Friday, 17 March 2017

Capsule wardrobe challenges; body types

I always enjoy taking part in style challenges, partly because it encourages me to be more creative when putting together outfits, however mainly because of the great feedback from other participants. I thought it might be fun to share some of my outfits from the 40+ Style Club challenges that gained the approval of others taking part.

The first challenge was called the Body Type Challenge: the idea was to try to flatter our varying body types as well as meeting the criteria of the daily challenges. We did this over a period of two weeks. I'm a rectangle (shoulders and hips are a similar width and so is my waist), verging on an apple because of my tummy! I thought it might be interesting to show you the six outfits (out of ten) that gained the most favourable comments and what everyone liked about them.

Outfit 1
Outfit 2
Outfit One was commended by one person because the circles in the necklace picked up the polka dots in my top. Comments were also made about the contrast between the polka dot top and the tweed jacket.

Outfit Two was liked for a night out and in particular for the necklace (which is the same necklace as in outfit one).

Outfit 3

Outfit 4 
Outfit Three. Many people commented that they liked the pendant, as well as the colour of the cardigan.

Outfit Four.  The mix of stripes was a great hit, plus the pop of red. One person loved the jacket, which happens to be one of my favourites as it's from the Principles petite range so fits me well.

Outfit 5

Outfit 6
Outfit Five. Everyone liked the pop of orange showing under the tunic, as well as commenting that the tunic had a lovely light look.

Outfit Six proved very popular, with people loving the colours on me, plus the contrast between the tweed jacket and the top.

Some of these outfits I've worn before, however the two outfits with the tweed jacket and the mixed stripes look were new ones that I tried out because of the challenge. Which of these outfits do you like the best?

Saturday, 11 March 2017

My travel capsule wardrobe

Each season I create a capsule wardrobe of 33 items of clothing, as part of Project 333. In my winter capsule I have nineteen long-sleeved tops, three jackets, three long cardigans, three pairs of trousers and one skirt. I also have a wool coat and trench coat for outer layers and a couple of dresses (not shown) for parties. This gives me plenty of variety over the winter months, however I am now planning to go on holiday and I can't fit everything into my suitcase! How do I decide which clothes I'm taking on our trip to Portugal?

I plan to take one of these long cardigans and possibly the brown tweed jacket.

I will be away for nine days so obviously don't need all twelve tops shown above! I'm definitely going to pack the lace top for going out in the evenings and will be selecting other tops that will go with the long cardigan and also the bottoms that I'm taking.

Do I take the winter coat or the trench coat? Or both? That will depend on the weather forecast! I won't be taking either of the jackets as, if I feel I need one, my brown tweed jacket will be the best option.

The blouse in the first picture above will go with the rest of my travel wardrobe, so it's a possibility.

These are all warm tops so I may pack either the green or cream one if the weather is going to be cold. 

Finally, the red skirt will be packed for when we go out to dinner. If it's cold I'll make sure we find a restaurant close to our hotel! I'll definitely be taking the chocolate brown and camel trousers. The jeans may be included if there's room in my case as I will be travelling in one pair of trousers and packing the other pair.

I intend to take two pairs of casual shoes, one of which will be trainers as I expect to do a lot of walking, plus a smarter pair for the evenings. Similarly I will have a tote bag for daytime and a smaller bag for going out at night. Apart from enough underwear for nine days, and nightwear, that will be all my clothes. Anyone who knows me will take it for granted that I will have a selection of scarves and jewellery to make my outfits more colourful.

In the photo above you can see the final selection of tops and bottoms that were packed for my holiday. I have realised that two of the items shown weren't in my winter capsule, so I'm guilty of cheating a bit! My excuse is that I have been exchanging a couple of items as I plan my Spring capsule, and realised that they would be useful for my travel capsule as I could add layers if need be. You can see a lime green long-sleeved top, which has replaced my cream warm top, and a leopard print tunic, which I took as an extra top for evenings. The camisoles are allowed as extra layers under the leopard print top, so I'm not cheating with them! This travel capsule proved to be perfect for our holiday, as the weather was changeable.

I have now returned from our holiday (we had a brilliant time, though the weather could have been better!) and am concentrating on my Spring capsule wardrobe. I do have a visit to London to see my children soon, so I will definitely need to keep a few winter items out for that. 

Saturday, 18 February 2017

My word for 2017: Celebration

Celebration. What do I have to celebrate? What do you have to celebrate? Let's start with me - after all, this is my blog!

I know that I'm a bit late with revealing my word for 2017, but life has been getting in the way of blogging recently. There's another reason, however it's too early to tell you, so that will have to be added to the comments at the right time. (I do love a mystery, don't you?) I will tell you though that it's to do with money, however I have realised that there are so many other things in my life to celebrate that are nothing to do with money - and which are far more important than money - some of which I describe below.

First of all, I have to celebrate my family and my friends. I have three children whom I am immensely proud of and who are all lovely people: a real cause for celebration. I am lucky enough to have many good friends, some of whom I have known for many years, and others who became my friends after we moved to Spain nearly nine years ago. I should also add that I count my extended family amongst my friends. Last, but definitely not least, is my second husband John. I have known him for twenty five years (we met through Serpentine running club) and we married almost eight years ago surrounded by both our families and close friends. Since we met we have been lucky enough to go on some amazing holidays together, visiting Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and the USA as well as many countries in Europe. Having said that, it's still good to return to the UK to visit our families and meet up with many of our friends there.

Next I have to celebrate the fact that I am fit and healthy. I know many people aren't as fortunate as I am, so I appreciate the fact that I am able to go to dance exercise classes three mornings a week. I have also started to learn Sevillanos and Flamenco for one hour on Tuesday evenings, which is great fun. As we don't have a car we walk everywhere, plus we go on walks in the countryside of between 9k and 10k with our local Day Centre.  John and I follow a healthy diet, apart from the occasional pizza - after all, both chocolate and red wine have health benefits, don't they? In my case I haven't eaten meat for over 30 years, though I do occasionally eat fish.

I also celebrate the fact that I have a roof over my head and that we have running water and electricity. Many other people in the world don't have these luxuries that most of us take for granted. Having said that, we have experienced the occasional power cut since moving to Spain, usually because there is a fiesta in town with extra lights and musical acts using lots of electric power!

Another cause of celebration is the way we have been accepted by our Spanish neighbours in Jumilla and how patient they are when we try to speak to them in Spanish. Sadly, nowadays, residents in many other countries are not so welcoming towards immigrants. We have been accepted as part of the local community and are referred to as "Jumillanos".

As I said before, I have so many other things to celebrate in my life, however the final one that I would like to mention is my blog and the new friends that I have made through blogging: yes you, my readers.

Now it's your turn: what do you have to celebrate in your life?

Sunday, 15 January 2017

New Year - New You - New Me

I know! It's way past New Year's Day and all the other bloggers out there wished you a Happy New Year at the beginning of the month, not half way through it. Did they inspire you? Were you really enthusiastic as you made your New Year's resolutions, and are you still sticking to them? I have a confession to make: I haven't even thought about New Year's resolutions and I've had fourteen days to do so, which means I'm unlikely to make any now  I hope you're not too shocked!

I'd like to be healthier, happier and more stylish in 2017, and I would like to wish the same for you. I doubt if I'll achieve that by making any traditional resolutions though. I think I'm more likely to succeed if I take small steps; poco a poco, as my Spanish friends would say. Little by little.

This approach worked quite well in 2016. Having been told I had arthritis in my jaw, I decided to follow an anti-inflammatory diet and take supplements such as Co-enzyme Q10 and Omega 3. Interestingly, I was fine until I went on holiday, didn't think so much about what I was eating and didn't take the supplements while I was away. On my return I had neck pain that I put down to arthritis. It could just be coincidence, but since resuming my regime I've had no further pain.

As an Over 60 woman, I believe it is important to keep fit as you get older. I actually met John, my second husband, through a running club in London. We don't run much now that we've retired to Spain (too hot most of the time), but we walk everywhere, partly because we don't own a car, and partly because we enjoy it and have a dog to exercise. In December I joined a local dance school, where I go three times a week for a Bailoterapia class. I suspect that I'm twice the age of some of my classmates, who are mostly young Mums enjoying the class while their children are at school. I will definitely keep on going to my dance exercise classes this year as we have so much fun as well as becoming fitter.

Being more stylish is my final aim. Note that I haven't said that I want to become more fashionable, which in some respects would be the easier option. I could just buy a few fashion magazines every month and purchase the clothes that I see inside their pages. Stylish isn't as straightforward. Take a look at Elle's Best Dressed List: apart from the fact that I didn't spot any over 60s, I could only see myself wearing a handful of the outfits shown. However what becomes clear is that each woman shown there has developed her own style, and that is the key. Not to copy what stylish women wear, although maybe you can be inspired by some of them whose style is similar to your own, but to dress to express your own individuality.

Over the last two weeks I carried out an interesting experiment. I took a photo of my outfit each day, then looked at them all to see which ones were my favourites and which ones I think flattered me the most. These were my top three (in no particular order!)


Apart from the fact that my outfit was very colourful in the first photo (regular readers will know how much I love colour), I can see a common theme. I'm wearing a long pendant or scarf with each outfit, which helps to draw the eyes down and give the illusion that I'm slimmer and taller than in real life! In the second two photos I'm wearing neutral outfits, but there is some contrast to lighten the look.

You of course may be thinking that you don't find these outfits particularly stylish, which obviously is your prerogative, but the secret is that I felt stylish wearing them so they made me feel good. Isn't that the most important thing? Wearing clothes that we love and that we enjoy wearing should be our main aim. If we also look stylish, that's a bonus.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Winter capsule wardrobe

It's time to start thinking about my winter capsule wardrobe as part of Project 333. For those who don't know, the idea behind Project 333 is to limit yourself to 33 items of clothing each season to cover the 3 months. I've already packed away many of the short-sleeved tops from my Autumn 33 and I've added some long-sleeved tops, including a few new purchases. New additions to my wardrobe are shown in the first picture below. Yes I know that this includes a short-sleeved top, however it's a lace top for winter events when I want to look a bit more dressed up
and when I think that it's going to be warm enough to wear it.

The following tops featured in my autumn 33 and will mix and match well with my bottoms. Living in Spain, we do have some sunny days during the winter months where we don't need to layer up, however they will also go well with my cardigans and jackets on colder days where I need an extra layer.

I've included my new red ruched skirt - although I probably won't wear it very often over the next few months - as I think it's going to prove a versatile purchase. I wore it with the beige sparkly jumper when we received our Hypnos award in the theatre before Christmas. I will be wearing it with the new red top shown in the first photo when we go to a dinner dance on 6th January. It will be packed in my case when we go on holiday at the beginning of March, with a selection of tops, for going out in the evening. I'm sure it will score well on the cost per wear ratio!

As well as the three pairs of trousers shown above, I have a grey wool pair as seen in the following photo. These four pairs and the skirt will be rotated throughout the next three months and, with nineteen different tops, plus three cardigans and two jackets, I can create dozens of outfits. Obviously outer layers are very important during the winter months and my capsule includes the burgundy coat, copper trench-coat and beige puffer jacket shown above and the burgundy puffer jacket shown below.

I've mentioned before how it is sensible to build your capsule wardrobe around neutrals, in either warm or cool tones depending on your individual colouring. My neutrals here are mainly brown, camel and beige as well as dark navy jeans and grey trousers. The tops are mostly warm colours, including gold, orange, red and lime green. Accessories have a very important role to play in capsule wardrobes. They can provide contrast if your outfit is too dark and they can provide colour if your outfit is a bit dull. Above all, they will add personality to your outfits. 

The January sales can be very tempting, especially if your capsule consists mainly of neutrals and you love colour as much as I do. Did I mention that red is a neutral in my wardrobe? Just saying! If you're finding it hard to resist the sales, why not look for a colourful scarf, a statement necklace or sparkly earrings instead of yet another "bargain" dress or top that hardly gets worn? Something that will give both you and your wardrobe a lift. As for me, I'm going to try and resist temptation until it's time to start thinking about my Spring wardrobe. After all, with the above 33 items of clothing, I've got more than enough clothes to see me through the winter months.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

A very special award

This blog is called "Over 60 and Over Here" for two very good reasons: I'm over 60 (rapidly heading towards over 70!) and I now live in Spain, having moved here after we both retired from our jobs in London. Most of my posts are about fashion and beauty for over 60 women, however this particular one is about living in Jumilla as an immigrant and being accepted by the local people.

Last month I received a message on facebook from a Spanish friend asking for my mobile number. I thought it was a bit strange, as we usually message each other on facebook and can reply from our mobile phones. Later that day I discovered why Andrés had asked for it, when our Mayoress rang me to say that John and I were being given a very special award: a Hypnos Premio, as Embajadores de Jumilla (Ambassadors of Jumilla). What a wonderful surprise!

Each year our town makes several awards to recognise what groups and individuals have done for Jumilla. We were being given our award because I blog and write about what is happening locally, plus we show groups of English-speaking tourists around the old town and castle, as well as arranging visits to Jumilla's wineries and booking meals in local restaurants. We were delighted that we had been nominated for a Hypnos Premio and that they wanted to recognise our work by giving us one of these prestigious awards. It also struck us how welcoming and inclusive Spanish people are and how they now consider us to be Jumillanos, part of their community, rather than just immigrants. I would like to think that Spanish people living in the UK are treated as well as we are here and are also made to feel at home over there.

The above photo shows us on stage at our local theatre, with my daughter and son-in-law to the right of the picture, as well as a few of our British and Spanish friends. I must confess to feeling slightly nervous beforehand, as we had said we would like to say a few words in Spanish when we were given our award. Our good friend Juana María had corrected our speech and listened to us reading it, with a few comments on our accents!

I'm pleased to say that our speech was well received and Juana María told us that people found it funny - deliberate humour, I should add! Afterwards we all went to the Museo del Vino for a three course lunch accompanied by Jumilla wines. Needless to say, it was the perfect finish to our celebrations.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Black Friday anyone?

It started early this year: my Inbox is already full of amazing offers for Black Friday and I'm writing this the day before.

It's even spread to Spain!

So am I going to take advantage of any of these amazing offers? It's so tempting, especially with the incredible discounts - but wait! Do I really need any of the items that are being sold at such low prices? Are these offers genuine, or were the prices hiked up a week ago?  What do you think?

As regular readers know, I've been trying to restrain myself over the last couple of years as I build my capsule wardrobe of clothes that flatter me and work for my lifestyle. I may buy new clothes, but I'm working on the "one in - one out" basis. I've had my eyes on a couple of items though that will work well with my existing wardrobe, with the idea being that I would wait for Black Friday to see if any of them would be offered at reduced rates.

If I make any purchases tomorrow, I will update this post with photos of them. Do let me know whether you are tempted on Black Friday or able to resist all these fantastic offers.

PS Just to let you know that, if you click on any links here, I won't be getting a penny!