I look so mumsy, need style advice pls!

(33 Posts)
Buttercup443 Tue 19-Jan-16 09:59:57

Hello ladies,

Can you please share some advice on how not to look mumsy and in my case always boring and old beyond my years.

I live very rurally now so no need for high heels and tulle inserts.

I have 4 kids and quite a few animals, I ride regularly.

Been told by DH and friends that I look old and dowdy beyond my 35.

I regularly wear jeans, a long sleeved shirt or jumper, I prefer neutral colours, no frills or appliqués.

I'm a size 8, 5"6, 32DD, slim waist. Could wear sexy stuff but feel it's not befitting a mother of four at 35. I dread to think others will think lamb/mutton if I do..

What do you ladies wear on a daily basis that makes you feel you look well put together?

I am glad if I can find matching undiesconfused

Please share your style tips with me.

SheHasAWildHeart Tue 19-Jan-16 10:29:08

I felt like that at the end of last year! But I am very much a practical person, ie if I'm on my feet all day then sensible shoes, if I'm at a party then yes heels - but I won't wear something just for the sake of it if that makes sense.
I started by making a Pinterest board, it took a while to get into my stride until I found a style I liked and wasn't too much out of my comfort zone.
I then went to a large shopping centre and tried on lots and lots of stuff, even stuff I normally wouldn't try and put together a capsule wardrobe. A few things I learnt - no matter what you wear it must 'fit' right. No point wearing something just because it's in fashion if it doesn't sit right on your figure. Start with what you're comfortable with then add in one thing 'new' and slowly build up from there. Play to your strengths - I have a small waist and big hips, so have bought clothes that really highlight how lovely my waist in and longer tops that cover my hips! And it's not just clothes, a good haircut, nails and skincare can make a big difference. Hope all that makes sense smile

Buttercup443 Tue 19-Jan-16 10:41:13

Hello WildHeart, yes that makes sense. Good advice re Pinterest. I use it for house deco ideas and recipes so will set up a new board.

I think my main issue is that I would like to dress practical but feminine and play to my strengths but I always end up in the same woollen jumper or tshirt and black skinny jeans combo.

I have also started to grow my short hair cut and now it looks a frizzy Bob length mess.

I feel I am young still but have given up making an effort because no one sees me during the day and I am too tired running around after kids and exercising animals by the time DH gets home and I look an I shapely mess covered in straw and wood shavings and animal hair.

SheHasAWildHeart Tue 19-Jan-16 10:46:56

If you're happy with the way you look and feel then ignore everyone else. And tell DH to give you an excuse to dress up, ie a meal out, a nice trip.

CreviceImp Tue 19-Jan-16 10:52:39

How's the hair and make-up situation?

FauxFox Tue 19-Jan-16 10:53:15

Your clothes don't sound mumsy as such...and obviously you need to wear stuff that suits your lifestyle...a modern coat like this barbour and some fab wellies like these hunters could update your look? Cashmere wrist warmers, flat cap or beanie with furry bobble - cute! (I'd suggest a perfect bright red or fuchsia lipstick too but that's me!)

Basically if you get dressed and think your mum would be happy to wear your outfit you need to change! Buy stuff that would raise an eyebrow or two grin

MNetter15 Tue 19-Jan-16 10:56:45

I can't believe you're 35, a size 8 and worried about appearing mutton dressed as lamb shock

you can wear anything you like really. I'd probably wait until the new season before buying though. Treat yourself for Spring smile

livdavies1234 Tue 19-Jan-16 10:57:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

carrie74 Tue 19-Jan-16 10:58:58

I also live rurally, and practicality is very important. But what I realised is that if I don't need to be wearing my wellies, then I can wear a really nice pair of boots (in my case ankle boots, but whatever you prefer). My jeans that I wear day in day out are expensive (i.e. because I wear them so much, I paid more to make sure I got a fantastic, flattering cut). I would advise to buy your jeans tight, as they always give throughout the day, so what may be uncomfortable initially, will soon have given in to your shape within 15 mins.

I'm quite particular about knitwear (well fabrics in particular, I only buy natural fabrics as a rule), generally wear cashmere (bought in sales or TK Maxx), which lasts longer, is softer. Fit is important. No fleeces unless going to the gym/stables.

Remember, 35 is still young. Don't fall into the trap of getting to 60 and wishing you'd dressed younger at 30, 40, 50. Dress for you, what you like.

Neutrals - make sure they actually suit your colouring (e.g. I can't wear beige as it makes me look dead, but I can wear greys). Maybe consider a colour that suits you as an accessory (scarf, or interesting bit of jewellery). Consider wearing some make-up if you don't already.

Basically, I assess everything I buy - I won't buy anything that doesn't have some edge of style to it (yes, even my outdoor coats, wellies, sportswear etc), because it makes me feel better in myself if I know I look good.

WhataRacquet Tue 19-Jan-16 11:03:22

I think it's impossible to look stylish when you live rurally as practicality has to come first. Even keeping your clothes clean is not easy to do.

You should get all dressed up and go to town and leave DH at home with kids and animals and see what he looks like by the end of the day! May open his eyes to the reality.

Samantha28 Tue 19-Jan-16 11:08:36

You have great advice here . Boots, jeans, jumpers and jackets are all fine and don't need to look frumpy . You just need to get decent ones in colours and styles that suit you. No need for heels and lace .

I think you might be wearing the wrong colours for you, as this can make you look dowdy and tired . Also that you hair might need some attention .

I also suspect that you are wearing the wrong size of bra . Do you really measure 32 under your bust? The wrong size of bra means inadequate support and can look matronly .

Make a new Pinterest board and collect pics of all the looks you like that you think might work for your lifestyle . Don't think too much, just collect loads . Then when you have a good collection, analyse them .

Your husband and friends need to be more tactful BTW.

Samantha28 Tue 19-Jan-16 11:10:15

And I disagree with raquet, I love in the country and like to think I am fairly stylish . You don't need to wear your riding kit 24/7

ZaZathecat Tue 19-Jan-16 12:58:49

Your clothes sound nice enough and you have a fab figure so I reckon the only thing letting your look down is your frizzy bob. Just have it cut into a new funky short style and hey presto you'll be a stunner again!

Bouncey Tue 19-Jan-16 13:03:06

I'd stick with your current style but upgrade it. Go to a specialist jeans ship and buy some really lovely jeans that flatter your figure. Get the best haircut you can afford. Buy some good knitwear - try uniqlo in lovely colours and ask a makeup counter (bobbi brown for example) for some tips on low key makeup such as tinted moisturiser and blush.1

Buttercup443 Tue 19-Jan-16 13:15:30

YfauxFox, the boots and esp the coat looks nice. Haven't had new coat in years!! Sale is on soon, must check out Barbour! Thank you.

Buttercup443 Tue 19-Jan-16 13:22:08

I look matronly, that sums it up. If I wear anything low cut I look like one of those beer tent bar maids.

Big bust, had it measured and fitted in Rigy and Pellet recently. I have wide shoulders, too and narrow hips. No bottom to speak of.

And while I am slim I have rolls around my midriff and big chunky this proportionately to my waist. Any jeans I buy end up being tight on the legs and wide on the waist. Belts help but I then end up with a muffin top. Haven't got nice legs sadly so I always end up with pencil skirts but it bubbles on bum as no bottom to speak of.

I always look pale, not sure why. Maybe I do wear the wrong colours. I have dark brown hair and eyes and fair complexion.

Buttercup443 Tue 19-Jan-16 13:24:32

Thank you for your kind words and tips.
We tend to never really go out as a couple, always kids in tow.

I think I will definitely have to get my hair cut and go and have a make up consultation. I like Bobbing Brown, I like make up that looks natural.

I wore lipstick once (bright red) and my girls laughed and said I look like a clown from the circus hmm

CreviceImp Tue 19-Jan-16 14:14:40

Judging on what you are saying I would think about dressing your proportions with tight jeggings so they fit at the waist and stretch enough to be comfortable on the legs. These can be rolled up with low cut ankle boots or shoved into wellies/long boots. The top half I would suggest longline vests and slouchy cashmere/jumpers in neutral shades that suit. Pare everything back to a capsule that works with each piece. The vest will help skim past the rolls and detract from the non-existent arse. It will look less matronly with the norks too.

Capsule wise work out if you suit Browns/creams/olives or navy,ivories, charcoal and build up from there.

Buy leather bags and shoes/boots in a neutral tone too.

Make-up wise I would suggest starting with some Lipbutters/sheers in rose/plum tones, a subtle blusher, and neutral eyeshadow with mascara to look a bit more polished. Revlon Pink Truffle is an excellent MLBB shade on a cool/neutral colouring for example.

Do you suit short hair?

Silverpinkswirls Tue 19-Jan-16 14:47:08

Cc cream, lipstick, mascara and a decent hair cut. Straighteners or curling tongs are your friend if you're growing it out. I curl a few handfuls only at the front of my straight hair and it adds instant glamour. When I have more time if I'm going out then I'll curl the lot.

Silverpinkswirls Tue 19-Jan-16 14:48:23

And clean all your make up off at night with micellar water or cleanser and a flannel.

Silverpinkswirls Tue 19-Jan-16 14:56:31

And a pretty scarf, not thick and woollen something like this for instance with a colour and pattern that suits you

www.marksandspencer.com/lace-butterfly-print-scarf/p/p22433632?prevPage=plp

FauxFox Tue 19-Jan-16 14:59:32

Do not listen to your kids re: Fashion. If they are like my DD they hate change - DD hated it when I dyed my hair a darker shade of brown and was horrified at my musings on whether to get a fringe cut in the other week confused

JapanNextYear Tue 19-Jan-16 15:00:17

Colour. Find a colour that suits you. Go through your wardrobe and find the things where people say, you look good today! Or that make your eyes stand out.

Or go and try things on in a big Department store. This advice often gets panned on here, but I thing the personal shoppers in Debenhams and JOhn Lewis can be really good. No pressure to buy, or if you do you can take it back. But they could be really good for just getting you into the right colours.

And have a weekend away, night out with friends - something where you can take the wellies off!

Buttercup443 Tue 19-Jan-16 16:04:38

Thanks zaza and Samantha. I think I need a day out alone on the high street. I had a look at John Lewis and they offer a personal shopping experience by appointment for free.

I would like to look more "together" iyswim.

My problem is I find it hard to let go of some old favourites and while I have maintained my weight my body has changed and what used to look cool now looks cobbled together.

Buttercup443 Tue 19-Jan-16 16:56:02

Thank you Carrie74, creviceimp, Samantha, silver pink and Japan and others. I will try an put a Pinterest board together and find a hair dresser to find something I can manage. If DH complains about the bill he has only got himself to blame wink

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