frugal fashion shopper

Is age just another number?

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


Whatever your size you can never have enough blue jeans!

Invisible Woman wrote about jeans quite recently and the challenge of buying them for herself as she’s quite short and a UK size 12/14.  But even so she found some that fitted well and looked good on her.  (Her article has some great pics of her trying on various jeans and some tips too.) Personally, I love the tighter fit that jeans have because even with my slim figure I have a spare tire and a rounded tum and jeans just give that added structure which is so slimming.

I had such fun a couple of weeks ago when I went looking for jeans. And, you know, I was actually prepared to pay the full price, but instead I found the most amazing bargains and more!

A friend said, try Gap, but I thought, before that I’ll just pop into the nearest charity shop.  So I did, and there I found a pair of dark blue (without any faux faded bits) Gap jeans (30 waist and 34 length which was a perfect fit for me) for £4.99.  (Went to Gap btw, and they could only offer 30 length – no good at all.)  And what is it about the ubiquitous false, faded bits on jeans that manufacturers think we like!  At least give us a choice, please, of faded jeans and not.

Then, on to Urban Outfitters – which is absolutely my favourite shop – where I found, within minutes, a pair of faded (yes, I liked them!) reworked (with patches and other bits of material) boyfriend jeans, which not only looked amazing, they were down from £60 to £15.


But even more astonishing, these jeans were on the sale table and they were part of the ‘buy one get one free’ items so I ended up with a vintage skirt, which not only looks ace it cost absolutely nothing.

So having been prepared to buy new I ended up with three great pieces of kit for just under £20 – wow!

Again, my message is that as we age, not only should we dress stylishly let’s make the whole shopping experience fun.

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, The frugal fashion shopper

P.S. Note that in this shopping trip i) I bought faded boyfriend jeans when usually I only get skinny and non-faded and ii) I also bought a vintage skirt when I often say vintage is not for me.  My point being never say never, and always be prepared to adapt and go for a look that’s right for you.



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