Nikki Garnett runs one of the most closely read blogs for midlife women. Midlife Chic offers a unique voice that is familiar and supportive, and also incisive, honest, and full of wisdom. We are thrilled to find Nikki wearing so many of our freshwater pearl jewellery pieces, including our most loved Pearl Drop Earrings, The World is Your Oyster Necklace, our Pearl Gold Bangle and our ‘Dreams’ Inscription Positivity Necklace.
Nikki wearing our Honey Bee Gold Coin Charm Necklace with three outfits
As admirers of Nikki’s style, we love seeing how our pearl designs fit her life and all it’s many stylish appearances. You may have read her recent profile in the Daily Telegraph.Underpinning all the lifestyle and family life advice, Nikki offers a strong clear message on style and how to achieve it. So we were delighted when the Midlife Chic star agreed to share some of her advice with us:
- How has your style changed since you started your blog, and has this evolved since your boys left home.
I had to think hard about this because it’s been such an intuitive journey, working things out as I’ve gone along. The main change has been understanding what works for my body. It’s easy to just follow the crowd and wear whatever’s in fashion but I now know that about 80% of looks just don’t work for my frame so I can immediately discard them. I know which colours boost me – not just physically but emotionally too. And I suppose my wardrobe has changed since the boys went to uni because we now go out and also travel much more. My husband and I are closer than we have been for years; that puts a spring in my step and gives me the confidence to go for bolder, more eye-catching choices.
- As an over used word, particularly on social media, style is in danger of becoming meaningless; what does style essentially mean to you.
Style is so very often the antithesis of fashion, it’s everything I’ve outlined above, choosing what works for you and underpins your individuality, regardless of what anyone else is wearing.
- We particularly love your blog for sharing your everyday life and the wisdom and insight that brings. Was this intentional or led by your community as it grew?
Oh it’s definitely been community led. My blog was originally just a personal, six-month project as I reassessed my wardrobe after emerging from the mothering years. However, people started to find it and it grew very quickly. I soon noticed that readers were far more likely to chat in the comments when I’d shared something that struck a chord with them. It helped me to realise that so many of us are walking the same path and there’s a comfort for both them and me in knowing that.
Nikki wearing our The World Is Your Oyster Necklace with three outfits
- You have definitely led the charge in getting brands to ‘see’ midlife women, and adapt to them. How do you think the landscape is now brand wise, and how society in general views midlife women.
It’s certainly getting better than it was eight years ago when I started blogging. There are more midlife faces around us – on TV, in films, on Instagram… Having said that though I still believe that ageing remains one of the last socially accepted prejudices. I hate the fact that it’s ok for younger generations to laugh about ‘old people’ when they wouldn’t dream of disrespecting most other social sectors. We need to lead the way by making it unacceptable and call them out when we hear it as well as challenging ourselves. Jokes about ‘senior moments’ and ‘midlife crises’ need to stop.
As far as brands are concerned, it’s still hit and miss. So many of the brands who should be our heartland are busy courting the younger market, most often because the people in their marketing departments are so young. To them, midlifers are simply their invisible mums. Before lockdown we seemed to be making progress with more midlifers being used in brand imagery. I fear that it’s going backwards now and becoming tokenistic again with only the occasional silver vixen being used to tick the inclusivity box.
- How do you find time to so meaningfully respond to your community.
It’s a real challenge, especially as my ‘day job’ in marketing has been particularly busy this year. However my community is where the real pleasure lies - in getting to know so many women and their life stories. I have meaningful friendships with women all over the world thanks to my blog.
- We love your description of your ‘self-restoration project’. What advice would you give someone to start reclaiming themselves as you did. Where would they start, and would you advise to get professional help. It can feel so daunting, and many women are not used to prioritising looking after themselves.
Well of course I’m going to say that they should start by reading the capsule wardrobe series on my blog. A professional can give you a quick fix but it’s expensive and you aren’t really going to learn anything so what will you do next time you need to refresh your wardrobe? There’s far more satisfaction to be found in reconnecting with yourself, in taking the time to understand your body, the way it’s changing and identifying the clothes that will work for you not just now but through the years to come.
- Some quickfire questions on jewellery, and styling it:
- How do you choose your pearl jewellery?
I like simple, structural pieces so I’m not being creepy when I say that about 90% of my jewellery collection is made up of Claudia Bradby pieces that I wear on repeat.
- Do you have separate pieces for everyday / occasionwear?
I have a few sparkly pieces and one pair of statement gold earrings but my small jewellery collection is by far the most curated part of my wardrobe.
- Do you prefer jewellery to have meaning or a heartfelt story of some kind? If so, why?
Yes, a story behind each piece is really important to me otherwise I can find that jewellery is an embellishment too far and follow the Coco Chanel advice to take one thing off before I leave the house. However, if the piece I’m wearing has meaning, I won’t be parted from it.
- Why do you think pearls are so popular?
Nothing beats the lustre of a pearl and the way that it lights up the skin, however old you are.
- What are your top tips for choosing the right jewellery for a particular outfit?
Think about your bone structure, use a necklace to accentuate your clavicles – for me a pendant works over a round shaped necklace every time because it flatters the neck and chin by drawing the eye down. I always look for earrings that align with my jaw or cheekbones for similar face-framing reasons.
- And finally has your Midlifechic journey been anything like you imagined it would be, and what lies ahead?
As I’ve said, Midlifechic was only ever meant to be a personal project so the journey has been a truly delightful surprise. I’ve loved the clothes side of it and that will continue but as I go forward I’m starting to be offered more opportunities for travel that draw my husband in too so that will be fun. I also want to spend more time talking about finding meaning in midlife - I think we’re all looking for that as we start this exciting second half aren’t we? So I’ll hopefully be leading by example whilst sharing the new futures of all my thoughtful readers as we go along too. We’ll be travelling the road together.
Nikki wearing our Dream Inscription Gold Necklace with three outfits