Hello, I’m out of sync at the moment because I had two days off for my birthday last week and then tunnelled into the Bank Holiday. It means I’m behind with the comments (and everything else) but I’ll crack on with them after this. First of all though, a catch-up, starting with midlife lately and then I’ll move on to some SS20 at home outfit ideas because a few new drops have landed this week and they’ll be the last ones until the autumn stock starts to arrive.

Midlife lately

Birthday #1

So, the reason that I took extra time off was because the day itself was grey and cold as you can see below. This was the first time I’d seen my friend since lockdown and as it was my special day, she let me catch her in a photo which she hates (thank you N for the photo… and the two hours in the cold.. and the bag of goodies you sent home with me).

We took Teddy for a distanced walk and then shivered on a bench for a while so that we could catch up on everything that’s happened (or not) over the last two months. And I look at this windblown picture and realise just how bad my roots are getting at the front. I’ve been managing ok with my scissors and colour glosses but my hair really needs some proper attention now. Six more weeks until the hairdressers open my friends… six weeks!


SS20 at home outfit ideas

And even though it rained and the wind blew it was a good day. I chatted to my brother on the phone for an hour – we’d never usually spend that long so it was a Corona bonus. And then my sister popped over to leave a present on the doorstep and I managed to persuade her to have a quick chat in the garden. Mr MC went out and foraged for a Chinese takeaway for dinner and then we watched Withnail and I with the boys – I’d forgotten about the extent of the drugs and swearing(!) but the end message is still such an important one.

Birthday #2

So that was happy Corona birthday number one and then the next day the sun came out. I did a bit of work, relaxed in the garden for a while and then we headed out for a picnic. We’re surrounded by so much rural beauty where we live that sometimes we just want to retreat to the manicured splendour of a manmade park. We’ve sat in the same spot for picnics since the boys were tiny and so there was something very special about being there together with them again. And nothing really changes – they’d soon lost the frisbee in the pond that has been the scene of so many ball/ frisbee/kite rescue expeditions over the years. At least they’re now big enough to sort it out themselves – with Ted’s willing assistance…

Midlife lately - SS20 at home outfit ideas

And so we spent the evening in the sunshine, there were a few other families there and it felt good to be amongst people (at a distance). I was determined to dress up a bit so that it felt more like a birthday and actually this full skirt is a great one for sitting on the grass in – there’s plenty of fabric to drape around your legs however you choose to sit. You’ll notice that the older two are still refusing to allow me to cut their mops so they’ve resorted to baseball caps. Mr MC and the youngest are doing each others’ – Mr MC’s brief is Bruce Willis (see photo at the top) and the boy’s is Peaky Blinders!

Midlifechic family

T-shirt (Midlifechic past season); Skirt and Shoes (gifted SS20)

Midlife lately – Bank Holiday Saturday

It was back to my desk for the rest of the week and then this was Saturday – which was again wild and windy. We awoke to a garden that looked like a stage after the principal ballerina has left – it was covered in roses that had been blown off their stems so I now have bowls full of them all round the house.

Midlifechic Midlife lately

IdLF @ Uniqlo shirt (gifted SS20); Jeans; M&S loafers (AW19); Earrings (gifted AW19)

The rest of the family spent the weekend working on the landing project which is coming along slowly. The concrete base is now in and our names have been inscribed for posterity with handprints and paw prints and details of Coronavirus 2020 should anyone ever uncover them (and we wonder why it’s taking so long…!)

Midlife lately - Garnett coronadeck

They’re certainly learning some skills though… and the teaching required is another reason why it’s taking so long – the boys don’t have quite the same dedication to precision that Mr MC does which leads to a few raised voices.

Midlife lately landing project

Midlife lately – Bank Holiday Sunday

On Sunday the eldest and I worked on other skills – perfecting the cocktails for our rum evening. The dress code was ‘a nod to the Caribbean’ hence the boy’s hideous shirt, unearthed from a past student fancy dress night.

Midlifechic rum party - Midlife lately

This blouse made it easy for me – and the look on my face says we’d been developing the cocktails for a while at this point.

Midlife lately - Midlifechic

Blouse (gifted SS20); jeans (gifted AW19); Boden flats (SS19)

This was a painkiller (dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, cream of coconut and nutmeg). You’ll see that my John Lewis & Partners delivery with the rum glasses in it didn’t arrive in time so we had to manage with what we had.

Midlife lately

Midlife lately – Bank Holiday Monday

And this was Bank Holiday Monday – luckily I get tired of cocktails quite quickly so I was up for a long run with the eldest and youngest, our best speed and distance yet, followed by a glass of wine. I’m wearing the linen pull-ons that I talked about a couple of weeks ago – for everyone who’s asked for feedback, I love them – they’re so easy to wear and because they’re a linen blend they don’t crease too badly as you can see.

Midlife lately - Bank Holiday Monday

Organic cotton slogan tee; linen pull-ons; silver Havaianas

I think that’s everything that’s been going on – oh, apart from the ‘boo for Boris’ when the whole village erupted at 8pm last night (for the sake of future readers it was a response to Boris Johnson’s lack of action following the saga of his advisor Dominic Cummings being found not to have abided by the rules of lockdown). I’d seen people calling for it to happen on Twitter but didn’t for a second think it would reach up here. Our village is usually a bit of an outpost. People feel very distanced from Westminster, in fact quite a few have never even been to London so it was surprising to hear just how strongly people feel about this matter. The booing and rattling of pans was even louder than it has been on Thursdays for the NHS. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a protest at such a grass roots level before and as we looked around, it crossed every demographic. I try to remain nonpartisan on Midlifechic but I do think that the level of outrage being felt across the country is something that needs to be recorded.

SS20 at home outfit ideas

So there we go, that’s all my news and I must stop writing so that I can start replying to your comments. In the meantime I’ve had a couple of emails asking me to do a ‘festival style’ post for SS20 in the garden. It reminded me that in the survey responses, quite a few of you said how useful you they are for anyone spending their summer in the UK.

We are, in fact, hoping to have a festival in the garden. Have you seen that Glastonbury are doing Glasthomebury in association with the BBC from 26th – 28th June to celebrate their 50th anniversary? We’re planning to put tents in the garden for a night and project it onto a wall so that we can get that festival feeling. If the friend bubbles have opened up by then we’ll invite our camping buddies to join us too. Of course it’s weather dependent but it sounds perfect to me – a bit of festival feeling with decent bathrooms on hand.

Just a couple of points before I move on to the clothes:

Slogan tees

I haven’t read through the comments yet but out of the corner of my eye I saw some questions about slogan tees. As with anything, you either like them or you don’t but when they hit the right spot, they can make a standard outfit more youthful where a plain tee would look a bit humdrum. Why is that? I think it has something to do with the fact that you’re saying something rather than fading away quietly as midlife women are perceived to do.

The key things to get right are the font and the message. Avoid anything too anodyne like ‘love’ or ‘kindness’ which were both terribly overdone in 2018. Keep an eye out for good typography and go for texture or embroidery if you can although they tend to be more expensive. As for rock band t-shirts my view is go for it if you know the band and like their songs but don’t just wear Def Leppard for the sake of it. Just be authentic, wear a slogan because you stand for whatever it says.

Denim shorts

They’re the new flour. I’ve spent far too much time over the last two days trying to track down well reviewed denim shorts that are still in stock. It makes sense though when you consider the weather we’ve been having and the likelihood of a summer spent mostly in the garden.

At home festival chic summer 2020

Anyway, let’s crack on, starting with suggestions for summer at home festival chic 2020. As always keep the colours bright and look for relaxed layers to offset the expanse of leg on show with the shorts.

SS20 at home outfit ideas

Pink sweatshirt with orange stitching – this is now very low in stock but I have it, love it and can highly recommend it. I wear mine a lot in the evenings when it suddenly goes cool in the garden.

Star sweatshirt – (more sizes here) the graphic that never goes out of style although some of us have too much of it. It has the same effect as the slogan, it’s youthful as long as you find a good shape – it’s easy for a star to look wrong – Mint Velvet sometimes veer towards a shape that’s too long. The vintage effect on this one says “I’ve had it for years.”

Surf sweatshirt – the colour of sunflowers, lovely shaping on the seams for a contouring effect. It’ll look good thrown over leggings for the gym too.

La Pomme tee – a graphic and slogan in one with a bright pop of summer colour, I see lots of people wearing this on Instagram.

Linen knit tee– now this is new in today, it’s pricey but it’s a beautiful knit and a great cut. I have a similar one in blue that I’ve worn summer after summer so I’ve ordered this but I’ve sized down.

Rendez-vous t-shirt – you’ll need to know Angelina’s in Paris to appreciate this which gives it that cognoscenti element and my heart skipped a beat when I saw it. It was almost completely sold out yesterday but happily they’ve restocked today.

Gold flat sandals – from a lovely small brand run by Harriet, a Midlifechic reader. Her physical shop has, of course, been forced to close during quarantine so do pop over to her website and give her some support if you can.

Vejas – I’m including them because they’re cool but not, in my experience, very comfortable and reviews concur that you have to wear them in which I don’t have the patience for. Over to you.

Longer denim shorts – longer shorts are a trend this year worn either tailored or casually. Here’s a five star reviewed option in white and there are other colours here.

Denim boyfriend shorts – the proverbial hen’s teeth, clearly everyone’s wearing denim shorts this summer. These have great reviews and are available in a wide range of sizes.

Garden Birkis – an easy and affordable way in to the ‘fugly’ white sandal trend, supremely comfortable and particularly good for keeping by the back door all summer long. 20% off with code TREAT20.

Laid back at home style

Here are some options for people who prefer more muted colours – all of these pieces can be swapped in with the ones from above and vice versa so just work with your favourites.


SS20 at home outfit ideas

Freedom tee– this high quality tee made from organic cotton with a flattering scooped neckline has been designed with an embroidered dove as the symbol of freedom which feels particularly appropriate for this summer.

Shimmer linen tee – a lovely linen tee with a shimmering metallic finish and a draped neckline – a simple navy tee in essence but a little more special, it will elevate any outfit.

Relaxed oversize shirt – a chic relaxed cut to this breathable viscose shirt and the all important flattering V-neckline if you have to pop inside for a Zoom call.

Gold stripe marl tee – new in today, the grey tee is a cool summer classic but this one has a little extra detail with the metallic gold stripes that will glisten in the sunshine.

Simple Linen skirt – a great buy, now half price in the sale. 100% linen with pockets, a fixed waistband at the front and elastic at the back. Also available in navy, dark red as well as bright orange here.

Pull on midi-skirt– a cotton midi-skirt that will go with anything. Easy to wear with tees and you could dress it up with a shirt too. Also available in the stunning teal colour below:

SS20 at home outfit ideas

Straight leg linen pull-ons – for anyone who prefers a fixed waistband at the front with an elasticated back for comfort – and they’re full length too. Also available in grey and khaki – and half price in clearance.

Linen pull-ons – the natural version of the ones I’m wearing in the photo above, they’re great value and easy to wear – what more can I say? Available in navy, sage green, grey, pink and blue and white stripes.

Gold leather sandals (more sizes here) – wardrobe workhorses that go with absolutely everything

White leather Supergas – the ultimate in pared down white trainer chic, bear in mind that they’re known for coming up big so go down by half a size.

Metallic Arizonas – a great way to add a touch of ‘cool’ to a simple outfit. Remember that the Birko-Flor upper material is like a soft rubber flip flop band and doesn’t require wearing in and they also have the EVA shock absorbing sole but the classics are available in metallic leather too.

As always this has been longer than I meant it to be. Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll be back on Friday when some of the lockdown may have been lifted… or will it?

New retail drops this week

Hush – the last new pieces of the season here

Boden – new styles in for summer here

Baukjen – new pieces here

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The future of retail after Covid-19

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Quarantine – as the days roll on what I’ve been wearing

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Lockdown Diaries week 5 and a prize for kindness

Pandemic diaries, reflections and new retail drops

Trying on pieces for summer at home

Midlife lately – quarantine days and nights

Life in the time of coronavirus – more diaries

My capsule wardrobe for the week – smart casual

Lockdown continues – how are you feeling?

Lockdown outfits – keeping spirits high

Coronavirus diaries – lockdown week 1 

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