WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. More here.

Live webchat with Mary Portas on Monday 10 May (1-2pm). PLUS, if you're over 40, a chance to take part in her next C4 series

(327 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-May-10 10:11:03

Retail guru and television presenter Mary Portas will be joining us for a live webchat on Monday 10 May from 1-2pm to discuss shopping, style and her brand new fashion crusade for women over 40.

As a mother of two, Mary juggles a television career and writing a weekly shop review column in the Telegraph with running Yellowdoor, her successful retail-branding and communications agency.

Mary's about to start filming a new Channel 4 TV series that will follow her quest to fill the gap in the fashion market for fabulous, forty-plus women.

She particularly wants to know:

* Do you think your fashion needs are served by high-street retailers?

* When you shop for fashion, is it as fun and easy an experience as it was when you were younger or do you find it a trial?

* Is there a brand on the high street that gives you what you want?

* What are the brands that are failing you?

* Would you rather see a picture of a woman your own age marketing the brands you buy or are you happy to see youthful, perfect faces?

Mary knows shops and shopping better than anyone and she'll be ready to answer all of your shopping quandaries, from where to find the best service to where to shop for the best one-offs.

Television cameras will be following Mary as she takes part in the live webchat. Your comments may be used in the television show but we won't identify you.

As part of the television series, Mary is also looking for opinionated women who will be part of her focus group, advising her on anything from where to buy the best-fitting dress to road-testing whole fashion collections.

This will involve a number of days filming in London over the next six months and will cover travel expenses for these days.

If you're interested in being involved please email maryportas@optomen.com with your name, your MN nickname, your contact details and why you think you should be part of the show.

Thanks, MNHQ

Slubberdegullion Fri 07-May-10 18:50:23

Mary, I Love You. You are just the best thing on television (well on the BBC).

As a slight aside from fashion and more along the shopping front, what would you advise is the best approach if one meets utterly shit service in shops (any shops)?

Do you ask to speak to the manager or do you just walk out never to return again?

CybilLiberty Fri 07-May-10 21:06:38

I love Mary too, but I wanna know....

why more shops dont sell fabulous BASICS, everything is trend trend trend. Now I'm up for a bit of trend as much as the next gal but all the shops are the same..

Would LOVE to be in a group discussing clothes though....but not sure I'm up to it clothes wise!

squeaver Fri 07-May-10 21:38:52

oh Cyb, you MUST do it. We can all dress you before you go on t'telly. Look how well we did with Justine.

And I STRONGLY agree re basics

noddyholder Sat 08-May-10 08:26:09

No question just wanted to say saw some pics of your house and it is very much in the same style as mine You have impeccable taste grin.Esp like the kitchen

SuSylvester Sat 08-May-10 08:29:00

i was thinking ust in bed when you read fashion people saying " oh i am 87 and i still shop at top shop"
this serves no pupose other than to say to me " you are shit, you go into top shop and think its so bad you catually laugh, its crap overpriced man made tat and YOU are crap as you dont like it"

thats all

noddyholder Sat 08-May-10 08:33:15

No not creep at all but did like her kitchen but hate those shows!Top Shop has had its day

SuSylvester Sat 08-May-10 08:35:10

i must agree am not a fawning fan.

noddyholder Sat 08-May-10 08:57:53

I think the fashion for all these 'transformation' type shows is breeding a nation of over styled/accessorised middle aged women with NO INDIVIDUALITY who somehow look uncomfortable and older

Birdly Sat 08-May-10 09:22:04

I think the shops really need to standardise their sizing.

I am between sizes in EVERYTHING - jeans, tops, shoes, bras... the lot! I'm between lengths, too, so if I want to try on a pair of jeans I have to take 4 pairs with me (2 sizes, 2 lengths). And as sizes vary from shop to shop, it feels like I almost have to put the best part of a day aside just to try/buy one thing. And, quite frankly, I mostly just can't be bothered.

I'm someone who used to love shopping, but the whole business is made to be such hard work for us sometimes. Time is too short these days, and some of the stuff on the high street is of such poor quality that you can still end up with a duffer even after endless trying on. Pah!

I want to look OK enough not to scare children and animals, I've got a bit (only a bit, mind!) of money to spend and sometimes it seems like there's just nowhere for me to spend it.

No wonder the country's in the state it is, etc, etc, etc!! grin

SuSylvester Sat 08-May-10 09:22:48

agree noddy - think driving gloves

noddyholder Sat 08-May-10 09:30:30

grin and the rise of the strategically positioned scarf/brooch

SuSylvester Sat 08-May-10 09:31:26

and putting owmen in blardy prosthetic style undeerwear - fgs NO to corsets

noddyholder Sat 08-May-10 09:34:47

Not all women are supposed to look that way nor do they care.It is like all things in life variety makes it interesting.i have friends who are amazing cooks for example but I don't need to try and be that I juat enjoy their hospitality. I am mad on fashion/art/interiors but am just as happy in any old house with good company and some of my mated ptsl at me and my 'objets'I hate the way we are all being standardised emotionally amd physically.Vive la difference(although can see that is no help for a show!)

noddyholder Sat 08-May-10 09:39:29

yes and no Ye get me!

SuSylvester Sat 08-May-10 09:47:36

oh noddy = you look nice in htat picture with the award wink

noddyholder Sat 08-May-10 09:50:52

Thats not me I'm in the pink sparkly

SuSylvester Sat 08-May-10 09:52:13

julieanne moore always looks nice

noddyholder Sat 08-May-10 09:53:43

Yes she is stunning.

dawntigga Sat 08-May-10 10:24:40

Excuse me while I just gush!

Mary Portas I heart you! I LOVED what you did rescuing the boutiques - they were without exception all MUCH better after your make over!

Your questions:

* Do you think your fashion needs are served by high-street retailers?

No, it's why I make my own - blow the high street! I also customise what I can find on the high street, but I'm a porker (my description no-one elses), so finding clothes not so easy! Also, it's all to easy to throw away - this is where I get a bit woo! - I want something that will last and can be updated by a fun add on. Not only so I can save some cash (who doesn't need to save cash?) but also because of the effect on the environment disposable fashion has!
All the high street have retreated to safe and what works - that doesn't work for me as I want some sleeves!

* When you shop for fashion, is it as fun and easy an experience as it was when you were younger or do you find it a trial?

Oh god no! I've been everything from goth to mod in my time and nothing is even remotely as fun as when I was young clothes wise.

* Is there a brand on the high street that gives you what you want?

No, hence the making of my own stuffwink

* What are the brands that are failing you?

They are, to a man, hellishly expensive - the majority of people in this country esp now can't afford designer - or so boring and uniform that you don't bother! Boden - when they do my size are bit too woo. Next are to generic etc.

* Would you rather see a picture of a woman your own age marketing the brands you buy or are you happy to see youthful, perfect faces?

I want to see normal people in normal sizes on adverts! And I want the industry to stop calling the models bloody plus size - they AREN'T plus size they are normal, it's the industry that's got it screwed up!

My question!

As somebody who's looking to launch a clothing line strictly online, what's the one piece of advice you wish more people took notice of and is there anyway you and Simon Doonan could get together and make a series.


PS LOVED your review of Penhaligon’s I'm not a stalker honest!

cyb Sat 08-May-10 13:10:35

nodders you are veh wise

dawntigga Sat 08-May-10 14:21:43

Meant to say nodders - spot on!


noddyholder Sat 08-May-10 15:47:54

I am liking wise feel like an owl with my big round eyes grin

mamas12 Sat 08-May-10 17:13:41

I totally get what was said about time.
I used to do exactly the same thing, go home try it on with everything, look in the mirror etc.

Also I don't like the fact that we are fed a certain 'uniform' in every shop almost.
In a lot of shops we are presented with a coordinated 'look' with interchangable peices but really end up all looking the same.

I would like to see more interchangeable separates where we can all look good but different.

I would love to take part in this.

mamas12 Sat 08-May-10 17:15:31

oh and btw I'd definitaly like to see age appropiate modelling.
I just can't relate to a 14 yr old wearing stuff and I'm sure she doesn't either, she's just doing it for the money and fame of course.

littlelapin Sat 08-May-10 21:59:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now