Happy Easter to you, I hope the sun is shining where you are and that you have a special weekend ahead. All of my chicks are back in the nest so I’m looking forward to having a few days off with them. Hopefully the Easter bunny will come on Sunday despite their now advanced years (and Ted’s enthusiasm for joining in any hunt – he’s already swiped one pack of Easter chocolates and spent an afternoon feeling worse for wear). It does feel as if Spring has arrived this week though doesn’t it? So, before I log off for the weekend I’m bringing you a quick midlife jeans try-on – the best-selling styles at John Lewis.
I’m concentrating on jeans because I’ve had so many conversations about them in the comments and on Instagram recently. Lots of you find them the hardest thing to buy and so before I went over to Leeds a couple of weeks ago, I had a chat with one of the John Lewis Personal Stylists, Jess. We talked about the conundrums some of you have with finding jeans that work on a midlife body and she offered to pull together their current bestselling styles for me to try on and show you.
A quick reminder of the jeans classics
So I’ll talk you through them in a minute but first I just want to remind you quickly of my two favourite pairs of John Lewis jeans, the ones I wear repeatedly. You see them so often on here that I asked Jess not to include them in the try-on but I know we have new readers so this is for you.
Slim straight crop jeans
Here are my most trusty workhorses, the slim straight crop – they come as full length but I know my break points so I have them cropped to an inch above my ankle bone. Yours will be wherever your ankle is at its most narrow – the point before the calf starts to flare out. If you want to alter the length of your jeans, play around with them by rolling the hems in front of the mirror and take photos until you see the sweet spot.
The other pair that I wear a lot are these boyfriend jeans, they’re a more relaxed look, I wouldn’t wear them for work as I do the others but they’re great for weekends. They’re a looser fit than the slim straights and they have some give so if you’re between sizes, size down.
Midlife jeans try-on – the best-selling styles at John Lewis
Ok, so let’s move on to everything new and although the focus is on jeans it made sense for Jess to give me something to wear with each pair so I’ll chat about that as we go along.
Cropped wide leg ecru jeans
Although we’ve discussed the fact that wide leg crops are starting to fall off the high fashion radar, there’s no sign of it at John Lewis and in fact even Anna Murphy said they continue to be an SS23 option this week. They’re still very popular because of course they’re so easy to wear and the ones you see here are selling quickly at the moment. I know some of you won’t be keen on the raw hem but it’s a look that I really like. Even if I had to have them hemmed I’d still buy them because the pocket placement is so flattering, breaking up the expanse of midriff and also nodding to this season’s 70s trend. Jess paired them with this striped shirt in organic cotton which is one of SS23’s key looks. I was happy to try it and it’s lovely…
… but for some reason (probably the ironing) cotton shirts just aren’t for me and so I switched it over for this soft jersey tee. I have the same style from last year with a blue stripe and I love it (forgive the fact that Mal hadn’t told me I needed to pull it down here so it isn’t sitting as it should). The boat neckline and slim, elbow length sleeves are just so flattering and it comes in various colour options. The cropped cotton jacket is great value and the perfect cut and length for wearing with wide legged bottoms. It finished the outfit off perfectly and it was a look that felt like me. The jeans are a size 12 with plenty of stretch so they’re true to size.
We’re moving on to a key look for SS23 here – full length wide jeans, a bomber and a knit with a hint of 70s crochet. Bomber jackets have always been my favourite style to wear although actually I see this is described as a cardigan on the website. I’m wearing a medium and it has a looser fit than I’d usually go for so my advice would be to size down unless you prefer an oversized look. It’s an easy piece to throw on for a Spring day.
This picture gives you a clearer idea of the jumper which is in colours that are perfect for this time of year. It’s 100% cotton so no itch factor or risk of overheating. I’m wearing a 12 and it’s true to size.
Now on to the key point, the jeans – new to my favourite jeans label. They’re the perfect length for me for wearing with flats or trainers – even though I’m quite tall (5ft 8), I have a long body so I have a ‘regular’ length leg. They’re made from nicely weighted, soft denim that’s been washed to give it a slightly vintage feel. Jess gave me a 30 inch waist and they were very comfortable, a 29 or even a 28 would have worked too, I’m not surprised they have such good reviews.
Last of all she added a coat to throw over the outfit, a classic waxed trench in a fresh Spring colour. I can’t find it online to link it but it’s from Mango and it’s £89.99. JL have suggested alternatives here, here and here.
A wardrobe cornerstone
While we’re on the subject of trench coats, I just want to show you this one that I picked up from the shopfloor while I was passing because it stopped both Mal and me in our tracks. It’s such a sleek, streamlined style with a lovely glossy finish and yet…
…it isn’t just an ordinary flasher mac because it has lovely trench detailing at the back. It’s also available in stone or khaki and I think it’s one of those elevated capsule pieces that you’d have forever PLUS it has 20% off until 13th April. Let me show you the detail…
Before we look at a few more bestselling jeans let’s have a palette cleanser. Jess was keen for me to try these drapey khaki trousers because it’s another look that’s very popular at the moment – a neater alternative to a cotton cargo pant for anyone who’s been there and done it before (I was laughing because a reader came past and said hello which happens a lot when I’m in John Lewis, it’s always a lovely moment). Anyway back to the trousers, khaki as you know isn’t my colour but I do like the flowy fabric and loose cut. They come up small though, everything else was a perfect fit in a 12 but I’d have to go up a size in these. Unfortunately I can’t find them online to link them but they’re from Ted Baker.
Jess had paired them with a simple cotton ribbed, square neck vest – one of SS23’s absolute core essentials and a lace bomber cardigan which is also available in pale pink or navy.
And here you find me back in the midlife jeans try-on and my bright colour comfort zone with a look I loved. Let’s start with the jeans which were fabulous, I may yet still buy them – I can’t decide between this pair and the next. It’s a brand that always comes up small so I’m wearing a 30 and they were perfect. They’re summer jeans so a slightly lighter denim and just the colour and wash that I like for warmer days. I couldn’t fault them.
I fell in love with the cropped cotton jumper too – its half sleeve is a good look and I really like the texture of the knit. It’s also available in bubble gum pink and either (or both!) are just a bit more of an elevated look than a t-shirt to balance out your wide leg bottoms. I’m wearing a medium and it’s just right.
The shoes – another heartbeat moment. Metallic is big this Summer and silver is the most fashionable of all the shades. These have a great square toe and a low block heel, they were really comfortable. I really don’t need them but I can’t keep them out of my head. (And just as I’ve linked them I see that they’ve sold out in my size so they’re now a huge regret!).
And the tote has sold out too although it’s still available in black or khaki – there was plenty of stock in store last week so you might be in luck if you have a JL nearby. You can’t beat an orange bag for Summer.
And here are the shoes again in Mal’s favourite outfit. It’s funny but this is a brand that I never have any success with and yet these jeans felt as though they’d been made for me. I haven’t seen a cut like it before, they have the slightly twisted seam of a barrel jean that accentuates the outside length of your leg but without the usual volume that can be hard to wear. They’re a bit like a mom jean but cooler. They have a flattering high waist which makes your legs look longer still and they’re beautifully cut in the body making them incredibly comfortable to wear which isn’t always the case with a high rise (I’m wearing a 12, true to size). They really surprised me and they’re another pair of jeans that I just couldn’t fault. I’ll show you a video in a sec so you can get a better idea.
I loved the blouse too, It’s a cotton blend and for me the texture makes all the difference, it allows it to shape itself to the body more without looking too stiff. A green bag is one of the few pops of colour that I don’t have but it would work well with my blocks of navy… and the shoes… sigh.
Anyway here’s the video to show you the shape of the jeans – they’re particularly great for anyone who misses the elongated silhouette of a skinny (the store lights have washed the colour out in all of the videos so use the photos for reference).
So I’m hoping that within that little midlife jeans try-on – the best-selling styles at John Lewis, there’s a pair for everyone. As one of the key wardrobe anchors I do think that jeans are worth investing in – cheap denim shows in its wash and its finish so if you can afford to spend more (above £50) then it’s worth it. If you’re still stuck, don’t forget that you can book a jeans service with the JL personal stylists so that when you arrive, they’ll have a rail ready for you try on as they did for me. All of the details are here.
And with that, I’ll venture up to the house and see what chaos awaits. It’s strange how quickly you get out of the swing of family life when your offspring are away isn’t it? Every morning I sigh quietly as I come downstairs to pick up the precious scatter cushions strewn across the floor… the cups everywhere… the piles of smelly trainers… and then I open the door to an echoing fridge. Of course I could nag and grumble and give them a dig in the ribs but… I know how glad they all are to be back.
The house is warm and thrumming with life. I’m enjoying the sounds of battlegrounds and music and zombies and laughter that spill out from each room. They come and they go with their smiling faces and every so often they surprise me by wrapping me in a hug.
Ted is giddy with joy and so am I.
It feels like home.
Happy Easter everyone!
Disclosure ‘Midlife jeans try-on – the best-selling styles at John Lewis’ was commissioned by John Lewis but as always I was able to choose what to write about
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