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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Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Midi skirt with white trainers or black sandals? And Link Up

Over-50s blogger Gail Hanlon from is This Mutton? shows how white trainers can make a midi skrit or dress look more contemporary on an older woman than wearign high heels or sandals
I've become a big fan of white trainers with skirts this summer, after a slow start where I didn't think this trend was for me. Now I wear them all the time, and I firmly believe they give a far more contemporary spin to a midi skirt.

To show you the difference, and how staid high heels or sandals look with a longer skirt, I first styled this skirt with black sandals, a similar top, but tucked in, and a couple of poppy brooches to reflect the red anemones in the skirt  (they look a bit like poppies).
Is This Mutton style blog shows how older women can look more fashionable in white trainers when wearing midi skirts or dresses
It looks smart but a bit fussy (and ageing) to me: I much prefer the more casual version with white Stan Smith's, top not tucked in, and no brooches.  I don't normally wear earrings because my hair hides them, but I tucked my hair behind my ears and wore statement purple earrings. And of course it's quite liberating to be able to run around in trainers all day.
Showing how white trainers look more modern on older woman than heels or sandals
The skirt is from Studio by Preen at Debenhams and was 50% off in the sale. I love Preen's quirky prints.
I used to worry that white trainers would make my calves look too chunky, and I might look like "Mutton." But do you know what, I don't care now. They're comfortable and everyone seems to do it. Wearing sandals suddenly looks a bit ageing!
Where are you on white trainers with skirts or dresses? Yay or nay? Give your thoughts in the comments.

Sharing this post with #WordlessWednesday at Claire Justine, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as LambChic&Stylish at MummabstylishTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style#ThursdayTell at Muttonstyle, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion StyleFabulous Friday at Pocketful of Polka Dots, Anna at The Glamadventure,  Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee On The Edge#BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings#Stylewithasmile at Stylesplash, Grace at Color and Grace, Julie at This Main Line Life

Now it's that time ----
Last week's most clicked post was by petite over-40s blogger Grace with her post How Women Over 40 Can Rock Vans This Fall.  I've taken to the trend of wearing trainers big time  (see above!) but never thought about buying Vans. Now Grace has inspired me.



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Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Wear Your Summer Skirt All Year Round- and Link Up

Gail Hanlon frtom over-50s style blog Is This Mutton in a wrap blue print midi skirt and white top with white ankle boots
As the weather starts to turn autumnal, I'm starting to transition my wardrobe and thinking about prolonging the life of some of my summer skirts and trousers. I picked up this Oasis wrap print skirt for just £20 from Debenhams in the sale, and, forced indoors by wet weather, I styled it with white boots rather than white trainers.
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Friday, 16 August 2019

Five for Fri-Yay! Podcasts, Books, Brooches And More

Close up of a bee bug brooch from Marks and Spencer, AW19
It's Fri-Yay! Aren't you glad? Mr Mutton is off on another extreme cycling holiday tomorrow, to Scotland and the Hebrides. The weather is promising hail, rain and winds of 30 miles per hour on Sunday and Monday, so good luck with that one, darling :-)

Here are my Five for Fri-Yay, a quick update on what I've been using, reading, listening to and watching - plus a cute brooch!

Podcasts for Mid Lifers


Putting aside my liking for true crime podcasts  (and a rich seam with "Canadian True Crime"), I have been listening to a few of the podcasts for mid life women which have started popping up.

The Hot and Moody Podcast, as its name might suggest, is aimed at peri and menopausal women.  It's now in its second series.  I listened to episode 1 of the new series where the two presenters spoke to Lisa Dunnington from Hempworx who was talking about the latest wonder product, CBD Oil. She started using CBD Oil to improve her sleep;  relieving menopause symptoms came later.

The Older and Wider Podcast has a great pedigree. It's presented by well known comedian Jenny Eclair and producer/writer Judith Holden. They chat about general topics and the menopause, and have guests. A good listen, professionally produced.

In similar vein, middle aged women being very funny, is Fortunately With Fi and Jane. This one can be quite hit and miss. I love the banter between Jane Garvey (Woman's Hour) and Fi Glover for the first few minutes of the show, where they expatiate on all manner of crazy topics (as we do). They then have a guest, and sometimes if the guest is not entirely to their liking (Will Self), it fizzles out. But when guests are great value, like Emily Maitlis, Gyles Brandreth and Matthew Banister, it's a joy. Please ladies, let's have fewer of the woke millennials that we've never heard of.

Magnificent Midlife with Rachel Lankester celebrates the older woman. Topics and interviewees have included Professor Joyce Harper on rethinking menopause and HRT,  and becoming a professional bodybuilder at 48.

The Experience 50 Podcast is a long running US production. Again the formula is speaking to women who have had amazing mid life transformations, plus topics such as fitness, health, finding love over 50.

You can find all these podcasts at your normal podcast provider. I'd love to know your recommendations.


Busy Bee Brooch

I like to wear a few brooches on my jackets in winter, and the little bee brooch at the top is so cute! Just £12.50.  It would make a great tree present for those of you, like me, who start collecting presents early on.

Favourite self tanner


You may think I'm a bit late with this one but summer may yet make a reappearance.  I had a trial tube of St Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Infusion in a holiday beauty box, and I really liked it.  It's described as an everyday body lotion, and you can apply it straight after the shower without needing to moisturise first. Plus it doesn't sting if you've just shaved your legs. It gives a slightly darker colour than the Dove product I had been using, so you don't always need a second application.  The scent is pretty and the fake tan odour is very slight, a few hours later.
The pink and green bottle of St Tropez Gradual Tan Watermelon Infusion

What I've Been Watching

This time of the year is a bit of a desert. We're quite fussy and we've tried a lot of the dramas doing the rounds but not liked them.  So we're currently re-watching Line of Duty.  

I enjoyed the first of Kathy Burke's three-part documentary series, All Woman, although it was lacking in journalistic rigour.  Actor and producer Kathy is a national treasure, outspoken, funny and straight talking. She told us she's perfectly happy with her own fat self, and then went on to explore why so many young women seek to improve their looks, taking a warts and all look at the beauty industry.
Kathy Burke star of Channel 4 documentary All Woman. Image: The Guardian

The chat with "Fat Sue," a friend of Burke's and the muse painted by Lucien Freud, wasn't very illuminating:  Sue didn't get much of a word in. And I felt Burke should have been directed to be tougher on some of the people she interviewed, such as the plastic surgeon who had given his wife a few little "refreshes."

What I've Been Reading

Candace Bushnell is 60 now, and single again after a divorce a few years ago.  She still looks fabulous as you can see, and has probably been to the plastic surgeon in Kathy Burke's programme. 

Her new book  Is There Still Sex in the City? reflects on life after things have gone wrong for some of her peer group.  It starts off with Bushnell's experiences with Tinder, and how women of a certain age invariably get pursued by "cubs" who are looking for places to live. Then there's a diversion about plastic surgery to rejuvenate the lady bits. And then we're back to "Take Tia" "Take Melissa" and more depressing stories of ladies conned by men, left high and dry by men - you get the picture.
Candace Bushnell, writer of Is There Still Sex in the City?

I found it all a bit depressing. Men are variously dismissed as losers and low lifes, and there's a deep vein of cynicism.  The vaguely cheerful note at the end, as she reflected on good friendships with women, came too late for me. 

Sharing this post with #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as Lamb.

For More Mutton


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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

What I've Been Wearing This Summer - and Link Up

A popular outfit this summer for over 50s blogger Is This Mutton:  lilac check top, white shorts and lilac bag and brogue shoes
This summer's most popular outfits for me have been mostly "oldies but goodies." A couple of the new items I bought have gone virtually unworn. I wear the outfit above nearly every weekend, or when working from home.
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Sunday, 11 August 2019

A Perfect No-Iron Work Wear Outfit

Mid life blogger Gail Hanlon in black and green for the office. Print blouse from Zara with cropped black trousers from Hope and green accessories.
I've been meaning to show you this green patterned blouse for a while because it's become a favourite, particularly worn with my black cropped trousers. It was an "emergency purchase," and bought on a rare excursion into a store.
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Wednesday, 7 August 2019

My Autumn Winter Wish List and Link Up

Mid life blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in striped knit top and green midi skirt from Boden
Imagine the scene. It's quarter to seven in the morning on Sunday and I'm in the garden ready to do a "shoot" with the camera and tripod, Mr Mutton having cycled off into the distance at 5.30 to take part in Ride London.

One shot taken - and then disaster! The camera, which has been faltering for a while, has died. Forced to improvise, I took a few shots with my mobile propped up on a bottle of Tomorite. So, not many pics of this new Becky skirt and Rachel knitted top from Boden, my first Autumn purchases, but I have great plans for this skirt and will wear it in several different ways.


Autumn Winter 2019 Trends


We're seeing the first of the AW drops and a lot of trends which started in spring are continuing, like midi skirts and "modesty dressing," the voluminous dresses with coverage from head to foot and sleeves.

There are distinct changes in colour palettes. Quite a lot of olive / camel / brown / caramel shades (and black too) but not very much living coral, which is surprising given that it was the 2019 colour of the year.

On the catwalks, there was bright neon for the very brave at a few places. Another big trend from the catwalks was power suiting, like this example from Givenchy  (credit: Getty Images).
Example of power suiting from Givenchy AW2019 image Getty Images via Harpers Bazaar
Harper's Bazaar says another trend will be "Bougie Girl," a 70s revival (again) featuring a bow blouse with a pleated skirt and jacket. That's not a trend for me - I steer away from fussy bows and ruffles and prefer a more streamlined look.

Lovers of florals will find plenty still around in the form of "dark florals".  It looks as if leopard and zebra print has gone away, but I expect there will still be plenty around as we all bought so much of it last winter.

I'm always excited to see the trends for outerwear and footwear, because this is the fastest way to update your look. An outfit that's several years old can look instantly contemporary with the latest style of coat and the right heels or flats.

Last winter the traditional styles of woollen coat made way for puffer and quilt coats.  Even I succumbed, and couldn't believe how much warmer it was. 

Some of the designers featured tweed in capes and belted coats. Here's an example from Victoria Beckham.
English Tweed is a trend for AW19 as shown by Victoria Beckham featured in Harper's Bazaar. Image: Getty Images
As for shoes and boots, there's something for everyone if you look at the Harpers Bazaar Gallery: glamorously embellished shoes, "yeti" type boots, over-the-thigh-boots, pull-on boots like the pair above, and heels ranging from kitten to block.

I take the trends lists with a bit of a pinch of salt, because some of the trends shown on the runways will die a death while others will suddenly become huge. This summer it was all about that dress from Zara, the voluminous polka dot number, with midi skirts and dressses being worn with white trainers.

My Wish List

I like to make a list ahead of the new season based on what I believe I need. This is useful for being disciplined when shopping, and helping to extend the life of existing clothes in the wardrobe.

I'm looking for:

  • A pair of long cream or winter white boots, after being blown away by how versatile the white ankle boots were last winter; 
  • Gold ankle boots:  I didn't have a pair last season and didn't get as much wear from the silver pair. Metallics are great neutrals and gold in particular adds a bit of glamour. I don't know how successful I will be in securing a pair - haven't seen many in the shops yet;
  • A new coat: I will still wear the warm and comfy parka from last year but it's been a while since I bought a tailored winter coat;
  • Ribbed cashmere jumper - this seems to be a new direction for 2019/20;
  • Tops and tights in interesting colours which will extend the life of some of my summer skirts and dresses.
Boden were ahead of the pack with their 2019/20 drop a few weeks ago and it was a very strong collection. I love the fact they always have a lot of green and I snapped up this green skirt and striped jumper.
A striped knitted tee and green midi skirt from Boden accessorized with pink and worn by mid life blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton dot com
Here are some of the new high-end new arrivals to inspire you  (expect to see cheaper versions in your favourite stores):

Tweed





Pussy Bow Blouses






Coats




Sharing with#WordlessWednesday at Claire Justine, Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, #ShareAllLinkUp at Not Dressed as LambChic&Stylish at MummabstylishTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style#MuttonStyleMondays at Muttonstyle, Fancy 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#BloggerClubUK at My Random Musings#Stylewithasmile at StylesplashColor and GraceJulie at This Main Line Life
Now it's time to see how you're bringing a bit of wow to Wednesday with latest fashion and beauty posts.

The most clicked post last time was by Michelle at Fifty And Fab, on age positivity and why every woman can wear a bikini.  
Mid life blogger Michelle Green on body confidence and how every woman can wear a bikini





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