Hello. We haven’t had a ‘trying it on’ post for ages so today I thought I’d show you some of the things I’ve been ordering. It’s half term here and I’ve been doing my best to work from home and spend some time with the boys because I know these days are trickling through my fingers. In fact I only have 4 more February half terms left in my life.
So, join me in the chaos. In the pictures below, you can see from the landscape behind me that the kitchen looks as though it has been ravaged by wild bears. They emerge from their lairs on an hourly basis to hunt for food – often with cubs from other caves who have ambled over to spend the day with them.
I’ve given up asking them why they can’t clear away after themselves because, like bears, they respond with a hollow grunt. The easiest solution I’ve found is to wait for the nightly return of the Alpha bear and his resounding roar.
Item 1 – the Boden dungarees
So, moving on to midlife sanctuaries – I spent ages going through the Boden catalogue when it arrived because I really wanted to order a few things to try on. The problem I had was that I couldn’t find enough for a whole post. I was looking for a new story but most of their collection seems to be a repeat. But then I came across the dungarees… and thought I’d give them a try.
I haven’t had a pair of dungarees since I was 13. I remember being the first person in my village to have any (the advantages of having a brother who lived in London). They were my first real foray into fashion and as I wandered around doing my best to look nonchalant, even the girls who hung around the bus stop gave me a nod of respect.
So, I thought these were going to be one of those things that I tried for a laugh and then sent back. However my friends, I love them.
This is how I wore them for a day in the office on Wednesday, the heels smartened them up sufficiently. In the evening I had to rush out as soon as I got home to meet friends for a drink in the new pop up bar in our village (where we found the farmers struggling, unable to match our enthusiasm for the row of expensive gins). Anyway I just rolled them up a bit, changed the heels for boots and added one of my long Hush cardigans.
I know I’m late to the dungaree party but I’ve since tried them with lots of other tops such as high necked blouses and cashmere jumpers – and then with ballet flats and Mary Janes. Everything seems to work with them and adjust the look slightly.
They have of course given Mr MC and the boys no end of amusement. Despite their requests, the one thing I have refused to do is wear a red jumper underneath so that they can call me Mario.
They’re selling out quickly so you need to move fast if you want to try them.
Item 2 – the Finery peg trousers
Continuing with my quest to update the clothes that I wear in the office on days when I don’t have to meet up with formal clients, I know I need to update my tailored crops. As trouser shapes continue to move towards the more generous, I wanted to give pegs a try.
Again they take me back – but to to the early 90s this time, when all trousers had a pegged waist. These are from Finery. The quality is, as always, amazing for the price. However their sizing seems to have gone small again. These are a size 12 and they were a bit tight when I sat down. With the pleats, this made them bunch around my waist like a balloon.
So, I’m going to exchange them for the size up because otherwise they’re perfect. Finery do seem to struggle with getting trouser sizing right – they’ve always come up small on me until last season when they seemed to have it right.
Item 3 – the Forever Sweatshirt
The other item that I am trying on here is the sweatshirt which is a thing of pared down beauty. It was released as part of Finery’s ‘Forever Pieces’ collection last year but in grey. I loved it but just didn’t need a grey sweatshirt. It is now available in this beautiful inky blue which is just a shade lighter than navy and more flattering to most skin tones.
The gold zip detail on the sleeves makes it slightly smarter, giving you a touch of athleisure that you could still wear for work. It is a fantastic quality heavy cotton so it will be great for summer evenings too.
Item 4 – the ‘V’ Vamp heels
Moving on to the shoes (and forgive my dry ankles and feet, it’s the first time they’ve seen the light of day for months). These are another success. The V shaped vamp is very Victoria Beckham and they give you another way to extend the life of your skinny jeans for a while.
They are new in but there is already limited stock in most sizes. They’re also available in khaki and black but all shades of pink are going to be huge this year and this dusty apricot shade is a little less saccharine.
I wonder if you can guess where they come from….
Item 5 – the ribboned ballet flats
I had high hopes for these, I particularly need comfortable flats when I’m in London and spend the day running up and down the escalators at different tube stations to get to meetings. They’re extremely comfortable but I’m not keen on the high vamp. It made my feet look and feel too big so I’ll be sending these back. If you have tiny feet they’d be great, they’re lovely quality and the width of the grosgrain ribbon is better than the others I’ve seen.
There was one more winning outfit in the boxes but I’m wearing it tonight for the opening of a new play so I’ll hopefully have some good photos to show you next week. In the meantime I just wanted to alert you to the new season launch from Hush.
The new collection from Hush
Hush are one of the only brands that I haven’t had chance to meet up with yet but I’m seeing them next week. However they released their new collection on Monday and so I’ve pulled together the pieces that I think are particularly strong.
We’ve already alluded to the strong throwback to the end of the last century that is visible in the world of art and high fashion. There’s a nostalgic yearning for those pre-Millennium days: post iron curtain and IRA, pre 9/11 when, for a while, there was burnishing hope. We had BritPop and BritArt, Tony Blair was newly elected and there was a mood of optimism everywhere.
Of course this nostalgia has been heightened by the shocking loss of so many of that era’s cultural icons in 2016. You can see it coming through in stylistic and graphic references everywhere.
I’m highlighting this cultural zeitgeist not in a nerdy fashion way but because in my view, it gives more context to the new range from Hush. The thing is that instead of the rock band graphics and grunge influences that are appearing elsewhere, Hush have referenced it in a wearable way.
Their t-shirts and graphic motifs will add a splash of youth to your wardrobe without you looking as though you’re having a midlife crisis and running off to join the band. These pieces may have jarred with you initially but they are the ones to consider.
The lightning bolt
With this you can salute Bowie and all that he stood for. I really like the grey and copper colourway, it would look great with a blazer and jeans. I know it’s early to be thinking of t-shirts but I suspect with the first shot of sunshine, this will sell out (it’s also available in black and white, or olive and white – which is already out of stock).
The same colourway has also been released in a sweatshirt but that has currently sold out too – hopefully it will be restocked soon.
If you prefer something more subtle, this is the way to go. Hush always cut a v-neck so well and the fact that they have used the fabric on the bias means that this will not cling but hang in a relaxed, flattering way.
It’s also available in white and gold which would be even more wearable.
The 80s graphic style
So, as you can imagine, 80s graphics major on an American vibe. You’ll have seen the Joanie loves Chachi sweatshirt which is a real Marmite item. It’s not for me but clearly a lot of people love it because it’s currently out of stock.
Slogans are big again this season and this tee will be great worn with the new pale blue wash jeans that will be everywhere this summer.
Even this season’s stripe has 80s spacing – do you remember having hearts like this plastered all over your 6th form folders?
Heart stripe tee (also available in grey and white)
The heart is also available in a jumper
Or you can just opt for a simple metallic stripe
Something to wear now
If you need something new to wear now, Hush have released the Stella jumper in two reversible options: soft grey with either navy or blush so with these, you have two jumpers for the price of one.
So, I know it’s freezing February and it’s hard to think of t-shirts but these are the pieces that I suspect will go before we’ve even seen the first swallows arrive. I’m sure I’ll have more to tell you about Hush once I’ve caught up with them and had a chance to really look at the clothes.
We’ve had a lovely half term week and I’ve managed to have some simple times with the boys. Most days I’ve persuaded them to emerge from their lairs and do something with me for a while. I was particularly surprised when they both said they wanted to see Lego Batman at the cinema. As I sat there surrounded by dozens of little boys in their Batman costumes and their weary mums, I savoured every minute of it, knowing that it could well be the last time that they’ll want to see the school holiday blockbuster.
We’ve also spent time out in the woods with Gary. This week the first real signs of Spring have arrived and I thought you might like to see them. The snowdrops are in full bloom…
…the trees are laden with catkins…
…early primroses are peeping through…
…and the daffodils are on their way.
Of course as soon as you manage to detach teens from their media sources they quickly regress, even though their legs are now too long for the old rope swing…
…and, despite endless attempts, they couldn’t release the other one that has been tangled high in the branches of the trees by the Winter winds…
…but there are always rocks to clamber over.
And with that I’ll leave you. Happy weekend everyone, I hope you’ve enjoyed your half term if you’ve had one and that you’re sensing that hopeful feeling that comes with the first glimpse of Springtime. The woods are waking up, the warmer days will soon be here and before we know it, we’ll be basking in sunshine wearing those t-shirts!
Disclosure: ‘Trying it on – Boden, Finery, M&S…and Hush SS17’ is not a sponsored post.
Other SS17 posts you may have missed
Inès de La Fressange at Uniqlo
Finding the ultimate breton top
Winter jumpers and the new jean style
Midlifechic’s 3rd birthday – what’s next?
The Midlife Series
What is midlife in the twenty-tens?
Survey results – what you are experiencing