Red to Toe

When Beryl and Jane see a trend that a gal in her fifties can pull off convincingly, they celebrate. Colour is the Woman Of A Certain Age's (WOACA) best friend. Red gets you noticed. Beryl often wears her bright red Goat coat to exhibitions, as the incurable show-off that she is knows how brilliant it looks in big white spaces. Jane, no shrinking violet herself, wears her red and black Guardsman coat to similar effect. She is accessorising it here with mud. 

Following trends may seem a pointless occupation to the WOACA who knows her own style but it signals to everyone that she knows what's happening in the world and is interested. Top to toe red is remarkably easy to wear. A red dress that matches red shoes: no other decisions required.

Beryl wears this dress often, it goes out to dinner with friends and indeed went to watch flamenco dancing in Madrid. A Frank Lyman number, which was bought for £150 in a sale, it also travels well and doesn't crease. The shoes are this season's LK Bennet and cost £180. Just as well we are saving money in the ball gown department (see below).

Like many little girls, our first brush with red shoes were Start Rite worn to parties and something of the thrill of this is attached to the red shoe. Jane, who has almost abandoned heel wearing (feet can be big trouble at 50) has bejewelled slippers to wear to parties. (Below left).

Jane rocks red with a 1950s ball gown (above right) from a local vintage sale for £25. This dress, which we fight each other to wear, has been worn with a leather jacket and Converses to a do and even used on a photoshoot, such is its beautiful rich colour.

Red is not just a party animal: Gabby Logan, TV presenter, wears red dresses to business meetings.

The versatility of red is such that it works well with a host of other colours too. Red and navy, red and burgundy, red with black and white, red and brown, red and cream… the possibilities are endless.

These Zara trousers which came via Age UK, (how appropriate!) hang beautifully and are remarkably versatile for a £7 purchase, worn here with a this season's denim top from Top Shop which was £38.   

A red jumper is a great place to start in your red quest. This Great Plains version was found at TK Maxx for £19.99 recently. As yet unworn, we are sure it will earn its keep over Christmas. Here Jane wears it with a burgundy knitted skirt from the Shaw Trust for £6, and a cast-off pair of brown boots from her daughter. 

A smarter look with the red trousers is Beryl's beloved blue Hobbs Jacket, that was bought complete with unworn labels form the Black White Shop in Bath, for £40. For a garment to become eco-friendly we are told, it needs to be worn 30 times, this jacket has surpassed this in a year by some measure.

Jane and Beryl think that sometimes they are just not in a red mood. So, when only a hint of red is required, a red scarf with a black and white coat can be just the ticket. This Desiguel coat was bought from a sale in a boutique in St Ives, Cornwall, many years ago for £175, but is always a winner that gets compliments. 


  1. I can't believe you guys managed to do this all by yourself!!! It's amazing! HORRAY

  2. The "Red" section is FAB! Just recently I found a "delight" in a local charity shop. An amazing Betty Barclay winter collection maxi for the pricely sum of £9.95. I shall be very excited to "adorn this little number over the festive season. X





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