My last two posts have been practical ones, focusing on summer essentials – tailored cropped trousers and summer sandals so today I thought I’d do something a bit more frivolous. I’m writing especially with Nicky B in mind. For those who read the comments section, you’ll know that she is my longest standing and most regular commenter. She has been with me since the very beginning (shortly followed by Nicola R who is also very special to me) and I really appreciate her ongoing loyalty and input. However she hasn’t really enjoyed my last two practical posts so ‘scatty Nicky’ – I hope you enjoy this one more. I’m looking at great summer buys for women over 40 – all the little extras that make a difference to a summer.

1. A pretty summer dress

I noticed today that The White Company have a quiet 30% off promotion going on with some of their summer clothes. Having seen it at the press show, I’ve ordered this pretty summer dress. I’m thinking of wearing it with my leather jacket in Paris, in the style of Caroline de Maigret. I like the fact that it has sleeves and is a good length (the model is 5ft 10). It’s still expensive but I know it’s lovely quality and if it fits as I think it will, it will be one of those easy numbers that I wear all summer. I’ve done as the reviews suggest and sized up by the way.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Black lace dress

There are a number of good things in the 30% summer sale here and some bargains left over from the White Company winter sale at Selfridges (you need to scroll to the very end).

2. New sunglasses for 2016

I have a very generous Selfridges voucher that was given to my by my colleagues as a leaving gift last month which is why I’ve been browsing through their website. I had planned to use it to buy some new sunglasses, I’ve always really liked to wear Chanel. However knowing that they’re churned out by Luxotica on the same factory line as much cheaper brands has put me off, as has the fact that the “Cs” fell off my last pair. So, in fact this year I’m wearing these from Boots Designer Sunglasses.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Polaroid PLD1013S

My Mum suffered from macular degeneration and was nearly blind when she died. Knowing what she went through makes me very careful about protecting my eyes from the sun. Because these are Polaroid they have 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays and they’re also a reasonable price. This shape is one of the trends for this year and I’m really pleased with them. Boots Designer Sunglasses have other brands including Ray-Ban and you’ll get 15% off using code TAKE15 if you spend over £85 and Advantage points too.

Great summer buys for women over 40

3. Well cut bikinis for women over 40

It’s that time of year – after all our debate on wearing a bikini over 40 last year it’s time to start again. I suppose I’m feeling less body confident because I’m not exercising as vigorously (my shoulder’s playing up again but I’m not going to bore you with it) but also more body confident because my Coolsculpting is starting to work (I’ll talk more about that next week – I’m going down to London for my progress review tomorrow). However I’m wearing a bikini anyway.

Last year I left packing for my holiday until the last minute and I had a real problem finding a good bikini so I only took one. I know exactly the shape that works best for me so when I saw these two I ordered them straightaway.

Navy high shine halterneck bikini

Black halterneck bikini

What is it I like about them? I like the deep band on the bikini top that won’t dig in when you’re hot. The cups are lightly padded so there are no awkward moments when you get out of a cold swimming pool and they have plenty of coverage for messing around in the water. They also adapt to most shapes and sizes. The bottoms have a deep waistband and are not too skimpy. The buckle detail gives an Ursula Andress effect – in your mind at least!

4. Shorts for women over 40

I know it isn’t the weather for shorts yet but these are selling out quickly. This is where I always turn to Boden. I pack a few different colours with pretty tops to dress them up and I mix and match each day. I have several pairs of Boden Chino shorts and can definitely recommend them. They’re quite casual as the name suggests and the only ones I wouldn’t buy are the denim, the fabric’s just a bit odd. I have the 4 inch ones; the 6 inch ones are good if you prefer a bit more coverage but I think the 9inch leg only works well if you’re skinny – I find the longer cut makes them a bit pouchy at the top.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Chino shorts

I also have a few pairs of Bistro shorts in the regular length which they have released in limited colours this year. They’re a lovely fabric and a bit smarter so they’re good to wear if you’ll be enjoying lunch somewhere nice.

Boden bistro shorts review

Bistro shorts

I haven’t tried the Richmonds because I really don’t need any more shorts but they’re getting outstanding reviews and are selling out fast in some colours.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Richmond shorts

5. More cool sandals

I know I’ve already published a post on sandals this week but I couldn’t resist adding these. Solillas were last year’s surprise craze and they’re still going strong. Anyone who has been to Menorca will know them well. They’re available in lots of different colours including gold:

Great summer buys for women over 40

Gold leather solillas

…and even glitter that will sparkle in the sunshine

Great summer buys for women over 40

Glitter solillas

6. Great bags for travelling

These are great for travelling and much easier than a beach bag if you’re scaling cliffs to find somewhere secluded as we always seem to.

I have this one and I often use it as an overnight bag when I’m travelling down to London too because it has a padded section for a laptop which means you don’t have to carry a heavy shoulder bag.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Herschel backpack

I really like this year’s new release in its heritage colourway

Great summer buys for women over 40

Heritage backpack

7. Birthday presents with a difference

Whilst we have travel in mind, I’ve just bought this as a birthday present for a friend who is list mad and I think I’m going to buy one for myself. It’s a really great way to collate memories that you have of places you’ve been to and to create new plans for future adventures.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Travel listography

There are lots of other listography options including My Future which makes a great present for dreamy teens; Literary for bookworms – I could spend hours on this one; Film; Food and even Parenthood.

I’ve also been sending these as gifts, you can add a gift message and they are delivered for you.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Trio of succulents

8. New jewellery

Earrings are the focus this season with the main trend being to forego a necklace in favour of huge ‘ear chandeliers’. I nearly always wear the same pair of earrings so I’ll have to up my game, I don’t think I’ll be going as far as chandeliers though. I’ve just ordered these.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Bamboo heart earrings

9. Beauty Essentials

I’ve had lots of requests for a grooming post. I’ve been testing some skincare since February and I’m meeting the company in London tomorrow so I’ll talk more about that soon, all I can say is that it’s the best skincare I’ve ever used. For now, I’m going to concentrate on gearing up for Summer and the products I’ve been using.

I’m not a big beauty salon person and I’m happier doing any kind of maintenance at home. I can’t stand the faff associated with fake tan so to move my skin on from its pale winter days I use this. I find that the larger sized bottle for the body is just the same as the more expensive smaller bottle for the face so I use this for both face and body.

Great summer buys for women over 40


Radiance Plus Golden Glow

I then use Bobbi Brown bronzer in ‘natural’ to boost the effect, if you buff it into your skin it gives you a great glow.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Bobbi Brown Bronzer

New lipstick shades that I’ve discovered this year are both from Mac. I’ve often read about ‘Lady Danger‘ being the shade that suits everyone so I thought I’d give it a go. Since then I’ve tried it on lots of my friends and it really does seem to suit every skin tone. It’s such a bright shade that I use the Pro Longwear lipliner in High Energy first to outline my lips. It’s a bright colour but  the  matte finish stops it from looking too louche.

Great summer buys for women over 40

I’m wearing it here

Great summer buys for women over 40

The other shade that makes me feel like Spring is Chatterbox which I use with an ‘In Anticipation’ lipliner

Great summer buys for women over 40

I’m wearing it here

Great summer buys for women over 40

Other staples include this new conditioner for blondes which enables you to adjust the balance to your own tones to avoid your colour going brassy

Great summer buys for women over 40

Josh Wood Precious Blonde Conditioning treatment

This last item isn’t very glamorous but I’ve had a few emails asking me about footcare. As part of my DIY approach to beauty I use these exfoliating socks which contain a gel that includes both lactic and glycolic acid. You simply wear them for an hour whilst you’re watching TV and over the next few days your feet begin to shed their skin like a snake. It’s a fascinating but revolting process and if you’re going to do it you need to crack on because the skin keeps on coming off in strips for about two weeks. They also tend to be out of stock from about the end of May onwards. It’s much simpler than manual exfoliation though and less expensive than a pedicure.

Great summer buys for women over 40


Exfoliating socks

I then use Flexitol throughout the summer to try to keep my feet soft

Great summer buys for women over 40

Flexitol heel balm

Life lately

So it’s been a bit of a random post today but I’ve had lots of things on my list that I’ve been wanting to talk about and now I’ve done it. As I mentioned I’m making a flying visit down to London today for a Coolsculpting assessment and a couple of other meetings. We then have a relaxing weekend ahead. I will sleep well in the knowledge that the middle son is not camping in a field somewhere in temperatures below freezing. He exceeded all of our expectations by coming home still smiling after his DofE training although his feet are in a pretty bad state. This was him in high spirits ready to go at 6am last Saturday. Ever the joker, his main role in the team seems to have been to keep everyone laughing – he’s pretty good at that.


I’m leaving you with my outfit of the day yesterday, Mr MC and I sloped off to the seaside for lunch in the sunshine.

Great summer buys for women over 40

Johnni B breton (I always find these to be a better cut than the adults because of the boatneck and curved hem. I’m wearing an age 16 which is the equivalent to a UK 12 plus of course they’re a bargain); M&S jeggings; Stan Smith trainers; Polaroid sunglasses

I wish you all a wonderful weekend whatever you’re doing and Nicky B – I look forward to your comment along with the others. Without you all to feedback to me there would be no blog – thank you to everyone for reading and for all of your input.

Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored post

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