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!


New Kids On The Block - Violet, Lilac & Everything Inbetween

We knew it was coming, there were little hints everywhere before Christmas: lilac and violet and all the shades inbetween. Anything purple has been out of favour for such a long time and the powers that be have decided that we should be wearing a few of it's little cousins this season. Hmmmm.

A few facts:

- Did you know that true purple is one of the few colours that we can all wear. The reason being because it's neither too deep or too light, neither warm or cool and neither clear or soft. It's kind of an inoffensive shade, just like charcoal and teal. I'm going to stick my neck out and say that we will be seeing lots of it come autumn.


A Few Wardrobe Refreshers That Will Take You Right Through To Spring

So following on from the last post, I've been busily scribbling a wardrobe refresher list which will take me well in to spring. There really isn't that much that I need/want and that can only be a good thing right? And remember it's only a wish list, not an absolutely-need-as-my-life-depends-on-it-list so there may be things that aren't purchased at all.

Here we go.....

1. Something Yellow

It looks as if we'll be seeing yellow tones this spring (if Pantone is to be believed). But what's new? Don't we always see a drop of yellow or mustard or ochre straight after Christmas. It's a great way for stores (and websites) to cheer up their facades. Whilst I think buying in to trend colours is an easy way to remain current, I don't much care whether they're in or not. If I like something, I'll buy it. And let's face it, yellow is great at reviving your wardrobe.

*If you have a cool skin tone and struggle with warm colours next to your face, but you still want to wear yellow, introduce it by way of accessories or shoes or even trousers.

So I would have totally over looked this stripe shirt except for the fact that I have it in the blue and white colour way and know how easy it is to style. It's a throw on shirt that you can dress up or down with a few tweaks. I wear it over these ponte leggings and trainers for those days where you don't come up for air. And then I'll pop on a blazer for a smarter look. It's loose but straight cut so very flattering. This is one of those bread and butter clothing items and very easy to make an outfit out of.

Ochre Stripe Shirt £30


Shop Your Own Closet

Does anyone else feel the urge to purge every cupboard come new year? I've set myself the task of doing 30 minutes of 'special jobs' every day. Starting with the cloak cupboards. The baskets are full of odd gloves and random scarves that no one wears. Oh and let's not even talk about the one Adidas Superstar trainer. How my grown daughter can lose a trainer is beyond me! So, no excuses, every day regardless of what I'm doing, there'll be 30 minutes of spring cleaning. That's 210 minutes a week. Soon adds up doesn't it?


Well Hello 2018. Very Pleased To Meet You Indeed

Here's to chasing your dreams in the cutest pair of shoes that you own

Because that is exactly what I intend to do this year. My kids are almost grown up, well one is and one is almost there so it's time to start thinking about the next chapter of my life. Wow that sounds drastic doesn't it, but what I really mean is, enhancing the fortunate life that I already have. I hope you will stay for the journey.

Thank you so much for dropping by for a quick read and entertaining me with your witty comments. I have been known to laugh out loud in public places. 

Wishing you and your families a very happy and prosperous 2018. And may the new James Bond be announced soon....

Much love.


Shopping The Sales Sensibly | How To Avoid The Tat!

Sales Galore! And is it me or are retailers starting earlier and earlier every year? I for one am usually all shopped out come the end of December and can barely summon the energy to open up a new tab on the old lap top never mind trawl site after site. But in the interests of blogging, here are my tips.

Firstly, keep in mind that it's only in the sale because no one wanted it at full price! I know, that hurt didn't it? But it's true. That lime green fluffy jumper with bows down the back and double ruffle sleeves has 70% off for a reason.

So what should we buy in the sales?


Five Practical Pieces You Might Need Over The Festive Period (And Not A Sprinkle Of Glitter In Sight)

Are we over sparkly dresses and spangly pants yet? I am. So here are five pieces that you may need over Christmas.

1. A slouchy jumper to disguise the lumps and bumps

I have this and I can't tell you how useful it is. It's a straight cut and doesn't cling, a perfect shape in fact. Throw it on with a pair of comfy leggings (see below) and chunky boots for a festive walk, honestly, you don't need to think too hard about this one. It's 100% pure cotton and surprisingly warm. A lovely piece to take you into spring so you won't be packing it away in March.

Audrey Cotton Jumper - Winser London £89


A Bit Of A Top Up At Harley Academy Clinics

This post is a follow on from these publications:

Are you considering Botox or Fillers? This post may help you make the right decision

Post Botox & Dermal Filler treatment results | The follow up post 

A few weeks ago, I rang Harley Academy Clinics to book in for a bit of a Botox/filler top up as a paying customer. They recognised my name and asked if I would be prepared to do a further review in return for complimentary treatment which was rather kind.


Christmas Jumpers That Aren't Christmas Jumpers That You Can Wear At Christmas AKA Tasteful Festive Wear!

I hate Christmas jumpers. There, I said it. My kids made me wear one a couple of years ago, it was a Primark special with a picture of Father Christmas on the front. Vile it was. Never again. But give me a jumper with a nod towards the festive season and I'm all over it.

Here are my picks.

I have this first one from M&Co and love it. Let's just say as I type, it's hung over the bannister rail drying after it's third wash. Although not natural fibres, the knit is very tight so it's really warm. And there's a lot going on for the money. The chevron detail and pointed finish on the sleeve and the silver beadwork all make for a really classy sweater. They say it's cream, I'd describe it more as a winter white which is a very flattering colour for everyone.

Ribbed Stud Jumper was £35 now £28


Blogmas Day 7: Techy and Teenage Gifts

I've bungled these two together because well, they go hand in hand really don't they? Like nuts and bolts, strawberries and cream, socks and shoes, or green eggs and ham. We rarely see one without the other.

This first item is something that I've featured before on Instagram, a laptop skin which is a great little gift for any newbie laptop owner this Christmas. Basically, it's a thick piece of vinyl that you simply stick on. A brilliant protective layer to the top of your computer. 

Mine was gifted back in August and it took me a good three weeks to pluck up the courage to stick it on. The last thing I wanted was for it to start peeling and leaving a sticky, gunky mess but the brand assured me neither would happen. So mine is the lighter marble design, three months down the line and it's stood the test of time. It's as good as the first day that I applied it. And speaking of which, it's dead easy to apply.

MacBook Skin by CaseApp

You can choose from one of the many designs that are online, customise your own or customise one of their designs. And their Instagram account is a huge source of inspiration, one of my favourites actually. Check out the mobile phone covers too. Now if you would like to buy one of these as a gift, I would suggest that you order a gift voucher so that the lucky recipient can design their own. They cost £21 including p&p and that will buy either a customised skin for many types of laptop and tablet or phone cover. 

My 'Affordable' Winter Bag Collection (Christmas Gift To Yourself Ideas)

I hesitate to use the word 'affordable' because what is affordable to one person could be pin money to another and totally aspirational to someone else. What I really mean is that we're not talking stupid money. I am 51 and have yet to own a Chanel bag (I'm sure most women fall in to this category). Not for want of opportunity. Hubby took me in to Chanel last year and I couldn't bring myself to part with £4k for a piece of sodding leather. No matter how much I want one, I just can't get over the fact that it's....leather. There's no precious metal, no diamonds. It's 100% pure cow. Gosh I'm sure it's a good cow but still!!

Never say never though. I may well indulge one day but for now, I'm much happier to spend £200-£500. Anything over that constitutes birthday and Christmas presents. Thing is, fashion moves at such a quick pace these days and whereas just 10 years ago, you could buy a Mulberry Messenger and use it every day for years, now we're enticed in to upgrading to the next new thing every season.

So with that said, let's just retitle this post 'reasonably priced bags'. These are my five go-to winter bags with a bit of colour thrown in here and there mainly red, mustard and leopard print which are mainly high street purchases.


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