Hmm, is there anything about being 70 that’s changed me in any way?  Nope, still the same old me.  However, I thought I’d share two things with you and it’s all about the maxim I truly believe in which is ‘never say never’.

OK, first of, I really detest vintage shops and vintage clothes. I don’t know about where you live, but in Lewes and Brighton (two very trendy towns, actually one is a city, near where I live) there are plenty of vintage shops.  And most of them have clothes that I could find in any charity shop.  And their prices!  Just add a nought or even more (as in a £4 skirt will be a minimum of £40).  It’s rare to find a genuine 20s or 30s item, which I would see as vintage.

But it’s all relative isn’t it.  A young person would see the 70s and 80s as vintage and that’s where someone my age has to be so careful.  I’ve said this before, but if you bought one of those 70s items it could look like it was just something hanging in the back of the wardrobe for decades.  Recently, I got rid of a vintage mid-length 50s skirt because, catching sight of myself in a shop mirror I realised that 50s look was really ageing on me.

In fact, imho, vintage usually only works on the young because it’s an iconic statement that they’re wearing something ‘old’. Look at me, they’re saying, I have something that was worn years ago.  You just have to be careful if you’re the age that wore that statement item when it first came out.

However, having said all that don’t forget that older women should/can wear anything they like.  If vintage suits you, you go for it.

And then again, I was looking at an image from the film Brooklyn recently (for our film society) and I was really struck by the Irish heroine’s clothes – so yummy.  The very next day I spotted a skirt in a charity shop and thought it’s just like the one in the poster!  I bought it and then on that very same day found a matching top in a sale. The entire outfit came to £5.99 and I’ve worn it several times now I love it so!!


It’s quite 50s don’t you think?  That’s definitely a ‘never-say-never’ moment!

Second thing is, my hair and its colour.  As you know I’ve often said ‘go away’ to those who exhort us to go grey.  Who do they think they are?  I put them in the same category as those who tell us we can’t wear certain items of clothing at a certain age.  Give me a break I always think, because really all our decisions should be based on our shape (clothes) and skin colour (hair).  Age has nothing to do with it.  Because really we should do the fcuk we want.  But I’m going to have a serious chat with my hairdresser about going white.  Not grey, mind (that’s a colour that’s too dull for me and the climate I live in) but white, yes, I might just do it.  My face (but no-where else) has got just a tiny bit of a tan, what with the sea breezes in and around Norway and this current good weather, and I quite fancy my hair going a complete Debbie Harry white/blonde colour.  I’ll keep you posted on that one.

That’s all for now, but do let me know, if you wear vintage, and if you’ve taken that plunge and gone with your natural greying/white hair.

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

P.S. Sharing with Catherine Summers and her #iwillwearwhatilike weekly session.

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22 thoughts on “Now I’m 70!

  • 28th July 2016 at 9:00 am

    Hi there Penny
    Yes, my hair is its own grey – thank goodness – so much nicer now than 10+ years ago when it couldn’t decide. My hairdresser says youngsters would kill for my colour but it’s not obtainable artificially. So that is encouraging!

    As to Vintage, that depends, as you say. By popular request I wore my wedding outfit (1971) for our 40th anniversary celebrations 4 years ago. Dress is biscuit coloured cotton with little groups of holes on it, and coat is full length liberty curtain fabric. I made them both from a Vogue pattern. But I wouldn’t wear them for any other event!

    Did buy a 60s denim pinafore dress and a 70s leather coat from a vintage shop in the last couple of years. But then I’m a sucker for denim and leather! Have worn the dress but not the coat, so that will get recycled soon.

    lotsluv W

    • 29th July 2016 at 7:07 am

      Hi Wendy. Yes, the hair colouring is a difficult one – your hair is lovely. If I can go an actual white I will consider it, hence talk with hairdresser next week! And again the vintage thing is a very personal choice – I always like the idea of 50s fashion and this time I think I got it right, but before not so. Anyway, never say never! Bet you looked great in your wedding gear x

  • 28th July 2016 at 9:17 am

    Lovely outfit, lovely colours. Yes, I know what you mean about vintage. My daughter regards 70/80’s as vintage ( which I suppose it is now), and I admit I do have items in my wardrobe from the 70’s. But to me it still seems fairly recent! However, generally I don’t wear vintage. And I agree about hair colour. I was naturally blonde, and have gone grey, which I hate. Do I give up and stay grey, or pay a fortune to stay blonde – I will be interested to hear whether you decide on white. Love your blog, always interested to hear about your new finds!

    • 29th July 2016 at 7:11 am

      Thank you Julie. Yes, the vintage thing is very relative to one’s age I think, and I really don’t mind the expensive prices if it’s for a 20s, 30s or 40s piece, but 70s and 80s is just not on, in my view. Will keep you posted about my white hair thinking!

  • 28th July 2016 at 9:29 am

    Hi Penny,
    As always thought provoking – would like to see your thoughts on the US elections. They seem not to have caught up with Ireland and UK (as well as other parts of the world) wrt to women being able to lead.
    Re the grey discussion – I did it out of necessity 3 years ago as I moved to Bangladesh. I love it but do need to make sure of the following:
    – wear eye make up (or lips if thats your thing) otherwise I just all blend in and age significantly.
    – ‘a good cut is so hard to find’ but think I may have nailed it. Having said that all the hairdressers are very complementary of the colour and haven’t tried to persuade me otherwise.
    – conditioning and keeping the shine is vital. Use one of the silver shampoos AND conditioners at least once a week. I find them a bit harsh if you use them every day.
    – a review of your colours including watching the seasons (sounds daft) is critical. My colours have changed significantly.
    – be careful of dressing ‘old’. Hubby said to me last winter – ‘why are you wearing so much grey’ – made me think.

    Thanks again.

    • 29th July 2016 at 7:20 am

      Hi and thank you for your great comment. Yes, I will be writing about the US election in My Other Blog – it’s both fascinating and scary. And I do hope people don’t go ‘oh I don’t like either candidate so I won’t vote’. First, a vote is a precious thing, and second, there’s no such thing as protesting by not voting – votes count and the worst candidate might win – whoever that is.

      Back to fashion! I totally agree that makeup has to be a factor once you go white. I get my eyebrows dyed professionally and occasionally they’ve been what I thought too dark. But caught sight of myself with the white streak at the front and the quite black eyebrows and the slight tan – and thought yes, I like that look. Soooo, might just do it.

  • 28th July 2016 at 9:31 am

    Hi Penny, you really suit this outfit and the colours are spectacular. This is your shade of green, the skirt’s lovely too!!!
    Love this and your other blog.

    • 29th July 2016 at 7:21 am

      Thank you so much Christine. And great to get the feedback about the ‘other blog’!

  • 28th July 2016 at 10:30 am

    I am 68 and have really thin hair which I have coloured every three weeks, a light ash brown. I have it cut every six weeks with a light ‘tidying’ every three weeks. I am not ready for white hair yet and as my hair is so thin I think (and my husband agrees) that it would not look good white or would age me by at least 10 years. I do the best I can with what little hair I have, I wash and condition it every day with a thickening shampoo and conditioner called Nioxin. This has made a big difference. I keep the shape sharp and sleek.
    You look as if your hair might be reasonably thick, in which case it could look brilliant if it was white. MKW

    • 28th July 2016 at 10:50 am

      Hi Mary. Yes, absolutely do what you believe is right for your hair and your age. For a long, long time, I’ve thought going grey would be ageing and quite frankly dull! But am tempted with the idea of white.

      With regard to thinning hair – one of my favourite bloggers is Catherine of Atypical60 fame. She has thinning hair and her latest blog is all about her bald patches which are getting bigger. She’s found that hair extensions are the thing for her. But do have a look at her blog – she’s a great writer

    • 5th August 2016 at 12:00 pm

      I highly recommend using minoxidil (generic Rogaine) in addition to the Nioxin products. You need to give it a four-month trial before you can judge the effect. For at least the first year, apply it to your scalp 2x/day, then you can go to once daily after that. Try to do the evening application a couple hours before bedtime, so that it has thoroughly dried, to avoid having it transfer from the pillowcase to your face! I use the 2% formula, but I see a lot of women use the stronger 5% version.

  • 28th July 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Happy Birthday Penny!!!!! My you have 70 more years of bliss, fun, and happiness!

    I LOVE what you wrote about “vintage”. That label, here in the States, especially in Brooklyn, Manhattan and other areas is just a label to raise pricing on thrift-shop clothing. I’m sure many vintage store owners pick up their wares at charity and thrift shops. It drives me nuts. It’s like the “vegan” label on shoes and handbags. It’s PLASTIC!!! And isn’t worth the hundreds of dollars that the vegan label sports (BTW, I have nothing wrong with a vegan diet).

    Since you are a blonde, I think white hair would look great on you. You need to write about this journey of hair..and speaking of hair, thank you for the mention on my post.

    That outfit does look very old-school Brooklyn! I LOVED the clothes in that movie! XOXOXO!!!

    • 29th July 2016 at 7:27 am

      Hiya Catherine. Thanks so much for your comment and no worries about promoting your recent post. It was the very best of posts with your honesty and bravery about your hair loss. We women should all stick together with our concerns and challenges as we age and also share the remedies we find with others, as you are doing – it was a great post.

      And vintage – it really sucks in my opinion, but if others like it, that’s absolutely OK. Just like you, though, I object to the inflated prices. And I definitely will tell everyone about my journey towards going white – which I may or may not do!!!!


  • 28th July 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Like you I have often thought of ‘going’ white, but I fear my hair isn’t thick enough. You say you have a bit of a tan from your holiday (BTW, loved the blogs about that) but what about the winter months? I look forward to hearing what you will do.

    • 29th July 2016 at 7:28 am

      Yes, I know, will the white hair look good in the winter??? That’s exactly what I’ll discuss with my hairdresser next week. It’s a big decision.

  • 29th July 2016 at 12:33 am

    Happy Birthday! I share a birthday with you and, I think, a similar attitude to fashion. Vintage shops in Australia are quite expensive and often full of 80s clothing, which did not even suit me in the 80s. So much of my clothing is from Op shops (as Thrift shops are known here) or made by me, with the odd splurge when in the UK. I fought grey hair for years (being dark originally I went every possible shade of red/purple) despite my son saying ‘grey is cool’. I took the plunge and am now grey, almost completely white at the front, with no regrets. A really good cut is vital. Good luck, I enjoy your blog.

    • 29th July 2016 at 7:42 am

      Hi Theresa and thank you for your comment. Vintage is great for some people but not for me and definitely not if it’s 70s/80s – didn’t suit me either! And thanks for the info about your decision on going white/grey – will let you know how it goes.

  • 29th July 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Hi Penny – I went white nearly 2 years ago and would not go back to colouring again. need to keep it in tip top condition with a good cut but no more straggly roots, itchy scalp or going yellow in the sun. Mary

    • 30th July 2016 at 7:07 am

      Hi Mary, how lovely to hear from you! Yes, I might well go white as it was always the grey colour that put me off, but white might just be OK! Thanks for the tips about keeping the hair in good condition and so on xxx

  • 30th July 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Hello Penny

    I love both your blogs but this is the first time I have commented.

    Apparently vintage is over 25 years old and antique is over 100 years old. I am 68 and love looking at vintage clothing but would never wear it as I would just look frumpy and old-fashioned. One exception is my Burberry trenchcoat (actually it’s a man’s) which I got from a charity shop years ago-I would describe that as classic rather than vintage!

    I have brown hair which I coloured with henna (so messy and smelly but good results) until I discovered Boots semi-permanent hair colours which I used till last year when they discontinued “my” colours .Being too mean to get my hair professionally coloured I have just stopped using any colour and at the moment I am silver/grey/brown stripey and have just started using the violet shampoos and conditioners. It’s really fun to watch my hair change and my husband loves the silver look (he never commented when I was brown!) I don’t think I will ever be pure white but I think it looks stunning on other people.I get my hair cut 2 or 3 times a year by my brilliant hairdresser-my hair is so straight but he can put shape and movement there and even if I have been out in a gale when I come inside my hair just falls back into place.

    I have to think about what colours to wear now,no more brown,beige,ivory etc near my face (good job I have a great collection of scarves!)

  • 6th August 2016 at 7:29 am

    Hi Hilary and apologies for not replying sooner! The burberry trench coat sounds great. And really interesting to hear about your hair ‘story’. Actually the only thing I spend any money on is my hair and I really trust him so we’re going to go through the process together! And yes, a good cut is so important. Thanks so much for your feedback on both blogs!

  • 15th August 2016 at 3:56 pm

    Another lovely outfit. I like the vintage look on others but wouldn’t wear it myself.

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