Cardigan, Academy £99 half price sale

When checks are mentioned, Jane and Beryl cannot get images of the Queen Mum at Balmoral out of their heads, although the fashion pundits tell us that they are The Next Big Thing. Our fashionistas went into their laboratories, otherwise known as their bedroom floors, and discovered that indeed they can look the full frumpetina on a WOACA. This is Jane and Beryl's indispensable guide to how to make your checks look more now than then. 

Coat, Anthropologie £148

How truly grisly does our Jane look here, is it pension day in Auchtermuchty?  She would not even pull on a grab a Granny night, and usually this is where her best pickings lie. This garment encapsulates all that can go wrong with the check. A dowdy colour, with a life-sapping shape, Jane's 90 year old mother is better dressed. 

Jane and Beryl's Star Buy

Coat Red Herring at Debenhams, £69

Phew! What a relief! Jane has found a much better checked coat for half the price which looks a million times less frumpy. The secret here is that the check is bigger, bolder and full of colour and there are snappy little details like the red inner collar which make Jane's heart sing. It has lots of easy style options and could be worn with jeans, dresses, boots...

Coat Primark £30
Jane found a this steal of a coat amongst the jumpers at Primark for only £30 and is hard pressed to choose which one to buy. A fab bit of fashion fun.

Second hand Carolina Herrera jacket £145, jeans DL 1960 £180,
boots £55 River Island, bag Aspiga £40
Our Beryl is sporting her Carolina Herrera jacket here, which can go either way on the fashion versus frump continuum. Beryl is making sure that there is no middle-aged check-wearing confusion by teaming it with a pair of jeans and funky boots. This tangerine confection is very of the moment, for those who care about these things. Beryl has purloined Jane's colour pop bag, to hammer home the point. 

Shirt £88, trousers £34.95 (sake) both Anthropologie
The ubiquitous check shirt is suddenly a high fashion item! Who knew? Jane has a wardrobe full, fortunately, but if she was in the market for a new one, this is a great colour and could even pass for funky with these trousers (which Beryl thinks are a too bit porn star for her liking).

Jacket vintage Top Shop, trousers pre-loved Tumbled £23
Surely everyone of a certain age has a pair of checked trousers tucked away in the back of their wardrobe, muses Jane, unworn and unloved since the eighties. These could be Jane's, but were bought recently on the grounds that they were such a good fit. Once home in the cold light of day, however, Jane went right off them as they scored too high on the frump scale. What to do? Put check with check, or 'double-check,' if you are a fashion bunny. Jane was dubious, but actually feels rather comfortable.

Cricket jumper £29, boots £75, both M&S,
 skirt vintage Jaeger £8, bag £40, Spirit
This skirt is weird proof if it were needed that fashion can be found in any old pile of clothes, as we like to call Jane's wardrobe. Jane bought this vintage Jaeger kilt in a charity shop to wear to a Burn's supper and Beryl greeted it with cheers of big whoop (even though it's months until January), because it is red, checked, pleated and ankle length. Never mind that it is at least 40 years old. Ok, lets be honest, there may be a hint of the WI about this garment, but Beryl has jollied it up with red ankle boots and a cricket jumper to avoid any jam and Jerusalem confusion.

Jacket Massimo Dutti £99, trousers At Last, £149,
 boots as above
These trews score high on Jane and Beryl's fashionable checklist (despite being reminiscent of The Bay City Rollers, 'and she sang shang-a-lang as she ran with the band'). Wide, large checked and brightly coloured, they look great with this season's yellow.  

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