This week Jane and Beryl consider the merits of class versus sass. Ahh, the classic dresser we know her well; elegant, co-ordinated, the careful chooser of the polished and restrained. The only problem with which is that she could slip into a coma for 10 years and no-one would notice. Enter her slightly younger sister, the sassy dresser; a woman who likes colour, takes sartorial risks and is not afraid to be noticed. On which side of the great divide will Jane and Beryl fall? 

The Classy: day dressing

Goat dress £150, and Shoes Lulu Guinness £45 both designer resale,
 Laura Ashley handbag £40 sale.  
How Beryl loves what our American cousins call 'designer resale', and we term 'second hand'. It seems to make perfect sense to Beryl and Jane to prolong the life of a well made garment in a world of finite resources. 

Our pint-sized fashionista (4ft 11ins) looks every inch the glamorous grown up in this Goat dress, and Jane and Beryl think that there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking like a classy well-dressed woman of any age. Do you sense an itty-bitty 'but' coming? The hesitation is, that Beryl could equally wear this dress in ten years time, and in the meantime might still get away with something a little more youthful.      

The Sassy: day dressing

Jumpsuit £99 Phase Eight, Bag Ted Baker £120 (sale)
Bertie shoes Designer resale  £29
Enter the jumpsuit. Jane and Beryl are huge fans of these garments,  which close observers of this blog will note that Jane covets but cannot find, something to do with odd body proportions she claims. Beryl isn't actually showing any more skin that in the previous picture, yet all the codes here are more youthful. The classic court has been swapped out for a high wedge. The white handbag has given way to a trendier nude colour, the pearls replaced by a matching dangle.  

The Classy: stappy top

Top from Jane's daughter's chuck out bag, skirt Matthew Williamson £15 charity shop
Coverage, coverage, coverage is the answer to the strappy top debacle: Jane and Beryl's preference is for hiding your baby goats' throats as they like to call the fat that lurks below the WOACA's armpit. When it gets hot, our duo want to bare their arms, but retain their dignity. 

The Sassy: strappy top
Vest top Jigsaw £29
Meanwhile, they have decided that it is the spaghetti strap with tight vest combo which really puts them off this look. One or the other, please, but not both.

The Classy: big night out 

Second hand Anne Klein top £17, Monsoon skirt charity shop £7, vintage black shoes £35  
Take one woman and three near identical and bargainous outfits. The classy outfit follows the match-matchy thing to a tee, and also the rule about cleavage or legs. Jane and Beryl are not very keen on rules, and largely think they are there to be broken, but too much flesh can get a WOACA into hot water they find.  

The Sassy: big night out

Red shoes Karen Millen £30 reduced from £130 (sale) 

By changing one item, black shoes for red, our Bezza has pumped up the jam so to speak. Mrs incredibly co-ordinated is a thing of the past, and the red shoes hint at a naughty nature, unlike her brassy alter-ego in the next pic who has a sartorial megaphone, 'shouting come get me boys.'

The Ass: big night out

Second hand Anne Klien top £17,
 Skirt borrowed from her 26 year old daughter.
This should be called, 'when sass becomes ass,' (note how Beryl suddenly looks top heavy). We have all met this girl, or should we say, woman. She is the party animal, who wishes to hang on to the last shreds of her youth. Unfortunately, she also wants to hang on to the threads of her youth, and is usually found necking champagne in a rah-rah skirt. A little more subtlety is needed here, people. Jane and Beryl have come to be highly suspicious of knee-barring in the over 50s. Just ask yourself, when did you last see Anna Wintour in a fanny pelmet?  

The Classy: maxi dress

Dress Libuella £125 in a sale 
Ahh, from the hurly burly of the chaise longue (above) to the calm sophistication of the maxi dress - Jane decrees that it can't be beaten. Why wilt when you can waft? Why be constricted when you can relax? The maxi has it all. Jane's classic has more structure, 'tis true, and has been round the block a bit like its owner, but is basically the same beast as her sassy version (below). This one is in polyester, not silk, but is bang on trend, (in the immortal words of Gok), in its styling and punchy florals. (Help, Jane has tipped into magazine speak...). 

The Sassy: maxi dress

Dress Lily & Lionel £160 in the sale reduced from £250, shoes Jigsaw £68 sale

The Ass

Dress Phase Eight £5 jumble sale    
 OK, Jane and Beryl hold their hands up, they do not, however, like inexpensive saggy jersey maxi dresses with an empire line twisty bit at the front. These are just a bit naff, and belong in the charity bag with every pair of leggings in Britain, string vests, odd socks and anything in neon (Beryl's on a rant, folks, beware).  

                        The Classy: the blazer

Ralph Lauren linen blazer $250, Kaliko skirt £49, French Connection T-shirt £29,
 unworn Boden second hand shoes £5
Jane and Beryl love a blazer which they feel is at its most convincing on a WOACA. It also irons out all sorts of bits like sloping shoulders (discreet shoulder pads) and oversized bosoms (single breasted with deep reveres and a single button), but sometimes the blazer can be a little DBW, dull but worthy... so, it needs sassing up a bit...

The Sassy: the blazer

Zara blazer £7.50 charity shop
Blazer River Island £35
Blazer second hand £25
Enter the blazer with pizazz, the flowery, the stripy, the brightly coloured - get your groove on WOACAs. Jane and Beryl are a little surprised at their own findings. They thought that they would be all about the class, but find that they are liking a healthy dose of sass. They look forward to your feedback. 

Next week: The grown up guide to holiday style 

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