frugal fashion shopper

Is age just another number?

I’ve moved!

Hi, sometimes WordPress sends people to this blog BUT I don’t blog here any more!

I’ve moved to

suitcases-webIf you come across this post – it’s part of an old blog I started some time ago. I’ve moved to the address you can see below and write there every week.

 Click below to join me on

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. I can see I need a transfer widget, which means that most people googling frugalfashionshopper will go automatically to the new platform.

This message is for anyone who stumbles across this. I’m over at

See you there!


Dressing for a typical English holiday – the necessity of covering the ears!

I had written something for the blog to post while away on a week’s holiday in Suffolk, but some of the photos we’ve taken are so reminiscent of the holidays I experienced as a child I felt I had to share them with you.

Southwold Suffolk-1

Yes, who remembers the 50s and the British tradition of no matter what the weather you went to the beach?

I have 3 distinct memories of those holidays. One is of my parents sitting in the rain on their deck chairs in their plastic macs. And in my mother’s case, with the addition of the plastic head covering tied over her head that she’d pulled out of her handbag, which had been folded concertina style to a small oblong. We would be playing alongside them building sand castles wearing the ubiquitous hand-knitted cardi (which scratched the skin) over our cossies and under our child-sized plastic macs.

Southwold Suffolk-2

The second memory is that when it rains and you run into the sea, it feels warm in contrast to the colder drops of the rain. Or was it the other way round? All I remember is that there was a contrast between the two mediums of wetness.

The third thing I remember is a noise. The now iconic and gaudily painted beach implements – the bucket and spade – bought every year (because no matter how you said you loved them they were never brought home) were made of metal. And there was a noise you made, when going back to the hotel tired after being outside for so many hours, as you pulled the spade along the pavement. If I close my eyes I can hear that gravelly scraping noise now, plus the usual refrain from my mother, ‘Pick it up of the pavement, dear’.

This week in Suffolk has coincided with a ‘low’ over England, so it’s been grey, wet and very, very windy. And did I bring a hat with me from the many I possess? No, I didn’t!

Southwold Suffolk-4So here I am with a scarf tied round my head in what might be seen as retro fashion. No, seriously it was so windy on this pier that the scarf is essential to both stop me feeling that my ears are being blasted off the side of my head, and getting that particular numb/cold pain you get in your ears in the wind. But, do you know, I love holidays like this!

Southwold Suffolk-3Apart from the Primark skinny jeans everything else is from charity shops, natch!

Here’s hoping the weather is better where you are!

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper


Autumn trends – do we heed the fashion journos or do we dress as we please?

I’m always saying we should dress as we please. Because I believe that as we age we should wear what we want, and not what some young fashionista puts in an article as the thing to wear, or what the current fashion mags are saying is on trend for the coming colder months.

At the moment there are a lot of lists on autumn fashion trends. But my favourite fashion writer, Hadley Freeman, nails it as usual. (Favourite because her style of writing is top-notch, and reminiscent of Nora Ephron. And she repeatedly berates the fashion industry in an ironic tongue-in-cheek manner!) This time she looks at Vanity Fair’s best-dressed list and calls it hilarious and deranged. You could say the same about a recent list in the Guardian on ‘20 autumn fashion trends you need to know about’. Let me see, Gucci on the High Street? With pussybow blouses or floral dresses that look like 1970s upholstery – nope. The 70s and 80s – nope, and school-bully hair, I don’t think so. As for black tights and maxi coats, all I can say is I’m wearing them already, darling. Yes, that list is just as deranged as they get.

Yet, fashion matters. Because nobody wants to wear clothes that look odd or desperately out-of-date. The point is to note what the fashion of the day is, adapt it, and then wear our clothes with the confidence and knowledge that we look good.

And most of you do have preferences; you know you have to wear formal suits or skirts for work, or now that you’re retired, or moved to the country, you prefer to be comfortable and ready for that session of gardening.

But perhaps as you age, you’ve become unsure – and you’re saying to yourself what should I wear now I’m retired? As I’ve said before I wore nothing but jeans for three years after my retirement. So here’s a list of some dress styles: What type are you?

  • Sporty                                            trousers & wool jacket
  • Country casual                                  Ditto
  • Comfortable in jeans                  jeans with a variety of tops
  • Urban formal superwoman      skirt or trouser suit
  • Glamorous and fabulous           skirts & frocks
  • Ageing rocker                              jeans & leather jackets
  • Old, bold and edgy                     anything goes

There have to be more ways to dress. Do look, btw, at Alyson Walsh’s book, which really gets at this business of different styles, and is a brilliant guide to looking good as we age.

Personally, I think, after a lot of fun and experimentation (through buying in charity shops) I wear a mix of the last three styles.

Remember that little blue tartan skirt – here it is worn over my charity shop Gap jeans and Peacocks top.


I’ve worn it several times now. But that was a look that I saw in Edinburgh and adapted for myself. Blue-kilt-4-web

Anyway, if I have any message it is while we shouldn’t heed the nonsense in the fashion trade, we can always reflect on the image we want to portray, and then experiment and have fun while we try out our style. Because we should wear what we want!

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper


Hatwalk 8 – September 2015

Hi everyone

It’s the beginning of September and time to celebrate the wearing of hats with the lovely Judith Boyd of the Hat Attack blog posts.  The hat for this month is not the grey waterproof hat that I took to Scotland and the Faroe Islands, as I never wore it once.  Actually it’s on ’probation’, which is something I will be writing about soon in a post on de-cluttering your clothes, as there’s definitely a category of clothes (and hats) that you keep in your wardrobe and never wear, but can’t quite get rid of because, you know, you just might wear it!

Instead I’m featuring a beret, which I think is a shape that suits so many people.


I’ve been wearing this blue beret (I have 4 berets, all different colours) a lot recently, as our weather is so strange; it’s hot one minute with a blue sky and sun, then it’s that dull leaden grey that we often get in our English summers, but then it’s still hot, which feels weird.

Leopard-coat-3-webBut with this grey weather comes rain, in buckets. It’s the sort of weather where I begin to think what can I wear on my head? So out comes a beret – such a useful, all-weather hat.  And the blue beret (bought in a charity shop about three years ago for £3) comes with a renewed love for that colour. You’ll be pleased to know I’ve worn the little blue tartan kilt twice now – that item is definitely not staying in the back of my wardrobe. I wear it over my navy jeans, which is a great look whatever your age!

I wore the kilt and the beret a couple of days ago when visiting an amazing garden  – do have a look at the link, as it’s a typical English-size garden with an atypical eclectic mix of plants.

Anyway the blue beret plus a leopard skin mac brightened the spirits as it was a very grey day, and matched my scarf, navy jeans and boots to perfection.  And all bought from charity shops for next to nothing.

Leopard-coat-1-webThat’s all for now

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. I state where these clothes come from to prove the point that you really don’t have to spend money to feel good about your look.

P.P.S And somebody has pointed out to me that the cushions are upside down – oops, so they are!


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