Hello everyone

As I expect you all know, there’s a heatwave in the UK and, apparently, around the world.  Not entirely sure I’m happy with the continuous sun, although I remember that in the winter I said to myself that I absolutely must not complain about the weather in the summer! And our weather here is nothing in comparison to heat nearer to the equator or in the States or Australia.  But it is unusual to have sun in the UK day after day.  Here in the south of England we’ve had weeks of continuous blue skies with very little rain.  Actually, I’m hoping for a change in the weather and rain at some point as the grass outside is no longer green, and if it continues like this our water supplies will be impacted and there will be restrictions imposed.

In the meantime, there’s the question of what to wear. As much as I love skirts it has to be a dress made of cotton, linen or viscose, fairly plain as well, and quite floaty so nothing clings to the body. But I don’t have all that many dresses, so off I went around the charity shops to hunt for the ideal summer frock. And could I find one? No, I couldn’t. And I really, really tried, truly I did! But there were too many multi-coloured synthetic dresses of dubious quality.  See, when you shop in a charity shop you don’t buy just anything – you search for what you need and you don’t drop your standards.

So, here’s a confession coming up, I bought new dresses! Three of them!  All on my holiday in Suffolk.

Here’s the first.  It was bought in Aldeburgh in one of those lovely ethnic shops, just down from the High Street.  Here I am in the gym again (which I go to for my Pilates class).

This was reasonably inexpensive shop and the cost of the dress was OK.

The dress is made from linen and is so cool and comfortable.  I’ve worn it a lot in the week since we got back.

Then there’s this lovely plain green dress bought in Woodbridge.

This dress has an Italian label and was mightily expensive at its full price, but there was a sale on and it was a bargain! Btw, I simply adore foxgloves – they’re my favourite flower.

Note the sleeves!  How great is that to find a plain summer dress with sleeves.

Then there’s the dress that I haven’t worn yet, but will on Tuesday when I go up to London again for my annual skin check – more about that and health and wellbeing in another post soon.

Wow! Another plain dress with sleeves. I have to say that again it was hugely expensive at its full price but it was on sale at 2/3 of its original price which I could just about afford.

The dress is 100% cotton and has a full skirt.

Plus a long sash to tie at the waist.

All three of these dresses not only have sleeves they also have pockets – hooray!

This is a short but, I hope, sweet post as I’m working on something for My Other Blog (not up yet) so that’s all for now. I trust you’re all having (or had) a great weekend what with all this sport. For me, the tennis at Wimbledon, particularly towards the end of the tournament, has been amazing and I’m finishing this fast before the men’s finals starts – so excited about it!

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

And sharing with the usual lovely people – icons on the side or at the end if reading on a phone 🙂





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35 thoughts on “It’s summertime – what to wear?

  • 15th July 2018 at 12:13 pm

    Love all of them – the London dress in particular looks amazing.

    • 16th July 2018 at 7:50 am

      Thanks so much – I’ll take some photos on Tuesday 🙂

  • 15th July 2018 at 12:31 pm

    I love linen. I find it is the perfect material for the heatwave we are having at the moment. I know a lot of people can’t stand it (my dear mum, for example) because of the creasing but that has never troubled me. I think to find linen dresses with short sleeves and pockets is brilliant and they look great on you. xoxo

    • 16th July 2018 at 7:51 am

      Thanks so much June and yes, the creases! We’ll see how that shirtwaister performs tomorrow.

  • 15th July 2018 at 12:53 pm

    You are having a summer like we have every year in Greece, and I’m usually longing for the cooler Northern climes of my homeland. So for me it’s linen, linen and more linen ! I especially like the yellow dress.Hope it rains ( a little ) to bring back the green.

    • 16th July 2018 at 7:54 am

      There is rain around but not down south. Funnily enough it’s not the heat that’s getting to me as there’s often, even in Brighton, a cool breeze, it’s the day in and day out good weather with continuous blue skies. I’m finding this a bit boring!!! I think it’s in the British psyche to worry about weather and be uncertain about it – to ALWAYS have blue skies is, for me, quite disconcerting!!!

      • 16th July 2018 at 8:54 am

        Oh Penny, you sound just like my husband! I’d have to drag him kicking and screaming to live in a continuous climate of hot sun he so revels in the unpredictability of our weather.

        Your dresses are lovely. I mean, pockets and decent sleeves, what’s not to like? I would LOVE to find a long floaty dress so endowed. I’d forgo the pockets if I had to but the sleeves are a must! Until such lucky day, I’m seeing out this summer in v-necked tops (with sleeves, natch) and shorts. Fortunately, my legs don’t frighten the horses, even at my advanced age although I wouldn’t wear them for a trip to London!

        While I’m here, please may I be cheeky and take the opportunity of adding a note of caution here for when it does rain? Ladies (and gents), unless road surfaces have improved since I was a gel and learned to drive, the roads will be greasy, greasy, greasy. And slippery. So be aware and take care. (Not a bad slogan eh?) It does worry me that perhaps people may not appreciate this problem and find they haven’t braked smoothly and/or early enough. Thanks, Penny, and here endeth the lesson!

        • 18th July 2018 at 8:08 am

          Oh totally with your husband here, Zepherine! I have said, what a simply beautiful name, you’ve got, haven’t I!! I’m finding it actually boring to be having the same weather all the time. But went to London yesterday and there was a cool breeze -just perfect.

          Yes, absolutely re: the greasy roads. We must be careful – I hope we all do take care when it rains – thanks so much!

  • 15th July 2018 at 2:16 pm

    I’m a great fan of linen too and even insist (as much as is reasonable to do so) that my husband wears linen shirts. There’s nothing to beat it on a hot day …. and we’ve been having a lot of those lately! I bought a linen dress in Asda for only £16, ideal for summer – a plain shift. Dresses rarely fit me very well (I’m disproportionate!) but it’s not bad at all. They had lots of different fabric designs.

    • 16th July 2018 at 7:49 am

      Ooh, I’ll have to pop into Asda. Occasionally I have found that Asda, Tesco, and even Primark, do really good natural fibre clothing. Thanks for the tip!

  • 15th July 2018 at 6:23 pm

    I especially loved the first two dresses,they are the type i would choose.I,like you was hunting in my local charity shops for some dresses for this hot weather,even though i don`t wear them very often,as i`m always in coloured jeans.I didn`t find any to my liking,so i bought a lovely new dress,cotton,with cotton lining.It`s so pretty,and was reduced from £200 down to £50.!
    Enjoy your trip to London,and please post a picture of you in that dress.

    • 16th July 2018 at 7:57 am

      Karen, that’s exactly the price I paid with the same discount. I mean £50 is quite a lot of money for me to pay out but £50 down from £200 was a good bargain I thought.

      I will take a pic of the Tuesday dress 🙂

  • 15th July 2018 at 6:40 pm

    I love the yellow and green dress. That style really suits you. Does it have a brand label on the yellow dress as I would like to find a similar one?

    • 18th July 2018 at 8:20 am

      I delayed replying to you Catherine because the only label on the dress says “Made in Italy”. So I started hunting for a link on the ‘net to the shop where I bought the dress but there doesn’t seem to be a dedicated website, and the only reference I can find is this http://www.ipswich.co.uk/listing/340674-Anjali/

      Anyway, if you’re ever in that area (Aldeburgh, Suffolk and not Ipswich) the shop, Anjali, is not on the actual Aldeburgh High Street, but down a bit from it – see photo in link.

      This was one of those lovely ethnic shops that sell that very particular kind of hippy clothes made mainly from thin cotton. This was the least ethnic type dress in the shop and just right.

  • 15th July 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Great choice of dresses Penny! I love that linen crinkles a bit and it’s ideal for summers here in Australia. Your London shirt dress is going to look so good – lovely choices! Cheers, Doreen

    • 18th July 2018 at 8:43 am

      Hello Doreen – the London dress was just right. You’ll see it soon. Our sunny weather is continuing as before!

  • 16th July 2018 at 6:44 am

    I love your green dress! What a fabulous color and the accesoires you wear with the dress are perfect! I hope to see the last dress on too!

    • 18th July 2018 at 8:47 am

      I took lots of pics – you’ll see them very soon x

  • 16th July 2018 at 8:41 am

    I love the three dresses, particularly the green one. You will wear them lots and they will last so the expensive outlay will be worth it. I am hoping it will rain soon!!

    • 18th July 2018 at 8:56 am

      Yes, they will be dresses that will last and last. Sometimes I do wonder about my frugal shopping and it’s mainly because I don’t have the immediate cash to pay out on High Street prices. But I could see the two dresses I bought in the sale were quality items (and each down from £200). Interestingly all three were made in Italy.

      Oh please lots of rain! I see we might get a shower on Friday but it won’t be enough.

  • 16th July 2018 at 9:13 am

    I have found a couple of linen/viscose mix dresses in Next this summer, one with sleeves and pockets, one more a sundress with patch pockets. It sounds like retailers have finally listened to all our demands for cool dresses with sleeves. However the dress I am wearing the most often is a denim sleeveless shift I bought in a charity shop four years ago! It was long with embroidery round the bottom. I cut it to knee length and it is so cool and comfortable. Love the yellow spot dress on you, that colour really suits you Penny. Love the blog by the way.

    • 18th July 2018 at 8:53 am

      I admit I didn’t get as far as Next and will look, as occasionally High Street retailers do get it right and isn’t it good to see sleeves! Thanks so much for the feedback Judy – great to hear it. I do appreciate my readers x

  • 17th July 2018 at 5:14 pm

    All 3 dresses look perfect for the hot weather you’re having. I’m having a hard time finding cool, summer dresses in the thrift stores here, too. In fact, no results at all, except one lightweight cotton that I fear looks kind of maternity on me. I can relate to the writer in Greece who said they have continuous sun there. Here on the east coast of U.S., we have hot, humid, sunny days almost continuously for months. Even in winter it is sunny, although often cold. Penny, I’m so glad to hear someone say they prefer changes in the weather, rather than continuous sun. I really enjoy cloudy days and rain (or snow when we’re lucky). We’re going to England for vacation next month, and would think to have a break from the heat here. But it is hot there, too. I want to pack very lightly, no checked bag, so I’m trying to plan the fewest, multi-purpose clothes as possible. I don’t need to look sophisticated, but don’t want to look my at-home casual either: cotton or t-shirt, cotton skirt/shorts, flip-flops. Does anyone have ideas for packing for city as well as day-hiking?

    • 18th July 2018 at 8:39 am

      Well, the thing remember that continuous hot sunny weather isn’t how it usually is in the UK! Also another thing to remember is that there isn’t a lot of air con. You do get air con in most hotels and most shops (but not all), also the majority of trains (when it’s working) but not on buses (sit near a window) or the underground (avoid) and actual homes (never)!

      When I complain about the heat it’s because it’s humid heat which I see you know about. London will always be a hot city – just because it’s so huge and the traffic – ergh! But don’t let me put you off as all the major attractions will mostly have air con too.

      Yesterday in London, I saw a lot of bare arms (so unusual for our climate) with women wearing linen/cotton dresses (the best were mid-length) and cropped and flowing wide pants – shorts not so much in London – sandals are good though. Thing is pack light because, clothing is really, really cheap in the UK. I spent a month in France and was shocked at the prices. If you haven’t brought the right stuff – pop into somewhere like Primark or Hennes/H&M. There are lots of sales on now as well which will continue I’m sure. Enjoy your month here 🙂

      • 18th July 2018 at 9:54 pm

        I appreciate all the info about weather, ac, and clothes. My husband and I are looking forward to our week in London, walking in parks, riding the London Eye, maybe a boat ride and couple of museums. We like to be outdoors such as Kew Garden and other nature-type experiences. We’re not into a lot of tours, but do enjoy museums. For the other 3 weeks, we’re driving around Ireland 1 week, 1 week each guided walks in Lake District and Wales. So you see I’ll be definitely casual! Got to take those hiking shoes, too, despite the weight. Would you happen to have suggestions for reasonable expense/safe/not fancy area for staying in London? We won’t have a car, will use tube/bus/walk. I’m hoping to shop at some thrift stores, of course. I think I remember you said you and your husband are coming to east coast of U.S. this year. Have you had your trip yet?

        • 20th July 2018 at 7:13 am

          Hello again Evie, wow what a well organised trip you’re having but if you’re flying across the pond it is worth staying for some time. Yes, I can see why you’ll want your walking shoes. I remember a trip we took to St. Lucia and the States (east coast) and I wore one pair of sandals for both the beach and the city. Actually just last month I went to the east of England not the States – no plans as yet to return to the States but I will!

          And yes, I can recommend an area in London that is really pleasant, central and I would have thought quite safe (as much as anywhere is) it’s Pimlico. Thing is London is huge and some cheap deals might take you way outside London. Pimlico has many hotels but still gives the impression that it is a place that people live in. Also it has a mix of people. We do have areas in London that are now totally for the extremely wealthy, others just for tourists, but Pimlico is not only residential, it’s also central, and very near Victoria station and the Tate Britain. We’ve stayed in Pimlico a couple of times and loved it – AND it has charity shops!!!! See below for some info which was written in 2012 but it does sum the place up. We stayed in Pimlico last summer.


          • 20th July 2018 at 5:38 pm

            Pimlico sounds like just the place to stay. I like being where people live, relax, take walks, etc. I’m looking forward to reading the info in the link. Thanks for all the ideas!

  • 18th July 2018 at 7:20 am

    Penny, you have found yourself three perfect dresses for your Summer heatwave. I really like the yellow as I have a fondness for yellow. The fuller dress is also lovely and a little dressier, look forward to seeing it on you. Enjoy your trip to London and hope some Summer showers happen soon.

    • 18th July 2018 at 8:50 am

      There’s a possibility that we might get a shower on Friday – but the weather is unusual. We haven’t had any rain down south for a month and all the grass is brown. The dresses have been amazing and was pleased to find two of them in a sale. Btw, I went out in a skirt 2 days ago what a mistake – far too hot!

  • 18th July 2018 at 12:27 pm

    I love your dresses and I would buy exactly the same styles if I saw them. Love the polka dots and the cool green with sleeves. I could n’t quite see what colour the third dress was as I was outside using my laptop and it it made it difficult to see but I loved the full skirt; so very feminine!

    Not too much sun over here in Ireland…

    • 20th July 2018 at 7:23 am

      It’s cloudy today for the first time for ages, and maybe even a little rain, but the sun is to continue all through next week and apparently it’ll be even hotter. Honestly trying not to be a grump! But I find the relentlessness of the never changing weather rather off-putting. I can see from the weather forecasts that parts of Ireland and Scotland are not getting the same weather as England – enjoy the cool Irish breeze 🙂

  • 19th July 2018 at 7:08 pm

    Hi Penny,
    Just typed a reply to you re your comments on my blog and guess what?….not only did my response disappear, but also your entire comment. It’s very frustrating and you would think that with us both being with WordPress that it would be less troublesome! Anyhow, the gist of it was that I am all for healthy disagreement and discussion! I don’t actually like TV comedy (or films) so I rarely ever see anything but it seems to me that when they show trailers for these, they often focus on the ‘stupid’man. I tend to avoid politics altogether on my blog and only occasionally post something that would even raise much discussion. I do enjoy reading other such opinion though. Do disagree with me any time! X

    • 20th July 2018 at 7:35 am

      Isn’t it annoying! I’d got wise when commenting on yours and copied my response but even so it was still disappearing on Firefox which had solved the problem of commenting on Blogspot and Blogger blogs. The disappearance without warning (but after hitting the Publish button) was also quite disconcerting. My recent second comment to you didn’t go AWOL because I put in my password (to WordPress) and it was accepted.

      All of this is since GDPR and my techy husband thinks that some American software sees ‘Europe’ and that’s it – they don’t want to publish because of holding your European data, as in your email address. But that’s a first – hearing about your experience.

      Anyway, great to hear that you agree that discussion around a subject is absolutely what we should all be doing – so with you there xxx

  • 20th July 2018 at 9:17 pm

    HI, Penny-I’m just now seeing this post. You are right about hot weather all around. We are finally getting some rain this week which has been nice. But, in Missouri,we are used to some pretty unbearable summers. So far, the temperatures have not gotten over 100F or I guess that’s about 38C.

    I will vote for natural fabrics anytime and for some reason don’t wear to many dresses but am making a linen tunic right now and looking forward to wearing it. And you bought three new ones-that is pretty much a first and I love the yellow with polka dots-perfect.

    Stay cool!

    • 23rd July 2018 at 7:18 am

      It was a first to buy new dresses, but I so wanted linen and just couldn’t find anything in that material – they were all at sale prices though which is some consolation.

      And yes, when we Brits complain about the summer we know nothing, as Ygritte would say – Game of Thrones reference!

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