Top of the 40’s to Ya

When I spoke to a friend about launching this blog, the subject of not givin in and the challenges that being over 40 brings, she raised the question of where to shop?  It’s a good question; can we still buy clothes in the same stores that we used to when we were younger?  And if so, will we look like mutton dressed as lamb?


There’s no argument that shopping habits do change as you get older.  God knows if I go out tomorrow night wearing the eye-watering ensemble of cycling shorts, swimming costume, leather biker jacket and cowboy boots that I did one night in my 20’s, I’ll be sectioned.  (I blame Michael Hutchence for the outfit btw).


However, being over 40 doesn’t mean being frumpy.  Indeed, it’s all the more reason to dress up and feel fabulous.  Turn a head or two if we so choose to do so.  We can be as stylish as we want and having great style will win over wearing the latest fashions every time.


Now I can’t claim to be the most stylish (see 2nd paragraph), but I like to think that I have a good eye and enjoy buying clothes for myself and telling friends of things I’ve seen that I think they’ll look great in.  So I’ve taken the question raised and looked more closely at one of the stores where us forty somethings might otherwise hesitate at the door.


If you thought Topshop only caters for the young I think you might be pleasantly surprised.  To be honest, I always go in there.  If nothing else I want to get ideas, see what the current trends are and look for ways to incorporate it into my wardrobe.  Push past the obvious choices that only the young can get away with and there really are some great finds.


Here’s six of my faves from A/W 2015


Zebra Print Shirt Dress, £58

Top Shop

I love this dress.  It does all the talking for you.  Striking and beautifully cut, it covers up some bits I’d rather not show, like my arms, and is a flattering length.  You could even wear it open as a cover up with a bright orange top, black jeggings and boots underneath.


Faux Leather Shift Dress, £45

Top Shop

Leather is everywhere this season and this dress could be worn with flat boots and tights in the day or with your hair up and heels at night.  I would love the green colour too, as it’s a classic colour that’s not black.


Drape Neck Blouse, £36

Top Shop

Sophisticated and sexy at the same time, this blouse is on trend with its nod to the 70’s and would work well with jeans or as it does here with a leather skirt.


Ribbed Funnel Neck Top, £16


Top Shop

Update a winter wardrobe staple in this season’s nude colours.


Wide Leg Palazzo Pants, £55

Top Shop

This season’s palazzo pants are a nice break from skinny jeans and jeggings.

Fitted Boyfriend Blazer, £49

Top Shop

Dressed up or down a blazer is so handy and here is a version in this season’s berry shade that’s stylish and understated.


So these are my favourites from the current season in Topshop.  Do you like what I’ve chosen or have different views on what to wear?   Please share in the comments below.


If you enjoyed reading this you might also like my post on lipstick.



Gail x



  1. Maria
    October 16, 2015 / 4:49 pm

    As stated its a shop I wouldn’t enter, thanks for the insight – loving the leather dress

    • gailpainter
      October 16, 2015 / 6:06 pm

      The price is good too

  2. Sofie
    October 16, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    I’m always slightly terrified of TopShop – I always have been, even when I was younger. But I just love the pieces you’ve chosen – maybe online shopping is a safer way to shop at TopShop?

    • gailpainter
      October 17, 2015 / 9:44 am

      I agree, a little online mooching can break the barrier. Years ago I also booked in for a person shopper experience and that completely broke down the wall. Having someone else’s point of view really helped. I still wear some of the clothes I bought that day now!

  3. rebecca
    October 17, 2015 / 2:29 pm

    Loving this Gail!! Soooo looking forward to the next instalment. Ps. I bought an oxblood faux leather dress v similar to your Topshop one this week – from Florence and Fred of all places! I’d love a leather All Saints one, natch, but a girl’s gotta cut her faux leather accordingly! Xxxx

    • gailpainter
      October 17, 2015 / 3:23 pm

      Your dress sounds fab, especially the colour! I’ll be posting every Friday. Stay tuned x

  4. Viv simpson
    October 17, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    All lovely if your a size 10

    • gailpainter
      October 17, 2015 / 3:30 pm

      Ah a size 10, those were the days! I’m pretty sure TS has a wide range of sizes, but I get your point Viv and will look at doing a post on the subject x

  5. Sophie Hopton
    October 17, 2015 / 2:36 pm

    Brilliant Gail, thanks for the tips x

  6. Shelley
    October 17, 2015 / 3:04 pm

    Love this blog especially what to wear post 40! I feel I’ve completely lost my sense of what to wear x

    • gailpainter
      October 17, 2015 / 3:32 pm

      I’m the same Shelley. I’m hoping that by writing this blog it will help me and others find that spark again. We deserve it x

  7. Sally Marshall
    October 17, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    Great insight as I would not usually buy from Top Shop, my daughters always do, which I am not sure if it’s psychological that I maybe should not buy from where my girls do. I love their jewellery though. My only reservation now after reading your blog is being a good size 16 maybe pushes me out of Top Shop sizing. Love your blog I need it in my life as at a real crossroads fashion wise xx

    • gailpainter
      October 17, 2015 / 3:44 pm

      Thanks for sharing this Sally. I get what you’re saying and that’s my point – are we the ones holding ourselves back? I think we do and I wish we didn’t. I’ll definitely look at doing more posts about fashion and will bear sizing in mind. x

  8. October 17, 2015 / 3:35 pm

    What are your views on the sleeveless jacket AW15 trend Gail? I quite fancy one and I’ve found one online in a store I’d never shop in…Miss Selfridge!

    • gailpainter
      October 17, 2015 / 4:00 pm

      As a trend I like it, it’s a great cover up and it immediately updates your wardrobe. My only reservation is whether it’s one that will stick around for next year?! You know me, I like my money to stretch, LOL. In which case a Miss Selfridge price tag is better than All Saints. Go for it.

  9. Jodie
    October 17, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    I love this blog and I’m 30! Being a bit chubbier I can’t always pull
    Off what my friends do so I find it hard to shop… But I guess we all have our hang ups… Xx

    • gailpainter
      October 17, 2015 / 4:31 pm

      Oh we all do! Thanks for joining in x

  10. Kat Wilson
    October 17, 2015 / 3:57 pm

    Really interesting loving the fashion collection well done Gail, I look forward to reading your next blog xxx

  11. Jill White
    October 17, 2015 / 5:39 pm

    Ah the swimsuit under a jacket. The height of good fashion and I always liked a frilly panty peeping out under my denim shorts. However, I adore TopShop as much now as I did then. And did you know that TU in Sainsburys is fab for workwear? Cheap and smart and wearable

    • gailpainter
      October 17, 2015 / 5:48 pm

      LOL the eighties were good to us! You’ve always been good at sniffing out great buys in supermarkets x

  12. October 20, 2015 / 11:50 pm

    This is fab Gail! I seem to have lost my imagination with outfit ideas since having the twins and get flustered with clothes shopping! Love the palazzo pants and those shoes! Looking forward to reading your next blog xx

    • gailpainter
      October 22, 2015 / 7:48 pm

      Thanks! Tomorrow I’m tackling weight loss! We weren’t all born with Elle’s great genes 😉 x

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