I thought we’d take a break from clothes today and look at chic Autumn outfit updates to add to the clothes you already have in your wardrobe. We talked about the difference that a pair of statement shoes or boots can make a few weeks ago. Now we’re going to look at affordable bags and jewellery because they make such a difference.
I have lovely memories of helping my dad buy a khaki handbag for my mum, not knowing that it would be the last thing he would choose for her. When she unwrapped it on Christmas Day, she was quite grumpy saying “well that’s not going to go with anything.” It was one of those awful moments as I saw my dad’s face fall. However, she kept it because he had chosen it and quickly discovered that she could use it every day. It magically added an accent to her entire wardrobe (which was sizeable). So, with that in mind, I’m going to start with the khaki bag.
As you know, khaki is a particular trend this season but it’s always a big Winter colour because it’s softer than the standard black or navy. However if you imagine it set against those colours, you realise it complements them both and it also works with camel, grey, browns and rusts.
This one is leather and yet it is a great price, a simple chic style that will last you for years.
At a lower pricepoint, these are not leather but they look like saffiano
This one is simpler still
Back to leather again, I thought I’d add a Forest Green for people who prefer jewel colours
This is a much softer shade of khaki green
and Khaki has been worked tonal into this version of leopard print
The other key Winter colour is merlot – a deep purpley red which also lifts the dark neutrals we wear at this time of year.
Moving on to faux leather
This one looks much more expensive than it is
Leather again and this one comes in a selection of great colours
This bucket style bag has reminded me that I have a similar one that I must dig out.
Here’s a very old photo to show you how it can work
Quite a few of you have asked me where you can buy an orange bag like the one I use a lot.
Unfortunately mine came from a little shop in Turkey but I’ve found this one
and this one
Whilst I was looking for bags, I came across a few of things that I thought would make great Christmas presents for friends and I’m sorry to mention them so early but I think they’ll sell out fast. This is a great little bag for a Secret Santa or teacher present. It also comes in black and profits go to charity.
I’ve been wanting to show you these since I saw them at the press day, they’ve just come into stock and I think they’re going to fly out. I have quite a few friends who would wholly embrace them.
Classic jewellery with a twist
Moving away from bags and hats, I now want to talk about jewellery – the sort of jewellery that doesn’t cost the earth but that you will wear forever. You may remember that when I was in the process of making my big decision to walk away from my career, Claudia Bradby sent me this necklace
It isn’t the only ‘world is your oyster’ necklace that you can buy but I do think that the irregular edges of the silver coin, the typeface and the configuration of the lettering make it the most beautiful.
It was such a lovely gift and it came at such a pivotal point in my life that it has become my talisman and as you’ve probably noticed, I wear it almost every day. The ladies at Claudia Bradby have obviously started to worry about my lack of diversification because this week they kindly sent me some new pieces to go with it. Happily I have something for you too but we’ll come on to that later.
You’ll be aware that as the statement necklace fell out of favour, it made way for the layering of delicate pieces. Claudia Bradby specialise in this kind of jewellery. The first piece they sent me was this simple pearl pendant to wear with my oyster necklace.
Pendant necklaces are always more flattering to wear than ropes because they are kinder to the line of the chin. They also lead the eye along the décolleté where the pearl falls very prettily.
The next envelope I opened contained these duo earrings as loved by Helen Mirren, another of my style icons.
They’re such a simple yet clever design
Layered bracelets are especially pretty when they include pearls as you can see from this Claudia Bradby shot
They have started me off with these two
So now of course I’m intent on building my collection (Mr MC if you’re reading, for Christmas I would like to add this one)
I don’t have a lot of jewellery so I am really thrilled to have these simple but beautiful pieces. I realise that I’m very lucky to have been given them and it seems only right to share my good fortune with you.
So, I have one ‘World Is Your Oyster’ necklace to give away as an exclusive Midlifechic prize. I very rarely run competitions because they involve a lot of faff but this prize is so special that I’m bending my own rules.
I’ve reached a point where Midlifechic is growing rapidly. Our community here has now reached just over 50,000 women who com back to read each post every week and we need to keep our conversation strong. Your feedback will help me as I start to think about that when I take a few days off at half term.
All you have to do to enter is answer a simple poll to tell me what you’d like to see more of on Midlifechic. The competition is open internationally and I’ve kept the dates short so that the competition scrapers don’t pick it up – I want a genuine reader to win.
This necklace holds such an empowering message for a midlife woman to carry with her every day and I hope it means as much to whoever wins it as mine does to me. Good luck – and have a wonderful weekend.
Sorry – the competition is now closed.