Hi everyone

Thanks so much for the lovely comments after last week’s blog where I said, ‘Ageing? Not sure about this lark!’ But I’m over that and I think it’s just a birthday thing.

Here’s a selfie I took two days ago to just show you how the wrinkles are now part of me, which was one of the many reasons why I wasn’t too happy on my birthday. But today, I’m fine, and fine about the wrinkles as goodness knows I’ve earned them. Mind you, it’s probably the angle with which I took the selfie that makes them so prominent and I must re-read Gail, of Is This Mutton, giving some great tips on  taking selfies and outfit shots.

Now where was that photo taken? OK, the secret is out, it was the member’s room in the Victoria & Albert museum. Yes, we had a  trip to London to see the wonderful exhibition Fashioning Masculinities: the Art of Menswear.  It really was a humdinger of an exhibition and I absolutely loved it. Men’s fashion has changed over the centuries from the 16th and 17th Centuries where wealthy men wore frills and lace and extraordinarily near-feminine clothes and, you’d think, this type of clothing would never be worn today, and yet and yet, today some men are rapidly becoming peacocks what with them wearing frocks and non-specific gender clothes. And if you thought how original, no, not at all as we could see from the exhibition that it’s all been done before. Men have worn outrageously frothy and feminine clothes in the past and they’re doing it again. And good for them.

But to start from the beginning. I wore that black charity shop dress with the underskirt and the asymmetric hem as it was definitely a day to wear a dress that didn’t touch the sides. Here I am in Victoria waiting for the bus.

Currently we have 4 days of really hot weather before it all goes back to our usual mild weather!

That mustard jacket wasn’t needed, but we’d started out early and I can never believe that I don’t need anything over the arms. Btw, I know that over the pond you do need something to cover the arms when you go into the freezing air conditioned shops and public transport. Here in the UK we don’t do a lot of air con and, certainly on this trip, I don’t think anything had air con and it was blooming hot everywhere. So another time I shall take a larger backpack and wear a thin cardi, which will be popped into the bag when it gets too hot. The backpack I’m wearing was a recent charity shop find, it’s hardly been used as it’s pristine and in my favourite colour too! It cost £5.00.

How about this for starters? It’s Marlene Dietrich’s suit. The curators were keen to show that women can emulate men’s attire and she was the perfect example.

How about these?

The gold brocade cape is a Dolce Gabbana, and the black coat is a Gianni Versace. Either side of the exhibits were paintings of men wearing similar clothes in the early 17th Century for the coat and the 16th Century for the cape.

But oh how I loved the quirky, the gender-bending clothes on display.

And what about this?

So beautiful and worn by Billy Porter at the Golden Globes in 2019.

The photo doesn’t capture the sparkles. It was divine.

It wasn’t all gender-bending.

These outfits were all about the trend for tweed.

I’d wear this in a flash.

However, the bodice has absolutely no tucks or darts to allow for bosoms so don’t think I can – what a shame as the material is sublime.

Who likes Timothy Chalamet?  He’s worn this.

The exhibition ended in a room with loud music and psychedelic flashing lights.

Just look closer at the three dresses worn by young men displayed in the room.

And the second one.

And finally a dress recently worn by our very own Harry Styles. That’s Mr F in the background who accompanied me around the exhibition. He found it really interesting and enjoyed the whole day out but boy was it hot! We Brits don’t do hot weather all that well!

Hats off to the young men wearing these clothes – I really admire them. Do you?

That’s all for now, I shall come off cloud nine shortly to write another blog centred on my more mundane charity shop fashion!

But until then, with love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

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27 thoughts on “A trip to London!

  • 17th June 2022 at 8:02 am
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    Oh, what stunning fashion! I would happily wear any of them tho the second last one was a bit too pantomime-dame for me. Tell me, Penny, do you ever check out the rails of men’s clothing for yourself when you charity shop?

    Reply
    • 19th June 2022 at 11:17 am
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      Ah yes, pantomime dame 🤣 I can see that now! Yes, I do look on the men’s rails and did buy the brown padded winter jacket from the men’s rail which was so good to wear in April staying in Dungeness, which was freezing!

      Reply
  • 17th June 2022 at 8:51 am
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    Thanks Penny.
    Glad you got there this week.
    Wow! The exhibition certainly lives up to expectation. I can’t wait to go.
    Very nice bag. I must start looking for bags in charity shops: my cousin recently picked up a cracker too.
    Stay cool! Mary

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    • 19th June 2022 at 11:18 am
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      It’s an amazing exhibition Mary, you’ll love it!

      That weather was way too hot for me!

      Reply
  • 17th June 2022 at 9:03 am
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    Mens’ fashion loled at the blue silk boxers. The coat with the pink lining is out of this World. The only person I ever see wearing cat walk clothes is Lewis Hamilton. Normally these styles are diluted I suppose. I enjoy looking at these beautiful creations but if I had a style icon it would be Sarah Chatto.

    You are looking terrific I love your yellow jacket. It’s years since I’ve been to theV&A. When I was a stay at home mother I went every week with my baby buggy, my children still love museums. They used to love the cafe too but that was over 50 years ago entry was free. Is it still free?

    Reply
    • 19th June 2022 at 11:24 am
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      The V&A is free to get in and there is still a huge amount to see for free, but the exhibitions tickets are £20. I’ve got a plus1membership so I can walk in to the exhibitions any time I want with Other Half or friend, which means if I get up to the V&A 3 times in a year I have paid for it and more. Think I’ll manage that.

      Yes, I agree that the ‘look’ is not really seen in the male population at large, but would so like to see a slightly more peacock look or anything really to get them out of their quite boring jeans and a t-shirt look!

      Reply
  • 17th June 2022 at 9:56 am
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    What a very interesting exhibition and what a beautiful clothing! Finally visiting London must have been very good!

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    • 19th June 2022 at 11:24 am
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      It was an amazing exhibition – so glad I went 😄

      Reply
  • 17th June 2022 at 10:33 am
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    Hi, Penny! Just a few days ago, I showed your birthday outfit photos to my hairstylist. We both say that you look fabulous!! And your closeup in this post is great, too. No hyperpigmentation due to early suntanning years!
    During the pandemic, I spent quite a bit of time watching YouTube videos about skincare…not necessarily makeup. I tried a few different serums but after over a year of trying these few new things, I’ve returned to a much simpler routine. The serums I no longer use were to replenish collagen, smooth pores, reduce dark age spots, etc. Now, I am relying on two moisturizers (an oil and a cream), a gentle cleanser, a tretinoin nighttime cream, a hydroquinone dark spot reducer, and a tinted sunscreen spf 30-50. I settled on this simpler routine after experiencing sensitivity when combining the other products. For decades, I had used Shiseido products but I find these new products to be much more moisturizing.
    Glad to read that you got your trip to London!! Looks like you thoroughly enjoyed yourselves! We are looking forward to visiting family in a few weeks plus a getaway to the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. Praying for my husband’s improved health!
    Take care, Penny!

    Reply
    • 19th June 2022 at 11:31 am
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      Hi Charlene, yes, I’m lucky that I don’t have too much skin damage on my face and think that is because I’ve always worn make-up which has to be some kind of barrier. Skin care is so important and it’s good to hear about your skin routines. I need to replenish my serum and think I’m going to have a couple of really good facials over the next few weeks.

      The trip to London was wonderful but done on a very hot and humid day with not much in the way of air con anywhere! Think that is because we’ve always had quite cool temperate weather and consequently air con isn’t a feature – but that coolness is, of course, ending and who know how hot it might get here even in the rainy old UK!

      The Sierra Nevada mountains – wow! Enjoy!

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  • 17th June 2022 at 1:13 pm
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    Thanks for the interesting photos Penny – I may go to that exhibition with my daughter in a couple of weeks. She’ll be en route to us with a small suitcase, will need somewhere to store it so may not be able to go to the Tiffany exhibition. Pity railway stations no longer have luggage lockers! I feel both excited and slightly concerned about being back in London ; I’ll be wearing a ‘super safety’ mask on the train just in case, now that Covid cases are rising again. Just getting over my second attempt to take drugs to reduce my risk of melanoma returning. I could not even manage a half dose as side effects so bad. I’ll be back to normal in a few days when I’ll find it hard to believe there’s anything wrong with me. Hoping to cruise again this year now not having treatment – hooray, can’t wait to get aboard again. You have a cruise booked for August I think, are you going to go? Private Eye’s MD regards cruises as high risk, but not as high as scuba diving !

    Reply
    • 19th June 2022 at 11:44 am
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      Hi Lynda, I’ve just looked at the V&A’s policy on what can be stored in the cloakroom and pasted this in for you
      “Cloakrooms
      Open 10.00 – 17.30 daily (10.00 – 21.30 on Fridays). Luggage is charged per item.
      £3 – Coats, small bags (smaller than an average cabin bag), umbrellas, child scooters, prams and pushchairs
      £5 – Cabin bags (56 × 45 × 21cm)
      £7 – Larger bags, folding bikes and adult scooters
      Luggage with wheels, and bags larger than 56 × 45 × 21cm, are not allowed in the galleries. As part of our security procedures we may ask to search your bag.”

      Actually cabin bags usually have wheels so if that’s the size your daughter is using – hopefully she can get her case stored. Hope that helps.

      We didn’t wear a mask in the V&A as it’s large, airy and not too full of people. But on the bus and the train we wore those white PPF2 masks that are quite tight and do offer some protection. Rather annoyed these days that sometimes we are the only ones wearing a mask. And with cases rising again what with the variants BA 4&5.

      Oh Lynda I’d love to go on a cruise and will one day, but I cancelled my cruise in August as really I like to wander around ports (not allowed) and think there are too many people to be mixing with. I would never feel at ease, so it’s self-catering cottages for us, plus the trips up to London. But very sorry to hear about the side-effects which sound awful. So you go off and totally enjoy yourself. In fact go on several say I.

      Reply
      • 19th June 2022 at 12:18 pm
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        Thanks for getting that info for me, very kind of you. I think it depends where you go as to whether you can go ashore from a cruise on your own. As most travel restrictions have been lifted it should be OK although the cruise company itself may not allow it I suppose. We were getting ready to book now I’m not on treatment but I have found a new ‘mole’ on my leg so that has to be looked at first…………all so frustrating!

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  • 17th June 2022 at 1:55 pm
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    I think you’re beautiful!! And our smile is the best facelift ever! As for the fashion…I am literally breathless looking at these fabulous pieces of art. I wish I could visit!! Have a great weekend xx

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    • 19th June 2022 at 11:47 am
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      Thank you Lucy for those kind words!

      The fashion was just sublime and really I wish men in the general public would be just a little more peacock-like, anything to get them out of their boring jeans and t-shirts that so many wear!

      Thanks again xx

      Reply
  • 17th June 2022 at 4:57 pm
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    Happy belated birthday Penny! However did I manage to miss your last post on aging? I finally found it this morning. what I love about your blog is the honesty. I read your last post with so much empathy. I am a few years older, 81 in May. I have a hard time getting my head around this. I am truly old. Yet inside I am the same person I was when I was in my 40’s even sometimes in my 30’s. I still wear clothing that I bought then. I am used to the image in my own mirrors, but in new ones there is often a shock. I am lucky, I am mobile, my health is generally good. the other day when I went to book a haircut and a man, in his 60’s by his admission said I ” looked good for my age”. I joked that that was a compliment only if he thought I was old, which he guessed was 75. I have always tended to look younger. I am short statured and small boned, I inherited my complexion from my Italian mother rather than my Irish dad, so less likely to wrinkle. I was considered, delicate, petite, and “cute”. Now I might be judged, fragile, frail, with my gray hair and an old dear. random people think it OK to call me sweetheart. which I absolutely despise. as much as I feel the same inside, I am aware that I do not have the stamina I once had, If I sit for any length of time boy is it hard to get moving again. I have always done some kind of exercise, running, now walking, yoga, the gym, riding, even dancing when there was a partner. for years I have eaten almost no meat and try to get in enough fruits and vegetables. I have taken hormones for years which I realize is controversial but I really think it has a considerable benefit to me, perhaps because my life is so full, overall, the hardest thing I have had to accept is that I will never find the love of a partner. I am lucky that I did have children, so there is family, connection, but that idea of building a life together with someone has eluded me. there have been moments when it seemed entirely possible only to have it slip away. As the years have gone by this is less and less possible. I realize that there are many who have suffered in terrible marriages or have ended up for years caring for spouses with no joy or reprieve. maybe I am lucky. who knows. I have friends, family, interests, and I really strive to be grateful for all I have.
    On today’s post. what a wonderful trip to London. I really like your outfit. you manage to put yourself together with fresh style and never look overdone. ageless. I am thinking seeing this how rarely you see men around here in the New York suburbs dressing up. in Summer everyone is in shorts and flip flops. and so proud of beer guts. probably thinking no wonder she is forever single who does she think she is! the old hag! the other day I was on line to check in for a medical appointment. an older man was just a head of me, too short tee shirt, shorts worn below his waist allowing more of his anatomy to be seen than I cared to see. I wanted to tell him to pull his pants up! a far cry from these examples of sartorial splendor.
    Well, enough of my ranting, sending love, if belated from New York.
    Darby

    Reply
    • 19th June 2022 at 12:11 pm
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      Oh yes, Darby I totally and completely understand what you’re saying. I think it’s the birthday that sets me off, but the reality also. People who say ‘age is just a number’ are people who don’t know the reality of ageing. Yes, we think young, and maybe look younger than we really are, but the reality is that ageing has consequences and there is inevitably an impact on one’s quality of life, no matter how healthily we behave. Like you I’ve always been active and walked and exercised ++ Now my hip impacts on how I walk and will need replacing (I am just at the beginning of getting into the system). My balance isn’t great, my skin needs a lot of maintenance as do my teeth and so it goes on. And of course, I do know it is a huge privilege to age as, probably like you, I have friends who have died (my friends, all from cancers) so there is actually nothing much wrong with me apart from my age! So it’s brace, brace, and get on with it which, a couple of weeks after the birthday, is what I am doing!

      That exhibition was sublime, and Mr F enjoyed it as much as I did. But yes, I wish the ordinary everyday man was just little bit more of a peacock. And that shorts and t-shirt with a beer gut look – yuk!

      Thank you so much for your sensitive and interesting comment. With love from over the pond

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  • 17th June 2022 at 9:22 pm
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    Oh, these clothes are so fabulous!! I love seeing men brave enough and bold enough to wear things like this. Billy Porter and Harry Styles can definitely pull off those looks. Isn’t it funny how menswear has evolved? We had the dandies of the court who showed off their calves, then we end up with the power suit! I wish more men would embrace the feminine aspects and wear such fun clothing!

    Yes, our weather here in Central Indiana has been brutal with no end in sight. But, of course, there is no such thing as global warming! We were just talking last night about how there didn’t seem to be 90 (32C) weather when we were kids…at least not on a regular basis.

    Thanks for sharing your adventures! It made me quite miss London!

    https://marshainthemiddle.com/

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    • 19th June 2022 at 2:10 pm
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      The exhibition was simply divine and hats off to the young men who wear those clothes, and I wish men would be more of a peacock in their attire instead of jeans or shorts or track suit bottoms and the ubiquitous t-shirt.

      I think most people in theUk agree that it is climate warming causing these high temperatures, but feel powerless to do much more than wash our clothes in lower temperatures and hang the clothes out on the line instead of using a tumbler dryer. It really is up to the politicians and leaders of nations but they are so cowardly, they sign pieces of paper but there is no real attempt to change things drastically – which is what is needed. End of rant of the day!

      Reply
  • 18th June 2022 at 2:43 pm
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    So much gorgeousness! I adored the no bosoms dress too and of the three dresses at the end the black tailored one with the magnificent skirt was my favourite. I wish the men in my life were a little less conservative in their style. The eldest grandson has always been different clothes wise; happily wearing pink and one year had a lavender teddy jacket!

    I loved your outfit and am loving the the yellow jacket – truly fabulous!
    xxx

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    • 19th June 2022 at 2:14 pm
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      Yes, that no darts, so no bosoms dress was just amazingly beautiful, the material….. And I think I see why you chose the black tailored dress – it is stunning. I think generally speaking men are very conservative and don’t think of wearing anything other than a very ordinary pair of trousers or jeans and a shirt. But just maybe there is the beginnings of a change, it will be interesting to see where Harry Styles and other young men go with this.

      Thanks Veronica and thanks for those kind words about the jacket – didn’t need it really!

      xxx

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  • 18th June 2022 at 3:51 pm
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    Oh I loved this glimpse of the exhibition! Some of the outfits are just exquisite. We tend to forget men have been peacocks throughout history. Thanks for the feature!

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    • 19th June 2022 at 2:18 pm
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      I wonder where this beginning of a trend (to be peacocks) will take future generations of men? I can’t see it happening quickly but it will be interesting to see if Harry Styles and other young men will begin to influence the every day wear of men. Can’t see Mr F wearing frothy frills but I shall encourage him to buy some interesting shirts and ties!

      Reply
  • 20th June 2022 at 9:02 am
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    It WAS you!! I thought it might be but was too shy to ask. My sisters and I are the three women behind you in the first photo in the Members’ Room. I thought the exhibition was amazing, so glad I braved the heat to go and see. It was a wonderful day. I love the V&A!!

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    • 21st June 2022 at 7:22 am
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      Oh wow Sue, I’m amazed and bit humbled that someone at the V&A actually recognised me! Shame I can’t see more of you in the photo!

      The exhibition was sublime and the clothes were divine, but actually that Member’s Room really does need some fans in the ceiling or something other than the open windows. We went back for a cup of tea in the afternoon and absolutely melted!

      But otherwise like you I adore the V&A and there’s so much in it. It’s a great place to visit and we shall go again – will take my daughter to Africa Fashion for starters.

      Reply
  • 20th June 2022 at 5:51 pm
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    What amazing pieces! True works of art. What a fun outing! I think everyone should wear what they like. If women want to wear tweed suits and men want frilly dresses, I’m all for it. I had a trans woman friend (who had not yet transitioned yet), and she typically dressed in very feminine attire and high heels. It was novel to me at first, but it soon became quite normal.

    And what a wonderful, happy outfit you are wearing! Stylish, but comfortable for walking. Such a great bargain price for your backpack!

    Michelle
    https://mybijoulifeonline.com

    Reply
    • 21st June 2022 at 7:28 am
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      The exhibition was amazing and you’re right the clothing was a form of art. What I’d like to see is move from the artists, who seem to be the ones at the forefront of this trend, to more ordinary everyday men wearing peacock like clothes – the jeans, pants and trousers and the same old t-shirts, it really is rather boring. I know we should say people can wear what they like, but just maybe men could begin to be a little more outrageous!

      Reply

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