Hello everyone

The weather here is beginning to warm up a little and this week is getting to the heights of 23-25C, that’s 73-77F, which is hot for us here in the UK. So I thought it time to show you 2 of the 3 charity shop dresses I bought in March, which was when we had a mini-heatwave. That was really early in the year, but as I remember those days, it got quite hot, in the sun, at least. If you got out of the sun it was mighty chilly. Anyway, all the charity shops hurriedly put out their summer stock and this is what I bought.

I bought this dress for the really hot weather, when you need clothes that doesn’t touch the sides.

It has an asymmetric hem which you can see from another angle.

The material is very fine cotton, it could possibly be that lawn cotton fabric but with the dark colours and the two layers it is not one of those summer dresses that show the world absolutely everything! And the price?  £9.

Here I’ve teamed it up with my red straw hat bought from a charity shop several years ago. Note the red sandals – despite not being particularly interested in shoes I do have some nice summer sandals. Time I think to get my toenails painted a pillar box red!

And here below is a dress I dithered over before I bought it.

It’s new, btw, and is made from thick cotton material plus it has an underskirt so it swishes when you walk. But I did  wonder if it was a tad over the top in a kind of milkmaid way. Am I that type? In fact, I actually left the charity shop and walked away and then thought, no I will get it!

It’s the first time I’ve worn it since I bought it in March but the dress is so fresh looking and the material is gorgeous,  with the result that I’m pleased I bought it. Cost? £19 because, the charity shop assistant said, it’s a designer dress, but I don’t recognise the name ‘You Are The Club?  Anyone recognise it? I’ve googled it but am none the wiser.

Well that’s all for now, as this is a quick update on these two dresses before I go off to London early this morning – yay and hurrah! This trip is the first time I’ve been to London since November 2019 and it includes a very important delayed visit to the Mole Clinic. More about my day in London in my next blog.

With love, the Frugalfashionshopper

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48 thoughts on “My summer wardrobe, but am I the milkmaid type?

  • 18th May 2022 at 6:38 am

    The gingham dress is gorgeous in you! The blue is great!!

    • 19th May 2022 at 9:14 am

      Thank you Gaye, I’m glad I bought it!

  • 18th May 2022 at 6:40 am

    Absolutely love both dresses Penny x

    • 19th May 2022 at 9:15 am

      Thank you Vivien – yes me too, and actually I now prefer the blue dress!

  • 18th May 2022 at 7:51 am

    The asymetric hem dress is stylish and suits you. The milkmaid dress is not such a flattering shape and should, I feel, be left to milkmaids in old fashioned plays to wear. Shops are full of this 70s milk maid look this year, and it is so unflattereing to all but young girls.

    • 19th May 2022 at 9:18 am

      Oh my word I agree. I window shopped in Oxford Street and then walked around John Lewis and all the dresses were enormous and there were a lot of milkmaid type dresses. I shall jazz the blue dress up with a belt and big white trainers.

  • 18th May 2022 at 8:06 am

    The blue dress is terrific and a nice change from your usual colours. Does me good to go out of my normal colours every now and then.

    It looks lovely on you.

  • 18th May 2022 at 8:11 am

    Oh the blue dress is just gorgeous! You decided good to buy it. I hope you also will have fun in London!

    • 19th May 2022 at 9:19 am

      I did have fun plus the important visit to the MoleClinic! Yes, I’m glad I bought the blue dress!

  • 18th May 2022 at 8:36 am

    Hi Penny, I think black & beige is such a stylish combination. I’m not a fan of the milkmaid style because I’m very petite & can’t carry off the tiers. I’m afraid it’s not UK wide hot weather, it’s still very unsettled in Scotland. Influenced by you, I got a lovely pair of loafer style shoes for £7 last week. Enjoy London-always a treat. X

    • 19th May 2022 at 11:41 am

      I agree that black and beige is a good combination. The dresses in London stores and shops all seemed to be of the milkmaid type and very large too – some would have even swamped me, I think! Plus they were sooo expensive.

      There was a big thunderstorm last night and buckets of rain – it’s now much cooler but the sun has come out. Good as it was quite grey and dull this morning.

      Thanks Anne 😊

  • 18th May 2022 at 8:39 am

    I love both of the dresses! And I don’t think the gingham dress is too milkmaid. If it was more frillier, it might be different, but I think it looks gorgeous on you!
    Suzy x

    • 19th May 2022 at 9:20 am

      Thanks so much Suzy – it’s good to get that positive feedback about the blue dress – thanks again 😊

  • 18th May 2022 at 8:44 am

    Umm, perhaps the blue dress could do with a belt of some sort…and natural straw hat?? Go all out milk maid.
    Just not used to seeing you in this style!
    Love the black lawn dress, very you.!

    • 19th May 2022 at 9:21 am

      What a hoot! Maybe I will and yes that black dress will be both useful and stylish in the hot weather.

  • 18th May 2022 at 8:58 am

    I love your description of “ clothes that don’t touch the sides!” – definitely my preferred style most of the time these days. You look good in both dresses – I think that as the gingham one isn’t fussy or frilly around the bust/ sleeves / neckline it works really well and doesn’t look milkmaidy at all.

  • 18th May 2022 at 9:05 am

    You could always change the feel of the gingham dress by putting on summer boots or white trainers. It’s a lovely fresh outfit, enjoy it.

    • 18th May 2022 at 11:01 am

      Oh yes, good idea Angie, think that would make it work! Back in Penny style!!
      Judith xx

      • 19th May 2022 at 9:23 am


    • 19th May 2022 at 9:23 am

      I’ve got white trainers and next time I wear the blue dress I’ll put those on. The dress is fresh and has a nice vibe it but where’s the weather? It’s grey and raining now!

  • 18th May 2022 at 9:45 am

    I love the black dress. Not too sure about the gingham one though.
    Enjoy London, how exciting to go up to our great capital city once more. Look forward to reading about it.

    • 19th May 2022 at 9:24 am

      Yes, the black dress is more me, but I’ve grown to like the blue dress. I did enjoy London – it was great to be there!

  • 18th May 2022 at 11:46 am

    You have the height to carry of flowing gingham dress but I agree the look could be enhanced by trainers and and a belt or leave free flowing. I think this a look that can be flattering to all ages. Go for it!

  • 18th May 2022 at 12:20 pm

    Two lovely dresses. It’s only 20 here, in Nice. No such thing as global warming ?????

    • 19th May 2022 at 9:26 am

      Only 20 in Nice – that must be quite cool for the south of France! Yes, I now feel it was good to get both dresses – thanks Flora.

  • 18th May 2022 at 12:41 pm

    I truly like both of these dresses, Penny! I love an asymmetric hem, and black and red I always a winner. And the blue gingham looks beautiful on you. You look ready for summer!


  • 18th May 2022 at 3:44 pm

    That black dress looks so timeless and chic! I love the pops of red you used. Yellow and turquoise might work just as nicely! I like the gingham dress, too! I don’t see it as milkmaid but perhaps a bit big? I think a belt in yellow, pink, or even another blue might pull it in to accentuate your figure. I don’t believe we are ever too old to wear much of anything! We haven’t ever been this age so how do we know what we can’t wear?


    • 19th May 2022 at 9:29 am

      You know I did a lot of window shopping in Oxford Street, and then walked around the women’s clothes floor in a big London store and all the dresses are milkmaid style and many are ENORMOUS. I mean that blue dress has a waist which I can define more with a belt but some of the dresses (and the prices!!!) were huge!

      I agree we should wear what we d… well please, especially having reached my age!!!

  • 18th May 2022 at 3:56 pm

    Hello Penny! Hoping that you are totally enjoying your trip to London (as I type)! I like both of your summer dresses. I DO like the blue dress on you. It seems to fit your new “yard work and sitting in the sunshine” lifestyle.
    I am trying to define an outfit for myself for this Saturday’s Women’s Spring Retreat at our church. I am on the agenda for reviewing a new book in front of our small group of about 30-40. I am not a “spring colors” gal so am looking at a white monochrome pants outfit with a short-sleeve, long black cardigan. It’s too cool here (60-65F) to bring out one of my linen maxi dresses. We are a very casual group but I’m thinking I need to step it up a bit. Whatever…it’s going to be a fun luncheon!
    Looking forward to reading about your London excursion!!!
    P/S. Is the bathroom finished?

    • 19th May 2022 at 11:30 am

      I did enjoy the trip to London – more about that soon. And – we’re going up next week as well! Thank you for your feedback on the blue dress – so glad I bought it!

      Lovely to hear you’re upping your game – I do believe we can up our game but at the same time be comfortable and happy with our clothes. Enjoy the luncheon – sounds such a good thing to do.

    • 19th May 2022 at 9:30 am

      Thanks Veronica 😊 xxx

  • 18th May 2022 at 10:56 pm

    I’m so glad you bought the gingham dress. It’s such a modern style right now and there’s nothing bad about that!!!
    I have a lot of clothes now that aren’t meant to touch me because it’s already 100 degrees here!!!

    • 19th May 2022 at 11:32 am

      There are so many milkmaid type clothes about – all the clothes in the big department store I went to were of this type. And some were enormous, Jodie, and would have even swamped me!

  • 19th May 2022 at 5:23 am

    You have a real knack for finding good buys in charity shops. I need to get some tips! I love how you accessorised the first dress. The second doesn’t look milk maidy to me. Very fresh and cool for the hot weather. Thanks for linking x

    • 19th May 2022 at 11:34 am

      I’ll have to do another blog about the best way to find thrifted clothes. But the key is knowing where the good shops are, because they’re not all brilliant in Lewes, and of course, always looking in the good ones!

  • 19th May 2022 at 8:35 am

    Morning Penny
    I’m not normally a fan of the ‘milkmaid’ look but I do like the blue dress. I think the plain top balances the frills beneath, the colour is fab on you and works very well with the red. And, I agree, it would work with yellow, turquoise and boots. And, perhaps, even, a structured jacket.
    I love shoes and think they can make/break an outfit. Beryl Reid said to get into a character she always worked from the shoes up. I know what she means – I can wear the same outfit and feel completely different in different footwear.
    Good luck at the clinic and hope you have a great time in London – I look forward to reading all about it. (btw I’m there for four days next week – too bad we couldn’t meet up for a coffee. Another time, perhaps.)
    Go well, Mary xx

    • 19th May 2022 at 11:37 am

      Yes, I think the blue dress needs jazzing up with chunky boots and/or white trainers. A jacket as well.

      Ah yes, shoes, nope, it’s hats every time! We did love the trip up to London, which yesterday was mainly about the Mole Clinic but in addition we went to the Photographer’s Gallery – more about that soon. But we are coming to London again – will email you.

  • 19th May 2022 at 9:22 am

    Two completely different styles and you carry them both so well. Red accessories are perfect with both. I don’t think you are the “milkmaid” type, but that gingham dress looks really cute on you!

    • 19th May 2022 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Cathy! Thank you so much for commenting! And thanks for the feedback on the two dresses – much appreciated 😊

  • 19th May 2022 at 10:52 am

    I am wearing a dress today and definitely wearing my dresses a lot more as the weather is getting hot. I like both dresses on you but do like the first one quite a lot. It’s nice to have several loose dresses for the summer.

    • 19th May 2022 at 11:24 am

      Yes, the loose dress will be so good and very stylish in the hot weather, but it’s cooled down already! Thanks Mireille 😊

  • 19th May 2022 at 11:18 am

    Both of these dresses look great on you. the blue dress is very on trend. I have seen versions of it all over the internet. it is a fresh, fun look but not for a petite person like myself. I am trying to wear more dresses this Summer myself. I just splurged and ordered a dress in a colorful kind of tropical print. it is made by a local small business. thinking dresses are perfect for hot weather but today it is raining and chilly. Oh well. Darby

    • 19th May 2022 at 11:22 am

      Yes, after the warm weather and me ironing all my summer dresses we had a huge thunderstorm last night with masses of rain and now it’s much cooler!

      I agree that the milkmaid type dress can swamp people who are petite and even me. I walked round a big department store and all the dresses were of this type and some of them were enormous! As were their prices! Made me realise how well I do out of thrifting.

      Thanks as ever, Darby 😊

  • 20th May 2022 at 9:26 pm

    I really like both of the dresses and you have styled them both beautifully! I also like the shoes you chose to wear with them. You have a great eye for style!

  • 24th May 2022 at 1:25 am

    What bargains!! You are quite the clever shopper. I like both dresses but the gingham really looks summery and light. Glad you went back to get it.

    I have seen slip dresses on lots of the bloggers I follow so decided to order one myself. It has arrived but I am not crazy about it. Going to try it on for the husband’s opinion. I am really too big breasted to wear it like some gals can without a bra. But I really detest strapless bras. And the spaghetti straps on the dress would require I wear one. The color is just lovely. Just might not be the right style for me.

  • 31st May 2022 at 9:20 pm

    maybe update the gingham dress with a red belt? you’ve already got shoes to go with.
    the black dress is a real find! i feel cooler just looking at it 🙂

  • 3rd June 2022 at 5:31 pm

    I like asymmetrical hemlines, and your black dress is quite sophisticated! I also like how you paired it with red accessories for a bit of drama. The “milkmaid” dress looks just fine! Tiered skirts and dresses are “in” this season, and I think they look wonderful on you and others. I’m not too sure how they would look on me because the horizontal lines may not be flattering on my ample figure. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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