What Jane And Beryl Did Next

What are our intrepid duo up to this week? Shopping, of course, this time in the high street darling Next. Are Beryl and Jane huge Next shoppers? Not really, it must be confessed. Both loved the children's clothes when their offspring were smaller, but now find that other high street retailers grab more of their attention. Next they feel might be a bit, well... Dull But Worthy (DBW). Serviceable, as Jane's granny would have called it but, sadly, as Beryl and Jane would call it, lacking in glamour or excitement. The other burning issue is pricing: while Next is dearer than the supermarkets, it seems not to offer significantly more bang for your buck. Can Next charm the pound from their pockets? Dear reader, find your specs and discover...    

First, Beryl is wearing a pair of trousers (£38), about which she was actually quite excited. The tracky bottom shape and stripe down the leg are drawn from sports wear, and the botanical print is also on trend. So comforting to wear your jim-jams out in public, no holding your stomach in required, marvellous.

She might have liked a bright orange colour pop to go with this, but had to settle for a black top £22. The shoes are the model's own and the handbag which was trying to be suede and failing, was a little strange, reminding Beryl of her beloved 1960's Fuzzy Felt.  

Jane is looking as if she has suffered a nasty surprise, and although this was not entirely the case, the plastic of the large shopper bag has just scratched her inner arm (a good size and colour though). She feels a bit F&F (fat and frumpy) in this outfit, although the cotton knit trews are incredibly comfy at £24 and the cotton lace top likewise at £18. The best bit of kit here, and she will probably buy them at some point in the summer, were the white lace plimsoles at £18: but Next has always been a winner for summer sneakers.

Oh, the length some people will go to, to pretend that they have cheekbones! This linen dress was a very reasonable £22, but fell into the 'not bad' camp. The colour was a little muted for Jane and Beryl's taste, who were beginning to think that perhaps strong, clear, coloured dye adds too much to the cost of the garment for many stores. Jane and Beryl always find that the 'not bad' purchases are those that they end up regretting.

One of the garments that Beryl does sometimes buy from Next are white trousers. White trousers in Beryl's life, (dogs, barbecue sauce, grubby hems) rarely seem to last the summer, so a new inexpensive pair bought each year often does the trick. These are cotton and described as a slim crop at £35. The top was very pretty, a combination of floral and crochet. Bag and shoes model's own.

And here she is again in much the same outfit as above, feeling much as she did above...Same trews in a different colour and a slightly cheaper version of the the white broderie top at £14. These are not clothes that are floating Jane's boat: she is somewhat disappointed as the vast Next advertising spend which has three page glossy colour ads in many magazines recently has promised her non-stop summer loveliness...
Where were the gorgeous colours and the maxi dresses? The hot weather tops and the flowing kaftans? The lightweight cards... Not here and not now. In Next's defence, it must be mentioned that Jane and Beryl were in the Andover store and that perhaps a larger branch may have yielded richer pickings. They hope so.

Gloomily, and with the sensibility of Eeyore, Jane couldn't bear to put any more of the Next collection on her back, and so Jane and Beryl present you with two tops which caught their eyes, but which, quite frankly, may or may not do the job...  The blue chambray above had some pretty embroidery and was cotton for £20, while the green below has the colour pop quality which they love with some fashionable lace detail. Try them and let us know if they come good...

Jane and Beryl were, however,  impressed by the accessories. The shoes and in particular the pumps look more expensive than their cost which was £24.

Likewise, the sunglasses were excellent: these fashionable round ones were £10. Beryl might be sneaking back for these.

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