Once upon a time sales started the day after Christmas, which is Boxing Day in the UK and, as you know, nothing to do with boxing (!) and I think I recall that even further back sales began on the 1st of January!  But now we have Black Friday (quite new to us), Cyber Monday (really new) and the pre-Christmas discounts of up to 50% off with huge posters demanding buy, buy, buy. So by the time it gets to Boxing Day you’d think we’d be zoned out. But no, Boxing Day brings huge crowds into the centre of Brighton for more buying of stuff, which we avoided like the proverbial plague. Let me think, yes, Boxing Day we had a long walk in the park, which entails going uphill, which I really powered up, as gosh did I need the cobwebs blown out of my system! And I was so sick of all that food (not literally) I had beans on toast for tea and that was quite sufficient! Next day (Thursday) friends came round and another walk.  Friday, son and girlfriend came for presents and more food, and Saturday I hit the shops for the sales.

Yes, don’t think I’m above all the sales spiel, but I’m glad to report I bought nothing new. I did look though. And my word, the reductions in some Brighton shops – to £100 or £50!  That’s so not my budget.  And then at the lower end, I thought the clothes looked awfully cheap and shoddy. But. I got a great haul in the charity shops, and this is what I bought.

First, a tunic top – look closer.

What amazing detail! Usually I’m not much of a tunic wearer, but this was rather special.  I tried it with leggings.


That, in my opinion, is rather too Dick Whittington, but I would, I think, wear it with black trousers. And here it is with a skirt.

Slouching a bit here but again, there’s amazing detail on the back of the tunic as well. And worn with old charity shop boots and skirt.  Talking about skirts – what about this skirt?

The pale blue leaves are sparkly – I couldn’t resist it! And note the price at £8.99. That was the most expensive item, everything else was £7.99 – which incidentally seemed to be the price of everything in H&M. I admit the skirt is rather short, but honestly, I saw it, I bought it! And here it is.

I think I can just about get away with that length.  Then a final buy was this dress.

What a bonkers dress but, again, look at the detail.


Just before Christmas I also bought a lovely piece of jewellery for £4.99, so I was all ready for celebrating the season and wearing something glam for family gatherings.

Can I be honest with you, though?  I simply love my family and loved having them around the table but truly I’m beginning to find Christmas i) soooo pressurised and commercial and ii) really quite tiring and iii) because of my constitution I can’t be doing with all that food.  I am not a bah-humbug person though, and I love decorating the tree with treasured Christmas baubles, but the whole thing is such a frenetic time, to be honest, I’m pleased it’s over. Actually, there have been some comments on the previous post about making Christmas more minimalist – well that would go with my flat!!!

With love to you all

Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper






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41 thoughts on “The not-quite January sales

  • 31st December 2018 at 8:51 am

    You can definitely “get away” with the skirt – you have great legs 🙂

    • 31st December 2018 at 9:23 am

      I thought the same. Certainly not too short with those tights. Looks great

      • 1st January 2019 at 11:04 am

        Thank you Maureen so much – Happy New Year!

    • 1st January 2019 at 11:03 am

      Thank you Shirley! Happy New Year!

  • 31st December 2018 at 9:16 am

    Oh I don t like it that it is all over almost! I enjoying this Christmas so much! But I am looking forward to the new year! For spring to come! For is to visit my belovend Engeland again! We will be visiting for a few days at the end of February if it is not snowing! And that blue skirt is gorgeous!! It s not to short, it looks gorgeous on you! I wish you a fabulous New Years Eve and a fantastic 2019!

    • 1st January 2019 at 11:11 am

      Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2019 and thank you so much for your friendship and lovely comment xxx

  • 31st December 2018 at 9:42 am

    You look marvellous in everything.
    Minmalist Christmas,yes please. I really hate all the non essential materialism and adult (not children)excitement.
    Peace please .

    • 1st January 2019 at 11:14 am

      Yes, Christmas is definitely for children. I have the one grandchild and he’s now coming up to 13 and while it’s still magical for him it’s not that 6-year-old magical. So yes, a minimalist Christmas I would love!!! Peace and love to you in 2019

  • 31st December 2018 at 10:16 am

    Minimalist Christmas, yes! We haven’t done humans’ presents for years so it’s just the dog who tears open parcels on Christmas morning. But oh the joy of not having to trawl round the shops buying stuff nobody needs or wants. We spend the time enjoying the company of friends instead. A happy and peaceful NewYear to all in this world gone mad!

    • 1st January 2019 at 11:15 am

      Oh wow, I love the idea of presents just for the dogs. I had a wonderful dog – a Blue Marl – quite bonkers and very highly strung, but so lovely. Never replaced her. Wishing you a very Happy New Year 🙂

  • 31st December 2018 at 11:04 am

    I love the clothes I have and I keep – and wear – them for years. Literally. That doesn’t mean I don’t add to them though! If only I could abide by your one-in-one-out rule, Penny, my husband would be sooo grateful! Ha! In his New Year dreams! My trouble is uncertainity: if I bought a particular item, what would I wear it with? I can only style an outfit by laying out all the possibilities back home and mixing and matching then, not in my mind’s eye while I’m in the shop. It sounds daft, but had I come across your lovely skirt I’d probably have put it back on the rack in despair. Sad or what, eh? No wonder I live within the safety of jeans and sweatshirts! The kind of clothes I’d like to wear are always on other people – like you, Penny; well done! Love your style.
    A very Happy New Year from here in Middle England and here’s to better times all round.
    Cheers m’dear!

    • 1st January 2019 at 11:17 am

      Cheers to you – love your comments and your name! Here’s to 2019. Happy New Year, Zepherine 🙂

  • 31st December 2018 at 11:31 am

    Christmas is fun if you are healthy, have friends and family, and money. For tens of thousands it is a time when they feel more isolated and poor. I enjoy Christmas with friends and family and meals, but feel huge sorrow for those who do not have that ‘cushion ‘.

    • 1st January 2019 at 11:19 am

      I’m with you there – that’s what I feel! There’s too much emphasis on having a ‘happy’ time. We should reflect on others, and hug and be thankful for our family and friends. Very best wishes to you for 2019 🙂

  • 31st December 2018 at 11:56 am

    Yes love that skirt on you, enjoy wearing it and all your other purchases. Happy New Year to both of you.

    • 1st January 2019 at 11:19 am

      Thank you Shirley. Happy New Year to you too 🙂

  • 31st December 2018 at 12:43 pm

    The shops here were packed,where do people find more money after Christmas!? I’d like to go back to closed all day Sunday and half day Wednesday,I know that’s making me sound very old! Have a wonderful New Years Penny look forward to more blogging in the new year.

    • 1st January 2019 at 11:21 am

      Ha, ha, and yes! Here’s to an interesting 2019 – thank you so much for your comment and feedback Margaret, much appreciated 🙂

  • 31st December 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Curiously in Eastbourne the shops and streets were dead on Boxing Day and in the days after – the taxi drivers were complaining they had hardly any work, and the general reports of pre-Christmas shopping was that it was down on previous years. A good thing in my opinion. Maybe people are beginning to think twice about buying crap for Christmas. What’s puzzling is why the huge expansion of the Arndale Centre, when retail shopping is going down and more people are shopping online. There’s also limited parking and yet apparently most of the outlets are already booked. There seems to be real denial about the way things are going.

    I’ve been doing lots of ebay shopping – mainly as a way of procrastinating – with mixed results. I’m very pleased with one or two bargains but a lot of things go straight to a charity shop so I am probably not saving anything by not buying new. But I loathe shops and shopping and do almost all my shopping online.

    Your buys look great Penny. None of them are things I could wear but they look good on you, especially the blue skirt. You do have great legs whereas I keep mine covered up.

    • 1st January 2019 at 11:02 am

      It’s interesting you say spending and footfall was down in Eastbourne as I didn’t see any signs of that in Brighton, which anyway probably attracts the people who want to buy (and I include myself in that). But the denial about retail shopping is very much around us with the companies/shops that are folding – more to come, I bet. And I always thought that there was huge denial about the trend to online in my recent/last home town, which was yours too. People were always on about regenerating that particular High Street – it just won’t happen. Tbh I did most of my Christmas shopping online and found that so helpful. Even getting a shirt for MOH – annoyingly the shop didn’t have his size and what’s more I went to both the Brighton and Lewes branch for that shirt – I mean sometimes, shops do not help themselves!

      Oh Umi, thanks so much for your comment about the skirt – I wasn’t sure about it until people started saying it looked OK – thanks again and a Happy New Year to you!

  • 31st December 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I bought most of my Christmas presents on the high street this year – there is no substitute for looking at real goods!
    Went out today, largely to relieve the boredom I always feel after Boxing Day and nearly went home without buying anything. M&S -ghastly! However I bought a pair of sensible lightweight lace -ups as a replacement for old ones in Clarks- 60% off! I then succumbed to a bright pink/cerise longline cardigan from Laura Ashley, half price and some cashmere content. This is a shop I rarely even look in so let’s hope I don’t regret it. At least it will go with other things I already have and it’s difficult to buy knitwear second-hand without bobbles etc. I’ve broken my 3 month record of no clothes buying but somehow I feel more positive for the coming year.
    All the best to you Penny and all the contributors to you blogs for 2019

    • 1st January 2019 at 10:53 am

      Thank you Lynda and I so appreciate your comments and thoughts on this post and all the others made in 2018 – here’s to 2019, which will be an interesting one, I’m sure 🙂

  • 31st December 2018 at 2:02 pm

    A very Happy New Year to you and yours Penny. We do not buy gifts to open for ourselves, just for the younger ones, but this year we splurged on a cruise for our anniversary in April. We will be traveling through the Panama canal and up to Vancouver. This is a much more memorable gift than some mindless spending. Your thrift buys are great, and that skirt looks perfect on you. Thrifting is what I would rather do than brave the mayhem in the stores or malls. If I find something I love, it is coming home with me to work into outfits later. Seems to work out fine, and if not, back to the thrift store. I do buy most of my own clothes in these stores. Cannot abide the prices in the retail stores. ( retired, not giving up ) You are an inspiration. Thanks for all your effort in the blogs and have a wonderful upcoming year.

    • 1st January 2019 at 10:50 am

      A cruise! Soon after Christmas Day I booked a cruise as well – for 2020!!!! We have one booked already for 2019 – we are going back to that wonderful place I love, Norway! However, I often think about that trip to Canada and Alaska that keeps being advertised – it’s one to keep on the list. Have a great 2019 and thank you so much for your kind words Diane 🙂

      • 1st January 2019 at 3:43 pm

        Penny, the Alaska cruise is amazing. The glaciers were something to see. You cannot appreciate the size until you are up against them. The train through the trail the gold miners took is unbelievable. Hope you get a chance to see this at some point. We met so many fantastic British folks on our trip.

  • 31st December 2018 at 3:18 pm

    Penny, you look great in all 3 outfits. Especially like the shades of blue with the black. About Christmas, if somebody enjoys something about the holiday season, then they can think about that, focus on what brings them joy. If you don’t like the materialist focus of shopping, then don’t Christmas shop. Think of your friend/relative and make/buy something you think they will enjoy. If you don’t like the Christmas rush, don’t rush. Etc, don’t overeat, enjoy some holiday food with gratitude. Embrace those in need in your wishes for peace/joy during Christmas.

    • 1st January 2019 at 10:46 am

      So wise, Evie, I aim to do things a bit differently next year, and will keep your wise words in my head. Have a joyful 2019. In gratitude to you x

  • 31st December 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Penny, what fabulous things you got in the ‘sales’! I love them all and would have bought them all. The tunic is fab – have you got mustard trousers to wear with it? Loved it over the skirt as well. I love the sparkly skirt and the dress is really gorgeous as is the fab necklace.

    I am not doing Christmas next year; either someone else in the family does it or we are eating out on Christmas Day. We can still enjoy the getting together, the opening of presents together and the fun and games without the shopping, cooking and clearing up involved for one big meal! And although eating out on the day is bound to be expensive it can’t be anymore expensive than the cost of all the ‘special’ food bought for the big day. That’s my New Year’s resolution…

    Have a peaceful and joyful 2019!

    • 1st January 2019 at 10:31 am

      Hello Veronica – ah that’s interesting that you don’t want to do the cooking again – tbh I found it so tiring this year, mainly because it was mostly down to me. I agree with you that I love the getting together and the family hugs and kisses, However I can’t be doing with all that food! I must sound such a grump yet I love Christmas but that meal….

      On another tack – I’ve commented on your latest blog, but the comment disappeared twice. I find this happens every now and then (there’s another on Blogger/Blogspot where it often happens) and I sometimes wonder if it happens on my blog – do let me know if that happens to you. But possibly they’re (both) waiting for moderation! The technical wonders of blogging!!! I do love your blog btw, and quite envy the number of charity shops with such very reasonable prices – as you could see from this post everything in Brighton costs £7.99!

      Here’s to an interesting 2019 – and very best wishes to you and your lovely family xxx

  • 31st December 2018 at 9:46 pm

    Your “new to you” printed tunic and striped skirt seems tailor made for you. Really cool finds along with your other featured thrifted pieces prove that treasure hunting has many rewards. Right?

    I will happily be putting on a crown tonight, toasting a brand new year; however, getting back to normal after the holidays will be utter bliss.

    Thank you for all of your generous sharing through out the year.
    Happy New Year’s Eve. Judy @fancified.ca

    • 1st January 2019 at 10:33 am

      Ah yes, getting back to normal – I’m looking forward to my Pilates class resuming once more! And yes, that tunic is upping my game I think. Here’s to funky 2019. Happy New Year, Judy!

  • 1st January 2019 at 11:39 am

    Happy New Year, Penny! I, also, think you look great in the shorter skirt and ankle boots. The necklace is particularly fab, too! Although Christmas is over, my eldest son was born on January 2nd and my husband January 25th. No time to relax quite yet 😂!

    • 2nd January 2019 at 9:23 am

      Happy Birthday to your son! And thanks for your comment on the skirt as I wasn’t sure I could/should wear it! Wishing you all the best for 2019 x

  • 1st January 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Penny … You are truly inspirational! How I love your blogs! Thank you so much for sharing.
    Your thoughts and ideas mirror my own! Everything you choose looks so right, like you love to be thrifty and re cycle/re use. Think it’s a generational thing, that gives us great satisfaction!, I’m definite not a Maddona girl ‘living in a material world’ .. More a Shania Twaine ‘That don’t impress me much’
    Love and very best wishes to you and yours for a very Happy and Healthy 2919
    Margaret X

    • 2nd January 2019 at 9:24 am

      Very best wishes to you for 2019 Margaret and thank you very much for the kind feedback 🙂

  • 1st January 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Great outfits Penny and I especially love the blue skirt! We’ve had a lovely Christmas, had such fun with our new puppy Lizzie, but my Christmas dinner was a disaster – I not only cremated the leg of pork but also had to bin the roasting pan! Why is it so difficult when I cook almost every day without problem? My husband was very kind and said it was fine, but thankfully we’ve just had a very nice New Year’s dinner which was stress free.
    There is such pressure, mostly if my own making I think, next year I’m determined to scale down even more. I did most of my present shopping on line this year and spent very little, a lot of beautiful gifts were bought from a village hall sale of work from an African educational project. For children I now buy books, I have no wish to buy technology!
    Among my family and friends I feel a general scaling down and this can only be a good thing.
    I wish you and yours a very happy and healthy new year and look forward to your interesting and informative blogs for 2019.
    Best wishes

    • 2nd January 2019 at 9:28 am

      Oh I did laugh at the burnt roast pork – couldn’t have been all that much fun at the time so I was glad to hear about your New Year dinner. I think scaling down sounds so good. And online shopping, although it is not good for our High Streets and malls, really it is so much more convenient. I think these High Streets will have to become full of specialised smaller shops with coffee, I mean there are many coffee shops already but shopping has to become a pleasanter experience for it to survive. All the very best for 2019.

  • 2nd January 2019 at 9:12 am

    Wishing you all the best for the New Year Penny. You did very well with your purchases they all look brilliant on you. You certainly can wear the shorter skirt. The tunic is fun , like it with the skirt and pants would work beautifully. I did laugh at your Dick Wittington reference.
    Boxing Day sales are big here but I have never bothered.

    • 2nd January 2019 at 9:30 am

      Thank you Jill, I don’t usually do the sales but thought I’d try. Gosh the prices were still so high! All the best for 2019 🙂

  • 2nd January 2019 at 4:01 pm

    On the subject of scaling down Christmas I’ve just spent nearly 5 hrs taking down and boxing up my Xmas Decs- husband now vacuuming. I love putting it all up but putting it away again….! Each year I seem to buy more but I don’t want to part with things I’ve had for decades – my 40 year old coloured lights are now retro ! I used to bring in greenery and spray it gold, silver or more recently copper for table centres etc. I may go back to that next year but I can’t waste my glittery LED stuff which I should not have bought in the first place.
    Anyway, enough of Christmas now home is back to normal and forward into a new year with, I hope, many opportunities for change and improvement!

  • 3rd January 2019 at 9:09 pm

    I all about black, Penny. Because it suits my colouring. So I just love the blackish tunic and the skirt.
    Luckily, I know so many people who have minimised Christmas. Including moi. I can heartily recommend handing Christmas meals over to the next generation or 2 down.

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