Jane and Beryl 
love nothing more than a cup of tea and a slice of cake but in common with many - most? - women in Britain, Jane and Beryl have spend much of their adult lives either dieting or thinking about dieting. 

They are BORED, BORED, BORED with it and have compiled their top ten ways to feel better about how they look without denying themselves anything - counting reasons to be cheerful is so much better than counting calories.

       Wear clothes that flatter your body shape 

This seems so darn obvious that Beryl and Jane are almost ashamed to mention, but both have over the years worn things that do not do their body shapes justice. Let us cast our eyes upon the first picture. What was she thinking? Beryl has completely obliterated her waist in this over large top and therefore is giving Humpty-Dumpty a run for his money. 

High necks are a no-no, as our Bezza is not blessed with anything swan-like. In contrast the fitted v-neck top in the second photo is elongating her neck, dividing and ruling her bosom and proving that she does in fact have a waist. The fuller skirt hides her tummy and shows off her frankly marvellous ankles. The nation breathes a sigh of relief.  

P.S Give the offending item to your taller, longer necked friend, who will look gorgeous in it. 

Buy a new fitted bra


Jane and Beryl have always loved a fabulous foundation garment, although there have been times when their good intentions have slipped along with their bussies. Getting a decent brassiere on your back can be therapeutic not just physically but emotionally uplifting too. Sure signs of a bad fit are bosoms oozing out of the top or sides (go up a cup size) and the band shifting up your back, (go down a band size).  GET PROFESSIONALLY FITTED at a marvellous emporium such as Bravissimo, where compassionate ladies wrangle them into their correct cages like friendly lion-tamers. Eject from your drawer anything that is thousand wash grey or stretched beyond all recognition. Trust Jane and Beryl this underwear is undermining you. 

Get some colour in your life

Beware the beige-brown biddy! She is the friend of your mother's who mans every cake stall from Lands End to John O' Groats, and has chosen to wear clothes of the same magnolia colour as the community centre walls. Ignore her and buy bold, buy bright, buy colour. There is nothing like a bright hue to inject some joyous youth into your look and push back the colour seepage that comes with Marjorie Menopause.

New hair cut

 Good or bad hair really defines a woman in her fifties. Those with good hair (Jane) are skipping about the planet being paid way too much attention. Beryl is constantly being upstaged by Jane's hair, which could have a blog of its own. 

This makes Beryl laugh as during the childbearing years Jane' s hair hit something of a low point. Naturally curly, it has always been something of a handful, and Jane made several ill-fated attempts to straighten it. Fortunately she now accepts its natural form except for the colour, which she turns from grey to blonde. 

Signature style

Every woman has a penchant for a certain style that is part of the very fabric of who she is. Beryl is one part Jackie Kennedy and two parts Mrs Robinson. There is no point trying to change her, but she may need to keep updating her style, to make sure that aged fifty she isn't leaving the house in bright blue eye shadow, or a micro mini. For Beryl these perennials are little black dresses, high stilettos, tortoiseshell sunglasses, pearls and a fancy pants handbag. Jane and Beryl say follow your star, but view it through an up to date lens. 

Buy a size larger
Jane in a size too small 

Just because you can squeeze into a size 10 doesn't mean to say that you should, especially if the item in question is cheap (never enough fabric in them, darling). Middle aged spread will kick in, it's a fact that after the menopause women need a third less calories! Your choices are therefore eat nothing but lettuce or buy a bigger size. Jane and Beryl clearly favour the latter.

Jane looking wonderful in a size 14 
Feet first

Remember the the thrill of the new red wellies when you were five? That's what you should be aiming for. Fashion is on the side of comfort at the moment as the most fashion forward footwear is the plimmie, a trend which looks set to run and run. MAKE THE MOST OF THIS. For a flat shoe Beryl and Jane vote for plimsolls and their smarter cousins, the brogue, every time.

Life is the occasion

Please don't keep your clothes for 'best', wear all your clobber joyously whenever you feel like it. Worrying about what others will be wearing to a certain occasion, or if you are over or underdressed only causes wrinkles. Wear whatever makes you feel the cat's pyjamas or indeed your actual pyjamas.
Wear something fashionable

Some women say why bother with the whole fashion thing and declare no interest. Jane and Beryl say that it is instantly ageing to ignore fashion and a nod in that direction demonstrates that you still have a pulse and have some notion of what is going on in the world outside of the village. Jane's 83 year old granny was worrying about the width of her coat collar even though she could barely walk. 

Goodbye younger self, she's old news

Women sometimes say things such as 'when I got married I had a 24 inch waist' or 'I used to wear hot pants'. Jane and Beryl say less of this defeatist nonsense. None of us are the people we were 30 years ago, but this is a good thing; the people that we are now is what is important. Don't waste a day thinking about what your waist measurement once was. Sometimes the memory plays tricks, here is Jane in the full Sloane Ranger outfit, not a great look even at 25. 

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