Oh my word, it’s almost Christmas, and I’m nearly ready and it’s going to be fine. But I do have mixed feelings about the holiday. Christmas for me, now, is too much. It’s great when you’re a child and your parents rush around and give you the best Christmas they can. My mother did a lovely Christmas. Do you remember the stocking hanging at the end of your bed? I remember the stocking always had an orange in it, plus chocolate pennies. So, consequently, I did a stocking for my kids until they were well into their 20s! Yes, when you have young children it’s a magical day, I have some lovely memories of my two having a great time. Although I do remember my son (now very grownup, I do assure you) eating until he was sick! Gosh, I can even remember snow on Christmas Day. And then, when your grandchildren are young that’s another fairy-tale moment when you dress the tree and have the presents ready and see the look in their eyes as they come in to your home for grandma’s Christmas dinner, and all the present opening.

But now? Am I a bah-humbug? It’s all so rushed and over-active and actually too expensive, and what about people who don’t have children, or any family, or have unhappy memories of their family, or are ill, or alone and, to speak plainly, barely managing on three jobs, and not forgetting refugees, asylum seekers and the homeless either.  Not sure about these ‘holidays’ to be absolutely honest.

However (and this shows you how shallow I am) I do love any opportunity to dress up. Let’s forget our woes, the times we live in, recent events (ha!) and our lack of this or that, and let’s dress up (in inexpensive charity shop gear, of course) and have some fun. I think that my philosophy (and yours too I hope) is, if we can we should have fun wherever and whenever we can.

So here’s my first outfit, which actually isn’t all that frugal as I bought it from a designer (the_bias_cutcom) pop-up 18 months ago. They’re interesting as they’re the home of #AgeismIsNeverInStyle and are at the forefront of campaigning against ageism in fashion – good for them. On balance I think the outlay was worth it.

Here I am in my kitchen just about to host a coffee morning for a few friends living in our new place and feeling a bit nervous – would anyone come?  They did and it went well!

And the following day for another social occasion at our new abode I wore a charity shop top bought at least 2 years ago plus a newly found charity shop skirt that cost all of £5.

I love the skirt as it’s asymmetrical and slightly wacky – I really would like to look a bit less classic and a tad more goth, and this outfit is getting near that look especially with the addition of the studded boots.

See that down-sized Christmas tree? You’ve seen it before but there’s a glass bauble on it that’s nearly my age.

This was bought by my parents for their first Christmas in England after returning from India in 1947. When I look at it I think of their lives in those years of austerity and always feel slightly sad and wistful. Parents are never forgotten.

Well, I might write another post before Christmas, but I might not so I’m saying here Merry Christmas and here’s to a Happy New Year and a good (not going over the top in saying great!) 2020.

And, be kind to yourself 🙂

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper



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36 thoughts on “Party frocks – actually I always prefer a party skirt!

  • 19th December 2019 at 8:36 am

    Merry Christmas to you from Southern California! Thank you for a wonderful year of posts and inspiration!
    Charlene H

    • 19th December 2019 at 2:00 pm

      Merry Christmas to you and yours and thank you for your wonderful posts!

      • 20th December 2019 at 8:29 am

        Thank you so much Margaret – Merry Christmas and here’s to 2020!

      • 23rd December 2019 at 2:37 pm

        Merry Christmas to you and yours. I enjoy reading your blog, I like your positive attitude. Here’s to a better 2020. Carole.

    • 20th December 2019 at 8:13 am

      Thank you Charlene and Merry Christmas to you too!

  • 19th December 2019 at 8:39 am

    Great outfits, love the Goth look, I’m always striving to dress a little edgy at 69 but not ‘poor old lady who tries to look cool’ look!
    Yes I have same thoughts about Christmas, I worry about the homeless, lonely etc and try and help out but still feel it’s a sad time when parents remembered makes it a very poignant time. Not easy to ignore it either, we struggle to spend Christmas Day on our own quietly the wavy we really enjoy it as lovely friends and relatives think we should be in a crowd. Anyway have a lovely time in your new float, looks gorgeous.

    • 20th December 2019 at 8:17 am

      I think you can look ‘cool’ at any age and I aim to be edgy into my extreme old age!

      We’re going to have a quiet Christmas. Enjoy your day Lin and thank you so much for your comment 🙂

  • 19th December 2019 at 8:44 am

    Happy Christmas to you and yours and a happy and healthy New Year. Christmas can be an emotional time as it stirs up memories of past Christmases and you miss all over again those who are no longer here. Trying to live in the moment during this time can help somewhat. But it’s not always easy!!

    • 19th December 2019 at 5:45 pm

      Hi Penny,
      You look fab in those outfits and also in your kitchen which is also fab!
      I have very mixed feelings about Christmas this year, it’s hard to get enthusiastic when my lovely brother isn’t here now to share it but I know that he would want us to still carry on. We’ve decided to start some new traditions, we usually have our family for tea and gifts on Boxing Day, this year we’re doing brunch on New Year’s Eve. This is partly because our nieces are nurses and a surgeon who can’t get off this year but also we thought it was a good time to make a change. I’m sure there will be tears but we’ll get through it together and we have very precious memories that are much more special than all the hype in the shops.
      A Happy Christmas to you and yours, let’s enjoy being together with our special people and remember the special people we’ve lost x

      • 20th December 2019 at 8:22 am

        Thank you Chrissie – the kitchen in the new flat is great and bigger than the last one.

        I think moving the celebration to New Years Eve is such a good idea. Enjoy Christmas as much as you can – it’s early days yet. Here’s to another year. I wonder what it’ll bring!

    • 20th December 2019 at 8:18 am

      Living in the moment is the way to be, but you’re so right it’s quite hard to achieve. Happy Christmas and here’s to 2020 🙂

  • 19th December 2019 at 9:27 am

    Thanks Penny. Have enjoy your Christmas and have a healthy, happy 2020

    • 20th December 2019 at 8:31 am

      Oh yes, that’s actually all we really need – our health! Cheers, Mary and here’s to 2020. Oh my word, what will it bring here and across the pond!!!!

  • 19th December 2019 at 9:59 am

    Greetings from Scotland
    Thank you – I love reading your posts and seeing you purchases. You have a great attitude!

    Have a wonderful Christmas and wish you heath and happiness in 2020


    • 20th December 2019 at 8:59 am

      Thank you Norma – here’s to a happy healthy 2020 🙂

      How’s the weathering Scotland – loads of rain here!

  • 19th December 2019 at 10:40 am

    My mum and dad had a gold coloured bauble just like that! They married in 1947 and had my brother in 1948. I was born in 1953. Their tree was one of those green bristle things. We hung paper lanterns and paper streamers from one side of the room to the other. Happy days! We had an old pillow case filled with presents at the end of the bed.

    • 20th December 2019 at 9:01 am

      Ah yes the paper streamers running across the ceiling with the paper lanterns and globes, which have long gone out of fashion! I think when we first married we actually made paper chains!

  • 19th December 2019 at 10:59 am

    Merry Christmas dear Penny! I hop you have a good time with your family. And I wish you all the best for 2020, and perhaps we can meet up again next year!

    • 20th December 2019 at 9:11 am

      Nancy, I wish a very Happy Christmas and here’s to 2020! And yes, would be lovely to see you again in Brighton – take care xxx

  • 19th December 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Merry Christmas from London, Penny. You look fab in all the outfits. I especially like the one from the pop up shop and the goth look is very Helena Bonham Carter don’t you think? I agree it’s good to have a bit of edge! Like you I worry about Christmas for the lonely and those who are struggling financially. I hate the way we are bombarded with Christmas ads from the beginning of November trying to make us buy stuff that often isn’t wanted and ends up in landfill. Sure Christmas can be a good time to spend with your family providing you get on with them but it really isn’t good for the environment. Sorry to be negative but I think it’s important to think about these things. All the very best to you, Gill xx

  • 19th December 2019 at 1:40 pm

    A very Merry Christmas to you both. It is much calmer for us now and I do like that. We do not go wild for gifts like we used to and just make sure the grand kids have something to open…. kids usually get cash stuck in a small gift as they have specific ideas what they like. We have a few traditions like a wacky 12 days of Christmas sing along and such which is fun. I am also a skirt girl so really like your choices as usual. Enjoy the season and thanks for all the great posts.

  • 19th December 2019 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you for your wonderful insights, and yes the fellowship is more enjoyable than gifts or big meals. Have a very Merry Christmas and wonderful New Year!

    • 24th December 2019 at 5:39 pm

      Merry Christmas from the USA! Your outfits are gorgeous. Enjoyed reading your post! And, I agree that Christmas can evoke all sorts of emotions and feelings.

  • 19th December 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Penny! You are gorgeous! I will be honest, I am 48 and fear getting ‘older’ physically (not from the knowledge perspective, because I love that my age has internally freed me from all the insecurities once felt in my younger years…and I have finally come into my own with a successful business and things falling into place–I’d never trade that in)–but you give me plenty of inspiration that i can continue with style, fashion, beauty with age…I don’t want to look like I am trying to be younger, but i want to look stylish always…and just like you, I LOVE SKIRTS!! and I LOVE DRESSES!! i love to feel feminine….so i’ve always gravitated to these pieces….Merry XMas from Northern California, Sacramento…xoxo Eva

  • 19th December 2019 at 6:42 pm

    Scheduling fun to make sure it happens is a high priority. Walking in the park, riding my bike on trails and of course dressing up in thrifted up cycled outfits provides some giggles. Merry Christmas from Vancouver BC! P.S. Those green shoes rock! Judy

  • 19th December 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Penny, love following your blog and am enjoying it tremendously.What a fashion eye! Great style! I, too, am a “frugal shopper” at 79 years young. What fun! Your take on current trends is spot on. Love both of todays’ outfits, especially the biker boots!

    Each year the holidays become less of a hassle as we age and that is not a bad thing. The small things take on greater significance. There is a calmness in our lives, while watching our family in a whirlwind trying to get more and more done each year.

    Happy holidays from across the pond.

  • 20th December 2019 at 2:20 pm

    My parents always made Christmas so special for us and I hope that we have managed to continue that even though they are no longer with us. At age 3, our grandson is already beside himself with excitement and it makes me happy that obviously the way we celebrated with our children has rubbed off on them now they have children of their own. Our son works for a homeless charity and our daughter in law works for a charity who obtain food from supermarkets which is at its ‘best before’ dates and turns it into meals for those who cannot afford to shop so that really makes you realise just how very luck we are to have family around us and a tasty Christmas dinner on our plate.
    Your outfits are lovely Penny, I especially like the one you have styled with those fab green shoes, you certainly have an eye for a good bargain!

  • 20th December 2019 at 7:33 pm

    I particularly like the ‘Goth’ photo. It has a certain edge to it!
    My sons are in their twenties and I still do stockings for them!
    This year we are being much more ‘mindful’ about what we give and spend. I’m only too aware of the increasing number of homeless people and children who live in poverty, side by side with unbridled consumerism which makes me feel very uncomfortable. So we are donating to charities who help the homeless, giving to food banks etc.
    I hope you have a happy and peaceful Christmas, Penny. x

  • 20th December 2019 at 8:26 pm

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, Penny.

    The skirts are fab!

    Here’s hoping we get to meet up in 2020!

  • 21st December 2019 at 12:50 am

    That skirt is pretty amazing! I am trying to get a better idea of the money I spend at Christmas, and it is more than I realize. Even though I am frugal and do not buy expensive nor a lot of gifts (each child gets a few books, a shirt, a game or two), with 4 kids and a husband it does add up. I made gifts for the teachers and will make gifts for the Goddaughters to help with keeping the cost down. Next year, I will put some cash aside every month so it is not a financial strain.

  • 21st December 2019 at 7:34 am

    Great outfits as usual Penny. Wishing you and your family a happy Christmas and a good 2020. Xx

  • 21st December 2019 at 10:29 am

    I’ve always loved Christmas and still start to get excited from November ! The religious aspect aside, we still need these mid-winter celebrations I think, how long and dull it would be without them.
    I do feel a little sad that our days of a real family Christmas are past, work and distance mean that our children rarely manage to be with us, but then I remember how frazzled I used to get, and try to enjoy a quieter time ! I hope you and yours will have a lovely Christmas, Penny, and that 2020 will be happy, healthy, peaceful , and we’ll all try to take more care of our beautiful planet.

  • 24th December 2019 at 9:59 am

    That multi-coloured skirt is really lovely and suits you so well. We’re just back from a few days pre-Christmas visit to our daughter and son in Yorkshire. We went to the ballet and to Harewood House just outside Leeds for a truly amazing festive ‘experience’. We are now on our own until boxing day when we visit out daughter and family just a short drive away. As I’ve got some sort of ‘lergy’ that will give me time to recover!
    I too worry that many people spend the whole year paying back for Christmas – the marketing hype is quite relentless. I don’t think there is much thought about the environmental impact of what we are buying. We have always reused wrapping, ribbons etc, often to be considered ‘cheapskates’ by our children. When they were young the advent calendars were just paper and we used to use them again as well after a couple of years. I’m fed up with our generation being blamed for everything! I was sewing up holes in my winter tights the other day and thinking how unlikely it is that anyone younger would do this – some pairs last several years.
    Anyway, enough of that – Season’s Greeting to one and all!

  • 25th December 2019 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, you are a skirt and top gal. Both looks are great and interesting. Fabulous finds and styling. I always wonder what makes a woman a skirt or a pants gal. LOL. Happy holidays. Thanks for joining the linkup party.

  • 28th December 2019 at 7:04 pm


    I distinctly remember replying to this post when you first posted it, so I can only assume that your blog ate my post….loved your skirts and those green shoes are so gorgeous!

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