Today I’m talking about Hush, another of our favourite Midlifechic brands. I’ve been trying to meet the team there for a while and it has become almost a running joke between us that whenever one of us suggests a date in London, the other can’t make it. In the end serendipity played a part when I went down to London for the John Lewis ‘Christmas in July’ event. I’ll tell you more about that soon but the important thing for today is that it gave me the opportunity to meet the people behind the Hush brand.
It was great to discover that we, at Midlifechic, are firmly on their radar and to find another retailer that is taking us seriously as a community. They started off by asking me how I saw Hush. My instinctive reaction was to say that for me they are very much a ‘Saturday’ brand. I have always loved their relaxed knitwear in the Winter and t-shirts in the Summer for a casual chic look – but they weren’t the brand that would spring to my mind for workwear or for ‘going out’ outfits.
I do have my eye on them though because, of all the retailers that I watch, Hush really come across with a brand personality rather than just as a retailer with social media attached. I go to them for more than just clothes. Their Spotify playlists are the only ones that everyone in our house likes – from the ages of 13 to 49 – so we play them a lot in the interests of family harmony! I often go onto their site when I am looking for inspiration for a new book to read or a new recipe. They manage to cross the ‘attitude not age’ divide. Somehow they just speak my language.
Because of my view of them as a casual brand, as they talked me through the new additions to the AW 16 collection an obvious challenge emerged. Could I do 48 hours of Hush, dressing in their clothes from week to weekend?
48 hours of Hush
Friday – wearing Hush for work
One of the things I love so much about my working life now is that no two days are spent in the same place doing the same thing. On Friday morning, I had meetings at the university and Mr MC kindly agreed to come and take some photos when I had finished in return for feedback on a rebranding project he has been working on. There are lots of great break out spaces there that we often use when we need to get a fresh perspective on something.
I looked through the ideas and prepared to launch into feedback mode…
… I was wearing the Victoria dress with the skinny star scarf. It is a knitted dress with a loose top balanced by a fitted bottom. Its magic lies in the fact that you can adjust it at the waist so that you can wear the hem at any point from mid thigh to mid calf.
Knitted dresses are going to be a huge Winter trend this year as part of the 80s revival. The great thing is that you no longer have to hitch them over a thick belt to achieve this look (remember that?). It stays in exactly the right place without slipping down.
It is a fine knit so I didn’t overheat at any point. In the Winter it would be a great piece for layering with a polo neck jumper and one of Hush’s long cardigans – I have already bought this year’s Lina to add to my collection of Ninas from last Winter.
I’ve added colour here with a bright bag. Later in the season I would be wearing it with burgundy tights and ankle boots.
This gives you an idea of the cut. The raglan sleeves and loose top mean that it would be flattering for any chest size. It also makes it incredibly comfortable to wear.
If you would prefer something similar but in a lighter fabric, the jersey Tara and Tina dresses are constructed in the same way so that you can choose your own length at the hem. Tara is available in black, burgundy and forest green; Tina comes in navy and charcoal.
I don’t know why I haven’t tried these dresses before – I think it is because they are shown worn quite short on the website. I would go as far as saying that Hush have now filled the gap that my Whistles jersey bodycon dresses used to occupy. The Whistles dresses have served me well but the bodycon look is starting to feel outdated now.
Saturday morning – wearing Hush for lounging
Hush didn’t need to send me pyjamas – I’ve had these vintage rose pjs for about 10 years and they are still going strong. That alone tells you all that you need to know about the quality of the flannel which is one of my favourite things to wear for lounging around on a Saturday morning as I catch up with the newspapers. We’re already back into the Winter routine of 7am drop offs for the rugby coach to whichever far flung place the boys are playing at. It almost makes me wish for the clocks to go back so that the matches move to the afternoons!
Saturday afternoon – wearing Hush for a windswept walk
If we’re not being dutiful parents and standing on the sideline (we’ve agreed to do that every other week) then it leaves Mr MC and I free for a while. We went for a walk along the salt marshes and ended up meeting friends for cake and coffee at our favourite farm.
The Hush team asked me if I’d ever worn their jeans and I replied that I hadn’t because they always caption them as low rise. This season however they have introduced the Joplin skinnies which sit just below your navel. I’m raving about these because they are made from proper denim rather than the elasticated jegging style cotton mix that a lot of skinny jeans seem to consist of now. This means that they are more substantial which of course makes them more flattering. I’m wearing the grey which is exactly the shade that I have been looking for for the past two years.
I’ve accessorised with the Wendy scarf that I bought last year. This sold out so quickly that I had 3 people email me asking me to sell them mine. It is the essential scarf for all lovers of Peter Pan and of course especially if you are the mother of boys… “second star to the right and straight on until morning…” Get your order in quickly if you want one.
The essential crew is made from my favourite of the various Hush knits, a blend of cashmere, lambswool and cotton mixed with nylon and viscose. I like it because it doesn’t itch and yet it is incredibly tactile, giving you just the soft, thick feel that you want from a weekend jumper.
I also want to mention the ‘brown sugar’ colour. If you are someone like me who has always wanted the chic effect that camel gives but finds it drains your complexion, then brown sugar is the shade for you. Check carefully before you buy though because some Hush items are simply ‘camel’ – not ‘brown sugar’.
Now Hush knitwear does pill – you can’t achieve a luxury feel like this without some initial pilling. I use this debobbler and find it quite soothing on the occasional Sunday night going over my knitwear. It gives me an excuse to sit down with a movie.
The Julia cardi seems to be a slightly lighter weight than last year’s Ninas. I guess they have adjusted the wool blend because they had complaints about pilling – I wish people would just learn to look after their knitwear. Of course I also need to remember that not everyone shivers in a freezing old farmhouse in the bitter North like I do. However, I really love the length – it is slightly longer than most long cardigans which tend to come a couple of inches above the knee so it falls beautifully.
I made some new friends…they are not the ones we had coffee and cake with by the way…
…and here are the famous salt marsh lambs, our regional delicacy…Looking at the size of them I think I know exactly where in the farm café they will be in a couple of weeks’ time…
I loved this outfit, it was me in my Hush comfort zone with the added bonus of finding a fantastic pair of new jeans.
Saturday Night – wearing Hush for a hot date
As I was looking through the local newspaper to see if anything was happening at the weekend, I realised that Saturday was the anniversary of my very first date with the dear Mr MC. It’s been a long time – some might even say we were coming of age and getting the key to the door! Of course he hadn’t remembered but even so, was easily persuaded that it was something worth celebrating.
For a long time I have been intrigued by Hush’s leather leggings. I see other midlife bloggers wearing them but they never say if they are worth the investment. To recap, I have a pair of Top Shop faux leather leggings that I wear sometimes. It was only when I put these real leather leggings on that I fully understood the difference. It’s basically the same as the difference between leather and plastic shoes or bags. Leather will always feel and look better because:
- It is thinner so leather leggings made my frame less bulky
- Faux leather gets very hot but real leather breathes
- There is a lot more give in leather – by the end of an evening in faux leather I am silently screaming to take them off, especially if it has involved food
- Real leather leggings don’t squeak by rubbing at the thighs as you walk (assuming you don’t have a thigh gap)!
- Leather leggings have a much more matte appearance so they are more in line with the effect of coated jeans
(With this and the lambs I’ve probably now lain myself open to lots of angry vegan comments. Apologies, I don’t mean to distress you but we live in a community that has relied on farming for hundreds of years).
The end result was that I felt very sassy. If you can afford them, they are definitely a great buy. They are sufficiently subtle that I would also be quite happy to wear them for work.
You can see that I am wearing them with the latest edition of Hush’s wrap shirt. This is a really lovely colour – it looks flame red on the website but actually it is the colour of the inside of a watermelon which is quite unusual.
The gin bar culture has finally arrived in the North (hurray)!
We had a lovely saffron gin with oranges and a del Mare from Barcelona with basil and black pepper.
I was obviously taking the tasting notes very seriously…
…as Mr MC snapped away. This shows the grain of the leather and the lack of shine …
…he takes his role very seriously and even snaps me coming back from the loo…
…and walking to the restaurant – although this shot does show you the genius of the wrap shirt which is designed to cover you well from behind. The jacket is one I have had for a long time, but Hush have an almost identical one this year here.
The gin had worked its magic by this stage – it may be a very long time since that first date but we still know how to have fun!
We ended up in a restaurant and enjoyed fabulous Asian food washed down with sake…
… I felt a little less inclined to have my photo taken on Sunday morning!
So, I’m glad I undertook this challenge. Hush already had a place in my heart but it’s a bigger one now. If there is one thing I would change, it is the balance of colours in their portfolio. When they do colour, they do it really well so I would slightly reduce the amount black – but equally I understand that black always sells well to women under 40.
Here are a few other pieces I want to point out to you that I saw at the press day:
I bought this jumpsuit in both black and burgundy last year. They have now released it in forest green. It’s a great cut, it’s comfortable and it doesn’t crease which is great if you’re sitting down all day, especially if you’re travelling.
I haven’t tried the boyfriend jeans yet but having seen them I really like the look of the cut and the weight of the denim. They get great reviews too.
They’ve brought the star jumper out in a charcoal and brown sugar mix this year which is my favourite so far.
If, like me, you are sick of wearing bretons, here’s the answer, an easy to throw on jersey top with a metallic star
I bought their wrap in grey and burgundy last year and wore it endlessly from October until January. It’s very soft and well priced.
And finally the cashmere wristwarmers which always sell out as soon as there is a cold snap. I felt very Dickensian wearing these through our powercuts after the terrible flooding last year, they kept me so warm.
Ordering from overseas
I’m going to try to remember to add this every week for overseas readers. You can order directly from Hush details here. Alternatively international delivery is slightly cheaper from John Lewis and they now stock Hush online too. Delivery details here, Hush at John Lewis here.
Thank you for last week
Before I go, I just want to say thank you to you for your overwhelming enthusiasm for the Inès de La Fressange launch last week. We have so far reached over 90 comments which is fantastic – and I’m managing to keep up with them all. The Uniqlo team called me on Friday to say that they had spent the afternoon reading and discussing them – you certainly made them think which is great.
If you could do the same this week with Hush I would be really grateful – even if you don’t have time to comment, just click through. I am not paid for clicks, it simply helps me to prove that you are here reading and that I’m not just a mad woman typing away on a keyboard. Between us we’re doing great work to raise the profile of the midlife woman on the high street and I thank you so much for that.
Have a great week and I’ll be back on Friday.