Some time ago I said I really hope mid-length skirts don’t come back into fashion as I see them as frumpy. And can I say to anyone who loves that type of skirt that I’m only applying that to myself. It’s me that feels a bit dowdy wearing a skirt that length.

black-skirtBut last week I bought a very plain mid-calf gauzy black skirt from Oxfam for all of £3.99.

There are so many of these skirts in charity shops, and I usually see them as a complete no-no. My eye is attuned, not to the frilly and frothy, but to the svelte pencil skirt just around the mid-knee length. That’s the Claire Underwood influence on my style. See my piece in StylishOleWoman on how, ever since I watched the two series of House of Cards (superior in my view to the 1990 British version) I’ve swooned over Underwood’s clothes.

But there is some truth in my immediate reaction to that length – that a longer skirt can look a bit old-fashioned, particularly with a nude or tan colour pair of tights and a high heel, pointed-toe type shoe. And on this subject I’m on the same page as Jess Cartner-Morley who this week also writes about how to dress up the mid-length skirt. The thing to do is make it edgy. So that’s what that I’ll be doing.

First of all, I’ll don my black chunky ankle boots (bought for £25 three years ago from Peacocks). And I wear these boots not just because I’m incapable of wearing any heel, no, it immediately changes the look of an outfit.

Black-jacket Alongside the boots I’ll team the skirt with a vest bought for 99p and then top this off with the pièce de résistance, a tux. This recent buy cost all of £20.00, which I consider expensive for a charity shop, but as it’s new and unworn (because it is a trade sample) and reduced from £129.00, I think instead, what a bargain!

And look at the detail on the cuffs.  Those sparkly buttons are made with Swarovski Elements – it says on the label – not sure what that means!black-jacket-detail

That’s an entire outfit (including the shoes) at just under £50.00. Kind of exactly what I can afford as a retired pensioner on a very small pension – way to go!! And what’s more it looks so snappy. And I promise that during my cruise I’ll get photos taken of me wearing this, and my other outfits, all bought from charity shops, so you can see what they look like on a woman having fun!

And, btw, the business of ‘never say never’.  By that I meant (and again I’m applying it to myself) always be open to change, to a new look, to a new way of wearing clothes.  It’s about not hanging on to how one always looked but embracing the new.  And, so OK, I acknowledge that I am ageing but hey, I sure mean to age with pizzaz, style and a bit of sparkle!

That’s all for now

With love, Penny

The Frugal Fashion Shopper

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