Please help re clothes for professional informal meetings

(10 Posts)
Canigotosleepyet Mon 16-Jun-14 00:06:20

If anyone's still up, i am awake and really worrying about some upcoming coffees and lunches I've arranged with old work contacts to try to get a new job. But I've been pregnant or Breastfeeding for 4+ years and feel so out of touch with what people wear.

I'm 38, about 5.10, with a very tricky curvy figure - size 14 hips, 12-14 waist, 16-18 bust( and lumps and bumps). So dresses don't work at all. What can I wear that is smart and stylish? I would love any advice please.

Oh, and I'm really quite broke! ( but do have a voucher for next/m&s).

Speccymummy Mon 16-Jun-14 00:28:22

How formal an industry do you work in? Would skinny or slim cut trousers, with a smart plain top or blouse, plus ballet flats and a scarf or biggish necklace work? You could probably get most of that in next. Good luck with the meetings.

PeppermintInfusion Mon 16-Jun-14 12:30:10

I wouldn't go full suit unless you were meeting them at their office.

I'm currently job hunting and work in a casual-ish environment so don't want it to look too obvious that I'm nipping out to meet a recruiter, etc. So I tend to go for something smart and tidy but not interview ready.

I would go smart with so trousers/smart chinos/dark denim with a nice blouse/top and flats as someone suggested and maybe a blazer. If you want to look a bit more formal but aren't sure, you could go with a dress.

Regardless of what you wear, I think looking tidy and groomed is the main thing so you look like you could go into work but are off for the day iyswim. So freshly washed hair, neat nails and makeup if you wear it.

Good luck!

PeppermintInfusion Mon 16-Jun-14 12:31:46

Sorry just saw you said no to dresses blush

Next have tops that work well as workwear and off duty wear too. As I said I wear jeans to work, and tend to wear stuff from there on top

Thurlow Mon 16-Jun-14 12:41:29

Definitely a good pair of flattering dark trousers, probably slim leg or cigarette pants at the moment, a nice blouse/top, and then either a smart cardigan or a blazer, with flats. I would say the more important thing is that everything looks smart in the 'well cared for' way rather than in a business attire way.

So from Next, I would get something like this or this

Canigotosleepyet Mon 16-Jun-14 16:53:28

Thanks everyone for the ideas. Yes, I went to the cafe next to the station today and watched what people who don't dress for small children wear. And you're right - it's slim/straight trousers all the way. Yikes - I can't hide behind a boot cut any longer can I?

I like the idea of a blazer too but always thought it was tricky with my - er - assets. Does anyone know a good blazer or jacket that works with huge norkers?

And thanks for those links, Thurlow, I really like the second one so will look at getting that one and maybe some straight black trews...


Thurlow Mon 16-Jun-14 17:19:02

You don't need the blazer to close, so maybe something like this one? Personally I would get it in a different colour to the trousers otherwise it looks too much like a suit, I'd go for navy or blue trousers and black blazer You could also then just put a really plain top underneath and have a scarf to go with the blazer - you can get really pretty patterned for a few pound off a market or in a charity shop?

I know you say you don't like dresses but I'm also a bit bumpily shaped and find that most dresses don't fit or look good unless I put a belt around them. So you could try a dress like this one or this one, which I really like, and put a good belt on to give it some shape and nip in your waist?

museumum Mon 16-Jun-14 17:26:07

Have a look at pepperberry for a blazer. It's one thing it's worth getting to fit well if you have mismatched measurements. It will complement your waist.

thesaurusgirl Mon 16-Jun-14 19:49:35

I'm a headhunter so well used to people coming to meet me for a coffee!

You have to convey "successful" and "together", not on your knees financially with a baby-addled brain.

A nice jacket, nice blouse or shirt (not a t-shirt or vest), casual trousers (not jeans unless you're in a creative industry), low heels always works well. In this weather a tailored dress dressed down with flat sandals is fine too.

Your grooming needs to be very good - make sure your clothes are ironed and your personal presentation is immaculate (have a blowdry if you can, it's great for confidence too).

PeppermintInfusion Mon 16-Jun-14 22:19:43

I'm large of chest myself and got some blazers without buttons from Wallis. They are a jersey material and dress up these sort of outfits. They don't close as such but if I went up a size the back looks big iyswim.

Second the blowdry as well, they make you feel great!

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