frugal fashion shopper

Is age just another number?

Some last minute buys and my Christmas message to you

For most of us this is such a busy (but lovely) time of the year.  Like everyone else I’ve been preparing for Christmas, so this is just a short blog (and the tale of channeling Gloria Swanson will be told next year!).

For some very last minute beauty advice and Christmas buys I highly recommend the Sali Hughes’ list of budget Christmas gifts and her Christmas wishlist.  I also like her take on smoky eye makeup.  My eye makeup, especially around the eye socket is, I feel, not quite right.  I think it’s a bit harsh, but don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer in eye makeup for older women so in the New Year I am going to hook up with Tricia Cusden, the founder and MD of Look Fabulous Forever, and she is going to give me some advice.   So watch this space for more blogs on makeup for the older woman.

And, my Christmas message to you, is – thank you so much for reading the blog.  I have loved every moment of doing it: love the research, love the writing, love your comments.  I leave you with this principle that I truly believe.  As we age we are far freer to be creative with our clothes than we were when we younger and constrained by work and caring for our children.  And what’s more, whatever your age you can buy and wear fabulous clothes for next-to-nothing if you use your local charity shops! We are style, we baby boomers – we are the future of ageing!

Next blog will feature some New Year resolutions and blogs to look forward to.

A Happy Christmas to one and all!

With love


The Frugal Fashion Shopper

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Frocks for all ages

There are some delicious, lip-smackingly, delectable party frocks out there. Vogue has a gallery of dresses, of which I totally want no. 3, the cerise Marc Jacobs one at an eye-watering £1710.   Or what about, no. 4, the Mary Katrantzou, at £2065 – so seriously lovely.  And note I’m featuring these expensive dresses as they make one stop, look and then search out something more reasonable at High Street, or even charity shop, prices.

Did you see that the no. 4 dress had volume?  Jess Cartner-Morley has written about wearing dresses that look more expensive than they really are, and one way is to buy clothes that have a deliberately large silhouette.  I do that by seeking out frothy layered skirts, which on me look great anytime, but particularly in the party season.

Here are some more reasonably priced party dresses in this link but for a type of dress that would make anyone look glamorous – and could be great fun – look no further than this video clip of some wonderful sparkly flapper dresses.

But don’t feel you can’t wear any of the above because of your age or your lack of a good pension.  Just because I can’t afford the Marc Jacob dress doesn’t mean I can’t wear something like it.  And Lauren Laverne has written recently that there is no such thing as wearing the wrong clothes. Above all, there is no mutton dressed as lamb – never ever say that.  I mean, the Fabulous Fashionistas did say you have to be sensible so you won’t wear teeny torn shorts (well, actually you could) but don’t worry you wear what you want and like.

black-sparkly-dress2Here is a frock I bought recently for just under £10.00.  And note that the dress has no sleeves and is strapless – not something a woman in her late 60s is meant to wear.  Well, good grief, my view is, wear it and rhubarb to convention!   I wore it to someone’s 70th birthday party and we danced the night away – we all had great time – and it was lovely to have the excuse to dress up.  Thank you for arranging that party, you know who you are!  And by the way, did you realize how on trend you were with your lovely lace form-fitting dress – here is Jess Cartner-Morley again talking about lace dresses as the classic frock for the party season.

That’s all for now  – I will do one final blog before the Christmas holidays on last-minute beauty buys and channeling Gloria Swanson!


Until then, love


The Frugal Fashion Shopper


Accessories – and some other things you can do to make a (sparkling) impact

Accessorising – well, you don’t have to go completely overboard like Iris Apfel who, at 92-years-old, is perhaps the most famous fashionista there is and has made enormous bracelets and glasses her signature look.  Nor do we have to go quite as far as Sue Kreitzman (one of our Fabulous Fashionistas) who wears accessories as an art form.  I saw Sue at Mirror, Mirror creating a look for Alyson, the blogger of That’s Not My Age, and the accessories that completed the outfit, made by Sue herself, were both extraordinary and wonderful.

OK, we don’t have to wear enormous bracelets or outrageous necklaces, but on the other hand don’t think because you’re older and you’ve got a few age spots that you have to hide your hands, or any other part of your body, away.  (And yes, I’ve tried anti age-spot hand cream but find it a bit harsh)

In fact, I wear far more in-your-face jewellery items these days than I used to because when I was younger an over-abundance of jewellery was inappropriate at work.  Now, not exactly the sky’s the limit but, people, what is there to lose!  There’s a pic of me with my green rings plus quite noticeable age spots in Lorna’s film – bring it on, is all I say!

pearl necklaceJoy Fox is a jeweller I admire.   She has an interesting take on making an impact, and specialises in button jewellery.  Here is just one of her pieces.  I have many of her button bracelets and necklaces in lots of different colours – practically, one for every outfit I have – and they’re very reasonable priced!  Joy lives in Brighton, East Sussex and is selling her wares in an ‘Open House’ over the next two weekends 7/8th & 14/15th December.  She doesn’t have a website but you can reach her through the Open Houses website – look for house no. 38, Winter Fox.  She also does some lovely felt corsages and I have two of those. felt blossom cropped

Another thing to think about for a glam night out is why not match a sparkling pair of shoes with a sparkling belt?  And if you’re short of cash don’t forget that charity shops have an abundance of jewellery and other accessories at very low prices.

And then there is make-up.

You know, I still wear a lot of make-up.  Can’t not. It’s embedded in my genes with the still, small voice of my mother still ricocheting around my skull saying, ‘mustn’t go out without putting on my face’ (which for her was plucked eyebrows, white floury powder and a bright red lipstick).  And I come from the generation that drew that extra line around and slightly above the eye socket  – was that the late 60s?  I think we have to change our idea of make-up just a little when we age, though. But go no further than this wonderful YouTube clip from Tricia Cusden advising the mature woman *coughs* on how to highlight your eyes and lips.  For years I have been stuck in a dark eyes and pale lips mode but have moved myself on to Tricia’s plum lipstick (available from her website) which is to die for, and looks wonderful in both daylight and for that special evening out.

I’ll return to the business of make-up again in the Spring but that’s all for now.  Next blog and probably the last one before Christmas – more frocks for the party season!

With love


The frugal fashion shopper

P.S. Here’s Hadley Freeman‘s take on Christmas jumpers – very funny!


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