Socials and More

27th September 2018

We love that Happily Tania loves Cucumber. Read her review here on why Cucumber Clothing is her new favourite and what she might like on her Christmas wish list!

 

Happily Tania. Too hot at night? Why you need this nightdress Cucumber Clothing.

 

September 2018

Here's our Q & A with the super Ceri Wheeler Editor and Founder of  Fab After Fifty, and who is  'passionate about women over fifty making the best of their lives.'  

 

 

August 2018

We love Afi Mag! afi (αφή) - noun for "feel" - is an international fashion / beauty magazine focusing on editorials.

Have a look at our cream ruffle dress, starring in their 'Inside my beach bag' editorial!  READ MORE

Friday 31st August, 2018

Rejuvage - the age amazing site that is redefining life after 50, and is a contemporary source for the contemporary midster.

Read about why our start up was a no sweat, no brainer and some tips for a better night's sleep!  READ MORE

 

Monday August 7th, 2018

Women of Wearables (WoW) is first global organisation aiming to inspire, support and connect women in wearable tech, fashion tech, smart textiles, IoT, health tech and VR/AR. 

Women of Wearables

WoW Woman in Fashion Tech and Smart Textiles | Eileen Willett and Nancy Zeffman, co-founders of Cucumber Clothing
Interview by Marija Butkovic @MarijaButkovic
READ MORE

 

 

Not quite a vlog, blog or newsletter, but just  Cha Cha Wild Thing doing her thang.  Only 20 seconds to put a smile on your face. Watch this!

 

July 24, 2018

FOREVER FIERCE REVOLUTION is a community dedicated to connecting, celebrating and empowering women at midlife and beyond -Cucumber Clothing were showcased in their newsletter. 

Fierce & Fabulous: Sisters in the Spotlight

 

Welcome, fierce sisters!  This week we're featuring two amazing women who embody what it means to be Fierce and Fabulous.  Eileen Willett and Nancy Zeffman met over fifteen years ago at the school gate and have stayed firm friends ever since.  Nancy's background as an ex-Saatchi executive is steeped in advertising.  Eileen has worked in fashion all her life, starting as a fashion illustrator, then joining Nicole Farhi, and finally designing and launching her own brand of women's accessories.  They each have a dog, three children, live in London, and an absolute passion for what they are creating at Cucumber Clothing.

The company launched in September 2017, bringing intelligent and luxurious loungewear and nightwear that helps keep women cool, day and night.  Cucumber provides an elegant and effective solution for women at any stage of their life when they get too hot - whether menopausal, new mum, plus size, living or travelling in a hot climate, post gym or simply because.  Eileen and Nancy are offering a discount to our Forever Fierce members for a short time.  Visit Cucumber Clothing and enter FIERCE10 at checkout for 10% off your entire order.  And stay tuned to future newsletters for a giveaway of a dressing gown from the line!

1. What led you to found Cucumber, and how did you get started?

 

Cucumber Clothing was born on holiday with a group of like minded forty plus year old women.  Our week long chat ranged from A - Z, with menopause making a regular appearance.  Why, we wondered, were there so few solutions out there? All busy women, some of us were suffering from the debilitating double whammy of fractured sleep and sweats, which had a great impact on us on the jam-packed days.  It wasn't a huge leap to decide to create a beautiful and intelligent range of thermo-regulating nightwear and we launched Cucumber Clothing in September of 2017.

2. What makes you so passionate about Cucumber?

 

Conversation about women's bodies are opening up.  Our daughters, the young women of today, feel free to talk about PMS, periods and tampons in a way that would have been unthinkable a generation ago.  Yet talk around menopause remains guarded, with the same embarrassed laughs or simple incomprehension that has always existed.  We wanted to make it possible for issues around women's bodies, from puberty to menopause and beyond, to be something people can talk about openly, to be able to give each other support and solutions instead of trying to shy away from life events that affect 50% of the population!

3. How can midlife women benefit from your products?


Midlife women are our biggest fans!  We sell to all age groups, but hot flashes and flushes mean that midlife women are often looking for solutions that work.  We think we tick a lot of the boxes.  Our clothes and nightwear wick sweat away from the skin, leaving you cool and dry - no more damp sleepwear, sheets or clothes.  Our built-in anti-microbial mean that you'll keep smelling fresh as a daisy all day and night.  Our stylish garments are cut to flatter all shapes, so that not only will you feel good, you'll love what you see in the mirror.  And Cucumber is super easy to take care of, just machine or hand wash in cold water and hang to dry (which it does in a jiffy, thanks to its wicking properties) and no ironing -yay!

4. White wine or red?  Flats or pumps?  EBook or paper?

 

Eileen:  Red, but rose with a ton of ice while it's sunny; heels, always; paper - I lose Kindles!
Nancy:  Definitely red; anything from flat to mid-heel; print - I need the covers to remind me what I'm reading!

5. What is your advice to women who want to reinvent themselves and live a fierce, fearless life?


We truly believe that for women to live their lives to the fullest they need the support of other like minded women.  Our family, friends and work sisterhood nourish, protect and support us.  Without them, Cucumber wouldn't be here!  Our best advice is to gratefully grasp every helping hand that comes your way, and to gracefully offer one to those who cross your path.  Every connection is an opportunity to grow and learn and that's key to a fierce and fearless life.

 

 

 

 

@rebecca_cawood_wellness rocked our harems all weekend at her Bend and Brunch event. You can read all about it below

July 6th, 2018

A huge thank you to all of you who attended my Bend & Brunch event last weekend! It was such a fabulous morning & I loved sharing my love for wellness & what I do with you all.  

Those of you who don’t know about my Bend & Brunch events; these consist of a morning of fun & wellness. We start with an invigorating 60-minute yoga class. This is usually held in an outdoor space, allowing us to move within the sunshine &  breathe fresh air. 

img_0410.jpg

I then take you all through a little workshop that speaks about the food I have prepared for brunch. My past event consisted of smoothie bowls but this changes from event to event. The workshop consists of a demo by myself with regards to how to make the food as well & some of my top wellness tips when it comes to using ingredients in your healthy dishes. The guests then take it into their own hands by plating or decorating their brunch however the like with the goodies provided. 

The best part of this all is definitely the goodie bags! A huge shout out & thank you to all the brands that supported me for my past event. It would not have been the same without your delicious treats to brighten up our morning! The PERFECT post yoga fuel. I have done a few little mini reviews below of each fabulous product that was contributed!

Deliciously Ella – Mini Energy Balls 

These are a staple of mine, I have been eating these ever since they launched & find it tough to go a day without eating a packet;) They are the perfect post yoga or teaching fuel for me. They are chewy, tasty & filling. Sometimes, if I am feeling peanut butter crazy, I dip them into peanut butter before I eat them, this is decadent & super energising. Thank you, Deliciously Ella, for providing these for my goodie bags. They went down a treat & the guests had (basically) wolfed them down before we had even got into Savanasa.

Full Green – Cauli, Sweet Potato & Broccoli Rice

These are the most convenient & nutritious little packs, perfect after a long day at work when you don’t have time to fuss around making a healthy meal. I love to pair these with a delicious curry or chickpea & butternut stew. I was so glad to have these in my goodie bags as I knew the guests would love having something they could try at home with their lunch or supper. Thank you, Full Green, for the amazing samples – I have had lots of great feedback about them from my guests.

Proper Corn

The platinum of popcorn, that is for sure! Wow, what delicious flavours we got given. The new chocolate flavour is unreal & totally addictive. These are my go to snack when I need a little salty or sweet boost but do not want to resort to junk food. Thank you, Proper Corn,  for stocking my gift bags with my favourite mid-afternoon snack on the planet! Made my day…

Mighty Bee

This little Bananito Bar was extremely unassuming – I had not tried it yet as I had only tried the Mighty Bee coconut water before. This is the UK’s 1st Solar-Dried Banana Bar – Great source of potassium & SO GOOD. I am super super impressed by this product & would highly recommend it to anyone with a sweet tooth who wants to stick on the healthy side. YUMMYYYY!

ManiLife Peanut Putter

Let’s just say I have found a peanut butter product that I can devour in one sitting – Their dark roast peanut butter is ridiculously good! I love using it in my Chocolate- Fudge smoothies because it gives that really nice fudgy taste. Manilife kindly gave me two tubs to use in smoothie bowls on the day, they went down sensationally & all the guests were fussing over them, asking where they could get it from. Amazing! Thank you so much.

Emily Crisps

I have been a fan of Emily Crisps ever since I discovered them at a wellness event in East London a few years ago. These genuinely are one of your 5 a day, no added nasty stuff just pure fruit or veg! We got the Crunchy Fig Banana in our bags – I have had this flavour a few times before & personally love it. They have loads of flavours & are the perfect snack – Any time of day. These go perfectly with a little glass of prosecco too ;) All about that balanced life! I actually also sometimes use these to top my smoothie bowls. I crunch them up a little & sprinkle them on top – We did this at the event over my B balanced bowl & it was a great addition! 

OatFit

A new find of mine, Oatfit is a science led product. A porridge that has been created by Wendy O’neill (nutritionist) for her patients. The idea behind it is based on making a product that helps keep one fuller for longer with the correct amount of nutrients that one needs when living a busy & active life. I have been living off this ever since my event & loving it! It sustains me perfectly for all my early morning classes – Goodbye to those horrid dips I usually get between teaching classes, where I would usually reach out for coffee. Thank you Oatfit for sharing this revolutionary product & supplying us with your sachets for Bend & Brunch.

Pip & Nut

AHHH, where to start with this one! These nut butters have been a favourite of mine for a LONG time! I adore this brand & love everything that they represent. My favourite is their Coconut Almond butter & the new Chocolate & Orange! I use these on top of my smoothie bowls a lot because they are the perfect consistency to pour & not get lumps. Thank you, Pip & Nut, for not only providing your delicious samples for my bags but for also fuelling me for the past few years! 

DRINK WOW!

We got given these delicious Chia Seed drinks & boy did we need them. It was a steamy Sunday morning in London & the guests were desperate for a cooling & delicious drink after the class and before the food demo. These were just perfect, the guests sipped away whilst chatting, between the yoga class & the brunch session. Thank you so much for these products, they really could not have gone down better. I am a definitely a fan & what a great way to get your protein & fibre hit tin one go!!!! Genius.

IMG_5641.JPG

As you will all know, I am all about wellness from a holistic perspective. I love brands outside of food & fitness, that bring wellness into their USP. This is exactly what And.Sisters do. They are a feminine hygiene brand that use all organic cotton for their tampons & other products. I think we often don’t think about other products that we use on or in our bodies that could potentially not be the healthiest for our us to be exposed to. Thank you to brands like this who truly care about their consumers' health. I am converted!

 

Cucumber Clothing

Now this is the type of clothing brand that makes me tick… Their products are all made from technical fabrics that look and feel fabulous, whilst at the same time reducing all sweat and odours. The perfect yoga or lounge clothing – Especially in this heat! They also require minimal care – no fabric conditioner, tumble drying or ironing. They like to refer to themselves as the ‘ #nosweat solution for nightwear, loungewear and leisurewear.” I can vouch for that!

Their gorgeous harem pants are what I wore to the event – They have been my staple wardrobe for the past week & the best things about them is when I wash them they dry super fast so I know I can wear them for the next day;) This is not a paid partnership but I was given these pants & can honestly say that they are really lovely. Thank you, Cucumber clothing, for sending me your gorgeous jersey headbands for my gift bags as well as these awesome trousers, I know the guests loved them!

So that is a wrap… All in all it was a fun & exciting morning! 

I can’t wait to do my next Bend & Brunch event! Looks like it will be an August one!

xxxx

________________________________________________________________________

A LITTLE FIND

A Little Find handpicks the best travel-size beauty products & family holiday toiletries from fabulous brands to lighten your load wherever your destination. This month Cucumber was their guest blogger.

'Cucumber' was born when we put our heads together and realised that getting hot and sweaty is probably the last taboo. We both knew so many women who were struggling because of their interrupted nights, poor sleep and uncomfortable sweaty days, so we created a fabulous luxe nightwear/leisurewear collection. Our intelligent cutting edge fabrics help women feel great on the inside and look great on the outside.'

TIPS ON ENJOYING A COOL NIGHT AFTER A HOT DAY:

We need sleep to refresh ourselves, to reorganize our thoughts and memories, to repair our bodies and to rest our cardiovascular system – but how to do it when the thermometer is going through the roof?

  • Make your bedroom a sleep paradise. Keep your bedroom as cool as possible, about 18ºC. Turn off all lights and get rid of any electronic buzzing or beeping flashing gadgets. Keep it nice and quiet, closing shutters or curtains, and turning off ticking clocks or any other noise-generating items.
  • Relax - Keep to a regular bedtime routine and try to incorporate a relaxation or meditation practice. This can be as simple as having a soothing bath with delicious sleep inducing oils and a cool compress over the eyes, or a few minutes of quiet chanting or calming yoga stretches. Whatever feels good for you!
  • Cucumber - Keep sweat away from your body. This can be as basic as throwing off the bed sheets, but we recommend wearing Cucumber’s moisture-wicking nightwear and loungewear These won’t stop the hot flushes, but will wick any sweat up and away from the body at speed, killing off any odour-creating bacteria at the same time. No more pools of sweat or soaking sheets. They are wash and wear. Just hang to dry (very quick – thanks to its moisture-wicking properties). No iron, no fuss.

YOUR BEST TRAVEL TIP:

Use multi-tasking everything! We love products that can do double and triple time and save precious space in your bag(s). Try a suncream that doubles as a moisturiser, a body oil that works as a hair and face oil or some of our Cucumber range that works from poolside, to dinner under the stars and straight into bed. Sorted!

FAVOURITE PRODUCT ON A LITTLE FIND:

Nancy Zeffman and Eileen Willett| CUCUMBER CLOTHING | A LITTLE FIND

OSKIA Restoration Oil £15.00 - We love this gorgeous lightweight oil – perfect multitasker for anyone’s travel bag and full of yummy things like starflower and heart seed vine.

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

"Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see" – Mark Twain

 ________________________________________________________________________

 

Victoria Health Posts by Jackie Annesley

Why Is It So Hard To Find The Perfect Nightwear?

embroidered heart

It began with a pair of Ladybird’s, I’m pretty sure of that. In a cosy brushed cotton with little flower motifs. It wasn’t like there was a whole lot of choice back then – I mean are they even still around, Ladybird?

Google says yes and there they are, £7.20 at Mothercare. In fact the brand that first appeared on UK rails in 1938 is now owned by Shop Direct, the UK’s largest online retailer.  It survived the retail armageddon and is now the third largest kidswear brand in the UK, with a growing market share of 5%.

Seriously, who knew?

Boarding school at 11 meant progressing onto regulation winceyette nighties from M & S.  This was a Catholic convent and girls didn’t usually wear PJs in the 70s,  gender stereotyping being still mandatory back then. Here I really need to give you a bit of a history of ‘winceyette’ because it was one of my mother’s favourite words, along with ‘Axminster’ carpets, both of which occupy the part of my brain where Horlicks, Angel Delight and Top of the Pops reside.

Traditionally, winceyette is a cotton fabric made from a twill weave, with a design similar to flannel only slightly thinner and more breathable. For those familiar with weaving (yep, no-one), the weft is closer than the warp.  So, that’s winceyette, which along with collywobbles, it’s probably one of the best  British words ever.

But the perfect fabric for nightwear? Maybe as a child in the perma-frost that was 70s central heating, but it was neither attractive nor stylish. (Fortunately teens had little idea of either concepts back then.)

Throughout my twenties I travelled the world and can’t remember ever wearing anything in bed beyond a succession of t-shirts. Maybe even the odd boyfriend’s shirt, the operative word being odd. These were the days well before Netflix and chill and loungewear was unheard of.

It wasn’t until my wedding night in my 30s that I invested in a sheer back spaghetti-strapped night slip from Fenwicks, which at about three in the morning I remember being absolutely determined to get into.  I’m looking at it right now and has a definite baby doll aura to it.  As such it usually reposes in the nothing-within-is-ever-worn drawer, next to two Hermes silk scarves and some dodgy patterned tights. The label says “Only Hearts N.Y.C. Helena Stuart”. A quick look on the internet and it appears they have gone out of business, natch.

The baby doll moment heralded a long decline into voluminous, cosy pyjamas as the child-rearing years beckoned and were spent reposing in bed or reclined on the sofa.  I was never a fan of nighties – they invariably ended up round your armpits in the middle of the night, and not in a good way. Or made you channel Cherie Blair the-morning-after-the-Labour-victory-the-night -before in 1997, when she famously opened the door in her blue Next nightie and knobbly knees.

Earlier generations obviously wore nothing else. When my mother died, I found a long handmade nightdress I initially presumed had been sewn by my grandmother. On reflection, it was probably the work of her seamstress.  Mary was the eldest of eight from an Irish family and by the time she married, she was so done with domesticity that she only had one child and promptly fled to India and a house full of servants. This solitary family heirloom, (all her jewellery was stolen in the 80s) which I have also unearthed, still smells of that Victorian cure-all, camphor oil. It is made of the palest cream silk with a lattice of embroidery on the bodice (fagotting to those in the know), and a tiny heart-shaped pocket on the left hip. Every single seam is delicately hand sewn, a eulogy to an age when nightwear was treasured and not worn as flotsam to shop in at Tesco’s. I have never dared put it on and darkly fantasise about one day being buried in it.

Which is not to say I haven’t had some success with recycling long-lost nightwear. For the birth our first child, I took a massive pair of white linen jimmy-jams from the Italian label 120% Lino into hospital and found them again only recently, 18 years on. A new length elastic around the waistband, a 90 degree  wash and they’re as good as new. Flattering? Not so much, as I’m about two stone lighter.

For a few years, I quite liked my pink flannelettes from The White Company before they suddenly turned shrunken and hard. Then there were the brown silky pjs that had weird fastenings. A pair of DKNY grey brushed cotton ones from Costco (£13) last winter are super comfy but the trousers end halfway up my shins, and not in a cool, cropped way.

Less practical but more stylish are my Olivia von Halle navy blue heavy silk pyjamas, which I was persuaded to fork out £150 for (which included a 50% discount) during my foray on Planet Fashion. Yet they are cut so slim across the back that the silk has been stretched and I hardly wear them any more in case one final midnight toss-and-turn will precipitate a rip. For wafting around posh hotels only.

This week, one of my favourite bloggers and fellow journalist Esther Coren, also on a quest for the perfect pyjamas, highlighted a great-looking pair from Jigsaw – random, no? – and only £45.  Navy, fave colour, a bit of piping, cropped in a good way and roomy.

But could they handle these now warm summer nights? A recent buy from Zara Home of a shirt/shorts PJ combo erred on the decidedly damp side come morning.

When it’s really hot or on our annual sojourn down to the Gulf of Mexico, I reach for a couple of eberjey bamboo viscose nighties my sister-in-law introduced me to. They’re slightly too short and have the riding up problem, but stick them on some tanned legs and there’s a flatteringly cool LA feel about them.

Most likely to actually keep you looking and feeling cool is a new brand called Cucumber with high tech fabric that wicks away moisture and lasts six times longer than cotton. I’ve yet to try them but they have the Lisa Armstrong seal of approval and come navy and cropped.  Win, win. (I do have their matching sleep mask  which is the best £20 I’ve spent this year).

Short of ever finding the perfect nightwear, my dream scenario would be to live in the tropics and spend nights between 400 plus thread count sheets and nothing else. If our bedroom wasn’t at the back of a draughty Victorian terrace with a 20 foot pitch ceiling, I would. Because there is something wholly luxurious about lying between heavenly fabric ironed to within an inch of its life.

A quest for the perfect bedlinen, you say?  Don’t get me started…

Jackie Annesley is Creative Director of SODA, which sells cool tech stuff that works. 

 

Size Chart

 

Model is 5'6''/170cm and wears a size 10
BODY MEASUREMENTS
UK Size Bust (Inches/Cm) Waist (Inches/Cm) Hip (Inches/Cm)
8 32-33½ 83-86 25-26½ 65-68 33½-35 86-89
10 34-35½ 87-90 27-28 69-72 35½-37 90-94
12 36-37 91-94 28½-30 73-76 37½-39 95-99
14 37½-39 95-99 30½-32 77-81 39½-41 100-104
16 39½-41 100-104 32½-34 82-87 41½-43 105-110
18 41½-43 105-110 34½-36½ 88-93 43½-45½ 111-116