I love the blogosphere and the community of blogging women writing for us about all sorts and not just fashion.  I always aim to read as many as I can, and I do it for pleasure – it’s not a chore.  And no, it doesn’t take up a huge amount of my time – less than an hour in the morning. There are those that are skimmed and quickly deleted, but there are blogs full of great writing.  Just recently three posts caught my eye: one is Catherine of Atypical60 who writes about being your own style icon (I shall return to this in my next post); and then there’s Sue Burpee of High Heels in the Wilderness (don’t you just love that title) who’s written about Our Curated Lives, and Eloise in This is Sixty who asks what will happen to our instagramed photos in the future.

The latter two blog posts are highly relevant, as never before have so many presented an image, a ‘self’ to the world that could, at first glance, appear unnaturally glossy and glam.  Do you look at and/or use Instagram?  Phew, there’s a lot of posing going on there! I find it quite fun and I do look at the images, but for me, I’m not going to take it seriously.  I tend to put up the occasional rather bad selfie, mainly because I’m not all that good at taking selfies, and partly because I’m in rebellion against the surface smoothness and apparent jolliness of people’s presented lives and their clothes.  However, I still aim to improve – a technical thing is not going to defeat me!

Actually, I think to a certain extent we all curate and present an image – remember photo albums? I don’t think there’s that much difference between these albums, and the negatives and printed photos we discarded before the chosen few went in, and Instagram and the dozens that are taken before one is put up. It’s just that it’s a much quicker process (remember the anticipation waiting and then getting your developed photos from the chemist!) and of course, everybody is having a look.  But we don’t have to participate, and, as I said, I’ve chosen to do so minimally. But here’s a thought, there’s a huge question hanging over all this posting of pics.  And it’s not about the issue of should we march backwards and not have these things at all (not me, I embrace social media) but what happens in 60-100 years time?  How will people keep photos for future generations?   How will your great-grandchildren access all these photographs? I think, albums will still have to be created for them, and Mr Frugalfashionshopper is doing that right now for our future grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But don’t forget social scientists who just like looking at records, including photographs, they will need the photos of the 21st Century – actually there’s a great deal more to be said about this but I won’t here.

Of course, the pics on this blog are also curated.  Some clothes that I wear for cleaning, cooking, and my office days, will never feature here.  But I will share with you a thrifted skirt I wear over and over again – it’s my go-to skirt for a quick trip into town.

It’s a mid-length tulip skirt and so comfortable. Here it is with a yellow top – my favourite colour.

The skirt was bought for next-to-nothing about two years ago and the top was bought new (3-years ago) from Urban Outfitters, which is a store I simply love for the buzz more than anything.  Just an aside here, where I was living before, several people said they never went to Brighton. OK, they gave a variety of reasons, but one said this was because Brighton was a place for the ‘young’ (she was 5 years younger than me!) Look, when I go to Urban Outfitters I must be the oldest person there.  But I simply do not acknowledge certain shops, or towns for that matter, as being for the young.  Never, ever, feel that a shop is not for you. You go in, you look, you buy, and you wear what you damn well, please!

Anyway, it’s the beginning of the month and time for a hat!

Here’s close-up of the hat, which btw, was bought new at, yes, Urban Outfitters!

And closer still!

A confession. I do try to be frugal, but I’m not quite as good as I was, and that’s perhaps because I shop more often in Brighton.  Also prices in charity shops are rising, but, I will buy charity shop clothes at a higher price if I consider it warrants that price.  Just lately I seem to be on a coat-buying spree, although, my excuse is that I’d had some coats for many years, and I needed to replace them. Furthermore, I’m going up to London twice this month, and I promise you some street shots (and others, more about that soon) but, I thought, I really do need another London coat.

And here it is.


Now this shot above makes it look enormous and rather bulky, but this is partly due to the angle of the pic, and partly due to something I’m wearing under the coat (see below).  In reality, the coat has an amazing cut and flow to it with a lovely frontage and collar. So here below is a shot that I should also have discarded (eyes shut – blast!) but is in this post as it shows the cut of the coat well.

I’m afraid it cost £30, from a charity shop (!) but it has a German label of a manufacturer that no longer exists, so I suppose it was seen as ‘vintage’. The coat is also warm, as it’s all wool, and it sways and flounces as you walk. Definitely an up-market London coat.

I have a big reveal for you! Beneath the coat I have not just the OOTD, it is the outfit of the year!  And I’ll be showing it to you in my next post.

Until then!

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

This week I’ll be sharing with Judith’s Hat Attack at Style Crone, Terri’s 2nd Loved 1st Friday linkup at Meadowtree Style, Patti’s Visible Monday at Not Dead Yet Style, Catherine’s iwillwearwhatilike session at Not Dressed as Lamb, Nicole of High Latitude Style and Nancy’s Fancy Friday linkup at Nancy’s Fashion Style.  All have icons on the right or at the bottom if reading this on a phone 🙂

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41 thoughts on “Curating the look, curating our lives

  • 5th February 2018 at 10:35 am

    Fab coat, but I think you need to wear accessories the same colour of the ‘trim’ on the coat , or else it looks ‘just dark’. With pale grey boots,grey bag and gloves I’d have it off you!

    • 5th February 2018 at 4:13 pm

      Thank you, Sarah. It’s a great looking coat but I agree, it’s either pale grey accessories or, maybe, red? Wait until you see what I was wearing under the coat!

  • 5th February 2018 at 1:54 pm

    Going through a rough bout with husband in hospital and wanted to let you know how your post cheers me this early morning in Los Angeles. Still in bed, sipping hot water, and, yes, wearing my “yard sale” North Face fleece jacket. Thank you!

    • 5th February 2018 at 4:14 pm

      Oh so sorry to hear about your rough patch and greetings to your husband – send him my good wishes! Take care x

      • 6th February 2018 at 12:39 pm

        Thank you!

  • 5th February 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Great coat- £30 is nothing for a wool coat. Even in sales they are at least £200 new! I’m looking for a new coat but as I want a particular colour -royal blue- I’m, not finding anything. Charity shops and E-bay do spoil you for ‘real’ prices; I saw a knitted cashmere wide scarf in a fabulous pink for £70 today but I need to think about it! Seeing as I paid £50 for a real pashmina 15 years ago (still got it) I don’t really know why I’m hesitating.
    For me your outfit is a bit dark, I like a splash of colour, but the good thing is that it you can accessorise it so easily for a new look every time.
    I was out today in my bright red hat and coat and a saw a lady dressed in a pale grey coat with fur collar and cuffs, a deep red velvet hat and red bag. She looked lovely and was kind enough to complement me too!

    • 5th February 2018 at 4:17 pm

      Yes, I agree we are spoilt when we compare charity shop prices with new High Street prices. I just can’t bring myself to spend what I think are high amounts for clothes that can be got for a song!

      And I agree about the coat needing brighter accessories – but wait until you see what I had on under the coat!

  • 5th February 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I’ve never been inside urban outfitters, I always eat on that square!????

  • 5th February 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Next time you come to Brighton we’ll go into Urban Outfitters!!!

  • 5th February 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Loving the coat. Definitely red or maybe you could find a mock fur collar or similar in yellow!

    • 6th February 2018 at 8:20 am

      Hi Nicola – yes, I have got some ideas for accessories and have in my closet two yellow scarves that would be amazing, but I need to match what’s under the coat (!) so I’ll have a think about that. Thanks so much for commenting.

  • 5th February 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Nice coat and that is a great price for what you have. I’ve been known to go in all black before and usually just try and not carry a black bag. But scarfs are fun too and they do add a bit of color and texture.

    • 6th February 2018 at 8:24 am

      I’ve got yellow and mustard yellow scarves and white accessories (no, perhaps not). I’ve got a red bag, but haven’t got a scarf that’s the right colour red because…..! Maybe grey accessories, but still thinking about it. The coat is a keeper I think as it’s so pristine and unworn and looks good on the move. Thanks, Terri, for commenting x

  • 5th February 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Nice coat. I always imagine that one of the world’s major cities like London, would have black as it’s uniform colour for clothes. I don’t know why I think that. Whenever I watch TV or a movie (seldom for both) with London in it, I always imagine myself there! I too enjoy reading other people’s blogs, I already read Eloise’s and shall add the other two.

  • 5th February 2018 at 7:07 pm

    p.s. I am actually too shy to add fashion shots and such on my blog, but maybe one day!!!

    • 6th February 2018 at 8:29 am

      Oh do!

  • 5th February 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Thanks for the mention:) You’re so right about photograph albums. We have one from every “big” trip we’ve even done. Getting a bit crowded in the bookcase now, but Hubby insists on having a hard copy of our favourite shots. Like a historical record. Ha.
    P.S. Love that gold sweater.

    • 6th February 2018 at 8:37 am

      Yes we have many, many photo albums. My other half, who is very techy, is creating specific albums for our children and our grandchild on top of these more traditional albums. But I think the younger, more into Instagram, person with their iPhones will have fewer albums when they reach my age. I wonder what their grandchildren will have to look at. And then there are the genealogists in our future families – what records will they have? I have photos of my great-grandparents – but where do all the Instagram and iPhone pics go when the memory is full????

  • 5th February 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Hi Penny, we recently sorted through our photos and scrapped any that were views of places we couldn’t remember! I do wonder what will happen to our precious photos when we’re gone as we don’t have children to cherish them and although we have six lovely nieces I’m not sure they’ll want them either. I remember seeing someone’s wedding photos at an antiques fare once and feeling really upset that no one cared enough to keep them. My husband doesn’t “do computers” and therefore all the lovely pics on my iPad are not accessible to him, it’s his birthday soon and I plan to have a lot of special pics printed for him as a gift.
    I love your coat! I’m looking for a long coat that will keep me warm but not swamp me, I can’t understand why warm coats always seem to end above the knee, I was interested to see Tricia’s street style blog this week with lots of women in long coats, they look so warm! Up here in the frozen north we need all the help we can get!
    Thank you for your blog, I look forward to it and always find it interesting.
    Chrissie W

    • 6th February 2018 at 8:44 am

      Hi Chrissie
      Actually I think your nieces will be interested, because let’s be brutally honest, interest in genealogy often starts when relatives have passed on, so I’m absolutely sure they’ll be pleased to look at your albums, or whatever you create, as yes, we still have to print out and ‘make’ albums out of our digital pics.

      And as for long coats – they are a must even down south! I use the bus a lot and couldn’t possibly wait for a bus without many layers and a long coat – what is it about these short coats! But I agree it is difficult to find a long coat that doesn’t swamp or (on me) look like a dressing-gown. That black coat was border-line but on balance is OK. And a great bargain for what it is – also it’s very unworn and in pristine condition.

  • 5th February 2018 at 8:22 pm

    Fantastic outfit! I love the bright sweater and striped skirt ensemble, and your hat is a perfect topper!
    From Visible Monday, cheers!

    • 6th February 2018 at 8:45 am

      Thank you Natalia!

  • 5th February 2018 at 8:47 pm

    I have 41 photo albums dating back to 1968, they are my second most treasured item(s). I don’t use instagram.

    • 6th February 2018 at 8:47 am

      We too have many photo albums and on top of that my other half is creating specific albums for our children and grandchildren. But where will all the pics on Instagram go? That’s what I want to know!!!

  • 5th February 2018 at 9:16 pm

    I love the striped skirt and mustard sweater outfit!

    • 6th February 2018 at 8:47 am

      Thank you Kay, it’s a favourite outfit!

  • 6th February 2018 at 9:24 am

    The comments about photographs are particularly relevant to me as I have just been through a lot of my parents’ collection. My Mother died last summer and my sister did the first ‘cull’ months ago but I’ve been putting off looking at the remainder.
    One I did it at the weekend I realised why. It was just so terribly sad looking at all these people who meant so much to me, all of whom are dead. I’m starting to cry just thinking about it!
    I threw a few out -blurry etc.- and any of people I don’t know. I wrote on the back of many of them which had not date or other info and now my husband has scanned them
    all. I think of them as an archive for the future. I would have loved to have photos of my Mother as a child but her family home was bombed and what little there was was lost.
    Next we should look at our own – lots of albums but now of course it’s all on computer, much better photos of course. We try to be strict about deleting after a holiday as you always end up with too many of essentially the same thing. We both took photos when we went to Canada -never again as we ended up with about 1500 shots! Some never even got viewed.

    • 7th February 2018 at 10:58 am

      It is sad, but I find it also quite exciting to look and think and then say, how can we offer/produce/’show all these photos taken in the past to others way into the future. My other half has all the albums and negatives from my side of the family (negatives that my mother kept in a biscuit tin) and all the negatives from his dad’s side plus all the albums that belonged to one set of his relatives that didn’t have any children. We met the surviving aunt and she was so pleased that we were interested. Actually we haven’t kept photos of people we didn’t know, but we have kept many taken in her youth when she was a great dancer – a couple are portraits and these are stunning. I am fortunate that my husband actually likes scanning photos and making albums and ‘collections’ for future generations.

      It’s quite a lot of work and something that really is more of a thing to do in retirement. I cannot even begin to understand how some people think retirement is about lazing around – there is so much to do! And archiving photography for future generations is almost a full-time job!!!!

  • 6th February 2018 at 11:15 am

    We have a few photo albums of old photos but rarely look at them these days. Occasionally I’ll glance through our wedding album (it’s 20 years old this June!). I wish I’d have printed off some other photos because I lost loads when my external hard drive crashed recently. Such a bugger because there were loads of great photos on there 🙁
    I visited Brighton for the very first time last year and loved it and think it’s a great town for all ages too! I totally agree with you that you should shop and wear what you please. Who cares what anyone else thinks anyway?!
    Love your hat and new coat – it’ll last for years!
    Suzy xx

    • 7th February 2018 at 11:02 am

      Hi Suzy
      I think these old albums are of interest to future generations – but, it’s the digital ones that need sorting. See above, I’ve got a husband who likes to do this all the time!

  • 6th February 2018 at 3:40 pm

    It’s nice to save money when we can, but it’s also nice to “splurge” and indulge ourselves at times!!!
    I had to laugh at your description of the coat and how it makes you look bulky—but when it’s cold out, I don’t care if I look fluffy!!!

    • 7th February 2018 at 11:04 am

      Hi Jodie
      I agree and actually that big black coat will be worn just in London and I think it’ll be fine there. But today it’s a wrapping up in many layers day! I shall go out looking like a balloon, I think!!!

  • 6th February 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Can’t wait to see your Outfit of the Year! And love the tulip shaped skirt and yellow jumper. I often wonder about archiving of photos going forward. Every time we get a new PC, we carefully migrate all the photos over – masses and masses, because I’m determined not to lose them. But photos from our phones, well, they tend to get lost over time. I used to do proper scrap booking, beautifully embellished and hand painted pages on different events in our lives, but sadly gave it up because I figured that when I’m gone, there’s no-one who would really want them.

    • 7th February 2018 at 11:10 am

      Oh no, I bet there will be people who will be interested. You just never know. My children (aged around 40) are not the least bit interested in genealogy or old photos of their great, great-grandparents, but they will be. You reach a certain age and you really want to know who these relatives are that you’re putting into this family ‘tree’. If you haven’t got nephews and nieces, there are still some remote cousins out there, I bet, who will want to know who you are. I say this as I did a lot of genealogy when I retired. Not any more as I got to point where I couldn’t go any further – and boy, does it take over your life, if you let it!

  • 6th February 2018 at 7:46 pm

    Thank you for the mention, Penny!!!! It’s so funny that you mention photographs! Often I find myself going through old photos that are stored away because I need them for blog posts and I’m becoming lazier and lazier about retrieving them.
    But when I do get my hands on them I’ll spend hours going over the pics of the kids when they were young. Time slips away so quickly and photos are the only visual memories I have. The second I see photos I remember the time and place and date–everything comes back. Sadly iPhones are going to be the new photo albums–they already are.
    I miss the old school though.
    PS. I love Urban Outfitters. I don’t give a shit how old I am!!! XOXOXO!!!

    • 7th February 2018 at 11:17 am

      Yes, that’s the thing – how will future generations doing research look at any records let alone photos in this digital age???? I’ve got photos of my great-grandparents taken in the late 1800s – yes that far back! So what will people do in 100 years time when they want to see what great-great aunty Catherine did??? I think it’s a fascinating question.

      I just adore Urban Outfitters. In Brighton it used to stock Vivienne Westwood and I tried a dress of hers on. No, I didn’t open my purse and buy it. I mean, the cut was just heaven. But at £300 plus I said no, kind of regret it now. Ah well, there’s always the possibility I might find one in a charity shop!!!!!!!!! xxxxxxxxxxxx

  • 6th February 2018 at 11:57 pm

    It’s funny, as I recently moved a large wicker basket full of photo albums and photos to a different room I was thinking the exact same thing! How will future generations keep their photos? I am assuming they will live in a ‘cloud’ on a server somewhere – but what if something happens to that server?

    Your coat looks fabulous and 30.00 for a coat is still very frugal especially if it’s good quality, warm and you love it! It certainly looked fab on you and I loved your hat. And the yellow jumper and cool striped skirt are a great outfit. Yellow and grey go so well together.

    Hope you’re keeping warm in Brighton…

    • 7th February 2018 at 11:28 am

      I will stay warm – it’s very cold even in Brighton today. It’s a good coat and a bargain for what it is – although still a bit pricy for a charity shop, I think. What it needs is accessories and I think you are the queen of accessorising! I admit I’m totally naff at it!

      The digital age is one where there will be a big black hole for all future social scientists and researchers. I attended a lecture for a course on Local History and have never forgotten the archivist saying just that, after showing us a vellum list of something or other that was, I think, 500 years old. And then he explained that how will we even access the large disks made by so many towns and villages to celebrate the year 2000? His view was that there will have to be warehouses for all our discarded no-longer useable digital products/PCs/Macs/iPhones/etc. He thought it might become almost impossible for future researchers to access the simplest things e.g. school records – all digital now. Fascinating but quite thought-provoking!

  • 7th February 2018 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you for the mention, Penny. One of my respondents said that she is making an album for each of her children. I have so many photos that this is something I think I’ll do too. But I also want to get lots of newer one sprinted, because it’s those which worry me. Future generations could find that they have no photos atall to look back on and that would be so sad.
    Love the gold colour of the jumper. It’s not a colour that suits me at all, but I think it’s gorgeous. I’m off to London for the day soon and wondering what to wear. The weather will determine it, I think.

  • 12th February 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Bravo to this statement, “But I simply do not acknowledge certain shops, or towns for that matter, as being for the young. Never, ever, feel that a shop is not for you. You go in, you look, you buy, and you wear what you damn well, please!” I adore your opinion and your Urban Outfitter hat! Thank you for sharing with Hat Attack!!

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