Hi everyone

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.

Full length pic of blue kilt

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!





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34 thoughts on “Season’s Greetings to you all

  • 20th December 2017 at 11:07 am

    Thank you so much for this blog Penny, which I have found so uplifting and inspirational. I am the same age as you and also remember the ‘jumble sales’ that my mother and father used to help with at the local church. The number of wonderful items that came home are too numerous to mention but I particularly remember a Chanel type suit that saw me through college and first interviews.
    I do occasionally buy the odd items now from charity shops but will make it one of my new year resolutions to visit more frequently and who knows, might send you a picture of me wearing my purchase.
    A very happy Christmas to you,
    p.s. I too am a photographer – fairly gifted amateur!

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:43 am

      Ah, jumble sales, oh yes! I went to so many and got most of my children’s clothes at these events! Great to hear you love photography and thanks so much for your feedback. Wishing you all the best for 2018

  • 20th December 2017 at 11:14 am

    A very Happy Christmas to you and thank you for all your mails

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:43 am

      Thank you Marie, all the very best for 2018

  • 20th December 2017 at 11:32 am

    Thank you for the enjoyment of reading your blog!
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Los Angeles, California!

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:47 am

      Thank you, and I bet you’re having warmer weather than here in the UK! A very Happy New Year to you too!

  • 20th December 2017 at 11:46 am

    Happy Christmas Penny, hope you have a brilliant time in your new abode. Thank You for your blog, I’ve always believed in wearing what I want but you’ve given me some great ideas for outfits that I hadn’t thought of.
    Here’s to 2018 and many more of your blogs.

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:46 am

      Thank you, Lucid! We had a great day yesterday (Christmas day) and the cooking in my small kitchen went very well. Thanks for your good wishes and all the best for 2018!

  • 20th December 2017 at 11:53 am

    What a lovely uplifting blog for all of us – many thanks Penny.
    Best wishes for a happy Christmas .

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:47 am

      Thanks so much Anna. Wishing you all the best for 2018.

  • 20th December 2017 at 12:01 pm

    First of all, Penny, congratulations on the number of views your blog has received. Thoroughly well deserved in my opinion! I love everything you say about clothes and aging and I agree with you 100%. I’m 64 and I can’t bear the phrases ‘age appropriate’ and ‘anti aging’ ! I’ve been trying to paste a photo of some rather funky green, Dr Martens, style boots I recently bought and love! One son commented that I was unlikely to see anyone else with these boots, in our village. The other thought they were very Brighton – ha,ha! I’ve tried to paste a photo of said boots into this comment box but for some reason it won’t work! Anyway, I hope you have a happy and healthy Christmas & keep blogging!!

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:50 am

      Wow! Love the idea of green Doc Martens. And here’s wishing you all the very best for 2018! Also – I will keep blogging and I feel same about yours – keep blogging too!!

  • 20th December 2017 at 12:20 pm

    Apologies for terrible spelling; never comment in a rush! I meant ageing…

  • 20th December 2017 at 12:37 pm

    I wish you a merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:51 am

      Season’s Greetings Nancy! Wishing you all the very best for 2018!

  • 20th December 2017 at 1:04 pm

    Thank you for your inspirational blog. I look forward to it every week. I’m off to hairdressers to get what’s left of dyed hair cut out and can’t wait to see my lovely silver grey hair. Thank you for giving me the confidence to take this step.

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:56 am

      Great to hear from another woman who’s growing out the dye! It’s a long process but I think well worth it. I used to be so against anyone preaching about going grey, and I still feel that it is absolutely a personal decision as to exactly when you do it. But like you I’m glad I’m doing it now. All the very best for 2018

  • 20th December 2017 at 2:01 pm

    You are an inspiration! I’m only 62, recently retired, and thanks to you, embracing the freedoms that age bring. Love your blog! Merry Christmas from Michigan!

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:57 am

      It’s great to hear from you Arlene! Thanks so much. Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2018.

  • 20th December 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Penny,
    The Jay Rayner article made me laugh, I am the woman who has two Christmas puddings in her cupboard from last year, we can’t face them! I promise now that I won’t feel guilty for buying the cake this year, I’m going to ice it and say nothing.
    Your bauble made me think of my crib figures which were a wedding gift to my mam and dad who were married on December 27th 1941. I love them, they are an important part of my Christmas and are displayed in the crib that my dad made for me. I would’ve sent you a photo but not sure how to do it here.
    I send you best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year and want to thank you for your interesting and sometimes thought provoking blogs, I always enjoy them
    Have fun
    Chrissie x

    • 26th December 2017 at 11:59 am

      Hello Chrissie and thanks so much for your feedback. Yes, that Jay Rayner article was so apt – and funny! Here’s wishing you all the very best for 2018.

  • 20th December 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Penny, I think we are pretty much on the same page. I wasn’t sure where I was going with my blog two years ago when I started buy have happily settled into the Slow Fashion. I hear the same type of comments from most of my friends, but mainly that they wouldn’t be able to find their size at a charity shop which somehow I going to have to disprove.

    I’ve never seen the Rolling Stones, but did see Led Zep before they were mega famous. I had bought their first album when very few had heard about them in the states so there wern’t very many at the concet. And Mary Quant-who did not love Mary Quant? I didn’t get to have any store bought Mary Quant but she did do patterns for Butterick Patterns and I still have two of my dresses that I made from her pattern. Merry Christmas, Penny and wishing you and your family the best this season.

    • 26th December 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Terri and great to hear from you! Yes, in the past charity shops in the UK didn’t stock much for the larger figure, but that really has changed now (perhaps because the UK population is getting bigger so there are more donations?). Yet still people say they can’t find much in their size and I do feel for them. But I think you have to not give up if there’s nothing there on that day – because there’s always tomorrow!!

      And as for the Rolling Stones – I can’t remember much of their act, but ! still remember how skinny they all were! They had the thinest legs I’d ever seen on men – that really sticks in my memory!!!!

      Wishing you and your family all the very best for 2018 and also thank you so much for hosting the 1st Friday share! Such a good idea.

    • 26th December 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you Veronica! Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2018 xxx

  • 20th December 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Dear Penny, A wonderful blog as always – warm and inspiring! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and I look forward to reading your missives in 2018 and gaining more inspiration. Cheers, Doreen

    • 26th December 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Thank you Doreen, wishing you all the very best for 2018!

  • 20th December 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Hi there, great blog read – thanks. I look your saying and find it very true: I wear what I want!!!
    Happy Christmas to you, here’s to 2018!!

    • 26th December 2017 at 12:11 pm

      That’s great Jacqui and thanks so much for your feedback! Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2018!

  • 22nd December 2017 at 6:53 pm

    A very Happy Christmas to you, Penny.
    I can identify with your change of style after working; I did it too, selling most of my work clothes on ebay. I then became a student and for three years was very ‘studenty’. Interestingly this wasn’t a conscious decision but I began to dress more like my new young friends. Now back at work, and again in an office, I’m pleased to say that it is a very casual environment in terms of clothing and so, although my style has (again unconsciously) shifted slightly, I still dress casually most of the time. Leggings, boots, long tunics and layers are the order of the day. Now and then I revert to skirts but not very often. However, as previously discussed, cruising prompts a whole different style (especially in the evenings)!

    • 26th December 2017 at 12:13 pm

      We’re definitely on the same page on a lot of things and especially with regard to cruising! I’ve acquired some new cruise evening wear recently (for next to nothing) which I’ll be showing you on the blog soon. All the very best for 2018.

  • 23rd December 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Penny, I so agree with Jay Rayner, I decided in my late fifties – now 68 – and working full time that my Christmas present to me would be to make things easy for me and to buy rather than make everything and not stay up until the small hours making things that no one really appreciated as I never let on how much effort I expended making everything perfect for everyone else at Christmas despite feeling absolutely exhausted myself and just gritting my teeth and waiting for it all to be over. I still do not really enjoy the festive season and am always relieved to get to January 2nd so I can start a new year. Feel sure I am not alone in this so why do we persist in putting ourselves through all this stress every year, it must be a female thing as I cannot think of any men with the same mindset.

    • 26th December 2017 at 12:20 pm

      I totally am with you here on this. We had a great day yesterday (Christmas Day) and everything went very well. We all enjoyed ourselves and it was really good in so many ways, but, oh my word, I’m tired. It was worth it, but this morning I pulled out of a Boxing Day get-together because frankly I just want to do nothing. And actually we’ll be ending the year quietly chez moi, as I can’t be doing with all this late night jollification – it gets too much. Mind you I can always do the jolliness and the socialisation on board a cruise ship, but that’s different and so relaxing. Maybe I should do a Christmas cruise………. !!! Wishing you all the best for 2018.

  • 26th December 2017 at 7:42 pm

    I went to the very first Rolling Stones concert in New Zealand (where I live). No-one would come with me! The second one was a screaming, dancing, rage! Then I got married to a very conservative man…. (say no more!). I love the description of the outfit that you wore to The Stones! In my mid-teens, when Mary Quant was shaking the establishment, my trendy Grandmother made herself a golf skirt with knee-high leggings as part of it – it was amazing. Even now, I refuse to wear Granny clothes, or be “old”… you are right about everything, certainly our generation refuses to be defined nor confined.

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