A Right Pair of Swingers

I want a pair that dangle.  With tassels.

Nooooooo, I’m talking about earrings silly. It’s Christmas.  T’is the season to be jolly and pop some baubles through our ears.

I have a real love/hate relationship with costume jewellery and though I do get involved with fashion accessories from time-to-time, I nearly always revert to gold studs for prolonged periods of the year.

This yuletide however, the statement earring is very much in play and rather than be dull I thought I’d get involved and see whether I can switch from day to evening, computer to Cointreau, so to speak, with a pair that adds ‘pop’ and turns any outfit into The outfit.  In short, I want it all and I want it for less than a tenner.

The criteria is thus:

  • Must be glamorous
  • Must transform me from office attire into Christmas party ready in seconds
  • Must be on trend
  • Must not turn me in to a Pat Butcher look-a-like
  • Must not accentuate my short neck
  • Must boost my mood.  I’m notoriously lacking in festive cheer
  • Must be cheap (because they will not be worn past December 26th)

It’s a tall ask, but the high street is more than up for it and I want to share some ideas with you below.  From a couple of quid (I really will only wear them twice) to more expensive suggestions, here’s my pick.  My ideal pair will match a plain black polo neck and pleather trouser combo and give me as much va va voom as I can muster.  I don’t think you have to spend a lot, unless you want to.

I might look like a Christmas tree, but sometimes you just gotta get with the programme.



Gail xx



She’s Going Out, Out

I’ve been asked for help.  A friend of mine has a girls’ night out coming up and would like some ideas on what to wear.

The request coincided with a sunday night at our local concert hall watching 1980s’ pop band, ABC.  Mr P was/is a big fan, I liked one of their songs back in the day and I’m known to belt out the chorus when it’s played on Radio 2, so he bought us a pair of tickets.

Turns out not being a huge fan and knowing every track on their (two) albums can make for a lot of down time during a concert and I assumed the position of voyeur rather than participant.  Looking around the stalls, which was full of 40-somethings and upwards, I couldn’t help but notice that I was surrounded by a lot of grey heads (mostly men TBH) and a flock of “going out tops”.

A going out top is a wardrobe staple for the over forties.  The younger generation has them too, but for those of a certain age it’s a steadfast must-have, because you don’t go out as much and likely have less money to spend.  You’ve also got kids that want the iphone 7.  So where as the younger women wear theirs on Thursdays going to the cinema on a date, we are wearing ours on Saturday night, to the pub, to the restaurant, on a girl’s night out, to get away from the date, who we married.

The only draw-back with this sitch is that you end up wearing your beloved top with slim fit, skinny, coated, pleather jeans, or even with the other wardrobe BFF, the black “I can wear these anywhere” trousers, that you’ve worn a million times before.  You never quite feel dressed up.

Nothing beats full on dressing up.  Didn’t we all love seeing Carrie strip down to her knickers and bulldoze through her way through “the” closet until she found the perfect outfit that made her feel like a million dollars, then head out with the girls?

I get it, I really do.  The last time I went out, out with the girls was in September.  It’s a rare occurrence for me to go out.  However, that last time, I wore a whole new outfit.  Not only did I think I looked okay, I felt great, and that’s the point, it’s an occasion to have fun, not “get by”.  So just for a change, why not put yourself first?

Now that you have to get a whole new outfit (yes, I’m being an enabler here) where do you start?   The good news is that this autumn, trends are on our side girls and you don’t have to spend a small fortune.  The shops are ablaze with flattering pieces and if you don’t have time just order stuff online.  It’s getting easier and easier to do and if it doesn’t fit/you don’t like it, nearly every retailer offers free returns.

Material-wise there is an abundance of silk (skims)  and velvet (warms) fabric pieces out there and if in doubt go for red, metallic or leopard print pieces that will add to your outfit.  A red blouse here, metallic shoe there, and a leopard bag is THE swag to have.

Store-wise I would  head straight to H&M and Zara for cost-effective, current designs.  Also worth noting here is the brand new Alexa Chung collection at M&S (see below), which is out this week, though I think M&S in general is brimming with finds this season.   Check out their shoe collection and you’ll see what I mean.


For a full make-over I would go straight for a 1970s’ mididress.  These have appeared in most retailers’ windows this autumn.  They are feminine, cut flatteringly and all you need do is add an ankle boot and you’re good to.   This dress also has a multitude of uses – school events, family gatherings and Christmas Day wear.  Here’s a selection of dresses on the high street and online.


Alternatively, jumpsuits are still around (but you know they’ll bug when you need to pee for the 9th time) and you simply can’t go wrong with leather or pleather skirts or trousers (no-one knows or cares if it’s real).

Fancy buying something that will last longer than one night?  Head for Mango, Top Shop or M&S and leaf through their velvet jackets.  In a variety of shades, wear one over a turtle neck with a great-fitting pair of jeans and the three bar heels that are going for just £29.99 in M&S. Boom.

Meanwhile, if you want to go all-out, look for the super-skirt in vibrant prints.  These are just begging to be worn.  See the Next version I’m wearing below with a black velvet top (also from Next) and ankle boots.  Skirt is £55 and I’m wearing a 10.  Would also look great with a tucked in knit and kitten heels a la Audrey Hepburn.

So that’s the skinny on what I would shop for.  Hopefully it gives you a starting point.  Here’s to a great night out.   You deserve it.  Oh and if on the morning after the night before you feel guilty about spending money on yourself, head to Ebay, Preloved or Depop and sell your outfit before the kids wake up.

Have a great weekend all!

Gail xxx

Velvet Overground

I am so enjoying the crispness in the air, aren’t you?  It was hot one minute and cold the next.  Now it’s just a little bit cold on the end of your nose and sleeping, for me, has become a little easier.

Talking of hot, the new fabric that has woven itself in to the new season’s fashions is velvet.

I actually really love it.  Classy, sensuous and sophisticated, I’m all for a little velvet, and you don’t have to wear it head-to-toe, you can just add a touch of velvet and boom you’re bang up to date.

I had a pair of burgundy hot pants once.  Kylie Minogue could sleep easy at night knowing that I wasn’t taking her crown, but I was pretty small back then and I used to wear them with opaque tights and ankle boots.  Love it.  I honestly can’t remember when that was, but suffice to say, me and K have hung up our hot pants, for now.

On the shopping scene there are touches of this snuggling fabric everywhere, from bomber jackets to blazers, and leopard print pumps to sexy slingbacks.  Even if you don’t want to go all the way, you could add a velvet choker to any outfit.  These too are easy to find and don’t cost much, £6. If I didn’t have a double chin….

What I would really love is a velvet suit, uh, and somewhere to wear it.  I’ve heard that M&S has one coming out soon.  Meanwhile, I have dug around in my wardrobe and found, miraculously that I hadn’t thrown out this black Oasis jacket that I bought, circa, 2005.


So I’m resurrecting this black beauty for now.  I bet everyone has a little velvet, right?  Time to dust it off folks.  For more ideas on what’s available in store now, see below. A few items are marked ‘sold out’ but I’ve kept them in as I bet they’re being re-stocked.


Have a great weekend.


Gail xx

These Boots Were Made For … Working It

This season the boots that have every iger talking is this pair from Chloe.  Gothic ankles are in.

Image via Pinterest – Chloe Savannah


And, because I follow a ton of people on IG that shop til they drop, have learnt that the high street equivalent they are coveting are these look-a-likes from Office.  Called Lucky Charm, they are £82 and a way more affordable choice than the grand plus for the originals.


Image via Pinterest – Office Lucky Charm Studded Boots


Personally, I don’t fancy them.  I get it, but it’s not a look for me.  However, this blog isn’t just for me, I thought you might want to know, to be in the know!


Buckle, silver and sock styles are just three of the ankle boot looks and colour choices around this Autumn.  There are many more, including thigh-high boots that are making yet another come-back (it’s not cold enough for those).  The ankle boot however is great way to update your wardrobe, pulling on this season’s trends and adding a funky twist if you want to.  Go Office





This fall the midi dress and skirt is still very much in place with M&S, Zara and H&M all  having some absolute crackers worth searching out.  Rich blues, reds and burgundy colours are everywhere and matched with a cute little ankle boot is an easy where-anytime look.  I’ve been trying on dresses in a few stores (see my instagram for ideas), and I have bought a pair of boots already from Zara.  A lady came up to me while I was trying them on and said they looked great.  Bingo.  Bag that please. I’m a sucker for a compliment.


My new boots from Zara


More ideas to flick through from the high street below, including the Chloe ones if you dare.


Have a great weekend.


Gail xx


In The Trenches

Does anyone have a grasp on the weather?  No, me neither.  One minute it’s lovely outside and the next it’s that hideous white sky that I loathe.  I don’t mind any other colour, than that one. It’s bleak and horrible.


So it’s a mixed bag as we settle into, erm, Autumn, and I don’t feel like I can quite yet change the wardrobe over.  As it is, I’m sat typing this in shorts.  It’s okay, no-one can see me.  Still, when we do have those cooler moments I find myself at a loss of what to wear.


For those of us who need to head outside, picking up the kids (obvs not me), dashing out to pick up wine (me) then you really want a lightweight coat to pop on.  For me it’s even worse heading out to work meetings – a North Face hooded anorak ain’t gonna cut it.


What I would really, really love is a smart, classic cut trench coat.   Each year I keep my eye out for one.  I have had two versions in my time on this planet, both of which are not in my wardrobe any more and I’m quite good at keeping hold of stuff.  I had one from M&S, but the material was too stiff and heavy (same problem as in last week’s post), and then there was the Gap version, which was made with the same weight as tissue paper and didn’t keep its shape, with or without my body in it.  So they both went to charity at some point.  Which leaves me back with the anorak.


So I’m on the look out again, because I feel that if I can just get my basics right, the rest of the wardrobe will be easier.   Won’t it?


I  have started the search.  See this option that I tried on in John Lewis the other week.  It’s from Karen Millen and I really like the cut and weight of it.




It is definitely a contender, but I’m also going to take a look at these option that I’ve found online.  Hopefully I can get one that fits before the really wet weather comes.  When is that exactly?


Have a great weekend.


Gail xxx