This week Jane and Beryl unashamedly explore the lows of British mid-life summer dressing and air their own sartorial prejudices in the process. Yes, they know that there will be outrage in camp sites from Auchtermuchty to West Wittering, but enough is enough, people. 

The cut off trouser

 It is true that virtually every pair of trews this summer has been awkwardly pollarded somewhere between the knee and the ankle, but Jane and Beryl (and they are of one mind here) think that these are instantly ageing. Whak them on with a pair of Nature Treks with velcro fastenings and you have the full, appalling look nailed. 

The Remedy

Wide trousers tailored 
to wear with flat shoes

Top Shop trousers via the charity shop for £5

Let Jane and Beryl introduce a radical idea, trousers that actually fit a person's leg length. A gal instantly regains her full height without drawing attention to six inches of imperfect ankle, what's not to love. 

The floral T shirt

No, it's no good, Beryl has never met a floral T-shirt she's liked yet. Is this faded floral tit-coverer attractive? Or, as Beryl suspects, a sad, miserable excuse for something more modish, with a sleeve that instantly plunges a woman into her 70th year. Get rid, is their advice.

 The Remedy

Replace with a plain tee

Tee Shirt Tu at Sainsburys £8
Plain Tees are instantly calmer and chicer. (Caveat: avoid the classic old rocker's high neck tee like the plague, unless you want to look like a Black Sabbath roadie). This T-shirt came from Tu at Sainsburys two summers ago, and is cunningly trapeze shaped, the scoop neck framing our Bezza's jumper-lumpers, while the extra flowing fabric disguises her stomach area. Good T-shirts are really worth shopping for, do not compromise, there is one out there that will flatter you.

The Fleece 

Here is our Jane wearing the striped Breton (yawn) but more to the point, top of crimes against elegant summer dressing, the zip up fleece. What's wrong with a fleece they hear you cry? Basically this garment is androgynous, but not in a cool Tilda Swindon sort of way, but in I-just-turned-into-a-real-ale-swilling-bloke sort of way. And we haven't even mentioned that they are killing our planet one wash at a time (70,000 fibres fall out each and every wash).

The Remedy

 A draped fine knit in a great colour

Jumper Phase Eight £59, Ralph Lauren wide jersey trousers $40, pumps Next £12 
These clothes are no less practical than those in the previous pic, but they are a darn sight more stylish. Jane and Beryl have bought several incarnations of this asymmetrical jumper from Phase Eight over the last few years, and this year it's Bezza's turn.
Jumper Phase Eight £59, Trousers Top Shop £35

The twisty front jersey maxi dress

Maybe it's just that these have been done to death, or maybe it's the stretchy fabric, but Jane and Beryl think that in the summer of the SFF (silly frilly frock) that these now look really dated. 

The Remedy

A maxi with a frill

£20 TK Maxx
The platformed flip flop

Could someone please explain to Jane and Beryl what the attraction is with these? Have they really made anyone's bum look better? Does adding sparkle to a flip flop with a platform elevate them to evening wear? Jane and Beryl remain mystified.

The Remedy

 Something without the chunk. 

The tailored short

Short-wearing in mid-life is quite literally a bit of a minefield. Although Beryl would like to tell the patriarchy where to get off, she is not sure if anyone is really edified by the top two inches of her thighs. Too long and too wide and she metamorphosises into Brown Owl. Too short and too tight, and the anatomical parts of a Daisy Duke rear their ugly head. 

Top Wallis £20, shorts Gerry Weber £55

 Shorts are beachy casual things, the moment they become studied and smart, things go badly wrong.  Classic tailored shorts are the preserve of the lady golfer and quite literally pants, which for some strange reason always seem to be tighter in the lady garden than a trouser. Strange sawn off jeans that end at the knee (see previous T-shirt picture) also belong in the Room 101 of summer kit.

 The remedy

Loose, casual and mid thigh
Past season's shorts by Joules, pumps Victoria £39
 The answer, a loose unstructured garment in soft fabric such as linen or cotton, which ends above the knee or wherever your confidence begins. 

Next Week: Jane and Beryl attempt to look good on the beach


  1. Love the maxi dress! :)

    Mariya |

  2. Thank you so much just stopped me turning my home made loose trousers into cut offs. Whew!!!





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