Hi everyone

The holidays approach and Christmas Day is organised plus the other days of meeting up with friends and family are sorted, so what shall I wear?

Well, I say meeting up with friends and family as though I’m doing a lot of that, but that would be a no, what with this new variant.  But we are going to friends on the Sunday before Christmas, then there’s the actual day (and that’s a quiet one with just me and Mr F) and finally we’re meeting up with our family on the 27th.  And for each of those days I am dressing up – up to the nines as the expression goes! Because it is time to get out my cruise wear and give them an airing.

So, me and my friend, who’s house we’re going to on the Sunday before Christmas, we’ve decided to dress up and I do mean dress up, so I have two party frocks to choose from.

One is a recent purchase from my local charity shop.

This cost all of £8.20 and is a Shein product. I was quite interested when I saw the label as I would never actually purchase a Shein item as it is fast fashion, which I always aim to avoid. But here it was in the charity shop and I couldn’t resist it as it’s very feminine and I love the lace. However, here’s a clue to its quality as Shein products don’t always get a good approval rating. It’s actually a UK size 18 (which is 1XL) and all I can say, as it fits me to a T and I’m only a UK size 14, that if that’s their idea of a 1XL dress they sure do skimp their fabric!

But I like it and it’ll do for me.

Then there’s this dress which I must have bought several years ago (from a charity shop, of course) and I can’t remember how much it cost but it’s definitely one of my more dressy-up cruise frocks.  And, sigh, I haven’t worn it since August 2019. Shall I wear it on the 19th?  I think I might.

I’ll wear it with this long velvet coat as houses in the UK don’t encourage you to have bare arms (!) and even though our friends like a really warm house (for the UK) I shall need another layer.  I got this coat as a gift.

Then I have a couple of skirts and I shall wear this one on Xmas day when we are just on our own.

The skirt was bought over two years ago as I have worn it to a dinner party at a friend’s, but I remember I was sitting down for most of the evening and really this skirt needs a dance so that the skirt can be twirled out to reveal these wonderful panels.

Ah well, Mr F can give me a twirl on Xmas Day!

Then on the 27th December I shall still dress up, but I need a slightly more robust skirt in case Oscar drops some food on the skirt or grabs hold of me as he’s just started walking – what a delight it is to have a baby in the family again.

This was not as expensive as the skirt above, as it was only £10 but it has some unusual folds, which I think are rather striking. Mr F has lightened the photo so you can see the folds.

Oh to wear this type of clothing more often!

That’s all for now, but thank you for reading this, and do let me know if you’ve got some ideas about clothes for Christmas.

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper


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30 thoughts on “Putting on my party frocks!

  • 13th December 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Great looks. The Little Black Dress with the see-thru is my favorite. The skirt with the colorful folds is stunning. You always find the most interesting pieces. The skirt is perfect for dancing! Have a great holiday season.

    • 14th December 2021 at 3:58 pm

      Oh Nicole – how I wish I could go dancing! Last danced two years ago at a 70th birthday party. Yes, I really like the lacy black dress but think I could style it differently with chunky boots and a leather jacket to make it more rocker chic.

      Thank you for your comment 😊

  • 13th December 2021 at 2:24 pm

    How lovely! We will see our son and daughter in law for dinner on Christmas Eve, then have Christmas Day on our own and finally go to our son and daughter in laws house on 27th. Warmth and comfort will be fairly high priorities though I did get a couple of dresses with Christmas in mind from our lovely little independent dress shop. Not charity shop prices but extremely reasonable and I’m happy to support a small business where they work so hard.
    Your two dresses are lovely, but I especially like the second of the two. It really suits you. The twirly skirt is great and the folded one, so I think you’re sorted! Let’s hope we get the opportunity to actually wear these clothes as things are looking increasingly serious. Happy Christmas, Penny and Your family. I love reading both your blogs.

    • 14th December 2021 at 4:02 pm

      I have decided to wear the second dress to my friends on Sunday. It will make such change to dress up like that!

      It does look serious and actually there is still not enough data to definitively say that Omicron is a mild variant. We shall do Lateral Flow test before every social occasion and meet-up. It’s all we can do. I’ve also started wearing the FFP2 masks (the white ones) which are closer fitting.

      You have a lovely Christmas too 😊

  • 13th December 2021 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Penny, So glad to hear you are dressing up. I come from a very dressy family ,we go over the top at the slightest chance! Sadly my 3 daughters haven’t inherited the gene ,so its down to me. Meeting the family next weekend I,m wearing black velvet trousers and old glittery bronze flowered top( both ch shop ) and on the day itself a really beautiful Jacques Vert black heavily beaded top £6 from a charity shop in Lewes last week . It was very grubby buy washed up as good as new, over a wonderful layered net skirt which came from a charity shop in Ireland when we were there last month for a wedding! I take any chance to ferret out these exciting charity shops. My husband and I are also by ourselves for Christmas Day, we have a huge family and 18 grandchildren but really love our own day eating and drinking far too much and dozing in front of the fire. There will be lots of phone calls and face time but all in the comfort of home and no worry about driving places. I hope you both have a perfect day and many thanks for all your lovely interesting blogs throughout the year. Happy Christmas and a very HEALTHY New Year. Judy S .

    • 14th December 2021 at 4:12 pm

      Oooh a layered net skirt sounds wonderful as does the heavily beaded top. And how wonderful to have so many grandchildren, I’m over the moon at getting my second grandchild!

      I think we do need to dress up a little more especially now with this gloomy weather and the gloomy news. I’m quite guilty of wearing a pair of jeans and an ordinary top during the week. All my dressy-up clothes have had little opportunity to be worn over the past two years! So I’m making big effort with these three occasions!

      Thank you so much for your kind words Judy – you have a lovely Christmas too 😊

  • 13th December 2021 at 4:26 pm

    some good choices Penny everyone a winner enjoy your celebrations and Merry Christmas thank you for the lots of inspiration for charity shop buys


    • 14th December 2021 at 4:03 pm

      Thank you so much Marie and you have a lovely Christmas too 😊

  • 13th December 2021 at 5:21 pm

    Of course we dress up! Love that folded skirt and the dress with the gorgeous velvet jacket! I hope you wil have a fabulous time on Sunday!

    • 14th December 2021 at 4:04 pm

      Yay to dressing up!!! I shall so enjoy wearing that dress to my friends on Sunday! Thank you Nancy x

  • 13th December 2021 at 6:28 pm

    Thanks Penny. Very enjoyable to see you in your party ‘garb’. I especially like the dress and jacket combo. Have you tried it with your fab diamond necklace that you’re wearing with dress No1? (To my mind the necklace that you’re wearing in the pic is lost against the rich pattern of the dress.)

    We have several things planned but who knows? We had tickets for something last night but decided not to go. We’re really torn – wanting to do things but very nervous. I love dressing up so have planned what I’ll be wearing if we do make it (anticipation all part of the pleasure and better outfits.)

    I like to have or give myself a manicure; a pedicure too, if I’m feeling energetic. I always feel more ‘finished’ with my nails done and when I’m dressing up I like to be a bit ‘liberal’ with my make-up and costume jewellery. (Not quite Iris Apfel !) I enjoy being dressed up when others are too; avoids that over dressed/desperate thing – which, of course, doesn’t apply in Brighton. That’s one reason I love the place: anything goes – thanks to the large gay population, probably.

    Have a great time! Mary xx

    • 14th December 2021 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you Mary, in real life the necklace worn with the second dress sparkles in the light, but I shall try it with the amazing necklace I bought second hand from a friend. It’s a Butler & Wilson so it was quite expensive when bought new – I’ve worn it and worn it.

      Yes, who knows what is going to happen over the next few weeks as there is still insufficient data to determine whether Omicron is mild. I think I’ll wait for the verdict, before I go back to socialising as I was. I feel that we should hunker down for the winter, but in the meantime, I really hope to wear the clothes I’ve highlighted in this blog for the three social events around Christmas. Like you I love dressing up and I certainly haven’t done much of that over the past two years.

      And good for you having manicures and pedicures – I used to a lot, but again not during the pandemic. One day, Mary, one day!

      You have great time too, fingers crossed we can meet our friends and family as that’s what Christmas is all about 😊

  • 13th December 2021 at 10:59 pm

    All beautiful outfits Penny. I really cannot pick a favorite. I will have a few occasions to dress up in the next couple of weeks. Tomorrow our family will attend my grandson’s concert at his high school. he plays percussion, which is actually several instruments. this is the first since the pandemic, it will be short, band, orchestra and chorus will be individual performances. of course some students are in more than one and some family have children in more than one so some overlap but it will reduce that number of people overall. then we will all go out to dinner, yet to be decided. the following night I will go to a party for senior singles. it will be mostly women of course but I keep trying. I have not decided on my outfits as of yet. and of course Christmas day dinner at my daughter’s, again with the family present. Unfortunately, covid cases are up and masks are now required in all indoor spaces. the new normal. most of the time it seems I am in old jeans and my oldest parka to walk the shelter dogs in the cold mornings. I was worried as one of my favorite dogs, a larger and quite sweet soul was not in his pen. it seems his former owner who had to give him up because of a divorce found a place which would accept him and took him home. so hopefully happy ending. I wish they all could have homes for Christmas. so that is about it. Happy holidays Penny!

    • 15th December 2021 at 8:37 am

      You must be so proud of your grandson – he sounds very talented. Your family meet-ups and the other social occasion are definitely ones where you can dress up, but I’m like you during the week I often just put on my jeans and a thick wooly top over it. Time to change I think as the news is so gloomy what with this new variant so I’m making a big effort to dress as I would like to which is tbh, glam rocker/biker chic (that black lacy dress could be styled with studded boots and a leather jacket) or just plain glam!!!

      If I take on board too much information on whatever is the latest news to cheer myself up I often watch videos on Facebook made by The Dodo which shows nothing but dog rescues – they’re very sweet and usually show a neglected or feral dog, and sometimes a cat, being rescued, fostered and then re-homed. I just love them so do get how you felt about the dog. Yes, new beginnings for that dog 😊

      Happy Holidays to you too Derby!

  • 13th December 2021 at 11:10 pm

    I love your outfits.
    I wore a silver metallic blouse and black slightly silvery trousers with a little grey cardigan edged with sparkly lace on Saturday. Such a nice feeling dressing up a bit!!
    It’s a difficult time though, things are so uncertain.
    Happy healthy Christmas Penny xx

    • 14th December 2021 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you Vivien, the silvery outfit you wore sounds lovely – bet you looked good. And yes, isn’t it great to dress up.

      I don’t think there’s enough data to say whether Omicron is a mild variant so I’m being careful until told otherwise. It just makes sense. But we still hope to meet up with friends and family over Christmas, but we’ll all do test before we meet. That makes sense too.

      Thank you again and here’s wishing a very Happy Christmas too 😊

  • 13th December 2021 at 11:35 pm

    We always dress up too. I mean why not? Life has gotten so casual, so it’s nice to pull out the things that are fancier!!
    What is the brand of the skirt with the unusual folds?? I just love it. Of course I love them all, but that one is definitely unique.

    • 14th December 2021 at 5:09 pm

      How good is that, always dressing up! I try to (I always wear lots of makeup) but often I just put my jeans on and any old top plus a wooly now it’s cold. But I used to dress up a lot as I was always going to London for my cultural life. But I’m really making the effort over the next few days!

      I’ve just looked at the label and it’s a Lauren Vidal skirt which is a French brand and quite pricy too! https://laurenvidal.com/en/collections/robes-jupes Well,well,well!

      Thanks Jodie xxx

  • 14th December 2021 at 11:47 am

    Merry Christmas, Penny!! This is a perfect, festive post and you look dressed for the part! Love each outfit and the cheer and confidence they convey! I especially like your shoes! They are so classic with the bead (?) decoration on the toe. The right style for each of your outfits!
    I am glad for the (jumper)sweater-weather that has finally arrived in our beach town. Our elder son, his wife, and two-year old daughter will be arriving from Seattle for a ten day holiday here. We are excited to have our two sons, daughter-in-laws, and five grandkids all together. Both sons like to cook so this is always great fun.
    The downer is their father, my husband, is in the hospital under the cautious eye of his primary doctor. Our family and church family are a great support through prayers and great, great kindnesses. We are hoping for a short stay and then home to celebrate Christmas with family and good food!
    And, yes, I will dress the festive part…pants and a cheery red crewneck sweater in merino wool. Well…maybe i should breakout my sparkly black sweater over faded jeans (I don’t wear distressed jeans) and comfy black loafers. Diamond studs in my ears, too! Yes, that’s the ticket! And protecting it all with my favorite red linen apron until we gather around the table. I like that image.
    Merry Christmas, Penny! And a Happy, Healthy New Year, too!:
    Charlene H

    • 15th December 2021 at 8:47 am

      I’m sorry to hear your husband is in hospital – I do hope he gets better soon and is out in time for Christmas.

      How lovely to have both your sons with you – enjoy and have a simply lovely time in your sparkly top and colourful apron. Family is everything isn’t it and the meaning of Christmas to so many.

      Happy Holidays to you Charlene 😊

  • 14th December 2021 at 7:53 pm

    I do hop Mr F gives you a twirl on Christmas Day in that fabulous skirt! The striped skirt looks like a Moyuru skirt and it’s lovely. All the Christmas gear looks fab and I hope you have fun wearing them and have a lovely time with your family and friends. Happy Christmas!

    • 15th December 2021 at 8:43 am

      Thank you so much Veronica and yes I will wear that skirt with the insets and twirl around as I make the Xmas dinner!!! The one with the folds is a Lauren Vidal which is a French brand and there are some quite pricey items on their website!

      Happy Christmas to you too xxx

  • 15th December 2021 at 3:06 am

    Hello Penny and Merry Christmas. I like both of the dresses but my favourte would be the second one worn with that rather luxe velvet coat. I would like the lace one with black opaque tights and boots too for a different look. As a fellow skirt girl I would wear those in a flash. xx

    • 15th December 2021 at 8:41 am

      Do you know Jill, once I’d posted the blog I looked again at the black dress and thought yes, a leather jacket, dark tights and my studded boots and it would be quite biker chic, so I definitely agree with you there.

      The skirts are good aren’t they and are not worn often enough. The one with folds I’ve discovered has a Lauren Vidal label which is a French brand and quite pricey so that was a good bargain!

      I’m going wear the second dress on Sunday!


  • 15th December 2021 at 11:56 am

    I love the Shein dress. I too would wear it with tight and big boots. Like a punk sugar plum fairy! The skirts are fab too, and the dress and coat.
    Oh how I miss dressing up!
    On a day to day basis I miss wearing earrings and lipstick, with a mask it doesn’t work and I haven’t stopped wearing a mask all year. Lipstick and earrings, pre pandemic, I wouldn’t go out without them!
    Merry Christmas to you, Me F and your family. A baby adds so much joy to gatherings, their excitement at everything is pure joy.

  • 15th December 2021 at 4:12 pm

    I am in total agreement with you about the Shein dress, it needs to be styled in a biker chic way with studded boots, black tights and a leather jacket. I shall attempt that at some point!
    Oh yes, I completely get how you feel about what we did ‘before’. I’m making a concerted effort to dress up a bit this Christmas!

    Merry Christmas to you too Carole 🎄

  • 15th December 2021 at 5:25 pm

    Thanks for a look at your party garb but a lot of black which I largely avoid. I was interested to read about -I think it was Next – stopping using ordinary sequins. Whilst it is obviously better to find biodegradable alternatives it seemed like the usual ‘greenwashing’ to me. Sequins are such a tiny part of the huge over consumption which is the business model of the fashion industry & for all the hand-wringing I see nothing that will change it. I do dislike the ‘must have’ advertising they use. I’ll be wearing one of my ‘pre-loved’ dresses as usual, perhaps even a sequinned one, with full make-up jewellery etc !

    • 16th December 2021 at 9:44 am

      I’ve seen one slightly more ethical clothes brand saying they were using ‘recycled’ sequins. But yes I agree everything about the fashion biz is just awful.

      Your Xmas day outfit sounds really good – enjoy! Thanks Lynda

  • 16th December 2021 at 1:10 pm

    I have missed several of your posts so I am going to go back and read them! I do not have many very dressed up clothes but plan to keep an eye out while thrifting! I plan to wear some dresses to church and then something festive but relaxed at home. Planning to celebrate with family on the 26th and just us on the 25th since we have lots of church from Friday to Sunday. Still not sure who is coming on the 26th and I won’t go into details about how much I am disappointed in the lack of politeness and communication with some family member =(

  • 22nd December 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Fabulous array Penny. Love the 2nd dress with the glam coat, and the skirt with multi coloured panels. It’s a nice idea to dress up for the family gatherings seeing as we’ve had so few in recent times. Hope you have a wonderful time x

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