It’s great to be working with my friends at the Over4Collective again today. We’ve been so busy getting our website together that we haven’t had time to do a project for a while so I decided it was time to introduce them to one of my favourite brands, Finery so that we could bring you a Finery Review Spring 17 .
I’ve spoken before about how fond I am of my contact at Finery, a young French woman who never questions the fact that women over 40 want to keep on looking good. Unlike so many of the 20 and even 30-somethings I meet, the notion of being stylish at any age is in her DNA. So it was no surprise that she embraced the idea of an Over40Collective challenge and gave us each the opportunity to play with their new collection.
Now as you know, I shop at Finery a lot so it was probably more of a challenge for me than the others because I had already bought quite a few of my favourite pieces. However, over the last few seasons I’ve learned how to navigate the range so I find it easy to shop there and can quickly hone in on the pieces that are cut for my shape.
Although Finery don’t explain it this way (and I wish they would), I have discovered that they cater particularly well for both hourglasses and columns. I am an hourglass (without the generous bosom) and so I look for the part of the collection that they dedicate to emphasising the waist. If you are a more straight up and down shape, you’ll find they often use asymmetry to flatter you in a different way.
Finery outfit number 1
Finery introduce a few new pieces each week so it wasn’t long before something caught my eye. I have been looking for a blue jumpsuit for ages and so this was an obvious choice. I love the shade of blue which Finery always do so well, it is slightly lighter than navy so less draining to pale winter skin. It has an obi style belt that is lined at the front so that it forms a flat panel against your tummy. You then wrap it around you and cinch it in. I haven’t tied it as well as I could have done here because, as I so often do, I had to get changed in a car park without a mirror.
I have worn it a few times for work already and the comment it elicits is “you’re looking very svelte.” The other thing that really stands out is that it doesn’t crease. I haven’t ironed this since wearing it for 10 hours sitting on a coach in the mayhem that was Storm Doris. It is a heavy, silky crepe and it is the perfect option if you do a lot of travelling.
Last year at around this time, I started to receive emails from readers wanting to know what they should wear for their son or daughter’s graduation ceremony. This is a pet topic of mine because we have two universities and a teaching hospital in our local city. There is nothing I like better in July than doing a spot of people watching to see what the mums from out of town have chosen.
The biggest mistake, in my opinion, is to dress as though you’re going to Ascot. It is very likely that you will leave the event and go for one last celebratory meal in whichever city you are in. If you are dressed for the races you will probably look (and feel) awkward. Last year the most stylish women I saw were wearing jumpsuits like this one but with higher heels and a contrasting bag. They looked chic, confident and not overblown.
Finery outfit number 2
Now, you may need to sit down for this one if you aren’t already. It’s a bit of a leap for the woman who hasn’t worn pattern since she was about 12 years old but something about this dress kept holding my gaze. Of course, the great thing about a project like this is that it gives you the opportunity to try something you wouldn’t usually go for.
I really like this dress, the high waist and neckline take it away from the girly territory which often comes with flowers and frills. You will notice another feature that I usually avoid, ruffles, but even they did not deter me.
This gives you a closer view of the pattern and fabric. The dress comes in two pieces, a stretchy black slip and an overdress. It is called ‘waterlilies’ and if I were still the editor of Selfridges magazine I would have shot it at Giverny. Sadly though, I am not!
As soon as we started shooting, the weather turned so we took shelter in the library and Mr MC wandered off to try to find a corner that we could shoot in. Of course libraries are my ultimate comfort zone and the very first book I picked up happened to open at a section on psycholinguistics which was one of my favourite modules at university. As you can see, when he came back to find me I had settled in for the rest of the afternoon.
So, those were my choices, now let me show you what the other O40Co bloggers opted for. Liz from WhatLizzyLoves picked this amazing jersey dress which was the perfect match for her long, lean figure.
Michelle from RetroChicMama also opted for a dress which she layered with one of Finery’s statement sleeve tops. As a group we found ourselves divided by these because the frilled part of the sleeve is a stiff fabric almost like canvas. You will either love it or hate it.
Lisa from TheSequinist opted for statement sleeves and a pair of Finery’s amazing Isamaya Ffrench ankle boots
Michelle from BarefacedChic chose the boots I’ve had my eye on all season along with a boyfriend shirt
Annette from LadyofStyle looks elegant as always in the McClure Forever jumpsuit
And here’s Catherine from notdressedaslamb, head to toe in Finery and showcasing some of their dramatic jewellery.
15% discount for Midlifechic readers at Finery
Finery hardly ever run discounts so I’m very pleased to be able to give you a 15% discount code for Midlifechic readers. There is no minimum spend and you can use it on all full priced items. The 15% only applies to one transaction per email address so use it carefully! The code is CHIC15 and it expires on 13th April.
Finery Review Spring 17
Star pieces for hourglass figures
These are some of the items that made my final cut – they will all do a great job of accentuating your waist.
I love this dress and if I had room for any more navy in my wardrobe, particularly Finery’s soft navy, it would be mine.
Ditto this jersey twist dress for Summer
…and ditto this skirt (actually there may be room for a navy skirt). I’m thinking you could wear this with jumpers, tights and boots now and then move on to t-shirts and sandals in the summer.
This is a lovely simple dress in a raspberry shade, it is the one I was going to order until I made my mad foray into pattern.
You’ve seen me wearing the utterly flattering Cobden trousers and they are still my favourite Finery trousers.
Star pieces for column figures
I’ve tried this dress because I love its simple shape but I have the wrong figure for it…
…I ordered this one too but again, you need to be a column to carry it off.
A great satin backed jumpsuit for summer – this is a Finery staple released in different colours throughout the season. Here it is in aubergine.
Great ‘mensy’ trousers – these are much nicer than the Top Shop bestsellers.
Great sleeves and a great neckline on this dress are the all important detail.
Shipping, returns and offers
So, don’t forget the 15% discount for Midlifechic readers until 13th April with code CHIC15. There is no minimum spend but remember you can only use it once so fill your basket. Shipping and returns are free on all orders over £100 and you can pay after delivery with Klarna. If you spend more than £250 over the course of six months, you will become part of Finery’s Fine Society which gives you 10% cashback on your orders in the form of Finery notes as well as a number of other privileges. Shipping is available worldwide – details here.
Finery and the future
It’s going to be interesting to see what happens at Finery this year. Touker Suleyman of Dragon’s Den fame has recently invested in the company and there have been a number of changes at management level. Since their initial launch two years ago, I think they have secured a niche for themselves by offering reasonably priced but incredibly stylish clothing. In terms of both design and quality they sit alongside Whistles but, in my opinion, they are doing a better job at a price that is more manageable for most women. There is a real opportunity for Finery now, especially as the effect of Jane Shepherdson’s 2016 departure becomes apparent in Whistles’ future ranges. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that they will retain the balance of creativity, quality and affordability that they have at the moment. Let’s see.