Hello everyone

And a very big welcome to those of you who popped over from the post I wrote on Tricia Cusden’s Look Fabulous Forever blog, and decided to stay!  Yes, I wrote about our decision to move into a retirement flat.  If you haven’t visited Tricia’s website before do have a look at my post here, and then go browse around her makeup, which I use a lot.

And btw, I did read some of the lovely comments in response to my post and here are just a couple of thoughts:

The flat we bought privately is a ‘retirement’ flat, but there is no actual assistance apart from a communal lounge (which you don’t have to sit in) and some activities (which you don’t have to participate in, but hey, they’re there), a manager (as I said, he’s great) and some red-pull cords (which we have taken down).  There’s also a really lovely garden which we can sit in if we want.

And for the few who hated the idea of living with older people, yes, we are probably amongst the youngest owners, but, and it is a big but, this is Brighton, which is full of young people.  We chose to live in this city for just that reason – we love the buzz of this city full of young students, young families and wacky people! And we’re out in it a lot of the time.

Anyway, because I had so many new followers I was going to write about shopping in charity shops.  And yes, here are a couple of tips below, but I’m also writing about acting your age – or not!

First tip is: check out your area and find the good charity shops, as opposed to the ones that have rather drab and boring clothes.  You can’t find anything in the charity shops in your area?  Then do some research and go find the town or city that does have good charity shops.  Because they are out there.

Second tip: is never drop your standards.  You like beautiful clothes?  Then that is what you’re looking for, quality clothes in a variety of sizes with good labels that have been hardly worn.  Only this week I picked up two unworn items:

Here’s a pair of black bootees.  Aren’t they amazing.  Not only unworn but a bit edgy – I like that.

And this is an M&S Per Una skirt I picked up for next to nothing with the label still on.

But you know what, that skirt is typical of many you can find in charity shops.  Very nice, very serviceable, almost stylish.  It’ll do.  However, the last time I was in London I took a pic of an Alexander McQueen outfit.  Here it is.


Oh wow, what’s not to like; the studded biker boots, the jacket and that diaphanous skirt. I was sold.  I yearned. I vowed I would find something to wear from wherever, but not from McQueen, of course, be real, I said to myself.

But note, not once did I say, at over 70, I can’t wear that kind of thing.  If there’s one phrase that’ll get me seriously riled is ‘age appropriate clothes’ or worse, ‘comfortable clothes’.  Oh no. Never. And don’t you think it either.

And actually I had the jacket, which I wear a lot. In fact, I’ve got two of those jackets (both bought a long time ago from charity shops).

Three days ago I found the boots.  And yesterday I found the skirt.  Here it is.

Isn’t that a skirt and a half!  Look at the detail.

It’s not from a charity shop, it’s newly made from an artisan selling at an art festival in Newhaven.  It swishes as you walk.

And I promise to wear this out and about in both Brighton and London.  I’ll get a pic of me taken outside to prove it! But here it is with one of my faux leather jackets.

So, I’d say, whatever your age and especially once your 70 – don’t be boring.

Ok, I can hear you say, but I don’t have the shape or the confidence.  And actually I never want to say to you – don’t. But what I want to encourage is that you push the envelope a little, go wear what you yearn for.  You can, you know.

That’s all for now

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

And sharing with:

Patti of Not Dead Yet Style and her weekly Visible Monday share

Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb and her #iwillwearwhatilike weekly session




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51 thoughts on “Don’t act your age!

    • 29th August 2017 at 7:37 am

      You’re totally right about the age thing!

  • 28th August 2017 at 8:13 am

    Wonderful! You’re an inspiration Penny.

    • 29th August 2017 at 7:37 am

      Thanks Linda!

  • 28th August 2017 at 8:15 am

    Wow, love it!! have always had a desire to wear something like this but am sitting here and can hear all the words of disapproval coming at me, partner, sister, friends, a hum of, ” what the hell are you wearing, that’s not you”. Sadly Penny I live in a Midlands town in which I have never seen anyone wearing anything like this, and I don’t think I have the b…s to do so here. A good idea though, get on the train to London or Brighton and wear what I want !!! I’m 70 by the way and love, love your ideas and clothes.

    • 29th August 2017 at 7:48 am

      I always think I go up to London more than I do. In actuality I’ve only been once this year. But I’m planning to go in the Autumn with a friend. Have you got a like-minded friend? No need to dress up too wildly but you can drink in the atmosphere. Maybe go to the V&A, or walk the streets that are around the Royal Academy. That’s where I saw the Alexander McQueen outfit. And just stare….

  • 28th August 2017 at 8:18 am

    Fabulous skirt, Penny! Let’s all push the boundaries, even a little, you never know how you will feel unless you do. My 14 year old granddaughter persuaded me to buy a denim jacket a couple of years ago, I did, and am surprised how much I wear it. It goes with everything, looks great and makes me feel great too.
    Love your inspiring posts. Thanks!

    • 29th August 2017 at 7:50 am

      I so agree with you. I love the fact you got a denim jacket. It’s good to listen to the young!

    • 29th August 2017 at 7:51 am

      Actually someone said that the look in this post might be steampunk! I’ll just have to check that out!

      • 2nd September 2017 at 12:40 pm

        I’m off to look at Lincoln Steampunk video & to get my DMs out from under the bed!

  • 28th August 2017 at 9:19 am

    Love your skirt – I want it! It is great.
    Agree 100% about ‘dont drop your standards’. When I go (charity) shopping I have the same thoughts as if I were in Harrods. I look for colour, fabric and style -in that order, and if the price is one I can afford, I buy it.
    Another tip with charity shops is I ‘do not look for anything in particular’ – I just look at everything. I have found fantastic pottery, picture frames, as well as Nicole Farhi linen trousers and a towelling dressing gown.
    When my daughter was small she was always dressed in fantastic designer ‘children’s clothes’ – the reason was a few miles from where my mother lived is fabulously wealthy and twice a year there was a charity sale for children’s worn clothes. So I got really good clothes like tweed coats for a two year old for 50p. But you do have to LOOK for these places.

    • 29th August 2017 at 7:55 am

      Yes, I so agree with you. The good charity shops are there, but not necessarily nearby. And like you I go along the racks and feel the quality of the material. Love hunting for tweed!

  • 28th August 2017 at 10:38 am

    I want those boots. Want want want. If I haven’t bought them sooner I’m getting a pair of red DMs for my 60th in 18 months time.

    • 28th August 2017 at 1:54 pm

      Someone after my own heart. My birthday gift to myself when I reached 60 was a pair of bright red DMs. I still wear them every winter – I’m 68 in a coup,e of weeks, so they are a good buy!

      • 29th August 2017 at 4:00 pm

        Red DMs – must check those out!!!

    • 29th August 2017 at 7:57 am

      I was going to buy some DMs this winter, until that is I saw those boots. I mean that’s exactly why I do the charity shop shopping. Look at what I saved! And red DMs – yessss!

  • 28th August 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I love Alexander MC Queen! And your take on it is fabulous!

  • 28th August 2017 at 12:51 pm


  • 28th August 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Oh wow! This has really inspired me. Good idea about using charity shops which I haven’t done. Apart from the variety and low cost, it is good for the environment to re-use clothes. Love the way you have used the Alexander MacQueen outfit to influence you. It looks great and I love the skirt and boots. Hope you are happy in your new home. Brighton is a wonderful place and obviously has good charity shops. 🙂 Andyx

    • 29th August 2017 at 8:00 am

      Actually the best charity shops for me are still to be found in a town half way between Brighton and Eastbourne. When you look at the charity shops in your area don’t be surprised to find nothing at all. Even the good ones may just not have anything. You have to go in and look many times. That way you suss out the good shops from the bad. And then you pounce when you find a great item. Happy hunting!

  • 28th August 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Perfection Penny! You captured the look and I love it!

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:28 am

      Thank you Eugenia – I found the skirt by chance. Really pleased with it!

  • 28th August 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Hi Penny, love the outfit. I should just like to add – Lincoln this weekend has been full of people in the most amazing clothes, some rather like your skirt. They are all ages, all shapes but all love dressing up. Of course it is the Lincoln Steampunk Festival! The largest one in the country. For anyone interested there are videos on You tube. So, sometimes you just want to have fun with clothes and guess what – no one really bats an eyelid! Even in the Midlands! As for Brighton, well I always want to dress up that bit more when I am there, as there are so many interesting outfits out and about.
    I always read your blog with interest, even though I don’t comment much.

    • 29th August 2017 at 3:53 pm

      I saw Lincoln gearing up for the Steampunk Festival last Friday when visiting and people looked so good. In fact, I was very impressed overall by just how stylishly a lot of the ladies of Lincoln of all ages dressed. And while not all of the outfits were ‘age appropriate’ (arrgh!), you know what? They all looked amazing because they stood tall, stood proud. They feltngood so they looked good. I was most impressed!

      Like Jo, I too live in the Midlands and I would say to her, and Penny would agree I’m sure: don’t let that get in the way of how you dress. Be yoursen, as we sometimes say around here. Start asking others why the hell they’re wearing such ‘drabs’, and see how they like the ball bounced back into their side of the net. I’m 77 and while I’m no Steampunk Kid I do like to dress my way and no one ele’s. Who knows, your partner may be pleasantly surprised. And proud!

      Up the Revolution!

      • 29th August 2017 at 4:05 pm

        Hi Zepherine! I watched the youtube vid on Lincoln’s Steampunk Festival and was really impressed by the women – who were definitely all types, shapes and ages. And didn’t they look good! I just love your attitude because more than anything women have no need to be drab. Embrace colour, embrace Steampunk or whatever, embrace yourself and more importantly surprise yourself and maybe everyone else!! Onward and upwards with the Revolution I say! I’m with you all the way!

    • 29th August 2017 at 4:10 pm

      Thanks so much for your two comments which got me looking at Steampunk – wow! I’ll have to check this fashion genre out more closely. I aim to wear the outfit when I go to the Balenciaga exhibition in October. I’ll get a pic taken. Thanks again!

    • 29th August 2017 at 8:23 am

      I’ve just watched the youtube vid – just wow! And I can see I’m quite steampunk – will have to check this whole thing out! Thanks so much x

  • 28th August 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I have the per Una skirt in my wardrobe unworn. I would love to see how you will wear it!

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:30 am

      I’ll definitely style it up soon – thanks for the prompt!

  • 28th August 2017 at 3:49 pm

    OMG Penny, that skirt is STUPENDOUS and the boots are TDF (to die for) and the whole rigout is just AMAZING on you. I am GREEN with envy. Please post the photographs when you wear it out and about. You are truly an inspiration to those of us in the 70’s (or any age, for that matter). Rock on, Rock Chick.
    Fran Whyte

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:31 am

      Thank you so much Fran. It was a happy accident finding the skirt – as in wasn’t actually looking. And there it was! I will wear it out and take a pic!

  • 28th August 2017 at 3:54 pm

    FAB-U-LOUS, love those boots, and the Peru Skirt is fantastic!! In fact the whole look is fantastic!!

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:32 am

      Thanks so much Lillian x

  • 28th August 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Love the skirt and boots, so making me to think again how I would like to dress, instead of how I’m expected to dress, I’m a young at heart 66years old.
    You’ve got the perfect attitude and I want to be the same.xxx

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:36 am

      Yes, I say stay young at heart inside and out! There’s a kind of a uniform for older women which is the black trousers/pants with a top. And that’s fine. But I think we can be more adventurous and colourful. And I’m sure you will be too!

  • 28th August 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Wow, you are rocking this fabulous outfit Penny. I LOVE that skirt, just perfect with the boots and pleather jacket. I don’t think I’ve charity shopped in Brighton but made some good buys in Lewes.

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:37 am

      Lewes is good, but Seaford is the best place for charity shops. It really is!

  • 28th August 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Love the skirt, Penny, but not sure I could carry it off. You do beautifully. The boots are fantastic too and I would wear those, except I’ve been told DMs are hard on the knees because of the inflexible soles. I am inspired by your post to wear some flared Per Una cord skirts with a kind of colourful patchwork effect, that I bought but rarely wear, this winter, so maybe bump into you and we can compare! Glad you’re so happy in your flat. I will still be working when I’m seventy but I am also enjoying my new flat, which although not officially a retirement flat is all on one level, with a communal garden, and in a block in which every other resident is my age or older – some considerably older – and very nice they all are too.

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:42 am

      Oh I don’t know Umi – go for it! Yes, would just love to see the patchwork skirts. Also to a certain extent we are still working, most days I write, but what hasn’t happened is that I haven’t quite got the hang of moneterising what I do!

      Our flat is great, you’ll have to see it!

  • 28th August 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I should add to my last comment that I’ve just been on a three day tour of the Monte Cassino battlefields with 35 soldiers from the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, most of whom were in their twenties and thirties, and we walked and stood all day in the boiling heat of Italy in August- and I managed to keep up with them! So not doing too badly for 64.

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:42 am


  • 28th August 2017 at 10:39 pm

    The boots! The jacket and the skirt! You look marvellous. Just the push to get me out and scouring the op shops here in Adelaide, Australia. Great post. Thanks Penny, Cheers Doreen

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:44 am

      Thanks. Actually do go and have a look at the Youtube video – link in one of the comments above. It shows the Lincoln Steampunk Festival. I’ll have to check this fashion genre out more! So glad I’ve enthused you!

  • 29th August 2017 at 3:29 am

    I wish wish wish I could wear what you do. Unfortunately I am short and have big bust and tummy so very hard body to dress up. However I do love colour and legs are not bad for a 74 year old. Can’t do skirts though. Love your site.

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:52 am

      Hi Joyleen. Well, the thing is check out this Youtube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no4el953bBQ&feature=youtu.be

      If it doesn’t work, because it looks to be a different link to the one in the comments above, go to that one! It shows the Lincoln Steampunk Festival and there you will see women of all shapes and sizes in the most flamboyant of clothes.

      I didn’t now anything about Steampunk before this post and the Youtube video but I very much admire the women who are wearing those clothes with pride. Onward the revolution, says Eugenia (above) and I so agree with that. Because if we can’t go all that way – and it is a very out there kind of dress – I’m sure we all can be colourful and happy with what we wear

  • 29th August 2017 at 11:07 am

    Penny , I so agree on wearing whatever you like – age really is irrelevant and I also think if not now when. This skirt is fabulous and perfect with the boots and jacket. Wise advice on thrift shopping. The area I live in has charity shops but the stock is mostly pretty poor so if ever I travel interstate I visit the better areas, so true the stock is much better.That said today I found a pair of Fly London shoes for $2.00 Aus, best bargain ever.
    Glad to hear you are enjoying your time in Bath.

    • 30th August 2017 at 7:55 am

      Hi Jill. You have a great sense of style yourself. And that leather skirt is amazing. Your hats also. We’re kindred spirits, I think!

  • 1st September 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Of course, I 100% agree with your whole style ethics Mixing charity shop with original local designer is one of my favorite things to do too. That skirt is amazing and it looks like the artist may have up-cycled a few older pieces-love it!

  • 4th September 2017 at 11:31 am

    Penny, your McQueen lookalike is a wonderful skirt and the outfit is just great. A few days ago Felicity Kendall was pictured in ripped jeans, nothing terrible you would think – she looked fine – but most of the FEMALE columnists of the papers have torn her apart for daring to dress “younger than her age.” I don’t know where this all comes from. It’s women sabotaging other women. I applaud you for your style and fashion sense.

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