Saturday, 30 April 2011

Weekend Style

Kerfuffle over. Team TNMA back in residence. And hooray for a long, lazy weekend in London. So, I actually can't stop wearing my coloured jeans and chinos - though not at the same time, I alternate, obviously - and that's exactly what I'll be doing over the Bank Holiday. And now that I've grown accustomed to a brightly coloured bottom half, I'm thinking of diversifying. Soon my wardrobe will be blushing with pride. That's Not My Age loves a summer jacket, and this soft pink Current Elliott number looks lovely with chinos - and it'll be good with flared jeans too. Got both of those, plus enough stripey t-shirts to set up shop next to the Grand Canal in Venice. Mmm...there's a thought, I could do with the extra Euros.

That's Not My Age has also been pondering the delights of the Mum Bag. OK, I know that this is the kind of thing Alexa Chung and her mates carry off with ease but this blog is all about grown-up style for proper grown-ups. So forget about the youngsters for the time being, just remember to keep the rest of the outfit slick and never ever do Mum Shoes and Bag at the same time. I like this Tula shoulder bag, it has a real seventies, Linda McCartney-feel and I bet it's got compartments!

And now that Ines has spoken, I'm on the look-out for a pair of Parisian Style penny loafers. Research tells me that the Church's version is near-perfect, so just need to start saving - or maybe I should get myself and my t-shirts over to Italy!

Jacket and shoes: Net-a-Porter
Mum Bag: Tula at Radley & Co

Friday, 29 April 2011

The grown-up guide to street parties

That's Not My Age won't be attending any street parties, but I'm pleased to hear that even though DJ Norman Jay accepted an MBE in 2003, when asked for his ultimate street party playlist, the Notting Hill-born maestro included God Save the Queen by The Sex Pistols and Rule Britannia from the film Jubilee.

Recalling the Silver Jubilee celebration in 1977 Jay says:

'I wasn't that into it. I remember riding up on my Chopper bike, grabbing some sausage rolls and a cup of Tizer and getting right out of there.'

My sentiments exactly. See the full playlist here

Photo: Condé Nast Traveller
Quote: The Observer

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

This is London

Mr & Mrs That's Not My Age are leaving town for a few days. The royal wedding and the smog are a blight on our lovely city so we're getting away from the cloying atmosphere. Maybe Kate Middleton will be wearing an anti-pollution mask? Anyhow. It'll be a different matter next year, when during the 2012 Olympics we'll be exuding national pride - and hopefully catching some of the world-class action. We've just put our bid in for tickets (athletics and cycling) so fingers crossed everyone! Actually, could you cross them after you've left a comment? Anyhow. Whatever happens, I'll be wearing my new Stella McCartney Team GB T-shirt (above):

A couple of weeks ago we took a trip out to the Olympic site, stopping off to check out the iconic Olympic rings, and the London 2012 shop, at St Pancras station (where I picked up the t-shirt, but there are other outlets and you can also buy online.) Then we headed across London, and took the DLR to Pudding Mill Lane. There's a lot of construction work going on but I like the view as you walk out of the station and up towards the site:

And there's a lovely café called the View Tube, where we stopped for lunch, coffee and a cake. Oh yes, I'm not as fast as I used to be but I still have the appetite of an Olympic athlete:

All the building work is going to schedule and tah dah! - the main stadium is complete. The Anish Kapoor sculpture, which incorporates the five Olympic rings, the ArcelorMittal Orbit, is under way. Pity you can't see Zaha Hadid's gorgeous Pringle-shaped aquatics centre, it's hidden by the spectator stands on either side of it (to the right of the Anish Kapoor's red pylon):

Definitely worth a visit. And if you're feeling energetic, you can take a walk along the canal at Old Ford Lock. We're quite nosy so we'll be popping back to check on progress and visit the View Tube cafe before the end of the year.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Get a Life

Ooh look, it's Vivienne Westwood in Juergen Teller's new book Get a Life, which features images from the designer's spring/summer 2010 campaign. You remember... the one with a skanky-looking Pamela Anderson. And continuing That's Not My Age's unroyal wedding theme, here's a quote from The Dame on The Dress:

'I would have loved to have dressed Kate Middleton but I have to wait until she catches up a bit somewhere with style.'

Now I could have used the image of Westwood knickerless at Buckingham Palace, but that would have been rude - wouldn't it?

Friday, 22 April 2011

Quote of the week

Gotta love Keith Richards. When asked to comment on the death of Princess Diana in 1997 he quipped, ' Lady Di, never knew the chick.’

Photo: Steve Pyke

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Fashion Royalty

Lee Radziwill may have been dismissed as a socialite hanger-on by Keith Richards, when she turned up with Truman Capote on the Stones 1972 American tour, but there's no denying Jackie O's younger sister has got class.

Impeccable style and aristo credentials make her a superior fashion VIP - and the only princess you're going to see on this blog.

Yes, I'm now officially declaring this a royal wedding free zone. Click here for some unroyal merchandise.

And just because.

Lee Radziwill photo: The Sartorialist

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

What Nigella should have worn

By now you've probably all seen the pictures of a burkini-clad Nigella Lawson, 51, on Bondi Beach. If not, brace yourselves....

First of all, let's set the record straight. I'm a big Nigella fan, largely because in a former more glamorous life I worked with her on a photoshoot, and she was beautiful and charming and totally professional. A dream. As for the burkini on the beach, you couldn't make it up. I know I'm worried about my sun spots, but really.

As we get older and the flesh starts to sag - for everyone's sake - it's best to cover up. And I do, when I'm in London. But holidays are a different matter. I cover up for sightseeing and nights out, but on the beach it's the devil may care approach for me. Well, it's highly unlikely that I'm going to bump into anyone I know, so what the heck. That's Not My Age has got the sunbed-to-surf dash down to a tee - and once I'm in the water no-one can see me anyway. Maybe I'd feel differently if I was in danger of being papped. But if I was in danger of being papped I wouldn't be seen dead in a saggy black all-in-one.

No. Here I am last year, on the way to the beach in France:

So anyway, my advice to Nigella is:

1. Get some factor 50 sunscreen.
2. Cover up in style with a flattering swimsuit (the one above is by Norma Kamali), a full-length kaftan and a floppy sun hat.
3. Don't go to the beach.

What do you wear to cover up on the beach?


Nigella: Daily Mail
Swimsuit, Missoni sun hat, Alice by Temperley maxi dress and Cutler & Gross sunglasses: Net-a-Porter

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Marathons and mid-life skincare

It was on the day of the London Marathon, eight years ago that Mr & Mrs TNMA first met. So, as we can't remember when our first date was, we've decided that this is our anniversary. Now you're all imagining that after running a personal best, I stumbled across the finishing line and into the arms of a tall, dark, handsome stranger who gave me the kiss of life and massaged my blistered feet. But no. Some of our mutual friends had entered the race and a group of loyal fans hot-footed it around the 26-mile course (on public transport), to offer them support.

At the marathon, whilst I thought it was love at first sight, Mr TNMA thought I was frowning at him. I subsequently explained that my face always looks like that. It's the Ethan Hawke forehead. Anyway, I'm not sure whether it's stress, age, hormones or what, but as well as the wrinkles I've recently had an outbreak of pimples and sun spots around my hairline and temples. Now, if only I'd taken more care on those long, hot summer holidays in my twenties, but sadly the damage is done. So, in order to avert a full-scale-mid-life skin crisis, I decided it was time to upgrade my beauty routine and give some anti-ageing products the benefit of the doubt. I opted for the appropriately named VinExpert range from Caudalie:

Now, I'm not a beauty expert but this is what I know: the anti-ageing cream is rich but non-greasy, readily absorbed into the skin giving it a silky feel - and it smells gorgeous. All fresh, fruity and French. As well as containing lots of natural ingredients, like grape extracts, vitamins and soy, it has a SPF10 which will help protect my weather-beaten brow from further sun damage.

I've never used a serum in my life but this contains lots of lovely ingredients too, and does help tighten my saggy skin. Though I have to admit I haven't studied its effects too closely, once I've slapped on the serum/moisturiser and applied mascara and a dab of blusher at the start of the day, I tend not to spend that much time observing myself in the mirror. Anyway, it seems to work. So thank you Caudalie for sending me these samples. As for the dietary supplement, now I know what free radicals are, I'll be buying another box.

So, my skin definitely feels softer and smoother and the pimples have disappeared. The sun spots are still visible - but I probably need to buy a specialist product to deal with the damage, or maybe I've reached the point in my life where I need to start wearing foundation (I never normally bother) on a daily basis to even out my skin tone? Oh and the Ethan Hawke forehead remains unchanged, but at least eight years down the line, Mr TNMA knows I'm not scowling at him. Now he recognises the look of love.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Dressing your age

Lovely Danish label, Day Birger et Mikkelsen is launching a new funkier line this autumn. Aimed at a younger demographic (25 as opposed to 35-year-olds), the range is sexier, more rock 'n roll. And That's Not My Age likes it (well some of it, not the tweed shorts.) So, this got me thinking about age-appropriate style. Should a woman in her forties really be contemplating sequinned leggings? They could look hot with the right tuxedo jacket. Or plain ridiculous. Am I in serious mutton territory (remember to pronounce this moo-ton) if I start cherry-picking from younger labels, or is it good to update a classic wardrobe with a couple of stand-out pieces? Like this fabulously shaggy sheepskin jacket:

Or another pair of coloured jeans? That's Not My Age is thinking burgundy for autumn.

How about a flattering tailored jacket, with studs?

Why not throw on an eye-catching scarf or statement necklace?

Whilst I understand a brand reaching out to a younger audience in the hope that shoppers will graduate to their main range and spend, spend, spend - is it unseemly for an older customer to migrate in the opposite direction?

Your thoughts please.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

The art of fashion

That's Not My Age hit the town last night for the launch of the Mother of Pearl pop-up shop (or Mop Shop) - a very fancy do indeed with paparazzi, pop music and potent cocktails. MOP designer, Maia Norman, 48, has collaborated with artist Jim Lambie, 47, on her S/S 11 collection, the floral head dress made me think about synchronised swimming, the Burkha ban in France and surrealist artist, Sheila Legge's self-portrait in Trafalgar Square, 1936:

Californian-born Norman is Damien Hirst's partner and the mother of their three children, so she already has strong connections to the art world and a history of er, working closely with artists. Don't you love Jim Lambie's Miles Davies print? He should call it 'Kind of Bloom.'

That's Maia Norman on the left wearing a floral print dress from the collection and those Prada shoes:

And behind the decks, in a chocolate brown corduroy suit, Mr Jarvis Cocker, 47. Hello Jarvis.

Of course this isn't the first time fashion has taken inspiration from art, Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali teamed up in the 1930s - this lobster dress was worn by Wallis Simpson:

in 1965 Yves Saint Laurent kicked off the colour blocking craze with his Mondrian dress.

The following year, artist Andy Warhol dabbled with fashion and came up with this Campbell's soup tin paper dress.

For spring 2008, Marc Jacobs worked with the American artist, Richard Prince:

And more recently, one of my favourite artists, Grayson Perry collaborated with Liberty on a range of lovely scarves:

That's Not My Age would like to see a Bridget Riley/Sonia Rykiel collaboration. Who would be your designer/artist dream team?


Sheila Legge: Tumblr
Schiaparelli: The Huffington Post
YSL and Andy Warhol dresses: The Met Museum
Marc Jacobs:
Grayson Perry: Marie Claire

Monday, 11 April 2011

The grown-up guide to: hot pants

Eureka! That's Not My Age has found a pair of red jeans. After a reasonable amount of investigative retail work (Uniqlo, H&M, Levi's, Gap) and some style advice from the Blog Widower, I've finally invested in the red hot, coloured denim trend. Zara's stretch canvas version of the über popular Isabel Marant leather Capri pant may not be the best fit in town but for £25.99, who cares? And the good news, according to The Guardian, is that hot pants are not just for young hipsters, and Jack White. No. Grown-up women are going crazy for colour.

'It's a different demographic who are wearing the trend this time around. It's 30-and 40-somethings drawn to a more polished but preppy style,' Fiona Collins from Tommy Hilfiger told the newspaper.

My research stretched to a quick flick through How Not To Wear Black, a book by Jules Standish on the psychology of wearing black, which states that, 'Red physically raises blood pressure and that is why as a color it is constantly linked to romance and love!'

Don't worry, that's not the blood pressure of the wearer, Standish is referring to our male companions. But how to wear red pants without looking like Ronald McDonald?

1. Play with proportions. A slim-fitting cropped jean looks better with a looser fitting top. Mr TNMA used to wear his red jeans with winkle-pickers and a baggy jumper and I've paired mine with a relaxed charcoal jersey top and old ballet pumps.

2. Say no to colour blocking. Avoid being mistaken for a 1980s children's TV presenter by teaming hot pants with easy-to-wear neutrals like khaki and camel. So much classier than clashing brights.

3. Keep accessories simple. Capri pants looks trés chic with ballet pumps but I've also been running around in a pair of desert boots. And for a 50th birthday party last night, I slipped into a pair of olive green slingbacks (the desert boots came off just outside the front door!) and a jaunty red scarf:

Double red is OK when it's one item of clothing and one small-ish accessory (a scarf, bag or necklace), but it's worth remembering that in certain circumstances, a crowded room at a birthday party/under a dinner table, fancy pants aren't immediately visible. So, add a sprinkling of eye-catching accessories, like the little red scarf or Liz Taylor earrings (I was wearing both) et voila. Casual glamour.

That's Not My Age really has gone crazy for colour. In the Zara changing rooms, torn between ketchup red and hot pink, I reminded myself that the lovely J Brand Colour Pop jeans are £205 and bought a pair of fuchsia chinos too. Just think of all the money I've saved!

All the rules above also apply to colourful chinos - so far, I've gone for preppy-style with an old Gap denim shirt and suede pumps. If you're thinking about investing in a pair of hot pants, M&S have coloured denim coming soon:

And the good news is that hot pants are here to stay. Check out the red trousers at Betty Jackson's A/W 2011 catwalk show:

Will you be wearing coloured denim?

Catwalk photo: