Perhaps not the most obvious starting point for a fashion blog, but dearest reader it could be jolly interesting. Suddenly, sensible clothing 'Enid Blyton style' looks like rather the thing for spring 2020. Enid's Famous Five all wear androgynous clothing with a nostalgic bent. 

The more feminine Anne is the exception, AKA Beryl, who likes a frock and a hair bow. 
 Her 'strange cousin,' George, AKA Jane, despises this girly trait, plumping instead for jeans, pullovers and shorts. 'Shorts!' exclaims Jane emphatically, 'it's February.' 'Well, maybe not shorts, then,' concedes Beryl, strongly suspecting a wanton lack of moral fibre in her erstwhile companion. Nonetheless, Jane and Beryl head for the Knoll House Hotel, Studland Bay, where our Enid spent much of her time and their adventure begins.

Get the look


Sparkle and Fade Jersey, swapped at school by Beryl's daughter,
This season's jersey trousers by The White Company £79, brogues, sale Seasalt £27 

Pre-love Brora cardigan £70 
 The first Famous Five story, Five on a Treasure Island, was published in 1942, the same year as The British Ministry of Information published Make Do and Mend, a pamphlet in which Mr and Mrs Sew explain mending tips designed to extend the life of clothes. In a look whole-hearted pinched from her daughter @PocketsizeThrifter, Beryl wears this second hand Brora cardigan with wide leg cords or a mismatched dress. 

Trench coats, hats (and knapsacks)

Jumper, M&S, £12 pre-loved, cords, £44, Anthropologie sale, coat, Joseph, £70, pre-loved

Hate £35 by Powder, Coat £245 Just, other clothes as above  
Yes, those things that today's youngsters abhor, namely, the hat and coat, are both items beloved of the 1940s parent if not the child. Naturally, Jane and Beryl are inordinately fond of both at this time of year. Jane adds a knapsack for that authentic touch, as they catch the train to the castle. (Actually the trains weren't running and the castle was shut, this is February in Dorset) 

Wide leg jeans or cords,
 perfect for scrambling over rocks  

Sloppy Joe jumper, Pink Avocet £79.99, jeans, John Lewis £49.50 half price,
boots, M&S, £64

Joie sweater £85 sale rail at Saks,
 cords Britt Kai Rand £150 last season

Hmm, not much scrambling going on here, however, mainly because all routes to the beach are impassible as it's February. Jane and Beryl are transported back to the heyday of Studland when, in 1944, Churchill came here to watch the practise for the D-Day landings as soldiers fought their way through yards of barbed wire. It's a sobering moment. (Or it would be if Beryl wasn't working her way through the cocktail list) 

                     Blouses and Other Stories

Sailor-collar blouse, £6.50, pre-loved, jeans, as before, plimsolls, £4.99, Oxfam

Ahh, the blouse, not a word one sees very often these days, but Jane is definitely wearing one here. More tailored than the ubiquitous shirt, they can be infinitely more flattering.

Jumper and jeans, as before, shirt, £15, Seasalt sale
However, there is a whole bunch of kit which can be borrowed from the boys as George and Anne do in The Famous Five. Plundering their wardrobes could be an option, or a trip to the men's rail in the charity shop might prove fruitful. 
Little girl frocks

Dress (£79 sale) and shoes LK Bennett (£30 sample sale), bag £75 Dune (still available) 
There is something slightly sinister about this grown up version of Ann-wear brought by Beryl last spring which has been an unmitigated disaster. Based on the notion of a shirt, nothing will de-frump this dress and, Beryl really has tried. Perhaps some children's clothing, such as onesies, smocking and sandals with pear drop cut outs, just don't look cute or appropriate when scaled up. 

Red swimsuits 

Swimsuit, £56, Bravissimo

The buying of a swimsuit is a tricky and fraught business as we all know. Jane tried to economise and bought two from the ASDA sale rail. Oh, dear, what a mistake, they let her wobbly bits hang out where they ought'n't've, the colours were just too obvious etc etc 'Gad zooks' muttered a very pink faced Julian. No, she just had to throw money at this particular problem. Jane and Beryl think that a good red is always an excellent WOACA choice, and so has proved the case. Jane happily and serenely completes her 30 lengths (of a 10 metre pool... ha, ha).

With thanks to the lovely staff of Knoll House Hotel. 

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