What-Lizzy-Loves-Madeleine-black-floral-peplum-top-matching-floral-midi-skirt-tomato-red-leather high-heeled-sandals-red-orange-leather-biker-jacket-what-to-wear-Chelsea-Flower-Show

Style blogging is my dream job and I still can’t quite believe that the fabulous, amazing day I had last week at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show was a work day. Along with the rest of The Over 40 Collective, I was invited as a guest of womenswear brand, MADELEINE and asked to choose an outfit which would be professionally photographed by Rebecca Spencer. So what does one wear to The Chelsea Flower Show? Well as an anthophile, it seemed the most natural thing in the world for me to choose florals. On such a special day, I wanted to make a statement with my outfit, but I also wanted to be able to enjoy wearing it over and over afterwards, so instead of a dress, I opted for a matching top and skirt.

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The black and multi-coloured floral top has flared pleats down to the hem to create a peplum effect. It is lined and it doesn’t crease, an important consideration when selecting an outfit for a special occasion. It remained pristine after a 14 hour day spent in the blazing sunshine and on a 3 hour train journey home.

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Ditto the black and multi-coloured floral midi skirt. It falls beautifully; floaty enough to sway whimsically in the breeze, but weighty enough to preclude any Marilyn Monroe moments, although it was a very hot and very still day which meant it stayed put. It has pockets and is also fully lined. The colours in the print are absolutely stunning and I’m very much looking forward to styling both the top and skirt differently, perhaps with a t-shirt and espadrilles throughout summer and with a black sweater, a bright sparkly, statement necklace, opaque tights and black high-heeled ankle boots in winter.

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Of course, the unreliable British weather means a jacket may have been necessary. The tomato red nappa leather biker style jacket is buttery-soft and is beautifully cut- a cropped, asymmetric shape with a two-way zip, sleeve zips and slanted pockets. I love the contrasting lapels which are more orange in hue. This is a jacket I know I will wear and wear, in all seasons and for all occasions. I absolutely love it and I felt a million dollars in the whole ensemble. Of course, it was the hottest day of the year when we went so I did put it in the cloakroom once the photographs had been taken!

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Being photographed at Chelsea Flower Show

I watched Michelle, (The Barefaced Chic), having her her photographs taken and I couldn’t resist joining her in this copper lined swinging egg-shaped seat.

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The red and black high-heeled t-bar ankle strap sandals, co-ordinate perfectly with my jacket and are in the same tomato shade.  They were handmade in Spain, are the most beautiful quality and very comfortable.

 

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This stunning green Swarovski crystal emerald-cut cocktail ring is from Lisa, (The Sequinist’s) shop. It is adjustable and is utterly fabulous.

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MADELEINE was introduced to me by Annette, Lady of Style, who I’m sure you will recognise as being on the left in the photograph below. It’s a brand for elegant, sophisticated fashion for the woman over 40 and is the perfect place to go for clothing and accessories for special occasions. You can see in the group shots that as always, we chose something completely different from that of the others showing just how perfectly MADELEINE caters for different tastes and styles.

Chelsea flower show outfits for women over 40

 

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Madeleine looked after us beautifully and we spent much of the day in Jardin Blanc, a private dining area with an outdoor terrace named after Monsieur Raymond Blanc who performed cookery demonstrations throughout the morning.

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cocktail bar at Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

 

Bar tenders cocktail bar at Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Lunch was a four-course delight, the menu of course, created by Raymond Blanc.

Lunch at Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

 

Lunch menu Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show

 

The Over 40 Collective with Madeleine Fashion Lunch at Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Lunch at Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

 

Lunch at Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Champagne at Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

 

Monsieur Blanc wandered around the tables and chatted to guests throughout lunch and was VERY happy to join The Over 40 Collective for some photographs!

Raymond Blanc talking to guests at Chelsea Flower Show 2017

What Lizzy Loves, The Over 40 Collective and Raymond Blanc at The Chelsea Flower Show 2017

What Lizzy Loves, The Over 40 Collective and Raymond Blanc at The Chelsea Flower Show 2017

I’ve watched The Chelsea Flower Show on TV for years now so it was brilliant to walk round and to see the spectacular arrangements in the Floral Marquee.

Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Floral Marquee, Chelsea Flower Show 2017, alliums

Chelsea Flower Show, floral pavillion

Floral Marquee, Chelsea Flower Show 2017, amaryllis

Floral Marquee, Chelsea Flower Show 2017, hyacinths

Flowers at The Chelsea Flower Show

The final treat of the day was a divine afternoon tea back in Jardin Blanc.

Afternoon tea, Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Afternoon tea menu, Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

Afternoon tea, Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

 

Afternoon tea, Jardin Blanc, Chelsea Flower Show 2017

I can’t tell you how absolutely wonderful the day was from start to finish. Our every need was taken care of by Bright Light PR, including travel, cars to and from the event, the hotel and of course, our Chelsea Flower Show tickets. The food and champagne was heavenly and it’s a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life, not least because it was spent with like-minded friends, all having had the opportunity to get dressed up in gorgeous outfits. Thank you to MADELEINE, to the whole Bright Light team and to the very talented photographer Rebecca Spencer who must be credited with almost all of the images in this post.

 

Love Lizzy x


I’m wearing:
*Leather jacket, nappa, tomato MADELEINE £329
*High heeled sandals, tomato and black, MADELEINE £159.95
*Black and floral multi-coloured top, MADELEIINE £119.95
*Black and multi-coloured floral midi skirt, MADELEINE £199.95

Emerald cut Swarovski crystal ring, The Sequinist Shop

P.S.
Remember to head over to the other girls’ blogs for their own memories of our perfect day at The Chelsea Flower Show 2017, (I’ll add links to their specific post as they publish them).

The Over 40 Collective at The Chelsea Flower Show

Back row, from left to right: Lisa Lennkh, The Sequinist, Nikki Garnett, Midlife Chic, Elizabeth Yeowart (me, What Lizzy Loves!!), What Lizzy Loves, Michelle Lyndon-Dykes, The Barefaced Chic, Michelle Tyler, RetroChicMama
Front row, from left to right: Catherine Summers, Not Dressed as LambAnnette Hoeldrich, Lady of Style

Disclosure:
*These items were gifted and this post as well as our day at the Chelsea Flower show was very kindly sponsored by Madeleine. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves.

For more of What Lizzy Loves, please follow on Instagram and Facebook

I’m linking up with:
I Will Wear What I LikeBrilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share

What-Lizzy-Loves- blue-broderie-shell-top-floral-skirt-silver-Superga-sneakers-pumps

I love all flowers but there’s something about bluebells that makes my heart sing; they bring such joy with their glorious, transient, laissez-faire carpeting of the wooded areas they inhabit. They never fail to stop me in my tracks; there’s something magical and fey about them which appeals to my romantic nature. 

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It was the (almost bluebell) colour of this top that made it leap out at me- my eyes drawn to the vibrant hue. Broderie is one of my favourite summer fabrics too and always appeals.  and this shell top is exactly the sort of versatile addition to the wardrobe that I like. It works with skirts, jeans, linen trousers, jeans and shorts.

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The floral pattern on the skirt is super pretty and delicate and it could easily be worn with yellow, pink (this top is available in pink actually),white or grey and although it is a spring summer skirt, I think it would look fabulous with a chunky knit, ribbed tights and some battered biker boots in autumn. Pockets of course are always a welcome functional style feature and the pink zipper at the back just makes it that little bit more special. The top has buttons all the way down the back, a detail which again, elevates it from the norm. Both are from Tulchan, a local brand I have mentioned on numerous occasions and one whose clothes are in a wonderfully cohesive pallette making mixing and matching a very simple task, and whose design details always add a little extra something.

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I accessoried the flora with fauna. The Danon Swarovski-set t-bar bee bracelet is one of my favourite spring summer bracelets. If you like it too, sign up to my monthly newsletter here for exclusive subscriber discounts at Lizzy O.

Danon Swarovski bee bracelet

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Silver Superga pumps seemed the perfect footwear for clambering on tree stumps and walking through the woods.

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Love Lizzy x


I’m wearing:
*Broidery Top (also available in pink) £29, Tulchan
*Flower Garden print skirt, £40, Tulchan
Swarovski crystal set t-bar bee bracelet, £29.95, Danon at Lizzy O
*Silver Superga Pumps, £55, Aspire Style

I’m linking up with:
I Will Wear What I LikeBrilliant Blog Posts/The Saturday Share

Disclosure:
*These items were gifted. My opinions are always 100% honest and the content is always my own. Thank you for supporting those brands that support What Lizzy Loves.

For more of What Lizzy Loves, please follow on Instagram and Facebook

Photographs: 
Thank you Ian for being so patient when we were searching for the right light to make these photographs work. Thank you even more for making me laugh and smile so much x 

Danon jewellery, wrap bracelets, pendants and scarves
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What Lizzy Loves bluebell-top-blog-fourth-birthday

When I published my very first blog post on this date four years ago, never in my wildest dreams could I have foreseen that every aspect of my life would change beyond recognition. Not only that, if you’d have told me that it would turn into the most exciting, wondrous adventure and that all of my dreams would come true, I’d have accepted it as little more than a whimsical thought and moved swiftly on. But, that’s exactly what has happened and I can’t quite believe it.

This post is celebratory, it’s about how my blog has shaped my life, so I debated whether or not to include the next paragraph because it revisits old ground, but I do feel I need to include at least some of my “back story” to give my current and incredibly happy status some context. (And rather than cluttering the post with the links to the relevant posts to which I’ll refer, I’ll list them at the end).

My Harder Times

To those that have followed since the early days, you might recall that three years ago, on my blog’s first birthday, I wrote about the life-changing events following my discovery eight weeks earlier of my former husband’s long-standing infidelity, (with a woman I had considered a friend). The divorce that ensued was brutal, horrific and exhausting and within eight months, my children and I moved from our large country barn conversion into a new build in the centre of town. To say my emotions were tumultuous at that time would be one almighty understatement. Fear, humiliation and shock took it turns to occupy my mind day and night, but I chose to swim, (although my natural optimism and positivity meant sinking was never an option), and slowly, with the unwavering support of my parents, brothers and sisters-in-law and my friends, I came out the other side, stronger and with a greater understanding of life and its priorities and free from the abusive marriage that I had chosen to stay in for the sake of my children. That chapter is something I plan to write about one day in depth, not because I wish to wallow in self-pity, far from it, but because I am proof that time heals, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and that, most, most importantly, though it’s nigh on impossible to believe at the time, happy ever afters do happen. I received so many wise words and learned so much that I want to pass on. I want to share what really helped me to get through it.

Throughout those hard months, I realised that the career break I was taking needed to come to an end so I could take steps to become financially independent but I wasn’t of the right mindset to return to optometry. I’d always wanted to write, so I tentatively emailed the managing director of Aspire, a Skipton-based magazine to see if I could get some work experience and included a link to my blog. She read and liked it and offered me a monthly fashion feature. Three months later, I was offered the role of copywriter, editor and journalist, a position I accepted with relish and still hold.

My Blog’s Evolution

Once settled into our new home, I found myself wanting to improve my blog. It was still a hobby but one I was becoming more and more passionate about. I look back and cringe at some of my early posts; the photography was poor, I didn’t understand the technicalities of writing it such that search engines would find and like it and I had no concept of the importance of social media or how best to promote my posts. Slowly, though, I learned on the job, (I’m still learning every single day), and in February last year, I attended my first blogging conference after realising I would need to run my blog as a business, so time-consuming was it, to sustain it. This proved to be a life-changing weekend because there, I met six other bloggers, only one of whom I’d met previously. Such was our connection that we kept in touch and one year later, launched The Over 40 Collective, (which I’ve written about and mentioned on many occasions). Next week, we are invited guests at a very special event which I am considering to be the pinnacle of my blogging career so far. The itinerary we have is incredible and I can’t quite believe that it has all come about because of my blog; that it’s actually part of my job. We’ll all be sharing snippets next Friday on social media with full blog pots to follow. I can’t wait to share it because it truly will be an awesome day.

 

The Over 40 Collective

The Over 40 Collective

My Hopes

This year I’ve worked with more brands than I could ever have hoped for. It’s a privilege to wear clothes from little known brands and to make a difference to a start-up company by wearing one of their tee-shirts on Instagram. It’s an honour to have been named the blogger expert for certain brands and to be invited to press days. My blog is constantly and organically evolving. I’m doing more restaurant reviews and beauty reviews and the boundaries between style and lifestyle are increasingly blurred. I am, (very happily), writing more sponsored posts, but must reassure that every single one is authentic. I wear and use everything that appears on my blog and I turn down more than I accept. I speak and write from the heart with integrity and honesty and that will never change. My goal now is to keep on building my blog, to work with more brands and to improve my photography skills further. I also want to write some more personal posts as mentioned above, those that are both emotional and emotive; I’ve been through a lot and I have a lot of things to share that might help. I’ve also made my share of mistakes but I’ve learned from them; I’m not afraid to hold my hands up to them.

My Dream Come True
And now onto my happy ever after. I’m the world’s most romantic and sentimental person and always hoped to find my prince, but after kissing a few frogs, I had almost reached the conclusion that I’d be better off on my own, because nobody seemed to tick all of the boxes. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t looking for perfection because I can’t offer that in return, but there are some fundamentals that are incredibly important and my experience of dating throughout the last two years has taught me not to compromise on them; things simply won’t work out otherwise. Experience has also taught me to trust my gut instinct. Listen to it, ask it if it’s not forthcoming and believe what it tells you because whether or not you like what you hear, it’s always right.

It was indirectly through Michelle, The Barefaced Chic, (also in The Over 40 Collective), that last October, I met Ian. From the first moment, I knew he was everything I have ever hoped for. Caring, sensitive, romantic, kind, intelligent, cultured and… tall. Yaaay! Tall enough for me to wear my highest heels and still have to reach up. It’s difficult to use the words I want to use without sounding overly sentimental or gushy, but he is the most wonderful man and I can’t imagine life without him. It’s not been plain sailing. It isn’t easy for my children to see their mother as a romantic partner, rather than as just their mum and I have been accused by them of behaving like a giggly princess in his presence, but his patience, understanding and personality shine through and everything is falling into place. He supports me in all of my work, is a very patient photographer and is the best Instagram husband this blogger could wish for. I’ve waited my whole adult life to feel like this, to be treated this way and to have a relationship that is not only exciting but is grown-up and firmly underpinned by mutual respect, understanding, equality, honesty, a shared go-getting, positive attitude and a lot of fun and laughter.

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My Destiny
There have been times when things have been unbelievably difficult. There is so much more to say about several aspects of this post and at times, my life has seemed like a soap opera. Friends have suggested that I write a book about it but I honestly think that it would seem too far-fetched to be true. Some things have seemed almost beyond belief and certain behaviours, especially those of my former husband are incomprehensible, indefensible and unforgiveable. But I look at my children and I couldn’t be prouder. They have shown resilience beyond their years. Poppy is sixteen and is in the throes of her GCSEs. She’s bright, conscientious, beautiful, honest, unpretentious and kind. Harry is a sports mad, intelligent, spirited fourteen year-old who despite being horrified that his friends discovered my Instagram, tells me almost daily that he loves me. He doesn’t need to tell me that he’s proud of me because I can tell. They both have an excellent sense of perspective and they know I do my very best to be both parents to them, a role supplemented in bucket loads by my own wonderful dad and my two brothers and my mum continues to show unstinting love and support towards each of us.

What Lizzy Loves children

As I sit and type, I can’t help but believe that this was always the plan. It feels like I was destined to write for a living, that I was destined to live a sociable and fulfilled life in the town and not a rather isolated one in the country. I was destined to meet new friends that I wouldn’t have met in my old life. I’m so thankful that I had the courage to start my blog four years ago, that I was brave enough to put myself out there. I am thankful I emailed the MD of Aspire which led to my writing work. I am grateful that my parents looked after my children so I could go to the blogging conference which led to the formation of The Over 40 Collective and indirectly to Ian and I finding each other. I am so glad that the woman I once called a friend gave me a definitive reason to end my marriage. As crazy as it sounds, I want to thank her because it  resulted in me regaining the freedom that had been taken from me throughout my marriage in a controlling, insidious way. I got myself and my sparkle back.

Thank you for reading my blog and for the support, comments and feedback which mean the world. If you are thinking of starting a blog, then go for it. It’s a lot of hard work and is quite addictive but it is the best way of expressing oneself and if you’re going through tough times, keep on believing in yourself and I promise, you will get through it. Talk and allow yourself to feel every emotion. From then on, make the most of every opportunity; grasp it with both hands. Have the courage of your convictions. Be honest, be true, be authentic, be brave and most of all, be yourself.

Love Lizzy x

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