I do find the new retail calendar weird. Mid-season sales in the third week of September would have been unheard of a few years ago but of course retailers do smaller drops throughout the season now to meet the demand for perpetual newness. So, I have two of these new drops to whizz through with you. They’re both from retailers that tend to sell through quickly and in my eyes, these are the best pieces from the latest collections.
New stock at Hush arrived this morning so you have a good chance of getting hold of any of these pieces. Code OCT18L at checkout will give you free delivery and free returns.
Last year’s leopard coat sold out in a matter of days because Hush’s faux fur is such fantastic quality. One of the things that I particularly like about their leopard coats is that they use hook and eye closures so you don’t have ugly press-stud buttons on show when they’re worn open – and, because they fasten edge to edge, they don’t add bulk. This year’s version is slightly shorter than last year’s and has a collar.
I love the look of this red faux fur coat which is also available in black. High neck collars on coats are good because they cover up whatever you’re wearing underneath, giving you sleek, uninterrupted lines. This does have a press-stud fastening though.
And the last of the fabulous coats – have you seen this rust one? Luxuriously cocoon shaped and perfect for wearing with navy, grey or black – it comes up big though so size down.
I have this skirt – I haven’t worn it yet but I love it. The pleats are soft and fluid so it’s like a cross between a pleated skirt and a looser midi. It works well with most neutrals and it’s also available in a deep red.
Now if you’re finding it hard to get to grips with this season’s cords, why not try navy instead of a retro rust colour? I wore these yesterday but sadly no-one was around to take a photograph. They’re an easy switch for jeans but just feel a bit more on trend, soft to wear and true to size.
An alternative for anyone who loves the cashmere Rock ‘n’ Roll jumper. The dark grey shade is softer than the usual black – perfect for a night out with jeans and a jacket.
In fact these would be good to wear with the Rock ‘n’ Roll t-shirt – skinny coated jeans, always a classic. The biker style zips on the hips are slimming because they break up the horizontal expanse.
And finally my absolute favourite – you may have seen me wearing this on Instagram on Saturday night… deep green velvet and beautifully cut with just the right amount of stretch so that it’s comfortable to wear all evening. If you want one of these, I think you’ll need to be quick.
This is how it looked on me and I’ll talk more about it when I tell you about my evening in a minute.
The new drop arrived at Sézane on Sunday so quite a few things have already sold out but have a look at these. Firstly another velvet blazer, this time for chocolate brown lovers – this isn’t in stock yet but it’s arriving soon and it’s also available in a rust cord version.
These blouses are silk – and a reasonable price when you compare them with places like Boden. Silk blouses always fall over your contours beautifully and are at their most flattering when worn with an open collar. This one features this season’s pyjama styling.
This is my all-time favourite style of blouse because there is no collar to interfere with jackets or coats. Tiny self-covered buttons always look ultra-luxe as a detail.
And if you fancy adopting a flash of this season’s pine green but don’t want to wear it close to your face, how about shoes? These would go with jeans as well as work clothes and the heel is chic but easy to walk in.
Warning: this section includes the topic of terminal illness which may be upsetting
And so let’s go back to Saturday night. As you may remember, a group of old friends had travelled up from London for a get together. I’m just going to talk about the outfit first and then I’ll go on to the event. As you can see, Hush had kindly sent me the new velvet jacket to wear because I fell in love with it as soon as I saw the lookbook.
As it happens my whole outfit is Hush from various past seasons. I knew that we were going to be sitting around and talking a lot so I wanted to be able to relax and feel comfortable. I bought these velvet joggers last year and they were a key item in my winter wardrobe – especially when it came to Christmas.
The jacket has a beautiful sheen to it. The silk camisole is from a couple of years ago but Hush repeat it every season, it’s one of those evening essentials that I often wear for a relaxed night out.
If you wanted to recreate this outfit, there are two trouser options this year. The velvet joggers have side stripes:
Or you could opt for velour jeans with biker zips:
The Lake District, as always, provided a stunning backdrop for our evening. Our friend had hired The Gaddum Restuarant which was a treat because it isn’t usually open in the evenings. It’s based at Brockholes near Windermere and the Arts and Crafts interior has recently been restored to its former glory so it’s a fabulous place.
To give you an idea of the standard of the food, the chefs have come from L’Enclume and Gilpin Lodge. I’m afraid I only took a picture of these early canapés because I was too busy chatting after that – but these were hand made potato crisps with a sorrel foam.
The people we were meeting were all friends from my very first job. You see after I graduated, I decided that I wanted to work in publishing in London. I knew that if I went back to my parents’ house near the Lakes it would be almost impossible to get a job because I wouldn’t have a London address. So, I went to the university milk rounds and was offered a place at Haymarket publishing which was based in Teddington. It wasn’t a particularly exciting role but it was a start and I figured that I could move on once I was established. I arranged to live with an old school friend – in North Harrow… and no, I didn’t consider the commute before I did that!
Anyway, on my first day I arrived to find that I was one of about 30 other recent graduates so really, working there was just an extension of uni. We had a ball and about 14 of us became a particularly close gang. To this day, even though we don’t manage to get together very often, they continue to be some of the most important friends in my life. So Saturday was a reunion for us along with a number of other colleagues from that time. And the reason? One of our group (our host T) has been given a terminal cancer diagnosis.
Just writing that here is shocking, not because I see or talk to him every day but because for the last 30 years he’s been part of what I inwardly think of as my firmament – the people I see as key to both my past and future story. In our Haymarket days, T and I both had the misfortune of being assigned to work on a tiny magazine called Newsagent. For over a year, we united on a daily basis in a torrid battle with an unpredictable boss. He was the sort of guy who would scream at us and swear and smash his phone to smithereens in fits of wild temper. We never knew what madness was coming next but our shared love of art and literature (and a northern sense of humour) saw us through.
T isn’t just part of my history though, he’s been an important catalyst in my journey more recently too. You see if it wasn’t for him, Midlifechic wouldn’t exist. Five years ago he and I were working on a web project together and he invited me along to a conference about blogging. I knew straightaway that I’d found my ‘thing’ and I’ve never looked back. So I owe him more than happy memories…. much more.
When his invitation came, simply worded as ‘a party for people I like,’ everybody made it a priority. And on Saturday night we had fun. We told stories, we reminisced and we laughed – a lot.
This hasn’t been an easy post to write – it’s hard to know what to say and what to leave out. If I can make any sense out of it though the message I share with you has to be about treasuring your friends and keeping in touch. So often at midlife we fall out of contact because we’ve been wrapped up in raising our families. Of course families are important but friends are too – and will be even more so in the years to come. So pick up the phone for a chat, text someone you haven’t seen for a long time and arrange to meet… or even better, be the one who gets a group of old friends back together. Let your hair down and party like it’s 1999… shared history is a very precious thing.