A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Fashion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fashion. Show all posts

Monday, 11 May 2015

Mmmmm... what are we going to wear today?

Is it just me or does everyone spend most of their annual clothing budget on gorgeous clothes for the summer? In comparison winter is easy and my outfit of choice would be a pair of jeans, a jumper (or two) and a pair of biker boots. I own three little black dresses, one pair of smart black trousers, a couple of skirts and voila, every eventuality is covered. Head into summer though, and it's an entirely different ball game...

There are so many options...

1. Don't we need sandals for those rare days when feet aren't freezing or we're lucky enough to head off to sunnier shores?

2. And who doesn't love a pair of Birkenstocks for the beach?

3. Not forgetting ballerina pumps for days when the weather's not sure what it wants to do.

4. There are mini dresses for hiding the bikini body.

5. And maxi dresses for hiding everything...

6. Skirts in an assortment of lengths and eclectic prints...

7. Cropped trousers for when you're not certain that the weather will stay perfect.

8. And full-length trousers for when summer's deserted us.

9. Shorts for holidays and warmer days in the garden.

10. Bikinis and sarongs... gulp! Only if I absolutely have to...

11. Plus an assortment of gorgeous shirts and T-shirts to go with the weird but wonderful assortment of clothing we've bought for the warmer weather.

Mr A does not get my obsession with the fabulousness (is that even a word?) that is the summer wardrobe. But then I guess he doesn't have anywhere near as many options. His only dilemma would be full-length or cropped trousers and he's all sorted whatever the weather.

So here's to blowing 75% of my annual clothes budget on the summer wardrobe and spending the winter living in jeans, jumpers and boots.

Summer clothes are simply gorgeous and I guess my winter wardrobe will always pale into insignificance.

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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Friday, 16 January 2015

Life and Times of a Perimenopausal Shopper

menopause, hot flushI've reached that certain age where shopping has become exasperating. I guess this has something to do with being forty-something and perimenopausal. Once, not so very long ago I used to enjoy a spot of retail therapy with my daughters, but now it's not something I take on lightly as I know I'm likely to become hot (not in a good way) and irritable. However, as I need to replace a few essential items from time to time it's something that has to be done.

I don't crave a walk-in wardrobe overflowing with the latest must-haves, or a hundred pairs of shoes - I'd be more than happy with just a few purchases per season. But here's the thing, I want to love what I own and not be one of those women who wears 20% of her clothing 80% of the time.

Earlier this week I braved the shops. On my list were two of my least favourite items to shop for, jeans and swimwear. 
Mr A, who will only shop under extreme duress had decided to be brave and come with me. He had my deepest sympathy.

Mr A is ever hopeful that everything I take into the changing rooms will be splendid, he waits patiently outside and announces, "Yes, that's lovely," in the hope that I'll,

a) Make a purchase.
b) He can go home again.

As I'm dubious that the look isn't quite as gorgeous as he'd like me to believe his tactics often backfire as I retreat to the cubicle thinking only, where next?

Shopping alone isn't any easier. I'm overwhelmed by indecision, followed by optimism that something more flattering will turn up soon - as long as I can muster the enthusiasm to keep looking.

I am absolutely brilliant at spotting something I love that isn't available in my size. I spied a skirt in Coast that was two sizes too small this week. At home I searched online only to discover that it was sold out everywhere. And not only are there none of my preferred brand of jeans in stock, but the shop in question actually no longer sells these in-store or online. After trying on a couple of swimwear options, I'm unimpressed and not tempted to try any more today as I suspect my hormones are on the rampage.

Giving up on swimwear and jeans, I book a bra fitting at a well-known department store instead. I had my suspicions that I was wearing the wrong size, but was astounded to be measured as a 32D. "Really," I said... and with that the helpful sales assistant vanished, only to return a couple of minutes later with a selection of lace-embellished options in an assortment of eclectic colours. I have no idea what was going through her mind as she made her choices, but she leaves me alone to wrestle with the bra straps, (always set on minimum and designed to inflict pain if you don't lengthen them prior to trying on) and struggle into the first one. It fits perfectly, my cleavage looks svelte, sculpted and none has escaped from the confines of the cup. There's just one problem - it's perfect just as long as I don't need to breathe. Defeated, I replace old faithful (my aged bra), share my observations with the helpful sales assistant and leave the store feeling the familiar beads of sweat forming and questioning whether or not it's actually possible to melt during a hot flush.
Mr A is waiting patiently for me and suggests that now might be a good time to break for coffee. I shoot him a reply and say, "Are you kidding? Why would I want a hot drink when I'm about to self-combust?" He heads to Costa while I treat myself to a small tub of ice-cream and stand outside (it's 4°C) until the flush subsides. He's a sensitive soul Mr A and I feel dreadful for snapping at him. It isn't his fault that my hormones are making me bad tempered.

Glancing at the list that had only two items on it, I'm left contemplating why I've ended up buying two T-shirts (100% cotton and not a synthetic fibre between them, hence perfect for perimenopause), a pair of sunglasses and a birthday gift for a friend.

I head for home without swimwear or jeans.

Is anyone else experiencing the delights of perimenopausal shopping too, I wonder? Any tips to help save my sanity?

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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Monday, 5 January 2015

Longing for summer already

water lily, pond, summerThere is something about this time of year that's all a bit meh. The house is bare after being stripped of its festive decorations and everything looks a little jaded and in need of a revamp.

So I'm planning on putting the next couple of months to good use: clearing the clutter, working on new projects in the house and sifting through my wardrobe to make room for clothing that can be worn to keep cool when it's warmer outside.

I long to emerge from hibernation and nights curled up in front of the TV wearing pyjamas and toasty socks - to eagerly anticipate warmer evenings sipping Pimms outside the local pub. In the meantime I'll plan days out and plot a makeover for the garden to turn it from drab into blooming. I've tolerated winter until New Year and feel that it's outstayed its welcome as I've recovered from partying a little too hard and long to spend time outdoors.

If it's wrong to fantasise about booking a vacation, balmy days ahead and being able to leave the house without multiple layers of clothing - then I don't want to be right.

The days are longer already as winter solstice has been and gone, but with endless cold days of January, followed by lacklustre February and March which can be cruel, I'll write work plans for the coming year and stay focused in the hope that the temperature outdoors will have climbed significantly by the time I have mastered all of the above.

The house will unfurl from winter to reveal a more hospitable living space that's a little bit more gorgeous when it's warm outside.

In the meantime, I'll keep the heating on and listen to my summer playlist from 2014, featuring gorgeous tracks like this...

If I close my eyes, I can almost remember how it felt to be warm...

Is anyone else fantasising about summer too?

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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Saturday, 19 July 2014

10 Tips for Shopping in the Summer Sales

With sales season upon us, temptation lurks in almost every store and it can be hard to resist the lure of a bargain. While the summer sales might be fabulous for tactical end-of-season purchases and stashing a few items that may come in handy later on in the year, it’s important to avoid some common pitfalls. Here are my top 10 tips for bagging the best buys:

1. Make a list: check what’s already in your wardrobe and work out exactly what you need before heading off to the sales. If you already have 10 pairs of cropped trousers ask yourself, 'Do I really need another pair?'
2. Don't buy something just because it's a bargain. Will the item go with anything you have in your wardrobe already? And when will you get to wear it? If you wouldn't give a second thought to purchasing an item at full-price, resist the temptation to buy, put it back on the rail and walk away.
3. Stay comfortable: wear clothes that are easy to wriggle in and out of in the changing rooms and a pair of sensible shoes. Select an outfit that's neutral and will match almost anything you might want to try on. This will give the best overall impression of how something might look when you get home and help you to make the best decision on whether or not to buy.
4. Utilise the sales to buy timeless wardrobe staples that you'll still love this time next year. While the latest trends might attract the biggest discounts, they could also end up at the back of the wardrobe in 12 months’ time if you've fallen out of love with last year’s fashion.
5. Don't be tempted to buy anything that's not your size in the hope that you'll get into it some day. That bargain-basement pair of kitten heels might be a snip at 70% off, but if they pinch your toes, chances are they'll be heading to a charity shop without ever being worn. The same goes for jeans that are too tight and dresses that are too short. 
6. Keep the receipts: fitting rooms are often closed during the first few days of a sale, while others might have queues that are too long to even contemplate waiting in line. As you're going to need to try on at home, keep any receipts safe and you'll be able to return the item if you’re not happy. Check the sale returns policy with an assistant before leaving the store, as this can differ to the normal returns policy.
7.  Don't be tempted to sales shop with small children in tow. The same goes for partners who are not fans of shopping. Chances are that everyone will end up feeling a tad grouchy and you'll be under pressure to shop quickly and head for home.
8. Take snacks and a bottle of water to keep your energy levels up. This will save time as well as hard-earned cash that can be spent on additional goods. 
9. Think ahead and stock up on gifts for any upcoming birthdays and maybe even the odd Christmas present as well.   
10. If you’re not brave enough to venture into a store during the first few days of the sale, don’t forget to pop in at a later date. Any returns will have been added to the clearance racks and there's still plenty of opportunity to snap up a bargain.

Do you have any other great tips you’d like to share?

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton

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