Saturday, 20 December 2014

Quote of the week: Victoria Wood

There's nothing I really want for Christmas, I've got too much stuff already, but I have just asked Mr That's Not My Age if he'll find me the Dinner Ladies box set. The 90s comedy written by Victoria Wood is set in a factory canteen, up north  - my dad worked in a factory and my mum was a dinner lady, so it reminds me of home - and we can watch it when there's bugger all on telly over Christmas. There's a lovely interview with Victoria Wood in today's Times, the 61-year-old has this to say about ageing:

'Ageing is inevitable, yet it takes up a huge amount of people's energy trying to combat it. We accept this burden -  of being judged by our shape, wrinkles, double chin or grey hair - but I think it would be good if we just said "Eff off".'

'The most important thing is to appreciate what you have got. Because you will never get any younger. And if you're trying to look like a young girl, well there's a million younger girls born every minute, so it's sort of pointless. If you don't celebrate who you are and what you've learnt then what's the point?'

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Grown-up tomboys: how to dress like a gentlewoman

Hepburn jacket and matching trousers: Atea Oceanie

I've dressed like a tomboy since I was a teenager. Now I'm 50 all that's changed is the name. In my book, Style Forever: the grown-up guide to looking fabulous (out March 2015) I call this Gentlewoman Style. My latest piece for the Guardian HERE explains why being gentlewomanly is the perfect midlife style solution.

Cord jacket: Margaret Howell

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Christmas Cardigan

Once in an editorial meeting, to prove a point about year-round style, I layered my autumn clothes over a more summery outfit. When it came to discussing what I had in mind for the spring fashion pages (the meeting was around this time of year), I simply unwrapped myself and swapped knee boots for Birkenstocks. This went down quite well with the editor, who liked her staff to provide the entertainment. To me, style is about uniform dressing - and that basically means wearing the same stuff all year-round, there's just more of it in winter. Anyhow. When I wrote a piece on layering without cardigans, a reader, rightly, defended the humble knit. Then, I met a friend for coffee last week and she was wearing a lovely, old Lurex cardi over a simple black outfit. I'm calling this a Cardigan Coincidence. So, here are a couple of ways of layering up and looking fabulous, whatever the season.

Boden's sequin cardi, £209, available HERE. And possible my favourite, this shaggy sheepskin number from Jigsaw (it's knitted, and hence qualifies as a cardigan), £395, available HERE.

Do you have any year-round style tricks?

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Selfies, style and spotting Bill Clinton

This is the first (and possibly the last) proper selfie I've ever taken. Though I do wish I'd gone for the Helle Thorning-Schmidt-style snap on Friday evening WHEN I SAW BILL CLINTON  doing his Christmas shopping. I know. That is undoubtedly the most surreal sentence I've ever typed. And I still can't quite believe the former president was on the fourth floor at Liberty admiring the baubles. He looked very dapper too. Anyhow. It's been a good week for grown-up style. Monica Bellucci was named a Bond Girl at 50 - about time the secret agent cavorted with someone his own age.

And 47-year-old Julia Roberts became the face of the Givenchy spring/summer 2015 campaign. She looks good Tomboy Style, don't you think?

Oh and my selfie was taken after I'd had my hair & makeup professionally done for a blogger feature for Good Housekeeping magazine's April issue. I'll keep you posted about that.

Hope you're enjoying the weekend.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

How to wear black and not look boring

Add metallics. Photo: Pure Collection

Black is always a fail-safe option once the festivities kick in. So, I've written a piece about how to wear it and not look bland for the Guardian, HERE. I know from my own experience that I tend to gravitate towards a couple of items in my wardrobe at this time of year. There's a black velvet jacket I bought for a fiver in a second-hand shop in Peckham before second-hand became vintage and Peckham became the new Dalston/Shoreditch/whatever. Slip it on over a simple outfit and I’m ready to party.

Here are a few of my favourite pieces:

John Lewis Tear Drop necklace, £35, available HERE. Cashmere jumper, £75, available HERE. Leather-look jeans, £80, available HERE.

Essington maxi dress, £139,  from Baukjen, available HERE.

 Embellished front dress, £175, from Jaeger, available HERE.

Dogtooth jacquard coat, £198, from Jigsaw, available HERE.

Baukjen Coco shirt, £99, available HERE and Henley lace skirt, £99, available HERE.

Do you have any party pieces that you always rely on?