Francesca Cairns is an Image Consultant and Stylist based in Maidenhead and she recently posted on Facebook this fantastic, and very simple, guide about how to dress when you are struggling with hot flushes and menopause symptoms. I asked her if I could share it on my blog as I loved her common sense approach.
Sometimes it feels as if women are being advised to disappear at menopause.
I am totally fed up with articles claiming that women who reach forty suffer from Fashion Disorder Syndrome!
Think getting older means following strict rules such as covering your arms and avoiding black? I DISAGREE!
Style is an individual thing. You just have to figure out what works for you. Our body shape can change around the menopause so you may need to adapt a bit but there’s no one-size-fits-all just because you’re older.
If you’ve got a bit of middle-aged spread you might find that looser shapes look better. A slightly loose cotton shirt is fantastic in the summer and I think most women can wear that.
You want to feel comfortable and relaxed so fit is really important!
Master the art of layering
Anything you can waft – or remove – is good for a hot flush!
A scarf in the winter can be pulled off fast or wearing a skirt in the summer can help you feel cool and not so hot!
Fabric is also important – go for natural fabrics such as cotton, linen, silk and cashmere, as they absorb moisture from the skin and help air to circulate around the body better. They’ll help you keep your cool during a flush and tend to hold their shape better,
Put your best foot forward! I don’t think anyone looks glamorous when their feet hurt. Nearly every designer brand now has a range of trainers. Not only are they comfortable but buying a new pair of fashionable trainers is another good way to look current. I also really like sliders, loafers and flats, which are great if you need to look a bit smarter.”
ADD FINAL TOUCHES
Don’t forget to accessorise to complete your outfit, but I wouldn’t necessarily wear a big statement necklace if you’re experiencing hot flushes.
You want to feel free and uncluttered and a heavy necklace can make you feel clammy and sweaty. Go for a pair of statement earrings instead.
Don’t stop at jewellery – why not wear a belt to add colour to your look and pull in looser tops. They are also easy to remove so if you do start to feel uncomfortable you can just whip it off!
Ultimately, wear what makes you look and feel good through the menopause (and cope with the hot flushes it brings).
The thing to remember is that you’re not dressing for your age, you’re dressing for your body shape!
If you’re not sure what suits you anymore and need a little help, you can always visit me for a Colour and Style Consultation and I will help you feel magical again!
Style doesn’t rely on age and the menopause is a great time to experiment and get creative to figure out what works best for you.
Book an appointment today-
Francesca is currently offering her style and colour consultation at the reduced price of £70 (usually £180).
Simple yes but not always obvious. I embrace most of these ideas now. I want something simple and comfortable. I don't want to faff about with items that are too complicated or restricting. And I certainly don't want to wear heels and then find I can't walk and my feet are killing me. Thank goodness for being able to wear trainers with anything now!
Outfit details - my red dress (top) is from & Other Stories, the middle picture is all previous season items, the cardigan is from Pure Collection and then in the bottom photo, my outfit is from Hush and the skirt is now in the sale, although very limited sizes left. My round bag is just £19.99 from Pull & Bear.
Other posts about menopause you might be interested in:
Menopause and hot flushes (including a discount on wool duvets)
Menopause and alcohol tolerance
Wellness in Menopause Workshop and Tips
Disclaimer: Some of my links are affiliate links which means that the brand knows you have come to their website from here and I may get a small commission if you buy something and keep it. This small income goes towards the running costs of my blog so I am very thankful for every click.
I've tended to avoid posting about anything too personal but as a 40+ blogger this subject does come up and I feel that I would be wrong to avoid it completely and not share what I have found out about menopause symptoms and what has worked to help me. So in this post I am talking about menopause, hot flushes and night sweats.
I spoke about menopause and alcohol tolerance back in April and it was a very popular post that so many of you really related to. And many of your comments helped me with finding a way to manage how much wine I was drinking! Still a work in progress by the way!
Before that I did a post about insomnia which as we all know is part of the whole menopause thing too. I was particularly focusing on the blue light that is emitted from our phones and devices and controlling my usage in the evening has definitely helped.
My blog posts about menopause and the symptoms are personal, what I am experiencing and ways that I am dealing with it. Obviously I am not an expert and I am not a doctor. But just like sitting around over a cup of tea with friends, I am chatting to you as friends and saying this is what I have found out.
What I would say is don't suffer alone - do the research, go and chat to your GP, find out if you have a GP at your surgery who specialises in menopause, make an appointment. Someone also told me about 'Menopause Barbie' as she is affectionately known, her website is Menopause Taylor and she offers some very sound advice and a whole series of YouTube Videos which I have not had a chance to really watch yet but I am told it is good stuff.
Also remember that peri-menopause symptoms can start around 45 ish sometimes earlier so don't dismiss strange symptoms, keep an open mind. I am pretty sure I was having symptoms a lot earlier than I actually realised.
But the purpose of this post is to talk about the pesky night sweats, hot sweats, hot flushes - they affect every woman slightly differently. For me it has been overwhelming heat especially at night, an increase in temperature that I just couldn't control. My poor husband was getting quite used to being frozen in the middle of winter as I had to have the window open.
First of all we changed our mattress. The previous memory foam style, whilst extremely comfortable, made the night sweats worse. We went for a Simba mattress, still memory foam but with a cool comfort layer to stop the problem with overheating. They are not ridiculously expensive and you can try and buy at John Lewis, they also offer a 100 night money back guarantee - so if you don't like it then it can be returned. Things improved but I still wasn't quite there so I researched duvets.
I had tried two different duvet's including silk and then feather and down, and summer and winter tog/all seasons. We purchased the rather wonderful Dyson fan for the bedroom and I did find it helpful when I got really hot especially in the warmer weather but it still wasn't controlling my thermostat completely.
Then I heard about wool duvets. But having already tried two types of duvet I didn't really think it was worth trying something else. Then we visited Thame Show - well my husband was there first and called me from the show and said I've been chatting to someone who is selling wool duvets and I think we should get one, I'm sure it will help your night sweats. Well him and I hadn't discussed wool duvets, I hadn't dared say I want to try something else. I arrived at the show a bit later and we bought a wool duvet and mattress topper and so did my sister-in-law - in fact she bought the pillows too.
The company was Baavet. We got them home and as we had been warned there was a slight sheep smell so we left them out to air for a few days before using them. My sister-in-law was less worried and put hers on the bed the next day. Then we started texting and the long and short of it is - OMG we both love them and have both found that any night sweats have gone and are totally under control now.
I am sure there are lots of sciency bits I could tell you about why wool is best and why it works, But I will keep it simple. Wool doesn't have the usual tog rating that we associate with duvets. It is a natural fibre that evolved to keep sheep cool when hot and warm when cold. So wool fibres naturally adapt to keep you at a steady temperature. Perfect for sleeping under. Feather and down and synthetic fibres trap the heat and moisture thus making you hotter and hotter - wool works differently hence it's ability to regulate to what your body needs, just like sheep!
Baavet say 'Wool is the finest fibre on the planet to sleep under. Wool is also excellent for asthma, eczema sufferers and for anyone with overheating problems in bed.
Baavet offer three weights of wool duvet - light, medium and winter depending on what you are like as a sleeper. We chose the medium and it adapts perfectly for both myself and my husband. He's not been cold and I've not had one night sweat since putting the baavet duvet on my bed
So the combination of the right mattress, a wool mattress topper and a wool duvet have made all the difference to my sleep and hot sweats caused by my fluctuating hormones.
You can find out more about Baavet and how they started making their duvets on their website here, you can order online and I am delighted to share a discount with you. At checkout please use the code FF50 and this will entitle you to 20% off your full order.
Do let me know how you cope with overheating at night!
Read more here - Wellness in Menopause Workshop and my top tips for managing menopause naturally.
Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post, I contacted Baavet to ask for the discount code and offered to include them in my post about menopause and hot sweats. My post may contain affiliate links, if you click on a link and subsequently buy something then I may receive a small commission to help with the running costs of my blog.
I'd vaguely heard of Pharmacy2U - somewhere in the back of my mind it was familiar but I am so used to taking my paper prescription or more recently an electronic one being sent to my local pharmacy that I didn't really give it any further thought.
Recently Boots managed to mess up two prescriptions which resulted in my getting very frustrated over them wasting my time.
My time is precious. I lead a busy life and am always running about trying to find the easiest, quickest and most convenient solution to everyday tasks.
My husband laughs at how many packages arrive regularly for me - I love an Amazon order, I no longer need to go from shop to shop to source exactly what I need, I just do a quick online search and Amazon Prime delivers (most things) the next day. Love it or hate it (and let's not get into an environmental debate - this is about time saving) - it is easy.
So when Pharmacy2U contacted me to ask if I'd like to try out their service and blog about it - I thought I'd investigate further and I took them up on their invitation.
The registration process was simple and quick!
Firstly registering with them online was extremely quick and easy. I had one query - my local surgery wasn't showing as issuing electronic prescriptions but I knew they did, so I made a quick call and learnt I had to select the main surgery address (not my village surgery). And while I was checking this with the receptionist my request was received and my surgery now had my electronic prescriptions going through to Pharmacy2U. Easy, so far so good.
The Pharmacy2U service is completely free. No parking to pay. No queuing in the pharmacy. No one telling me my medication isn't in stock and I need to go back the next day - how frustrating is that? And it's free postage!
Now I have successfully registered I will be suggesting my family do the same. My son works full time and needs a regular repeat prescription and will often ask me to pick it up so this will be a very useful service for him.
Next I needed to add my payment card details. I was also able to ask for my medication to be delivered through my letterbox (size allowing) and asked for details of a safe place if this was necessary. I also set a reminder for when I would next need my medication.
A day after setting up my new account I needed to speak to my GP about some repeat medications. She said she would issue a prescription and I said I should now be registered with Pharmacy2U - she checked, I was and she issued the prescription electronically. Within a few hours I had an email confirmation that my order was being processed!
Prompt Delivery via Royal Mail
It arrived two days later. Well packaged and delivered by Royal Mail. Simple and easy, with the minimum of fuss and I didn't have to worry about going to the pharmacy, waiting for 'ten minutes' or remembering to go back to pick the items up.
Coincidentally whilst I was writing this review my phone pinged ... it was a text message from Pharmacy2U ...'you should need to order XXX soon, simply reply 'yes' to confirm you'd like to order this item'. Well what could be easier!?
I replied 'yes' and my repeat medication turned up about three days later.
Pharmacy2U is the UK's largest online pharmacy. I was surprised to learn that it was actually set up nearly 20 years ago in 1999 and was the founding partner, along with the NHS, of the electronic prescription service. We no longer go to our GP and walk out with a slip of paper - our prescription, now it is much easier, quicker and convenient for the prescription to be sent electronically to our chosen pharmacy. For quite a while I was doing this myself and I'd then go to my local pharmacy to pick the medication up. Now my chosen pharmacy is the Pharmacy2U online service, even easier.
Lots of other online services too!
Pharmacy2U also provide lots of other services - they have an online doctor service, the facility to fulfill private prescriptions and a full pharmacy for online ordering and delivery to your door.
So this is another great time-saving service I will be taking full advantage of!
If you already use the service, do let me know what you think or if you are thinking about it, give it a go and let me know!
Disclaimer: this was a paid review in partnership with Pharmacy2U, they asked me to try their service and write about how I got on, the opinions are entirely my own and are an accurate and honest account of my experience.
Photo Credits: Jodie Humphreys
I don't love exercise! No secret about that although I do still do it. I do enjoy walking though. But I tend to be a fair weather walker - well rain makes my hair go frizzy and the dogs get so wet and muddy.
But I was recently invited to join a Nordic Walking Class with Claire Winter which also happened to coincide with National Walking Month.
I used to get involved with the Walk to School initiative - many moons ago when my children were at primary school, I was the School Travel Co-Ordinator. It was fun and as we lived a distance away from school, necessitating a car journey, we would 'park and walk' the last bit which was good for us and reduced congestion around the school gates. I was also delighted to help with fundraising and secured the purchase of a wet weather shelter and I loved doing 'scooter training' with the younger years!!
So on Friday I joined Claire and ten other lovely ladies near Pinkney's Green at Maidenhead. The area is stunning - it's National Trust owned and very pretty, there were lots of wild flowers and bluebells. It was easy to get to and easy to park.
What is Nordic Walking - well it is just like normal walking except you use two poles to help propel you along. It is a full body exercise and was originally devised by cross country skiers who used it for their summer training. It can be as gentle or as challenging as you wish.
We started off by doing a quick stretch to warm up. Claire then showed the new ladies how to use the poles, how to hold them and how to walk with them so you get the maximum calorie burn. All very important! Apparently Nordic Walking burns more calories per hour than running and it's low impact. That sold it to me. I really don't 'get' running. I have done it in the past but it just doesn't interest me.
I had to find out more about the benefits of Nordic Walking then. I looked it up on the British Nordic Walking website. Here is what they say about the benefits:
Nordic Walking combines the simplicity and accessibility of walking with simultaneous core and upper body conditioning similar to Nordic skiing. The result is a full body workout, which means that you:
After our warm up and initial instruction we set off properly. It was a beautiful morning and I especially enjoyed meeting the other ladies in the group and chatting as we walked. It makes it seem less like exercise and more like just a nice social thing to do.
And that brings me back to my new interview series - Embracing Life (in Midlife) - there are so many successful, inspirational and amazing women out there. I met two that morning, juggling family life, studying, running businesses etc but doing a fantastic job.
We passed through the bluebell woods, stopped for the all important blog photos and a drink of water. The whole walk took an hour and I did about 7,000 steps!
At the end there is a cool down stretch and that's it. Claire provides the poles but you can buy your own of course. Once you learn how to do Nordic Walking you can practice yourself whenever suits you. I liked joining the class though as it makes you go. It is easy to find an excuse without the accountability of booking in and meeting others.
Claire charges £8 for the one hour class/walk and you can find out more details on her website - Stealth Health, she offers two walks a week, Monday or Friday morning. Or if you do not live near Maidenhead then go to the British Nordic Walking website and you will find a directory of qualified instructors and classes near you.
Let me know if you have ever tried Nordic Walking or if you fancy giving it a go now? I'd love to hear from you.
Disclaimer: Claire did not charge me to attend this trial class but I was under no obligation to write a review, the opinions are entirely my own.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog celebrating women. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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