Why we should keep an open mind when shopping for clothes.
As part of my my New Year style resolutions I had advocated trying new things and keeping an open mind.
I believe we should continually evolve and change as we grow older.
Age is no barrier to style or fun.
Nothing screams "frump",to me, louder than being stuck in the same tired look for 10+ (sometimes 20+) years.
A style rut is hard to break free from, but we must give ourselves a shake from time to time or we can go flat.
A bit like orange juice, with bits... we need to keep mixing our juicy bits up!
I have to admit to being guilty of not taking my own advice, sometimes.
I often find myself dismissing certain brands, especially those aimed at older women, because I think they will be frumpy and not for me.
So when JD Williams contacted me to ask if I would be interested in promoting their new campaign, I have to honest and tell you, I was sceptical about the idea.
That brand is for "old" people, isn't it?
Surely anything they were promoting would not be of interest to me.
I may be almost 42, but I am not ready to slip into a sea of beige (and velcro shoes) just yet!
However, in the spirit of my new resolution, I decided to put my prejudgements to one side.
JD Williams were promoting making a fresh start, facing new challenges, trying new things....with a little help from the right shoes.
I could not agree more.
I am a big fan of using shoes (and clothes) to fake a little confidence in the face of adversity.
Everything is easier when you know you look your best.
And, who doesn't feel great when strutting their stuff in a fabulous pair of shoes?
These women might have taken it too far though....I can hardly believe what they achieved in heels!
Was I guilty of being a hypocrite?
Unfortunately, the answer was yes.
I have always avoided certain brands (like Wallis & Per Una) and stuck to my "trendy stores" (like Urban Outfitters & Topshop) thinking this would stop me turning into a frumpy disaster.
Suddenly aware of my narrow-mindedness, I decided to have a rummage through the sale rail at good-old Marks & Spencers (I usually stick to buying basics and undies from M&S) my mind was open for inspiration.
Fate must have been on my side, as I found this gorgeous coat hanging in a jumble of random items.
Alone and my size.
We were meant to be together!
I knew I wanted to pair this fabulous fur coat with the butter-soft, peep toed booties (in a gorgeous 'Scotch' colour) that JD Williams had kindly gifted to me.
It was too cold for bare toes, so I slipped on a pair of good quality black socks.
I love the socks and shoes look.
We were heading out for a casual meal (in celebration of youngest daughter's birthday) so I smartened up my look with teal wool trousers and a Victorian-style sheer blouse (I wore it recently, to see a punk band).
I skipped the camisole and went for bare skin under the dotty sheer fabric, Cheeky!
A leopard print belt, my bright blue clutch and a chunky gold chain finished things off perfectly.
It just goes to prove to me that I should never judge a book by its cover, or a shop by its initial appearance.
Keep an open mind while shopping...you might surprise yourself!
Are you guilty of sticking to tried and tested shops and brands?
What are your old haunts?
Are you planning to give some new brands a chance?
Please let me know in the comments...or Tweet me @samantha4blair
Shoes: c/o JD Williams
Trousers: Topshop (old) these are similar, and on sale. These are nice too.
Coat: Limited @Marks&Spencer (similar...spree!)
Shirt: Oasis (A Charity shop find...this one is gorgeous!)
Bag: Linea (this one is nice)
Gold chain: M&S I tied a knot in it to make a choker (similar)