Fashion and fun for the over-50s.

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Wednesday, 7 December 2022

Are We All Having a Low-Key Christmas?

 & WowOnWednesday

Is This Mutton contemplates a quieter Christmas this year in view of soaring costs and the need to be more sustainable. Editor in chief Gail Hanlon in lime and white striped top and lime short tie wrap

Dear friends. The threat of what the Met Office is calling the "Troll from Trondheim"has made me finally relinquish my five tog duvet in favour of the 13.5 tog monster. Last winter, I managed to get by with the lighter duvet and a blanket. 


Friday, 2 December 2022

Freud, Fashion and Fun: November in Review


Dear friends. Welcome to November in Review, a summary of what happened Chez Mutton during the last month. 

It was a very wet month and the hose pipe ban came to an end in our area - yay! Here's what I've been up to.


Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Pretty Daytime Make-Up with Look Fabulous Forever

 & WowOnWednesday

A Before and After: 62 year old woman's face before and after using make-up by Look Fabulous Forever

Dear friends. Pull up a chair, it might be a long post. I can't wait to talk to you about some of my latest beauty discoveries. 

Today I'm going to create a pretty everyday make-up with Look Fabulous Forever, the brand created specifically for older women. And I'm going to reveal my best beauty secret. But let's start with skincare, because unless our skin is looking good, make-up can't do its job.

Monday, 28 November 2022

Stripes and Dots: Style Not Age Challenge

 Look good oer 60 in a soft striped jumper, embellished leggings and ankle boots. Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in stripes and dots for the November Style Not Age Challenge

Dear friends. When Emma set this month's Style Not Age Challenge - Stripes and Dots - I initially  thought it was an easy one. But not so.  I've been so ruthless with clearing out my wardrobe that I've given away everything I had with dots and stripes! 


Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Blue Cashmere Jumper 2 Ways

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in Royal Cobalt cashmere jumper from Lands' End

 & WowOnWednesday

Dear friends. One thing I find very hard to resist is anything made of cashmere.  I remember buying my first cashmere jumper a few years ago (black, ribbed) and realising anything else would always feel inferior. 

So when Land's End got in touch to offer a coat, I managed to persuade them to make it a cashmere jumper. A great decision - I'm very impressed with this crew neck jumper in Royal Cobalt. 

Friday, 18 November 2022

Never Too Young to Start Reading - and #WOYBS

 Baby and grandmother reading a book. Is This Mutton's November book reviews focus on illiteracy in the UK with high numbers still unable to read.

Dear friends.  You're never too young to get started with reading! Our granddaughter Olive, above, has already got her library card and enjoys hearing stories (above, with Jane, one of her grannies).  But an alarming report this week said that in the UK, 1 in 5 adults are still functionally illiterate. That's over 7 million people. 


Wednesday, 16 November 2022

Three Winter Outfit Dilemmas Resolved with Cotton Traders

 & WowOnWednesday

Gail Hanlon from over-50s style blog Is This Mutton in champagne faux fur coat from Cotton Traders

Dear friends. With costs spiraling for everything, one of the things I'm keen to do is economise when I buy clothes or cosmetics. But I don't want to buy clothes on the cheap, and perpetuate "fast fashion," with all the unethical and unsustainable methods that implies. 

I do rummage in charity shops, but I'm also mindful of the need to sustain the high street and all the jobs in retail and fashion, so you have to balance the two. 

I'm looking for pieces that will last, and from retailers with published sustainable policies.

When Cotton Traders got in touch for a potential collaboration, I was initially dubious. I'd always associated them with sweatshirts and raincoats that were a bit too practical.  

I was pleasantly surprised when I browsed their site. Lots of colourful designs, particularly in knitwear and coats.

When they offered four items of my choice, I decided to find gaps in my wardrobe and find garments that solved a particular clothing dilemma.

A champagne faux fur coat from Cotton Traders worn by Gail Hanlon from is This Mutton


When I did my winter clothes inventory recently, I realised I had too many coats and jackets for my needs, so I sent a few to charity shops. But what I didn't have was anything in faux fur. 

Now arguably, I don't need a faux fur coat, but I do love them.  So I chose this Sofia coat in Champagne. It's very warm and very soft.  While I've dressed it up here, with a skirt, rose gold boots and layered pearl necklaces, it would be just as good dressed down with jeans or leggings. 


Now this is a dilemma for many of you, because I know not everyone loves a Christmas jumper (sweater). I classify them in 3 tiers:

  • Very naff.  Wording that says "Ho ho ho" or equivalent;  Father Christmas;  flashing lights. 
  • Christmassy, but tasteful. No wording. A suitable colour and good quality. It might have sequins.
  • Not really Christmassy but stylish and Nordic looking in Fair Isle or Arran.   This is a great alternative for those who have different celebrations. Or just want a great jumper! 
The jumper I chose is in the 3rd category.  It will get a lot more wear than a standard Christmas jumper because there's no shame in wearing it all winter.  The Rachel Fair Isle is jumper is very warm, comes in three colours (mine is dark red) and is very well priced at £36. 

I'm wearing it with jeans but it would also look dressier with a skirt in velvet or corduroy, both very on trend this winter.   I'm in my normal size, 10 (US 6) and it's true to size. 

A stylish Fair Isle jumper in dark red and cream worn by Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon


After a huge Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, the last thing we want is to be wearing is a pair of tight jeans, a belted dress or unforgiving leggings. Comfortable velour separates are what's required, but lounge wear is often very unflattering. I had a cream wool two piece a couple of years ago that turned out to be itchy, plus it made me look two sizes bigger.

Not so with the Boheme velour blouse (£33, two colours available) and the Irresistible velour slim fit trousers (2 colours, £28).  

Finding a stylish and flattering set of lounge wear is often a challenge. Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in burgundy velour separates from Cotton Traders

It's such a comfortable outfit: the trousers are a great fit, flattering and the right length.I'm 5'4 but my legs are long relative to my short torso.  Even Molly (age 18) approves.  My slippers (below) are from River Island. I like to crack open a new pair for Christmas so they will be going back in the cupboard! 

I'm very pleased with my choices and can see them getting a lot of wear as the weather gets colder. Do you have any other winter outfit dilemmas?  And what category is your Christmas jumper in? Do share in the comments. 

I was gifted with four items of clothes from Cotton Traders and invited to style them for a blog post.with no need to use affiliate links or have copy approval.  

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink,Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine Whatever,, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri at My Bijou LifeTraffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Friendship Friday at Create with Joy, Wonderful Wednesday at Oh My Heartsie Girl, Trend Spin at The Fashion Canvas (Monday)

Now it's time for the #WowOnWednesday link-up.  Bloggers, Instagrammers and YouTubers are invited to share new and evergreen content. 

Last Week's Favourites - Most Clicked

Australian blogger Deb's story of her Little Black Dress: "That One Little Black Dress (LBD) a story covering 12 years". Do you have an LBD that's been worn at key events in your life?

Ways to Wear Black Pants, Part 2 from Kellyann of This Blonde's Shopping Bag. Note to UK readers:  pants are the American term for trousers. No tittering at the back! 

A delicious candy striped shirt and lots of cool accessories are in the latest capsule wardrobe for Sally of Within a World of My Own with her post "OOTD x3: Wide Leg Trouser Jeans Outfits for Fall."

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Skirt Styling Fun

 & WowOnWednesday

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in peacock bias skirt and bright apricot top

Dear friends. Today I'm bringing you a Skirt Special with the help of some friends, old and new.  Using the hash tag #7DaySkirtChallenge we showed a different skirt each day, or the same skirt each day but styled differently.

Thursday, 3 November 2022

October in Review: What a Great Month!


Dear friends. October was a very busy month. Four Meet Ups, John's birthday celebration, two Kettlewell Colour Club outings, a visit to Battersea Power Station, a sky dive and more.  Let's "dive" in.


Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Permacrisis? Let's Have a Laugh Instead

 & #WowOnWednesday

With the world in a state of "permacrisis," Is This Mutton, the London based blog for the sassy over 50s, finds some humour at Very British Problems. And two colourful outfits like this green poncho with neon orange belt and saffron yellow ankle boots

Dear friends.  We learnt this week that the Collins Dictionary word of the year is "Permacrisis,"  defined as an extended period of instability and insecurity”.

Certainly in the UK we seem to veer from one crisis to another.  This week it's the shameful conditions of a refugee camp and the nation's water companies cheerfully releasing sewage into the sea, as voted for by their coastal MPs. Not to mention the new prime minister planning not to attend the COP environmental talks. And the clocks going back.

Here at Mutton Towers, we're fed up with the permacrisis. This post focuses on a different set of Very British Problems, and lots of colour. 


Monday, 31 October 2022

Orange, You Excited for Halloween?

 #StyleNotAge Challenge

Taking a comedy spin on this month's Style Not Age Challenge, Is This Mutton's Gail Hanlon, who has hardly any orange, wears black and orange striped tights and brandishes a child's orange broomstick

Dear friends. It was Jacqui's turn to choose this month's challenge, and with Halloween falling on the last Monday of the month, she cannily chose "Orange you excited for Halloween?"

I have my bucket of sweets ready for this evening's procession of trick n treaters, but I won't be dressed like this as I might frighten them.  I look like I'm scaring the opposition in the prelim to a rugby match!

A fun Halloween look from Gail Hanlon of Is This Mutton with orange and black striped tights, white jumper and black skirt and boots

I don't have much orange, although since my season analysis changed to spring, it should suit me. I found the fun tights on Tights Tights Tights, and the broomstick was £2.65 at Tesco, although it's obviously child-sized and looks more like a tickling stick! 

My jumper, skirt and boots are all old.

Orange can be stylish or scary depending on how you style it. For the October Style Not Age challenge, Is This Mutton's spin is more scary, with orange and black tights and broomstick

Let's see how the fab four got on with the challenge. 

Emma from Stylesplash, above, bought her dress in TKMaxx for £10 to add to the pink one she already has.  She wore it on her break in Funchal, Maderia, last week, along with an orange hat and green Fenella Smith vegan leather bag.

Hilda from Over the Hilda was glad of an opportunity to wear an orange OUI coat she's had for 25 years, above.

She says she was reluctant to send it to a charity shop as she still loves it. Hilda also wore it to the playground with one of my grandsons yesterday. She says the boots are at least 6 years old and the hat, (Anthony Peto), about 5 years. 

Jacqui from Mummabstylish, who came up with the October challenge, is wearing a gifted dress from Izabel, below, in a retro 70's design and gifted shoes from Lotus. 

Anna from Anna's Island Style, below,  has rummaged in her wardrobe to find this fabulous orange trench from TK Maxx and  boots (old) from Topshop. The sweater was charity shopped and the trousers are new from Primark. on sale for £6. 

I hope you found our outfits scary (in my case) and stylish (the rest!).  Love to hear in  the comments if you mark Halloween in any way, and if so, what you're wearing. 

I'm back on Wednesday with another #WowOnWednesday link-up. 

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Trend Spin at The Fashion CanvasTop of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink, Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaire, Rena at Fine Whatever,, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Traffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Friendship Friday at Create with Joy, Wonderful Wednesday at Oh My Heartsie Girl, The Happy Now Link-Up at JENerallyInformed


Stay in the loop: receive an email to alert you to new posts (maximum 1 email per week). There are extra goodies on the Is This Mutton? Facebook page. Check out the Is This Mutton? Pinterest boards, including boards on other bloggers in fab outfits plus beauty, jewellery, hairstyles and fashion picks. Is This Mutton? is also on Twitter and Instagram.

Friday, 28 October 2022

Latest Books, TV and Podcasts: October

 Picture of a book with hands on either side.  By Enzo Munoz for Pexels
Dear friends. Another month has whizzed by and it's time for my round-up of TV watched, books read, and podcasts listened to.

This is the last post in the current format.  There will soon be a standalone book reviews post, with the first one on November 18 to join the What's On Your Bookshelf link-up.  Fear not, TV and podcasts will still be covered but in my review of the month, on the last Friday of the month.

All clear?  Great - let's launch into Books.


Wednesday, 26 October 2022

Feet Killing You? There's a Stylish Solution

& WowOnWednesday

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton putting Strive orthotic footwear to the test
 Dear friends. One of the mysteries of ageing is: why do our feet always hurt? 

But hurt they do, because I, and most of my friends, have stopped wearing high heels with regret, and now embrace the trend for trainers and flat shoes.  But even they can make our feet ache. 

One of the reasons for sore feet is that our muscles and tendons lose elasticity, which can contribute to foot pain.  Plus high heels constrict the foot and place a lot of stress and weight on one part of the foot–usually our toes. 


Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Finding My Inner Gamine with Collar and Brogues

& WowOnWednesday

Over 60s style blogger Gail Hanlon in medium green cashmere jumper from M&S and Rainbow Spill lipstick from Lisa Eldridge as she channels her inner gamine.

Dear friends. I had a very brief style analysis back in the 80s at a corporate women's event, and was told I am a "gamine." No further insights.  Over the years I didn't stick to this style: firstly, it's often hard to find gamine clothing, and secondly, it's associated with petite, very slim women, and during the 90s and early 2000s,  I was not slim, as you can see here.

But now I've started to reclaim the gamine look.  


Wednesday, 12 October 2022

Get Yourself Coated

 & #WowOnWednesday

Dear friends. Winter is coming! And with it the need to evaluate the coat situation. Coats take up a lot of room in the wardrobe so I don't have TOO many  (Mr Mutton would disagree). I generally buy one a year, if I think I need it.

The key thing with coats and jackets, unless you have a walk-in closet, is to be very choosy about what you buy, and make sure you will wear it a lot. 


Wednesday, 5 October 2022

Cord Pinafore 3 Ways

 A cord pinafore styled three ways by over 60 style blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton. Shown here is the pinafore worn with purple

Dear friends. Strange but true: I have never worn dungarees, and the only pinafore dress I had was when I was seven. So I deliberately chose a cute corduroy pinafore dress when Cotton Traders kindly asked me to select two items to style.


Friday, 30 September 2022

September Favourites: Books, TV, Podcasts


Dear friends. Welcome to another Favourites, a monthly round-up of what I've been watching, reading and hearing. 

We're now getting seriously into the Autumn/Fall schedules, always heralded by the start of "Strictly Come Dancing".  I'm going to start with TV and a couple of the new season blockbusters.


Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Nailing Your Personal Style

 And #WowOnWednesday

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in cream patterned brogues, brown jeggings, pale peach top and flamingo pink short tie wrap

Dear friends. Have you nailed your personal style?  Do you gravitate towards certain styles and shapes that suit your build and personality?  Or do you get seduced online, in shops or on Instagram, by the whims of fashion, the desire to keep trying something different, or not really knowing what to buy that will suit your shape?


Monday, 26 September 2022

Lux Layering! Style Not Age Challenge

 Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton shows how to layer up for warmth and style, without turning into the Michelin Man.

Greetings friends. It was my turn to choose the challenge for Style Not Age this month, and, with rising fuel bills in mind, I chose Lux Layering.

During lockdown we became familiar with athleisure, wearing sweat pants, fleeces, onesies and PJs (and occasionally a smart shirt for a Zoom call). But judging from retail sales, it seems we're heartily sick of this trend and want to look smarter.  So how to keep warm?

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Ghyll Scrambling and other Jolly Japes

 With #WowOnWednesday

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton tries ghyll scrambling in the Lake District, over 60!

Dear friends. We're back from a fabulous week in the Lake District in the north of England. Not only did we have wonderful weather but we tried a couple of new activities. In addition to the usual fell walking we went ghyll scrambling. 

Clad in wetsuit, jacket, flotation vest and helmet, you make your way down a ghyll (or waterfall), in this case Stoneycroft ghyll, diving and jumping into pools, scrambling down rocks and getting fully immersed in the process. Below: John with Jay from Keswick Adventures who was our guide.

Ghyll scrambling at Stoneycroft Ghyll in the Lake District

Jay assured us his oldest client had been 84, so we were spring chickens. It was great fun. We were both wearing Go Pro's so check out John's short video of our adventure. 

 Next time we're going to book Canyoning, which is ghyll scrambling on stereoids, involving wearing a  a harness.  I'm also willing to try bungee jumping and kayaking. But I may take a rain check on "via ferrata." which you can do at Honister Slate Mine. I'm not good with heights.

We also spent half a day on ebikes. Poor John is very keen to make a cyclist out of me, but I've been too traumatised by London traffic.  Here I am before we started. John was tinkering with the bikes before we started. He's a very keen cyclist and has a ebike along with various others, so the first thing he does with a new bike is change the position of the handlebars and saddle.

The first hill we did was a HUGE one, but the bike was in turbo mode and shot off.  I quite enjoyed that, but I didn't like the steep descent and was braking (with brakes squealing) the whole time.  We managed to get to the hotel in time for the procession taking the Queen's coffin to Westminster Hall for the lying in state.

We did a couple of strenuous walks, both favourites which we've done a few times. Neither of us seemed to be at full power, energy-wise, which was strange;  we didn't have Covid. But it meant we had a less active time than we normally have in the Lakes.  Here's one of the spectacular views we enjoyed during our lunch stop.

Views from Carlside of Derwentwater, September 2022

On the last day, we went to the garden and grounds of Mirehouse near Keswick and spent a long time exploring the bee garden and woodland and lakeside walks, plus popping into this tiny church in the grounds. I'd love to go to a service there.

St Begas Church in the grounds of Mirehouse, Keswick

This picture shows me in the heather maze, with the backdrop of three fells we walked earlier in the week. 

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton with background of woodland and fells in the Lake District

Apart from my hiking clothes, I packed a capsule wardrobe of Kettlewell separates in my spring colours, which work beautifully together.  I tried a couple of full length selfies in the room but they weren't great, so here's a brief look at what I wore, along with the rose gold boots and teal brogues I took. For bottoms I had brown and dark green jeggings from M&S, which appear to have sold out already.  I took a few necklaces to jazz up the outfits. Dinners in our hotel are less formal than they used to be, but you still like to make an effort.
A capsule wardrobe featuring Kettlewell Colours, teal brogues and rose gold boots
And the dinners! Well, fabulous. Here's a small selection.  Food highlights from the Borrowdale Gates Hotel near Keswick
We're booking our next visit for April as it's always lovely in spring with the lambs, pheasants and azaleas. 

Have you / would you try ghyll scrambling or via ferrata? 

Sharing this post with: On Mondays We Link Up at Glass of Glam, Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Turning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Style with a Smile  at StylesplashTFF at Doused in Pink,Confident Twosday at IDoDeclaireRena at Fine Whatever,, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style, Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Link Up Pot Pourri at My Bijou LifeTraffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle Fabulous Fridays at Lucy Bertoldi, Friendship Friday at Create with Joy, OMHGWW at Oh My Heartsie Girl , Trend Spin at The Fashion Canvas

Now it's time for the #WowOnWednesday link-up.  Posts on any topic are welcome. I'd encourage both bloggers and readers to explore what's on offer. Blog comments make it all worthwhile. 

Last Week's Favourites - Most Clicked

Drowning in Pinks from newcomer to to the link-up, Chajleen. 

Life Lately from Marsha in the Middle, on moving into a new home. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter
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