Sometimes, I make clothes look bad. I think.

(66 Posts)

Does anyone else ever experience this? Please tell me that I am not alone and there is a solution for it!

Backstory: Suffered a lot this year so far - grief, loss, health scare, sexual assault, etc, so I am wondering if it might be a matter of self esteem. I am 5"4, size 8, blonde and apparently attractive (so some idiots say). So I can't identify what exactly is wrong so obviously this is a superb first world problem. I appreciate that. I am also 39 yrs old and haven't noticed much in the way of aging yet. So it all looks good on paper, doesn't it?

But just lately I am at a loss to ever feel good in clothes. I have some lovely designer and high street stuff and have tended towards quality over quantity when shopping these past few years, so have amassed a fair few nice things. I do not have too many clothes or to few.

Body shape is slim with high-ish waist, some curve to thigh area, not much arse but high hips make me feel like arse is whopping. Also have 32 chest but don't much care about that.

So today I wore an Isabel Marant linen tee with loose fit old baxter jeans and nice sandals. Saw myself in shop mirror and gasped. I looked like a sack of friggin spuds! I seem to make everything look shabby and shit. Is this a common issue or am I at a sort of low point here?
I know it sounds indulgent and pathetic but it is bothering me and I feel kind of bad when getting dressed. I DO count my blessings, I really do, but something is off here.

Are some people just made not to suit clothes? Should I just sod it all off and go to primark for a tee and sweat pants and give up? I even have a Burberry mac, which I adore, and even in that I feel like a spud sack.

Am i just doing it wrong? And if so, how do you get it right? How do you feel better about this type of thing?

Sorry this is a colossal whinge, but....

AlwaysSleepingBeauty Mon 08-Jul-13 17:59:24

I think you've been through a lot and need to give yourself a break. You sound lovely and I think you are giving yourself a hard time unnecessarily.

Skinheadmermaid Mon 08-Jul-13 18:32:24

You know what...i know exactly what you mean. I was bullied all through primary & secondary school and by my own family for my appearance...no matter what it was. So my attitude became 'well if i look so awful already what does it matter what i eat' so i ate and ate and ate and eventually, in a self fulfilling prophecy kind of way became morbidly obese. Last year i lost 7 stone and am now told by people i'm too thin and look like a twig and don't need to lose anymore- but i look in the mirror and just see a big fat ugly blob...
I'm sorry i can't give you any helpful advice but i know exactly how you feel. Its so hard to shake off past negatives that have crushed self esteem into powdered glass...

I'm sorry you have been through the mill recently and wish you much strength and happiness in the future smile
I would look terrible in the outfit you describe. I love Isabelle Marant but in my late thirties, albeit in good shape, I need more structure, and by structure I mean suction. Get some really good corset-tight skinnies instead of the trousers and some spanx pants to wear under dresses and skirts. Then stand up straight and tall smile

Thanks.

Skinheadmermaid Schooldays can be sheer hell sad
Also, if you have worked hard to get to a weight that you feel comfy with, it would be incredibly annoying to receive criticism (twig, etc). It will definitely take time to get used to a new body shape though. Our appearance, however much we would prefer to deny it, does seem to have this intrinsic link to our identity. And when it's damaged.....oh dear.

I wonder for myself whether I just put things together all wrong. Like maybe I've no idea how to style my clothes. But then I am quite visually aware, so this surprises me. I can spot great style, but maybe can't replicate it for myself???

I am actually considering using a little notebook to jot down outfit combinations that work well for me. This might involve trying all of my clothes on in different ways. I have already discovered 4 new ways to wear my Uniqlo summer skirt, so maybe there's hope!

And sometimes, something is utterly awesome when I try it on in store, then awful when I get home. I wonder what the hell I was seeing. And also whether I am actually becoming way too critical altogether of my appearance. I know that the issues have affected me badly, but am surprised it has manifested this way. I know I am not freaky or 'ugly', but whenever I get dressed there's this dreadful judge in my head, and everything looks crap!

Gillybobs Mon 08-Jul-13 19:06:09

Don't be hard on yourself, you have been through so much.

I can't wear "casual" clothes at all. Linen tees and loose fit jeans look dreadful on me. I need silk or woven tops, skinnies or 7/8 trousers, need my hair "done" and some jewellery on etc. I did the House of Colour style day (the next step after the colour day) and it helped me understand completely why I've always struggled to do a dressed down look. I'm a romantic classic and need an upscale look. Only those who are a Natural style type can pull off the linen t and slouchy jeans look. Worth looking into maybe?

curableromantic Suction! Haha, I love that! Can't see me in spanx, but then I don't wear anything like fitted frocks or bodycon. It annoys me that I have to wear a damn bra! I don't wear trousers either. I tend to prefer a mix of slim and easy fit, and my marant stuff only involves a fitted jacket, a cotton blouse and a tee shirt.

I still suit shorter length skirts to long, too. This really bothers me. I prefer knee length but my legs look better with shorter.

I kind of like Reiss styling, but not familiar with their fit or quality. Love full skirts with slimmer fit tops or good quality sweaters. I wear jeans a lot, which is fine, but even when they are great fit, I still think all of my outfits make me look awful. Like I turn them to crap by touching them, so this is probably a mind melt more than anything else.

The kind of styles I like:

dansedelune.tumblr.com/post/27006042325

dansedelune.tumblr.com/post/26710723443/paris2london-via-swing-time-zanita

dansedelune.tumblr.com/post/45131458219

Gillybobs That's really interesting to be honest. I hadn't thought of that.
The last time I recall feeling that I knew my style was in my 20's, and although I wouldn't have known it then, it was a bit Alexa Chung - except I didn't wear super short stuff or babydoll frocks.

Not sure how to translate that now.

I wonder if I am trying to dress older and failing?
I still look very similar to my 20's, but don't want to come over like I am younger if that makes sense.

Algorta Mon 08-Jul-13 19:31:04

Is it to do with being slim? I have a similar figure to you and look really scruffy in everything. Especially slouchier styles.

SofaCanary Mon 08-Jul-13 19:47:55

I can relate.

With me it's to do with being very pale and a bit freckly, my skin looks kind of cheap no matter how expensive my outfit. Yet I notice that women with flawless olive/tanned skin always look chic and pulled together no matter how they're dressed.

I have issues, obviously hmm

teatimesthree Mon 08-Jul-13 19:55:13

I agree that you have been through an awful lot and must feel very fragile. I bet you look a million times better than you think you do.

BUT I wonder whether it has got a bit to do with your taste in clothes. IMO, the outfits in your first and third links would look sack-like on almost anybody (and without wanting to sound like a granny, I don't think they do the models justice either, and they are 6 foot tall and 18!).

I have a similar thing - I love the look of the outfits in the Toast catalogue, but they look ridiculous on me. Like I've raided the bargain bin of the charity shop.

teatimesthree Oh god, I have a Toast nightie that fits me like a wedding tent! I can never shop there, they don't even indulge my shoe size. I am definitely going to mull over the 'taste' issue.

SofaCanary I am the English rose type (got lots of compliments on this growing up and hated it!), quite pale and red cheeks. I don't mind this too much as there's a delicacy to it I suppose, but perhaps it does have something to do with not suiting certain things. I look killer in lilac!!!!!! Not what I wanna wear!

Algorta This also. I am what they call skinny-fat. I eat very well and do enough exercise so don't fancy trying to alter my shape. In a short sleeve tee, my arms are slim but the whiteness makes them look flabby. WTF? I also hate that I even mention this, because it is so picky and not easily altered. I need to find some appreciation of my poor body in this respect.

I am sure it is the styles I choose, but fear the thought of having to redo my wardrobe!

If i link to a pic of my body (no head i dont think, but maybe i could find one in my tumblr) could anyone advise what might suit me?

BTW anything nipped or elasticated at waist is dreadful on me. I have a high waist and it looks sort of unflattering unless the style is slightly loose fot.

Would a wrap dress or tunic work on you?

QueenCadbury Mon 08-Jul-13 20:26:42

toasted having seen pictures of you I know that you are totally gorgeous and have a figure that a lot of people would love. But I know that doesn't help you at all right now.

You've been through a really rough time so be kind on yourself. Do you feel like this every day or is it a cyclical thing (those hormones at our age can play havoc with our self esteem)?

I'm a very similar height and size to you and I would look like a sack in a loose tee and loose jeans. I need to have either a slim fitting top or slim fitting jeans.

The styles you've linked are lovely but I think could be hard to transfer to real life iyswim. The jumper and skirt looks fab on the model but I just can't see it working whilst out doing the weekly shop.

You've been though a lot, you're approaching 40 (and however much it's not really a big deal, it is) so it sounds like you're maybe going through some kind of re-evaluation stage? Have you talked through all the things you've been through with friends/family? Even counselling may help. When I was at my lowest ebb with pnd, my appearance (or my lack of ) that bothered me most. Everyone else seemed impossibly glam whilst I just felt like I looked crap. I think most women can identify with how you're feeling right now.

me in jeans

dansedelune.tumblr.com/post/19347588772/todays-outfit

You can tell my colouring from this I think, too.

What i dont suit and would not like to wear:
Slim fit skirts
Anything bodycon
Skirts too short
Most tops and shirts bury me.
Can't get with dresses. They never fit right on chest if they fit my waist.

QueenCadbury Thanks for that, it makes a lot of sense to me. I am in counseling right now due to the assault, so able to talk there, which is good.

It is cyclic I think. Whenever I need to go outdoors! I just sigh a lot and think I look like shit. I often seem to look best in stuff that I got at bargain prices, but that is so terribly hit and miss. I know what you mean about the linked styles not applying in real life, but I do like the full skirt and top thing. If I don't wear such skirts, there are only mini's, and I hate maxi skirts with a passion.

I think a wrap dress would be too revealing for me. I don't know why. They are cut really low and I don't want to show that much. It is true that any type of masculine style is a no no.

True about the age thing, too, I suppose. It's like I don't want to go back, but I am not quite settled going forward. On the cusp, sort of.

SofaCanary Mon 08-Jul-13 20:32:48

Wow, your skin is flawless! You look beautiful from what I can see flowers

QueenCadbury Mon 08-Jul-13 20:33:49

toadted I really don't think you are going to believe anyone right now but you look lovely. You totally have your own style and without knowing you it seems to totally suit you. I petsonally think you are just in a bad place right now and would recommend that you don't make any major wardrobe changes yet until you've come to terms with everything that has recently happened to you x

Gillybobs Mon 08-Jul-13 20:36:30

Mumsnetter Hopefully is a House of Colour consultant, she has a blog which is worth a read www.appliedstyle.co.uk/colour.html

Despite what some might think of it she is the perfect example (I think) of someone young and fashion forward giving the house of colour thing a chance. the style days can really transform your approach to shopping and dressing as you get to understand your body and your look so much more clearly. They analyse your proportions and you complete a lifestyle and personality questionnaire which is a fascinating exercise. I promise you will come away from it with so many answers including why certain looks just don't work and which clothing shapes look best for your body and style or. It's a revelation

Oh and from a colour perspective, if you suit lilac you are probably a Summer... www.truth-is-beauty.com/celebrity-light-summers.html

I will stop nagging you now grin

MarshaBrady Mon 08-Jul-13 20:38:14

I think you are being very hard on yourself too. You look lovely.

I can't do wrap dresses either, I think because I am pretty small boob wise.

It really is fine to have a small window of style which suits you. I know I can't do many things and that's fine, saves bad shopping!

You have a great figure and look very good. I hope you can feel you do.

teatimesthree Mon 08-Jul-13 20:52:17

OMG you are stunning! I feel embarrassed to have even offered you advice. You look far better than the models in those links. (I looked at some of your other pics too.) What beautiful colouring you have. And great style!

Agree with those who have said you should give it time, and perhaps find somebody you can talk things through with. You certainly don't need a style rethink. flowers

Whoknowswhocares Mon 08-Jul-13 20:52:30

Omfg.You are gorgeous! Is this the alleged sack of spuds outfit? You couldn't look less like a King Edward if you tried!
It's definitely all in your mind, almost certainly due to the tough time you've been having. Give yourself some time and stick with the counselling.
You sound lovely so I'm fighting the urge to be envy.

You look lovely though I'm sure you find that difficult to believe right now. Concentrate on feeling better before you make any drastic changes to your appearance. I speak from experience when I say that the inside needs to be dealt with before the outside. I hope you feel better soon and if you need to talk, about anything, you can PM me anytime thanks

Thanks you lot! I have to admit that the online pics are obviously best of a bunch and chosen due to being more flattering to me than usual. Everything translates so differently when we are in motion, of course. I have a photo of my Marant tee and it does not show the 'sack o spuds' effect like it did in town today sad

I have been thinking more about this issue and had a long chat with my mother this evening. I asked her honest opinion and she couldn't understand what my problem was, that I looked fine in all my clothes - except loose tops and tees. I think tees look better under blazers or cardi's, etc, but make me look boxy & shapeless on their own.

One practical thing that makes sense is that I like all of my clothes but not sure how well they work together. So I have these nice skirts but the wrong type of jumper/top to go with them. Will have to think carefully about future purchases.

I do appreciate the kind words, and feel a bit foolish for making the post - but the idea of the problem being technical (style related) was worth asking for. I can definitely see how my self esteem factors here, too, and shall have to work on that.

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