Jane and Beryl hit the high street 

Jane and Beryl decided that they really should get some of this Christmas shopping thing under their belts and so headed for the nearest large shopping centre. Ostensibly, this was an attempt to actually buy gifts, in reality, they just couldn't help themselves and were enticed into the first shop with any thing sparkly in the window. This was Phase Eight, not a shop Jane generally favours (too predictable), however, she had some success in their seasonal sale which focussed on long column dresses, which are above the game this season.


This Honesty Scuba dress in Ruby is the first possible that Jane tries on. It has been reduced from £275 to £189, but they only have a few odd sizes and Jane tries to squeeze herself into a size 12 with predictably poor results. Definitely one to try though… Worn here with a Penelope necklace reduced from £25 to £20. Beryl couldn't find a thing to wear in Phase Eight, unlike her statuesque friend, they do not seem to cater for those who are the love child of an Umpalumpa and a Munchkin, the emphasis on munch. Obviously Jane is delighted to have all the limelight.


Then she tries the Tisa Tapework dress, also in a size 12, but this is much kinder and is a good, comfy fit even without her Spanx which she has neglected to wear thinking she was buying only aftershave and chocolates. This is still at full price of £295, but is a lovely colour, also Ruby, and has a great textural finish. She has accessorised it with a Georgia clutch bag in bronze now £39 rather than £49. 


Jane liked the feel of this 30s inspired Capella dress in pewter with its cape sleeve which handily covered her bingo wings without making her too hot. But not really her colour. Had she been off to a lovely event, she 
would probably have thought it was a bit of a bargain.



Zara was the next shop to catch Jane and Beryl's eyes, always fans of this emporium as they are. And what a feast of loveliness greeted them. Laden with goodies they plunged into the rather hot changing rooms. This suit which both Jane and Beryl picked out for Jane, does not photograph as well as the reality. Its floppy insouciance is so Jane, that it could have been created just for her, She likes foppishness and hates feeling stuffed up in a frock. She is planning to wear this with white plimmys. These are separates: the trousers are £59.99 and the jacket £79.99. Although it's the ubiquitous black, we have searched in vain for another colour (Top Shop have a bottle green and an electric blue, but are a less successful, more stuffed up, shape).


This is the shirt Jane is wearing under the jacket: a great shape on a girl with no waist and big knockers. Just the right amount of cleavage, arm coverage, good fabric (not too hot), not over-ruffled - no Adam Ant here. All for £39.99. Don't you just love Zara! Still no clothes for Beryl (tee, hee).


You can see from her face, that Beryl is not going to buy this. Why do we even bother putting Beryl in baggy clothes?  Here, she looks like a teabag, the red pleated top is £29.99 and the peacoat is denim and about £60. Beryl pouted until Jane allowed her onto the concessions floor at John Lewis.


Ah, how much better is this. This jumpsuit is subtly sparkly, which you can not see here. It is also a beautiful shape with a wrap over top, good arm coverage and only the cleavage revealed. The whole effect is very flattering as opposed to fattering. The problem with jumpsuits, which just feel a bit younger and sassier, and more casual than the frock, is that they vary in body length. Beryl's first attempt at a new jumpsuit, (her existing one having been around the block a bit) was from Laura Ashley, but gave her a crotch of which a rapper would have been proud; she took it back. It was from Damsel in a Dress and coat £175.


Beryl liked this, but didn't buy it. It's Ted Baker and therefore mega-bucks, but great colour and fit, although a bit synthetic in feel. The shoe also the same brand was bejewelled and excruciating. Thank God she didn't have two. These are comfier (below) and Phase Eight and in the sale. Beryl and Jane love a sparkly shoe, which make any out fit instantly festive. 





These are the sparkly shoes that Beryl actually bought, flat burgundy and with that demure fifties feel that Beryl favours. They cost £29 in a sale from lovely Jones the Bootmaker. They will be glued to her feet for the next month, so that she gets her monies' worth. 


Jane and Beryl are both huge fans of Top Shop, which perhaps doesn't immediately spring to mind as the go-to shop for the fifty-something, but is a constant source of fashion-forward clothes that pepper their wardrobes with much needed glamour. Beryl loves this orange fake fur coat (£95), that has the texture of mohair, but none of the itch. Coupled with a simple black dress and heels, this outfit makes her think of Mandy Rice Davis in the Profumo affair. 


While she is exploring her inner good time gal, (hmm, when does she not, says Jane), this sparkly velour number £38, is also from the same source. While not opposed to inexpensive clothes, she likes to weigh down a frugal purchase with expensive shoes, in this case Louboutins bought half price. 


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