Category: Clothes Maketh the (Wo)man

“I can’t believe you’re still wearing a bikini at 40!”

So said my husband as I tried on a multitude of options for our impending holiday and asked his opinion a couple of weeks ago. Not in a rude way (at least I hope it wasn’t!) More in an incredulous way. As though women of 40 don’t wear bikinis.

(Sidenote – the postman could have also chipped in to this conversation, because I was in the lounge modelling my new bikini. And the postman has to walk past both of our lounge windows to get to the front door. The husband told me to hide behind the sofa. Maybe he did mean his comment in a rude way after all.)

Here’s the thing – I don’t like swimsuits. I find them claustrophobic. They cling a lot. They don’t dry quickly enough when you’ve been in the pool or the sea. They make your skin feel clammy while they’re still damp. They’re a pain in the ass to pull up and down to go to the loo. They generally have too many straps and are too high at the front and back leaving tan marks where you don’t want them.

I like a tan on my stomach and my lower back. It freaks me out a little bit if my middle bit is completely white and my arm/face/shoulders/legs are brown (I don’t mind white bum and boobs, that’s the norm, unless you’re a nudist). And I like the feeling of the breeze on my stomach at the beach, or the cold sea as I ease myself in, or the first freezing hit of the pool when I jump in. And yes there’s a bit more of my stomach to experience those feelings than there used to be. And no I’m not as young and lithe as I once was (although nothing seems to be drooping so far!) But I still prefer a bikini.

Why is it that we’re so keen to put women in boxes when they reach a certain age? Shouldn’t wear short skirts, shouldn’t have long hair, should dress in classic neutral colours. I’ve been guilty of it myself in the past. I probably didn’t think I’d be wearing a bikini at 40, because that’s not what 40 year old women do, is it?

Well fucksticks to that. Neither my age or my “less slim” stomach is going to shame me into wearing something just because other people think I should. Whether that be the husband, the postman or the media.

This is not (misplaced) body confidence, by the way. I know I don’t look as good as I’d like to. But I refuse to be uncomfortable just to suit society.

Last time we were in Greece there were two Greek women on the beach. Both large ladies, both probably in their 60s, and both wearing a bikini. Not a skimpy tie sided, triangle top affair, admittedly. There was a decent amount of fabric and underwiring going on. But they were there and they were chilling and they were talking and sunbathing and swimming. I assume they were comfortable. I do notice a lot less body consciousness in non commercial Europe (hence the male budgie smuggler not being extinct!)

I’ve blogged about this subject before, 2 years ago, post holiday. I talked about the difference between my early 20s self in a bikini and my then late 30s one in one. And I stand by what I said then:

“My body looks how it does because of the life I lead. I enjoy life. I enjoy food. I enjoy drinking. I don’t enjoy exercise!”

Anyway, here are my two new bikinis, both from George at Asda. And I will be coming home from our late summer holiday with a tanned tum, so there!

Asda ombre blue bikini

Asda melon bikini with straps

What’s your approach to swimwear? Are you a cover up or stuff it kind of person?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Going green

If you’ve happened upon this post thinking it’s something to do with recycling or living a more sustainable life then…soz! It’s actually just a vacuous post about clothes (“just”, she says, as if clothes aren’t part of her life blood!)

I realised recently that I didn’t really have any green in my wardrobe. Then I realised that I wanted some. So, in true shopaholic style, I bought not one but FIVE things.

Have a lookie, why don’t you?

Teal sliders – George at Asda

Asda teal sliders

Crinkle top with white floral embroidery – George at Asda

Asda George green embroidered top

Frill sleeve pearl trim blouse – Everything 5 Pounds

E5P green pearl trim blouse

Floral frill hem ditsy print tea dress – Peacocks

Peacocks green floral dress

Palm print tie waist shift dress (WITH POCKETS!) – Peacocks

Peacocks palm print dress

Are a green wearer? What colour do you have most of in your wardrobe? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

Some Everything Five Pounds buys

I don’t know about you, but I tend not to shop very much in February and March. The shops are full of new season stuff but it’s still too bloody cold outside to wear anything less than 10 tog quilted clothes and hide under blankets at all time.

Come April though, I start to get a hankering for shiny new spring and summer clothes. Probably because I haven’t dared to unpack all of my previous year’s spring and summer clothes to avoid jinxing any good weather we might have. Or, more probably, because I get the fear when I don’t buy new things.

With that in mind, here’s a round up of my cheap and cheerful E5P buys which have ticked my new clothes box without breaking the bank.

Red ruffle hem trousers

Lesser mortals may think these are only for special occasions. I’m going to wear these bad boys whenever the mood takes me, even to work.

Everything 5 Pounds red flared trousers

Peacock print leggings

Ditto the above. I’ve already worn these to work, but certainly not with a top tucked in (who wear legging like that?!)

Everything 5 Pounds peacock print leggings

Navy and white spot shirt dress

I’ve had a soft spot (pun intended!) for dotty dresses ever since I saw Vivian wearing her brown and white one at the croquet in Pretty Woman. Hers shows more arm and less leg. I’m thinking of teaming this with a red bandana headband and white sandals.

Everything 5 Pounds polka dot shirt dress

70s print chiffon top

I love easy to wear pieces like this (by easy to wear, I also mean easy to wash, by which I mean no ironing required!) Great for chucking on with jeans.

Everything 5 Pounds retro print chiffon top

Frill sleeve blouse

I’ve waxed lyrical about my love of a fancy sleeve in the past, and this little lovely also has a fancy frilled front for extra dandiness.

Everything 5 Pounds frill sleeve blouse

Empire line denim dress

This is thicker than I expected so will probably get more wear in winter with tights and boots. Anyone else annoyed by her haphazard cuff folding?

Everything 5 Pounds denim dress

Embroidered cheesecloth smock tops

Again super easy to wear and no iron (they’re designed to look crinkled!) I couldn’t choose k=just one colour so I got two. Sorry not sorry

Aztec print chiffon cover up

I’m sure I will be asked why I’m wearing a dressing gown over my clothes when I wear this but that’s ok. As you may have noticed, I’m very much of the don’t give a fuck camp when it come to other people’s opinions on my clothes!

Everything 5 Pounds long chiffon kaftan

Off shoulder cheesecloth mini dresses

More non iron beauties! I was hoping these would be long enough to wear as dresses, what with me not being of clothing model proportions, but I might be pushing it on the decency front. But they’ll look great with leggings or over denim shorts.

 

Has the good weather sent you scurrying to the shops? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

A classic case of need vs. want

We all know the drill; you see something that catches your eye, your inner magpie is on full alert, but you know deep down you don’t actually need it.

But you really, REALLY want it.

Let me introduce my multi coloured sequin skirt from H&M.

H&M multi coloured sequin skirt

I only ordered it to be nosy (honest). Then when it arrived I couldn’t bear to send it back.

It was such a bargain.

And so pretty.

Just look at those colours!

Multi sequin skirt close up

So I kept it.

And then, on Monday, I wanted to go out to lunch so I needed something to wear. And while it might not scream bank holiday in the pub, I made it work. The husband didn’t laugh when I came downstairs , AND he held my hand publicly.

Dressed down with my new snuggly star jumper, opaque tights and flat buckle boots.

I even briefly sat outside to watch it sparkle in the daylight.

Sequin skirt outside

And I’d do it all over again, oh yes I would! Next stop summer with a black t-shirt, denim waistcoat and gladiator sandals.

If summer ever arrives, of course.

Do you do eveningwear for daywear? Sequins in summer?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

One size DOES NOT fit all

A big well done today to ASOS, who have announced plans to start showing the same clothes on different sizes and shapes of models.

Because we all know that a dress we buy online isn’t going to look the same as it does on the model…don’t we?

So, won’t it be nice to see the effect of wider hips or a bugger bust or shorter legs on clothes before we buy them?

ASOS different sizes

More importantly it’s a recognition that women do come in all shapes and sizes, and that we want to see all shapes and sizes reflected in our decision making process.

Naturally it’s going to take a while to roll out across the entire website, but it’s already a great start. Other retailers take note!

Read the full story here.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

Ever heard of women’s clothes retailer Tobi?

No? Me either…until they got in touch and asked if I’d like them to send me 3 items of clothes and style them my way. I thought about it for all of 0.3 milliseconds before snapping their hand off!

Tobi is based in the US but they offer free international delivery taking 8-9 working days. It does mean waiting a little longer for your order than you you may be used to when shopping online, but a bit of pre-planning should help to avoid any disappointment.

So, what did I go for?

Firstly these floral jersey flares.

I’m a big fan of easy to wear statement trousers and these definitely fall into that category. They’re pull on style with an elasticated waist and a pleasingly flarey flare! These trousers will work for year round wear (except on rainy days, no-one needs a soggy hem!); I’ll add wedges and a loose vest top in summer, and ankle boots and a jumper in winter. For in betweeny days, a denim jacket will be perfect too.

Tobi floral flares outfit

Clockwise, from left: Tobi floral flares, New Look crochet hem vest top, Matalan crochet shoulder bag, H&M denim jacket, New Look pink suedette wedges.

My second choice item is these leather look flared trousers (a bit of a theme here!) I have some faux leather trousers, and some coated leather look skinnies which I love, so I thought a different cut would be a good idea to add into my wardrobe. Unfortunately they’re not very long in the leg, so wearing super high heels (which would be my preference) is out of the question (I can’t stand to see a short flare with a high heel), but a pair of cuban heel western style boots and a print tee will also work well.

Tobi flared leather look trousers outfit

Clockwise, from left: Tobi leather look flares, H&M (men’s) skull print tee, eBay red fringed bag, Office ponyskin leopard print boots

The final item I was sent by Tobi is this gorgeous wine coloured flowing fabric dress. I was thinking this would be beautiful for summer holidays, but it’s unfortunately very short on me (and I’m not that tall, I’m 5ft 6 inches) so I’ll be wearing it as a tunic top instead. I’m thinking it would be great with a pair of wet look leggings and some statement heels for a night out, or maybe dressed down over battered denim shorts in summer.

Tobi cold shoulder dress outfit

Clockwise, from left: Tobi cold shoulder dress, River Island leather look leggings, ASOS embellished clutch, ASOS ankle strap sandals.

*These items were sent to me free of charge by Tobi, Opinions and styling ideas are my own.

Thanks, as always, for reading!

January sales round up

I don’t know about you, but for me the January sales have lost a lot of the appeal they once held, because it seems like High Street stores always have some kind of offer, discount or sale and so you don’t feel like you have to hold out until after Christmas to pick up a bargain.

In fact even the term January sales is now a misnomer, because most sales start before Christmas, or at least on Boxing Day, which is still firmly December on my calendar.

Not that I’m complaining…!

In years gone by I’d have stocked up on dresses, jackets and funky shoes for my office wear wardrobe, but now I work at a company with a casual dress code there’s no need for that kind of attire in my wardrobe. So now I probably shop less buy fewer things than before.

Here’s what I’ve acquired in this year’s sales.

New Look

Je T’aime t-shirt – £3

Red Je Taime tshirt

Teal velvet t-shirt – £6

New Look teal velvet tshirt

Burgundy floral flare sleeve dress – £7

New Look floral flare sleeve dress

H&M

Orange chiffon dress – £6.99

Orange chiffon dress

Jersey leopard print trousers – £4.89

Leopard print jersey trousers

Khaki lightening strike top – £8.99

Lightening khaki top

Dorothy Perkins

Floral velvet platform boots – £12

Dorothy Perkins floral velvet boots

Black floral boots – £10

Dorothy Perkins floral boots

Of course I have been buying other stuff too, but technically purchases from Everything 5 Pounds barely count, right?

What have you been buying? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

Some Everything Five Pounds buys

I haven’t really done much sales shopping this year. OK, well I’ve done some, but it hasn’t all arrived yet so I can’t share my spoils with you.

What I can share is my most recent buys from Everything Five Pounds, which is a veritable treasure trove of bargains all year round, not just in sale season.

Starting with this absolute zingy beaut of a (faux) leather jacket. I know faux leather can be a minefield, often resembling shiny crap, but you’ll just have to trust me when I say this is super soft and squishy, looks really good quality, and is a beautiful colour which will brighten up milder winter days and work into spring and summer too.

Coral faux leather jacket

I think I was drawn to this dress because it reminds me of Christmas, which I realise is now a distant memory after a whole week back at work. I plan to wear it layered over a fine jersey polo neck jumper with ankle boots for office wear.

Zig zag green and red dress

Love love LOVE this casual jersey jacket, which not only has some blingy stars on the front, but some rather dandy retro style embroidery on the back. Perfect for throwing on with jeans and a t-shirt for those inbetweeny days of spring, which can’t be too far away, can they?

Talking of spring, how lovely and easy to wear is this pale blue boho blouse? Perfect with leggings or ankle length skinny jeans, I’ll be chucking on loads of silver jewellery and some sandals with brightly painted toenails.

Blue boho blouse

Lastly a couple of shoe purchases, because shoes are my favourite wardrobe items of all.

These 90s-esque platforms, which will be super stable thanks to the chunky heel and the buckled strap.

Platform dolly shoes

And, again thinking towards spring, these fringed lace up open toe espadrille ankle boots.

Fringed grey espadrilles

Anyway, because I had some Christmas money and each of these items only cost a fiver (clue’s in the name) it’s technically new stuff for FREE! And who can argue with that?

Have you been buying any sales bargains, or anything at all? I’m hoping my deliveries will arrive imminently, and then I can pick what’s staying, what’s going, and share some more buys with you.

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

September summer buys

Every year, 31st August makes me sad. As much as I try to deny it, I know it signifies the end of summer.

Come 1st September I develop a sense of bullishness that NO, it’s is STILL summer, and I definitely WILL NOT give in to pre-ordained seasons and the associated expectations, and I will damn well WEAR MY SANDALS.

The last couple of years I’ve taken it a step further, not only wearing sandals but actively still buying them, as though this extra step will in some way push back Mother Nature and her creeping leaf changing and temperature drops. And this year is no exception.

Since getting back from holiday I’ve bought not one but 3 new pairs of sandals! Yep, while most women are getting excited about new season clothes and counting down the hours to pumpkin latte o’clock I’m still buying summer sandals, baring my toes and pretending that we’re heading towards high summer, not the depths of winter.

So, here they are!

Silver crackle lace up gladiator sandals – Everything 5 Pounds

Everthing 5 Pounds silver gladiator sandals

Camo cork sole flatforms – Everything 5 Pounds

Everything 5 Pounds camo flatform sandals

Purple pom pom lace up sandals – eBay

Purple pom pom sandals

This year, for good measure, I’ve also bought some summer dresses, because why not!

Red flounce sundress – H&M

H&M red frill sundress

Snakeskin 2 layer sundress – H&M

H&M snakeskin jersey dress

Blue flounce dress – New Look

New Look blue frill flounce dress

Do you try and cling on to summer? Or are you firmly in the “bring on autumn” camp?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

New stuff from Peacocks

I’m sharing my new purchases with you because in a world full of shit, racism, hatred and crap, we still want to look pretty, am I right?!

Look at these beauts from the underrated High Street hero that is Peacocks!

£35 reduced to £15 (would you look at that back detail)

£12 with a 20% off discount code

Peacocks pink ditsy print teadress

Liked it so much, I bought it in a different colour too!

Peacocks burgundy ditsy print teadress

I saw this maxi short dress one on someone I follow on instagram, can’t recall who, but it’s a thing of beauty (£20, with a discount code)

Peacocks floral maxi shirt dress

Oh, and this rather pretty flower headband, because why not? (£2.50 in the sale)

Peacocks floral headband

Have you bought anything nice lately? Let me know!

Thanks, as always, for reading. x