"". February 2019 | Is This Mutton?

Fashion for the over 50s with books and beauty

Wednesday 27 February 2019

Beautiful spring prints from Lily and Me

Over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon in floral patterned skirt, cardigan and coral top from UK family business Lily and Me

It was very timely that as the beautiful spring weather arrived, so did my parcel from Lily and Me with, hot off the press, some of their new arrivals for SS19.

Are you familiar with Lily and Me I wasn't until recently when someone mentioned them in a comment. I had a look at their website and loved their prints. I was thrilled to see that this is a family owned UK company.

Amelia and Hari launched the brand in early 2007. Coming from a manufacturing background, they had spent a number of years producing clothing for other brands and wanted to start a line of their own. Amelia and Hari were joined by brother Ben and sister Polly to make it an all family concern managing all aspects of the business. Recently ‘Lily and Me’ has undergone rapid growth and now employ a large team at their new premises in Gloucestershire.

The muse for Lily and Me is Amelia and Hari’s daughter, Lily. You can see her in the catalogues.

Is This Mutton? in Floral Meadow skirt and Kemble cardigan in Floral Meadow plus Monica top in coral from Lily and Me, spring summer 2019

Lily and Me has a distinctive range of prints and I was invited to choose a couple of pieces from the new collection. I fell in love with the colourful Floral Meadow print and chose the gorgeous Border Print skirt in Floral Meadow, £53, and the Kemble cardigan in Floral Meadow. "Co-ords" or two pieces as we used to say are still very big for spring and summer. Lily and Me were kind enough to also send me the Monica top in Coral (very similar to colour of the year Living Coral too!).

These pieces aren't on the website yet but they will land soon. The Kemble cardigan can be seen in  other prints. 

A gorgeous floral print, Floral Meadow, adorns this Kemble cardigan and Border Print skirt by Lily and Me

I was impressed with the quality: the skirt is linen but barely needing ironing even after being folded up in a parcel. I teamed the outfit with white ankle boots and nude fishnet tights  (I refuse to bare my legs in February!). Sandals will obviously look great, and I can think of many different ways of wearing these pieces.  The cardi will look lovely with white cropped trousers. The skirt will dance its way into evening wear with a silk camisole. And the Monica top will go with just about everything.

Over 50s fashion blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?

Disclosure: I was gifted with a skirt, cardigan and top by Lily and Me. My editorial opinions are always unbiased. 

Now it's time for #WowOnWednesday

Last week's readers' favourite was the gorgeous Emma from Stylesplash and her post featuring her trademark cool accessories and a hat.

Looking stylish in studded boots, check skirt, hat and amazing bag from Pom Amsterdam is over 40s blogger Emma Peach from Stylesplash


Sunday 24 February 2019

This Week's Outfits

Hello friends. Just a quick outfit round-up today. I'm getting ready for a week in Nuremberg attending an event called Embedded World, and today is a blur of printing off stuff, a gym session, packing, writing a list of meals for J, changing the beds, roasting a chicken, and a quick blog shoot for Wednesday.

The outfit above is a favourite of mine, very easy: it's a black and white printed blouse, old, from Next that doesn't even need ironing;  black straight leg trousers and a black jumper (sweater) from Woolovers. I bought it recently because I wanted a loose black cashmere mix jumper and this one had a scoop neck, which these days is hard to find.

Without the red accessories, this is a boring outfit. But by adding red with the boots, bag and necklace, it becomes a lot more interesting.

Red and black: red accessories add some wow to a black and white blouse, black jumper and black trousers worn by over-50s blogger Is This Mutton?

Now, what say we to green tights?  If you've been following me for a while you'll know I love patterned and coloured hosiery. This green outfit is another of my easy work outfits - cashmere jumper from Marks and Spencer (regrettably crew neck, they don't seem to do scoops these days) and a black and green skirt from Sainsbury's. I like to add something unusual to an outfit like this, so chose the green tights. I was only disappointed that I don't have green boots as well!   Too much like Kermit?

Over-50s blogger Is This Mutton? in an all-green outfit of jumper, necklace, skirt and tights.

Supermarket chic for work: a tunic dress and mustard boots from Sainsburys worn with teal tights and silky top

Here I'm featuring two pieces from Sainsbury's - the mustard boots and dress - plus teal tights and silky jumper from Kettlewell. The dress is a pull-on, with no fastenings, so it's another joyful piece to wear to work.

As warm spring weather hits the UK, Is This Mutton? style blogger Gail Hanlon wears last summer's white boucle jacket with a short sleeved pearl studded jumper and jeans

With the unusually good temperatures and sunshine right now, most winter coats are too heavy for the balmy weather so I've been wearing last summer's white boucle jacket. It was just right, with a short sleeved pearl studded jumper, jeans and Stan Smith's, for a shopping trip yesterday.
Look how the flash has done something weird to my legs!

I'll be back on Weds with a special outfit and the #WowOnWednesday link up. Hope you can join me.

No items were gifted except the red necklace from Eternal Collection.

Wednesday 20 February 2019

What I've Been Wearing

Mid life woman wearing a pink Bowie flash cashmere jumper from Orwell and Austen

My bedroom is now overshadowed by the looming form of a fully extended tripod with a camera on top. No, I am not shooting dodgy videos but trying to capture more outfit shots. The selection below were mostly taken at 6.30 in the morning, just before I set off on the drive to Cambridge.

I had a bit of an existential "I don't know what to wear for work" crisis when I first started at my new job 16 months ago. It's an engineering tech company like my last one, and most people dress fairly casually.  I always think jeans are a minefield for the older woman, so it's not a look I choose for work except occasionally.

I bought a few outfits that were too dressy, but now I've found "my uniform," which is either a patterned blouse with dark skirt or trousers, a cropped cashmere cardi and ankle boots, or a print skirt with ankle boots and a plain top.

The outfit below was what I wore on Saturday for my usual food shopping, except that I was also popping into a trendy new hairdresser's to have a patch test. So I decided to up the usual shopping ante by wearing my Bowie jumper by Orwell and Austen,  and silver boots. I have worn the jumper a lot, but here's the thing: it was expensive (more than £200) but the cashmere is a fantastic quality and it washes and retains its shape beautifully. So it was a worthwhile investment. And it always gets compliments.

The jeans are parallels from Warehouse. As I mentioned, I find jeans a minefield.  You can so easily wear the wrong sort and be instantly labelled as middle-aged/staid. I read recently that boot leg jeans are back, but for many they didn't go away.  I would advise caution until the really young and trendy start wearing them. Then we can reclaim them without looking retro.

A pink cashmere jumper with the "Bowie flash" by British firm Orwell and Austen, worn with black jeans and silver boots

A fawn midi skirt worn with white silk blouse and long ivory cardigan and leopard print boots

Next up, a fairly innocuous work outfit: shades of camel and beige livened up with a pair of leopard print boots. But a trifle dull, don't you think? I was regretting all day that I didn't add a leopard print belt or scarf.  See how the scarf instantly lifts the outfit (this photo was taken a few hours later, and without flash, which seems to have aged me about 10 years!  (Memo to self:  ignore those who say "don't use flash....").

Adding a leopard print scarf lifts an outfit of fawn midi skirt, white blouse and long ivory cardigan

Note the long cardigan, which came from Marks and Spencer Autograph.  I have two long cardigans and find them incredibly useful.  How did I manage without them all this time?

A burgundy print skirt worn with a pink silk blouse, cropped cashmere cardigan and burgundy ankle boots

I wore this Lily and Me print skirt (also reduced) a few weeks ago with a burgundy top that has a spectacular bow, and a special pair of knee-high suede burgundy boots.  This time I wore it with a pink silk shirt, cropped cashmere cardigan and flat burgundy boots and navy tights.

Handy tip: I keep all my navy tights, belts and socks in a bag that hangs on the door, to avoid me wearing black by mistake. The light in the bedroom is very gloomy in the early mornings and navy and black both look the same in that light! Wearing black and navy together can traumatize me for the day.

A statement patterned blouse from Pom Amsterdam worn with a green cropped cardigan, navy trousers and burgundy boots

Finally, back to the eerie yellowy glow of 6.300am flash with my other signature look:  flat ankle boots, straight trousers, a patterned blouse and a croped cardigan. The blouse is from The-Bias-Cut.com and it's now in the sale.


Last week's readers' favourite was Mary from The Pouting Pensioner, with a popular post on What I've been Wearing Lately. I've chosen my favourite oufit from the selection:

Now let's see what you've been wearing. Any fashion or beauty posts are welcome in #WowOnWednesday.


Sunday 17 February 2019

White and black

An abstract patterned white and black midi skirt worn with an ivory jumper and white ankle boots. A contemporary look for a woman of any age
After no spend January I was itching to get something new, so here it is, an abstract print midi skirt and baggy white jumper with buttons. Plus my gorgeous Russell & Bromley white boots.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Fashion tips for the Petite Over-50s

This is the first in a new series on Is This Mutton? addressing some of your fashion dilemmas, as revealed in our recent fashion and beauty survey - results here. Today the spotlight is on tips and know-how for petite women.

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Beauty repeat buys and link up

The most useful beauty product reviews are not the posts which tell us about glossy new products but those which tell us about the items that we buy on repeat. These are the products which are reliable and do what they say on the packaging.

Tuesday 5 February 2019

Sentence a Day: January 2019

Couple walking in Epping Forest on New Year's Day
Tues 1st January
Mild start to the New Year and we went out early for a walk in Epping forest, 4.70 miles.

Weds 2 January
Back to work, although working from home.  Not too frantic. Tomorrow is worse.

Thurs 3 January
At home. Busy!! This period, between Jan and end of Feb, is very hectic.

Fri 4 January
Working at home. Rush to get an ad finished. Did Power Plate but have a pain similar to tennis elbow so had to be careful with weights.

Sat 5 January
5 degrees. Did my food shopping in Epping. Got my first bunch this year of British daffodils. Had a smile at the Twitter response from all the great museums of the world to a tweet from @TheMERL (the Museum of Rural Life) - "Show us a duck."
Vase of British daffodils
Sun 6 January
Walked to Power Plate, nearly 5 miles there and back. A vegan recipe book was delivered, Bosh!  Had an M&S nut roast for lunch. Am trying to eat more plant based meals.

Mon 7 January
In office. Busy day. No time for a walk.

Tues 8 January
At home. Lovely day. Molly the cat likes to join me at work.
Molly the black and white cat belonging to fashion blogger Is This Mutton
Weds 9 January
Into London for two meetings with podcast producers.  Like old times. V cold, walked between the two meetings.

Thurs 10 January
In office. Busy day! Head spinning.

Fri 11 January
At home. Tough Power Plate class. Fish n chips for dinner.

Sat 12 January
Went to the National Gallery to see the exhibition of Impressionists on loan from the Courtauld. Utterly amazing to be so close to iconic works - and they encourage you to take pictures.
Close up of Monet Water Lily Pond
Monet: Water Lily Pond, 1899
Manet: "A bar at the Folie-Bergere, painted a year before he died 
Van Gogh: Sunflowers
Then I met up with fellow bloggers Annemarie from Mutton Style and Michelle from Fifty and Fab at the swish Berkeley Hotel, where we had a "Prêt-à-Portea". Read more here.
Cake stand featuring cakes with a couture influence at the Berkeley Hotel in London
Sun 13 January
A day that started with a Power Plate class and then cleaning and roast beef, which smelled so delicious I had to have some.

Mon 14 January
In office. Crazy busy. Long day, 12 hours.

Tues 15 January
At home. Quiet day. Had hair done - "after" photo below. Watched one of my favourite films, Contact, after reading a newspaper report about reports of extraterrestrial noise in space.
Is This Mutton? blogger Gail Hanlon after a colour refresh and trim with Jodie Blewitt
Weds 16 January
Went to work by train today. Went to a team dinner at a Thai restaurant.  Home by 10.55. V tired.

Thurs 17 January
Up at 5.45 to drive to work and touched to find J had left a teabag in a mug for me.  Prints day at work.This is when we wear prints. Not sure why.

Friday 18 January
Home. Did Power Plate for the first time since Sun. My "Women of the First World War" brooch came from the Royal British Legion. Beautiful, and in memory of a lady called Nellie. I will wear it proudly in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday in November.

Sat 19 January
Shopping as usual in Epping although annoyingly forgot to get daffodils. Went out in the evening for a Greek mezze with John's daughter and her husband.
Sun 20 Jan
Just the two of us today. I nipped out to get daffodils and also some treats for the tuck shop at work because tomorrow is supposed to be Blue Monday.

Mon 21 January
Blue Monday was fine! Everyone loved the treats. Cheery day.

Tues 22 January
At home. Went to a meeting in London pm. Was sunny and pleasant but temp had dropped and was raining when I came out.

Weds 23 January
Risk of ice, so worked from home.

Thurs 24 January
Got the train to work. In the evening went to a colleague's leaving do at a former bicycle shop, now a restaurant (and called "The Old Bicycle Shop"). Had a lovely room upstairs.Service was very slow so bit concerned about catching train home.
Fri 25 January
Worked from home. Power Plate, fish and chips.

Sat 26 January
Went to see Party /Celebration plays starring Celia Imrie at the Harold Pinter Theatre. In front row of balcony. Quite short, was finished by 9.15.
Looking down from the balcony in the Harold Pinter Theatre, London
Sun 27 January
Power Plate, later class, so that I could return a parcel at Waitrose. Roast beef with Rachel and Sean. Sadly, Johnnie Walker off for six weeks for a heart operation - missed him on Sounds of the 70s  (BBC Radio 2).

Mon 28 January
Office. V cold. Good day. Fun

Tues 29 January
At home. Sunny not so cold.

Weds 30 January
In office. Early so went to Tesco to do some shopping on the way to work. Our new brown bin for garden waste was delivered - bigger. We're very lucky, our council still empties the refuse and recycling bins each week and the garden refuse bin once a fortnight.
Thurs 31st January
Up at 5.30 making salads for lunch and dinner. Left work at 1.30 as the forecast changed to an amber warning for snow. Did the rest of my meetings at home.

Sharing this post with Weekend Blog Hop at Claire Justine, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings and #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb

Now link up your Sentence a Day Posts

Inlinkz Link Party


Sunday 3 February 2019

The Story of the Blues

Over 45s style blog Is This Mutton? on a dilemma with the colour blue

I have a very complex and tormented relationship with the colour blue. I like it - I mean, who doesn't like a blue sky? - but I don't believe I've ever found a shade of blue that suits me, even though there are supposed to be variants of any shade that will work for everyone. And I have a lot of hang-ups about blue. For example:
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