I’ve found time for an extra post this week, just a quick one because when I did a real life outfits post a couple of weeks ago a lot of you asked for more of them so I’ve been trying to remember to take quick outfit shots as we’ve gone along. My phone’s filling up so let’s have a catch up with some recent midlife summer outfits – what I’ve been wearing and doing.
Midlife summer outfits – a trip to London
I was coming home from a long day in London a couple of weeks ago here, my first for quite a while. It was a bit of a culture shock because London was busy, almost back to normal and people there were far less cautious than in the north, not so keen on distancing or mask wearing but I suppose that’s what happens when you have to operate within crowds on a daily basis. It was baking hot and I walked everywhere rather than getting the tube so I was a bit jaded here as I emerged from the station, especially as the train home had been stuck for over an hour thanks to signal failure. I’d forgotten the frustrations that come with working in ‘real life’ – I could probably have achieved what I did in a couple of Zoom meetings but of course I couldn’t have had my hair cut – so there is something to be said for a long day out of the office.
Jumpsuits are always my first choice for any business meeting that involves travel as you know. However long your day is, they still tend to look relatively slick by the end of it.
M&S jumpsuit SS19; Trainers (now in the sale)
Midlife summer outfits – Newcastle Friday
Hopping over to Newcastle now – I may not be able to give you a Transatlantic lifestyle but I can offer a Transpennine one! I was in Jesmond, click and collecting a JL order from Waitrose (what a novelty it is for us north westerners to have Waitrose). This was the weekend when we went over to hang the curtains and take the photos of the flat that you saw on Friday. The cheesy smile is because I’d managed to get into these Levi’s – they’ve been in my wardrobe for years but they’ve always been too tight to sit down in. After four weeks of my Academy programme I tried them on a whim before we set off and they not only fit but they were loose, it made my day.
Midlife summer outfits – sunny Saturday
Hasn’t the weather been amazing? In fact I think we’ve had it better up here than in the south – it hasn’t rained for weeks so I had an opportunity to wear this dress that I chose with the slim hope that we may be able to travel somewhere hot in the autumn. If not it will be packed away in the bag that I’m putting together with our February adventure in mind. It’s made from hemp which is a bit rougher than linen, the fibres give it more structure so it isn’t as floppy.
I discussed the espadrilles with you back in March but now that I’ve worn them quite a bit I just wanted to add how much more comfortable they are than any of the others I have. Firstly they’re a fraction lower than usual but they still have a leg lengthening wedge. Secondly the scalloped edging on the suede means that there’s nothing to rub your foot, the toe panel is so soft they’re almost as comfortable as trainers.
After a night and day doing the last bits and pieces in the flat we were ready to declare the apartment done and we went out to celebrate. I know you’ve seen us sampling a few of the bars and restaurants in Newcastle over the last few weeks but this time it felt different. I’m getting into the swing of Geordie nighttime glamour (the women there really do dress up) and so I upped the ante a bit. Here’s a quick picture from the beginning of the evening when we’d been having a funny conversation with a couple of reader-friends on Whatsapp while we ate. One had sent a rather frantic thumbs up picture when she nipped into the loo at the small gathering she was attending so we sent her this in return.
When we’d finished eating we foolishly left the table we’d booked at The Bridge Tavern (great food… good wine… Guinness… everyone’s happy!) and ventured out into the city thinking we’d have one more spontaneous stop on the way home…
Halterneck top and trousers from the Emma Willis at Next collection AW19; Stories sandals S19
… but absolutely everywhere was packed so we ended up in a dodgy looking pub on the quayside. It wasn’t the sort of place where wine was going to be an option so I ordered a cocktail but the barman swiftly returned, apologising that they didn’t have any of the ingredients and for some strange reason offered us free tequila shots instead. Tequila is something I know I should swerve and when the boys saw this picture over lunch on Sunday the first thing they said was “bet that won’t be appearing on Midlifechic.” And if they hadn’t said that it probably wouldn’t have done but it was a bit of a red rag!
There was good music playing and Mr MC was moved to invent a new form of lockdown disco… as long as his behind stayed in contact with his stool he was within the regulations so there was no stopping my midlife raver (spot the black top having its first outing). Soon the whole place caught on and did the same – you’ve got to love the Geordies.
And after a spirit-sapping year we felt our joy coming back to us… admittedly that was partly down to the tequila but also just a lifting of the heaviness that’s surrounded everyone, everywhere… whichever way you’ve turned.
Midlife summer outfits – chilled out Sunday
The following day was even hotter – in fact I don’t remember it ever being as hot as this in the north. Unsurprisingly I was feeling a little subdued as we walked out to Ouseburn to meet the middle boy for lunch.
Cos dress SS20; Stories sandals SS19
We ate at the highly regarded Cook House which was really good but very expensive and probably a bit too foodie for the student who would have preferred something simpler in bigger portions. Next we had a mooch around The Biscuit Factory hoping to find those last little pieces of art that we need and then the boy took us to his bench.
This is the spot that he often FaceTimes us from. He’s found a tiny green space in the very urban surroundings of Shieldfield where his halls are and it’s where he’s been going during lockdown when he’s needed a bit of time out of his flat. We’ve been there through the seasons with him so it was nice to see it in real life and surprisingly although it’s waste ground, there were irises and roses growing among the weeds.
I love this picture of the two of them. And yes Mr MC is in his other t-shirt – he’s getting his money’s worth out of them!
Midlife summer outfits – “It’s finally finished” Monday
You’ve see this relieved looking photo when we’d finally finished everything in the apartment and taken all the photos. This knitted jumper is from last month’s edit and I’m surprised it hasn’t sold though more quickly than it has. It has such a flattering cut and it’s as easy to wear as a t-shirt and yet it elevates an outfit instantly – also available in ivory or navy. I’ve added those Levi’s again and shoes with a nod to Chanel. I’ve had them for a few years now but they repeat them every summer and they have to be some of the most comfortable I own thanks to the padded footbed. They’re amazing value for leather and it’s no surprise that they get so many five star reviews.
Midlife summer outfits – back to work
Back in the north west now and a normal day at work. It was grey and muggy and you can see the humidity was playing havoc with my hair. As we left our meeting it occurred to us that there were no boys at home to go back for – they were all away and so we went to the cinema. We saw The Father and all the way through I was thinking of my close friend who’s currently living exactly the same story with her dad. It’s such a good film, perhaps one everyone should watch because in addition to the family perspective, it cleverly gives you insight into what it’s like to be a person living with dementia.
Midlife summer outfits – a rush to the post
This was really early in the morning, I woke with a start realising I’d forgotten to post the birthday card for my brother that had been sitting waiting in the kitchen all week and so I had to get to the postbox before the postman did. Mr MC was already awake so we dashed down to the village post office and then carried on for a more leisurely walk before breakfast.
Midlife summer outfits – a special meet up
A cousin of mine was celebrating a special birthday – she should have been in Kos but ended up at The Midland in Morecambe instead and decided it wasn’t too bad because it’s been warmer there than Greece. Anyway lots of the family popped in to see her for coffee and we nipped over in our lunch hour and it felt good to see my cousins, siblings and auntie after such a long time. I’d have stayed all afternoon if I didn’t have a deadline to hit.
You may remember I said I was waiting for these trousers to come in so I could wear them with the blouse. Well they’ve arrived at last, if you like them size up because they’re a very neat fit across the tummy when you sit down.
Midlife summer outfits – off to the village pizzeria
We’ve been so absorbed with the Newcastle project that I’ve been neglecting all of my friends, even those who live nearby so here I was heading down to the pizzeria for our first proper catch-up since lockdown ended. There are usually lots of village happenings for us to chat about but of course there’s been nothing going on so instead we talked about empty nests.
All of our boys were at school together (it’s funny how mums of boys unite isn’t it?) but they’re a couple of years ahead of me so they’re getting used to it now. What we really noticed is how your children’s lives tie you to a place – I was talking about how Mr MC and I feel our lives are unravelling as we lose our connection to things like schools, the cricket clubs and rugby clubs, the children they grew up with that we knew in the village. Now our village shop has closed and even the vicar moved off to a new parish last week. It feels as though all of the links of the last eighteen years are being erased but then they reminded me that they’re here… if I ever raise my head from my keyboard and look beyond my front door. That helped and it reminded me that life doesn’t just land in our laps, we have to put in some effort, even with people we’ve known for a long time and perhaps take for granted(!)
Massimo Dutti top (SS15); Trousers; Stories sandals SS19
Midlife summer outfits – relaxed Saturday
Last weekend was the first one we’ve spent here in over a month so it felt great just to be at home. The youngest wanted to drive his girlfriend home and have a driving lesson at the same time so we jumped in the car with them. It meant he had to work to our timeframe while we picked up a few bits and pieces in town and then come for a coffee with us so once again we had the pleasure of sitting in the sunshine with one of our (almost) adult sons, enjoying his company.
There are so many peonies in the garden at the moment that I have vases in every room so I picked up these delphiniums to try to break them up a bit and they look fantastic together. I’m wearing the ‘throw on and go’ dress I mentioned ages ago. It’s been on my mind ever since so as soon as John Lewis & Partners invited me to choose something from their website I knew exactly what it would be.
The eldest has been staying in Eastbourne with his girlfriend and the middle one is, of course, in Newcastle but they both travelled home on Sunday to spend Father’s Day with their dad so we have a full house again. We had a lovely day together but I forgot to take any photos. Mr MC said he felt very loved – that they’ve always made an effort for me but never such a big one for him. I’m sure that’s not true but I do think the decking project that they all worked on together last year was a really big bonding experience. Every time we go down there I see them all flush with the achievement of what they built together and I’ll always thank lockdown for that.
So that brings us to this week, I’m feeling fired up and determined to make it a productive one. I need to get my focus back on the Academy at the gym – I hurt my back doing a Romanian deadlift last week, it was my own fault because I was chatting and not concentrating but it meant I had to take a few days off. I then cooked good food all weekend and didn’t do any calorie counting so I’m avoiding those Levi’s now. Ah well… two steps forward and all that. Academy progress is just going to have to be gradual because I’m not going to sacrifice any of the small joys that come along this summer.
Even though we don’t have an exciting holiday to build up to, this rather different summer seems to be panning out quite well so far. Last week was filled with the simple pleasures of reconnecting with people – family, friends and of course Mr MC. Newcastle is doing a good job of blowing the lockdown cobwebs away and we’re really enjoying remembering who we are when we’re away from the constraints of being parents, business partners and gym buddies. The last lockdown in particular was so tedious that it was hard to do anything more than just rub along. So much so that I’d almost forgotten the fun we have when we’re away on our own but as we get out and about it’s all coming back pretty quickly.
I don’t know about you but I feel like I’ve been a faded version of myself for the last few months. I’m starting to come back into full colour now – as somebody said when they saw the Instagram picture of the ‘out out’ outfit – “yay – you’ve got your red back!” It’s such a relief to feel the magic of living again so if you can, I encourage you to plan a change of scene – just to break through the skin on the custard if that makes sense. I’ll be back on Friday with a focus on the sales as most of the retailers I know are busy preparing for them to start and there should be some good ones this year. Until then have a good week – and thank you, as always, for reading.
Disclosure: ‘midlife summer outfits’ is not a sponsored post
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