Thursday, 31 March 2016

How to Wear a Biker Jacket | With Wide Leg Trousers, Cashmere and a Skull Scarf

Bold orange, black and cream - Biker jacket, skull scarf, coral sweater, wide legged trousers, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb

Yesterday we went to Richmond, one of my favourite places in London, after going up during the day to North London for work. I wore my black biker jacket because the weather forecast said sunshine and milder temperatures, 

so I dared to leave the winter coats at home - I'm so glad I did.

When the weather's this nice a trip down to the river is always a good idea, so a late lunch in a restaurant overlooking the river was just what we needed after a day on the tube and a lot of walking. (I can recommend the Pitcher and Piano in Richmond because the food is a-mazing and the views from the south-facing conservatory or terrace make it the perfect place for a relaxing meal in the sun.)

As we did a lot of walking throughout the whole day (and a six-hour round trip in the car to get to London) I needed really comfy clothes that were still going to keep me warm. UK weather is nothing but unpredictable... I had gloves in my bag - just in case.

As a rule I'm not a fan of too much black, so everything else in this outfit was kept light or bright: My favourite coral cashmere sweater, my I-still-love-it Thomas Wylde skull scarf (which was THE scarf about four or five years ago) and my wide leg trousers, which many of you may recognise as my wedding trousers. The black slip ons added the tiniest amount of height with those chunky soles (so my trousers didn't drag on the floor) as well being easy to walk in. The silk scarf kept my neck warm without being over chunky or too woolly-warm and my Hobbs orange tote is working with just about everything I wear at the moment, if my last few outfit posts are anything to go by...!

[I WORE] MY FAVOURITE CORAL CASHMERE SWEATER, MY I-STILL-LOVE-IT THOMAS WYLDE SKULL SCARF AND MY WIDE LEG TROUSERS, WHICH MANY OF YOU MAY RECOGNISE AS MY WEDDING TROUSERS.

This spot down at Richmond is a beautiful place to take photos (the last time I photographed an outfit there was in 2013 when I was all over the wedge trainers trend) - if only it were down the road from me, I think I'd be there every weekend...!

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE RELAXING SPOT THAT YOU LOVE TO VISIT? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Bold orange, black and cream - Biker jacket, skull scarf, coral sweater, wide legged trousers, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

2 Maxi Dress Outfits to Wear to a Summer Garden Party

Floral Maxi Outfits to Wear to a Summer Garden Party | Not Dressed As Lamb
In an attempt to draw out spring in the UK, I've been thinking about what to wear to a summer garden party - I had some time to kill in London's Oxford Street last week and found myself lusting after all the summer dresses in the department stores...!

The one I fell absolutely in love with was the Somerset by Alice Temperley maxi that I featured on my Instagram feed. The floaty fabric and blossom print were so pretty, and it got me thinking about garden parties and what I'd wear should I be invited to one (chance would be a fine thing)!

I've created two maxi dress outfits that I hope will give you some inspiration for garden parties, summer weddings or even to a regatta or watch the polo (again, if anyone wants to invite me...)! I've tried to be practical with block heels: No sinking into the grass with these beauties.

I'VE CREATED TWO OUTFITS THAT I HOPE WILL GIVE YOU SOME INSPIRATION FOR GARDEN PARTIES, SUMMER WEDDINGS OR EVEN TO A REGATTA OR WATCH THE POLO.

Even if (like me) you probably won't be attending any regattas or similar events this year, you may have a wedding coming up and it's always good to start thinking early about what to wear. Read on to see the outfits and full details of where to buy - and if you want lots more inspiration for maxi skirts and dresses (and specifically what shoes to wear with them), check out my latest newsletter. You can read it and subscribe to the next one for lots of extras and style tips not seen on the blog!
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Monday, 28 March 2016

Two Tone Leopard Coat, Flared Jeans and White Adidas #iwillwearwhatilike

Winter style: Two tone leopard/black coat, flared jeans, white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
There's no theme this week for the #iwillwearwhatilike link up - basically anything goes as it's Easter Monday! We're still experiencing pretty cold, damp weather in the UK (Storm Katie is blowing a hooley as I write this) so unfortunately I'm not exactly spring-like in this outfit... My leopard coat and flared jeans are reigning supreme. Hope you've had a fabulous Easter weekend and not gorged too much on chocolate bunnies ;)

I've worn blush pink with this leopard coat before, and it's a really nice combination I think - something about the contrast of wild animal print and the softest of pinks appeals to me. The flared jeans and white Adidas Stan Smiths are so comfy I think I may be hard pressed to wear anything else till this weather cheers up a bit - could someone please tell Mother Nature to turn the thermostat up a bit...?!

I'VE WORN BLUSH PINK WITH THIS LEOPARD COAT BEFORE - SOMETHING ABOUT THE CONTRAST OF WILD ANIMAL PRINT AND THE SOFTEST OF PINKS APPEALS TO ME. 

I wore this outfit for an early morning in the cold watching (and cheering on) my sister and niece run a local 10k race - I would normally have been running it myself but I haven't done enough running post-injury to be able to run a 10k... My fitness levels just aren't quite there yet. You can read up on my back to fitness progress with my #notlambFIT series: This weekend I posted some great healthy breakfast recipes (all of them wheat-free and high in protein) that I'm sure you'll love!

And of course do add your outfits to this week's link up - no theme so everyone has an equal chance of being featured next week (only if you've added a link or my button though of course)!

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN WEARING AND LINKING UP THIS WEEK? TELL ME BELOW IN THE COMMENTS, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Winter style: Two tone leopard/black coat, flared jeans, white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Sunday, 27 March 2016

7 Healthy Breakfast Recipes | Getting Back to Fitness #notlambFIT Update No.2

Getting back to fitness | Breakfast recipes
I'm already four weeks into my #notlambFIT series, where I'm documenting my journey back to fitness after my pre-Christmas injury. This is is my second update, and this time I'll be focusing on what I put into my body after talking about getting my mind back into a good place where my health and fitness is concerned (A.K.A. finding your mojo). This post contains 7 healthy breakfast recipes - all wheat-free, high in protein and delicious!

Before I talk about my diet plan, I'll make a confession and say that this week I purposely haven't done a weigh-in. I did say I would do it every two weeks but as this weekend was Easter and we also just had a birthday in the family - meaning [ahem] large meals and birthday cake - I did indulge a little more than usual... eeek!! But I'm not too worried, as long as those sorts of indulgences are infrequent and I keep the exercise up. Therefore, in order not to get upset about any potential weight gain or a plateau, I thought I'd skip it till next weekend when I've worked hard to get back on track (and backed off from the cake) during the week.

AS THIS WEEKEND WAS EASTER AND WE ALSO JUST HAD A BIRTHDAY IN THE FAMILY, I DID INDULGE A LITTLE MORE THAN USUAL... AND WHY NOT, AS LONG AS THOSE SORTS OF INDULGENCES ARE INFREQUENT AND I KEEP THE EXERCISE UP.

With hindsight I also think photographing myself every two weeks is too often to really see a change, so I'll do it once every four weeks instead - the next standing-in-my-leggings photo will be in update no.3 on Sunday 10th April.

Read on for my healthy breakfast recipes...!

7 Wheat-Free, High Protein & Healthy Breakfast Recipes | #notlambFIT
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Thursday, 24 March 2016

An Everyday Casual, Relaxed SS6 Outfit | Over 40 Fashion Brand Hope

Spring Style: Loose silk pants, orange tank, neck scarf | Not Dressed As Lamb
NDAL banner

Some of you may remember that in October I wrote about Hope, a newly launched brand for the over 40 woman - and basically loved everything about them. 

This year they've done it again with a fantastic SS16 collection full of gorgeous, soft flowing fabrics, bright colours and key foundation pieces.

Although the UK isn't quite there yet with warmer temperatures, I feel it won't be too long before we can ditch the winter coats and start wearing looser, less bulky things like the everyday, casual relaxed outfit I'm wearing here. Hope's palette for SS16 couldn't be more perfect for my obsession with all things rosy-hued (see my Instagram feed): Soft bluey-greys, orange, pale yellow and plenty of white. Think "soft" tropical colours.

The Hope pieces I'm wearing here (orange vest top, trousers and scarf) are beautiful quality and very flattering. I'm all over orange at the moment and I firmly believe that vest tops (US: tanks) in every colour are perfect for the summer. Hope's foundation range pieces give plenty of support without any bulk (perfect for bustier ladies like myself) and the fabric of this vest top is a summer-friendly breathable polyamide mix. It suits the colours in the scarf which is that perfect length - and soft enough - for tying a thousand different ways. I really should learn a few new ways to tie a scarf... I reckon you'd only need to know about five to transform the look of an outfit.

Finally these silk lounge pants (coming soon) which are the absolute bomb - colour, fabric and cut are all perfect. Quite often wide legged pants made me look a little wide in the hip area, but these are in fact very slimming even in this soft blue-grey colour. And the best bit: The pockets, which are really well designed. I've realised that pockets sewn into the side seam of trousers add bulk, but these are slanted and at the front which is so much more flattering for fuller hips. Top marks to Hope for that small feature that makes all the difference.

The other pieces I added were all white: A ribbed cardigan, white fringed bag (so summery) and classic white Adidas Stan Smiths. I've been wanting to get all-white Stan Smiths for ages - I have a 20-year-old pair of Adidas Originals with navy stripes but even though they're still loved they're very tatty and just not smart enough when you need to be "smart casual".

I LOVE THE LOOK OF WIDE LEGGED PANTS WITH STAN SMITHS, AND THE HOPE TROUSERS DRAPE PERFECTLY ACROSS MY BOX-FRESH WHITE ADIDAS.

love the look of wide legged pants with Adidas Originals, white tennis shoes or Converse, and the Hope trousers seemed very long without shoes but actually drape perfectly across my box-fresh white Adidas (see below).

So once again Hope have knocked it out the park - this is a brand definitely worth keeping an eye on now and in the future...!

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF HOPE'S NEW SS16 COLLECTION? AND HOW DO YOU WEAR RELAXED PIECES BUT STAY SMART WHEN YOU HAVE TO? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Spring Style: Loose silk pants, orange tank, neck scarf, white Adidas Stan Smiths | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links - March 2016

My Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links March 2016 | Not Dressed As Lamb
My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links is a monthly post of things I've seen, watched and liked on the interwebs that I'm sure you'll love too. This month I'm sharing a whole host of spring-like outfits: Can you tell I'm craving warmer weather and longer days...? Plus an inspiring TED talk about looks not being everything, a post about relishing birthdays - and Tom Hiddleston ♥.

Hope you like the links, and here's wishing you a very Happy Easter weekend. I'll be back tomorrow with another outfit post (a very SS16 one) so do come back for that!

WHAT LINKS DID YOU ENJOY - AND HAVE YOU FOUND ANY FABULOUS NEW BLOGS TO FOLLOW? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

My Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links March 2016 | Not Dressed As Lamb
(Photo credits: Top left | Top right | Bottom left | Centre | Bottom middle | Bottom right)

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This is how to make navy sexy, as demonstrated by Lisa in a beautiful pussy bow blouse.
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Monday, 21 March 2016

Bold Floral Pattern Mixing With Bright Heels + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Springtime pattern mixed florals with longline blazer | Not Dressed As Lamb
This week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is florals - yesterday was the Spring Equinox for the northern hemisphere so it seemed only fitting to welcome in spring this way!

I'm wearing a slightly different styled version of the same mixed florals outfit I wore to welcome in spring last year. The same floral top and floral leggings have been paired with my longline blazer and the same coral heels I wore with my 'Neapolitan ice cream' outfit a couple of weeks ago, and I like how the muted camel colour of the blazer tones down the loudness of the florals somewhat. Though I did stay true to my colourful style and added those bright heels... You can't keep a colour addict completely tied down!

I DID STAY TRUE TO MY COLOURFUL STYLE AND ADDED THOSE BRIGHT HEELS... YOU CAN'T KEEP A COLOUR ADDICT COMPLETELY TIED DOWN

I'm always aware that pattern mixing does scare a lot of people, and while I wouldn't necessarily recommend going all out to begin with by wearing a top and trousers in two wildly different patterns, but wearing two versions of the same pattern in different (but coordinating) colourways does work. Though you don't have to go for co-ords from the same brand if you don't want to - try a pair of patterned trousers with a dark background and team them with a patterned top with a light background. Simply make sure at least one, preferably two, colours in both patterns match and you'll find they harmonise beautifully.

I always believe spring and summer is the time to be braver - and get bolder.

Don't forget to add your outfits to this week's link up: Scroll down for all the details, I look forward to seeing what you link up!

ARE YOU BEING BOLDER WITH YOUR CHOICES THIS YEAR? WHAT CHANGES ARE YOU MAKING TO YOUR WARDROBE TO BE MORE DARING? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Springtime pattern mixed florals with longline blazer | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Sunday, 20 March 2016

10 Winter Outfit Ideas (My Best of Season, Winter 2015)

10 winter outfit stying ideas | Not Dressed As Lamb
Here's my best of season outfits from the winter (December to February) - there may be some you missed. Hopefully this is a good post to give you 10 winter outfit ideas...!

We had a very mild December and Christmas so I didn't wear many outfits featuring boots this year (many readers were aghast to see me wearing shoes without socks) - but there are plenty of lush winter coats. My fave of the faves is either no.5 (the orange animal print coat with navy trousers) or no.7 (my Bloggers' Lounge awards outfit with that stunning pink and yellow dress). Click on the titles to see each original outfit post in full.

WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE OUTFIT FROM MY WINTER 2015 BEST OF SEASON? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Faux fur collar, biker jacket, plaid pants, black slip-on shoes

1. Faux Fur, Checks and Leather

CLICK THROUGH TO THE POST FOR SHOPPING LINKS >>

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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Spring 2016 | Bold Print Trousers With Pale Blue, Camel and Orange

Spring style: Bold patterned pants, pale knit, orange tote, camel fedora | Not Dressed As Lamb
I can't begin to tell you how much I love the wild print on these Finery London trousers - as it's made up of so many colours I thought I'd go mad and add yet more to my outfit! (They're SS15 but I found a great pair of French Connection printed trousers and a MaxMara pair with a very bold modern floral print that you might like.) The print of my trousers is made up of a white background with green, brown, pink and grey and it's quite a cool palette, so I warmed up the outfit with my orange tote bag and a felt camel fedora (except for during the summer this hat works all year round).

I love this oversized blue V neck (it's crazy reduced down to just a few quid and there are a couple of sizes left) and have worn it loads since I got it last year. The grey block heels first appeared a couple of weeks ago with paisley patterned joggers and a layered tunic and they are so comfortable. Long may the block heel live.

THEY ARE SO COMFORTABLE. LONG MAY THE BLOCK HEEL LIVE.

One gorgeous new accessory I have is the gold stars ring from Lizzy O - run by the wonderful 40+ blogger What Lizzy Loves, she's curated a stunning collection of affordable accessories and scarves with handcrafted, quality jewellery by Danon. She has exquisite taste so check out the website www.lizzyo.co.uk and don't forget to follow Lizzy O on Instagram!

So I'm definitely feeling more spring-like these days, especially as we've had several gloriously sunny days in a row down here in the South West - it may be cold still but I'll happily accept sunshine and chilly temperatures as long as those northern winds stay away.

ARE YOU INTRODUCING MORE BOLD PRINTS AND COLOUR INTO YOUR NEW SEASON WARDROBE? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Spring style: Bold patterned pants, pale knit, orange tote, camel fedora | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Win a Magnitone BareFaced Vibra-Sonic Daily Cleansing Brush Worth £70 (International Giveaway)

Win a Magnitone BareFaced Vibra-Sonic Daily Cleansing Brush (International Giveaway)
As part of my commitment to bring you more beauty, skincare and make-up content, I'm getting it kickstarted with an international giveaway to win a sonic cleansing brush: One lucky winner will win a Magnitone BareFaced Vibra-Sonic Daily Cleansing Brush worth £70!

If you haven't used one of these before I can tell you that they completely change the way you look after your skin (in a very good way) and the results are pretty impressive... I've been using mine for over a year now and my skin has never felt consistently smoother or cleaner. I've also felt that it gets every last scrap of make-up off every time I use it - before I found I was still left with traces of make-up but this absolutely does the job of removing it all.

I was actually given this cleansing brush as part of my prize for winning the Bloggers' Lounge Best Fashion Blog Award, but I already own a sonic brush...! (I own a different brand but all the functions are exactly the same so I'm confident my "review" applies.) I thought it only fair that as a thank you for voting for me to help me win the award I pass on part of the prize to you, my lovely readers!

With great features like a USB charger, timed sonic cleansing (to tell you to move on to the next part of your face) and interchangeable heads, I guarantee this will revolutionise your cleansing routine.

Read on for specifications of the brush and how to enter...

Win a Magnitone BareFaced Vibra-Sonic Daily Cleansing Brush (International Giveaway)

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Monday, 14 March 2016

All White: Wearing Head-to-Toe One Colour (True Monochrome) + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up


Head-to-toe white | Not Dressed As Lamb
This week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is monochrome, but meaning true monochrome, i.e. head-to-toe one colour (not black and white)! I went with white because it's not only the perfect colour to shake off winter, but because it's one of the easiest colours to get different pieces to match. Think how many blues, reds or greens there are: White does come in different 'shades' but nowhere near as many that the brights come in!

I managed to squeeze in one last wear of this white lace SS14 sweater before the weather (hopefully) gets warmer - the thick, high neck of this piece completely negates the need for a scarf, it keeps your neck so warm. (We had a glorious weekend of wall-to-wall sunshine and calm wind, so although it was cold the sun did actually do something in terms of heating us up a bit.) With some white tailored trousers (similar) and a white backpack my monochrome look was complete... I allowed myself one tiny pop of colour with the yellow on the flats. Couldn't resist.

Wearing one colour head-to-toe can be especially tricky, and you have to really like the colour to start. Unless you go for black (which in my books doesn't count!), it's a really bold look and incredibly striking. Including different textures is a good idea if you're going for monochrome, otherwise a tailored suit or co-ords will do all the work for you. It does a great job of lengthening your body - the eye is drawn straight up and down because there's nothing breaking you up.

INCLUDING DIFFERENT TEXTURES IS A GOOD IDEA IF YOU'RE GOING FOR MONOCHROME, OTHERWISE A TAILORED SUIT OR CO-ORDS WILL DO ALL THE WORK FOR YOU. IT DOES A GREAT JOB OF LENGTHENING YOUR BODY - THE EYE IS DRAWN STRAIGHT UP AND DOWN BECAUSE THERE'S NOTHING BREAKING YOU UP.

I do hope some of you have some one-colour looks to share - don't forget you can add old posts, they don't have to be current... Scroll down for the details and the link up. And of course if you add a monochrome look this week you may be featured next week!

HAVE YOU WORN A (TRUE) MONOCHROME LOOK - AND IF NOT, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR COLOUR OF CHOICE FOR A HEAD-TO-TOE ONE COLOUR OUTFIT? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Head-to-toe white | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Getting Back to Fitness #notlambFIT Update No.1

Getting Back to Fitness #notlambFIT
This is the first official update post in my new #notlambFIT series: I am getting back to fitness and two weeks ago I invited you to follow my journey and even join in if you wished!

To briefly recap: Last November I slipped a disc, found myself unable to walk for 6 weeks, unable to exercise for 10 weeks and eventually putting on a fair bit of weight (it also being Christmas) as well as experiencing a massive drop in fitness levels. This is my pledge to myself to get fit, get healthy, and putting a plan in place for my long term health. Every second Sunday I will record my progress in a post right here on the blog, and every day I'm tweeting what I'm doing and eating with the hashtag #notlambFIT!

I want to make this first post mostly about training the mind and what I've done to achieve that, rather than specifics about diet, recipes, or exercises I've been doing. Training your mind to achieve your goals has to come before the actions you take to reach them.

TRAINING YOUR MIND TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS HAS TO COME BEFORE THE ACTIONS YOU TAKE TO REACH THEM

So after my intro post two weeks ago, I said that I'd be charting my goals here and showing you my "before" picture. This is probably the most nerve-wracking bit: The show-yourself-in-leggings-and-a-tight-top picture that you see on all those "before and after" pins on Pinterest or weight loss sites.

Not something that I've been relishing, but I decided to do it in order to give myself something to show for my hard work. So here are the front and side views, warts and all:

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Thursday, 10 March 2016

How to Wear Pastels, Brights and Winter White (and Look Towards Spring)

SS16 pastel bright stripes, mustard yellow trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb
I think the colours in this outfit say it all: I am desperate for spring. I may be wearing a winter coat over my pastel stripe blouse and yellow trousers, but it's winter white, and that's a whole other kettle of fish.

(Whatever is a kettle of fish, anyway...?!)

This outfit is what I wore to the Blognix Retreat (a blogging conference) the other weekend - the outfit was influenced somewhat by my reputation for wearing bright colours as well as my desperation for some sunshine and warmer temperatures. I've already featured the other outfit I wore on the other day that weekend (my vintage 70s dress that's part of Monday's #iwillwearwhatilike link up), and the eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that here I'm wearing pink pointed heels. In the group shot that was taken I'm wearing my coral brogues... I haven't cheated just for the photos, I promise you!

THE OUTFIT WAS INFLUENCED SOMEWHAT BY MY REPUTATION FOR WEARING BRIGHT COLOURS AS WELL AS MY DESPERATION FOR SOME SUNSHINE AND WARMER TEMPERATURES

I actually wore the heels most of the day as were sat down, plus they're quite low (for me, at least). I then changed into my brogues for the evening, which is when the picture of my over 40 girl squad was taken - most girls changed into their heels for the evening but no, not me! I like to do things the illogical way =she sighs=

Going forward with outfits this year I'm aiming to have no more "outerwear only" posts - it's March which (to me) is spring. So no matter how cold it is I'll be showing what I wear under my coats as well, with the winter coats hopefully taking a back seat. One of the things that was commented on in my reader survey (don't miss reading what changes to the blog I'll be making) was that you'd like to see what I wear inside as well as outside, i.e. what's under my coat. Unfortunately I get so chilled to the bone in the winter even taking photos with a coat on, that's why I rarely take the coat off...!

ARE YOU DOING TRANSITIONAL SEASON DRESSING RIGHT NOW, OR ARE YOU STILL WAITING FOR YOUR WEATHER TO CHANGE? PLUS WHAT'S THE BRIGHTEST YOU GO COLOUR-WISE...? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Pastel bright stripes, mustard yellow trousers, coral heels, winter white coat | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Reader Survey Results | What You Asked For + Not Dressed As Lamb's Future

Not Dressed As Lamb | Reader survey results
Throughout February I ran a reader survey to find out more about YOU - who you are, what you like and dislike about the blog and what you want to see more (or less) of. The results were very interesting, and it gave me a greater insight into what direction I could be taking the blog into in the future. If you completed the survey, thank you - I really appreciated the time and trouble you took to do that for me!

There was an incentive to complete the survey for me: A prize draw for £30 to spend at online jewellery and accessories outlet yosa.co.uk. Congratulations to the winner Charlee S in USA!

So I've summarised the results very briefly, and then added in at the end what to expect in the future from Not Dressed As Lamb. It's always great to know that what you're doing is appreciated, and I must take a moment to thank so many of you for the added comments... You wrote some really wonderful things, I was incredibly flattered and humbled!

HAVE A READ THROUGH, ESPECIALLY THE "CHANGES I'LL BE MAKING (OR NOT)" SECTION AT THE END... LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS! COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!


About my readers


Not Dressed As Lamb | Reader survey results
It seems that 38% of you are in your 40s (like me), so I'm right to be targeting that age group. However as you're all aware I like to appeal to all ages, and 23% of you are in your 50s and 14% in your 30s which is great. I'm really happy that women of all ages are reading the blog, not just women in their 40s.

Most of you are not bloggers - 75% in fact - but I have a feeling that bloggers tend not to fill out things like these surveys so it's maybe not entirely accurate. But it's interesting to note that so many of you do not blog but aren't the ones that tend to leave comments I think (I'd love to receive more comments from non-bloggers so please don't be shy)!

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Monday, 7 March 2016

Vintage 70s Polka Dot Dress with Modern Retro Pieces + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Vintage 70s polka dots dress, burgundy boots, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
This week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is vintage -  one of my favourite themes so far! I wore my vintage 70s polka dot dress to the Blognix Retreat at the end of last month as it's probably my most treasured vintage dress and I hadn't worn it in a long time (I was shocked to discover it's only appeared on the blog once before in 2012). It's a little tricky to style due to the colours, but I went with some modern retro-style pieces that would continue the vintage look without looking too fancy dress.

IT'S PROBABLY MY MOST TREASURED VINTAGE DRESS. IT'S A LITTLE TRICKY TO STYLE CONSIDERING THE COLOURS, BUT I WENT WITH SOME MODERN RETRO-STYLE PIECES THAT WOULD CONTINUE THE VINTAGE LOOK WITHOUT LOOKING TOO FANCY DRESS.

The colour blocked belt has the most perfect 70s styling to it (such great colours) and the burgundy 60s style boots were bought a while ago just before my pre-Christmas injury, hence why they haven't been seen on the blog before. They're sadly long since out of stock but I did find these gorgeous vintage-style knee high boots that would also work really well with a midi dress for that late 70s look.

I will admit I didn't actually take the orange tote bag with me on the day as it's a new addition to my bag collection (read how I styled the tote with several different outfits last week) but I now have a bright tote that goes beautifully with this dress - and everything else too...!

Here's a problem I always have: Midi dresses are notoriously difficult to wear with a winter coat. Biker jackets are perfect as the cropped length suits the longer, fuller skirt, but if you want something warmer the long length of most winter coats messes with a midi. This wrap coat has rounded off corners and (in my eyes) somehow suits the longer skirt poking out underneath. If only I'd tried this coat last year - typical that I discover this just as winter is ending. That'll teach me not to at least try different options even though in my head I think they won't work.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful outfits you added last week to the pattern theme (128 link ups!), there were some fantastic looks - scroll down for my featured favourites. And of course do add your outfits to this week's link up and you may be featured next week if you've linked up something vintage!

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE VINTAGE PIECES THAT YOU OWN? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Camel wrap coat, vintage 70s polka dots dress, burgundy boots, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Sunday, 6 March 2016

My All-Female Fantasy Dinner Party Guest List | International Women's Day #IWD2016

My All-Female Fantasy Dinner Party Guests | International Women's Day #IWD2016
Have you ever thought about your fantasy dinner party guest list? Who you'd include on yours is one of those things that you often get asked about, but in the run up to International Women's Day this Tuesday, 8th March, I thought I'd do something a bit different. Rather than a list that typically includes everyone from Ghandi to Nelson Mandela to Stephen Fry, I thought I'd come up with an all-female fantasy dinner party guest list instead... Quite fitting for #IWD2016, I thought.

So who to choose? I decided on all living (so no Marilyn Monroes or Marie Curies), and all people in the public eye to make it a more relevant read for you. And this is the main thing: I also decided that I'd just go with my heart and not try to impress anyone with my list. In other words, I thought I'd go with women whose personalities I love. Rather than thinking who I should have on this list - women of power or having a lot of success in business - I went with those women I love to see on TV, or to read about. Those that inspire me and have interesting things to say, or those that make me hoot with laughter.

I think personality is a greatly underrated thing, and we focus so much on what women are meant to achieve that we forget just how many engaging, fascinating and funny women there are out there.

I THINK PERSONALITY IS A GREATLY UNDERRATED THING, AND WE FOCUS SO MUCH ON WHAT WOMEN ARE MEANT TO ACHIEVE THAT WE FORGET JUST HOW MANY ENGAGING, FASCINATING AND FUNNY WOMEN THERE ARE OUT THERE.

It's a timely post considering I wrote about my blogging girl squad just this week. My female fantasy dinner party guests are all inspiring, all interesting, and all full of personality. I love them for all different reasons, but many of them had the same traits in common: Sense of humour, being down to earth and, for many of them, being so damn British (not sure how to explain that but I know what I mean).
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Thursday, 3 March 2016

How to Style a Brightly Coloured Tote Bag (and Why It Could Be Your Most Versatile Accessory)

How to Style a Brightly Coloured Tote Bag (and Why It Could Be Your Most Versatile Accessory)
This week I popped up to London on the train to attend a lovely event at Hobbs in Covent Garden: A little champagne (orange juice for me considering my getting back to fitness regime), great conversation, some beautiful flower arranging and a lot of browsing the Hobbs SS16 collection. We were very lucky to be able to choose a gift in the form of something from the store as a thank you, and after some deliberation I succumbed to my current orange obsession and plumped for the delicious mandarin orange Adlington tote bag.

It may seem a frivolous choice to go for such a bright colour when choosing a tote, but please, please, hear me out on this...! Buying quality leather totes is something I'm finding myself drawn to more and more these days - I'm definitely favouring quality that will last over cheaper, more trend-led bags (I must be growing up at last). I'm convinced, however, that a brightly coloured tote bag could be the most versatile accessory in your wardrobe - far more so than black.

I have a leather tote in red that at the time retailed for over £300, and it's the bag that I reach for nearly every time I put an outfit together. Now, I don't wear a lot of red (hardly ever, in fact), but somehow the red seems to go with just about everything. Most recently I wore it with grey, burgundy and black; with all the brights and winter white on Valentine's Day, and with black tights, a sweater dress and a camel cape at the beginning of January. So that's a lot of wears already this year, and it doesn't include the times I've used it when the outfit hasn't appeared on the blog.

I've had it over two years and it doesn't show any signs of wear and tear. It still looks box-fresh, and that's thanks to the quality of the craftsmanship, which of course you do pay for.

For me, a bright bag goes with all the colours, but it does a great job of adding a punch of colour to neutral tones as well. You'll always have something to brighten your outfit, especially if you're drawn to black a lot and want to get out of your black rut.

FOR ME, A BRIGHT BAG GOES WITH ALL THE COLOURS, BUT IT DOES A GREAT JOB OF ADDING A PUNCH OF COLOUR TO NEUTRAL TONES AS WELL. YOU'LL ALWAYS HAVE SOMETHING TO BRIGHTEN YOUR OUTFIT.

To prove my point, I've created three outfits using the very same Hobbs orange tote. One office chic work outfit, one lunch date outfit and one smart-casual weekend outfit. Hopefully it'll show that bright isn't bad, and if you're investing your money in a quality tote then not only are they worth the money, but I honestly think you should ditch the black and reach for the rainbow. Colour is so much more exciting...!

ARE YOU A HANDBAG ADDICT (DESIGNER OR OTHERWISE)? AND ARE YOU A DIE-HARD BLACK FAN OR DO YOU DO BRIGHTS LIKE ME? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

How to Style an Orange Tote Bag | Office chic outfit
1. Marks & Spencer Navy Belted Culotte Jumpsuit | 2. Michael Kors Navy Sawyer Watch | 3. Johnny Loves Rosie Jewel Bracelet | 4. Ralph Lauren Annabelle Scarf | 5. Louise et Cie 'Hermosah' Heels | 6. Hobbs Adlington Tote in Mandarin Orange

Office chic work outfit


The workhouse of this office chic outfit is the M&S culottes jumpsuit - navy goes really well with orange, and it's one of those classic pieces that can be worn to the office and then dressed up for after-work drinks. It's a flattering midi length and of course looks like a dress but you have the bonus of wearing trousers. The orange tote compliments the jumpsuit beautifully, and a patterned neck scarf in tones of orange and pink will tie in the colours. Be different and go for off-white heels (as here) or nude: Navy shoes are harder to find and nude heels will lengthen your legs. They'll also go with just about every other colour in your wardrobe - more so than navy. The only other details you need are a smart, business-like watch and some delicate jewellery like this jewel bracelet. Avoid noisy bangles in the office if you can - they often get in the way when typing and tend to annoy everyone else...!


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Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Why I Never Realised the Importance of Having a Girl Squad (The Blognix Retreat)

The 40+ Girl Squad (The Blognix Retreat)
This past weekend I attended a blogging conference, and for the first time I was attending one of these events where I actually knew several other bloggers who were going. Not only did I know them (either online only or having previously met at other events), but I came to realise that they were the women who make up my girl squad.

Yes, a girl squad - in the truest, most brilliant sense of the word (phrase).


Girl squads and squad goals


A group of female friends is something that's been completely missing in my life since the age of about 25. Since then I've never really realised the importance of having a girl squad. Although Taylor Swift's may or may not be the type of squad to aspire to (I honestly don't know that much about hers apart from who a couple of the key players are), she seems to know that having a group of strong women rallying round each other and creating all those #squadgoals is quite empowering.

(I did wonder whether #squadgoals was a negative thing, but it seems they can mean either something you aspire to or something that you're achieving already and enjoying, so I'll take the latter).

To explain about the event: The Blognix Retreat is a weekend conference where bloggers of all ages, niches and experience come together to share ideas, attend workshops and listen to inspiring talks from vloggers, life coaches, business women, health experts, and more. It was the first time I've been to an event with other 40+ bloggers, in other words, the women I know best online. One blogger I've met before once and another several times, but the others I'd been looking forward to meeting for a long time.

I now consider them all to be my greatest allies and the women I look to for support and guidance. The ones that have my back, in other words.

The 40+ Girl Squad (The Blognix Retreat)
The Over 40 Squad selfie, clockwise from me (bottom left): Michelle of The Barefaced Chic | Lisa of Stylopedia | Nikki of Midlife Chic | Liz of What Lizzy Loves | Michelle of RetroChic Mama | Annette of Lady of Style | Lorraine (blog in the pipeline)

Now since the age of 25, since leaving college and working in jobs where I didn't mix with large groups of people, I'd pretty much lost having a group of girlfriends. I have girlfriends now, but there're scattered all over the country and for the most part don't know each other. So I never, ever "go out with the girls" - there just aren't any that live locally to me. I live in a part of the country that I don't hail from and there weren't many women working at the job I had before going pro with the blog, so a girl squad just never materialised.

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