I do love wearing winter clothes and that includes tights and jackets and coats, and oh, yes, boots and winter skirts. I expect having raved about these items and after this week’s rain and colder nights there’ll still be warmer weeks. Nevertheless, I’m excited.

Yes, winter skirts. Here’s a favourite of mine bought some time ago.

It’s stretchy and actually a large size (UK16), but I’ve got away with and it is so comfortable to wear. Gosh don’t sizes vary these days – I’ve got clothes in my cupboard that go from UK 10-16!

And here’s a confession: the skirt above was bought earlier this year. But on Friday 27th and Monday 30th September my resolve cracked and I bought some clothes, all from charity shops I hasten to add, so I had kept to the Second-hand September theme. Considering I had said I wasn’t going to buy any clothes at all, I do feel I have to tell you that I slipped.

The clothes were all seasonally appropriate, and on Monday I wore the Friday buy, a slightly sparkly skirt, which I wore over my Pilates leggings.

There’s a silver thread running through the material, which is quite fun, plus the material is stretchy and forgiving. I still have a couple of pounds to lose after the 8 days of cruise food!

This skirt, btw, still had its M&S label attached, so it’s unworn, and at £5.00, quite a bargain.

Then there’s this skirt also bought on Friday, which was even cheaper at £4.20.

This skirt has quite a rich, warm and woolly feel to it, but is, sadly, a mix of polyester and acrylic, but I felt it was OK to buy this second-hand. I mean I really would have thought twice about it if I was buying new (which I wouldn’t anyway). However, I’ll be writing about the merits of artificial fibres versus wool and cotton shortly.  The skirt’s too warm to wear at the moment, but I tried it out with a black top (3 yrs-old Peacock’s) and a pop of red from my V&A necklace (the 2nd most expensive thing I’m wearing – note the fitbit!).

Actually I think my boobs look rather near my waistline and that’s partly due to me collapsing my core (my immediate reaction to this pic was – do stand up straight) and also partly the couple of extra pounds I’m carrying, which went directly to my middle instead of my face or my bony hands and feet that could do with a bit more flesh! The skirt is hanging slightly above my waistline and should drop when I lose the two pounds.

And here is the skirt paired with my Monday buy.

Yes, not wearing shoes, which are kicked to the back of the room!  It’s a long-line jacket which I’ve been searching for ever since I’ve seen quite a few pix of this type of jacket in the fashion media. See, you read the Vogues of that world, and then you go find the cheapest version you can.

This jacket cost £10, which I see as quite expensive, but that’s because of its label, I guess.

I’m just going to say a couple of things about the Karen Millen label. Karen Millen used to be a really edgy innovative brand, and quite high-end, you’d be proud to wear a Karen Millen item.   Then from small beginnings it grew bigger and bigger, and there was a huge store in London. But the label got sold and sold again, the last time to BooHoo. I went into the Brighton store a couple of times recently and quite frankly I didn’t rate the clothes there at all, they were sort of stale and shoddy. And that jacket I’ve just bought I would never have paid more than £10 as the pockets are false for starters. Please, and seriously? A false pocket is the epitome of cheap clothing – and how dare you deny us women pockets! But at £10 – it’s OK.

And I expect you’ve heard the news that all Karen Millen stores are to close, although the label will be selling online.  Of course that is the way of the world – this will happen more and more.  What do you think of that, as although I’d say I do many things online I do like to actually feel and try on the product before I buy. And don’t tell me you can always send stuff back – that I’d find such a waste of my time.  No, I feel that shopping for clothes, if you have to do that anyway, needs to be done in real time in the High Street, and naturally, I’d say, in a charity shop, where as you can see from the above you can always find some great buys!

That’s all for now

With love, Penny ,the Frugalfashionshopper


32 thoughts on “The cooler weather means I get out my warmer clothes – hooray! Part 1 – skirts

  • 2nd October 2019 at 9:25 am

    Lovely skirts Penny,where do you find all these bargains? I think I’ll have to get the bus down to Brighton if I knew where to look. It’s sunny today but still a nip in the air,only 11degrees. I put all my summer wardrobe away yesterday and got out my winter wardrobe,I noticed a lot of my tops are very bobbily so I need to find some bargains!
    Have a wonderful day

    • 3rd October 2019 at 1:06 pm

      Margaret, I’ve just bought a machine to get rid of the bobbles, it works brilliantly, so I’ve got all my jumpers out and de-bobbled the lot. I feel as if I’ve got brand new jumpers. Best thing I’ve bought in a while.

    • 4th October 2019 at 10:04 am

      Kemptown is very good as is the one and only George Street in Hove – that area is the best imo. But it’s always the luck of the draw whether you actually find anything. Also the charity shops have just got out their winter gear so there’s plenty of choice at the moment. Good luck with your search 🙂

  • 2nd October 2019 at 9:29 am

    Unfortunately I have to buy things online as I live miles away from a high street and when I do decide to go into town I have petrol costs as well as extortionate parking charges, so even to visit a charity shop costs me. It sounds as though you have the right idea, moving into town. I’d love to, but husband is resistant just yet so that’s something we’ll maybe do by the time we’re 75 (only a few years), when the garden and countryside become too much.
    Your skirts are lovely and the one you often feature when you’ve been to a special occasion is fabulous.

    • 4th October 2019 at 10:12 am

      Hi Jane, and apologies because, of course, there’s many a time that buying online is the only option. And on reflection I remember that the time I was caring for my mother, and had that full-time London job I had no time whatsoever for clothes shopping so I bought a lot of items from the Next catalogue which actually worked well. Twice recently I tried to buy online and had to send the items back – one because it was just shoddy and the other because the colour was so different from the online colour! So because of that and because we live in a town there’s no need to buy online. But I totally see why you do it.

      The thing about moving is – don’t leave it too long 🙂

  • 2nd October 2019 at 10:03 am

    Thanks for starting us off towards the winter wardrobe! I’m doing mine in a couple of weeks after my trip to sing in Spain. I do like that skirt in the first pic. I really like skirts for the winter and I have a couple of longer ones I wear with boots. They need a short top for me as I’m petite. I recently bought a CC black skirt with a bias frill around the bottom for £5.00. I like this style as you can move more easily than in a straight one. I like ordering online as it means you can try things on with other items you already own if you want to wear them together. I used to do this a lot when I was buying sale items from brands like Minuet Petite (now defunct) Eastex etc. Now I buy from e-bay and charity shops most of the time. Knitwear can be difficult to buy used I buy new from Woolovers but look after them very well!
    The problem for shops is that we like to browse but then buy more cheaply online. An example of when shops don’t help themselves is when my sister wanted to order some boots but was told that they were not available in the colour she liked. They were available online however and at 40% off the price! She got what she wanted and saved money too.
    As you say sizing is a nightmare now. I dress I bought on e-bay in the same brand and size as others I have is much larger. Luckily I can alter it. If only the manufacturers would at least standardise within a brand there would be fewer items returned. I buy basic M&S jersey trousers but the latest ones were both longer ( I had to alter) and thinner than the previous ones. They also changed the cheap non-wired bras I’ve been buying for years, I find wires too uncomfortable now.

    • 4th October 2019 at 10:17 am

      I’ve never bought anything on eBay but just recently Mr F has successfully bought some items so I might try, because I dare say that shopping will continue to move towards online buys. In 10 years time I expect the High Street will be unrecognisable.

      I expect you’re off in Spain either now or soon – enjoy!

  • 2nd October 2019 at 11:10 am

    I much prefer winter to summer clothes. You have a very good class of charity shop in the Brighton area. Here in the SW a high end find is rare, but I still search in hope.
    Love the jacket and skirt together.

    • 4th October 2019 at 10:19 am

      The charity shops do vary but some of them, both in Brighton and around and about, have amazing items. Yes, winter clothes every time!

  • 2nd October 2019 at 11:15 am

    I also love getting my winter clothes out, it’s like being reunited with old friends. Great advice to examine the trends and then find equivalents in charity shops! I don’t think you should feel guilty at all about succumbing to a few charity shop purchases in Sept. You’re a role model for frugal fashion and showing what great things can be found.

    ps. Love the red necklace – I don’t recall seeing that one in the V&A!

    • 4th October 2019 at 10:27 am

      But I did feel guilty!!! It was quite good for my bank balance though, which was then ruined when I went to an osteopath 3 times and then the dentist – eek!

      The red necklace is one of those necklaces that the V&A shop sells at around £15-20. I mean I love that shop and 99.9% of the time I look at the wonderful and very pricey items and don’t buy – just once I went mad! Most of the time though, I look for the cheaper end and often find that these buys are worn a lot.

      I love my winter clothes!

  • 2nd October 2019 at 11:33 am

    Hi Penny
    Re the Karen Millen jacket. Are you sure the pockets are false and not still stitched up from when it was made? Some people never rip the stitches that were put there to keep the pockets in place. Worth investigating. It’s a fab jacket. Men’s suit jackets are always stitched and have to be ripped with a stitch unpicker .
    Ellie. X

    • 4th October 2019 at 6:47 am

      Thank you so much for this advise…I always wondered what fake pockets were for, this makes so much sense.

    • 4th October 2019 at 10:33 am

      What I need is a stitch unpicker because, OMG, Ellie, I found that the Karen Millen jacket did have pockets! I felt around and there they were, but I spent half an hour looking for and failing to unpick the stitching as the black and flecked material masked where the stitching was/is. Think I need a microscope as well!!!!!

      But thank you for making me look!!!

      • 4th October 2019 at 7:58 pm

        Some fine nail scissors would do Penny. Knitting and sewing shops usually have stitch rippers. Just think, not only did you find a bargain Karen Millen jacket but you’ll be the first to use the pockets! Yay!
        Ellie x

    • 4th October 2019 at 1:17 pm

      Oh wow, I wonder how hot it is where you are? It’s proper Autumn/Fall weather here with a cool to cold wind, brrr, also cloudy and therefore grey.

  • 2nd October 2019 at 12:59 pm

    I can see why that first skirt is a favourite; I love it too! I think winter clothes are much more forgiving and I love boots. I didn’t know that about Karen Millen. You learn so much from blogs. When I go into charity shops, I now try to channel my inner Penny. Last year, I found some brilliant ‘party’ tops at amazing prices.

    • 4th October 2019 at 1:19 pm

      Thanks June! The thing about Karen Millen is that sadly it had become quite tame – once upon a time their clothes were amazing.

  • 2nd October 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Your new buys are fab! I love the Karen Millen jacket and the full M&S skirt, particularly. I didn’t know Karen Millen stores were closing; another one bites the dust.

    Our River Island shop is going to close after Christmas and we’ve just had our M&S close. I’m with you on the returns re online shopping; what a waste of time!

    I like winter clothing too but we wear it for too long, I think!

    • 4th October 2019 at 1:19 pm

      What will our High Streets look like in ten years time?????

  • 2nd October 2019 at 3:33 pm

    Some really great finds, well done Penny. Will look forward to seeing them styled. Jacqui

    • 4th October 2019 at 1:20 pm

      Thanks Jacqui – I expect to wear the skirts again and again!

  • 2nd October 2019 at 4:23 pm

    I’m sure I should resolve not to buy new things for awhile too, but I know I could never do it. I have every excuse in the books, but my favorite is to support the small businesses…ha ha. Even the second hand stores are a business. And sure, it’s an addiction. But at least it’s better than drugs, I always say.
    You really found some great skirts Penny. And that blazer…it’s funny how our perspective of expensive changes once we start shopping second hand.

    • 4th October 2019 at 1:45 pm

      There’s a very good reason for me to not buy new – I don’t have the money!!!! We do have a small stash for holidays but my actual income is small. At the same time it’s good to know as you shop in these charity shops that the small amount paid over the counter goes to a good cause. It’s also ethical as no matter who sells it the whole industry is so polluting. Says something about unthinking capitalism. But taking my righteous hat off (!) when I worked and had the money I just bought clothes without a thought for anything but my convenience and the next presentation. Perhaps it’s different now because it is good when you see more and more people on Instagram who aren’t buying new. Feel quite committed to it 🙂

      Have a great weekend and love to your mother xxx

  • 2nd October 2019 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you for the fun post. You are such a delightful addition to my day Penny! 🙂 Kate

    • 4th October 2019 at 2:13 pm

      Thank you so much Kate, what a nice thing to say 🙂

  • 2nd October 2019 at 8:21 pm

    You certainly don’t skirt the issue when it comes to seriously beautiful skirts. Please don’t ask me how many skirts are in my closet! We can never have too many. That’s a fact. Judy

    • 4th October 2019 at 2:14 pm

      Skirts – I love them . We think alike, Judy!

  • 3rd October 2019 at 12:07 pm

    That’s a lovely skirt and I do love the jacket! I went to a dietist this year to gain some pounds and guess where the few pounds went?? Yeah right! I hate that!! I’d rather lose the extra weight again.

    • 4th October 2019 at 2:15 pm

      I think you look lovely and are at a good weight – take care and have a lovely weekend 🙂

  • 6th October 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Looking so stylish, Penny. I love winter clothes and look forward to Autumn mostly so that I can get back into layers and clothes which always look so much better than summer-wear!

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