Last week I indulged in a day off and went to Bicester Village for some chic shopping with a friend. Bicester Village is a large shopping outlet situated near Oxford and crammed full of designer shops all offering some seriously classy fashion at greatly reduced prices.
Some years ago I used to go there regularly as I was often working in the area. I would stock up on designer goodies before running 2 day training seminars. I had usually spend a large part of the fees I was going to earn. Those were the days!
If you are visiting the UK and are planning some “retail therapy” I would recommend Bicester. You can get there by car, train or bus.
Now for our regular visit to Fashion Flash. This week our host is MaryLou of Secondlivesclub. MaryLou writes a great blog about inspiring women who have followed their dreams and created the second half of their lives in the way they want it to be. Join her and the rest of the FashionFlash crowd for this weeks round-up.
There definitely is hope. Brands are beginning to wake up to the fact that mature women are a growing demographic and that we continue to want to look and feel good in the clothes that we wear. We need clothes that are suitable for our changing body shape, that wrap, drape and flatter and also provide a pleasing silhouette.
Last week I was thrilled to attend the launch party of Hope a new range specially designed with us in mind and to interview Nayna McIntosh, founder and CEO.
Nayna and her team of 6 have 200 yrs of fashion experience between them, however even more important is that their average age is 51, they range in size from 10 to 20 and from 5.0ft to 5.10ft. They know the customer because they are that customer. Nothing goes into the collection unless the team can all wear it.
Nayna’s philosophy is simple. It is not about being age appropriate but self appropriate and wearing what works for you. Most of us have areas of our body that we like, it might be shoulders, legs or bums. Whatever it is we want to enhance those areas and play down the bits that we are not so keen on. By this stage in our lives we are fairly self aware and we need to be able to work with our bodies; however we need the tools for the job. When you wear an outfit that you feel fabulous in it is usually because the component parts of that outfit do just that, they bring out the best in us. This brand provides good quality, softly draped fabrics and even better most of the range is manufactured here in Britain.
Nayna was also adamant that the models she uses to show and promote the collection had to be authentic; to include women of a certain age, differing body shapes and ethnicity.
These clothes are easy to pull on, comfortable to wear and make you feel fabulous.
Hope is sold in two ways, firstly on the internet which continues to be more and more popular with our age range, who really likes trogging round the high street when you can try on items in your own home and check if they work with the rest of your wardrobe. Secondly in pop up boutiques, known in the US as trunk shows. This adds a personal selling experience that you can still sometimes find in independent clothes shops outside the big cities.
Hope want to make women feel “beautifully confident” I think they are going in the right direction.
At the moment Hope is only available in the UK. I would love to hear from my US readers if they would like to see the range available in the US. Do leave me a comment with your thoughts.
A great little video that I thought I would share with you. Yes you can do your make-up in 5 mins. It may not be absolutely perfect but it is definitely better than none at all. As Lisa says you can adapt the routine to suit your individual needs.
I particularly like the L’Oreal Nude palette she has used. It is definitely on my order list. Available at Feelunique.
Don’t forget to pop over to the Fashion Flash Forum. This weeks host is Jackie Silver at Ageing Backwards. Join her and the rest of the crowd for this weeks round up of news and views on fashion, beauty, health, diet and how to make the best of the second half of your life.
Don’t you just love the fact that sensible shoes are back in fashion and on trend this autumn. My feet certainly are. Walking the hard London pavements with any kind of heel has been impossible for a few years now. I therefore love to see the shops full of gorgeous good solid shoes you can spend all day in without hobbling back home.
Several of the autumn/winter 2015 designer collections showcased some great looks worn with sensible shoes. I am digging out my lace ups, not that I ever really put them away.