With Easter having fallen so early this year it feels as though we should be in full throes of Spring outfits but it’s just a bit too chilly. This is usually the time when I fall back on a jersey breton and a pea coat but for some reason I’m just not feeling much love for them this year. I was struggling for inspiration until I received a Jack Wills email. Jack Wills are well known for the the British preppy look; country chic with a varsity twist. This isn’t a sponsored post by the way, I actually went to their site to look for some bits and pieces for the boys but then found myself distracted by this tweed jacket on their homepage.

over 40 style the British preppy look

Austerberry blazer

I love the cut of it, the nipped in waist and the body flattering curved detail at the hem. It’s also available in navy.

over 40 style the British preppy look

Austerberry blazer – navy

So that led me to have a look through the rest of the ladieswear. The thing I like about Jack Wills as I’ve said before, is that I know it isn’t somewhere my friends will automatically shop which is a big consideration around here as we all rely on the same online retailers. The dresses and skirts are definitely far too short for me, I’ll leave those to the teens. However when we were lamenting Boden’s decision to discontinue their high waisted skinnies, quite a few of you got in touch to tell me about the Jack Wills version. I also really like the quality of Jack Wills knitwear.

With my retail marketing head on I want to share an insight with you. There’s a strange discrepancy in Jack Wills’ pricing architecture which makes some of the accessories incredible value. The leather bags, shoes, sunglasses and jewellery are great quality but priced far less than comparable brands. So, without further ado, here’s my pick of their season.

The British preppy look

over 40 style the British preppy look


over 40 style the British preppy lookSlim fit merino crew – I love the tipping on this, the small detail in navy and white which lifts it beyond being just another grey jumper

over 40 style the British preppy lookBroderie top – the lovely broderie detail on this and the scalloped waist help it to skim over the midline of your body

over 40 style the British preppy look

Merino stripe – this is the grown up version of the ubiquitous jersey breton and it’s currently a great price in the sale

over 40 style the British preppy look

Mariner style t-shirt – a structured boxy fit and a solid shoulder make this a flattering shape for wearing with jeans

over 40 style the British preppy look

Tweed blazer – the hero piece and an item that you will wear for years to come

over 40 style the British preppy look

Cropped high-waisted jeans – highly recommended by readers of Midlifechic

over 40 style the British preppy look

Sleeveless t-shirt – slinky body skimming viscose with flattering pocket detail high on the chest

over 40 style the British preppy look

Patent ballet pump – classic chic and really hard to find in leather, especially at this price

over 40 style the British preppy look

Suede crossbody bag with detachable strap, also available in yellow or navy. This is an amazing price for such a great quality and on-trend bag.

over 40 style the British preppy look

Quirky British print scarf – all the colours you need to bring a touch of Spring to your outfit

over 40 style the British preppy look

Rounded sunglasses – a key shape coming through for sunglasses this year. These have maximum UV protection and are a great price

over 40 style the British preppy look

The Tinsbury crew is a Jack Wills classic and a particular favourite of mine, it’s such a great cut.

Having shared my secret with you, I’m hoping this post isn’t brought to their attention. In case it is, the bags and sunglasses in particular are the ones to snap up.

Stunning Insoles

Here’s another nice little find that I’ve discovered. You’re aware of my obsession with Jigsaw Milly shoes and as you know, I treated myself to a mother’s day / leaving work / any excuse gift of a pair of ponyskin ones. The new pair have confirmed that my others are a little loose so I’ve been looking for some good insoles and I found a lovely little company called Alice Bow. Again this isn’t sponsored (I found them by googling), I’m just pleased to have found another woman who is risking it all and following her dreams.

Rachel (yes I’m confused too, I thought she’d be Alice but the website says Rachel) was fed up of wearing shoes with thin soles and so she decided to study shoemaking and design her own. They are beautiful; they’re made from Italian leather with orthopaedic padding in just the right places and come in an array of stunning colours.

over 40 style the British preppy look over 40 style the British preppy look

I chose a bronze pair for my tan shoes and a silver pair for the red. They make the shoes even more comfortable but the absolute joy is in the flash of metallic when you slip your shoe off. I find I’m crossing my legs and balancing my shoe on my toe just so that I can show it off. You can even have them personalised but I didn’t run to that. Here are the insoles as they arrived in cotton sleeves:

over 40 style the British preppy look

They come with a pre-cut toe so that you can wear them with sandals too, it also means that your toes won’t be crushed in pointy shoes like mine. There are stickers on the back to hold them in place along with extra stickers in the bag.

Alice Bow review 1

And this is how they look inside the shoes – they make them just a little bit more special don’t you think. Mine fitted perfectly but they can be trimmed if necessary. They come in different colours and options for heeled or flat shoes.

AliceBow review 2

Alice Bow insoles; Jigsaw Milly shoes

Easter at Midlifechic

I hope you all had a lovely Easter break. Ours was busy but here are a few highlights especially for overseas readers who tell me they love our Lake District views. We had planned a family walk with lunch for Easter Monday but when we woke up on Good Friday the forecast told us that it was to be the only fair weather day. So, much to their dismay, we roused the boys from the depths of their teenage slumber and set off for Skelwith Bridge which is one of our favourite spots.

Wordsworth’s daffodils were in full bloom…

Lake District daffodils midlifechic

…the buds on the trees were just starting to burst…


…the smallest was in his element, leaping across ravines…

over 40 style the British preppy look

…the eldest was soon cajoled into a happy mood…

over 40 style the British preppy look

…the middle one was less prepared to forgive us for the early morning wake up call! He doesn’t like walking. He claims not to see the point of it – and yet this is the boy who has signed up for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme and in 2 weeks’ time will be going on a 3 day expedition where he will be expected to walk 18km a day with a heavy pack on his back.

over 40 style the British preppy look

After a while his spirits lifted and he decided to investigate a muddy ditch. It was deeper than he thought.

Midlifechic family 2

When we couldn’t bear the sound of squelching any longer we went down to the (icy cold) river to slough him down. In the meantime the eldest resurrected his boy scout days with a spot of whittling.


There is a lovely pub at Elterwater and we always stop here for a drink and an ice cream. I managed to find a table next to a log burner inside so that we could slowly roast the cold, wet boy back to dryness.

Midlifechic family 3

Fortified and refreshed we set off again and the boys strode ahead. We rounded a bend to see this – they had decided to investigate Langdale beck and yes…it was deeper than he thought. Again!

over 40 style the British preppy look

This time we just had to squelch on to the end.

over 40 style the British preppy look

IDLF @ Uniqlo tweed jacket (past season); Boden denim jersey top (now a bargain in the sale) layered over Jigsaw denim shirt (past season); Next relaxed skinny jeans; Hunter wellies; Russian rings pendant; Turtle Doves recycled cashmere wrist warmers; Chanel sunglasses (past season)

We had a lovely meal in a country pub and then returned home for our first Easter treat – the easiest way of getting Shredded Wheat into your children I find!


Easter Saturday was a day spent at home catching up with my sister and brother-in-law who have just returned from their ‘trip of a lifetime’: Australia; Papua New Guinea; The Phillipines and Hong Kong. It was good to hear that it turned out to be everything they had dreamed of.

Easter Sunday

Now, Easter Sunday is a big thing in our village. I think when you live in a rural community there is an almost pagan ‘welcoming the Spring’ element layered over the classic Christian one. The Winters here are often hard and this one has been particularly bad. The legacy of Storm Desmond continues to hit everyone and so many businesses of different kinds have been unable to recover from the flood damage and will never reopen.

Our village is south of the Lakes, at the point where the landscape is softer and farming changes from the tough Herdwick sheep that thrive on the fells to dairy herds which need a milder terrain where luscious grass can grow. I’ve talked about the problems that our dairy farmers are facing with the price of milk before when I told you about the farmer in our village who was finding it more economical to milk his cows and pour the milk straight back onto the land.

Despite all of this misfortune, I am always amazed by the stoicism that seems to be an inherent Northern characteristic. However bad things are, Easter Sunday is always a huge celebration here. It starts with a bonfire on the beach as the sun rises. I meant to go but with the clocks going forward I didn’t quite make the early hour although 70 people did. Apparently it was lovely with a dawn baptism even taking place on the shore followed by bacon butties from the local farm for everyone.

Lots of people decorate their houses…


…this nest is decorative by the way – no birds were harmed!

Easter midlifechic

Regardless of their religious beliefs, the whole village piles into the church and it is pretty much standing room only…

Easter midlifechic 3

…everyone hooks a daffodil onto the cross on the way in…


…a candle is lit at the front of church and then the flame is carried from one person to another to ‘spread the light’


…the daffodil decorated cross is raised high for everyone to see and spontaneous applause always breaks out as everyone welcomes in the springtime.


My outfit of the day seems to have been inspired by a Cadbury’s creme egg when I look at it

over 40 style the British preppy look

Finery lace top; Jigsaw London fit trousers; Jigsaw Milly shoes (past season); Eternal Collection pearl studs

I didn’t eat an Easter egg but I did eat these. I made them from melted Green & Blacks chocolate, salted almonds, hazelnuts and honeycomb. They were really good and I was straight back to Slimming World on Monday night!


Since then I’ve just been really appreciating not having to go to work, it’s the longest break I’ve had since we went to Turkey last summer and I’m making the most of it. One last thing before I go. This wool blend top that so many of you got in touch about when I wore it on Mother’s Day is now half price in the Massimo Dutti sale and it’s also available in grey.

over 40 style the British preppy look

Massimo Dutti wool blend top

Other discounts that I’ve spotted:

  • Boden – an extra 20% on sale prices here using the code 5H3A
  • Clarks 20% off here
  • Moda In Pelle 20% off with code INSTYLE20 here

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter break. Keep in touch.