Top of the class

Ten out of ten is what we all want to score - in life - as well as fashion, and when an item attains the magic 10, Jane and Beryl get excited, very excited indeed. It is a rare and precious moment and one for which we search constantly. Our criteria are simple: an item, be it garment, shoes, bag or other accessory, must achieve the perfect 10 on grounds of how it makes us feel. (And we usually know pretty much immediately if it's The One). Therefore, it must fit perfectly, the colour must be one we favour and the style must make our souls, individually and collectively, sing. That is not to say that these are necessarily special occasion wear items: some of our favourites are everyday workhorses which just keep on giving...

These are some items which are currently at our number 10 for the autumn winter season (but some have been in our wardrobes for many years already).

Jane and Beryl's leopard print fake fur coats both score 10 to of 10 in our wardrobes. Both of us 
tend to wear these casually, and they are great at hiding a multitude of sins on 'can't be bothered' 
sort of days, which we all get. There is something naughty and glamourous about the leopard 
print coat which was worn to great effect by Ann Bancroft in The Graduate, although
 Jane and Beryl mostly dog walk in theirs. Jane's is an Edina Ronay and came from a local 
sale for £80 and Beryl's came from the Topshop sale and cost £40 at least five years ago. 
Beryl has bought a replacement as her lining is now shredded but has been unable to part with the original, such is her childlike bond to this object. This has the function of a comfort blanket 
and she can be found dragging it around the supermarket. Jane and Beryl, (or have they 
morphed into one persona?), are also wearing the same jeans. 

A pair of boyfriend jeans can be the bestfriend of any WOACA (Woman Of A Certain Age). Jane and Beryl are both wearing a pair from the Gap sale of about three years ago, which were £19.99, and a tenner respectively, Beryl steaming in for the clearance rail. 
Not tight or restrictive,  the holes and rips give them a contemporary feel and they have been dressed up and down depending on the occasion. Rolling them up to reveal a well-turned ankle,
 is this season's thing.  

Beryl loves these boots so much they may have to be surgically removed upon her passing. They are ridiculously comfy and a tiny bit rock and roll, and cost £25 in The House of Galet in Winchester's Molly's Den, a vintage emporium. They are by Peter Kaiser and were originally about £200. 

These are Jane's go-to smart shoes (top). They are a Russell & Bromley patent brogue bought for £99 at least ten years ago (they are just splitting now). She has replaced them with a pair of velvet plimsoles (bottom) this season which, while not quite the same vibe, she has high hopes for - although not in terms of longevity (they were only £12.99 from New Look).

This gold jacket is a truly great cover-all for days when Jane just can"t be bothered to hold her stomach in and would really be rather at home on the sofa in something apparently called 'loungewear.' 
It really is worth its weight in the shiny stuff. It came from Wallis 15 years ago for about £40 
and can be dragged out for so many occasions.

The LBD( Little Black Dress) works very well for Beryl who is prone to glut on purchasing these. This one is a ten out of ten, as it balances out her slightly top heavy figure. She often wears a net skirt underneath, which is marvellous for eating out because no-one can see your tummy no matter how often you return to the fork buffet. This dress is by a company called Bohemia and not their usual style, it cost £45, in a sale at At Last, in Andover. Here Beryl is wearing her Laboutins, bought in Grace and Ted in Bath at half price. They just make a girl feel like she is a ten.

Jane would rather not go down the 'black trouser and a smart top' route wherever possible on the grounds of boredom and lack of imagination, but even she must concede that there is a place in every woman's wardrobe for a well-cut trew in 'That Colour.' Hers are from a second-hand sale and are Episode: they were £7. The only reason she would allow them into her wardrobe 10 is because they have lace inserts down each leg for a bit of interest and are a fabulous fit.

Now this is what we call a showstopper. Both dress and coat do the job of making Jane feel good on their own, but together, they can turn heads. The dress is made out of a bra, with a few add-ons, by a clever woman in Douglas on the Isle of Man called Betty Red and cost £150 ten years ago; 
the coat is by Betsey Johnson and was £275 back in days when Jane was no stranger to a day at the office and went off to premieres at the drop of a hat. 


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