Friday, 31 October 2014

Halloween Zombie Fashionista

Zombie fashionista (effects done with PicMonkey)
Wishing all you zombie fashionistas a very Happy Halloween - whether you're celebrating it or not! I had a bit of an eventful morning so thought I'd share a quick snap with you. The blood is going to be a devil to get out of that top...

Aaaaactually this image was created using PicMonkey's Halloween effects - they're so easy to use, I can highly recommend them for general photo editing as well. Have a great time, everyone - see you back here tomorrow for an outfit post with a bit of a twist (only been seen once before on Not Dressed As Lamb)!

What are you up to for Halloween - and what did/will you dress up as? Do share!
Catherine x
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P.S. If you'd like a double pearl choker like mine you can buy the same one here (without the blood splatters of course)!

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Friday's Fab Favourites

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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Baby Blue, Mint and Teal Combination With Tan Boots

Baby blue, mint, teal and tan
What started as a very simple outfit last weekend - jeans and my mint biker jacket - soon became a riot of all shades of blue. Baby blue, mint and teal all happily combined with tan (both my boots and my hair) to create another 'anti-autumnal colours' outfit. (I did yellow and grey the other week.)

I hadn't actually worn the mint jacket since the spring (see here), and I thought the blue scarf from Asos would jar a little but I'm happy to say it didn't. I think shades of blue with mint can be tricky to get right, but these were all greeny-blues: anything on the side of cobalt or purply-blue definitely wouldn't have worked with the mint... believe me I've tried them all!

The tan boots have been brought out yet again for the fifth or sixth winter in a row and gave a nice warm contrast to all the cool colours I had on. I'm not giving up on these boots any time soon so I'm afraid you'll have to put up with them for yet another season...!

Do you have an old faithful pair of boots that you'd had for years that you're determined to keep wearing till they fall apart (like me)?

Baby blue, mint, teal and tan
Baby blue, mint and teal
Baby blue, mint, teal and tan
Catherine x
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P.S. If you like this, why not follow my Pinterest My Style - Autumn Winter board - you'll see lots of outfits with all sorts of boots (including these ones) featured!



Scarf: Asos, Jacket: c/o Gray & Osbourn, Jeans: Toast, Boots: Duo (old), Bag: Nine West, Ray-Bans: c/o Sunglasses Shop, Earrings: c/o kuka-me, Ring on ring finger: c/o kuka-me, Lips: Revlon Matte Balm 215 Shameless

Linking up to: Visible Monday, Let It Shine, Share in Style, Monday Mingle, Style Sessions, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday's Fab Favourites

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Monday, 27 October 2014

What to Wear for a Date Night | Gold Brocade Jeans and Bird Print Blouse

Bird print blouse, gold brocade jeans (over 40 fashion)
Getting a little dressed up for a night out is always a winner in my book, especially when you pair something brand new with something you'd almost relegated to the back of your wardrobe. These gorgeous gold brocade jeans were sent to me to style by JQ Jeans, an Italian jeans brand now available in the UK. This pair won't be on sale till next month, but if you love them as much as me then snap them up quick as they're a limited edition design.

As well as being a beautiful fabric they are super stretchy (without losing shape) and they fit like a dream - perfect for those Christmas parties coming up when you want to wear jeans but blue denims just don't seem dressy enough! I wasn't sure whether to leave the hems rolled up but I rather liked the black cuff, so I left them to echo the black pointed heels. The old item I mentioned is the bird print blouse last worn a whole two years ago layered under a dress. The ruffled peplum is perfect for over-consumption of food(!) and with the stretchiness of the jeans I can guarantee a comfortable evening - style-wise at least!

With the prices of JQ Jeans starting at £90 and (brilliantly) half sizes available, I'd recommend a look at their website for some unusual fabrics and excellent fits.

Do you have a fail-safe date night outfit that gives you ample space to breathe (that's also stylish)? Let me know in the comments!

Bird print blouse, gold brocade jeans (over 40 fashion)
Bird print blouse, gold brocade jeans (over 40 fashion)
Bird print blouse, gold brocade jeans (over 40 fashion)
Bird print blouse, gold brocade jeans (over 40 fashion)
Bird print blouse (over 40 fashion)
Catherine x
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P.S. Don't forget to sign up to my fortnightly newsletter if you haven't yet - the next one will be going out tomorrow!



Blouse: Asos, Jeans: c/o JQ Jeans, Clutch: New Look, Heels: Aldo, Sunglasses: French Connection, Ear cuff: Asos, Watch: Lipsy, Rings: Asos

Linking up to: Visible Monday, Let It Shine, Share in Style, Monday Mingle, Style Sessions, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday's Fab Favourites

I have written this post in collaboration with JQ Jeans. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

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Friday, 24 October 2014

Outfit for an Autumn Walk and Lunch | Long Striped Blazer and FitFlop Shoes

Grey striped blazer with loose fit pants
I really hate to admit that I'm embracing my autumnal wardrobe, but I am. This was one of those outfits that was the ultimate in practicality: I got it spot-on for temperature, occasion and style. We had a weekend away in Twickenham with friends, so I had that problem of making a decision of what to wear in advance, with no way to go back in and change like you do at home....!

Firstly, the grey striped blazer: an ingenious and very versatile piece. I'm not sure I've seen a long-line blazer before, but this one really works (the stripes and the cut are perfect). It added the warmth of a long cardigan but it smartened my outfit instead of making it look sloppy which knitwear sometimes does. Secondly, my choice of footwear had to be suitable for a walk into Richmond for a pub lunch, so I went with my new FitFlop Nubuck shoes which are the most gorgeous autumnal khaki colour. I've wanted to try FitFlop shoes for ages - and these did not disappoint. Crazy comfy, no rubbing, great colour, smarter than trainers... I can highly recommend them.

As usual with me I added a couple of great accessories - my current favourite statement piece that is the Accessorize camera bag and a big chunky crystal necklace (sadly no longer available) from Anna Lou of London. I had comfy feet, enough room for a pub lunch thanks to my loose-fit trousers and I was perfect temperature-wise: I was winning 100% that day as far as I was concerned...!

Do you have many of those days when your outfit was absolutely perfect for the occasion, the weather, the activity?

Grey striped blazer with loose fit pants
Grey striped blazer with loose fit pants
Loose fit pants and army green lace ups
Grey striped blazer with loose fit pants
Catherine x
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P.S. I've worn these trousers several times over the blogging years, see here, here and here!



Blazer: c/o Gemini Woman, Sweater: La Redoute, Trousers: Asos (I like these ones), Shoes: FitFlops c/o Shoetique, Bag: Accessorize, Necklace: c/o Anna Lou of London (similar), Nails: Maybelline Gel Nail Colour Divine Wine 265

Linking up to: Visible Monday, Let It Shine, Share in Style, Monday Mingle, Style Sessions, Trend Spin Link-Up, What I Wore Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Passion for Fashion Friday, Friday's Fab Favourites

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Self Image | Learning to Love My Worst Feature

Learning to love my worst feature
If you follow my Facebook page you may have seen a Musings Mondays post where I mused upon those who embraced their "worst" feature. Or rather, the feature that is deemed unattractive or even unacceptable (by others) in today's society. The response was overwhelming, and so many inspiring opinions and thoughts really got me thinking more about it.

For me, my "worst" feature has always been my nose. Now I'm not looking for compliments or cries of "but you haven't got an awful nose" at all - that's not the point of this post. Coming to the conclusion that you can learn to love the very thing you've hated about yourself for so long is what I've been mulling over.

I think I'm right in saying that a lot of women have a part of themselves that they'd change if they could. I'm talking about the body parts that only surgery can alter, or are even impossible to do anything about (your height, for example). And for me - especially growing up - it was my nose.

I used to get the odd "Barry Manilow" dig from other kids; luckily it didn't surmount to bullying or even have an impact on my self-confidence. I knew perfectly well I didn't have a teeny tiny button nose, and, well, I couldn't do much about it - so I simply accepted it. But I could get, if I'd wanted, a nose job. I thought about it many times over the years, but the expense was usually the thing that stopped me seriously considering it.

Until recently.

Redhead profile - before and after
When I hit my 30s and actually found myself with a little disposable income - enough to actually go through with it, I found myself thinking that it wasn't such a good idea after all. I'd always dreamed of having the same sort of nose, but just a bit smaller. So that I still looked like me. In other words, something like the one on the left (above). On the right, my nose; on the left, my "ideal", Photoshopped nose.

The thing is, did you notice that there was a difference? I showed the mirror image to my husband and asked if he noticed anything at all, and he didn't catch on at first. Which proved to me two things: 1. In my head I think there's a huge difference between how I think my nose looks (i.e. huge and with a big bump in it) and what I'd like it to look like (smaller and straighter). 2. That if my own husband can't immediately see a massive difference when I've "had a nose job" - is it really worth the time, money and pain?

There are many examples of celebrities who have bowed to the pressure and had work done. You may have read in the last day or two how Renée Zellweger was virtually unrecognisable at an event this week - I personally don't think she looks terrible like many of the comments I've read, but I think it's obvious that she's had her eyes opened up. Gone are the cute squinting eyes she was so well known for; now those same eyes aren't Renée's (or Bridget's) any more. The same happened to Jennifer Grey after having a nose job: she said in an interview that having plastic surgery was the worst mistake she ever made. She was no longer recognisable as Baby from Dirty Dancing, just somebody who looked a bit like her.

Renee Zellweger
So my fear is of "not looking like me" any more. Sure, I may end up with a cuter nose, it'll be straighter and my profile won't be quite as "strong" - but at the ripe old age of 42 I've decided that my strong profile is what makes me look like me. I definitely don't want to end up looking like a homogenised version of myself.

There are, however, some female celebrities who haven't had work done, despite being told to do so. Cindy Crawford didn't get her mole removed, and Georgia May Jagger kept the gap in her teeth. Both reasonably easy procedures (no major surgery), but for both of them it's their trademark and what's contributed to their individuality and their success.

The women I've grown to admire over the years with the same strong noses as me are Barbra Streisand (below, left) and Anjelica Huston (below, right). Would Streisand have been as successful if she'd had her nose done? Probably not. Anjelica Huston was told to get a nose job by Eileen Ford when she started modelling but she refused. Thank goodness she did: I can't imagine Morticia Addams having a cute button nose, yet she couldn't have looked any more beautiful in that film if she tried.

Barbra Streisand and Anjelica Huston
While I'm focusing on noses, it's interesting to note that these women often had photos taken that emphasised the very feature they were told to get fixed. I've noticed I've done it myself in some of my recent shoots; sometimes a strong composition is needed, and a profile shot that includes a strong nose certainly helps.

So I'm sticking with this nose. If I'm not bothered when someone doesn't like the way I dress, why should I care if they don't like parts of my face?

If you have a feature that you (or others!) feel strongly about then do let me know about it in the comments... I'd love to know your views.
Catherine x
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P.S. If you want to see some of the outfit posts where I've featured a strong profile picture, see herehere and here.

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Friday's Fab Favourites,  All About You

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