frugal fashion shopper

Is age just another number?

On packing a capsule wardrobe and a bargain buy from the Orkneys!

Someone asked me what was in my capsule wardrobe. It started with the fact that I took far too many clothes to last year’s cruise to the Baltics; it was for 14 days and I packed loads of casual clothes, plus a different dress for practically every one of those 14 nights! I was forever thinking what should I wear, which was quite angsty, and not very relaxing. Next holiday, I said to myself, would be different.

Here’s what I did:

  1. For day-wear I kept to blue & green. So it was one pair of (charity shop) navy jeans and one (new) green pair of jeans, each with two co-ordinating tops.  Here’s one of the blue ensemble. The trousers are Gap and bought from a charity shop last year for £4.00, plus my charity shop Per Una blouse, which I bought in 2012 and only wear on cruises!blue-blouse-web
  1. I took a black pair of trousers (new) for Edinburgh, along with one long-sleeved and one short-sleeved black top. That worked well as it was hot when we arrived and I wore the short-sleeved top plus my red sandals.  The next day it rained and was chillier, so I wore the long-sleeved top plus cagoule, plus boots, plus umbrella, as the rain was heavy and continuous. Poor Royal Mile Fringe performers they carried on regardless!
  1. I thought we had to cater for all weathers: so I took my warm weather (charity shop) parka for the Scottish Isles, plus two warm cardigans.  That was too much, and I should have thought, ‘yes, this is the north, but it is August.’  What I needed was rain-wear plus thinner layers.
  1. For evening I took 4 dresses (all from charity shops); 2 formal and 2 informal, and as we were out all evening in Edinburgh for two nights, and another night I had a headache (rather prone to those) I didn’t repeat wear any of my evening gear.
  1. I took 4 pairs of shoes and a pair of boots (that I wore onto the ship, so not in my suitcase): 2 were for evening, including my scarlet sandals, 2 were for day, and the boots for rain. I think I could have left one pair of day shoes behind.

On-cruise-webAll that and don’t forget the wash gear and make-up, plus 14 pairs of knickers, as you don’t want to spend time washing your smalls on a shorter holiday! But it was the last minute, ‘ah, perhaps I need an extra top and an extra cardi?’ No I didn’t, I never wore them!

Here is my blue cruise blouse worn as we sweep past the idyllic landscape of the Thames! As you can see it was a bit windy.

green-top-webAnd in this pic is a Per Una top bought in the Orkney Islands for £3.00 in one of their local charity shops, plus skinny jeans bought new from Primark at £11.00, worn with my charity shop boots. Yes, wherever I go I look for a charity shop!

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

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On cruises and wearing what you want no matter what your age is!

Hi everyone

I’m back from our cruise to the Faroe Islands, which was great although I’d forgotten how noisy these ships can be (in the cabin, that is) so it was lovely to get back to dry land and some silence!

Anyway, here are some pics and, at the end, some thoughts on wearing whatever you damn well please!


Let’s start with the safety drill – here I am with my life jacket. I’m glad to say that this cruise line makes you find your lifeboat and stay there until the captain inspected us. We had a bossy member of crew who told us to behave and got us all standing in line!  Some grumbled at this – no, people, it’s good to have someone firmly in charge and know where to go, if ever…..


Our first formal night and here is a selfie to see whether I’d put my makeup on OK.  Tricia, I was wearing my Lookfabulousforever base!  And below is a pic of the dress, which is only taken out and worn on cruises; it’s a glorious Monsoon dress made of silk devore that I bought three years ago for around £12 .

Cruise-05-webOur ports of call were Torshaven, which was a lovely, very Danish, little town where I went straight to Gudren & Gudren (where the sweater worn by Sara Lund was knitted). I tried on lots of jumpers but none of them were quite right, although I nearly bought one until I found out it was knitted in Peru. Not what I wanted so in the end bought an amazing scarf and hat, which I’ll feature later in the year. We also went to the Shetlands and Orkneys but both days were grey as were the surroundings.

The best of the cruise days was spent in Edinburgh where we experienced the Edinburgh Festival in all its glory. Very buzzy and whacky – walked up the Royal Mile with dozens and dozens of acts all going at once, and people handing you flyers saying ‘please, please come to my gig, for free’. We went to one in a dive – umm, edgy! Then paid to go to two acts – one was Henning Wehn, a very funny German comedian who has some brilliant observations on us Brits,  He’s been on the panel game QI.  And then we saw John Lloyd who invented QI – my word, what a mind that man has!

OK, while walking round the streets of Edinburgh I noticed that there was a kind of a ‘look’. It was a very short, frothy kilt worn by lots of the lovely students who were obviously aged anything between, say, 19 and 21.

Right, I thought – I’m 69. But, hey, I want one of those! So reader, I bought one.Cruise-09-web I bought one, in a charity shop, of course, for £3. And here it is.

And I’m linking up with a campaign #iwillwearwhatilike run by Catherine Summers who writes the blog Not Dressed As Lamb. I like a list or two but Catherine found a list of things we shouldn’t be wearing after 30! Thirty! Ye gods! Yes, seriously, whatever your age You. Wear. What. You. Want. And that includes wearing short skirts – go on, I dare you!


Thanks Catherine (and Judith Boyd btw) for drawing our attention to this ageist nonsense.

That’s all for now

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper



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