The warm days were so slow to arrive in the UK this year that it’s been hard to get into the mood for summer clothes until recently hasn’t it? Of course now that the sun’s finally shown its face, most stores are heavily into their summer sales which can be too much hard work to navigate. I walked down Regent Street and onto Oxford Street when I was in London a couple of weeks ago and I just couldn’t face rummaging through the endless rails of cut price stock. However, a handful of brands are still welcoming new summer deliveries into their collections and JD Williams is one of them. So, when they asked me to put together three new summer looks from their latest drop I was happy to have a look through their website.

Summer looks at JD Williams

Summer workwear

I’m starting with workwear because although we like to think that summer is just one long holiday, it usually isn’t and finding cool clothes that are office appropriate isn’t easy. I’m talking about this skirt which you could quite easily wear at weekends too – the pleated midi is rapidly becoming a classic and this one is trans-seasonal. Pair it with a t-shirt now as I’ve done here and then just add a cashmere jumper and boots and it’ll see you through autumn and winter. You’ll have to be quick though because even though it’s just arrived, it’s showing as low stock already.

summer looks at JD Williams

Sunray pleated skirt

It’s cool because it isn’t lined and even though it’s made from polyester it actually feels more like rayon. The thing I really like about it isn’t just the vibrant colourway, it’s the fact that the band of white and blue at the bottom is wavy which gives it a really fluid look. It reminds me of the one that Meghan Markle wore for Wimbledon last week. I’m wearing a size 12 which is true to size but because it has a good, deep elastic waistband I’d recommend sizing up to avoid the risk of a muffin middle.

Midlifechic summer yellow skirt outfit

Sunray pleated skirt


Actually this outfit doesn’t have to be for a staycation, I just have that in mind because it’s what I was wearing on Sunday when we went down to the beach. As you know I’m already a fan of JD Williams’ linen blend trousers and I featured the full length ones last year. This summer I’ve been looking everywhere for a similar pair to wear on holiday but I wanted them to be cropped so I don’t have to worry about them trailing on dusty streets. I haven’t been able to find any that were light and simple enough so I thought I’d attempt a wardrobe hack by trying the JD Williams ones in an extra petite length and here they are, just what I wanted. Again they have a deep elasticated waistband so I’d recommend sizing up.

summer looks at JD Williams

Extra petite easycare linen trousers; orange linen mix vest

In keeping with the orange and pink theme that I have for hot holidays, I’ve paired them with a linen-mix vest. I sized down on this one to get a neat fit, it’s gone into the sale over the weekend so it won’t be around for long.

Midlifechic white linen trousers summer

Extra petite easycare linen trousers; orange linen mix vest

Hot summer holiday

You know I find JD Williams’ simple linen-blend dresses easy pieces for the beach or the garden. This one in vibrant orange will also be in my suitcase. It’s the sort of dress that’s great to throw on in the morning when you’re popping out for breakfast and it’s easy to wear over a bikini if you prefer something more structured than a kaftan. Already good value, it’s also just gone into the sale.

Nikki Garnett, Midlifechic

Orange linen popover dress

There was a mix-up with the delivery and I’m actually wearing a size 10 here but it fits fine as long as I don’t eat too many chips.

Midlifechic beach outfit

Swimwear still arriving

If you’ve left your holiday shopping a bit late, you’ll be pleased to know that new swimwear is still dropping at JD Williams too. I want to show you this one-piece because it’s coming away with me. It’s particularly good for anyone with a small bust and broad shoulders because the plunge and the triangle-shaped cups break things up while flattering whatever cleavage you have. The empire line nips in at the narrowest point of the ribs rather than sitting as a band across the middle just where you start to widen as some swimsuits do and the crossback straps add extra security to the plunging neckline when you’re swimming.

summer looks at JD Williams

Pink and navy crossback swimsuit with yellow trim

I also found a pretty cotton cover-up to go with it which is also available with blue embroidery and at a sensible price.

summer looks at JD Williams

Fiesta kaftan

I picked out this monochrome bikini too which will fill a (small) gap in my suitcase. It’s cup-sized for a flattering fit and the high rise briefs are all part of this season’s trend for a more modest bikini. They’re particularly kind to a midriff that’s been stretched beyond recognition in pregnancy (and never quite recovered) and of course the solid black will help even more.

summer looks at JD Williams

summer looks at JD Williams

Monochrome bikini top; Monochrome bikini bottoms

You’ll probably see these pop up on Instagram while we’re away – far kinder than inflicting my pale body on you now.

So there you go, you know where to look if you suddenly find you need something to wear but don’t want to plough through the sales. We’re on absolute countdown to our break now and I have two weeks’ worth of work to do in the next few days – isn’t it always the way? I’ll be back on Friday though and I’ll be publishing the competition then too, until then, have a good week.

Disclosure: New summer looks at JD Williams was commissioned by JD Williams but outfits, photographs and words are all my own.

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