Hello everyone

How are you? Have you recovered from the holidays? I’m over that cold, but it sure hung around!  Anyway, what to write about?  Well, I think it’s high time to look upwards and onwards to the new year and everything that it might bring, including a two-week cruise starting mid-March, which goes around Spain, no less!  I am looking forward to that, for the sun and the colours of Spain more than anything else, and I’ve added some new charity shop dresses to my wardrobe, which you’ll be seeing soon.

I’ll also be writing more seriously about ageing and how we get to grips with it, and by ageing I don’t mean the cruising, golfing, developing our hobbies and interests time of retirement, which we all love to think is what the rest of our life will be.  Well, it might, but plan, people, for when you can’t do those lovely things – this is a subject I shall return to I promise. Btw, today BBC Women’s Hour will be featuring Margareta Magnusson, the writer of ‘The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning – yes, you read that right – death cleaning.  I’ll probably not report on the radio programme, but will write about the book, which I got for Christmas.

And then there’s fitness, which I won’t start writing about until I’ve begun the programme I mean to go on with.  At the moment my fitness is rock bottom from the cold and the not-going to a class for nearly a year. And yes I did start a running programme, and no, I didn’t complete it – and I don’t run!  Yet!  I so feel what the absence of doing more than just walking has wreaked on my body.  I walk a lot with the Fitbit I wear monitoring my steps – that’s great but it’s not sufficient.  Anyway, I’ve chosen the class and I’ll report back to you in a few weeks time.

Yesterday, I read two blog posts on a subject that’s dear to my heart – ethical clothes shopping. Susan from High Heels in the Wilderness wonders whether it’s possible to be an ethical shopper and Catherine of Atypical60 discusses the alternatives on offer, which are often clothes that are way too expensive for my pocket, and a lot of other people too. We all seem to agree that it’s a difficult and challenging to be seriously ethical in one’s shopping. The way to go, it appears, is de-clutter so you know what’s in your wardrobe and, as far as you can, purchase wisely. As you know, I see thrifting and shopping in charity shops as the solution. You really are saving the item you bought from landfill, and giving it a second chance to be loved and worn again.

But let’s not fret. I’ve got a new charity shop dress I’m going to wear for an event, and here’s the thing, I tried it on and decided the jacket that came with it didn’t look good. Here’s a tip – always walk around with a new outfit trying it in different ways. This helps to allay that panic when you put on something on the actual day and realise it’s no good! So I got out a couple of jackets I had in my wardrobe – I think this is called, shopping my closet!

So here’s the outfit with its matching jacket.

Actually, the jacket isn’t totally matching the dress and the overall look is a bit samey. I don’t like it that much.  But the dress has an intriguing asymmetrical hem-line and an interesting gather at the sides.

I teamed it with 5 charity shop bracelets and a lovely necklace from the V&A shop.

But on reflection, I’ve decided that I really must wear something other than those boots. I do find it a challenge to wear dainty shoes, but I will look for something other than those boots to go with this outfit.

Anyway, I tried the dress with my very old faux leather jacket.

That’s fine, but won’t do for the indoor event I’m going to, so I tried another jacket.

That’s it, that’s the one!  This is my French jacket bought in September in a brocante shop for just 5 Euros.  So, apart from the shoes – the outfit is good to go!

That’s all for now.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

And sharing with:

Patti from Not Dead Yet Style

Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb

Nicole of High Latitude Style and

Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style

Click on the icons to see 🙂

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36 thoughts on “A dress and a jacket – simple!

  • 9th January 2018 at 9:08 am

    You so need to team something other than those boots with this outfit, esp as it’s an indoor event? Luv the look n will enjoy WH far more now I know more of the content…
    Happy shopping/browsing…

    • 11th January 2018 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Julia, yes, definitely will wear something other than those boots 🙂

  • 9th January 2018 at 9:18 am

    The French jacket is definitely the one! The jewellery is stunning too and really adds impact. I’ve booked a summer holiday for September – it gives me something to look forward to and I find it spurs me on with the fitness endeavours. I’ll listen out for the Swedish death cleaning interview – sounds interesting. I listen to the Woman’s Hour podcast in the car every day.

    • 11th January 2018 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks Gail, yes, that jacket is such a good find. It’s velvety to touch and has a plain black back.

  • 9th January 2018 at 10:05 am

    I love the dress, and actually love the leather jacket with it – a nice plain foil to the crinkly material, however I wonder if some red or yellow round the neck would lift that brown a bit?

    • 11th January 2018 at 3:56 pm

      I have a lovely yellow scarf that I can wear with the dress and jacket (whichever one I choose out of those three). Interesting that you prefer my pleather jacket to the French one – I’ll think on that!

  • 9th January 2018 at 11:08 am

    Beautiful dress and I love the bracelet you are wearing with the dress!

    • 11th January 2018 at 3:58 pm

      I didn’t say that the dress is silk. I do love chunky costume jewellery, Nancy. Actually 4 out of the 5 bracelets were from charity shops, but the button one is made by my favourite Brighton jeweller.

  • 9th January 2018 at 11:29 am

    I like it best with the leather jacket.

    • 11th January 2018 at 3:59 pm

      So interesting that you say that about the leather jacket, Kate. You’re not the only one – will definitely have to think about that!

  • 9th January 2018 at 12:57 pm

    I love the dress, it has a ‘quirky’ feel to it which appeals to me. I think the chunky jewellery takes it to another level. I agree with previous comments and prefer it with the leather. I adore scarves and maybe one in the ‘right’ ( ones of your choice!) colours would add a certain je ne sais quoi’ !

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:04 pm

      It is a quirky dress and I didn’t say, it’s silk. The chunky necklace is from the V&A which has wonderful costume jewellery on sale. And wow, I will have to listen to everyone as people are saying they prefer the leather jacket! Actually, I’ll let you into a secret. After I posted the blog I went out to Brighton and found and bought an amazing charity shop outfit. I tell you I wasn’t even looking, but there it was in a charity shop window – will probably wear that. You’ll all see it soon!

  • 9th January 2018 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you Penny!!!! I’m taking a cue from you this year and am going to shop the thrifting way. !! I’m going to channel my inner Penny!!!!!!

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:08 pm

      That’s great, Catherine! But of course, charity shop shopping in the UK is I think, very different to thrifting in the States. We have these little High Streets and as a consequence, charity shops here are also little and rather like boutiques. However, I do read other US bloggers who find bargains – so they are there! I like the hunt – that’s the thing with me!!!!!

  • 9th January 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Beautiful dress! I’m packing right now for our Caribbean cruise, I’d love to see what you pack for yours! I plan to spend as much time as possible in a swim suit so packing light on everything else. Everything in my bag is mix/match and will have to be worn twice (excluding undies). I’ll let you know how it goes!

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:11 pm

      Oh lovely, and it sounds as though you’ve got it all organised! The thing is, our last cruise was in the Caribbean and I spent so much time thinking what I’d wear during the day in the sun I rather neglected the evening wear. And I realised then that the evening wear is what I go for. So this time round it’s all about the dresses – which I’ll show you soon!

      Have a lovely time!

  • 9th January 2018 at 2:28 pm

    I agree that the leather jacket is great!

    I live in Shoreham-by-Sea – would love to know which charity shops you use but you probably wouldn’t want to give them away!!

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:18 pm

      Interesting that so many of you here think the leather jacket is best – I’ll definitely reflect on that. Re: charity shops. Seaford, which wasn’t far from Newhaven where I lived before, has amazing charity shops. Pretty much always got stuff there of a very high quality. However, just lately I’ve found some great bargains in Lewes and Brighton. Once a year I visit a friend in Worthing – and charity shops are in abundance there and some very good.

  • 9th January 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Love, love the dress, I agree about the boots, problem is what to wear? We have so much snow here in Canada at the moment, and it’s so bitterly cold that boots are a must. So everywhere one goes at this time of year I have to take shoes with me. I’m usually the only one, as the majority of Canadian’s walk around in socks, which drives me crackers, as when the evening is in my house, my living room smells of feet after everyone has left! It is a ‘thing’ here though, as even in summer, people take their shoes off on entering a home. I have cute ballet slippers in different colours, so they tuck into my handbag quite easily. Let us know what you put on your feet with this dress, I love the brown crinkly fabric.

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:21 pm

      Thank you re: your comments on the dress, it is a quirky, interesting dress – made of silk incidentally. Yes, when us Brits complain of the cold, we really don’t know what we’re talking about!!! Just lately the cold snap across the States and into Canada must have been awesome. Hope it’s over now.

  • 9th January 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Hi Penny
    I’ve been following your blog for several months now and you really are a lady after my own heart !! I love charity shops and all they have to offer partly because it makes perfect ethical/environmental sense to give a home to something which has been previously loved rather than see it go the dump. But also I love that feeling of anticipation when I first start browsing my local (or not so local) Oxfam , Red Cross or whatever ……..will today be my lucky day ?? Will I unearth a gem ?? Speaking for myself, I don’t get that feeling in any regular shop any more.
    I have even committed to buying no brand new clothes during 2018, only items from charity shops or car boot sales ,so wish me luck !!
    Love the blog Penny and can’t decide between the “pleather ” jacket or the French one …..both look great but the French one is probably best for an indoor event .

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Yes, it’s the hunt I love when I go charity shop shopping! But it also suits my pocket and that was the driver to begin with. But once I realised what bargains are to be had – there was no stopping me! Thanks so much for your feedback and great to meet you!

  • 9th January 2018 at 6:13 pm

    There was a jacket in a charity shop in Henley that I nearly bought – fitted faux fur but done in strips with some elasticated fabric so it was close fitting and not bulky. It would go have gone with your dress. Although a charity shop it was brand new.
    My preference is the leather jacket.
    You have really got me hunting in charity shops – there is some fantastically funky and beautiful bargains to be had.

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:24 pm

      I’m so glad you now know the pleasures of charity shop shopping! I always aim find high-end, high quality clothes, and it’s just astonishing – they are there – waiting to be found!

  • 9th January 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Oh it is such fun deciding on which clothes to take on a cruise. I love dressing for dinner, both on formal nights and others…I always like to dress up rather than down. Yes, that’s definitely the bright jacket for the dress. It’s always so nice to find different ways of wearing something.

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:27 pm

      Ah, the pleasure of dressing up! Honestly, if I didn’t go on a cruise I’d have nowhere to wear my lovely frocks, because we just don’t do dinners and dances, you know, that kind of thing. Mind you, someone said I really ought to start having cocktail parties. Now there’s a thought…..!

      • 11th January 2018 at 5:38 pm

        Just the same – we just don’t go anywhere (apart from cruising) to wear evening clothes and I just LOVE them! Cocktail parties sound good!

  • 9th January 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Thanks for the mention Penny. So happy to have discovered your blog. Thrifting is something that I do not do well. I wish we had as many great thrift shops in my part of Canada as I saw when I was in England last fall. I saw some lovely things when I in Bath… but my luggage was full, alas.

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:34 pm

      It was a pleasure to mention you, Sue! It was a great post.

      Yes, charity shop shopping is quite a thing in the UK. And the small High Streets with their small shops have led to charity shops being quite upmarket and boutiquey. I mean you don’t find things all the time, but we can find some amazing high-quality bargains. But I do read that bargains are to be found in those big thrift stores – and I think the thing is if you get into the swing of thrifting – it’s the hunt that is so addictive! Good luck with it in Canada!

  • 10th January 2018 at 1:10 am

    Great article about some things dear to my heart. First up exercise, I live in the country and have to develop my own exercise program. At this point, it is a small yoga session before I eat breakfast and I have been trying to do a 1000 steps on a little portable stepper machine.
    I know we are on the same page on ethical shopping. I went over and read the post on High Heels in the Wilderness too and think we all have to do with what we can live with. One person’s answer is not anthers.

    As far as your dress, I really like the horizontal panel down the front. It gives just the right amount of contrast and love all the chunky jewelry you put with it. xo Terri

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Terri, yes, I guess with your distances in the States, the car is the means to get around and it must be difficult to just walk into town like I can! Here our steps can go up just with a walk in a leafy lane or getting on and off public transport (usually the bus, in my case). But walking hasn’t been sufficient, and I’ve just started my class today – and this is how I mean to go on!!!!!

      It’s been so interesting to read people’s comments on the leather jacket. It’s been quite helpful. And yes, I’m a chunky jewellery gal!!! Thank you xxx

  • 10th January 2018 at 7:54 pm

    the matching jacket with the orange jewellery is rather chic. You could still have boots, but a bit more “classic”? I like the way that you mix things up to see what suits.

    • 11th January 2018 at 4:41 pm

      It’s been a good exercise to try things on to see what it looks like before the panic of the actual day when you suddenly realise the ‘look’ is not quite right!!

  • 11th January 2018 at 8:20 pm

    Agree with you that charity shopping is an ethical way to shop; I can’t afford the alternatives either…

    Love the dress but I think you need a lighter colour jacket for contrast; although the French jacket is rather swish. Love the jewellery!


  • 12th January 2018 at 9:14 pm

    Hello, Penny
    If you don’t have a contrasting jacket then the leather jacket is the one! And maybe add a bright(ish) scarf or necklace?

    As for thrift stores in the States, how about this? Daughter: (who lives in America). ‘Where did that shirt come from?’ Me: (visiting), ‘I got it yesterday at that big thrift shop in XYZ.’ (Some 20 miles away and new to me.) I thought it would make a nice jacket actually.’ Daughter: You’re right, it does. It also looked good on me too – until I gave it to that thrift shop about six weeks ago!’

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