Beryl and Jane  
search for autumnal colour...

One of the loveliest things about living in Englandshire is its changing seasons and in particular autumn colour. Here Jane and Beryl weed through the ubiquitous black clothing on offer in the shops in search of some more inspiring colour. 

Jane has been lured into the Oska shop. This is an emporium she usually avoids on the grounds that it's too expensive and the clothes, while many are very lovely, call to the over sixties rather than the over fifties (watch for whatwewearatsisxty, coming in a few years). However, such was the joy of this lilac sweater - she uses that term for a reason these days - that she succumbed... She is wearing it here with a pair of their elasticated waist velour lounge pants - a bridge too far, and these were smartly rejected (they were bizarrely too short in any case). The necklace, again a lovely item, at £129 was likewise given short shrift: it is made of paper, for goodness sake! 

In contrast to Jane's lovely jumper find, here we have Beryl in an outfit that should only be worn by those with a PhD in Crested Newt conservation. Sorry, Seasalt, sorry excellent Newt conservationists, but all the clothes were just Dull But Worthy (DBW). Beryl has aged a good ten years in this cardigan, and not even the lovely pumpkin orange colour is saving the day. This is particularly shocking because at a guess Beryl and Jane would hazard that the forty and fifty somethings are Seasalt's target customer. 

Fruity Jumper, Seasalt, £59.95

After such a good start (above), Jane is feeling Downhearted in Seasalt (good name for a film?) She feels that she has gone very square in this jumper: again, a lovely colour, but oh, dear, no shape at all. And even the scarf, which sports arty pantones as a design, but in yet more squares!

Still in Seasalt (it's beginning to feel interminable) and Beryl's wedged herself into a velvet sack dress of a beautiful conker brown hue. Beryl did have a fabulous version of this dress from Toast many moons ago which sadly she jettisoned before she understood that all velvet items should come with a hand-steamer as standard issue. Why will she not be purchasing this? Well, lets face it, it's a bit of a cop out. It envelops so much of Beryl's body that it reminds her of a velveteen cover that was made to encase her choir's portable pump organ. 

Scarf £25 John Hanley Ireland


In another independent called Academy, Jane goes for the coat rail as it's getting chilly, but finds the that the square theme is really getting up her nose - good heavens, what is this garment all about? Good colours, shockingly shapeless...

French Connection jumper £85, Savanah Miller jeans £45
Beryl at last finds something autumnal, lovely and £39 which seems jolly reasonable, in the wooly jumper shop, half way down St Ives' Fore Street. Beryl, however, is not succumbing as she is currently knitting herself and almost identical item. 

At this point Beryl is also feeling disheartened and has decided she prefers her own clothes of last year. These include a brick red French Connection jumper, bought in a sartorial crisis, when her husband failed to bring her suitcase on a mini-break, and a pair of Savannah Miller jeans embroidered with flying cranes, which from a distance in this photo look suspiciously like Seagull poo. Well, it is Cornwall.

Rosewood Nomad's coat £225

Jane and Beryl are now in a lovely shop called Ebb 'n' Flow on the Wharf in St Ives, that stocks a variety of small independent clothes makers such as Nomads, Emily and Fin, and Thought. Beryl tries on a coat by Nomads called Rosewood which can be obtained on the World Wide Web for £225. This would be a great investment piece as it would not really date and could be dredged out each year for the Autumn/Christmas run. Beryl is banned from buying this on the grounds that she is a convicted serial buyer of velvet coats out on day release.

This sweater is by Thought, an interesting brand which is just catching Jane and Beryl's attention. The grey section on this sweater (£69) near Jane's face is not perfect, but the overall design is different and interesting and appeals to Jane and Beryl's arty stance on all things sartorial. And what Jane really likes is their claim that 'our garments are always responsibly made, using sustainable materials and ethical processes.' 

Fitted Velvet coat Nomads £170

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