Midlife Loves

"Timeless everyday style"

Midlife Loves

My AW Essentials & WIWT

I've had a few requests asking for me to share my autumn/winter 'must haves' on the blog.  So after a lot of drooling online, with perhaps the occasional purchase ;-0 I've finally come up with a list of 26 items which I feel are great multi-taskers not to mention wardrobe essentials.  

So let's get started.  First up you can't beat a breton - perfect for teaming with navy cigarette trousers & ballet pumps as it is for dressing down for the weekend with distressed boyfriend jeans & trainers.  I've recently added the below breton to my collection & love it.  Loose fit (think boxy) & a decent thickness makes this a real wardrobe winner.

Boden Mariner Breton

Another wardrobe staple is of course the denim shirt & I just love the shade of the one below.  If you're brave enough rock with a double denim look but opt for grey jeans so it feels less like overalls.      Or dress it up with a faux leather pencil skirt.

Mango Medium Denim Shirt

Ruffles/frills seem to be everywhere this season & I'm just in love with the thought of a stand up frilly collar under a blazer.  This frilly blouse would be ideal teamed with jeans, a loose fit blazer & trainers for a weekend, or court shoes & a statement clutch for an evening or even dressed up with a pencil skirt for work or play.

Zara TRF Frilly Blouse

I love a boyfriend shirt whether its layered under a knitwear or worn on it's own un-buttoned at the neck with a statement necklace.  They're perfect for days when you're feeling like you ate all the pies or want a longer length shirt to team with faux/leather leggings to hide your bum.  The one thing I would advise is to try & pick one that doesn't swamp you & is long but a straight fit otherwise you can feel like you're wearing a tent (been there done that!).

Boden Boyfriend Shirt

Another big trend this season is lace & the Victorian style top.  Perfect for teaming with everyday jeans for an evening out with the other half or the girls.  Or for a big night out simply team with some leather trousers or wax effect trousers & statement shoes.  Heck it would even look great dressed down with boyfriend jeans & trainers!

Mint Velvet Victoriana Top

Of course knitwear come the depths of winter is a must.  One jumper I got a lot of wear out of last year was a simple grey chunky cable knit polo neck.  I'm pretty taken by the look of this neutral one below.  Perfect for snuggling under on lazy Sundays with boyfriend jeans & trainers.  Or layered up with a boyfriend shirt peeking through & leather leggings with biker boots.

Zara Sweater With Turtle Neck

Another piece of knitwear that is really useful & versatile is a long line oversized cardi.  I've had so much use out of my Rachel Wears grey one & have teamed it with jeans, trousers, skirts & dresses.  I'm loving how the one below has been styled too & will definitely be trying a long line cardi worn with a belt over the coming weeks.

Hush Nina Cardi

A dress that would be perfect for wearing with the above is this denim shirt dress.  I'm definitely planning on teaming mine with grey ankle boots, my oversized cardi & possible a trilby.  

Mango denim shirt dress

Moving onto leather & faux leather pieces next.  Leather & faux leather has enjoyed a huge comeback over the last 12 months or so with faux leather almost looking as good as leather itself.  So if you're planning on getting the legs out this winter then you won't go wrong with an 'A' line skirt.  Perfect for throwing on with thick tights & chunky knits you'll wonder what you ever did without one!

Warehouse faux leather pocket skirt

Leather or faux leather leggings are another great wardrobe staple.  Having tried a fairly cheap pair of faux leather leggings last winter I've decided to invest in some leather ones this season.  Of course price varies wildly but the below ones seem to be a great price.

Marks and Spencer Leather Leggings

If you're anything like me you'll virtually live in your jeans & will never have enough pairs.  I'm always asked where I buy my jeans from & for me I can't fault the fit, style & quality of the ones from Zara.  I have a few more expensive pairs from Massimo Dutti in my wardrobe to but for the price you won't go far wrong with Zara.  I don't know about you but I'm a real sucker for a little bit of detailing & distressing so naturally these biker ones are already in my wardrobe as skinny jeans are just perfect for dressing up with heels for a night out as much as they are for wearing with trainers or ballet pumps in the day.

Zara Biker Skinny Jeans

Another style of jean that I'd consider a wardrobe staple is the boyfriend/loose fit.  I just love them for more casual days & teamed with a biker jacket.  Or picture the chunky turtle neck sweater & a pair of trainers - a simple outfit that will look just fabulous.  Depending on fit it might be worth sizing down with this style so the jeans don't hang too loose or swamp you.

Zara Boyfriend Jeans

Moving onto jackets now & I'm sure I don't need to say I'm most certainly in the 'a girl can never have enough' jackets category, they really are a huge weakness of mine & something I don't feel dressed without.  

Now if you're looking to invest this season then there are two styles to consider, firstly a military style as that trend is huge & there are so many stunning ones that are taunting me to 'click the button'.  Something I have already done with the one below!  I just love it teamed with the stripes but equally I'm planning on wearing mine with the white ruffled top featured above.  This really is a classic & beautifully styled number that will be extremely useful & so easy to dress up or down.  I can really see me living in this over the next few months.

Mango Buttoned Jacket

Moving onto a more traditional styled blazer next, something that is never going to date or go out of fashion.  This shade of grey is just stunning for teaming with most neutrals in your wardrobe - black, blues, denim, khaki, winter whites & of course darker shades of grey.  Throw on with a classic white shirt, a statement blanket scarf, some casual jeans & the hi-tops I've featured below & you've got one really stylish outfit for the weekend.

Mint Velvet Flannel Blazer

Likewise a simple elegant grey coat is another fantastic wardrobe staple too.  Ideal for work, nights out or errands of a weekend.  This is such a classic & timeless style that you'll most certainly be bringing it out year after year.

Masculine Coat

Or sticking with the military trend then this is just stunning.

Wallis W Navy Military Coat

Another huge trend this season is the blanket shawl & the one below would be perfect for teaming with both the grey blazer & coat I've picked above.  I just love the wine colour teamed with the grey for adding that all important pop of colour.  These shawls really are perfect for adding that extra layer of warmth & equally look fab with a biker jacket.

Hush Blanket Shawl

Talking of adding another layer a gilet is perfect plus it can also be worn over a biker jacket or denim jacket too.  I seem to be adding to my collection of gilets & this year I've decided I need either a black or light grey one, although if I can't make my mind up I'm loving this one below, which is similar to a Zara one I have in beige & cream & always gets a lot of compliments on whenever I wear it.

Miss Selfridge Faux Fur Gilet

Another wardrobe staple is the biker jacket.  I've been amazed just how useful I've found mine since investing in a leather one & they really help toughen up a simple pretty dress when teamed with biker /ankle boots & thick tights.  If you're tempted but not wanting to invest too heavily then I really can't recommend the one below enough.  This is the black version of the navy one I've got from Marks & Spencer.  It really is super stylish & incredibly comfy - there's none of that restriction you can feel when wearing jackets like this as it's got stretch panels in the backs of the sleeves & the sides.  Plus it's machine washable so happy days!  Seriously give it a try I bet you won't be able to resist ;-)

Marks and Spencer faux leather quilted biker jacket

For all of you fellow dog walkers or school run mums a parka is most definitely a must have.  The below one might seem a little pricey to some on the market but when you work out a cost per wear basis it will end up owing you nothing.  Plus it's that little bit different with the wine coloured trim & super soft lining.  It's also more green khaki than the brown khaki colour of the picture.

Hush Fire Parka

Moving onto footwear next & seriously it's impossible to pin point just a couple of styles but I've limited it to four.

First up I just LOVE these high-top trainers.  I reckon they've definitely overtaken my trainer love & my ankles are most certainly loving them.  Plus they're a great neutral.

Boden High Top Trainer AR686

Of course in my eyes every wardrobe should contain a bit of 'Bet' & what better way to incorporate leopard print than with these pointed flat ankle boots.  Seriously these could be teamed with the plainest of outfits & they really take it up a notch or two.....expect to see these worn a lot over the coming weeks!

Boden Joni Boot

Block heels seem to be everywhere this season which is a big yay from me - so much easier to walk in & less wobbly I find!  I'm personally loving these Chelsea boots - style & colour wise.  They'd be amazing teamed with jeans, leather leggings & I plan to try styling some that I've got in a similar style with skirts & dresses this season.

Boden Chelsea Boots

With party season fast approaching then a classic pair of heels are another wardrobe essential.  I'm just loving this block heeled pointed court - elegant, high & relatively safe to walk in makes them a win win in my book.

John Lewis Kin Block Heeled Court Shoe

Moving onto accessories now & one thing I found incredibly useful last year was the fedora/trilby hat.  Perfect for keeping my ears warm but most importantly so much easier to shove on than try & do battle with a brolly & if helps avoid the wild woman wet frizz appearance that my hair resembles at the mere whiff of rain then it can only mean I will be wearing them a lot this season.

Hush Fedora Hat

Another item I can't get enough of are blanket scarves.  These are so warm it's untrue & perfect for wrapping up in outside or in the house too, especially if like me you work from home & don't like to have the heating on when it's just you in the house.  I also found that last year I was able to wear my beloved blazers more during the colder months when I teamed them with one of these scarves.

Zara Animal Print Scarf

Finally in terms of a handbag then some form of leopard print bag is another must.  I just love both the shape & style of this one plus of course it has a tassel too!

Mango Leopard Leather Cross Body Bag

Back to today & I'm wearing the Boden Mariner Breton I've featured above.  Size wise I went up a size to get a looser more relaxed fit.  This has to be my most favourite Boden breton ever & the thickness & fall is just perfect.  I'm just loving it teamed with the glitter slip ons :-)

My Midlife Fashion, Boden Mariner Breton, Distressed Boyfriend Jeans, Zara, Boden Glittery slip ons

Breton - Boden
Jeans - Zara
Slip Ons - Boden

Dressed Down Sequins, My Midlife Fashion, Boden Mariner Breton, Glittery Slip On Trainers, Mango Boyfriend Angie Jeans

Breton - Boden £35
Jeans - Mango £39.99
Slip Ons - Boden £49

So there you have it my 'must haves' for AW15.  Of course it's impossible to list everything but I've tried to go with pieces that could be intermixed with each other & would form a great capsule wardrobe.  So what do you think?  See anything that takes your fancy?  Or something you might not have considered a wardrobe 'must have'?  Or perhaps there's something glazingly obviously that I've missed off?  I'd love to hear your thoughts not to mention what would make it onto your wardrobe essentials for the coming months ahead.

Have a great day & see you in the morning.

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  1. Great selection Jane - I've just gone straight to M&S online to buy the biker jacket in black after seeing it here! Have been loving your styling of the blue one but knew black would work better for me. I've been searching high and low for a nice one (and have bought and returned a few) so I knew I had to act fast and buy the black now that M&S added it to the selection. Free click and collect tomorrow lunchtime... that's my Friday evening out with the girls sorted! I'm also loving blanket shawls and bought a beauty (also from Marks) recently. It'll look great over the biker as an extra bit of comfort on the cold journey home. Have a good day! Jo xx @joanneeallen

    1. Hi Jo so pleased to hear you've ordered the M&S biker it's such a great jacket & price. Just hope you love it as much as me. I bet you'll be rocking it on Friday night with the girls....enjoy!
      Jane xx

  2. OMG! I love all your choices, the sailor inspired top, military style jacket and well everything!!!

    1. Hi Victoria glad you like all my picks....it was rather a lethal edit to make as I may have 'clicked the button' on a few essentials ;-) & I'm now trying to tell myself I don't need that Wallis military coat ;-0
      Jane xx

  3. Great selection Jane and you have tempted me to Boden breton ..... x

    1. Ooh you'll have to let me know what you think Annmarie, I'm delighted with mine & prefer it to their other styled breton. It's a great boxy shape & much thicker fabric.
      Jane xx

  4. Really like all your choices Jane, particularly the fur gilet, which I wouldn't have considered a 'must have'! I also would go for the Boden Mariner Breton - I guess if you size up you can layer things underneath when really cold.

    1. Gilets are so useful Sally come the cooler weather & I even slip mine on in the house for an extra layer. Plus of course they're perfect for teaming over a biker or thick jumper.
      Good thinking with the layers with the breton. I also prefer my t-shirt tops not to be too clingy so this one really is ideal.
      Jane xx

  5. A fab comprehensive list of A/W must haves Jane! I definitely need to leopard print boots in my life and I think the Victoriana black blouse would be so useful for the up and coming party season! xx

    1. I'd be lost without my injections of 'Bet' Michelle & the Victoriana blouse is stunning isn't it. Perfect for dressing up or down!
      Jane xx

  6. You & me both Jessica & they're perfect for adding a bit of interest if like me you generally wear non-patterned clothing :-)
    Jane xx

  7. Love your style!! Your picks are great!! Glad I stumbled upon your blog!




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