Coat, charity shop, £20, dress, Ghost from Jane's wardrobe, boots, likewise

This week our gals' mission, should they choose to accept it, is to create this season's looks from the wonderful world of second-hand clothing and their own overstuffed wardrobes.  'Where is the fun in that,' they hear you cry? Well, lots actually, and Jane and Beryl are out to prove that most so called "trends", can be whipped up without any recourse to fast fashion.    

The Colour Block (above)

When you love an outfit, you just love an outfit, no matter what the fashionistas tell you is the latest 'in' thing. It is gratifying, however, when the two coincide and that is just the case with Jane's simply red ensemble. The fashion press tell us that it is a sure fire way to lengthen your silhouette and therefore instantly shed a few pounds blah, blah, blah; by a happy combination of smoke and mirrors, it does indeed seem to have had that effect on Jane, who looks somewhat slimmer than she actually is IRL. Pass the cake, says Jane, we'll soon put a stop to that.

The Kilt

Pure wool Fair Isle jumper by Eribe of Scotland (new gift),
Jane's vintage Jaeger kilt, £7, boots Zara via TK Maxi, £17 

Always a sucker for fashion, our Beryl's got a mad crush on anything Caledonian at the moment, checkered blankets, shortbread biscuits in the shape of Scottie dogs, Craig Brown who had 'made in Scotland 1960' tattooed on his bum,(sorry, too much information) but above all vintage kilts.

 As far as Jane's concerned it's been a month of pure hell ever since Jean Campbell made a re-appearance in the Boden catalog! 'This look is called 'rural-regal,' Beryl huffs, tying a silk headscarf under her chin and striding away swinging her pleated plaid, into the gloaming of the Hampshire/Wiltshire borders. 
'Give me strength,' mutters Jane. 

Fuzzy Coats 

Zara coat £20 and knitted skirt £7 both charity shop 

When Jane had her colours done many moons ago, she was told that this particular shade of maroon was the most fetching on her of all the colours in the world. Who knew? However, as a fan of the furry coat in its myriad manifestations - pink, orange, red, leopard print etc etc - she is willing to go along with the colourists verdict when one such as this comes her way.

Animal print

M&S dress for Sale £12, at the Phoenix Emporium, Salisbury 

 A little animal print goes a long way on a woman of a certain age, Beryl thinks? This revelation comes in a week where she turned up to Keep Fat, wearing a leopard print coat, sweater and sunglasses, only to be told she looked like Bette Linch of Corrie fame!  Stung by this riposte, she feels it might be time to release a few of her finds back into the wild.  

The Fair Isle Knit

Pink cardi Beacon Cove, Brora Cardi £60 

In keeping with her Highland fantasy, Beryl is also in love with the Fair Isle knit. That's all we need, thinks Jane, Beryl mincing about like a short, swarthy, dumpy version of Miss Jean Brodie. Here, she wears two second hand cardigans, both lambswool, the blue one from Brora and the pink one from Beacon Cove. The trousers are a pink preloved wide legged woolly number of Jane's.  But, oh dear, they seem to have formed themselves into some sort of Walrus ear flap, in Beryl's front lady garden. Beryl's not best pleased.       

The Androgenous Dresser

Blouse, Jo's Dressing Room, Trowbridge, £20,
trousers, Mariela, from Jane's wardrobe

Just as Jane gets known for particularly disliking something (as in 'Jane loathes animal print') you can bet your bell bottomed dollar that she will suddenly decide that she actually loves it after all. So here she is in a bestial blouse. She has no excuses, except that this is a personality trait and as such, not a jot can be done about it. She wears it with her late father's wool waistcoat and trousers from at least seven years ago, for the full Annie Hall look. 

Maxi dress and boot combo

Dress by Daniel Rainn, £15, charity shop, boots, £120, by Gabor,
Second Hand Sunglasses by LK Bennett £60

Maxi dresses and indeed midi dresses with big clumpy boots are, well... BIG this season. Beryl has done a quick straw poll of her mates and found that opinion is divided, but Bezza is smitten for good reason. The upside for the WOACA, these wide fitting booties from Gabor are like butter on her sad old arthritic plates of meat. Obviously, these are not second hand, but when it comes to foot comfort, Beryl is pretty sure that middle-aged women get a dispensation from the Pope. 


Jacket, Foxtrot, Marlborough, second-hand, £45,
 trousers, £3, Hobbs via summer fete pre-loved stall

Jane can never let a good idea go, and as militaria - in the fashion sense - never quite goes away, it's just as well. Her favourite jacket, aka The Nutcracker Jacket, always gets an airing whether 'on trend' or not though. Unfortunately, this year she finds that the buttons won't quite reach the buttonholes any more: what can have happened? It has obviously shrunk in the wash (again). 

Hopefully our gals have proved a point, that fashion can be found perfectly well amongst the preloved. Beryl and Jane are also wondering whether to re name this blog 'Fat Round The Middle' humm...

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