Despite the arctic blasts that are ripping through the garden outside my window I’m full of the joys of Spring 23 again today, this time with a look at Boden. With sustainability in mind they have a focus on ‘buy less and wear more’ this season and they’ve pulled together a useful section on their site that they’re calling Spring Uniform – an edit of everyday clothes that work together and are easy to wear repeatedly. It fits with the policy we’ve been talking about over the last few weeks of looking at what you wear day in, day out first before getting carried away with outfits for high days and holidays. Not all of the colours they’ve chosen for Spring Uniform work for my palette though so now that the latest Spring drop has arrived, I thought I’d look through the site and create a tight Spring 23 wardrobe capsule of my own.

Before I show you how it worked, let’s go back to the seasonal wardrobe planning theory we discussed a few weeks ago. We’re in the mid-March to end of May segment when the weather changes all the time as we saw over the Easter weekend which covered the lot really – warm sunshine through to gales and hailstorms. We should be through the worst of it now, moving towards ‘no socks, no coats’ time so I’m planning for that with pieces I can mix and match.

I’m not focusing on holiday clothes yet because most retailers have two more drops to go and the best of high summer has yet to arrive so unless you’re travelling soon or there’s something you particularly love, hold on. If you’re looking for new swimwear though don’t wait, that’s usually landed by now apart from a few last minute pieces. I buy 90% of my swimwear from Boden because I just don’t think you can beat it. I’m particularly impressed with the way they keep introducing new styles in the same colourways as previous years which means I’m building up a good selection of mix and match bikinis with trims that tone with the ones I already have. I see that this year they’ve even introduced a dedicated mix and match bikini section on the website to make choosing one even easier. This has been my latest addition and it works perfectly with the navy bottoms with ric-rac trim that I bought three years ago. I’m always on the look-out for self-tie bikinis like this because you can adjust them to fit so that there’s no bulging midlife flesh that isn’t as firm as it used to be.

Self-tie detail halter bikini top

A Spring 23 wardrobe capsule and try-on

Today’s post though is about everyday looks. When you’re planning your Spring capsule, the best way to start is by thinking through what you’re going to be doing between now and the end of May. For me that includes a quick work trip to London, a bank holiday weekend in Newcastle as well as a few days in France visiting the youngest (I’ve been blocking his forthcoming departure out of my mind but I’ll be talking about it soon!). With all of that in mind, this is the mix and match capsule I’ve put together from Boden’s new in… and there’s 20% off any spend over £30 until Sunday night (16th April) with code F3Q9 .

A Spring 23 wardrobe capsule and try-on

You’ll notice that I’ve included core pieces in both black and navy. I tend to avoid black in Winter but I find it’s easier to wear when warmer days come along and I’m more likely to have bare arms or legs to break it up. It works to anchor an outfit in the same way as it does with interiors (sometimes something as simple as a couple of black lamps can change a room’s look from suburban to contemporary). If you really don’t like mixing black and navy though, all three anchor pieces are available in either colour so you could go monochrome. Let’s talk through the pieces with a try-on.

Work or weekend outfit, Spring 23 wardrobe capsule

So this is a black blazer paired with a navy tee. I was a bit hesitant about ordering the blazer because I’ve tried a lot of longer, double breasted styles over the last year and they’ve never worked for my shape. However, I’m finding that my neater single breasted blazers don’t look right at the moment. I know I’ll wear them again one day but right now they’re making my Spring outfits feel dated. This one has slightly narrower shoulders and is more structured than most of the double breasted styles that are around. I’m really pleased with it, it will work well with all of my wide leg trousers and jeans, making a nice change from the cropped jackets I usually wear.

The patterned bag with the guitar strap is a great way of pulling a monochrome look together to stop you from looking too ‘cut in half.’ It will work with block colours too – solid red… solid navy… solid ecru… to add contrast. There are three other colours available.

Midlifechic Spring 23 wardrobe capsule and try-on

Slim double breasted blazer (also available in navy or pink); Collared cropped pointelle tee; High rise jeans; Clogs; Crossbody bag

I’ve talked a lot about jeans over the last few posts and this is another good pair. The denim hits the Goldilocks spot  – a mid-weight so not too heavy and soft enough to mould to your body. It has a button placket to break up the midriff – this or a patch pocket will always visually narrow your hips if you’re wearing high rise jeans like these. Boden describe them as super high rise but they’re not the rib crushing kind – just a normal high rise in my book. The one thing I would mention is that reviews say they come up big so I sized down by two sizes. Unless you’re snake hipped, don’t. In my opinion they’re true to size so a 29 inch would be a 12. As far as length is concerned, I’m wearing a 32 inch which is perfect with flats or a low heel, with higher heels I’d need the 34.

I’m wearing them with a cropped tee in navy that for me is just the right length to tuck in without adding bulk. Bear in mind that it is quite short but it’ll be great for wearing with skirts or any high rise trousers and it has a lovely textured pointelle knit which gives it a vintage feel. It comes in nine different colours and if you prefer a neat fit as I do then it’s true to size.

And the clogs – I resisted them last year but they’re an even bigger trend now so I know they’ll update the Summer outfits I already have. I’ll be wearing them as an alternative to trainers, probably not when I have to walk very long distances but they’re great for popping out in. I prefer them to this season’s mules because you don’t have to work hard to keep them on your feet. True to size, two other colours available.

A Spring 23 wardrobe capsule Midlifechic

Collared cropped pointelle tee; High rise jeans; Clogs; Crossbody bag

Go anywhere dress, Spring 23 wardrobe capsule

And here we see the midi-dress starting to move on. Gone are last year’s tiers, ruffles and flounces, instead you’ll notice a slimmed down silhouette that flares only gently at the hem. I’m already imagining wearing this on the Route des Grands Crus; for last weekend though it was perfect for Easter’s short blast of warmth. If you prefer something a little less vivid, it’s also available in a soft blue paisley.

A Spring 23 wardrobe capsule Midlifechic red dress

Ruched bodice midi-dress

For cooler days and evenings, this fluffy cardigan is perfect. It’s quite a high crop so almost the length of a bolero but a lot more modern. The knit is soft and it’s a flattering piece to throw on with a midi or high rise trousers. I sized down to a 10 because I didn’t want it to be slouchy and it was the right decision. Also available in bright green, pink or navy.

The sunglasses are oversized cats eyes. Unless you have very strong features a paler frame is always easier to pull off if you’re going for a dramatic look like this.

Midlifechic Spring 2023 Boden try-on

Soft, fluffy cardiganRuched bodice midi-dress; oversized cats eye sunglasses

Relaxed evening look, Spring 23 wardrobe capsule

This outfit takes me straight back to my 90s heydays, in fact it’s almost exactly what I wore for my first date with Mal only the jeans are slightly wider which makes it more 2023… and the sandals are gold rather than black. I remember that outfit so well because it was a favourite, bought in New York and then lost when my suitcase was stolen in Manchester the following morning.

I love this t-shirt so much that I’ve now bought it in the navy and the red (I wish it came in ivory too Boden!). The cut on the shoulders is so flattering and it has a gently shaped racer back which is just the sporty styling I like. The neckline sits right on top of the clavicles so it isn’t quite as high as a crew which means that it won’t shorten your neck and make your face look round. Such a simple piece of well priced perfection.

And disco sandals. Some of you will be thinking that I already have a pair of gold platforms that I bought at Christmas from another brand. You’re right but after just one wear the gold rubbed off so I’m currently going through the complaints process. In the meantime, these are much better quality. Don’t forget that the heels aren’t actually as high as they look because the platform soles lower the angle of the rise from toe to heel. My other pair are higher and I successfully danced for a whole night in them without my feet aching because my arch is at the same angle as it would be with a much lower shoe.

Nikki Garnett, Spring 23 wardrobe capsule

Cotton ribbed vest (available in 6 colours); Ultra High Rise Wide Leg Jeans; Heeled platform sandals

So that’s my Spring 23 wardrobe capsule of Boden pieces that I know will work hard for me and also integrate with my existing wardrobe as we move towards warmer weather. Don’t forget that there’s 20% off if you spend over £30 until Sunday evening with code F3Q9.

I hope you had a lovely Easter break – we spent ours at home catching up with the boys. Two of them have gone back now so I’m in that discombobulating stage of not knowing quite who I am. I hope some of you understand what I mean about the constant switching from being ‘mum’ to being ‘me’ that goes on when you’re in this time of university years and the semi-empty nest. This weekend will be about getting the youngest ready for his term in France. He’s convinced he doesn’t need to take much whereas I’m a believer in taking everything… just in case… so there will be packing and then unpacking going on behind my back no doubt. And Sunday will be tense. Mal is heading to Barnsley for his his 3rd Dan black belt karate grading after five years of training (extended by an extra two thanks to the pandemic). If he passes, he trains for another four years before he can take the next one… and we’ve worked out that he’ll make it to the ninth and final one at the age of 97!

I’ll be thrilled if he grades successfully – the training has been pretty extreme for the last few weeks with extra early morning and late night sessions. I can tell he’s at the point where his body hurts all over and I’ve just caught him nodding off at his desk after this morning’s daybreak session which isn’t a good sign. Anyway I’ll let you know in next week’s post which will be part cornucopia and part catch-up because we haven’t had one for ages. Have a more relaxing weekend than I will… and I’ll see you on Friday!

Disclosure: ‘A Spring 23 wardrobe capsule and try-on’ was commissioned by Boden but as always I had full editorial control over the content and wardrobe choices. My selection of Boden clothes was gifted for the purpose of this post.

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