Saturday, 7 June 2014

Earning my stripes?

Following on from my previous post about my love of polka dots, my other favourite pattern is stripes, so I thought I would show you a couple of examples from my wardrobe.  I suggest that Robin, who isn't a fan of either pattern, looks away now!

I've built up quite a collection of striped tops and I also have a striped dress. I know that ideally, being short, I should wear vertical stripes to make me look taller and slimmer, but the majority of striped items in my wardrobe are horizontal stripes. I'm not quite sure when this love of stripes started, but over the years my collection has grown and the good news is that stripes never really go out of fashion!

This is my striped dress, which I bought two years ago with the help of my personal fashion adviser (aka my daughter Kate!) to wear for nights out during the summer months and especially for my 65th birthday party.

I've worn the dress with a white jacket in summer, and I also wore it a few months ago with dark tights and shoes plus a dark jacket, so it has proved a versatile buy.

During the winter months I have several striped jumpers to choose from:


To create a longer, leaner line with my winter jumpers, I can wear a jacket or cardigan over them that matches or blends with my trousers. Wearing a longer scarf as in the first photo also helps to draw the eyes down and minimises the horizontal effect.

However I'm a bit short of striped tops for summer.  The one below was bought about 18 months ago and was a bit of a change for me as it is in yellow, which isn't necessarily my best colour, but how could I resist the uneven stripes?

My most recent purchase is the following top, which I bought in Mango - that should be good for my street cred! I can wear this top with most of my summer bottoms: I have shown a pair of black linen trousers as well as the white pair that I wore today.


I think that the way I wore it in the first picture is more flattering than the second photo, as the cascade cardigan helps to make me look taller and slimmer.  However I'm not a fashion model or film star, so does it really matter whether I look slim or not? I don't think so. Also, as regards 
   blogging about fashion, I'm no stylist. I understand the "rules" however my aim is to encourage 
   you to break the rules when it suits you and discover your unique fashion style.

   Today was pretty hot, so when I went out dressed in my striped top, white linen trousers and
   sandals I felt cool and comfortable. Isn't that what fashion should be all about?


  1. My favourite patterns are also dots and stripes. I particularly like the striped dress. Is your husband a lot taller than you? Perhaps he could sit or kneel down when taking your picture. I tried to post this on your previous posting with the older dot dress so we could get a better perspective. Alas it went into cyber space.

    1. Sharon, yes my husband is a foot taller than me! The only problem I've found when he sits down to take my photo is that my double chin seems to become a triple or even quadruple chin!

  2. .....
    Seriously, though! Why should we all take a hint from models and stars and look our best?

    1. Robin, models and stars have to look their best because, if they have an off day, unflattering photos of them will be displayed for the whole world to see via social media! If I have a particularly unflattering photo taken, I can delete it from my camera (if hubby has taken it) or untag myself on facebook and hardly anyone will know. I must admit though that, if I'm wearing an outfit that flatters me and I've just had my hair done, I do feel better about myself, even though I know it's a bit shallow.

  3. oops--that first comment was that I was averting my eyes--if you put words between brackets they disappear

    1. I must try and remember to avoid brackets when I leave comments!

  4. Sue,

    I also have an unreasonable affinity for stripes and find myself buying tops with them often. I think the outfit that you wore today—striped shirt and linen pants—looks wonderful on you. To my eye you look quite svelte in that ensemble...sans the cardigan. Maybe it's the cropped pants? the light-colored sandals? Whatever it is, you hit the nail on the head with that combination!

    1. Thanks, Andrea. Perhaps the clue was in the fact that I wore light-coloured sandals with the white pants, which helped to draw the eyes down and detract from the vertical stripes. I suspect that this will be a favourite outfit of mine during out long hot summer here in Spain! I think that stripes are becoming a classic look. I don't worry about whether I'm wearing the latest fashion, on the other hand I don't particularly want to look too old-fashioned, so it's reassuring to know that stripes always look good.

  5. Hi Sue,
    I live in Central Queensland, Australia and have been following your blog for @ a year.As I have recently retired at the age of 52 You have been a great inspiration. Your relaxed style and sensible approach to weather conditions are just what I need. High temps and cold winters have a big impact on what I wear. Supermodels are just that. Super. Normal people like us need comfort, style and clothing that makes us feel good. Being stylish just happens to be the outcome of taking a little care when getting dressed then getting on with living our lives. I thing both spots and stripes look great on you. Keep up the good work.

    1. Whereabouts in Queensland do you live? We have a friend who lives in Marcus Beach near Noosa and we visited her several years ago. Whilst there we also visited Brisbane and Fraser Island. Loved it there, but we couldn't afford to retire to Australia as our British pensions would have been fixed!

      Temperatures are pretty high in Spain (high 30s and even low 40s centigrade in summer), though winters can be surprisingly cold. If I'd known I might have brought a few more winter clothes when we moved here!

      What you say about comfort and style are so true for those of us who aren't supermodels - though I think we're all super!

      I'm glad that you are enjoying my blog - do let me know if there are any topics that you would like me to cover and I'll do my best.


  6. I live in Moranbah, 200 km west of our nearest big town, Mackay. Noosa is @ 8hrs drive from us. You are lucky to have been able to visit your friends in such a beautiful part of our country. Many of us can't afford to retire here, either. We have a thriving population of "Grey Nomads" who live in caravans and spend their retirement travelling around Australia, outrunning Winter. Can't wait til I can join their ranks.

    I am interested in using our clothes as much as possible. To that end I have been downsizing my wardrobe. Unfortunately, I didn't downsize my body and need a few new things in a larger size for Winter.

    Our weather seems very much like yours. Extreme Summers that last 9 months, 2 months of "cardigan"weather ( where you spend all day taking your cardi off then putting it back on) 1 month of horrid cold. Moranbah is in a desert, surrounded by coal mines.

    Have you any advice for wearing natural fabrics without looking too crushed? My girlfriend recommended darker colours as you don't notice the creases so much.

    So glad I found your blog.

    Cheers, Judy

    1. Hi Judy

      I love the idea of the "Grey Nomads", though it's not so good if they don't have any other options.

      Yes, once we are women of a certain age, our bodies seem to develop minds of their own! It's a good excuse to go shopping though, and wearing the right size is very important: I've had to recycle clothes that have started fitting far too snugly, which isn't the best look on me.

      I've noticed that my linen skirt creases more easily than my linen trousers, which are a looser fit. The trousers I'm taking on holiday with me (see my latest post) aren't too bad. I'm taking blue and black pairs rather than white and stone, partly because they don't show the dirt as much.

      If you buy natural fabrics that have a small percentage of man-made fibres in them they don't crease as much, though that is defeating the purpose if you just want to wear natural fabrics!

      Cheers, Sue