Now I realise there’s some irony to high summer outfit ideas if you’re in the UK at the moment because summer seems to be having a holiday of its own and focusing all of its power on Europe. It can’t be easy if you’re over there in the intense heat but isn’t it crazy that such a short distance away we’re living through days of high winds, torrential rain and even hail? It’s made it a bit tricky deciding what to pick for this month’s Boden edit. The first thing you’ll notice when you look at their latest mini-drop is that the transition colours are starting to appear. Although I’m busy working on autumn and Christmas in my day job I’m not ready to face it in real life so for my edit I’ve still picked pieces that say summer brights to me and that will work for those of you who have a summer holiday in the offing.

However, an interesting piece of retail research I came across recently showed how quickly the mood moves on when you return from holiday. Out of 3,000 women questioned, 64% said that as soon as they get back home their mood switches away from summer, they’re ready for a palette refresh with simple cuts and more neutral colours for a while. So as we’re no doubt all at different stages of the holiday cycle I’m going to start with a few examples of more transitional pieces and they’re outfits that are good for the warm but wet days so many of us are living with in the UK at the moment. By the way all new season pieces have 20% off at the moment with code D4B6.

I particularly love this update on the simple blazer/breton/jeans combo. Just about every woman has a version of this in her wardrobe but the updated cuts are key to making this iteration look stylish rather than frumpy. The jeans are wide, the blazer is long and lean and the red Mary-Janes are bang on trend – they aren’t in yet but I can imagine they’re going to fly out as soon as they arrive. It’s also worth noting that the jeans now come in four different leg lengths so you can plan around whether you’re likely to wear them with a flat or a heel.

High summer outfit ideas

Jersey blazer; striped top (now in the sale); wide leg jeans; shoes (coming soon)

Another classic look here with high waisted wide leg trousers doing the work again to make it more contemporary than tapered chinos would.

High summer outfit ideas

Cotton shirt; sailor pants; loafers coming soon

Long sleeved blouses like this one are my saviour at the moment when it isn’t quite warm enough for short sleeves at work. The lace panels are pretty but not too girly and it comes in a blue stripe too. The trousers are coming soon and one thing I noticed from the AW press shows is that checks and tweed are absolutely everywhere for autumn and winter. At the beginning it felt as if I’d stepped back into Next circa 1985… do you remember when it was really cool… the whole Haircut 100 look? Well everything I saw felt like that and I was surprised by how quickly the mood from the designer catwalks has hit the high street, there’s a move on coming – thank goodness.

High summer outfit ideas

Lace panel blouse; trousers coming soon

And another surprise from my last couple of trips to London has been how many stylish women are wearing silver ballet flats rather than trainers. Silver is going to be another huge theme as we go into the second half.

High summer outfit ideas

Silver ballet flats

I’ve already bought this bikini because I’ve been looking for one in this colour for ages, there’s 25% off all swimwear this weekend, both new season and sale with code D4B6.

High summer outfit ideas

Textured bikini top; textured bikini bottoms

There really hasn’t been good enough weather for me to put it on for a photo (phew!) but it’s exactly the same cut as this one from last year so this holiday snap gives you an idea. It’s a very kind style for those of us without an impressive embonpoint.

Nikki Garnett, Midlifechic bikini

Boden bikini 2022

High summer outfit ideas

As I’ve mentioned before we’re having an unusually busy summer workwise so we won’t be able to have a longer holiday until September or October. Until then I’m refusing to give up on summer and so the clothes I’ve chosen for this month’s edit have sunny days in mind. So let me show you my pick of ‘new in’. This was taken over in Newcastle last weekend when we were popping out to see Mum-in-Law. This square-necked linen dress is so easy to wear because it isn’t too long and it isn’t too full, I’m wearing a 12R and it’s true to size. The gingham is actually made up of two tonal blues which gives it a denim effect meaning that it’s a colour that should be universally flattering. The shirred back is a nice detail and makes it comfortable to wear if you’re about to eat cake – as we were.

Nikki Garnett Midlifechic

Gingham linen dress

We managed to take these photos just before the heavens opened – you can see the sinister looking sky in the reflections behind me. It’s very rarely wet when we’re in the north east but it just didn’t seem to stop last weekend apart from the one big day that was important to us which some of you saw on Instagram. If you didn’t, I’ll tell you about soon.

Nikki Garnett Midlifechic

Gingham linen dress

My next choice were these tequila sunrise colours – as you probably know, pink and orange is my favourite summer combination and this is the sort of outfit that I can wear for both work and weekends. Both pieces are linen and so I was worried that the trousers might not have any give and ordered a size up. They were a comfortable fit but I think my usual size 12 would have been better

Nikki Garnett Midlifechic

Linen top; high waisted linen trousers

The top has all of the flattering qualities of a halterneck cut without baring too much flesh and it’s the sort of thing that will work with jeans, shorts, skirts and earn its keep every summer. It’s sold incredibly fast since it arrived so if they don’t have it in your size, there’s a jersey version in the same style here which may actually hang more fluidly when it’s on too. And as you can see, we even had a dry, sunny evening at home this week!

Nikki Garnett Midlifechic

Linen top; high waisted linen trousers

And this is where you find me now, in Somerset as we’re on our way to review a long weekend destination in Cornwall so you’ll find me on Instagram Stories telling you what we’re up to. It’s a very long drive for us so we broke it last night by staying in a lovely little country pub in a village just outside Taunton – The Greyhound Inn, a great stopover if you’re doing a similar journey. Anyway it’s a little bit warmer down here so this was the perfect outfit for a relaxed dinner. The t-shirt is such a lovely cut, it’s just been restocked so if you’re thinking of refreshing your plain white tees than I highly recommend it. The cotton/modal blend gives it a sheen that enables you to dress it up as well as down and the boatneck is so flattering.



Boat neck t-shirt

The Boden site advised me to size up to a 14 on the skirt which I’m glad I did because it sits well, enabling the frills to fall softly rather than stick out. It’s a great look for holidays but the sort of thing that I’d wear at home too with trainers and a cardigan or a cream denim jacket on cooler days. And the sandals are the ‘wear anywhere with anything’ kind. If, like me, you just can’t get on with Birkenstocks, something like this is a brilliant alternative. They do come up slightly small though so if you’re in between sizes, go up. They’re also available in black.

Boat neck t-shirt; cotton skirt; flat leather sandals

And so with that I’ll leave you – it’s looking as though today is the best of the weather we’re going to get so I’ll be reviewing Cornwall in true British style, dashing between the summer showers. I suspect we may find refuge in the best of British food – pasties, fish and chips, cream teas and ice cream… not a bad way to spend the weekend!

Disclosure: ‘High summer outfit ideas – ageless style’ was commissioned by Boden but as always, all outfit choices and thoughts are my own

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