Retired Midwife to Rock Chick! - Style Guide 3

Oh, we did have fun turning our lovely Super Trooper Marieke Derrington into a Rock Chick for our latest Style Guide Makeover. By the time we had finished, she looked as if she could walk into a model agency and land a contract on the spot!

Marieke’s usual style, which she describes below, is quite a long way from the alternative look that we created for her with different makeup, clothes and hairstyle. Please remember we are showing you these looks for inspiration, not as a judgement on the current style of our guest, which, like Marieke’s, is usually very chic.

The idea is to help you to reappraise your own style and whether you may like to try something different, and also how you might achieve a different look.

Marieke’s Style Story

“I am 67 and live in south Manchester. I’m a retired midwife, having first had a career as a landscape designer. I now volunteer at a local community café twice a week. And, having had my kitchen inspected and registered with the local authority, I now make 50% of their cakes.I’m cool-toned and look best in the colours of sweet peas in summertime, which I know because I had my colours ‘done’ back in the mid-90s.

My Style

I’d describe my style as a natural classic, more natural than classic, but I like to keep close to my tomboy roots, so there’s a bit of gamine in there too. Definitely no frills, flounces or floatiness, but I do like a scarf! I’m happier in my skin now than I’ve ever been and like the way I dress. I’m not a fashion follower but like to think I know what styles and colours suit me. I’m happy to try a new trend that fits in with my style and the way I see myself. Occasionally, though, I’ll think ‘What if I tried that….?’


I dress for a lifestyle which is home-based, family-orientated and active. I love working in my garden, baking and volunteering at a local community café, church life, walking, cycling and swimming, now I’m semi bionic (have had a shoulder and knee replaced in the last 9 months). Family and friends are really important to me. I’m lucky to have a wonderful sister to whom I’m very close, 4 amazing daughters and now 5 grandchildren, ranging in age from 22 years down to one month. I have lost 2 of my oldest and dearest friends in the last 2 years and I really want to make the most of every opportunity to spend as much time as I can enjoying these very precious relationships.

Style Evolution

As I’ve had more time (retired, no longer having children at home) to think about what I wear and how I wear it, I think my style has less changed than become a bit more focused.  Lockdown especially gave me the opportunity to really sort through my wardrobe, try on lots of things together and in different ways and get more of a feel for what I really liked and which felt really ‘me’.  Also as any new purchase had to be done online, it meant when it arrived there was more time to experiment with an item at home, to see if it really would fit in with what I already had and how I felt I wanted to look.


Approach to Colour

As far as colours are concerned, I have definitely said goodbye to black, browns, rusts, olives - why I thought I could wear these colours I do not know! I have now fully embraced a lot of the lovely colours of my summer palette. In terms of shape/style, I prefer clothes that aren’t at all tight or fitted as I need to feel comfortable whatever I’m doing. So wide legged trousers, boxy jumpers, jackets, semi-fitted or slightly shaped tops - definitely nothing “spray on”!

Colour is extremely important in my choice of clothes. I will walk into a shop, scan the clothes hanging on the rails & can usually see very quickly whether there’s something there for me or not! Saves a lot of time! In terms of favourite colours, I’ve always loved blue in all its hues and tones, from almost grey through the brights and the lights to the darks. This has been a ‘go-to’ colour all my life. Since embracing my summer-ness, I’ve come to love pinks, purples & berry colours and  I’m enjoying seeing how these work with my blues.

Favourite Brands

In terms of favourite brands, most of my clothes come from M&S, Kettlewell, White Stuff and Seasalt. M&S are great for basics and their clothes often fit me very well, especially their trousers! I’m also a sucker for cashmere and have several of their cashmere sweaters - a staple of my winter wardrobe! Kettlewell does simple, easy styles and colour brilliantly and everything is coded for the different seasonal palettes. They also introduced me to coloured belts and infinity scarves! Their commitment to sustainability is also an important factor for me. Seasalt and White Stuff are British brands which are also serious about sustainability. They both sell great summer trousers and crops in cotton/linens, do some lovely prints, scarves and knitwear.

My Four Criteria for A New Item

My criteria for choosing something new to add to my wardrobe come down to four important questions:  Firstly, do I need it - does it fill a gap in my wardrobe, will it fit in with what I already have? Secondly, do I REALLY like it, does it feel like “me”? Thirdly,  does it fit properly? And finally can I afford it and  will it last (long term cost per wear)?

Dressing Up

For special occasions I like to look a bit different and maybe wear something that most people might not consider ‘dressing up’? A Little Black Dress and  heels is definitely not for me, but a classic simple pair of wide legged trousers, a semi fitted top, boxy jacket, perhaps a belt, scarf and flats is much more my style. I wore a cornflower blue linen jumpsuit with deep pink accessories to my daughter’s wedding - but no hat!

Makeup and Me

Makeup is an important part of how I express myself, how I’d like to be seen on a particular day - it’s like dressing my face! It gives me confidence and pleasure that I am  putting my best foot forward! I discovered LFF in 2019 and haven’t looked back. Asking which is my favourite LFF product is a bit like choosing between my children! But for sheer impact and giving my pasty face a bit of life and zing, whilst balancing my dark-rimmed specs, it would have to be the lovely lustrous lipsticks - Soft Plum for winter and Tulip Pink in summer!


My LFF Style Transformation

When I looked at myself in the mirror after my makeover, I was amazed that I could look so different and very impressed with Sally and Bryony’s makeover skills. 

I LOVED my hair! And the friends I went on to have dinner with - one of whom has known me since I was 8 years old - said it was the best she’d EVER seen my hair! I have the sort of products Bryony used but still haven’t quite managed to recreate this great style.

The clothes were a real surprise! In my head I knew you wouldn’t make me look too outrageously ‘Rock Chick’, as no Super Trooper or LFF makeup user would consider trying it out, so I was glad there were no studs, black leather, skin tight trousers etc! I know I’m cool toned and have been analysed as a Summer so the black mesh top and deep teal green jacket (definitely NOT summer colours!) were a bit scary for me as neither of these colours feature in my wardrobe! However, the styles and the way my new makeup balanced the impact of these deep colours made for an outfit I really liked. I  loved the silver chain and the fabulous Moshulu boots. If I’m honest, I think I felt a bit of an “imposter” - until I put my glasses on again!

The makeup was really outside my comfort zone as I’m usually a “barely there” makeupper, but I really loved it. I was glad I was able to choose a slightly softer shade of lipstick (Very Berry) as I had a mini hot flush at the mention of a bright red! Similarly, the use of the Rosy Glow blusher with just a touch of Raspberry Pop felt a lot more comfortable for me than full on Raspberry Pop.  I also loved the smokey eye and have all the products to recreate it, although not for everyday. I was delighted to see how the Bring Back Brow Shape would work and have subsequently bought it in the grey plus the eyebrow brush (No. 6)! Not as proficient as Sally but I am getting better with practice.

So, overall, the makeover has encouraged me to be a bit more brave and bold and to think about how I can look just a  bit more ‘edgy’ which I do love to be. Thank you for the inspiration LFF!”


Watch Marieke's makeover video here:

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You can tell from Marieke’s style story that she already knows what’s what when it comes to looking fabulous. I think the key learning for Marieke and maybe for those of you reading this who would love to create a new look for yourself, is:  “The styles and the way my new makeup balanced the impact of these deep colours made for an outfit I really liked”. 

Rock Chick Marieke has that ‘wow’ factor that comes from coordination, colour and confidence. 

We always welcome constructive, positive comments on our Style Guides. Please remember this when you are responding to Marieke’s makeover.

Thank you!

Tricia x

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