Hi everyone


I’m starting with a bit of a look at what the blog is for and an apology of sorts (for starters this is a long one!) as I think I have to admit I’m struggling at the moment. As you know I’ve always said this is not just a fashion blog, and in no way am I any kind of ‘influencer’ as I know next to nothing about fashion and beauty, apart from reading up stuff and using my own experiences, and as you know I often get things wrong. But actually when I started out (was it over 10 years ago) it was always going to be about examining what it meant to age. Yes, really, that’s what I always intended.


But contemplating ageing when you’re in your 60s and you feel no different to how you felt in your 40s is an academic issue, and, of course, you know ageing will happen, but at the moment it hasn’t. So you say let’s see. Let’s record this ageing thing and think deeply about it when it happens.  But actually that was all about my academic past, ageing was something to examine, probe, and record. You looked at ageing as a thing that could be unpicked and even solved. Why wouldn’t you, this was your younger self speaking about something that hadn’t happened – yet.




Well, ageing has crept up and you know what I don’t like it one bit, let me be real, let me say it. Nor at the moment do I like how I look. There I’ve said it. I really don’t. And I think it shows in the pics that have been taken over the past few weeks.


Now I am absolutely not asking for anyone to send compliments. Don’t. Especially if you’re not in your 70s. Because this is an honest examination of what it is for me to age and remember I’m in my late 70s.


Physically, there is nothing major wrong with me. I am grateful for that. But things change and you weaken. I work hard (apart from this week when it was so hot) on my Pilates, and weights and strength exercises. I do a very good plank btw, and have good muscle definition in my upper arms, but still I ache, I have arthritis, I can’t bend as I used to for gardening, I have to be careful, and my balance and walking is nothing like it was 10 years ago. So I work on that especially. But it is all hard work.


There’re other things going on, of course, and readers, I’ve begun that awful bone med, the one you take for osteoporosis once a week, the one I resisted for 15 years. Actually it has had no digestive consequences. which I was dreading, but I truly hope not to take it for more than a couple of years. But the state of my bones cannot be ignored.  I also take a beta blocker for my heart but think that my B/P might need lowering with another med. And so it goes.


But there’s nothing awful, so I should be grateful. Instead I’m annoyed, angry even. I am not quite raging, but nearly! That these things are happening – to me!! You see I was so fit and slim and healthy for so long. Yes, be grateful for that – I tell myself!!


I think the problem is that the way you see yourself as you age is critically important and that is why I am going through this little crisis, this fork in the road, that I’ve come to. Poor Mr F, who hears my occasional rant at how I look (especially the hair) says that at the moment I’ve got a slight case of body dysmorphia. Bless him, he can’t see anything wrong with me!!


So what do I want. Yes, I want to accept myself as I am, but I do seriously think I need to work on how I look. Because it will help. In fact I need a thorough shakeup with regard to the clothes I wear.


Do you know I think it is easier to do a restyle in the winter. When it’s hot here we need those loose dresses that flap around the legs to cool ourselves as we walk around town.  I’m going to show you two examples of dresses that I wore last week: one that did not work and one that did, sort of, up to a point.


The weather we’re having at the moment isn’t typical as we’ve had the same hot weather now for days. Last week on one of the hottest days we went once again to One Garden (which is half way between Brighton and Lewes) this time with friends.  The garden is very reminiscent of Monet’s garden.



But as we were there in the first week of September it was nearly over, apart from some of the wonderful yellow flowers of Rubekia and another plant I don’t know.



I wore kind of a matching dress.



Now this is a very good example of a dress I possess that is all wrong, as this is absolutely not what I want to look like. I won’t wear it any more.



I bought the dress during one of those dreary days during lockdown. Remember those days when you scrolled through various websites just for something to do – I admit I did this a lot. Anyway, this dress seemed to say to me – you will get out to wander around a lovely garden. Yes, at that moment in time I needed a dress like that to feed my imagination.  It’s from Mango, and was bought at its full price. But IRL it is not the way I want to look. I hadn’t worn it once this summer as I thought that it was too much of a milkmaid dress, too fussy and not the cut. The photographs have proved that – it’s not the image or look I want to project. I shall sell it. But hey, it was cool to wear! See the greyish clouds, there was a haze to the sky, but it was the hottest day at well over 30C and it was like walking around in a sauna.



Bye, bye, that dress! Now this one below is better, it is in a one-block colour in black, which I like. I’m more me. But is there a hint of ‘old-lady’? Mr F at this point would laugh and say, but you are an old lady. But people, that is not the image I want to project!!!!!



And here I am in a cool (but not cold) coffee shop.



I think it is good and healthy to reassess and say, this is what I like and this is what I don’t like and doesn’t suit, and always, always think of ways to go forward – which is what I’m doing here after seeing these photos.


Turning aside from me-me-me. Sorry, but this is how I feel today. Let me ask you what style do you think you are or aim for? Are you in the Older and Bolder Brigade, a Gentlewoman (that’s a long jacket, a white t-shirt and cashmere sweater and very well cut jeans) or a Glamour puss? Alyson Walsh who writes the That’s Not My Age blog wrote two very useful books on style and style tribes, I particularly liked Style Forever. She is, I think, the epitome of a Gentlewoman. And do you remember last year, the Coastal Grandmother trend?  To the latter, I say nooooo!


I’ve said this before, but in my head I am forever aiming to be a bit more rocker/goth/biker chic. In reality I am far from that style especially so, as you could see, in the summer. Roll on the cooler weather and Autumn and Winter when I can wear winter clothes – they are so much easier. And I’ve decided, I want to wear more tailored shapes, jackets and jeans. Yes, YES, how I love black skinny jeans with a jacket, can’t wait to wear those jeans with my faux leather jacket! See you’re never too old to aspire, you’re never too old to rock an outfit. Now that’s more like it.  This is the me I want to be, with attitude and with skin tight jeans and biker boots, I say – yay and three cheers to all the ageless rockers! I’m joining you!


That’s all for now, thank you so much if you’ve read to the end. I love you for that. Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper


P.S. Btw, I’m packing again!  For Dungeness, of course, for a whole week from the 16th!  This time it’ll be for typical British weather, which is rain and sunshine and clouds and blue skies, probably all on one day so I shall be wearing very utilitarian clothes that week. Thanks again for reading this post 🙂

What style image do you think you have?
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101 thoughts on “What style image do you think you have?

  • 11th September 2023 at 9:20 am

    The black dress is wonderful,very elegant and shows off your jewellery! I won’t comment on the yellow one…

    I’m 75 and have given away most of my dresses as my legs are too pale and veiney to be without tights and of course tights are too hot etc etc. Fortunately I am quite tall so look ok in trousers.

    • 12th September 2023 at 7:54 am

      Yes, the black dress works and I have worn it a few times this summer – it’s definitely a keeper. Milkmaid dresses are going!

      Btw, re: your legs. Mine too are so very pale and veiny. However. I have just discovered a great fake tan, it’s Garnier Summer Body Lotion in the colour Light Sun-Kissed G|ow. I’ve been using a fake tan for years that streaked and smelt. The Garnier does neither and is amazing. I am truly stunned at the results. Good that you wear trousers.

      Thanks Hilary 🙂

      • 16th September 2023 at 7:16 am

        Many thanks Penny,I will look out for the Garnier lotion!

  • 11th September 2023 at 9:26 am

    Oh I do know the feeling, Penny!
    I try to aim for style and “attitude”, but often just look tired and saggy.
    Despite the fact that we want our minds and our lives to be full of interesting things, the skin will wrinkle, the knees will ache, the spine will creak…..
    Those long floral dresses don’t do anything for me, they pull me down, too saggy and too near the floor! Loved the second dress though, much more style. Like you prefer winter clothes, black opaque tights make me very happy. (M&S Body Sensor 40 denier fit well, feel wonderfully soft and last for ever) Can’t wait to get back into big jumpers.

    • 12th September 2023 at 7:56 am

      Oh exactly. And black tights and, for me, black leggings under winter skirts – can’t wait!!!

      Thanks so much Sue 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 9:45 am

    Golly, I am 74 and know just how you feel! The weekend was sunny and very hot and everywhere there were women in shapeless cotton dresses which have hardly had a previous outing this summer. I like the tailored look if I can get it but I am also a great fan of Rohan, the outdoor and travel shop. The clothes are completely non-fashionable but well-made and practical. I won’t pay full price, but devour their online bargain offers. As a result, I always look as though I’m about to set out on a 10-mile hike, and I don’t mind if people mistake me for energetic! I’ve recently signed up for the Zoe personalised nutrition plan which has been great. Zoe also publish all their latest nutrition information in free-of-charge podcasts and Youtube videos. A challenging recent finding is that over 70s should be consuming daily at least 1.4g of protein for every kilo of body weight. I am determined to do it without resorting to protein powder. I have also stopped taking my osteoporosis medication after three years because it was obvious that no-one in the NHS was available to conduct a medication review, or even explain why I was taking it in the first place. I think that good nutrition is the bedrock of healthy aging, and I study hard to get it right.

    • 11th September 2023 at 4:51 pm

      I just wanted to reply regarding the bone meds. I read a NICE report that said that after 3 years on them they’d reached the maximum benefit. I had been taking for nearly 4 yrs when I had another dexa scan and my scores were much improved. I stopped them year ago, and it’ll be interesting to see if in the next scan what the t scores are. Just thought I’d pass this on to you in case you hadn’t read the report. Good luck.

    • 12th September 2023 at 8:02 am

      Oh how interesting re: Zoe. We’re total fans as we did that earlier research on Intermittent Fasting which was all about restricting your hours rather than days. And wow, it worked so well for joint pain – I was stunned at the difference. I have Spector’s book Food for Life.

      I think we will inevitably do the Zoe nutrition plan – funding it is the thing. But it’s definitely something we want to do.

      Interesting you’ve stopped the osteoporosis medication after 3 years. Another commenter has done that after reading a medical review on it. I’m sure you’ve thought of this but I’d nevertheless ask for a regular bone scan to keep the scores scrutinised. But I agree, good nutrition is definitely the key to good health including bone health.

      Thanks Christine 🙂

      • 13th September 2023 at 6:42 am

        A new Zoe podcast is published every week with a transcript. There is so much recent new research on nutrition and metabolic syndrome and I am so lucky to have this information at my fingertips despite not having a medical background. A good book on metabolic syndrome which I keep to hand on my kindle phone app is Metabolical by Dr Robert Lustig. Metabolic syndrome has several forms, some not apparent, but it is extremely likely that an older person has one or another of them. Through the blood tests in the Zoe personalised nutrition programme, I learned that blood glucose and blood lipids clear very slowly for me and this affects my insulin and cell function. This can be controlled (not cured) through diet. Also, I have had a microbiome check. The microbiome controls the immune system and so much more. Fortunately mine is excellent, but if it had not been, then Zoe shows how to improve it. I could not even get a telephone medication review from my GP (I waited in but he did not call) so I have given up on the osteoporosis medication. I have no idea how I would get to be referred for a repeat bone scan. I don’t even have the results of my first one, so I have little faith in the NHS. That is why I am trying to help myself through nutrition.

        • 13th September 2023 at 8:17 am

          So interesting about Zoe – I do watch the Zoe podcasts and as I said we will do the Plan at some point. I bet I have a really bad microbiome and bad blood sugar control too.

          RE: the bones scans. Somehow I have kept all my results starting from 2011 – but I know I started them well before that year. Long story as to why I began scans which I won’t go into. I have had them every two years for many years, because I demand to have them, and as they could see I was slowly developing osteoporosis, they agreed. With my new GP surgery I rang the reception and said I wouldn’t have the telephone discussion until I saw my results. I swear the radiographers used to send me the results before, but this time, the radiographer very sniffily said the report was for the GP only. I thought, oh yes, we’ll see!! OK, so the receptionist was a bit nonplussed but agreed to email me the results. So I had them before I got to discuss things with the GP. Despite my good diet and the way I exercise I now had osteoporosis, not in the spine thank goodness but in the right hip, yes. So I have agreed to taking that med but will demand another scan after two years. And then I will go off it after 3 years. On the 4th year I will want another scan to see if the scores have dropped or increased. I am a very active participant in my body’s health and I defy any GP who tried to get in the way of this!! Gosh just re-read this and I sound as though I am shouting – apologies! But I feel quite militant about participating in these decisions, which is similar to you really!

          Thanks again – it’s good to discuss these things

          • 13th September 2023 at 8:55 am

            Not militant, Penny!! You’re doing absolutely the right thing by being an active participant in your own health.
            Thankfully, I’m very fortunate to be with an Outstanding-rated GP country practice, run by a wife and husband team and excellent staff who, in their own way encourage us to take responsibility for our health and well-being. They recommend listening to various relevant podcasts and suggest reading matter. I get to see all my test results online. The practice staff know those of us with health challenges well, are friendly and helpful and can almost always give an appointment the same day if needed.
            If only that model was available to everyone…!

  • 11th September 2023 at 9:49 am

    I too am 75, well a few month off, I have lost my style, I like long flowing dresses but I’m 5ft 2inches, up until now I’ve not been too bothered how I look, but I’m not sure anymore I too like winter style wise as I like skinny jeans and tunics love the black dress btw

    • 12th September 2023 at 8:05 am

      Yes, I think the flowing dresses look is a challenging one. We think they’re going to be lovely and yet, and yet, there’s too much material, even for me at 5’8″! The black dress is so much better, but still not quite me. Think it’s dresses!!! Roll on the winter months and those skinny jeans!!!

      Thanks so much Sandy 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 9:57 am

    I think that I may have sent my comment before I finished it! I wanted to say that I am with you Penny- all the way. As someone (possibly Mae West) said, age is not for the faint hearted. I am 74 this week and have just been diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I have had a very painful back, shoulder and arm for over two years but diagnosis has taken a long time because of difficulty seeing a doctor in our area. Add to that hearing aids, cataracts and expensive dentistry. Today I hear that Alistair Stewart has announced that he has vascular dementia having suffered from feeling discombobulated. Sometimes I think that is a permanent state for me. But, the alternative is far worse! My husband died at the age of 56 and I am grateful that I have lived and hopefully will live much longer, to see my grandchildren flourish. I too am having an appearance crisis, my once thick hair is thinning on the crown and I hate it. I avoided the ‘little house on the prairie’ dresses like the plague over the last few years because I knew that they were not me. By all means re-evaluate your look, as we all should from time to time, but most of the time you look great. That black dress is really stylish and you have a wonderful jewellery collection. Just keep ploughing on.

    • 12th September 2023 at 8:14 am

      So very sorry for the loss of your husband, that brings everything into perspective, I need to be reminded of that. So glad you’ve seen your grandchildren grow and flourish. I was very hands on with my now 17yr-old grandson, less so with the new little ones of nearly 3 yrs-old and nearly 6 months. Can I have another 20 years please to see them grow up!!!

      The aches and pains seem to come with the territory of ageing, my heartfelt sympathy re: your diagnosis of arthritis. Do hope you’ve got a good hairdresser. Today I’m going for a consultation at another Lewes hairdressers as I need to just talk my hair over with someone. Thanks re: the kind words about the black dress – it’s a keeper.

      I love that, keep ploughing on, I will! Thanks so much Lindy 🙂

      • 12th September 2023 at 3:21 pm

        Something of a coincidence here Penny. My fantastic hairdresser went to work abroad and I haven’t been happy with his replacement. Having asked around for a good ‘cutter’, the same name kept coming up. So, this morning I took the plunge and have booked a consultation with her for Friday. Here’s hoping.

      • 12th September 2023 at 10:52 pm

        If the new hairdresser is inclined to consider the birth certificate data rather than the person anf you can bear travelling to Tunbridge Wells I’d most highly recommend my secret weapon, Shannon of Great Hairdressing based in Hoopers (opp the train station). He adores working with ladies of an interesting age and treats each one as a complete individual – cut, colour, whatever. He LISTENS, talks through the possible and makes the magic happen. If only he was my next door neighbour. Sadly he has no magic cure for arthritis or the sweet tooth of a child but you can’t have it all on a plate unfortunately. 77 last month and angry as hell – gets me up in the mornng though 👹

        • 13th September 2023 at 8:24 am

          Hi Paulette and here’s to us angry 77-yr-olds!!!! I am with you in that anger, although it’s been great to realise so many of you feel the same way.

          Your hairdresser sounds AMAZING! Yesterday I went to the new hairdresser and she listened. And what was interesting she didn’t want to cut it any more so didn’t push for me to come in. We agreed that I would grow it a bit longer so she could have more to work with. I will go back to her in about a month to 6 weeks time. Thought it was a good consultation and I shall enjoy my next visit.

          Thanks Paulette 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 10:23 am

    The black dress is so ‘you’ elegant, simple very flattering and very French chic looking. Midsummer alternative to autumn/ winter rock chick.

    • 12th September 2023 at 8:20 am

      Two years ago I nearly didn’t buy that black dress!! I was far more interested in vast blue ‘milkmaid’ type dress which I wore precisely once. That was sold recently, the black one is a keeper.

      Thanks Lisa 🙂

      • 12th September 2023 at 2:13 pm

        Hi Penny
        Been following you for some years now.
        I know how you feel in the yellow dress .
        A bit old and frumpy, but you were probably hot and wanted a cool dress .
        So was ok for a garden but if you don’t mind me saying the hat didn’t really do much for you . Maybe a different style .
        The black dress is smart and you can update with different types of jewellery.
        I totally agree that winter dressing is much easier , but I now hate puffer coats as they make me feel scruffy . Saying that they are very warm when it’s freezing outside.
        I’m 76 and as interested in clothes now as I was in my teens , unfortunately the charity shops locally are not as classy as some that you have shopped in .
        Remember Penny you are not alone when it comes to being dissatisfied with the way you look , especially the hair which I think can let you down , mine certainly does .
        We can only try and look the best we can for our age and stay modern without looking silly . Look after our skin and wear makeup ( think Tricia Cusden ) You already are fit and exercise well .
        Also Penny do you remember in a post about 3 years ago you wrote about the Mont Blanc dimplex fan ? Well I bought one from Amazon and it’s great !
        I’ve just ordered a second as I’m not good with the heat , waiting for it to arrive and thought of you .

        • 12th September 2023 at 3:27 pm

          Yes, the yellow dress was cool to wear but I won’t wear it again. And no worries looking at the photo I don’t think the hat was good either! Altogether it was a bad dress and hat day! But you learn. And I’ve just jumped on a long black linen dress that fits to my shape and is ace. There you are. Win some, lose some! Sorry to hear about the charity shops – even in Lewes and other towns there are days when there is absolutely nothing to buy. I mostly walk out of these shops empty handed.

          I agree always put on the makeup. And Tricia Cusden is a great role model.

          And wow, re: the fan!! Good to hear you like it!! Thanks Patricia 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 10:24 am

    I am striving to be at peace with my body shape (I lost a lot of height through fracturing vertebrae, so now I am 5′ tall, having previously been 5’3 and a half – very important that half!) I was short waisted before, now the space between my boobs and my waist is infinitesimal. So many bulgy bits. I have rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis in my knees and back pain if I walk/stand for more than 15 minutes.

    But but but … my body still works (mostly!), my brain definitely does, and my hair has pink and blue and lilac streaks in it, which is so pretty people stop me in the street to tell me so (and it really does lift my pale complexion). I was such a couch potato before, but fracturing the vertebrae really was a wakeup call from the Universe – use it or lose it, woman – so I lost 4 stone and have a personal trainer, go to Pilates, and chair yoga, and am doing my damndest to be as fit and healthy and independent going into my older age as possible.

    So I have stopped comparing the 75 year old me to the much younger me. I believe I am happier, less stressed, more optimistic and more in love with life now than I have ever been – to my surprise. I have the time and space to try out all sorts of things and meet interesting people and learn new hobbies. There is so much out there to explore and experience…

    My style is casual and eclectic and I love colour, but oh I love that black dress on you Penny – sooo elegant!

    • 12th September 2023 at 8:27 am

      That’s such an interesting journey you’ve been on and wow, well done you for losing so much weight – that’s quite an achievement.

      Love the sound of your hair. Today I’m going to have a consultation with a new hairdresser – just to talk things through. I have thought of going really white/silver just to lighten my whole head of hair. Will talk that through.

      Yup, I really have to follow your example, which is to not compare myself to how I was. That was then and this is now. And do you know I do feel better, with everyone commenting along the same lines. It has been such positive experience to know you too are feeling the same way, and it was really good to read how you took hold of your life.

      Thanks so much Katherine 🙂

    • 14th September 2023 at 11:16 am

      Thst’s me ,!

    • 21st September 2023 at 2:44 pm

      Your comments are inspirational! Good for you. You sound like you are turning your life around, making the best of what you have. I am betting you look great!

  • 11th September 2023 at 10:36 am

    I appreciate your honesty Penny and I think admitting how we feel is the first step to making the changes we want to, isn’t it? I’m nearly 50 and an beginning to see more physical changes than ever before (esp teeth and hair!) and am learning to adapt but yes, it can be a shocker! I’m sure I have more of s journey to come too lol. The bonus of aging is definitely more self love though.. I’m not sure I’d swap back for shiny brown hair and whiter teeth actually haha! For what it’s worth, I like your style .. you look comfortable in yourself and “with it” without looking like you’re trying too hard.

    How do I describe my style.. kind of gap, white stuff on a budget. I had my style “done ” years and am gamine.. like Audrey Hepburn kinda but I like the more relaxed, beachy version of that look. I have a great straw hat I got for £3. Wide legged jeans. Stripey tops (my fave). Smartish with a quirky twist.

    Good question!

    • 12th September 2023 at 9:30 am

      It is very different being 77 rather than 67. I think I was rather arrogant then about fitness as I felt I was so fit. It is a bit of a shocker!!!

      Oh I love that you are gamine and a more relaxed Audrey Hepburn – sounds great! Bet you look good!

      Thanks Jen 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 10:46 am

    Penny…your words show a indomitable spirit! That shines brighter than any outfit you can put together!
    What style am I going for? I’ve always felt that I didn’t want an outfit I was wearing to enter the room before me. You read that correctly. I like an understated style and predominantly wear neutrals. I’ve learned that the fit is everything…that includes the proportions, and the silhouette. It is hard for me to attain that!! I have a white button up shirt that I just love. It has a great drape when tucked into a high-waisted pant. Just enough slouch to look casual, relaxed, and confident. I have a sleeveless, black, long tunic, with high slits up the sides and a high crewneck that just makes me feel confident. I wear this over white linen-like pants or over black leggings. It is rather stark yet suits me.
    Regarding my aging, 74 year old body, I took on a one-on-one CrossFit trainer because of your Pilates example. She is working with me to keep my muscles strong and especially functional to keep my balance, to garden, to bend, reach, etc. As I am alone now, I must do more by myself. (I changed my toilet seat last week! Ha!!!)
    I think I hit the genetics lottery. My 96 year old mother is still sharp and attends water aerobics twice a week. I cringe to tell you that she drives herself…surface streets all the way.
    I do take supplements. Calcium, red yeast rice, etc. I do use retin-A nightly, moisturize, and sunscreen religiously. I do have lots of dark age spots on my face and try to fade them. At this time, no prescribed meds here.
    ALL THIS to say, I’m aging, and am thankful for it. Insert cliche of the alternative to aging here. I don’t want to look young, I can’t carry it. Nor do I want to return to my youth. I am trying to look and feel my best for my age. I am old but I am current.
    Bless Mr FFS for his loving words!! I will also add that my faith sustains me. I thank God for all the above. Every last bit of it.
    Boy…SORRY that this is too long but I meant every last bit of it. Take care of yourself, Penny!

    • 12th September 2023 at 3:35 pm

      Such an interesting comment, Charlene, so very glad for instance that you have a one-on-one with a trainer. It really makes a huge difference. And that you take supplements.

      I love your description of the black tunic over white pants or black leggings – that sounds so stylish. Bet you look stunning!

      You are so right we should be grateful to be aging – it’s just sometimes….. How wonderful to still have a mother and still active at 96 yrs-old! Good to hear how you are managing on your own.

      Thanks so much Charlene, you take care now 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 11:00 am

    This totally resonates with me – 77 next week – having to put effort into maintaining physical health and mental acuity. Like you feeling my way to the clothes that feel right for me now. Certainly not milkmaid dresses, but asymmetric linen in bold colours. Love you in the black dress – you look like the ferociously chic older ladies in Italy and Spain.

    • 12th September 2023 at 9:34 am

      A couple of commenters have said how much they like the idea of ‘ferociously chic’. It is a great description and wow, thank you so much for saying it might apply to me!!! Mind you, it is easier to go for that in the winter.

      Thanks so much Ruth and here’s wishing you a very Happy Birthday next week 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 11:01 am

    Pen, I wondered about your having a think about punk, a bit, too? Perhaps how older punk icons are dressing now: Debbie Harry, for one. I was immediately thinking, you’d really suit those shortish tartan skirts with massive pins in, and long (low heeled) boots. But also, thinking about the attitude behind punk might give you some different ideas/ a boost of creativity about your own look from here on in xx

    • 12th September 2023 at 9:37 am

      Oh wow, Lorna, I think you’ve absolutely nailed what’s going on in my head. Debbie Harry could be the greatest role model and she’s a year older than me. I’ll just go and get my safety-pins out!

      You’re right – let’s get that punk mindset too!!

      Thanks so much Lorna xxx

  • 11th September 2023 at 11:05 am

    I hear you Penny , yes the rock/biker vibe is you. You always rock those skinny jeans and I loved your skirts and boots. I am not really a fan of Summer dressing either and find Winter suits my style much more. Summer especially here is much more casual and loose . I did like you in the black dress , not old lady at all because of your accessories. I admit I am inspired by many other women on Instagram , most of my favourites are over 70. I know you will find your style again Penny and look forward to meeting rock/biker vibe Penny in November.

    • 12th September 2023 at 9:40 am

      I’ve already worked out what to wear and it’s that long khaki tulle skirt, boots and my faux leather jacket!!! Thinking about the hat.

      Yes, it is easier in the winter and I aim to ditch a lot of clothes and reactivate the biker/punk/rocker chic look. This will be fun! Also have started following some interesting olde women on Instagram.

      Thanks so much Jill 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 11:14 am

    It takes just one photo, and you perspective of yourself an can change. Look at your colour wheel, yellow seems to be the reason you’ve decided to rid your wardrobe if this dress, and Warner colours may be the right choice for you. Years ago I saw a lady dressed in a black trouser suit and holding a black umbrella. This was in the midst of summer, and she looked chic. Think classic is always a good look, and I try to promote this style, not just black.

    • 12th September 2023 at 3:39 pm

      Yes, to awful photos… they are such a shock to the system. Do I look like that you say and the answer is from some angles, yes!!! I actually do suit warm colours as I can wear oranges and reds. Also green. But black is good too. That description of the woman with a trouser suit and umbrella in the summer sounds fascinating.

      Classic is good, but I aim to push the boundaries a bit. Debbie Harry is a good role model for me I think.

      Thanks so much Angie 🙂

      Thanks Angie 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 12:07 pm

    Love “ferociously chic” 🤣
    If only…

  • 11th September 2023 at 12:26 pm

    Love that black dress and agree about the other one. I rarely wear dresses and I thought I’d get a floaty one as seen everywhere at the moment as soon as I tried it on I felt old. It went straight back. My style was what they call vintage now but in the ‘60’s vintage ie jumble sale stuff was ‘30’s and ‘40’s, lovely suits and lots of buttons. Later in the ‘80’s I fully embraced boiler suits and butch and military styles. Now I’m all over the place if I feel comfortable I’ll wear it, not track suits though. Your husband sounds kind. My husband told me yesterday I look better without my clothes, he was being kind!! I think.

    • 11th September 2023 at 4:55 pm

      Love the black dress.
      I am 73, and struggling a bit with that .
      I have always loved style and taking care of myself, but it seems harder these days.
      I much prefer winter clothes to summer. I try to walk, lift hand weights and do squats and press ups, yoga also.
      You look great Penny .
      Thank you for such an honest blog x

      • 12th September 2023 at 3:51 pm

        Hi Angela and thanks re: the black dress. Just bought another (charity shop) one which is 100% linen, black, long and fits to my shape and looks good. That yellow dress had too much material and is not going to be worn again!!!

        It is hard but keep at the weights and squats etc. So good that you do all that you do. And roll on the winter for all our winter clothes.

        Thanks for the kind words about the blog which are much appreciated 🙂

    • 12th September 2023 at 3:47 pm

      Oh yes, a boiler suit – love them, but haven’t got one at the moment. You know I think vintage is so tricky as i) I don’t like the inflated prices, and ii) just as you describe, my idea of vintage is ’30s, ’40s, and 50s. Not the 80s, for heaven’s sake – that seems like yesterday to me!!!

      Always be comfortable and floaty dresses are a no-no now. It is so much easier to be stylish in the winter. The thing is my husband doesn’t really see what I’m wearing, I think he’s just got an image of me in his mind which he likes, if you see what I mean! Your husband sounds quite saucy – what a hoot!

      Thanks Flora 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 12:38 pm

    The black dress is absolutely you, those wishy washy milkmaid dresses don’t do us any favours ( I’m 73) , especially the pink one you wore in a previous post. I think the way to go is elegant, understated, with a bit of an edge, and fabulous accessories.Isn’t it annoying when you go out in an outfit that doesn’t reflect how you want to look ! I an retiring quite a few items of clothing, once summer is over, for just that reason. Can’t wait to get my winter stuff out.
    I think my saviour has been to push myself physically with heavy garden work, we have a smallholding with animals, and since I’ve been working there every day I can really feel a difference in my strength and stamina.My gait worries me a bit lately, I seem to be a bit all over the place sometimes and need to ask somebody about that. Any idea what causes it ?

    • 13th September 2023 at 8:34 am

      When I get back from my holiday I shall cull my wardrobe. And actually I keep talking about selling but at the moment only use a dress agency and the manager only accepts around 50% of the clothes I want to sell, fair enough as she’s the one selling (she takes 50% btw). So I really have to get my act together and sell on Ebay or some other platform.

      Winter clothes – can’t wait to wear them. And well done you for all that physical work. Gait is an interesting one as mine too has deteriorated. Amongst other things a very well informed Personal Trainer would be useful. Mine is very medically orientated – see her link for the type of person you need. Otherwise would say a GP if you can ever get to actually see one, but they are generalists and would only refer on.

      See the link to my PT http://www.wellbeingexercise.co.uk/about_us.html She does 75% of her work via Zoom btw, so you don’t have to live near her.

  • 11th September 2023 at 12:59 pm

    Penny, you look great in that black dress, I love it. I must admit that your edgy style isn’t my style but I can appreciate it on other people and certainly on you. Here’s a thought: could your concern over your hairstyle be the basis of your general disenchantment? That would be and very understandable. Perhaps finding another hairdresser who might be able to help towards a different style by regular trims for a while might help? As for the yellow dress, I know what you mean about it, but honestly, it doesn’t look as bad as you think it does. But, if it’s not ‘you’ then moving it on and out is a good move as you’ll always feel uncomfortable in it.

    And talking of comfort, I really cannot be a**sed (sorry, Charlene) about style, as in being fashionable, per se. Charity shops/sales finds apart, I find it all a drag as I can never find ‘me’ in the stores. Consequently, seasonly, my wardrobe consists of (nice) jeans, shirts, sweaters/cardis and gilets; shorts, light trousers, a couple of skirts, t-shirts and assorted tops (thank you, Walmart, mostly). Oh, and sandals and boots (including cowboy boots) plus one or two outfits for posh or serious occasions. Sorted! Ideally, I’d dress like Jean Brodie, all academic one day, Coastal Grandma the next (sorry, Penny), Boho the day after and for days in between I’d sport either the despised floaty dress (but not too floaty, for sure) or tailored trousers and smart top. I exercise every day, my nails are pretty, my hair shiny and I’m not on any medication. I’m 83 and I know just how lucky I am.

    But, life’s not all roses! I’ve been invited to an event in London where the dress code for the ladies is ‘office’ – it’s a daytime thing. I never had to dress ‘office’ in all my working life and have been out of that scene for years now so have no idea what that means in today’s working world. So I am now mulling over what my ‘office’ outfit should be. See? You’re not the only one who doesn’t know what type she is right now!

    Ain’t life grand?!

    • 12th September 2023 at 8:14 pm

      No apologies needed, Zepherine! 🤗. Love your spunky spirit and your spirit of appreciation! I’m trying to stay thankful and appreciative! Too many bitter old souls. Brings all of us seniors down…

    • 13th September 2023 at 10:06 am

      ‘Office’, hmm, does that mean a matching suit and/or tailored jacket??? Thought it had got much more casual now. Who knows these days what women wear in the ‘office’. Tricky!

      I think your style sounds ace and perfect for you.

      And yes, my hair has had a lot to do with it, but it was also the dress, I think, and that photo tipped me over into my rant, but I’ve been thinking along those lines for a bit now. It is all about adjustment but I do think winter clothes will be far more me!!

      I had a consultation with a new hairdresser and was impressed that she didn’t want to cut into it any more. She listened and thought the idea of me waiting approx 6 weeks before I came in again was good as she would have more to work with. We both agreed that we’d work towards a much sharper look with the bulk of the layers grown out. It was a good consultation.

      The black dress is a keeper. Thanks Zepherine 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 1:13 pm

    I often do feel the same Penny. I think I look cool, and when I see myself in the mirror or on a photo it’s totally the opposite. Grrrrr. And I think you look fabulous in black! Have a marvelous time in Dungeness! I’m going in November, to the Snack Shag!

    • 13th September 2023 at 10:08 am

      That photo – gaaaar! But the black dress is good and have just bought another one that is slightly more fitting but doesn’t show the lumps and bumps!

      I will enjoy Dungeness and the Fish Shack! Can’t wait!!

  • 11th September 2023 at 1:44 pm

    I don’t think those floaty dresses look good on anyone, seeing so many famous women at Chelsea flower show in them made them look so frumpy. The black dress looks so smart and you carry it well as you are tall. I understand about your hair as I think we all feel better when our hair looks good and aging doesn’t help as it changes the texture etc. My best advice there is a good hairstylist. Like you I préfère winter clothes as I think they suit the older lady much better, I live in France and our temperatures at the moment are 35 – 40 so I tend to not venture out too much. I am 76 and now go for slim jeans with either a top and jacket or a jumper, and maybe a shortish skirt thick tights and knee high boots as I am only 5 ft. And as much as I like the longer skirt it doesn’t like me. Hope you feel more like yourself soon Dungeoness will help 😊
    Gillian xx

    • 13th September 2023 at 10:12 am

      All my floaty dresses are going to be culled! But the black dress is good and I’ve just bought another black linen dress that is slightly more fitted which also looks good.

      I had an interesting consultation with a new hairdresser and I am going to wait around a month before I see her again for a tidy up. Was impressed she didn’t push to have me in there and then. Think it’s going to work out as I have confidence in her approach.

      Hope the temperatures have improved and you haven’t had any ghastly storms. Your style sounds excellent for your height.

      Thanks Gillian 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 2:01 pm

    Hi Penny
    At 72 I’m in similiar mind recstyle! Like an edgy look particularly in winter but cannot stand most dresses that are supposed to be fashionable, just make me look a frump! I cannot switch off from wanting to maintain a stylish look, I owned a gym and beauty salon for years and still feel the need to make an effort every day. However I have are
    Laced knee, another needing to be done and painful arthritis! All those years of aerobics and Step classes to stop being unfit in old age obviously didn’t work!
    I’m on hols in Italian lakes at the moment and the Italians do style so much better than us Brits. My go to outfit is always cut off jeans and tops but no baggy dresses or tops! I think we all find it hard work trying to stay stylish but it’s so worth it!

    • 13th September 2023 at 10:19 am

      When I lived in Switzerland (decades ago) I was just amazed and learnt so much from how women dressed in that country and Italy too. Stylish beyond words and so different to women in the UK. Mind you the Swiss were also very conventional and when I wore what I thought was the height of fashion, which was large bell-bottom loon jeans with patches, people turned and pointed at me. One nursing colleague actually thought I was poor because I had patched, and said, what a pity I was wearing them. That made me even more determined to wear them out and about all the time!

      I agree with you, I will never stop caring how I look – and that I think is a good thing. Like you looking forward to the winter and wearing winter clothes.

      Thanks Linda 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 3:01 pm

    Dear Penny, What terrific subjects for a good natter , aging and clothes !! First aging, don’t fight it is my advice! It’s simply another chapter in the story of your life. You were a teenager , not always thrilling, you were a wife and mother ,you were hard working I,m sure, and I,m sure things weren’t always easy. And now you are in the fortunate place of being old. You have to welcome it , there are so many rewards. You can pretty well do what you like ,go out , stay in , potter in the garden , join a lovely friend for coffee, get on a bus for a trip into the countryside,(courtesy of our senior bus passes) No constraint of getting back in time for work ,or getting the dinner on in time for children returning from school, in fact no pressure at all . You can please yourself . Please ,dear Penny , just relax and enjoy it. I am 84 and revelling in the freedom! Okay ,a bit creaky and some eye trouble but so much enjoying a totally different sort of life from the urgent hustle and bustle of the past.
    Now onto the clothes thing . I have adored clothes since my first purchase of a copy of Vogue in my teens. And I still adore clothes and getting dressed up and wearing make up, doing my hair , putting on the earrings of the day etc etc. I love a simple classic look with a few exciting ,even eccentric touches. My wardrobe is a mix of new and very old , with a lot from charity shops plus a good collection of scarves and interesting costume jewellery, from a lifetime of collecting.
    I love the look of your black outfit and ,sorry, hate the droopy frilly look of the dress. That long flouncy style has been everywhere this summer and really does not suit many people ,even if it is comfy! I,m sure you will feel much better when your hair grows a bit, and possibly in the meantime how about a dash of pink in it! And who said “ferociously chic”? I LOVE it ,that’s what we should aim for. Have you seen pictures of Iris Apfel, What wonderful style she has, perhaps a bit over the top, or but never boring . Very best wishes from Judy in Brighton x

    • 13th September 2023 at 10:29 am

      I do hear you Judy and I do enjoy life and all the things you describe, it’s just sometimes….. I think the weather really gets to me (as it does for so many) and then the hair. I have decided to cull my wardrobe of many items when I get back from Dungeness. And I had a good consultation with a new hairdresser and we’ve agreed to let my hair grow for another month before I come in again. I was impressed that she didn’t want to play around with it immediately. I will trust her and we will work on how it grows out. Happier about that now.

      Your wardrobe sounds ace – you obviously have great style, Judy. Thanks so much for those wise words 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 6:29 pm

    I know exactly how you feel Penny. I hate this aging thing and although I’m still slim and active I’d still rather be 61 instead on 71 – there’s a big difference! Looking in the mirror when I’ve got no make-up on and my white hair is fluffy and curly in the heat/damp is truly depressing. I wonder if a lot of us just try to deny how we really feel, rationalising it by being preferable to the alternative, or am I just unusually vain?
    A big problem is no visible eyebrows or lashes ; not cancer drugs, just aging. I’d love to hear from anyone who has their eyebrows ‘done’ successfully. I’m too scared to go there as I’ve seen so many that look awful. The black dress does look better than the yellow on you. I bought a long tiered dress but it is a brighter green print ; it may just be the colour that’s wrong. As you say in winter it is a lot easier to look more ‘sharp’. I think about changing my style quite frequently but it never seems to come off & if I buy things in order to do so they don’t get worn. I shall have a sort-out when I get back from the cruise but my ‘uniform’ of printed dress & co-ordinating cardigan in bright colours will no doubt prevail. I’ve seen this kind of thing derided as ‘making you look old’. If that’s true I wonder why I get so many compliments? Perhaps I look nicely old-fashioned! I think I may need more solid colours and fewer florals this season. Apparently it’s necessary to look modern and ‘relevant’, to look as if you ‘know what’s going on in the world’ if you want to be taken seriously. By whom I wonder? Like you I bet I know more about current affairs than most !
    Shoes are another problem when you walk a lot like I do. I don’t like trainers unless I’m wearing trousers, which I rarely do but I’ll be pleased to get my lovely ‘ruched’ black Gabor boots back on; one of the best (and most expensive) buys I’ve ever had. It’s hilarious that when I finally get slim trousers, wide ones come back in! Not ideal when you’re petite. I’m wondering if scarves, other than warm ones for outside, are a bit over ? Small slim ones tied to the side of the neck seem more ‘now’ perhaps. Pearls are back according to some; they’ve never been away for me!

    • 13th September 2023 at 10:41 am

      It’s been great realising so many of you feel the same way as I do. That’s really helped!

      Have you looked at Tricia Cusden’s product for eyebrows and her videos? They are quite helpful but not sure if the product is exactly what you want. I agree that the tattooed ones (and the other types that are done in a salon) always look a bit odd.

      I too will have a sort-out when I get back from Dungeness. Actually I’m always talking about selling clothes but only go to a dress agency and the manager is very fussy about what she takes. Fair enough but I have so many items I could sell. I must get my act together and use Ebay or some other platform.

      It’s good to hear you’re still getting compliments! And why not, it sounds as though you’ve got a great sense of style!

      Yes, can’t wait to get the boots out instead of what I wear in the summer, which is trainers most of the time, as sandals don’t always work when you are walking some distance.

      And just read a blog by That’s Not My Age on the current fad of pearls – I do have my mother’s pearls but not those big ones. Will have to look for some that size in charity shops. Btw, I got two lots of comments from you. I might have had to ‘approve’ your comment, don’t know why that happened. But anyway nice to hear from you as always. Enjoy the cruise!

      Thanks Lynda 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 6:30 pm

    I know exactly how you feel Penny. I hate this aging thing and although I’m still slim and active I’d still rather be 61 instead on 71 – there’s a big difference! Looking in the mirror when I’ve got no make-up on and my white hair is fluffy and curly in the heat/damp is truly depressing. I wonder if a lot of us just try to deny how we really feel, rationalising it by being preferable to the alternative, or am I just unusually vain?
    A big problem is no visible eyebrows or lashes ; not cancer drugs, just aging. I’d love to hear from anyone who has their eyebrows ‘done’ successfully. I’m too scared to go there as I’ve seen so many that look awful. The black dress does look better than the yellow on you. I bought a long tiered dress but it is a brighter green print ; it may just be the colour that’s wrong. As you say in winter it is a lot easier to look more ‘sharp’. I think about changing my style quite frequently but it never seems to come off & if I buy things in order to do so they don’t get worn. I shall have a sort-out when I get back from the cruise but my ‘uniform’ of printed dress & co-ordinating cardigan in bright colours will no doubt prevail. I’ve seen this kind of thing derided as ‘making you look old’. If that’s true I wonder why I get so many compliments? Perhaps I look nicely old-fashioned! I think I may need more solid colours and fewer florals this season. Apparently it’s necessary to look modern and ‘relevant’, to look as if you ‘know what’s going on in the world’ if you want to be taken seriously. By whom I wonder? Like you I bet I know more about current affairs than most !
    Shoes are another problem when you walk a lot like I do. I don’t like trainers unless I’m wearing trousers, which I rarely do but I’ll be pleased to get my lovely ‘ruched’ black Gabor boots back on; one of the best (and most expensive) buys I’ve ever had. It’s hilarious that when I finally get slim trousers, wide ones come back in! Not ideal when you’re petite. I’m wondering if scarves, other than warm ones for outside, are a bit over ? Small slim ones tied to the side of the neck seem more ‘now’ perhaps. Pearls are back according to some; they’ve never been away for me!

  • 11th September 2023 at 6:36 pm

    Penny, you look stylish in the black dress – not at all like an old lady! Also, the yellow dress might not be your style, but it was definitely suitable for the temperature in which you were garden viewing! John Burningham has published a book about ageing. He wrote to numerous people around the world, asking them for their views on the subject. Sir Paul Getty sent a simple typed reply in which he said ‘I didn’t notice it happening and I don’t agree with it’! I think everyone who has reached the mid-seventies would agree!!

    • 13th September 2023 at 8:04 pm

      Thanks so much Penny for your kind words. That book sounds interesting and I agree with Sir Paul Getty!! This ageing lark creeps up on you and you can’t believe you’re the age you are!

      Thanks again 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 6:51 pm

    I have just noticed that someone else has mentioned medication for osteopenia/osteoporosis and so I feel it’s very important that I explain what happened to me. If a woman is taking alendronic acid, it should be monitored and not taken for more than five years. After five years, it makes the bone brittle. I only found this out after taking it for twelve years. I have had three spontaneous vertebra fractures as a result. The first two were compression and weren’t discovered until I had a burst fracture on 24/12/21. I am still recovering from this last fracture and am not at all sure that I’ll be able to walk normally again. In September 2021, when I discovered the truth about the medication and told my doctor, he seemed surprised! I stopped taking it and then, lo and behold, after the fracture, the negligent doctor prescribed alendronic acid again!! PLEASE take care of yourself if you are taking this medication.

    • 12th September 2023 at 9:43 am

      I started osteo meds at 50 ( genetic factor) under the care of a professor who was a pioneer & international expert in the area of study. He later went private but I paid to continue to see him. After 12 years he told me I’d been on it 2 years too long – the evaluation has been revised downwards relentlessly since – so I had an 18 month break before a DEXA scan showed my bones had deteriorated even further. I then went to injections twice a year with no apparent side-effects. After the first complex ankle fracture at 43 I’ve had falls but never another break. I have found that you have to monitor it for yourself, asking for reviews and scans but in the end you can only take the advice of experts regarding relative risks. I had my usual dose in August last year not knowing I’d need radiotherapy ( ineffective) for the melanoma recurrence in my face in November. Now at higher risk for jaw problems but spine OK fortunately.

  • 11th September 2023 at 7:02 pm

    Penny, you look great in the black dress. Use that yellow one for dusters!! I have just hit 65 and, until retirement at 60, I wore a uniform on a daily basis so my wardrobe needs were minimal. I have realised that I am not a ‘dress’ person. However, my day to day look of jeans, t shirt and biker jacket is getting boring and I feel puts me in the ageing rock chick gang. I am going to try and go a bit more Annie Hall as I think Diane Keaton always looks individual but stylish.

    • 13th September 2023 at 8:08 pm

      Ha, ha, dusters!!! I remember that immediately after retirement I wore jeans every day as I had an office uniform, but after a couple of years of just jeans I got bored. That’s what started me off on my search for my style. Perhaps I’ve gone full circle and want to get back to the jeans! On the other hand I think Debbie Harry might be my style icon.

      Diane Keaton as Annie Hall is also a great role model. Thanks Leslie 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 7:13 pm

    Hi Penny,
    I know how you feel. I look in the mirror & see my mum who was an indomitable lady & lived till 97 but was very wrinkly-I just hope I get her other attributes. I always think back/beige or black/taupe is such a classy combination & like you I feel the milkmaid look is to be avoided at all costs. My joints can be terribly painful due to osteoarthritis but taking collagen has definitely helped. I can’t wear my beloved heels anymore but I’m damn sure I’m going to wear interesting flats. I was put on the osteoporosis meds almost 4 years ago because I was taking letrozole following breast cancer & was found to already have osteoporosis. At my follow-up Dexa scan after 3yrs there was a 7-8% improvement in my bone density &, thanks believe it or not, I’d grown 0.5 inch. I call it BBP (big bad pill) but I wouldn’t stop taking it. I read Alyson Walsh’s books years ago but I really think you know yourself when you need an update. It’s also helpful to look at people who’s style you admire. X

    • 13th September 2023 at 8:12 pm

      Yes, I too look in the mirror and see my mother! Interesting that you’re finding collagen helpful. And flats can be great especially when they’re boots. Can’t wait for the winter.

      That black dress is a keeper. And thanks for your feedback on the osteoporosis med. It is necessary as long as one is aware of the potential negatives but I will definitely take it for 3 years and then see.

      Thanks Anne 🙂

  • 11th September 2023 at 10:59 pm

    You are correct in saying that aging at 60 is different from being 70 and different from being 80 as I am, 82 to be exact. I pretty much did everything I always did until few years ago. Then the gentle yoga classes I took were a challenge, and afterwards I was always sore and achy. I try to walk daily but the route I have been going for years seems to get harder. I wonder if I did finally take a trip if I could manage the long walks through cities as I once did with ease just a few years ago. In 2019 I walked all day through Berlin and St Petersburg, thought nothing of it. I am in many ways lucky, I see others of my age needing canes and walkers, a former classmate has Parkinsons. My beautiful neighbor, who I had admired for her class and style at 77 has such severe dementia the she requires full time help. So there is that. and yet I still question how I look to others, want to present my best self, do not want to be seen as old, if I am seen at all. Of course I am old, but I do not want to seem as if I have given up I think the isolation of the pandemic and the days spent indoors and alone may have taken it’s toll. The fact that I love to read may have saved my sanity but was not good for my physical body as I spent so much time being inactive. I am making a real effort to move more, to keep walking, do the yoga, even dance by myself when the music strikes me. The other thing that now effects me is that I am on a medication for glaucoma which although it reduces the pressure in my eyes also makes me dizzy at times. I can usually cope with it but it is disconcerting to say the least I think you are right in that those loose floaty dresses are not your style, though they may be comfortable in hot weather. I admit that I considered looking for something like it myself. I did try one on while on vacation. It was such a lovely dark rose pink but really it was too much material for my frame. Even at this late date I cannot say exactly what my style is, though my daughter thinks it is mostly classic. I think that even at this late date I still care.
    I remember earlier in the summer, I was driving back from a singles event, a cocktail party at a yacht club some distance from my home. I ought not have bothered, 30 women and maybe three men. I thought that I could not imagine my mother at my age doing anything remotely like this, and it made me happy.
    At any rate, I am always grateful for your blog Penny. I hope you and your husband have a wonderful time in Dungeness. Love from New York,

    • 12th September 2023 at 7:47 am

      Dear Darby, your comment was interesting and insightful to read on aging. Thank you. I’m late forties but had fibromyalgia for a few years so even gentle yoga was difficult but I found ‘yin yoga’ worked for me being slower again than normal slow yoga — Kassandra on YT is where I go for this if you’re interested & think it might be appropriate for you too. ❤️

      • 12th September 2023 at 2:15 pm

        thanks Jen this was quite helpful. jus did one of her videos

        • 13th September 2023 at 5:55 am


    • 13th September 2023 at 8:22 pm

      I’m so glad you’ve found a different type of yoga – as much as they are good for our bodies these exercises are important for one’s mental health. And oh yes, I remember walking around Stockholm and Gothenburg and the Baltic cities all day. Not sure I could do that now although perhaps a few stops in coffee shops would help!

      You are right that the pandemic had an impact on our lives – it narrowed every day to that one precious hour when you could get out. No wonder I bought that dress!! I too think that no matter what our age we should question how we look to others. And my word you are so right, I behave very differently to my mother who wasn’t an independent woman at all and after she was widowed was incapable of getting out to anything let alone a social engagement. Not her fault but that’s another story!

      Thank you as ever for your comment and kind words, Darby. With love from Lewes, England 🙂

  • 12th September 2023 at 2:30 am

    What a wonderful thought provoking post today! I am your age Penny, and understand all you said. I lived in London till I was thirty, and I also loved winter clothes. My favourite style was high flat boots with a knee length skirt. Now I am in Australia and that look never works due to the heat! Now I live in wide jeans and casual tops, because I like the proportion of wide legs to balance a bigger tummy! I feel like a lollipop in skinny jeans. I am however, on a mission to slenderise the middle eating low carb. Seems to work.
    I’m going to go against the grain here Penny, regarding the hair thing. I have to say I do miss your lovely long hair of a while ago. I have long blond hair, and I love it. It’s one part of me that doesn’t have wrinkles, and definitely stops me feeling like a little old lady.
    I was thinking your lovely black dress would really be complimented by long blond tresses?? And yes, hair has a profound effect on how you feel about yourself. I agree with someone here who commented that your ‘identity crisis’ may have something to do with how unhappy you are with your last haircut!?
    Thank you for your posts, always enjoy them! 🥰

    • 14th September 2023 at 11:33 am

      Hi Judith and yes, it must be challenging to wear certain things in Australia – can you wear the things you used to like when you’re in the winter months?

      I hear what you say about my once long hair. I am growing the hair out – it’s the layers that have really messed up the style. But today it looks better and it is now 4 weeks since I had ‘the cut’ and already there’s more fullness to it. I had a consultation with a new hairdresser and I’m going to leave it another 4 weeks before I go to her for a sharper look as there’ll be more hair to work with. Think I can trust her. You are so right as hair is definitely part of one’s identity and if it goes wrong you can really feel bad about yourself. Your hair sounds lovely – good for you keeping it long!

      Btw, I do feel better with so many women commenting that they feel the same way. I really appreciate everyone saying how they feel. Thanks Judith 🙂

  • 12th September 2023 at 3:32 am

    Penny, this is such a thought provoking post. I keep reminding myself I’m 66 and not 26, not that I always feel I’m 26. Aging truly stinks. What didn’t hurt yesterday does today. And, what did hurt yesterday is fine today. It seems our bodies are determined to puzzle us. I have decided I’m not going to age with grace. I’m going to fight it all the way, and if that means lasers and such, I’m opting for that. I’m going to wear what I want regardless of what others may think. It’s them who have the problem, not me! That being said, I do still want to present myself well. I have found my style is ever evolving. What I liked a few years ago, I don’t really care for now. Part of that is my increasing girth…setting up an appointment to talk to a specialist about it. And, I think it’s OK if we are always changing. It does the brain good to exercise different ways of being.

    As for your dresses…I think the yellow one is too big for you. But, if you don’t like the style, you don’t. And, you should sell it on and use the money to buy more edgy black dresses like the second one. I think that one is definitely you, an edgy woman with fabulous style! I don’t think, for one moment, it looks like an old lady dress at all. I think it’s a blank/black canvas for you to display your fabulous necklaces, wear with your funkiest hats, and enjoy an evening out and about with the Mr.

    We all make those purchases on the spur of the moment and regret them. If we’re lucky, we realize it early enough and return them. If not, sell or donate, and move on!

    Thanks for making me think today, Penny!


    • 14th September 2023 at 11:41 am

      Thanks so much for your kind words about the post. It just felt right to spill the beans, so to speak and wow, I feel much better with so many women saying they feel the same way. Social media and blogging is usually always about the positive, especially about ageing, which mostly I agree with, let’s be positive. But to be real we have to say what ageing is really like, as in be honest, as it isn’t always good.

      I love your fighting spirit, Marsha and usually feel the same way, it’s definitely the right attitude I think. We have to keep on keeping on and yes, always re-consider how we do things, what we wear, change and change about, and that’s good. It’s also good to hear you are going to a specialist re: the lbs going on the waist. Even I get that, where do the extra pounds go, on my skinny arms and wrists? On my skinny legs or neck and face, no it’s always the middle!!!

      Thanks again Marsha, it’s always lovely to read your comment 🙂

  • 12th September 2023 at 4:57 am

    I can so empathise. I am 73 and have always looked after myself, but recently I have started to feel and look old. I wonder whether with my less than perfect eyesight I have seen myself through a filter. I feel as though I am losing the battle. I notice my lines even though I take of my skin. The texture of my hair even with products seems wispy and lacks glossiness. There are veins on my legs and blotches on my skin and my teeth look old. I wonder if we are just sold this impossible unrealistic image and dream and are constantly fighting the ageing process. Clothes even for our age are modelled on beautiful young airbrushed models with glossy hair, smooth peachy skin and sparkling white smiles. Pictures of celebrities are airbrushed. Even the Roysl family now wear a never ending wardrobe of expensive fabulous clothes. They are praised if they only recycle a coat once. They will have had their hair professionally styled before every outing ad we know the difference that makes. So then we have the problem to solve as to how to dress our ageing bodies. I feel better in clothes that fit well and can be floaty as long as they fit the contours of the body at some point. Dressses with longer pleated skirts cover without billowing out adding volume. Loose clothing in my opinion does not camouflage imperfections but rather accentuates them. I am not advocating skinny tight fitting clothes but rather a streamlined look
    Arms, legs and neck are best at least partly covered because it seems that however much one has moisturised ones skin over the years, it ages. Lovely accessories can distract and embellish.

    Perhaps we are just too hard on ourselves but understandably we don’t want to become a little old lady. You look lovely in your pictures but however much we are told that , we know when we want to make changes. Go into shops and just try on a whole range of different styles and see how you feel and look
    . You will be the best judge. Thank you for giving us this thought provoking forum.

    • 15th September 2023 at 8:16 am

      Hello Heather. It’s been so interesting and quite heart-warming to find that so many women feel the same way. It sounds as though you really do take care of your skin and although fighting ageing is impossible I do think we can make the best of ourselves, and you’re doing that. You’ve absolutely got the right idea about clothes too.

      I think I was being hard on myself as so many of us are. Actually we can look stylish as we age and again I think you’ve totally got the idea.

      I will go into shops and try things on!!! Thanks so much Heather 🙂

  • 12th September 2023 at 7:42 am

    Morning Penny,

    Yes, ageing is better than the alternative but that’s not to say it’s always easy. And it does always happen at a gentle, elegant pace. When I wrote Ageing with Attitude ten years ago I believed every word – and lived it. Now, aged 77, I wouldn’t write the same book. There’s a huge difference between 67 and 77. I’m the same woman with much the same interests, but I have different priorities – and yes, sense of timing. If only ageing were a nice gentle stroll in the park rather a cross-country canter: sometimes I wake up and things have changed overnight.

    I think it’s good to be honest with ourselves about where we are, what we’re feeling etc. From that we can experiment and change – better than being stuck in a rut, for sure.

    Fortunately, I have good health and am mindful that both mine and Derek’s parents were dead by now. I have a personal trainer once a week and take other regular exercise. I think that’s helped keep my height and standing up straight but I’ve definitely loss muscle tone and have some arthritis in my wrist, thumb and shoulder and I don’t do a lot of running. (In truth, I never did much of that!) I also eat a healthy, varied diet – including chocolate and wine most days. I call that a balanced diet Emoji

    Regards clothes. I think you’re right about the yellow dress and hope you get a good price for it. Actually, I’m not a fan of frilly dresses on women generally. I find them too girlie/milk maid. I love your black dress ensamble: sharp, smart and stylish. I like your edgy/goth style and look forward to seeing your winter wardrobe. I also prefer winter clothes. I don’t think I have a style as such. I go for what I like/how I feel and do a lot of mix ‘n’ match. I am determined not to disappear so I like striking outfits be it colour, style, fabric or accessories. I’m also a hat lover!

    Hope you’re feeling a better today. Go well, Mary

    • 15th September 2023 at 8:22 am

      Yes, if only ageing was a stroll in the park! Actually it’s hard work. But hey, most of the time I enjoy that work, it’s just sometimes….

      Funny you say that about your book. I used to buy loads of this type of book, had a whole bookshelf of them. But now I wouldn’t say I hate them, that’s too superficial, but they’re not right for our age group as i) they are usually written by people under 70 and ii) they have no IDEA….!!!!!

      You know we should meet up and discuss the book that needs to be written for the nearly 80s!!!! I’m serious Mary, will email you about that after my holiday.

      Ah YES, the edgy goth look – three cheers for that look!!!

  • 12th September 2023 at 9:42 am

    Well I love seeing you in the black dress and very well accessorised, too! I’ve never been a fan of the milkmaid dresses. It’s still possible to be cool (fashion and temperature-wise) wearing cotton, linen or jersey shift dresses or the wonderful asymmetrical styles from labels such as Sahara and Oska – I reckon you could probably find them in your fave charity shops or online on eBay, etc. That style is both flattering and forgiving. Like so many of us, I, too, prefer winter dressing. My style is more trousers, jeans (black or dark blue), jeggings and tops, tunics and jumpers with boots, and occasionally a dress – usually a straight thicker jersey fabric, with dark tights and boots.
    I agree with others here, Penny, that your current crisis stems from the haircut. Well that will be a lot better by next spring. So really, it just these next few easier months to think about. I’ve always felt you look good in your various winter clothes, with your great hats and coats.
    As far as health and aging goes, we have to continue to do our best with what we’ve got and you do that already! I write as someone who has multiple conditions, had a major heart attack over 7 years ago aged 64 (lessons learned and lifestyle changed – not easy!) and various surgeries, including two knee replacements during the first couple of Covid years. Eat and exercise well, do thing we enjoy and resist the pressure to conform to the norms and expectations of others.

    • 15th September 2023 at 8:26 am

      Hi Jane, you have such a good attitude and so glad you’ve dealt with the heart attack and other stuff so well. You also have a good sense of style which sometimes escapes me!

      That dress won’t go for dusters as someone suggested (!) but I’ll keep it to sell next summer, if I have the space, as when I get back from my holiday I shall cull my wardrobe and get my act together to sell on one of those platforms like Postmark or Ebay or Vinted.

      • 16th September 2023 at 9:17 am

        Oh Penny! I have been shamed into having a massive clear out of my clothes. I’ve had to take ALL the hanging clothes out of my built in wardrobe in order for an electrical repair to be carried out. The horror of two large rails of clothes, most of which I don’t wear, and probably never will, is shaming! The worst of it is there’s LOTS more elsewhere. In my 70s and with the various health conditions, I accept that I may not live to my 90s, and none of us really know how long we’ve got anyway. How could I possibly be thinking along the lines of ‘this will come back into style’ or ‘I may need this’ or ‘I can’t bear to part with it – it used to look great on me’! So, massive cull here I come. I’ll have to spread it out between various charity shops – too much for just one. No doubt in time I’ll feel a sense of relief and will have spared my daughter the job. I’m going to have to be ruthless – that’s before I even think of going up to the attic to sort out all the evening wear that I wore in another life!!!!

  • 12th September 2023 at 12:30 pm

    What an interesting post! I think that I too am realising that some of my clothes no longer suit me. I think my days of ‘ditsy’ prints and paler colours have reached their ‘use by’ date for a while and stronger colours look far better. It’s always good to take a step back and decide what does and doesn’t work and how you want to look. You have a very distinct style and an eye for a bargain so I am sure you will soon find your way in the next chapter of how you want to look!
    I started the Alendronic Acid tablets about 3 months ago – and I was not happy, having read of unpleasant side effects. I suffered some indigestion problems to start with but I think that is getting better now. However, my sister took them for three years and her follow up Dexa scan showed her osteoporosis had got worse so I’m not convinced it will make much difference!

    • 15th September 2023 at 8:33 am

      How interesting that your sister had that result. There are some really serious side effects to the drug that happen (usually) if you take it for too long. But I am wary and even if I feel no side effects (as indigestion hasn’t happened which I feared) I will ask for a scan after 2 years to see what is happening.

      Btw I’m sure you do this, but I drink well over a pint of water with that tablet, which the pharmacist said was good as she said many women don’t like drinking as much as this. But not only will over a pint help it down the digestive tract it allows for a pool of water where the tablet will dissolve.

      Btw Deb I have read your blog on books and taken note of several of them – thanks so much for that blog as I like to see what is a good read in Australia – it does differ to what’s here.

      Thanks again 🙂

  • 13th September 2023 at 2:14 am

    Penny you have such a wonderful profile (photo of you in garden in yellow dress). I am envious! I cant wear those big floaty dresses at all but understand they can be very cool in hot weather. One thing I have noticed from your photos (perhaps more obvious in the profile shot) is that you may find you benefit from new ‘foundation garments’! Being happy in our clothes is about shape as well as size, and I notice when I am wearing a new bra that is not stretched and instead hoikes everything up and points it out, it gives me a better shape. I then feel a lot more satisfied with my appearance! I did get into bad habits during covid lockdowns of being sans bra, but I am really noticing a difference with fit of clothing and how I feel about how I look now that I am out and about and wearing a new well fitting bra again. I too am having to change my clothes and style as the years go on. Good luck on your quest to reassess your style.And for what is worth, I think the short hair style suits you and shows off your fabulous cheekbones and lovely eyes. Of course the right cut is crucial. I hope your hairdresser can help with that. Thanks fo your blog!

    • 15th September 2023 at 8:41 am

      Hi Sam – that floaty dress will not be worn again! It was a very hot day though which is why I chose it. But I have other dresses that could have been just as cool so it will not grace my wardrobe again!

      Ah yes, foundations. I spend quite a lot on my bras and get fitted for them, and yet, I still droop. It’s annoying as although I am quite slim the boobs continue to grow, I’m getting quite top heavy. I think the right clothes help to disguise this area though and will keep that in mind when I buy clothes.

      Actually after my most recent wash I realised the style was looking better and the hair getting longer – it is now 4 weeks since the cut so it won’t be long before I grow out the layers. I’m very fortunate that my hair grows quickly.

      Thanks Sam 🙂

  • 13th September 2023 at 3:40 pm

    I enjoyed reading your post… I have surprised myself with how much I got rid in my closet this past month, mostly tops but also a couple of dresses and shoes. I decided to be ruthless and if I didn’t love something to say goodbye. Pictures do help sometimes with realizing how something fits or hangs on you. I feel like I have gotten bolder as I have aged and sometimes wonder if I am wearing clothes too young (like my birthday dress). But I really enjoyed it and need to remember age is just a number. So far apart for being in perimenopause, age hasn’t affected me too much thankfully. I did notice some differences when I reached my 40s. In 2 years, I’ll be 50.

    • 15th September 2023 at 8:46 am

      I can’t believe you’re that age, Mireille! Yes, that photo in the garden made me realise that the yellow dress wasn’t dreamy it was near to being frumpy.

      When I get back from my holiday I shall cull my closet of so much. Will have to sell in various ways (like Ebay) as alongside the charity shop bag I will have so much to sell!!!

      Thanks Mireille 🙂

  • 13th September 2023 at 6:34 pm

    What fabulous comments Penny, you’re so fortunate to have this wonderful supportive community of women. I only ever get comments from other bloggers, so I have no idea if “real” women of my age read what I write (I’m not being disparaging to bloggers, but you know what I mean).
    Ferocious chic and Debbie Harry are your fashion ways forward. The black dress looks fab and I don’t know anyone else who does hats and jewellery better.
    My mum, BTW, is 91 and still raging about ageing. She can’t believe how many wrinkles she has, and she hates having to use a stick now. Telling her “well you are 91” doesn’t help in the least.
    She quotes Bette Davies who said “ageing is not for cissies”.
    Gail x

    • 15th September 2023 at 8:50 am

      I know, Gail, aren’t the comments wonderful and I truly want and need to answer all and every one of these comments as they are all so empathetic and interesting. I do appreciate these women so much.

      And yes, Debbie Harry is my role model with safety pins and all!!!

      Lovely to hear that your mum rages again ageing – tell her, me too!!! And ageing is hard work – which is mostly good and enjoyable but there are times….

      Thanks Gail 🙂

  • 14th September 2023 at 3:56 pm

    Hi Penny. I’m late to this conversation but this was a very interesting post with great comments. This summer, I was/am a big fan of shorter dresses, floaty but with some waist definition ending at the knee or just below. At 5″2″ it seemed just enough fabric to flow but not too much to overpower. I like wearing these with sandals or Converse running shoes. (trainers? in UK) I have to admit that a side view is not as flattering as I would wish but then, nothing else really is either. 😁 I’m looking forward to autumn and winter clothes too. I like dresses with tall boots or tunics with leggings and booties. I’m like you and love charity shopping (or thrifting, as we say in Canada). As to hair, I think yours looks very cute but I know the effort that goes into styling layered shorter haircuts. For the last few years I’ve been wearing my hair shoulder length in a shag cut. I find that it’s easier to style with more length and it’s fun to be able to wear it scooped up with those claw clips or pinned up and wrapped with a scarf to cover it all up when it’s just not a good hair day. Have a wonderful getaway. I look forward to what you’ll say next time. xo karen

    • 15th September 2023 at 8:54 am

      I like the idea of a longer shag cut, bet you look good with it. I do think with my height and the way my body is I need more hair to just make me look balanced. Short layers never have suited me and I should have known better to try them again! It is getting longer, thank goodness, as it’s 4 weeks since the cut.

      You do sound as though you’ve got a very good eye for style yourself. Thanks so much Karen 🙂

  • 14th September 2023 at 4:57 pm

    ps… I forgot to say that I liked your long floaty dress on you. I didn’t think it was age-ing at all. Maybe the color was a bit wishy-washy for your skin and hair coloring and also, being a candid shot, you were looking down at something and not standing as straight and tall as you usually do. All that said, I relate deeply to that moment when you see yourself in a photo wearing something you thought you liked and immediately decide to donate or otherwise get rid of it. (Maybe burn it?). 😳
    xo karen

    • 15th September 2023 at 8:56 am

      Hi again, Karen! I won’t wear the dress again – it is too pale and flowery with too much material to it. Roll on the winter months and black skinny jeans and jackets!

  • 14th September 2023 at 7:33 pm

    at a reasonably fit 73 years, i sympathize! but my clothing choices are driven by just not wanting to look dowdy/frumpy, which is hard enough to avoid when you live in a small rural town with a very serious winter. also, i knit, so i have maybe 2 dozen sweaters, which i hope don’t veer into frumpiness.
    yes. skinny jeans ftw!

    • 18th September 2023 at 1:55 pm

      I’m with you on this as I shall now look very critically at the contents of my wardrobe and cull a whole bunch of clothes. Anything but look dowdy!

      And wow, you are knitter of 2 dozen sweaters – that’s a great total. I’m sure they’re not frumpy and I bet they are essential during your winter months.

      Thanks j 🙂

  • 18th September 2023 at 8:33 am

    I was 70 in April and approached it with dismay as I realised I had started to lose strength, felt I no longer fitted my clothes despite feeling fit. I moaned about it to my sea swimmer tribe, many of whom were around the same age and was open to doing ‘stuff’ that fitted who I am. I’m not a gym person and found Goodnick, an online programme for women in their 60’s and above and it is transforming my life. Just 20 minutes a day and I am gradually building back strength and balance. I decided to learn the crawl and managed to do it with a great instructor who is also a sea swimmer and am now pushing myself a bit with my swimming. I swam out into the sea to a buoy with some of our more confident swimmers and conquered my fear of the deep ( am usually a ‘stay close to the shore’ swimmer since I saw Jaws!) I am realistic about what I can expect at my age but know I need to just explore possibilities. I also started Slimbot- it’s not a diet, and involves listening to a 9 minute pod each day and keeping a daily ‘Win ‘ list – things I am proud of in my life. No ‘good or bad foods’ no stepping on the scales and I am no longer snacking, my waistbands are now slack. Have no idea how it works but it is working.

    My wardrobe needs a huge overhaul as the seasons change and my clothes are either unused or worn very frequently. Never liked wearing skirts, preferring skinny jeans, but inspired by you I may try to wear different clothes now. You always look so stylish!
    I am very definitely ‘work in progress’ but it’s time to experiment and try things I would never usually try. Life feels very precious now at 70! Love your blogs and your honesty! We’re off to Rye ( near Dungeness for a few days on 21st Sept! Might bump into you!

    • 18th September 2023 at 2:03 pm

      This Goodnick sounds interesting – shall look for it and try it out. Well done you re: the swimming – that’s brave. And waistbands – I do seem to put on any pounds entirely around my middle and nowhere else! Shall try this out too!

      Thanks for your kind words about me being stylish – I do aspire to that and always reach towards being stylish. Sometimes I achieve it and sometimes not – but I think we have to try!

      We’re in Dungeness until Saturday 24th. We don’t go far or do much apart from go on walks around the estate and read a lot, which is great. You know where we are! Currently Dungeness is amazingly windy – I could barely stand up in it. But I do find the wind very exhilarating!

      Thanks Stephanie 🙂

  • 20th September 2023 at 8:32 pm

    Oh Penny what a lovely, honest post. I hear how you feel and sympathise with you. I feel the same! I look in the mirror and am shocked by the woman I see staring back at me! Where did those lines come from and how did my body produce the roles??? I look at loads of instagram’ers and see ladies wafting around (all thin) in suits, dresses and gorgeous chic outfits with envy – why don’t I look like that? My hair, albeit my crowning glory, never sits the way I want it to. I take cholesterol tablets which I hate as I feel any medication will have a knock on effect, I’ve not found mine yet, but I’m sure it will come. I think life runs in phases and these feelings will pass – hopefully! I actually like the yellow dress and think it looks great, but i know how you feel when you don’t like what you see looking back at you. The black is nice and you look comfortable in it. Can’t wait to see you rocking the jeans and jacket though! Have a super fun week whatever you do and stay well. Jacqui You are favourite blogger on #Chicandstylish too! X

    • 21st September 2023 at 10:37 am

      Hi Jacqui and thank you so much for your comment. And it is so interesting you feel that way when you are such a stylish woman. But I guess we all have our thoughts and feelings about our bodies and how we age. In fact it has been so uplifting and encouraging to read everyone’s comments and realise it’s a universal thing that so many women go through.

      Actually I do feel so much better about myself. I’m on holiday in Dungeness with my daughter as well as my other half, and we’ve had many wonderful discussions about life, the universe, clothes and what style we’d like to be. I can’t wait to get back and sort through my wardrobe. I will have a good clear-out and think the whole experience will be cathartic.

      And wow, Jacqui, thanks for telling me about being featured on Chicandstylish. The wifi here is very very slow so I hope it will load. However, the place we stay in is just so lovely. I’ve mainly been going for walks, reading and adding books to my list of must-reads!

      Thanks again Jacqui 🙂 And I’m off to your blog right now!

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