A little bit of style is all you need…

I guess as my little slice of the internet is about my life and style I ought to put my money where my mouth is and write a post on said style bit. This may get a little embarrassing but be kind, I’m all about being kind here.

I mentioned ages ago in an old post (Archived post: Surprised? I was… https://mylifeandstyleover40.com/2020/08/ scroll down a little in the archives to find it if you want to have a look) about how I need to get grip on finding my own style as I’d kind of given up on my appearance and how I looked in others eyes. I tend to be the type who doesn’t always practice what they preach and I must get out of that habit! Definitely not a good habit to have if you’re a teacher like me 🙄

I’d like to think I know a little bit about style, I know the a bit of the ‘theoretical’ elements, which some might deem to be ‘common sense’, and I think know how to put a stylish outfit together (most of the time) and I’m a good learner. But, I think the problem is I’m quite lazy and I also quite often have a ‘so what do I care what others think’ approach. Believe it or not, I actually do care how I look. To me it’s not being vain it’s a part of self care, just like taking five minutes to ground ourselves and refocus. Something we are told to do for our mental health. I do care about what others may think about me and how I look but it’s easier to hide behind ‘a cloak’ and appear nonchalant about things.

Photo by Kat Smith on Pexels.com

Why is this? Is it a British stiff upper lip thing? Who knows! But, I do think there is something in the feeling that if we change how we look, even if it’s a smart pair of shoes rather than the usual scruffy trainers we may wear on the school run, someone might notice the little change we’ve made and may comment on it. Oh no, how do we deal with that!?! Especially if it’s a compliment, because let’s face it, for some of us, we are not good at receiving compliments are we. It often makes us a little uncomfortable, it may even sometimes make us think in a negative way “OMG, if they make a comment on what I’m wearing then I must have looked really bad before”, which can go either way and make us think positively enough to make us care a little more or as I suspect I have done in the past, we may verge towards the negative side and will hide away going back to our old ways because if I don’t’ change they will never notice. The truth is, if we try to hide we get noticed just as much as when we make an effort. And any changes we make get quickly absorbed into our daily look and become the norm to others. Ironically I like to compliment others on how they look and yet feel a little awkward when others compliment me.

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut where you just grab the nearest thing to hand and throw it on hoping that it might look reasonable, I am busy like most people, I am time deficient, and planning what I wear often doesn’t work for me. I have off days, fat days, happy days, down days and every kind of day so what I may plan to wear may not be what I actually wear as I might just not be feeling in the mood that day! I am very much an emotional dresser, much like my emotional eating. I wear happy clothes if I’m feeling buoyant, but I wear scruffy clothes if I’m feeling tired and worn out. My clothes fit my mood.

I find it difficult to find clothes that I feel really comfortable and confident in, many of my comfort clothes do not scream style and make me look frumpy (see the dress in the pic as an example!😲) which then puts me in a negative frame of mind and thus the continual cycle goes on. I do have some really positive days where I will wear something I really like and makes me feel confident.

This has been down to learning a lot about style from a group I’m part of. ALERT!!! Shameless plug of the Lessons in Style Club I’m in (I’m recommending this service because I love it, I don’t get any commision for doing this at all so this is genuine!!!). Visit RuthEssex.com for more information. If you are feeling in a style rut, or just want to understand a little more about colours that might suit you believe me there’s a lesson for everyone there. Have a peek and sign up for her newsletter – you’ll find some really interesting helpful hints and tips there. She really is one of a kind when it comes to stylists.

Beware, you will be subject to some awful photo’s but I’m all about keeping it real! 🤣

The photo, although a couple of years on, does show I’ve improved my style I think. The dress in the first image makes me look overweight and frumpy. I would have worn trainers with it or sandals I’ve come a fair way in a couple of years. The second photo shows in my opinion a much better more refined me, despite the grumpy face 🤣. I’m still the same size, you just don’t notice it so much, I’m just wearing a much better outfit. And, yes, I still wear colours that don’t suit my colouring but I wear them away from my face (most of the time). I’m also not one for a full face of war paint, I bow to you if you have the patience to apply everyday, but I’ve just bought some new mascara and concealer so will be slightly more presentable than I was!

I remember being slim, and wearing miniskirts because I had good legs, I’m not being vain when I say I think I still have half decent legs and although the skirt lengths may have come down a little I know from the help and guidance from the friends I have made in the club I can still make the most of the good parts of me. I’m still learning the art of disguising the not so good parts though 🤣 Mum tum anyone?!

Photo by Castorly Stock on Pexels.com

I thoroughly enjoy my lessons in style in the style club (again if you want more information go to https://ruthessex.com/ to find out more). It’s a lovely family community, very supportive and not bitchy like other groups I’ve been in, and the lessons are well thought out, and very insightful. I learn a lot, although I may not always put the learning into practice, but like I said I’m an emotional dresser. There are going to be days where I don’t wear what I may have initially planned to wear and throw on some old trousers and a jumper – I unlike many cannot pull off the ‘looks amazing in a bin bag’ look.

I often have this concern that if I try to follow trends I’ll look like overweight mutton dressed as lamb! I’ve always been a little bit old fashioned I guess. I love the idea of coated jeans with an oversized jumper and heels, and in my head it looks great, and I’ve scoured Pinterest and gathered loads of images, sadly there are so few images of larger ladies there in the styles I like that I’m fast losing interest in Pinterest. And let’s face it how many times would I wear said heels?! I can barely keep my balance in flats at the best of times – oops. Maybe I should start flooding Pinterest with awful images of me 🤣. Yes, I have bought a pair of Matthew Williamson Butterfly black coated skinnies on a whim but they were from a charity shop so I’m not buying new and I’m doing my bit for the environment which is quite apt considering we’ve just been through COP26. Haven’t been brave enough to try them on yet though!!!

I have a daughter who is a real shopper, something I never really got to do much with my own mum. But little one knows what she wants and goes for it. We went charity shopping (again) the other day, and she got herself all dressed up in sequins and fluffy fake fur with sparkly trainers and a full face of makeup too! She outdressed and out accessorised me! It was so lovely having the proud mummy moments when shop assistants commented on how lovely she looked and ‘why shouldn’t we wear fluffy fur and sequins whenever we want?’

Not sure if you’ve experienced this but if you have you’ll know, but when you are out and you’re browsing through the rails and somehow listen in on people’s conversations? Well, it was so funny when we were out my little one was chatting away to me about bags and clothes, and she saw a bag she liked. Purple rosette flowered clutch to be precise. Anyway, she was talking about all my bags, I do love a good bag, and how “I can borrow them whenever I like, can’t I mummy?” and I could feel myself getting a bit anxious over this, I am quite precious over my bags, when I noticed another customer chuckling to herself whilst listening in to our conversation. She looked over and gave me a smile and then said to my little one “will mummy be able to borrow your new purple bag if she wants too?”, to which my daughter replied with a stern “No, only if she pays me”. I snorted, couldn’t help it. She is such a character, and very strong willed. The poor woman, had to bite her lip to stop herself from laughing.

Lesson learned here? Must make more of an effort in my choice of outfit when shopping with my daughter! Let me know in the comments if you’ve had any of these moments… I love to hear your stories. Or if you prefer pop a comment on my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Mylifeandstyleover40/

Take care, stay safe

Becks xo

A little catch up…

A huge heartfelt ‘I’ve missed you all, I’ve missed writing and sorry for not being about much’. I feel this is like being at church in the confessional, “Dear father, it’s been 8 months since my last confession…”.

Okay so maybe it’s no quite so, but I do feel guilty a little for not being in touch sooner. It’s been a mare of a year to date and I honestly think the only thing keeping me sane is my family (most of the time!) and my lovely supportive ladies in the style club I’m part of. It’s funny how we turn to particular people or groups when we need a little pick me up from time to time, of which I’m sure we have needed one more than a little often during the past twelve to eighteen months. I know I’m not alone in feeling a bit weird about how things have panned out but we’re in this together and many of us have hit highs and lows during this time.

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

I’m not going to dwell too much on what’s been going on with the pandemic but I will just sum up the past few months for you so we can move on and look forward.

I read through a few of my old posts on a whim, I just somehow felt the need to check in and I’m glad I did as it’s spurred me on to engage with everyone again. I had been feeling quite down and had been finding it hard to et out of that blah feeling. You may know the feeling, the one that is difficult to describe but blah seems to fit in many ways. I think I needed the pick me up from others in a small way.

At the start of the year I posted about resolutions and setting small goals. I both succeeded and failed in those that I set! I did lose the stone I aimed to lose and then put it all back on again and more (story of my life!), and I managed to save a fair amount of money but ended up spending a bit of it on a newer car as my old one was 13 years old and although still going strong, Nissan Notes are practically bombproof – well childproof anyway, it was getting to a point where I fancied a change. I went for a more funky car this time around although if my boy keeps growing the way he is he’ll outgrow the back seats in a year! Oh well, best start saving again!

Anyway, it’s been crazy with work, I’m now teaching four subjects back to back day in day out with next to no prep time except the time I have at home which as any parent out there will experience is next to none. Covid is going around the school like wildfire and if I’m honest it’s not nice. I’m wary of it being coughs and colds season as at the back of my mind there’s the ‘it could be covid’ thought. I’m jabbed and although this makes me less worried it doesn’t make me invincible. I can still get it, it could still hit me hard and I could still infect someone else with it without knowing, but I could also get hit by a bus (always ensure you have clean underwear on as my nan used to say). I am staying careful and still masking up where needed, I’m keeping my distance and doing what I can to keep my family and others safe. It’s about being sensible and considerate to others which to me is good manners and common sense.

I’ve been checking in to friends and family on Instagram and Facebook as I’ve not seen some for a while, even though we’ve been out of lockdown for an age now. Things are the new normal and I’m adjusting to it, but time seems so lacking for me to squeeze in all the things I need and want to do. I’m organised but still it just seems to fly by! I love seeing what people are up to and I class myself as an avid people watcher.

Myself and hubby have recently discovered this joy together – at the beach. We usually try to pick a slightly overcast day and when the kids are at their grandparents for the weekend, we pop out to the beach, grab some chips and a hot drink and sit in the car nice and dry and people watch. It’s funnier on a dreary day, but nicer on a warm and sunny one as we can sit out and swap chips for ice-cream! It’s great just sitting there watching the world go by. It’s a nice time to switch off (as much as we can at least) from the world. I find it very therapeutic.

I used to love sitting at a cafe with coffee and cake and just watching passers by. I enjoyed seeing how people interacted with others, what they wore and even what they said – Shh! dont tell.

Whilst it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, I just find myself fascinated by others. Are you a people watcher like me? I have a friend who likes to sit in a café, notebook and pen ready to make notes on ‘life’ as it goes by. It gives her inspiration for her teaching and allows her to engage with her students on a more realistic up to date basis.

It’s been a bit of a hard couple of weeks recently. My mum fell and managed to break her hip. sadly she had to wait over four hours for an ambulance by which time she was in so much pain, I can’t imagine how she was feeling. I have to say the problems aren’t the poor ambulance staff, it’s the mismanagement of the NHS in general. We have a wonderful resource at our finger tips and yet it’s been abused for many years by so many. Dad is missing my mum terribly, he’s not used to life on his own, and not being able to visit her is really playing on his mind. He calls her every night and is happier after talking to her. We’ll have to see how she goes with her physio to find out when she can come home. Hopefully soon.

Hope you and your families are all safe and well. Time for me to sign off for now.

Take care, stay safe

Becks Xo