frugal fashion shopper

Is age just another number?

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


Film night outfit – June 2015

Hello again

I thought I ought to get this post to you before the end of the month.  I help to run a small film society, and our film for June was ‘Cycling with Moliere‘ which was delightful and, unsurprisingly, very, very French!  It was less popular than the previous month’s film, ‘The 100 year-old man who climbed out of the window’, which was a laugh a minute, but most of our audience still thought June’s film either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

As usual I wore a new outfit. But unlike my latest buy (see my previous post) it really didn’t break the bank!


The top was a black T-shirt from Peacocks at £4 teamed with a local charity shop skirt at £2.99.  The skirt was a nice mix of grungy black, grey and blue with a sparkly tulle overskirt.


In July we end our 2014-15 season with that wonderful Wes Anderson film ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’.  Can’t wait to see it again.

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper


Film night outfit – March 2015

Hi everyone

The Hillcrest Film Society hosted another film last Saturday (Nebraska) and this is what I wore; a lovely double layered Per Una M&S skirt, bought recently for £4.50, which I wore with a short sleeved top I’ve had for years, plus a silver Per Una cardi I’ve had for some time, that cost all of £5.00.


I’ve just been reading Style Forever by Alyson Walsh.   It’s such an interesting read and has real substance to it, she certainly knows her fashion.  In it, amongst other things, she talks about style tribes and their looks, and scatters tips and lists of must-do’s throughout.  Do have a look, as they’re all sensible and worth thinking about.  But I don’t follow her maxim buy good quality more expensive clothes and less cheaper clothes.  Nope, I buy cheap because I don’t buy as much as you think and no way can I afford high street prices.  And I do wear black (see both cheap and black above!) and in another blog post I’ll go further into the whole subject of style versus fashion, but I guess my tribe and consequent look is a mix of casual glamour (I do like a bit of bling) and the older and bolder brigade (oh, yes) which, for me, is a look that has evolved only in the last five years.

That’s so very much what I want to encourage people, particularly older women, to do: to experiment and to try clothes that are different and not quite in the comfort zone.  Anything rather than buying and wearing the same old, same old.  And how do you do that without breaking the bank?  By buying in charity shops, of course!

By the way, at the film night, someone gave me a hat which was so lovely and so matched my outfit I carried on wearing it and even welcomed the audience and introduced the film in it.  Afterwards I thought perhaps I should’ve explained why I was wearing a hat – I must have looked a bit unconventional, to say the least!  But thank you so much for the hat, you know who you are!  Anyway, it’s such a great hat it’ll feature in one of Judith Boyd’s Hat Attack sessions, not the next one, but soon.

That’s all for now

With love to you all

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper


My sale outfit of the (new) year

Although you might think I’m always buying clothes in reality I haven’t bought anything from a charity shop for weeks now (apart from the sparkly Next skirt in February).  But I do admit to a bit of spending spree in January.  If you remember I was feeling a bit down from that ghastly cold.   You know, I never eat food (like chocolate) for comfort or to improve my mood – but I confess I do shop!  And you know what it did cheer me up!!  Ok, here’s a bit more of a confession, because, I admit I went shopping for new clothes, but only, take note, at the January sales.

And I was quite focused about it.  I went to just one shop, Toast, which has an outlet in Brighton. I’ve never bought articles there at full price, and if you go in you’ll probably realise why. But don’t let me put you off, as it’s a lovely shop with high quality, beautifully made clothes.

Here’s what I bought.


A skirt in a subtly dull metallic gold and brown, styled in the way I like skirts to look (that full skirted, slightly puffed out look). This was bought for £47 down from £159 – not a bad bargain.  A week later I went online and got the jacket, which together with the skirt is a bit samey, but just about OK, I think.


This was £45 down from £195.  Or why not team the jacket with black trousers? Here’s the jacket again with me wearing my skinny Primark trousers bought new for £12.


This was the most money I’ve spent on clothes for several months. And I’m in a very frugal frame of mind now, for sure!

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper


Film night outfit – February 2015

Hi everyone

Here’s a new theme for the blog.  I always dress up for our monthly film nights.  I help to run a great little film society in our town that shows films once a month, and that evening always seems to me to be a good opportunity to wear my charity shop finds. So here’s what I wore last Saturday.


The skirt is my latest buy.  It has a Next label and cost £5.50.


I’m wearing my usual M&S top bought years ago and a charity shop Per Una M&S tuxedo jacket that was bought last year unworn/new at £20 from the Shelter charity shop in Seaford – it was reduced from £129.  I’m also wearing the Peacocks boots, which I wear with absolutely everything!

Btw, the pics are fuzzy again.  Mr Frugalfashionshopper informs me that’s because I got the light in the wrong position (you can see it in the first pic) and somehow the ISO setting is also wrong – I’m on a big learning curve still!  But film night is always a bit fraught so hopefully I’m excused this time!

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper


Like Mother like Daughter? What do you wear to relax around the house?

Do you tend to wear the same clothes over and over again? You may think I wouldn’t do that.   But I do. So where do I get that from?

When my mother moved into sheltered accommodation the ornaments and knick-knacks she’d collected over the years were arranged around her apartment, and into her wardrobe went a vast number of clothes, which included numerous skirts and blouses, and not exactly countless dresses, but, nevertheless, a large quantity. There were no trousers. I never saw her in a pair of slacks, ever.

Yet most of the time she wore only two dresses, a pink Crimplene dress and a blue Crimplene dress topped with a white nylon cardigan.

When I asked her why she wouldn’t wear any of her lovely clothes, she replied, ‘they’re for best’.

You know my views on that notion. But have I turned into my mother? Mr Frugalfashionshopper says I’m nothing like her in habits and outlook. But I’m not sure. Not only do I look in the mirror and see my mother looking back at me, I also, once home, find myself taking off the clothes I’ve worn to Brighton or Lewes or London, and putting on more ‘comfortable’ clothes.

jacket-&-skirt-20smDo you do that? I should imagine that’s what a lot of people do. But on thinking about it, when I know I’m not meeting anyone I’m wearing the same skirt over and over again – ooops – that is a bit like my mother. It’s this one, minus the jacket, btw.

And also, apart, perhaps, from a day when I do the household chores or some gardening, just like my mother I never wear trousers or jeans, always skirts.

We shouldn’t be surprised if we daughters are like our mothers, but here’s an outfit that perhaps I should wear more often when I’m at home relaxing.  It’s a loose cotton pair of trousers from Peacocks bought for £10 and my M&S top bought years ago.  I usually wear this on the first night of a cruise, a supposedly ‘casual’ dress evening, but I don’t do casual and I team it up with a jacket.


Or I perhaps I could wear this.


I’m wearing Per Una M&S brown cord trousers bought from a charity shop for £6.99 with a charity shop top bought years ago.

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper




My vintage outfit of the month – February 2015

Here’s that fabulous vintage faux fur coat with matching hat I bought at the Brighton Vintage Fair last summer. Btw, there’s another Vintage Fair (at the Corn Exchange, Brighton) on Sunday 15 February.

I wore the coat and hat last Friday, not for any special occasion you understand, but just to visit a friend, who is, of course, special!


Underneath the coat I’m wearing the skirt I bought in the Emmaus charity shop in Stockholm for around £10, worn with an old M&S top bought new over 10 years ago.


Shoes, btw, are the old Peacocks boots bought for £25 and now into their 4th winter, and all jewellery pieces are charity shop finds, including the watch.

That’s all for now, but if you’ve come across this post by chance, welcome and hello!  I’m a frugal fashion shopper.  And if you’ve enjoyed reading this, why not sign up for regular posts, by filling in your email address on the side-bar.

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. Pics still a bit blurry – am working on it!


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



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