Rolling back the year, Jane and Beryl are considering the highs and the lows of their wardrobe choices. In an attempt to not make the same mistakes again and to replicate their successes, they ask which clothes were oft worn triumphs and more particularly what was a disaster? Read on, dear reader, read on...              

Floral jumpsuit £35 Yumi (sale)

It's early summer and Beryl should be pleased with herself in this Yumi jumpsuit. Not only does she look fresh as a daisy, but the  cut in shoulders reduce her slightly top heavy body and the higher waist make her legs go on forever, well done Beryl.

In Town peddle pushers £35, jacket Precis £99, top £29 TK Maxx

Ahh, shorty pants, what gets into you sometimes? It is not obligatory for a middle-aged woman to buy a cut off pair of trousers, before entering a country of The European Union, you know. You actually look like an ageing matador in this get up. Wrong, wrong and a bit more wrong.  

Massimo Dutti Blazer £99 Euros, Monsoon trousers £35,
Great Plains top £20 (sale)

Oh, this is more like it. Beryl has bought linen stripy trousers with turn-ups from Monsoon and is flopping around with well... floppy insouciance. The blazer is also playing a blinder. Beryl  has stolen this look complete with plimsoles, from her taller, longer-limbed friend, who sports it in some form each summer - imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, our Jane. 

Yes, well, that's as maybe, stop nicking her style, Beryl, or she might just tread on your toes in the dresses stakes, clearly Beryl's territory. And here she is in the most worn bit of special occasion wear of the year - an actual dress! By Lily & Lionel, she bought it  at half price in a January sale last year for £100 and has worn it to death. It has proved so versatile: lightweight but with a slip; long sleeves that are elasticated so can be pushed up if the going gets hot; monotone so can be jazzed up with an accent colour; is made of plastic (polyester) so needs no ironing, gives a nod to fashion as it's in the current season's obsession fabric of stars and moons...what more can a WOACA want? 

Unlike this one. This dress was a Zara piece bought at speed (repent at leisure...) to wear to Henley. It was £49, and what a waste of money, that was! Worn once. It has string straps and a rather low back: pretty but they present Jane with the eternal underwear problem, and consequently it has never seen the light of day. It's a large - anyone out there want it? One careful lady owner...

Zara trousers £17 (sale), top River Island £12.50 (sale)

Jane loves nothing more than a pair of wide-legged thirties-style trousers and these from Zara have been a brilliant much-worn buy. However, what was she thinking here putting them with this appalling top (on her)? Her bosoms have surely, madly, deeply headed south: why did no one tell her that the off the shoulder look with unsupported middle-aged jumper lumpers are not for her... Beryl?

trousers 59 Euros, top £1.50 charity shop

Also not a huge success for Beryl are the matchy- matchy trousers which are not a great shape and somehow make Beryl look like The Cresta Bear. Beryl has a lot of bother with looking like fictional bears. It's frothy man.

Top Zara £39.50
Complimented wherever she went in this top over the summer, this was one of Jane's top buys and one she nearly didn't make but was persuaded into it by Jenny (who promptly borrowed it, she might add). It made everyone smile with its mad embroidered pineapples, and was an easy, breezy wear.

Kushi dress £55

All four dresses
By late summer Beryl is clearly embracing her inner hippy. One layer wafty dresses become her new best friends, as Italy sizzles. As often happens with Beryl, one good purchase leads to her buying a bevy of looky-likies. Did she really need four near identical Indian print dresses? No, she did not. 

DL 1961 jeans £180

 Autumn arrives and Beryl thinks she should add to her paltry jeans collection. Henry Holland the fashion designer was once quoted as saying that women under 5ft 3ins should not wear jeans. In the words of Eliza Doolittle 'Just you wait 'enry 'olland, just you wait'.
Beryl did spend a whopping amount of money on these and therefore does tend to keep them for smart-casual invitations. Over the years she has bought cheaply and expensively. On balance, the extortionate were a little better, but only marginally. These stay up and do not create a muffin. 

In her £18 Tesco ripped jeans, Jane is not sure that she agrees with her friend. Jane rarely shops in Tesco (apparently one in every eight pounds spent in the UK is in that establishment, so she sees no need to give them even more money), but on one of their supermarket sweeps Jane tried these on and it was love at first sight. Probably the cost-per-wear of these come out at about tuppence: supermarket jeans can and do sometimes hit the jackpot.

Trousers Marella £150

At the other end of the scale are these Marella trews: the most gorgeous colour red in a silky jersey fabric these adhere to Jane's wide-legged mantra perfectly. They hang beautifully (unlike the bosoms, see above), and are cool enough for summer wear, but Jane also wore them with a velvet tee on Christmas Day. What a marvellous bit of kit!

Beryl rolled up her sleeves and wrestled this velvet suit out of the Laura Ashley sale last January. Reduced from £200 to £80 with the cunning help of a Christmas voucher, it has that mysterious air of grown up gorgeousness, which Beryl yearns for, but so rarely finds. Nay-sayers might argue that opportunities to wear this are few. But Beryl shamelessly whacks it on whenever a draughty pub or under-heated supper invitation looms into sight. 

Pattern on velvet suit
Next week, Ladies in Lavender
Beryl and Jane go in search of all things mauve.

1 comment

  1. Filled with admiration even the bad buys look better than most of the stuff in my wardrobe, must try harder!





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