As their gardens burst into flower, Beryl and Jane have been contemplating florals. With a nod to fashion they observe that this year these have gone ditsy, pleated and pattern clashing. Beware: the line between looking floralicious and granny is a narrow tightrope which any of us can oh, so easily fall off. (Beryl says, keep Jane away from any circus tricks, it'll only end in tears). A wardrobe weed reveals the flowers that are still blooming and ones that need harsh pruning.  

The Highly Fashionable Dress 
Rixo £325
A heated argument now ensues between our fashionistas on what constitutes ditsy. Jane tries to slope any old flower under the wire, but Beryl who is being the pedant for once is having none of it. 'Small and random, Jane, is the ticket, much like your friend Beryl in-fact.'

The Back of the Wardrobe Item 


Hush top £49 (this season) Nicole Farhi skirt £25 second hand,
' pumps next £25, basket (this season) Top Shop £25

'Now this skirt, Jane, is actually ditsy,' says Beryl, and an easy look for a WOACA to pull off. It is made of printed silk chiffon, and has little frilly godets, that supply in Beryl's opinion, just the right of amount of femininity. She has added a simple plain silky top and pumps to avoid looking like a very elderly little girl. Frilly and floral could end up a bit, 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane,' if one's not careful she thinks. 






The High Street

H&M Dress £39 
Skirt £34 Top Shop 



Believe it or not, this H&M dress which has pleated sleeves as well as a pleated skirt, is a little out of our Bezza's comfort zone. Beryl could not quite decide whether this dress was ageing or elegant, and as Jane says if you have doubt, step away from the garment.  



The Ditch-It Dress


Here is Jane in a dress which shows what happens when florals go bad. It looks past its sell-by date largely because is it bias cut and the shape hails from the eighties. To the charity shop immediately, Jane! Be warned: second-hand shops are choc a bloc with these pretty but ageing frocks!


The Floral Kimono 

Kimono £47 One Hundred Stars



Jane adores a kimono: fashionable, but keeps everything under wraps, so just as good on a fat days as any other. She loves the waftyness of them and the, "I'm pretending to be Mapp (or Lucia) ness," of them. The only downside is what Jane and Beryl call the 'sleeve in the coleslaw' phenomenon, which can be an irritation if you are hosting a seasonal lunch party a la Mapp and Lucia (see above).

The Floral Jumpsuit

Great Plains jumpsuit (this season) £85
What is it that Beryl demands of her florals?
 Fun, comfort, joie de vivre, not a hint of the drip-dry or easy care? Bezza has firmly bonded with this extravaganza which she often flings on for the early morning school run.     

The Shirt Update

Shirt £17.99 H&M


Jane and traditional shirts are not normally a match made in heaven: there is something about the squareness of her shoulders and the length of her neck which ensure that they do not sit well on her body. So joy unbridled ensued when she found this gem, a more casual incarnation of the shirt, with less shaping - or none at all actually - cuff-less and collarless but still in a pretty print.


The Bizzy Lizzie Top

Top Kew £16.99 TK Maxx (this season)
 skirt Massimo Dutti 60 Euros, sash £4 vintage shop
 Let's face it, mid-life dressing is a minefield, and florals are bringing up issues for Beryl and Jane. Flowerly clothes can be life affirming or raise the spectre of Beryl's granny who had a penchant for printed Crimplene, topped off with a Courtelle cardigan. The answer to this dilemma apparently is something called ageless dressing. The notion that clothes picked with care can be age neutral. Jane is sceptical, but Beryl thinks she might have pulled it off with this white skirt and sleeveless top combo.    






The Spliced Fabric Top

Zara T shirt £19.95
 Top Anthropologie £69
Zara £29

Jane's inner Boho has always gone for the spliced fabric in any garment: could it be Virginia Woolf that is calling this time? They are everywhere this summer, so it looks like Jane's credit card is about to take a beating...   


The Frumpy Frock

Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth Bouquet 


Dress by Adini £74, Shoes Elia B, £85 (this season)
Suddenly this dress is reminding Beryl of something or rather someone. Beryl is a huge fan of Hyacinth Bouquet of Keeping Up Appearances fame and will not have a word said against her, but perhaps not to the point where she wishes to emulate her dress sense. 'More tea Vicar?'


Next time: Class v Sass

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