"". August 2023 | Is This Mutton?

Fashion for the over 50s with books and beauty

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Monday 28 August 2023

Crushing Crochet


In the monthly Style Not Age Challenge Gai Hanlon from Is This Mutton has found a charity shop dress with a crochet overlay for Crushing Crochet

Dear friends. Another month has sped by and it's time for the Style Not Age Challenge, where 5 style bloggers set each other a monthly prompt for an outfit.

This time it was set by Jacqui from Mummabstylish - Craving Crochet. 

Wednesday 23 August 2023

Summer Wardrobe Successes

 & WowOnWednesday

Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in lime and white, her most popular outfit this summer

Dear friends. I was recently updating some old blog posts and found a recurring theme - every day outfits, or what I've been wearing.  When I was working I used to be the first to arrive and I'd quickly take an outfit photo, usually in hideous lighting. 

It got me thinking about sharing my favourite outfits. Of course now that I'm retired I'm not reaching for work or Zoom outfits.  Life is more leisurely.


Monday 21 August 2023

All Good Things by Amanda Prowse


Author Amanda Prowse with all her published novels. All Good Things is a book spotlight at Is This Mutton, the books and fashion blog.

Dear friends. I'm back with another Book Spotlight and this time the focus is on one of Britain's best loved authors, Amanda Prowse, above, with her published novels. Today is my stop on the blog tour. 


Saturday 19 August 2023

Books for August

 Graphic showing the books read by Is This Mutton books and fashion blog in August

Dear friends. August is a funny old time in book publishing. Hardly any books come out, with most publishers preferring to wait until September.  I have a bumper edition for September, but not so many this month! But there's excellent variety, ranging from a crime thriller set on Scafell Pike to life at Broadmoor a hundred years ago and a different look at George Orwell. 

Let's start with a corker of a crime thriller. 


Friday 18 August 2023

Four for Friday

 And Weekend Traffic Jam Reboot

Ease into the weekend with Four for Friday at Is This Mutton

Dear friends. Hope you have something good lined up for the weekend. I'm off to a picnic in Hyde Park, organised many months ago. It looks as if the weather will be OK, although today we're expecting thunderstorms and rain.


Thursday 17 August 2023

Tell Us About...Imagination

 Image by pexels-ena-marinkovic showing a typewriter, a camera and flowers

Dear friends.  It's time for this month's Tell Us About challenge, and this time it was set by Suzy from The Grey Brunette. Imagination is the topic. 

When I was a child I was very imaginative. From a very young age I was writing stories and creating plays and comics. But over time, I fear I am less imaginative. It seems as if the left hand side of my brain has taken over, and while I'll never be able to master a spreadsheet  (and thankfully don't need to now!) I've become too organized and analytical to let my mind wander.


Wednesday 16 August 2023

Threads, Bluesky or Elon's X?

 & #WowOnWednesday

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in coral with teal

Dear friends. Were you a user of Twitter when it launched in 2006? Are you exploring Threads? And have you heard of Bluesky?

It was the emergence of two new players in recent weeks, Threads from Meta and Bluesky from Jack Dorsey, that made me realise how much I love Twitter, or X, as it has now been named by its owner Elon Musk.


Friday 11 August 2023

Four for Friday

 & Weekend Traffic Jam Reboot

Dear friends. Welcome to my new fortnightly post, Five for Friday, where I bring you five things I've enjoyed, read, watched, done. There's the opportunity to link up, along with Emma and Marsha, at Weekend Traffic Jam Reboot. 


I was sad when the chain of my favourite pendant broke but the small business that made it, Eclectica, have mended it free of charge and even sent back my contribution towards postage. Thank you so much! You can find their lovely pieces at John Lewis. 

Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton wearing pendant from Eclectica

War Sailor (Netflix) is up there with Das Boot among the WW2 greats.  This three part mini series tells the story of how Norwegian merchant seamen were forced to stay at sea, or be considered deserters, once war broke out. They were tasked with helping the UK and its allies. Thousands of lives were lost, and Norway was badly bombed. I am ashamed to say I had no idea, and it will make the annual gift of a Christmas tree from Norway all the more poignant. 

I go through phases with reading, and after a spell of reading literary fiction I'm devouring twisty thrillers. It's not out for a while but I really enjoyed The Perfect Patient by Luana Lewis, which comes out on 28 September. Look out for my review next month. #

I'm on the new "Twitter" type platform, Bluesky, created by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey. Have you heard of it? I'm also still on Twitter, now named X by Elon Musk, but I gave up on Threads pretty quickly. I'm writing about my impressions of the three channels next week. 

Sharing this post with
 Scribbling Boomer, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge,  #Neverendingstyle at The Grey Brunette, Final Friday at Marsha in the Middle, #FridayCoffeeShare at Natalie the Explorer, Senior Salon Pitstop at Esme Salon 



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Last week's most clicked post

Alison from Midlife and Beyond with Celebrating Our Wedding Anniversary in Rhodes, Greece!

Is This Mutton Pick

French Country Summer Tablescape by Thrifting Wonderland 

Don't forget to visit Emma and Marsha's blogs to see who they chose as their favourite.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Thursday 10 August 2023

August 10 on the 10th


Graphic representing the August edition of 10 on the 10th about holidays, answered by blogger Is This Mutton

Dear friends. A quick and fun post today answering 10 questions posed by Marsha in the Middle.  They're all about vacations, or holidays as we prefer in the UK. Here are the questions.  

1. Tell us about your favourite summer vacation, Now, tell us about a holiday gone wrong! 

My all-time favourite was in 2002, a singles' activity holiday on the island of Corfu. It was an unprepossessing start, there were just seven of us (three men and four women), but we bonded and had the most amazing time.

Here's the group, I'm wearing a blue t-shirt, fourth from the left. The lady at the front is the tour guide, Pauline, who was brilliant fun.

The holiday gone wrong was in 1999.  I got terrible food poisoning in Egypt. Anxious not to spend days in bed, I agreed to go on a tour the next day and got into difficulty on a day trip which involved a strenuous walk in extremely hot temperatures. I was still a bit dehydrated and could scarcely pull myself up the rocky hills.  A kind Israeli man with his family gave me water and took my hand to pull me along. 

2. Share an activity from your summers as a kid, but now you wouldn't even consider trying it.
I loved funfairs as a kid and teen and adored the fast rides and roller coasters. I experienced a roller coaster on a work outing a few years ago and kept my eyes shut, it was dreadful!

3. Is there something you love to wear in the summer, but would never wear in the winter months?
Shorts! Too cold. 

4. Spill the tea! Which summer beverage do you need to make it through the day? What beverage wouldn't grace your table ever during the summer?
I'm a bit boring because I don't have any special summer drinks. I mostly drink fizzy water. There are a couple of alcoholic drinks which are only ever consumed in the summer: Pimms no 1, and rose wine. 

5. When you were a kid, was there something you did that kids today would think was a complete waste of time? Is there something kids do today you find a lost cause?
Lots of things: building dens, picking blackberries, skipping, writing and performing in plays, creating scrapbooks full of pictures of holidays and pop stars.   Do kids do any of those things nowadays?  They always seem glued to screens.

6. Share a summer movie you watch as often as you can. What summer movie do you wish had never been made?
The only film I associate with summer is Saturday Night Fever. I've only seen it a couple of times.  It probably counts as the one I wish had never been made, although I like the music. I couldn't understand why women swooned over John Travolta! 

7. Tell us about your current  favourite summer song. Now tell us about a song that instantly takes you back to your childhood.
I'm wracking my brains but I don't have any current favourites. As my grand children are aged 4 and under, I'm not exposed much to "modern" music  (we mostly listen to classical and 70s/80s). A song that instantly takes me back is Maggie May, Rod Stewart. 

8. Time to spill the tea again! Are you a bikini type person? Or do you only dip your toe in the waters in a one piece?
I wore a bikini in my teens and then not again until I was 43! I stopped wearing bikinis this year and had a couple of one piece swimsuits. I felt a lot more relaxed, and happy, knowing my stomach was covered.

9. Share a favourite summer recipe you like to fix over and over again. Now, what recipe did you attempt one summer and will never attempt again?
I'd say it's Tuna Ni├žoise, a salad which is simple to prepare but very tasty. The recipe I attempted and will not make again, is my own taramasalata.  It was delicious but very time consuming as I had to order cod roe and then wrestle with skinning it, as it's quite tough.  It was no better than a supermarket version.

10. What is your absolute favourite summer smell? What summer smell makes you want to vomit?
Coconut fragranced sun lotions like Hawaiian Tropic were my favourite, although nowadays sun creams don't seem to have a scent. Here's an ad from the 70s. We used to buy the one with the lowest SPF! 

70s ad for Hawaiian Tropic sun oils and lotions

The smell that I detest is the sweet vanilla that young girls wear as perfume. So sickly. 

Fun set of questions Marsha.  If any of my answers strike a chord, or jog a memory, let us know in the comments.

See you tomorrow, Friday, for Traffic Jam Weekend Reboot.

Sharing this post with #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Rena at Fine WhateverHello Monday at Sunshine and Books,Talent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling Boomer, Final Friday at Marsha in the Middle, Senior Salon Pitstop at Esme SalonWeekend Traffic Jam at is This MuttonUnlimited Link Party at Grammy's Grid

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Wednesday 9 August 2023

Life Lately: Is This Mutton

 Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton in peacock patterned skirt, green short tie wrap, bright apricot top and rose gold ankle boots.

Dear friends. It was so wet at the weekend that I reached for boots and a raincoat for a trip to the Royal Opera House to see the Australian Ballet in Jewels. It's like autumn. 

The bad weather we've been experiencing for weeks hasn't come as a surprise to me. I remember lots of summers like this. Sometimes it was so bad we would be nostalgic for "that lovely bank holiday in May."

Tuesday 8 August 2023

Becoming Liz Taylor by Elizabeth Delo


Spotlight Author and Book Special 

Dear friends. Today I'm thrilled to bring you a book that I adored. It has everything you want in a novel:  memorable and likable characters; emotional depth and longing;  poignancy and pathos.  Becoming Liz Taylor is the debut novel by Elizabeth Delo, a former teacher. Today is my stop on the blog tour organized by Anne Cater of Random Things Tours.

Friday 4 August 2023

Welcome to Weekend Traffic Jam Reboot

 Dear friends.  It's Friday and I'm back with the fastest growing link-up, Weekend Traffic Jam Reboot with Marsha and Emma.


Wednesday 2 August 2023

How to Wear Stripes

Gail Hanlon in apple and cream striped scoop from Kettlewell with cream jeans and gold wedges

 & #WowOnWednesday

Dear friends. When Breton t-shirts became all the rage a few years ago, thanks to Boden, it was a trend I resisted. But in the last couple of years I've somehow accumulated quite a few stripey tops for casual wear. 

It got me thinking about the effect that stripes of different orientations and fabrics can have on our shape. 

At the top is one of my latest stripey acquisitions. This is the new Kettlewell Stella stripey scoop in apple and soft white, size small. The material is 51% pima cotton, 49% modal which makes it very soft, and as a result, stretchy compared to blends which have more cotton. The narrow stripes are more flattering than horizontal wide stripes, and there isn't a large stripe across the bust to give unwanted emphasis. 

As the weather gets cooler, these t-shirts look good with a jacket or wrap too.  Below I've added a Kettlewell Chloe jacket in cream. I love the "suit" effect.  The boyfriend jeans in cream are current from M&S. Green vegan bag is also current, Fenella Smith 

Adding a moto jacket adds a bit of extra style and warmth to a stripey t-shirt as shown by Gail Hanlon of Is This Mutton

Now in the photos above I don't think I look too short waisted, which is a result.  But wearing my other new Stella scoop in aqua and cream with leggings does show the perils of too high a waist being too close to the bust! 

Apart from the leggings being too high-waisted, wearing a scarf has also "closed up" my top half. If I wanted to wear the top with leggings again, I would do a half tuck so that there are longer sides to the top, elongating my waist. 

If you're short waisted, don't wear a stripey tee with very high waisted leggings. You're better off with a half tuck to elongate your waist

One of my favourite ways of wearing stripes is mixing a colour with white and adding a short tie wrap, which has the effect of a) creating a waist, and b) making the embonpoint less noticeable! 

A favourite lime and white formula for Is This Mutton and a casual striped look

For winter,  a striped jumper/sweater is an easy to wear stripes in a flattering material. Here I've added black leggings with a side seam to make my legs look longer.  I added a couple of extra patterns for more interest, a scarf and a polka dot belt. 

A striped jumper for winter, always a stylish and flattering solution says style blog Is This Mutton

Stripes for Your Shape 

There's been a lot of confusing nonsense written about stripes which has had the effect of preventing many women from wearing them. In the main:

  • A thick horizontal stripe across your chest emphasises your bosom, particularly in white or another pale colour, as do softer and stretchier fabrics
  • If you're pear shaped, consider thick stripes for your top to widen your shoulders, and vertical stripes in a skirt or trousers to downplay your hips. Alternatively, you can also opt for a diagonal striped skirt.
  • Apple shapes carry a bit more weight in the midsection. So avoid clothes with horizontal stripes at your stomach. Clothes with diagonal stripes are great options.
You can have fun pattern mixing with stripes. Combine them in the same outfit, such as horizontal on top and vertical stripes below, using different thickness and colours. 

As far as striped bottoms concerned, thin vertical stripes down your skirt or trousers will have a leg lengthening effect. 

Stripes for Your Style Personality 

If you've had your style analysed using the Kibbe system, or by a company like House of Color, you'll know whether or not stripes suit your style personality. For me, a gamine, narrow stripes are good: they look fun and don't overwhelm me. Stripes and small polka dots are the only patterns I like wearing.

Kettlewell has a new style quiz on its website which will give you an initial steer on your style personality. 

Are stripes part of your wardrobe? Share your views in the comments below. 

Sharing this post with: Weekday Wear at Away from the Blue, #AnythingGoes at My Random Musings, Hello Monday at Sunshine and Books, Tell it to Me Tuesday at Perfectly Imperfect, Rena at Fine WhateverTurning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish,  Confident Twosday at I Do Declaire, Style with a Smile at StylesplashTalent Sharing Tuesdays at Scribbling BoomerCurated by Jennifer (Wednesdays), Chic & Stylish at Mummabstylish, #SpreadTheKindness  and #Linkup on the Edge at Shelbee on the Edge,  Thursday Fashion Files at Doused in Pink, #Neverendingstyle at The Grey BrunetteFancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style,  Traffic Jam Weekend at Marsha in the Middle Senior Salon Pitstop at Esme Salon Crafty Creators at Life as a Leo Wife Unlimited Link Party at Grammy's Grid 

Disclosure: Is Mutton is optimised for the best reading experience so there are no ads or affiliate links. Where I have linked to retailers, this is for your convenience. Clicks are not monetized.

You May Also Like:

Find the best earrings for your face shape 

Style Not Age: Stripes and Dots

Black and White Pattern Mixing 


It's time for #WowOnWednesday, the weekly link-up where bloggers can find new readers, and readers can find new blogs. I feature three favourites each Wednesday on Instagram, and my five or six top picks at the weekend on Twitter and Facebook. 

Any posts that interest women are welcome: fashion, beauty, home decor, gardening, books, travel, self-improvement, nutrition, recipes. Each week there will be as Featured Favourite for Fashion, Beauty and Other Categories.


What I wore on the plane to Italy by Rosemary at Distinctly Southern Style 

Favourite Recipe Post (Most Clicked)

Quick and Easy Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Burritos by Perfectly Imperfect – Life with Lyndsey

Is This Mutton Favourite

Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb is back! After a few weeks of not blogging, she's introducing herself to new readers:  If You're New Here, Get to Know Me . There's a selection of some of her most popular posts to reacquaint yourself with this leading fashion and lifestyle blogger and IG'er. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Tuesday 1 August 2023

My Month: July


Dear friends.  July was one of the wettest months ever! But I still did a fair bit. It takes more than rain and grey weather to put me off. July highlights were a trip to Devon for my nephew's wedding and RHS Hampton Court.

It was also good to get back inside the National Portrait Gallery. It has reopened after being closed for renovation for more than 3 years. 

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