Well hello, I hope you’re enjoying this week’s wonderful sunshine – dare I say that spring has sprung at last? It nearly always shines on my birthday week… as long as I haven’t planned some kind of outdoor party that is and then it rains! Today I’m going back to basics and bringing you an update on some of the new arrivals from John Lewis & Partners’ ANYDAY range as it heads into its first summer season. I think we’re all keener than ever to keep an eye on ranges at the lower end of the price bracket, especially when it includes clothes approved by the Better Cotton Initiative and that’s what ANYDAY focuses on – simple, pieces that are priced and produced well. For a change I’m going to start by taking you through a few home updates and then we’ll move on to clothing, ending with a try-on. It’s important to remember that this is a fast moving range, new pieces come in and out every week and for that reason a lot of people keep a tab permanently open – so things often sell through fast. However as I type, the items I’ve featured are all in stock – new summer basics from ANYDAY
New summer basics from ANYDAY home
So, home. I’ve talked about it before of course, this is where JL&P rival IKEA with stylish, contemporary basics. There’s nowhere better to go for simple white crockery and glassware for example. Almost all of our daily dinnerware now comes from the ANYDAY range both at home and in our Newcastle apartment. I bought a lot of it last spring because it was good enough value to replace regularly if it was clumsily handled by reluctant dishwasher stackers but actually it lasts. I haven’t had to replace anything so far, there isn’t a single chip which is quite remarkable. We have the Rim range of dinnerware…
All of the glassware is good but Mr MC and the boys are particular fans of these glasses for their simple, pared down design of course but also because they hold the contents of a can of beer perfectly.
Moving on, ANYDAY has great pieces for a bathroom update. As well as bathroom accessories there are quick wins with quirky towels like these Zebra ones which are white on one side and navy on the other. You can choose from flamingoes, crabs, birds, giraffes… all kinds of things – the full range is here.
If you’re looking for an easy way to update your living room then ANYDAY cushions are a cost-effective way of doing it. Again there are too many designs to feature here but they’re all bright and contemporary for a bit of summer zing. I find they’re a good way to liven up garden furniture too – the full collection is here.
And talking about gardens, the well priced outdoor furniture has sold out but they have lovely outdoor rugs that really make a difference to your patio-scaping. Again they’re selling quickly but they’re currently still available in green. Other colours come in and out of stock here.
The homeware collection from ANYDAY is huge because it covers simple basics of almost anything you could possibly need – you can browse through the full range here.
New summer basics from ANYDAY fashion
So let’s move on to fashion and as I’ve already said, ANYDAY is ever changing and there have just been some new category deliveries which include a simple collection of swimwear for summer. When we were in Lanzarote I noticed quite a few midlife women were wearing sporty bikinis like these, they’re a little less revealing than standard styles so it’s easier to feel more confident in them. The bonus with the ANYDAY design is that they have a catch at the back so you don’t have to struggle with getting the top on and off over your head. Gingham of course is a big trend this season and this bikini is also available in pink at a great price. Both top and bottoms are available to buy separately so you can adapt them to fit – and there’s a one-piece swimsuit too with lovely back detail.
There are more classic string bikinis if you prefer them and they really are a great price because they come in a pack of two in either blue or green:
I really like this tie-dye pattern, it looks so much more expensive than it is and the straps are removable so you can wear it bandeau style. There’s a bikini in the same print.
The other new arrival is summer nightwear, these cotton pjs are fantastic
There are shorts sets too for hot nights. You can see the full nightwear collection here.
Moving on to lingerie, once more there are lovely staples. This t-shirt bra comes in a pack of two different colours, the emerald shown here along with black or rose with white. There are tonal knickers that go with all of the bras. Now I know straightaway that some of you are going to say in the comments that you wish there was a much wider range of cup sizes here so I’ll raise it while I know they’re listening – “JL&P – gorgeous lingerie but many midlife women have considerably bigger boobs!”
If you prefer a bra without wiring, I love these. They go up to an E cup and you can buy them in navy or ivory with the lace trim as below or plain and simple in black, almond and white.
There’s another non-wired option with a jacquard print here, it goes up to an E and is also available in black, pink or lagoon.
There are lots of accessories but the ones that really jumped out at me were this gingham bag – a great way to add a touch of trend to your wardrobe for the season if you don’t want to buy into the whole gingham look…
… and this simple little phone case. If you haven’t discovered them yet they’re just so useful for dog walks or festivals – any event where you feel like a bit of a wally carrying a full handbag. There’s just enough room for your phone, bank cards, lipstick and a face mask, they wipe clean and this design is also available in olive.
New summer basics from ANYDAY – a try-on
So now let’s move on to clothes and it isn’t easy to do a try-on because the ranges sell through so quickly. I worked with the team on this last week and we were sure that all of these new pieces would still be in stock by today but some are running low already. The ANYDAY range has simple designs that are in line with current trends so the first thing I wanted to try was the jeans because they’re such a great price. You’ll be aware that jeans cuts are getting wider and washes for this summer are much lighter than any we’ve seen since the 80s. I like the paler wash for summer because it works so well with lighter colours on top, I’m not sure whether I’d wear it in winter but that’s a good reason for not spending too much.
This first pair are a simple straight leg with a sawn hem, they’re intended to be cropped at the ankle and of course the frayed hem makes it easy to adjust them with a pair of scissors to your perfect break point if you want to. For me they were just the right length and true to size. They’re made from soft cotton with 1% elastane and if you prefer a darker colour, they’re available in a mid-blue wash too.
I’m wearing them with a gingham seersucker top which is does a great job of being on trend while being kind to your midriff because it’s fuller from the bust down. Unusually the shirring is at the back which gives it a close fit but avoids any bulges at the front. I like the fact that the puffed sleeves come to the elbow too. It’s also available in black and in a similar pale blue print here.
Now when I was planning this last week I had festivals in mind – especially inclement ones! This hoodie would be absolutely brilliant – you’ll have seen the teens strutting around in their Juicy Couture outfits no doubt and I have to admit that I’ve always loved a spot of velour. This does, in fact, have tracksuit bottoms to match but I wanted to try it with jeans. I can tell you that it’s the softest, warmest, silkiest thing you could wear next to your skin and absolutely perfect for an outdoor event in summer when the evening chills. I like the tie-dye pattern because it makes me think of summer skies and it would have been a wonderful thing to wear last Thursday night.
These jeans are the other new addition to the ANYDAY range. They’re a mom jean cut so they have a little more fabric at the thigh than the ones above and then they taper in slightly towards the ankle with its rolled cuff. I chose the pale wash again because I knew it would tone so well with the hoodie although there’s a mid-blue too. They’re a very comfortable fit and they’re already getting five star reviews on the website. A size 12 on me was true to size.
Now we thought we’d be ok with stock on this dress but it’s already nearly gone and it isn’t surprising because it’s such great value – I’ve noticed that it’s difficult to find a dress for under £100 this summer so the price is a real surprise. Ultra-simple, it’s made from cotton jersey and you could dress it up or dress it down. It’s the sort of thing you’d throw on all the time in summer and on holiday you could wear it with sandals for an evening out, with trainers for sightseeing or with flip flops over a bikini on the beach. I particularly like the fact that there isn’t too much volume in the skirt, something I’m seeing coming through more.
There are a couple of other things I’d like to point out, firstly these dungarees. I really like them but I know my photographer wouldn’t and would probably do a deliberately bad job if I’d borrowed them to photograph!
And lastly this shacket which looks like it would be really useful for summer, it comes in lilac or sky blue as well.
You can shop the full ANYDAY womenswear collection here and if you’re near the London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool or Birmingham stores you can go in and see their spotlight floor feature where a selection of ANYDAY products are brought to life for you. Otherwise you can find all of the new summer basics from ANYDAY here.
And that’s it from me this week – I’m wrapping this up on Wednesday because Mr MC has informed me that I will be out of the office for the next two days – there are clearly birthday plans ahead. So it’s going to be a good week apart from this which has caused our hearts and heads to ache a bit this week. Remember the lovely decking project that Mr MC and the boys worked so hard on over lockdown? For no reason at all, a huge bough from one of the canalside trees fell onto it. It’s too heavy for even superstrong Mr MC to lift so we’re waiting for the tree surgeon before we can fully assess the damage. We can see that there are huge holes in it though – and I suspect my lovely garden furniture will be damaged beyond repair (you can just see it buried beneath it). It would have made more sense if there had been a storm or something but it just fell. However, on the upside we have to be very, very grateful that it didn’t happen when anyone was sitting there – that’s the thought that’s keeping me from gnashing my teeth too much.
The younger two are keeping us positive by saying it will be a good dad and lads project for the summer holidays – I’ve taught them to look for the bright side if nothing else!
Have a lovely weekend – I’ll be back next week with a catch up post to tell you a bit more about what I did and wore in Lanzarote as well as details of what we got up to for my birthday.
55 here I come!
Disclosure: “New summer basics from ANYDAY” was commissioned by John Lewis & Partners but as always they gave me full freedom to cover the pieces I felt were most relevant. Thank you for supporting the brands that help me to keep on bringing you this blog.
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