Regular readers might recall that I’ve said on several occasions that THE best thing to come out of blogging is those friendships made with fellow bloggers. Last February, these six other women and I attended a blogging workshop and there, we bonded and realised that our diverse styles and personae lent themselves to becoming a group. A squad stronger than the sum of its parts, firmly underpinned by friendship, mutual support and honesty which we named The Over 40 Collective. You can read more, (and see some behind the scenes fun), in this earlier blog post which I wrote after a weekend together in London, during which we shot the professional images you see below with the very talented photographer Rachel Vogeleisen.

Today, one year on from the day we first met, The Over 40 Collective website has launched and we couldn’t be more excited. Our aim is to showcase those brands that target our demographic to show how seven different women can bring their own interpretations to that brand. The first set of photographs shows us each wearing a “signature style” which highlights our different styles.

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

I’m sure you’re familiar with all of the girls by now, but I’d like to tell you a little more about each of them if I may. So from left to right on the photograph above…

Michelle Lyndon-Dykes, The Barefaced Chic.
Michelle is our Welsh dragoness. At first, she appears to be rather scatty and has been known to “break” our Dropbox folder of shared photographs, but she is in fact a talented business woman who has a heart of gold and can fly a plane. She has two grown-up children and writes with warmth and humour, often tackling quite emotive and personal subjects.

Michelle Tyler, RetroChicMama
Michelle T is our Antipodean contingent, having moved from Sydney, Australia 20 years ago. This feisty mama of three is passionate about the environment, favours slow-fashion and is curating a wardrobe for life. She’s not afraid of airing her political opinions and does so with intelligence and integrity. Her “Menoposts” tackle the subject of The Menopause with both refreshing honesty and with humour and are an excellent resource for women in this age-group.

Catherine Summers, Not Dressed as Lamb
A photography graduate, Catherine’s blog is always a feast for the eyes. She is always willing to offer advice and support on the technical side of blogging and is incredibly generous with her support to the whole blogosphere. She can construct a complete conversation with just emojis, (that we all actually understand), and can always find the perfect GIF to represent any given situation. Catherine has an award-winning blog which as well as her outfits, (and she embraces colour and pattern like no other), features blogging and photography tips. She founded the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike and she loves giraffes!

Lisa Lenkh, The Sequinist
Lisa is our American girl who moved to Britain 14 years ago. She’s the sparkliest member of the Over 40 Collective and sporting sequins while taking her young son to nursery is quite the norm. A former high-flying banker, she has a passion for travel. Her photographs are always stunning and she writes with such eloquence and knowledge, that her blog posts would not go amiss on the pages of Vogue.

Nikki Garnett, Midlife Chic
Nikki exudes style, class and elegance and has legions of loyal readers who agree. She is the mother of three boys and lives in the Lake District from where she runs her marketing business. At first, she appears to be quite sensible but she’s a closet party girl who managed to “lose” her toenails after dancing all night at a festival. Intelligently and articulately written, her blog posts are a wealth of information for women looking to be as chic as she is.

Annette Hoeldrich, Lady of Style,
Annette is our Bavarian beauty who treats London as her second home. She has a daughter at university in England and a son at university in Germany. She loves wine and football, favours a monochrome palette and wears faux leather leggings better than anyone I’ve ever seen. She writes her blog posts in both German and English and although her English is impeccable, she is always keen to learn more colloquialisms from us.

The Over 40 Collective


It’s a privilege to count these amazing women as my friends. The support and friendship we show is really quite incredible and I think we each know that whatever we do, six other women have our back. That is a very special feeling.

For daily style inspiration and and more insight into our lives, please follow us on Instagram and Facebook and subscribe to our mailing list which will keep you updated with news and events for both bloggers and non-bloggers alike.


Love Lizzy x

I’m linking up with:
Brilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share

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I never forget how fortunate I am to live in Skipton, a small market town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, popular with tourists from around the globe. I’m not a native of the town, (or even of the county of North Yorkshire being born over The Pennines in Lancashire), but it’s been home for more than a decade and I love it.  Because of the wealth of walks, country pubs, and stunning scenery on the doorstep, it’s easy to forget that there are countless other equally desirable locations within an hours’ drive from here. The Lake District is one such place. Its breathtaking natural beauty and picture-postcard perfect vistas are widely known and it draws visitors for those reasons alone. I think of the Lakes and I think of childhood boat trips between Ambleside and Windermere and of picnics in the rain and I recall ambling in and out of souvenir shops which seemed to only sell fudge, Kendal Mint Cake, walking sticks and all things sheep. Oh and those postcards showing two identical rainy scenes depicting The Lake District in Winter and The Lake District Summer. The Lake District-perfect for walkers, ramblers and family days out but not somewhere I’d think of as being a good place to shop. Or so I thought until I spent the day in the South Lakes town of Kendal.

It was my first visit to the town centre and I was quite surprised to learn that there is a two-storey shopping centre, Westmorland which has its own car park.  As well as being home to well-known brands Topshop, Waterstones and Clintons, it has a wealth of independent retail stalls that are there for several days a week including Floristry by Carmen, Macarons by Al Strong, alterations and homemade cushions and gifts by Naomi at Maid n Found and bath bombs by a very friendly gentleman whose name I didn’t note, but you’d be able to follow the scent to find him. 

Flowers by Carmen, Kendal Westmorland Shopping Centre
Floristry by Carmen

Flowers by Carmen, Kendal Westmorland Shopping Centre
Floristry by Carmen

Flowers by Carmen, Kendal Westmorland Shopping Centre
Floristry by Carmen

Macarons by Al Strong, Kendal shopping centre
Macarons by Al Strong

Macarons by Al Strong, Kendal shopping centre
Macarons by Al Strong

Alterations at Maid n Found, Kendal shopping centre
Alterations at Maid n Found

Bath bombs, Kendal shopping centre
Bath bombs at Westmorland Shopping Centre

Topshop, Westmorland shopping centre, Kendal
Topshop

Entrance to Westmorland shopping centre, Kendal
Entrance to Westmorland shopping centre, Kendal

Westmorland shopping centre leads onto the main shopping street.
Like Skipton, Kendal is a market town with cobbled streets and yards coming off
what is quite a linear main street, and home to high-street favourites Pandora, Joules,
Specsavers, Lakeland, Next, Costa, TK Maxx, Toni & Guy plus several
independent cafes. 

Well-known brands, Joules and Pandora, Kendal high street
Well-known brands, Joules and Pandora

Independent cafe, Kendal
Kendal has a wealth of independent cafes

Main shopping street, Kendal
The view down Kendal’s main shopping street

Almost directly opposite the main entrance to the shopping centre is Elephant Yard which boasts Monsoon, Boots, Laura Ashley as well as Kendal Library.

Next and Costa, Kendal
Well-known brands, Next and Costa

Elephant Yard, Kendal
Elephant Yard

Elephant Yard, Kendal
Elephant Yard

Wainwright’s
Yard
 is further along the high
street and is where Pizza Express, Booths Supermarket and Maya Maya, (stockiest of both menswear and well-known
womenswear brands including Masai and Sandwich), are located. 

Wainwright's Yard, Kendal
One of the shopping ares off the high street

Maya Maya
Maya Maya- menswear and womenswear

There are two beautiful independent lifestyle stores too in Wainwright’s Yard. Armstrong Ward stocks popular brands including Emma Bridgewater and Cath Kidston, as well as cards, candles, furniture, toys and cushions and it has a fabulous cafe downstairs with a great menu and a very tempting array of cakes.

Armstrong Ward, Wainwright's Yard
Lifestyle Store, Armstrong Ward

Opposite is La Maison, another delightful lifestyle store selling home accessories, jewellery, mirrors and occasional furniture. I spent a considerable time in both of these gorgeous shops.

La Maison, Wainwrights yard, Kendal
Beautiful interior accessories at La Maison

La Maison, Wainwrights yard, Kendal
La Maison

La Maison, Wainwrights yard, Kendal
Occasional furniture at La Maison

La Maison, Wainwrights yard, Kendal
A wide range of home accessories at La Maison

The end of Wainwright’s Yard opens out and from here is access to Marks and Spencer, a florist, cafes and more car parking.

florist in Kendal
Independent florist in Kendal

La Maison, Wainwrights yard, Kendal
Seasonal flowers

Further along the high street, up from Westmorland Shopping centre and on the opposite side to both Elephant Yard and Wainwright’s Yard is the Market Square and a little further still is the rather fabulously named Finkle Street. This is where Beales department store is situated. Beales carries well-known brands including Wallis, Moda in Pelle, Warehouse, Fantasie (lingerie) and a whole host more. White Stuff, Phase Eight and Wave, a contemporary jeweller, also sit on this street.

Finkle Street, Kendal
Finkle Street

Contemporary Jewellers, Wave, Finkle Street, Kendal
Contemporary Jeweller, Wave

Perhaps most surprising is that are two Jules B stores; one for gents and one for women, I spent a lovely leisurely time time in the women’s and chatted to manager Lisa Jackson whilst browsing the designer collections. An award winning independent retailer of designer clothing and accessories, Jules B in Kendal offers clothing by Victoria Beckham, Self Portrait and Alicia & Olivia, bags by Sophie Hulme and bags by Kendall and Kylie and Michael Kors. I would, without question, make the one hour journey for this shop alone.

Jules B menswear, Kendal
Jules B menswear

Designer labels at Jules B, Kendal
Designer womenswear at Jules B

Designer labels at Jules B, Kendal
The latest collections available at Jules B

Designer labels at Jules B, Kendal, Self Portrait
Self Portrait at Jules B

Designer labels at Jules B, Kendal

Designer labels at Jules B, Kendal
Designer labels at Jules B

Victoria Beckham at Jules B, Kendal
Victoria Beckham at Jules B

Designer labels, Sophie Hulme at Jules B, Kendal
Sophie Hulme handbags at Jules b

Designer labels, Michael Kors, Kendall and Kylie at Jules B, Kendal
Kendall and Kylie and Michael Kors at Jules B

Just off Finkle Street is Beast Banks which has the The Famous 1657 Chocolate House, an Aladdin’s Cave where chocoholics can eat, drink, dip and buy chocolate to their hearts’content.

The Chocolate House, Kendal
The Chocolate House

The Chocolate House, Kendal
A mouthwatering array

The Chocolate House, Kendal

Up from this is the Kendal Tourist Information Centre and adjacent to this is another beautiful home accessories and childrenswear store called Forget me Not, which sells sofas, mirrors,cushions and a very tasteful selection of gifts.

Forget me Not, Kendal

Forget me Not, Kendal
Beautiful sofas at Forget Me Not

Forget me Not, Kendal
One of several rooms full of home accessories at Forget Me Not

Forget me Not, Kendal
Accessories for every room in the home at Forget Me Not

Opposite is Hogarth’s Jewellers and close by on New Shambles is Iridium Fine Stationery which sells fountain pens, leather notebooks and beautiful artisan paper.

Iridium Fine Stationery, Kendal
Iridium Fine Stationery

As well as this excellent fashion and lifestyle offering, Kendal runs a Courtesy Toilet Scheme. This provides members of the public with clean, safe and accessible toilets across the town. There are several car parks and plenty of places to eat and get a drink.

Take a look at the brand new website Visit Kendal for everything you need to know.

It was a true eye-opener and I absolutely loved my day in Kendal. I thoroughly recommend a visit. There really is so much more than Kendal Mint Cake and cagoules.


Love Lizzy x


I’m wearing:
* Leopard print jacquard jacket, currently half price at £27, Kaleidoscope
*Italian grey suede saddle shoulder bag, £79, Marks and Spencer
Large silver coloured dragonfly brooch, £17.50, Lizzy O.
Black, taupe and champagne crystal set bracelets, £12.50 each, Lizzy O.
Black top, Next, past season
Skinny jeans, Next, past season
Black leather Chelsea boots, Marks and Spencer, past season


I’m linking up with:
Brilliant Blog Posts//The Saturday Share

Please follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more of What Lizzy Loves


Disclosure: *These items were gifted. This blog post was written in collaboration with Visit Kendal My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves.

Danon jewellery, wrap bracelets, pendants and scarves
Sign up to my newsletter and receive an exclusive discount for Lizzy O every month

I have never believed that one must sacrifice style for comfort and there are many times when comfort is foremost in my mind when selecting an outfit. Often, on a Sunday afternoon after I’ve shed the requisite six layers after watching my son play football, I want to change into something easy to wear, something relaxed but something in which I feel good, something which is as flattering as it is practical. Likewise, when working from home, I want to feel comfortable, but “dressed” I like my wardrobe to work hard for me. I want to wear things again and again and I want to be able to maximize their potential by mixing and matching, which is why these separates are so useful.
The long sleeved top and leggings are from Hope Fashion’s foundation range. Designed with both style and comfort in mind, these are layering pieces designed to help smooth, shape, sculpt and create a flattering silhouette. They are super-stretchy and maintain their shape incredibly well. The leggings sit very neatly under jeans in this freezing cold weather, such is their lack of bulk. I’ve done this on several occasions lately.  The long-sleeved top can be layered under jumpers, sweatshirts, t-shirts and even dresses without affecting the overall look of the outfit, yet it is smart enough to add to the look too.

Hope fashion grey leggings, grey top, grey drape top, over 40 fashion

Hope fashion grey leggings, grey top, grey drape top, over 40 fashion

Hope fashion grey leggings, grey top, grey drape top, over 40 fashion

This lovely drape marl jersey top can be worn in a variety of ways: off one shoulder or worn either draping at the front or draping at the back.

Hope fashion grey leggings, grey top, grey drape top, over 40 fashion

Hope fashion grey leggings, grey top, grey drape top, over 40 fashion

Hope fashion grey leggings, grey top, grey drape top, over 40 fashion

Hope fashion grey leggings, grey top, grey drape top, over 40 fashion

It’s cut to flatter with side ruching that adds both structure and detail. The top can be worn as I’m doing as a tunic, or it can be ruched up further to create a shorter length. 

Hope fashion grey leggings, grey top, grey drape top, over 40 fashion

Hope fashion grey leggings, grey top, grey drape top, over 40 fashion

It would be rare indeed for me not to wear any jewellery. These crystal bracelets are lightweight and comfortable and have a very sparkly magnetic fastening. As well as grey and white they come in several more neutral tones as well as in two shades of pink a blue and a green. At just £12.50, they make adding a touch of sparkle very easily attainable and look as fabulous with evening wear as they do with a very casual outfit.

Grey and white sparkly crystal wrap bracelets

And how fabulous are these faux ponyskin slip-on pumps? In common with the rest of my outfit, they are both comfortable and stylish and have the perfect amount of embellishment.

Navy faux ponyskin pull on embellished pumps

I know I’ll get a lot of mileage out of all of these pieces which in my book makes even the most casual of outfits seem like a very smart choice., so why not head over to Hope Fashion and take a look at the Foundation Range which as well as grey come in white, black and navy and see the new spring layering pieces too. 


Love Lizzy x


I’m wearing:
*The Drape Jersey Top, £65, Hope
*Foundation Long-Sleeved Top, £75, Hope
*Foundation Leggings, £55. Hope
*Navy faux pony skin navy slip-on pumps with jewel embellishment, £35 Kaleidscope
Grey and white crystal set bracelets, £12.50 each, Lizzy O

I’m linking up with:
I Will Wear What I LikeVisible Monday/Turning Heads TuesdayBrilliant Blog Posts//The Saturday Share

Please follow me on Instagram and Facebook for more of What Lizzy Loves

Photographs: Poppy Johnston

Disclosure: *These items were gifted and this is a sponsored post written in collaboration with Hope Fashion. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves. 

Danon jewellery, wrap bracelets, pendants and scarves
Sign up to my newsletter and receive an exclusive discount for Lizzy O every month