Well, I did say it was the month of the skirt and so it has been through thick and thin and a lot of coughing, now over, thank goodness! Yes, I managed to put up a different skirt on Instagram every day for 3 weeks – phew! I’m taking a break from Instagram as it’s time to do some other things like more writing, both personal and on the other blog, which has been somewhat neglected. However, I might go back on Insta before the winter ends and do a #coatchallenge or something about my hats, all 28 of them – we’ll see.
But the fact that I looked a perfect fright because of the cough and couldn’t take any daily photos meant a lot of searching through my WordPress photo library for some shots of skirts. And that, people, was an interesting experience.
I started this blog because I love searching for bargains in charity shops but I always wanted the blog to be a bit more than that. It was also to talk about other issues including the ageing process, my ageing actually. But saying that when you’re in your late 60s and you feel the same as you did when you’re 40, and thinking about it now in my 76th year, well it’s not just an intellectual activity, it is quite a challenge. And the photos of me when I was 5-6 years younger? Hmmm! I look at the changes and I take stock, which is good, it’s healthy to do that. And then I accept these changes – with some reluctance I have to say, but I accept. Ageing? It’s a work in progress!
Nevertheless looking at those old snaps, I think my maintenance has slipped a bit what with the pandemic and not socialising as much as I used to, so before I show you my 3rd week of skirts I have, not exactly resolutions for the rest of the year, but some pointers and thoughts about maintenance.
And although my age has got nothing to do with maintaining ones sense of style and pzazz, the fact that I’m in my 76th year is something that does come into some of my decision-making. Also anything I say, I hope it helps anyone thinking no, I can’t do that because I’m (insert your age). No, do it because you can! Ok here goes:
My face: the thing is we cannot escape those advancing years and I did notice as I looked through my photos how my face has changed over 5 years. The lines (bags, really) under my eyes have increased a lot (not helped by my insomnia) and I see that without a doubt I have aged, of course I have, it’s natural. But what I intend to do is when cases have come down a little more I shall book some facials and look into slightly more advanced types of facials. Taking care of one’s skin as one ages just makes sense, and I certainly need a boost at this time of the year and after having a winter virus. Actually I think I need to experiment and am rather looking forward to this.
In the meantime I have begun to regularly use masks for both my eye area and the whole face. I’ve just started using Look Fabulous Forever’s facial mask and it feels quite nice after using the product, but any difference is too early to tell. And I’m currently using No 7 Radiance Illuminating Eye Masks – they don’t make much difference but it feels nice to use them. Or put it another way, maybe the bags under my eyes would be worse if I didn’t use these masks!
I also believe in using good quality cleansers, serums and moisturisers and some time soon (and I can’t promise when) I shall dedicate a whole post to skin care and makeup. Ah yes, don’t forget the makeup! I always put makeup on my face, and always feel better for doing so.
My weight and exercise routine: because I’ve not been exercising over these past two weeks and eating comfort food to get me through the day I’ve put back all the pounds (and more) that I gained through those lockdowns, that I’d taken off during the latter part of 2021. The thing is you might think I’m slim and I suppose I am but where have the pounds gone? On my bony hands? Or my thin legs or scrawny forearms with their thin wrists? Or my face? Nope, those pounds are all around my middle. During my 3-week challenge I got out all my skirts and was rather horrified that I couldn’t get into several of my skirts that I’d not worn for some time. So I don’t aim to become super thin, but I do aim get rid of the spare tyre.
And it is amazing how stopping my exercise routine has made me feel so unfit. I need that routine: so I shall up my steps and aim to get over 8000 steps at least twice in a week. I shall be returning to my 1-2-1 with my PT and the Zoom Pilates class. And I have already started my daily exercises of shoulder rolls, and mat work. The mat work is important (leg raises, bridges, and side-line leg lifts) as that is keeping my dodgy hip less dodgy. Currently I am very stiff but that, people, is not the destiny of us older types. We can be flexible and supple – we just have to work at it to get rid of those stiff muscles and aches and pains.
My hair: as you know two years ago when hairdressers were closed and we weren’t vaccinated my hair grew very long. I’ve gone back to my favourite hairdresser (Jake at Trevor Sorbie) and I currently have a longish bob, but having looked at some photographs of it shorter I am going to experiment and try and to get a little more movement and curl to it, so yes, I shall get my hair cut a bit shorter. If I get it wrong, no worries as it always grows back very quickly. The thing is to not get stuck on one style. I mean it’s good if you have found your style, but I say, never say no to experimenting.
My hands: gosh they have aged in the last few years, and I say that not for anyone to go, oh no, you’ve got lovely hands. No, I am totally realistic about these hands. What with the ageing process they have very little flesh on them now so they’re just very bony. Also the slightest knock and I get those bruises that older people get, so at times they look a perfect fright.
However, what I’m going to do is not hide them away, instead similarly to my idea of having more facials I’ll wait for the cases to come down a little more and then book a few manicures at the beautician’s. And I shall wear rings and chunky bracelets and nail varnish with bright unusual colours – watch this space for a few photos to show you what I mean. My point being I shall not apologise for those hands instead I shall show them off.
I also intend to do a couple of pricey things (which is why, my friends, I don’t spend money on new clothes). First I am considering going back to my contacts and that’s partly vanity, but partly not, as I’m finding the varifocals don’t give me the full vision that contacts do. At my age I want to see properly when I cross the road and I’m finding varifocals a bit tricky. Anyone reading this think the same? Would be interested to know your views. And finally I have been dithering about veneers for my front teeth for a couple of years now – I think it’s time to do them.
So there you are. This is the year I shall up my maintenance not to stratospheric heights but just enough to keep standards high and give me some satisfaction that I am not fading away and apologising for being older and, crucially, stiffer and more bent over. No way, never apologise and always face the world with your back straight and with some pzazz!
And here are the skirts!
As I was in the middle of my 2-week cough this is one I made earlier in the summer of 2021!
It’s quite a favourite as I love the blocks of colours.
Below is another old photo as my hair is currently much shorter.
I really love that skirt and I wear it a lot when it’s cold because of its length. It’s a Mango skirt bought new in 2020 during those lockdowns when all the shops were shut.
And here’s the companion skirt also bought new from Mango photographed in the summer of 2021.
I wear this skirt throughout the seasons and particularly through the winter.
Another old photo below is of a skirt bought in Emmaus, Brighton that I also wear often
It’s very comfortable. Here it is worn in the summer of 2021.
Oh for those lovely summery days – the daffodils are appearing so it won’t be long!
Here is another photo taken way back in 2019.
This is a beautiful jacquard skirt from Next but bought in a charity shop of course. I don’t wear it so much now as I consider it too beautiful to just wear around the flat. It’s waiting for me to do some entertaining or going out to lunch – one day!
Then a photo taken last week when I was feeling better! This feels like a tulle skirt but is in fact made of 100% silk. I decided to wear this cheerful top with it.
And finally for Day 21 of my #skirtchallenge I wore this beauty.
It’s a charity shop skirt with a Florence & Fred label which means it came from the supermarket Tesco’s. The material has a lovely satiny feel and I wear it for special occasions – it was a bit tight around the waist!
I’m wearing it here with an M&S tux. And that, dear reader, is the end of my skirt challenge!
That’s all for now. I’ll be back early next week with my end-of-the-month review and I will have a few things to say about our abysmal government and the goings-on in Downing Street! Until then – take care.
With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper