What’s new? This week it’s an M&S Per Una skirt bought in the British Heart Foundation (Lewes) charity shop for just £4.49.

What a bargain and so unworn too. But, of course, when looking in charity shops, the two things you always say to yourself, is i) what is the price? and ii)is it of the highest quality? Just because you’re in a charity shop you’re not dropping any of your standards.  And the bargains are there.

These pics show my old Peacock’s top tucked in. It’s a UK size 10 and I can only just do it up at the back, so that’s me breathing in!

I realise seeing these photos that the panels don’t match and therefore it isn’t the very best type of skirt. But, you know, it is what it is. What I don’t like are prices for skirts that are so high you take a deep breath in just reading the ticket. I recently saw a lovely skirt on a website that would’ve suited me, but over £100, nope.

Brighton vintage shops are also naughty. This skirt would have had a nought (ha) added to it for sure and been priced at £40+ so as I’ve said before I don’t like vintage. If I ever did buy vintage (which I don’t) it would also have to be the right era. Vintage is very much relative to ones age so for me, if I wanted vintage, I would buy items that were made in the 1930s-1950s.

I was all dressed up in the skirt to go to the Hillcrest for a film.  This is the film society that we ran for 5 years. And it’s doing fine without us. But hey, there was a good film on and I had been missing the opportunity to wear a funky skirt, so off we went and we had, as expected, a great time.

The film we watched was The Death of Stalin. Spoiler alert, the subject matter is chilling and at times frightening, and some people in the audience told me afterwards they didn’t like the film. But I know that era having studied it, and therefore didn’t jump at certain points, in fact, I knew where it was historically inaccurate. But the script is written by Armando Iannucci with help from David Schneider, Ian Martin and Peter Fellowes. That tells you the film is also screamingly funny, which it is. Yes, I know, Stalin and comedy? Tbh, the film kind of reminded me of a Carry-on film. And what a cast! Michael Palin, Paddy Considine, Simon Russell Beale, Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Rupert Friend, Jason Isaacs – the list goes on and on. With that ensemble of actors you know you’re going to see something special. It was the second time we’d seen the film and it is still up there with the best.

We love the cinema and have seen some good films recently. Now what do you think of A Star is Born as opposed to Bohemian Rhapsody? Who’s seen both? We saw the Bradley Cooper film first and thought it was very well done with an extraordinary performance from Lady Gaga, who I have to say, I knew very little about. Now I  say, Respect, both for her as an actor and singer. Such a voice. I liked the film a lot.

Then I saw Bohemian Rhapsody.  I went with low expectations as there were some very sniffy reviews.  All I can say is, those reviews? What film were you watching? I LOVED the film and it got to me, right here in the solar plexus. I cried at one point and I hardly ever do that. Absolute amaze balls with fabulous singing and acting, and the ending at Live Aid? What can I say? The sound – totally stunning. And the actor who played Freddie? Rami Malek? He was born to be Freddie. Maybe it also got to me because Live Aid was the last time I knew every act and every song sung.  When we got home we found the Live Aid DVD and put Queen’s set on. Oh my, but Freddie was a beautiful man. Part of my youth it was, yup! I felt nostalgia and love for the film – go see it if you haven’t already. I’m telling you it’s a must-see!

Have you got a film that takes you straight back to your youth? Or a recent must-see?

That’s all for now. With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper


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32 thoughts on “My new charity shop skirt

  • 20th November 2018 at 9:07 am

    You look great Penny! Your waist looks tiny! And I am 100% with you on Bohemian Rhapsody. I was also in tears so am very glad to hear you felt the same. I read that Rami Malek wore the false teeth for nearly a year so they felt completely natural when it came to filming. I hope he is in line for some awards as he certainly deserves them.

    • 21st November 2018 at 2:28 pm

      Wow, didn’t know that about the teeth! Thank you about the skirt and my waist -that’s partly Pilates and partly holding my breath in!

  • 20th November 2018 at 9:15 am

    I completely agree with you about Bohemian Rapsody, in fact I’m very annoyed that those negative reviews may have put people off from seeing the film. Like you, I became very emotional at one point, but then I’m the same when I see that tiny clip of Freddie in the current BBC Sounds advert. How lucky we were and are to have his music to cherish.

    • 21st November 2018 at 2:29 pm

      Yes, I also have spotted him – such a beautiful man and a wonderful singer – the film did him and Queen justice, I think.

  • 20th November 2018 at 9:21 am

    I love the skirt and I also loved Bohemian Rhapsody. I’m actually writing a blog post about this very film, at the moment! I knew it had been panned by the critics but also adored by the viewing public. Queen were the backdrop to my student years and I remember being blown away by the original Bohemian Rhapsody video. I also needed tissues! Again, this is very unlike me but some of those songs are so moving, especially in the context of the film. I’m now listening to back to back Queen in my car!

    • 21st November 2018 at 2:31 pm

      It is so unusual for me to shed a tear in a film as I’m quite hard hearted and uninfluenced by films pulling at my heart strings – but this one……

      So good to see in your blog post that you feel the same!

  • 20th November 2018 at 9:31 am

    I completely agree about Bohemian Rhapsody – fantastic cinematic experience. I wasn’t a huge Queen fan at the time – I was into “world music” throughout the 80’s – but it was there in the background along with other contemporary music. So you don’t even have to be a Queen fan to find this movie thrilling.

    • 21st November 2018 at 2:32 pm

      I think the Live Aid part was a triumph and had amazing sound. So it kind of brought back all those memories of Live Aid and the life I led then. Such a good film.

  • 20th November 2018 at 9:38 am

    I too was very ambivalent about The Death of Stalin. I almost felt guilty about laughing at something so horrific. It reminded me more of Monty Python and not just because of Michael Palin. I loved Jason Isaacs in it. I recently listened to a book on the radio called The Betrayal, set at the same time – well worth finding on the BBC radio app.

    • 21st November 2018 at 2:37 pm

      I know, but that script made the film – and it was funny. I think if you watch films like that on several levels and acknowledge the history and reality you can then laugh. I mean those actors were like a Carry-on cast. I’ll look for the book -thanks.

  • 20th November 2018 at 9:47 am

    I agree with your comments about “vintage”. I enjoy rock’n’roll and swing and have accumulated (too many) clothes to dress up in for the dances. A lot are retro rather than vintage, largely because of the price and condition. If you come across an immaculate piece of vintage from the 40’s or 50’s, it will cost an arm and a leg and you’d have to be a 100% committed poser to shell out. I was astonished to realise a few years ago that 60’s and 70’s clothes were being classified as vintage. Not in my book they ain’t but maybe that just shows my age. When I was a teenager, stuff had to be Victorian or Edwardian to be vintage so maybe I should be more tolerant of the contemporary classification!

    • 23rd November 2018 at 8:59 am

      Personally I see ‘vintage’ as just an excuse to put an excessive price on a garment, and it’s so rare to find the 40s-50s items. Overall, I think it bit of a racket!

  • 20th November 2018 at 9:55 am

    This will be my third comment – shows how much I enjoy your blog! My favourite film of all time is Some Like it Hot, particularly the last line. I had the rare treat of seeing it on the big screen recently as a one-off showing of the re-released version at Cineworld on an obscure Monday night. I’ve seen it many times before (on a telly screen) but it cracks along so fast it never gets boring.

    • 23rd November 2018 at 9:00 am

      Some Like it Hot – wonderful film!

  • 20th November 2018 at 10:07 am

    I agree, Bohemian Rhapsody is a must see. I was never a fan of Queen back in the day, but enjoyed the film very much.

    • 23rd November 2018 at 9:01 am

      It’s such a good film!

  • 20th November 2018 at 10:12 am

    Bohemian Rhapsody, absolutely brilliant and I also shed a tear or two. What amazed us was how many younger people where there watching it, my Grandson who is 17 also is going to see it! The Live Aid took us right back to the day, amazing. Talking about charity shops, some are fantastic but I find quite a few are now charging way too much for the items and find them quite greedy.

    • 23rd November 2018 at 9:03 am

      This is where the criticism came from, that the film didn’t fully show Freddie’s sexuality, but hey I think we got the message. Above all the film got a 12A rating because of the way it showed his lifestyle, and that has led to a very much younger audience coming in – which is so good!

  • 20th November 2018 at 11:52 am

    Love your blog! Love your style! I am not so successful at finding bargains down here in Devon.
    We went and saw Bohemian Rhapsody last night!!! Amaze balls indeed!! loved it. My era especially as I was a 21 year old working for an A & R man (our label managed by EMI) Oh those gold records that adorned our walls! so very true of the era. Hopping into a taxi to go to Top of the Pops recordings at 6 pm on a Wednesday! what a scrum. Biba … did it smell special too? I still have my diamond paste jewellery from there and my striped wool poloneck! Thank you for your blog and memories.

    • 23rd November 2018 at 9:06 am

      Oh wow, what a great experience to have as a 21-year-old! I haven’t any original clothes from that era but remember Biba well. Tbh, I don’t think I bought much there, which was it’s downfall!

  • 20th November 2018 at 3:17 pm

    I don’t think I’ll be going to Bohemian Rhapsody as I’ve never liked Queen, not my kind of thing at all! Interesting that people enjoyed it who were not very keen on them.
    The thing about reviews of films is that they are inevitably subjective. I think it’s best to go with ones written by people who’ve got it right for you before. We often go to films with poor (but not very poor) reviews and we’ve usually been delighted with them. Often we’ll go to a Silver Screening that we’ve never heard of; the worst that can happen is not liking it and it’s so cheap anyway. Still want to see Peterloo although been told it is ‘harrowing’. My all-time favourite film is ‘Kind Hearts& Coronets’ with Alec Guinness definitely ‘vintage’ now!
    You will have to pay a lot for clothes where the pattern is matched because of the material that is wasted cutting them. I have a particular thing about checks matching at least at major points on the garment.
    Surely we should not expect to pay rock bottom prices in Charity Shops because they have overheads to cover and are trying to help fund the charity’s projects and commitments. They do work their paid managers very hard which I’m not at all happy about. It is a very physical job for volunteers too with the lugging of bags and sorting, pressing, pricing etc. At a normal retail shop the clothes arrive on hangers on a rail taken out of the back of a van and that it hard enough -my daughter worked in clothing retail.
    True vintage is impractical for most people because of the fabrics & the sizes are so small anyway so there are a lot of ‘retro’ design modern clothes available. Vintage accessories can be interesting;I have a lovely pair of fine black suede gloves I found in a charity shop and quite a collection of vintage costume jewellery (1940’s onwards).

    • 23rd November 2018 at 9:14 am

      Well never say never, Lynda, as it is a good film, and I really would tell you if it wasn’t worth going to, but it is!

      The prices that I object to are Primark items put on at a near or even higher price than you’d get in the actual shop! Also £15 for tops – there is limit I think as these clothes are 2nd hand. A good charity shop should encourage turnover rather than aim for the heights.

      And, I agree that sizes are very different and the 40s-50s clothes could be impractical – too fragile and so on. Also skirt lengths are often very short and just don’t look right. A true vintage look is often achieved by making the clothes or buying new in shops that specialise in the look – there are a couple of those in Brighton.

  • 20th November 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Fab skirt! It looks lovely on you. Dressy and funky.

    I wanted to see the ‘Death of Stalin’ when it first came out but didn’t get round to it. I have so many films that remind me of my youth; watching and loving Westerns with my Dad; my aunty taking me to see ‘Pollyanna’, Mary Poppins and as a teenager; Elvis movies and ‘The Big Yellow Submarine’.

    Hope you’re keeping warm…

    • 23rd November 2018 at 9:18 am

      Look out for ‘Death of Stalin” – it’s really good. It’s all in the script which is brilliant. I remember seeing Pollyanna for the first time and loving it – but probably wouldn’t now!!

      I’m loving the weather, Veronica, as finally I can start wearing my winter coats and hats 🙂

  • 20th November 2018 at 9:01 pm

    My girlfriend saw both movies and cried at both. I am not going to see the Queen movie, because I know I will cry the hole time. What a beautiful skirt and you are wearing the bracelet you were wearing at the afternoon tea. It’s such a beauty!

    • 23rd November 2018 at 9:21 am

      Oh do go to Bohemian Rhapsody, Nancy, it’s such a good film and the sound is amazing. Yes, you’ll shed a tear but wow, I danced out of that cinema – you’ll love it! And then the songs stayed in my head for days – really, you’ll love the whole experience!

  • 20th November 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Hello Penny,
    Your stunning skirt has got me thinking.
    I would intentionally emphasize the mismatch by simply hand sewing a strip of emerald green wide velvet trim down the seam.
    A big flirtatious bow from the same trim might be attached to the waist.
    Thanks for all of those fine movie tips!
    Judy @fancified.ca

    • 23rd November 2018 at 9:22 am

      Now that’s a great idea, Judy, thank you!

  • 21st November 2018 at 12:04 am

    My fourth comment! Does anyone know when clothes became “vintage”? When I was a student in the 70’s, we used to frequent “secondhand shops” for unusual cheap clothes. (One of my favourites was a colourful Fairisle slipover.) There were also antique shops, that had seriously old stuff like frilled Edwardian nightdresses. But the only thing that had a vintage was wine. When did “vintage” start to be applied to clothes?

  • 21st November 2018 at 9:34 am

    Great skirt. You are going to get a lot out of that I just know it. Fab with biker boots.
    We are planning on seeing Rhapsody. I am a Queen fan and like many know every word of that particular song even though I’m convinced he sings Walls sausages in there somewhere, haha.


    • 23rd November 2018 at 9:26 am

      You will totally love Bohemian Rhapsody, Anna, the actor who plays Freddie, the songs and the authentic sound, the Live Aid set – all are amazing! As I said to another commenter I positively danced out of the cinema!!!

  • 24th November 2018 at 6:24 pm

    Two things I love – that outfit (it looks so expensive) and The Death of Stalin. I laughed so much – and then ranted for hours about how it could all happen again.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Brian May once. I wish Freddie had been with him. What a man!

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