The final countdown

Today is going to be bedlam in our house, therefore I've put this post together sooner rather than later as I think my bedroom may end up looking like the remnants of a jumble sale. At the end of the post I've finally got a few frocks to show you after all those promises, but I must admit that some would have benefited from an iron. 

Maybe the expression on my face says - "Not long 'til I'm being whisked off on my hols!"

Does this happen to you? The minute you've made the appointment to have your hair cut it suddenly looks the best it's been in ages.

Let's talk about the coat first, shall we? I bought this from a charity shop in September and whisked it straight off to the dry cleaners for specialist cleaning. It took about a month to be posted back to me and ever since then I've been trying to show it off to it's best. It's got a lovely veined effect which shows up better in a close up later on, and has a distressed look that has probably just come about through the passage of time. I changed the belt as the other was too big. 

And let's not forget the boots. New, and having their debut with these wonderful tights which my sister Sandra sent me. I fancy they're called Argyle check rather than tartan. I know these boots will obviously look amazing with jeans, but wanted to try something a little bit different initially.

The beautiful woollen shorts came from ASOS via a charity shop in Penzance a couple of years ago. I like the feature of the side zips which conceal the pockets - very nifty.

I'm a regular in most of the charity shops in Penzance, so it was a lovely surprise to find that one of them had upgraded an area of the shop into a vintage section. Not unusual elsewhere, but pretty cutting edge for us out on this far peninsula of Cornwall. In one corner an old fashioned wardrobe was decked out in all sort of finery and hanging inside I came across this gorgeous suede coat which hails from Cypress. I slipped it gently off its hanger and slid it over my shoulders. I was soon the happy owner of this exquisite piece. A bit of neglect was apparent, but nothing that couldn't be sorted by some specialist cleaning. The coat is in the running as the holiday coat, but I have others to consider.

So, on to the frock situation. These are a few that might make the final cut, but at the moment it's as clear as mud.

Two beautiful beaded numbers. The peach chiffon one is new, but marred slightly by the fact that someone said it was a bit Bollywood, hmmmm. Can I let that put me off?

I have fellow fashion blogger Suzanne Carillo to thank for leading me to discover this stunning skirt by Anthropologie. It was in the sale, (sold out now)  which did reduce the sting somewhat.

This is the green beaded dress I wore to my 40th birthday bash - truly vintage now methinks.

I wore this gold maxi dress on our last cruise. Does that mean it ought to stay at home this time?

And this maxi dress hasn't had an outing since I bought in on eBay last summer. I can imagine Melanie from Bag and a Beret wearing this to an exotic soiree, with elbow length gloves, whilst brandishing a cigarette in a very long cigarette holder. 

The gold knee length dress is lovely with the gold beaded crochet top, but again has already been cruising. And the dark green 50's frock has never been worn, but looks amazing with my black net underskirt underneath. To be honest, it seems like I've got a whole lot of trying on to do to help with the decision making. Wish me luck!

I'm scheduling my posts to continue to go live on Wednesdays and Sundays for the duration of my holiday and so dear readers it would be great to know you'll still pop by to see some new outfits. Some are from last summer which I thought might be a bit cheering during the last weeks of the winter. I hope to also post some new shots from our holiday on Instagram which is under the same name as my blog - it would be great to hear from you there too. I'll be checking my comments on both and provided I have network will respond, so do keep in touch x

Coat: charity shop. Boots: Office shoes (sold out but these are similar) Shorts: charity shop. Top: eBay. Tights: gift. Belt: Zara. Bag: charity shop. Rings: charity shop.

All of the dresses shown are old, vintage or from eBay. The striped skirt is now sold out.


My birthday jacket

Yes, this was me on my birthday, sporting the new jacket that my daughter chose and my husband financed, which is pretty much the perfect arrangement I'd say. Sasha has a great eye and knows my style, as you can see. I love the unique nature of the jacket - the colours, the patchwork and the tiny studs, all of which say class act to me. Arriving just on the cusp of our departure for our holidays, this soft suede bomber jacket will be ideal for warmer weather when I need to step out in style in Rome, Malta and Barcelona. Thank you Sasha for finding a such a perfect gift.

A week ago one of my favourite fashion bloggers, Suzanne Carillo posted an article which asked her readers to chose our style statement for 2016 (see here). Suzanne then went on to state her own, as "Artistic, unique, relevant, fun and strong". If you have time, please take a moment to visit her blog and you will soon understand how well she has summarised herself. I admire Suzanne's bold sense of dressing that isn't about following trends. As a savvy shopper she finds bargains in the sales, loves to charity shop and has some great tips on dressing as seen here. Her strong sense of self is what I admire so much and is something I recognise in myself too. 

I considered her question as to my own style statement and came up with "I aspire to inspire". Apologies if this comes across as very grand and self inflated, it's not meant to at all. The older I get, the more I feel I know myself and what suits my body shape. I've found that if I wear the right combination of colours and shapes it greatly increases my confidence. This often results in women of my age talking to me about my clothes and where I bought them, and can also create the opportunity for them to talk about why they wear what they do or why they think they couldn't wear what I do.

As we mature we all need to cultivate the older version of ourselves and maintain the individuality that we had in our younger days. It's so easy to let fashion, trends or an interest in clothes pass us by as we age, believing that it's no longer important. I disagree, hence my motto of "Let's bin the beige and have fun with colour". I like to think that my boldness may inspire one or two to step out of their comfort zone. Whether it's just to try out a new shade of lipstick, or some coloured tights or even revisit a trend they loved when they were younger. I'd like to think my blog may liberate, inspire, inject some fun or at the very least give food for thought. "Could I wear something like that?" you may ask. Well you won't know unless you try. A trial within the privacy of your bedroom is the best way to see how you feel, see if you have the right shoes, belt, jewellery to complete the look. Taking time to do this is essential. I hate the rush of changing rooms, where you feel obliged to scurry in and out so quickly, too quickly to weigh up the look at all. Take an hour at home, in the daytime, when you have good light to see the true colours and see what you can find in your wardrobe to match or compliment the piece in question. Go on, you may surprise yourself!

Before I go, I feel I must mention these boots which have lain dormant in my wardrobe for over 20 years now. I bought them in a swish boutique on Gandi Street in Exeter and they pretty much drained all of my reserves in one fell swoop. It was love at first sight. The price tag became insignificant. I knew I had to have them. I'm sure this is common to other shopaholics - the fight is over before it has begun. Give in. You know you're gonna have to buy 'em, so just get on with it. Hot sweats, racing heart, panic, all of the ensuing signals to try to stop this train wreck will amount to nothing. And so it was. And here they still are, as sensational as ever. They are by DKNY and everything about them is fantastic. From the exquisite scrolling pattern, to the staggering heel shape and the opulent purple leather lining, they are outrageously beautiful. Whimper, pine and drool over them from a distance as they won't be up for sale on my (forthcoming) eBay page anytime soon.

Jacket: KattyKitt Vintage. Dress: charity shop. Polo neck: charity shop. Boots: DKNY. Tights: Dorothy Perkins. Blue rings: charity shop.

Linking with
Cherie at Style Nudge 
Allison at Sydney Fashion Hunter 


What d'ya think?

Right, here's the rub - in less than three weeks time I'll be on board our cruise ship and the panic is just setting in. We leave home on the 1st Feb and apart from some crazy shoe shopping, I haven't done anything constructive to bring my capsule wardrobe together yet. Well that's not exactly true. I've found the most fabulous dress to wear to the Captain's party - do you want a sneak preview? Well scoot on down to the bottom of the page and I'll show you...

OK how many of you did that? The only reason I decided to show you was in case I suddenly changed my mind and it didn't get an airing til next NYE. What d'ya think? I bought this from eBay for £16.99! It's a one-off designer piece, lined, boned and beautifully made. Stunning isn't it?

But back to the main event. I thought I'd try out some maybes to see what they look like and decide if they ought to be packed for the cruise. The fake fur might be really useful if the weather is still cool. February is a funny month for weather in Europe. Steve and I went to Venice in February one year and instead of going to what everyone said would be warm or at least mild weather, we encountered the coldest temperatures that they'd had in Venice for 100 years! It was minus 10 degrees (cold enough for the Grand Canal to start freezing over) and we had to make a last minute dash to buy full sets of thermals before we left the UK. So with that in mind, the fur seems like a contender, and also I kinda like the whole romantic notion of drinks on our balcony with a fur draped around me.

The snazzy trousers and rose gold shoes might be useful too. Well I said that about the paisley trousers with the gold thread though, didn't I? You see this is my problem; I'm hedging my bets, lining up might be usefuls, but what I really ought to be doing is some straight forward trying on of frocks. Seven nights of pre-dinner drinks, dinner, cabaret and maybe a little dancing all adds up to seven frocks befitting of the occasion. What on earth am I doing? I know I won't be doing dressing down in the evenings, and trousers - with no matter how much glitter and sparkle - won't really be what I want to wear when the moment comes. But wait a minute - we are forgetting something. Before we sail off, Steve and I have a week spent between Cornwall and London where we will be going out to dinner with friends and on our own, so these dressing down trousery affairs may be just right! What a relief, cos I really like them and so wanted to justify packing them. So that's sorted. All I have to do now is spend all day on Saturday trying on dresses. And with a bit of luck you may get another sneak preview of one on Sunday...

Coat: Phase Eight. Trousers: H&M. Polo neck: charity shop. Shoes: New Look. Socks: Primark. Necklace: Dorothy Perkins. Rings: charity shop. Handbag: boutique in Gran Canaria. Sunglasses: Quay Autralia.

Linking with
Style Nudge 
Elegantly Dressed and Stylish 


More of my favourites - tweed, paisley, fairisle and florals.

As I write I'm in a state of flux as I have, and still am receiving all of the shopping which I used as self medication whilst I was laid low with the flu over Christmas and New Year. The distraction, nay sheer escapism, of seizing lots of lovely sale bargains was indeed a balm, but reality bites as I now have choices to make. I had this great plan that I would photograph it all for you my dear readers and then document what I was keeping and why. But, as we know life rarely goes to plan. I've already returned the first consignment, the contents of which did have me asking myself "what on earth were you thinking?" and the second and third deliveries are awaiting their fate. I will however, share the details of the latest spoils - two pairs of over-the-knee boots (ahem, no sniggering at the back there!), three pairs of ankle boots, one pair of Mary Jane shoes in snakeskin - stunning, but a tad high, one pair of gold high heel sandals - very good price and useful for forthcoming cruise, two sequin dresses (well only one really, but in two sizes), one patterned sequin skirt, gold slim fit trousers, gold polo neck jumper, glitter tights, gold tights and even tights with bows on. If you can see a theme running through the clothing, I suspect it's because I seemed to be working along the lines of if I can't party then at least I can be ready for the next festive party season. So, wish me luck as the evening draws in and I begin to tackle this shopping binge. 

Anyway, with regards to today's offering I can say hand on heart that nothing here is new or even new-to-me. I'm shopping my closet as fashion bloggers say, with great success and a fair bit of delight as long forgotten pieces are rediscovered. Take this wonderful tweed jacket from the now defunct Racing Green. When my children were toddlers I used to get the RG brochure drop onto the doormat every so often. It set me dreaming of a time where I would have the money to buy such exquisite clothes. Well in a round about way I have to thank my children for providing me with the money. My husband captured our little lovelies on film doing a bit of impromptu slapstick where one good hit deserves another and long story short we received a cheque for £250 from the TV show "You've been framed". My wonderful and generous husband insisted that I should use the money for a treat and hey presto I bought my Racing Green jacket. 

The rest of my outfit is from various charity shops apart from the beautiful olive leather and suede boots which were a purchase from Russell and Bromley a few years ago. I'd drooled over them for some time, but held out until the January sale when I happened to be in Exeter and finally had a chance to try them on. At a £100 off in the sale they were still £199 but I knew I would love them forever, and I do. 

Jacket: Racing Green. Jeans: All Saints (charity shop). Fairisle vest: Ralph Lauren (TK Maxx). Blouse: New Look (charity shop). Boots: Russell and Bromley. Green pearls: Almost Perfect. Handbag: Accessorize. Perspex ring: gift. Brown ring: East.

Linking with
Not Dressed as Lamb 
Not Dead Yet Style 
Kremb de la Kremb 


100 posts - time for a touch of glitter and glam!

Today marks the 100th post to my blog, and what better reason could there be to bring out a bit of sparkle to celebrate? (It has been said of me that I'd get dressed up for the opening of an envelope...)

The jacket, along with the trousers, has a glitter thread running though it so was a perfect pairing with the ornate stretch belt I bought for the Christmas party.

And what a joy it is to bring out these fab booties once again!

Sometimes you can feel like the cat who got the cream. Apart from the windswept hair of course! I'm always impressed with other bloggers who take outdoors photos yet don't have a hair out of place. My defence is that I'm keeping it real.

When Sasha came home for Christmas she showed me the spoils from her recent shopping trip, but warned me that I would want to steal a pair of her trousers before even revealing them. Well yep, she was right. A couple of days later I went on line and found them at H&M before they sold out. Apologies, darling, for airing them before you probably have, but you must take all the credit for these beauties. I love boot cut and flares as they help balance out my fulsome thighs. Well, they may not look too fulsome to you, but I've missed my sea swimming for the past couple of weeks and am feeling post-Christmassy and lacking a bit of tone.

The good news is that even though I missed out on some of the party season I now have a holiday to plan for which means putting together a capsule wardrobe. Steve and I are having a couple of weeks off the island in February, one of which will be spent on a cruise of the Mediterranean. I've already bought my dress for the Captain's party, so the rest is easy. We've been on a cruise before and I had to laugh when I discovered that a large portion of my wardrobe comprises of cruise wear! Hosting exhibitions (nine of these every season) means that I've collected quite a few glitzy, floaty outfits meaning I didn't really have to lash out on a lot of new garb. I'll be taking these new trousers for those less formal evenings when I'll maybe add a sparkly camisole or perhaps this frilly blouse. I'll give you all a sneak preview of what's getting packed before I go, then hope to post regularly on Instagram while I'm away with a proper catch up on my return. In the meantime it's business as usual with posts on Sundays and Wednesdays until then.

Jacket: Next (charity shop). Trousers: H&M. Blouse: charity shop. Belt: eBay. Booties: Michael Kors (TK Maxx). Necklace: Dorothy Perkins. Smokey quartz ring: old. Yellow ring: Martin James.

Linking with 
Style Nudge 
Elegantly Dressed and Stylish


Winter turquoise

Turquoise isn't a winter colour as far as I'm concerned, but a couple of things have happened recently which have conspired to change my mind. First of all my sister Dianne sent me this wonderful little jacket which she bought from Jones New York whilst visiting the Big Apple a few years ago. And secondly, blogger Jacqueline from Petite Silver Vixen showcased her version of winter turquoise as seen here which blew my prejudices out of the water. I'd always packed away everything turquoise at the end of the summer as I thought it would look out of place in the darker months, but Jacqueline showed me that this pop of colour didn't look anything other than a breath of fresh air amidst the winter gloom.

The tweed skirt has stitchwork in the same colour as my lambswool sweater (lilac/cerise?) but it's so fine it's not showing up at all in these photos.

The cute handbag is by Hope and Benson. It features a gorgeous green velvet lining.

I couldn't resist this tights/skirt combo. 
Another blogging friend, Kezzie of KezzieAG is a huge brooch fan as seen here and I'm delighted to be able to share one of my few, but rather lovely brooches with her today. It's a Kenzo piece which I came across last year in a charity shop. I've waited so long to find the perfect moment for it's debut - I think it was worth waiting for.

Today there was finally a break in the weather giving me an opportunity to chose a jacket rather than a coat for work. Inspiration for my outfit every day has to start somewhere, so why not with this beautiful fine woollen zip up from Jones New York? Dianne took early retirement a couple of years ago meaning that she is gradually culling her now defunct working wardrobe, much to my benefit. I'm hoping that this will be the start of a trickle of pieces she can finally let go.

So with the theme being turquoise, and the jacket in place, then this skirt was an obvious choice. I've got quite of few of these Boden skirts which are a staple within my wardrobe. I love this tweed version with its giant hounds tooth check, the outline of which is stitched in pink thread, but I'm afraid my photography skills have been lacking in highlighting this feature. I thought about donning a pair of bright cobalt tights first of all, then as I rummaged around came across these ones which were too much of a temptation to ignore. Maybe too cliched for some, but I just love to introduce a bit of whimsy sometimes.

The other obvious I did avoid was my aqua cashmere polo neck that could have taken me back down the road to being overly conservative, so instead I've picked up this pink yarn in the form of my simple pure wool sweater. This was a charity shop find in the autumn and although the sleeves are a tad short, I remedy this by layering up with a thermal top of which I have many colours. Regular readers may well have expected to see this look finished off with my signature brogues, but I thought the green of the skirt lends itself beautifully to these kitten heels from Office - these came via eBay. My cute little handbag is by Hope and Benson and has a soft green velvet lining. With green leather gloves, a flowery scarf to add another print, and obligatory sunglasses to cut out the dazzling glare, I'm good to go!

Jacket: Jones New York. Skirt: Boden. Jumper: Compliments. Thermal long sleeve tee: M&S. Tights: Topshop. Shoes: Office. Brooch: Kenzo. Turquoise ring: old. Pink ring: gift. Scarf: charity shop. Handbag: Hope and Benson. Sunglasses: Quay Australia.

Linking up with
My Refined Style 
Not Dead Yet Style 
Not Dressed As Lamb 
A Labour Of Life


Paisley print and fairisle knit

Am featuring two of my favourite prints today, and if I say they go together then they do.

But I don't think I'd have been grinning so much if I knew how crazy my hair was looking!

These Mary Jane's have been knocking about in my closet for years without many outings, so hurrah for the opportunity to get them out today.

Here we have a mid-week, dressed down look that's so very me. I know I've showcased a couple of over the top party outfits recently, but this is the real me. I've never had my "colours" done, but am pretty sure that I'm autumn as these hues don't drain me and make me feel very at home. The rusts, greens and ochre all bring life to my complexion. In addition I also love paisley, fairisle, tweed and tartan which all seem to tie me to my Scottish roots. Featuring fairisle today means I've pretty much covered all my favourites this winter in one way or another.

This injection of colour is the perfect antidote to the post Christmas slump that can descend after all the festive hype. It's so easy to allow a grey mood to influence your clothes choices. I'm aware that I do have a propensity to wear black and greys quite a lot in the winter months. That's why I often spend an hour at the weekend to root through my wardrobe to find items that are forgotten, overlooked or just plain hidden from sight. I'm such a big fan of colour, yet if I'm in a rush I know how easy it is to pull some black and grey pieces together without much planning. A few separates in bold colours are great to mix and match with these neutrals to give a bit of a lift. My other ploys are to add a pair of bright or patterned tights to jazz up a simple outfit and finish the look with some dazzling brogues. A plain black dress can be transformed by the right pair of patterned tights. In fact it's a really inexpensive way to add personality to an outfit.

My own post Christmas slump has be explained by the fact that the cold I'd been battling was in fact flu. Some two weeks down the line, I had a check up yesterday and that's what's ailed me after all. At least I don't feel such a fraud for all this sleeping, listless laying around and croaking like a frog whenever I tried to speak!

Cardigan: H&M. Skirt: H&M. Blouse: charity shop. Tights: Dorothy Perkins. Shoes: Debenhams. Green pearls: Almost Perfect. Flower rings: charity shop.

Linking up with
Jess on Elegantly Dressed and Stylish
Cherie on Style Nudge 

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