Name: Catherine Summers
Starsign: Leo – though I’m on the cusp of Cancer and Leo, I’ve always said Leo. However I don’t actually believe in horoscopes…!
Introduce us to your blog… My blog is called Not Dressed As Lamb, my blog description is usually “British blogger waving the fashion flag for 40-somethings. Sharing her personal style, some musings on life & a few tips here and there”. I’d like to think it’s a perfect combination of inspiring style, great design and fantastic photography, with user friendly outfit, photo tips, and musings pages that allow the reader to peruse my blog and see posts and articles easily. My readers range from teenagers to those in their 60s, so I think I appeal to every age – I certainly don’t aim my blog specifically to any one age group.
What made you decide to start blogging? Like most bloggers, I’d been following fashion blogs for a while. I was approaching my 39th birthday, and had a horrid fear that I might suddenly turn into a frump overnight without ever realising! I wanted to record my style and see if it could be improved at all by putting it out there and making myself sartorially accountable to everyone who would read the blog. At the time I couldn’t find any 40+ bloggers (now I know loads of course), so thought I’d be filling a neat little niche that was just waiting to be filled.
What’s your biggest achievement in the blogosphere? I’ve just recently been shortlisted for a blogger award: the Bath in Fashion Blogger Award 2013. The winner will be crowned at the catwalk show at Bath in Fashion week on 18 April, and I couldn’t be more excited (or nervous)! It’s definitely my proudest moment so far, whether or not I win.
Where do you look for inspiration when writing posts? Most of my posts are OOTD posts of my personal style, so they’re easy… otherwise I post “Phototips Fridays” about photography and “Musings Mondays” where I mostly muse about ageing and body image. Photography posts either cover solutions to problems requested by my readers, or tutorials on specific areas of photography that I think others may benefit from (I have a photography degree and am finally putting it to direct use). My musings are inspired by articles in the media, a news story, or simply a conversation I’ve had with someone recently. I make a note of all ideas and keep them as drafts for the future when I need writing inspiration – it makes scheduling and keeping structure to my blog a lot easier.
Is blogging your day job or do you have another occupation? I’d love to blog full time if I could, but I have a mortgage to pay… I’m a marketing manager by day, and a blogger by night (and weekends)!
Any favourite blogs/bloggers? I find it hard to choose just a few, but this week I’m loving that little extra:
Frassy http://www.befrassy.net Audrey dresses like no-one else – she is totally unique with a healthy touch of over-the-top.
Delightfully Tacky http://www.delightfully-tacky.com Elizabeth is the blogger I’d most like to be! She is so down-to-earth and has a lovely vintage-meets-kitsch style.
It’s Not That Deep http://www.itsnotthatdeep.com I can’t begin to say how stylish Sheree is. She absolutely rocks new trends with aplomb and is just so sleek.
Lella Victoria http://lellavictoria.creatorsofdesire.com Another individual – Daniella loves her designer pieces but somehow manages to create very wearable outfits.
Keiko Lynn http://www.keikolynn.com Who doesn’t love Keiko?! Exquisitely beautiful, very distinctive styling and totally unpredictable.
Tell us about your style… I’d describe my style as eclectic, but veering towards preppy with a twist. I also can’t get enough of pattern mixing and bright colour.
What’s the one piece in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without? A pair of knee-high, tan leather studded boots I bought years ago. I paid a lot of money for them (about £120, that was an absolute fortune to me then) and the cost-per-wear may as well be in the minus figures by now, I’ve worn them so much! There’s hardly an outfit they don’t go with, and they’ve appeared on the blog an awful lot.
Who are your style icons? Olivia Palermo – I know that’s a cliché, but the girl really can’t do any wrong. I love how she mixes designer with high street.
Dita Von Teese: she has turned vintage style into a fine art and is impeccable every time she steps out the door.
Chloe Sevigny: I love the risks she takes and her quirkiness.
Landscape print soft prom dress £45
I also love characters that actors have played in particular movies, for example:
Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink: her vintage eccentricity in a sea of 80s pastels and Miami Vice tailoring was so unlike anything else from that era.
Ali McGraw in Love Story: I’ve always loved her preppy Ivy look, with the tartan mini skirts, tanned limbs and centre parting hair.
Jane Fonda in Barefoot in the Park: her 60s bouffant hair is to-die-for! I’d happily wear everything that she wore in that movie now – swing coats, slim leg trousers and mustard coloured tops.
And the ultimate is of course: Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s – needs no further explanation!
Share a style tip with us…My best tip comes in two parts:
1. Buy a full length mirror. It’s truly impossible to dress yourself properly without one.
2. Photograph your outfits and upload the photos to study objectively on a monitor screen (don’t just zoom in on the camera). I guarantee you’ll see the outfit totally differently, and you’ll be able to get a feel for what suits you and what doesn’t very quickly. This is what happens when you have a blog – you get to see yourself very objectively.
How would you describe M&Co’s style?
Feminine, flattering and colourful. Three qualities I love!
What’s your favourite piece from our current collections? I love so many of the summer dresses (I am so looking forward to some warmer weather!), but I especially love the Landscape print soft prom dress – I love vintage inspired pieces and this print reminds me of kitsch 1950s landscape paintings. I find minimalism hard to do so I’m all for a crazy print!
Do you prefer to shop online or in-store and why? Online: I do about 90% of all my shopping online – from groceries to electrical goods to clothes! I prefer to be able to try on clothes in the comfort of my own home and with other items in my wardrobe to see if the pieces will work with what I’ve got. Plus in-store, you can’t see what clothes look like on: when clothes are hanging on a rack you just see a strip of the item down the edge – online you get a picture of what something looks like head-on, and often on a person. In a shop you can’t judge length or fit. The only things I buy in-store now are impulse buys!
The one trend you’ll be wearing this season is…I hate to say it: I’m drawn to black and white! For someone who is so anti-black and all about colour, I’ve really taken to all the graphic looks around at the moment. I might be approaching it as mostly white, but with touches of black.