Here’s wishing you Season’s Greeting and all the very best for 2018. And I truly hope you’re all sitting down for a coffee every now and then, rather than working too hard over that one day! Which, if you’re a child, is a wonderful day. Do you remember your childhood Christmases? They were lovely, as I remember, but maybe not so much for my mum. And when my kids were small, they were magical Christmases too. But now, especially if you have a cold, which is lingering, like I do… Just don’t work too hard, people! And enjoy! Here’s a very funny read from Jay Rayner (a restaurant critic and food journo and a great writer) about the ten things you absolutely do need to do and don’t need to do. Like, there’s no shame in buying stuff – you get the drift!
My Christmas tree is a new one that’s small and neat like our flat, and it has old and new baubles on it, including one that was bought soon after my parents returned to England after being in India, and as that was in 1947, that makes the bauble 70 years old!
Ok, as we get near to the end of this year I thought I’d remind people of the origins of the blog.
I write from the point of view of someone who saw the Rolling Stones live in concert before they were famous. Previous to that I’d saved up my pocket money and bought a hipster (in the old sense, not those new monied hipsters) outfit of a black polo neck jumper, a short camel-coloured wool shift dress and some black stockings, shocking my parents, ‘what are you wearing, dear?’ Then I moved on to a Mary Quant outfit when she first came on to the market, read Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch, and went on the pill as soon as I could. We were rebels weren’t we? So, we’re not going to be grateful and accepting as the pre-war generation as we continue to age and need support, well I’m not. I’m going to be a very demanding, cantankerous old lady, I can tell you. Which of course, is always ten to twenty years ahead of my current age!!!!
And it is possible to change (or find) your style at a late stage in life, because that’s what happened to me.
I retired from work, and office wear, and wore nothing but jeans for three years. But this got boring. Then I found that charity shops had every kind of clothing you could imagine, and all within my very small budget. The hunt for the bargain began because you can dress well, and very stylishly, on less. And this is what I want to share with all of you.
Charity shops have a long history here in the UK. Oxfam opened its first shop in Oxford in 1947 and now has over 700 stores around the UK, and many other charities, too long to list, have charity shops selling not only clothes but also books, music, china, bric-a-brac and even bridal wear.
I’ve got some friends, though, who would never ever put their foot inside a charity shop. And only recently I had a commenter saying how in her area charity shops were full of tat. That’s a shame because, nearly all UK charity shops are now like little trendy boutiques where everything is beautifully set out and arranged, usually in their correct sizes. Charity shops in the UK are now almost upmarket, but, literally, at a cost, as we, the customers, have to pay much more than in the past!
Do have a look at this great little film made by my friend Lorna, where you can see how small the charity shop is. https://www.youtube.com/user/frugalfashionshopper/videos
I’ve been looking back at some old pics for great buys that made me happy – like this one.
Sadly I recycled that skirt and also this one.
But hey it’s such fun wearing new clothes that are pre-loved and then sending them back to be loved again! Still got the jacket though! And this skirt.
Yes, skirts are my thing.
But underlying my (hopefully) light-hearted writing is the view that older women should break every rule there is on fashion and style. We. Wear. What. We. Want. And what’s more we should buy it now and wear our best clothes all the time (apart, that is, when gardening and cleaning our abode).
And never, ever think we should wear age-appropriate clothing. Instead, you dress for your size, occasion, and taste – whatever that is. You want to wear a mini-skirt or pointy-toed high-heels, wear it, and take no notice of younger people or anyone for that matter, who says, ‘really?’ or ‘should you?’. If that latter questions goes on to include, ‘at your age?’, that’s the point you must say to yourself, ‘Yes. I should! Yes. I will. Yes. I can!’
And why, well, this is my ethos, people, life is short, sisters, and we should do it, as they say, for OURSELVES – and, to have fun!
All the very best to you over the holidays – see you soon!
Penny, the frugalfashionshopper
P.S. No current new dresses on view but here is a cruise dress that I’ve worn before and will wear again – next year!