I don’t know about you but I think I can say that I’m more or less ready for Christmas now and so for my last M&S post of the year, I thought I’d put together a ‘Christmas cornucopia’. I’m focusing on the things I’ve found that you may have missed along with some little bits and pieces to make your time extra special. So let’s go on one last virtual shopping trip together – after this one, my posts will be winding down, ready for the Christmas break.
A Christmas Cornucopia – last minute party pieces
A sparkly cardigan
I’m going to start with some of the easy to wear pieces that arrived after I’d published my M&S party post, just in case you haven’t spotted them. First of all there’s this simple cardigan. If we think back to the Four Pillars, it’s particularly good for pairing with a Pillar Two statement skirt or just for dressing up jeans on a relaxed Pillar One day.
It’s deliberately been designed as a shorter cut so that you don’t have to tuck it in and add bulk at the waist. It’s true to size but I wanted a neat fit so I’m wearing a size 10. I smiled when I spotted it online because I can just imagine the lengths that the buyer went to to specify copper and pewter for Christmas… and then it’s reached the web team who have uploaded the images and rather uninspiringly described it as brown! However, this is a shade that will suit anybody with a warm complexion and the pewter version will work for cooler skintones. I know my hair needs cutting by the way, I just haven’t had time to get it done but I’m going on Thursday.
Wide strapped silk camisole
Lots of people remarked on the wide strapped silk camisole that I wore with my ruffle skirt in Jeréz. It was a past season buy so I was pleased to see this one in a similar colour (and it’s also available in black). The broader straps not only conceal your bra but they also work to narrow the shoulders, giving you a more elegant outline. The lace trim means that the neckline is actually quite modest and yet because it is overlaid onto the silk, it has the slimming effect of a plunging V-neck. It’s a lovely top for wearing underneath a blazer or even a V-neck jumper for a little luxe detail.
Satin slip skirt
I love asymmetric skirts because they draw the eye downwards and so they make you look taller and slimmer. Satin catches the light and contrasts beautifully when it’s dressed down with a soft textured jumper or cardigan. The gathered fabric at the front adds movement, even when you’re standing still. I’ve picked out the cobalt blue as a change from all of the Christmas colours that are around but it’s also available in a deep ruby red.
New spring stock arriving
Just as I was about to send this post live I saw that some early spring stock has arrived. You can see it all here but I wanted to show you this navy dress because it’s already selling quickly. If you’re 5ft 7″ or over you’ll probably need to go for a long if you want it to be a true midi-length, it’s lovely.
Glitter heeled boots
As I so often say, if you really don’t want to add party clothes to your capsule wardrobe, accessories are the answer. These boots with their glitter heel are an easy way of making not only Christmas but winter in general much more fun…
Party clutch bag
… pair them with this sparkly clutch and you have insouciant Parisian party chic in a nutshell.
Christmas cornucopia – loungewear and lingerie
Here’s something for guest-free days when you close your doors to the world and curl up with a book and a box of chocolates. Soft, snug loungewear with a flattering but comfortable shirred waist. This isn’t just for Christmas, it’ll be just what you long to put on when you come home on those dark January days too.
Cosy marled loungewear top (also available in grey)
Cosy shirred lounge pants (also available in grey)
I always think it’s lovely to have new lingerie to wear at Christmas and it’s often better to buy your own so that you end up with something that’s… shall we say ‘wearable’… and the right size! I just want to applaud M&S for using ageless lingerie models and images that haven’t been retouched. One of my missions for 2019 has been to keep on flagging the lack of visibility of women over 40 as retail models and I’m so pleased that we’re seeing that starting to change. I’m not taking credit for it but I’m sure our united and persistent Midlifechic voice helps to keep the issue front of mind with some retailers in particular.
Body smoothing lingerie (also available in black)
This is the lingerie that I’ve ordered because I almost always wear close fitting tops and it’s seam free. Thank you M&S for doing something other than nude, white or black in your sumptuously soft range, it would be great to see the colours expanded even more next year.
Great value pyjamas
Moving on to nightwear and new PJs are a Christmas Eve must in our house. I usually steer clear of anything that’s as low priced as this because I worry about the likely cost to the environment. However, these pyjamas have been made from responsibly grown cotton in line with the Better Cotton Initiative – as are all M&S cotton products. I’ve opted for the red pair of course but there are other colours available here.
And I’m finishing my clothing ideas with these suede slippers. They come in a whole rainbow of colours and are a chunky, updated version of the classic sheepskin mule.
Christmas cornucopia – a beauty treat
If you missed out on the beauty advent calendar, the Twelve Days of Christmas version now has almost 70% off. It contains a selection of products from the award-winning Formula range. Some are full sizes so it’s very good value, especially as it includes a 20% off voucher for a future purchase too. It might sound a bit mad but I use my Twelve Days of Christmas calendar to manage my waistline. I start opening it in celebration of the eldest’s birthday on 21st December, that way it ends on 1st January. Between those dates I allow myself to eat and drink whatever I want but when I reach the end, it’s a sign that I have to get back on track. That way I find that I’m pretty much back to my original weight by the third week of January.
Christmas cornucopia – last minute gifts
It’s always good to have a ‘just in case’ present in mind for the awkward moment when a friend or neighbour arrives with an unexpected gift. I keep a couple ready wrapped in the cupboard in the bathroom with a card and pen too so that if it happens, I can pop to the loo and retrieve them discretely. This year I’m giving soap with a dish which is my little way of helping people to stop buying handwash in plastic bottles. It’s easy for me because ever since I moved in with him, Mr MC has insisted on ‘proper soap’ but along with ordering your milk from the milkman, it’s a simple way of making a positive change.
Letterbox Christmas tree
If somebody is further away, this little Christmas tree is lovely. It’s packed flat so it can be delivered through a letterbox and it looks as though it would be fun to put together. I quite fancy one for my desk but it would also be nice for somebody elderly who can’t manage a full sized Christmas tree any more.
Rather than taking flowers along as a hostess gift, have them delivered before you arrive so there’s no sudden rush to find a vase and arrange them. M&S have excelled themselves this year, I think they beat everyone else hands down for the beauty of their bouquets. This one reminds me of an old Dutch painting
And this one is great value for something that looks so opulent
Of course I have to add my favourites, red amaryllis because they’re the very essence of Christmas for me – and they last for ages. Also available in white.
Christmas cornucopia – food and drink
The M&S Delacourt Brut champagne has just won the IWSC 2019 gold medal for its 2004 vintage which of course means that it’s completely sold out online but you should be able to find it in store – look out for the distinctive black foil. However, there’s a great offer on the non vintage champagne at the moment, details here.
M&S also took the gold medal in the sparkling wine category for their crémant and happily that is still in stock. It’s just as good value as prosecco but in my opinion it’s far nicer to drink because as you’ll know, crémant is made using the champenoise method. So it’s very like champagne in terms of bubble size but the grapes are grown outside the official Champagne region.
I’m not going to go into food because we’d be here all night but I do just want to remind you about the Cornish cruncher and cider cheesebake. There’s nothing nicer on a cold night than popping one of these in the oven and enjoying it with crusty bread (the walnut loaf is my favourite) and a full bodied bottle of red wine. And yes it’s heavy on the calories… but it’s Christmas.
And so that’s my Christmas cornucopia from M&S. As always I’d like to say thank you to them for supporting my blog this year. Without these occasional sponsored posts, I wouldn’t be able to manage the costs of Midlifechic so I’m grateful to you too for supporting them in return. I think we all have our fingers crossed that 2020 will be a particularly good one for them as we start to see the designs from the new womenswear team coming through in the new spring collection.
I’m now dashing off to yet another business Christmas lunch which, as someone who doesn’t eat turkey, is always challenging. Then I’m heading down to London for a few quick meetings, a haircut and colour and a get together with some old friends – so Friday’s post will be a whirlwind ‘midlife lately’ update. Until then, enjoy your week, I hope it’s filled with festive fun.