frugal fashion shopper

Is age just another number?

Throwing out the old and welcoming the new – as in new skirts!

I’ve written about de-cluttering before but since I’ve got back from my holiday I’ve gone through my wardrobe, like a dose of salts, as the saying goes, and thrown out loads of my clothes. There’s something about returning from a vacation and seeing your home, garden and wardrobe in a new light.

And I certainly did, saying to myself ‘good grief, the dust in the house’. To be quite honest I spend more time in the garden than the house, particularly now, with this lovely weather in the UK. Then there was the lushness of the garden – that was a good feeling. And a day or two later I turned a critical eye to my wardrobe, and, it was, ‘now why do I keep that in my cupboard?’

red top flowered skrtWe know that clothes have a far deeper meaning than just being a covering for our bodies but that is no reason for keeping clothes, I tell myself, that are hardly ever worn or kept – just in case.

I mean my cruise frocks, especially the three full-length ones, will go into the back of my wardrobe and stay there until the next cruise, which might be in two or three years time or even longer. But those frocks have a role to play in my life and I know why they’re there. It’s the others that I’ve bought because I thought I would wear them, but haven’t, or old favourites that haven’t seen the light of day for, well to be honest, several years.

Dress-&-Top-webYou would be proud of me – I took a very large sack of those two types to the charity shops yesterday. And don’t forget I haven’t wasted a lot of money – they’re mostly charity shop clothes being recycled for others to wear and love.

OK, so after throwing out the old I have three skirts to show you.  I’ve been wearing the one above a lot lately as it’s full-skirted and floaty, which is great in this unusually warm weather we’re having in the UK.

grey-dress-&-top-webThen there are two pencil skirts I’ve bought for the Autumn &/or cooler days. The one on the right cost just under £10 for both the skirt and the jacket. This one on the left is in a jersey material, is unworn, comes with an Italian label and has a matching top plus a jacket, all for just £12.99

That’s all for now, although I would just like to say a very big thank you to all my readers as in one year, this month, I’ve passed 7000 hits. Many thanks for spending time with me. And to those of you who come on to the blog and comment I value your views and appreciate all that you have to say hugely.

But what do you think about the whole business of hanging on to clothes – just in case?

With love,

Penny, The Frugal fashion Shopper



Make-up and the older woman. A guest blog written by Tricia Cusden

I am very happy to introduce Tricia Cusden, founder of Look Fabulous Forever, as a guest blogger. She explains that we met on Twitter (!) and gives us some great advice on how to put on our makeup.

Charity-Shop-Jacket-webI am delighted to be doing this guest blog for the very lovely Penny. We found each other on Twitter, met up for lunch and she ferreted out a fabulous long evening jacket for me in a charity shop in Wimbledon village for £20. Proving to a (very sceptical) me that frugal fashion really is possible. Since then Penny and I have become firm friends and she was kind enough to host a Look Fabulous Forever makeover party in her house, which was great fun.

Penny suggested that you, dear frugal fashion followers, might like some hints and tips about how to update your makeup and ensure that you are not stuck in a time warp. So here is a distillation of my experience since I launched the Look Fabulous Forever makeup line with products specifically formulated to suit older women.

Firstly, please don’t say (proudly or defiantly!) “I never wear foundation” to which I am tempted (but too polite) to say “well you should!” With age comes uneven skin tone, blemishes, age-spots along with the hairy bits, crow’s feet and wrinkles – depressed yet? Actually there is no need to despair because if you use a primer, a good light-weight but well pigmented foundation and a creamy concealer you can banish most of those problems and your face will look 100% better.

Secondly, don’t be afraid of colour. Most older faces look almost “bleached out”. Everything has faded – brows, eyes, lips and cheeks (check out the ‘before’ photographs in the gallery on our website and you will see what I am talking about). A sweep of blusher, well applied brow colour, flattering eye makeup and beautiful lip colours bring an older face to life. The person instantly looks a decade (or more) younger, healthier and more glowing.

Thirdly, apply your eye makeup very carefully. If, like me, you were a teenager in the 1960s maybe you are still attached to lines of black kohl around your eyes. This will age you quicker than almost anything else. The trick is to highlight the brow bone and lid and then create definition with a darker shadow in the socket line. Draw a very fine darker line along the lashes and then mascara completes the look. For help, support and inspiration LFF has now posted 6 video tutorials on You Tube. I am proud and somewhat bemused by the fact that they have notched up around 210,000 views in 8 months!

Penny-portrait---webAnd finally – here is Penny after the makeover I gave her the first time we met. She is wearing all our Look Fabulous Forever products including Base 02, Conceal 02, Blush in Peach Cream and Soft Coral Lip colour. Doesn’t she look fabulous?


Well I don’t know about that, but thank you, Tricia, because funnily enough I wear less makeup after my makeover rather than more – a good thing, on reflection!  But do go and have a look at Tricia’s YouTube videos as she gives very sound advice.

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, The Frugal Fashion shopper


The colours we wear as we age

Growing up with red(ish) hair my mother would say – ‘never wear pink, dear, not with your colouring’, ‘don’t whatever you do wear red’ and ‘blue is the colour that will suit you, dearest’.  I wore that colour most of my childhood. But as I grew older and my hair darkened to auburn I inclined more and more to the rich hues of Autumn: brown, peat, orange even, and especially the metallic tints of gold, and much of my wardrobe was built around those lovely colours.

blousebackview-webI still wear blue, though, on the odd occasion, and have a striking blouse that I call my ‘cruise blouse’ as it stays in the wardrobe and comes out only for high days and holidays.

But everything changes. Now with my hair a mish-mash of grey and darker colours dyed a light blonde that bleaches a bit in the sun, I have become a lover of the silver side of the colour spectrum.

Just as well, as it seems that silver is quite the business these days. Not only Jess Cartner-Morley thinks it’s on trend, it’s a colour Claire Underwood (House of Cards) would wear with flair and it features often in the fashion media – see Red for the editor’s choice and some lovely metallic bags.

2014-05-28-47-webI wore two metallic silvery dresses on the cruise.  One, was a new M&S Per Una dress bought for £20.00 in a charity shop in a town nearby and another, here on the right, bought at less than half that price. Note the bag. There’s no need to pay a high price for an evening bag. I picked that up in Helsinki for 1 Euro in one of their annual ‘Throw-out days” where everyone goes through their wardrobe, chucks out their unwanted clothes and gathers in the park for a buzzy, band-playing, jumble/car-boot sale. And the wrap? That came from a state run souvenir shop in St. Petersburg, which was quite an experience, with vodka on offer at the door and furs and Russian dolls galore.  I saw that silver scarf and was smitten.  The shoes, btw, are a perfect fit!

If I have any message it is wear the colours that suit you (and don’t listen to anyone including me!) but also be prepared to adapt and change what you wear as you age.  Silver was not something I would have worn when I was younger but now, yes, it is a colour I love.

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, The Frugal Fashion Shopper



Shoes for the cruise that didn’t fit!

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I like to post on this blog around once a week. It’s a regular commitment and I kind of see it as my 3rd Age career. But I can’t help feeling that a proper journalist &/or blogger would’ve either written ahead or blogged about the cruise throughout the cruise! (Yes, I’m back on dry land from my trip to the Baltic States to humungous amounts of washing and some happy memories.)

But I didn’t do the writing because the packing took over.   And also I am the world’s worst traveller and I got quite anxious in the days beforehand. But as soon as we were picked up (from our door) all that stress fell away and my brain disengaged, so much so, that all I could think of was when was the next meal and where are we? If I have any criticism of cruising it’s that it can be a bit of a whistle-stop tour with a speedy series of visits to rather a lot of countries. Can’t wait to return to some of those cities (particularly Stockholm, Gothenburg and Helsinki) at a more leisurely pace.

But back to work and I’m glad to report that Jess Cartner-Morley said recently that the ballerina pump is dead. Oh good, as I really hate the way that type of shoe falls off my thin feet. Actually, all she is saying is that the rounded toe of the ballerina pump is out and that we should go for a pointed toe instead – so not actually dead then!

Blue-green-dressMy favourite evening shoes have straps to keep them on. However, I did buy the most beautiful sparkly shoes with a teeny heel that were a bit of a disaster.

The colour is an exact match to a lovely teal charity shop Per Una outfit (seen here on the left) so it was a no-brainer to buy the shoes at £5.00 and they look gorgeous. But, oh blast, they didn’t grip my foot, so I couldn’t walk all that well in them. In fact I tottered & wobbled from cabin to dining-room and back, and all because the colours matched. Not a good thing to do, particularly if the sea is making the ship do a mild bit of a rolling – *sighs at self* again!


sparkly-green-shoes-webAnyway, I hope you can see from the pics that they are worth hanging on to, so I’m off to the cobblers to get some heel grips put in pronto!

That’s all for now.

With love


The Frugal Fashion Shopper




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