Well after a month’s abstinence I think it’s time to have a look at the shops again and it’s so cold that my mind’s on jumpers (many jumpers – our heating’s packed in!). I’m looking at ‘pop of colour outfit updates’ so let’s have a think about them from a capsule perspective. I don’t know about you but my body temperature has changed in midlife. Thanks to my HRT I don’t have hot flushes but I definitely find myself getting warm more quickly. This means that I now prefer layers and I haven’t worn the thick chunky jumpers that I used to love for a couple of years. I know, I know – they need to go on the blogger sale rail!

So, even though there’s a sheet of solid ice outside my window that hasn’t melted for days, I’m not including chunky knits today. We’re heading towards spring anyway so it makes sense to focus on pieces that we can layer now and wear on their own later. You’ll notice that most of the styles are crew necks and that’s because a crew neck is an easy way of nodding to the continuing trend for modest fashion. I have however been digging around for different necklines and I’ll indicate where I’ve found one that is a little lower, flattering the clavicles.

I mentioned that I’d explain how I’ve managed to separate my ‘working from home’ and ‘weekend’ wardrobes. I’m worried that I’ve over-egged it now because it isn’t rocket science, I just wanted to have some distinction between week and weekends. If you remember my outfit category exercise, I needed far more outfits for working from home / smart casual than I did for weekend casual. I’ve therefore assigned my solid cashmere / merino jumpers and plain bretons to my working from home wardrobe. I wear them with smarter jeans if I’m meeting up with someone or just casual ones if I’m at my desk all day. This leaves stripey knits, sweatshirts, graphics and slogan tops for weekend casual. So far it’s working really well for me – as soon as I put a weekend top on I feel as though I dial down.

I’ve pulled together a few pops of spring that will brighten up your wardrobe and yet still keep you warm – after all we have at least another ten weeks of chilly days to get through yet.

Pop of colour outfit updates: cashmere

Pop of colour outfit updates

Jumpers 1 -4: a favourite of mine, these jumpers skim but don’t cling – I always size down though, they look better as a neat fit. They come to the top of the hips so are cut above your widest break point. 16 colours available and machine washable.

Jumpers 5 -7: another well-priced cashmere basic – these have a slightly lower cut neckline to reveal the tops of your clavicles. Available in 6 colours and machine washable.

Pop of colour outfit updates: other blends

Pop of colour outfit updates

Jumpers 1 – 3: these are an amazing price, a great, semi-fitted shape with a slightly elongated neckline. They’re acrylic but you’d never know, a brilliant staple. Machine washable.

Jumpers 4 & 5: merino  and guaranteed good quality with a special coating to reduce pilling. A straight cut that suits everyone – they skim rather than cling and are currently available in 12 colours.Machine washable.

Jumper 6: this is a looser cut (particularly good for apples) in a cotton blend which is good for anyone who overheats. Deep ribbing at the hem helps it to hug your hips rather than drowning your shape, it ends at most people’s widest point though so might not be the best shape for pears. 9 colours available.

Pop of colour outfit updates: bright and striped

Knits with rainbow stripes are as strong this season as they were last spring. The high street is trying to spread cheer at a time when it’s perhaps low on the ground. Think about your horizontals when you buy stripes though, as Coco Chanel said, “fashion is architecture, it is a matter of proportions.”

Pop of colour outfit updates

  1. Rainbow stripe jumper: so, instinctively I love this one but when I think about it I know it won’t flatter my broad shoulders. Dropped shoulders of any kind just make me look like an American Football player and the stripes on the arms of this jumper would double the effect. If you have a small to medium frame though, you’ll look cutely engulfed by it – think of Emilia Fox (Nikki in Silent Witness), this is the jumper that she would wear to augment her fragility. Also available in grey.
  2. Graduated stripe jumper with curved hem: (currently 25% off): this has been thoughtfully designed. The dark colour at the base and the curved hem minimise the hips. The graduated stripe at the top helps to reduce the bust – a great jumper for someone who wants to work stripes in with their curves.
  3. Fitted stripe jumper: organic cotton. This is the sort of jumper that suits me because my thinnest part is my top half – it all goes wrong from the hips down. Because I have a small bust I like this kind of figure hugging cut and the stripes make me appear to be a little more ample than I am.
  4. This year’s version of my bright stripe jumper: a few sizes left in the sale. Whenever I wear my bright rainbow stripe jumper I’m inundated with people asking where it’s from (recent reminder below – wearing stripes for the weekend!). This is the nearest I’ve found and it’s in the sale so there aren’t many left. It’s a soft synthetic blend the same as mine and the fabric doesn’t bother me at all.
  5. Tipped jumper: : when I saw a blogger wearing this last week I thought it was Me + Em! It’s tapping into the athleisure trend for vintage ski-wear and it will instantly make either a simple jeans outfit or navy work trousers look bang on trend. Also available in red with white tipping
  6. Simple spring striped cashmere: there’s a lovely nautical feel to this cashmere jumper and the wide band at the bottom has been designed so that the white stripes end before the break point of your hips. A straight cut that should work for everyone. Machine washable, also available in red and white.

Pop of colour outfit updates

Asos jumper SS18; M&S wide legged jeans SS18; Boots (gAW18)

A couple of you have asked me to illustrate break points where I can. You can see me working with my waist break point above. To lengthen my legs I know that my waistline needs to sit high. Because this was just after Christmas, I didn’t want to tuck my jumper in so I just folded it under to the right spot. Once some of the lbs come off, I’ll simply tuck the front in at the waist, leaving it loose at the back (known as the French tuck). If I ever When I hit my target weight, I’ll tuck it in completely!

Statement sweaters

Moving on, these are the tops that say ‘weekend’ to me. They make a relaxed jeans outfit feel a little less ordinary.

Pop of colour outfit updates

  1. Fitted zebra jumper: zebra is the coolest of the many animal prints around this season, it’s flattering because the stripes aren’t completely horizontal. Every time it’s released this top sells out but for now it’s back in stock.
  2. Slogan jumper: another monochrome option. This isn’t Bella Freud but it’s just as cool. I’m not a fan of Bella Freud jumpers – it just seems insane to me to spend over £300 on something that isn’t even cashmere – anyway, each to their own.
  3. Fitted animal print jumper: pure cotton so it will see you right through to summer and a refreshing update to classic leopard print. The crew neckline is slightly raised which means it hits the neck at a narrower point.
  4. Rainbow jumper: I couldn’t resist this so I bought it, I sized down to a small and I absolutely love it, it brings me joy. It looks a bit straight up and down here but it actually hangs really well. You’ll see me wearing it next week (and my grey one is now on the blogger sale rail!).
  5. Bonjour jumper: more French chic in a really flattering shade of blue. It works well with the mid-blue denim that is continuing to be the strongest wash for SS19 (although patchy bleached denim is coming through – remember that? I suspect we won’t go there!).
  6. Rainbow star jumper: a really lovely boat neckline here, this and the slim sleeves mean that it will flatter most people. It combines both the star and the rainbow trend in one go, in a soft cotton blend.

Midlife lately

As you may have seen from all of the hoo-ha on Instagram, last week the ASA released a new edit of the CMA’s guidance on disclosure policies and there was a clampdown on a number of celebrities. This means that the original legislation that was issued last September is now being taken more seriously. The changes are going to be more visible on Social Media (particularly Instagram) than on blogs because most bloggers have been abiding by the original policy since it was released. The biggest change is that if any item within an Instagram post has ever been gifted, the whole post must be declared as #ad even if the item is old or you were under no obligation to feature it.

Lots of people are very unhappy about it and it has been quite revealing – even I had no idea that interiors Instagrammers (and in fact some of the bigger fashion Instagrammers) are regularly gifted high ticket items like kitchens, sofas and home appliances! Anyway my view is that clearer disclosure is a good thing. One of the reasons I’ve been so hostile to Instagram is the lack of transparency. In my last post on there I said that I believe Instagram is one of the root causes of overconsumption because it’s made it seem normal to have a completely new outfit every day. When I posted my views I knew the response would be telling. I had lots of agreement in the comments from ‘the woman on the street’ and lots of unfollows, presumably from other Instagrammers who didn’t like what I was saying. Please don’t think I’m upset by the unfollows though, I found it illuminating!

Anyway to be on top of the law, I’m going to include a new section at the bottom of my blog posts declaring who I’ve worked with on Midlifechic over the last 12 months (you’ll see it at the very end ⬇️). I’ve always declared sponsored posts so there won’t be any surprises but at least you know I’m being fully compliant. This doesn’t mean that all the clothes I wear from these brands are free – I will always mark anything gifted with a (g). I choose to work with the brands I already love and so it means I buy a lot from them with my own money anyway. If I’m given gift vouchers to buy anything to wear in a post I’ll mark that as (g) gifted too.

Here’s an outfit from this week – I went to a leaving do after work and had a bit of excitement navigating icy cobbles in those leopard boots – but I managed it!

Pop of colour outfit updates

Winser London merino coatigan (gAW17); John Lewis & Partners Silk blouse (sale buy AW18); Power foundation wide leg crops (gAW18 now in the sale); Leopard boots (sale buy AW18 – still available in most sizes); Hush earrings SS18.

Balance Meals update

I’ve plateaued – I’m blaming Gillian H, the reader that I met up with in London because I’d almost hit my target and then after an evening of wine, it stopped! Still, I have three more weeks of the plan to do so after a short interlude (details below) I’ll be back on it. Onwards.

Next week

I’m feeling excited because Mr MC and I are heading away for a few days on Tuesday. You may remember that for Christmas 2017 he gave me a jar of money to spend on a break (being far too afraid of my obsessive holiday planning methods to surprise me with anything!). We had planned to go away last October but then we had the sad news about his brother so instead we’re going now. Just for the fun of it, I’m going to keep our destination a surprise but I’ll be posting on Instagram so you’ll see where we are if you follow me there. I may do some Stories although not being a regular Stories user I’m a bit worried about falling foul of the new guidelines so it depends if I feel I understand them.

Anyway here’s a clue that will tell me how well you know us. We’re going to the place that Mr MC loves the most – I thought I’d indulge him as it’s our wedding anniversary. If I’d been choosing for myself we might have gone somewhere different…but I’m still looking forward to it!

So, if I have time over the weekend I’m going to put together the annual reader survey to go out on Tuesday. I’d be so grateful if you could answer my 20 questions, it really helps me to plan my editorial content. It also helps me to build a picture of you when I’m meeting retailers – because I’m used to interpreting data I can combine fields to bring you to life. It means I can argue against things like the tokenism of glamorous silver-haired models. And by the way I thought you’d like to know that when I was having a day of retailer meetings last week, one of them had asked me to print off the comments sections from posts relating to them so that they could pass them round at their next senior management meeting. They were on the table while I was having my other catch-ups and of course everyone wanted to know what they were. Now they all want copies of your thoughts about their brands. Power to the readers… that’s what I say!

Have a lovely weekend, I’ll be back on Tuesday 12th (and hopefully with the survey on Tuesday 5th).

Disclosure: ‘Pop of colour outfit updates’ is not a sponsored post

Recent posts you may have missed

How to build a capsule wardrobe part 6 – the summary

How to build a capsule wardrobe part 5 – body shape and silhouette

How to build a capsule wardrobe part 4 – defining your style icon

How to build a capsule wardrobe part 3 – colour and texture

How to build a capsule wardrobe part 2 – defining your personal look

How to build a capsule wardrobe part 1 – wardrobe reality check

New year, new plans at Midlifechic

Sale prepping – my best high street winter buys

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Disclosure: brands I have worked with on the blog and / or Instagram over the last 12 months
  • John Lewis & Partners
  • Marks & Spencer
  • House of Fraser
  • Hush
  • Uniqlo
  • The White Company
  • Superdry
  • JD Williams
  • Baukjen
  • Finery
  • Hope Fashion
  • Boots No7
  • Specsavers
  • Ford
  • Warner Leisure
  • Seven Seas
  • McCarthy & Stone
  • Aquis towels
  • Dove