PERIMENOPAUSAL MUSINGS: Internal Nourishment

If the most important “lifestyle pillar” to feel good each day is the amount and type of sleep you get the night before, the second most important must be what you eat, drink, and choose to partake in nutritionally. For lack of a better term I’m calling it INTERNAL NOURISHMENT. I didn’t come up with it, I read a chapter about this in Radical Beauty (the same book my GGS – Glowing Green Smoothie comes from, which is old, so look for it secondhand 😉) and I liked the sound of it. And so, I’m making it the number 2 pillar of my own #feelgoodplan. A plan that has me notating the touchpoints in my lifestyle that keep me feeling light, energised and on an even keel while I navigate these mid life years and beyond.

But first, my DISCLAIMER: I am by no means medically trained. And I would always recommend you visit your GP or specialist before embarking on any nutritional or supplemental changes. I visit mine regularly, and did back in July. I had a physical including my full bloodwork done. I actually do this every year as a preventative. (Although I’m going back early November to follow up on my Calcium and Iron – both of which I was instructed to take as supplements 😉). That said, this makes my #feelgoodplan purely personal, and I’m simply writing down what I have done and am doing to feel better, during perimenopause.

We all know that what we eat effects us physically. It shows in our ability of sleep, our energy levels, how our skin and hair looks and how our clothes fit. But what I’m really interested in is how it affects my mood. The Gut-Mind Connection. And what I have discovered is that when I pay particular attention to that connection, it tells me when what I eat makes me feel good and when I feel blah ! So thanks to this plan of mine, I’m finally writing down what I find works for me. Let’s call it (thanks to Sheri Salata from the no longer podcast The Sheri and Nancy Show – which I sorely miss!) creating a ”feel good recipe” for my own life. And as I run through mine, please think about your own….

I am a vegetarian. Eating animals isn’t my thing. I am not a Vegan but eating plants makes me feel great! Especially the home grown organic type (thanks Dad 🙏🏻). I get the connection between man and the earth, the care and time involved in the planting and growing, and looking at it this way, instantly makes me feel good! (Bring on my move to a small cottage by the sea with kitchen garden 😉) So it’s what I go with! But in perimenopause, I’m aware that increasing my phytoestrogens (plant oestrogen) intake can only benefit my own hormonal loss during this stage, so I try to include these as often as I can. My faves being tofu, soy milk, quinoa, LSA, and chickpeas. Which means for brunch, which I usually eat mid to late morning, (after my walk) in addition to my usual three veggies and eggs, I’ll add seeds and nuts in some form. This is by far my favourite meal of the day….probably because its when I’m most hungry. While TRE (time restricted eating) or IF (intermittent fasting) is something I try to do, I’m not extreme and find an 8am to 7pm eating window works for me naturally.


I then usually have a smoothie (the GGS – with an added nutritional benefit of a GLOW supplement) and a protein ball or slice mid afternoon ( please see Emma Bardwell’s recipes below). As I am a recovering sugar addict, the choc on top was my idea 😂, but it is 70% dark – I find the Lindt Smooth Blend the best. Eating these curb my desire for the over processed alternatives that I occasionally when tired or stressed.


In fact, I’ve let go of a lot of processed foods over the last 5 years and my mind and body thank me for it everyday. I love this quote from Amelia Freer’s “Cook. Nourish. Glow.” It’s an older book, so again you could probably find it secondhand.

And then dinner is usually early, focusing again on plants and oestrogen rich foods. My kids laugh at me saying eating at 5 or 6pm is for oldies 😂 little do they realise its a perimenopausal superpower! In fact WHEN you eat is just as important, perhaps even more so, than WHAT you eat. Its all about circadian rhythm and I can’t recommend Dr Satchin Panda’s book on this subject enough! My main aim in navigating this second half of my life is to eat less and lighter as it’s my belief it will age me well 😊

Another perimenopausal superpower is to cut down on alcohol and caffeine. Which, fortunately doesn’t affect me, as I haven’t had either for years. No alcohol for nearly 19 years or coffee for almost 11 or is it 12… 🦸🏼‍♀️ But what I really need to focus on is my water intake. It’s so easy for me to forget this simple feel good tip. So I’ve reintroduced an old habit and am now starting my day with hot water and lemon. It hydrates me first thing, aids my digestion (I don’t have any reflux issues) and extends my IF until my first cup of tea (low caffeine with soy milk). Water and tea, thats pretty much me 😉

Which brings me to supplements. Something that should be taken with expert advice. And often hours apart from each other and sometimes with or without food to increase their absorption. There is a mine field of info out there, and there are side effects to all, so I’m not going to go into everything I take or in what dose. However, I did mention in my last blog that I found Evening Primrose Oil beneficial to relieving my night sweats. And since they have gone away for the moment, I’ve stopped taking them. (EPO, I’ve read, can thin the blood, should not be taken two weeks before a general anaesthetic and should not be taken by people with seizure disorders – which reinforces the importance of taking it under supervision). The other supplement I mentioned taking was a powder that I add to my GGS. It’s called GLOW. It was recommended to me by a friend who had noticed an improvement in her hair (among other things) while on it. And since my hair is definitely thinning thanks to perimenopause, I bought some. I’m currently taking it every second day until I see my Doctor next month. So watch this space…

And that ladies, pretty much sums up my own “internal nourishment” plan . Do I follow this perfectly? No 😬and everyday? No 😬 but I try, I’m only human and often fall off, however, it’s just so great knowing what I can do to get back to feeling fab again. If the only thing you get from this is to look at your own lifestyle and think of ways you can improve it to ”feel good” that’s fantastic! Because that’s what I’m all about.

Sarah xx

SIGNATURE STYLE: LEATHER

My Leather Coats and Jackets

I’m so glad I managed to coax my “Signature Style” Pals Cindy and Kim into talking leather this month 😊 as it’s a material I have worn since I was 18. My first ever leather garment (other than shoes 😉) was a pair of leather pants I bought on The Queensway in Bayswater, London back in 1984. How I wish I had them now.. they were stunning! High waist, front pleats, rollable cuff and oh so soft…my daughters would love them ! But they were sold to a recycle boutique a few years later so I could purchase a secondhand electric blue pair (another pair I wish I still owned) 😳 I don’t have a pic of those, but here’s a younger me in my black ones (below left) … proving I’ve never been shy of the camera 😂 btw, I’m happy to say I still have 3 of those bangles and the watch on my arm…and I still wear them! I can still remember where and when I got them all. Brass and Gold from the Camden Market, Ivory bangle from Hong Kong and the watch was left to me by my Grandma (who, btw, I believe is the Orb you see in so many of my IGTV’s 😉). I just love that connection to clothes and jewellery that I have. But I digress, back to leather…


Between the ages of 18-38 I owned several leather jackets and skirts. All resold 😬 But over the last 17 years, I have been more mindful and kept all the leather pieces I have purchased. Even the 2004 black leather skirt that no longer fits! My youngest daughter is keen to have this too-small for me leather skirt altered for herself, which I love since I wore it to her Christening (see above right)! In the pic below I’m wearing a coat I bought in, i think, 2004. A bit tight, but still looking good! I have, however, also owned faux leather… many pairs of shoes in my youth but only two garments … one was a pair of navy Zara pants. They looked great for a short time, but I found the colour wore away in the creases, so they made it to landfill after a season 😬 and the second, a snakeskin trench which is still with me.

Leather Coat circa 2004

So which do I feel better about owning and purchasing? Faux or Real? There is definitely a tug of war in my head when it comes to this as I don’t think the choice is simple…

Faux leather, or pleather doesn’t harm animals directly and its strong and durable. However, the production of it creates the same nasty chemicals produced in plastic 😬 it can also shed harmful micro-plastics into the environment, which we ingest and when discarded, it never breaks down! Plant based leather on the other hand, is made from agricultural waste. No animals are harmed in its production, it is made from a renewable source and it breaks down back into organic matter. Unfortunately it’s not readily available (I haven’t seen any 😳), can sometimes smell and no one yet knows about its long term durability. Real leather on the other hand is made from skins of animals. Cows, calf, lamb, and goat ☹️ Technically, they are a co-product of the meat and dairy industries, not a by-product. Traditional tanning produces toxic waste that makes it into our waterways and vegetable tanning while less toxic, still is! However, it is a natural material that degenerates into organic matter and its durable.

You decide where all that leaves you. The best thing for me to do, is wear what I have and wear it sustainably, meaning “for a very long time”. And if I do chose a new piece, perhaps i’ll look at secondhand first. And if not, at least look for ethically made and sourced real leather.


Which makes my recent sharing of the small Melbourne based leather business Raw by Raw a leather company for me. They are small, they are family based, they are true artisans, they source ethically from a company they have dealt with for years (who have ISO accreditation) and they make right here in Melbourne. No mass production. No fast fashion. Just timeless styles that are wardrobe builders. I already had a pair of their pants, an amazing casual style, that I purchased earlier this year. These are called the Frankie Jogger, they are leather at the front (lined) and a ponty fabric at the back, so they are stretchy, but mould to your shape perfectly and are very comfortable. I bought the Sapphire (a navy- the ones on the left) to replace the faux Zara pair but they are also available in black and olive. Definitely a “buy once, buy well” item, and I must say, I feel incredible in them ! So far, I have worn them in Autumn, Winter and Spring. I’m really liking the idea of trying to wear them casually, like a cotton, linen or denim pant so the outfit on the right with trainers and a tee is quite timeless!


And I was lucky enough to be able to share these gorgeous items from them on IGTV, which I worked as suits in three colour ways. The leather suit.. I actually love that idea!


And if you take another look at my jackets in the first photo, you will see I own the Adeline Jacket in Autumn Leaves (which is an olive) and the same colour in the York Culotte.


Now why not pop on over to see what Cindy and Kim have to say on leather in their SIGNATURE STYLE blog post…

CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA STYLE

Sarah xx

PERIMENOPAUSAL MUSINGS: SLEEP

When I turned 50 I deliberately made changes to my lifestyle to feel good. I’d hit midlife and knew that if I didn’t become more informed, adjust my mindset and switch up a few habits, the side effects of ageing and the inevitable hormonal symptoms of Menopause may prove a challenge. Which, coincidentally, I have read in Liz Earle’s Book “The Good Menopause Guide”, is key prior to peri- menopause, as making certain changes will help to balance your hormones when going through it. So this is the first of a few blog posts on what I’ve done and continue to do. I’ll call it “Menopausal Musings”, because I find the topic thought provoking and one I often reflect on. Plus, i love a bit of preventative medicine! Disclaimer here, I am by no means an expert on this subject. At least not for others, but I do like to think I am becoming one on it for myself. To pinch a phrase from Sheri Salata (of the now defunct podcast The Sheri and Nancy Show – still available, and I do recommend you give it a listen 😉), over the last 5 years I’ve become the “CEO of my own life”, aka ”getting my s*#t together”, and its actually been as powerful as the role sounds.

But before I start, a little background on my menopausal journey to date. I’m now 54 years and 9 months and still officially peri-menopausal. (My Mum hit menopause at 56 – i mention this as while not always an indicator, it’s good to know, as is the fact that the average peri-menopause is 4 years) And until now, I have had very few signs that my body is changing. At 50, I still had a regular monthly cycle. Everything was as it should be 😂 At 51, I noticed that my reading vision started to go (apparently a sign of peri- menopause), but my sleep was still fine. At 52 and 53, i missed one of twelve cycles each year (another sign) and my “readers vision” increased from a plus one to a plus one point five, otherwise all good, with occasional sleepless nights. So I had very few sleep issues to speak of, but at the end of August, at the age of 54 and 8 months I started to experience first hand what they call ”night sweats” (my “oh no 😫” moment). I started waking up several times a night feeling incredibly hot and then, when I fell back to sleep, a hot sweat would wake me again. It was something I had read about, but fortunately, until now, had never experienced. Sleep has been one of my lifestyle focuses for the last 5 years, and after trial and error, I am a strict 9.30pm to 6.30am gal. It’s what I thrive on! So to have this happen, literally exhausted me…I stopped exercising, reached for sugar (the worst kind- Cadburys Turkish Delight 😩) and I just felt incredibly flat and out of control. After about a week of this, I decided to experiment with everything I had read, listened to, seen and heard from girlfriends and family members over the last 5 years or so and actually write down and create my own menopausal #feelgoodplan ! Touch points I can follow everyday to keep me from feeling like i did a month ago…

This post is all about Sleep, the first and most important Pillar for me in feeling good. For years I have said that if i don’t get a good nights sleep the following day is never my best, so I was thrilled to hear Matthew Walker, the worlds leading expert on Sleep state that “Sleep is the single most effective thing you can do to reset your brain and body health”. I discovered him on my all time favourite podcast ” Feel Better, Live More” with Dr Rangan Chaterjee. Another amazing recommended listen! I have Matthew’s bestselling book “Why We Sleep” on order. You could alternatively, get it from your own book supplier…

What I do know is that if I don’t get my 9 hours in bed and at least 8 hours sleep, preferably at the same time each night (great for your circadian rhythms including body temp regulation 😉 – please read Dr Satchin’s Book for further details), I am a mess the day after 😫 and no matter my best intentions, it’s so much easier to slip and fall off my #feelgoodplan leaving me feeling far from how I want to. I’ve actually got into some pretty good habits to encourage a good nights sleep. My bedroom is cool, I have a fan circulating the air all night, my bedding and sleepwear is 100% cotton (even the doona insert), I don’t drink alcohol or do caffeine, I generally eat early, usually finishing by 7pm, wear blue blocking glassses if on a screen before bed, stop everything at 9pm and begin a bedtime ritual. This includes some bathroom self care (i’ll go into what i use on another post) a mist of Deep Sleep Pillow Spray on my pillow and a book… all which worked perfectly well until the menopausal night sweats! So what I’ve introduced recently is taking 2 Evening Primrose Capsules at 7 o’clock. It was recommended to me by a naturopath at my local chemist. The brand I’m taking is Medi Herb and it looks like it’s a practioner only brand. Plant based, it can help with the hormonal imbalance that causes hot flashes in menopause. After googling the side effects and ensuring that they wouldn’t interact with the other supplements I take (I always take my supplements separately and at least 2 hours apart), I decided to start a low dose. Currently that dose is 2 x 100mg tabs. Very low, given the recommendation on the packet is 3 tabs and the RDD is 500mg. Of course, please consult your own specialist if you consider taking this. But so far, its been remarkable. I haven’t had a night sweat since 😳

But its not really all that simple… there is so much science involved, which to be honest, I’m not trained to comment on as it loses me 😬 But what i do know is that to manage my sleep and the hormonal imbalance that causes temperature chaos during menopause, among other things, there are other lifestyle changes i’ve made and follow that help. A big one is what I call my “Internal Nourishment”, aka Diet, which is Pillar 2 of my #feelgoodplan. And this has so many positives for a woman of a certain age. But that will be lengthy, so I’ll save it for another post 😉

Sarah xx


SECONDHAND STYLE : Clothes That Tell a Story

“This shirt is old and faded, All the colours have washed away, I’ve had it now for more damn years, That i can count anyway, I wear it beneath my jacket, With the colour turned up high, So old I should replace it, But im not about to try…”

These are the lyrics to the first verse of Mary Chaplin Carpenter’s beautiful song “The Shirt” and the inspiration for this month’s ”Secondhand Style” blog post with Jane from The Small Fabric of My Life. It’s a meaningful tale and if you listen in full, its all about how the most ordinary object (a shirt) can hold meaning, memory and emotion (Chapin’s words). Which has me thinking about my own and the garments that have been with me on my journey so far. Are you like that? Sentimental about what you have worn at certain times in your life or garments that have a story of their own? Perhaps you have a shirt? or a pair of shoes? I most certainly attach feelings and memories to the clothes in my wardrobe.. which may explain why i rarely rid myself of any 🤔 but what i thought i’d talk about is a piece i featured on IGTV last year, but have never written about. And since I print each of my blogs out and place them in a file marked: For Annabel and Penelope, “So you thought you knew your mother”, I thought this the perfect opportunity 😂

The Maker

This coat is not mine, I am just it’s custodian, and have been for a year of so. This coat belongs to my eldest daughter. Last year, after the passing of her Grandmother, my mother-in-law, the emptying of her wardrobe was the emotional task beautifully and meaningfully undertaken by her daughter. At the end of which she thought it would be nice if family and close friends perhaps look at her clothing and choose a piece or two. I took my daughters with me and we each chose a piece. My youngest and I have a bag. Annabel chose this coat, of which i will now tell you what I know….

My husband’s Aunt actually inherited the coat from her Mother-in-law, who, to keep it simple is my daughter’s Great Grandma. (And then gifted it to my Mother-in-law) Her name was Dulcie and this is the story of Dulcies’s coat. Dulcie was a great lady, who loved the best of everything. Tall, beautiful and vivacious, no one enjoyed a party like she did (my late father-in-law’s words about his Mother), she always had a ciggie in one hand and a G & T in the other. She was a Melbourne socialite who married into a successful and very hard working large Irish-Australian Family. The same family I married into. Actually, they are more than a family, they are a CLAN!!

And as a member of Melbourne’s high society, Dulcie had her clothes made by dressmakers. I’ve tried to find out about the maker Diedre Anita Reynolds, but to no avail. Although the address is quite exclusive, so i’m imagining the process involved pattern sketches, fabric selection and perhaps a few other garments ordered at the same time. The coat itself is exquisitely made. The fabric is a heavy weave, lined in the most stunning red, and there is a hand stitched hem. The pattern matching is impeccable! Oh those were the days! Pure couture!


While Dulcie loved to party, play tennis and golf, she was also married to a man who was keen on horse racing. He owned many horses and raced them in Grand Nationals, Steeples and even The Melbourne Cup. The reason i tell you this , is that I can imagine Dulcie wearing this coat trackside. Perhaps a scarf covering her ears to keep out the cold and large sunnnies to disguise the hungover eyes from the fun had the night before….Looking quite the lady I imagine, with her stature and elegant coat as she watched the trainers run their horses. No one in the family can verify this, but its a nice image in my mind. And its how i think of her when i put it on. When I am “wearing clothes that tell a story…”


And for a little more style inspiration, here’s the beginning of the IGTV i featured last year…

I’ll put the full episode up in stories on Instagram.

So, while this post isn’t about my own clothes memories, it has now become so. I’ve attached meaning, memory and emotion to ” Dulcie’s Coat”. A garment that spoke to my daughter and now its story will continue….

I wonder how Jane will interpret Mary Chapin Carpenter’s words. Why not pop on over to her blog now by clicking on the link below..

THE SMALL FABRIC OF MY LIFE

There’s a Spring in my step..


We are halfway through the first month of Spring! Yay! Warmer weather is on the way 😊 and i just realised that i haven’t written much about what’s been going on behind the scenes of my little Insta page…

The biggest change social media wise is that I’ve taken myself off all platforms except this blog and Instagram. I felt like i was spreading myself too thin and I wanted to claim some “real life” back. I even took the month of August off from shopping and ”sharing” new product. This gave me time to step away, go within, think and reevaluate why i spend so much of my time on here and what i want to achieve from it. I needed the break to do this. I felt like i was on a hamster wheel…does that make sense? Share, style, promote, share, style, promote … you get my drift. And while I know that is how I’ve grown this page, and i do love doing this, sometimes it becomes about too much “stuff” and ladies, that’s not all I want this to be about….

Speaking of which, the most delightful bundle of fur came into our lives this month. Meet Billy Ray, a brother for four and a half year old Joseph. What a joy he has been and oh so needed! With lockdown after lockdown, he has been the most welcome distraction 🙏🏻 Although, tbt, ive been thinking and looking for another Spoodle for about a year, in fact he was named in August 2020 and he has been on my ”futureboard” since January…so it was just a matter of time 😉 and that time, thanks to the universe 🙏🏻 was Now. Great time for a new pup, lots of nice weather for outside play, and with lockdown, lots of house training opportunities 😂 10 more days and he’ll be fully vaxed and another walking buddy for me 😊

I do love to walk! So i got myself a new pair of trainers, thanks to the generosity of Cinori Shoes. I know it’s not the most flattering stance, but these Woden Pernille leather sneakers above (in bright white) have been on my feet quite a bit. They seem to go with everything, and the cork innersole makes them shock absorbent. So for everyday casual wear and short walks to run errands, they are perfect! Cinori kindly gifted me the sandals in the top pics too. You will see them on my feet a lot this SS21. I do believe that for the warmer months, all I need are variations of these three neutrals in my shoe shelves.

Taking August off from ”sharing new product” allowed a different kind of sharing 🙏🏻 and I was lucky to be selected by African Fabrics Australia to take part in their creativity search. I chose a lovely batik fabric called Binta, an artisanal hand dyed cotton from Senegal. Being in “Lockdown”, I creatively drafted a simple pattern in newspaper from an old kaftan and managed to make a delightful one myself. It had been a while, but it was definitely satisfying sitting back in my sewing seat. And it was the reason i picked the Asailor in natural sandal from Cinori.


I also performed a couple of creative alterations on bags:


And there has been a little wardrobe rearrangement, in anticipation of warmer weather! And while I wait for that, it’s been so nice to dust the shelves, polish shoes and prepare for the new season. And since we are still in lockdown, i certainly have had the time! These four walls bring me such joy. Especially now we are homebound. I walk through this room from bed to bath several times a day. It’s a thoroughfare. But to me, its more than that, it’s my dressing room, my hobby and my passion. I really do love it and all it brings everyday.



And now Spring is here, and i’m ready for it, thanks to the wardrobe refresh, my break and the fact that I’ve recently embarked on a #feelgoodplan…but more on the latter in another blog post…

There’s certainly a spring in my step 😉

Sarah xx

SIGNATURE STYLE: Jeans 👖

My Jeans Collection… interestingly, all dark denim 🤔

This month on SIGNATURE STYLE Cindy, Kim and I are talking Jeans 👖 ….

Did you realise that there are more pairs of jeans on the planet than people? I heard that statistic on a podcast recently 😳 so then I started wondering what the average number women own is 🤔 and I discovered it’s 7 ….and the very same Ms Average apparently buys two new pairs a year! So together, with my current intention to be an under-consumer, this has me feeling pretty good when I admit to you that I own only 5 pairs (although I never wear the black skinny Dr Denim’s anymore) ! Which btw, range from my 10 year old (that’s a guess) thrifted Citizens of Humanity flared hipsters, to my 4 month old 1964 Denim Company high waisted bootlegs, meaning I average out at a new pair every 2 years. While all these facts and numbers mean something to some and nothing to others, it tells me I’m not really a Jeans buyer nor a Jeans wearer. I may use them a bit in my styling, but truth be told, they don’t get many “real” wears, hence I purchase them minimally. And considering denim is far from the most sustainable textile because of the required chemicals it needs, thousands of litres of water used and huge energy consumption to produce the finished product it’s a WIN WIN for me and the planet 😊 however…..

The good news is there are loads of Jean producing company’s addressing these supply chain issues to produce incredible sustainable and ethical denim garments and I’m going to share some of my current favourites with you 😊 and in doing so, will focus on what I would buy (or at least try) if I needed a new pair. And that is the wide leg. I covet comfort above all things, and being an A Shape Body Type (thighs being my largest area), I need the leg width to fall from the top of my thigh rather than cling to it, otherwise every time I stand up, I feel like I need to pull my jeans down from this part of my body. I’m sure there are readers out there that get this 😉 and it also explains, why all my denims are dark. I do look better when I dress my bottom half in a darker colour and my top half lighter! So, if I was to be looking for a new pair, I would be interested in trying these…

In addition to being A shaped, I have shorter legs and a longer torso. So ideally, a full length jean with a heel is a great casual leg lengthening look on me (if I don’t have to walk far or stand for too long…. I’m seriously loosing my interest in heels!) I do however, still wear a wide cropped jean, it doesn’t look too bad if I wear a flat form style shoe or trainer, although it’s certainly not leg lengthening! And thanks to COVID lockdowns, a little thigh hugging 😫 Here are a few looks of me in my jeans.


The 1964 Jeans Company bootlegs are a pair I ended up buying new this year. While current, they no longer seem to be available. The higher waist is flattering, the stretch fabric comfortable and I can almost talk myself into them being sustainable if you read the label and the blurb on Big W’s website (but at $24 I have serious doubts). I do think they look quite good. Press here for the new design for SS21. When I wear a boot leg jean, it usually involves a longer cardigan or coat worn over the top. So I’m not one for fancy back pockets, because no one usually sees them. With fitted jeans, I go for “illusion” dressing. Wearing a long length top disguises where my bottom ends and my shorter legs start. It’s a style habit I picked up from Trinny Woodall years ago. Wearing a dress over them looks great too, but I haven’t done this for ages…. although it’s now got me thinking 🤔 And if you head over to Pinterest, there are lots of inspiring pics like the ones below. It looks to me, like the secret is not to wear a dress too voluminous or structured, and the length of the dress long, although on me, I think calf length (midi) is probably best. The jean also appears to be straight, which is a style i don’t own, and slightly cropped or with the hem rolled above the ankle. It’s certainly a look and idea that i would enjoy to play with. It may even make me wear jeans more and look at them differently. Plus I really like the idea of this with sneakers!


Here are two straight leg jeans in a shade that i quite like. Both would work with the dress over jeans idea. Although, when it comes to jeans I definitely have to try before i buy and being in lockdown i don’t think that will be anytime soon.

So until I up my style game, I’ll keep wearing my bootlegs like I do. But I also have a wider leg jean. These “pant like” denim jeans are about 4 years old. I love the depth of their blue. They feel and look quite smart. When I wear these, I’m more likely to expose the back, like in the pics below. In the first, I’m full tucking a linen shirt, the next is with a turtle neck with cashmere wrap. As it’s no secret I love a loose pant, these are probably my current favourites. And the bonus is they also look great with a flat shoe!


So that’s my Jeans style 😉 I wonder how Kim and Cindy wear theirs? And what they have to say about their Signature Style on Jeans? Best pop on over and see… that’s what I’m doing next 😉

CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

NORTHERN CAL STYLE

Sarah xx

SECOND HAND STYLE: Why I shop this way 😊


Welcome to a new blog and a new monthly instalment called “SECOND HAND STYLE”, this time with blogger and charity shopper extraordinaire Jane from The Small Fabric of my Life. Each month we will be talking about a “second hand” topic from our own perspective… and today it’s a little introduction of how we started shopping this way 😊

I can’t really remember a time I haven’t owned something second hand. Whether it be handed down, salvaged or intentionally purchased. My home is full of curated treasures! So it’s no surprise that my wardrobe is too 😉 Since I started this blog and the Instagram page that accompanies it, I like to think my “second hand style” has slowly made its way from the back to the front of Sarah London Style. And all quite naturally, firstly I introduced you to the clothes in my wardrobe and now I share with you the way they get there.

I love old! I was brought up to love old! (Its no accident i’m a History Major 😉) Although if you asked me when I was ten, if I’d rather wear the old hand me downs from Di and Sue (family friends daughters who were a couple of years older than me) or be taken to the local shopping centre, I would have chosen the latter. You see, my parents were (and still are) thrifters! I grew up with them frequenting antique auctions, markets, garage sales and the advertised section of the newspaper, all in search of what they needed, and when they found what they were after, they always managed to make it work! They rarely threw things out, always chose to repair and often repainted, reupholstered and repurposed. Talk about sustainable! But this was the late 70s and it wasn’t uncommon then, and because my family happened to be good at it, it was fun!

And then I turned 14! December 1980 and I got my first job at the local delicatessen… and an instant cash influx and my parents love of thrift turned into mine. Trash and Treasure Markets at car parks were my favourite! These were the days when I could find a pair of 1960’s winkle picker stilettos for 99cents (I did), vintage was everywhere and it was cheap because with the emergence of Fast Fashion, no one really wanted it. Except me and my 80s gal pals! We were music crazy and always wanted to look like some star on the cover of UK mag Smash Hits! I was a “Mod” 😂, and my friends were “Punks” and “New Romantics” and where did we find our clothes? We bought and repurposed from secondhand….

That’s me in the middle in my secondhand stiletto winkle pickers and trilby 😂


Fast Forward forty years, and while my style no longer replicates a “mod” or those on the magazine covers 😂, second hand clothes are still an important part of who I am. Yes, I have dabbled with Fast Fashion, I’ve even worked in it! (thank you Myer Miss Shop). And I’ll even admit that I got on the Zara bandwagon for more than a few years 😩. All because I loved clothes and it was easy and cheap. But at the same time, I’d never forgotton my roots and the “upcycling” style habits of my upbringing. So markets on the weekend, op shopping, designer recycle for the “it” bag (albeit a couple of years late) and eBay have remained constant. But now I have more time (thank you mid life and COVID), I find myself reflecting and “deliberately” going back to what I was brought up to know….

Recent secondhand and forever acquisitions 😊

And that is, you create your own style! You wear what feels like you and you wear it your way! Which to me, means pulling together an outfit from various sources. It doesn’t have to be perfect, you just have to love it! And most often than not, one item I decide to put on will be second hand! And while I could attribute it to sustainability, going green, saving from landfill, the environment and all that, I won’t… I simply shop like this because it’s what I’ve always known. And it’s freeing. No ties to having the latest trend, just adapting which ones you like from what you have, and dare I say, even creating your own! The aim is to feel good! And shopping this way does that! Take for example the photo below.. all secondhand! The coat I picked at a consignment store. The scarf a local op shop, the jeans and boots from designer recycle. All aged from 12 months to 14 years old. All my style, in my wardrobe and still being worn by me 🙏🏻.

Oooh… Valentino on my feet 😉 thank you as.if.designer.recycle 🙏🏻

Now please pop on over to Jane’s blog and read about why she shops this way.

Sarah xx

SIGNATURE STYLE: Skirts 🖤

It’s that time again… SIGNATURE STYLE with Cindy, Kim and me! And this month each of us dive into the style of skirts…

If you asked me if I wear skirts, I’d say “sometimes”. If you asked me if I like them, I’d say “sort of”. If you asked me if I owned any, I’d say a couple. So when I actually went into my wardrobe to take a deeper dive, it was a surprise to me that I actually own nine!!! What is no surprise is that they are all in natural fabrics: Linen, Cotton and Leather 🤍. (Although I did own, until recently, a couple in polyester, but in a deliberate move to try and create the perfect sustainable wardrobe, I cleared them out by selling them and donating the funds to charity).

SS2018 Shanty Corporation Linen gathered waist skirt with a high low hem in Natural

I am the biggest fan of linen, so much so, I featured “linen skirts” as my first episode on my 2020 IGTV Series “Collections” I love the way linen feels against the skin, the fact it breaths beautifully in hot weather, softens when worn and washed, and that it always looks so Euro-chic! Above is a favourite linen skirt of mine. A Shanty Corporation linen gathered skirt. I picked it up on sale a few years ago and took it on an overseas trip. I find the creases in linen perfect for a summer holiday. It relaxes me 😂 I let go of trying to feel so “perfectly ironed and pulled together” and I just take it easy and go with the flow…. I think it looks wonderful with white, whether it be a singlet, tshirt or shirt (and a little fake tan). Press here for a similar updated alternative. There is something about linen that looks understated and elegant. Perhaps it’s the timeless, ageless sustainability of the fabric! So it’s no surprise my linen skirt collection now totals four…


And then we come to my leather skirt. A buy once, buy well purchase. I can’t imagine there will ever be a time without it in my wardrobe. I adore it. The colour is incredible. The craftsmanship and attention to detail is superb. I feel good about the fact that it’s 100% ethically sourced leather, and from a socially responsible Scandinavian label Gestuz. I found it at a wonderful samples store that I frequent called The Wooden Hangar. They are primarily a fashion agency who distribute amazing European labels to high end boutiques. But the benefit to we the consumer, is that they sell off their samples to the public at a fraction of the price! If you live in Melbourne, there are two stores under their name and an online samples store called Faith which also has an outlet. A great store to keep popping into for European style inspiration. I think there is a size 12 still available here. Press here for a black ethical alternative.

So while my skirt styles vary, I do wear them mostly in Summer. And while I’m not actively looking for another, there is one type of skirt that currently eludes me: the denim skirt! This is one that I will keep my eye out for, and until I find it, here is a little luxe inspo:


My fave is actually the tiered Chloe! It’s divine and looks like a much lighter denim than the others. I also think it would look the best with flats! Out of my reach for the moment 😂, it has inspired me to wait until I find the perfect design ! Although, this one has caught my eye on eBay.au :

But is it just right? The style is, but the shaded denim isn’t. The old Sarah would have said, but it’s only $30 and placed a bid…but now I don’t! In fact, how I look at anything I purchase now, is that it must be absolutely stunning in my eyes, not just okay 😑, looking at adding new garments like this means I actually buy less and wear more of what I have! Not to mention when I do find it, all the money I will have saved on “okay” purchases will have piled up so I can say yes! Mindfully purchasing ☺️ (and mindfully styling) That’s part of my SIGNATURE STYLE…. Now, go read what style of skirts interest:

CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA STYLE


And then watch my introduction (full video on Insta later today 😉) to my skirts collection here:

Sarah x

When you know better, do better 🙏🏻

What a delight to have shared two wonderful new brands from my studio with everyone in the last month! Both sustainable and ethical Smitten Merino and Cara Cashmere are the most wonderful companies to be an ambassador for. They believe in everything I believe in, and they have done so way before I decided to become more “consciously aware” in the world of style. So what is that? Both are small Aussie brands that ship globally, both design here in Australia, one supports our manufacturing industry here, the other supports a small free range goat herding family and a family based manufacturer in Inner Mongolia. Both ensure that all the workers (and the animals) involved are respected, treated well and paid fairly. And both companies send their item in recyclable packaging and of course, they both also sell the most incredible stylish natural product garments! Slow fashion 🙏🏻

I was so lucky to be sent a few items by Smitten, to share with you all. A Mary dress (which I love), two styles of cardigans- the Boyfriend and the Drape and scarves! I was blessed enough to be able to keep the dress and have already worn it four times. The Mary Dress was named after the Hobart girl who became the Crown Princess of Denmark 😉 classic, and understatedly elegant it sums up the dress and HRH perfectly! I chose the French Navy because it’s one of my colours (hope you read my blog on colour) and it looks and feels incredible on. Loose, but shapely, the wool falls beautifully into a flare skirt with fabulous deep pockets. I feel utterly chic in it. The cardigans speak for themselves in the pics below, timeless in quality and style!


Cara Cashmere sent me two lovely pieces that will also be with me forever! A wonderful scarf and a wrap. Annie was so lovely, she let me choose colours in both! I chose the True Red scarf, because this is a colour that brings life to my face, and it’s also a colour that I don’t have a lot of. The wrap I selected in a neutral cream, because I know it will just go with absolutely everything in any season. Both of course are available in many colour options. Aren’t they divine?


Talk about both brands being the change you want to see in the world of fashion! Both ethical and sustainable, it’s no coincidence I shared them with you! I’m very deliberate about who and what I promote. One of my favourite quotes of all time is Maya Angelou’s “when you know better, do better” 🙏🏻 I like to think I’m doing this with my blog, my styling page and everyday! So, on visiting the Mary Quant exhibition, I very much wanted to make my “mindful and slow fashion” point by wearing sustainable and ethical clothing. I wore boots I’ve had for over 12 years, my Smitten Merino wool Mary Dress, an old coatigan that is a cashmere/wool blend, aged leather belt, my new ethical Cara Cashmere scarf, a 100% merino wool beret and an old (perhaps 10 years) MUI MUI bag I splurged on ( secondhand) years ago. I mixed it up. Old with new! All “buy well” pieces styled my way. SLOW STYLE. It felt good. In fact it felt fabulous. And I think it looked alright too!

Sarah x

SIGNATURE STYLE: A Winter sombrero and berets!

It’s all in the handcrafted details of this Alberta Gomez Sombrero

Today on the blog I’ll be discussing Winter Hats, the ones I wear and a few I wouldn’t mind trying on my head now the weather definitely calls for them here in Melbourne! Cindy and Kim on the other hand, are in the throws of a heatwave, so will be putting their personal spin on Hats to wear in Summer… be sure to press the links at the end for their inspiring style!

I have to start by saying I have a love hate relationship with hats 😂 I do absolutely love them, especially when they are crafted to perfection, by means of design, material and detail! But on my head, this artistry can be a bit hit and miss! While there are many style guides out there on the best hat shapes for face shapes, I have found them contradictory and that trial and error is perhaps my best guide. I have a round face, so strictly speaking I should be trying to elongate my head and not flatten it. So a sombrero with a crown (mine below is 12cm) higher than the brim (mine below is 9cm) is perfect! And this handcrafted Mexican beauty of mine that is available in various colours and styles from Esplora Australia is perfection! This is a forever hat, one that deserves the best of care and a box of its own. Hand blocked in wool, it is one of only 600 hats that leaves its workroom in a little corner of Ocotlan de Morelos each month to be shipped to suppliers globally. I consider it a piece of art.

If I do intend to elongate my face in a hat, strictly speaking I should steer away from the snug head hugging type, but I find there is so much to love about this type of hat! The beret has been worn for centuries, from the floppy felt peasant, to stiffened military, to chic Parisian and everything in between, (including the tam’o shanter – which I wore as part of my Winter school uniform 😂). A beret is definitely my go to for Winter. Because it is just so easy to pop on and style in so many ways. It can be worn over the forehead, back on the crown, over the ears, behind them, straight or on a slant. And that’s before you come to the different types! Regardless of the material or style, I always tend to wear my hair down. In my personal collection I have a khaki cotton one that I have been wearing for about 10 years and a recent rabbit fur beret from House of Nicholetta. The latter is available in 4 colours!

A rare glimpse of me with my girls circa 2012!

This Winter I invested in a wool pom-pom beret in one of my favourite colours, Navy! It’s a stunning slouchy knitted beret made from certified pure merino wool. Knitted in a geometric cable stitch with a cute pom-pom at the top, it’s finished with a rib band. It is the loveliest of textures and although sold out in Navy it is also available in burgundy and cream. It’s called The Clover and is from Australian hat and bag label Helen Kaminski. It has started to get very cold here in Melbourne, so it’s time to add a warm layer to our heads.

My HK Clover Beret

Helen Kaminski is an Australian hat and bag designer, who started by making raffia hats to protect her children from the harsh Aussie sun in 1983. Her love of natural fibre lead to her selling the raffia hats and then bags. While the company has grown, and Helen has stepped back, the quality remains and its now renowned worldwide! The brand is synonymous with natural fibres, craftsmanship and sustainability. It’s a definite go to… and here is what else has caught my eye (Winter Hat Wise) on the website 😉


Bisque Traders also have a great range of rabbit skin hats that are made in Australia. They have an aged and well worn appearance, very “Buffalo Girls”! I adore the stitch details, the imperfections, and that “I just got off a horse” look ! Very cool indeed 😎


When it comes to buying Winter hats, I am no expert, but what I have learnt is that if you stick to what you love and in colours that suit you around your face, chances are you can make them work! So if you aren’t a hat wearer, I do encourage you to give it a try 😉 They certainly ooze style!

Summer hats are a different story for me, and while I’ll save that for another season, you don’t have to wait as my Northern Hemisphere gal pals are onto it 😊 Please click on the links below to see what has caught their eye…

CINDY HATTERSLEY DESIGN

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA STYLE