Jacket, Somerset by Alice Temperley,
cost £149, worn the magic 30 times. 

 'No, Beryl, we are not talking about that Norwegian sailor that you picked up in 1985, but all those rarely worn clothes in your wardrobe,' says Jane. 'Good heavens, Jane's right,' thinks Beryl. Both our gals, it seems, have clothes, that  they do not wear. Why is this? For what reasons do some clothes become favourites, while others languish? And what do these mistakes have to teach us? Jane and Beryl interrogate their loved and unloved garm's in search of the truth. 

Jacket B, Preloved Louise Kennedy £130,
The White Company dress £150, several seasons ago
This is the story of two pink jackets. One worn constantly and the other, not so much.  Jacket A, seen on Beryl, (perched like a parrot in a palm tree) has a nice little nipped in waist and combines or contrasts with a dizzying amount of her pre-existing clobber. Jacket B, although absolutely gorgeous, pretty much goes with this white dress, and this white dress alone, mostly as a result of the embroidery. 

 Its crime therefore a lack of versatility, its milieu being too formal. As there is nothing quite like a global pandemic to dry up the supply of formal invitations, Beryl's guessing she will not have much need for this combo going forward. Cost per wear, well the full £130 she paid for it, as it has been worn precisely once. 

Hobbs pre-loved lace shirt £45
Jane is a girl who loves a shirt, formal, casual, linen, silk - anything goes. Or does it? Jane bought this lace job (above) thinking that it would do a treat for those smart/casual occasions (irrelevant now, see above) and would cover her arms without being too hot. Quelle dommage! The reality is that it is in fact nylon, there's no getting away from it, and ergo sweaty. And it makes her feel like some dowager duchess circa 1960. Note to self, thinks Jane, stop buying coloured lace, it doesn't work! 

Shirt, The Hambledon £119
Ahh, this is sooo much better, loose and insouciant, see through and light but without the hint of the old lady about it. And it's been worn for several seasons and will be again. 

Floral coat A

Sometimes Beryl does not know what on earth possesses her. She clearly does not see what everybody else sees when she is in the enchanted forest, sorry, the changing room. She thinks she is tall, willowy, and so beautiful she can carry off anything. Well, that is until the magic potion wears off and a stumpy crone hails into view. This is one of Beryl's BIGGEST MISTAKES EVER. It cost £150, reduced from some astronomical sum (surely therefore a bargain?) and Beryl thought it might go to her son's graduation, with a plain dress underneath. Too short, shiny and square, it goes with nothing Bezza has or will ever own. No dress has ever matched it, and even if one could be found, it would hang the best part of half a metre below the slimy fabric. Its crime, wrong shape, wrong fabric, wrong woman. 

Floral coat B: Preloved Laura Ashley coat £40, House of Gallet
And now for something equally eccentric, but infinitely more wearable. Vintage and pre-loved, it is oft worn with a jeans and trousers. It is neatly shaped through the waist and is distinctive enough to cause a little polite head-turning in the street. 

Dress £45, shoes, Jigsaw sale £89

Jane blames Beryl for this hideous mistake. She told her it looked elegant. Ha! the reality is that it is a bag which makes Jane look like one too. Completely square, with a pod stomach poking out: what possessed her? Needless to say, it still has the label attached and has never seen the light of day. Any takers? 

Dress, Ghost, £165, shoes, as before

Jane should stick to what she knows works - namely, one of her favourite Ghost dresses. Also navy, also maxi but it has shape and hangs so well. It has been worn to death (yes, to funerals as well as jollier occasions) and Jane has another in a different colour and will probably buy a third this year (they are often available on second hand sites).

Ahh, the magpie moment is upon us. What is it about sparkles that Jane - and indeed many women - just cannot resist? The time has come to ditch all but the most subtle. Jane was attracted to this top by its fabulous colour, but it has a cotton jersey back which clings to the curves in a most unflattering way and once more makes Jane look square. This is something of a theme and could, of course, be because Jane is in fact square, but we'll let that pass along with this vest top into history... (thank goodness it was only £7 in a dress agency).

Top, Warehouse, £25
While Jane is not saying this one is perfect, it is certainly more flattering. The sparkles go all the way round to the back skimming the aforementioned fatty back and the neckline is so much more flattering.

Beryl loves Call the Midwife and is desperate to be in an episode, but this costume (sorry, dress) is going a bit far, she is clearly on loan from The London, and Dr Turner better watch out, as she is a tartar with the urine samples. Worn, just long enough for Jane to declare it a dud, Beryl accessorises the look with a frilly pillow case.  Please Jane, stop Beryl from buying any dress with a hint of a wrap, (they never sit flat on on her jumpa-lumpas), or any frock that would do very nicely in a field dressing station.  

In contrast this second hand Samantha Sung dress, always delivers. It is a proper shirt-waister with a full skirt, which throws Bezza into the correct proportions. Beryl pops it on and never gives it a second thought, which is the holy grail of frock-age.

Blouse, Oasis, £35
Back to Jane and the shirts... a loud floral is one of her many shirt predilections, but you know what's coming. SQUARE, SQUARE, SQUARE. And too many flounces, Beryl might say, as she is not a lover of the frill adorning a middle aged bosom. This is one of those items that every time Jane puts it on, she takes it off immediately and hurls it into a crumpled heap in the corner of her wardrobe. Time to send it to the charity shop (if only they were taking stuff). 

Jane is nothing if not contrary, one minute despising a fitted lace shirt, only to prefer something fitted in tana lawn the next. This is one she made herself on the assumption that if you can't find what you want to wear, sew it yourself. As she only completed it two weeks ago, she is pleased to report that she's already up to six wears, so the obligatory 30 will be an easy fix, she thinks.
Jumpsuit Moutaki 70 Euros 
This jumpsuit can only be described as Beryl's big fat Greek mistake. As a child, Beryl learnt a form of dance, inspired by Isadora Duncan, which drew upon the ideals and aesthetics of classical Greece. Beryl's chief memory of this was of poncing about in a short tunic, carrying a very large fir cone on the end of a pole. Ahh - happy days. 

Back to the fabric faux-pas however, this jumpsuit is so unflattering and indeed voluminous, that she gets her foot regularly caught in the extra wide legs, resulting in a series of comedy falls. The lesson is, be careful what you buy on holiday as sun, sea, sand, cocktails, only one shop on the island can lead a gal to a dodgy purchase.  

In contrast, this Yumi jumpsuit is yummy. Form-fitting and floral (the flowers are excellent stomach disguise) it's repaid its £35 spend in full, many moons ago. 

1 comment

  1. Gorgeous ladies!

    Mariya | https://www.brunetteondemand.com/





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