Hi everyone

Apologies for not writing a Frugalfashionshopper post for some time. Life got in the way! I went to see my aunt in Oxfordshire and stayed a couple of nights with my daughter in Lewes again, but I haven’t been idle in the writing department as I’ve written many words, just not on this blog.  So, after reading this do pop over to My Other Blog where I wrote about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and asked, do politicians ever get advice from historians?  I think the answer to that is probably not!

Anyway, for those of you living outside the UK, we’ve actually got some hot weather, which has brought so many people to our neck of the woods and the beach. To be honest I avoid Brighton beach in this kind of weather as it is just too busy for me. We have temperatures in the high 20s and they could reach over 30C (86F) and that, people, is hot for this country as the heat is humid and, phew, it is not cooling down all that much in the night. Furthermore we don’t have air con in our homes, it’s not a thing here. Air con can be found in shops, on trains, and sometimes on a bus.  Despite the crowds on the beach I am so grateful we live by the sea as we get the sea breezes, which brings the temperature down a little, and I have got out my beach dresses as they are truly the coolest things I can wear.

First of all, here is my charity shop beach dress that cost £5.

I love it but it’s a little bit see-through. So I’ve added a crop-top – I think you can just about see it.

This crop-top is such fun and I wear it for my Pilates sessions especially when it’s hot.  I acquired this when we bought a coffee pot on eBay and the pot arrived wrapped up in this top.  I though wait a minute – this’ll do nicely!

Below is an M&S beach dress bought new last year in the summer lockdown that we imposed on ourselves and when all my buys were online.  I wore this dress out and about today as it is not see-through but it does have a nice little split in the skirt and it is so cool.

Especially when I wear it with my coffee-pot wrapper top!

That’s all for now – it’s too hot to write anymore.  It’s cold drinks and salads and flopping about weather.  But do tell me how you keep cool – because to be absolutely honest I do find the heat a bit debilitating.  I read a wonderful article by the food writer Jay Rayner recently who said he was actually a winter food person as his favourite foods are pies, and stews and roast and full-bodied meats with lots of potatoes.  I think I’m the same with food and also clothes as my favourite foods would be similar to Jay Rayner’s favourites and my favourites clothes are winter clothes and especially coats and hats!

That’s all for now

With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper

P.S. And if you have time do pop over to My Other Blog, which is to found by clicking on the icon on the side if you’re reading on a PC or Mac or at the very end if you are reading this on a phone – thanks 🙂

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44 thoughts on “Two dresses for the beach and a top that came free with a coffee pot!

  • 21st July 2021 at 7:29 am
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    I find it so hard to dress in summer. Lovely to sit and have breakfast in my garden but dress wise I love jumpers and thick tights. Love the crop top look as it’s a great way of covering up a bit more when wearing a sleeveless dress

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 8:32 am
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      I’m the same as you – totally love winter clothes including woolly jumpers! Thanks re: the crop top 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 7:30 am
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    Gosh, your hair is looking absolutely stunning! Just how I wish mine would be, but it refuses to go grey. The white dress and crop top perfect on you! Sigh. We are in chilly winter here in Sydney, and I can’t get out of daggy cosy stuff. You are an inspiration, I will try harder!
    Cheers, Judy

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 8:35 am
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      Thank you re: the hair. And actually we aren’t very good with hot weather as it’s so unusual for us in the UK, well I’m not good with it! The thing is it’s very humid so it’s very sweaty hot weather. But it’s nice to see the blue sky – your winter will soon be gone 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 7:49 am
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    I live in the middle of England, about as far from the sea as it’s possible to get, so it’s really hot here. I’ve got the curtains drawn and the blackout blinds down, so it’s very dark but not quite as hot as it would be otherwise. And I’ve pulled out a tent-like cotton caftan thingy – a long ago gift from South East Asia – and it is now unexpectedly my absolute favourite garment.

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 8:38 am
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      Yes, we also draw the curtains as the sun gets round to our big window. The trouble is most of the UK housing stock is about letting the light in – we’ll have to learn from our European neighbours and have outside blinds soon. It’s good to wear caftans and something loose and wafty!

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      • 22nd July 2021 at 12:27 pm
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        Gosh Penny, I don’t know how you manage in the U.K. without air con. All our houses here in Canada have air conditioning, and those that don’t usually have small portable ones installed in the windows. It has been really hot and humid here, and I have just hibernated with a good book inside my deliciously cool house.
        I finally broke down and did some on line shopping from Mark’s and Sparks. Their range of summer dresses is wonderful this year, and their online pricing, includes duty and shipping costs, so very reasonable. I have bought three delightful floaty dresses, that will last me a long time, and I have the added advantage of not likely seeing anyone else in the same dress! Our Covid numbers are going down rapidly here, we are at 4700 for the whole of Canada, and just about to come out of lockdown, but masks are still going to be required along with social distancing for quite some time. Your numbers in the U.K. are climbing rapidly I see, which is a little scary, as we tend to follow you. I don’t quite understand why restrictions have been completely lifted in England.
        I love your dresses, but then….you always look great in everything.
        Love from Toronto, hope you get some cooler weather soon.

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        • 23rd July 2021 at 10:06 am
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          Hi Geri. Well I think things might have to change if we continue to get heatwaves like this, which we probably will, but before buying air con, we will investigate outside shutters for our large glass balcony door which radiates heat in the evening. Much of the UK housing stock was designed pre-climate change awareness, and yet builders and developers are still very behind the times and still think we live in a cold grey climate (which we do a lot of the time) so new buildings continue to have large windows and doors to let the light in – that needs to change.

          So glad to hear about the M&S dresses and that they’re reasonable despite the shipping. And finally don’t start me on this unnecessary rise in cases, I mean they really are rising big-time. Our PM is just the pits, and he is so not interested in preserving life or fighting to reduce and eliminate the virus. Instead, it’s let it rip, while we can do anything we like now. Thankfully a lot of people are still wearing masks in shops, but we have decided to cut back on so much of what we planned. It’s not worth the risk. Gosh, it’s tricky. Weather breaking tomorrow – hurrah! And it’s the weekend. You take care and love from Brighton 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 8:01 am
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    I read the article by Jay Rayner but could live on salad. Like you I live in a touristy beach town, Nice, and rarely go near the Prom from the end of June until the beginning of September. Staying cool without AC is hard. We have heavy curtains and shutters to keep out the Sun and leave the windows open at night. I go out early or late never at lunch time. I think I have a better skin colour, I’m white, in Winter than in Summer. I think we will be going back into lockdown too and our holiday to Italy in September has been cancelled, by the hotel! Weird times.

    Enjoy your week and sundresses.

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 8:45 am
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      Actually I am enjoying wearing my dresses but we are so not used to hot weather here. If I do get out to the beach around 2.0pm the beach is rammed with people, far fewer are there in the evening.

      I think most of the UK housing stock was built to keep the heat and let the light in – we’ll soon have to do the reverse and especially get shutters on the outside of windows. We have a large glass balcony door which just radiates heat – not good!

      These are such weird times and we are in such dire straights in the UK what with Johnson letting this variant rip and then tearing up our lockdown and restrictions – it’s bat-sh.. crazy! One day I hope he gets his comeuppance – here’s hoping!!! But I am enjoying the dresses!

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  • 21st July 2021 at 8:03 am
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    Hi Pam, Lovely vibrant beachwear, and good to show that women over 65 still can have decent legs! I really like the white one …… it’s my ‘aesthetic’ 😄 However I wonder why they make white linen things like this so thin? Surely no one can wear these without underlayers or overlayers which negates the point of them! This is my pet peeve about these sorts of white clothes, which I love! I sew, so I can finally wear the jolly lightweight dresses I’ve been sewing for summer – frankly I need to sew to keep me sane at the moment. And at least they fit, and don’t swamp me. I’m an Autumn /Spring sort of person, those these times of year seem to have shrunk drastically recently or just become rainy. I’m definitely a Winter eater too. Fortunately I live in a bungalow so it’s a bit cooler than the average house but even so it was too hot yesterday for me. Usually I can retreat to whichever part of the house is coolest, but this would have meant sitting on the floor in the hall yesterday as anything with an outside wall was too hot! Re your Other Blog, I agree with the sentiment. Take care during the mad ‘unlocking’ – Trish S

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    • 21st July 2021 at 8:05 am
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      Sorry Penny! Too early for me…I was thinking of my cousin! And I can’t edit! I’m so embarrassed 🥺

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      • 22nd July 2021 at 8:51 am
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        Honestly, really, no worries – done it myself!!!

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 8:50 am
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      Thank you Trish re: the beachwear but I know, the white beach dress is very see through and why? I can’t wear it walking around Brighton at all but it would work on a cruise (one day!) or actually being on a beach in the Mediterranean perhaps, with a bikini.

      We all need things to keep us sane, me it’s Pilates and writing, whatever it takes as these are crazy times!

      So glad you’re wearing summer dresses – despite everything I am loving wearing the dresses. Thanks again 🙂

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      • 22nd July 2021 at 6:08 pm
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        Hi Penny ( got it right this time! 😁). I’m loving my summer dresses. Like you say – it’s my bit of sanity, but oh how I could do with more – and a holiday …. preferably a decadent and indulgent cruise. Trish S

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  • 21st July 2021 at 8:14 am
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    African dresses are also cool, only thing I’m wearing around the house at the moment, but have to be 100% cotton, not the polyester mix.
    Hot weather causes fibromyalgia flare ups so I admire the sunny skies from behind the curtains.

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 8:53 am
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      Yes, I wonder about the heat as I seem to be more achy than ever, you’d think hot weather would improve the joints but no, I ache everywhere! Will investigate this.

      Agree and linen too is so good – and am not worrying about the creasing. Anything too keep cool.

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  • 21st July 2021 at 8:34 am
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    I’m pretty much the same age as Penny and for a few years now I’ve started to feel weak and wobbly when the temperature reaches a certain level, currently anything over 25. I can tell when the temperature has dropped because I suddenly feel better. Apparently there’s not a lot you can do about this, apart from the basics of staying in the shade, wearing a hat, and sipping water.

    The current fashion for dresses with wrap-over tops, midi length with a tier, and a bit of shirring round the waist, suits me down to the ground – well, nearly! It is a real bonus if they have pockets – I do love a pocket, especially in the side seam.

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 11:57 am
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      I also love a pocket! Am sitting writing this in shorts and that little crop top at the moment.

      I too do not feel all that well in this kind of heat, it’s so humid and I ache all over, which apparently is a thing, and you can get more inflammation as a result of heat which can exacerbate arthritis which I must have in various joints. Only a couple more days of this but at the same time I do enjoy the dresses, which because of the cool sea breezes I don’t wear as much as I could.

      Thanks so much for the comment, Jen – stay cool 😉

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  • 21st July 2021 at 9:15 am
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    I would always prefer the summer weather to be warm and sunny rather than damp and cloudy. I tolerate it pretty well but the humidity does get to you a bit! I’ve been wearing a loose linen and viscose dress which I bought (used) for this kind of weather. It’s quite thick but I feel cool in it. We had a meal outside a restaurant with our son yesterday which reminded me of being abroad in happier times. I love cafe culture. HI is 70 next week but it looks like the weather will have changed by then. Just having a pub lunch with family. Our boat trip on the Hamble on Sunday looks as if it will be rained off. Typical British summer, it’s never right when you want it to be! I’m reading a lot of novels and finding some really good new authors. When I find someone I like I always get more of their titles. I’ve got a new non-fiction book called ‘Material Girls’ which is about feminism so looking forward to starting that. Enjoying re-runs of ‘Endeavour’ – love everything about it, such great characters and actors.

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 12:04 pm
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      I don’t think anyone likes the damp, and the humidity now, but glad to hear you enjoy the warmth. I do like it, sort of, and am for once wearing dresses, and I do especially love the blue skies, but don’t like it when it doesn’t cool down at night.

      Me too re: the cafe culture and I wish our towns had more large pavements with all the chairs and table set outside like they do in France. In Kemptown there’s very little that can be done outside. And really despite the change in the weather expected next week I’m not keen on doing anything indoors in Brighton as the cases are sky rocketing.

      Currently watching Baptiste and Beck – both very good. Thanks Lynda 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 11:28 am
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    Hello, Penny! It is good to hear from you! You look wonderful in your summer dresses. You still have got the shape and legs to carry off that front slit! And, I like those red sandals. I’m going to get mine out, too.
    The weather in the western U.S. has been HOT. The 3 states that make up theWest Coast (along Pacific Ocean), from north to south, are Washington, Oregon, and California, Washington is at the Canadian border. California shares a border with Mexico. Oregon suffered 116F (46.6C) heat and currently has a very large wildfire raging in the state. Washington (and Western Canada) have also suffered record-breaking heat. California is on alert for wildfires. It always has its hot spots, especially in the desert areas. For example, Death Valley suffered 130F (54.4C)! Northern California has severe drought conditions and is under some water rationing. This is especially challenging for the big agricultural industry in California. Conservation is being encouraged.
    Here in our Southern California beach town, we are comfortable in the high 70’s and low 80’s (high 20’s C). We do have air conditioning but have not used it. We keep windows and doors open for the cooling breezes. We have a lot of agriculture in our area (citrus, strawberries, and avocados). Shorts (varying lengths), sleeveless tops, and flip flops abound. Last week, I shopped for groceries in a sleeveless black linen maxi, front buttons, and tailored collar. So comfortable!
    In writing all this, I see how absolutely spoiled I am. We are paying the price of climate change brought on by ourselves. I hope this opinion is not too political for this space. I am going to read your Other Blog as, of course, the U.S. is the main character in this international situation.
    Good to read that you took a break for some rest and relaxation. Do take care. Husband and I are restricting ourselves as we keep an eye on the Delta variant.
    Charlene H

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 2:34 pm
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      No you’re not being political at all, as I think it is generally recognised that climate change (caused by us) is here and it’s not looking good, especially with the extreme weather we’re getting. In fact our BBC has been criticised for being too neutral and giving the climate change deniers space and a hearing. We have to stop letting those people speak and concentrate on what can be done.

      While it is unusual for UK hot weather to not lessen at night – we usually always have cooler nights – our heat is nothing in comparison to the weather in Northern California and in Canada of all places. That is so unusual and well, the way things are going to be in the future. Hmmm, if I was younger Charlene I’d become an eco-warrior and if my grandsons want to join any activist organisation I’ll support them wholeheartedly. It’s their lives that will be ruined by this.

      But enough of that, it’s great to hear of how you dress – that black linen maxi sounds so stylish. I was wearing shorts this morning for a Zoom Pilates class and continue to wear them as they are so cooling to wear. I’m also enjoying wearing dresses as normally I just don’t as we usually get cool sea breezes even in the hot weather. But no, this time it’s the weather to wear a cool and loose dress.

      And we all have to be careful now – that variant…. You take care and I promise that we will take care too 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 11:56 am
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    Delighted to find your post this morning Penny. It has been a hot and often rainy Summer here in New York. That said, we are lucky that we do not have the dangerous temperatures that other parts of the country are experiencing, causing deaths and also the terrible wildfires. I can usually tolerate hot weather fairly well and in the past have not used my AC much . This year I find I am turning it on more for at least part if the day. Those dresses are perfect for this kind of weather, and I am loving those red sandals!
    The good news here is that I will be going on vacation with my daughter and son in law this Sunday for a week. The trial she was involved with as a juror is over, the scoundrel convicted of bribery and so she is free to get on with her life. I think I might actually check out the local shops while on vacation to see if I can find some similar dresses, it is a beach town and there are some interesting ones. I too have been doing a fair amount of reading. I am so grateful that the local library is now back to being open for browsing, no appointment necessary. The library recently hosted an on line interview with a local poet and an open mic. Actually my daughter was the interviewer. I got brave enough to read a couple of poems I had written.
    Lastly, I read you piece on Afghanistan and am impressed by your deep knowledge of the issue. It helped to clarify my thinking on the situation.
    With love from New York, Darby

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 2:55 pm
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      So pleased to hear you are going on holiday with your daughter and son-in-law. How great is that! Yes do check out some beach dresses and just enjoy! Also, so good to hear about your open mic and your contribution – yay!

      I think the UK will start thinking about AC, although first we should adapt our housing stock and go more continental with outside shutters to windows. Our big glass balcony door is like a hot oven that radiates heat into the interior of our flat. Things like that will have to be changed!

      All my knowledge of Afghanistan comes from the research I did when I edited my father’s memoir. Honestly I knew nothing about that area and nothing whatsoever about military jargon and terms. When I finished I was actually a near expert on the Indian Army, that’s faded somewhat but whenever the news pipes up about a bomb in Quetta or a disturbance in Waziristan I go uh, oh, yup, that area! I mean when the Soviet’s went in to Afghanistan I remember my father saying nothing will come of it, and I thought well of course, the Soviet Union will win and do what they like, well what did I know! Not as much as my dad, for sure!

      And love from Brighton 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 1:46 pm
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    Hi Penny, Loved your latest post. You look lovely in the flowery sundress, I have just bought two pretty strappy sundresses from a Car Boot Sale for £2 each ! Not charity shops I know,but still recycling so that must help the environment a bit. I so agree with the comment about white linen ( which I dearly love ). Even very expensive makes are still fairly “ see though” I wonder why they do this ? I just hate to see undies on full display on an otherwise smart person. Certainly not on myself ! And sometimes you can’t tell in the shop mirror. I will keep searching for “ dense” white linen, it’s out there somewhere! Just off to read your other blog . Best wishes Judy S

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 2:59 pm
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      Oh wow, those prices, amazing! I know, re: the white fabrics, it’s so annoying, the white beach dress is very stylish but cannot be worn walking along a street – too see-through!

      Thanks Judy 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 3:20 pm
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    Hello from Vegas – where we have certainly mastered warm weather dressing hahaha – it seems that the weather his weird everywhere this summer. California is on fire, as usual, and the rest of us are HOT. You look amazing, as always!!! Loving all 3 of these outfits so much but the coffeepot wrapped in that cute shirt is hilarious!!! You always make us smile!!! oxoxo

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    • 22nd July 2021 at 3:00 pm
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      Thanks so much Chrys for this kind words! And yes fancy getting an item of clothing when you buy a coffee pot! Take care 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 3:53 pm
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    We had a hot spell in Vancouver this summer. Surviving without residential air conditioning was a challenge. Frozen grapes/banana slices, wet face flannels placed in the freezer for our necks and a posse of whirling fans helps a lot. I grew up in South Louisiana before air conditioning was invented. This is why southerners talked so slowly. It was too hot to even move off that porch swing. Stay cool!

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    • 23rd July 2021 at 9:37 am
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      Ah you don’t have air con either! A wet flannel is very good and when I went on non-ac buses I used to spray cold water on my face and arms. A shower before bed also helps a lot. Oh that’s funny about southerners!

      You stay cool too! Actually the weather here is breaking tomorrow and rain is forecast – yay!

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  • 21st July 2021 at 4:01 pm
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    Summer dresses are great aren’t they! I love to wear them. I actually wore one today while cycling, that is a good way to keep a bit cool when it’s so warm. At least when you are on a electric bicycle. The wind makes it cooler.

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    • 21st July 2021 at 4:03 pm
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      Better than shorts or capris or anything else – I live in sundresses all summer long!!! I even go sleeveless despite the fact that I probably shouldn’t – when it’s hot, I don’t care about anything but being cool…where I live, that’s at least 4 months a year!!!

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    • 23rd July 2021 at 9:38 am
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      How lovely to be riding a bike wearing a dress – I can see you now, Nancy! Have a lovely weekend x

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  • 21st July 2021 at 5:23 pm
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    Hello, Penny

    Like Christine M I live in Middle England so no easy route to the coast for a bit of sea air. In this heat I live in shorts and little tops. If dressy-up is required, and trust me, that isn’t often, then my go-to is a floaty dress. Like Chrys I probably shouldn’t go sleeveless – it’s a real hang-up of mine – so keep flimsies for the back garden and t-shirts for public consumption. So, memo to self: be more like Chrys!

    We’re fortunate where we live in that it’s okay to leave upstairs windows open and add fans overnight. Talking of which, my husband has just come across an advert for a type of water-based air con unit, half price at just under £60. When he bought ours some three years ago he paid £20!

    Stay safe everyone, especially Charlene H, and Darby, and Chrys again. Being hot and trying to keep cool is one thing but being threatened by city heat and fire is another thing altogether. But I still love California, Vegas zone New York!

    Have a good week, Glad you had time to enjoy seeing family recentl, and love your outfits, as usual. You sure can spot a bargain!

    Z x

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    • 23rd July 2021 at 9:46 am
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      Yes, I am thankful for those sea breezes, and anything to keep cool! We have one of those oscillating column fans and that’s really good, but eventually housing stock will have to adapt to this heat by having outside shutters and using other tricks that the Europeans have used for centuries. I still see houses being built with enormous windows that let in the light, the usual thing that we all like, but one day soon we’ll all have to stop that light coming in, hmm. I shall be looking for a small AC unit but thankfully the weather is going to be cooler next week – phew!

      On another note, thanks re: the outfits, it was nice to wear dresses for once. Take care, Zepherine and thanks for your comment 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 7:00 pm
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    Love the white dress – what a bargain – and the M&S one is lovely too; such a beautiful print and colours. What a bonus the crop top was; I liked how you wore it over the dress whereas I would have been inclined to wear it under but it looks better, over!

    Keeping cool is so very hard in this horrid, humid, heat. I try to wear cotton or linen in these high temperatures and I do a lot of flopping about in the coolest rooms in my home. We have sun at the back until about 3 pm; then it moves to the front so I stay in the room where it’s not; if you see what I mean. I walked with my group today; only 6 miles but it felt like 12 in this heat! I’m investigating a local lake for some ‘wild’ swimming on Friday if there are any spaces left – swimming in cool water is the antidote to this heat in my book!

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    • 23rd July 2021 at 9:54 am
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      It was just the heat that made me put the top over rather than under the dresses and it seemed to have worked. And what a way to acquire an item of clothing – so funny!

      My word, walking in that heat – well done you! And wild swimming – I’m such a wimp, but you must let us know how you get on with that. Haven’t gone in the sea yet. Actually September is the best month as fewer tourists, kids have gone back to school and the sea is really warm. I’m saving myself for that month 🙂

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  • 21st July 2021 at 10:23 pm
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    I love that your coffee pot was wrapped in a crop top! I also have a similar top that I keep for Zumba but I might adopt your idea of wearing it over certain dresses. I find winter clothes are much easier to wear although I love linen and floaty dresses. I find this very humid weather saps my energy and I struggle to get anything done but perhaps that’s no bad thing, in some ways!

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    • 23rd July 2021 at 9:50 am
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      I know, how funny that the coffee pot was wrapped in that way! It was just the heat that made me put it over the dress rather than under it.

      The weather is breaking over the weekend – hurrah!

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  • 22nd July 2021 at 2:11 pm
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    That little crop top is really handy over dresses: not need to knot it, it is the perfect length! It hasn’t been too crazy hot here but we gots lots of yellow jackets on the patio (the humming bird feeders sugar water attracts them) so now I am ready for hummingbird season to be over — it is my mom in law’s hobby).
    http://www.chezmireillefashiontravelmom.com

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    • 23rd July 2021 at 9:48 am
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      How lovely to have humming-birds visit you, living where I do, by the sea, we have raucous seagulls who are large and noisy!

      Have a lovely weekend with your boys, Mireille 🙂

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  • 22nd July 2021 at 3:19 pm
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    Love how both outfits look with that cropped T! What a fun summer layering piece.
    withinaworldofmyown.com

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    • 23rd July 2021 at 9:47 am
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      Thank you so much Sally!

      Reply

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