Beryl Hobbs coat sale £279, Jane Preloved Kestra of London coat £40


Happy New Year!

Jane and Beryl are not the gals for a resolution in the usual way of things: they don't smoke, they hardly drink, and the dieting rarely makes it beyond week two. So what to give up and what to embrace? It could be said that they both love shopping a tad too much and ought to make the best of what they have. Here's how they plan to do it...               

 Go for dopamine colour 

Boots Pull and Bear £12 TK Maxx, Trousers Kitri, sale £88 (this season) 
 Monsoon charity shop top £3, cardi (this season)   

  A concerned person, once asked Beryl if she owned any sensible clothing? 'Don't be ridiculous' replied an appalled Beryl, what would I want those for?  The same applies to colour, no this would not be nicer in grey. You have to excuse her now, she wants to get back to her colouring. 

Wear forgotten gems

Shirt, Anthropologie, £120, cords, Everlane, £65

Jane and Beryl, like most women, have items at the back of their wardrobes that lurk largely unworn, sniggering at them and muttering, "Silly cow, why did you buy me?" Well, be quiet, for this season, Jane and Beryl are ousting these - wear it or give it a new life elsewhere, that's their motto.

Put on their glad rags 

Dress, £25, coat, £20, both vintage

Beryl and Jane have decided to be hopelessly over dressed at all times. What is the point of keeping things for Sunday best, or waiting for the party that never comes? Get it out there, say Jane and Beryl. Jane has always advocated that if you want something to feel like an occasion, dress for an occasion. 

 Wear wacky combos

Jumper, Eribe, £179, net skirt, White Coco, £79
 The other day Beryl was watching her favourite programme, Call The Midwife, when the redoubtable Miss Higgins, played by the marvellous Georgie Glen, appeared in her serviceable suit and demure hat.  Beryl suddenly remembered that when she was a child, this was indeed what most women of a certain age wore, this was the uniform associated with 'being past it.' 

 Thankfully times have changed, and we can now wear what we darn well please. So Beryl's resolution is to mix it up, to wear her Fair Isle jumper with a net skirt and gold boots, 
to keep experimenting and boldly try new ideas and combinations. 

Ditch Miss Higgins's sensible shoes

Nothing ages a woman more than a dated pair of shoes, say Jane and Beryl. Many a fine dress is ruined by dodgy hooves.  If your trotters have turned to feet of clay, then go via the plimsoll or comfy stompy boot route. 

Vegan boots, M and S, £49.99, dress, vintage Jenny Packham, jumper, charity shop £6 

Clear out their knicker drawers

Bra, Fantasie, £44, dressing gown, £5, charity shop

Women of Britain! This is Jane and Beryl's call to arms, or rather undies. The nation's knickers need reappraising. Aging bodies means changing bodies in Jane and Beryl's experience, so the delightful whisps of silk and lace which once graced their forms are no longer of use. Knickers they bought in their twenties are no longer cutting the mustard, but are in fact cutting them in half. They like Triumph pants (expensive, but worth it) as they do not roll down, and Jane has found a good selection in Matalan. Beryl is a fan of George at Asda for a bigger knicker.

 Love the pre-loved

Dress £15, hat £3, both from charity shops,
vintage 1940s bag £35, shoes Elia B £59

If Beryl and Jane have one serious intent for 2022, it is to promote the buying and wearing of second hand clothes. Confront Jane and Beryl with a £1 rail, and it is like watching two highly trained truffle pigs in action. It is hard to describe the joy of finding a Hermes scarf for £1.50 if the whole second hand thing is not your bag.

Britain has a vibrant charity shop sector, where lots of eco friendly goodies can be found. Young people have really got on board with this. If you are still apprehensive about the dodgy smell or lack of shopping experience, pick a dress agency where things are smartly displayed and curated.  

If buying new, throw money at it

Coat, Oofwear, half price, £137

For all their good intentions, Jane and Beryl are inevitably going to be tempted from the primrose path on occasion and break out into a new purchase - they are only human. 

When this dark moment occurs and they flagellate themselves for their feckless behaviour, they try to confine themselves to something that is really a heritage or statement buy. So it will last for years and attract a lot of attention, two things Jane and Beryl love. This usually means spending a bit more money. However, the canny shopper can often fulfil these criteria by getting a bargain sale item. Jane's pink coat is a case in point: she'll be wearing this at 80. 

Only get the new garment fix once a month

 Luella dress £84, gold boots Zara £49

Beryl has pledged to only buy one new garment a month this year, which will be a challenge for the self-confessed spendthrift. She is also going to make sterling attempts to wear only natural fibres. At the moment she is lying miserably face down in a darkened room, wondering quite what she has done. Jane, who enjoys being superior, claims to have done this last year, with no ill effect. 

Pictured here, is the last posh frock of 2021, with co-ordinating gold boots. On the upside, she is hoping that her 12 garments (still a goodly amount and excluding bras, knickers and nighties) will be chosen with greater care. Good Luck in 2020. Jane and Beryl are always delighted to hear your comments. 


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