I’ve been waiting for warm sunny weather and the absence of builders for months, so that I could finally take some photos outside in my amazing new Hope Fashion Spring/Summer outfit.

Inside the house there’s been nothing but dust and chaos, while outside, the lawn hasn’t been mown since September and, until last week, the garden’s main feature was a freestanding bath. Plus the weather hasn’t warranted anything but chunky knits and jeans with boots.

When the sun finally appeared last week, I spoke to my photographer and we agreed to use his garden instead, of which he is very proud. At the time we didn’t have a wet weather plan, so gung-ho were we about the forecast heatwave. I even had my hair cut.

So what do you do when you have a photoshoot planned, a deadline to meet and it’s pouring with rain?

Go ahead anyway and use an umbrella. Afterall, this is a typical British Summer scene, is it not?

Hope Fashion SS2016 5

I’ve written about Hope before. They create beautifully made, durable, flattering clothes for women in their 40s and beyond. The quality of their clothes is beyond anything I’ve had the privilege of wearing before. I wanted to recreate one of the outfits on their website to see if I could look as good as their models.

Hope Fashion SS16

I kept the accessories simple, with an old teal and turquoise bead necklace I’ve had forever, leopard print sling-backs from Clarks and a Versailles zip folded shoulder handbag from Smith and Canova.

Hope Fashion SS16

The first layer is the foundation slip in aqua, a very stretchy slip dress which sucks everything in.  On top is the softest cashmere and cotton poncho in aqua, so comfortable and cozy, yet the fabric is incredibly light. I used to have a big thing for ponchos before getting pregnant and looking like a human tent, so I know I’m going to get a lot of wear out of this.

The cotton stretch ‘ankle grazer’ trousers in navy are a tight, flattering fit on the leg, and the high elasticated waistband is definitely the way forward [a sure sign of aging!]. Being only 5″2 (and a half) means that they are a longer fit than intended, but that’s better for my figure anyway.

The handbag in this photo is from Coach. This is my go-to evening out handbag. Although they still make other designs in this metallic leather, Coach doesn’t make this particular handbag anymore, it’s a couple of years old.

Hope Fashion SS16

Hope Fashion SS16

Click on the links below to buy. The prices are correct at the time of publication:

Hope foundation slip in aqua: £75
Hope cashmere cotton poncho in aqua: £195
Hope cotton stretch ankle grazer trousers in navy: £95
Smith and Canova Versailles zip folded shoulder bag in blue: £130

[Photography by Peter Jay, available for weddings and barmitzvahs – not for taking photographs, he just likes weddings and barmitzvahs.]

[Disclosure: Hope generously gifted me this outfit and Smith and Canova gifted me the Versailles handbag. My thanks go to both for their generosity.]

Hope Spring/Summer collection 2016