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!


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.


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


Twelve Bags Under £50 To Update Your Autumn/Winter 17 Look

I love a bag to charge up an outfit. A simple pair of black trousers and white shirt suddenly becomes very interesting when you add an electric blue velvet handbag. It's one of my tried and tested methods to at least stay a little bit current as I explore a more classic wardrobe.

And you know what, they don't have to cost the earth. In fact, I would say to anyone to stop and think before shelling out in excess of £1k for the Pink Velvet Gucci GG Marmont and yes I have some one in mind as I write this. OK, I admit, it's a head turner and yes I'm sure it will work with so many outfits this season but PINK VELVET does not have longevity @ashleighjadeex - you'll be dumping it in the back of the cupboard come Spring! Far better to spend your money on something a little less errrrr in-your-face handbag surely? There are so many options on the high street so let's go explore...

Starting with leather and top end of our £50 budget. I'm already in love and we haven't even got past first base. Winter white and tan - oh my! An updated satchel but very chic and very wearable for a day time option. It kind of worries me that Mango describe it as khaki. Either they have gone completely bonkers colour blind or, there's a weird filter on the camera! An outfit as simple as a pair of jeans, black ankle boots and white shirt suddenly looks a little bit more put together and special with the addition of this bag. It's going to work for a long time in your wardrobe too.

tan bag with winter whitte
Flap Leather Bag £49.99 - Mango

If you're a colour phobe and prefer neutrals, a good way to add interest to your wardrobe is through the use of animal print. It's also a great way of disguising the fact that your bag isn't leather. Don't worry about mixing it with black either, in fact, it will look just grand against a black jacket.

snakeskin bag
Textured Bag £17.99 - Mango

And who the bloomin hell would care that you're wearing last years little black dress if you turned up with this little number. Snakeskin and beads!!!!

snakeskin bag with beads
Snakeskin Effect Bag £35.99 - Mango

snakeskin bag with beads

For goodness sake, I didn't need a light blue velvet quilted bag in my life. Now I do! For £19.99, this is simply stunning. It shows a woman who is very comfortable in her own skin when she wears a whole black outfit and adds something as simple as this bag. Love the silver hardware and I couldn't resist adding a photo of the inside which looks so much more than it's price tag.

pale blue velvet bag with chain
Blue Velvet Quilted Bag £19.99 - Mango
pale blue velvet bag with chain

Here you are, here's a pink velvet quilted bag that's £1044.01 cheaper than the GG Marmont. Wear it, enjoy it and don't feel guilty about ditching it at the end of the season.

pink velvet quilted bag
Velvet Bag £35.99 - Mango

I give up with this colour malarky. This next one is supposed to be rust. I was trying to work out whether it was pink or red before looking at the description. RUST??? Whatever. It's a lovely bag and very much on trend and again would work so well with lots of neutrals; black, navy, charcoal, winter white...

half moon shape cross body bag
Half Moon Cross Body Bag £28 - Top Shop

I think you either love little bags or you hate them. Depends how much you carry in them I guess? Me? I choose the bag first and worry about the contents afterwards. So I'd probably forsake my purse and just throw in a lipstick, credit card, a bit of money and my phone. Practicality really doesn't mean much to me when we're talking bags. Especially this one, soooooo cute.

miniature red bag cross body
Rom Hex Hardware Cross Body Bag £18 - Top Shop

miniature red bag cross body

Of course you don't need to go full on colour for impact. Detail is just as important. This next one reminds me a little of Balmain. And it's leather too!

black leather cross body bag similar to Balmain
Lexi Leather Cross Body Bag £36 - Top Shop

Or this one which is a lovely shape and very practical.

black studded cross body bag
Black Studded Bag Now £22.40 - Accessorize

But if you need to go large, go bold. Mustard is a brilliant colour for livening up any old outfit and it's surprisingly versatile too. Wear it with all of your browns (not sludge), navy, grey, and even burgundy. This one is bigger than it looks!

mustard handbag
Faux Leather Shoulder Bag £39.50 - Marks & Spencer

Navy is always a great colour. I have a Coach bag that I probably use more than any other in my wardrobe. This is a great price for a Modalu (30% saving). It's unusual to see silver hardware with navy too.

navy blue pippa grab bag
Pippa Chain Cross Body £48.30 - Modalu

Don't forget the Mango Outlet site as well. Sometimes they have some great stuff on there. This unusual tan bag is now less than £50.

tan suede bag
Tan Leather Bag £45.99 - Mango Outlet

Gosh, is that our twelve bags? We got down here quickly! A few photos of how I use my own bags to finish off outfits.

updating your autumn winter look with bags

So have you seen any nice high street bags this season? And do you stick to the same one or change every day? I'm in the latter camp!


Under Armour a.k.a. Keeping Out The Chill

We're a mere stones throw away from November and normally by now, I'm layering as if there's a full on expedition to the North Pole. These last few weeks in Cheshire have been unseasonally warm, even today my car showed a temperature of 11.5 degrees but that sunshine meant hubby and I could sit outside our favourite little cafe in Alderley Edge drinking tea and quaffing eggs Benedict. I am however, under no illusions that this weather is here to stay and am preparing base, mid and outer layers as I type. Nesh moi? 

For me the most important piece of kit is the vest. I know, I know, that's a total revelation. I wear these in black, pink and white (sadly nude has been discontinued but pink works quite well against my skin tone).  Nice to see that the range has increased and the vests are available in light blue, cranberry and forest green too. They're cheap and look pretty.

Vest - Marks & Spencer

I probably wear a vest (oh the shame when you say it like that) nine months of the year, not just for warmth but because they look better under sheer tops.  The v-neck is sufficiently low enough so it doesn't show. M&S have their usual offer on these, buy one, get one half price so stock up now while they have most sizes. It works out at £9 for two. On point with my maths tonight. 

If you prefer a vest without lace, these are also good although you lose the v-neck but gain a nude (they call it almond, it's nude). 

Vest - Marks & Spencer

Again buy one, get one half price (£7.50 for 2).

Now I might be wrong here but I think this one is a new addition. I can't remember seeing it last year. Don't go getting too excited though as it's only 8% cashmere but the fact that it's mainly modal makes me want to try it. Also available in pale rose.

I haven't tried this next one at all but it has a low front and back which could be useful under certain tops. Also available in random colours; sea green and charcoal grey. 

Vest - La Redoute

Cotton vests can sometimes cling to the outer layer in an unflattering way so I always have a stash of silky vests. Well I say silky, they're not the real deal because hand washing vests  would be far to labour intensive.. As if!!! No, I mean the polyester versions. **Tip** When you're throwing away old sheer tops that come with silky layering vests, keep the vests as they'll still be as good as new. Have a rummage in your wardrobe before you buy! 

And then we move on to REALLY cold weather so it's long sleeve under layers all the way. Honestly, I wouldn't pay lots of money for these (Primark do a good line for a few pounds each). Let's face it, they're going under jumpers so the only person that will see them is you first thing in the morning. 

I bought this (or very similar) last year. The scoop neck works really well and never shows. It doesn't cling (god, I hate cling) but isn't bulky under knits. 

Top - ASOS

Or this one in navy. The higher neck line would work well under chunky polo necks. 

T-Shirt - New Look via ASOS

Or pink

(why do these girls never stand in the middle of the picture?)

T-Shirt - New Look via ASOS

Or a pack of two scoop neck.

Two Pack Long Sleeve Top - ASOS

And then we get to the proper bad boys, thermals. These are the best ones I've found, purely because they aren't too thick (and they're pretty!). Mine are more of a rounded neck but I love the v-neck this year. Thing is, we spend so much time bungled up that a lot of clothes are neglected. I can just about get away with a thermal top underneath a shirt and then throw on a coat. Which means that I get a lot more wear out of lighter tops. Also available in black.

Thermal Top - Marks & Spencer

Three quarter sleeves are also a great option as it means that you can still cuff your cuffs without flashing your thermals.

Thermal Top - Marks & Spencer

Or thermals as outerwear. I mean, no one need ever know.

Thermal Roll Neck - Marks & Spencer

And a body version is now available. Great for wearing under dresses or skirts. 

I can't work out whether this is genius or completely barking mad. There's not much thermal 'coverage' but actually under a little blazer, it would work a treat and at least your belly would be warm on nights out.

Thermal Top - Marks & Spencer

Short sleeve version available too. It's actually really sweet.

Thermal Top - Marks & Spencer

I'm a bit out of love with thermal bottoms because they add too much bulk and oh boy, have you tried wearing skinnies with a thick layer underneath 😕  but I have to admit, this set looks fab. Of course in my head, I'll look like this....

Thermal Top & Leggings - Marks & Spencer

I'm going to try my Scholl Light Leg tights because they're so comfortable. You may recall that I did some work for Scholl recently and I was so impressed with the tights that I've been chucking a pair in to my basket every time I pop to the supermarket. I've only tried the 60 denier but they are so comfortable, no digging at the waistband, the gusset stays up and they keep their shape. I think they'll work really well under the coated leggings from Next because I'm not going to lie, they're not the warmest things in the world. 

Light Leg Tights - Scholl via Tesco

Of course you could forget all about layering and go au natural....

I'll leave that thought with you. Have a good weekend.


Five Things I've Learned From Instagram | Hacks & Useful Stuff!

No this isn't a technical post about how to engage more followers (as if I can talk about that) or the best filters to use. It's about snippets of useful information that I've picked up from you lot. As much as I hate Instagram for those stupid ninnywit algorithms, I can see past them because I get to interact with lots and lots of lovely people - you!

Here's what I've picked up recently

1. How to store jumpers so that they are neat, cared for and easy to access

A few weeks ago, I asked how you stored your jumpers because mine are in the top of my wardrobe in piles. Those piles start off each season, neat and symmetrical. Give it a week and that shelf resembles Zara circa 4pm on a Saturday afternoon. A mess! Someone suggested these shelf dividers. Genius or what! Except my shelves have really deep pelmet trims so that wouldn't work for me but it might for you!

Shelf Divider £10.99 (set of 2)

a great idea for shelf dividers

But a row of these would work and they look smart too. Except, they're out of stock and I couldn't wait until 2nd December! N.b. it seems that they've got the depth size wrong, I think it should read 30+cm not 3cm because that would be only suitable for a dolls house.

Shelf Divider With Handles £9.92

shelf divider boxes

And then someone suggested using upended Ikea laundry baskets. Double genius. I wasn't sure which ones but the Skubb boxes are perfect for the job. I bought the square ones but there's a wider version too.

Skubb Boxes £10 for 3

tip for storing jumpers neatly

They do the job perfectly and are quite rigid for fabric. You can see from the photo below, I've put two really heavy knits (one is a coatigan) on top and they're ok. No awards for amazing folding but hey, this part of my wardrobe is used daily. Keeping it real 😀

storing jumpers neatly in boxes

So thank you very much to everyone's suggestions. My heavy knitwear is sorted. Lightweight jumpers are hung.

2. Oral B Electric Toothbrushes Are VERY Popular

The other day I mentioned that I'd been to the dentist and was given a clean bill of health. To be honest, I think the last time I had a filling was in 1979 so I can't complain. But, I normally see the hygienist for a quick scale and polish. This time the dentist said 'nah, you don't need anything doing, have you been using an electric toothbrush?' She's been nagging me for ages to switch back to electric but I hate that vibrating sensation against my teeth. Grima as the Spanish would say (think nails scraping on a blackboard). So, earlier in the year I got one of my old electric toothbrushes out and reluctantly started using it again. It obviously paid off. Mine's a Sonicare but many of you suggested the Oral B (a good selection here) and I have one of those too so I've switched and it's far more easy to deal with. Many said that their dentist had recommended Oral B too. I'm staggered at the complete range that is now available. I mean, you can link one up to your phone. The mind boggles. I'm happy with what I've got though, the simpler the better and hopefully it's doing the job. But thank you to everyone's suggestions. It was very interesting research.

3. A Short Cut To Emojis On Your MacBook

Gosh, this is one random post! So I can get emojis when I'm blogging because it has a little function within the blogger application. Look...


That was really easy. But sometimes I want to use them elsewhere and I couldn't find an app to download (am I being thick here?). Anyway, someone suggested pressing the following simultaneously:
CTRL CMD Spacebar 

and bingo it works, up pops the emojis. So they must be installed somewhere already.  I don't know where and I don't much care, I'm just happy to have them 🙌

4. How To Cure Flaky Nails

I posted this photo on Instagram a few weeks ago...

sally hansen miracle cure for flaky nails

My nails have been shocking recently, not so much breaking but flaking. That's a new one for me and I hadn't got a clue what to do so I bought the Sally Hansen Miracle Cure. It seems I'm not alone and lots of generous women offered nail care tips. This product seemed very popular:

OPI Nail Envy £18.65

Other suggestions were:

1. Rub in Bio-Oil or solar oil or sweet almond oil
2. Renunail (never heard of this one)
3. Don't buff your nails because it thins them (my friend, a nail technician constantly tells me off for this)
4. Wear rubber gloves when cleaning (guilty as charged)
5. Take hair/skin/nail vitamin tablets eg. Radiance Multi Vitmain & Minerals
6. Use Barry M Iron Mani Hardener
7. Collagen powder (apparently you can add it to smoothies or even coffee - I had to check!!)
8. Mavala penetrating nail strengthener which soaks into the nail
9. Nutritionally using Juice Plus
10. Scholl Velvet Smooth
11. Dr Lewinns Renunail
12. Vitamin D tablets
13. OPI Avoplex
14. Nailtiques Number 2

These are all tried and tested methods by real women which for me are far more valuable than reading a sponsored review or editorial.

My own review of the Sally Hansen Miracle Cure is that it seals the nails to prevent flaking but it doesn't cure which I found out to my peril when after a few weeks of using it, I thought yay back to normal so stopped the treatment. Three days later, flaky nails so I'm back to square one!

5. A Great Recommendation For Dark Circles Under The Eyes

So, this one came from lovely Cyran over on her Instastories. I think she said that this product was recommended by her aunt(??) who is an A&E nurse.

Having used a heck of a lot of brightening lotions and potions this year, my skin is much lighter but of course many of these products are not suitable for the eye area. As a result, my dark eyes now look even darker so I was very keen to try this.

Cernor XO Cream £19

how to lighten dark circles around the eyes

It's only 10ml but you don't really use that much. I've been applying it twice a day. Here's what it's supposed to do:

Cernor XO Emulsion Gel is a unique combination of Vitamin K Oxide and light reflecting minerals to improve the look of dark circles. It consistently delivers Vitamin K Oxide through the epidermis to the site of damaged blood vessels.

I've only just started using mine so it's too early to tell but I have high hopes as it was recommended by a medical practitioner. And, Cyran said that she had seen an improvement. That's good enough for me. Thanks Cyran.

Well that was totally random wasn't it? If I'm honest, I'm a bit fatigued with the trends of autumn so any distraction is welcome while I build up stamina for the festive season clothes that are hitting the shops by the hour. And you know how I like a good tip so please feel free to let me have more. No matter how random!


A Replacement Velvet Jacket For One That Was Ruined By The Husband (kind of)!

Once upon a time, I bought the most beautiful navy silk-velvet military style jacket. It cost an arm and a leg but oh boy, did I do a merry dance every time I opened that wardrobe door. I wore it out to dinner with the husband, it's very first outing. Sadly it was to be it's last because it was chucking it down (standard Cheshire weather) and the hubby insisted on sharing my tiny microscopic umbrella (you know the one, it fits into your clutch bag with room for a lipstick and phone as well). Now those umbrellas are not made for two and my left arm was drench wet through by the time we reached the restaurant. And that left arm, well it never recovered from the trauma so was never worn again. The end.

Well that's the end of that little story but it hasn't put me off buying velvet except these days I'd opt for a cotton or polyester velvet as oppose to silk. Hardy weather demands hardy fabrics. And you'll be pleased to know that I've recovered (almost) from that experience and Mr B is still around to tell the tale.

I can't tell you how happy I am that velvet has made an appearance for the last two winter seasons. If any fabric epitomises Christmas, it's velvet, although not exclusively because it's perfectly acceptable to wear pre and post the festive season too. Of course some of you will already have lots of it in your wardrobe. I'm looking at you, Romantics (find your Style Personality here). You love touchy feely fabrics and I'll bet my bottom dollar that you can't walk past a row of velvet tops without stroking them!

And of course we should talk about the insulation factor. That pile really does lock in the heat so it's a great choice for the colder months.

Anyway, on to the purpose of this post, take a look at this fab little blazer from Marks & Spencer. Obviously by no means a replacement for my water damaged military jacket but for the sake of moving on and not dwelling, it's healing old wounds.

Velvet Gold Button Double Breasted Jacket £69

teal blazer

Mr B can breathe because it's a polyester velvet so is far more hardy in the rain. Mind you,  he's still not sharing my brolly. It's a lovely soft, touchy feel but still retains structure. No floppy fabric here. Fully lined of course and gold statement buttons.

I kind of have a love/hate relationship with double breasted jackets. Love them on others, not so keen on me. I think that's because they just don't sit right on my bust and belly(!) But they look fabulous on ladies that have a slim upper body frame, the way the front of the jacket drapes is simply gorgeous. This blazer is a bit of a clever cut. That asymmetric front is flattering and the fact that it has very little fabric at the front helps, along with the one button fastening.

Teal. We haven't loved teal for ages have we? It's been slowly creeping back into our lives as it seems is purple. I'll tell you a little secret about teal. It's one of the very few colours in the spectrum that suits everyone. And if you want to know why, here comes the technical bit....it's not too deep or too light, it's not too warm or too cool and it's not too clear or too soft. It's a good all round colour for all. Ok, if you want to be pedantic, a light teal is better for blondes and mousey haired girls while a darker shade is great for everyone else. But yep, teal is good! And a little bit different to the usual black, grey and navy.

I may have been a tad optimistic to wear it with a t-shirt here but I wanted to see what it looked like styled casually. I'll exchange the tee for a thin knit next time (a polo neck could look pretty cool).

teal blazer with black jeans
Jacket - Marks & Spencer
T-Shirt - old
Coated leggings - Next
Shoes - Primark (old)
Watch - Daniel Wellington
Bag - Fiorelli
**By the way, don't forget that for every specially designed bag that is sold in October, Fiorelli will donate £10 to Breast Cancer Care. You can find out more and view the four bags here 

See what I mean about how it holds it's shape when left open which is what I would do anyway, I never fasten my blazers. This is a 10 and I'd say pretty spot so take your usual size.

teal blazer and daniel wellington watch

And it's obviously a great 'going out' jacket too. I mean this outfit is too easy; same trousers, a black cami  and leopard print heels. As Gordon Ramsay would say. DONE.

easy going out outfit
JacketMarks & Spencer
Camisole Top - ASOS
Coated leggings - Next

Shoes - River Island (similar)

So easy, it's almost cheating. Not only does that loose camisole prevent belly cling, the column of black is very slimming. You know I harp on every season about the virtues of such dressing! And if you need to elongate the leg even more, try a pair of heeled ankle boots which will add a few more inches in length to your frame. 

teal blazer and a column of black
Bag - Marks & Spencer (old)
Short Initial Disc Necklace - Lily King
Long Double Halo Necklace - Claudia Bradby

Of course, I couldn't resist a quick look at everything else velvet at M&S.

I dithered over the mustard version of this skirt a few weeks ago and now it's sold out in my size 👹  but red!!! Christmas Day? Just saying. It would be so easy to style with a black shirt and ankle boots. Unless you're brave enough to go full on red....

Velvet Pleated Midi Skirt £35

all red outfit red pleated skirt

It's also available in black and navy.

And then we move on to a pair of easy wear trousers. Because if it's a choice between a swishy pair of trews or a body constricting cocktail dress, I'll take the former thank you very much. What a great festive outfit these would make. Add a black top of your choice and a pair of killer heels. That's it! I'm not so fussed on the styling over on the website but it's so easy to make these your own. I would totally wear these during the day too with a black polo neck and sock boots.

Gold Velvet Trousers £55

mustard velvet trousers

And it just keeps on getting better and better. For goodness sake, I now need a velvet sweatshirt in my life. I recently bought a short sleeve crushed velvet top but took it back because really, when am I going to show my arms this winter? Errrrrr never! But a long sleeve sweatshirt? Yes please.

Crushed Velvet Sweatshirt £25

silver velvet sweatshirt

Wear with a pair of black trousers, pockets are a must for that laid back style and these shoes which I've been drooling over for a couple of weeks. A nod to Malono's if ever there was one. And you've got yourself a really cool outfit that will work for lots of occasions. The sweatshirt is also available in the deepest of dark blue.

Stiletto Pointed Court Shoe £35

pink shoes manolo blahnik dupes

Oh look, black trousers with pockets. What a coincidence! Recently, I've been buying regular length trousers from M&S because I prefer an ankle grazer. Handily, these are available in short, regular and tall.

Cotton Rich Velvet Slim Leg Trousers £35

black velvet trousers

Of course you don't need to do full-on velvet, a nod to the trend is also a good move. I am so drawn to forest green shades at the moment, this reminds me of a blouse that I bought from Zara years ago and I'm questioning why I no longer have it (probably because it fell to bits).

Velvet Trim Round Neck Long Sleeve Blouse £27.50

green shirt with velvet tie

Did I mention that it's also available in red? I haven't seen it in real life so can't comment on the shade but it looks to be a full on orangey-red so good for warm skins. Please do let me know if you've seen it as red is terrible to photograph and often looks different in the flesh.

red shirt with velvet tie

Of course velvet isn't confined to the clothes that we wear and yup they do it every season don't they, pull out a fabulous bag at a great price. A great wardrobe update in a colour that we're seeing lots of and is surprisingly versatile. It's also available in black.

Velvet Drawstring Duffle Bag £29.50

burgundy velvet bucket bag

Or a more dressy version is this star printed clutch. I can't work out if I'm a little bit over stars this season but it's a cute little piece. It has a gold chain that tucks into the bag if you want to use it as a clutch.

Velvet Star Clutch Bag £29.50

black star velvet bag

And finally, what a lovely Christmas gift this jewellery wrap would make for someone. It's one of those pieces that never makes the list but is always gratefully received.

Velvet Star Embellished Wrap £17.50

velvet jewellery wrap

So that's a nice little round-up of all things velvet at Marks & Spencer. I need to check out the mustard and black trousers and that silver sweatshirt even though it's a really cool colour and will probably look pants on me.

Anything tickled your fancy??

p.s. I've purposely included an affiliate link for the Fiorelli bags and all money earned in commission from sales, I will match and donate to Breast Cancer Care which is a marvellous charity.