Last week we looked at the trends for SS19 and established that it’s a quiet season. There are no big changes and so a lot of our clothes can carry over quite happily from last year which is good for both our bank accounts and the environment. In a season like this though you tend to find that the detail of your outfit becomes the focus. So today I want to have a quick look at some of the simplest ways of tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 – shoes, lipsticks and nail colours.

I’m starting with everyone’s favourite – shoes. The statement shoe has been around for a while but new shapes appear every year and we looked at those last week. Of course the continuing focus on shoes is the reason that trousers remain cropped. If we drill down into that even deeper, we know that shoes remain popular because they’re one of fashion’s most democratic items, having far less variance in sizing than clothes. This means that they work well for both the consumer and the retailer with consistent sell-through and fewer returns.

The one thing that does seem set to become a permanent feature is a lower heel. Trainers have dominated young fashion for about eight years now which means that a whole generation of young women haven’t learned how to negotiate heels. Whether you prefer a block heel, a kitten heel or a flat, there’s plenty of choice for anyone who is intolerant of skyscraper shoes.

Statement shoes SS19

So, it’s low heels that I’m going to start with today and then I’ll move on to flats. I’ve made quality and comfort the focus as I’ve been looking around and I have to say that John Lewis & Partners are on fire with their own brand shoes for SS19. It’s a market that M&S have had a strong foothold in for a while (sorry – couldn’t resist) so they’ll need to watch out.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours


Dual toned shoes are easier to wear than you think, especially if you have a simple wardrobe. Imagine a blue blazer, blue jeans, white t-shirt and a pair of these – easy chic.

1. Pink and red make for a racy colour clash, these are one of the highest pairs I’ve included but I’m imagining them as shoes for a summer occasion such as the races, a wedding or a graduation. Pair them with a simple dress or jumpsuit and they’ll do all of the style work for you (also available in black and white).

2. For anyone who missed out on the M&S beige and black Chanel-style slingbacks, these are even more elegant. A great way of adding this summer’s beige into your wardrobe.

3. These blue shoes are a great price and particularly good for wearing with denim and… they’re also available in red and pink. You’ll have to move quickly though – they’re selling out fast because they’re a bargain.

Block heels are great for anyone who rushes around or has to negotiate cobbled streets. Yellow is one of the season’s key colours and shoes are an easy way to dip your toe in the water (did it again). I bought some on a whim last spring and found myself wearing them far more than I expected.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

4. Suede block heels – a great price in a darker ochre colour available in a regular and wide fit. If you prefer a brighter yellow you could try these.

5. Beige again, the emerging colour of SS19, these shoes will work with pretty much everything

6. These yellow shoes combine a V vamp with this season’s slingback trend too.

Both kitten and cone heels fall into the statement heel trend, especially if the shoe colour contrasts with your outfit.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

7. These red shoes are an investment buy but being mock croc leather they’ll work all year round – and they may soon be iconic brand history

8. Silver is they key metallic for this year and it works as a neutral, going with just about everything

9. An elegant hot pink shoe with scalloped detail and a supremely flattering, leg-lengthening d’Orsay shape (also available in navy or tan)

Statement flats SS19

It isn’t all about heels – there are some great flat shoes around at the moment. Find a pair you love and make them your quirky nod to fashion.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

1. I really love these yellow and dalmatian shoes – I don’t wear brogues because I find they shorten my legs visually but if you do, you can’t beat this pair from a small British designer.

2. Yes these loafers are black but they’re platform and patent so they still make a statement

3. Gum soles are a sleeper trend at the moment on both trainers and shoes, a small detail that elevates them above the ordinary. These are incredible value and have extra points for being silver too.

4. Simple slingbacks in silver and white that will work in both the city and on the beach (also available in yellow with black).

5. Red bow shoes – bows are another key detail this year but they can be hard to wear without looking girly. A bow detail on your shoe is an easy way round it (also available in navy).

6. A beautifully structured mule works particularly well to balance out wide leg trouser shapes

7. Ballerina flats are making a comeback and a pinky beige pair is classic chic

8. More funky brogues for summer with mixed textures and a rainbow sole

9. Finishing with an option for a canary yellow flat with a scallop trim for anyone who prefers flats to heels – a good price and also available in hot pink or navy.

Other finishing touches

I’m being asked about lipstick and nail varnish colours a lot at the moment so I thought I’d share my favourites as it’s one part of my life that I’ve pinned down to a tight capsule.


Before we start, bear in mind that I have warm colouring, these lipsticks won’t suit you if you’re cool (check the veins on the inside of your wrist – if they appear green you’re probably warm, if they’re blue you’re more likely to be cool). I have three key colours that I wear.

Lady Danger is a fabulous red, I’m never without it – in fact I have about ten of these lipsticks because I take them everywhere. It’s a matte finish so it isn’t too Joan Collins but that does mean that it’s a good idea to rub some moisturiser onto your lips before you apply it.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

Mac red lipstick

It’s best to buy this lipliner to use with it too – your outline needs to be crisp.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

Mac lipliner

This is a perfect spring pink and I start to wear it around this time of year. It really lifts a simple navy outfit and there’s something about the colour and texture of this lipstick that just looks youthful and fresh.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

Mac pink lipstick

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

Pink lipliner

And then as the weather gets warmer I move on to a bright coral. I recommend this lipstick every year, it isn’t expensive and I never find anything to beat it.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

l’Oreal Color Riche lipstick

And that’s it – my entire lipstick wardrobe!

Nail colours

Moving on to nails, I don’t have time to go for manicures so I do them myself on a Sunday night. As far as general nailcare is concerned, I find the Leighton Denny range to be really good. I need the nail colour to last for a week without chipping so through trial and error I’ve found one particular range to rely on and it’s OPI’s Infinite Shine (not their standard range, just this one – look for the silver caps). Again I’m very specific about colours and these are the ones that generally go with most of the outfits I wear – it bugs me if I have a clothes / nail clash.

Starting with a perfect, classic red:

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

OPI red nail colour

This shade is so popular that it’s nearly always sold out everywhere but I’ve tracked it down for you. It’s a lovely, sophisticated pinky beige and so great for this season’s trends:

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

OPI neutral nail colour

And if I’m going to a party I use this nail colour from the standard range which because it’s metallic, usually lasts for a week.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

OPI gold nail colour

OPI don’t have a good coral in the range for summer yet so this is the one I use.

Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 - shoes, lipsticks and nail colours

Diego Dalla Palma coral nail colour

I’ve been meaning to cover lipsticks and nail colours for ages so that’s a relief!

I have lots to say about my trip to Josh Wood on Friday – it was amazing and I’m really pleased with my hair. The home colouring product that they used hasn’t been launched yet so I’m waiting for them to send the details through before I talk to you about it because I don’t want to get anything wrong. It could be a hair colour revolution but I want to see how well I manage with it on my own at home for a while before I commit to making a statement like that.

In the meantime I’m flat out with work – so much so that my plates are dropping rather than spinning and I’m sure you’ll relate to this little series of events. Yesterday everything went wrong – I was trying to concentrate on a strategy when I started getting messages saying that Midlifechic was down. Someone technical kindly helped me to fix it but lost this post in the process. So I started to write it again while it was still fresh in my mind and in doing so, forgot to go home in time for the Sainsbury’s delivery. I called them and had to hold for ages trying to persuade them to come back. This made me late taking the youngest to his maths tutor so a hairy dash through rush hour traffic ensued. Sainsbury’s wouldn’t give me another slot so then I had to get hold of Mr MC while he was in town collecting the middle one and ask him to pick up a takeaway (we don’t have takeaway deliveries round here you see). By the time we actually sat down and ate it was nearly 10pm and then I realised there was nothing in for breakfast… or for lunch boxes… or the cats – so today didn’t start very well either. Of course none of this really matters but it just shows how one thing going wrong can topple the careful orchestration of a midlife woman’s day.

Anyway I’m behind with just about everything and I have solid meetings for the next two days on top of my deadlines – if you don’t hear from me on Friday you’ll know that the week ended as it began. Brexit we won’t mention and of course Storm Gareth is on its way. Stay warm and safe everyone – may your week be a peaceful and organised one!

Disclosure: ‘Tweaking your wardrobe for SS19 – shoes, lipsticks and nail colours’ is not a sponsored post. All beauty recommendations have been bought by me and tested personally.

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