Sensational Baby Boomers

Friday, 22 September 2017

TRANSITIONAL DRESSING - DUSTER COATS



As the weather turns a little chillier, it's time to dig out those jackets and light coats again as we move to a transition wardrobe.

Anne C here, and I have a staple Autumn/Winter style - usually black trousers (of varying styles), black top, black patent wedge shoes, and a colourful jacket or coat.

The red long jacket was a budget buy from Primark.  I love bright colours, and next to pink, red is my next favourite.  Clearly this probably won't stand the test of time, but I think this would work well with a dress too, so I think I will get my money's worth from the £18 I spent!


I have teamed it with skinny  black jeggings, and a beautiful black lace top which I bought from Kaleidoscope probably 15 years ago, but they currently have a similar one here.  It was quite expensive at the time, but has washed and worn and been a staple and favourite in my wardrobe for many years.  I also have the same top in cream.

The shaped hoop earrings are nearly as old as the top and I can't even remember where I bought them!


Anne H's taupe waterfall duster coat was purchased from Zara last year and she particularly liked the length and flow of the material although having had it for a year now she does find it creases rather easily, it must be the 14% linen content because the rest is Lyocell (whatever that is!).  There are lot of this style of coat available on the high street and on-line including from ASOS as here  and Zalando here 

She has teamed it flared 7 for All Mankind jeans which they sadly don't seem to stock anymore.  Her top and necklace are from her favourite of all shops - COS.  COS are renowned for their simple architectural styling and they have some fabulous pieces available at the moment that have taken Anne's eye including this and this and they are only £19 a real bargain.
Her chunky bangle was a gift and shoes were purchased from Dune and are the Jany block heel buckle design, still available in the sale here for £55. 

Back to Anne C who has just swapped the coat, and kept the same basic outfit as before. This voluminous stone-coloured linen coat was bought on holiday this year in Thassos, and has already become a firm favourite.

With a drawstring hem (though I won't use that) and asymmetric styling, it is currently still on trend and perfect for covering up.  Linen is notorious for creasing, though, and I made the mistake of wearing it on the plant on the way home from Greece.  BIG mistake!


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Friday, 15 September 2017

IN THE NAVY


This week we are taking classic navy and white separates and showing just how different they can look - with Anne C going for a casual look and Anne H  taking the same colours but creating a much more sophisticated impression.

Clearly still in summer mood, Anne C has gone for one of her favourite linen staples with a navy top which could be worn as a short dress, but she has teamed it with white skinny jeans and plain white tee, leaving the buttons undone on the top.  The top is from a local boutique in Leeds called New Collection, jeggings from Florence & Fred at Tesco, and comfy white pumps from Primark - all very inexpensive!


Anne H chose an asymmetric top in cotton jersey from COS which is has a pleated front and deep V which gives a flattering silhouette.   She liked it so much she also bought the lovely baby pink one as well,  an unusual colour choice for her.  At only £49 it is top that she will get loads of wear out of both for day and evening. 

She has teamed it with Rozie jeans from her favourite brand 7 for All Mankind.  The length is just perfect for her 5ft 8inch frame and she is always watching out for the sales to stock up on their jeans, whatever the colour.  Having retired she finds that jeans are a real day to day staple so worth a level of investment for a good fit and comfort.  Her shoes are from Dune and sadly no longer available, although they do have a similar one in the Jany design that is now in the sale at £55.00 
Jewellery wise she has chosen silver tones with a necklace that was a gift from a friend, a cuff that was from The White Company and silver bangle from Pandora.



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Friday, 8 September 2017

SUMMER LINEN


We have talked about linen quite a lot this summer, so here's one of our final posts on summer clothing - and of course if includes the ever-popular linen staples.

Anne H's beautiful inky blue top is in 100% linen and was purchased on a trip to Bali. Although long sleeved, it is really cool to wear and is such an easy piece to dress up or down, with the deep side slits making it move gracefully in the breeze.  Her trousers are an old pair from Zara, also in linen and her sandals were purchased on a recent trip to Rome.


Her bangle was another holiday purchase from Italy and her Miu Miu glasses were purchased while on holiday in New York - this is a holiday outfit in the truest sense!  A similar style of frame in a solid tone can be found on the SmartBuy Glasses site.


Anne C's linen dress was a summer 2017 buy from TKMaxx in a striking blue tulip fabric.  In fact she loves the pattern so much that when she spotted a blouse in the same fabric - obviously from the same supplier - she snapped that up too! Both have lovely stretchy cotton side panels, so will take a little expansion!


She has accessorised with silver earrings, silver ring and her own baby christening bracelet, which she recently uncovered and found to her surprise that it fitted her! Other than family jewellery, it must be the oldest thing she owns that was bought for her!

The flip-flops are Ted Baker in rose gold, which was a present earlier this year - they were also available in gold and silver at the time.



This outfit is one which Anne H has had made, copying a design of a similar black button-through top that she purchased from the White Company years ago.  She found a tailor whilst on holiday in Bangkok who make this beige version in 100% linen.  Her trousers are also a Zara linen pair purchased a number of years ago.


Her sandals, just peeking through below the trousers, are from the Dune sale this year, they are the Janey design and still available at £55.


Anne C's cool, casual linen seersucker dress was a birthday gift, but bought in Spain - someone knows exactly what she likes to wear!  She has dressed it up a little with a white bead necklace bought in Greece some years ago, and white court shoes with a suede wedge which are also a couple of years old. The sunglasses are Chanel -  yet again, something she has had for years, as is the white fashion watch.

However, it works just as well throwing over a swimsuit or wearing with flip-flops on the beach for a versatile outfit.




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Friday, 1 September 2017

IN THE PINK



I don't think it's a big secret that my favourite colour is pink - shocking pink, pale pink, bright pink, hot pink - you name it, I love it!

I've bought a couple of new outfits this summer - and of course it includes my favourite pink palette!

The dress above and below is from Hope Fashion in a bright fuchsia pink.  I love the colour and the style, however, I did find the fabric a little thin and disappointing, but I am still keeping it.  I have teamed with bright pink suede shoes, which came from George at Asda, and a gorgeous necklace, which I bought in John Lewis earlier this year, but is now sold out. The earrings are silver, and which I have had for ages, while the slim silver bracelet was actually my expanding christening bracelet, which I have just discovered still fits, though I hadn't even seen it for years.





Anne H has also splashed out on pink this year - even though it isn't normally one of the colours she wears - maybe my love of pink is rubbing off on her!!


She brings in the pink with some wide legged pink silk-rayon trousers from Zara that she has had for years and a cream viscose top from Reiss that she purchased from a McArthur Glen outlet.  Her shoes are from Russell and Bromley and are the fuscia toned suede Display design, which look very similar to the other Anne's but at £175 are more than 12 times the price!


Her bangle on her watch hand is the Essence design from Pandora and was a gift from her daughter.  The watch is Tag Heuer and the other bangle is one purchased whilst on holiday in Greece as was the pendant.

(Love that Daphne the cat has managed to photobomb the shot above!)


Back to Anne C and she is wearing a lipstick pink chiffon dress from James Lakeland, bought from Simply Devine in Tadcaster.  She has the same dress in black, bought last year, and featured in a previous blog post here) and although it is no longer available on the James Lakeland website, SD still has the dress in stock in pink, black and navy, and House of Fraser has it in cobalt blue here, though sizes are limited.

It is such an easy dress to wear - either dress it up with heels and super jewellery, or dress down (as Anne has done here) and team it with flip-flops for a summer vibe.


The flip flops are Ted Baker rose gold, and were an anniversary gift this summer from her husband for their 42nd wedding anniversary - clearly he knows where her true passions lie! They are the bow detail Glamaar design which are still available on the Ted Baker site in gold and limited sizes in the rose gold are available on the House of Fraser site, both at £45.


And as seen in a previous post Anne H is wearing a pink T shirt top from OSKA which she has teamed with white 7 for All Mankind Rozie jeans, her favourite jeans brand and style.  Her sandals, purchased last year, are from Dune and have been the perfect pair for walking city streets. Sadly they are now coming to the end of their life so she has found some very similar ones, also from Dune, and is hoping they will prove as comfortable. Her bangle is from The White Company and necklace from Phase 8 who can always be relied upon for reasonably priced pieces and particularly the longer styles favoured by Anne.  This necklace was purchased last year, but they still have a similar style in this Penelope necklace and for just £29 it is a real steal. 

It was purely a coincidence that the garden furniture matches! 



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Friday, 25 August 2017

SURVIVING IN THE HEAT WHEN YOU HAVE TO WORK

Both Anne and I have spent just about all of our working lives in offices.  Even if most of those years have been spent working in one company, we have both moved offices several times due to expansion, contraction or just plain finances!

So with that in mind, we have both worked in brand new purpose-built air-conditioned offices, old country houses, 60s and 70s style buildings, old terraced houses, and even converted churches.

How do you survive when the weather turns hot outside and the heat is magnified inside the building?

It’s Anne C here and I have probably moved offices more times than I care to remember, even though I worked for one company for almost 27 years, before taking up freelance and short-term contract work 13 years ago.



Temperatures vary such a lot in the UK yet we are always caught out by the weather!  So here’s our advice for surviving at work when the heat is on, but the air-con isn’t!

The secret for me is layering – and that also works when the thermostat dips too.  If you swelter on the tube or Underground, then find the air-conditioning blasting away in your office, layering means you can take off your jacket or cardigan as you travel, and put it on as you get to work. The problem for me in the UK is that even if the sun isn't shining, it is often very warm in the office!  It was always the bane of our lives that we could never control the temperature at work - the office was kept at an ambient temperature, but in large buildings if the weather changed, the heating/cooling system was not quick enough to adapt!

Anne C is pictured in the Sensational Baby Boomer office, (actually we both write and produce the blog from our respective homes now) and is wearing a crisp white shirt from the Shirt Company, which is no longer available, but they do a fantastic range of women's shirts which are cool and feminine.  She has teamed it with cotton jeans from M&S, similar ones here.


And here's a throwback picture taken from a previous job where the aid conditioning was fierce, and meant she wore longer sleeves, even in summer.  However, the dress, by James Lakeland (similar ones here), had a cotton stretch top and taffeta/cotton balloon skirt, so still cool even though it is black.




Cotton, silk, linen and natural fabrics are best suited to hot weather.  And we can also include the guys here too (I don't think we've mentioned them before!)  – you don’t have to wear woollen suits during the hot summer months, a crisp shirt and a pair of chinos work well. Check out Bonobos for all they have to offer. 


Meanwhile, Anne H is  wearing a silk shirt from Jigsaw and has layered with a natural short-sleeved COS cardigan which she can take off if the air conditioning fails to work properly! She is also wearing jeans from 7 for all Mankind for this shot.





Anne H is looking cool but corporate and smart in these white cotton chinos and dark grey silk T shirt top.  Sandals, as long as they are smart also work well in the office,  just make sure your toes are painted ladies!


Women do have much more choice – they can either wear trousers, skirts or dresses.  Personally, I prefer trousers, but steer away from skinny jeans and tight clothing when the weather is hot – nothing looks worse than sweat stains under the arms.  M&S always have great tailored trousers which come in different cuts so they don’t stick to your legs!

We love linen, although it does tend to crease, so whether this is a good idea for work depends on what you do for a living.  Working in a corporate environment means always wearing smart clothing – often in dark colours, but if you work in a creative environment, the dress code tends to be a little more relaxed.  We have worked in both so it’s fun to see what is accepted in one environment, which would be frowned upon in another.


In this outfit Anne H has upped the smartness and wears tailored linen blend trousers with a matching cotton top.  She chooses very plain, simple pieces of silver jewellery that aren't heavy and uncomfortable in the heat but just add a more polished finish.  For this look she has opted for toning grey court shoes.

It is also worth mentioning that I find  very heavy or fussy jewellery annoying at work – particularly bracelets which clank against a computer keyboard or laptop, and make my hands feel sweaty.  Large necklaces also seem to stick to my chest when it’s close or clammy, so for me it’s just a watch, stud earrings and a wedding ring.



Summer dresses are acceptable for women in most establishments, though the styles may vary depending on the formality of the business.  I have always avoided clingy, man-made fabrics for work, as they don’t always wear well for everyday use.


Most offices these days also have a water cooler, and keeping hydrated is so important when the weather is hot, though I do struggle to drink a couple of litres a day.




Anne C is also showing off her new Jimmy Choo reading glasses for the first time - with sparkly Swarovski crystal sides - fortunately only needed for close up work!





It’s also important to get out into the sun at lunchtime -15 minutes of sunshine without sun cream is recommended to ensure Vitamin D absorption, but remember to put on sun screen after that, even in the northern hemisphere, since most of us are vitamin deficient, which can affect our weary bones!
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Friday, 18 August 2017

TROPEAN EVENING LOOKS

I just had to share this beautiful sunset over our friends' pool - just to remind myself as it pours with rain outside my window,  that it was, and still is, sunny somewhere in Europe. 
And now for some more of my favourite holiday outfits with clothes that have probably featured before on this blog.  I purchased this longline top from Zara a couple of years ago and loved it so much that I got the other colourway as well.  It would be so easy to copy if you were a seamstress as it is such a basic shape.  It might be too long at the back for a lot of people but perfect for me being 5ft 8in. Versatile as well,  as it makes a great beach cover up but then dresses up so well for the evening. 
Seen here at our favourite cocktail bar in Tropea - Max's Bar - I have accessorised with a pretty pearl necklace that was a gift from the Far East and a fabulous Mojito.
I have got my trusty Zara linen trousers on here and a white cami top from M & S to protect my modesty. The sandals were the ones purchased from Rome and the handbag is from Kate Spade.  
This top is one that I bought this year from Cos and as ever is my favoured design with drop back and simple tunic cut.  The black linen trousers are from Zara and the black wedges are from M & S from last year. The necklace was a gift from Phase 8 who can always be relied on for long length necklaces. 
Back to some oldies from the wardrobe - another Cos top with a silk drop back and jersey front in dark navy teamed with white cotton trousers with turn ups from the YaYa brand sold through idependent retailers.  The necklace is from Mint Velvet and the sunglasses are Chloe and purchased in Tropea a year ago. Please excuse the not so attractive FitBit bracelet, but a girl has to keep up with her step count.  
And here is that Zara top again in the other colourway.  Teamed with black linen jeans from Armani that I bought in Tropea over five years ago. The sandals are from Next and on their last legs and the bracelet was also a Tropea find.  
Again I have worn an M & S cami top underneath to keep the eye on the over top which is also in black.


Closing with some evening shots of Tropea with the sun setting over Stromboli.  
Such a pretty view and a destination worth a visit.  It even got a write up in the Sunday Times travel guide recently as one of the Med's top tips - Calabria, Italy's secret south.


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