Jane and Beryl have heard that proper grown up women, with common sense and self-restraint, sometimes buy one carefully chosen outfit which they wear to numerous social occasions all summer long. Obviously, Jane and Beryl would love to pretend that they are such creatures, but no, who are they kidding? As usual, in search of a little sartorial summer gallivanting, they cannot resist multiple options for their summer events whether they are hob-nobbing at Henley or stuffing Hob Nobs on the beach.   


Trousers £40, blazer £35, top £26, handbag £18 all River Island
A complete outfit from River Island? Who knew that was even possible, and all for £119. Jane is sure that this could go anywhere as long as there isn't a 'No trouser' rule. It is probably the nearest Jane and Beryl came to the 'one-ensemble-all-events' rule in their relentless search. If they are totally honest - and they always are when it comes to the knotty problems of fashion - the fabrics are a bit slimy, but other than that, ten out of ten. 

Jumpsuit Somerset by Alice Temperley £99,
jacket M&S £79, shoes Elia B £85
This  jumpsuit is playing a blinder in Beryl's summer occasion wardrobe. Here it is at her daughter Esme's leavers' lunch. The acid test of any garment is, does it make you feel good? Does it get worn often? And do you look forward to wearing it? Beryl can answer in the affirmative to all of these. Esme turned up in a very similar outfit complete with pom-pom shoes! 


Denim jacket JK Destroys £99,Sunflower maxi Hallhuber £139

Jane is a WOACA who loves a bit of maxi - in any walk of life really - it's not for nothing that her nick name was 'Excess' at one point in her life. However, that's another story so back to the issue in hand... She was initially unsure about this dress as being a little on the young side due to its tiered frills, but warmed to it literally once a denim jacket was 
added to the mix: always a great way to take the fuss out of a frock, she finds. Good outfit for a festival?
Maxi dress Gestuz £150
Ahh, now this one was a joy, as although Jane will admit to getting rather petty about ignoring dress sizes, there can be no denying that a certain gung-ho excitement came upon her when she found that she was able to get into this size 10 frock. Shallow, moi? She's off to a bit of outdoor Shakespeare in this. 

Sea-salt £65

Meanwhile Beryl has to confess that she has been guiltily ogling this dress for a number of weeks now. Why 'guiltily' you may ask? Because she normally scorns Seasalt for being well... a bit dull, and therefore is surprised at how much she likes this dress that is the epitome of English nice-lady-ism. As such, it could easily grace any social occasion without causing comment or scandal, but as Beryl's not entirely sure she doesn't rather want to frighten a few horses, she puts it back.





Dress Primrose Park £155
This certainly is the year of the floor scaping frock, as they are everywhere. This brand is harder to find, but is worth searching out for a comfy dress which won't scare the horses (see above). Evening drinks, anyone?

Kaftan Star Mela £275

Can we kaftan? Yes, we can. Jane is tempted by anything long and capacious, but Beryl pulls a face and mentions Demis Roussos and she's not being complimentary. However, if it's as pretty as this one - and the fashion mags are saying they are the Big Thing anywhere, anytime this year -  Jane doesn't see why not - except for its capacious price tag, of course. 


Maxi dress Hush £99


Its lovely weather and Beryl is having lunch on the beachfront in Swanage with her old maties. She has taken to the summer maxi dress like a seagull to a bag of chips. Who said that short women can't wear maxis? 



Paul Costello jacket £25 (second hand) t-shirt Bitte Kai Rand £55,
 skirt £8 Whistles (charity shop) shoes The Jacksons £15
Just for once Beryl has managed a bit of sensible recycling and is, of course, ridiculously pleased with herself for single-handedly saving the planet. So far so good, Beryl is rocking an outfit both green and thrifty. Sadly, she ruins this by spending £55 on a T-shirt, just because it is the right shade of putty and has a boob-reducing scoop neck and is short in the body. Her only defence, 'you try being a short-necked, big-breasted, middle-aged Hobbit from Middle Earth, and see how far you get,' she says.  

Trousers £17.99, kimono £24.99
Pleated dress £39.99 H&M
Jane and Beryl are larking about in H&M where, as often happens, they find some surprisingly good kit. Beryl turns down the ditsy-pleated nylon on the grounds that she will boil like a bagged cod fillet in parsley. 



Trousers £79 Hallhuber, jacket as before, silk top £107 Jeff

Happily Beryl's got her Paul Costello jacket on again, this time with some botanical print trousers from Halluber she bought earlier in the season. She is trying on a top which is the most delicious shade of green, but shows every lump and bump and will, she feels, fall victim to a mis-judged mouthful of coleslaw at the very first al-fresco dining invitation. As she would have to not eat in order to wear it, and also not eat while she is wearing it, she is sensing perhaps that this look is just too high maintenance and politely hands it back. 

Dress Little White lies £90, handbag Ted Baker £120 (sale) shoes Bertie designer resale £29
   This dress however she snatches from the shop assistant and runs to the checkout, with some may say an unseemly haste. Why when she turned up her retrousse nose at pleated polyester in H&M, is she now buying it with glee in Browns of Stockbridge? It is, of course, because it is making her feel the holy trinity of outfit shopping, i.e younger, slimmer and therefore more attractive. As such she will be wearing it to whatever occasion summer throws at her regardless of whether it is actually appropriate or not. 

Next week:
Jane and Beryl try to find style in the aisle 





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