Our weather has changed and the heat has gone and at times it’s windy, grey and wet! It’s not exactly cold but it is a lot cooler.  And yet last Saturday I bought a dress, but will I wear it this summer, who knows, as apparently this August is forecast to be cooler than last year when there was a heatwave.

What’s more I bought this dress new. But there’s a story behind it. Two weekends ago I spotted this dress in a lovely shop in Lewes called Wickle, which has many delightful things and clothes that are quite expensive but all ethically and sustainably produced.

The clothes and the dresses in particular are very yummy but I usually pass them by as I say ‘nice but too much’. However, I have read yet another article on how ghastly the fashion industry is and I have resolved to change my ways, because really, I did fall into bad habits last year, and I have too many clothes in my wardrobe bought during that lockdown when we did absolutely nothing and no stores were open at all, remember that time? So I have weeded out the ones that have been hardly worn at all, and I have decided that I will not only strictly buy 2nd-hand  but also I will consider the ethical but more expensive brands. I’ve given myself a talking-to as well, that even with my charity shop shopping, I must buy fewer garments.  And when I recycle I shall aim to get as many items as possible to the dress agency I have found in Lewes, so that I know for sure that the garment will definitely be bought by someone coming in from the High Street. This is because charity shops don’t sell all the items they are given, there is just too much, consequently they export huge amounts of clothing to Africa, which is not a good thing to do as this ruins the local clothing industry.

Anyway, the story is that on that Saturday two weekends ago I picked up this dress (in fact, I pounced as it was the colours that attracted me) and waited for the changing-room.  I was first in the queue but the one changing-room available was taken by a young woman (actually, she was tall and lovely and quite beautiful to look at) but by gum she had a lot of clothes to try on. I’d say she had at least 10 items. Fifteen minutes later with no sign that she’d finished I gave up and left the store empty-handed. Well, two weeks later I popped in to Wickle and there it was and, reader, it was reduced!  I mean, it was still expensive (for me) but that young woman saved me £20 – huzzah!


I think it’s a keeper!  I shall wear it a lot once the hot weather returns.

And here are some photos of my daughter’s garden, the first is the view I have when I’m doing the washing-up.

It’s a wild garden and the grass is not cut all that much.

They are believers in allowing the caterpillars to breed and the moths and butterflies to flourish.

I love being there just chilling.

I am so grateful to be able to stay in their house and sit in this wild, wild garden!

Thank you for reading this, that’s all for now.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper



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32 thoughts on “Another dress, but will I be able to wear it?

  • 3rd August 2021 at 1:30 pm

    I really do like that dress! I wonder if you could wear it with a long-sleeved black top under it when it is a little coooler?

    • 4th August 2021 at 7:25 am

      That’s an idea, plus leggings maybe and a hoodie??? Thanks 🙂

  • 3rd August 2021 at 1:33 pm

    Well, probably as frustrated as you were waiting in that line for the dressing room, so glad it worked out with a reduced price. I hope the weather works out for August so you can get some wear out of it this year. Our forecast has another heat wave this month and so far it has been up and down. How nice that you are still at your daughter’s place and enjoying the outdoors in the garden. Are you missing your walks by the sea though?

    • 4th August 2021 at 7:35 am

      I know, Diane, that was a lucky break! Good luck with the heatwave – hope it’s not too ferocious. I love that garden and the sitting outside in the fresh air makes up for the lack of the sea views and I also do a little bit of gardening – just snipping off the seed heads plus watering of tomatoes 🙂 Great fun!

    • 4th August 2021 at 9:38 am

      Hi Penny, when I opened your blog and saw the top, straight away I thought ‘that’s gorgeous and very Penny’. To see it was actually a dress and not a top was even better! Glad you saved on it but it’s one of those dresses that you’ll wear in summer for years and that makes it worth it. I’ve been looking at my wardrobe and there are things I’ll probably keep until they wear out but there are also things that just don’t do it for me now and I’m enthused by your idea of using a dress agency to sell them. I will still continue to give to charity shops, particularly The British Heart Foundation, as I also buy from them and they have sold plenty of our donations. I know a lot of our castoffs can end up in Africa but I’ve seen the way they can provide an income for individual market sellers and inexpensive clothing for people who can’t afford to buy from shops.
      Your daughter’s garden is delightful, my sort of garden. Just as I don’t like tailored clothes I much prefer the un-manicured garden. This year we let the self seeded cow parsley and campion grow throughout the garden and didn’t mow the ‘lawn’. The wildflowers and bees loved it. We mowed after the flowers seeded and now new, different flowers are growing. Tbh, the lawn wasn’t that great before but now it’s lovely and soft to walk through.
      House-sitting for your daughter and family is such a lovely thing to do for you all. I hope you’re well-refreshed for your return to the seaside.

      • 7th August 2021 at 8:45 am

        Hi Jane and apologies for not replying sooner – just found your comment tucked away 🙂

        I agree I shall go far more often to a dress agency but also donate to my local charity shop, which is Age Uk an appropriate charity shop for me I think. But I’m so glad I was able to buy that dress – it really will be worn and worn as I do love it.

        My daughter’s wild garden is truly wild but the butterflies were prolific during this last visit so well worth the way they keep it. Your garden also sounds lovely – thanks so much for your comment and hope you have a good weekend 🙂

  • 3rd August 2021 at 3:07 pm

    Love that dress, Penny! The style looks so comfortable with no restricting waist! I appreciate your posting about the unsustainable fashion industry. I, too, must be more committed to the same values. Buying less. Buying sustainable when purchasing new. Buying 2nd hand. Recycling to reputable organizations.
    In fact, our church women’s group is going to host a Clothes Swap. We are to bring purses, shoes, clothing that is clean, good condition, on hangers and exchange over coffee and pastries! There can be rules such as you take away as much as you’ve brought in but we are not going to do that. We are hoping the women will think it is fun. It’s not to be a charitable event, per se, but more of a coffee chat. Hoping this works!
    Love your daughter’s garden! It looks so lush! We are still dealing with drought conditions and are on wildfire alert. We have much more planned power outages here to curb chances of starting fires with sparks from power cables during high winds. Enjoy your time with family!
    Stay safe! The Delta variant is coming closer to our already dwindling social circle.
    Charlene H

    • 4th August 2021 at 7:52 am

      What a nice idea to do a Clothes Swap – it sounds friendly and fun, hope it goes well. The dress is lovely and a great shape, funny how some styles make you look instantly fat and others like this one slim you down.

      My daughter’s garden is probably a bit wilder than most English gardens but we can do lush because of our constant rain; plants and weeds all grow abundantly and this garden because it is well established doesn’t need watering. I do hope all goes well with your drought and wildfire situation. Yes, I’m being very careful and all meet-ups with friends and family are out doors. We sit inside with our daughter’s family only after taking a Lateral Flow test which is the best thing one can do in the circumstances. Hopefully next year will be more normal because this ‘new normal’ is quite scary. Take care, Charlene and thanks for your comment 🙂

  • 3rd August 2021 at 4:42 pm

    As soon as I saw the colours of the dress, I knew how much it would suit you! I am also buying fewer clothes and aiming for those that are ethically produced. I love your daughter’s garden. I have a wild area in my garden which I would like to extend. I’ve noticed that where I live, the council is only cutting a small band of grass or hedgerow nearest to the road and either letting the rest grow wild or planting while flower areas which is great – for a start!

    • 4th August 2021 at 7:56 am

      That dress! I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it – so lucky to see it still there two weeks later!

      My daughter’s garden is slightly more wild than most but so full of flowers and they both encourage all wild life so it’s full of butterflies and moths, it’s actually a great way to garden.

  • 3rd August 2021 at 5:07 pm

    I love your daughter’s garden. It’s a lot like mine but nicer in that she has more flowers…my flowers are starting to disappear and I really need to up my game and find something which will grow in the clay which I have in abundance. And also will put up with me, terrible gardener that I am 😁 Mine is semi wild too. I occasionally trim and weed, but not often. 😉 Anyway, on to the dress. I love it. The proportions and colour look very good on you. I approve of the theory of buying better and less, but since I make a lot of my own clothes, thrift some, and only occasionally buy new, I’m sticking with that. Not everyone can or wants to sew their own clothes but it’s my hobby, so I’m very lucky in that, and it suits my fashion sense which is a bit boho. It also suits my height, which is short and I can tweak and adjust things to suit my frame. You’re very lucky in that, like my daughter, you are tall and slim with a particular build which suits most things. However I have to say that a lot of women our age go in the opposite direction and don’t buy enough new clothes, and seem somewhat allergic to updating their wardrobe at all.

    • 4th August 2021 at 8:34 am

      If you can find some of those daisies and the native geraniums (not the pot plants) in pinks and blues they look after themselves and come up year after year. They’re brilliant no-garden flowers – highly recommend!

      Yes, the dress, I was so lucky to find it again after two weeks! And it’s so good that you sew your own clothes – I used to a very long time ago. And I do agree with you for that latter point. I don’t think either of us will be like that though! Love the idea that you are a bit boho – I seem to have lost that a bit, what with near going anywhere much, although I think it’s easier in the winter, when I can wear my chunky boots and hats with crazy skirts. Thanks so much for your comment 🙂

  • 3rd August 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Class dress, great you got a bargain!
    Lovely garden, really beautifully laid out.

    • 4th August 2021 at 7:37 am

      Thank you so much Toni – it was lucky to find the dress again after two weeks! And thanks about the garden – my daughter will be happy to hear that 🙂

  • 3rd August 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Lucky you! It’s a lovely dress and the colours look gorgeous on you!

    • 4th August 2021 at 7:36 am

      Thank you Nancy, I knew as soon as I looked at the dress that I had to have it – it was love at first sight!

    • 4th August 2021 at 7:35 am

      Thank you so much Jodie, it was a lucky break to find the dress after two weeks 🙂

  • 4th August 2021 at 12:34 am

    What a great story. perfect dress for the Summer. I had looked for something like this while on vacation. there is a store I really like which carries a line of natural fabric, sustainable clothing and also a nice selection of shoes. Last year it wasn’t even open because of the pandemic. It is a kind of contemporary, artisan kind of place, a mixture of clothing, housewares, art and even books. Nothing tempted me though. I think I am getting more selective and not buying just to have something new. the clothing items I have purchased over the last year or two have been more classic and perhaps cost a bit more but I plan to keep them for a long time. I agree with you Penny about trying to avoid fast fashion and the toll it takes on the environment and the human cost as well.
    Your daughter’s garden is beautiful!

    • 4th August 2021 at 8:40 am

      Yes, I have decided to be more selective and buy more sustainable ethical produced clothing. Those stores are so tempting though, I mean the ones that have those lovely artisan type items and beautiful clothing made from natural fibres. Good to look at and then move on as they can be expensive, but you know, I love the looking!!! That’s when I go hunting for something similar in charity/thrift shops.

      My daughter will be so pleased to hear that you think her garden beautiful. Thanks as ever 🙂

  • 4th August 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Like you Penny I also have reservations about taking clothes to charity shops because so much is sent to Africa. I read an article about what happens to the clothes. In Ghana they used to wait excitedly for arrivals of UK shipments. Now they dread opening the boxes because they’re full of cheap “one wear” clothes that nobody wants. And it’s ruined the local textiles market, as you say.
    Love your new dress. Definitely a keeper!
    Your daughter’s garden is lovely. I am a big admirer of naturalistic planting that attracts bees and butterflies x

    • 7th August 2021 at 8:29 am

      I am going to be taking a lot of my clothes to the dress agency I’ve found – there are two in Lewes and as I’m always popping in to Lewes that seems the best thing to do and especially as I know the items will be definitely be bought by someone.

      That dress – so pleased with it! And the garden is lovely but really wild!

  • 4th August 2021 at 1:15 pm

    I love the wildness of your daughter’s garden: I can imagine lots of butterflies enjoy it! The dress is perfect for you and yay for getting it on a reduced price. I am aiming to mainly shop 2nd hand this fall after I get myself something for my birthday that I have wanted for a year. I imagine your new dress would be really pretty with a denim jacket or cardigan if it is chilly!

    • 7th August 2021 at 8:30 am

      Yes, I could wear the dress either with a black top under it or a black hoodie over it to take it into the cooler months.

      The butterflies are everywhere in that garden which is lovely.

  • 4th August 2021 at 3:27 pm

    I’m sure you will get some more chances to wear your new dress this year Penny. As I write this it’s warm and sunny and I’m in a summer dress myself. Love the wild garden. There is a wild flower front garden a few streets from us & another that has cultivated plants but planted in a random ‘full’ way. So many people are now aware of the need to provide habitat for insects which have declined so much over the years. I heard someone on the radio speaking about how, in the summer, you would have to keep clearing your car windscreen of insects so that you could see through it. I had completely forgotten about that – it never seems to happen now.
    I like to give synthetic fabric clothes a few more outings by buying them second hand. Natural fibres are at least biodegradable. I had a very old, holey wool cardigan so I took off the buttons and cut it into small pieces to compost them – it worked! I used to make most of my own and my children’s clothes, often reusing garments I bought at jumble sales & that was 40 years ago. We ‘baby boomers’ were brought up by parents who had lived through the privations of the war & who did not have much money. We were taught not to waste things and to ‘make do and mend’. Him Indoors can fix just about anything mechanical, electrical or containing a micro processor, which must have saved us £000’s. He’s just added more memory to our granddaughter’s laptop & made it run fast again. That saved at least one thing going to the tip! I’m glad to see that the government is backing the demand for the ‘right to repair’ but I don’t think it extends to IT stuff. Apparently we in the UK throw away 1.5 million tons of electrical equipment every year – how shocking is that!

    • 7th August 2021 at 8:41 am

      The weather is very variable at the moment, two days ago I visited another cousin and had lunch in their beautiful garden under a roofed structure which worked very well thank goodness as it poured with rain most of the time. And as we knew we were outside but the weather was going to be tricky it was warm trousers and a woolly top, yes, the dress would have been perfect in different weather. And then either side of the visit it was warm and sunny – blast!

      My daughter’s wild garden is great. Oh yes and jumble sales – gosh I clothed my kids on jumble sale clothes practically all of their young lives!!! My parents were so very frugal bordering on the obsessive – I remember a drawer full of folded paper bags! But we do have to change our ways!

      Thanks Lynda – have a good weekend 🙂

  • 5th August 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Pretty dress! I love a wild garden even more than a manicured one.

    • 7th August 2021 at 8:31 am

      Thank you Lise – so pleased with the dress! And my daughter’s garden is wild!!

  • 5th August 2021 at 7:49 pm

    That’s a lovely dress and it looks fab on you. It’s made for hot summer days…Glad you got it at a reduced price, too.

    Your daughter’s garden is delightful. I love the slightly wild look in gardens and it beats pristine and manicured any day…

    • 7th August 2021 at 8:33 am

      Yes, longing for an occasion to wear it!

      Yes, it is lovely to see the butterflies which seem to be everywhere, but earlier my daughter pointed out all the caterpillars and said we tolerate them because later we’ll see them flying around the garden, and that was true!

      have a lovely weekend – raining a lot here at the moment xxx

  • 18th August 2021 at 9:36 pm

    I love love this dress! I’m featuring you on Friday!! And what a view- spectacular! xx

    • 20th August 2021 at 7:08 am

      Oh Lucy thank you so much – I’m honoured to be featured on your lovely blog – thanks again 🙂

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