So before the Easter weekend I shared with you some tips from Katherine B on how to successfully sort and plan your new season wardrobe. See my post here.
I spent a few hours myself having a good sort out. Putting winter items away and getting out my spring and summer wardrobe. Reviewing what I had already, what needed to go and what gaps I needed to fill. I was pretty ruthless. I had some garments and shoes that had been hanging around for years that I had not worn or didn't love when I wore them so I decided the time had come to let go.
It's not finished yet. I have all my summer clothes that I love hanging on a clothes rail, freshly washed and ironed. I am now looking at it in more detail and deciding what else I need to buy. One obvious hole is in trousers / jeans. As you know I lost quite a bit of weight between last year and this year and my size 12's have gone so I need to replace with size 8-10's. My tops were mostly 10's anyway or the size 12's have already gone. Casual dresses are another gap - same reason, gone are the baggier styles, I want something more fitted now.
Katherine suggested deciding on a colour palette for the season ahead and this is something I have been getting better at in more recent years. Having a colour analysis done really helped too - see my post here.
So my colour capsule for this spring / summer is:
I am a bit over on the recommended 5 colours but I will see how I get on with this and how it all works together once I start wearing.
My shopping list:
Dark blue or navy jeans
Cardigans or jacket that will go over everything
Summer dresses that I can wear every day and on holiday
Tan sandals maybe a wedge heel
What I don't need - any more tops or any more stripe tops! And no more scarves!
I have tried on quite a few white jeans already. Umm they are not the most flattering and I am still headed back to the 'investment purchase' here. I am going to go and see my friend at Brookes in Wendover as soon as I can and see what jeans they have in. I have ordered a couple of pairs of 7 for all Mankind white jeans to try. I do think getting the fit of white jeans right is essential. Badly fitting white jeans are very unflattering and unforgiving. I have tried some on in Mint Velvet (too short), in Hallhuber at House of Fraser (not a good fit) and Boden (not stretchy enough). I need to sort the white jeans out first then everything else will follow!
Let me know how you are getting on!
Oh and a little tip - a clothes rail is essential when you are sorting your wardrobe out. I picked up a cheap one a few years ago from Amazon but it kept collapsing when I put heavier items on it. Then last year I bought a different style from Lakeland and although it is not as aesthetically pleasing it does work much better and doesn't collapse with the weight (but you do need to load it evenly or it falls over)!
It is still a bit chilly so I am currently wearing 'transitional' outfits which is not my favourite way of dressing and I am looking forward to some more consistent milder days.
Hanging Rails - I found the style on the left collapsed with too much weight whereas the Lakeland one on the right is more practical, but doesn't look at nice!
Okay so they say 'ne'er cast a clout until May is out' but we were definitely fooled this year with a few hot days leading up to Easter! I was desperate to get my heavy winter jumpers out of my wardrobe. And in fairness I wouldn't wear them again this season as despite the colder clime most were too thick and too dark for spring, even a cold spring! But now I am left with a very limited wardrobe and a keenness to get into my lighter outfits.
I am using this as an opportunity to have a good sort out though. And I have been doing a bit of online shopping to fill a few gaps in my wardrobe.
I thought today I'd share a few ideas of what I have my eye on.
First up are these 'rose' skinny jeans from Mint Velvet (Maryland Rose Hem Jean £69), now I love the colour of these and I fancied the unfinished hem but I ordered them in short, then regular and still felt they were too short on me so I currently have the long to try out. Cropped styling doesn't really suit my shorter frame so I prefer my jeans to sit on or just above my ankle. I have tried these on with black and ivory and both look super lovely. Plus they are very soft and stretchy.
This is a nice simple top from Mint Velvet (Ivory Woven V Neck Tee £39) and if like me you can't wear white next to your face this is a great alternative to a simple 'white' t-shirt.
Next onto Boden and I do love a summer dress and Boden often come up trumps with their easy to wear jersey styles and maxi dresses. I struggled a bit with their current offering but I suspect more dresses will appear as the season progresses. I need new dresses for my summer holidays so I am giving this one a try (Greta Jersey Dress £55) and if you hurry they have a diminishing discount offer this week (25% until Midnight Wednesday then it gets smaller).
Umm the navy stripe Boden dress would look lovely on holiday with the M&S yellow bag ... this one has been featured in Vogue and bloggers are loving it - Yellow Faux Leather Across Body Bag £15.
Now onto a few dresses from Hush - I need cotton! Yes it is probably my age but I can't wear 'polyester' in a hot country! I love a simple short dress that I can throw on in the morning to go and get the bread or have breakfast in, this one looks perfect Hush Santorini Dress £69.
For me it has to be lose and casual and comfortable Carla Dress £69.
And finally have you ever tried the Hush Harem Pants £55? They are so comfortable and I love them for easy summer evenings at home, they replace my lazy day leggings and I don't feel too ashamed to wear them out if I need to pop to the shops! They have various colours and styles and look stylish with a simple t-shirt and a cashmere cardigan or denim jacket.
So that is my summer dreaming done for today! I do apologise for the lack of outfit posts on Instagram right now. I am not inspired! Normal service will be resumed shortly.
My coach at Life Changing Fitness set the group a challenge last week - 24 hours without social media /smart phones.
Shock! Horror! How on earth would I manage? Well I have to be honest and say that for a while now I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with the incessant interruptions and mindless scrolling I do. I downloaded an app recently called Off-Time to monitor my usage and it sounds an alarm when you are reaching the limit you have set yourself. So I had been more aware of my very bad habits.
But it does become a habit, an obsession doesn't it? How on earth did we manage in a world before iPhones? They were supposed to make our lives easier but actually I think they have just made our lives busier and more stressful.
I do love Facebook for the way it keeps you in touch with old friends. And I would never want to give it up completely for that one reason alone. I like the record of my life it gives me, I love the 'memories'. But I hate the rest of it, it is a thirst for knowledge but it is mundane and boring and yet still we scroll looking for the next bit of gossip or news that we are terrified of missing out on.
I also love Instagram, it is really great for outfit ideas and interior decorating ideas and I love to look at the creative photos my family and friends post of their adventures and day to day lives. And of course I post a lot myself, mostly outfit inspiration and sharing ideas and style finds. Having an Instagram account dedicated to my fitness journey really helped me stay focused.
However, I don't need to be on it as much as I am. I have been feeling rather stressed of late and I keep thinking if I freed up the time I spend on social media I would have an awful lot more time in my day to get things done which means less stress. Less stress is good for our health and good for our bodies. I could see where Dan at Life Changing Fitness was coming from. Getting lean and losing weight isn't just about what you eat! You need to cut out the stress too.
So at 7.30 pm on Thursday night I sat down to watch Eastenders and switched my phone volume off and put it on do not disturb. Then I read a book! And what a good and useful book that turned out to be - The Goddess Revolution by Mel Wells - Make Peace with Food, Love your Body and Reclaim your Life. Ummm could also be talking about social media.
I went to bed. I didn't check my phone. I got up in the morning. I didn't check my phone. No need to worry about the children contacting me as they were both at home. I had breakfast and read my book! I then got on with housework and paperwork and didn't feel rushed.
Mid-morning the landline rang and it was my daughter from school!! She had forgotten her PE kit and could I bring it in (she had texted me but then realised I wouldn't see it)!
I dropped her PE kit in and then went to get my nails and feet done. I chatted to my nail technician and I didn't check my phone. I think I have chosen the wrong colour for my nails though - I was too quick to go for a summery coral shade and I'm thinking it is a bit bright too soon. Oh well.
So what did I learn:
I can manage without checking social media every ten minutes.
The world will not stop if I miss a crucial bit of 'news'
I get more done if I am not constantly checking my phone.
I therefore feel less stressed as I have more time.
If someone wants to get hold of me they still can (if I am at home)
I loved having a break from it and not being a slave to technology
I loved reading a book!
So what now?
Well I am definitely going to reduce my phone usage time. I am determined to read more books and scroll less on my phone. I want to be less stressed and this is a good place to start.
What about you? Do you dare give it a go and see what you find out?
On Monday 18th April 2016 I started my lean journey by doing The Body Coach SSS 90 day Plan. I completed it with nearly a stone lost and about 18". A year on and I am still eating sensibly and exercising 3-4 times per week. I have improved slightly on my results and I am maintaining.
I am so happy I did this. I am so pleased that I got started properly. I feel so much better about myself and I am much more confident. I am looking forward to wearing my bikini in July and I love that I can now wear size 8-10 clothes again comfortably and not have to search around for lose styles that 'skim' my tummy.
What have I learnt?
Sometimes I honestly can't believe I did this. That I started a lean journey, completed it and achieved great results then decided to make it a lifestyle! Really!? Pinch me! For so long I wanted to do this but now I have actually done it and I still doubt myself sometimes, it's hard to see what others see, which is a petite 50 year old woman who looks pretty good for her age!
My advice to others - if you really want it then anyone can do it. I admit I didn't have much to lose but it still took some determination to stick to it. I have learnt so much about health and nutrition along the way. And I am learning more with my 8020 Lifestyle plan from Life Changing Fitness that I am currently doing. It is teaching me all about a balanced approach that can be sustainable forever.
Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties, I share fashion, beauty, lifestyle and exercise/nutrition tips to inspire others to be fifty and fab too … join my mailing list below for regular updates and offers. And don’t forget to take a look at my social media pages Facebook Instagram and Twitter.