While I was away I wrote a guest blog for the wonderful Tricia of LookFabulousForever makeup –do have a look.  Through this post I got several new followers, so a big welcome to you and thank you for the follow – I appreciate my readers immensely.

Anyway a few of days ago I watched Helen Mirren being interviewed about her most recent film, and sat mesmerised by her lovely shoes – which were brown in contrast to what looks like a little black dress.  She was horrified when she was told that many think her sexy.  ‘Oh, no’, she said, ‘liberate us [me] from that’.  But she’s definitely attractive and very stylish.  And she’s 70 in July this year so she’s certainly a style role model for me.

Yes, it’s style rather than fashion that matters – to me, anyway. And I’m going to quote Lauren Hutton from Alyson Walsh’s book (I’m sure she won’t mind) because this sums up the key difference between the two.

“Fashion is what you’re offered four times a year by designers. And style is what you choose.”

So yes, I like to be aware of what is fashionable and on-trend, because, hey, a particular fashion might suit me very well, so why not go for it. But I think we should, or could, aspire to be stylish rather than fashionable, and particularly so as we age. No torn jeans for me, because any fraying that looks cute on a younger woman can look down-at-heel and shabby.   Nor do I want an 80s vintage dress because while that style might look good on a younger woman, on me it might just be an old dress that’s been in my wardrobe for years! And as for ‘age appropriate’ clothes or even ‘comfortable clothes’ – nope, that’s not for me either!

There shouldn’t really be any rules about what we wear, but I have to admit I do like a list! So, like Alyson Walsh I’m putting out my list of style basics, which are:

  1. Experiment and find out what style suits you – because you can change your style as you age. And you know where to do it for next to nothing, don’t you, in the charity shops!
  2. Get a great haircut – nothing beats feeling good about your hair
  3. Find comfortable but stylish shoes – I shall be devastated when my chunky boots finally fall to pieces, they really are my statement and signature shoes.  And they are very comfortable.
  4. Talking about making a statement. We all want to be warm in winter but don’t fade into the background.  Instead, why not find and wear a statement coat that’s not necessarily black. Doesn’t have to be break the bank because, you know…..
  5. Ditto jackets

My final word is be bold with clothes, and move out of your comfort zone. And never say, never. I’d said to myself that I wasn’t going to wear green quite so much. But I went shopping with my great friend Lorna (who made that lovely film about me that’s uploaded on YouTube) and what did I see, a green dress!

green-graphic-dress-webPicture this in the summer when I shall be wearing it with my red sandals, red handbag and bright red sunglasses.

The dress is handmade and the material is amazing with hairdryers, radios and brushes and combs on it.

Green-graphic-dress-detail-web2I think, maybe it’s been made out of curtain material.   And very reminiscent of The Great Sewing Bee, the material is upside down – I can just hear one of the judges saying ‘yes, it’s a nice dress, but why is it upside down?!’  Oh, and it cost all of £3.00.

That’s all for now, but do tell me about your latest bargain and/or eye-catching find!

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

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11 thoughts on “Style over fashion

  • 14th April 2015 at 2:01 pm
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    Penny, you look FAB-U-LUS! in that green dress-said in the ‘style’ of Craig Revel Horwood from Come Dancing!

    I think we all have a certain style of our own, when we really get to know ourselves and feel confident, our natural essence is expressed in the way we dress. What we choose to wear is a big part of it, but it’s also the way we wear the clothes, a few people could put the same outfit on, and it would have a different look, feel and style about it dont’ you think?

    Comfortable & Stylish Shoes, now that is a tricky one, but a very loving relationship when you get it right : )

  • 14th April 2015 at 3:13 pm
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    You are absolutely right about the style over fashion issue; and about not being able to wear the same vintage clothes as one wore in times gone by! I find it really difficult to find clothes I like – I hate all the frills, lace, fussy details all over things this summer. I love your green dress, No one will notice the upside down fabric. I rarely buy dresses, never seem to have the social events to wear them to and I find I never have the right shoes to wear with dresses. I prefer flattish shoes and they always make me look dowdy with a dress.

    I nearly always buy the new shapes/versions of the same separates I already have had over the years – striped t shirts, good jeans, the occasional denim shirt or skirt. Jackets rarely suit me. I choose my clothes on the basis of the right colours for my hair colour – silver and my complexion – pinkish/fair. Then when I wear a cornflower blue T shirt or fuchsia pink top I know it suits me. I try to avoid black. I have got bolder with colour in recent years. Definitely don’t want to look washed out and beige!!

    Rock on Penny- its so enjoyable to read your blog.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      23rd April 2015 at 7:13 am
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      Hi Judy, oh wow, thank you so much for the ‘rock on’ comment – it’s exactly what I want to achieve, and yes, dress/clothes colours should be bought according to your basic colouring. And like you I don’t wear many dresses, and wear a lot of separates.

      Re: flat shoes, have you got a branch of Schuh near you? They have many flat and very sparkly shoes.

      All the very best to you, Judyx

  • 14th April 2015 at 3:13 pm
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    You are absolutely right about the style over fashion issue; and about not being able to wear the same vintage clothes as one wore in times gone by! I find it really difficult to find clothes I like – I hate all the frills, lace, fussy details all over things this summer. I love your green dress, No one will notice the upside down fabric. I rarely buy dresses, never seem to have the social events to wear them to and I find I never have the right shoes to wear with dresses. I prefer flattish shoes and they always make me look dowdy with a dress.

    I nearly always buy the new shapes/versions of the same separates I already have had over the years – striped t shirts, good jeans, the occasional denim shirt or skirt. Jackets rarely suit me. I choose my clothes on the basis of the right colours for my hair colour – silver and my complexion – pinkish/fair. Then when I wear a cornflower blue T shirt or fuchsia pink top I know it suits me. I try to avoid black. I have got bolder with colour in recent years. Definitely don’t want to look washed out and beige!!

    Rock on Penny- its so enjoyable to read your blog.

  • 14th April 2015 at 6:45 pm
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    Ooops, I was so distracted by your gorgeously bright dress that I forgot to comment on Dame Helen Mirren. I totally get why she doesn’t want to have that label sexy, as so often that word conjures up the ‘trying to attract the opposite sex’, and even dressing to please others, to get attention. I don’t think that is the true meaning of sexy, Helen Mirren is a strong, beautiful, confident woman, and that is what is sexy about her, she is those things for herself, and not for another, it’s almost intertwined with style…
    Anyway, she is definitely someone who makes me feel I can’t wait to be 70 (or 69 and a little bit).

  • 14th April 2015 at 6:45 pm
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    Ooops, I was so distracted by your gorgeously bright dress that I forgot to comment on Dame Helen Mirren. I totally get why she doesn’t want to have that label sexy, as so often that word conjures up the ‘trying to attract the opposite sex’, and even dressing to please others, to get attention. I don’t think that is the true meaning of sexy, Helen Mirren is a strong, beautiful, confident woman, and that is what is sexy about her, she is those things for herself, and not for another, it’s almost intertwined with style…
    Anyway, she is definitely someone who makes me feel I can’t wait to be 70 (or 69 and a little bit).

  • 19th April 2015 at 2:18 am
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    I found this post very welcome and instructive, I am finally understanding why, as I move onto the Zoomer generation, style over fashion is the only sensible alternative, It likely has been for years. One of the benefits of frugal (your style) shopping is quality…the detail in your green dress is exquisite. It is not a print I would have chosen, and then I looked again and realized just how fresh and stylish it will look on you. Thanks so much Penny.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      23rd April 2015 at 7:16 am
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      Well it was such a find, Margaret. Saw it out of the corner of my eye in a charity shop and yes, the material is so very different. It’s a very unique dress and all for £3!

  • 19th April 2015 at 2:18 am
    Permalink

    I found this post very welcome and instructive, I am finally understanding why, as I move onto the Zoomer generation, style over fashion is the only sensible alternative, It likely has been for years. One of the benefits of frugal (your style) shopping is quality…the detail in your green dress is exquisite. It is not a print I would have chosen, and then I looked again and realized just how fresh and stylish it will look on you. Thanks so much Penny.

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