Break the Rules -Style

It makes me cringe when I hear or read that over 40’s shouldn’t… fill in the gap here. (wear a short skirt or their hair long, go dancing at a night club or have tattoos)

What over 40’s shouldn’t… is give a crap about anyones rules for them.

Some Club in San Francisco

I seriously grew up thinking this rubbish. I didn’t go out dancing at 30 because I thought I was too old! I watched everyone around me for approval and followed ALL the rules when it came to fashion. I was a boring version of what was trending for the most part.

As a teen, I would take the train into London and knowing that there, in the city, there are NO rules about style, I could really be me. I’d put together outfits I wanted to wear that were risky and edgy. I felt amazing. I’d wear clothes inspired by some hip hop video or something I’d seen in a magazine, an outfit I’d NEVER wear in my own neighborhood. I loved it. I felt fierce.

Fast forward to now and I really don’t follow anyones rules. I know what I like and I definitely cover parts that aren’t my favorite but that’s completely personal to me and my body.

I still find myself “inspired” by other peoples style choices. Let’s face it, there’s some icons out there who are well over 40, 50 and beyond.

I look at people my own age or around about it and I wonder, who would dare tell them about those archaic rules.

Yes, Ms Halle Berry (54) No short skirts or short shorts for you!

Hey, Miss J-Lo (51) Nothing too revealing!

OMG! is that a crop top??? So nasty!

Um excuse me ladies, The Rules say No Bikinis!

Hoda Kotb(56), Padma Lakshmi(50), Courtney Cox(56), Gwyneth Paltrow(47) Gwen Stefani(50), Salma Hayek (54), Me(49)

What about your hair Halle and Erika Giradi(49) Don’t you know it’s supposed to go short and natural after 40 Not before?

Well the pixie is cute and edgy but long is pretty sexy too.

Cover those Arms Jennifer Aniston(51) It’s a rule girl!

I mean you might be killing it at the gym to have them but we don’t need to see those old arms.

Iris Apfel you Icon (99) The rule says: Avoid super loud colors or Black. Ha Ha Ha

As she laughs in our young, 50 year old faces.

No mesh, sheer, tattoos or sweats it goes on and on…

and I break them all.

So here’s my Style “Rules” for any age:

  • Wear what you love
  • wear what makes your heart sing
  • wear what makes you feel fierce or comfortable or confident
  • If you have a body part you’re not fond of, cover it
  • If you have one you love, show it off.
  • You make your own rules

And Remember:

So let’s have some fun

Follow me on Instagram @kingdomtostate and tag me in pictures of you breaking the dumb age rules.

How I Pack for a weekend away

Salt Lake International Airport 2019

I don’t know about you but whenever I travel somewhere, I seem to think I need to dress differently than I do in the rest of my life. I picture the fashionista in New York or executive business woman in London of which I am clearly neither, then compare my usual daily attire and realize I’m a bit scruffy and need to up my outfit game if I’m going to feel half way decent about myself. Instead of rushing out to buy sequined floaty kaftans, or a designer trouser suit and briefcase which I’d never actually wear in real life, I take a deep breath and step into my own closet and see what I have to work with.

I try to plan outfits that will make me feel good in the environments I’m in, as a beach getaway to California is a little different than a weekend full of shows and parties in Vegas. I consider the weather forecast which plays a huge part in layers, outerwear and footwear and can keep my packing more stream lined if I know the places and events I’ll be attending. I do my fair share of wandering and spontaneous stuff too, so it still needs to be adaptable for day or night. I’ve traveled enough to know the things I wear mostly and the things that rarely make it out of my suitcase so I have cut down on overpacking. I have a regular kit for toiletries and makeup which I can restock and tweak as I go and my “go to” city walking shoes and coat that seem to make every trip.

Organization is the key

I have found pouches and packing cubes to be really helpful. The first set I bought were so life changing for my packing that I started gifting them to people as I thought everyone needs this travel hack and now I have replaced them with cute girly ones, so even better. This method has made it so I can fit everything I need into a “carry on” bag which usually leaves my second bag with room for shopping.

Here’s the method:
  • Lay out daytime outfits- can any pieces overlap for night? choose things that won’t show dirt or crease really bad.
  • Lay out evening outfits- can any pieces overlap for day? adding accessories and a clutch can jazz up a fairly simple outfit.
  • Gather accessories – belt, jewelry, hat, scarf, clutch etc these turn the simple things into a stylish look.
  • Count out underwear and socks with an extra of each. make sure they work under your chosen clothes. Do you need nude or strapless? and I always throw in a warm pair of socks for the hotel room floor.
  • Sleepwear- some trips you just don’t need any (wink)
  • Gather toiletries and see if anything you use can be downsized to save space. I refill travel size bottles and keep to my same routine as at home.
  • Make up & brushes – Keep it simple. Your usual daytime routine plus an extra option for evening with some lashes or a brighter lipstick and your not filling your whole suitcase up.
  • Electronics, chargers, wall plugs and hair tools.

Once each of your pouches are filled, you can play a little tetris and arrange them in the suitcase.

If I need a winter coat or heavy sweater/hoodie, I carry it onto the plane and I usually take a holdall as my “personal item” or second carry on, with my purse, handbag or wallet inside it. Other than that, I keep the holdall pretty empty so I can shop.

On my last trip back from London, I took my, almost empty, holdall and completely filled it at the airport with Duty Free Items. To clarify, I bought over 5 Kilos of Cadbury’s chocolate!

One thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is, sometimes the best opportunities come at very short notice and you just have to be ready to roll at a moments notice. Having a method or system to pack figured out, cuts the stress down immeasurably and you’re much more likely to say yes to those opportunities.


When on a very rare occasion I have a night out or event to attend, I get so excited that I finally get to do something fun that visions of a packed nightclub enter my head. I can almost feel those thumping beats and the sticky heat of my body, dancing the entire night away and getting hit on by sexy men AND women. (Close eyes, Pause for visual, smell the beer breath and cologne….ummm nostalgia) then I cry a little before laughing hysterically. Unfortunately, reality crashes me down to earth like that first, cheap drink induced, vomit session of my youth and reminds me that my almost 50 year old Mum bod, may be willing but isn’t stepping foot in one of those clubs anymore and it’s going to take some work before I’m even comfortable anywhere outside my house. So here’s my tips for still having a life after 7pm.

Step 1- Say Yes and get excited about it.

You might be inclined to make an excuse and bow out but I encourage you to say yes and let the panic ensue. You were invited for your stella personality, not your dress sense and you could always drop out last minute if you really can’t get yourself together but you might also end up having a blast and remembering you’re far from dead yet. It’s also quite fun to play dress up, we’ve been doing it since we could get our own itchy clothes off after all.

Step 2- Shop your own closet.

I have plenty black and white tops that work day and night.
A jacket adds coverage if you need to hide any wobbly bits.

Chances are you have an item or two that can be dressed up fancy for a night out.

Black Pants, Skinny jeans, something leather, something sheer, heels? Dig deep, this isn’t an everyday look so how you wear it will take it up a notch.

Did you find something? or are you going shopping? (that’s the fun part)

Stick to your signature style

I’ll explain this in detail in another post but basically look at where you are most comfortable and confident and stick with it. If you’re a girly girl and dresses are your jam, don’t go throwing on a military jumpsuit and if you’re like me and feel like a drag queen in too many thrills, then keep it simple and you’ll be confident in the look.

Step 3- Try on and take Pics

Imagine your clothes in a store and try them on. How do they look together? Mix and match and add accessories.

This is where I take pictures. As you can see in most of the ones I show here, my hairs not done, and I’m not heading out but adding shoes and a bag can make or break a look.

I have many outfits I chose not to wear after seeing the pictures. Or that changing part of the outfit made it look better.

Time to Shop

If you feel at this point that you need something, it’s time to shop or borrow. The event will decide where you will shop. If it’s a funky theme party or a place you’ll likely never go again, then don’t be afraid to keep it cheap.

“I was invited for a girls night out dinner at which we were celebrating a friend who was overcoming cancer and I was told to sparkle! Not my usual jam and not likely my future jam so I went to Forever 21 for cheap and disposable options. That’s right, one wear, fall apart not forever anything 21. Amazingly I found a fun sequin top for $8 which paired with some black skinny pants and heels worked perfectly. I’ve actually worn that top three times now so that was a steal.”

Alternatively, you may find this is a great excuse to splurge on an item that you could wear on repeat forever and never have the “what can I wear” convo again.

  • Sexy Silk Blouse
  • Leather jacket or pants
  • Black Blazer
  • Beautiful Clutch Bag
  • Sexy Heels

Step 4- The Finishing Touches

Once you’ve decided on the basics, you’ll add some accessories that’s what take’s it up to a “Night Out” look.

Even basic skinny jeans and a t-shirt or tank top can work if you throw in some strappy heels, a clutch and one statement piece of jewelry. (Large Cuff, Statement Earrings or fancy necklace) A bold lip color goes a long way but I personally have tried this and even though it looks great, I just don’t like it on me. Once your hair is done and your make up’s on, it’s time to start focussing on the fun night ahead and the great people you get to be around.

In the end, you’ll know when you have a look that you’re confident in. Your beloved friend or 8 year old “honesty police” daughter might tell you you look great but only you’ll know when you do. When you’re confident in your look it is beautiful and radiates and that’s where you want to end up.

So Remember……

  • Say yes!
  • Stick to the signature style
  • Shop your own closet
  • Try on and look at your pictures
  • Add a few details to take it to night out worthy
  • Be confident
  • Have gratitude for friends who love you and want to hang out with you.