Thursday, 30 June 2016

How to Dress for a British Summer | White Scuba Jacket and Tailored Trousers

Dressed for a cool British summer: White scuba jacket, grey rock t-shirt, yellow tailored trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb
This outfit had to serve several purposes last weekend: To suit the typically British summer's day (rain, a bit chilly but warm when the sun came out) and the two very different activities planned.

Firstly, the wind and light rain (yes, really - in June...) meant a light jacket was required so I wore the embroidered scuba jacket I bought in the spring of last year (and worn with my first flirtation with flares after a long hiatus). The embroidery means it has "natural ventilation"(!) so it's actually perfect for a British can't-make-its-mind-up summer. Luckily the sun did come out eventually.

Secondly, I had a hairdresser's appointment in the morning and I don't like to look like a total scruffbag when I get my hair done, so I chose tailored trousers in a bright sunshine yellow and smart flats. The acid-wash rock tee kept it a little more funky.

Dressed for a cool British summer: White scuba jacket, grey rock t-shirt, yellow tailored trousers, pointed two-tone flats | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Wednesday, 29 June 2016

My SS16 Summer Sales Picks | 33 Things I Wore on the Blog, Now Reduced

Summer Sales Picks SS16 - Hobbs, Jaeger, Jacques Vert, La Redoute | Not Dressed As Lamb
The summer sales are in full swing and once again I'm bringing you the best of my SS16 picks! As always I'm mostly featuring things I wore on the blog so you can shop the outfits I've posted at a reduced price (up to 50% off in some cases). Each January and June I research all the items I wore that are still available online and now reduced in the sales.

I LIKE TO SHOW YOU MY SALES PICKS WITH MY OWN PHOTOS SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT THEY LOOK LIKE STYLED INTO AN OUTFIT.

I like to show you my sales picks with my own photos so you can see what they look like styled into an outfit, and I've shown different colour options where available. Some things may sell out so do move fast (I also can't guarantee all sizes are available), but all information and prices were correct when the post went live (29/06/2016, E&OE).

I'm really pleased that some of my most popular pieces are now reduced - from everyone's favourite orange jumpsuit to the stylish navy and white stripe Hobbs sweater (not forgetting the chic round mirrored pastel sunglasses!), hopefully there's something for everyone. I always recommend ASOS, Zalando, Hobbs, La Redoute and John Lewis for some fantastic bargains at sale time.

I've also included some items at the end that I've either bought and not yet featured on the blog or things that I wore a while ago which are available in just one or two sizes.

HOPE YOU FIND SOME BARGAINS - DO YOU HAVE YOUR EYE ON ANY OF THE ITEMS? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Summer Sales Picks SS16 - Jacques Vert white chiffon top, pleated maxi skirt, ASOS paisley scarf | Not Dressed As Lamb
Jacques Vert layered top c/o (was £59, now £29) | Jacques Vert pleated maxi skirt c/o (was £109, now £54) | ASOS paisley scarf (was £12, now £7)

See the original post here >> White Maxi Skirt and Layered Blouse (With Blue and Orange)


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Monday, 27 June 2016

My Favourite Yellow Sun Dress With Heaps of Orange + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Summer style: Yellow sun dress with orange and coral | Not Dressed As Lamb
It seems only right that - as we're nearing the end of June - this week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is summer dresses. Despite the UK's hit-and-miss summer so far I was determined to wear my favourite yellow sun dress with gold and orange at the weekend.

This dress was first seen on the blog two years ago (another one of my Grace Kelly-style outings) and to be honest there haven't been many opportunities to wear it since. The coral cashmere sweater was either around my shoulders preppy-style or worn properly over the dress depending on whether the sun was in or out. The joys of a British summer...!

YELLOW DRESSES ARE MY NUMBER ONE WEAKNESS WHEN IT COMES TO BUYING SUMMER CLOTHES

Yellow dresses are my number one weakness when it comes to buying summer clothes: I already have about four of them and it's always the colour I automatically reach for when browsing the summer sales. The yellow Twitchill dress I wore for the Hobbs photo shoot last month is a firm favourite - I'm still debating whether it's just too similar to warrant buying.

(This is where you tell me in the comments to stop being ridiculous and NOT buy it... please?!)

Summer style: Yellow sun dress with orange and coral | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Thursday, 23 June 2016

Simple Summer Dressing: Floral Jumpsuit With Tan Accessories

Simple summer styling: Blue floral jumpsuit with tan accessories | Not Dressed As Lamb
I've realised I've featured dungarees as well as a jumpsuit this week, though the latter is even easier to style. I heard - or read - someone say recently that a jumpsuit is basically a dress with legs. (I'm so sorry I can't remember who said/wrote it.) You just put it on, add shoes, and go.

That's not to say you shouldn't accessorise a little more than that, as I've done here...! Although I'm not usually a fan of matchy-matchy accessories it seemed right to wear everything tan with this M&S jumpsuit I bought last year (this star print jumpsuit is really similar if you like mine). The sandals are aeons old and still a firm favourite - together with a bit of ankle showing from a rolled up hem they give you an elegant look and do that wonderful thing of elongating your legs.

THAT'S SOMETHING WE DON'T DO ENOUGH OF, US WOMEN - COMPLIMENT OURSELVES! I'M SHOWING OFF ALL MY BEST BITS AND PLAYING DOWN MY LEAST-FAVOURITE BITS HERE. 

I don't know what it is, but I feel very tall, elegant and at my slimmest in this outfit. (That's something we don't do enough of, us women - compliment ourselves!) I think it's because I'm showing off all my best bits and playing down my least-favourite bits here.

Best bits: Waist, arms, shoulders.

Least favourite bits: Hips (hidden with looser fabric), legs (ditto) and ankles (lengthened with the heels).

Simple summer styling: Blue floral jumpsuit with tan accessories | Not Dressed As Lamb

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Wednesday, 22 June 2016

My Favourite Fun and Fabulous Links - June 2016

My Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links June 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 internet that I'm sure you'll love too. This month I'm sharing a whole bunch of creative, heroic, talented, passionate and downright hilarious women. There are fundraisers, musical geniuses, great journalists, make up wizards - and more.

The true spirit of fun and fabulous, in other words.

WHAT LINKS DID YOU LIKE - AND HAVE YOU FOUND ANY FABULOUS NEW BLOGS OR CREATIVES TO FOLLOW? COMMENT BELOW, OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

My Favourite Fun & Fabulous Links June 2016 | Not Dressed As Lamb
(Photo credits: Top row, left | Top row, right | Middle row, left | Middle row, right | Bottom row, left | Bottom row, right)

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Knickers Model's Own - A Year of Frugal Fashion is the book written by Caroline Jones about the 365 outfits she wore every day in 2015 bought only from Cancer Research UK shops. Read about why she did this wonderful thing and how much money she's raised for the charity (and why not buy the book while you're there?)

The experience of a 45-year-old woman getting Botox for the very first time is a fascinating read... What's your take on it?

Hayley very bravely calls out all the "fakery" on Instagram: Our Instagram culture is making us all feel inadequate - Reality vs filtered reality.
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Monday, 20 June 2016

Grey Dungarees With a Bright Pop of Colour + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Casual spring summer look: Red Breton stripe t-shirt, grey dungarees, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
Summer really is the time to break out the colour even if you're more of a neutrals kind of person - hence this week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme, a pop of colour!

After my Grace Kelly-style wedding guest outfit last week I've done my usual trick of switching from super-glam to super casual in one fell swoop... Grey dungarees this week. The pop of colour comes courtesy of both a red Breton stripe top (I have so many Breton tops in all different colours and variations I've lost count) and my 2016 bag favourite: The Hobbs Adlington orange tote. This bag has gone with so many outfits this season and last, I have a feeling it's going to be my go-to for a while yet.

COLOUR - EVEN IN SMALL AMOUNTS LIKE THIS - IS SUCH A GREAT WAY TO LIFT AN OUTFIT. I DO FAVOUR NEUTRALS NOW AND THEN, BUT THE TEMPTATION TO ADD SOMETHING BRIGHT WILL NEVER LEAVE ME. 

Colour - even in small amounts like this - is such a great way to lift an outfit. I do favour neutrals now and then, but the temptation to add something bright will never leave me. A brightly coloured accessory - a bag, scarf or pair of shoes - is the easiest way to ease yourself into wearing more colour.

So leave that black tote on the shelf and go for the red or yellow instead... You'll not regret it!

Finally: Must mention these gorrrrrrgeous embellished slip-on trainers by Miss KG (Kurt Geiger). I think the influence of my good friend The Sequinist is rubbing off on me - I just have to have everything sparkly right now. They're super-comfy and such a pretty choice for a casual summer shoe.

Do add your outfits to this week's link up (scroll down for details) you may be featured next week if you've linked up something with a pop of colour :)

ARE YOU A FAN OF A POP - OR A DOLLOP(!) OF COLOUR? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Casual spring summer look: Red Breton stripe t-shirt, grey dungarees, sparkly slip ons, orange tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Sunday, 19 June 2016

My No.1 Styling Tip (Shared at My Hobbs London Style Session)

Hobbs SS16 Style Session at London's Kensington High Street hosted by Catherine Summers of Not Dressed As Lamb
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Last week I was thrilled to get to host an event at Hobbs London to help celebrate the opening of their new Kensington High Street store! An evening of talking about clothes and outfits that I'd styled along with some bubbly and delicious nibbles is basically my idea of heaven.

Hobbs hold a Style Session regularly and this was my first - it was so much fun and so great to meet and chat with customers. Although I love blogger events it was nice to meet a different crowd who aren't bloggers for a change... You get a whole different perspective about attitudes to style which I'm really grateful for.

(If you wish to receive information about future events and Style Sessions with Hobbs, sign up to their newsletter by going to their website and clicking on "Register" at the top - you'll be the first in the know. If you Update Your Preferences you can select a store that's closest to you to make the communications more location-relevant.)

I'd been to the store the week before to put together six outfits of my choice, all of which I absolutely loved. I've featured all the looks below alongside some shots of me doing my "thing", i.e. gesticulating wildly and talking a lot. (I mean a lot.) I had two gorgeous models who both looked so lovely in the outfits I chose - at least two of the outfits got an audible "gasp" from the guests so I knew I was doing something right!

The theme of my talk was "Going for bold" - Hobbs described the event as

CATHERINE WILL BE ON HAND TO OFFER HER EXPERT STYLING ADVICE. SAY HELLO TO COLOURS AND PRINTS, GOODBYE TO THE PHRASE, "I'D NEVER WEAR THAT."

What I wanted to do was 1. Dispel any notion that Hobbs only offers workwear, and 2. Show outfits for "play" - shopping, summer parties, lunches, weddings, date nights, etc. - in bright colours and patterns. I wanted to show off my signature style of mixed patterns, bright accessories and no black (though I did throw in one touch of black which was too gorgeous to pass up).

My Number 1 Styling Tip: "The Wild Card" - Not Dressed As Lamb |
Which leads me onto that number one styling tip! This is such a great tip and I was so pleased to share it with the guests, it's something that really gets you thinking and encourages you to be more adventurous in your style choices.

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Saturday, 18 June 2016

Blogging Tips | How to Make an Unsuitable Sponsored Post Work in Your Favour

Blogging Tips | How to Make an Unsuitable Sponsored Post Work in Your Favour
A question I often get asked as a professional blogger is how to know which offers of work - whether sponsored posts, gifted items or collaborations - are suitable for me and my blog, and which are not.

Turning down offers of paid work is never easy. When you become a full-time blogger, it's almost certainly guaranteed that your income will reduce drastically. Bills need to be paid and food needs to be put on the table: It's a bitter pill to swallow, turning down paid work when your income is so low. But unless you want your output and reputation to suffer in the long run, it's a pill worth swallowing.

I've been blogging full time for three years now, and only now have I started to see what you might call a half decent income coming in. As with any person starting their own business, it takes two to three years before you really start to see any monetary reward for all your late nights and dedication to your business. It's really tough being self-employed, but if you can stick it for long enough and believe in what you're doing, it should hopefully all pay off in the end.

WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE OFFERED WORK THAT YOU REALLY NEED BUT THE OFFER IS TOTALLY UNSUITABLE? DO YOU TAKE IT AND HOPE THAT YOUR READERS WON'T NOTICE, OR DO YOU KEEP TURNING THEM DOWN?

But what can you do when you're offered work that you really need but the offer is totally unsuitable? Do you take it and hope that your readers won't notice, or do you keep turning them down, one after the other, in the hopes that you'll get your "big break" one day and Gucci will come breaking down the door to work with you?

Blogging Tips | How to Make an Unsuitable Sponsored Post Work in Your Favour
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Thursday, 16 June 2016

1950s Grace Kelly-Inspired Wedding Guest Outfit | Jaeger Floral Top and Skirt (A Dress Illusion)

Wedding guest outfit - Jaeger SS16 50s style peony print floral top and skirt dress | Not Dressed As Lamb
A couple of weekends ago I attended the wedding of an old work colleague - and what better excuse is there for getting dressed up than an invitation to a white wedding?

Rather than a dress, I chose to wear a matching floral peony top and 1950s style skirt co-ords that were gifted to me from Jaeger - to show that you can create the illusion of a dress but have the versatility of separates that you can wear and style differently afterwards. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Grace Kelly, and this is the closest I get to channelling that gorgeously elegant 50s style. Jaeger do properly long midi length skirts (none of this annoying knee-length passed off as midi nonsense) and the quality of their pieces is second-to-none.

TUCKING IN THE TOP AND ADDING A WIDE BELT CREATES THE ILLUSION OF A DRESS: THE PROPORTIONS WORK BEAUTIFULLY, DIVIDING THE BODY INTO THIRDS AND MAKING YOUR LEGS APPEAR ENDLESS.

Tucking in a top and adding a wide belt creates the illusion of a dress: Because the skirt is so long it means the proportions work beautifully and are so flattering, dividing the body into thirds (rather than half) and making your legs appear endless. Which mine are not... perfect for long-waisted people like me!

Wedding guest outfit - Jaeger SS16 50s style peony print floral top and skirt dress | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Monday, 13 June 2016

Navy Striped Knit and Khaki Wide Leg Floral Pants + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Pattern mixing: Navy/white striped sweater, khaki floral wide leg pants, novelty camera bag - Hobbs SS16 | Not Dressed As Lamb
This outfit of a navy striped sweater and khaki wide leg floral pants is one of those strange combinations that I was really unsure about before trying it on - to the point where I thought Nah, this is going to look kind of awful on me. I thought a boxy top and wide leg trousers would look too baggy overall, but this was one of those occasions where you simply have to try something on to see that it works, and then it turns out to be an absolute favourite outfit.

These two pieces (plus the navy wedge sandals) are from the Hobbs SS16 collection, and together they were one of the outfits I chose for the Style Session I hosted last week at the new Kensington High Street store in London. (I chose several outfits which were worn by a couple of gorgeous models, and you can read all about the event and what other outfits I chose in a dedicated blog post this Sunday.)

So this week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is stripes - scroll down for all the details for linking up and to see what lovely ladies from last week have been featured this time!

MY POINT IS THIS: NEVER BE AFRAID TO TRY SOMETHING ON, AND NEVER INSIST SOMETHING WON'T SUIT YOU. FORGET THE RULES, STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE, AND KEEP AN OPEN MIND.

My point is this: Never be afraid to try something on, and never insist something won't suit you. Forget the rules, step out of your comfort zone, and keep an open mind.

This outfit is a subtle nod to pattern mixing with bold stripes and the khaki florals - the reason the colours work is because there is one colour [navy] that is present in both patterns, which is the easiest way to mix patterns. I absolutely adore both these pieces - they're perfect for a British summer - and the chunky wedge sandals are a great style for adding height with wide leg pants where pointed heels would look wrong and too dainty.

Not bad for an outfit I was very hesitant about...!

ARE YOU A SERIAL PATTERN MIXER (LIKE MYSELF), OR DO YOU FIND YOURSELF DRAWN TO STRIPES EVERY SUMMER (LIKE MYSELF!)? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Pattern mixing: Navy/white striped sweater, khaki floral wide leg pants, strappy wedge sandals, novelty camera bag - Hobbs SS16 | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Thursday, 9 June 2016

The Colours of Summer: Yellow Ruffle Blouse, Blue Chinos, Oversized 70s Sunglasses

Summer brights: Ruffled yellow blouse, mint trousers, low pointed white heels, Jennifer Hamley Model KT Workbag clutch, oversized 70s sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb
This is a very simple outfit in perfect summer colours: A deep sunshine yellow ruffle blouse, blue chinos like the sky and white block heel shoes like the clouds. How sickly sweet, but it's true, you know...?!

It's a smart outfit - I'd had my eye on the yellow ruffled blouse from Oasis for aaaaaages. I'd done that thing where you sign up for email notifications when it comes into stock and got it straight away with the pale pink blazer and matching trousers I wore on Monday (also Oasis). How fantastic is that? I love that about the internet and modern technology. Not so good for your bank balance though ;)

DOUBLING UP AS A ZIP-OFF CLUTCH, IT'S AN INGENIOUS PIECE OF DESIGN THAT COULD ONLY HAVE BEEN DESIGNED BY A WOMAN (A VERY SMART AND CLEVER WOMAN).

The gorgeous clutch is part of my Jennifer Hamley England Model KT Workbag which I reviewed and gushed about as well on Monday's post. Designed for your iPad but doubling up as a zip-off clutch, it's an ingenious piece of design that could only have been designed by a woman (a very clever woman). Beautiful and practical.

I'M RATHER LOVING THE RUFFLES TREND RIGHT NOW (ESPECIALLY IN THIS SUNSHINE YELLOW COLOUR) - HAS THE TREND DRAWN YOU IN YET? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Summer brights: Ruffled yellow blouse, mint trousers, Jennifer Hamley Model KT Workbag clutch, oversized 70s sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

A Journalist's Style Interview With Not Dressed As Lamb (That Went Unpublished)

A Journalist's Style Interview With Not Dressed As Lamb (That Went Unpublished)
Right at the beginning of the year I was asked to answer a number of questions for a well-known national publication that was running a story on bloggers over 40. Although I usually struggle to fit in such requests, I thought it was worth my while as it would have been pretty good exposure for me...

...Five months and much chasing (with zero response) later, it turns out that the article has been and gone, without my interview in it. Nor those of some of my blogging friends (who were also given the same silent treatment). Now I totally understand if my interview didn't fit the article or something similar, but to be ignored is just not cricket, if you ask me (and I'm putting it politely).

So rather than letting my four pages of A4 answers go to complete waste, I thought you lovely lot would like to read it instead! I've missed off some of the "tell us about yourself" questions at the beginning (you can read all those things on my About page) and kept the more juicy stuff about my thoughts on my personal style, my style icons, what it's like being an over 40 blogger, that sort of thing.

Hope you like it!

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF MY INTERVIEW - WAS THERE ANYTHING I SAID THAT SURPRISED YOU OR RUNG TRUE WITH YOU? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

A Journalist's Style Interview With Not Dressed As Lamb (That Went Unpublished)

How would you describe your style?

I describe my style as eclectic, but it errs towards "Preppy with a twist". I also can't get enough of pattern mixing and bright colour. I only wear black occasionally, or as evening wear.

Spring Style: Pink, mint, white and grey stripes | Not Dressed As Lamb
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Monday, 6 June 2016

Summer Workwear: Pink Trouser Suit and the Model KT Workbag + the #iwillwearwhatilike Link Up

Summer workwear: Pale pink trouser suit, blue gingham shirt, Jennifer Hamley Model KT Workbag in Aubergine | Not Dressed As Lamb
I may not work in an office any more but that doesn't stop me loving smart workwear - I'd had my eye on this pale pink trouser suit for a while! I wore it to London last week whilst working and it received no end of compliments (this would be my third nod to Pantone's Colour of the Year).

The bag is what I really want to talk about though - some of you may have seen it on my Instagram feed, and those of you that attended the 30-40+ Blogger Meet I hosted last month will know it well. This bag - the Model KT Workbag - is a double award-winning bag designed specifically for working women by Jennifer Hamley England. As Jennifer (Jen) kindly donated a bag for the raffle at the blogger meet we all got to see it in person, and it really is an incredible piece of engineering, and it's no wonder that she won two awards for it.

(So this week's #iwillwearwhatilike theme is tote bags or shoppers, but you know by now the theme is optional, don't you...? Scroll down for further details on the link up :)

Summer workwear: Pale pink trouser suit, blue gingham shirt, white/silver brogues, Jennifer Hamley Model KT Workbag in Aubergine | Not Dressed As Lamb
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I was so impressed with the bag that I decided to buy one as soon as they were available to order - I just knew this bag would seriously sort out my life when travelling up and down to London and trying to fit in not just the essentials (phone, wallet, make-up, etc.) but also the things I need for work and longer journeys: Water bottle, laptop or iPad, charging cables, business cards... The list was endless. I'm always in such a mess and I end up with a bulging bag that I can't do up, especially if I've tried to fit my laptop in it.

When I saw Jen talking about and demonstrating her bag on her YouTube channel and then seeing it in person, I (and let me be very clear here) somewhat turned the air blue with my reaction to how amazing this bag would be for me.

[THE MODEL KT WORKBAG] IS NOTHING SHORT OF UTTER PERFECTION IN TERMS OF LOOKS AND PRACTICALITY. IT HOLDS EVERYTHING, AND IT HOLDS IT BEAUTIFULLY. PERIOD.

It is nothing short of utter perfection in terms of looks and practicality. It holds everything, and it holds it beautifully. PERIOD.

I'll shut up and let you watch Jen herself talk you through the bag so you can judge for yourself:




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Thursday, 2 June 2016

A Luxury Swiss EBEL Watch Styled With a Le Corbusier Influence: Blue Blazer and Bow Tie

Maison EBEL collection rose gold diamond watch, sky blue blazer, black velvet bow tie, oversized round sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb
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It's not often I get to indulge in designer labels or luxury items (well - never, really), but I definitely appreciate exquisite quality and craftsmanship when it comes to all things clothes, accessories and even homewares. Having always had a keen interest in most of the visual arts since my school days - especially fine art, 20th century architecture, graphic design and fashion - I'm fascinated when they come together in collaborative projects. (In fact three different things I wanted to be when I grew up were a make-up artist, an interior designer and a fashion photographer.)

I've created an outfit for today's post simply as a creative visual piece - and why not, I do love my photography and I do love my fashion...!

Luxury watch manufacturer EBEL has produced a limited edition collection to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Maison EBEL in Switzerland, a house designed by one of my favourite 20th century architects and one of the pioneers of modern architecture, Le Corbusier. (Even if you're not familiar with the name you'd probably recognise his chaise longue or his stark, Modernist architecture style.) This year is the 100th anniversary of the conception of the Maison EBEL (formerly known as the Villa Turque), the house he designed in Switzerland in 1916 that EBEL acquired in 1986 (hence the two anniversaries).

MY OUTFIT WAS INSPIRED BY LE CORBUSIER'S PERSONAL STYLE FOR WHICH HE WAS AS WELL KNOWN AS HIS FAMOUS FURNITURE AND ARCHITECTURE: ROUND GLASSES, BLAZERS AND BOW TIES.

I'm wearing a stunning pink gold watch from the La Maison EBEL Limited Edition collection which was loaned to me just for the shoot, and it's nothing short of exquisite. My outfit was inspired by Le Corbusier's personal style for which he was as well known as his famous furniture and architecture: Round glasses, blazers and bow ties (I stopped short at the pipe, though it may have added a certain je-ne-sais-quoi to the outfit, non)?

Maison EBEL collection rose gold diamond watch, sky blue blazer, black velvet bow tie, oversized round sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb
Architects (from left): Erik Lallerstedt, Le Corbusier and Ivar Tengbom 1933 in Stockholm https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ALallerstedt_Corbusier_Tengbom_1933.jpg
Architects (from left) Erik Lallerstedt, Le Corbusier and Ivar Tengbom in Stockholm, 1933 | Photo credit: SVT bild

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Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The 30-40+ Blogger Meet in London | What Happened - and All the Pictures

The 30-40+ Blogger Meet (photo by Timmy Vowles)
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So after two years in the planning and quite a few hiccups a long the way, the first 30-40+ Blogger Meet aimed at older bloggers finally took place on 16th May in London's Chelsea... What an incredible time we all had! I couldn't have hoped for a better day in terms of the company and the atmosphere - the pictures here speak for themselves.

The event was sponsored by Hope, the fashion brand aimed at the 40+ woman. I was incredibly honoured and lucky to have such a forward-thinking and modern brand as a headline sponsor, and they were also one of the most generous I've ever encountered at a blogger event.

The feedback from all the delegates has been wonderful - it really couldn't have gone any better.

So how did this all come about?

I had the idea of having some sort of informal meet up for bloggers who were more my age. I'd been to a few blogging events and although I'm more than happy to socialise with people of any age, I thought it would be nice to have an event where there were more of the older bloggers that I knew as they didn't seem to be attending events. I had a feeling it was because going to blogging events seemed to be something 20-something bloggers did, and that may be off-putting to older bloggers (in terms of feeling like "the old one").

TWO YEARS AGO I SENT OUT A FEW TWEETS AND EMAILS ASKING PEOPLE IF THEY WERE INTERESTED IN A NON-MUMMY BLOGGING EVENT AIMED AT THE OLDER BLOGGER, AND THE RESPONSE WAS QUITE OVERWHELMING. 

As far back as two years ago I sent out a few tweets and emails asking people if they were interested in a non-mummy blogging event aimed at those in their 30s, 40s and over, and the response from everyone was overwhelmingly YES.

The problem it leaves you with is this: If you're the one suggesting it and people like the idea, the inevitable question you're asked is "So when are you going to organise it then?"... It's really up to you to do it - no one else is going to organise it for you. Luckily I'm a demon organiser and list-maker (and, I think, a party planner in a former life) so was happy to take on the responsibility.

TWO YEARS, 250 MAILING LIST SUBSCRIBERS, THREE FALSE STARTS AND SEVERAL WEEKS OF FRANTIC ORGANISING LATER, WE HAD OUR VERY FIRST BLOGGING MEET.

To cut a long story short: Two years, 250 mailing list subscribers, three false starts and several weeks of frantic organising (from start to finish) later, we had our very first blogging meet aimed purely at older bloggers. I secured a gorgeous gastro pub/restaurant (the Imperial) in Chelsea and Hope as the headline sponsor.

With a massive amount of help from Fluorescent PR (Hope is their client) and my close blogging friends, I put together an event that I was very proud of. This post is quite image heavy, but if you're a regular follower of 40+ blogs there may be a lot of faces you recognise... Scroll down and enjoy.

Again, I must say a huge THANK YOU to everyone involved who made the event so incredibly enjoyable and such a success. As well as raising £190 for the Brain Tumour Charity with the raffle prizes, a lot of firm friendships were made, contact details exchanged and potential partnerships organised. There may have been a fair bit of clothes shopping too...!

Plus when I said that Hope were incredibly generous I really meant it: After the talk that Nayna McIntosh (the CEO of Hope) gave, every single delegate was gifted a pink merino and cashmere poncho knit. To say that everyone felt very special and appreciated was something of an understatement.

I couldn't be more proud :)

(You can see all the photos from the event on the 30-40+ Blogger Meet Facebook page - there are three albums - thank you to Timmy Vowles, Annette Hoeldrich and Greetje Kamminga for the photos, there are just a couple by me in this post)

ARE THERE MANY FACES YOU RECOGNISE? COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

The 30-40+ Blogger Meet (photo by Annette Hoeldrich)
A busy start to the day (left), and me talking to the amazing CEO of Hope, Nayna McIntosh (right). An inspiring and really warm person with a great sense of humour, she is a beacon of positivity for the 40+ woman. (Photos: Annette Hoeldrich)
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