frugal fashion shopper

Is age just another number?

Coats for this cold weather – will you be wearing a padded jacket?

Currently, there’s been a relatively big snow-storm on the East-side of the States, and this weekend the UK will be getting some colder weather. How to dress for it is the key question.

I apologise in advance – sorry, really sorry – (and perhaps I should keep quiet about this) but I shudder (inwardly, I hope) when people (of any age) say they prefer comfortable clothes over style, which for outerwear can often mean a generous padded jacket, fleece and jeans combo that’s not entirely stylish. But for the really cold weather I guess warmth comes first, although I’d always say ‘does the hat co-ordinate with the scarf and the scarf co-ordinate with the gloves’.

It’s the Michelin look of padded jackets that I don’t like, but just take a gander at the Uniclo jackets that are featured here. That’s a style that’s both warm and smart with lovely slim-line padded jackets topped with another layer.

The nearest I can get to that is a cream padded full-length coat with faux fur collar that I got for £3 in my local charity shop about five years ago.


It’s my warmest coat and I wear it a lot, and it’s just about big enough to put a sleeveless jerkin (gilet?) under it for added warmth.  I’ve added a belt I had in the cupboard (see why in the paragraph below) – not sure.

The latest Jess Cartner-Morley take on winter-wear is also useful for this week’s weather. She suggests a belted coat although the pic of her wearing high heels and cropped trousers just sends a shiver down my spine – that’s not what one should wear in the cold!!! But I have several coats that either come with a belt or could be worn with a bought belt that would help keep away the draft of that icy wind.

Here’s a slightly more expensive coat bought for £15 from a Seaford charity shop approx 3 years ago.



This classic camel hair coat is one I wear to London.  As you can see it has an integral belt.  And I’m wearing it with one of my charity shop hats (£3) which I’m pleased to say I not only wear in London I also wear around my home town as well.

I’m going over to Brighton on Friday evening when the cold weather is meant to arrive. That’ll be the cue to wear that vintage (faux) snow-leopard fur coat with its matching hat. I’ll put up a photo of that outfit the following day.

That’s all for now but my message, as always, is that coats are often the most expensive item we buy, so that people have maybe one, or two, or at the most three coats in their wardrobe.  But that need not be the case if you search for that bargain in the charity shops.   Then you can have coats for all weathers and all occasions.

Do tell me more about what coats you wear in the cold weather.

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. Photos still a bit grainy, so I’m considering using a tripod to take slower res pics – I think this is called a #learningcurve



My charity shop outfit of the week

Hi everyone

One of my New Year’s resolutions was, obvs, to review the blog.  It’s good to reflect on ways to improve, I think.  OK, so here’s what I’m going to do.  See the title of the post?  Every week or so I’m going to take a charity shop outfit from my wardrobe and feature them with ‘selfie’ photos  standing in front of my mirror.  The days of waiting for Mr Frugalfashionshopper to take the photo with me staring glumly into space looking a bit naff are over.  (Although he might take some when I do an outdoor shot in the warmer weather)  But, the way I look at it, it’s all a learning curve.

And I’ll still be writing the longer pieces: on fashion versus style; clothes for older women; the glorious choices and finds to be had when charity shop shopping and, above all, ageing (mine, mainly!) and ageism.  Because I do feel so very strongly about these subjects but, they may not be strictly every week.

Anyway, here are two pics of what I wore in this recent cold (for the UK) weather. And apologies for the slight grainy texture to the photos but Mr Frugalfashionshopper tells me I needed more light!


The first one shows you a skirt that was free (!) from my favourite shop, Urban Outfitters, because it was a ‘buy one get one free’ item bought with my £15 (reduced from £60) boyfriend jeans.  I think the shop considers this item to be ‘vintage’.   This is worn with a Peacocks top bought new at £10, and the boots are a recent charity shop purchase bought for £6.99.


The second photo shows the outfit with a lovely woolly cardigan that I bought from a charity shop years ago.

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. You might have noticed that I occasionally abbreviate a word or put stars around a phrase – that’s a Twitter thing.  If you’re on Twitter (which is a lot of fun, btw) why not join me there at Frugalfashion@pknewhaven



Why not wear that fabulous outfit that’s right there in the back of your wardrobe?

I don’t constantly dress up, unlike the amazing Sue Kreitzman, who believes you should curate your look at all times. I try, but it isn’t always achieved, particularly when you feel a bit low from a wintery cold (and the eyes are playing up) or it’s blowing a gale, which it was a few days ago.  Right now there’s a lovely sprinkling of snow outside (which being down south, will melt soon) but I’ll be wearing warm, practical clothes today – hopefully they’ll be stylish.

The thing is, I do love to dress up. But we (that’s Mr Frugalfashionshopper and me) we don’t live a lifestyle of constant rounds of cocktail and dinner parties.  Not. At. All.  So, to wear some of my lovely frocks and frou-frou skirts I have to create occasions for them. I do have a friend, bless her, where we agree that if we see each other for a meal, we dress up and I mean dress with a vengeance! But, why ever not?  And no, I don’t want to look like Sue Kreitzman, but, perhaps there is something about being creative with your look, which I both enjoy and think makes a statement about myself, especially, as I get older – no way am I going to fade away!

Another time I always dress up is on film night (I help to run my local film society with some great people and we show films once a month.) And for last Saturday’s film I found this wonderful plum skirt in the back of my wardrobe, which I’d featured some time ago. Here it is again.


The skirt looks like shot silk but, in fact, is made in 49% nylon and 51% polyester, and was bought for £5.99.

It’s quality is superb.   And furthermore it has a Florence & Fred label, which means it was made for a supermarket chain. All I can say is well done Tesco!

My mantra is definitely ‘don’t leave your best and most beautiful clothes in the back of the wardrobe’.   You need to bring them out of the closet and then wear them, when ever and where ever you can!

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. And welcome to all new readers. Thank you for reading this!  If you like the blog why not sign up on the side bar, and get my posts every week.



What do you think about wearing a hat around town? A proper one!

My cold has gone and my gloomy mood is greatly improved by my recent charity shop finds. I was out in Brighton, just looking you understand! And I ended up with a complete outfit and more.

Here’s the outfit.


That’s a Fat Face skirt at £4.99, some leather boots for £6.99, an Urban Outfitters jumper (found in the January sale) in that searing citrus yellow that I love, and an Urban Outfitters hat I could NOT resist. As you can see from the photo I’m still wearing the glasses – will be glad when my eyes/eyelids are better.

Do you wear hats? I feel the cold in my head far more than when I was younger so in the winter I wear hats, mostly woolly beanies, all the time. I’ve got loads of those.  Here’s me with my son-in-law wearing one from Mosato.


Masato sells his beanies for £15 and (until 31 January) for each one sold donates money to a fund for the homeless, and a beanie – why not support him with this great endeavour.

Personally, I long to wear more formal hats and this recent buy is a proper hat. Now, I can see myself wearing this to London *note to self must arrange a trip* and I could also just about see myself wearing it in Brighton. Should I, could I, wear it in my home-town? Possibly not. But why don’t I? Perhaps it’s because, just as I wear different coats for different towns, so it goes for the hats. And where I live, is, I think, a woolly hat town. Gosh, I hope people who live in my town aren’t offended by my comment! But what do you think?   If you wear hats do you have a hat for London and one for back home? And if you don’t wear hats – why is that? Do tell me.

By the way, the lovely Judith who writes the blog, Style Crone (which has been on my side bar since I started this blog) has a monthly slot for her readers to share amazing hats called Hat Attack – I’ll have to join in!

And here’s the outfit topped by a stylish long black M&S Per Una coat bought, on the same shopping trip, at just £12.99.


The day was dark when I took the photo so you can’t see all the details, but the material is a thick black corduroy in good, unworn condition.

That’s all for now but do let me know what you think about wearing hats including whether you’d wear a more formal hat going around your town.

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper


Bringing colour to this grey, wet & wintery month

I haven’t made any New Year resolutions yet, although I have some aims: to exercise and write more. I might tell you about these and other goals for 2015 in another post. But I just have to tell you about my latest charity shop buy(s)!

I was feeling quite low, as I hadn’t completely recovered from the cold, which was a nasty one. Lots of people have had it over these last weeks so I’m not alone in feeling this way. But a couple of days ago, I decided this was the day I’d start looking for bargains in Seaford; a town near where I live, which has 8 charity shops all of which are full of potential finds. Of I went with three bags stuffed with my unwanted frocks, skirts and shoes. Yes, I’d cleared out my wardrobe and was raring to go!

It was such a grey wintery day though, which, on top of how I was feeling, was almost depressing.

But look what I found – two outfits bursting with life and colour.   One is a red full-length Gina Bacconi dress (that’s a good label) bought at £16.00 (I think it would have been at least £160 new, if not more).


The other is a fabulous aquamarine and purple Monsoon dress at £6.99, wow!  And it came with a matching green cardigan top.


Both of these dresses cheered me up considerably and reminded me that this grey weather won’t last forever, and that perhaps being bold with colour lifts the spirits.

In fact, I’m going to agree but disagree with Jess Cartner-Morley’s pre-Christmas rallying cry to wear black and white for parties. OK, I’ve got plenty of black skirts and white and silver tops to party in, and they’ll be fine.

But let’s not forget colour and what it can do for our skin, eyes, and general overall mood. Let’s be bold and get away from black and white in these winter months. To be honest the two outfits will be great for my August cruise, and may not be worn before then.  But as soon I got back home I looked again at the party clothes in my cupboard and chucked out a grey cocktail dress and a subdued blue sequinned longer dress. All charity shop outfits that were fine, but they just aren’t vibrant enough for me now, after my eyes have feasted on that glorious red and that piquant aquamarine of the Monsoon dress.

So although I would never lay down rules or say you must – why not be bold with colour?   Let’s drop the grey, let’s be colourful and sassy – it certainly lifted my mood!

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper


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