What struck me most about Penny when I first met her (along with her wonderful warm and witty personality) was her great sense of personal style. The fact that she dresses mostly from a combination of charity shop finds, sales bargains and from the less expensive end of the high street in no way diminishes her elegance and slightly flamboyant taste. So here are her ideas when you have "more dash than cash."

Hello, my name is Penny and I€™’m the Frugal Fashion Shopper and that's me above wearing a variety of charity shop bargains!

Like Tricia I blog every week because I want to encourage older women to be both fabulous (wearing their LFF makeup of course) and stylish. I think that older women are exceedingly short changed in the fashion media and by €˜older women€™ I don€™t mean the 50+ age group, I mean the 65+ and well over that age. The way I see it, there€™s a great deal in the media these days for women of 50+ who are just beginning to feel that age is creeping up. But I write from the point of view of someone whose age is not far away from 70 (i€™ll be 69 in June). And I don€™t subscribe to the mantra 60 is the new 40 because when I reach 70 I€™ll acknowledge my age and say this is the new 70!

Most of the time I ignore my age. It is just another number, and it is possible to find style at a late stage in life because that€™s what happened to me.

I retired from work, and formal suits, sighed with relief and wore nothing but jeans for 3 years. But jeans got boring. So slowly but surely I moved away from the casual and the comfortable and found that those frilly frou-frou slightly retro skirts were fun and, what€™s more they suited me.  And even better I found that I could be stylish on very little money, because, seriously, not everyone has built up a good pension, I certainly hadn€™t, and neither do I have a rich husband (bless him we€™ve been married over 40 years!)  But nevertheless I have a great wardrobe through buying nearly all my clothes from charity shops, although I also buy from the cheaper end of the High Street, and I€™m always on the lookout for a good bargain in the sales.

I wonder how many of you shop in charity shops?  Are these shops that appeal to you, or are you unsure or even slightly put off by the idea?

What I would say is give it a go, and if there€™s one golden rule about charity shop shopping, it is find the town that has good charity shops with stylish, quality clothes that are well laid out in an appealing fashion €“- they do exist! However, just recently I went to a town that had rather a lot of charity shops, which usually means that the High Street is a bit down-at-heel and the charity shops won’€™t have much in the way of fashionable clothes.

Yes, but even knowing this I looked, and that€™ is the second golden rule of charity shop shopping - always look. And this is what I found:

A lovely almost full-length slim-line wool skirt (£3.95) teamed with a similar wool short-sleeved top (£3). In the same shop I also found this rather sweet jumper (£3) and scarf (£2.50).


And here is the outfit with a jacket I bought years ago from a charity shop, but it wouldn€™t have been more than £5. The shoes, by the way, are from Peacocks bought four years ago for £25 and still looking good.

Golden rule number three, for the best way to buy from charity shops is, don'€™t buy randomly, always think of what is in your wardrobe and build on it, or like this time, buy a complete outfit.

So, these recent charity shop buys totalled £12.95 with the complete ensemble, of six items, coming to £42.45 €“ that€™s what I call a budget wardrobe! My mantra is that if you want to be stylish go look in a charity shop the hunt can be great fun and you are benefitting a charity at the same time. It€™s a win-win situation all round!

I also feel that older women should break every rule there is on fashion and style. We. Wear. What. We. Want.

And what€™s more we should buy it now and wear our best clothes all the time (apart that is, when gardening and cleaning our abode) because life is short, sisters and we should do it, as they say, for ourselves - and to have fun!

If you want to subscribe (free) to Penny's blog so that you can get weekly style inspiration then click here.

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