She’s Got Style
GAIL HANLON ~ UNITED KINGDOM
AGE ~ 56
Today, we are taking the Concorde (in our dreams) to zip over to London to meet our latest She’s Got Style global fashionista. Gail Hanlon is an over 50 fashion blogger with a passion for shoes and monochromatic looks.
FCO50: Describe your personal style
GAIL: I would describe my personal style as modern but classic with a nod to fashion trends through accessories and colors.
My comfort zone is monochrome and I am a bit wary of wearing clashing colors or mixing patterns too much – except in my gym wear. But I like to mix textures and since I have been blogging, I’ve started experimenting a bit more. My most “out there” look so far was wearing a hooped black maxi skirt with a hat for the SIA (style imitating art” challenge).
I have learnt over the years what styles suit my shape best and I don’t deviate from that – so you will never see me in empire line tunics or dresses, or boxy bomber jackets. I need to define my waist or with my big shoulders I can look like a refrigerator. I’ve also learnt that I don’t get on with high heels but you can get such wonderful mid-height and flat heels now it doesn’t matter.
FCO50: You have a fabulous fashion blog called Is This Mutton? for the sassy woman over 40. Can you give us some tips on staying sassy?
GAIL: A lot of older women are frightened of fashion and the risk of looking like “mutton dressed as lamb,” but we can all have fun with fashion simply by adding some trendy touches to an outfit. I like to read fashion magazines like Grazia (not to mention all the blogs!) and I make a note of trends that I can follow, whether it’s wearing several brooches, adding an obi belt, or using bag charms. I also try to keep up to date with jean and skirt lengths. I was a bit resistant to ankle length and cropped pants but wearing them with fishnet socks changed my mind!
FCO50: We’ve noticed you have a thing for shoes. Tell us about your obsession.
GAIL: I remember when I was 12 and platform shoes had suddenly become The Thing. I pestered my mother into buying me a pair of burgundy T-bars with a high platform, and everyone at school gathered round to look at them!
Funky shoes and boots can definitely take years off you and add a bit of edge and interest to an outfit. I love metallic shoes and boots and treat them as neutrals. Every winter I examine the fashion magazines to see what styles are fashionable, and then buy a couple of pairs of ankle boots.
In summer I like wedges and sandals with decorated block heels. I have a regular “shoe of the day” feature on my Facebook page.
FCO50: You live in England, tell us about the style in your country.
GAIL: England is synonymous with eclectic and vibrant fashion, from the 60s where everyone was wearing miniskirts and rocking to the Beatles and Rolling Stones to the 70s and the punk style of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. We have a great “anything goes” culture so you can wear any style you like and mix and match from different genres.
FCO50: How has your style changed now that you are over 50?
GAIL: It’s only been in the last few years that I have become body confident, after being overweight in my 30s and early 40s. It means I wear clothes I wouldn’t have considered before. Between January and June I work extra hard in the gym to feel confident enough to wear a bikini (but always with a cover-up at hand!).
Strangely, I have become more adventurous since I started fashion blogging. I’m looking to buy brightly patterned pants (trousers) and a jumpsuit this summer, which would normally have been way out of my comfort zone!
FCO50: What is the one beauty product you can’t live without?
GAIL: Definitely concealer. I have always had dark circles under my eyes and nothing gets rid of them (they’re hereditary) so unless I wear concealer, I can look very tired. As you get older concealer becomes even more important for hiding any red patches or areas of pigmentation.
Another way of staying sassy is keeping your hair and makeup up-to-date. I used to be very experimental with my hair: I had hair extensions back in 1990 when they were very new. It’s fine for older women to go grey and can look stunning, as long as the style is fashionable. I’ve got much lighter hair now then I used to have: skin tones lighten and darker hair can look a bit ageing. I have a bit of an addiction to Youtube makeup tutorials, and I try to avoid applying makeup like I did in the 80s!
We have a great “anything goes” culture [in London] so you can wear any style you like and mix and match from different genres. Gail
Gail Hanlon, is an over 50 fashion blogger from London. She is a marketing professional and former journalist. Gail is married and has two adult step children and a cat.
To follow Gail, you can find links to her pages below:
Blog: Is This Mutton
Instagram: Gail Hanlon
Facebook: Is This Mutton?
Thank you Gail for sharing you style and beauty tips for women over 40! We are sending you big hugs from around the world!
Until next time, enjoy your own fashion journey, darlings!