Putting On The Glitz

Now girls its time to get organised, hair appointments must be booked, Spanx and tights must be bought, and outfits planned. Experience has taught Jane and Beryl, not to stand ten minutes before they are due to go out, looking dismally into the furthermost recesses of their wardrobes, and then expect to look marvellous. Jane and Beryl have been dusting off their party frocks and getting in the mood for dancing (chance would be a fine thing). However, if not actual disco-ing, there may be a bit of light gossiping and larking around at the odd drink's party or even a black tie event if they are very lucky. Jane and Beryl find that the most expensive and least worn items in their wardrobes are the posh frocks bought in a rush on the week of the party. Jane and Beryl would much rather buy a second hand frock in August from a charity shop, and have it tailored to their bodies (Beryl's green Alexon dress came unworn, complete with its sales tags for £7.50), or only buy a Wardrobe 10 and let it just keep on rocking', (Jane has had her favourite for 20 years).

Yes, Beryl has strangely got a crustacean on her head. Beryl has been gagging to wear this hat for years, it was made by her lovely friend Jane who is also a milliner. This dress's original price tag was £180, the fabric is very heavy which means it moves and drapes beautifully. Obviously, not a trendy label but for  £7, a joy just before Christmas, when a new dress can be an unwelcome spend.

This beaded extravaganza has seen the inside of the Orient Express and swished over the red carpet in Leicester Square! No more: now it goes to any black tie event and has been loaned to many friends. By Jenny Packham, its weight gives it a great shape on many sizes and Jane always feels elegant in it.

This Caroline Charles dress cost Beryl £180, in what is lovingly called designer resale. Beryl says, why pay an extravagant full price for something which is worn so seldom? This garment, which is actually a skirt and top, (sometimes the top is worn with a full cocktail skirt), is a very flattering bit of kit. It has a marvellous 1950's neckline which Beryl favours and also covers the tops of her arms.

Jane has been a devotee of Ghost for many, many years and this example was bought in Selfridges some time ago. It is a beautiful colour and Jane has a fondness for its unstructured appeal, allowing for just one more mince pie (but Spanx are a must!) It cost around £180, and probably wasn't worth it 
(she should have waited for the sale). 

Drinks parties can also come with their own challenges: sometimes it's hard to gauge how dressed up or not others will be and we all like to fit in. Beryl has two failsafes, the black jumpsuit is younger than a dress, and less formal. Beryl bought this from Wallis for £45, and it signals fun, fun, fun. This spangly skirt is very on trend this year, despite the fact that Beryl bought it 13 years ago from Jigsaw. Beryl has purchased the shoe of the season to go with this (and many other pieces), which has ankle ties. This is a great shoe for a WOACA, as they are elegant and not over high. 

Jane's trusty fall-backs are this Paddy Campbell dress which came from vintage emporium Black and White in Bath for £60, and covers all the right bits (upper arms, stomach…) with a less revealing neckline and an an interesting print. Her other all-time fave is the Le Smoking look: her Kate Moss at Top Shop tuxedo is worn with a pair of jacquard trousers in black and navy from Zara (£29.99) this season and a Top Shop sparkly vest. 

Spangles and sparkles: Jane and Beryl like lots at this time of year.

Gorgeous or Gopping?

This is a section where Jane and Beryl discuss their wardrobe disasters, although do you see Jane anywhere in this section? No, it's left to Beryl. The first picture shows a DKNY top that makes Vegas look subtle, if proof were needed she is upstaging a tinsel Christmas tree. Actually, it doesn't look that bad, but its true horror lies in its itchiness which causes rashing. It is a Wardrobe 1. Meanwhile, the second picture shows a loose top-like garment that instantly adds 20lbs to Beryl, which just goes to show that baggy garments are not her mates, with more itchiness in the leggings department. What is a woman who is 4ft 11inchs, doing in a pair of sparkly leggings age 53? 

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