Pastel perfect

 No one could accuse Beryl and Jane of being saccharine, but in their usual spirit of trying anything once, they decided they would give the trend for all things pale and winsome a go, so this week they are considering sugared almond colours. Jane who has had her "colours done", was told to wear pastels at all times due to her "summer" status, (naturally she mostly ignores this advice), while Jane suspects that Beryl would be deemed a particularly stormy day in November, should she ever submit to the colour process.  In short Beryl does not think she favours pastels unless the word 'fruit' is inserted, and left to her own devices would probably add bright orange to all of this girly sugar rush.



Up first is a Phase Eight dress from last year that cost £140, and the terrible truth is that it had not been on Beryl's back until last Sunday, when she took a trip to Marlborough to road test it. She was encouraged by compliments, but was also asked if she was going somewhere special? This is rather the problem with this garment, it does require an occasion, a summer wedding perhaps?
(Subsequently the cost per wear is not going well.)
 The shoes are this season's Mint Velvet (£110), the handbag was Ted Baker of two seasons ago and cost about £100 in the sale, but similar ones are available.  Phase Eight has done this dress again for 2016, in an updated fabric. The lace cardi has been a tour de force: it came from the special occasion section of Laura Ashley for £40, and solves the problem of what to wear over a dress. Ten pound pastel sunglasses complete the look. Jane and Beryl think that this is very age appropriate, pretty, but without the dreaded muttony worries.     



Jane has clearly been paying far too much attention to the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as she looks like an extra here, she has even located a palm tree.  However, she also thinks that this vibe is great for the Woman of a Certain Age who is planning to spend anytime in the heat this summer (and who isn't, when Marjorie Menopause has come to stay?) The lavender tunic came from 100% Linen some time in the dim and distant past, the trousers, also linen, came from a boutique in St Ives for £18, the long silk chiffon scarf was from Droopy & Brown (who remembers them?) while her trusty Converses are out again with a Donna Karen handbag which was £275 last year. 




Beryl looks as if she is just about to dance the Charlston here. This skirt which came from Velvet and cost £150 at least ten years ago. It is difficult to know what exactly possesses Beryl sometimes when standing in a changing room, but love descended, and actually ten years on it is still being worn. Here, with a shell pink blouse which cost £29 from Monsoon this season, and a grey lace top from Stennesse (£39 in a sale). Beryl has worn this to a christening and out to dinner often.  

















Jane was once a gal who made all her own clothes (back in day when this was a cheap option), but has not done so for some time. However, last year she was moved to buy this gorgeous fabric on her holidays in Anghiari, Italy, as it depicts the isle of Capri, one of the places on her bucket list. Was this anything to do with the Great British Sewing Bee, they wonder? (Beryl says, Jane is utterly insufferable while watching this series as she is known to shout at the telly, "That's not an inverted pleat, that's a godet!" and similar insults constantly). She is wearing it with an old jacket from
Alex and Co and a pair of sneakers from Next (£12, last year). 



This top is an eccentric garment by anyone's standards, but Beryl loves its 1930's underwear fabric. When Beryl was a young gal, lovely vintage undies from the 1930's and 40's could still be found at rummage sales, (where have all the jumble sales gone?), for which she has a clandestine passion. It came from Black and White in Bath and cost £20.  The trousers were £29 from Zara, and the metallic sandals, a good foil for all this pinkness, came from Miss KG for £55.


 


Background fabric Phase Eight dress, rose gold sandals Miss KG, shiny pink Velvet skirt with cream polka dots. Monsoon top with tiny pearls, all as above.




Beryl says that Jane looks like Ermintrude the cow from the Magic Roundabout in this (her fetid imagination knows no bounds, says Jane). Jane rather likes the combo of pastels here although admits that the chiffon headscarf maybe a bit de trop. The trousers came from a local sale for about £79 last year as did the cardi, and the top is from Top Shop (£38) several years ago.




































Now this pink linen duster, bought last year from Top Shop cost £60, but has proved jolly useful. It is the kind of thing that is flung on when Beryl needs warmth in spring, but does not want to wear a more wintery coat or jacket. It is worn here with Ralph Lauren Denim and Supply jeans $98, and little pink leather shoes, from a shop called Luna in Hungerford (£25), with are great when your "plates of meat" hurt.






This beautiful blue wrap top is a good item for anyone wanting to hide their middle aged spread and their tittage and yet remain chic and up for it. Any takers? Sad to say, Jane cannot reveal its provenance, as it was a charming gift from her sister-in-law (over to you, Lesley...). Jane is wearing it with yet more white linen trousers (an obsession is developing...) and a cheap pink pashmina, bought in extremis when she was feeling cold on a trip to London from one of those men 
in Oxford Street
on a stall. 














And finally a little sugary number from the high street that Jane and Beryl liked. Beryl found this shift dress in Monsoon (£99). Too big on the hip for the shrimp herself, but beautiful colours, on the right person.  



















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