Beryl and Jane go dotty (and a bit stripy too)

This week Jane and Beryl have finally gone completely dotty, oh and a bit stripy too. Polka dots can be fun and nostalgic - Frank Sinatra sang of 'polka dots and moonbeams' in 1940 - or a chic  design classic - navy and white dresses were shown in Christian Dior's New Look of 1947. And they are bang up to date again now, but with the addition of stripes. Jane says that spots and stripes are the new thing, to which Beryl would like to point out that she wore her stripy Phase Eight espadrilles with her spots, last year. Last year Jane! 
(Oh, you're sooo ahead of the game, Beryl).


This year's spotty dress, cool cotton lawn £75 from East.
Cardi £18, scarf £35 (this season) Laura Ashley

Permission to be piped aboard Captain.
Beryl now has four navy and white polka dot dresses, each dress loved for their own unique character like her children. Shameless serial buying says Jane, but Beryl has her reasons. This season's frock from East, has white piping, so is therefore entirely different, from the one of four years ago which now has a large blob of glue on it that nothing will shift. While the dress pictured with the white jacket has smaller dots and a full skirt cutting a much more formal dash, so hardly similar at all really Jane. (Ha, says Jane, I challenge anyone reading to Spot the Difference!) 

A Charter Club dress worn with Massimo Dutti
white jacket 99 Euros and Karen Millen shoes £130
Emily and Fin dress £85 of four years ago,
 with Phase Eight espadrilles £59

This season's dress from East £75,
 bag Laura Ashley £40 (30% off sale) Flip flops £13 TK Maxx

Coat Olsen £219, spotty top East £65 and white jeans also East £79

In the dim light of Elliott's department store in Lymington - which naturally Jane adores on the grounds that the dimness is flattering and the very words 'department store' conjuring up gorgeous memories of things past... The great advantage is that a girl can mix up the brands on the spot so here Jane has put an extremely expensive coat on with a much cheaper white jean and spotty top from East, and is rather liking the effect, even topped off with yet more stripes on the scarf. 

This year's offering, Beryl might try and pick this up in the sale,
as green spots are not everyone's cup of tea.

On the steps of Balliol College, Oxford, with Russell and Bromley
shoes £40 and red bag £40 from Spirit, Devises.

This red dress was a runaway success in our diminutive diva's wardrobe last year and this year the lovely people at Emily and Finn have done the same dress in green. Be warned however the sizing is not generous and Beryl finds herself depressingly in a LARGE. There is a quintessential Englishness about their designs that lifts Beryl's spirits, 'anyone for tennis' or better still the tea tent?

Trousers by Joseph Ribkoff £175, linen shirt £65 East,  bag £ East

Jane has long coveted a pair of spotty trousers and has rejected several pairs in the past on grounds of too skimpy, too narrow... These are beauties, but so wildly out of her price range that she doesn't quite know why she has even put them on. Teamed with a plain white East shirt to calm the spots down she has just added a stipy bag and is feeling nautical and summery. 

Twist & Tango top, Miss Sugar trousers £49
 Beryl is bored with the Breton top as a species. In her thirties this was a staple of her wardrobe along with all the other mummies, but she has now declared a moratorium on this item on the grounds that it is the least imaginative garment on the planet. These trousers are in contrast, a triumph, wide and floppy, and with (whisper) an elasticated waist they may be added to Beryl's summer wardrobe. 

Damzel in a Dress top from TK Maxx £27

Here is a tale of two tops - spotty tops that is. The first is a reject of Beryl's that she has always considered a failure on the grounds that she looks like 'over 50s catalogue-woman' in it. Jane fares a little better by putting over jeans, but despite its good label, Jane still finds it rather too full of polyester (95%) and therefore rather sweaty.

Top, Anthropologie £88, jeans, Gap £49.95, espadrilles Kurt Geiger £120

Jane is much happier in the A-line version of the spotty top. Its easy breezy shape is a classic, and she feels that she could be wearing it in 10 years time - probably. 

The time has come for Jane to get out her favourite birthday pressie from Beryl: the Primark skirt which came via the charity shop for the full £7. There is something about its haphazard stripes and many colours which Jane just finds joyous. (And here it is with a Jigsaw top bought for £8 from a clothes sale in Bath which takes place at New Oriel Hall in Larkhall twice a year). What a winner!

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