Midlife Loves

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Midlife Loves

Updating Your Favourite Little Black Dress

Christmas has got to be THE most expensive time of the whole year....as not only are you buying pressies for your nearest & dearest but you're also cramming the house full of plenty of food, treats & drinks.  Something I seem to have starting stock piling on early....in fact I think I may have got a little carried away as during my last internet grocery shop after lugging umpteen crates into our house the delivery driver enquired if there was anything I knew that he didn't & should be worried about as he said it looked like I was stocking up for a nuclear disaster!!!

Of course on top of all the gifts, food & drink it's always nice to sneak a little Christmas treat or two to ourselves, as who doesn't like a new little something or other to wear during all the festivities?  And hey we're the ones that do all the shopping, wrapping, card writing & cooking so surely we deserve a little something for all our efforts!!

Now whilst the shops are brimming with stunning new dresses & outfits to tempt us to splash the cash a cheaper way of updating your wardrobe is to re-work an existing party outfit with a few simple new accessories & let's face it who doesn't have a favourite LBD that they drag out each year?

So today's post is going to concentrate on an accessory that I have already purchased this season which has to be one of my favourite purchases.  Can you guess?!!!  Okay I know far to many purchases for you to hazard a guess......but if I said of the furry variety would that help?!!! Yup that's right I'm talking about my faux fur stole that I managed to secure from H&M from their Paris Collection....something I'll readily admit nearly slipped me by as I hastily returned the first one I ordered without even trying it on.  Of course normal story of said item becoming out of stock & me having a light bulb moment thinking how I'd style it & SIMPLY couldn't live without it, which resulted in a near hourly hit of the refresh button praying that one would come back into stock & low & behold my stalker efforts were rewarded & boy am I glad they were.

For me the stole is perfect for adding a bit of warmth round my neck to keep me warm whilst wearing my blazers now the temperatures have dipped, not to mention teaming with my denim jacket or leather biker. On top of this it looks absolutely stunning when worn for an evening be it with a little black dress or some faux leather leggings, as well as looking great when styled with some distressed jeans too, it really is an all rounder for your wardrobe.

And for those of us that like to dither in said freezing temperatures when going out of an evening save wearing one of our heavy duvet like coats because it will 'spoil the look' of our outfit then a stole really does add that bit of 'je ne sais pas quoi'.

Having taken a look on the high street I have to say that ASOS have some amazing stoles this season, I could quite easily go wild in the aisles ordering several designs in various colours....in fact a couple may have somehow found their way into my basket, strange that!! ;-)  So without further ado let's take a peak.

First up is this stunning black number, which is very similar in design and style to my H&M one & is just making me feel all cuddly & toasty looking at it.  This would certainly add the wow factor to any party outfit let alone when teamed with a blazer & of course would certainly be a fantastic way of instantly updating your winter coat too.

Next up is this gorgeous two tone collar which looks fab with the leather jacket it's pictured with.  I can also see this looking stunning when teamed with a parka too & would certainly add that element of style for those cold morning school runs & would get many a mum turning in the playground.

Or how about this stunning electric blue one which looks amazing when teamed with black.

This cream Mongolian collar from River Island is also stunning & would make an amazing addition  when teamed with a cream coat.

For a more traditional style this faux fur stole from Next is prefect.  This would look so elegant and stunning when worn with a faux/leather pencil skirt not to mention a little black dress with scooped neckline.

Moving in a slightly different direction from a stole & onto this delightful short caplet from ASOS.  Ooh can you imagine how toasty this would be?  A real cross between a gilet & a stole.  I just LOVE the colour of this & can see it looking simply stunning with some light denim and a white shirt.

If however, you prefer something that covers a bit more of your body then how about this faux fur cape from  Next?  If I had a party/ball that required full on glamour then this would be the accessory I'd be slinging over my shoulders for the night.  As it is, Cinderella will not be going to the ball but I'm thinking it would be lovely to wear whilst reading or watching TV in bed (ooh how old do I sound?!!!!) - wrong on every count I know but lovely, plus they also do it in cream too!!!!

Sticking with the cape theme but moving away from faux fur & you won't be surprised to hear that I love this next one.  As soon as I spotted this beauty I just had to feature it, as it's a great way for updating an outfit & let's face it my Bet-dar has certainly been quite quiet of late.  I love it styled with the chunky knit & leather skinnies in the piccie but it would also look equally stunning dressed down with some boyfriends & a white shirt as well as teamed with a stunning black or red dress for an evening too.

If however, you don't fancy going with the Bet-tastic cape above then this dark grey one from Next may tick your boxes.  It would be a great versatile number to go with most things in your wardrobe & I can just see this styled with an amazing brooch or faux fur collar to add that element of glamour & give it yet a different dimension.

I absolutely LOVE this next cape from Mango the styling & the leather edging really make it stand out for me & it would look stunning dressed up or down.  I can really see this looking amazing when styled with some faux leather leggings.

For a more dressed down vibe then how about this checked cape from Next.  I love the collar and fastening detail & can really see this looking effortless with some boyfriends, biker boots & a light long sleeved t-shirt.

Or for a more wow factor then this stunning royal blue biker style cape from ASOS will look effortlessly glamorous.

Of course there are many other ways of accessorising existing party outfits & I have more blogs to follow featuring other accessories than can help glam up your look, but in the meantime here's a quick round up of what I've been wearing these past few days.  Starting with this lovely woollen blazer which used to belong to my son but seeing as he's hardly worn it & now outgrown it I've decided to re-house it in my wardrobe & have simply changed the plain navy buttons for some brass ones.

Outfit One

Shirt - Massimo Dutti
Blazer - Zara Boys
Jumper - H&M
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Zara

Outfit Two

Tweed Blazer - H&M
Snood - Gemini-Woman
Top - Next
Wrist Warmers - H&M
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Oasis

Outfit Three

Scarf - Zara
Blouse - Zara
Ballet Wrap Cardigan - Zara
Bangle - Banana Republic
Biker Skinny Jeans - H&M
Boots - Zara

So what do you think?  Are you a lover of faux fur & if so do you fancy a stole or a cape to add that bit of glamour to your Christmas outfits?  Or perhaps it's the ideal gift to suggest to your nearest & dearest if they're struggling *hopeless* at buying you Christmas presents. 

As always I love reading your comments so let me know what you think & don't forget to tell me your tips for updating your favourite party outfit that makes an appearance each year.

Right I'm off to make some last minute changes to my outfit for tomorrow.....the first of a few celebrations for my birthday...the fact that it's a week early is of course just a bonus :-) .......more on the blog next time.  

Have a great couple of days & see you soon.

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Time To Get Sparkly

So at the end of my last blog I promised you something a little sparkly & what could be sparklier than a little bit of sequin love?  

Of course there's never a better time of year to bring out the sequins than at Christmas & with their gorgeous softening effect on the skin let alone my inner blingometer you won't find me needing any excuse to don a sequin or two!!!  And having invested in a long gold sequin cardigan from Mango in the sale in the summer I have to admit that my inner magpie has decided that you don't even need a reason to throw on a sequin, as quite frankly they look just as good teamed with some distressed jeans & a t-shirt for the day as they do when heading out for the evening.....well that's my excuse anyway & I for one intend to stick to it!

Of course having said all this one look I will be desperately trying to avoid is that of looking like the other bird that will be the main focus during the Christmas festivities.....no not my mother (mum if you're reading this I'd never refer to you as a 'bird' I promise!!!) but the stuffed, silver foil wrapped one that will be taking pride of place for our Christmas Day lunch!!!! 

So with that at the forefront of my mind I've concentrated today's post on mainly sequins of the separates variety as like my cardigan I brought in the sale they're absolutely perfect for dressing up or down.  Which equates to an easier justification to our other halves when met with the 'do you need it?'  question.  As of course the amount of times we can wear separates are just well endless......however, there's a huge difference between saying something & doing it but ladies that's for us to know & them to fathom out right? ;-)

So first up in the separates department is the sequin jumper.  A very popular choice at the moment & there really are far too many around to mention but below is a selection of the beauties that have caught my eye.  Starting with Tesco & this slashed necked jumper in what has to be one of my favourite colours for sequins.  A gorgeous soft gold/beige which on my skin really does have a fab warming effect.....please just excuse the red corner in the piccie but I was unable to cut this off & thought a headless model with hair tumbling down her shoulders would be just wrong!!!

However, if gold's not your thang then what about this gorgeous black fluffy number from Oasis?  I love the casual vibe of this jumper & think it looks absolutely amazing with the leather mini skirt - throw on some shoe boots for a dressier look or bikers for a more dressed down feel & you'd have a fab stylish outfit that would also be pretty comfy & non-restrictive (from a food & drink consumption point of view - obviously!!) to wear to any Christmas festivities & of course two separate pieces that could be worn hundreds of other different ways with a lot of basics in your wardrobe too!

This next jumper from Mint Velvet is of a similar design to the Tesco one but has that little bit more detailing including the gorgeous buttoning down the back and the double layered effect of the hem.  I think this would look amazing with some leather/faux leather trews....the only problem is it's available in three different colours & you've guessed it yup my problem is choosing which is my favourite one!!!!

Next up is this stunning mohair & sequin number from Great Plains.  This would look stunning worn with an elegant white shirt underneath with the cuffs of the sleeves turn back over the jumper.  Not to mention a denim shirt for a more dressed down feel.

Or for a more relaxed, edgy look what about this next jumper from French Connection, not only does it embrace the sequin trend but it also has a sweatshirt kind of vibe which I TOTALLY love.  I think this would look absolutely amazing with some distressed boyfriends & court heels.  A simply elegant laid back kind of cool plus it embraces the navy & black trend too!

And on a similar thread is this gorgeous grey and gold sequin jumper available from ASOS.

If however, you prefer your sequins to be more of the subtle variety then what about this jumper from Mango?  Available in a love 'V' neck design with just a little bit of bling on the shoulders so no chance of looking like you've come as a chocolate from the Quality Street tin.

Stepping away from jumpers but continuing with knitwear, I'm absolutely loving this cardigan from Next, a little bit of the Chanel vibe going on & with it's longer length think this would look amazing teamed with a short LBD or even leather skirt or trousers.

Of course you may not want to go down the knitwear route, so if you're looking for a bit of bling without it being of the jumper/cardi variety then what about this lovely long length sequin tunic from Next?  Again it would look great tucked in & teamed with a leather skirt of midi or mini length but equally fab with some coated trousers too & in my mind has a bit of the rock chick, chicky rock kind of vibe going on.

Turning to our bottom halves next & you can never go wrong with a sequin skirt.  Again great for dressing up or down....up with a cami & tuxedo jacket & down teamed with some chunky soft plain knitwear or sweatshirt.  I'm loving how New Look have styled this first skirt.  In fact I have a very similar colour & length sequin skirt sitting in my wardrobe that I fancy teaming with either a sweatshirt or polo neck this winter, although I may style it even more on the casual side & team with my biker boots.

If you're looking for something a little more classic in length & colour then there's this skirt from Next, which looks fab teamed with a simple blazer & t-shirt.

Also of a similar design is this one from Boden.  Again you could so easily dress this up or down & it would also look pretty stunning teamed with a simple white shirt, with the cuffs turned up several times & some chunky statement pearls - just effortless chic.

Moving onto dresses & if you've got an office party that requires all out glamour then you won't go far wrong with this stunning number from Next which embraces both the sequin & lace trend.

Of how about this Bernshaw dress?  I love the nude colour of fabric underneath the black lace & subtle sequins.  Plus the neckline has to be one of the most flattering for most people to wear.  You'd certainly end up turning a lot of heads in this baby.

Finally if you're not a skirt or dress kind of gal then how about some cigarette pants?  I absolutely adore this length, just effortlessly stylish & with the metallic thread & subtle sequins this pair of trousers would rock the all glammed up kind of look with a tuxedo jacket as much as they would dressed down with a simple white shirt & denim jacket.

So what do you think are you thinking of hitting the sequins for your Christmas festivities this year?

Finally a quick round up of what I've been wearing these past few days starting with another sneaky purchase from Primark.

Outfit One

Jumper - Primark
Shirt - Massimo Dutti
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Zara

Outfit Two

Tuxedo Blazer - Zara
Polo Neck Jumper - Primark
Studded Belt - H&M
Skirt - Primark
Shoe Boots - Next

Outfit Three

Shirt - Massimo Dutti
Coat - Zara
Studded Belt -Zara
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Marks & Spencer

Outfit Four

Necklace - Zara
Jumper - Primark
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Zara

So there you have my offerings off all things sparkly & glittery....well in the clothing department at least, there's a whole heap of other possibilities in the accessories & jewellery departments of course.

Enjoy your Sunday & don't forget to let me know if you're tempted by sequins for your festive celebrations.

See you in a few days when I'll be back with my picks of my favourite accessories to breathe new life into your wardrobe.

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Time To Start Thinking Party Dresses

Following on from my blog about Lingerie Dresses (click here) it's got me thinking that it's time to start looking at dresses for all the Christmas & New Year celebrations that will soon be upon us & if the lingerie look is not your bag then how about lace?

Now the beauty of a little lace number is that it can generally be dressed up or down so needn't be a purchase that's kept in the back of your wardrobe for those rare occasions when you have the excuse to dress up (this of course could just be my lack of a rock'n roll lifestyle!).  Meaning that a sneaky new addition to your wardrobe can easily be justified to your conscience & other half with the cost per wear of said item (i.e. lots of examples given to hubby of just how useful said new item is going to be, conveniently forgetting of course all the other items sitting in your wardrobe that you could also wear for said occasions without costing a penny ;-) ).

Of course perhaps if you're lucky & hubby has started getting into the Christmas festivities a tad on the early side you may only need to mention the word lace to get him handing over the card of plastic let alone thinking it's his lucky day!!!!......& on that thought let's crack on with said lacy items that have been catching my eye.

First up is this stunning fitted dress from ASOS.  A perfect little number to take you from office party to night out with the girls & would even be perfect for Christmas Day provided of course you're not like me & pig out with a capital 'P'!!!!  I absolutely adore the neckline of this dress not to mention colour.  It would look fab dressed down with a biker jacket & some shoe boots but equally as glamorous dressed up with some fab-u-lous heels & fur stole.  And depending on your bosom you could either let your cleavage do the talking or team with a something a little sparkly & blingy.

If you fancy something with sleeves and a little less on the fitted side then this stunning dress from Oasis should tick the box.  Again perfect for teaming with a fur stole for a more dressy occasion but it could also be dressed down with some biker boots & denim jacket for perhaps a evening in the pub with friends.

For something more formal then this lovely dress from French Connection should be perfect.  Simply just add a few accessories & you're good to go.  I'm thinking a splash of colour with some stunning heels & fabulous clutch.

For a slightly more laid back version then how about this gorgeous dress from Mint Velvet?  I love how they've teamed it with some biker boots, throw on a denim jacket with a leopard print clutch & you'd have one knock out outfit.

If you're after a slightly edgier look then this lace dress from Zara is also super cute.  I would definitely style it with some chunky ankle boots & of course thick tights - even I'm not that brave let along foolish enough to wear something this short in winter with bare legs!!!

Finally on the dress front is this loose fitting  number from French Connection, which due to it's style & shape would also look fab teamed with some faux leather leggings (just another cost per wear argument *excuse* for hubby should it be required ;-) ).

Now as lovely as all the above dresses are once you've removed your jacket/stole then apart from adding different jewellery & accessories there's not much you can do to make the outfit look different if you're mixing with the same people at various occasions (or if you don't want all your Christmas party pictures to feature you in the same outfit!!!).  With this in mind separates are always going to be easier to mix & match.

So first up in the separates department is this stunning skirt from Boden which is shown below in a gorgeous pewter colour but is also available in navy & stunning greenfinch (yellow/goldy sort of colour).

There are so many possibilities of how you could style a lace skirt - slinky with a simple cami & Chanel styled jacket, a classic white shirt & biker jacket or even a sweatshirt, statement necklace & denim jacket.

This next lace skirt from Gemini-Woman has a slightly more casual fit & I think it would look amazing teamed with some biker boots, denim jacket & rock themed t-shirt.

Of course another great way to inject some lace into your wardrobe is with a new top & this cowl lace top from ASOS would look great worn many different ways, from some black cigarette pencil trousers to boyfriend jeans & a blazer not to mention dressed up with a leather pencil skirt & heels.

This lace top with vest top underneath is also really pretty & I love the zip detailing on the back.  It would be so easy to dress up or down not to mention look fab in the warmer months with some boyfriends & court heels.

But my favourite lace top has to be this one from Boden.  It looks so fab in this picture just teamed with some fitted trousers & I can really see this look finished off with a bright pink bag, some leopard print court shoes & maybe even a sparkly little something around the neckline too.  In fact my problem will be deciding which colour to go for as I'm loving the navy but also the emerald green, ivory & grey too!!!!

I'm also loving this lace & pintuck blouse from ASOS, again a real stylish addition to any wardrobe, which would look very elegant teamed with some faux/leather trousers but also stunning with a loose fitting blazer & boyfriend distressed jeans.  The only thing I would want to add it a cream camisole underneath as I can't say I'm loving seeing the bra.

Finally how about this Mint Velvet biker jacket/cardigan.  Again a really useful piece for your wardrobe that could be teamed with a simple black cami & leather pencil skirt for full on glam or a white vest top & boyfriend jeans for a more relaxed vibe.

Finishing with a quick round up of what I've been wearing these past few days, including my bargain sweatshirt from Primark in outfit three that was ONLY £3!!!

Outfit One

Navy  Blazer - Zara
Jumper - H&M Paris Collection
Scarf - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Wedges Trainers - Ash

Outfit Two

Jumper - Zara
Vest Top - Zara
Tartan Trousers - Primark
Boots - Oasis

Outfit Three

Biker Jacket - Zara
Snood - Gemini- Woman
Sweatshirt - Primark
Wrist Warmers - H&M
Linen T-Shirt - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Pumps - Boden

So what do you think?  Are you loving all things lace & thinking you may go down this route this festive season or perhaps you've got your eye on something else? 

As always I love hearing your thoughts not to mention your ideas for how to incorporate & style lace in your wardrobe.

Here's to the rest of the week flying by & I'll be back in a few days with something a bit sparkly....

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