Shirt Zara £25.99, trousers Zara (last year), boots M&S £55

As November dawns, Jane and Beryl's thoughts turn to how to get through the festive season sartorially. They like to have a capsule wardrobe lined up so that when the going gets tough, they have their ducks - and shoes, and shirts, and trousers - in a row. These are not the glitz and glamour moments, but all those lovely pre-Christmas events from carol concerts to lunches, family gatherings to drinks down the pub when they want to look dressed but not over dressed, and where every item has to work hard to earn its stripes. Can the high street come up with the goodies?

Dress Ghost £165, boots as before

Item one, the all purpose dress 
Frankly, Jane and Beryl think this is the loveliest bit of frockage they have seen for quite some time. Jane is styling it with M&S red ankle boots, as this is clearly how to avoid any hint of the Mrs Frump. Cunningly, this dress is the same colour and length as Jane's military coat. Another school girl error in our duo's opinion, are coats and dresses of different lengths, which never looks polished. Your Granny was right about this one, Jane.   

Dress Zara £39, boots M&S £75 (last season)
A very different sort of dress to 'step we gaily in'. 
Beryl is surprised by this dress as she has never thought, 'Oh let's go and buy a tartan shirt waister today' but until she was fifty she never contemplated buying any sort of shirt waister at all. She has found that a fuller skirt offers good tummy camouflage. Beryl is looking forward to roasting her chestnuts in this.

Red suede ankle boots M&S £55, Black suede boots Phase Eight £120
Item two, the ankle boot
Jane and Beryl know what you are like, dear reader, given half a chance some of you will find a ten year old mid-heeled court shoe from the back of your wardrobe and ruin your whole look. Yes, they know your feet have developed carbuncles and fallen arches, but it's no excuse to resort to the Hotter catalog. Wear ankle boots with your dresses, that's an order. PS Jane, who has feet of clay, is finding M&S shoes very comfy at present. 

Red cords H&M £19.99

                                   Item three, the fancy-pants shirt 
Blouse M&S £39
This year Jane and Beryl are all about the comfort factor. They have quite literally thrown away their huge blogging knickers. It is not that they don't require corseting, it is just that Beryl gets an attack of the vapours and has to lie down in darkened room with a cold compress, every time constricting pants are mentioned. Ooops, she forgot to mention the shirt. Capacious shirt wearing with lovely swishy back detail covers the dodgy bits and flung on with almost any trouser, will see a gal through to the New Year.   

Shirt H&M £17.99, retro trousers £23.99

Jane has gone all retro in the Borogoves in her version. She couldn't resist rocking the Katherine Hepburn vibe (when doesn't she?) and added a pair of ridiculously wide men's trousers and her Daddy's waistcoat. She still likes the colour combo, even if the look is a bit eccentric even for her.

Shirt Zara, trousers Zara £19.99, boots M&S £75 (last season) 

Item four, the versatile trouser 
Have Jane and Beryl mentioned to you the joy of a pair of red trousers in advent or indeed a black velvet pair? (see Jane above) These sumptuous velvet cords cost a full £19.99 from H&M and have to be the bargain of the season. They are left unhemmed so that everyone knows that you are a bit 'with it'. 

Top Zara £25.99

Item five, the evening top
in which Beryl reveals her arms.
 Our fashionistas know that this little top is not for everyone, as their fellow WOACAs often have a downer on their arms. Beryl however is not ready to give hers up as a bad job yet, and therefore seized upon this velvet top as a way of not overheating on a big night out. Jane's version would be the velvet T-shirt of which there are many to be had this season (Next, to name but one emporium). 

Jacket £29.99, shirt £25.99 trousers £19.99
all Zara
Jacket £50, lace top £24, trousers £32, all Next

Item six, the velvet suit
Jane has long been a fan of a mannish suit even before they were remotely fashionable, living on the compliment she got while wearing one age 24: 'You've got a man's suit on and you've out classed every woman here.' Well, as complements go, it's not a bad one, is it? And what a relief to find one this year that's not black and the other at least has silver stripes. 

Red sweater £79 Phase Eight, M&S trousers £39, Ted Baker shoes charity shop £25

Item Seven, a red sweater
Red instantly lifts the spirits and there is a shape and colour for everyone. Beryl and Jane only really look good in a square jumper with narrow arms and therefore tend to snaffle these when they come along. They are both waiting for a twenty per-cent off day for this Bobby dazzler. 

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