Wednesday, 26 April 2017

14 Unmissable Reads - The Best of the Blogosphere (April 2017)

The Best of the Blogosphere April 2017 - 14 Unmissable Reads

In my Best of the Blogosphere this month I have creativity boosters, husbands styling their wives, the rise of 'Instagram face' and more! 

(In case you've not seen these posts before, my Unmissable Things to Read post is a monthly round-up of things I've seen, watched and liked in the blogosphere that I'm sure you'll love too.)

It's been a crazy week for me with having won the Individual Fashion & Beauty prize at the UK Blog Awards (and still being in shock about it) - Friday's #SaturdayShareLinkUp post will tell you all about it, meantime you can see what I wore here!

Do have a read of these great links - you never know who or what you might discover that makes your day/week/month!

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

(Photo credits: Top left | Top middle | Top right | Middle left | Middle | Middle right | Bottom left | Bottom middle | Bottom right)

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Last year Katy wrote about how she failed at her lifelong dream and quit - but she was perfectly okay with doing so.

Monika let her husband loose on her wardrobe to style her and he created this (pretty fabulous) outfit.

The crippling rise of ‘Instagram Face’ - where makeup looks have become totally homogenised - is discussed in this revealing (and very worrying) article.
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Monday, 24 April 2017

Lady in Red: I WON at the UK Blog Awards!! #iwillwearwhatilike

Awards ceremony outfit - Long red fitted gown with shoulder detail \ crystal embellished box clutch \ red crystal earrings | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

Winner, winner, chicken dinner...! I couldn't resist that expression - it just about sums up the craziness of this weekend that was the UK Blog Awards. 

What can I say - I'm STILL totally and utterly in shock at the fact that I was the Individual Fashion and Beauty Winner at what is probably the UK's biggest blogging awards event (you can read more about it in last Friday's post). I had convinced myself this year that I wasn't going to win after being shortlisted twice before, so I went simply to have a great evening with the girls from the Over40Collective, celebrate all things about the blogging community and just be proud that I represented the over 40s in what is always a very tough category for older women.

However, not only did I win, but my Over40Collective colleague Niki of Midlifechic was Highly Commended: So 25% of the category was won by over 40 bloggers. That in itself is an incredible boost for the 40+ blogging community, and I'm immensely proud to be part of that.

Anyway! Today's post is all about the outfit (I'll discuss the event and what it was like to win in Friday's #SaturdayShareLinkUp post) - these photos were taken during the calm before the storm so all I can say is: CHECK OUT THAT DRESS!!

There's no getting away from it - I had to pour myself into that dress, but boy was it worth it... I won't lie, and there's no use being modest here, because I absolutely felt like a MILLION dollars. I can see why celebrities have such confidence on the red carpet: Put on a magnificent red carpet-worthy dress and it changes everything about the way you stand, the way you move, the way you feel. Being somewhat restricted is actually a benefit because there is no slouching, all night long. And mine wasn't even designer, it was high street - the Abriella red dress from Coast which is currently on sale at Zalando. And also available in black, direct from Coast.


I CAN SEE WHY CELEBRITIES HAVE SUCH CONFIDENCE ON THE RED CARPET: PUT ON A MAGNIFICENT RED CARPET-WORTHY DRESS AND IT CHANGES EVERYTHING ABOUT THE WAY YOU STAND, THE WAY YOU MOVE, THE WAY YOU FEEL.

Once I knew I'd been shortlisted I knew I had to find a dress that would top last year's fairy princess outfit - it seemed like a completely impossible task. That outfit was stunning, it was so pretty and floaty and sparkly... What do you do when you have to beat THAT?
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Friday, 21 April 2017

The Importance of Visibility of Older Women in Fashion #SaturdayShareLinkUp

UK Blog Awards: The accessories | Not Dressed As Lamb

When this post goes out I'll be at the UK Blog Awards - probably the biggest date in a blogger's calendar for those who attend! 

As many of you may know (and know perhaps because you voted for me, for which I'm eternally grateful), I've been shortlisted for the third year in a row for best Fashion & Beauty Blog. It's going to be a big night and one I can't wait for, for all sorts of reasons. I thought for my Saturday Share post I'd share my thoughts on industry awards, what being shortlisted means, and most of all why the visibility of older women in the fashion and beauty industry is so very, very important.

(Pictured above is a sneak peek of my accessories for the night - I think my outfit may well top last year's fairy princess outfit, so be prepared...!)

The importance of the UK Blog Awards

Basically, these awards are the biggest in the UK (as far as I know) - every single genre of blog is represented, and awards are given to both individual blogs and company blogs (so I won't be up against any clothing brand's blog, for example - just other individual bloggers). So you can imagine just how many people will be there if you consider there are 17 categories, 8 finalists in each - and then double it for companies and individuals... so yeah, 272 finalists alone. That's a lot of movers and shakers.

While many people do get annoyed about bloggers asking for votes (which okay, I do get when it's incessant), I think it's important to remember just how hard bloggers work, most of whom do everything themselves: Photographing, writing, editing, marketing, networking, accounting, administration, negotiating... Most of us cannot afford the luxury of an assistant, or an administrator, or even an accountant. So to be recognised for all the hard work you put in - and to actually be able to say you've been nominated for/have won an award - is a very rewarding way to allow yourself that pat on the back that we quite rightly deserve.

Most other industries have awards nights and presentations for services within their industry, and blogging is just as worthy of recognition in the same way.

The representation of 40+ bloggers in the Fashion & Beauty category

This year is more than just my third nomination in the Final 8 (it was a Final 10 until last year, so it was even harder to get shortlisted!) - it's the year that not one but TWO over 40 bloggers have made it to the final 8. My fellow Over40Collective member Nikki of Midlifechic has also been shortlisted, and I couldn't be prouder that older bloggers have made up A QUARTER of the fashion and beauty finalists... that's no mean feat, considering our [fashion] industry is still very youth biased.

MIDDLE AGED WOMEN OF TODAY ARE NOT THE SAME AS THE MIDDLE AGED WOMEN OF YESTERYEAR. THEY ARE, LOOK AND FEEL MUCH, MUCH "YOUNGER" - AND ARE LESS CONSTRAINED BY SOCIETY'S EXPECTATIONS ON THEM. 

For me, therefore, it was important to be shortlisted because I wanted to make sure that 40+ bloggers are represented and seen to be making waves in the tough world that's saturated with Chiara, Leandra, Aimee and their equivalents. Blogging is another branch of the large tree that is fashion and beauty, and one that is gaining rapid momentum in this world of powerful influencers.

We NEED older women to be visible in fashion. The amazing Lyn of Accidental Icon has recently been modelling for Mango - a brand known for having a very young target market. This is fantastic news and certainly shouldn't be the last time a major high street brand picks up on how chic and ageless older women are these says.

Middle aged women of today are not the same as the middle aged women of yesteryear. They are, look and feel much, much "younger" - and are less constrained by society's expectations on them.
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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Smart, Versatile British Tailoring For You and the Man in Your Life

Smart British tailoring by Arthur Shirtley. Her: Check shirt \ tweed silk blazer \ camel wide leg trousers \ silver slip on sneakers \ camel fedora - Him: Dark wash jeans | Not Dressed As Lamb & Silver Londoner, over 40 style/menswear
NDAL banner

Here you have it, folks - the first ever joint photo shoot from Not Dressed As Lamb and Silver Londoner

It's been a long time coming as many people have requested an outfit post featuring Keith and myself since he started his blog way back when... This week the timing for a joint shoot was absolutely perfect: I've partnered with a young brand to show you some smart, versatile tailoring that's made for you AND the man in your life!

Today we're both wearing blazers and shirts by Arthur Shirtley, an exciting young British brand that specialises in the most exquisite tailored workwear. Now as some of you may know, as a pro blogger I don't work in an office anymore, so it does beg the question, Why would we be showing you smart workwear pieces?

The reason is simple: By styling these pieces in a very casual way, we've shown you how smart tailored blazers and office-appropriate shirts are perfect not just as workwear, but also as versatile, classic pieces for the weekend. What we wanted to do was show how quality workwear is a great investment because it CAN be worn out of the office with just a little clever styling. (Click here to see Keith's outfit and post in more detail - it's worth it, I promise!)

I'VE ACTUALLY SURPRISED MYSELF AT JUST HOW MUCH I LOVE THIS OUTFIT - I WILL BE HONEST AND SAY I WAS APPREHENSIVE ABOUT STILL LOOKING TOO "OFFICEY"... MY FEARS WERE UNFOUNDED I'M PLEASED TO SAY.  

I'm wearing the Greenwich Picnic Shirt and the Hampstead Blazer, and Keith is wearing the Somerset House Fountains Shirt and the Fitzrovia Blazer. The quality of these garments is absolutely second to none, but what makes them really special is that the blazers are made of 100% silk and the shirts are 100% cotton. Therefore the blazers are lightweight enough to be worn during the summer - who doesn't want a lightweight, breathable blazer in the office in hot weather?

Smart British tailoring by Arthur Shirtley. Her: Check shirt \ tweed silk blazer \ camel wide leg trousers \ silver slip on sneakers \ camel fedora - Him: Dark wash jeans | Not Dressed As Lamb & Silver Londoner, over 40 style/menswear
SHOP THE LOOK:

Arthur Shirtley - Smart British tailoring for men and women
L-R: Greenwich Picnic Shirt | Hampstead Blazer | Somerset House Fountains Shirt | Fitzrovia Blazer
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Monday, 17 April 2017

My Favourite Spring Outfits (With SS17 Shopping Links) #iwillwearwhatilike

My favourite spring outfits to shop | Not Dressed As Lamb

Happy Easter Monday! I hope you've managed to enjoy your long weekend and not stuffed yourself silly with chocolate...?!  

I thought the #iwillwearwhatilike link up should still go ahead, but as we're well into Spring 2017 now I've looked back over some of my favourite spring outfits from the last couple of years for some outfit inspiration. As pretty much none of these items are available any longer it seemed only right that I do a bit of research and see how you could recreate these looks for SS17.

Many of the shapes and silhouettes that are around at the moment can be translated into these looks with a little tweak here and there. Basically they've all been updated - I hope you find something that you like and can work into your wardrobe... spring going into summer is my absolute favourite time of the year (May is just the BEST month), so a little retrospective of this season it always a joy for me!


- DON'T MISS A SINGLE POST -

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I did take a little break from choosing my favourite outfits from last week, but don't worry normal service will resume next Monday. Scroll down to add your outfits to this week's link up and enjoy the rest of your long weekend!

WHICH OF THESE CURRENT PIECES HAVE CAUGHT YOUR EYE? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Spring style: Fluffy pink cardigan, paisley joggers, black lace up pointed flats, up do, cat eye sunglasses, evil eye brooch

1. Pink fluff and pattern

Original post: The Crazy Housewife Look: A Fluffy Pink Cardigan and Paisley Joggers

SHOP THE LOOK:







SS16 pastel bright stripes, mustard yellow trousers, coral heels | Not Dressed As Lamb

2. Bright pastels and bold heels

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

SHOP THE LOOK:








Spring style | Straw fedora, Breton stripes, chinos and multi coloured sneakers

3. Super casual chinos and stripes

Original post: Simple Spring Style of Straw Hat, Sneakers and Stripes

SHOP THE LOOK:







SS16 Style: M&S Archive by Alexa ruffled Harry blouse, distressed boyfriend jeans, black biker jacket, orange tote, pointed two-tone flats | Not Dressed As Lamb

4. Ruffles and distressed denim for town

Original post: How to Style the Archive by Alexa Ruffled Blouse

SHOP THE LOOK:








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The #iwillwearwhatilike link up with Not Dressed As Lamb
Thank you for joining the #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!

The link up goes live every Monday at 3pm UK time and will 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!



Linking up etiquette...

CLICK HERE to read the rules of linking up (and to grab the #iwillwearwhatilike button). Basically it's just good manners to link back to here - to leave a comment is even nicer!

To get yourself featured next week, make sure you've included a link back to Not Dressed As Lamb or my button in your post/sidebar!

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 FRIENDSHIPS SO DON'T MISS OUT!


Catherine

P.S. DO CHECK OUT MY PINTEREST BOARD WITH ALL THE BEST OF THE #IWILLWEARWHATILIKE LINK UPS - HAVE YOU BEEN PINNED...?

Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellVisible MondayTurning Heads TuesdayBrilliant Blog PostsFun Fashion FridayPassion for Fashion FridaySaturday Share Link Up
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Friday, 14 April 2017

When You Hate Photos of Yourself #SaturdayShareLinkUp

Not Dressed As Lamb fashion blog bloopers and outtakes

This week I was editing photos of myself for a campaign I'm working on, where I had to shoot close up (portrait) photos for the brand's own use. Before I do any sort of editing to colour casts, contrast, shadows, etc. I go through and pick out the images I like the best. 

While I was doing this I thought to myself, Thank goodness I have control over this - I get to choose which images the brand uses. Sure, I'll give them two or three different final shots to choose from, but out of the 50-odd photos we took it's my choice as to which I present to them.

Now I know only some of my readers are bloggers (and even then not all bloggers take photos of themselves), but I'm sure everyone has, at some time, had the task of going through photos of themselves and having to pick out the ones they like for the final image... For wedding photos, or holiday photos, or passport photos when you have to select the photo to print while you're actually there in the booth (oh, the pressure of the photo booth!!)

[By the way in case you're wondering, the photos in the image are not ones I just didn't like, they are actual bloopers...!]

When someone else chooses a bad photo of you

The picking out of these photos this week got me thinking about when you DON'T have control over which photo of yourself is chosen, for example when you're a guest/bridesmaid/mother of the bride at a wedding and someone else has picked out the photos to go in their album. You excitedly open the album to see...

... A shockingly HORRIFIC photo of yourself. One that you would never have picked out in a million years. You're either pulling a weird expression, or your smile is just "off", or your eyes are dead, or it just doesn't look like you. I'm not talking about body image or the fact that you may have put on a few pounds - I mean a shot that would have been so much better had you just smiled properly or turned your head the other way to show your "good" side.

WHEN I SAW THE SHOT THEY USED, I WAS ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED. DEAD EYES, WEIRD SMILE, HEAD AT THE WRONG ANGLE. BUT THERE IT WAS, PUBLISHED FOR EVERYONE TO SEE. 

And a little bit of you dies inside because you know that photo will be there forever in their wedding album, or in their photo frame, or on their Facebook page (though at least you can ask them to take those down, wedding albums are trickier)!

This happened to me a while ago, where some photos were taken of me and I didn't have control over which ones were chosen. It was a professional photo shoot, but the editing was all in the hands of X Brand (which shall remain nameless). And when I saw the shot they used, I was absolutely horrified. Dead eyes, weird smile, head at the wrong angle. But there it was, published for everyone to see, and there was nothing I could do about it.

What everyone else saw

But this was the truly weird thing: I was the ONLY person that hated it.* Everyone I knew who saw it told me what a wonderful picture it was, that I looked so youthful, so serene, all sorts of words that I couldn't believe they were actually using to describe this horror of a portrait. In fact because my mum knew where to find the photo online, she'd looked it up before I told her not to bother - she went to the trouble of ringing me to say what a gorgeous photo it was of me.

What on earth was it they saw that I didn't??!!! WHY did they think that awful shot was a nice picture of me?

It goes to show that what you see is totally different to what everyone else sees. It might have something to do with the fact that what we see in the mirror is a reverse image of what everyone else sees, and that would explain why some people hate all photos of themselves. But I've seen my mug close up enough times and edited enough photos of myself to see (mostly) what other people see, and I can usually pick out (what I deem to be) the good ones.
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Wednesday, 12 April 2017

10 Romantic, Feminine Style Fashion Bloggers You Should Know

10 Romantic, Feminine Style Fashion Bloggers compiled by Not Dressed As Lamb

Just to warn you straight away: If you're not a fan of pink or florals, you'd best look away now...! 

As I'm featuring fashion bloggers who capture that stunning romantic, feminine style on a daily basis, there will be pink... And baby blue, and ruffles, and pleats, and bows, and florals, and heels, and lace. All the girly stuff is here, and I love it.

These are the bloggers who you'll rarely find in Doc Martens, camo, boyfriend jeans, or any sort of masculine chic. There are always exceptions to the rule, but generally these bloggers always have a touch of the feminine to their outfits, even in the dead of winter when they have to pile on the layers like the rest of us.

However, spring and summer is their time to really shine - all the floaty dresses, pastels and florals come out in full force. April seemed like the perfect time to shine a spotlight on these lovely ladies and their romantic looks.

SPRING AND SUMMER IS THEIR TIME TO REALLY SHINE - ALL THE FLOATY DRESSES, PASTELS AND FLORALS COME OUT IN FORCE. 

Even within this style category you get a huge range of different styles. Some bloggers have a romantic style with a little preppy thrown in, and others veer towards a slightly more edgy-but-still-feminine look. Some are simply full-on girly with pretty pinks, ruffles and florals.

Hopefully you'll find more than a little inspiration and new bloggers to follow - even if you don't do feminine all the time (I certainly don't), you may want to throw yourself at midi skirts and ruffles now and then (I certainly do)...!

HAVE YOU FOUND ANY NEW-TO-YOU BLOGGERS THAT YOU'RE NOW OBSESSING OVER? (I HOPE YOU HAVE!) COMMENT BELOW, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

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Monday, 10 April 2017

A Simple, Pretty Way to Style a Classic Breton T-shirt #iwillwearwhatilike

Perfect spring outfit: Red Breton stripe t-shirt \ white full midi skirt \ black d'Orsay patent heels \ tortoiseshell sunglasses \ black box handbag | Not Dressed As Lamb

Rather unusually for April, the sun was out in full force for most of the UK over the weekend and it was nothing short of glorious (and, dare I say it, even a bit hot). So out came the Breton stripe t-shirt, midi skirt and bare legs for the day! 

HOWEVER (such is the English weather), by the time we were able to get out and shoot some photos not only had the sun gone behind the clouds but the temperature dropped significantly and there was the mother of all winds hampering our efforts. Damn you, Mother Nature (I'm sure she can't be a feminist, that one, otherwise she'd do what she can to actually HELP us poor fashion bloggers in times of need)!!

IF BRETON STRIPES AND THE OBLIGATORY BLOSSOM BACKGROUND DOESN'T SCREAM SPRING TO YOU, I DON'T KNOW WHAT WILL

But really, it was such a beautiful weekend and a welcome change in April. We sat outside and ate lunch and I even dared to show my bare legs with my white midi skirt (similar) I haven't worn in an age. I've worn my red Breton stripe t-shirt over the winter a couple of times by layering it over a white roll neck and pairing it with dark denim or navy trousers... It takes on a whole other spring-like, preppy meaning when you put it with white.

If Breton stripes and the obligatory blossom background doesn't SCREAM spring to you, I don't know what will...!
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Friday, 7 April 2017

Why I Wish the "Best Over 40 Bloggers" Lists Were More Varied #SaturdayShareLinkUp

Why I Wish the "Best Over 40 Bloggers" Lists Were More Varied | Not Dressed As Lamb

Earlier this year I was featured on Who What Wear as one of their "Stylish Fashion Bloggers Over Age 40" - I'm truly always so honoured to be featured and included among such stylish ladies. 

However, the moment proved to be bittersweet (from my point of view at least) - whilst I was so flattered and pleased to be featured by Who What Wear (it doesn't do my traffic any harm whatsoever), I realised that it was the third time they'd included me on a similar list-style post. To date, I've appeared in the following "best older bloggers" articles (at least these are the ones I'm aware of):

Style Wise: The 7 Best Blogs by Older Women
The Best Fashion Bloggers in Every Age Group
Meet the Stylish Fashion Bloggers Over Age 40
Fashion Bloggers and Fabulous
On Our Radar... Influencers Over 40
Fashion Blogs UK Top 20
13 Fashion Bloggers Over 40 You Should Follow Now
10 Best Fashion Blogs for Grown Ups

(Not including similar lists by other bloggers - I've only included large fashion sites and magazines, etc.)

Now pleeeease don't think I'm tooting my own horn or being ungrateful (far from it - the exposure from these sites is amazing!) when I say this, but the crazy thing is that I'm nearly always featured on these "Best over 40 bloggers" lists... it makes me think, Why can't they feature someone else for a change? Someone who should be celebrated at least once instead of me every time?

Here's another interesting thing: There are about seven or eight bloggers, including myself, who are also regularly featured on these lists.

And therein lies the problem I have.

So yes I'm very happy (VERY happy) to be always featured on these lists along with Lyn, Alyson, Judith, Annette, Cathy, Melanie and Patti, but to be honest after the latest Who What Wear I felt somewhat disappointed that the same handful of bloggers were featured yet again - myself included. The list on Marie Claire Mexico's site were five from the bloggers I just mentioned, no one new.

AFTER THE LATEST WHO WHAT WEAR ARTICLE I FELT SOMEWHAT DISAPPOINTED THAT THE SAME HANDFUL OF BLOGGERS WERE FEATURED YET AGAIN - MYSELF INCLUDED.

I'm not sure what the reason for it is exactly, but I think it's a combination of factors: Most of the bloggers I listed have been blogging for many years (I've been going nearly six years). Or they've exploded onto the scene because they're at the older end of the 40+ spectrum and very, very modern style-wise (like Lyn, for example). Or it could be lazy journalism - how do you find over 40 bloggers if you have to write an article about them? Why, Google "over 40 bloggers", of course. And what you tend to get is the same list recycled over and over again.

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Thursday, 6 April 2017

Capsule Wardrobe Pieces - 18 Stylish Wellies to Shop

Capsule wardrobe: 18 colourful and stylish Wellington boots / welly boots / wellies to shop | Not Dressed As Lamb

As it's now April (and that means April showers) I thought I'd bring you the best, most stylish welly boots I can find! 

One morning last week I was out walking Riley in the pouring rain (what joy!), and although it wasn't all that cold I was thankful for my Seasalt raincoat keeping me super dry. I then thought about how I should be wearing wellies instead of my robust walking boots that aren't really built for the rain. That got me thinking about stylish rainwear in general - raincoats, umbrellas and Wellington boots are a must for Brits of course, but there are plenty of other places that have weather that's just as changeable... the heaviest rain I've ever encountered in my life was when we visited the Statue of Liberty in New York where the rain was absolutely TORRENTIAL.

So I'll also cover raincoats and umbrellas in the coming month, but for now I'll start with wellies because I saw this pair online today and couldn't believe just how stylish and non-wellyish they were... Plus they'll keep my feet dry whilst out walking the dog. How good is that?!

I'VE LOOKED FOR INTERESTING STYLES AND GREAT COLOURS, SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT TO MAKE YOUR DOG WALK OR COMMUTE TO WORK IN THE RAIN FAR MORE STYLISH. 

I've avoided completely plain black wellies - I've looked for interesting styles and great colours, something a bit different to make your dog walk or commute to work in the rain far more stylish. There's a mixture of long boots and short/ankle boots, and some that don't look like wellies at all.

SHOP MY TOP FIVE FAVE WELLIES:



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Monday, 3 April 2017

How to Style Brooches: More is More #iwillwearwhatilike

Spring look: Pale blue sweater \ emerald green peg trousers \ flower brooches \ tan strappy block heeled sandals \ two tone cross body bag | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

Although I never actually stopped wearing them, brooches are back in a big way this year - I for one am glad because I have quite the collection. 

After wearing a sculptural masterpiece disguised as a brooch a couple of weeks ago on the blog, it made me remember how much I love them and how they can elevate a reasonably plain outfit into something far more interesting. And what can be better than one brooch? Why, three, of course (more is more as they say)!

I WORE SOME NEW STRAPPY SANDALS THAT WERE GIFTED TO ME... THE FIRST SANDALS APPEARANCE THIS YEAR, HURRAH! 

After I received my little rose gold initial 'C' brooch at Christmas soon after finding the New Look brooch I wore on Christmas eve (the three-flower cluster one you see here), I got the brooch bug again. It led to an impulse buy of this gorgeous rose gold crystal flower from Debenhams, and for a bright, sunny spring day this weekend I wore all three on a pale blue knit which I teamed with perfect-for-spring green trousers and some new strappy sandals (UK link) that were gifted to me... The first sandals appearance this year, hurrah!

If you're after brooches I think the best place to go is Etsy (especially this seller) - there's so much choice!
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Friday, 31 March 2017

9 Amazing Blogging Tools, Resources & Links #SaturdayShareLinkUp

9 Amazing Blogging Tools, Resources & Links

This week I've decided to give you the links to some of the best blogging tips and resources I've discovered recently - these are definitely worth sharing! 

I often find great things to read (either interesting articles or blog posts about the blogosphere or social media) that include tips and tricks for how to do things you never even knew you could do, or some updates or ways to keep on top of all things blogging.

I usually email these links to my fellow Over40Collective members as I find them, but I thought it only fair you see some of the ones I've shared recently - I generally always pin them to my Blogging Tips and Social Media Pinterest boards, but in case you've missed them here are 9 of the best that have really helped (or interested) me lately!

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Monday, 27 March 2017

How to Do Corporate Chic Meets Rock Chick #iwillwearwhatilike

Corporate rock chic look: Black biker jacket \ red textured t-shirt \ navy culottes \ Finery pointed strappy snakeskin buckle shoes \ neon yellow suede clutch | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

This was a simple outfit worn to a photography exhibition I went to last week - without a doubt one of the most last-minute ensembles I've worn in a long time.

If you take one pair of culottes (though they're really wide leg trousers tbh) worn with some suitable-for-the-office-but-still-funky shoes and add a black biker jacket, what do you get? Corporate chic meets rock chick, that's what...! I gave this outfit the briefest glance in the mirror before leaving and simply hoped for the best - I was late and wouldn't have had time to change if it wasn't working.

Thankfully I think it worked.

'David and i'

A few months ago we got ourselves VIP tickets for the "David & i" fine art photography exhibition of David Bowie prints by rock photographer Denis O'Regan and it was absolutely wonderful, whether you're a Bowie fan or not (but then, who isn't?!). You'll see one of the Instagram selfies I took on the night below, you can imagine the fun I had going round taking all the photos...!

I DIDN'T WANT TO CARRY A COAT AROUND WITH ME BUT DIDN'T WANT TO GET TOO HOT/TOO COLD EITHER, SO A BIKER JACKET ALWAYS, ALWAYS WORKS FOR ME IN THIS SITUATION. 

This outfit is pretty straightforward - it started with the shoes (funky but flat for comfort) and then came the wide leg cropped trousers (similar). I've worn the trousers before to an event and they work well as a smart alternative to skinny trousers. So that was the corporate part done - those two are well suited to the office.
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Friday, 24 March 2017

Sharing a Beautiful Moment After a Sad Week #SaturdayShareLinkUp

The Brandenburg Gate lit up with the Union Jack after the attack on Westminster, 22 March 2017 - by @theladyofstyle on Instagram

A short pondering post this week - it's been yet another week where we've been left shocked and saddened and wondering what the hell is happening in the world. 

(Photo credit: @theladyofstyle, with permission)

I'm not going to dwell on it at all here - I'm sure anyone who's reading this is thinking the same thing as me. All I wanted to share with you this week is the fact that we should be thankful for what we have. Hold your loved ones a little tighter. Take time out to appreciate the beautiful things in life.

This photo of the Brandenburg Gate in Germany lit up with the Union Jack got me 'right there' - after the history between our two countries it proves that there is hope for the future and sometimes the worst rifts can be healed. Though let's hope that if and when the current rifts heal, we have the opportunity to come together for less tragic reasons.

This evening I drove back from Cornwall after a business meeting and a very wonderful day with regards to a new brand campaign I'm going to be working on soon. I was in a positive mood because of the great day I'd had. The sun was setting as I drove over Bodmin Moor, and it was quite simply one of the most spectacular sunsets I've ever seen. It went on for what seemed like ages, getting low in the sky and turning into a big glowing ball of fire that I could see in my mirror, eventually dropping below the horizon and disappearing from view.

It was the sort of moment that if I'd not been on my own and I'd been a passenger in the car, I would have jabbered on about how amazing it was and taken lots of crappy pictures of it with my phone that didn't do it justice whatsoever (in other words, not simply appreciated it for what it was).
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Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Number 1 Trick That Makes All Your Clothes Look Good

Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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There is one very easy trick to making all your clothes look good (even when you're wearing your own 34-year-old Duran Duran t-shirt - the oldest piece of clothing I own by a very, very long way).

That number 1 trick? Get your underwear right. Oh, I can't tell you how many years I spent wearing the wrong kind of underwear. The wrong size bra, ill-fitting knickers, the wrong shape bras... I've learnt a new trick just recently - but first, that t-shirt!

My original Duran Duran Seven and the Ragged Tiger tour t-shirt is mine - from 1983. I cannot tell you how happy I am to be wearing my most treasured t-shirt and oldest item in my wardrobe, an item I thought until recently was most probably lost. I knew I hadn't deliberately got rid of it, I just knew I'd put it somewhere 'safe' (that old chestnut!) and I'd been looking for it for years. In the end it was in a small storage box I'd forgotten about, found during a clearout of the spare room. Crisis averted.

Styling an original band t-shirt: Longline black blazer \ vintage Duran Duran tour t-shirt \ taupe peg leg menswear-style trousers \ snakeskin and panelled suede Finery ankle boots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

14 Unmissable Reads - The Best of the Blogosphere (March 2017)

The Best of the Blogosphere March 2017 | Not Dressed As Lamb

In my Best of the Blogosphere this month I have mutton shaming thoughts, chic workwear, makeup hacks and more!

(In case you've not seen these posts before my Unmissable Things to Read post is a monthly round-up of things I've seen, watched and liked in the blogosphere that I'm sure you'll love too.)

How are we nearly at the end of March already?! That's the first quarter almost gone... I have so much to do this year. In the last month we've acquired an absolutely adorable dog who I can't imagine life without now, so life is already very different to how it was a month ago.

Do have a read of these great links - you never know who or what you might discover that makes your day/week/month!

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

(Photo credits: Top left | Top middle | Top right | Middle left | Middle | Middle right | Bottom left | Bottom middle | Bottom right)

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Mutton-shaming is horrible to experience and serves no purpose - Sinclair describes why she's glad she's never been mutton-shamed and why she truly wears what she wants.

I love a gorgeous home interiors blog or two, and Kimberly's list of 9 design rules you should never break are both helpful and spot-on make sense (unlike my grammar).
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Monday, 20 March 2017

An Easy Way to Throw Yourself into Spring: Stripes and Florals #iwillwearwhatilike

Bright spring weather outfit: Floral Seasalt raincoat \ high neck stripe Breton top \ wide leg cotton denim trousers \ red brogues \ ochre bucket bag | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

That classic mixed print combination of stripes and florals can be a real mood-lifter when spring is still desperately trying to make its presence felt. Breton stripes and florals, what's more spring-like? 

As we're fully in the territory of milder days but there's always a sunshine-and-showers danger, it seemed the perfect time to get out my old favourite Seasalt raincoat that I've had a few years now. The quality is so good it's as if it's almost brand new, and I have worn it loads. The happy pattern is just perfect for any time of year and it gets so many compliments.

The new addition to my wardrobe is this unusual Breton top - Breton stripes with a twist is what I'd call it - from the Finery Outlet section. You can't really see from the photos but the fabric is ribbed and stretchy (amazing quality as with all Finery items, as discussed in Thursday's transitional season outfit ideas post) and the stripes are graduated down the top from narrow to wide.

I own a gazillion Breton stripe tops (no I'm not exaggerating, and as no one really knows how many is a gazillion I think I'm safe in making that there declaration) but this one has a special something. It's quite boxy and works tucked in or untucked and I'm super happy with my reduced price purchase, especially considering it has a high neck which is even more unusual for a Breton top. Top shopping marks pour moi.

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Friday, 17 March 2017

I Don't Like Mondays, I Love Them! 5 Ways to Love Mondays #SaturdayShareLinkUp

I Don't Like... 5 Reasons I Love Mondays | Not Dressed As Lamb

Mondays... They're the worst, right? Well please don't hate me, but I actually really like Mondays. In fact I love them. 

Of course they don't beat the weekend - for me that's the main time I get to spend with my husband, friends and family and try to at least spend a bit of time away from the blog (note the key word "try").

But this week I woke up Monday morning refreshed and really rather excited about a new working week. I thought I'd share the reasons why I love Mondays so much, and hopefully it can give you a few suggestions as to how you can make it at least not the worst day of the week (we'll leave that accolade to Tuesday).

1. I enjoy my job, so I like Mondays. Full stop.

A new working week is always a positive thing for me. I've usually done a photo shoot or two over the weekend and seeing how the photos came out and editing them is one of my favourite things to do. I like to remind myself of the projects I've got coming up by going through my emails. I like to catch up on the social media messages I've missed because I've been out doing other things at the weekend (otherwise known as "having a life", which can be hard to remember to do when you're a blogger!). But because I like what I do, it is easy for me to not hate Mondays.

How this could work for you:
If you're in a job you hate, I know what it's like - I've been there. One job I hated so much I felt sick every morning and came home crying after work every night for the last few months until I left. If this is you, you CAN do something about it. You may want to read last week's post about why sometimes you need to chance a chance in life. It's not too late to change and turn your work life around, don't let your perceived ability or your age or anything else stop you.
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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Transitional Season Outfit Ideas | Finery London by the Over40Collective

Finery London SS17: An outfit of bold colours and mixed textures \ Orange-red ballon sleeve sweater \ grey fleck cropped peg trousers \ snakeskin, suede and leather ankle boots \ large gold and black flower brooch | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

It's that time of year when anything could happen weather-wise: Snow flurries, storms, unusually mild temperatures and sunshine - they're all possible. The perfect time for some transitional season outfit ideas, don't you think? 

It's mid-March so I'm saying say┼Źnara, winter - time to ditch the scarves and gloves, bare a little ankle, maybe even go [GASP] bare-legged. Today I'm wearing an outfit that is, once again, heavy on the orangey-red (what can I say, I love this colour!) and suitable for both that winter-to-spring time or the other way round at autumn-into-winter time.

Unlike some parts of the world the UK takes a long time to warm up, and sometimes we don't get "hot" weather until July. A blast of sunshine in March is a joy, and mild temperatures a revelation. I've enjoyed wearing all the orange and all the red this winter, so what better way to finish AW16 and welcome SS17 than with this beautiful balloon-sleeved sweater from Finery London?


I REALLY JUST WENT FOR SEPARATE PIECES THAT I KNEW WOULD WORK WITH THE REST OF MY WARDROBE, BUT TO BE HONEST THEY LOOKED SO GOOD TOGETHER THAT I DECIDED TO WEAR THEM AS A COMPLETE OUTFIT.


If you haven't yet heard of this young British brand I urge you to check them out - you may just fall in love with them if you go for tailored, quality clothes with a touch of modern edginess at a reasonable price (just about sums me up). I first mentioned Finery back in 2015 when I was featured in the Sunday Times Style magazine and I picked the brand as a new favourite. I've worn their shoes, their trousers and their jewellery before.

Finery London SS17: An outfit of bold colours and mixed textures \ Orange-red ballon sleeve sweater \ grey fleck cropped peg trousers \ snakeskin, suede and leather ankle boots \ large gold and black flower brooch | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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Monday, 13 March 2017

How to Create a Monochrome Look With Polka Dots #iwillwearwhatilike

Easy-to-wear colours of plum and navy blue: Red and blue polka dot blouse \ plum peg leg trousers \ silver pointed toe slip trainers | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

It may sound like witchcraft, but believe me when I say you can make a monochrome look out of polka dots - it's all in the colours you choose! 

I wore this outfit a couple of weekends ago for an informal birthday party - held at a friend's house and one that promised dancing round the living room (the adults all being in their 40s and relishing all the 70s, 80s and 90s hits we were playing... We have no shame). Therefore I wanted to wear something a little fun that also included comfy shoes for all day plus evening dancing.

The monochrome look was purely accidental, but if you look at the full-length photos you will see that the outfit looks pretty much the same colour from head to toe (squint a bit if you're not quite getting it) - a plummy-burgundy red colour. What I didn't realise was that the navy blouse with red polka dots (similar) looks like burgundy at a distance, and in fact the same burgundy of my go-to favourite peg trousers.


THE MONOCHROME LOOK WAS PURELY ACCIDENTAL, BUT IF YOU LOOK AT THE FULL-LENGTH PHOTOS YOU WILL SEE THAT THE OUTFIT LOOKS PRETTY MUCH THE SAME COLOUR FROM HEAD TO TOE.


I love the three colours (that you can see in the close-up photo below of the blouse and trousers) together - add silver in the form of my fabulously-comfortable Finery two-tone slip ons and you have yourself one very easy-to-wear outfit. It was perfect for travelling the 2.5 hour journey to our friends' house, perfect for lounging around and watching the rugby, and perfect for a spot of Dad dancing later on.
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Friday, 10 March 2017

Why Sometimes You Need to Take a Chance in Life #SaturdayShareLinkUp

The love of a family dog - Saluki lurcher mix

A little while ago I was given the opportunity to take a chance - something that would change my life to some extent - and I wondered whether I was doing the right thing (as you do). 

The life changing opportunity: To get a dog (my first, not counting our family dog when I was growing up).

The worry: Am I doing the right thing, will I be too restricted in the things I like to do in life, what will I do if we go on holiday, is my house big enough, blah blah blah.

I'm sure it's a familiar story to most dog owners: They change your life for the better and are absolutely worth it, 100%... Nothing but undivided love and devotion in exchange for food, shelter, exercise and a whole heap of attention and love.

To cut a long story short, Riley (a gorgeous Saluki, or Persian greyhound, mix) became a member of our family yesterday after much many months' discussions with a friend who realised that he just couldn't have the attention he deserved after she expanded her own family with a small and wonderful human being. My husband and I had always loved Riley every time we visited and we even discussed getting a dog "if only we could get a dog that was like Riley".

Fate intervened and the end result was him coming to live with us.

I did try and talk myself out of it with all the practical objections, and we discussed how going away for the weekend or a day out shopping would become more difficult. We discussed whether he would be happy in a smaller house than he was in before. And lots of other silly things.

The basic facts were this: Were days out shopping really better than taking a dog we adored on long walks in the country every weekend? Were one or two weekends in a hotel a year better than the love and adoration we'd get every single day from Riley?


SO WHETHER IT'S A DOG, MOVING HOUSE, LOOKING FOR A NEW JOB, JOINING AN ONLINE DATING SERVICE, EVEN JUST TAKING A CHANCE ON THAT LITTLE RED DRESS - DO IT. YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE EXCEPT THE CHANCE TO MAKE YOUR LIFE RICHER, MORE INTERESTING AND MORE WONDERFUL.


Well it's been little over 24 hours in, and it's safe to say I'm so in love with him it's untrue. He follows me round the house, he puts his paw on me if I stop stroking him, he trots alongside me very close when we're out walking.

If I'd listened to all the naysaying in my head we wouldn't have this joy in our lives, but we would be able to go on a weekend break without worrying about what to do about our dog... Woop-de-dooh.

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So whether it's getting a dog, moving house, looking for a new job, starting a blog, joining an online dating service, even buying that little red dress you saw today when out shopping - DO IT, and do it now. Take a chance. You have nothing to lose except the chance to make your life richer, more interesting and more wonderful - who knows what exciting things may happen as a result?

I now have two long legged, grey haired boys in my life whom I adore. My father said that surely if you count him too that makes three - I said "boy" was stretching it a bit (he's 87), but I'll say three men to make him happy...!

Why Sometimes You Need to Take a Chance in Life and and get that dog or buy that house or leave that job or join that dating agency or start that blog... | Not Dressed As Lamb
So all that's left to say is - I've shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it's time to share yours... LET'S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!

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Thank you for joining the #SaturdayShareLinkUp! Designed to allow you to share anything you like on ANY topic, it goes live every Friday at 8pm UK time and will stay open for a week. You can share blog posts or Instagram posts, old posts or new posts, and link up as many as you like.

PLEASE be kind and leave a link somewhere on your post, and share your post using the hashtag #SaturdayShareLinkUp - if you tweet your link with the hashtag and tag me in @notlamb I'll even retweet it to my followers for you :)

A hot tip for linking up:

Use clear, bright images (crop in close if necessary) and add a relevant, descriptive title (you've got 75 characters to use). These sorts of thumbnails and text always get the most clicks, so don't waste the opportunity to increase traffic and engagement on your best work!





WHAT'S BEEN THE HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR WEEK - OR BEST LIFE-CHANGING DECISION OF ALL TIME - THAT YOU WANT TO SHARE? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS OR TWEET ME @NOTLAMB!

Catherine

Linking up to: Brilliant Blog Posts
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