Saturday, 31 October 2015

Magenta Cocoon Dress & Leather Leggings from New 40 Plus Clothing Brand, Hope Fashion

Magenta cocoon dress, leather leggings, red tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
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I'm not quite sure where to start with this post, simply because a new British clothing brand for the 40 plus woman has been launched - and I'm officially very excited about it. I genuinely feel that if a group of over 40 fashion bloggers got together and told a brand what they wanted in the way of product, service and marketing, Hope Fashion would be the end result.

Just to give you an idea of what Hope is all about, it's specifically aimed at the older woman who wants to look modern and stylish - and at the same time be comfortable - whilst creating a fabulous (and figure-flattering) silhouette. Music to my ears...!

Hope kindly allowed me to choose a couple of pieces from their current collection: I chose the magenta cocoon dress (I adore the colour) and leather-front stretch leggings (I've finally joined the leather trousers army)! The dress comes in one "free" size which fits UK 8 to 20 in both regular and long length (mine's the latter). The leather-front leggings are stretchy, come in sizes "Super Slim" (UK 8) up to "Super Curvy" (UK 20) and you can choose the long length, or have them altered - for free. (I chose to have them a little shorter to show off a bit of ankle for wearing them with heels, and I like the little bit of skin showing between ankle boot and hem.)

THE LEATHER-FRONT LEGGINGS ARE STRETCHY, COME IN SIZES "SUPER SLIM" UP TO "SUPER CURVY" AND YOU CAN CHOOSE THE LONG LENGTH, OR HAVE THEM ALTERED - FOR FREE.

To me, this brand stands out because they are, in my opinion, tackling head-on what the 40+ market needs from a clothing brand. Beautiful fabrics and colours, great quality, modern styling and choice. I chose to have my leggings that length, you could choose to have them longer. Same goes for the dress: I went for long as I'm a bit taller than average (5'7", and these boots make me at least 5'11") - but you can go for the shorter length if it works for your body shape and/or height better .

This is what Nayna McIntosh, the founder and CEO of Hope Fashion, has to say (which basically sums it all up):

"CREATING HOPE WAS ABOUT DOING SOMETHING TO PUT RIGHT WHAT MANY FASHION BRANDS AND RETAILERS ARE MISSING AND UTILISING MY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE TO CREATE A BRAND FOR THE 40 PLUS WOMAN THAT IS RIGHT FOR TODAY.
I HAVE EMPATHY WITH THIS WOMAN BECAUSE I AM THIS WOMAN. I'M LOOKING FOR GARMENTS TO HELP RESTORE CONFIDENCE – I UNDERSTAND MY BODY IS CHANGING YET STILL WANT TO FEEL GOOD, IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?"

So apart from loving this gorgeous magenta colour and soft fabric of the dress and the flattering fit and style of the leather-front leggings, I completely get the whole philosophy of this brand. When I was first contacted (just before Hope launched) about the possibility of collaborating with them, I made a list of all the things that impressed me whilst I was reading their press release and looking at the first collection:

Why Hope Fashion stands out

  1. It is specifically aimed towards, and is designed for, older women
  2. Its founder and CEO is a 40 plus woman
  3. The clothes are modern and edgy in bold colours and classic prints (no mumsy, apologetic florals)
  4. They've used a beautiful silver-haired older model and a gorgeous curvy model - hallelujah! (I know one brand who uses tall, slim 20-something models for their marketing and Lookbooks even though their target audience is 40+ and their clothes generally start at a UK size 12)
  5. Unlike some brands aimed at the older market, the sizes start at a UK 8, i.e. they're not assuming that all older women are bigger (some older women are tiny)
  6. Hope's Foundation range, basic layering pieces to shape and sculpt, is designed for both style and comfort
  7. All garments in the Hope collection have been designed with the "Divine Proportion" (a template of thirds) in mind to give you the most flattering proportions
  8. Many of the trousers can be altered free of charge and a lot of pieces come in a choice of lengths

One more great thing they offer is a new shopping experience. Everything in their collection is available online via their website, but if online shopping isn't for you and you detest high street shopping (like me), you might be interested to know they do pop-up boutiques. With fully-trained Hope stylists you'll get a personalised service in a relaxed environment - you can attend a pop-up boutique or even sign up to become a Hope stylist and host one yourself. If you're passionate about clothing and style and want to run your own business this could be for you...!

There is so much more I could say about this brand, but I'll leave it to you to check them out and decide for yourself what you think of their approach, their philosophy and, of course, their collection.

Discount code

Hope are offering 15% off your order until midnight Tuesday 3rd November: Use code OCT15 at the checkout. Currently they only deliver to the UK, Northern Ireland and Channel Islands but do say they're working on delivering overseas. As they've only just recently launched I'm hoping that it won't be too long before they're able to deliver to all my lovely readers all over the globe...!

Let me know what you think of Hope's collection - are you excited that a new 40 plus clothing brand has been launched? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb (and tag @hopefashionuk in as well, they'd love to hear what you think)!

Magenta cocoon dress, leather leggings, red tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
Magenta cocoon dress, leather leggings, red tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
Magenta cocoon dress, leather leggings, red tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
Magenta cocoon dress, leather leggings, red tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
Magenta cocoon dress, leather leggings, red tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
Magenta cocoon dress, floral neck scarf | Not Dressed As Lamb
Magenta cocoon dress, floral neck scarf | Not Dressed As Lamb
Dress: c/o Hope Fashion | Leggings: c/o Hope Fashion | Boots: New Look (close match) | Bag: c/o Brenda Mcleod (similar) | Scarf: Asos | Sunglasses: c/o Lulus (close match) | Watch: Lipsy (similar) | Nails: Revlon Top Speed 'Hazy'

Hope Fashion AW15
Above: A selection of Hope Fashion's AW15 collection

You can see my leggings really clearly here (studio lights show the leather better!) - and how gorgeous is that tomato-red dress? It looks so striking with the model's white hair and bold glasses. Hope have a great selection of textures and fabrics that you can mix and match: It suits those of us who want to stay a little safer with classic black and neutrals, but the leopard print and bold brights appeal to my wilder side.

I can't wait to wear the leather-front leggings throughout autumn and winter with a wrap knit or my longline camel blazer, and the magenta dress will also look good with dark denim or coloured opaque tights and heels. Watch this space!

Catherine

P.S. Don't forget to link up what you've been wearing on Monday's #iwillwearwhatilike link up post - especially if you're dressing up for Halloween (next week's optional theme)! Link up your Instagram posts if you don't have a blog post :)

Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle SessionsTurning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab FavouritesStyle Stories

Disclosure: I have written this post in collaboration with Hope Fashion (click here for my full disclosure). All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.
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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Blue and White Striped Midi Dress With Matching Greek Umbrellas

Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
It might look like I'd planned this, but it was in fact a total coincidence. When I was packing for Santorini at no point did I think I know, I'll pack my blue and white striped midi dress because it'll match the Greek flag. Even if I had, what were the chances of wearing it the day we went somewhere that had matching umbrellas?!

WHEN I WAS PACKING AT NO POINT DID I THINK "I KNOW, I'LL PACK MY BLUE AND WHITE STRIPED DRESS BECAUSE IT'LL MATCH THE GREEK FLAG."

So unlike all those top Instagrammers who meticulously plan their photos and posts within an inch of their lives, I just threw on my trusty old striped dress (also worn this summer back home), popped on the suede sandals (similar here) that I wore so much during our break and added a straw hat. Job done, as it were. It's safe to to say I got incredibly excited when this photo opportunity arose...!

I know I've been posting so many outfits from our holiday, so I'm sorry if it's getting repetitive - as we were there for two whole weeks and the scenery and architecture were so beautiful I'm surprised there aren't more outfits to post (we had to have a day off from photographing now and then)! But the views were breathtaking - it's the only place that's impressed me as much as the Grand Canyon did when we went there a few years ago. I hope it's bringing a little sunshine into your day, especially if it's as wet and grey as it is in the UK right now!

Have you ever had the most fantastic or amazing photo opportunity when you've been out and about? I'd love to hear about animal photo bombs, celebrity photo ops or crazy things that you managed to capture! Tell me all in the comments or tweet me @notlamb :))

Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Blue and white striped dress in Santorini | Not Dressed As Lamb
Dress: Very.co.uk (old - you might like this one) | Hat: La Redoute (similar) | Sandals: Marks & Spencer (similar) | Bag: c/o Jack Wills | Sunglasses: c/o Lulus (similar) | Necklace and ring: Bought in Santorini (similar here and here) | Cuff: c/o Yosa | Nails: Barry M Gelly Nail Paint 'Blueberry'Toenails: Max Factor Glossfinity 'Red Passion'

SHOP THE LOOK IN ONE GO (LINKS TO ALL): www.liketk.it/1Vh5e



Catherine

P.S. Don't forget to enter my giveaway to win a pair of luxury pyjamas (of your choice) worth up to £210!

Blue Marmalade giveaway

Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle SessionsTurning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab FavouritesStyle Stories, A Labour of Life, Hat Attack
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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

International Giveaway | A Pair of Blue Marmalade Luxury Pyjamas of Your Choice (Worth Up to £210)

Blue Marmalade pyjamas
I'm so pleased to be hosting a fabulous giveaway this week: A pair of luxury pyjamas from a British brand specialising in luxurious nightwear and loungewear. Time to treat yourself, ladies!

The lovely people at Blue Marmalade sent me these gorgeous "Katherine" supersoft grey pyjamas which I absolutely adore. (The name is just a coincidence - if only they'd spelt Katherine with a "C"...) The quality is second-to-none and they really are incredibly soft, I'm loath to take them off to be honest! The top is a flattering short-sleeved style with classic structured collar and mother-of-pearl buttons - the pyjama pants also have pockets which is a huge bonus: We all love pockets, right?!

You could win some pyjamas (or any PJ top and bottoms) of your choice via my easy-to-enter giveaway (see widget at the bottom of the post for details). It includes beautiful silk pyjamas which are worth £210 - you could treat yourself, or give them to your mum, sister or BFF for Christmas. You may change your mind about giving them away, however, when you see (and feel) how soft and luxurious they are...!

TREAT YOURSELF OR GIVE THEM TO YOUR MUM, SISTER OR BFF FOR CHRISTMAS - IT INCLUDES SILK PYJAMAS WORTH £210

The giveaway is open internationally and entry is easy via the widget below. What are you waiting for - get entering! GOOD LUCK :)

Blue Marmalade pyjamas
Blue Marmalade pyjamas
Blue Marmalade pyjamas
Blue Marmalade pyjamas
Blue Marmalade pyjamas

PLEASE NOTE all entries will be verified. Do read the instructions!
There are two mandatory entries which will unlock lots of other entries to give you more chances to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Catherine


Here's the boring (but necessary) bit...

Terms & Conditions:
1. Entries for the giveaway can only be made via the Rafflecopter widget.
2. It is open internationally.
3. All entries will be verified.
4. The giveaway ends on 11 November 2015 at 11:59pm (London time)
5. One winner will be chosen at random via the Rafflecopter widget, contacted by email and announced on this widget and via Twitter.
6. The winner may choose any pyjamas set or pj top and bottoms (subject to availability) from Blue Marmalade London.
7. A cash or alternative prize cannot be chosen.
8. The winner must reply to the email informing them within 48 hours to claim the prize, otherwise another winner will be chosen.
9. No responsibility will be taken for: Incorrect email addresses provided, delayed receipt of emails to the winner, delayed receipt of any reply emails or similar.

Disclosure: I am hosting this giveaway with Blue Marmalade who are providing the giveaway prize (click here for my full disclosure) and gifted me the pyjama set. All content is original and opinions are my own and 100% honest.


Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle SessionsTurning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab FavouritesStyle Stories
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Monday, 26 October 2015

Still Wearing a Bikini in My 40s + #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up: Hats

White bikini, wide-brimmed hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
This week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is hats - I'm wearing a wide-brimmed beauty I took with me on holiday to Santorini. But as always you can link up any outfit you like, scroll down for all the details!

So this is a first for me on the blog: Wearing a bikini. It seems incredibly odd to be posting pictures of the sun and a pool when it's pretty damn cold outside and we're all thinking about Halloween, but hey - I hope it's brought a little sunshine into your life this Monday (and warmed you up perhaps?!)

It's an old debate, but one I still read now and then... Should women over XX age wear a bikini? [insert audible groan here.] I think you all know my answer to that one, so I thought it only apt that I should put these pictures in a #iwillwearwhatilike link up post. I always wear a bikini on holiday because firstly, I'd be just too darn hot round my middle in a swimsuit; secondly, I like my tummy to tan the same colour as the rest of me, and thirdly, because I just like them and am comfortable wearing one.

And if you're happy wearing a bikini, wear one. If you don't want to wear one... Don't! It's nothing to do with what others think you should be wearing (or not wearing), it's all about wearing what makes you feel good. I will be absolutely honest and say that I was sucking in my tummy for the photo shoot (too much delicious Greek food at this point) and I was doing my best to put my shoulders back to boost my posture: There's nothing wrong with wanting to look your best in photos either.

I WILL BE ABSOLUTELY HONEST AND SAY THAT I WAS SUCKING IN MY TUMMY FOR THE PHOTO SHOOT (TOO MUCH DELICIOUS GREEK FOOD AT THIS POINT)...

As for the outfit, this was probably my most-worn type of outfit in the second week of my holiday: A bikini, a wide-brimmed hat and a kaftan. I felt very "Miami beach" for some reason(?!) and loved floating about in this full-length kaftan down at the pool. I'm happy on the lounger in a bikini, but do feel a little exposed walking around in one, so this kaftan from Asos was the perfect cover-up.

I know many bloggers posted pictures of themselves in bikinis over the summer, so I'm a little late to the party... What swimwear do YOU wear? Do you wear what you like, regardless of what others expect you to wear? Do share in the comments or tweet me @notlamb!

Full length floral kaftan, white bikini, wide-brimmed hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Imerovigli, Santorini: Full length floral kaftan, wide-brimmed hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Full length floral kaftan, white bikini, wide-brimmed hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Full length floral kaftan, white bikini, wide-brimmed hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Full length floral kaftan, white strappy sandals | Not Dressed As Lamb
Full length floral kaftan, white bikini, wide-brimmed hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Floral kaftan, wide-brimmed hat, cat eye sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb
White bikini, wide-brimmed hat | Not Dressed As Lamb
Swimming pool style | Not Dressed As Lamb
Swimming pool style | Not Dressed As Lamb
Swimming pool style | Not Dressed As Lamb
Kaftan: Asos | Hat: Reiss SS13 (I like this one) | Bikini: Bravissimo (this white one is also made for fuller busts) | Sandals: Asos | Sunglasses: c/o Lulus (similar) | Toenails: Max Factor Glossfinity 'Red Passion'

Shop the entire outfit by clicking here >>
(or click the individual thumbnails below)




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#iwillwearwhatilike link up | Not Dressed As Lamb

Thank you for joining my new #iwillwearwhatilike link up! This started as a campaign on Instagram in August 2015 where women over 30 wore everything on a journalist's list of "inappropriate" items for 30+ women (including leopard print, short dresses and oversized sunglasses. Yes, really). It was so popular that I decided to carry it on weekly where women of all ages link up their fabulous style, never mind what anyone tells them not to wear!

So link up all your fabulous outfits (or shoes, accessories, make-up, etc.) every Monday at 3pm UK time - it'll stay open for a week. Whilst the original article was of course aimed at the 30+, you can be ANY age to link up. The only criteria is that you're wearing whatever you damn well like!

#iwillwearwhatilike | Fashion bloggers in pink
My favourite PINK outfits from last week's link up:

** The optional theme for 2nd November is HALLOWEEN **
[Don't forget the theme is optional - so if you're not in costume you can of course still link up. But I'd love to see as many costumes (or black and orange/black and purple outfits, for example) as possible, so do link up old posts as well. Or how about any Instagram posts you take at a Halloween party? It doesn't have to be a blog post, IG works as well in the link up!]


All I ask of you linking up is that you:

1. Please follow your host Not Dressed As Lamb (via Bloglovin or Instagram)
2. Link up your outfits (blog or Instagram posts) that show how you choose to wear what you like - as many as you like!
3. Include a link back to this post if you're linking from a blog post, or add my button (below)
4. Post your outfit on Instagram (if you use it) with the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike - Monday's the day to join in the IG fun
5. Visit some of the other links and share the love!

Not Dressed As Lamb

Copy and paste this HTML code into your blog post or side bar:





Do share the love and visit as many links as you can (you never know what other lovely like-minded ladies you might meet) - the original Instagram campaign forged some wonderful new relationships so don't miss out!


Catherine

P.S. On Wednesday I'll be hosting a fantastic giveaway to win a pair of luxury pyjamas (much more season-appropriate) - don't miss it!

Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle SessionsTurning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites, Style StoriesA Labour of Life
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