A personal style and beauty blog by a working woman who wants to instil joie-de-vivre in the over 50s

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Friday, 31 May 2019

Menopause Myths Dispelled

Staying active is key to tackling the menopause as described by over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon shown here on bike
Until recently I didn't talk about the menopause. It was the BBC's week of broadcasting about it that changed my mind. My husband said it was useful to know more about menopause because men are largely kept in the dark. Heck, 50% of the population will go through the menopause and I found it disconcerting how little there was on the internet when I first started "the journey."

I'm also keen to share my positive HRT experience, to show that you can get ordinary tablets from the GP and you don't necessarily need all the "bio identical" stuff which some bloggers talk about. And in fact the phrase "bio identical" is a complete con, as I will cover in this post.
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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Beach Beauty Essentials and Link Up

Some of the beauty must-haves for a beach holiday from Is This Mutton?
It's not long now until our summer holiday in Greece and I've been buying a few luxury beauty items in readiness, as well as attempting to keep the list pared back. Here are my tried and trusted tips, plus what I've bought and why.
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Saturday, 25 May 2019

Floral dress at the Chelsea Flower Show

Wearing a green hydrangeas print dress with a backdrop of purple flowers at the Chelsea Flower Show
Many months ago in the gloom of winter I booked tickets for one of the members' days at the Chelsea Flower Show, including a slap up three course lunch  (well, I knew that was one way of persuading Mr Mutton to come).

On the appointed day, the sun shone and the Muttons were off early to try to see as much as possible before the crowds arrived.

I wore a new crepe de chine dress with lovely soft fabric and drape from Nancy Mac, a UK boutique run by two sisters.  If you're going to a wedding this year, this shop may be one the place to go. Lots of 30s inspired tea dresses, coats, kimonos and beautiful prints.  Mine was very suitable for Chelsea with its hydrangeas print. It came with a petticoat, which was great for avoiding too much cleavage being on show.
In front of a stall selling copper planters and garden decorations. Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon in green and cream hydrangeas dress
The various "stalls" selling garden apparatus, clothes, ceramics, you name it, lead the way to the Great Pavilion and show gardens.

Style blogger Gail Hanlon patting a dog sculpture at the Chelsea Flower Show

An old soldier reflects.  The D Day garden at the Chelsea Flower Show
This was the D-Day Garden, where there were several soldiers and veterans on hand to describe the scene and their memories.  The "Kate Middleton garden" had huge queues and was very small when you got inside.  We were literally in and out within a couple of minutes. She had crammed some old-fashioned children's activities into the space: a tree house, a "swing" where the seat was a football covered in string, and a camp fire. The forget-me-nots and natural planting made it look foresty.  As a kid my den was in overgrown land, long since built on, and featured sprawling brambles, old-fashioned roses doing their own thing, and "snake's food."
Yellow and burgundy irises at the Chelsea Flower Show admired by style blogger Gail Hanlon in Sable hydrangeas dress
Inside the gorgeous smelling pavilion, I had a look at the Croyeux irises, brought over from France, which were featured on one of the BBC's Chelsea programmes. To be honest, irises don't set my heart beating.

Roses do.  It was very hard to get a photo of just me, under the archway of the David Austin Old English Roses stand. David Austin died a few months ago but his roses live on, and it's a family business so his sons will continue the work.  I have several David Austin roses in my front garden.
The magnificent rose arch welcoming visitors to the David Austin Roses stand at the Chelsea Flower Show, with Gail Hanlon in green floral dress
Here I am with the heucheras.  I have a few "heuchs" in a border that doesn't get too much light, as they cope well with partial shade.
Woman in green hydrangeas print dress taking photos of heuchera at the Chelsea Flower Show
I'm wearing sandals from last year, by Vionic, which have special foot bed technology to make them comfortable. At an event like this you need shoes that aren't going to ruin the day. I didn't really need the jacket but it's a brave person in the UK who sets off without a jacket or cardigan. I needed a fairly big bag but it soon became an irritant. 
There were a couple of flower walls which were excellent for Instagrammers. Here Mr Mutton looks like a blogging natural with his pose, but in reality I had taken three pictures already and he was bored and wanting to move on. To lunch.
Enjoying a glass of champagne in the Rock Terrace restaurant at the Chelsea Flower Show
Lunch in the Rock Bank restaurant was certainly a highlight. We started with a delicious glass of Fortnum and Mason champagne and the wine was unlimited, depending on how often you could attract the attention of the busy waiting staff.  I had two glasses of wine and it was a bad idea at lunchtime for someone who seldom drinks.  I had to have a lie down when I got home!  My three courses were smoked salmon, dressed crab and cheese and biscuits - I'm not big on desserts.

It was my third time at the show, the last time was two years ago (see my post here) and on one of the "public days," where the demographic was a bit younger. On a members' day, it's mostly people over the age of 60 in sensible shoes, although I did manage to find a few stylish ladies.
Selection of fashionistas at the Chelsea Flower Show 2019
So that was our experience at Chelsea. I may also go to Hampton Court flower show in July - it's less formal and the crowds are a bit more manageable. Do you go to any of the RHS or other flower shows?

Sharing this post with: Creative Mondays at Claire Justine, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, Chic&Stylish at MummabstylishTop of the World Style at High Latitude StyleFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion StyleFabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polka Dots, Thursday Moda at Elegance and MommyhoodAnna at The Glamadventure, Spread the Kindness at Shelbee On The Edge#iwillworkwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb,#BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings, #MuttonStyleMondays at Muttonstyle, #Stylewithasmile at Stylesplash, Color and Grace

For More Mutton


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Don't forget to come back on Wednesday for the #WowOnWednesday link up.



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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

A Brilliant Work Wear Solution - and Link Up

Style blog Is This Mutton? is always looking for well-cut and stylish black and white cropped trousers. This black pair from Hope is a brilliant work wear solution. Worn here with a polka dot top and matching sling back shoes.
I'm always looking for stylish cropped trousers for the summer, both white and black, and I've hit the jackpot with this stylish pair from Hope. Made in Italy, these wide legged trousers are part of Hope's Power Foundation range, with bonded fabric and an elegant pin-tuck which leaves a razor-sharp fold through the front of the legs.

What's also cool is that Hope offer these trousers in two lengths, and even free alterations if those aren't hitting the spot.

If you're not familiar with the brand, Hope is a British company founded by Nayna McIntosh when she was in her 50s.  The latest range seems to be a lot more fashion-forward: previously I wasn't tempted to buy anything because most of the clothes seemed to be "cover ups" which I think often make us look bigger. But now they have a very tempting selection, and the good quality means that these clothes travel well and don't always need ironing.

I always love polka dots and this top - well over 10 years old - and kitten heels - creates a fuss-free work wear look.  Black and white is always my go-to for work attire when I don't want to think about it. The sunglasses are from River Island.  I only used to wear Ray-Bans but I now buy a couple of fashion pairs each summer.
Mid life blogger in black cropped trousers, black and white polka dot top and matching sling back shoes
Here I'm wearing them with an orangey-red: a top with statement sleeves that was a real steal from Florence and Fred last year, and sandals from Marks and Spencer (also last year's). Pearls have always been one of my trademarks, but instead of layering up chunky pearls I'm now wearing them in longer necklaces, which is more modern - these are from Mango. In a nod to the leopard print fashion, I'm wearing a thin belt - but this is one trend that will soon behind us. Snakeskin has taken over.
Woman wearing red top with statement sleeves and black cropped trousers
The sunglasses from Vow London have red frames which go well with the top. The red bag is out of stock but this one is similar.
Woman wearing red square sunglasses and red top with statement sleeves
Sharing this post with: Wordless Wednesday at Claire Justine, Chic&Stylish at MummabstylishTop of the World Style at High Latitude StyleFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion StyleFabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polka Dots, Thursday Moda at Elegance and MommyhoodAnna at The Glamadventure, Linkup on The Edge at Shelbee On The Edge#ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb,#AnythingGoes at My Random Musings and #MuttonStyleMondays at Muttonstyle.

Get Your Wow On!

Now it's time for the  #WowOnWednesday Link Up. Readers' favourite last time was Anna from Looking Fabulous @ Fifty, with her post on "grey is the new black." Anna is a master of monochrome.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter







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Sunday, 19 May 2019

Bowie Rainbow Bolt Jumper

Over 50s style blog Is This Mutton? on the joys of the Bowie stripe cashmere jumper
Who buys a jumper (sweater) in May? you may ask.  Well, I did. When I saw Orwell + Austen advertising pre-orders for their new black Bowie rainbow bolt jumper, I knew I had to be quick because these sell out very quickly.
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Wednesday, 8 May 2019

My Life in Hairstyles and #WowOnWednesday Link Up

Teenage girl in the 1970s with medium length dark wavy hair
How experimental have you been with your hair over the years?  I didn't think I had been, until I started looking at the archives. Folks, I have had short hair, long hair, a bob, a mullet, permed hair, hair extensions (klaxon) and went from dark to red and then blonde.  Let's look at the evolution.
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Sunday, 5 May 2019

Meeting a fellow blogger to see the Mary Quant exhibition in London

Two mid life fashion bloggers in the UK meet up for the first time at the Victoria and Albert Museum
One of the best things about blogging is meeting fellow fashion bloggers. On Saturday I met up with Penny from Frugal Fashion Shopper, and we spent an enjoyable day at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
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Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Beauty Update and #WowOnWednesday Link Up

Beauty products for a cleansing and moisturizing regime for a mature woman including a hyaluronic acid serum, clay mask and micellar cleanser
It's been a while since we had a beauty catch up so I thought we'd start with my current routine before moving onto bubble face masks and a great offer from John Lewis.
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