I used to wear a lot of black clothes and still have two pairs of black jeans and that faux black leather jacket – that’s OK I think.  But I have changed my attitude to wearing bright colours, and then again with my hair being au naturel with a white streak at the front, I wear colours that I’d never think of wearing whilst dyeing my hair that yellow hue.

During our trip to France I noted what women were wearing. We’ve had that discussion before – as in do the French have that certain sense of style? Well, not where we were 2 years ago. We stayed for a month in quite a conservative town and the women were rather boringly dressed, I thought.  But in the little town of Limogne (near our friends Harry and Jane) the women were so alternative they wouldn’t have looked out of place in Brighton. And Toulouse? Oh yes, the women did have style (sorry no photos). After all, it’s the fourth largest city in France.  And one women I saw had the most gorgeous light cotton orange skirt topped with a leather jacket plus chunky ankle boots – my kind of look!  I’m searching for an orange skirt!

Today in Brighton for the first time for a long time it’s grey outside. So here’s a sunny post revealing how I dress to go to Pilates, and note the colourful skirt! And all pix taken on Monday in the gym, which had some great sunlight coming through the window.

It’s colder here than France and as I stand at the bus stop to get to the centre of Brighton I’m not wearing jackets, as yet.

Outfit minus the grey cotton coat.

Just look at that skirt – it cost all of £4.99 and has an H&M label. And I do love my hat!

Then outfit without hat.

The skirt is going to be so good in the summer as it has those cut-out holes, which is another reason why I wore the long grey coat. Leggings and blue top also charity shopped.  The most expensive item I’m wearing are the shoes. My gait was measured for these Nike shoes three years ago. And for the third year now, I have just started Couch to 5K – phew was I pathetic – could barely jog!

Then minus the top.  The dark blue and very old Peacock’s top goes well with the yellow, I think.

And finally, I’m ready for Pilates.

It’s nearly a year since I began Pilates at this gym.  And what a difference it’s made. Seriously, if any of you are still wondering about exercise classes I cannot emphasis enough i) how much better you feel doing a class and ii) Pilates makes you stronger. When I started I couldn’t lift my body off the floor and can now do a plank, no problem.  Always, of course, think about your body and what it can and can’t do and always be sensible, but you know that movement of any kind is the way to go.

That’s all for now 🙂

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

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27 thoughts on “In praise of wearing colourful clothes

  • Avatar
    3rd April 2019 at 7:14 am
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    Yes i love the way french women dress in the larger cities, and like you have seen allsorts! Your skirt is so different, both the colour and design. Well done on the couch to 5k, i tried (and succeeded) a few years ago, felt so proud and completed 3 Race For Life runs!!!! All running I might add. Good luck and thanks for sharing. Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      3rd April 2019 at 3:53 pm
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      Oh well done you re: the running. I might think I’m fit but just trying to jog was so hard. But let’s see where I get to and actually I really want to do the Race for Life one, for important reasons – a friend 🙂

      Will make sure I share with you tomorrow (Thursday) 🙂

  • Avatar
    3rd April 2019 at 7:43 am
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    I used to wear black all the time but then I had mycolours done about five years ago and I haven’t looked back! The only dark colour I wear is navy which goes with so many bright colours. I need to start Pilates but it’s finding the right class who will accept pure beginners,I am not flexible at all!Still loving your hat.Grey and dull here and very cold,I don’t think it’s going to brighten up till Friday.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      3rd April 2019 at 3:56 pm
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      Yes, like you I used to wear black all the time, but colour can be great and am glad to hear you had yours done.

      Getting the right class is so important. I wasn’t allowed to do a plank for ages and our position and posture is always corrected. As soon as I had just the one class with this Pilates teacher I just knew!!!! Same for you – good luck with your search!

      And we just drove back to Brighton from Wimbledon through a snowstorm!!!!

    • Avatar
      8th April 2019 at 2:23 pm
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      If you can afford it, you could start with a few one-to-one Pilates lessons – that’s what I did! Then you will know the basics and will be able to follow a class. It’s not a competitive sport, some are more flexible and stronger than others but you try as hard as you can. I agree with Penny, it has made a big difference to my fitness. I do Pilates once a week and Qi Gong once a week and find they complement each other perfectly.

  • Avatar
    3rd April 2019 at 8:16 am
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    I like your hair that little bit longer: suits you and works well with the hat – great style and colour.
    And, bravo on the run and huge congrats on ‘the plank’ – (I can now do a whole 2 minutes!) I’m all for doing some form of exercise – no need to be good or sporty – just enjoy it. My target was to walk home from the centre of town (it’s uphill) without stopping to rest. I can now do it, talking as I go; no stopping me now! Enjoy your day, Penny.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      3rd April 2019 at 4:01 pm
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      Thanks re: the hair – for me it’s so important not to go down the permed hair look – am definitely growing it.

      Yes, I really do want to be fit enough to do some Park Runs and the Race for Life but let’s see where I get to! I’m not kidding I find the running a challenge. In contrast Pilates is a joy to do.

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      3rd April 2019 at 4:01 pm
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      Your post on hats is beautiful 🙂

  • Avatar
    3rd April 2019 at 8:40 am
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    I haven’t been to France for a while but am going to Paris for a business trip so will be looking avidly at their style. I love your exuberant use of colour Penny. I wear a fair bit of colour but I tend to do it in a monochrome or matchy-matchy way. I could definitely take some tips from you. Thanks for joining #WowOnWednesday!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      3rd April 2019 at 4:10 pm
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      And thank you for hosting a fun- share! Well the thing is the women in Toulouse were notably more stylish than those in the small provincial town we stayed in two years ago, and there were some skirt wearers who were stunning – especially the orange skirt wearer. But on the whole, and trying not to generalise here, French women tend to wear variations on jeans, jeans and again jeans. You’ll have to tell us about the styles in Paris 🙂

  • Avatar
    3rd April 2019 at 9:00 am
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    Sending this from the Newhaven ferry on our way back to France! I think you know what I think about French women and style, in fact the most popular blog post I have ever written was on this very topic. I still haven’t seen many chic women in our little town but I have seen plenty in Toulouse. I love the way you are embracing colour. I’m getting better, although I still love black and navy. I try to ensure that my accessories are colourful at the very least. Great photo of you in your Pilates gear!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      4th April 2019 at 9:10 am
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      Ah Newhaven. I miss that closeness to the sea one had, because living inBrighton doesn’t mean you see the sea – on the contrary you could go for days without seeing it. Hope it wasn’t too windy and my word the weather has changed. We drove back from Wimbledon in sleet and the temperature was 3C!

      Apparently the little village of Lugagnac and the nearby town of Limogne attracted (and still attracts) many alternative French types – so they really wouldn’t look out of place in Brighton. As for Toulouse – there were some lovely looking women there with great style.

      Enjoy your stay 🙂

  • Avatar
    3rd April 2019 at 11:51 am
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    Oh you know me…. I love a black outfit! That skirt is fabulous, especially with the blue top tucked in the skirt! I actually think that the oh so famous French elegant minimalistic style is quite boring. Dark colors, simple cuts, don’t get me wrong, I dress very simple and with dark colors too. But to be famous for that kind of dressing, no I don’t think so. Luckely you saw women in bright colors!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      4th April 2019 at 9:23 am
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      You have such style Nancy I love what you wear whatever the colour!

      But I can still see that orange skirt, and in the little village I saw a woman with bright red hennaed hair and a short nipped in waist leather jacket with high heel boots – she was stunning!

  • Avatar
    3rd April 2019 at 1:33 pm
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    Well, I ended up subscribing with my work email, and Yay!! It worked!! So here I am enjoying your wonderful post.
    I love that you “dress up in real clothes” to go workout!! We actually styled a post about that a couple of months ago, and I’m planning on doing it again in the warmer weather.
    I just adore that yellow skirt….it’ll be so perfect for any occasion!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      4th April 2019 at 9:29 am
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      Oh that’s great Jodie – I’m thrilled you’ve subscribed 🙂

      I think the thing with me going to the gym is that I don’t by car, therefore I have to dress for the cold and wear appropriate clothes for the bus. And I do a lot of walking before I even set foot into the gym!

      That yellow skirt is so sunny – not that it’s sunny now, we’ve got a cold snap at the moment.

  • Avatar
    3rd April 2019 at 3:10 pm
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    I am continuing to enjoy your blog Penny, thanks so much for keeping up with it and not disappearing into the world of Instagram etc. So nice to see a regular “outfit” when you are out and about as well. Here in the U.S. people (young women especially) are really getting super casual with their look no matter where they are. There’s quite a controversy now about leggings-and to me, there is nothing more boring, more lazy than a black pair of leggings worn with whatever. Generational differences? American style? I still like to see some thought put into how you present yourself-and color is a big part!

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      4th April 2019 at 9:39 am
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      Rest assured I’d never stop the blog as I love writing. Thank you so much for your feedback and saying you enjoy it – appreciate that very much 🙂 Anyway Instagram is a very funny and quite artificial place – it’s so important to see it for what it is!

      Yes, like you, I can’t be that casual, although I think if I went to the gym by car I might just wear my gym/Pilates outfit but not when I’m standing waiting at the bus stop – too cold! And leggings on their own? I totally believe you should wear what you want but the ‘just leggings look’ is not an easy one! I wear them either under a skirt or a dress, because without an item like that I think you look as though you’ve got up in the morning and forgotten to put all your clothes on!!!

      Thanks again for your feedback 🙂

  • Avatar
    3rd April 2019 at 3:27 pm
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    Hello Penny, After getting my colors analyzed by 12 Blueprints in Vancouver, I have embraced color.
    Black doesn’t touch my body, but with the right skin tone, it surely looks fantastic.
    My husband Handsome rocks black! Travel is wonderful for inspiration and reflection, right? Back to the gym, you look adorable in your thrift shop treasures while inspiring us all
    to keep moving.
    Thanks for that! Judy @fancified.ca

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      4th April 2019 at 9:41 am
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      Yes, black can look fantastic -and Handsome totally rocks 🙂

      Yes, keep moving – we’re having a cold snap here with flurries of sleet as far down south as Brighton!

  • Avatar
    4th April 2019 at 6:29 am
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    I find black much too harsh, but I wear a lot of what they call ” washed black” which is charcoal grey really, like your cotton coat. I think it is a good flattering neutral. I also love midnight blue like your top ! And always a dash of red !

    • the frugal fashion shopper
      4th April 2019 at 9:43 am
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      Hello Maisie

      That sounds a great compromise – and washed black/grey with red is so eye-catching. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Avatar
    4th April 2019 at 10:06 pm
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    Great blog! I just started mine. I hope it’s as successful as yours ♡

  • Avatar
    5th April 2019 at 5:56 am
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    I have olive undertones in my skin, and I suit dark colours. So black it is. But, it just doesn’t suit a lot of people! So, good on you for embracing colour. p.s. congratulations on keeping up with pilates. Great legs.

  • Avatar
    5th April 2019 at 8:27 am
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    Well done on starting your running challenge and glad to see you enjoying pilates.
    Love that you wear your skirt over your workout gear , that mustard skirt is great , look forward to seeing how you style it come Summer.
    I must admit to loving my black but am partial to clear bright colours as they suit my skin tone.

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