Jane and Beryl turn Agony Aunty to bring you some much-asked questions - and answers - from these blog pages


Dear Jane and Beryl,
I have been invited to a very smart party in the south of France and, to be frank, I am slightly over-awed by the whole set up: yachts and well-educated, well-dressed millionaires will be the order of the day... as a WOACA without an enormous budget, what on earth should I wear?
Susie, Upper Chute

Dear Susie,
A high glamour moment does not have to be an expensive one.  Go for something in which you'll feel confident and most of all, yourself. This is not the time for experiments and sudden changes of style. The kimono is a great option as it covers everything while being fashionable, not too hot (important for the WOACA), and if you find the right one, incredibly pretty - just like Susie herself, in fact. Doesn't she look a million dollars? Kimonos Rule!


Susie (styled by Jane) wears: a comfy black dress which she already had, with a kimono
from Zara (£29.99), a hand-painted silk scarf and charity shop beads

Dear Jane and Beryl, 
At what age should one stop wearing super skinny jeans? Katherine, Winchester

Dear Katherine,
Ah, dear reader thank you for asking this highly pertinent and insightful question, which Jane and Beryl know is troubling the nation. Sadly, there is no exact age when the wearing of very tight trousers becomes unpleasant for everyone concerned, but there are strong indicators which it is wise to observe. Has the fat that used to make your bottom a joyous orb, fled like a biblical exodus to your stomach area? Can you remember Max Wall? If the answer is yes to both of these questions, you may want to consider a kinder, looser cut. 


Boyfriend jeans £10 Gap sale, jacket £145 Phase Eight

Dear Jane and Beryl, 
I would like to wear wide trousers, but feel I shouldn't as I am under five feet and have an ankle problem that means heels are difficult. Any suggestions?
Gillian, Southend On Sea

Darling girl,
Pull yourself together immediately and go and buy a pair of the widest Oxford bags you can get your jammy mits on. Contrary to received wisdom short women look marvellous in jumbo trews, as long as they observe the rules of proportion. Wear a fitted short top or cropped jacket that defines your waist. Flatforms or kitten heels will give you extra centimetres without messing with your dodgy limbs. Wear your bags slightly over-long, and if you really mean body-lengthening business, keep to a single palette. Beryl wears hers with all sorts of colours as she loves them, and doesn't care who knows that she is a card-carrying shorty-pants. A word of warning though double baggy, (top and bottom) does not work on the vertically challenged. 

Trousers Numph £60, plimmies £39 Mistral
Top Great Plains £20 (Sale)











Dear Jane and Beryl,
I love to wear boots - so comfy on my sad bunioned feet - and would happily wear them all year round if that was possible. But even I have to give them up when the weather is more clement and I need to go to an event where decorum demands a shoe. Any suggestions?
Iris, Basingstoke

Dear Iris,
There are very few places where the perfect substitute for a boot, namely the brogue, would not be acceptable. Jane is queen of the brogues and has her very own back catalogue numbering... well, so many that she has banned herself from buying more. They can be as comfy as a boot and quite frankly, come in a much better range of fabrics and colours. Jane's latest purchase, as canny-eyed readers will know, are silver from M&S and came in at £49.50 - cost per wear down to a fiver in just two weeks. She has also had success with Clarks (two tone), Hobbs (pricy) and Zara (but can be a bit stiff). 



Dear Jane and Beryl, 
Can I wear a leather jacket without looking like mutton dressed as lamb? 
Edna, Renfrewshire 


Dear Edna, 
Jane and Beryl feel your pain. This is the eternal cry of the WOACA, not ready yet for elasticated waistbands and velcro shoes, but un-nerved by nagging voices of doubt that shout 'Can I still get away with this?' Leather jackets can look a bit sharp-edged and 'cougarish', which is contra to the WOACA's purpose: that of always looking entirely comfortable in her own skin. Beryl wears hers with a maxi dress to soften the look.  Her black Jigsaw jacket, she would in all honesty no longer buy.  If she were replacing it she would probably choose a colour in suede, and definitely avoid anything with lots of zips. 





Dear Jane and Beryl,

My friend is always finding great things in charity shops, but I never do. In fact, I find all those smelly old clothes off-putting. How does she do it?
Annabelle, Somerset
 

Dear Annabelle
As long term afficiandos of this sport, Jane and Beryl want to say 'Have a word with yourself and get over it.' However, they do appreciate that they have kissed a lot of sartorial frogs to find their princes. Good kit at the charity shop is hard to come by, so your friend will have definitely put in the hours. If you are time poor, then we’d say it’s not for you. On the smelly question, items do often need to be dry cleaned or at least hung on the washing line in the breeze on a sunny day for a few hours. But you can’t beat finding a bargain, especially something truely vintage and unique.

Jane's vintage Daks coat found by Beryl, £18...
...goes anywhere and everywhere




























Dear Jane and Beryl, 
On the rare occasion I go somewhere posh, I need something to wear over evening clothes. I don’t have room to store another coat: any ideas?
Penny, London

Dear Penny, 

This is a great opportunity for some multi-functional dressing, which Beryl and Jane love. They sling on a denim jacket over their poshest frocks and don't care. It brings a younger vibe and is definitely not too try-hard. The same applies to sparkly trainers on occasion. Your partner's DJ is another good option, and if he or she doesn't have one, acquire one of your very own: Jane has had some of her loveliest compliments thus attired.

Jacket M&S £29.50, dress vintage Jenny Packham

Dear Jane and Beryl,
Every time I go to my wardrobe, I want to run away screaming 'I've got nothing to wear,' and in fact, sometimes I do just that. It's stuffed full of clothes: what wrong with me? Help!
Everywoman, all over the world

Dear Everywoman
You are not alone! Jane and Beryl are available for wardrobe weeds, shopping expeditions and any larking about with clothes. No reasonable request refused. Won't charge much either.


Could this be Jane's wardrobe? Surely not!

Next week: Travels with my daughter, 
(to Belfast and Paris, what will they wear?)







Post a comment

Contact

Instagram

Pages

© What We Wear at FiftyThe Basic Page