I had a look in Wallis the other day and the jewellery carousel was lacking in the inspiration department. Lack lustre indeed. And they used to be so good too.

Anyway, that doesn't matter because there are some lovely brands out there these days. One I discovered recently is Lily King, when Lily the owner sent me the beautiful Initial Disc Necklace (here's the original post). It's so delicate and feminine and I wear it at least half of the week. And very kindly, I've also been sent the Tiny Star Necklace which got me thinking that it would make a lovely gift for any age of female. My 13 year old self would have been delighted to have received such a special gift and I know that my mum would have been equally thrilled.

Tiny Star Necklace £20


Come & Try On Some Festive Outfits With Me

Festive wear. Hmmmm not my favourite kind of clothes. Give me a blazer and a pair of trousers any day. But I've promised my children that I will enter in to the spirit of Christmas this year so of course new outfits are required. I did a bit of a smash and grab in Marks & Spencer last week so I thought I'd put a quick post together in case you're in the market for a bit of festive cheer too.

I took these photos at home but they're not overly styled, hair and make-up is 'as was', no spanks or fake tan blah blah blah. Just a  proper trying on session.

1. The Budget Option Outfit

Red Top - Marks & Spencer
Black Coated Leggings - Next
Leopard Print Heels - River Island (similar)
Small Lottie Bag - Aspinal of London
Double Halo Necklace - Claudia Bradby


Blogmas Day 2: Christmas Gift Ideas - Joint & Family Gifts

Sometimes a joint or family gift is more appropriate. A small budget goes much further if you buy one present for several people and it also gets over the hurdle of what to buy for the more difficult people. I love receiving joint presents, and these days, it doesn't have to be a toaster or trio of tea towels although I (sorry, we) could do with both of these.

Last year our daughter bought my husband and I a super cute picture from one of the Christmas markets that she visited, something similar to this:

Personalised Family Print £19.99

personalised photo print


Blogmas Day 1: Christmas Gift Ideas - Monogramming & Personalisation

So something a little bit different from me this year. I thought I'd do 12 days of Blogmas. Is that even a thing? I mean, I've heard of Vlogmas but Blogmas??? Anyway, over the next 12 days or so I'm going to bring you lots of alternative inspiration (well I hope you'll think so). I don't want to list gift ideas for the sake of it, we're inundated with these from bloomin October. No, this Blogmas will be stuffed with alternative ideas.

And we're kicking off with personalisation. Who doesn't love a bit of themselves on themselves. You know, a cuff embroidered with your initials, that sort of thing. Errrrrr that'll be the husband. He hates stuff like this. Me? I love it.

Cosy Wear Poncho

First up is this 100% cashmere wrap Poncho from lovely friends of the blog, Mimi & Thomas. I have a navy and white stripe poncho from last year which I love and use it in the middle of winter as an extra layer over my coat or even as a scarf. That's the beauty of cashmere, it's thin enough to layer without adding pounds to your frame but is toasty warm. Anyway, check out this gorgeous red Poncho that can now be personalised with up to 3 initials. How cool is that?


How To Introduce Pink Into The Bedroom Decor Without Your Husband Noticing

Yep, that was a true Google search that I threw into the laptop the other day. It wasn't particularly helpful if I'm honest. There are over 5 million results but 4,999,999 had homed in on pink and bedroom so lots of fluffy stuff and little girls' rooms which isn't going to cut it with the husband. At all.

Anyway, as I was pondering the problem, up popped an email asking if I would like to review a pair of Morland slippers. "If they have pink ones, I'll do it" I thought. I mean that's genius isn't it, a pair of pink slippers at the bottom of the bed, he can't moan about that! And well, it was meant to be because they do have pink slippers. A match made in bedroom heaven.

It all started a few weeks before when I decided to change the colour of the room. Previously it was all dark and moody, a bit Dawn Ward style (Google her, you'll know what I mean) and it was driving me bonkers. Luckily, I'd got the decorator booked in to do some work so told him to banish the brown. The feature wallpaper came off, it had bugged me from Day 1 because the seam edges were visible. And over the years, I've seen this wallpaper in a posh loo in London (nice), Ms Ward's house on the telly and even Katie Price's hallway (oh the shame of having the same wallpaper). And you can see the seams in every one of these rooms. So I guess that must be the style. I still hated it!

We painted the whole room in Farrow & Ball's Ammonite which looks nothing like the colour swatch online. The description is bizarrely far more accurate, 'neither too warm or too cold, it's subtle grey tones...'. It looks quite yellowy online. It's not. Our headboard is a hessian colour so I didn't want a really cool grey as it would have looked odd. I guess this photo is the most true to colour.

pink and grey bedroom


Reconnecting With An Old Colleague & An Introduction To ColourMeBeautiful@Home

Did you know that I trained as a colour and style consultant with Colour Me Beautiful? We're talking many moons ago, must be getting on for 10 years now. And even though I have no affiliation with the company anymore, I still truly believe that their analysis system is the best. For one, they ditched the seasons a long time ago and replaced them with tonal analysis which offers a far more flexible and personal palette for each and every client.

having your colours done


Shearling Biker Jackets To Suit Every Pocket

Let's face it, these days, you don't need to be a football manager to wear shearling. Those awful brown overcoats they wore back in the day of Brian Clough & Co. Grubby, nicotine stained sacks...and that's a generous description. Thank the Lord we've moved on and shearling is now regarded as perfectly acceptable attire.

I've had my shearling aviator jacket for over twenty years now. It comes out every winter season and is always gratefully received. Ok, yes it was an investment and I gulped a few times as I handed over my credit card. Did we even have credit cards back then? May be it was a cheque but then the guarantee card wouldn't have been enough to cover it. Must have been a credit card. Have I regretted spending that much money on one item? Have I heckers. It's been a great investment and still has another twenty years in it.


Navy Alert - It's That Teddy Coat Again And It's Now Available in Blue

That sinking feeling when you've bought something and it's then introduced in a different colour 😭

Do you remember this gorgeous teddy coat that I picked up a few weeks ago? I'm sure many of you do because lots of us bought it.

faux fur cream coat black coated leggings
Faux Fur Borg Coat - Next
Bag - Fiorelli
Coated Leggings - Next
Toga Pulla Boots - Toga