It's high summer in 'Blighty' and Jane and Beryl are out and about like a pair of menopausal Repunzels, finally liberated from the tower. The question is, what to wear in England, now that summer's here? Our gals, tackle some summertime events, armed with the requisite clobber.

Ghost dress, past season, £169, hat, Helen Kaminski, £125,
bag, Orla Keily, £200, plimsolls, Tesco, £13

First stop, dress numero uno. Jane and Beryl are simply lusting after the opportunity to ponce about in a frock and now is the moment. Beryl reminisces that some of the happiest days of her childhood were spent in nothing but a cotton dress and no knickers, but Jane is being firm with her about the pant situation. Here is Jane's favourite combo: a louche Ghost dress topped off with a straw hat, straw bag and plimmies, plus some very large Bridget Joneses. Jane is taking afternoon tea on the unlikely named Bahama Express which might be as hot as the Caribbean but is actually steaming through lovely Wiltshire. 

DKNY dress £49, TK MAXX vintage hat £4,
vintage basket £10, Victoria pimps £39

Hello, hello, hello, what 'ave we 'ere? Is Beryl about to be arrested again at the Chalk Valley History Festival?
Not for crimes against style surely!
 Jane is refusing to bail Beryl out any more, as she is still traumatised from the occasion when she was mistaken for the notorious cat burglar, Shorty-The Fence.  

The trick with frockage,  Beryl and Jane think, is to stick to the shape that truly suits you. Being an hourglass with a low centre of gravity, our Beryl looks best in a fit and flare, while the somewhat rectangular Jane favours a gently flowing dress, that gives definition to her waist. Beryl's dress has a forties feel and this season's polka dots to boot. Obviously Beryl's new chum has taken all this in at a glance.

Dress, Ghost, £169, hat and shoes, as before

Here is Jane in the same hat, same shoes, almost the same dress in a different colour which proves the tried and tested approach to frock style works. She has her thieving dabs on the nearest roller and had the Law not been so much in evidence (see above), she might have felt compelled to drive it away...

Boden dress £108

Beryl is now warming to this subject, and is in danger of waxing lyrical about the summer frock, but is there truly anything nicer to wear on a beautiful summers day, than a fine sustainable cotton lawn? She now spits out the word 'polyester', rather in the way her mother 
used to speak of 'veneered furniture' as if it were something nasty stuck to the sole of her shoe.  
Top, Preloved French Connection, £3.50, trousers, Ghost, £99,
jumper, preloved Gerry Weber, £6, hat, as before, bag, vegan leather £13

But back to their true purpose scoffing in the NAAFI tea tent. Our duo had two trips to the CVHF this year as it was one of the few events open at the end of June, and Jane forsook the dress option for her favourite trouser and top ensemble.  Jane has really discovered just how much she likes wearing pink and green this season: her blouse was a French Connection charity shop find (£3.50) and likewise the jumper by Gerry Weber (£6).

Ghost x M&S dress £89 (this season) espadrilles, Boden (this season)

More tea, Vicar? Beryl has invited the local Garden club for tea and cucumber sandwiches on the lawn. Ringing the changes she tries a very pretty dress from The Ghost x M&S Collection. Beryl loves the fondant fancy pinkness of this confection. Oh dear, Beryl's obsession with cake is creeping into her clothing choices now! 

Dress as before, vintage 1940s bag £39


Dress, £40, coat, £69, both The White House Sale,
bag, £25, shoes and hat, as before

Jane's favoured criminal activity is clearly bent towards 'taking and driving away': this time it's a Bentley at The Grange, Northington, where Jane and Beryl have taken themselves for a night at the operetta, namely My Fair Lady. Jane is still in That Hat, but she is in what was sold to her as a beach dress, topped off with an evening coat plus the ubiquitous plimsolls. Can she get away with it?

Charity shop hat £3, Dress Danial Rainn £15, basket as before Shoes Elia B £65

Meanwhile, Beryl has turned up to the Grange in a £15 charity shop dress, which she is beginning to regret as the evening commences, and she realises that people are wearing the poshest clothes she has ever seen. Silk gowns, DJs and boaters abound. This vague feeling of discomfiture abates however as the auditorium warms up with the proximity of so many happy theatre-goers, and a distinctly pungent aroma begins to rise up from the audience. Beryl is at first confused: what might this be? And then up from the dim and distant recesses of her memory and grandad's wardrobe came the solution... mothballs! 
Jane wears: Somerset by Alice Temperley dress, £130, shoes, Jigsaw, £89
Beryl wears: top, preloved Monsoon,  skirt, Anthropologie, £140

The final event of Jane and Beryl's summer before they flee the county for their hols chez Cornwall is their very own art exhibition. The day dawned inclement, which they were secretly quite pleased about as no-one wants to discuss art when feeling unpleasantly warm and sticky. Jane reverted to another go-to several seasons old dress, while Beryl found this gorgeous bobby dazzler of a skirt, to team with a preloved £2.99 top - always a joy.


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