Sarah is the driving force behind Always A Blue Sky Girl, a lifestyle blog about looking and feeling great after 40. Here, she shares her thoughts on blogging, personal style and putting together the ideal spring/summer outfit.
Hi Sarah, welcome to our blog! So, how did your own blog get started?
I started my blog about three years ago. I had turned 40 and after struggling to find age-appropriate style inspiration online, decided I would try and share my own style and love for fashion to a wider audience through my own blog.
I wanted it to feel real and not too polished. I also decided to show aspects of my home life, such as being mum to a blended family of three boys, shopping in charity shops and my desire to keep fit –not just all the glamorous stuff.
I have always worked in fashion and home styling (I started as a Harrods window dresser at 18) but decided to work freelance after my son started school and I needed to be at the school gates by 3pm. My blog was a way to build my confidence, share some of my fashion and home finds, and keep myself busy... I hate being bored!
How would you describe your personal style in three words?
That's such a great question – I'd say fun, feminine and trend-driven. I find if you stick to a three-word fashion rule you can’t go wrong with your styling!
What is it like being one of the few fashion and lifestyle bloggers aged 40+?
Well, these days there is many more 40-plus bloggers out there than when I started, but it definitely can still be challenging. Being an 'older' blogger I can have more commitments that aren't blogging (being a working mum of three boys aged between five and 10 keeps you busy!) and it can be daunting to share photos of yourself when reviewing beauty products or showing a new outfit.
In advertising, you barely see an older face but I think it’s incredibly important to been 'seen' as a 40-plus woman – I recently took part in the Garnier Olia Real Women TV and online advertising campaign and was very proud to represent the 40-plus woman. So many strangers have stopped me and said thank you for being their voice (and face!).
You’ve worked for major fashion brands, from Harrods to House of Fraser – lucky you! Did you always intend to work in fashion, or did you just fall into it?
Even as a little girl I loved fashion. My mother always made me amazing clothes so I could express myself at a very young age – there are some 80s photos I would prefer no one ever saw! However, I didn't plan to work in window styling... I applied to the Harrods management scheme at 18 and after one stint in the display department I knew I would never leave... I had found my tribe.
As time went on (and retail changed) I found myself in head office roles and then working as a freelance consultant, concentrating more on marketing and social media. It has led to some great opportunities – trips to New York, styling interior design books and appearing in the Garnier campaign to name but a few.
What Spring/Summer 2017 trends are you currently loving (or loathing)?
I love the whole ‘super bright’ trend and have never encountered a bright colour I didn't like! I'm also loving all the feminine styles seen on the catwalks – florals, mesh, ruffles – just perfect for a girl like me that loves feminine styling. The whole 80s reboot isn't for me though; my rule is if you remember the first time around don't try and repeat it!
How many pairs of sunglasses do you own, and what are your favourite styles?
I have A LOT of sunglasses, probably about 20 pairs! I love to mix some expensive designer pairs with cheaper high street brands, and I buy at least one pair every year. Plus, they hide a multitude of sins (did I mention being a working mum of three?!).
My favourite pair are silver RayBan Aviators – they are such an iconic, classic, cool style. I bought them about five years ago and I know I will be wearing them forever.
We’d love to know your three favourite pairs from the Discounted Sunglasses website…