We’ve had bright sunshine all week in the Lake District. The daffodils are out, the lambs are gambolling and it feels as though a new season is finally rolling in. This always makes me feel as though I have nothing to wear. Suddenly the core wardrobe of camel and grey that I’ve loved all winter feels dark and dull so I’m very much in the mood for some new season shopping. Last Autumn I focused on specific retailers which you seemed to find helpful so I’m going to do that again. This week I’m looking at new Spring fashion for women over 40 from John Lewis.

Why am I starting here? Well for anyone in the UK, John Lewis has almost all of the upper end high street labels you could want under one roof. They’ve added Finery in store this Spring, all we need now is Hush, White Company and Cos and they’d pretty much have it sewn up in my book. They deliver worldwide for £10 although you do have to pay for returns. I also love that they have both CollectPlus and Hermes as returns options in the UK so it’s simple to send things back which almost makes up for the fact that their nearest store is a 90 minute drive from me – my biggest gripe. By the way this isn’t a sponsored post although John Lewis have noticed our community and they got in touch last week to ask if I would tell you about the launch of the new Somerset Collection. As I very rarely have videos on Midlifechic, I thought I’d show you what they sent me.

I would say the Somerset range is Bohemian rather than Boho, it makes me think of eclectic dressers like Helena Bonham-Carter and Emma Thompson. This would be my pick of the new pieces:

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John Lewis

Lace top – I love the fact that this is navy instead of the usual black

Lace top – ivory rather than white so it has that vintage feel

Cream silk blouse with lovely cut out detail at the neckline

Rope print cropped trousers for a summer nautical feel

Sleeveless pleat vest with lovely back detail as seen above

Stunning shoes although they’ve almost sold out

The on trend lizard effect for this year’s ghillie shoe

Cross body bag with brass buckle

Cream wide legged culottes (machine washable)

Black wide legged culottes

If you’d like to see it, here’s the full range of Somerset by Alice Temperley that was released this week. So, whilst I was online at John Lewis I digressed. Not only am I thinking about Spring, I’m also starting to plan for a long weekend in Paris with Mr MC that is coming up soon. I’ll tell you more about it nearer the time but we’re planning to do a few things off the beaten track. I lived in Paris for a while so other than revisiting our favourite places, we’ll be able to just relax and soak in the atmosphere. You may have noticed in the comments that Dee (who is having her romantic Paris break a few weeks before mine) and I have been debating whether it’s a cliché to wear a breton. She has decided that she will be taking a red and white striped one. When I started to play with mood boards, an orange and navy theme started to emerge but it didn’t include a breton.

Daytime outfits for Paris in the Springtime

What to wear - sightseeing in Paris 2016

Denim dress – I like this one because it is a good weight dark denim which makes it hang so much better than the cheap ones

High necked shell top – sleeveless polo necks are very flattering for summer and look great with a blazer

Fitted navy blazer – Parisian chic works better with a nipped in waist, no wonder this is called the Hepburn. It’s washable and a great price

Jumpsuit – these are so mainstream now that every wardrobe should have one, comfortable and so easy (apart from going to the loo)

Cropped stretch pearl print trousers – these have just gone into the sale, be quick

Block heel shoes – stylish but with a low heel, this is SS16’s easiest new shoe shape

Classic chic Superga flats with arch support

Metallic leather pumps, a pair of silver flats will be endlessly versatile all summer

Cross body bag, always the best type of bag for city sightseeing

Murano heart necklace – to set the mood for a romantic weekend

Tassel scarf – because Spring can still be chilly in the late afternoon

Cat’s eye sunglasses – it’s never worth buying cheap sunglasses, these lighter coloured frames are flattering for early Spring

Of course you don’t have to be going to Paris to wear these clothes, they’re great for a Spring refresh.

What to wear for a chic night out in Paris

For the evenings I’ve been researching some really special places. Some are high dining and others are just cool so I’ll need different options. Starting off with my fine dining selection:

A chic night out in Paris #2

Blue midi dress I’m definitely trying this one, I would wear it during the day in summer too, I think you could easily dress it down with simple flat sandals

Kimono style shirt dress this is a very chic, 30s / 40s look, all you would need to add is a great red lipstick

Red midi dress a classic dress, it makes me think of Grace Kelly, the epitome of cool elegance

Japanese style shoes the kind of shoes that make you wonder about the woman who is wearing them (also available in nude and silver)

Ivory suede sandals these would look just as good with jeans as a dress

Blush pink slingbacks a low heeled choice to balance the dress

John Lewis simple clutch in blue silk and a great price

John Lewis Lacquer style clutch in patent – looks more expensive than it is

Blush leather clutch butter soft and suede lined

What to wear for a date night in Paris

And finally here is my selection of more relaxed date night outfits, obviously I’m not going to be buying all of these clothes but at least this is giving me a few ideas.

A chic night out in Paris
I’ve kept the heels relatively low because I know we’ll be doing a lot of walking (and maybe dancing). The red shoes might be a bit optimistic but I really love them.

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisSilk wrap blouse – washable and an affordable price

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisNavy cold shoulder top – I prefer these to the full Bardot effect, they’re easier (and warmer) to wear

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisCropped trousers for all you culotte refuseniks, these aren’t as wide

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisCoated skinnies – the only high rise ones I’ve been able to find this Spring, thank goodness for John Lewis

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisRed silk and wool panel top – can’t tell you how much I love this

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisWhite ‘clean front’ tailored crops, machine washable and no zip or pockets so flattering across the tummy

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisI think I’ll have to try these red Dorothy shoes – I’m imagining they are deceptively comfortable!

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisThe ankle strap on these black Arizona heels makes these much easier to walk in

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisA perennially chic d’Orsay shoe with a low heel

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisA bright red clutch with a handy chain strap

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisThe beaten gold leather elevates this foldover clutch from the standard black and it’s a great price

New Spring fashion for women over 40 from John LewisThis simple white leather tie clutch would be useful all summer long


And one last thing that jumped out at me for anyone who works in an office. I love this dress although it’s rather unimaginatively named…


So there we go, I declare SS16 officially open, none of these clothes need to be saved for Paris, you could wear them all wherever you are. Thank you to everyone who has applied for the product development research project in Tuesday’s post. When I first spoke to them, the team were worried because they only had two weeks left to find enough people and thanks to you I think they did it in an evening. They told me they were thrilled by how interesting and engaged you were – I knew you were brilliant. Have a great weekend and I hope I’ve given you some ideas for Spring outfits.