I’m a skirts and dresses kind of person.  Skirts more than anything – I just love them and the dressier the better.  I don’t think I look as good in jeans and slacks, but I’ve been wanting to buy a couple of pairs of jeans for some time now, and so keen was I to buy something that would be good value, I went looking in the High Street.  And could I find a pair of jeans in the High Street?  No, I could not.  Primark, which was almost my favourite shop, because it sold jeans at 32+ length have practically given up on that length.  And also I’m a UK size 12 with thin legs, and I couldn’t get my feet into any of their jeans at size 12, and as for size 14 they wouldn’t go past my thighs!  I’m not sure what’s going on with the sizing in this shop, but that’s not going to be my favourite store anymore!  And truly I went to many other stores and couldn’t find anything (mainly because ‘Regular’ size is just a bit skimpy on my leg length) apart that is from Peacocks, where I found these pink jeans and a pink sweater.

Actually, that outfit is OK, but one of the reasons I do this blog is to examine how I look in certain things, and the long sweater I bought with the jeans seems to shorten my legs – which are long – hmm.

But I think they’ll do for the cruise (coming up shortly) and I’ll wear different shoes! From these pics you can see I’m so not a fashionista, but I am frugal as the jeans cost all of £16. Reader, I was prepared to pay more, truly I was!

So having had two almost fruitless shopping trips I hit the charity shops and this is what I found.

That’s a black corduroy M&S bootcut pair of jeans at £5.99.  Not sure about boot-cut to be honest, but I’ll wear these out into Brighton.

Now these are what I’d call old-school jeans.  And look at the label on the outside.

At first I was quite excited, however, the fine print is a bit difficult to read, but it’s not particularly good English, probably because ….

All the other labels are in Chinese. So, is this a pair of Pierre Cardin jeans? I think not! But as they cost all of £4.99 and are a proper pair of jeans that fit and feel comfortable I’m OK with this.

Then I hit upon these Levi straight-cut jeans.

They also have a ‘made in China’ label, but some of the washing label is in English.

Whatever, these feel and look unworn and are well worth the price of £6.50. Then in the same shop I found an in-your-face cerise top, which I think goes with the lovely dark navy.  It’s quite hard these days to find jeans that aren’t washed and bleached out and/or covered in holes. So I was very pleased to find these, I can tell you.


As you can see I’ve made an attempt to accessorise it with my favourite bracelet.

So after my shopping spree (February is going to be a non-spending month, believe me) I think, despite sizes apparently being larger (all vintage sizes are minute in comparison to today’s sizes) manufacturers must be cutting costs by reducing sizes.  Because all these charity shop jeans are a size 12, and they’re big in comparison to the Primark jeans.

That’s all for now, but do tell me if you have problems buying jeans that fit.

With love

Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

P.S. And sharing with

Patti at Not Dead Yet Style for Visible Monday

Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb for iwillwearwhatilike

Nancy at Nancy’s Fashion Style for Nancy’s Fashion Friday

All icons at the side, or at the bottom if reading on a phone 🙂


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52 thoughts on “Jeans and slacks and pants for Spring

  • 20th February 2018 at 10:19 am

    Oh yes! So difficult to get jeans that fit properly and the legs *sigh* even if described as slim fit they are too tight. My legs are not fat, honest. Even straightleg jeans don’t feel comfortable – gone are the days when I felt happy wearing clothes that looked good but felt uncomfortable. And straightleg did not used to be that close fitting…..don’t get me started on low rise either……..Unfortunately here we don’t get such interesting charity shops! Brighton is in a league of its own

    • 21st February 2018 at 8:38 am

      Hi Lin and great to have your views! Yes, I can’t believe I have fat legs (I don’t) but after my experience in Primark I felt I did! Won’t go there again – I see below people have recommended M&S and I admit I didn’t try in that store. When I have the urge to look for jeans again I’ll try there!

      Brighton isn’t actually the absolute best for charity shops – Seaford and Lewes are better. I bet there is a town nearby….

      • 21st February 2018 at 8:55 am

        Probably Stamford – quite well off!! I did buy a pair of wide legged jeans in Next a couple of years ago…so soft (why not use that material for other jeans.) and comfortable but I felt a bit obvious with the baggieness around the legs!!

  • 20th February 2018 at 10:33 am

    I’m with you on the size conundrum. It’s so darn frustrating! I don’t know what it is, probably catering to the chinese size (?), but I find that sizes tend to be all over the place. One brand fits perfectly at a 40 (12 UK) and the next I need a 46 (18 UK)! It’s worse with Tshirts and blouses.
    My jeans all come from M&S, unfortunately via mail now as they closed all shops here in Paris, where I am a perfect 12 in skinny jeans. They fit so well I don’t even need to try them on at the store (when I’m in the UK). Sometimes I find trousers at H&M but their jeans are more often than not for the younger crowd with holes or threadbare designs. Then there is C&A which has proper sizing, but I think their designers are from last century and I never find anything that is stylish. I bypass Zara most of the time, as their cut is very narrow. I found a blazer there once, size 20 UK!

    I like your pink sweater. Maybe you should consider a lenght that doesn’t go past your hipbone; your legs will look longer. Yay to the cerise top.

    • 21st February 2018 at 8:42 am

      We don’t have C&A here anymore and was amazed to see one in Toulouse (or could have been Amsterdam). And I admit I didn’t try M&S and when I want another pair of jeans (I’ll give it a break for the moment!) I’ll go there. Yes, sizes are so obviously all over the place which is so frustrating for us customers. Thanks for the feedback on the top!

  • 20th February 2018 at 10:37 am

    The pink jeans and the dark blue jeans are great. Perhaps wear them with a top that is higher in the front. I find knitted bands that duck in, together with a long length, shorten the leg.

    You have great legs that could easily be show-cased. Slim hips and tummy too. When I was last in London, I bought a couple of stretch jeans from Calzedonia which are great. Pull-on, with elasticed waist and quite thick material. I wear with A-line tops (just skimming the tummy) that are not too long.

    Enjoy your cruise.

    • 21st February 2018 at 8:47 am

      Thanks Anna, I’ll investigate Calzedonia. And hey just looked and there’s one in Brighton – just opened I think. Thanks, will go and have a look!

  • 20th February 2018 at 10:42 am

    I am a petite, and it is also so difficult to find jeans which fit. Quality of all garments has
    ceased to exist. Marks and Spencer per una used to be so much better in style and quality,
    and fit. I am yet to find a good fitting pair of trousers or jeans.

    • 21st February 2018 at 8:50 am

      Hi Dee, it seems no matter what size you are, finding jeans that are a good fit is a challenge. So frustrating. I will try M&S next time, though, but I agree I think quality has deteriorated in many stores now. That’s a pity as we customers just want something that fits!!!!!

  • 20th February 2018 at 10:51 am

    You look great in all the blue jeans especially the straight leg ones. You are right about the odd sizing in many shops including M&S . I find charity shop shopping the best for me but I do try on all sizes because they vary so much and that bargain is lurking on the rail somewhere. Love your blog. Lynette.

    • 21st February 2018 at 8:52 am

      Hi Lynette. Yes, probably like you, if we make a mistake when buying (and I certainly do make mistakes) it just does’t matter quite so much when the item in question cost only £5. And yes, sizes are such a lottery.

  • 20th February 2018 at 10:59 am

    Could you just hem up the pink sweater to suitable length? As you are so slim the extra fabric would be ok… Dee.

    • 21st February 2018 at 8:53 am

      I might just do that, Dee, thanks for the suggestion.

  • 20th February 2018 at 11:06 am

    The Levis are good, the PCardin are ….. well, rather badly cut. And for anything to look bad on you is a task, as you have a great figure. So they must be a rip off. My two best trouser finds in charity shops were Rohan walking trousers (with hidden zips so you do not need a bag) and Nicole Farhi linen trousers. Most jeans are ‘ripped’ – and not for me.

    • 21st February 2018 at 8:55 am

      Yes, it’s hard to find a pair of jeans nowadays that’s all one colour (preferably dark) and not ripped. I get it that rips can look good on some people (usually the young) but not every pair in the store, please!

  • 20th February 2018 at 11:48 am

    Oh the nightmare of finding high street trousers that fit! Whatever our shape and height, so many of us seem to have this problem these days. I prefer to shop at M&S but its now so unusual to find well fitting trousers that I have to buy two pairs on the rare occasions that I find something good. At 5’3” (or fractionally less) I look sort of square-shaped in anything too wide legged and just plain fat in anything with very narrow lower legs. You look great in the pink outfit and the dark blue and shocking pink top, by the way!

    • 21st February 2018 at 8:58 am

      Thanks for the feedback, Elise, sometimes it’s just hard to tell and that’s why I love people saying, no it’s that one that’s best! I’ll try M&S next time as I didn’t and haven’t in the past. Actually I used to shop in M&S but not for some years now – will give it a try.

  • 20th February 2018 at 12:23 pm

    The best fitting pair of jeans I own are over forty years old, truly vintage – just like me. They’re a bit shabby so I don’t wear them now but cannot bear to part with them. My best charity shop find was a beautiful tan coloured tailored suede jacket for £25. I find TK Maxx best for jeans for slim fit with long legs. Had some real bargains, £5 being the best. Does that mean we are the misfits?

    • 21st February 2018 at 9:03 am

      Wow! I’m in awe – those must be proper jeans in the best sense of the word! And just as I hadn’t tried M&S I hadn’t gone to TK Maxx and interesting that you say it’s good for long legs – will go to both for jeans next time. Giving it a miss for the moment, though!!!! Ha, ha, yes to being misfits!!!!

  • 20th February 2018 at 2:44 pm

    I’m the opposite, short and dumpy. M&S have been my godsend for years, with a short fitting. Having read all the should you wear jeans after a certain age articles I decided to branch out. Plaza pants have now arrived ready for the sunshine (please some sunshine).
    Long time shopping tells me to buy them now, come sunny days they fly off the shelves.
    Love the blogs, long time reader

    • 21st February 2018 at 9:08 am

      Oh yes, please some sunshine! I think Plaza pants can look good, but I only want them in the extreme heat, when you can’t find them in the shops! Good for you for looking now! Will go to M&S for jeans next time. Thanks for the feedback on the blog – much appreciated x

    • 22nd February 2018 at 9:19 am

      Last time I went into M & S for trousers they 12 shorts went under my shoe. I thought it was a mistake so I tried a different pair, same problem. I tried to ask the staff (young girls) but got palmed off with some nonsense so I gave up. I think short people must have grown!!

      • 22nd February 2018 at 10:20 am

        Hi Yvonne! Well there you are, it seems no matter what size we are – tall, short etc, etc, the sizes have gone haywire! I also had quite a snarky response from staff in another store about them selling jeans in a regular size – as if it was my problem that the jeans didn’t fit me! It’s a challenge, for sure, finding the right pair of jeans that fits. Thank you so much for commenting!

  • 20th February 2018 at 3:20 pm

    M & S skinny and even super skinny Jeggings in a 12 or 14 are very good – this is the jeans I like. They have a bit of Lycra so stretch to fit YOU! They probably will only last a season but at £20 it’s cheap. Horrid word Jeggings but no one needs know!

    • 21st February 2018 at 9:43 am

      Well, I think it’s been a revelation to hear so many people praise M&S which is not exactly unusual but different to a lot of media saying how awfulM&S is. I personally haven’t bought anything there for some years mainly because it did get boring and crucially too expensive for me. But I will try their jeans – next time. Thanks!

  • 20th February 2018 at 3:45 pm

    I am a petite size 12 and much prefer dresses to anything else. Trousers are very difficult as I have a ‘hollow’ back so they often gape. My only pair of jeans is from Dash which have a seam down the back and tummy control. I think they look OK. I have short legs and anything really skinny would make my hips seem huge. The only trousers I wear frequently are M&S pull on jersey ones which are warm in winter and come up to the waist. They are practical rather than stylish and I tuck them into boots which is probably a no-no but who cares!
    As others have said Penny, you look good in most things but the ‘old school’ jeans are the least flattering. I find E-bay better for used clothes than my local charity shops but I do pass on my mistakes ( too big/small, too worn etc) to them. Got 2 big bags waiting to drop off – I try to do a ‘one in one out’ to make me feel less guilty about how many clothes, scarves, jewellery I have!

    • 21st February 2018 at 4:53 pm

      I find it so interesting hearing how others buy their jeans and trousers – and where. I’ll definitely try M&S next time and I’ve just looked at Dash’s website. I’ve got a bag just like you, because just like you I aim to do the one in, one out – don’t always succeed but I do try!

  • 20th February 2018 at 4:09 pm

    Have found that Debenhams do good shaped trousers that seem to fit well. I usually need a 14, regular leg which fit across tummy, bottom and hip without pinching the waist. My current maroon ones are teamed with a white and maroon striped t-shirt with elbow length sleeves and I have had many compliments. M&co do very good jeans, good leg length with a bit of Lycra and a good price. I am 68 and try to stay active.

    Think you look good in lots of your stuff. Keep blogging.

    • 21st February 2018 at 4:58 pm

      Gosh, yes, Debenhams. I do look at their clothes and quite like Jasper Conran and John Rocha, but charity shops suit my purse more. I always pounce if I see one of those designers in a charity shop. Good for you re: activity. I’ve damaged my shoulders sitting badly (says the osteopath) so looking for a different class – I’m going to try a Pilates class.

      Thanks so much for your feedback.

  • 20th February 2018 at 6:10 pm

    I love the pink trousers! I only have one pair of jeans. Just don t like trousers that much too!

    • 21st February 2018 at 5:02 pm

      I much prefer skirts, Nancy. They’re far more feminine and actually I find skirts more comfortable than trousers. Usually I wear jeans for really casual outings and housework, but on a cruise women tend to wear smart jeans or trousers/pants for daywear. That’s really why I was searching for a good pair of jeans! I’ll definitely take the pale pink jeans and the dark navy ones as well.

  • 20th February 2018 at 7:15 pm

    I’ve been lucky wearing Next or M and S jeans between a 12 and 14; sometimes one size fits sometimes the other. I’ve never bought brand new jeans except at Primark; I can usually get into their 12 or 14 too, but haven’t bought any jeans from there for a long time so if they have altered their sizing I haven’t noticed.

    I gave up wearing skinny jeans about 18 months ago; I think my legs are too chunky for them and it’s quite difficult to find straight leg (non holey and non low rise) in the charity shops in my size but I keep on looking…

    I like your pink jeans and sweater together and I think the jeans that look best on you are the dark straight leg ones with lovely cerise top. I think wearing tops over jeans rather than tucked is a better look on you. You are lucky to have such lovely long legs!

    I’ve started my 10 minute daily routine of exercises – ooh my aching stomach.

    • 21st February 2018 at 5:06 pm

      You always look good in your jeans and tbh, I thought most of them were skinny. Just going to have a look! Right, I don’t see jeans but I do see a lot of leggings and long tops and boots, which all look so good on you! And as for that red and black skirt – it’s just lovely.

  • 20th February 2018 at 7:43 pm

    Good fitting jeans and pants are like gold dust – very hard to find. It doesn’t seem to matter much what shape or size you are but we all have the same issues in finding good quality well fitting jeans/pants. My favourite are the dark Levis and showcase your lovely long legs and great figure. I think the pale pink outfit looks good, gives you a sporty, athletic look. Enjoy your cruise.

    • 21st February 2018 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Christine!
      Yes, I think it’s really hard to find a good pair of jeans that fits well. I mean we can’t totally blame manufacturers and designers because we are all so different – tall, short, thin, well covered. I think this post has taught me a lot – that actually there are other shops I could have gone to, and will next time. Cruise is in March – looking forward to it +++++

  • 20th February 2018 at 11:32 pm

    I badly need some new jeans, but I just don’t fancy the process of visiting a lot of shops, trying loads on then returning home not having found any that fit well. You are so lucky being size 12, there seem to be many more small sizes than my size 14 in charity shops.

    • 21st February 2018 at 5:13 pm

      But even so, at size 12, I still found it really hard to find anything that looked OK and fitted me. And the taking off your clothes and putting on quantities of jeans that didn’t fit was so disheartening. Furthermore the worse thing of all, is the changing cubicle with no chair!!!! Not all of the jeans, btw, were too tight or too small but just badly cut so they looked ‘off’. Will go to M&S next time.

  • 21st February 2018 at 3:36 am

    Do you have Joe Fresh in England? There are Joe Fresh stores in one of our big supermarket chains, so I get all my jeans while grocery shopping, they are only £12 a pair. In the summer they come in lots of lovely primary colours. I’ve learned to love the slimmer fit leg, worn with a long chunky sweater, and nice shoes, which are my only extravagance,
    I certainly find jeans easier than skirts, when I’m crawling around on the floor with my grandchildren. I’m like you though, Penny, skirts always make me feel ‘dressed up’
    You look really lovely in the pale pink outfit, you’ve got awesome legs!

    • 21st February 2018 at 5:52 pm

      Thank you so much Geri! No we don’t have Joe Fresh, but some of the bigger supermarkets do sell clothes – Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tescos are the main ones – and actually some of their clothes are really good and very inexpensive. But I don’t currently shop in these bigger shops. So it’s the High Street for me. It’s good to hear you like skirts, too!

  • 21st February 2018 at 5:32 am

    Oh the drama of finding the right fit in pants and jeans. My problem is the exact opposite , short and hippy. I must admit to not being a jeans fan probably because I have never really found a flattering style. With your slim figure and long legs they all suit you.The cerise top is most definately a winner. xx

    • 21st February 2018 at 6:10 pm

      Thanks so much Jill, but it was still a pain even with my size! Tried on so many and hardly any fitted well, The worse thing was a couple of shops (one a charity shop and one a perfectly ordinary shop) had no chair in the cubicle. That’s so not customer friendly. As I wobbled around on one foot I thought this is not fun!!! Still that dark Levi pair of jeans was a good find. But won’t go looking for jeans for a bit!!!

  • 21st February 2018 at 7:50 am

    Jeans where shall I start! I’m a size 14L and I’ve just had the pleasure not! of finding jeans to fit! I’m normally a dress only person and have only recently graduated into skirts and tops. Joules trousers fit me perfectly and the only pair of jeans I found to fit I bought in White Stuff although I had to go up to a size 16L and obviously the price,I did manage to get a promotion offer of 25% off,still expensive though at £40!

    • 21st February 2018 at 6:12 pm

      I’ve learnt a lot from this blog post. More than anything it seems that so many of us find it a challenge to find a good fit. I must check out Joules – thanks so much for your comment.

  • 22nd February 2018 at 7:47 am

    I may have missed the post, but are you going to reveal your cruise wardrobe?
    I do remember you showed a dress or two a while back. We are going on a cruise in early April and are complete cruise newbies. So interested in your take on what to wear. Love your blog btw.

    • 22nd February 2018 at 10:12 am

      Hi Chris
      Actually I’ve not written in-depth about my cruisewear – but might do it next week though. Thanks for the prompt!

  • 24th February 2018 at 6:08 am

    The dark denim jeans & cerise top: they are winners on you! We vertically challenged also have problems finding trousers that fit. I just get so angst-ridden trying to find a pair.

    • 26th February 2018 at 9:47 am

      It seems no matter what your size is finding jeans is a challenge – it’s so frustrating.

  • 24th February 2018 at 9:16 pm

    I don’t wear jeans at all but can empathise with the problem of inconsistent sizing. It’s rife everywhere. I despair and regularly complain to the stores. How can I possibly have items of clothing from M&S in FOUR different sizes and yet they all fit? It is so frustrating.

    • 26th February 2018 at 9:46 am

      The sizing thing is crazy and so annoying. Especially when you try stuff on in the winter and have to take layers of clothes off and then put them on again – won’t be doing any of that this week though!

  • 26th February 2018 at 12:50 am

    Hello from BC Canada: as I became older, I found the only jean that fit truly well were the NYDJ jeans, (make you look 10 lbs. slimmer) Not Your Daughters Jeans.com
    Once I wore them, I could not bear to wear anything else. try the website, there are many styles of leg (at 75, 5’1″ tall and 138 lbs. I prefer the straight leg, it makes me appear taller and slimmer)
    good luck! (a bit pricy but many available on ebay too) ann
    try one size smaller than your regular jean.

    • 26th February 2018 at 9:44 am

      Hi Ann and how great to hear from you. I’ve just been on the ‘net and see they get stocked in various stores here in the UK. Phew, though they are a bit pricy! Tell you what, I can see they’re in our John Lewis stores. When I next pass one of their stores, I’ll go in and try some of these jeans on, and what’s more, I’ll let you know if I buy one! I would if they fitted. But they’d have to look good and then, after that, last a long time. But never say never, is what I say. Thanks again!

      • 26th February 2018 at 7:34 pm

        glad you found some! know your “rise” before choosing a style, (I love the 10″ or even 10.5, as my tummy does not love the lower cut jeans any more) also I prefer the 4 % lycra which bends with you and always returns to shape. once you find a style that fits/suits you, try ebay.com.
        ps you look fabulous in the dark Levi jeans, they are also great jeans, now they have stretch and straight legs. good luck. ann lee s

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