This week Jane and Beryl are out and about in what is turning out to be scorching weather... or is it? Like many a WOACA this week they have opened the wardrobe door and stared into the abyss, wondering what they can possibly wear that will not leave them overheated and in bad-humour or will conversely, keep them just warm enough when the weather takes its inevitable turn. Will our fifty-somethings look cool and collected or just a hot mess? Read on, dear reader.  

Jane ventures out - when her best instincts tell her to stay indoors - to Harpesden village fete, with her almost 90-year-old mother, who is always cold and is in her wooly waistcoat and knitted 'titfer', no matter that the thermometer reads 43 degrees. They retire to the shade of the cream tea tent to listen to the ukulele band - has it come to this? 

Jane heads off to peruse the stalls, leaving Pam with not one but two men hanging on her every word.  The single layer of linen rule holds good on her top half as she is clad in an old tablecloth cleverly fashioned - not by her own hand - into a sleeveless blouse which for £65 is a bit of an ouch price, but Jane was captivated. On her bottom half she is sporting viscose crepe de chine which she finds an excellent option, these from M&S this season at £35.

Dress Blueberry Italia £59 (in a sale) Espadrilles £59 Phase Eight.Vintage hat £

Beryl and her not particularly faithful hound Biff are attending the church fete and dog show. Beryl's mother always dressed up for such events on the grounds that you would be seen and judged by the whole village. This was known as 'keeping your end up' or 'putting your best foot forward'. Physically combining these two movements is 
impossible and would probably lead to falling over, but Beryl digresses. This one layer linen dress is by Blueberry Italia and has a very swishy skirt and a nice vee-neck at the back. Beryl thinks it's a shame they didn't cut a lower scoop at the front, which would have been more flattering.     

Ghost maxi dress £45 in the sale, 1950s vintage sundress £80
As the clock wends its weary way towards the solace of a cool evening, Jane and Beryl are taking to the garden as the coolest place in sundresses which could not be more different - suited to their personalities and figure types. Jane's is her old favourite, Ghost. She has been a big fan for over 20 years and some of her frocks are still being worn; not a bad cost per wear! This one is a lovely French navy, covers the arms to just the right degree and hangs loosely around the tummy - result!

The dilemma for the WOACA in hot weather is how much flesh to flash. Jane and Beryl now feel that they probably look better with all their clothes on. One of Beryl's solutions is the 1950s inspired fit and flare sun dress. This original one shows off what she considers to be her 'good bits' (arms and décolletage) but disguises her 'bad bits' (stomach and back fat), so much the same solution as Jane's (above) but via a different route.        

Top Lucky Brand, M&S charity shop drawstring crepe trousers £7.

The day has dawned a little cooler, and Jane and Beryl are in Hungerford, checking out a venue for an art exhibition, and being distracted by the clothes shops. 

The trick to heat control they find is to wear loose floppy clothes. Beryl in particular becomes decidedly grumpy when faced with a constricting waist-band in a heat wave.
This slightly trapeze shaped top and drawstring trousers are a cool welcome relief.  


Jane has decided that if she can't find what she want's in the shops, then there is only one thing for it - make it herself. So off to Fabricland to purchase gingham for a pair of trews and a charming Simplicity pattern. She is rather pleased with the result and is about to make more... Worn here with a simple vest top to counteract the business of the tablecloth beneath, she just hopes that no one mistakes her for the tea table and demands scones... 

The weekend sees Jane hunting old books and fossils in Lyme Regis (Beryl's saying nothing). Ahh, the beautious Lyme, home of The French Lieutenant's Woman and Mary Anning.

Dress Lily & Lionel £100 half price in a sale, bag, £35 Next

   First up, Jane sports her Lily and Lionel dress. What a great find this has proved to be. Although from the winter collection, it has found its niche up til June and is still going strong. Perfect for sitting out by the seaside and eating fish and chips (plenty of room in there). So easy to wear and kinda goes anywhere, folks. Will it get past the 20 year benchmark? Will Jane still be wearing it when she is 76? Hmm...

Cardi H&M £14.99, shirt M&S £29.50, trousers Sahara via the charity shop £4.50,
shoes Moda in Pelle £89

Naturally, Jane could not resist poncing about on the Cobb, and although the weather appears on the inclement side, it was actaully quite warm, in that typically British way. Without a suitable cape, she makes do with a long - but thin - cardi from H&M, and having raided the nearest charity shop, is sporting a pair of Sahara linen trousers for £4.50 and comfy leather trainers. This proved to be the perfect outfit for the rest of Jane's morning too which was spent finding ammonites on the beach, something long on her bucket list.

Rather short shorts from Vince Camuto

With Jane firmly out of the way, Beryl can indulge a small obsession, the wearing/purchasing of white shorts. In the summer of 1971, hot pants were all the rage and Alison who was eight and lived next door, bagged herself a pair. Beryl entreated her mother to no avail and had to make do, by rebranding a pair of shorts that she had essentially grown out of as 'hot pants'. Alison was justifiably suspicious.  Fast forward to 2017 and shorts are still problematic. 

Next chino shorts £18
There is, let's face it lots to go wrong. Too long, baggy and brown of hue and Miss Trunchpole makes an appearance. Too short and tight and something else entirely might make an appearance! Longer and tailored and lady golfers loom into view. Jane theorises that loose and linen is the way forward, but these have a habit of being elasticated and can emphasise a broader beam, and just look sad and a but square at the rear. The yellow ones below fall into this category.  But Beryl thinks she might have found a pair that are just right, not too short,
not to tight and £18 from Next.
Linen shorts Seasalt £45

Next week: Jane and Beryl go to Henley, but it's not all plain sailing (or rowing) as the pair have a last minute crisis at 7.30am in the morning...

1 comment

  1. Love that Lilly and Lionel dress why do I never find anything half decent in the sales??





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