Spring has finally sprung in Englandshire, and Jane and Beryl are thinking about the great closet change-over, wardrobe weed and what in their wardrobes might need a little refreshing. Experience has taught Jane and Beryl what is likely to be worn (linen trousers) and what is not (clutch bags) Here are their 10 items under reconsideration....

1. White jeans

Jane finds that white jeans are the highs and lows of her summer wardrobe: some years she loves them, and others years she would rather be stung by a wasp. When she is feeling svelt, she is up for them, not so much when feeling that Middle Aged Spread has kicked in. However, this year she is pleased and surprised to discover (courtesy of the Telegraph fashion pages) that the boyfriend cut is going to be big. What joy!

Gap boyfriend jeans £49.95

2. White linen trousers

Similar feelings to the above surround the White Linen Trouser Issue. There are occasions when they only evoke Dame Judi wafting about Jaipur - and she is 80 - and others when their pyjama-like comfort is the Only Way Forward. Jane thinks that the secret is getting the shape right: a bit flared possibly, a rolled or frayed hem might suit, or an ultra wide leg. Jane tries to avoid the elastic waist, but appreciates that it's not always possible.

3. Linen shirts

The linen shirt is another of Jane's bete noires. As mentioned in previous blogs, most shirts render Jane as square as a tea bag. However, there is no substitute for one of linen: it can go anywhere at practically anytime over anything. So Jane's quest is for the perfect shirt. She remembers with a sigh a pale pink version circa 1995 which she loved dearly and wore until it was threadbare, and this year has high hopes for this cerise shirt from M&S at £29.50. 

4. Plimsoles

The Converse-style shoe is Jane and Beryl's top pick for the WOACA summer wardrobe, and is a staple to which they return season after season after season... often from Next, which is especially good at these. With a bewildering choice there is no excuse not to find one to suit, and what other shoe fits the sartorial bill occasion after occasion after occasion... Other styles may come and go, but the trusty plimsole goes on forever (what other item of clothing which we wore at four years old are we all still wearing?) And it's so forgiving! It contains the bunion, the odd sized feet, the... (shut up, Jane, says Beryl, enough of this waxing lyrical, it's only a pair of cheap canvas shoes). Here are some of our favourites...

Next £18 and Rocket Dog £39

Natural World, Joules £39

5. Panama hats

As a former milliner, Jane is very fussy about her hats. She favours her Italian straw Helen Kaminski which has done her proud for several years but which was rather a large spend for a hat (£129) from Fenwick. However, it always pops back into shape after having been stuffed into a bag and does the job for many occasions (she has been known to shove on a flower or bow). There are many price-conscious versions on the high street this season.

Seasalt £25

White panama from Boutique £8

6. The white jacket 

 White jackets can be marvellous, think 70's Yves St Laurent and Bianca Jagger or just plain awful, think lady's bowling champion. Beryl likes a white jacket and buys one possibly every other year. This may seem rather frequent, but Beryl finds that due to the colour, that they have a fairly limited lifespan. When Beryl surveyed the Linen M&S predecessor of this one pictured, she found that it had grown a least three stains that Vanish Gold could not shift and as one notable friend once called it,  'had lost it's appearance'. Therefore Beryl's update is a silkier version from Massimo Dutti, which cost 99 Euros. Which lets face it is about as much as Beryl is willing to pay for such a fair-weather item.


Beryl off to see the Jessica Warboys' sea-paintings
 in jacket, 99 Euros Massimo Dutti,
 linen striped trousers and sleeveless navy top. Monsoon.

7. Espadrilles

Growing up in Shropshire in the 1970s Beryl not only thought that espadrilles were the height of sophistication, but pronounced the word es-pad-drill with flat vowel sounds until someone laughed at her. These stripy ones were from Phase Eight last year, which is doing a similar mid-heel shoe in taupe (£79) this year. Beryl particularly likes these as they encase her bunion-ette (apparently it has to wait a while yet to be declared a full grown up bunion).  These espadrilles are are just about acceptable with shorts as Beryl likes a bit of extra leg-length without looking sleazy. They stay clean with the help of water and a white towel.   

8. The summer skirt

A mid-length skirt is a recent addition to Beryl's spring/summer fixture list. Ten years ago she would not have been seen dead in a midi-skirt, but times are a changing and last year she sprouted this white silky number from Massimo Dutti (see below) that proved a huge success. This year she had broken out into gingham. Yes, people, gingham the stuff of Doris Day and tablecloths. This checked number is from Zara and cost £39 and has a surprising amount of fabric, a broiderie anglaise border and a pretty elasticated waistband. The orange jacket is t years old and from Precis, and the flip flops were a Tory Burch extravagance.

9. The wrist band purse

Jane and Beryl have hunted high low for one of these little gems.
This they think is the answer to the summer evening clutch bag, except it's less annoying. Are Jane and Beryl alone in not enjoying a bag that you have to hold all evening? This wee beauty swings from your wrist, and is large enough to carry keys, phone, cards and glasses. Beryl bought one for herself and one for Jane instead of an Easter egg.

10. Summer tote

Totes for Jane and Beryl come with a charming fantasy in which Jane and Beryl are skipping along the promenade at Antibes looking like Bridget Bardot in her early years (not now). More likely Beryl's will contain a hard-boiled egg to be consumed on a cold beach in Dorset, but this aside, they are fussy about their totes, and require stylish ones preferably of wicker. 

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