She wore (blue) velvet 

Velvet, we are told, is the fabric of the season and Jane and Beryl like a WOACA (woman of a certain age) in luxurious textures. WOACAs only have marginal advantages over their younger sisters or indeed their daughters and these must be exploited. One is that we can often shop in better stores, and don't think second-hand sources are only for the bag ladies. Rich fabrics package us in an interesting and individual way. Stretchy velour can corset and even-out imperfections, while silk velvet drapes beautifully. Of course, velvet is high-maintanance, in that the better the quality, the more likely it is to mark or seat. Beryl knows this to her cost, having foolishly worn her Ghost velvet trousers in the car with the heated seat on. The effect was as if a radiator had been branded onto her bottom.

This blue velvet jacket which came from Enham Alamein Charity Shop near Andover is vintage Jaeger. It is the most astonishing shade of royal blue and is trimmed with black braid. It is also pinched by Beryl's 16 year old daughter. It cost £10 and Jane and Beryl think that it looks best with jeans.

This long velvet coat is one of the nicest things that Beryl has ever bought from M&S and it is rapidly becoming a wardrobe 10. It has a long chiffon bow tied at the back and really wins its place in her wardrobe being worn over long evening wear, it  also solves that what to wear in a draughty church problem when singing in the choir. Not being made of silk, it is less prone to the dreaded nap rub.
If all else fails and velvet is really not your thing, then let your feet do the talking. These shoes were second hand and are from a company called Tamaris, they cost £17. New Look has something similar for about £20. 

Beryl has crazy hair this week, which is distracting somewhat from this olive green Ralph Lauren jacket, which she always thinks of as her Robin Hood Jacket, because there is a hint of the Lincoln Green and Sherwood Forest about it. The jacket cost £60 and came from Re-Dress in Winchester. This year she is wearing it with and M&S brown leopard print skirt. 

Jane's purple velvet evening dress doesn't often get an airing these days, but once she got it on her back to take this photo, she realised that she rather liked it but had forgotten all about it, pushed as it was to the dim furthermost recesses of her wardrobe (which just goes to show that it's good to ferret out ancient pieces every now and then and revisit them). It is by Amanda Wakeley, came from 
Moda Rosa in Alresford, Hampshire, and has a bit of Grecian draping at the back: however, 
Jane has squeezed herself into her trusty Spanx before contemplating even putting it on 
never mind actually venturing out in it.

Jane finds that these shapeless capey things - with or without fringes - of which there are a quite a few around this season, can look rather Dowager Duchess on the WOACA. However, this one does come out every now and then as a cover for all lumps and bumps as the colour and devore fabric are just 
fab-u-lous. Good for rocking an instant 20s vibe should you need to (all those Gatsby parties…) It came from Velvet Rose, appropriately enough, a vintage shop in Whitchurch, Hampshire, and cost £65. 

Another capey thing (Jane does seem to favour these), this is a 1920s original and is therefore possibly a trifle smelly: so be it, the raspberry pink is another winner on the colour front and it does add a touch of instant glamour to any old bit of lazy-girl dressing beneath (shirt and jeans are good). 
It was £65 from Stardust Years Vintage Fashion in Winchester.

Jane just can't leave red alone now that it's December, and this Paul Costelloe skirt is always brought out at this time of year. It is rather marked now (often the trouble with velvet as mentioned above), but can still do a dressed-down turn, here with Jane's 'Dorothy' red sparkly trainers and a Camilla Ridley jacket bought for £19 at a local sale. 

Jane and Beryl have found themselves matching velvet coats - from very different sources. Beryl's was bought this year from a  local sale. It is by Edina Ronay and its original price was soo much she thought it must be a code of some sort. It had a small hole in the sleeve which she decided to forgive it, its imperfection rather taking the pressure off. Jane's was her mother's going away outfit made by her Aunt Edna in 1955. Beryl might be rather annoyed by Jane's mother's vintage wardrobe if she didn't love Jane's mother quite as much as she does.

The buttons on the back of Beryl's coat were also missing, so she fished out two that were the very first Christmas present her daughter ever gave her when she was 5

The purple dress on the left is several years old and from Michaela Louisa. It is known in Beryl's house as the mini-mouse dress and cost £60 second-hand. The shoes are from LK Bennett and are purple silk and cost £25 second hand. The skinny effect of this dress is largely achieved by huge iron clad knickers and a puff sleeve. Jane and Beryl often sneakily photograph their clothes prior to purchase, because it weeds out a lot of mistakes. The dress on the right is Edina Ronay of about 10 years ago, and 
highlights why Beryl and Jane go on buying velvet, despite its fragility; the answer to this is 
that it takes colour dye brilliantly.

Velvet does not always need to be dressed up kit. Beryl wears a recent Laura Ashley jumper (£35), yes, you guessed, it was on sale, that combines wool and velvet, with her jeans and boots. This outfit pretty much goes anywhere in her life.

1 comment

  1. Leslie via Beryl's I pad. It was interesting to see, Jane and Beryl.s take on velvet attire. In 1965, I wore a homemade black velvet dress to a do, which I accidentally marked by pressing the seams. It took hours of steaming over a kettle to get the marks out, but it did do it, worth a try. When velour came in 1970's, I became a fan. Leslie 70,dressing 50





© What We Wear at FiftyThe Basic Page