Dune handbag £75, silk scarf Susie P Accessories 

Blue and white really belongs to Jane - she who loves anything blue, the sky, the sea and her small, grumpy friend after a week with toothache. So she needs little persuading to devote this week's blog to her favourite colour. However, as sometimes occurs, Jane and Beryl's fevered fashion plans are not necessarily reflected by the now much contracted Great British high-street. Our fashionistas dream of the blue of Greek Islands, but what they get is a lot of sensible navy in Winchester on a wet Wednesday...

Blazer M&S £79, pumps Mistral £39, Dune handbag £75,
Spotty Sasha culotte £65, white t-shirt £35 both Phase Eight
 (all this season)

 Beryl has played an early blue card this season with the purchase of a navy blazer from the petite section of M&S with white piping and buttons. Jane and Beryl have limited success in this emporium of British delights, but this is just the kind of bit of kit that they do really well, and Beryl has not had it off since! The spotty trews are also a good re-spin of a classic combo, if it were not for the dodgy length. Even Beryl who has the inside leg measurement of Danny Devito, finds these a little too short. They are probably supposed to be cropped on a fully grown person, but Beryl still doubts the wisdom of a wide above the ankle-flapper. 
   
Rosina Satin trousers £89 and Kyle Knitted vest £59 both Phase Eight
So, navy it is... and Phase Eight it is, a shop which is doing well this season for Jane and Beryl. Jane slightly feels that she is out of kilter with the seasons as this vest has a glitter effect and is knitted, and satin trousers? Does she hear jingle bells again? How confusing...

Jacket Charity shop £12 (Hobbs)
 Skirt £80 Symomirizwa Gupt, Pumps Next £25

OK, no-one is going to pretend that this is the stuff of every day wear, but this little ensemble is beloved of our Beryl and has been on the go since last summer. The skirt by Malaysian designer Syomirizwa Gupta is still available on line. Beryl tends to wear it to sing madrigals in Minchinhampton, or be entertained by a evening of light music in Ludlow. You know the sort of thing. 

 Cornflower jeans £69, Melinda linen knit £59,
Selina spot scarf £39, all Phase Eight

More from Phase Eight... Jane is in love with cornflower blue and these trews are a good bit of spring kit if only her love affair with the wide leg was over: but it isn't and she is far too loyal to have a bit on the side. The jumper is the summer linen version of a shape the shop has had for several seasons and which Jane and Beryl already have in myriad colours so there is a strong chance that they will both be purchasing one of these before the summer is out.



Printed wide leg trouser French Connection £85, top Great Plains top £45,
From Clotworthys, St Ives
 pumps Camper £10, pearls £8 charity shop


Not a Greek island, but Cornwall in February. Beryl has slowly but surely replaced art school black with the kinder hue of navy as a basis for her wardrobe. This outfit, although frequently worn, is a touch sensible for the diminutive diva. Sensible clothes make her think of her alma mater, Shrewsbury High School for Girls, which had uniform lists with items such as gym knickers (two pairs, navy) and indoor and outdoor shoes, (one inch heels only). 


Blue fabric handbag £40, ivory jacket £85, navy and white sleeveless shirt £50,
 all Laura Ashley, jeans And/Or at John Lewis £49 in the sale

Jane is startled to find herself rigged out in Laura Ashley, something which hasn't happened since she was about 16 and leg'o'mutton blouses were all the rage. Her small friend occasionally finds goodies here, but Jane not so much. This short jacket is unusual on Jane who goes for everything longline to cover her stomach: perhaps she can get away with it coupled with dark jeans? The jury is out...




Perhaps the jury could also consider these two dresses. Frock A, (left) fresh-looking, stripy and £89 from Phase Eight is trapeze shaped and uber flattering. Frock B, (right) from Baum und Pferdgarten costs £319, and definitely feels the more fashionable of the two. Jane talked Beryl down from the lofty parapet of buying this, however, on the grounds that it had a high neck and maybe is a bit too young. Jane and Beryl know that this is shocking defeatist talk of the worse sort, but the proof is in the pictures. Maybe Little House On The Prairie dressing looks better on Laura than on Ma.

Estelle canvas plimsole £75 Jigsaw





Jane tells a story of a time when she and Beryl were struggling with small children and buggies in a very posh frock shop: as the snooty sales assistant surveyed the carnage that came with their entourage she pointedly said, unbidden, 'The casual trousers are at the back of the shop, madam.' Jane has since come to terms with the fact that casual is indeed her default and here are two jumpers which epitomise her stance, both from Mint Velvet and both coming in at £69. She would like to think that the epithet 'chic' as in 'casual chic' could be added on a good day.


Next week: Fashion on the ration, 
Jane and Beryl find forties influences on the high-street.  






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