March 18, 2020

Have you heard about Cabi Clothing?

I thought I was pretty good at knowing what's out there in the fashion industry so I was quite surprised I'd never heard of Cabi clothing before now.

Am I the only one that this has passed by? I first heard about them through my lovely friend and co-organiser of the Silver & Sassy York fashion Week event, Annie Stirk.

Annie organised independent Cabi stylist Deborah Richardson to include Cabi clothing in our fashion show; we spent a fabulous morning looking at the Spring Collection and I was really impressed.

Annie and I are obviously gutted to have to postpone our event due to Coronavirus but it was the right decision and we are already making plans to be back when the time is right even sassier than before!

Cabi is an American clothing brand, founded in 2002 by Carol Anderson and Kimberly Inskeep (who I've now added to my podcast guest wish list), alongside 10 other co-founders. Cabi have made huge waves in the American fashion industry with sales now reported at £200m a year, this is a serious brand that has now moved in to the UK market.

I loved hearing the story behind the idea, born from women feeling unfulfilled with their working lives and bored with their wardrobes. They set out to create a direct home selling fashion brand; you need to get the 1970's Tupperware party image out of your head right now! They've certainly proved there's a market for it.

Think of it as a styling party with friends, a chance to try new looks without the confinements of a shop changing room with poor lighting.The stylist sets up the seasons' collection, showcases individual pieces and gives styling tips and advice along the way. The fun part comes when you get to play dress up and try the clothes on. It seems like in a world where we are all craving that connectivity and personal touch this is a brand with great timing.

It's a huge success in America and had been in the UK for three and a half years now. What impressed me most was the quality of the clothes, the material and the cut is better than in your average high street shop.

The price is mid range but although some items may seem a bit pricey, you are paying for better quality and designs that will carry on working in your wardrobe for years to come. I should point out I'm not affiliated with Cabi and this is just my first impression of something new to me.

Deborah kindly came to my home with the whole of the Spring Collection so I could have a one to one session and I tried on so many great items, I was spoilt for choice.

Here are some of my favourite pieces.

This Botanical Kimono is not something I would normally go for but I really liked how the geometric print breaks up the floral design and teamed with a bright Yellow Cami it looks fresh.

I'm a huge fan of wearing Red and Deborah showed me how to turn this Siren wrap dress in to a completely different look. That's why It's great to have a stylist on board that can give you great tips and push you out of your comfort zone.

This was one of my favourites and I don't normally go for the boho look but this Poet jacket and Discovery Trouser felt so comfortable and easy to wear. I can imagine living in this in the Summer and it would be great for travelling. I'm sure I'm not the only one mentally planning where they can escape to for some sun once we've got through this current time!

This Green library jacket would work with so many different looks, dressed down with blue jeans and a white t-shirt and trainers or dressed up Chanel style with a little black dress and ballet pumps.

Pretty in Pink. This blazer is part of the Grace suit and it's on my wish list. It's all in the detail, scarves can make such a difference to an outfit too.

Which outfit do you like most?

I could have created so many different wearable outfits and as I was trying things on I found myself thinking of my friends and who would suit what, so I have booked a Cabi party for when life gets back to normal. Fashion should be fun and shopping for new clothes should be a positive experience which I feel has been sadly lacking on the high street recently, especially for women hitting midlife who don't feel represented out there.

We all know there has been a sharp increase on shopping on line for convenience but maybe Cabi's home selling marketing might help bridge the gap for those wanting a more personal shopping experience. If you're thinking that direct home selling is not for you Cabi have been forward thinking to also create the Cabi Ap. Recently launched so you can watch style shows, see the full collection, create looks with previously ordered items which helps make sure you get the most of your wardrobe and then order on line.

I've been converted!

To find out more visit https://deborahrichardson.cabionline.uk/

Keep being fabulous!

Rachel x

March 16, 2020

Is your wardrobe colour confident?

Colour Reveals and Wardrobe Renewal with Rhona Langan Style Illuminated.

How often do you clear out your clothes or evaluate your personal style and how colour confident colour is your wardrobe? I used to think I was pretty good at this as I love nothing more than packing away the last seasons' clothes and bringing out the new. It's purely for space practicality but it's like greeting old friends you've forgotten, especially if they still fit you!

I was slightly nervous before inviting the lovely Rhona Langan, Founder of Style Illuminated into my wardrobe. What we choose to wear each day is such a personal choice and I’d booked in with Rhona for a full wardrobe review. The clothes we choose to wear shows the world how we want to be seen and often heard so there's an element of judgement involved. I avoid ironing as much as possible, it's a reaction to months spent ironing in Denmark as an au pair in my twenties, with an over zealous housewife. I was surprised to find myself spending the evening before pulling out the worst offending creases and ironing like mad

I love fashion and like to think I’m quite good at knowing what suits me best, but I’ve never had my colours done before and was intrigued to find out more.

After a long career in the fashion industry, including as style ambassador for Phase Eight, Rhona took the plunge and created her own styling company. Rhona offers colour reveal services helping women discover the best neutral and accent colours to create a wardrobe that fills you with confidence. I confess to living in black for many years but now I love wearing bright colours, it forces me to be more visible and definitely lifts my mood. Some women can be scared to try new brighter colours and having someone like Rhona come and help you is a great step forward.

The tester drape process threw up a few surprises, colours that I’d previously worn a lot no longer seemed to suit my skin tone when compared to others. I’ve worn lots of earthy, burgundy colours which I can now see made my skin appear duller and more tired after seeing how luminous a bright Fuchsia Pink made my skin look brighter.

Women are notoriously bad at spending time and money on themselves but when you think about how much you spend annually on your wardrobe, I think a styling consultation is a money saving exercise. The shift to having a more sustainable wardrobe is about buying less but making sure what you have is higher quality and clothes that work harder for you. Once we worked out my colour palette and discovered I am a Winter person, Rhona moved on to my wardrobe. Rhona is part of growing group of women who’ve launched styling careers in their fifties, I think age is an added bonus as a stylist; they can use their own personal experiences in a session which helps put a client at ease. There was definitely no wardrobe judgement. I found it quite a therapeutic session; working our way through every item in my wardrobe, it really made me think about how my clothes make me feel and if they brought me joy when I wear them, so maybe Marie Kondo’s decluttering lessons have something in them.

There’s a misconception that a personal stylist is going to come and make you get rid of all your wardrobe and start again but I don’t think that’s the case. I do have a pile of clothes heading for the charity shop, some I will sell on Ebay, but the majority have remained. There are a couple of items that I’m just not ready to part with yet and Rhona gave me new ideas to style them differently with the right accent colours.

I’ve been left with my own Winter colour palette card full of bold primary colours, that I have already used whilst out shopping optimistically for Summer t-shirts, along with a list of ideas of how I can add to my wardrobe. I need to accessorise more with coloured bags, belts and jewellery and I will be more aware of gaps in my wardrobe rather than randomly buying items that I probably don’t need.

My wardrobe has been refreshed with new ideas and style combinations; I’m looking forward to seeing how I can style things up differently. I've already noticed a difference in how I plan my outfits now and I'm being more creative in mixing outfits together. If you've been put off in the past by using a personal stylist I'd definitely recommend it.

For more information about Rhona’s services please visit www.styleilluminated.co.uk

Keep being fabulous
Rachel x

February 8, 2020

How sustainable is your wardrobe? – Style Swaps & Charity Shops

How often do you clear out your wardrobe? I don’t have space to keep everything in mine all year round so find myself swapping my wardrobe over every season. It’s therapeutic and something I gain a great deal of pleasure from; unpacking clothes that you’ve forgotten about and putting away those pieces that you’ve worn to death over the winter. I love fashion and have always enjoyed that feeling of coming home with something new and playing dress up to see how you can style it but has the current fast fashion trend created an addiction for today’s fashion consumers?

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has become more conscious of the negative impact that the ‘fast fashion’ industry is having on the environment. If you haven’t already watched the BBC’s Stacey Dooley “Fashions Dirty Secrets” documentary, then I can definitely recommend it. As a fashion model its part of my job to sell the clothes I’m modelling, and I do try and keep up with the current trends for each season but I’m no longer a slave to the fast fashion market. I’m 50 this year and I finally know what suits me and try to keep to those key principles in my wardrobe. I think it’s about balance, sometimes I’ll see a new outfit that I know I will get a lot of use out of but I’m equally happy rummaging in charity shops for that bargain find.

I was recently invited by the Shelter charity shop at Kings Cross to come and style a few outfits. Social media is such a great way for shops like this to get their message out there by using influencers, bloggers and fashion lovers to have their photos taken and share their looks. I have always loved shopping in charity shops, I love that feeling when you come across something that fits you perfectly and you know you can give it a new lease of life. I am conscious that there's a lack of larger sizes available in charity shops, a mere reflection of what’s going on in the high street, but it’s often much harder to find clothes in size 14 upwards so I was a bit sceptical about finding 3 outfits here that would fit. I am happy to report this particular charity shop had plenty for me to choose from.

I found a great pair of vintage jeans that were the perfect fit (they came home with me) and teamed it with an Eileen Fisher vest and unbranded army jacket for a more relaxed day look. I’ve been wanting to try an army jacket for a while now and this style session really reminded me to have more fun with fashion and experiment more.

I loved the 60’s inspired Marks and Spencers dress which went so well with my own Steve Madden White boots and handbag. I’m hoping it’s still there on my next visit as I should have bought that too.

Lastly a full-on evening outfit, including a figure-hugging vintage dress, M&S shoes and handbag, proving you really can shop for every occasion in a charity shop. If you have time to spare next time you're in London this Shelter charity shop is well worth a visit.

You can also follow them over on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/shelterkingscross/?hl=en

So how else can we step away from that desire to have something new to wear that I suspect the majority of us experience at times?

Two stylists from York, Sara Anson and Laura Fawcett have created an event that hopes to change the way we shop and think about our wardrobes in the form of Style Swaps. I grew up constantly swapping outfits with my close friend as a teenager because we couldn’t afford to keep buying new clothes, in fact on some occasions we still do. I spoke to Sara about why they think it’s so important “We do it to raise awareness of the impact fast fashion is having on the environment & encourage people to think about how they shop. To date we have swapped over 1000 of items of clothes (over 3 events) that may have ended up in landfill".

The idea behind the style swap is that everyone brings a minimum of 8 good quality items, which can be clothes, accessories or shoes that they no longer wear, and they can then shop the rails taking the same number of items. What’s not to love about the idea of 8 new items of clothing without having to worry about your bank balance and knowing you’re doing something good to help the planet? Sara explained that ‘‘events are always very popular (usually sold out!) We get a lot of really good quality clothes, a lot of the time still with tags on. It’s a great way to refresh your wardrobe for minimal cost & socialise with likeminded women.”

Tickets for their last event in January sold out fast and for an £8 ticket you can come and shop, have a cocktail and gain on the spot styling tips from Sara and Laura to help you create your own capsule wardrobe. I can see how trying clothes on this environment would really make you think about what will work with your existing wardrobe and you are still left with that natural high of coming home with something new. Any clothes left over from events then get sent to charity shops to continue the sustainable journey.

It’s reported that across the world we’re producing over 100 billion new garments from new fibres every single year and that just can’t be sustainable. With fast fashion brands offering cheap clothes with new stock coming in on a weekly basis, it certainly makes you think how as consumer we all have a part to play in helping change the industry for the better. Whilst I can’t say I won’t continue to buy new clothes; I am committed to buying less and wearing more pre-loved clothes so I can’t wait to attend the next Sustainable Style Swap on the 30th April in Wetherby.

To keep up to date with Sara and Laura’s events you can find them at https://www.styledbysara.co.uk/ and www.laurafawcett.co.uk

I'd love to know what your favourite charity find has been?

Keep being fabulous
Rachel x

December 8, 2019

Discovering Independent Fashion Designers at Fashion Fiesta Leeds, 2019

I love taking part in runway shows so when the opportunity came around to take part in the Fashion Fiesta 2019, I jumped at the chance. What's not to love about showcasing some fabulous up and coming Yorkshire designers alongside raising money for great charities. From hats to full-on glamour gowns and street styles, the fashion show and mix of designers covered everyones taste.

Simply Devine hats opened the show and I loved the 'hatinators', a clever balance of hat and fascinator run by award-winning milliner and businesswoman Liz Devine-Wright. Simply Devine is a Tadcaster based business which specialises in supplying beautiful Mother of the Bride; wedding hats and race day fascinators to customers up and down the country.

Josephine Bloom @josephinebloom

I am fortunate to have come across Josephine's work before as she very kindly contributed some of her designs for a magazine feature I worked on at the beginning of this year. The feature made the front cover of Canadian fashion magazine Feroce and her designs fit the brief perfectly.

Josephine's collection How Cheap Can You Get? focusses on physical forms of social acceptance. Playing with how society views women as being desirable, and encouraging more freedom in how women express themselves through fashion. Challenging, thought provoking and eye catching.

Fruitbats & Screwballs by Debbie Wilkinson

I am a huge fan of this designer. Debbie chooses beautiful wools and patterns turning them into the most amazing capes and ponchos. She has really managed to take capes to a different level and created something that is so much more flattering and wearable than any traditional capes I've worn. I loved modelling this cape and fell in love with the colours and faux fur detail that creates this eye catching and cosy collar.

I actually can't decide which cape I love most, I've always loved tartan and the colour clash on this one is fabulous. The belt detail and the way it's cut makes these so much more wearable and flattering, especially for bigger busted women who could easily end up looking like a tent in a traditional cape!

Anthony French @af_editions

Anthony French's designs, based in Doncaster really caught my attention and is somebody I would really like to see more of. A collection of knitwear and textile classics with a contemporary twist, I fell in love with this embroidered net skirt; It makes me want to go to a somewhere special next Summer so I can wear it. I love that he mixed it with a jumper to give it a modern more wearable feel to it and at £95 for such a special piece I think it's a reasonable price.

But it was the little touches that Anthony French brings in to his collection that I loved too, this cute colourful handbag finishes the more relaxed day time trouser outfit perfectly.

What's Your Skirt? @whatsyourskirt

Siobhan Thomas describes What’s Your Skirt?’ as being "inspired by 'The Confident Woman', she is a go-getter and knows her identity. The sophisticated and modern well-dressed woman with a twist of individuality is her daily style. She is glamourous, personable and ambitious. She loves bold colour and statement pieces.

I really love this skirt and have added it to my wardrobe wish list so will definitely be following this label.

Bekaka Franck Diabagate

This designer really added full on drama and glamour to the event with his designs. Real show stoppers, these Haute Couture designs are inspired by the late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. I have to admit I really wanted to walk for this designer and it does seem that older models do get stereotyped when it comes to runway shows. I definitely could have rocked Queen of the catwalk in one of these dresses!

I loved the elegance of this outfit, modelling for Mikkimono designed by Sue Gillespie, simplicity and style. As a curvy woman I also loved to hear that Sue was inspired to create a collection that accommodated larger sized people which in fashion design still seems a rarity. It seems a shame that Sue isn't yet on any social media platforms which makes it even harder to find her designs. So how do we find out about independent designers? If you regularly shop away from the high street and are great at sourcing independent designers i'd love some tips as I would really like to head in to 2020 supporting more local independent designers.

I have only included a few of my personal favourites from the evening but the other designers involved are all worth looking into.

Corinne Coolican @coolibycorinnecoolican

Deepinder Kaur @dipskaur88

Jag Kaur - The Ujag Fashion house

Kelsey Locke @kelsealocke

MGE Clothing - Mel Fox @mgetheginme

Salma Badat @salmabadat

Thank you to the Fashion Fiesta team for not only raising awareness of some great designers and offering them an opportunity to be discovered but also for helping raise money for some great charities. This years charities were The Teenage Cancer Trust and the Lee Fancourt Mental Health Trust.

Photographs credited to Charles Waller photography

 

November 25, 2019

Curve Fashion Festival 2019

Since the 2015 launch thousands of women from all over the World have descended to The Curve Fashion Festival for a full day of shopping, catwalks, celebrity talks and much more. 2018 was my first year modelling at the event and I was delighted to be asked back to walk in the catwalk shows and represent curvy women over 40. 2019's event was sponsored by SimplyBe so you just knew it was going to be a good one.

The amount of preparation that goes in to these events is immense and I take my hat off to the organisers and all those involved behind the scenes because its huge task to be ready on the day.

Serena Arthur MUA did an amazing job of my make up. It's all in the eyes.

Black Velour Silver Gem suit

There is no guarantee when you're modelling that you will actually like the clothes but you know the stylists and photographers will make them look good on you. However I was obsessed with the suits that SimplyBe chose for me to walk in. I am a huge fan of a trouser suit as they are so versatile to dress up or down. This Black velour Silver gem suit will now be popping up at lots of my Christmas nights out and its so comfy too. The jacket is £55 and trousers £35.

Walking in the Black appaloosa spot print collar front wrap dress from the Blue Vanilla Curve range. £22.

I am a huge fan of Hayley Hasselhoff and am constantly inspired by her body and style confidence so it was a pleasure to have a quick chat behind the scenes after her stage event. I've also fallen in love with this suit, SimplyBe have got it so right this season.

There was a good selection of stalls to cater for everyones tastes including Matalan Papaya curve range where Felicity Hayward could be found showcasing the collection and taking time to chat with everyone. The open plan of the Exhibition centre really gave the festival a more inclusive and welcoming feel and I hope it comes back there again in 2020.

This year saw more diversity than ever before, including a gorgeous model in a wheel chair and men on the catwalk. If you haven't heard of American body positive fashion blogger and model Kelvin Davis, Notoriously Dapper then I strongly recommend you look him up. His confidence is infectious and as for his smile, it speaks volumes. It's such a refreshing change for a man to be able to speak up about body confidence and he does it so well. A real inspiration.

I take any opportunity I can to be able to model lingerie and represent women over 40. If we all saw more diversity and older women in the industry I think we would all be less critical of our own bodies and learnt to accept ourselves just as we are, flaws and all. Elomi lingerie fit my 34FF was the perfect fit. Why are we all so hung up on size labels? So many question that I don’t look a size 14-16, why do we have a preconceived image of what a size looks like and want to judge people by it. We are all beautifully different in our body shapes and a size label doesn’t alter that. I am fully aware that I am one of the smaller sized models at this event but it doesn't make me less able to represent my size group and I certainly don't make the fashion industry size label rules. I salute the other models that are larger sized than I am, beautifully confident and I can also appreciate how much more difficult it is for them to find good brands that include them in the fashion industry which is why the Curve Fashion festival is so important.

My excitement was real when I saw my second SimplyBe outfit. This silver glitter lurex tuxedo blazer and trouser suit fit perfectly. Blazer £60 and Trousers £45. I was over the moon to be gifted both my outfits at the end of the show. I might even wear this to a Black tie event on New Years Eve, watch this space!

What I would say to anyone who is thinking of going to this event next year but is worried about going alone is just do it. You will be welcomed with open arms, it's such a friendly and inclusive day for everyone involved and social media leading up to the event is a great place to shout out and make new friends before you arrive. Here's to 2020!

November 18, 2019

My favourite pieces from the H&M, Richard Allan collection 2019

As soon as I saw the Richard Allan collection in H&M I knew I needed to get this outfit. I have always been a huge fan of sixties fashion, I used to have my own vintage fashion business and I love the bold prints and styles.

If you haven't heard of Richard Allan before he was responsible for creating iconic silk scarves in the 1960's with fabulous bold, abstract prints, becoming the 'it' scarves of the decade. It's fabulous to see his daughter Cate Allan carrying on his legacy whilst adding her own vibrant style.

H&M describes the collection as

"Abstract, avant-garde design in high octane colour. H&M’s latest collaboration celebrates the legacy of iconic scarf designer Richard Allan with a contemporary new collection."

Modal polo neck and pleated skirt. Shop the look here-https://rstyle.me/+muqnNd-ghMjfZYTTu3uqGA

Modal polo neck £9.99 Shop the look here-https://rstyle.me/+f9Wmd1wKHdeEbCqYniW4iQ

This polo neck would look equally great with black jeans or leather trousers this Winter.

Modal polo neck and pleated skirt. Shop the look here-https://rstyle.me/+muqnNd-ghMjfZYTTu3uqGA

This outfit is my new favourite and who says women with big boobs and curves can’t wear full on pattern! I would have shied away from wearing this previously because we’re constantly told what we should or shouldn’t wear. I say wear what you want if it makes you feel good.

Pleated skirt £29.99. Shop the look here-https://rstyle.me/+muqnNd-ghMjfZYTTu3uqGA

I never used to like wearing pleated skirts but I've realised they are so versatile. This skirt would look cool dressed down with white trainers and a t-shirt as well as adding heels and pretty vest top for a night out.

Modal polo neck and pleated skirt. Shop the look here-https://rstyle.me/+muqnNd-ghMjfZYTTu3uqGA

I also bought this day dress and pencil skirt along with a blouse from their collection. I can't remember the last time I went for more than one piece but its clothes I know I will get so much wear from across all the seasons. I've already had so many compliments when I've worn them too. It's not surprising that some of the collection sold out so quickly.

Shirt dress with tie belt. Shop the look- https://rstyle.me/+7mGiOyd7CEGwePDnEVwv3w

Jacquared knit pencil skirt. Shop the look here- https://rstyle.me/+0pDuKO-bB22Vxisuk1PRtw

V-neck camisole top £12.99 Shop the look-https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0794061001.html

Patterned dress £17.99 Shop the look-https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/productpage.0754274002.html

I like the length of this dress as I think it would look good over leggings. I'd probably add a belt to it as a curvy woman I like to add some definition to my waist.

A huge thank you to Charlotte Nelson Photography who kindly agreed to take these fabulous images whilst we were both at a recent Yorkinstameet networking event. It was such a great opportunity to see behind the scenes at Castle Howard whilst they were preparing for their dazzling Christmas opening. I can't wait to go back and see what it looks like this week. Watch this space!

Keep being fabulous! x

Disclaimer:

I am a member of the rewardStyle affiliate programme, this means that if you click on a link through to a retailer and purchase something, I may receive a very small amount or percentage of your purchase. This does not add any additional cost to you, the customer. Adding these affiliate links into a post happens after a review or opinion of the product has already been formed and so does not affect the products that I choose to write about.

September 30, 2019

Shopping with the Long and the Short of it

I had kindly been asked to join Ruth @wearitlikeruth and Lisa @thesearchforsassiness for a styling shopping trip at Marks & Spencers in Leeds. Ruth is 5'8'' and a size 10/12 and Lisa is 5'1'' and a size 6-8 so the idea behind #thelongandtheshortofit is to go out and show you what the same outfits look like on different women. Add my curvy 5'7'' size 14/16 in to the mix and you have a lot of womens shapes and sizes represented. It's hard when you go out shopping to imagine what you will look like as the images promoting the clothes are often full of younger, similar slim shaped women so it can make shopping feel a little daunting and unrelateable.(Loved the fact that we all turned up dressed in Autumn colours and maxi dresses too)

How come I have never heard of M&S Fit and style service? A free personal styling service which could really take the stress out of trying new looks and styles with an assistant helping you find that perfect outfit.

I love the colours this Autumn and It was hard to narrow the outfits down to only 5 as there is so many lovely things in the store at the moment. I think the problem with M&S is that their stores are so big with so much stock. I think it can be a bit too daunting for some people. I have been using there online styling TY Tuesday service recently and that's a great source of inspiration and help in choosing new looks.

We were all fans of outfit no.1 and the fact that the trousers come in different leg lengths suited Lisa too. Evie checked straight 7/8th trousers £35 with Checked double breasted blazer £69. I think the stiletto high cut court shoes in Yellow are such a good price at £25.

I loved the trousers, mine were a size 14 and they fitted perfectly. I have a 34G bust so I tend to struggle with a square jacket shape. My jacket was a size 16 and felt a bit shapeless on me so maybe I would go down size to see if that gives more definition.

I would never have picked this floral midi dress (£45) to try as high necks scare me a little. I was pleasantly surprised. I think because the waist is elasticated it gives the waist more definition and gives the dress more shape so I was less conscious of my top half. I love the colours and print too, especially paired with this beautiful coat. We all loved the double breasted wool coat, in fact Ruth couldn't resist it and went back to buy it a few weeks later. At £99 it is more of an investment for Winter but it has such a classic cut it will go with so many outfits and last for years.

The colour of this belted wrap coat is fabulous, although the style didn't really suit me, I need more of a tailored look so I tied the belt behind it to create more shape. I absolutely love the high waisted wide leg trousers at £39.50 and they remind me of Victoria Beckham classic look. I've never worn this colour before so it really is good take yourself out of your comfort zone and try new colours and styles. I used to live in Black, especially when I was self conscious of my body because I felt like I could hide and blend in. I love wearing colour now and I've discovered some colours really give me a boost of confidence, especially Red.

I think we were all impressed with the fit of the trousers, I chose some Magic lift straight legged jeans £35 in Dark indigo and they fit me perfectly. I have been living in white trainers recently and was tempted with these white and navy blue ones, £49.50, but not sure I can sneak another pair in the house! The aviator jacket at £69 looks cool dressed down with a plain white t-shirt, it also comes in Black which I think I prefer. The faux shearling material is actually lighter than it looks so that was slightly disappointing for a winter jacket, but I guess you could use more layers underneath.

This colour combination is everywhere and because I like to show my curves off knitted dresses have become a big favourite of mine so I was comfortable in this Blue ribbed fit and flare dress, £39.50. I am not a huge fan of the double breasted jacket on me again, although I love the Cognac colour, I think its the just this style doesn't work for me. Let's talk about the boots though as I can't find them on the website now so I think they might be out of stock and I am already regretting not buying them. I live in flats and trainers most of the time as I just don't feel comfortable in heels unless I'm wearing them for work. However these boots were just the right height, felt so comfortable and because they are laced up to the ankle they made my size 7's look much daintier.

The beauty of having some go to blazers in your wardrobe is that you can really dress them up or down. I personally prefer this jacket with the jeans rather than the dress.

My favourite outfit of the day! What's your favourite look?

I came away with lots of colour and wardrobe inspiration and am definitely going to keep shopping at M&S, they have nailed the Autumn collection.

April 7, 2019

History Repeating, 1970’s Vintage fashion shoot, Bradford

I may be quiet...but I have so much on my mind.

I love vintage fashion, the romance behind the clothes, imagining what that persons day to day life was like, where they wore the clothes originally. Before entering the world of modelling I had my own vintage business "All About Eve' and met so many interesting people, selling on line and at vintage fairs. It's where I met my friend Trudy Fielding from My Vintage Beau who also works as a stylist @Trudy Beau stylist, so when we got to shoot together we had so much fun. I've wanted to work with photographer Dan Urben for months so this shoot was a personal favourite.

What's not to love! I finally got to work with Dan Urben, modelled with my friend Trudy Fielding in some amazing locations around Bradford. Oh and throw in some amazing 1970's fashion too.

Bradford has so much character it wasn't hard to find some perfect places to shoot at.

I used to love watching Cagney & Lacey and have the theme tune ringing in my ear when I look at these photos. Who was your favourite character, Tyne Daly (Lacey) or Sharon Gless (Cagney)? Mine was Lacey.

When you walk in to a building the has retained so many original features it's truly like stepping back in time. Look at those floor tiles.

"You drive us wild, we'll drive you crazy" # Kiss

I've worn this black velvet New Look jumpsuit so many times since but it 's never looked as cool as this.

Northern girls out on the town. 'Ladies night' #coolandthegang

Mixing vintage fashion with high street is so easy to do. Jumpsuits from New Look fit in perfectly.

I can't remember the last time I managed an all nighter, but I love the idea of it still, minus the hangover. P.S the coats are vintage fat fur not real.

The morning after. "Waiting for the sun" #thedoors

"One of those crazy old nights" #theeeagles

Thank you Jamie Lee Hodds for our hair & make up.

October 8, 2018

Women over 40 are not invisible. When will fashion brands and advertising catch up?

When JD Williams partnered with ZPRSoho to create a protest against the lack of representation on the high street for the over 45's I jumped at the chance to be involved. It's something I am passionate about and equally frustrated by it too.

I love fashion and it wasn't until i hit my 40's that my body confidence really grew and I love experimenting with different looks. I do shop right across the board in high street stores, including Top Shop, Next, Mango etc etc. I will walk in to a store and try hard to ignore the clear signs that this is aimed at a younger generation, pretty hard to do when you are bombarded with bill boards of young women modelling the clothes, don't get me started on the size 8 mannequins! I am also aware that not all women reach there 40's with a lots of body confidence and a new found sense of direction, making the thought of walking into high street stores that much harder and intimidating. JD Williams commissioned a report with women over 45 and sadly 70% of them felt ignored by the high street. Something has to change!

I dream of a day when high street stores show women of all ages wearing their clothes, how inspiring would it be to be able to relate to someone your age in an outfit. Shopping would be a much happier experience for everyone involved.

Photo with Ava Fay Thompson, both wearing Next.

Pretty in Pink with Ava Fay Thompson, wearing Next jumpsuits.

That's why I am so happy and proud to have been involved in JDWilliams AW18 'I Am' campaign, which has really showcased diversity with relatable women. Love this photo with Annie Hawkins, Anna Parkes, Savi Reynolds and Paulina Byrne.

Autumn I AM campaign with JDWilliams.

So four women including the beautiful Jilly Johnson, who is regularly seen voicing her opinions on the failure of the fashion industry to represent the older women set off on a busy Oxford Street armed with placards and loud voices.

Oxford Street protest with Jilly Johnson for JDWilliams with ZPR.

Jilly Johnson protesting with JDWilliams for better representation for older women on the high street.

It may only have been a small step but we have to keep pushing those boundaries and reminding the industry that we are not going away and need to be seen and heard.

I AM not going quietly!

I AM NOT INVISIBLE! Wearing Next leopard print dress and my favourite leather jacket.

 

April 30, 2018

Why are women over 40 so invisible in the fashion industry?

Flick through any fashion magazine and you will notice a distinct lack of middle aged 40-50 year old models . Whilst it is wonderful to see the increase in older models such as the incredible 70 year old Maye Musk, the industry seems to be completely overlooking the middle aged bracket. Why are we so invisible to the high street fashion market? Especially when you consider that women over 50 make up 47% of the spending market. I want to be inspired when I open up magazines by women of my own age group that I can relate to and that reflect me, wearing high street modern fashion. We have money to spend and there is #nowrongage to express yourself through your clothes.

Green top- UK16 www.boohoo.com

Vinyl skirt- UK14 www.simplybe.co.uk

Shoes vintage www.etsy.com/uk/shop/myvintagebeau

I love this outfit an ended up buying the whole outfit,including the vintage beret from https://facebook.com/myvintagebeau Trousers and dustecoat www.simplybe.co.uk

Flamenco dancer in the making! Beautiful dress from Simply, UK16

It's good to step out of your fashion comfort zone and try different looks, after all there are lots of different sides to our personalities.

Trousers and jacket www.simplybe.co.uk Boots www.tkmaxx.com

Thank you Laura Carly Adams for the fab photography and Trudy Beau stylist for helping showcase some cool outfits.

 

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Out of the Bubble champions women who are embracing life and leaving a trail of inspiration along the way. Inspiring others to become more confident in body and mind.

We all have a story to tell.
 

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