Fashion,beauty and jewellery for the non-invisible woman over 45

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Six tips for must-have accessories

Image showing an over 45 woman showing how to add great accessories to a plain black outfit
When I revived Is This Mutton? two years ago, one thing I quickly noticed was my lack of accessories. I had just two handbags in black and brown, hardly any belts, one or two necklaces I wore all the time, and no hats at all.
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Sunday, 5 August 2018

Whitstable Wedding

The bride and groom with proud father of the bride and stepmother
This weekend was spent in glorious sunshine in the seaside town of Whitstable in Kent for the wedding of John's daughter Rachel to Sean.
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Saturday, 28 July 2018

Anthropologie colour block dress

Anthropologie colour block sleeveless dress worn by over-45s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?
I didn't buy a colour block dress when they first came out. They seemed to be sold as dresses that took off inches. Now the colour blocking is less about creating hourglass shapes than having fun with colour.

This Anthropologie dress caught my eye because of the unusual mix of colours, and, with an eye on autumn, I thought it would make a good transitional piece paired with perhaps a lightweight Kettlewell silky top.

I snapped up it in the sale, along with the teal and white shoes from Next. It's my "reserve" for a wedding next Saturday. I'm not sure which dress I will go with. Probably the other one, which I'm not showing you (yet) because this dress can be worn to smart work occasions, whereas the other dress is more dramatic. 

The fabric is wonderful, skimming the figure in a kind way. I relished the chance to wear a necklace which my mum gave me years ago. She thinks it's some sort of rare stone but I'm not sure.
A sleeveless colour block dress worn by over-45s blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?

A colour block dress featuring teal, turquoise and burgundy from Anthropologie, worn with teal and white shoes and accessorized with a white clutch bag and burgundy necklace.
I'm looking forward to having a hair cut  next week. 
Come back on Thursday for Sentence a Day to find out what I did in July. There was quite a bit of football.

SHOP COLOUR BLOCK DRESSES


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Thursday, 19 July 2018

Winter in July

Over 40s blogger Gail Hanlon in winter attire in July, to show that you can find timeless bargains from previous seasons in the July sales. Here she is wearing a sequinned star jumper and Jaycee skirt from The-Bias-Cut.com
Christmas often happens in July. Magazines are already preparing their festive editions and press and retailers will be showcasing their wares to bloggers and journalists. And thanks to some canny sales shopping, I am also showing you a touch of winter in July.
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Sunday, 15 July 2018

Top picks from The-Bias-Cut Sale: Part 1

White Mimi t-shirt with pink fronds worn with fuchsia shorts and statement earrings
One of the most thrilling experiences I've had as a blogger was when I was invited to a professional shoot a few months ago for The-Bias-Cut.com. So I was delighted when Jacynth contacted me to see if I'd like to choose some pieces from the sale and style them at home.

If you haven't discovered this site, you're in for a treat. Jacynth created The Bias Cut (what a clever name) when she realised her mother couldn't find anything she liked in the shops. It would be wrong to describe the Bias Cut as a site for the middle-aged because many of the pieces could equally be worn by a 20-something. But in terms of cut and quality, the clothes suit everyone, and are ideally suited to the over 40s because we still want fashion but we don't want to look the same as everyone else.

The quality of the clothes is amazing and they make you feel special when you wear them.

A t-shirt is always a good buy provided they're not in a design that will immediately date them as 2018  (t-shirts with slogans in French for example). The Mimi t-shirt featuring fuchsia pink fronds (and also available in turquoise) has embroidered ferns.
Keeping cool in the heatwave in pink shorts and a white and pink shirt by Fabienne Chapot
I added some matching shorts (old), a new pair of Accessorize sandals and pink statement earrings from Mango.
I've long been looking for a classic but contemporary poplin shirt that can be worn both casually and to work. The Bias Cut has some great designs and I chose the Gibson and Birkbeck artichoke design, now reduced to £65. It's beautifully cut, and, the sign of a good shirt, the buttons are covered by a placket. I styled this two ways, firstly casual, with my M&S shorts and Adidas Originals Stan Smiths.
Turn heads with this distinctive white shirt decorated with artichokes from The-Bias-Cut,com

Artichoke poplin shirt by Gibson & Birkbeck from The-Bias-Cut.com worn with white knee-length shorts and Adidas Stan Smith originals.
Then I changed the shorts for a green skirt. This one came from Sainsbury's and was last seen here. I love mixing up different finds from high-end stores, charity shops or supermarkets. If you do this you'll never find yourself looking the same as someone else. The gold mules are last year's.
A work wear look for a contemporary white shirt decorated with artichokes, worn with gold mules and a green patterned skirt.
I'm quite a careful sale shopper. I try not to buy pieces that are in colours that will date. I have a list of pieces that I need. For winter, for example, I already know I want a new raincoat. As I wear a lot of black, I will be looking out to see what's fashionable for skirts and trousers, and buy a couple of new pieces to pair with my existing jumpers and tops. Jewellery and bags are an easy way to bring an outfit up-to-date. I bought several pairs of statement earrings from the Mango sale.

Another of my tricks is to find bargains from the previous season.  On Thursday, I'll show you three more pieces from The-Bias-Cut's sale, this time two jumpers (sweaters) and a skirt. They are timeless contemporary pieces with real stand out. The only snag was, I had to photograph them in the current heatwave, as if I was styling pieces for winter! So that's why I did the shoot indoors, where it was cooler. See you on Thurs!

Some of the clothes featured in the shoot back in October are also reduced in price.  The gorgeous Narelle green dress by Nathalie Vleechouwer is available in a couple of sizes. at £110. The green velvet jacket by Fabienne Chapot is reduced to £108.

In the meantime, do share any great tips you have for sale shopping, and any pieces you've snapped up.

I was gifted two items by The-Bias-Cut.com

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Sunday, 8 July 2018

Lilac floral skirt

Over 45s blogger Gail Hanlon in lilac and yellow floral skirt, bought secondhand from eBay, lilac top and pink sandals
I've mentioned before that I have a skirt search set up on eBay that gives me notifications when new offerings from Boden and others are on offer. I like to shop this way because not only does it save money, it's re-using clothes rather than endlessly buying "fast fashion."
Lilac floral skirt worn with a lilac top and pink sandals
This lovely lilac and yellow floral skirt, originally from Laura Ashley, was an eBay buy for £5.99. I'm wearing it with a pair of old pink sandals, new pink earrings (Mango) and lilac top (Marks and Spencer). As lilac's in fashion this summer, I'm trying to buy nice pieces to wear for many years to come, because normally lilac is only around for prom and bridesmaid dresses.
Mid life woman in lilac and yellow floral skirt and lilac top with pink sandals and earrings.
I find skirts are The Best for summer: easy to wear, colourful, cheery. This skirt is lined which makes it a little less appealing for the hot weather. Here's a post showing another floral skirt, and ways to style it.

Sharing this post with Fake It Until You Make It at Fake Fabulous#IwillwearwhatIlike at Not Dressed as LambVisible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style; Creative Mondays at ClaireJustineStyle with a Smile at StylesplashTurning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, #SpreadTheKindness at Shelbee on the Edge, Chic&Stylish at Mummabstylish,  Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style. Fabulous Friday at A Pocketful of Polka DotsTina's Pink Friday  Weekend Wear at Threads for Thomas and Anything Goes Linky at My Random Musings.

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Sunday, 1 July 2018

Shorts for work

A lilac gingham short sleeved top worn with lilac sunglasses and white knee length shorts by midlife blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton? dot com
Would you wear shorts to work?  In my case, yes. I work for a laid back company in the tech sector and as soon as the sun comes out, the men put their shorts on and expose their feet in all their gnarly glory. I would only wear "smart" shorts or pedal pushers. They're not much different from a skirt.
These shorts are from Marks and Spencer and they're in a lovely soft fabric and feel very comfortable. A few years ago, I always wore shorts like this on holiday with floaty tops. I've added a lilac gingham top, also from M&S, and some statement tasselled earrings which are in the sale at Mango. I bought several pairs because a fast way to jazz up an outfit is with some fashion jewellery. The hexagonal lilac sunglasses are from River Island.
City shorts or pedal pushers for work? If they're smart and knee length, argues over 40s blogger Is This Mutton, who features a white pair with a lilac gingham top.
I also had a pair of navy pedal pushers from M&S, having read in the Times that pedal pushers are apparently all the rage.  If they are, hardly any retailers have them - or if they do, they're not calling them that. Apparently Meghan Markle was seen in a pair over the weekend, so there could now be a surge in demand.

The pedal pushers I ordered were supposed to be "sculpt and lift," but the tight, stretchy material was very unflattering and they didn't make it to these pages! It's a shame because I had some navy culottes a few years ago that were exactly the right shape and style, and I'm kicking myself for giving them away.
Mid life blogger Is This Mutton? in white city shorts and lilac gingham top with purple tassel earrings
A good tip for finding out which length of short is right for you. Hold up a towel in front of yourself (with bare legs), and slowly lift it. You'll see how much leg is flattering for you. Then your challenge  is to find a pair of shorts that are the same length.

Do you / would you wear shorts to work?  Let me know in the comments.

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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Three ways with a camel midi skirt


Take a midi length A line camel skirt and create three different looks. Voila! Over 40s blog Is This Mutton? takes the supremely soft supima skirt from Marks and Spencer and tries it with lilac and cream and black for the office.
Now the word "camel" as a descriptor doesn't exactly get my heart beating faster.  I know it's an eminently sensible colour and every woman is urged to have a camel coat for winter.  But I'd never thought of having anything else in camel until I saw this midi skirt in Marks and Spencer.
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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Striped Maxi Dress

Get s cool boho vibe with a colourful striped maxi dress, ideal for long balmy summer nights. Is This Mutton, the blog for the sassy over-45s, has found a great floaty dress from Monsoon.
Surprising confession:  I've never had a maxi dress.  I've often meant to put that right, after seeing other bloggers looking fabulous, or women wafting around in maxis on holiday.
It was the eye catching colourful stripes that attracted me to this dress from Monsoon, even though it's sleeveless, normally not something I embrace. Lately though I've been thinking: who cares about someone's arms? Life is too short. Older women get bingo wings, no matter how many bicep curls and tricep dips you do.
Styling a striped maxi dress for summer nights:  Is This Mutton? the style blog for the over-45s
The dress has a fun, floaty vibe and doesn't look too formal. I can imagine wafting around Skiathos, getting on the water taxi and going to one of the lovely restaurants in this dress.
I've styled it with old accessories- my Pure Collection sequin straw bag from last year;  pink sandals and a necklace. The hat was in the Next clearance sale a few months ago for around a tenner - I knew it would come in handy one day!
Gail Hanlon from over-45s blog Is This Mutton? in a colourful striped maxi dress from Monsoon

Sharing this post with Fake It Until You Make It at Fake Fabulous#IwillwearwhatIlike at Not Dressed as Lamb Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style; Creative Mondays at ClaireJustineStyle with a Smile at StylesplashTurning Heads Tuesday at Elegantly Dressed and Stylish, Chic&Stylish at Mummabstylish,  Top of the World Style at High Latitude Style, Fancy Friday at Nancy's Fashion Style. Fabulous Friday at A Pocketful of Polka Dots , Hat Attack at Style Crone, Tina's Pink Friday and Weekend Wear at Threads for Thomas.

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Sunday, 10 June 2018

Sequins for summer

Woman wearing rose gold sequin top and  white denim skirt, in a garden
I know ladies that most of you have a soft spot for sequins. My green sequinned look for daytime was one of my most popular posts on Instagram.
Image showing Is This Mutton? blogger wearing a rose gold sequin top and white denim skirt
This stretchy rose gold sequin top, which was a bargain on eBay a few years ago, adds a touch of glamour to any outfit.  Here it's dressing up a white denim skirt from TU at Sainsbury's. The gorgeous Lotus Cattleya sandals, last seen here, and cute peachy clutch, add a little more glamour. The rose gold leaf earrings are also from Sainsbury's.  A perfect outfit for date night or cocktails (or both!).
Woman in a rose gold sequin top and white pencil skirt
Molly's latest hobby is photo bombing shoots, so see if you can spot her each time.

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Disclosure:  I was gifted the Lotus Cattleya sandals.

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Sunday, 3 June 2018

The new midi dress

The new look for summer dresses is unstructured, flowing and midi length with contrasting patterns or unsugary florals. Is This Mutton? looks at this trend for the fashionable over-40 woman
I absolutely love this Teatum Jones dress - the silky fabric, the swooshy hem, the contrast prints. But unfortunately it's a shape that doesn't suit me.

As Mr Mutton put it  (and you can always rely on men for an honest opinion), "it would look better on a slimmer body."

It's the shape of dress which suits a straight up-and-down figure.  As you can see, I did try a belt with it but you lose a lot of the casual, boho vibe when you add too many accessories to this look.
Over 45s blog Is This Mutton? tries the new shape of unstructured contrast print midi dress
I love this new style of midi. This contemporary style is breathing fresh of air into the high street. I should still be able to wear this trend by choosing a shirt dress or wrap dress style.  Plenty to see below in the shopping guide. Zara has lots to choose from too.
Contrast floral dress by Teatum Jones at Next worn by over-45s blogger Is This Mutton?
Dress, £180, Mix/Teatum Jones at Next. Sandals, £39.50, Marks and Spencer,

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Sunday, 27 May 2018

Dressing up black cropped trousers

In part two of a special on how older women can wear summer 2018's cropped and wide trousers, Is This Mutton dresses up a pair of black trousers with a red top and pearls.
Last week in part one of my Cropped and Wide Trousers special, I hopefully showed that this scary type of pant can be surprisingly flattering. This week I'm wearing a more conservative pair of trousers which could easily be worn to work and also dressed up for evenings.
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Monday, 21 May 2018

Wide and cropped trousers

How easy is it for an older woman to wear this summer's wide and cropped culottes and trousers? Over-45s blog Is This Mutton? tries a couple of pairs for size.
Now there's a line to strike fear into most older women's hearts:  wide cropped trousers. Last year we had ankle grazers but they were mostly straight or narrow legged.  This year, "what's trending" on Asos tells me that wide, cropped trousers/ culottes are going to be very big this summer. In more ways than one.
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Sunday, 20 May 2018

Thoughts on the royal wedding

The wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Image: USA Today
Image: USA Today

Thousands of column inches have been devoted to analysis of the royal wedding but undeterred, I'm going to give my two'pennorth  (or 10 cents, for US readers). Hold on to your hats ladies!
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Friday, 18 May 2018

Find your perfect Mother of the Bride/Groom dress

Is This Mutton blogger Gail Hanlon in a violet dress and lace shrug by Gina Bacconi for her step son's wedding
Shopping for a mother of the bride or groom outfit is a minefield. You want to look cool and contemporary, in an outfit that flatters. But too many dresses are sleeveless or in a fabric that clings.  And you don't want to go too mainstream in case someone else is wearing the same dress. Here are some tips on finding your best outfit.
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Sunday, 13 May 2018

Dance your way through summer with Vionic Ainsleigh wedges

Dance and walk in comfort all summer with Vionic's Ainsleigh wedge sandals. Is This Mutton wears them with an elegant tangerine dress from Lavish Alice.
Summer presents us with all sorts of shoe challenges ---- how do we stay comfortable at a wedding, for example, where we might be on our feet all day and night? The answer my friends is Vionic Shoes.
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Sunday, 6 May 2018

Lotus Cattleya sandals and Joseph Ribkoff dress

A summer dream team for parties or weddings: Lotus Cattleya sandals in nude with a flattering Joseph Ribkoff dress in lime and leopard print.
I was thrilled to be gifted these gorgeous Cattleya high stiletto heel peep toe sandals from Lotus. Look at the elegant cut out style, which has some diamante that sparkles very invitingly.  And they slip on, with no straps needing to be adjusted. Even better, they're a neutral colour which goes well with anything.
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Sunday, 29 April 2018

Transforming a plain dress with accessories

How to use accessories to transform a dull outfit, in this case a plain navy shift dress, Over 40s blog Is This Mutton? adds fuchsia pink and blue and a cute sequinned bag.
This dress was featured in Nancy and Shelbee's Bad Buy Book. I had bought it for a particular presentation when I wanted to have gravitas and I wore it with hardly any accessories.  I used to be fairly minimal on the accessories front. But suggestions of adding a scarf and funky bag piqued my interest so I decided to try to brighten up a dull dress.
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Monday, 23 April 2018

What I Wore in the Bluebell Wood

Is This Mutton blogger and husband in a secret bluebell wood outside London, spring 2018
We're lucky to have a secret bluebell wood not too far away, in Epping Forest. At this time of year the wonderful delicate English bluebells are out and their sweet scent drenches the forest glade.
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Monday, 16 April 2018

White and lilac blouse three ways

Styling a white and lilac striped blouse three ways. Bring any outfit up to date by adding inexpensive fashion bags and sunglasses.
My blogger friend Jacqui from Mummabstylish and I both have the same blouse - a complete coincidence, but when we realised, we thought it would be a great idea to style it a few different ways.

The blouse itself is from Marks and Spencer and has a pale lilac stripe. I've been wearing it in winter under a purple cashmere jumper but I've tried three different looks here.

The first is a playful look ideal for going out with friends, or shopping  (see the flat shoes?). The lilac cropped trousers with a delightful fringe are from River Island.  Team this with a circle bag - very "in" - and this one, in lilac, is from Acccessorize - and finally a purple beret. I bought mine on eBay for less than a tenner. The shoes are rose gold delights, old, from Boden.
Styling a white and lilac striped blouse three ways. Bring any outfit up to date by adding inexpensive fashion bags and sunglasses.
Next up: we have Melania Trump to thank for this look.  Pencil skirts are de rigeur this spring, and they can be worn with voluminous belted tops. My silver pleather skirt from Next is a bit too big and so it was a better look than tucking the blouse in. This is a more dressy outfit, ideal for a date night dinner.
Styling a white and lilac striped blouse three ways. This look is ideal for date night. The blouse is worn with a silver skirt, silver shoes and belt, and a cute purple evening bag.
I added silver shoes, a silver belt, silver lurex tights, a purple evening bag and hexagonal lilac sunglasses from River Island.
A dressy look ideal for date night:  white and lilac blouse worn with silver skirt, belt and shoes, and a purple evening bag
Finally, a look for the office. Metallic is the key here.  I'm wearing straight legged navy trousers, several years old, from Marks and Spencer, and a peplum jacket from Phase Eight (now reduced in price).  To add some interest, I have metallic brogue shoes and lurex socks from Sainsbury's, and an embellished circle bag from Accessorize.
A look suitable for the office with the blouse paired with navy trousers, a navy peplum jacket and metallic brogues.

The office look. Navy jacket and trousers and an eye catching embellished circle bag are perfect for office wear.
Up-to-the-minute bags and sunglasses can instantly update an outfit, and you can buy these relatively inexpensively from retailers like Acccessorize, River Island, Asos. Don't assume that these stores won't have anything for older women. I find they have lots of desirable items, and if you order online, you don't even have the trauma of rubbing shoulders with teenagers.

Now let's see how Jacqui got on.
Over 50s blogger Jacqui Berry from Mummabstylish styles a white and lilac blouse three ways, along with blogger Gail Hanlon from Is This Mutton?
Jacqui is wearing her M&S blouse with M&S cropped jeans that she DIY'd frayed herself;  M&S navy court shoes,  grey jumper from F & F, and silver Zara bag. Don't forget to visit her blog, Mummabstylish, to see the other outfits Jacqui has created with the blouse.

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