Midlife Loves

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Midlife Loves

The Fab 40s Do Formal Holiday Wear

Morning ladies it's that time of the month again when the Fab 40s get together to show you how we each interpret a theme to our particular style.

This month is was the lovely Dixie's turn to choose the theme & our guest blogger.  Dixie chose the theme of formal holiday wear to coincide with the forthcoming holiday season that is fast approaching - anyone finished their Christmas shopping yet?!!

Needless to say this theme was right up my street as I love the opportunity to get the glad rags out & having recently (well a few weeks ago) attended a ball I've decided to recreate the look.

This jumpsuit is one I bought from Zara many years ago & was only around the £40 mark.  It has certainly been a really great buy as I've dressed it up & down for many occasion - flip flops & pendants for evenings on a summer holiday, as below for a ball & teamed with a biker jacket for a more rock chic kind of vibe to.

Necklace - Zara
Stole - Zara
Jumpsuit - Zara
Belt - Zara
Bag - Boden
Shoes - Zara

And here's how all the lovely Fab 40s ladies have styled this month's theme.

Fab 40s

Top - J Crew
Trousers - French Connection
Jacket - Thrifted
Clutch - J Crew
Shoes - Christian Louboutin

Fab 40s

Top - Calvin Klein
Moto - By Bernado
Skirt - Boohoo
Clutch - Urban Expressions
Shoes - Nine West

Fab 40s

Earrings - Forever 21
Top - H&M
Bag - Vintage
Joggers - Forever 21
Heels - Kate Spade

Fab 40s

Dress - Made Me Chic
Necklace - Chan Luu
Rings - Alchemy of England
Clutch - Ellebee
Boots - Made Me Chic

And finally Natasha our guest blogger for the month who blogs at One Woman's Style Evolution.

Fab 40s

Necklace - Laila Rowe
Dress - American Living
Top - Macys
Shoes - Clarks

Finally here's where you can 'shop my style' to recreate today's outfit.

Formal Attire

Belt - Zara £22.99
Shoes - Miss KG £55

So what do you think.  Do you see any ideas for any of your up & coming Christmas parties?  Or perhaps you've got your look already sorted?  I'd love to hear what you'd choose to wear.  And if you're still looking for inspiration I've got some more party wear outfit inspiration coming up in a couple of days so stay tuned!

Hope everyone's week gets off to a great start &  you survive Cyber Monday.  Just in case you haven't  spent out yet Mango have got 30% off everything, click here & use code 5CYBER15 & Boden's 30% off everything ends today too see here.

Finally if you haven't already entered don't forget today's the last day to enter my Elemis giveaway & win over £100 worth of products, you can find full details here.

See you tomorrow.

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Stealing Kate Winslet's Style

This month's style steal was a no brainer as soon as I saw this picture of Kate Winslet looking effortlessly cool.

My Midlife Fashion, Kate Winslet

I mean seriously what's not to love about the look, which consists of key separates that we've all got at least some if not all of in our wardrobe.  Plus each piece in it's own right is a great multi-tasker that if your wardrobe is missing give you the perfect reason *excuse* to go forth & add ;-)

So let's get started with the style steal & start with my achilles heel - the jacket!  I think most of us will have one (if not several!) black jackets hanging in our wardrobes & the beauty of this look is that you can simply go with whatever style jacket you prefer - from a blazer, to a double breasted jacket, to a tuxedo or if you want to incorporate another huge trend this season then a military inspired one.

For today's steal I'm going down the route of military as I just love this cropped one.  Luckily for hubby I've got my Zara jacket that I managed to bag in the summer sale hanging in my wardrobe otherwise this baby would instantly be winging it's way to me.  I don't know about you but I just love the detailing, let alone the buttons.

Mango Military Embroidered Jacket

As the jacket is slightly cropped in length & seeing as we're talking faux/leather leggings I'd team this with a long line shirt to cover the bum & just give me that little bit more confidence.

I know Kate has gone for a 'V' neck top but I've picked this crepe shirt as it's perfect for dressing up or down & being a shirt means you can still create the neckline of a 'V' neck but at least you can choose how low you go with the unbuttoning depending on the occasion ;-)

French Connection Samantha Crepe Shirt

I'm guessing Kate's probably got leather leggings on & again hubby you can breathe a sign of relief as I've already invested in a pair whilst on holiday in Majorca.  However, if I hadn't clicked the button & fancied giving the look a whirl but didn't want to take the hit in terms of price I'd certainly be ordering these leather look leggings from Mint Velvet.  They look a great quality & are no doubt going to be a great fit too, plus I love the zip detailing, which breaks the look up just a little bit without feeling like you've gone too punk rocker!

Mint Velvet Leather Look Leggings

Of course we all know you can't beat a black handbag in terms of an investment buy, that's sure to get loads of use let alone will go with most things in your wardrobe & whilst this bag isn't exactly the same as Kate's it's a great alternative.  A little bit on the pricey side (although currently with 50% off!) but with something like this I'm a firm believer that the older you get it's worth investing in quality accessories as they really are the make or break of an outfit.  Although shock horror I don't actually own a plain black cross body bag *cue anxious look from hubby when he reads this post * ;-)

Jaeger Leather Lock Across Body Bag

And finally turning to the boots, can a girl EVER have too many black shoes/boots?!!  I mean there's so many different takes that us girls have to cover from pointed to heeled to strappy to everyday...my the list could go on & on!  But these beauties look like they're the sort of pair you could literally live in for the next few months don't they?!

Next Black Zip Detail Boots

Luckily I have most of these items or a variation at least already in my wardrobe so for today's outfit I thought I'd have a go re-creating Kate's look.

My Midlife Fashion, Military Jacket, Zara Silk Shirt, Mango Ankle Boots, Massimo Dutti Leather Trousers

Jacket - Zara
Shirt - Zara
Bag - Ghost
Leather Leggings - Massimo Dutti
Boots - Mango

All Black Military Inspired, Mango Military Jacket, Jaeger lock leather cross body bag, mint velvet leather effect leggings, black ankle boots, Next, My Midlife Fashion, Jaeger silk top

Boots - Next £38

So what do you think ladies?  Is this a look you can see yourself copying?  Perhaps like me you've got similar hanging in your wardrobe or maybe there's a few tweaks you'd make to the look to make it work for you?  As always I love reading your thoughts & comments & don't forget if you fancy more of a traditional tux you can see my picks here.

Right I'm off to get the day started, how's everyone getting on with their Christmas shopping?!  Don't forget that Mango's 30% off everything ends today, get the discount here & use code 5BLACK2015 at checkout & also Great Plains have just launched 25% off all full priced items see here & use code GPN25.  I really can't rate their wool culottes that I styled here highly enough.

Enjoy your Sunday ladies & don't forget to enter my Elemis giveaway on Instagram, full details here.

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Competition Time With Elemis & Culottes With A Biker

Morning ladies I don't know about you but one of the little traditions I love to do as Christmas fast approaches is go to the cinema & see the latest Christmas film.  We usually go the last weekend before Christmas just as we're about to break up for the holidays followed by a bite to eat.  So when I saw the adverts on TV for the new film Christmas With The Coopers I immediately declared to hubby that this was the film we'd be seeing this year.

Christmas With The Coopers

I absolutely love Diane Keaton & having seen the trailer this film looks right up my street as you can't beat a good comedy can you & based around four generations of family coming together for the festive celebrations I think this is definitely a theme we can all relate to & have a chuckle over as some situations will no doubt be that little bit close to home.  And of course if it has a happy ending & a feel good factor you can't ask better than that.  If you've not seen the trailer then take a look here it really does look a fab film.

In celebration of the release of the film, which comes out on Tuesday, Elemis have very kindly got in touch to offer one lucky follower an amazing prize!

I've not previously tried any of Elemis' products but having taken a look at their website I'm pretty intrigued.  With 25 years of experience Elemis was originally formed to bring together 'the power of nature, science & aromatics.  To harness the dynamism of the highest grade actives & create a skincare line that would transform the frontline of the beauty industry'.   They even go as far to claim on their website that 'the experience is exceptional, the results real'.  So if you're stuck for Christmas inspiration for a loved one, be they female or male (as they do a separate men's range to) then it might be worth taking a look at the website & introduce them to some products that may just change their skin.

So back to the competition & what you can win. 

First up these pro-collagen eye masks which are designed to smooth, tighten & hydrate & instantly reduce the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles. 

Elemis Pro-Collagen Hydra-Gel Eye Masks

Secondly their frangipani oil for use on hair, nails & the body & promises to nourish, condition & soften.

Elegies Frangipani Oil

And finally their pro-collagen cleansing balm which not only deep-cleanses, softens & nourishes it also helps restore your glowing complexion - perfect for party season!

Elemis pro collagen cleansing balm

So how do you enter?  Well that's simples all you need to do is follow me here on Instagram as well as Elemis here & look for my post advertising the competition, regram the picture & leave a comment tagging the name of a friend you nominate to win the prize on my original post.  The competition is now live & will close on midnight Monday 30th of November & open to entrants from within the UK only.

Back to today & seeing as at the moment trainers are still my new best friend I'm teaming them with my Great Plains culottes & a biker jacket.

My Midlife Fashion, Zara leather biker jacket, Massimo Dutti classic white shirt, great plains elly wool flannel culottes, mango white leather trainers

Biker Jacket - Zara
Shirt - Massimo Dutti
Culottes - 
Trainers - Mango

Culottes & A Biker

Biker Jacket - Marks & Spencer £55
Shirt - John Lewis £39
Culottes - Great Plains £65
Bag - Next £20

A few errands to run this morning, family over for a late lunch this afternoon & then a quiet one in tonight to recover from a fantastic afternoon & evening yesterday with my bestie where plenty of bubbles were consumed!

Happy Saturday ladies, have a wonderful day, hope the Christmas shopping is going well & don't forget to enter my competition, it really is a lovely prize that would make a lovely Christmas surprise for someone.  Lots of luck.

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November's Must Have & Discount Codes Galore!

For this month's 'must have' it has to be the tuxedo jacket.  An item of clothing that I simply couldn't do without at any time of the year but at Christmas especially as it really is ideal for dressing up an outfit.

Needless to say there are lots of different ways to rock a tuxedo from leather/pleather leggings & a cami teamed with heels & a statement clutch, to jeans with a classic white shirt & ballet pumps for a day time look, or even dressed down with a simple grey marl tee, distressed boyfriend jeans & trainers it's a great multi tasking item.  And that's only just a few ways it would equally rock teamed with a leather/pleather pencil skirt, worn over the shoulders with a simple shift dress not to mention teamed with cigarette pants or tuxedo trousers to create a tuxedo suit the list really is endless.  So much so that if you don't already own one & are looking for a new outfit for the party season but don't want to invest a fortune, one of these babies would really help dress up existing pieces in your wardrobe.

So let's get cracking with what's on the high street this season.

First up two trends that I love in one with this tuxedo military number.  I just LOVE everything about this beauty & if I didn't already own a couple of tuxedos this would be heading my way faster than you could say 'click the button'!

Marks and Spencer Tuxedo Military Jacket

Or for your typical classic tux what about this stunning number.

Lined Wool Dinner Jacket With Satin Collar BA&SH La Redoute

Next up a slimmer fit but similar in design to the one above.

ASOS Slim Jacket In Crepe

A slightly longer version next, which shows another great way of styling a tux - just stunning teamed with a sequin skirt for up & coming party season.

Next Black Crepe Longline Jacket

This one also looks divine although personally I'm not to sure about the totally see-through shirt, I think something a little bit more elegant & classy with a lower neckline would be perfect.

Next Black Crepe Jacket £45

Moving onto double breasted with this blazer & I just love everything about how this one has been styled - simple, classic, elegant & timeless - what's not to love & such a steal in the Black Friday sales!

ASOS Premium Ponte Double Breasted Blazer

Or if crepe & the whole full on tuxedo style isn't your thing what about this stunning slouchy velvet blazer - this looks heavenly & would be so silky soft too.

Free People Slouchy Velvet Blazer

Or for a more classic take on a velvet blazer.

La Redoute Laura Clement Tailored 100% cotton velvet jacket

And finally not a tuxedo by any form of the imagination but oh so gorgeous that I just had to include it, now all I've got to do is try & resist clicking that button!

Mango Pocket Tweed Jacket

Back to today & here's what I'm wearing for an afternoon & evening of fun, bubbles & giggles with my besties.....to say I'm a little *A LOT* excited is an understatement.....whether my toes allow me to keep my boots on for the duration is another matter & I may just have to take them off but hey it won't be the first night out where the shoes have been discarded!!

So in celebration of the day I'm breaking out my new faux fur gilet.....I just love it & it feels & looks so much more expensive than it was (but definitely faux fur!).

My Midlife Fashion, Faux Fur Gilet, Leopard Print, Animal Print, Zara Biker Jeans, Boden Joni B leopard print ankle boots, Bella Jane Jewellery, H and M Ruffle Shirt

Gilet - eBay
Blouse - H&M
Bracelets - Bella Jane Jewellery
Bag - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Boots - Boden

Faux Fur & Leopard Print

Jeans - Zara £29.99

So ladies what do you think, are you a lover of the tuxedo/evening jacket?  If so do you have one already hanging in your wardrobe that like me you'd be lost without or have you yet to find the perfect one?  I'd love to hear your thoughts together with your ultimate tuxedo look.

Right I'm off for a quick glance at all the discounts flying around for Black Friday, I can't quite believe all the deals out there!  In case it helps I've listed below some of the deals I'm going to be checking out.

50% off everything at La Redoute see here & use code BLACKFRIDAY.
Up to 50% off at Marks & Spencer see here.
Up to 50% off at House of Fraser see here.
Up to 50% off Topshop click here.
Up to 50% off at Joules see here.
Up to 50% off selected items at Great Plains see here.
Up to 40% off at The Body Shop click here.
33% off all knitwear at Baukjen see here & use code BFRI2015.
30% off everything at Mango see here & use code 5BLACK2015.
30% off at Boden click here.
Up to 30% off at Wallis see here.Up to 30% off at Accessorize see here.
20% off everything at ASOS click here & use code CYBER.
20% off all full priced adult's footwear & accessories at Clarks click here & use code BELIEVE (perfect timing if you're tempted to treat yourself to the boots I recently reviewed here).
20% off plus free delivery at Office Shoes click here.

Happy Friday, time to bring on the bubbles......so anyone being brave & hitting the shops today or are you shopping via the internet?  Whichever way you intend to 'click the button' fingers crossed you get what you were hoping for.

See you tomorrow.

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WIWT - Firefly Clothing

Whoop whoop, happy Thursday ladies, you've got to love that Thursday feeling - my favourite day of the week :-)

Today I wanted to introduce you to an Australian company that have kindly sent me a couple of pieces to style.  Now if you've not heard of them Firefly supply ethical, stylish & comfortable clothing that's designed to suit the figure of real women from size 8 to 18.  Plus they even ship internationally with free shipping if you spend over $200 Australian dollars, which roughly equates to £93.62.

They truly have some amazing boho inspired pieces, which if like me you have a love of boho, are perfect for layering in the winter or equally stunning if you're luckily enough to be jetting off on a winter summer holiday.  I've already got my eye on a couple of more summer themed dresses for summer.

Anyway back to the pieces that I've kindly been sent.  Firstly this lovely boho cotton dress with stunning embroidery detailing.  A beautiful stand out piece that will be perfect for cooler summer days but equally can be worn with a jacket, thermals & thermal tights in winter to.  I decided to go with the black version but was sorely tempted by the dress in red & it also comes in blue, green & burnt orange.

Firefly Boho Plains Dress

The second item I was sent was this lovely waterfall oversized cardigan (which is also available in light blue & a lovely neutral).  Now I was a little uncertain of what to expect with the quality of this knit but it's the perfect cotton/wool blend & a lovely weight that falls beautifully.  It's most definitely going to be a great wardrobe staple for all seasons.

Size wise I've gone for XS in both.

Firefly Alison Cardigan

Naturally I had to have a little trying on session & immediately teamed my new boho dress with my biker jacket.

My Midlife Fashion, Firefly Alison Cardigan, Firefly Boho Plains Dress, Zara block heel ankle boots, zara leather biker jacket

Biker Jacket - Zara
Dress - Firefly
Boots - Zara

And I've already teamed my new cardigan with my pleather 'A' line skirt & TU Clothing additions to create a monochrome outfit.

My Midlife Fashion, TU Clothing Fedora hat, stripe monochrome new neck jumper, zara a line faux leather skirt, zara block heel ankle boots, firefly alison cardigan

Hat - TU Clothing
Jumper - TU Clothing
Cardigan - Firefly
Skirt - Zara
Boots -Zara

And for today's look I'm keeping things really simple & teaming my new dress with my new cardigan for an effortless boho vibe.  

My Midlife Fashion, Firefly Alison Cardigan, Firefly Boho Plains Dress

Dress - Firefly
Cardigan - Firefly
Boots - Zara

My Midlife Fashion, Firefly Alison Cardigan, Firefly Boho Plains Dress

Dress - Firefly
Cardigan - Firefly
Boots - Zara

Boho Chic

So has anyone heard of Firefly?  If not you should definitely check them out as they have some lovely pieces.

Right I'm off to try & keep up with all the Black Friday emails pinging their way into my inbox, it's almost a full time job trying to keep up with them!  But before I go I thought I'd share the following codes with you just in case you've not seen them, as they're certainly all help in making the pennies go a little further this Christmas!

Up to 50% off at Marks & Spencer see here.
Up to 50% off at House of Fraser see here.
Up to 50% off Topshop click here.
Up to 50% off at Joules see here.
Up to 50% off selected items at Great Plains see here.
Up to 40% off at The Body Shop click here.
30% off at Boden click here.
Up to 30% off at Wallis see here.Up to 30% off at Accessorize see here.
25% off plus a free gift at Baukjen see here & use code GIFT2015.
20% off all full priced adult's footwear & accessories at Clarks click here & use code BELIEVE (perfect timing if you're tempted to treat yourself to the boots I recently reviewed here).
20% off plus free delivery at Office Shoes click here.

Time to make headways into the Christmas shopping with all these discount codes as I'm planning on getting everything ordered by Monday!

Have a fab day & I'll see you tomorrow.

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Great Plains Desk To Dinner

Anyone that knows me knows I love a challenge - which is probably one of the reasons I'm awake instantly no matter what the time & is part of the course for having an overactive & constant problem solving mind! Anyway I'm digressing.  I was recently contacted by Great Plains to see if I'd like to take part in their Desk to Dinner campaign.  The rules of which were simple - I was allowed to choose items up to a value of £150 & then had to style them two ways - firstly for the office & secondly for dinner.

Now I'm lucky enough to work from home so nowadays if I'm off out on a work night I'm able to do a quick change in the comfort of home but rewind many years ago when I used to work in Birmingham I can remember the dilemma of having to go straight from work to a Christmas party or a works do.  What to take, how to freshen up & more importantly what to wear & where to change & store my clothes in the day & on the evening.

One of the things I love most about challenges like this is the opportunity to be able to spend an hour or so perusing a lovely site such as Great Plains & drooling over their clothes & legitimately call it work ;-)  What can I say it was a hard challenge but hey someone had to do it ;-) 

Naturally having a huge love of clothes my first port of call was to take a peek at their winter collection of jackets - after all I can always find room for a new jacket or two.

So back to the challenge naturally I needed to pick items that could be worn for both day & evening & because of this I also thought it best to pick clothing that could be multi-tasking & most importantly mix with pieces currently in my wardrobe with a classic feel.  So what did I chose?  Well these two stunning items.

Now anyone who reads my blog regularly will know I'm a sucker for leopard print not to mention a stunning blazer so my first choice should need no explanation seeing as it features both these loves.  Plus it's machine washable & made from a lovely soft fabric with a slight sheen making it perfect for dressing up or down.  I ordered the size XS (I'm usually a UK 8) & it fits perfectly.  

Great Plains Alphabet Printed Panther Blazer

The second item I picked was these wool flannel culottes, which are also available in grey & navy too.  Now I've been sitting on the culotte fence for a while & having recently got my head round straight legged ones I thought it time I tried some that were slightly wider & more flared in the leg with a soft front pleat.  Again I ordered my normal size & the fit is perfect.  In terms of the look I'm pleasantly surprised with the pleating & flare both are lovely & subtle & don't feel too far outside from comfort zone, in fact I love them so much I'm tempted to buy the navy version too!

Great Plains Elly Wool Flannel Culottes

So back to the challenge & what to wear for the office & how to turn it into an evening affair.  To keep things as realistic as possible I've chosen to style my 'office' look for a day of styling with a client.  Naturally a day on my feet (especially at the moment) means that I need to think comfort & go with flats so I've teamed my culottes with trainers.  Layers are also important for me at this time of year so I've chosen a simple loose fit slightly cropped cardigan (easy to roll up in your bag on the evening) to wear under my panther blazer & to give the jacket a slightly more casual feel I've turned the lapels inwards.  Jewellery wise I've added a statement bracelet & a simple chain necklace.

Jacket - Great Plains
Cardigan - Zara
Bracelet - J Crew
Culottes - Great Plains
Trainers - Mango

Dressing Down Culottes

Cardigan - Zara £29.99
Bracelet - J Crew £125
Culottes - Great Plains £65

Then for my dinner look I've simply swapped my fine chain necklace for a bit more bling, changed the cardigan for a simple cami (which can easily be stored in your bag during the day) & added a statement clutch with strappy heels (bandages are optional ;-) As you can see my toes are still healing but hopefully you get the picture of how the outfit could look minus the bandages!  Although if going to a dinner/Christmas party where you don't know many people they could make a great conversation starter!!

Necklace - J Crew
Camisole - Zara
Bag - Bought in Majorca
Bracelet - J Crew
Jacket - Great Plains
Culottes - Great Plains
Shoes - Zara

Evening Out

Necklace - J Crew £165
Camisole - Jaeger £25
Bag - Dune £49
Bracelet - J Crew £125
Culottes - Great Plains £65
Shoes - Dune £85

So ladies what do you think.  Are these looks you could see yourself wearing?  And how would you solve the dilemma of desk to dinner?  Anyone got any tips they want to share?  Finally how about Great Plains, anyone clicked the button recently?  Is so I'd love to hear what you've picked.  I'm seriously in love with both additions to my wardrobe......now any chance you think that I can justify the navy version of the Elly culottes?!!!

Hope everyone has a great day.  I don't know about you but I can't believe a month today & it's going to be Christmas Day!!  If you're still needing inspiration on the present front then check out my gift guide here.

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