Down south where I live in the UK, today’s a proper frosty winter day with cold weather forecast for the rest of the week.  So I should be talking about keeping warm and wearing winter woollies.  Instead, I’m writing about short sleeved party dresses as it’s nearly that time again.  Yes, it’s the party season.

Well, every day should be party time, really.  Let me qualify that – I believe it’s so important not to keep clothes in your wardrobe/closet for ‘best’ or even for ‘parties’.  Clothes need to be worn and not kept because they’re ‘my good clothes’, or ‘I might wear that one day’, or (from my pov, the worst case scenario) ‘I can’t throw out that dress/skirt/jacket/pair of trousers because it cost a shed load of money, no, really I can’t’.  And you know what, I’ve still got a couple of things in my wardrobe in that last category.  Trying to be strong! I’m looking at one garment right now that cost, gosh, phew (and feels slightly faint) 3 figures. Never. Ever. Again. It’s so much easier to be minimalist (seriously, I am trying, at this moment in time, to weed out a whole chunk of my wardrobe, for reasons you’ll soon find out) when an article of clothing cost £3.

But enough of regrets.  It’s party time and the media is full of the ‘best’ party frocks for the season, which naturally you have to buy.  However.  I bet you’ve got some lovely dresses in your wardrobe you can wear right now, so ignore all that guff. And if you feel you haven’t got anything, the UK charity shops are full of party frocks, of all sizes, at very, very reasonable prices.

Here’s one dress I’ve had for some time that I’m going to wear soon.  The dress originally came from Peacocks, so it wouldn’t have broken the bank to buy it new, but in my local charity shop it cost all of £3.  Moreover, it still had the label on it so it was unworn.


It’s got a neat asymmetric hem which flounces as you walk.  And you can see I really am trying to wean myself off those old fave black boots and black tights.


I had a practice tanning session (for my January holiday – see below) which was miles better than the spraying method, which didn’t work at all on my technicolour (blueish) legs.  This time I had a body scrub (which was bliss) plus an application of tanning creme.  So I’m showing off the colour of my legs, something I usually avoid at all costs.

And here’s another bargain bought locally for next to nothing.


Wowser, what a colour!  This is another attempt to not wear the ubiquitous LBD. One for the Caribbean I think.  Yes, did I mention that I was going to the sunny shores of the West Indies in January, I didn’t?  Well, I am.


And note the little sparkly flats.  Then last week I bought this dress.


Another for the cruise, don’t you think.  Slightly more expensive this time at £15 because it came from a more up-market charity shop in a nearby town.

I bought it on a dismal grey day.  And didn’t that buy make me feel good? It really did!  And, wowser again, doesn’t it sparkle! It’s just such an ‘in your face’ kind of dress! It’s from a designer based in Hong Kong who recreates the same dress over and over, in that almost trashy style of flouncy, clingy sparkle.  Intriguingly, it’s a one-size dress and was tagged as a UK size 16.  I’m a size 12 and it’s almost too big because it’s made of a stretchy material so it could fit someone much bigger than me.  There’s split, btw, on one side right up to my thigh.


The thing is never keep this type of dress at the back of the wardrobe because you haven’t got anywhere to wear it.  Create an occasion.  Because, people, at our age, we flaunt it and wear it while we can – why wouldn’t we!

That’s all for now, but are you getting your frocks out now?

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S And sharing with Catherine Summers and her #iwillwearwhatilike session


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10 thoughts on “It’s almost party time again!

  • 29th November 2016 at 9:24 am

    Fantastic dresses Penny, especially the last one……..lovin your head to shoe party look.
    As always, thanks for the blog.

    • 30th November 2016 at 8:02 am

      Thank you Jan. And yes, trying to not always wear the black boots!

  • 29th November 2016 at 9:58 am

    Penny, you look fab in all those frocks (!) but the last one is particularly stunning. I can imagine wearing it with knee high black boots & a little black cardi …

    • 30th November 2016 at 8:03 am

      OOOh, what a good idea about the boots! Yes, the temperature is quite low – and a cardi will be necessary. I think a little black bolero cardi would look good with the green dress as well.

      • 30th November 2016 at 10:19 am

        Not really in the light of you saying you wanted to wean yourself off black boots and tights!! ?

  • 29th November 2016 at 10:11 am

    I’ve never been a fan of asymmetric hems but I would make and exception for your last dress, it’s divine, and I love your orange one, and your shoes. I’m in Western Australia at the moment so happily wearing summer clothes! I’m dreading going back to cold weather, but will have to sort out some outfits for Christmas do’s. I agree about wearing and enjoying all clothes. As a child clothes were sorted into “everyday” and “for best” wear, but I guess that was because my mother didn’t have much money so good things had to last.

    • 30th November 2016 at 8:10 am

      How lovely to be in Australia. And yes, I agree with you about the origin of ‘best’ clothes. We had far fewer clothes and so correspondingly there would be one best suit or dress in a wardrobe worn for church, funerals and other best occasions. The thing is clothes are so much cheaper nowadays, and many people have wardrobes filled with too many clothes as it is. And some of these go unworn or hardly worn because they’re the ‘I might wear these’ clothes. Personally I’m trying to get rid of these items in my wardrobe and it’s so much easier to do this if they’ve cost not very much.

  • 29th November 2016 at 10:23 am

    So wonderful to see you wearing colour , but also without your black boots / tights too , Fab post .

    • 30th November 2016 at 8:12 am

      Thank you, Joan! I do wear a lot of colour, honest! And these pics are the proof. Green is a favourite. Thanks again x

  • 30th November 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Lovely buys, Penny!

    And off to the Caribbean in January? Lucky you – I hope you have the most fabulous time!

    Best wishes


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