What we wear at 50 to a wedding?     

The wedding season is up on us and the WOACA's thoughts may be lightly turning to what on earth to wear? We want to look stylish and chic, we want to be comfortable, we may or may not want to outdo other guests in this dressing minefield. Where to turn? Jane and Beryl both have such events this year, and so have trawled the highways and byways of the fashion world on your, and their own, behalf. It's a tough job but someone's got to do it, so with joy in their hearts at the thought of all that dressing up, they skipped off... 

An obvious place to look is the concessions floor of any large department store, and Jane and Beryl chose John Lewis (and rather wish they hadn't, as you will see...). But they were tempted by the array of goodies seemingly on display... oh, it was a different matter once they got down and dirty in the changing rooms. For a start, at the end of May, the most common sizes have already gone from the rails: fine if you are 6 or 18, but not a lot in between. They persevered, and Jane tried this pink suit by Ted Baker, the jacket at £229 and the trousers at £159 (and no, she doesn't need a wee). The fabric is lovely, the detailing exceptional, but they'd expect that for the money. There is a matching bag at a bargain £29.

 Unfortunately, the hats and shoes are on a different floor, so it makes life rather tricky in terms of trying on the whole look, but definitely worth consideration. However, this was the twelfth outfit she had put on. And Beryl...? where is she, we hear you ask. She tried on many traditional wedding guest style dresses - floral, stripes, lace - (none in the correct size) but just wasn't happy with any of them. In a state of high dudgeon, they left the store and ventured onto the high street...

By now Beryl is feeling crabby, every item on offer is some sort of nuptial cliche. Whisper the word wedding to a sales assistant, and out come O.C.D outfits galore (overly co-ordinated dressing). No, Beryl does not want to wear a two piece in pale lilac, with matching peep toe shoes, and a thing on her head that looks like a cross between Tinky-Winky and a satellite dish. And here lies the rub, why would Beryl suddenly wear something she wouldn't normally be seen dead in? Armed with this new found self-knowledge, Beryl tries on this Coast dress for £150, because it is something she would actually wear. Jane spurns it on the grounds that it was too Nylon, Beryl secretly still wants to buy it.

Weary and footsore though she may be, Jane is feeling a mite happier in this Karen Millen outfit: the off the shoulder top is £45, the jacket £199 and the skirt also £199. And herein lies the secret to wedding dressing Jane and Beryl believe: they would prefer to wear the style that they feel most comfortable in. Jane loves the flow-y skirt and more fitted top with a jacket with flat pumps, so be it: she's not going to squeeze herself into a traditional skirt or dress suit with vertiginous heels in which she will only stagger about drunkenly all day. 

Sadly, many otherwise worthy sales assistants throw caution to the wind at this time of year and politely bully poor unsuspecting customers into frankly shocking outfits. Jane and Beryl witnessed one poor WOACA buying a lemon yellow fit and flare dress which was too short for her and the wrong colour (lemon yellow should be reserved for nursing infants only) and matching fascinator (Beryl's particular bete noire), and it was all they could do to stop themselves yelling 'NOOOOO'.

PS. Jane would add the Jaeger pumps (above right) which were £25 second hand from Molly's Den, Winchester and, depending on the flamboyance of the event, the hat, also bought second hand from the Emporium in Devizes for £35. She has a jacket too, so would not be adding in the extra cost of that.  

Now this is more the ticket. The coat by Almost Famous (£198) is from Spirit in Devizes, a shop owned by the lovely, stylish, calm Rose, who is helpful and knowledgeable in just the right way. Beryl loves this coat, which could be worn later with jeans, managing to pull off that other slippery little sucker, smart/casual. The navy dress is by Cream and cost £98. It has nice detailed buttons at the back, but does need to come with an attentive lover to help you in, or out. 

This flirty little number (much like its wearer) ticks Beryl's wedding boxes, again £198 from Almost Famous. It covers up her jumper lumps in a subtle and interesting way, (too much middle aged flesh is a trap) and could be put with a pink jacket to hide arms, and provide warmth. Beryl has decided to forgive her arms for no longer being 20, on the grounds that she will be hiding them at 80.

Still in Devizes Jane and Beryl head to The Hen House. This beautiful shop is the kind of store that Beryl finds intimidating. The clothes are very expensive, and it is easy to feel a bit like going to the doctor with fraudulent symptoms. However, the clothes are exquisitely made and Jane and Beryl think that many women push the boat out a bit when it comes to wedding kit. This suit was £575, and incongruously made of quite thick wooly fabric for a summer wedding collection. Imagine flinging yourself about at midnight to Sweet Caroline in this tweedy number. (Beryl's been invited to a wedding in the Cairngorms, Neil Diamond is still big in Scotland.)

 The jacket had pearl buttons, and our pint sized punter would have loved the jacket if it had been sold separately, in a once in a lifetime Chanel kind of way. She would however probably have felt happier with a skirty, flirty frock underneath.

1 comment

  1. Just been to a country wedding in South West Australia. No matching lilic two pieces in evidence. Almost no hats as well!





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