I wasn’t exactly the first in the queue, but just after lunch on Monday I was in my local charity shop and wow, did it feel great to be back. It was also very safe as there was only one other person in the shop apart from the manager, which was a bit different to how things were in the city centre!  But how good it feels too, to be contributing to the charity Age UK, which is the purpose of the shop.

I bought two items and I need your help with one of them.  But first a dress that I have no problem with.  As soon as I saw it I pounced as it was the right size (UK14) and a midi-length. The price?  £8!  I think that’ll do!  And wow, the dress was not even second-hand but new as it still had its price label on – amazing!

It feels so comfortable and I shall wear it lots during the summer, although with a thick jumper it could be worn sooner.

Note I’m wearing leggings but boldly did not put on any socks! And in addition I’m wearing some sweet little charity shop shoes that have been in the back of my wardrobe and not worn since August 2019 when I went on holiday on a cruise – sigh.

Believe me, I would never venture outside like that though, because it’s thick socks and boots weather! In the UK our activities still have to be mostly outdoors, and what with the current weather in the UK being near freezing at the beginning of the day we still have to wrap up if we want to meet friends outdoors for a coffee or a walk.

Anyway, I also saw this jacket.

Note the price label that I’ve kept on as I’m dithering as to whether I keep it – it cost only £10.  And then here’s its make.

Whether it’s a true Pierre Balmain is debatable, but the thing is it has the most enormous shoulder pads so I think I’ve found, at the very least, a vintage/old version of a debatable Pierre Balmain.

But should I keep it? My first reaction was no, because of the shoulder pads, but I’m warming to it. It is beautifully cut apart from the damn shoulders!

I could get the jacket altered though.

What do you think?

By the way, I can see from the photos that I’ve made a major mistake with my makeup. Can you see it? In fact I nearly scrapped the lot but I thought, no, be real, we all make mistakes! You see in the depths of winter to cheer myself up I put on a slightly tanned foundation over my exceedingly pasty face, just to give myself the illusion of a Scandi look – blonde and tanned. This is no problem when all you can see is my face from the chin upwards, but with my purple ankles and my very pale neck and decolletage exposed to the elements, my tanned face is somewhat over the top – oops! I’ll have to tone it down until my neck and chest gets tanned naturally!

Anyway, I’m mightily relieved to be back buying from charity shops. As always, you can see there are the most amazing bargains to be found, and never forget you’re giving a second-chance to an item that has been lightly worn (I like that phrase), furthermore, you are giving to charity and also saving the planet by not buying fast fashion.

That’s all for now

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

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65 thoughts on “My first charity shop buys since December!

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:10 am

    Hurrah for the Great British Sewing Bee! It’s starting on BBC1 tonight and they are always showing fresh adaptations for charity shop items. I love to watch, though I know my sewing skills just aren’t good enough to have a go. Personally, I like to buy charity shop clothes to support the charity but I also like the thrill of getting something good at a cheap price. I think if I had to pay extra to get something altered I would feel a bit disappointed.

    Anyway, I have such narrow shoulders that I have quite a soft spot for a bit of padding there – what a shame that shoulder pads went out of fashion.

    • 14th April 2021 at 2:14 pm

      I love the Great British sewing Bee too! It is so sweet natured and interesting as well. My other half also likes too so it’s not purely for women. He likes the technical skills that are necessary to finish the items to a high standard.

      Yes, same here – it is good to support the charity in question, but oh that thrill of the hunt for a bargain!

      Thanks so much for the comment – much appreciated 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:11 am

    The dress is fab. A real bargain find. A dress with leggings is a useful combo for this time of year or any time in the uk really.
    The jacket needs altering as it swamps you on the shoulders.
    Re the makeup- you also need lippie. It would lift your whole look. That’s what Trish Cusden would tell you!

    • 14th April 2021 at 2:20 pm

      I shall wear the jacket as an oversized Annie Hall jacket – and actually I was wearing a lippie! I find lipsticks really difficult though as they don’t stay on but travel over the lips and onto my face. This has been happening for years and even the LFF lip prime doesn’t stop it.

      I love the dress and it feels good to wear it. I didn’t say but it’s label is F&F which is Tesco’s – but that’s not a surprise as F&F has some really good clothes in its store.

      Thanks for the comment 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:13 am

    Hi Penny, Isn’t it lovely to hit the charity shops again. I went yesterday, so that .there wouldn’t be so many crowds! My purchases were a lovely tan suede shoulder bag ,a rather useful lightweight black cotton cardigan , a lime green Wallis top, ( a bit worn) and a new with labels Windsmoor linen shift dress in a bright blue print ,a bit bright for me but I am going to shorten it to tunic length to wear over white trousers. All for £18.50 !! I,m thrilled!
    Your spotty dress is lovely on you and please keep the Balmain jacket, it really looks so smart. The shoulders give it a lovely line and seem to fit very well with that style. Best wishes Judy S

    • 14th April 2021 at 2:22 pm

      Oh my word, you got some bargains, I especially like the sound of the Windsmoor linen dress!

      I shall keep the jacket and wear it with gusto as though I mean to have big shoulders!

      Thanks Judy 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:18 am

    Love the frock! I’d have snapped it up, too. I think you can get away with the shoulder pads so why not give it a try before trying to get it altered.

    We were watching a programme we’d videoed about Manet last night (one of the lovely exhibitions on Screen ones made by Phil Grabski who lives in Brighton) and one of the experts they featured was a woman of probably our sort of age, with short white hair, wearing black. And one of the first things that struck me is that black, which I loved in my teens and 20s but gave up later because Leo thought it bleached me, is actually very flattering once you gat older. As Leo commented, the black focused attention on her face and hands – very striking. (Not that she was ungainly or overweight or anything.) Our skin colour does change as we grow on, so no surprise really. It made me think I’d pick up some black garments and give it a go. Esp. once my hair gets cut tomorrow! yes, tomorrow!!! xxx

    • 14th April 2021 at 2:27 pm

      Thanks Wendy, yes, I agree, I shall keep the jacket and wear it with aplomb as though I mean to have wide shoulders.

      The programme sounds interesting and I agree with you also that black is a good shade with our paler skin. In fact what, I wonder, is your skin tone warm or cool? I’m warm toned and navy is the one colour I cannot wear as that drains my face of all colour.

      And yay for all hair cuts coming up, mine is on the 28th and I shall have quite a trim as now think is too long.

      Thanks and enjoy tomorrow xxx

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:22 am

    You look quite girlish in the dress and so slim!
    The jacket is perfect including shoulder pads … it’s a keeper!
    On the photo your make up looks radiant and a good colour but I know exactly what you mean especially in this harsh Spring light.

    • 14th April 2021 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks Lyndsay, for your kind words. I shall keep the jacket 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:24 am

    Definitely keep the jacket and don’t alter it, the shoulder pads look fine, you look statuesque! I’m desperate to find an ‘ oversized’ jacket to wear with bright trousers for spring but being petite it’s not that easy. Well done with your first expedition 😀

    • 14th April 2021 at 2:30 pm

      I will keep the jacket and give it an airing without taking it to be altered. Mind you, on today’s walk I really needed a thick winter coat (wore the yellow jacket) as the wind was absolutely freezing!

      Thanks for your thoughts – much appreciated 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:24 am

    I love the dress. I think it could be worn with opaque tights and boots, looks edgy.
    I did go into a coup!e of charity shops and bought books, of course! I also bought a sun dress for the summer. Initially I bought it because I loved the blue and white abstract fabric but once home decided it will be a keeper for sunny days. I like to think ahead!

    • 14th April 2021 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks Carole, yes, definitely to your idea about the boots – very much me, thanks again!

      Your buy sounds great – the blue and white abstract fabric sounds fab 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:39 am

    Hello. I remove shoulder pads by slitting the inside if a pocket. You can normally then out your hand up and feel the pads, cut them out and see the pocket back up. No visible damage.

    Oversize is in!

    • 14th April 2021 at 2:56 pm

      I think I’ll try it without altering it first to see if I can carry it off, otherwise, thanks for the tip – which is much appreciated 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:50 am

    I love the dress and the jacket, even with shoulder pads. It doesn’t look too out of the way for Brighton! Brighton is a different world compared to sleepier parts of England. If the shoulder pads are still bothering you, can I suggest that you open the sleeve seam, easy to do with a pair of nail scissors, remove the original pads and replace them with a pair of smaller foam pads. If you take them out completely then the whole shoulder will drop and probably not look too good. Then just whipstitch closed the shoulder seam.mit won’t be visible anyway. I’m sure there are videos out there to do this. Anyway congratulations on a successful foray into the charity shops. I went there too yesterday. My score was two nice spring tops, nearly new, and a couple of new Usborne open the flap books for the grandkids. All good fun.😁 How lovely to be out, but still a bit scary and strange. Take care. Trish

    • 14th April 2021 at 2:59 pm

      Yes, it is lovely to be out, and although it’s quite cold it does look so cheerful seeing people sitting outside with their coffees and drinks! Life is suddenly more colourful – three cheers 🙂

      Thanks for the tip – but you’re right it will probably be fine in Brighton!

      Thanks and you take care too, Trish 🙂

      • 19th April 2021 at 1:19 pm

        Love your dress and jacket Penny it’s the “preppy” look.
        I really like the casual look but still kind of dressed up.

  • 14th April 2021 at 9:08 am

    I really like your pink specs Penny, they are such a great colour for ‘warming’ the face. I would wear matching lipstick but I know you have trouble with your lips. I’m having my first foray to the shops on Friday when I’m also getting my eyes tested. I only wear specs for close-up stuff but I’ve realised that means most of the time at home. I will only buy new if my prescription has changed. Unfortunately I lost my best spare pair a while ago. I think the jacket is too wide on the shoulders but that’s just my opinion. I have altered shoulders before but it is fiddly. I see the jacket has lining with the name woven in which is a sign of quality but it may be just to fool you. When I worked in a fabric shop we had some Viyella lining which was presumably sold off by the factory. I’ll have a look in the charity shops but not hopeful of finding anything. I have a bag to go to the Age UK but my daughter has told me that some shops are making appointments for donations as they have so much coming in. I was going to have another clear out but the weather has rather put me off although it is bright and sunny. It does not take much to put me off doing anything at all these days. I made some GF rock cakes yesterday – what a slow messy process that was! Not worth the effort at all but I fell guilty buying things like this when it’s so much cheaper to bake at home. For any other GF contributor I can recommend M&S ginger biscuits & blueberry muffins. The latter are so light, not at all stodgy. Not a daily indulgence of course!

    • 15th April 2021 at 7:19 am

      Thanks Lynda re: the specs and, you know what, I will try a matching bright pink coloured lipstick and see if it stays. Not too worried whether the jacket is a genuine Balmain, and will try and wear it out and about with black trousers or jeans first before I alter it. Basically will it be worth the expense and do I love it enough, so it’s on trial!

      The weather is so tricky at the moment, I got out all my Spring clothes (thankfully not the thin Summer ones) but rather regret putting away 3 winter skirts – yesterday was freezing out. Our local charity shops are taking donations at the moment. I got rid of a small amount but need to get the car out for the heavy sack I’ve got at the back of the hall cupboard!

      Enjoy the shopping trip and the opticians 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 9:11 am

    Hi Penny
    The dress is absolutely perfect and really suits you – beautiful and a great find!
    However the jacket as it is with shoulder pads looks very dated
    I am a sewer so I know how important a good fit is in a jacket. If you love it and will wear it then you should get it taken in at the shoulders with maybe a very slim smaller pad – it will make all the difference towards a very smart tailored outfit

    • 15th April 2021 at 7:30 am

      I’m really pleased with the dress Paula, but the jacket is tricky.

      We were still not allowed to try items on so this was a try-it-at-home and see. I shall see what it is like to walk around Brighton with it on teamed with black trousers. I also looked at a couple of websites including Mango and they have several over-large linen jackets so it is the in thing – apparently!

      Thanks 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 10:17 am

    Thats a good dress and i love the blazer too! I do love shoulder pads, what is it that you don’t like about it? Shoulder pads are a good item to give more structure to a outfit.

    • 15th April 2021 at 7:32 am

      Yes, I agree, although these shoulders are rather mega! But I’m keeping the jacket and will see whether it can stay as it is or needs altering

  • 14th April 2021 at 10:55 am

    I think the shoulder pads on the jacket add balance and have no problem with them so I would say a keeper!

    • 15th April 2021 at 7:30 am

      Yay, thanks Nicola – I am going to keep it 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 11:09 am

    The dress is fine, and could be worn now with a chunky cardigan and boots, but the jacket definitely needs the shoulders made a bit narrower. Where the sleeve line sits should be on the edge of your shoulder, those of the jacket droop a bit. As we age, clothes that fit well make us look better. I have a similar quandry myself with an old Boden jacket in a lovely pink tweed, but its now a bit too big for me, and needs altering. Even if the cost of alteration for your jacket may not be cheap, the jacket would still be a bargain.

    • 14th April 2021 at 1:20 pm

      Dress looks fab. The jacket…down to personal preference. Personally, I like an oversized jacket worn with trousers. Think Annie Hall.
      On the subject of the label, I’m not sure. Friend of mine found a red “snakeskin” handbag in a charity shop in Chichester which had ‘Prada’ embossed at the bottom. Sorry to say that I put my amateur CSI skills to work and deduced for her that the zip was too clunky and the stitching a bit less elegant than one would expect. But for £3 she was happy to keep it as a talking point.

      • 15th April 2021 at 7:39 am

        Thanks Lesley, yes, the dress is fab and I will keep the jacket and try it as it is first before altering it but wearing jackets like this out and about will have to wait as, wow, was it freezing yesterday. Winter thermals were needed!

        Thanks 🙂

    • 15th April 2021 at 7:36 am

      I’m so pleased with the dress, but the jacket needed some thought. We were still not allowed to try things on so when I saw it on me for the first time I really dithered, but I’ve decided it is a keeper and over-sized jackets are well and truly back now, so I shall try without altering first and then if I think it’s worth it I’ll alter it.

      But it is a bargain 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 11:16 am

    Hi Penny
    The dress is fab. What a lucky find and a nice length. I think the jacket is a man’s one as the buttonholes are on that side so that’s why the shoulders a wide. Even so it looks great in my opinion. I wear my husbands old Harris Tweed jacket sometimes which fits perfectly in the body but the shoulders are wide and the sleeves too long but I turn the cuffs over and just go for it. He bought this jacket in 1966, bespoke from Jackson’s the Tailer in Bristol. Very mod at the time. Tricia Cusden has a competition called Something Old, Something New so I’m going to wear it for my entry. 😉🤩

    • 15th April 2021 at 7:43 am

      Thanks Elli, re: the dress, and yes, you’re right, I’ve just looked at it and the buttons are as you say, so it has to be a man’s one. But I will keep it and try it first before I think about altering it – I love the cut and over-sized is back anyway.

      Your jacket sounds wonderful, I love tweed and am always looking for something like the one you have in the charity shops, as for that competition – go for it 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 12:31 pm

    I think that dress is a great find. It fits perfectly and as you say you can wear it on it’s own in the warmer weather and with tights, boots and such when it is cold. And, being black it can combine with so many other colors in accessories. The jacket may be a tad oversized but I am seeing that look on a number of fashion blogs for mature women these days, thinking Accidental Icon and That’s not my Age. I am recalling the Annie Hall look of years ago as well. I really like this look, and as you are tall and slim you can carry it off well. Also thinking it would be good for layering over sweaters to ward off those chilly Brighton winds.
    I think your makeup looks fine. didn’t notice the difference until you pointed it out. recalling how as a person who used to do a lot of horseback riding we would joke about our farmer’s tans, color on the face and lower arms, pale everywhere else. Wishing I had access to charity or resale stores here in my area. I used to get such gems. Be well Penny and enjoy the newfound freedoms, hopefully they are here to stay, and many more as well.

    • 15th April 2021 at 8:11 am

      The dress was a great bargain and nice as well! The jacket is more tricky but I have decided to keep it and looking through the Mango website I see that over-sized jackets are well and truly back so will try it without altering before getting anything done to it.

      Thanks Darby and thanks also for your thoughts on the makeup – I only noticed because I have to look closely at the photos before I post so I was quite taken aback by the difference in my face and neck colouring! Maybe it isn’t as noticeable as I thought!

      Thanks and you take care over there – your 2nd vaccine must be working now, I’m nearly the same, it’s 12 days since my 2nd new freedoms beckon 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 1:29 pm

    That dress is wonderful….. a real scoop! The perfect color, print and shape and drape. I agree that the jacket overwhelms your shoulders. If you enjoy wearing it, knowing that the vintage and styling is eccentric and “Annie Hall-ish” then it looks wonderful and you’ll pull it off. If you find yourself always wondering if it’s flattering, that will spoil the fun. It’s not just the size of the shoulder pads, it’s that the shoulders are cut wide for your frame. I have narrow shoulders too for my waist and hip size and a drooping shoulder seam always spoils my fun, even though sometimes I think it’s just an imaginary flaw that no one else notices. Clothing needs to be fun. xo karen

    • 15th April 2021 at 8:24 am

      Thanks re: the dress and the jacket I have decided to keep and wear it as though I mean it!

      I looked through a couple of websites and over-sized jackets are very much back so I’m on trend and will wear it first without altering. Clothing should always be fun – I agree with that – thanks Karen 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 2:30 pm

    The jacket seems like a wonderful bargain and I think you should keep it. I don’t think the shoulders looked excessive and the jacket looked fab over the spotted dress. Is it not possible to unpick inside and remove the shoulder pads? I’ve done this frequently with 2nd hand clothes but a lot of the time I leave the pads in – and I have naturally wide shoulders!

    • 15th April 2021 at 8:31 am

      I’ve decided to wear the jacket with pizazz and not be afraid of the shoulder pads – it’s just they were a bit of a surprise as we were still not allowed to try stuff on so when I put the jacket on, I went oh! But over-sized jackets seem to be very much back so I’ll wear it and see how it feels.

      Thanks Veronica have a lovely rest of the week xxx

  • 14th April 2021 at 3:57 pm

    There was a queue outside one of the local charity shops today. I’m keen to offload 4 bags of clothes but they’re only receiving donations on certain days.
    Looking at the cut of the jacket it looks exquisite so may well be a Balmain! Shoulder pads are quite trendy at the moment.
    The dress is an excellent buy- even better with the original tag!
    I didn’t notice your tanned face until you mentioned it, you just looked glowing and healthy.
    Have a good rest of week.

    • 15th April 2021 at 8:33 am

      I have got rid of about 10% of my charity shop bag and will actually need to take the car out to give them the rest of the cleared out items!

      The dress is amazing and the jacket will be worn without altering first and then I’ll see how it goes – over-sized is back and that helps

      You have a lovely rest of the week too x

  • 14th April 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Fascinating blog today, Penny.
    Oh to be contrary. By itself, I don’t like the dress – too twee for my liking. However, with the jacket, I believe you have a great combo – interesting and edgy – and the pads work.
    I’m not a regular charity shop shopper. However, I do like a bargain and when I go away I often dip in and find something. When I was in Dorset last summer I found a cashmere scarf and fab a pair of turquoise and silver earrings.
    All the best, Mary

  • 14th April 2021 at 7:17 pm

    Hi Penny,

    I have been reading your blog for some time. Actually, I ‘lost’ you for a period, which has happened in gmail when blogs have dropped off. No one could ever diagnose why. But, I found you again.

    I am writing you from the Amazon area of Ecuador. I moved here almost 6 years ago from my home in Washington State in the U.S. This is a city of about 25 thousand and the climate is temperate all the time. I am 86 now so learning Spanish was a challenge that is going well. (It is a work in progress, thus the “was” and “is” word usage.)

    You live where I have always wanted to visit so I will do that vicariously through you and your adventures. Soon, you will be scampering all over the place and picking up all kinds of new bargains.

    Okay, I want to talk first about your hair. You are blessed with a healthy amount of it. (I enjoy the same.) I absolutely love the shoulder length in the photo that introduces your blog. (with the camera) I assume you have gotten used to longer hair (I read that you plan to get it cut soon) but that length is perfect for you for several reasons. It creates more of a horizontal line, which flatters your long face. No, we don’t all need to have the ‘perfect oval’ face, but good proportion is something important to consider for each of us. In your case, it is a break from the vertical line of your body type and seems more in keeping with your age. I ‘get’ the protests from those who say that age has nothing to do with it. Of course, it does if it drags you down. True also that we feel personal about our hair. Reality is reality and time changes many things that once might have been ideal. At the shoulder is still is long hair. Okay, that’s enough of my hair impression, subjective, I grant you.

    I also was a thrift shopper in the U.S. The Value Village store was two blocks from my home. I carried swatches of what I owned and was careful to be really picky. One day I found a black winter coat that I knew without looking was cashmere and it fit like it was made for me. I googled the brand, which was unfamiliar and found it was originally a 700 dollar coat and still in perfect shape. I wore it to death till it screamed, “Let me die, please!”

    Another day, one of the saleswomen was hanging scarves up as she was taking them out of a box. I knew her so I asked if I could please take the box for a while and go through it. She was happy to allow me. (She said, a woman had died and her daughter tearfully donated all her collection of the most gorgeous silks.) I found a place to sit to meticulously looked at each and in the end, I bought about 25 priced at about 3.00 per. I gave away half of them to friends based on their coloring and their winter coat color. (I avoided those with big splashy designer names.) When I returned the box the woman said that along with the scarves came lots of beautiful clothes “over there on the rack…they’ll fit you” so there went another hour to find more goodies, mostly skirts and sweaters. Well, you don’t get a day like that very often.

    As for your latest purchase: the dress is a winner. I would save it for summer. The legging look doesn’t gel with me but the shoes you are wearing are such a nice tasteful addition. Appropriate and classy. I know boots are ‘in’ but with this dress, I hope not.

    For sure, to wear the sharp contrast of a very definite black and white pattern, makeup has to be stronger. Otherwise, with intrinsic gentle coloring, meaning hair and skin tone sort of blend into one without makeup on, the definiteness of the pattern dominates and the person wearing it gets lost. You see the garment before the person. A more muted blend of black and white is easier to wear.

    The jacket does not fit you in the shoulders. I agree the padding is too much but so is the width of them. Cost of alteration? hmmm. Again, it is a linear line, so the proportion seems iffy but since you have decided to keep it, it may be good with simple black pants. Even a pattern in the pants because matching/blending two blacks is tricky. Or, all black with a good scarf with some black and colors. Otherwise, why the Annie Hall for you? It has had its day, even for Diane Keaton. A resurging trend? Hope not. There’s a fine line between edgy and frumpy. (It is not an emotional issue to me, although it is for many)

    Makeup? One of my favorite topics after years in the cosmetic business. Balance again. One’s face is a blank canvas. In your case, horizontal blusher application, not vertical. Your glasses are fun and nice for your eyebrows shape. Yes, keeping lipstick in place is a challenge, assuming masks will no longer be a consideration, we hope. Seems like retouching makeup is a fact so carrying some is a must. You can handle more saturation than I’ve seen on you. Especially with the colored specs.

    When this pandemic began I knew it would be easy to lapse into a “who cares?” mode so I determined to structure the days beginning with putting myself together: coordinating clothes–tops and pants or skirts, small-scale jewelry, makeup from start to finish, fragrance, and a smile. I hardly have been out of the house (my son and daughter-in-law live in an adjacent apartment and do all the outside errands) and then there is a plan for each day. I bake a lot of bread and enjoy cooking. All from scratch here since veggies and fruits are luscious and reasonable. Processed foods are not a good idea. Many more activities too. One is keeping up with a few blogs like yours.

    I have had time to reappraise what I own and to really think about my clothing. None available for purchase here and no thrift stores worth frequenting. I have neutral coloring (Greek background–my skin has a slightly green undertone.) so I can wear both cool and warm on the spectrum as long as I don’t go extreme on either end. I bend makeup to blend with either. Both silver and gold jewelry works. The whole thing is fun, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing your observations, real-life experiences, and scavenger hunts. You are delightful and fun. Keep your happy spirit. I send warm greetings.

    • 15th April 2021 at 8:48 am

      What a fabulously enjoyable post. Thanks, Elaine. Do you have a blog?
      Best wishes, Mary.

      • 15th April 2021 at 6:13 pm

        Hi Mary,

        How nice of you to respond. I like Penny’s blog and the comments her readers post.

        I don’t have a blog right now but I have considered starting one, given all the topics rolling around in my head dealing with subjects for and about women.

        I had a business for 35 years as a professional handwriting analyst doing both forensic work (questioned document examination, i.e. I analyzed ‘Who actually wrote this document?’). Mostly, I did personality assessment reports for businesses and conducted seminars for fellow analysts. For many years I wrote a blog on both aspects of the work.

        • 16th April 2021 at 8:26 am

          Yes, I enjoy the hunt too, Penny. Unfortunately, the charity shops in my town rarely cater for my height (5′ 10″) – always way too short. But I make a point of looking when I in other places, e.g. Oxford, Brighton, the Cotswolds, parts of London etc. Btw – what’s happened to your Westwood coat? And the log on costume jewellery? Mx

          • 16th April 2021 at 2:44 pm

            Ah yes, that hunt for the quality garment! It’s exciting. And oh dear, I am not as thrifty as I think I am as just don’t do Etsy or eBay or any selling, because yes, I got rid of the Westwood coat. It really was too small and I was kidding myself that I could wear it out, I mean I could barely do it up and now I’ve put on a few pounds it would have been even tighter around the bust. So sadly I do not have it anymore. Still I am contributing to charity as it went into the charity shop bag and I trust someone else is wearing it now.

            And thanks for reminding me about all the costume jewellery posts that I was meaning to write. One coming up soon! Px

        • 2nd May 2021 at 8:05 am

          Hi Elaine,

          I just found Penny’s blog and have subscribed because of her great style, both in writing and fashion. It’s wonderful to find someone of my own age with so much to say that is so much worth reading, and I really enjoyed your reply. You have done so much in your life, and I agree with those others urging you to write a blog again. I would be fascinated to read it! Best wishes from a small village in South Wales.

          • 2nd May 2021 at 10:35 pm

            Thank you so much for your comment, Rhian. All the ladies (I don’t apologize for the designation because it is pleasant to get acquainted here with women who fit it so well) I am meeting in these comments make me want to visit your area of the world once again. I was in the U.K but never got outside of London. I really wanted, and still do, to visit the countryside and drive through the villages to meet the people. Such a beautiful area of the earth.

            As to blogs, I don’t subscribe to many. The fun part of doing one is the randomness factor. Once the categories are in place you can just say whatever you want to share and then pop it into the place where it fits. With my handwriting analysis blog, I had to write more sequentially so readers could follow the logic. There were many merry adventures to share about some fascinating people whom I met on the page but never in person.
            Their identities were never revealed.

            Anyway, the mulling continues on the possibility of beginning a new one. Thanks for the encouragement. Warm regards from Ecuador.

    • 15th April 2021 at 9:14 am

      What a very interesting and thoughtful post Elaine. You are a wonderful, inspirational example of ageing with grace and intelligence you offer. It gives me hope for the future when at the moment I feel like the best is already behind me. Very best wishes from the ancient city of Winchester!

      • 15th April 2021 at 6:24 pm

        Hi Lynda,

        I guess we have to work with what we have, don’t we? I often mention to anyone younger (especially teens) “I have been every age that you have been, that you are now and ever will be so enjoy every minute and embrace the changes that come.”

        I am very fortunate to enjoy excellent health, so far, and a happy life. I was married 46 years to a prince of a man — widowed exactly 15 years ago. I prayed for help to adjust to the new phase of my life, which I received.

        I love the U.K. I never saw more of it than London. I need to look up where Winchester is and learn some of its history. Thanks for saying hello!

    • 16th April 2021 at 7:18 am

      Oh how funny Mary! Thing is I do like the dress and will jazz it up with my usual flat and chunky boots, the jacket is a keeper, and it’s just whether I alter it or not, but I shall try it out unaltered to begin with.

      The thing is Mary, always look, as you never know when that cashmere or designer item appears. It does happen, which is why I love that hunt for the elusive quality jacket or coat or whatever. It is such fun!

    • 16th April 2021 at 7:50 am

      Oh my word, Elaine I feel blessed by your absolutely wonderful comment that’s winged its way to this blog from Ecuador. Your comment has so many facets as I loved the way I found out about you and your life. I do admire the fact that you moved at 80 as I have itchy feet right now (I think the pandemic has caused this) but a move to Ecuador! What an adventure although I note your son and daughter-in-law are nearby. I too loved the superb descriptions of your love of lightly-worn/second-hand clothing, of the highest quality of course, which is always the holy grail of all charity shop shopping, and am thinking like Mary, that you have great writing skills and maybe should start another blog. I love the international nature of the blogging community and its readers and I definitely need (as a European) to know more about the Americas as we get such a distorted view of the States from our UK media and as for South America, my knowledge is very scratchy. So a blog that is about your life and thoughts would be really so very interesting and so very readable with your wonderful prose.

      And now to your thoughts about me! It is quite unusual for me to wear ditzy little shoes and really it’s boots every time until the height of summer, furthermore it’s leggings or thick tights weather here at the moment, as we have freezing winds coming down from the Arctic. The size of the jacket shoulders was a bit of a shock when I first tried on the garment, but I have warmed to it and will see how it is with black pants.

      Now, the hair. I haven’t been to the hairdressers for 18 months and although I’ve been saying I won’t cut it off but only have a good trim, I am more inclined to cut it to shoulder length after seeing a photo of Grace Coddington in the British Vogue with her just below the shoulder-line hair. Her hair length reminded me that when my hair is shorter it curls and waves and sticks out while the hair at its current length is straight and is now to be frank, too long and draggy. I’m going to be brave and go for a shoulder-length cut, because, anyway, if I don’t like it I can grow it again. However, I don’t think I’ll completely emulate Grace Coddington and go bright red! Quite happy with the colour it is now.

      Finally, lipstick is so tricky for me now as it bleeds into my upper lip and nothing stops that, but I am trying those lip stains and seeing whether they work as you’re right I can take bold colours, I do on my eyes and I used to be able to do that with lipstick.

      I do hope you are able to get out more soon. I’m guessing you haven’t had a vaccine yet as I know countries like the UK and the US have hoovered up so many vaccines, good for us, but not for so many around the world. But while you are at home know that if you did start a blog I think there would be many readers, me for a start and I think some of the commenters who have read your truly wonderful comment. Thank you Elaine – it was so interesting to read what you had to say and I have enjoyed replying to you as well 🙂

      Have a lovely weekend and warm greetings to you too from me and Brighton 🙂

  • 14th April 2021 at 8:38 pm

    I just went thrifting with my mom and found 5 fun items that I can’t wait to wear. As I have shopped to my fill these past two weeks, it is time for me to stop and shop my outfit and create fun outfits: no need for anything else: I accomplished what I set myself for: colorful tops! Btw, the difference in skin color was not noticeable at all until you mentioned it and even that not much.

    • 15th April 2021 at 11:05 am

      Hello Penny! You look wonderful in these delightful finds! I love the great-fitting dress and the well-cut jacket on you! It’s a great combination! The shoes are perfect and add a great detail to the black and white combination. I can see you adding fun colorful accessories (like yellow!) to the dress. I’m not seeing any problems with the outfit. As long as you feel comfortable and put-together, you should carry it off with confidence and intention. I also did not see any issue with your makeup. Your eyeglass frames add a wonderful warmth to your skin tone.
      In short, you look fabulous! What finds on your first, long-awaited venture out in months! I can feel your excitement and remember well, the thrill of the hunt! Well done! Thank you for sharing! Glad to read that you are keeping the jacket!
      Stay well…Charlene H

      • 16th April 2021 at 8:19 am

        Thanks so much Charlene, I knew immediately that the dress was going to be a keeper but the jacket has grown on me and I shall be pleased to keep it and try it out with black pants and other items.

        Yes, the makeup wasn’t as noticeable as I thought! Thanks so much for your kind words Charlene – keep well and safe too 🙂

    • 16th April 2021 at 8:17 am

      Your shopping trip sounds as though it was great fun and fruitful as well! Re: the makeup, I was looking very closely at the blog photos and was surprised to see a difference, but you’re right it probably wasn’t all that noticeable!

      Thank Mireille – have a lovely weekend with your boys 🙂

  • 15th April 2021 at 12:48 am

    Beautifully tailored or not, I don’t believe the jacket fits you. Even with large shoulder pads the seam where the sleeve joins the jacket should sit at the tip of your shoulder. It appears this seam is several inches wider than that at each shoulder. I would not keep it because the fit would always bug me. But if it’s grown on you and you love the fabric and tailoring, then enjoy your purchase.

    • 16th April 2021 at 8:23 am

      I know Kathy, I was shocked when I tried it on as it wasn’t as apparent when it was in the shop window, but it’s grown on me so I’m going to try it with a variety of garments and see whether it stays as it is or gets altered, because, actually I think it is beautifully cut otherwise and I rather like it. The thing I will do is wear it as though I mean it to be like that!

      But I get what you’re saying – thanks 🙂

  • 17th April 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Shoulder pads come and go.. I think they are having a moment now, but it may have passed since I checked. Lol. Wear what you like. I have a lovely jacket that needed alterations but when I inquired the cost was more than a new jacket. YMMV depending on your area I suppose. Anyway, I think it looks very smart.

    • 23rd April 2021 at 10:38 am

      I’m waiting for the weather to warm up a bit and then I’ll wear the jacket without alteration. It’s the kind of area that can take a bit of over-the-topness!

      Thanks for the feedback 🙂

  • 22nd April 2021 at 2:33 am

    I loved reading this! It’s for sure an authentic Balmain- I can tell by the shoulders and that tag. What a find!!

    • 23rd April 2021 at 10:36 am

      Do you think so, wow! I’m looking forward to the weather becoming slightly warmer so I can wear it out and about. Thanks 🙂

  • 22nd April 2021 at 3:28 pm

    I would like to receive your blog.

    • 23rd April 2021 at 10:34 am

      Hi Valerie and thank you so much for wanting to read my blog – yay! Can you see at the side of the post, if you’re on a PC or Mac, or right at the end, if on a phone, that there is a place where you write your email and then hit ‘Subscribe’. You will then receive an email asking you to confirm this. Bloggers are not allowed to put people on their list as you might have some unscrupulous types adding emails without permission just to plump up their numbers.

      Thanks again – and welcome 🙂

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