Sartorially, does your heart sink at the thought of summer? Do you blanch at the arrival of spaghetti straps? Do you cringe as the shops fill with flip-flops? Do you cling to your turtle neck like a child's comfort blanket. If so, you are not alone. Many WOACA's are filled with horror as the summer unfolds because they feel obliged to get out hitherto unseen bits of flesh. But all it not lost - Jane and Beryl discover how to stay covered up while maintaining their cool.

Chub rub


Homemade trousers, top vintage French Connection, bag Vinegar Hill £29


Top vintage 100% Linen

Jane and Beryl are not particularly prone to this affliction, but they have heard tell, that hot weather can cause chaffing and discomfort to less than slender thighs. The answer of course is a long top, over a loose trouser in order to stay cool and hide all grisly secrets.   

The big boobs/bra strap farrago

Great plains jump-suit, this season £85.




Lets face it ample bosoms, bras and straps are a nightmare that could make Jane and Beryl commit a midsummer murder.
Those of us blessed (ha, ha) with a bosom larger than a C cup have little choice but to wear a Triumph Doreen or in other words a substantive piece of whale bone corsetry to keep those wayward puppies in their proper place. The whole fleshy-flashy summer skin thing can be very disheartening, and leave a WOACA feeling that she is missing out on flimsy, pretty summer dressing. 

Beryl has solved the problem in this Great Plains floral jumpsuit. The wide strap neatly covers her bra, and the sweetheart neckline reduces and encases her tittage a treat. Jane demonstrates the other (Jane and Beryl think) acceptable alternative, which is to co-ordinate the bra with in this case her dress, so that the bra straps are deliberately on display. Jane goes loud and proud. 


The cleavage conundrum

Linen cutout top £70, trousers £1, shoes £98 all Jigsaw














This season, every frock seems to have a high neck: Jane and Beryl have spied many a gorgeous bit of froth, only to find that the neckline is straight out of Little House On The Prairie. They are sick, sick, sick of it. Bozookas and high necks must never meet as who wants acres of heaving chest encased in polyester (or even cotton, come to that)? It just emphasises the extra frontage. The solutions are many: but Beryl has plumped for a button through shirt dress (below) to divide and conquer, or some laciness to break up the area (above). 

Shirt dress Hobbs Clarence dress £139
Blue Sophie shoes £139 also Hobbs 



The no-toe peep show

Mules M&S£19.50

Right: Emporda Ankle Tie Espadrille £89, left: Muhra Raffia Pom Slip on £99, both Jigsaw
Many a Woaca dislikes her little piggies on show, and this season fashion is helping the toe-shy, with the mule and raffia slide, happy days. 
The great bingo wing cover up

Top Principles at Debenhams


Dress £, shoes £ both The White Company




The glass heads skywards and, of course, no one wants a sleeve. But no one wants to show off their bingo wings either. What to do? This summer, the shops are full of the answer to a matron's prayers: the grown on sleevelet. A bit of extra coverage, but loose enough not to add to the heat.


Look back in anger

It's so easily done: we view the front of a garment, but don't take too much notice of the back. And in fact, sometimes there isn't the opportunity to do so if the mirrors don't align. When all the world is wearing cotton interlock (T-shirt fabric), this can be a veritable minefield. Jane loved this frock from the front - a silky, softly flowing fabric that only emphasises her good points. But oh, dear, the back! Beryl has the solution... 


Dress shoes £99 Jigsaw
Dress Jigsaw £110











Its all in what Jane's mother grandly calls the foundation garments. In the first picture Beryl has strapped herself into the tightest fastening on her bra, while in the second picture she has loosened the band and added a cheap as chips Tesco cami (pack of two for a fiver) to smooth away, what she likes to think of as ballast for her breasts. Let's face it something has to keep her vertical. It's a little hotter, but worth it she feels.  

Shady ladies

Hat £25.99 Zara

Many of us, no longer like our faces being exposed to the sun. Obviously the answer is to remain in the shade of a marvellous sun hat at all times. Beryl wonders what else she might cover up with her hat, her stomach, her bum... 


The more observant of you will also notice that her yellow T-shirt (Ese O Ese £40) and stripy trousers (Libertine £60) are also doing a fine job of covering up some contentious areas. Beryl has taken agin her armpits in mid-life, and likes that cunning little frill that is providing them with some ground cover. The wide trousers are more comfy than shorts but still flash a little ankle. 
    
The last leg

Dress Savannah at Debenhams £49, shoes

Top £25, trousers vintage Anthropologie
Cardigan vintage Fenn, Wright and Mason, shoes M&S £49.50




















In summer the question reverberates among the WOACAs of the shires: can we still show our legs? Are they up to it? Is it seemly?Some will, (Beryl) some won't (Jane). Some have never felt compelled to succumb to shorts and the like no matter what their age. Whatever your predilection, Jane and Beryl's solutions, they feel, are pretty damn top notch in this department: namely, the handkerchief hem and the split leg trouser. Both give coverage without commitment, and allow a certain amount of wafting without a (leg) care in the world - what could be nicer?

Next week: Jane and Beryl embrace event dressing. 





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