Hello again!

Well, I went ahead, got down my Autumn/Fall clothes, put away my flimsiest Summer frocks and skirts, and all of that just in time for some warmer weather over the next few days!

Not to worry, I think it was time to have a look at what I had in my wardrobe for Autumn and Winter, to decide whether I needed anything.  Do I?  Need anything?  Not really. I do need some long waterproof leather boots and a waterproof mac for the walks I take, but apart from that if I do think, oh I must have that, it will be one-item-in and one-item-out, as people, my slightly smaller flat has a much smaller wardrobe, so I have no room for anything else! And anyway forget the weather, this month I’m not buying anything new as one of our foremost charity shops Oxfam has started the campaign, Secondhand September, which asks us to buy only from charity shops. There are also apparently many other outlets where you can buy second-hand, and see link here for some really quite high-end clothing.

As you all know I’ve always emphasised that buying secondhand is an ethical choice that goes a long way in saving our planet from the destructive forces of the fashion industry.  And pre-Covid I’d be out there going from charity shop to charity shop trawling through their wares, but I don’t do that at all now. And buying online is hard enough anyway, but buying second-hand online is even harder. I know some of you shop very successfully on eBay, but I haven’t managed a single buy there, nor have I managed to buy from a charity shop online. I do pop into my two local charity shops, but not all that often.

So here are some photos of the autumn/Fall gear that are now back in my closet.

I love this Karen Millen jacket.

And here’s a rather nice skirt that’s now back waiting to be worn

Oh look, I picked this coat up in a nearby vintage shop last Christmas. I love it but need more of a in-the-city type of life-style to wear it.

This is a great jacket to wear, which I will put on for a seafront walk. I do like a bit of animal print!

And here’s the kind of bright colour combo I like to wear in the winter, which will be worn a lot in the coming months.

See the shops in the background?  When I talk about going in to the little local shops near where I live – those are the shops 🙂

It’s interesting, and I apologise if I sound as though I’m rather over-aware of my face and its shortcomings (I am!) but looking at the photos above I now wonder whether I will go back to the contacts as, my word, the glasses do hide a lot of the bags and wrinkles under the eyes. Of which, I can tell you, I have far more now what with this sleep retraining programme, which began to work well and then hasn’t so much this past week, when, ironically, they gave me another half hour to sleep and that pitchforked me back to my rather bad pattern of sleeping well one night and not the other. You may say, well why am I not more assertive and give up on it, but the NHS is paying for this so I’m sticking with it. See the research and rationale behind the near torture of this restricted sleep programme!!!

The glasses are the same make as the glasses worn by our esteemed broadcaster Prue Leith of BakeOff fame.  And I might even save up and buy another couple of pairs (and boy are they a bit pricy what with the lens I have to wear) to colour co-ordinate the glasses with my outfits – hey, why not!!!!

I do hope you are all keeping well and safe. That’s all for now.

With love, Penny the Frugalfashionshopper




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44 thoughts on “Secondhand September? Maybe it’s more of a case of shopping my closet!

  • 8th September 2020 at 9:50 am

    Hi Penny Loved today’s letter. Just a thought on the sleeping problem,I think it’s an age thing, I have the same problem, sleeping soundly for a few nights and then waking for several nights ,but really think we shouldn’t fret about it ,that makes it worse. after all an afternoon catnap is very refreshing and honestly ,we do have the time don’t we? Re the glasses ,do buy another pair, they suit you so well and if you wait too long the opticians won,t have that style anymore. Go on spoil yourself! Best wishes Judy S

    • 9th September 2020 at 7:39 am

      I will get another pair, Judy but am a bit reluctant to go into the opticians for any close work, although I could have a look at frames. The opticians is in Lewes so next time I go there I’ll pop in and have a look at that make. The thing that makes it so expensive is that I need very special lenses for my particular type of eyesight – poor! They cost ++++ so this plus the frames…..

      Yes, re: the sleep mostly I can live with the one night good, one night not, but a couple of months back I had a bout of waking after an hour’s sleep and not going back to sleep at all, and that went on for days and days. So hence the sleep programme, I can see the logic of it. It’s helped a bit.

      Best wishes to you too 🙂

  • 8th September 2020 at 9:54 am

    Hi Penny love your autumn pieces, I too have taken out my aut/winter items and will also be shopping my wardrobe, my own secondhand sept bespoke for me if, I do need anything I’ll endeavour to get it secondhand in charity shop. Love this blog, what is the name of y
    our other blog please
    Marie from Dublin, Ireland

    • 9th September 2020 at 7:45 am

      Thank you Marie, weather here is not too bad at the moment, so not quite cold enough for a thicker jacket, it’s layer time at the moment. But I’m glad I got the autumn clothes out and glad I did the big sort out, although the charity shop bag is getting really full and heavy. Charity shops around here are not taking donations at the moment – understandable, I guess.

      My other blog is called exactly that My Other Blog and you can access it through an icon on the side of this piece, if reading on a laptop or PC, or at the end of this post if reading on a phone. I’m aiming to write there once a month and currently have two pieces bubbling on the back burner so to speak – both half written!

      Take care and thank you for your comment 🙂

  • 8th September 2020 at 10:30 am

    Hi Karen
    Thank you for the Guardian link.
    I like the look of Pre-fashion because I can donate, and that will be unworn stuff. I can’t bear to screw them up in the donation bags which come through the door.
    Best wishes to all,

    • 9th September 2020 at 7:48 am

      There looked to be some great pre-loved and nearly new outlets on that link. Must explore them but not sure I’ll buy as some of the prices seem a bit….

      Best wishes to you too!

  • 8th September 2020 at 10:32 am

    Sorry Penny.I gave you a new name.

    • 9th September 2020 at 7:49 am

      What a hoot!! No worries!

  • 8th September 2020 at 11:46 am

    Hello Penny
    I’m not changing my clothes over yet; it’s really warm here today. I’m wearing an M&S dress I bought (New With Tags) on e-bay. I tried ‘one in one out’ but could not keep it up so still have such a lot. I have a bad habit of buying things without looking to see what I’ve already got
    I’m going to try not to buy anything at all this year although I would like a new(used)coat. I have something quite specific in mind -bright blue – so with any luck I won’t find it! I like your green coat & the red one is so bright and practical. I have a red Viyella coat that I bought for £12 in a charity shop years ago; it looked unworn. Maybe this year I’ll change the buttons are they really date it. I also have full-skirted black herringbone coat that I must have had 20 years. I love the shape and the longer length (it’s Principles Petite ) but it’s getting a bit shabby. I think this will also be the year when I sell my new Laura Ashley camel coat that I bought in a sale but as it is not a petite the shoulders are too wide and the sleeves too long. Unless I can be bothered to alter it…..?
    If I needed specs all the time I would also have more than one pair to co-ordinate with outfits. As Prue says they are the equivalent of other accessories like shoes or bags but more noticeable. I’m sorry I can’t use ready made reading glasses as they are so cheap and cheerful.
    On another topic I don’t know if you saw Michael Moseley’s recent programmes on face and body treatments? I’m horrified at the lack of regulation in this booming industry. People are being ripped off and sometimes permanently disfigured by smooth talking charlatans and there seems to be no lower age-limit for Botox, fillers, ‘enhancements’ etc. It’s so sad that lovely young women feel the need for this stuff which often leaves them looking distinctly weird

    • 9th September 2020 at 9:22 am

      Hello Lynda
      It’s very mixed weather isn’t it, I can see some warmer weather coming next week followed by rain but still glad I had a good sort out – the charity shop bag is getting very full.

      Will look at that eBay outlet, but buying on eBay is a hurdle I haven’t got over as yet!!!! Never say never though 🙂

      I can’t use ready made glasses either and my lenses are made very specifically for my complicated sight needs, so it’s never a cheap option to get new glasses, but the current ones are the best I’ve ever had and they are the Ronit/Prue Leith type, so will definitely get another pair of those.

      Agree with you totally about the lack regulation re: botox and other treatments. The very idea horrifies me, but again yes, it is so sad that young women think it necessary to have these treatments. At the very least the treatments should be regulated.

    • 9th September 2020 at 9:23 am

      P.S. Michael Moseley is an excellent broadcaster

  • 8th September 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Hi Penny, I agree about poor sleep being an aged related thing ( just one among many).
    I could have slept for Australia before I turned 74, I love my sleep and have had trouble
    coming to terms with it. It took me ages to give in and take a 1/2 tablet of an otc anti histamine called Restavit, for quite a while a 1/4 would give me such a great nights sleep but now I am up to 1/2, I think by the time I am 84 I will need 1 or 2 which is what they advise for people to take normally. If I took two now I wouldn’t wake up for a week. I take no other medication nd exercise and eat well so this is my one vice, that and clothes. I don’t drink or smoke so if this kills me at least I will die in my sleep!!!! My doctor doesn’t have a problem with me taking them.
    Spring is coming here in Australia, I too shall be replenishing my wardrobe providing we can still go out and shop here in Qld, I just can’t bring myself to buy online, the colours are not always accurate and the sizing can be pure guesswork and I really don’t like buying two sizes and sending one back or both if the’re wrong. It is so nice to talk about something else just for a while rather than covid and politics and riots all over the world even though I am very interested in it all.What a time we are living through, I find it hard to believe
    all the unrest around the world, I sometimes feel a bit shallow when thinking about and enjoying wearing nice clothes, wearing make up and doing my hair and nails etc., but it’s my way of keeping up morale.
    Love both your Blogs Penny hope you get back your sleep pattern.
    Warmest regards Carol

    • 9th September 2020 at 9:33 am

      Yes, I too think poor sleep is very much age related, although as I said I did have very disturbed sleep with my eldest not sleeping through until she was 3 years old. I think the sleep programme has helped, but it’s been tough and I’m not out of the woods yet.

      Shopping online has been a revelation as I thought like you, but mostly it’s been good. I have had one or two bad experiences though and currently an item is lost and they’ve taken the money but a week after it was meant to be delivered they’ve not told me where it is, or what their policy is when things do disappear. I’ll have to tell them I shall write about it!

      I think it’s really important to keep sane through this challenging time and even without Covid there are such serious things going on that if you didn’t take time out and nurture ones interests you could really get seriously depressed. So I too, like you, amongst many other things, think about and enjoy looking at fashion, buying clothes (as frugally as possible) and styling these clothes plus putting on the makeup. Whatever it takes – and it is fun. We should go for it!!!!

  • 8th September 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Hello, you have found some lovely clothes in your wardrobe:). My charity shop in Nice is not allowed to open yet. In a way I’m bored with clothes shopping and, like you, I already have plenty of outfits, when it cools down I enjoy wearing jackets again. Obviously Autumn, Winter and Spring are the best seasons here. I agree about the glasses I’ve always used them to hide behind and now, as you say, they hide blemishes.

    • 9th September 2020 at 10:08 am

      Some charity shops here are not open – it varies from shop to shop.

      Ah, jackets – I do love them. Will get one other pair of the Ronit/Prue Leith type. They’re pricey but so worth the money as they are the best glasses I’ve had yet.

  • 8th September 2020 at 3:13 pm

    I also encourage you to buy more glasses in different colours. I think you will enjoy them a lot.
    We moved to a house with a huge walk in closet and to a town with two huge Charity shops so you can guess what happened! I have too many clothes but I am finding it hard to part with them as I like them all! We are overdue a big downsize and I am dreading it. I congratulate you on the way you managed your move so well.

    • 9th September 2020 at 10:13 am

      I have closet-envy! I really would like more space for my clothes. And I will buy another pair of those glasses.

      There are always issues to consider when downsizing. Here’s my current thinking and I might write more on this in a post, but when we moved it was pre-Covid and I didn’t mind the lack of an outside space at all. The little balcony we have now is a great joy. But I do regret that I cannot entertain someone in my own yard or garden. This regret though will disappear once we are out of this pandemic. That’s my situation/take at the moment. Best of luck with your thoughts and decision-making on this.

  • 8th September 2020 at 6:01 pm

    Colorful “you lighting up the city streets” was my favorite. One day at a time will get us all through these challenging times! @fancified.ca

    • 9th September 2020 at 2:57 pm

      Oh thank you, Judy! The orange coat and the red coat I love those and they do light up the city streets! Thank you again and take care

  • 8th September 2020 at 7:28 pm

    Love your outfits Penny, so nice x

    • 9th September 2020 at 2:57 pm

      Thank you so much Vivien x

  • 8th September 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Penny
    I have done the same here in Australia, have just put the winter gear away (not that we had much winter) but as it’s spring now, it’s already warming up.
    As I have said before, I love your glasses on you! I stopped wearing contacts years ago and I like to hide behind my glasses. 😃 If I have had a photo taken without my glasses, I think I look odd, as something is missing. There is a company here called Dresden Vision, that does many colours of frames and arms and you can interchange all the bits (even take the lenses out and change to another frame) and prices are very reasonable. I love to match my glasses to my outfits.

    • 9th September 2020 at 3:00 pm

      I do like the changeover time when you go through one season’s clothes and discover what you haven’t worn at all, so out it goes!

      I’m more and more inclined to think I’ll keep up wearing the glasses. And like you have more pairs to co-ordinate with outfits – yay!

  • 8th September 2020 at 8:35 pm

    Penny, hello from another woman of a certain age with sleep problems. Like Judy Sparks above, I have a few good nights, then a few terrible nights, with no reason. I always eat at the same time, have only a little alcohol, and seem to spend my days longing for when I can lie down and shut my eyes. I haven’t bought very much all year, because I hate buying clothes on line, but I have managed quite well, the limited number of social occasions due to Covid helps there. Can go a long way on Zoom with a bright T-shirt and a striking necklace or scarf, though I am very sick of my black drawstring trousers! When I have taken all the bags of stuff to the charity shop which I cleared out but couldnt get rid of during lockdown, then I might buy something, but don’t really have much enthusiasm for searching around shops.

    • 9th September 2020 at 3:06 pm

      Ah, sleep problems, so tricky, I think the programme has helped a little in that I was going to bed very early and have cured myself of that, but the actual quality of sleep is still quite poor. But I have 3 more weeks of it so we’ll see.

      I long for more social occasions to dress up for, I guess we shall all have to wait until next year for a more normal routine. My charity shop bag is full to overflowing and the local charity shops are barely taking any donations. Have no desire to look in actual clothes shops because although I rarely bought I liked to know what’s what, but that will also have to wait until next year. Take care 🙂

  • 8th September 2020 at 9:04 pm

    That’s one of the reasons I say I LOVE my glasses…they camouflage many things on my face!! But I do tend to get most of mine online now so I can save money. It’s been SO convenient plus I can have many different colors available.

    • 9th September 2020 at 3:09 pm

      I know that it is possible to get cheaper glasses online, but unfortunately I need a very complex lens for my eyesight, and to have that made in the UK is really pricey so online glasses are not possible. I will get two more pairs of those rather special Ronit/Prue Leith glasses to co-ordinate with my outfits. Should be fun!

  • 8th September 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Bright colours are nice for the warmer weather. This week is sorting out spring clothes (I’m Down Under). I know that it’s going to be a sparse wardrobe but I’m not ready to brave the charity shops nor stores. By the way – the dark skirt and top? They look fab on you xxx

    • 8th September 2020 at 11:04 pm

      silly moi – I meant bright for cooler weather lol

    • 9th September 2020 at 3:11 pm

      Red, orange, and not forgetting yellow, are a great colours for winter coats as so many people wear dark coloured coats: black and grey being the most common colours. Thanks so much re: the dark coloured skirt – it is a nice one 🙂

  • 9th September 2020 at 7:05 am

    Hello Penny , I do hope you can sort out your sleep problems. I do like those specs on you , I too would be saving for another pair to match a favourite colour. As we are now in Spring here , although too early to put away warm clothes in my part of the country, it was fun seeing your Winter coats and jackets. Glad your now feel more comfortable in your small local shops . Stay safe and well.

    • 9th September 2020 at 3:15 pm

      Yes, I see numbers are creeping up everywhere so we are still being cautious, but the small shops admit hardly anyone so I am happy to risk that now. Yesterday we even went into a supermarket which was the first time for several weeks but we won’t make a habit of that.

      I shall get some more glasses to wear with different outfits, and the sleep problem has been going on for a long, long time, but I am grateful for the sleep re-training programme – another 3 weeks to go!

      You stay safe too x

  • 9th September 2020 at 7:23 am

    Good morning Penny.

    I enjoyed this posting and enjoyed seeing some of your wardrobe (again). I had fun trying to remember your stories about them from previous postings them before -e.g. the jacket worn to see the dermatologist and the TK Maxx coat … it got me wondering about the Vivien Westwood coat … did to you keep it, sell it on or save it for ‘best’ ? 😉

    Sleep: I don’t sleep well either. I get around it by listening to the radio in the night (auto-off) and taking a nap in the afternoon if I want/need to.

    Spectacles: Yes, prices are ridiculous. I found the Vision Express will put lense in any frames – which you can buy cheaply on line (easy enough once you know what shapes suit your face.)

    Clothes: I’m buying underwear and nightclothes next month. The rest will come from my wardrobe – there’s plenty there (but I’ll miss the ‘hit’ of a purchase/bargain.)

    Thanks again, all the best, Mary

    • 10th September 2020 at 9:18 am

      Oh that’s very well remembered Mary! The TKMaxx coat continues to be such a good purchase, but sadly I did not keep the Vivienne Westwood coat as really it was too small, I shouldn’t have bought it in the first place. But I sold it rather than giving it away, was too pricey for that.

      I will have a look at Vision Express but I do have a rather complex lens prescription – could never buy off the peg, so to speak. Sleep programme began to work but I’ve gone back to my old pattern of one night bad, one night good, 3 more weeks to go.

      Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean about that hit when you find something!

      All the best to you too Mary 🙂

  • 9th September 2020 at 3:54 pm

    I haven’t commented for a while, Penny but I do always read your posts! The link you sent for ‘Secondhand September’ is excellent and I will definitely investigate some of the recommended sites, although my intention is to buy nothing this month.
    The animal print jacket has to be my favourite, followed by the green vintage coat.
    I love my glasses and would love to have more (I have 2 pairs) but the varifocal lenses are so expensive. On the other hand, I think that as I’m not spending money on going out or travel, perhaps I should treat myself…

    • 10th September 2020 at 9:23 am

      Oh absolutely likewise with your lovely blog – I always read it! Yes, the mistake I made when I bought those Prue Leith glasses was not making them varifocal so consequently I’m always whipping them off for another pair to do the close-up/reading/near sighted stuff. This was because I mainly wore contacts and the glasses were there as a back-up (a rather expensive back-up at the time) but now, they’re worn day in and day out they’re earning their keep and I shall buy another pair soon.

      Always, always treat yourself – live in the moment x

  • 11th September 2020 at 1:23 pm

    Love your autumn selections and I especially love your glasses!


  • 11th September 2020 at 5:29 pm

    a) your face is beautiful! It’s nice seeing that people have laughed and smiled and lived life! b) that’s so funny because I feel just the opposite, that my glasses draw ATTENTION to my baggy shadowy undereyes! c) loved your closet shop! d) your little town is so charming! I would love to live in a walkable spot like that.

    How funny that you posted about your wardrobe on the same day Where Bloggers Live did their closet tours! We should make you an honorary member!

    I have to look at that sleep program!


    • 16th September 2020 at 7:03 am

      Oh Bettye, thank you, what a nice thing to say about my face, which is definitely well lived in these days! My little town is actually a city but it has several distinct areas, and where I live it feels like a village. Apart from our biggest town and city centres most towns are served by small shops in a ‘High Street’. So rather than having malls like you do in the US mall we are a nation of small shops and shopkeepers.

      Take care x

  • 14th September 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Penny, I love your autumnal choices. They all look fabulous on you!

    I had thought of getting mine out of the loft but as we having a mini heatwave this week I;ll leave it for a little longer. It’s always a pleasure though to see the autumn/winter clothes again and there’s always a few surprises of things I’d forgotten I had.

    Take care and stay safe.

    • 16th September 2020 at 7:10 am

      Hi Veronica
      Oh it’s so nice that you’re back from Ireland – bet it was lovely.

      Although I put away a lot of my thinnest/flimsiest items I did leave out two thinnish cotton skirts which have been worn through this mini-heatwave.

      I must go and look at your blog – I like it so much but I don’t get an email to remind me so don’t always remember. Looking forward to seeing all your outfits again 🙂

      Take care x

  • 15th September 2020 at 6:58 pm

    Hello, Penny-for some reason I missed that you put a post up. As you, since Covid, I’ve not visited a charity shop. I did get one thing new but I am also sewing more than I ever have in an attempt to use up some fabric that I’ve had sitting around.
    I do wear my glasses. I’ve worn contacts one time in 6 months but then made sure I had some bright reading glasses over them-That’s the only way I can get to wear fairly large glasses (I need readers when wearing contacts).
    Take care, Terri

    • 16th September 2020 at 7:14 am

      Hi Terri
      Yes I used to wear reading glasses over my contacts. Wearing glasses all the time is very much about being in this pandemic. When it is all over (when!) I shall have a big think about whether I go back to the contacts – might try them for a month and see if I like them. You do see better with contacts.

      You take care too, Terri – am off to visit at your blog 🙂

    • 16th September 2020 at 7:31 am

      P.S. Terri – I’ve just tried to comment on your blog – love the big dotty blouse – but despite logging on with WordPress my comment disappeared. Has it gone into your Spam folder or is it being moderated therefore no worries? WordPress can be so annoying! But didn’t want you to think I don’t read or comment. Take care xx

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