I learnt a few weeks ago that House of Fraser (HOF) are not honouring gift cards in store or online.  My gift card for HOF is worth £80.00.   I have followed the process for getting my money refunded but I’m not holding my breath.  So my question is “are gift cards a safe bet”??

Since this discovery, I have been told it’s probably best to spend gift cards quickly in this present climate.   More importantly, I feel concerned for the staff of House of Fraser. It must be the worst feeling in the world for these employees to not  know what the future holds, and it makes the slight problem of a gift card seem trivial. But, nevertheless, £80 is no small amount!!!

Recently, I went to Newcastle to make sure my youngest son was settled into university for his final year.   We all met up in the city centre for coffee, then and I went into Fenwicks Dept Store.  This was a conscious decision as I had another gift card that I had received from Christmas 2017.  The whole House of Fraser gift card situation made me think that maybe I had to spend it quickly!

Wandering around Fenwicks, I couldn’t resist this pretty blue Daria Print Ruffled Skirt from Mint Velvet (£89.00).  It is chiffon material in a layered silhouette. This midi skirt sits high on the waist and I have already worn it quite a few times – pairing it with a Zara dark blue fitted jumper, or a cream fitted cardigan.

I particularly love the movement of the skirt and thought it looked good with this old leather biker jacket that I have owned for ages, along with some blue suede ankle boots.

This skirt could easily be dressed up in heels and a silky blouse or even a stylish t-shirt and sneakers with a little denim jacket – that would look cool!!

I know I will get a lot of wear out of it as it is so versatile and flattering – and I also love the midi length, which is my favourite.

Alison x

Some girls are so certain of their style from the beginning.  I remember, in my young days, these girls stood out from the rest and were an inspiration to me.  I have been friendly with a lot of women throughout my life whose style has inspired me.  Whatever age and size, their confidence and their flair shone through. There is nothing more fabulous than someone who is comfortable in their own skin.  Style wise, they are such an inspiration and have no fear of looking a certain way or wearing something they really love and are not afraid of what people think, or say.

photographer – Viktor Hanacek

I loved nights out, in my younger years – the girls would turn up in their ‘get-ups’, which had been so meticulously put together.  Of course, these were the late seventies, early eighties – the time of big shoulder pads and “New Romantics”.  I also had a few mates who were “Punks” and “Goths” (now, that took time, effort and style).  I wonder what they are doing, and where they are with their “style”, now.  I don’t think you ever quite leave your young style behind as you get older –  it’s part of who you are. As we get older, we have had time to rehearse and practise.

Photo by Sabina Ciesielska on Unsplash

I like to think I have a little bit of an idea when I’m trying on things that don’t suit me – they just feel so “wrong”. For example, in my younger years, I had some “not good” moments with woollen dresses which made me look like a giant snowball – think the whole colour block thing doesn’t agree with me, and the odd (very eighties) rah-rah skirt.  This  was the first successful attempt to revive the mini skirt and, hands up, I was a fan at the time!   It wasn’t very forgiving if you know what I mean.

Photo by Lauren Fleischmann on Unsplash

Oh, and there was the odd bad hair-do just to add to the overall mix. I once came back from the hairdressers looking like Tina Turner which, as much as I love Tina Turner, this was not my intention or what I had asked for.  I think the hairdresser got a little bit carried away.

Me out for a saunter, in the direction of the pub! I do love “easy to wear” chilled out fashion that makes me feel good, though I’m not averse to a lovely little bit of dressing up!

I believe style in midlife years is continually a “work in progress”.  For example, I will see a great outfit on someone, or in a shop and love it.  Sometimes, I’ve been brave enough to ask the person where they had purchased it.  But, on me, it will either look equally good or really terrible.  I once read somewhere that style takes time and maybe that’s true. I believe, at this age, I am still trying to look good and that, for me, it’s on-going.  Some women make wearing clothes look effortless. Whereas, for me, alas, that’s not always the case!!!

 

Photo by Pete Bellis on Unsplash

I also believe it is very important to be comfortable, and know what suits me.  I’ve done this through trial and error, and taking good advice along the way from expert fashion stylists.  There is a lot of great “style gurus” out there.  I believe some of them are brilliant and give out great, constructive advice. But, I also believe that, whatever advice you read, you still must feel happy and relaxed in what you are wearing.  Because style is such a personal thing! We all know people who wear something because of the label or because they think, if it’s one of the most expensive, exclusive garments in the shop, then it will have to look great on them. Unfortunately, as we know, that’s not always the case.

Thank you for reading, let me know if you have any comments and please subscribe to my blog.

Alison x