Hello everyone

The charity shop just around the corner from me has reopened, but have I gone in it?  No, and I won’t until the number of UK cases and deaths per day go significantly down, as in, far, far further down than our government trumpets at its daily nonsensical and meaningless briefings, which I admit I stopped watching a long time ago. Rest assured though that I do read around the subject of Covid-19 from a lot of sources, so I am not reliant on one newspaper.

Anyway, lockdown here in the UK is easing. My view on that is *@@#**% but I accept that it is not for me to say, but perhaps we could consider what WHO says on wearing masks. Anyway, non-essential shops including most clothing stores are opening from this week. On Monday our media showed us huge queues in London and elsewhere for stores like Primark. I am not btw, going on the band-wagon of disdain for those queuers outside Primark as there’s always a certain nose-in-the-air whiff of ‘what, Primark, why would you even…..? I often wonder if the people who deride Primark devotees have ever been in the shop, or stop to wonder why people buy their items? Not everyone is online, and significantly not everyone has the money to buy clothes elsewhere. And some people just want to get out of the house and do normal things like shop. I understand that, so I say, leave people to buy from Primark if they want, but fingers crossed….

However, my attitude has been that I won’t go into any shop whatsoever, until, and unless, there’s a vaccine, although I do recognise now that, as that might not be for a very, very long time, I might consider actual shopping if the numbers of cases in this country reduce to double digits – then, yes, I will shop, and get my hair cut, and go to the dentist, beautician, chiropodist and, don’t forget, the optician for an eye test. Like a lot of you I’ve done a lot of reading and writing through lockdown so I really could do with an upgrade to my prescription and new glasses. How are your eyes, everyone?

Meanwhile I’d begun shopping online well before the lockdown, February actually, because, i) I had been ill and really didn’t have much in the way of staying in clothes and now ii) I’ve put on weight and gone up a size! And it’s been quite a success story, up to a point, because see below for the best and worst of my buys, but I have not sent one thing back. And as I am not paying out for the above appointments I can afford these buys, which actually have been quite reasonable apart from two items I feature below.

First there’s the M&S Sienna Straight jeans that cost all of £19.50.  They have been my best buys as they’re a perfect and comfortable fit with their 2% elastane so necessary for my expanding waist! I now have 3 pairs and here is my latest buy teamed with a blouse bought over two years ago, funnily enough, in Gibraltar’s M&S!

The jeans are ever so slightly long at 33″ but that’s OK as I can’t abide those cropped ankle-grazer trousers and jeans and washing them will bring them to the right length. I heard from a friend who needs a 34″ length that sadly Long Tall Sally is going into administration, which leaves her bereft of the length that she needs. Anyone know of a supplier of really long jeans and trousers?

Here’s another shot of the jeans with a Mango fine-spun top made from recycled polyester at £19.99.

The top is so delicate and fine you can see through it, and yes, that is another bra from Bravissimo.

I understand that Bravissimo can advise on a fitting over the phone, which I haven’t tried as the ones I’ve ordered fit well, but how good is that? Well done this company for continuing to give excellent service to customers through the Covid pandemic.  I truly hope they manage to survive.

Here’s the top again with another buy from Mango a skirt at £35.99

Now these two buys from Mango were the most expensive of the last few months and the only ones I’m not sure about. I’m not sending them back, but lesson learnt, I fell for the online photo of a very thin, tall and quite flat-chested model wearing the smallest size of the skirt and top, and this is me in the large size for both items.  Not entirely happy with the skirt as it has a lot of pleated material and looked lovely on the younger and very thin model.  And the top, not sure, but in cooler weather with a lacy chemise it’ll be better so I’ll keep it. I have vowed to stop eating biscuits, which are my downfall.

Here’s another success story, a skirt bought from Asda and I’m wearing it now as I write as it’s cool, roomy, and a snip at £16.

You can’t beat a white t-shirt!  It’s been in my possession for at least two years and it’s still quite white.

And to answer my question about whether we’ll all return to actual shopping or keep to the online shopping, I’d say that nothing beats trying things on in a shop, and discarding the clothes that aren’t quite right. I was against shopping online for that very reason, but there are times when shopping is such a chore. And now? Well for my age-group shopping for clothes would be a risk, so I’m just not going to do it.  But I’ve been impressed by the quality of M&S and the fit of their clothes. They give a lot of information on the website about the fit. So all in all, I shall continue to shop online for clothes from M&S, and actually, Asda as well, because of the sheer convenience, quality and, crucially important to me, value for money.  But I’m interested in your view – what’s your take on shopping for clothes online?

Finally, over the weekend we watched Tom Hanks’ latest film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood. Oh my word, what a lovely film. Us Brits we know nothing of Mister Rogers, but that doesn’t matter one bit. It was gorgeous, but I hasten to add not overly sentimental at all. It is available from Amazon Prime and Apple Tv, which not everyone will have, but look out for it. It’s heart-warming and life-affirming, and altogether a great watch.

That’s all for now, take care and stay safe

Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

 

 

 

 

 

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58 thoughts on “Is shopping going to change from traipsing around the shops to online?

  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 8:25 am
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    I’m 63 Penny and totally agree with your comments. It’s online all the way for me for the foreseeable future. I, too, have discovered the sienna jeans, and have suddenly realised that I have short legs! Their short comes just to my ankle bone, which is a length I really like. I have 2 pairs and have just ordered 2 more at £9.00 each in their sale! I also like White Stuff and Joules their online service is good. So far I haven’t had to send any purchases back, but I think the fear of returning items is making me a bit cautious in what I’m ordering, so I do feel I’m not being very adventurous when shopping! I’m also wondering what opticians etc will be like, fortunately my specs seem to be ok at the moment, however, I’m convinced my hearing is getting poor and don’t know if I’m up for an audiologist visit yet! Keep on blogging, I love your posts, and stay safe and well.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 7:12 am
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      Oh excellent re: the cheaper price for sienna jeans. Yes, I too fear returning items as I don’t really want to go into the Post Office so although it doesn’t sound like it, I am still a bit wary of online shopping, but M&S has surprised me and the fit is good.

      And yes, once things are safer there are so many things that will need attention – for a start I worry for our nation’s teeth! You take care and thanks so much for your comment 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 8:40 am
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    I actually like both skirts on you. I went to a store yesterday……I won’t in a long time. It was awful. People act as if there are no worries at all. No it was idiot! I did went to the optician and asked him if he could use a mask. So he and I both did and it was fine! And I had lunch with a girlfriend outside which was good and safe enough too!

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 7:17 am
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      Thanks for the feedback re: both skirts. The pink one is the coolest to wear and I guess I’ll be wearing it next week as we’re going to have 3 very hot days.

      Although I understand people wanting to get back to normal there is no normal – the virus is still around. But with a mask and self-distancing it’s OK to visit friends outside but my dentist told me not to come until December!!! Or I could if the stats reduced significantly. So here’s hoping my teeth are OK until then!!!

      Take care and one day Nancy……I’ll see you in Brighton 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 8:44 am
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    I love the daily briefings. They are the biggest laugh around. I spend my time shouting ‘liar liar’ and ‘answer the question’ at the tv. So good for the soul 😆. Has shown the government to be totally inept but I think we knew that already.
    I’ve bought some new bras on line as I’ve lost weight but had to order a selection just in case. Posted them back ok from an empty post office just me and the staff member and we were both wearing masks. Bras are something I like to be fitted for every time. For some reason different styles make different sizes. Why?????

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 7:24 am
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      Yes, re: the bra situation like you I also like to be fitted for a bra and was so in need of getting new ones as every bra bought last year (3 of them) no longer fitted. Fortunately a balcony bra bought 2 years ago that I kept for special occasions was the right size, so that’s the one I ordered in white and nude colours. But at some point in the future if I need another style and if the fitting is still not available I shall ring Bravissimo.

      Oh those briefings – can totally understand the shouting.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 9:06 am
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    Why oh why won’t people wear masks? I walk around the Marina where I live at about 7 every morning and am confronted by so many joggers panting as they run along. Especially those who are on the larger side and who have, maybe, just taken it up. I have not seen a single one wearing a mask. Last week I stood to one side and covered my mask with a snood for added protection when I saw one young man running towards me. As he passed he very graciously told me “You look ridiculous” !
    I too am very cautious but get the impression that even friends of my age think I’m being overly so. I have a daughter with Type1 diabetes and a grandson with health issues so feel I must keep myself safe. I agree with so much you say Penny and am always glad to see your blog in my in box.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 8:09 am
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      Yes, like you I am being cautious and I think we’re both right to be cautious.

      I too get the impression that even self-distancing has gone out of the window as I think people do a kind of double-take when I walk 2-metres to their side. I’m the one that walks in the road now rather than the younger people walking along the street. But I admit I don’t wear a mask as I’m walking towards Marine Parade where I take my regulation half-hour walk down towards the Marina and back as I so want some fresh air coming into my nostrils. But I avoid people and if I can, I walk more than the 2-metre distance away from anyone. I do have masks and if I go anywhere crowded or near to anyone I wear a mask. But those occasions have been very few (actually that’s been twice in 3 months). I totally accept the ‘science’ (an unscientific term if ever there was one) that mask-wearing prevents ones droplets from infecting others, so actually if everyone wore a mask the rate of infection would go down dramatically. What we need is some leadership and a strong directive that mask-wearing is compulsory with draconian measures to prevent people from not wearing masks. But that won’t happen. So I admit I’m part of the problem 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 9:37 am
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    Morning Penny,
    Like you, I’m not venturing out and although I prefer going to try things on, I have no desire to shop in shops at the moment. During the lockdown, I’ve bought a few things online: a pair of shoes from Charles Clinkard and a pair of sandals in Hotter’s sale (not very stylish, but very comfortable) and, lastly, two cotton blouses from M & S – £30 each.
    Being home all the time I’ve become quite lazy – wearing the same few clothes. I keep promising myself I will sort out my wardrobe. Perhaps I will when I start going out again (there again, perhaps not). I’ve also cut down on make-up – wearing it but less often – but I’m continuing home facials, manicures and pedicures. Painting my nails makes a huge difference in how I feel.
    My first port of call in the outside world will be to get my hair cut. Talking of hair, yours is looking fabulous.
    Thanks for the heads up on the film.
    All the best, Mary

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 8:24 am
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      The film is wonderful – maybe gorgeous was the wrong word to describe it, but it is original with dark tones to it as well as lightness. It’s delightful – that’s the better description.

      I needed the jeans but despite most of my buys being quite reasonably priced I’ve got to stop the outflow of dosh going to these companies. I’m going to try eBay.

      Thanks so much re: the hair. Growing it longer has highlighted the natural streaks, which include some of my redder hairs. To think I was covering these up with the ubiquitous yellow custard colour that I put all over my head for years!!!!

      I’m not easing my lockdown one bit and we’re fine about it, what I don’t like is the expectation that we can now socialise with others. I don’t want to! I think that basically as a nation we’re being gaslighted by the government into thinking easing is the way to go. I’d accept it if we had really low numbers equivalent to some of the countries in Europe but our numbers of people still actually catching the virus are far too high. I shall start spluttering soon! Have a lovely weekend in your fab garden.

      All the best to you too 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 9:57 am
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    keep posting, mate! We are with you about shopping! my best recent bargain – one of this season’s Gudrun Sjoden cardigans (linen and cotton with a little embroidery on the sleeves) retail price £99 found and bought on ebay for £15 plus postage. Another seller had the same one for £54. V pleased – wearing it now as it’s a bit cooler today.

    Managed to trim the front of my hair and round my ears (they were itching because it had grown over an inch!). Follow-up appt at the eye clinic due to check progress of my glaucoma in left eye but I doubt that will happen soon (I do use drops though, which are supposed to deter progress of it). Leo also needs one for beginning cataracts. Not quite as bad as waiting for surgery, but all the same.

    hope you are both doing ok – loads love as ever W

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 10:04 am
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      I’m going to try eBay as I’m hearing from many including you that you can get some great bargains there. Good on you for trimming your hair, mine will just get longer and longer but Mr F’s (Bill) will have to be attended to at some point! And hope all is well with the eyes – for both of you!

      We are good and I’m improving with a change in the medication dose. One day…. we will get to see you in person. Take care and love to you too Px

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 10:04 am
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    Ofam on line is back. I have bought lots of really fantastic clothes from there, Nicole Farhi, Betty Barclay, Cotswold woollen Weavers. And ordinary things like Boden and M&S.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 10:05 am
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      I’ll look at Oxfam as well as eBay as I simply must stop buying new clothes. Charity shop fashion is so much better from an ethical point of view. Thanks for the tip 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 10:16 am
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    I’ll start at the end of your blog with ‘A Beautiful Day……………………..’. Wonderful film, I cried through most of it because I felt I was in the presence of what can only be described as pure goodness. Archbishop Sentamu gets me in the same way and I’m an atheist! By now you will think I’m a tear machine but generally I’m really not, I think of myself as quite hard boiled.
    I think you look even better with your bit of extra weight. I like the Mango outfit, lovely colours in the skirt, you will find it great to pack when you eventually go on holiday again.
    I buy almost everything online and have done so for years , now mostly used dresses from E-bay. I’ve had the occasional problem – someone sent me an item rolled up into a ball & smelling of smoke. Once washed it was OK but went into the charity bag as I didn’t like the colours. Not too bothered as it cost less than £5.00 including the postage. Mostly I’ve had great bargains with things like new. It’s best to ask for measurements as even well-known brands can vary so much. I don’t re-sell but send on to a charity shop; 3 bags are waiting to go. A lot of the shops I used to go to, mostly at sale time, have not been there for many years. I don’t buy much at M&S but I order online to pick up and try on in store. I then leave what I don’t want and get an immediate refund. The only negative thing is the plastic bags in which orders are delivered. I just can’t re-use most of them so in the bin they go.The whole plastic thing is a running sore for me – think how much is being (necessarily) used in the NHS now. My 16 years old grandson said that as we can’t stop using it we should be looking at ways to break it down or digest it with enzymes or similar. I’m beginning to think he’s got something there; what good is it doing my using a shampoo block or a cardboard packaged deodorant in the grand scheme of things?
    I’m not worried about going to shops now and looking forward to getting my hair cut and going to cafes again. Everyone has to evaluate the level of risk they can tolerate but this constant talk about being ‘safe’ irritates me. There is no such thing as safe, most accidents happen in the home after all! Generally we have no idea what level of risk, of many different kinds,we are engaged with every day. I recommend the articles by MD in Private Eye to get the whole Covid issue in perspective but rigorously dissected and examined. I agree with him completely. I don’t know if you get Kings Fund info Penny but there has been an interesting survey (The Health Foundation) on public attitudes to the pandemic. I also want to read 2 new books about it which apparently show how it could have been avoided.
    I have never been convinced about the case for masks, although they may have had a marginal effect at the height of the pandemic as several marginal effects working together can add up to a worthwhile intervention. It’s too late now and I won’t wear one unless I use the bus. I might feel differently if I lived in a city or went among crowds but I walk in countryside and turn away from anyone I might encounter less than 2 metres away. I agree that the daily briefings have become a farce but still tune in for a laugh as it marks the time for my daily G&T!

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 10:20 am
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      That film, and yes, indeed, I was near to tears a lot of the time, which is unusual for me as I don’t normally cry watching films, but this one is exceptional. And no-one other thanTom Hanks could play that character. Do you ever listen to Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode’s podcast of film reviews? They interviewed Tom Hanks re: this film and he was a delight. And now during the pandemic at the end of every podcast they play a short uplifting extract from one of his films as a beacon of hope to the world. Kermode wants Tom Hanks as President and The Rock as Vice President – if only!

      You know what Lynda now I know buying online can be successful I shall try eBay as I’ve got to stop buying new. And re: the pandemic and how we’re reacting to it all. I’m in the age-group that should be anxious plus my now pre-existing condition of a heart arrhythmia so I just won’t ease out of it. At this very moment the Covid alert level has been lowered from four to three, well, OK, there are a fewer cases and deaths but we’re definitely not out of the woods yet. Let me know what those books are that you’re getting – would be interested. As you can see from a comment I answered above I don’t wear a mask but that’s only because I go nowhere crowded and side-step and avoid everyone coming my way. But on the other hand, I do believe that mask-wearing could help as it prevents the droplets from leaching out into the ether and infecting others. So it’s you wear one to protect me and vice versa. What we need is strong leadership on this and not some feeble suggestions – sigh. Thanks for your comment Lynda – much appreciated 🙂

      Reply
      • Avatar
        19th June 2020 at 12:17 pm
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        The books are ‘The Covid 19 Catastrophe…………….’by Richard Horton and ‘Covid 19 the Pandemic…………’.by Deborah McKenzie. First one out of stock on Guardian Books(cheapest)& the other one expensive at present so I’ll wait.

        Reply
        • the frugal fashion shopper
          19th June 2020 at 3:49 pm
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          Thanks – taken note

          Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 10:24 am
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    I am 75…love your blog and love fashion.I have trawled charity shops for years and love what I find…usually about 10 visits one good “hit”
    Recently(before lockdown ) found a lovely pair of embroidered ankle boots brand new £6.00.I never usually buy shoes in charity shops but these were new and my size…had to try them SO comfortable small heel. My style conscious friends who tend to spend big money ,drooled after them…they were from Primark !!
    I have bought more on line and have not had to return anything…just one dress …lovely fabric but too much fabric..but I will take it in…it was a bargain. It will be a long time until I visit shops…although I live in Bath and there are many good ones.Keep blogging

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 10:23 am
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      Oh wow, great minds they say… we’re very alike in taste and views. I will keep on with the blogging – thank you 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 10:55 am
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    Hello Penny, longer jeans are available from Next 35″,Levis 34″,G Star 36″ Espirit 35″. to name a few. Obviously these may not be long enough as Long Tall Sally goes to 38″ I believe.
    I enjoy reading your posts and there is only one thing that I would disagree with and that is our choice of views ! I love my country views, constantly teaming with all sorts of life !
    Thank you for the film suggestion.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 10:26 am
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      Thanks so much for that info – I shall pass it on to my friend. Honestly I love looking at the countryside – occasionally – but I’m such a townie! It is the noise, bustle and life but hey it’s so good we’re all different.

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 11:20 am
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    Agree that Bravissimo gives a very good service indeed. I’ve also been told M&S has better ethical transparency regarding its garment workers so I’m making my mind up to use it more when things are a bit more normal.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 10:28 am
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      Bravissimo is one shop I’m looking forward to returning to. M&S also aims to source more environmentally friendly material for their jeans and other cotton clothes – so essential these days.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 12:03 pm
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    I’m not at all keen on online clothes shopping, I’ve had too many disappointments in the past, wrong colour or wrong size, and I really don’t need any new clothes for grocery shopping, going for walks or being at home, which is more or less what life is at the moment!!
    Besides part of the fun of shopping was traipsing around the shops for hours on end!!
    Primark? Why not!! There is a lot of stuff I wouldnt want to wear, but searching, sometimes I have found little treasures!!
    For years the only bras I have found that fitted me really well were in Debenhams, sadly closed now. What will I do now?

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 10:35 am
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      I too have found every now and then treasure in Primark, it’s rather like charity shop shopping you have to look!

      Also I too used to get measured for a bra at Debenhams. Have you got a Bravissimo anywhere near you? I highly recommend the quality of their service. Not sure if they’re open yet, but they can advise over the phone – amazing!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 12:53 pm
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    Oh the things I have almost bought in lockdown – all those times I’ve clicked on the 50% off sale emails and nearly bought something (that I probably don’t need, but hey it’s a bargain!) I’m in between two sizes and it’s hard to know what size to go for unless kind people have left reviews saying if something is true to size or comes up small … I am not keen on buying things and then returning it so will only buy if I’m pretty sure I’ll be keeping it. We went out on Tuesday and went in our first non food shop – it was an independent book shop and there was only one other person in there, they provided hand sanitiser and asked that you used it before touching any books. Overall people were good at keeping their distance and many were wearing masks, and boy did it feel nice to be out and about again.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 10:39 am
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      How good to have a trip to a bookshop. I have a good supply of books waiting to be read, but we have an independent bookshop nearby so when my supply runs low, as it’s small I shall think about going there. The thing would be to not browse but know what you want and then go in and ask.

      Before this ‘situation’ I really disliked online clothes shopping as I’d sent most of it back. This time it’s been good so far but actually I’m going to try eBay 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 1:55 pm
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    I really like the Mango top Penny, I would wear a a smooth fitting cami underneath, either in a similar colour or maybe even a contrasting one that will go with the whatever is on the bottom. The skirt is pretty on you too. I don’t shop online, I have a cupboard full of clothing, mostly thrifted and home grown vintage.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 10:41 am
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      Thanks for the feedback on the green & blue skirt and top. It’s helpful to have another opinion. Your full cupboard sounds mouth-wateringly good 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 2:47 pm
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    Where I live, Nice, the shops have been open for a while there were queues to begin with but not so much now. The chain where I buy a lot of tops and shirts let you try but if you don’t choose to buy they go on a quarantine rack for 48 hours, same for refunds. Like you I think we still need to take care I know all governments want people back to work but there is so much conflicting information I think it’s wise to hesitate before jumping in if one is older or in an at risk category.

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    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 3:23 pm
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      How wonderful to live in Nice, Flora. France coped with Covid very well and had a much stricter lockdown. I think consequently you have better stats than the UK. It’s wise to be cautious though, wherever you live.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 3:25 pm
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    That Asda skirt sure is a winner: I love it! I definitely have bought a lot online in the past 3 months. I did go in a store to find a white tee this past weekend. It was not very busy, the fitting rooms are closed so I tried it at home. I am trying to curb my shopping so I won’t be going anywhere for a while. I do worry about this fall as I think this will start all over again! I was reading about the different numbers of cases for countries all over the world and it was quite interesting so see where they were rising or going down,
    http://www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 3:28 pm
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      Thanks for the compliments re: the Asda skirt – I love it too!

      It’s interesting to hear your views from over the pond – we get the news about the States and Covid, which isn’t good re: how many cases you have. But we are actually in the same position, both countries have high numbers of cases and deaths. Challenging times. You take care over there and thank you for hosting that link yesterday. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 5:51 pm
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    Sounds like a sensible plan Penny. The problem with Primark isn’t that it is Primark, it is that what are the prices based on? This applies to other clothes shops too. If their cheapness is based on the exploitation of people in other countries and/or other country resources then we should think very carefully. And of course, this is where charity shopping is a good example of using resources more carefully. I didn’t realise til relatively recently how much water is taken up producing jeans [and for that matter Avocados – communities in Peru are deprived of fresh water because of the diversion into the Avocado industry].
    I thought the queues for shops showed a pent up desire to get out which is understandable, but it isn’t something that attracts me at the best of times. Would like to see a working Test, Track and Trace system in place before I become more adventurous. Keep well and safe everyone xxx

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    • Avatar
      18th June 2020 at 5:59 pm
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      Agree with Alison. If clothes are desperately cheap, common sense must tell you that another woman (80% of garment workers are female) somewhere in the world is getting terribly exploited, the same way as in Victorian times a poor outworker would ruin her eyes and health for a pittance, and the person buying the dress from her better paid dressmaker would be oblivious of the fact. These days I’m *trying* (not always successfully) to look for transparency in clothes retailers into how they treat their workers, how ethical are they. So I’d really hesitate to use Primark because something’s clearly wrong there, but I have bought from them in the past.

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      • the frugal fashion shopper
        19th June 2020 at 3:45 pm
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        Hi Katrina – see my response to Alison – to a certain extent all the High Street outlets exploit garment workers. Shopping for second-hand either vintage or charity shop is by far the most ethical choice one can take. Or we could go for the higher end ethical ranges like People Tree, although for a lot of people that is not possible because their prices are just so high, and kids need new clothes for school, so Primark it is for many. Setting aside the ethics what I can’t stand is the slightly snotty reaction to people shopping in Primark. Makes me want to go into Primark and find something there and flaunt it!!! Sigh, but won’t doing that for months at this rate!

        Anyway, it is interesting to debate this and be aware as consumers – it’s all good.

        Reply
    • Avatar
      18th June 2020 at 6:05 pm
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      It’s been suggested to me that higher priced or branded stuff is made in the same factories for the same rates as Primark with a bigger mark up because people will pay more for it. Primark is high volume low price marketing which can encourage over-consumption. I’ve not bought much there as it’s very much a younger audience but I did by a bra for £1 last year when I wanted a padded one for an evening dress that was a bit too large in the bust!

      Reply
      • the frugal fashion shopper
        19th June 2020 at 3:47 pm
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        Yes you’re right Lynda. Primark does encourage over-consumption but it is a high volume outlet and every outlet in the High Street exploits to a certain extent. Contracts have to be the lowest to get the highest profit – sad.

        Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      19th June 2020 at 3:36 pm
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      I did a lot of research on High Street shops for the posts I wrote on fashion and ethics, I remember you could just see that all the High Street outlets to a certain extent exploit the garment workers. As Lynda points out Primark sells a humongous volume of clothes and can therefore keep the prices down. But don’t single out Primark, they all do it. Therefore one ought to say – just don’t shop anywhere on the High Street. Either go for the much higher end ethical fashion chains like People Tree, with their high prices, or shop in charity shops with their affordable prices and ethical re-use of second-hand clothes. I know where my pocket sends me 🙂

      Oh gosh – don’t we just want workable solutions to this situation. Testing, tracking and tracing is the key to being on top of the situation here in the UK and we are so not on top of it.

      Keep well and have a good weekend 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    18th June 2020 at 11:34 pm
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    I’ve always enjoyed online shopping….there’s always a pro and con to all aspects of shopping. I mean, going to the brick and mortar store takes energy, sometimes gas if you drive along with the hassle of parking and so on. That’s why I check the return policy online first before even falling in love with something. I guess the fact that I can alter most things (and I try to think about that when I purchase) makes it easier too. You know me…I try to make everything work!
    Heck, I just bought a dress from Poshmark, and it just hung a little strange on my tummy, so I had my mom cut it off to be a top!! And it’s perfect!
    We have been going out. As a medical professional, I look at it as working harder on keeping my immune system safe. I have more of a chance of dying from cancer than I do this virus. But we all need to do what feels good for us. The worst part it how people aren’t kind. We need kindness most of all.
    Sending you the best Penny,
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      20th June 2020 at 7:26 am
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      I guess online must be so much more important in the much larger country of the States where public transport is not for the majority. Here in the UK a store is never far away, but from my perspective it’s interesting that before the pandemic I had returned every single item I’d ever bought online so thought the whole thing utter pants! But this time round I did actually send some items from Warehouse back but nothing from M&S and Asda so I have been both surprised and pleased.

      As for the pandemic in the UK we’ve had our risk/alert level downgraded from 4 to 3 and the government is over the moon about this but actually if you read the words re: Alert level 3, it is that ‘the virus is in general circulation’. To me that is still a no-no to relaxing restrictions. – our numbers for this ‘relaxation’ are still far too high. If it went down to Level 2 with numbers of cases, deaths and transmission being low, fair enough I would start going out and about. Because as I’m sure you know this virus is not a ‘flu’, it’s dangerous, and particularly so for the over 70s, so for me I don’t trust our government, and they are not being ‘kind’. Actually they are appallingly incompetent. Oh, for a sensible competent woman in charge, like Angela Merkel or Jacinth Arden!

      All the very best to you too, Jodie xxx

      Reply
  • Avatar
    19th June 2020 at 2:33 am
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    You are probably right that the World will be different after COVID-19. But I think thrifting will still be a thing. I always wash my thrifted clothes before wearing them. Now I use sanitizing tools after I leave a store. You can do that too when you go to your fav thrift store. You have great style and know what to look for when thrifting. Continue what you love. Just be extra cautious.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      20th June 2020 at 7:29 am
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      Thank you Nicole for your kind words. Numbers here in the UK are still high and until they really, really reduce to a much lower transmission rate I won’t go out and about. But when I do it will be a charity shop every time!

      You take care 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    19th June 2020 at 6:22 am
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    Love your no nonsense blog Penny putting into words the thoughts of many of us. I agree – Boorish J. and his crew don’t inspire me with confidence either – he’d make a better light entertainer, a clown maybe. I trust my own judgement on COVID 19 – stay informed and use common sense. I have shopped on line – mostly successfully but can’t understand how the same sizes from, say M& S, can vary so greatly. I take size 12/14 but bought a top recently that had a 44” chest – even size 8 was a generous fit! I am missing my visits to thrift shops and car boot sales – my girls call me Mummy Lovejoy – if there’s a bargain to be had I will find it! I think your outfits all look great especially the pink top and a little extra weight suits you – personally if I was your height I’d be the right
    weight Lol. Take care and look forward to your next blog.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      20th June 2020 at 7:36 am
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      Hi Harri, great to get your comment – another thrifter yay!!! Sizes are such a bore and if you think M&S comes up big, my word, Asda goes further! I read the reviews on the M&S website and find those quite helpful as to whether something comes up big.

      Since I’ve gone fully au naturel, pink is my colour now, think it goes with the hair. Thanks for the kind words about the weight – it’s still a nuisance that a lot of it is around my middle/waist area!

      You take care too 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    19th June 2020 at 7:25 am
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    I volunteer in a charity shop and I don’t think I will be going back for some time.The thought of sorting through bags and bags of someone’s cast offs doesn’t enthrall me! You wouldn’t know whether they have had Covid or not.
    As for clothes shopping I have been doing more online, I know that joules and white stuff clothes fit me and I don’t need to send them back.
    I love the green skirt you got from mango,
    Hope you and your husband are keeping well
    Take care, margaret

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      20th June 2020 at 7:50 am
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      Yes, I totally get you re: working in a charity shop. I see from passing my nearby charity shop that all the workers there so far are youngsters.

      Thanks for the feedback on the skirt – it is nice and swishy. The day I took the pic it was particularly hot in the flat so it didn’t feel as cool as the pink Asda skirt. It’s going to be a mainstay, I’m sure. Good to hear your views on Joules and White Stuff.

      We’re fine, thanks, you take care too 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    19th June 2020 at 9:50 pm
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    I can’t wait to start shopping in actual stores now. I’m letting the queues hopefully go down before I attempt to actually go shopping. I’m not a fan of online buying as I like to see, feel and check-out everything I buy. Lovely pieces too. Jacqui x Thank you for joining my #linkup

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      20th June 2020 at 8:07 am
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      I was so like you Jacqui as I too like to literally feel the quality and try things on, and I always had to return the items. But actually with M&S and Asda I haven’t returned any item, so am quite pleased, because the thing is I won’t go into a shop until and unless the numbers of people catching the wretched virus goes down to near zero. For me, the numbers of people actually catching the wretched virus are still far too high for the likes of me, especially I have to say, at my age!

      It’s a pleasure to go on your linkup. But just like to say I have commented on your blog using both Google and also just my name and blog – but when I look back can’t see any of the comments. Are they going into Spam? Is there anything else I can do? Or maybe you are seeing them – if so good 🙂

      Have a lovely weekend x

      Reply
  • Avatar
    19th June 2020 at 10:18 pm
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    Hi Penny
    I have not been purchasing much but i did buy a dress about a month ago from a company which makes their dresses locally here in the Hudson Valley near New York city. I have a few i have purchased from them over the years and have been quite happy. the print on the new one is a floral in roses and greens on a cream ground. the designs are fairly classic and perhaps a little retro. also it was on sale. the company is called Karina Dresses. I guess my excuse is that i want to support local businesses. I am hoping to wear it tomorrow as I plan to go out for dinner with My son and his family to celebrate Father’s Day. some of the local restaurants have begun to open for outdoor dining. fingers crossed it does not rain. actually it has been quite lovely here the last few weeks. always enjoy seeing what you are up to and what you wearing. Darby

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      21st June 2020 at 7:50 am
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      That dress sounds divine and it’s so good that it’s been manufactured by a local company. That’s the way we should all go instead of the bulk of our clothes being manufactured by China and Bangladesh. Mind you I’ve just read an article in my Sunday newspaper saying that garment workers are facing starvation after losing their jobs because of cancelled contracts due to Covid It is challenging to do the right thing!

      Enjoy the dinner and fingers crossed re: the weather. It’s raining here at the moment but we’re due some very hot weather (for the UK) this coming week. Take care 🙂

      Reply
  • Avatar
    20th June 2020 at 7:08 am
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    Agree with you Penny on the inverted snobbery around Primark. There were long queues to get into Selfridges too but somehow the disdainful on Twitter were ignoring that and sighing that didn’t these people know they could shop online? It’s sad but true that a lot of disadvantaged people don’t have the necessary debit or credit card, or even access to a PC or suitable device (and Primark don’t have an online presence anyway). My stepdaughter is a teacher in London and her school has not been offering many online classes because some kids have no access to a device so there has to be a level playing field,
    I won’t be going back into stores any time soon but that was my MO because I’ve been shopping online for years. Not always successfully, and I resolved this year to send back anything that wasn’t perfect rather than keeping it because it was just OK. This week I’ve had problems with an Asos parcel. I had 3 separate deliveries from them and put the returns in 1 bag as their website advises. But you now get a barcode return on your phone, rather than a paper return, which the Post Office scans. And they refused to take 1 parcel with 2 bar codes, so I have to open the package and put some of the contents into another bag. Madness!

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      21st June 2020 at 8:00 am
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      Yes, it seems that many were desperate to get back to real shopping but the picking on those who go to Primark is really so bad. We, or certainly the media, seems to have no understanding of how some people live. And I am so angry at how the promise of laptops for all school children has not materialised, and all this blaming of schools in not getting the kids back to school is dreadful. The government, and the Minister responsible, seems to have no idea of how ordinary schools have packed classrooms and literally no room to do the 2-metres distancing for all pupils. I expect they have in mind the schools they went to with their many green fields. I’m spluttering now!

      I will continue with shopping online for the duration of the pandemic and my personal take on lockdown. But it’s been a pleasant surprise at how good it can be, and the expense of it all has been tempered by the lack of the usual costly appointments that used to be essential to me. And they still are, really! Can’t wait to get back to the usual.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    20th June 2020 at 7:16 am
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    Forgot to add that I love the Mango top – so delicate and pretty! And you are looking very trim! xx

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      21st June 2020 at 7:50 am
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      Oh gosh, Gail it’s all gone to my waist! But I’ve given up the biscuits!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    21st June 2020 at 6:43 am
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    I can see why you would be very wary to venture into shops in the UK at present. We are very fortunate in my small state at present as there are no active cases but we all practice distancing, sanitising ,etc. I am not really a fan of buying clothing online as I really like to see and feel the fabric and check out the quality. That said you have found some gems, the skirts suit you beautifully.
    Take care Penny.

    Reply
    • the frugal fashion shopper
      21st June 2020 at 8:06 am
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      Oh you are fortunate. But every country has to be careful. We’ve heard that new cases have been brought into New Zealand by two people flying in from, guess where, the UK!

      Our airport quarantine should have happened late February and March but a 2-weeks quarantine came in this month. I mean stable door and all that. It just sums up our government’s entire approach – useless!

      Just like you I always like to feel the clothes and try them on, but until I can do that, the online buys have been surprisingly good.

      You take care too, Jill, and have a good rest of the weekend 🙂

      Reply

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