What could a WOACA wear this spring to lift her spirits and refresh her wardrobe? Jane and Beryl wade through the cockamamie offerings on the catwalks (neon feathers, anyone?) and come up with four WOACA-friendly trends, which will at very least be guaranteed more fun than Brexit!


Jacket £28 Red Herring at Debenhams, trousers £125 Leon and Harper

Beryl can only apologise to the nation for the unseemly puckering in her downstairs department, which has rather put the tin lid on a dismal week. Her root canal treatment has become painfully infected and her face is swollen like a Welsh prop-forward. Coupled with this, she attended a funeral where she took a step backwards colliding with the publican carrying a large tray of glasses filled with prosecco, all of which makes a dodgy crotch fade into insignificance in the embarrassment stakes. The point of this picture? Wear your brights with... err... other brights.

Jacket £119, trousers £89 both Mint Velvet

Jane, in contrast, is in her spiritual fashion home in this jacket and wide trouser combo. She likes to think she is Katherine Hepburn (has she not noticed that she is about two stone heavier than the marvellous Katerina?) However, she maintains that this is an easy breezy bit of fashionable kit that anyone can wear and feel great in.

Hobbs dress £79, necklace, shoes Karen Millen £89 in sale 
Poking about looking for brights in Hobbs, Beryl finds this dress on the sale rail. It might just be the colour and watching The Six Nations, but the entire team from Tonypandy flashes through her mind again, something to do with a high neck, making her shoulders look broad. Jane reminds her that she has a plethora of red dresses. You can go off a person, she thinks. 

Shoes £99, bag £70 both Hobbs

Meanwhile, Jane is getting over excited in the pump rack, a shoe to which her weird feet are normally strangers. These are cut with a high vamp encasing her bunionus vulgaris a treat and are in incredibly soft suede in an eye-popping bright pink. 

Au naturel
Mango last autumn £79, 

Trousers £39 Top Shop, striped shirt £22 New Look. Mules second hand £7

Jane and Beryl have misgivings about our friend Mr Beige.
 Nature, by the time a gal hits her fifties, is trying to rob her of colour anyway as hair gathers grey streaks and fairer skin can take on a pasty pall so why wear more of it than is absolutely necessary? Despite this Beryl does have to admit that there is perennially a spot of oatmeal in her wardrobe and clearly this is the moment to fish them out and let them do a turn. She has a Hobbs' trouser suit in linen, and the ubiquitous stone macintosh care of Mango. This season she decides to update the look, by purchasing the more fashionable wide trouser shape. 

Boilersuit £185 Bellerose
Au naturel, huh? Not something Jane is in favour of, it's artifice all the way with her and colour is no exception. Shades of caramel, beige, camel... call it what you will, it just does not suit her skin tones. And a boiler suit to boot! Has Jane completely lost her marbles? Possibly. She feels like a land girl circa 1943 in this and it's unlikely you'll see her strolling the streets in it - so hard to get on and off apart from anything else.

Jacket and trousers £49 and £30, Principles 

Despite our ladies not really bonding with nature's tones, Beryl finds herself considering this dusky pink jacket which is not a bad bit of kit for £75 although the trousers have a dicky seam. Like many women, she suspects she has a few items lurking in her wardrobe that she has never quite found the right thing to wear with. One of these items is a pink slip skirt of at least 15 years vintage, which this belted number could revitalise. 'Fifteen years!' shrieks Jane, 'for heavens sake woman, give it up, and anyway you could wear it with navy, which you have.' Beryl is beginning to wish the words buy less, buy better had never passed her lips. 


Hat £55, trousers £125 Leon & Harper, jumper £115 American Vintage

Jane was officially told by the Colour Experts once upon a time that she was a summer gal and therefore should wear pastels whenever possible. She mostly takes issue with this diagnosis, but must confess to feeling quite relaxed and comfortable in this casual pastel outfit. The sherbet tones of the oh, so soft sweater she finds appealing and the trews surprisingly attractive despite the fact that they are in one of her least favourite colours: baby poo yellow. 

Dress Billie & Blossoms for Dorothy Perkins, £45, bag £30 Debenhams
This little dress is a very neat fit and just about gets under the wire in the pastels category Jane and Beryl think despite its dark background. For the full £45 it would be a great bit of summer wedding kit if you didn't want to push the boat out and you dressed it up with a hat, posh shoes and some nice jewellery. It can be topped off with a pale jacket as needs be (see below).

Jacket Mint Velvet £119, last season
(but in bright pink and cream this season)

Dress, Baum und Pfergarten, £319
Beryl's 19 year old daughter always insists on calling pastels, past- elles, as if Frenchifying the word some how makes them instantly more chic. Historically, wishy-washy shades don't really do much for either of our fashionista's, until Beryl tries on this pink Ganni dress...
Dress Sandrose, Ganni, £370 

Oh, my word, the marsh-mallowed, pink-tinged cumulonimbus, glory of it. A sugared almond, candy-flossed confection of broderie anglaise, with a puffed sleeve. Princess Margaret in the Roddy Llewellyn years, but in a good way, the first rosy pink flush of younger male attention sort of way. Beryl feels ravishing in this, but can't quite pluck up the nerve to buy it. When would she wear such a dress, living in Muddy Puddle and upsetting drinks trays as she does? She leaves the shop feeling frustrated, a bit like her last visit to Tonypandy.  


Coat Debenham's Collection £59, top Principles £25

Mac Principles, £49

Beryl and Jane think they might give spring checks a miss this year. Winter checks wonderful, summer ones not so much, light fabrics, pale colours, nah. This is partly because fashion victim that she is, she bought a gingham Zara skirt two years ago that has scarely seen the light of day and yes it does look like a table cloth. Perhaps gingham really does belong to the young, or at least young farmers, too Little House on the Prairie, meets Anne of Green Gables she thinks. Jane agrees it's a calamity. Lets face it she will probably still be looking for something to wear with it in fifteen years time. 

Jacket as above, skirt £29 (last year) Zara, pumps £39 Mistral 

Next Week: blue and white

1 comment

  1. I love that you show us the things that don't work as well as the ones that do and as a WOACA who is Beryl sized but with Jane's colouring (a Sweet Pea Summer in my colour analysis - not so much pastels but 'softer' colours. The cornflower/periwinkle blue that Jane has raved over is a perfect 'summer' colour) I'm getting inspiration from both of you.





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