Last weekend I finally achieved my Marie Kondo session and decluttered my dressing room. I had felt a bit cynical about the book’s title “The life-changing magic of tidying” but in fact it is gradually feeling a bit life changing. Our bedroom is now very minimalist and I’m finding I’m sleeping better as a result. I sent ten bin bags of clothes to the hospice that cared so well for my mum and dad in the last weeks of their lives. As a result, the hospice shops in South Cumbria will shortly be groaning with what will amount to a journey through the Boden archives! For the first time in ages I can now see what I actually need … and it definitely isn’t a navy top of any description! So I can now really focus on fashion for women over 40 and make sure that going forward, I only buy the things that ‘spark joy.’
On my list is an ivory / white pair of tailored cropped trousers for summer and an ivory / white flowy collarless blouse that I can wear with skinny jeans or dress up for work. Tailored crops have become such a cornerstone of summer dressing that I’ve found them difficult to assess online so I’ve ordered a few pairs and next week I will compare them on the blog and decide which are the best. In the meantime I’ve been looking at blouses. I find that Mango is always the first place I turn to for flowy blouses because I like the fabrics they use. Mango’s quality has improved dramatically over the last 18 months (in fact I think they’ve leapfrogged over Zara). I prefer their website to their shops although even then it is a frustrating customer experience. I hate the way that items continue to load as you scroll and the fact that if you click on an item, you never return to where you were when you click back so you have to scroll and load all over again.
However, I persevered, found what I was looking for and then of course a few other things caught my eye
Fashion for women over 40 from Mango
This blouse is pretty much what I need; a great length with a split hem that helps to break the line at the top of the thigh visually. I would have preferred a curved hem though which makes you look even less wide at this point.
This blouse has a curved hem and I must say I’m surprised by how often I’ve worn my black tie-neck blouse which was an impulse buy from Mango in December.
This one is more luxurious with a wider tie and deep cuffs… but it has the straight across hem which can add the appearance of about a stone in weight to your hips
And finally on the white front I’m just adding this elegant wrap shirt into the mix
Moving on to the other items I spotted at Mango and wanted to share with you, lots of you like this red top that I often wear for nights out. The cut on the shoulders is really flattering and they’ve reissued it this summer. It’s also available in off white, black and apple green.
Here are a couple of shots of me wearing it at different times
This is lovely, I imagine wearing it with black skinny jeans or cigarette pants – very Audrey Hepburn. It has a stepped and curved hem – a double winner.
Now this is slightly cropped but think how lovely it would look in summer with high waisted wide legged cream trousers – it’s the old ‘proportion of thirds’ thing again, especially good for people with shorter legs like me. Here’s the pairing I have in mind…
…with these trousers which were delivered today but I haven’t tried them on yet
Thinking about summer nights, the other thing that I always turn to Mango for is summer holiday evening dressing. For some reason when I’ve been wearing a bikini all day, I like to cover up more in the evening and wear a flowy maxi skirt. Mango are the kings of the holiday maxi skirt in my opinion. This is how I wore the one I bought last year
and with black
(note I’m not tucking my top in at the end of the holiday)!
Anyway they’ve restocked, this is the same as mine in khaki
and here’s this year’s new colour – a dreamy blue, they sell out quickly
The last thing from Mango now and still with summer nights in mind – I can just imagine sitting at a restaurant by the sea wearing this, watching the sun set, it’s so much more flattering than jersey.
Fashion for women over 40 from The White Company
Moving on but still with summer in mind, a few weeks ago I went to The White Company’s press day for their Summer collection. They have a new design team behind their clothing, the chap I spoke to had moved over from Jigsaw to freshen things up and they are starting to focus on fashion for women over 40. I’m really pleased because The White Company used to be one of my favourite places to shop for clothes but over the last couple of years it has felt as though it has lacked direction. The clothes have been too loose and droopy for my liking; looking great in dreamy White Company shots but not translating to real life. I can now see a real difference coming through and the detail on some of the fabrics is very special. The summer collection was released online yesterday but the photography doesn’t do some of the pieces justice so I’ve looked back through my notes and these are the things that caught my eye when I saw them at the show. Some of them are limited edition and so won’t be around for long.
The lace that The White Company are using is heavy but still soft, it has the same feeling and hang of vintage lace. I really like the length of the sleeves on this top, they hit just at the point where the arm starts to narrow. It irritates me when brands take shots of models with hair draped over the clothes like this, obscuring the neckline. When I saw it, I noted that the neckline was cut lower than a crew, just at the right point for showing off the clavicles.
Black lace top (limited edition)
Another pretty lace trimmed top here but in white this time. Again you need to touch it to understand the quality of the garment. Think of silky smooth Egyptian cotton.
Now this dress looked much better on the hanger than it does in this shot although I haven’t tried it. I like its length (bear in mind that this model is 5ft 10″) and the fact that it ticks off the white dress trend without being a big, floaty boho number. It also comes in khaki which is very chic if you have the right skintone.
I am planning to buy one of these two gold tops. I miss wearing simple t-shirts and they still seem to be in style exile this year unless they have a luxury metallic lustre like these. I can’t decide which one to choose, the sleeves are practical but the breast pocket breaks up the expanse and is more flattering.
Metallic gold t-shirt (limited edition, also available in silver)
Metallic gold vest top (limited edition, also available in silver)
I really like the new work bag that they have released. I find that carrying my Whistles tote really hurts my shoulder when I have my laptop with me so the shorter handles on this make it easier to carry by hand but also slip onto your shoulder if you need to. Also available in black.
This subtle champagne gold edition of the classic Superga is great for anyone who likes European chic, also available in silver or simple grey.
And still with holidays in mind (it must be the cold weather, I suddenly can’t think of anything else), slim metallic Havaianas – the holiday essential that works with whatever colour you wear.
Last thing – if you’re travelling with a limited baggage allowance but still have to take beach towels with you as we always seem to, then Hamman towels are the answer. They work much better with sand than towelling too, it just shakes off rather than being embedded in the fabric.
This week I’ve been repaying some of the people who entertained my boys during the holidays whilst I was working so I’ve had a houseful of teenage males to feed and water. It’s the last few days of Easter holidays for us now before they return to school and university so we have a few fun plans up our sleeves. I haven’t had many outfit photo opportunities, just this one…I need a haircut
wearing: Jigsaw dark denim shirt (past season); Next relaxed skinny jeans (past season); Hush Nina cardigan (past season); White Company necklace (past season); M&S suede ankle boots (past season)
…for a moment I felt as though I was in the Caribbean but it was actually just the garden centre. I wear this dark denim shirt a lot and spotted this one on a ‘limited offer’ – great value if you’re looking for anything like it
So, deliveries willing, I’ll be back soon with more fashion for women over 40 – a ‘compare and contrast’ inspection of tailored cropped trousers. Until then, have a good weekend and keep in touch.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, I have no relationship with Mango or The White Company and attended the press day purely in an editorial capacity.
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