Jane and Beryl are testing the theory that one carefully chosen piece of clothing can enliven their existing wardrobes. At this time of year many of us like a new top to pep up our party gear. Jane and Beryl are always entranced by the sparkly or shiny, and its promise of a good time. 

Jane: trousers Zara £60, shoes Zara £29.50

Beryl is in a metallic top from New Look which cost £19.99 and reminds her of 1930s Hollywood glamour, while Jane plumped for a Wallis sequinned vest which she claimed covers her plumpness.

Not only is this a tale of two tops but also a tale of two velvet suits. 
Jane bought hers from Zara last year for £120, and Beryl's came from the Laura Ashley sale for £80 reduced from £200. Both have been doing stirling service in Jane and Beryl's lives. It might be thought that this would be a rarely worn item in a middle-aged gal from the shire's wardrobe, but not so. This has proved the go-to -last-minute-fling-on-item for the Hinge and Brackett of the fashion world. Jane's is the ubiquitous black, while Beryl's has a sort of William Morris pattern in gold.  

 These should be sold with a hand steamer. Beryl is zealous about this, but buying one has revolutionised her velvet wearing. No more shiny bottom for her. 

Trench Zara £69, skirt £113, shoes Zara £29.50

Jane has swapped her velvet (with or without a shiny bottom) for a stretchy lurex maxi-skirt (which observant readers will remember from 2015's The Lure of Lurex blog), and a pink trench coat from Zara which adds a much-needed colour pop to the ensemble. She is thinking that this combo could be trucked out for any black tie event which comes her way (ha, ha...).

Beryl will be attending the same non-existent black tie do in this outfit, which revitalises her beloved Monsoon net skirt which cost £12 from a nefarious source. The new Hobbs necklace at £49 cost more than the top and skirt put together, but adds a touch of class to numerous combinations. 

Tux Top Shop £15 from charity shop, trousers Marella £150, shoes M&S £29.50 

This time Jane has popped on her ancient white tuxedo Top Shop jacket (which came from the charity shop) and in which she always feels quite glamorous despite its provenance. She has put this with a pair of pricey trousers (£150) which nonetheless are worth their weight in Vogue magazines as they never, ever crease. As if that wasn't enough, she is even rocking another trend with her silver shoes (M&S £29.50).

Jacket Phase Eight £99 , Oxford bags House of Foxy £79,
 LK Bennett shoes  £130

Beryl also had the same notion, to wear her shiny top with Oxford bags. These are based on a 1940s pattern. Time was when certain fabrics like lurex and sequins belonged to evening wear only, but now those at the Ministry of fashion have decreed that anything goes day or night,  Jane and Beryl often go to daytime events in any thing that shimmers or sparkles. 

Fur jacket £150 Phase Eight (3 years ago)

The classic black trouser, in this case from Whistles via the charity shop for £7, is doing a star turn here. Jane and Beryl are ambivalent towards black trouser wearing for parties, seeing them as dull and lacking in imagination. However a really well cut pair can be a triumph in a WOACA's wardrobe, they feel.  

Sparkly top Wallis £25, cardi Top Shop £69, jeans £22 Tesco, boots £42 Top Shop

And finally... Jane dresses down in her sparkly vest with a Top Shop shapeless wooly cardi which she loves at this time of year, Tesco ripped jeans and velvet embroidered bootees, proving that sequins are always suitable whatever the time or place. 

Next week Jane and Beryl check out what M&S have to offer a Woman Of A Certain Age in the party season. 

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