I wonder if you can tell that I was in holiday mode when I put this post together. Our decision to head to the sunshine after the last few full-on months prompted a bit of a panic in terms of finding time to pack. And, as our departure date grew closer the weather forecast wasn’t looking as good as I hoped – it was more akin to a British summer than one a four and a half hour flight away. But then that could be a good thing, I thought as I started to put outfits together with varying temperatures in mind. Hopefully when we get back it will finally be a little warmer here and I’ll have my wardrobe prepared and ready to go with basic pieces that are peppered with bright colours to lift spring outfits.
What I’ve been wearing
I’m writing this post quickly before we leave because as I was scrolling through the shops I saw lots of easy updates and it makes sense to share them with you before they sell out. First though are a few outfits from a chilly Newcastle the weekend before last. We’d popped over to prepare the flat for readers to rent again – we haven’t been letting it out over the winter because the heating broke so we’ve been waiting to have a new system installed. It finally has a super-efficient new system so if you’d like to plan a city break, don’t forget that you can find it here – Baltic Nest. Most of our weekend there was spent either with mum-in-law or packing our things away but we did take the opportunity to try some new eating places.
This is on Friday afternoon, I’m looking a bit rosy because we’d just had a sunny but blustery run along the Tyne. We were going for a late lunch at Geisha in Jesmond which is a cool looking Pan Asian restaurant that everyone seems to rave about.
We didn’t rate the food, everything was well presented but the flavours were very bland, a case of form over function – we wouldn’t recommend it or go again.
Saturday night now and we finally managed to get a reservation at Kaltur. It’s known for its gourmet tapas and they were delicious but… five shared tapas, a bottle of cava and a shared dessert came to £146 – it was good but I’d have anticipated paying half of that given the portion sizes.
And last of all, on the Sunday we walked up to Exhibition Park to visit Wylam Brewery. We didn’t have time to stop for Sunday lunch but it looked spectacular – and I’m not a beer drinker but my reliable source tells me they’re particularly good! I’ll be talking about this breton further down but it really pleases me that the mid blue stripes work so well tonally with mid blue denim, much nicer than a harsh navy contrast. Oh and if you have a place in your life for an iconic trainer in ivory rather than white – these are the ones. Out of the rather large collection that I have now, they’re the most comfortable.
Bright colours to lift spring outfits
And that’s all I have today in terms of outfits but hopefully we won’t have much more of this chilly weather. Let’s move on and recap on spring/summer capsule style – the easiest way to put a summer wardrobe together is to seize the opportunity to add colour. It’s the one time when we have fewer items of clothing to marry together and more skin on show to break things up so it’s easier to wear much bolder hues than in winter. And if you have a simple base of white and blue jeans for example, you can introduce items from across the spectrum. Using them as ‘pops’ they even look great when they clash. You’ll see that I’ve divided the pieces I’ve found into tonal colour groups but you don’t have to wear them that way. If you scroll down you’ll be able to imagine the green with pink or the blue with orange – it’s the perfect pick and mix scenario.
So in the same way that our gardens are bursting with brilliant blooms, now’s the time for us to do the same. Given that funds are becoming tighter for most people at the moment, I’ve included retailers beyond my usual favourites and found some surprising bargains. I hope this will give you some inspiration for using bright colours to lift spring outfits – at reasonable prices too.
Bright colours to lift spring outfits – citrus pops
- Citrus print trousers with elasticated waist – I have a pair of these trousers from two years ago and they’re so easy to wear, especially on holiday when you want to pull something simple and comfortable on after a day in the sun.
- Bright green polo – an on trend, ribbed, fitted polo with a slimming deep V. A great price also available in ivory, pink or black.
- Green striped tee – a light slub cotton that would lift any jeans outfit, the slash neck is flattering and it’s also available in pink and yellow or a multi-coloured stripe
- Lemon low platform espadrilles – the platform adds lift but makes these easier to wear than a standard wedged espadrille, the detail on the sole makes them extra special
- Yellow crossover clogs – clogs of all kinds are a trend this year and these have a leather lined sole making them more comfortable to wear in the heat. Also available in either black or white.
- Sunshine yellow slash neck tee – you can’t get more summery than this, it’s made from supersoft cotton with a flattering boat neckline
- Green trousers with stitched crease – you could wear these for work with a white shirt or at weekends with a simple tee. The colour does all the work for you, add a cream blazer or denim jacket and you’re done
- Grass green cardigan with apple buttons – chunky cardigans continue to be a big trend and will update an outfit quickly – don’t forget that chunky is key though, light cashmere needs to wait for its return to the spotlight. The apple shaped buttons on these are such a great detail.
- Zesty halterneck – add this to white jeans or the green trousers for a summer evening look. There are also matching trousers available which would create a jumpsuit effect with the ease of separates.
- Lemon yellow ballet pumps – Yellow and orange are the shoe colours I use to lift every simple outfit into summer territory. Ballet pumps are back and these lemon ones would work with more than you realise for a pop of colour.
- Yellow cotton hoops – another way to lift something simple like jeans and a white tee, the size adds drama and yet they’re so light you forget you’re wearing them. Also available in poppy red.
- Green straw sunhat – this sunhat has a slightly dipped back to protect your neck from the sun, the brim is stiff enough to be raised at the front and styled to suit your face.
Bright colours to lift spring outfits – orange & pink
This is my favourite colour combo for high summer, I just don’t think you can beat the joy of pink clashed with orange.
- Denim jacket – every summer wardrobe needs an ivory denim jacket, it works with dresses, jumpsuits, chinos and linen trousers. Made from BCI cotton this one’s such a good price and it’s also available in coral.
- Zesty orange tee – a simple slub cotton and yet the slightly puffed shoulders lift it away from the ordinary. Available in lots of different colours.
- Pink woven mule – as the 90s trend grows in popularity, mules are back. The woven quilting on these makes them designer dupes for a very low price. Also available in lemon or black.
- Pink midi-dress – a bargain price and made from sustainable Lenzing ecovero viscose too. Easy to slip on and also available in blue, camel or black.
- Orange linen blend wide leg trousers – and yet more great value, linen blend crops, lovely with a simple summer top – also available in a longer length in pink or khaki. Petite option also available.
- Pink cotton culottes – add some drama to your outfit with these – but be quick, they’re selling fast.
- Ivory cropped cotton stretch trousers – these take me straight back to my favourite trousers in the 90s, I had them in ivory like this and black and I wore them with simple sleeveless tanks, in fact I wore them on my first ever night out with Mr MC. I’ve ordered them to see if I can recreate the look.
- Orange leather bag – you can’t beat an orange bag in summer but they’re hard to find, this will look great with just about any outfit
- Pink slides – a flat version of this season’s puffy mules, they even have anti-bacterial padding for hygiene and comfort. Also available in black or white.
- Orange bucket hat – the 90s again – a bucket hat is a great way to elevate a simple jeans outfit at a summer festival, a nod to trend that doesn’t go too far.
Bright colours to lift spring outfits – blue and white
A more classic combination but you could use this as a base for some of the other colour pops too.
- Breton with bright blue stripes – you saw me wearing this above and now that I’ve learned to always size down, I find they’re some of the best bretons you can buy. I love the midsummer blue stripe and it works so well with lighter wash jeans. 15% off with MLC15.
- Enchanté sweatshirt – a little gallic charm, another well priced piece that’s also available in Cadbury’s purple.
- Broderie blouse – broderie blouses are everywhere but this one has a particularly lovely square neckline, cool and easy to wear loose with jeans or tucked into a skirt.
- Bright blue shirtdress – I’ve found another bargain, a mid-weight fabric so more for cooler summer days when you struggle to know what to wear. Also available in black or olive.
- Blue gingham blouse – I can’t believe the price of this cotton gingham blouse, it’s bang on trend, down to £10 in the sale and currently available in all sizes
- Mansur Gavriel trainer collab – the biggest collab of the season so far, you’ll be lucky to get your size
- Ivory straight leg jeans – I’ve been looking for a pair of straighter ivory jeans and I’ve just bought these. I’m hoping that the button front will break up the expanse of midriff which is the reason I usually veer away from high rise cuts
- Zebra print tee – blue tees are hard to find this season but this will work well with blue or ivory bottoms
- Ecru sandals – barely there sandals are an elegant way to lift a wider leg trouser or a midi-dress because they frame the foot elegantly, visually breaking up any blocks of fabric.
- Woven mini bag – the woven trend again, a blast of colour that will bring past season outfits into 2022.
I hope that’s given you some ideas. I’ll be back next week on Friday as usual, hopefully with a clearer mind and a more rested soul than I’ve had for a while. In the meantime if you want to see early summer pieces in action, you can find me on Instagram wearing my holiday outfits @midlifechic. It’s the first time for a while that I’ve had the head space to post there . Enjoy the rest of your week.