Stylish work clothes for a fatty(17 Posts)
Name changed as quite identifying... I am a size 18-20. I've just been promoted to a new job, which is a senior post. I do a clinical job, and will be leading quite a few services and projects. I want to start to wear more stylish clothes to work, currently I get stuck with trousers, a pale jersey top and either a cardigan or jersey blazer.
I have very chunky legs, and can't really get away with dresses or skirts which is a real shame, I wish I could. Also, I can't wear a heel, so tend to wear flat Chelsea type boots.
Suits and blouses aren't my thing, nor the kind of thing suitable for the job. Also, most of the time the office base I am working in is very hot, the heating system is terrible, so clothes can't be too hot. I want comfortable, but stylish clothes that are not too fussy.
Not a short list of requirements I know! Thank you for all the help!
I would suggest trying one of the HoF own brands to start with. There is normally a variety of styles of clothes (formal to casual).
Is there anyone you could take with you? I'm hesitant to suggest that someone who could give you a proper opinion? I'm a clothing retailer and quite a few customers think they have difficult areas, so avoid x, y and z - but in reality it's part of them that they are focuses on, no one else gives a hoot! So maybe you could try a skirt or 2? Midi length is good with flats.
I've also gone to shoes with a small block heel, I love all the brogue type shoes, but they look way better with just a tiny bit of heel.
I've no reason at all to think you're old OP but there is a thread around called what to wear if you're old and fat which has some good suggestions for quality clothes in your sort of size including some on workwear which could apply to most ages.
Jaegar and Jaegar outlet should give you some good ideas
You could throw yourself at the mercy of a personal shopper. People on here have had very good experiences with them.
As Mbear suggests, you may walk away with things you haven't previously thought of wearing.
Thanks for the help. I'm not old, late 30s but will check out that thread anyway.
Will have a think about a personal shopper, I feel a bit stuck so maybe that will help me consider things I'd usually walk past. I tend to gravitate to the same things and this is where I'm struggling...
I have huge calfs, they have always been the part of me I hate the most and even though I've lost a lot of weight they don't seem to have gotten smaller . I used to never wear skirts other than maxi skirts, but last winter i just decided to wear knee length skirts and tights becausr in the wet weather i didnt have to worry about the bottom of my trousers or skirt getting wet. I was quite self conscious about my legs at first and now i don't think about it at all. I would say give skirts a go.
Hmmm well you've got quite a specific criteria I'm not sure what to suggest. I am in the process of updating my wardrobe because I'm due to start a new job in November which is more formal than my current role so I have been shopping quite a bit. I would suggest you go through your current wardrobe and see which are the bits you like and what to keep and what's looking a bit tatty or doesn't fit well. Are there any themes that emerge? What colours are you drawn to? What pieces do you think you're missing? If you're looking for a complete re-vamp then I would suggest creating a Pinterest board and adding lots of images. Then you can review and see commons themes. I would also suggest a personal shopper - maybe at somewhere like John Lewis who will be honest about what suits and has access to some quality brands. If you're happy with the general style then perhaps look for updated versions in a better fabric, or try a slight variation on the style. Eg a slightly cropped trouser or a brogue shoe. If you concentrate on the basic pieces in neutral colours like black navy, grey, camel and invest a bit in those you can jazz things up a little bit with the tops &accessories etc. I've been thrifty and have been buying stuff from discounted retailers like Jaeger outlet, and TK Maxx and on eBay but concentrating my efforts on good quality brands like Jaeger and Hobbs. I've bought a number of jersey dresses which are smart and comfortable and versatile. It's a loved and loathed on here in equal measure but Cos has a clean, minimal aesthetic which you might like and lots of architectural shapes which look good with the flat boot you describe. If you do fancy trying a dress they are often looser & longer styles which might make you feel less self conscious. My other recommendation will be Autograph at Marks and Spencer which I had a look at this week. I loved a lot of the stuff - which I haven't necessarily done a lot recently.
Dresses are so convenient, I really think you should try a few on with a trusted friend / personal shopper
No need to worry about what goes with what with dresses, the top and bottom parts of the outfit are always clean / ironed and in same location at the same time
Get a couple of little cardies and longer boots for winter, ballet flats for summer and you can get dressed without engaging your brain in the morning!
Thanks so much for the replies. I do have a long list of quite particular demands so thanks for all the advice - I am considering all of your good ideas.
I think I do need to go shopping with someone neutral to help me, that would probably get me to try new stuff. The other day I bought a pair of opaques, inspired by this thread to try and see what my calves are 'really' like - I need to resurrect the full length mirror (never quite got it out of garage after decoration done) but actually they didn't look as ginormous as I thought... Would love a pair of long boots but have never been able to fit my calves I them, even 20 years ago when I was a size 12.
I would love to wear dress / cardi combination, not sure what footwear I could wear with skirt / opaques, ankle boots look really unflattering and I can't wear ballet flats - plantar fasciitis. The long list continues
My daughter (age 5 ) has an outfit I love - a dress just about the knee in a lovely pale green pattern, with a white long sleeved t-shirt underneath and dark leggings, worn with patent substantial (dm-like) boots. I love the look, something a bit like that but smarter would be one thing I'd like to wear.
It's not helped by the fact that I dress for convenience over fashion most of the time, I have three small children and no local support so my husband and I work opposing hours to cover drop off and pickup. I feel like how I look is at the bottom of a never ending list of tasks. And often whatever I am wearing gets covered in snot / food so I tend to buy cheaper clothes as I never sure if they will be stained.
Oh! Sorry this has turned into a mini moan - thank you again for all of the good ideas!
Meant to say that Pinterest is a great idea too - will do that and start really thinking about what kind of look I'm trying to achieve. Thank you!
MBear has given u very valuable advice.
I too have all your issues. However, with the benefit of hindsight, I am nearly 50, I would agree with Mbear only you know what your issues are and only you worry about those issues.
I find Wallis trousers good and Sainsburys for casual tops and leggings.
This sounds weird but I have started taking selfies to check my outfit like the fashion bloggers do. I have to prop my phone up on the radiator with blu tack. It sort of depersonalises looking at your own reflection and I've been able to see immediately why some outfits work and some don't because they are wrong length or the effect of different accessories/shoes. Have had some encouraging surprises doing that.
OP there are tons of wider calf knee boots around. I have very disproportionate calfs but wear knee boots all winter. Look at Essence, Marisota, etc and search on ebay under 'wide calf boots size xxx'.
Sz 18-20 buy from autograph or Boden
Better to buy bigger and have fitted than the other way around
Stick to navy grey black white beige or blush
Add leopard shoes/bag
Good navy/black/pewter/silver shoes - loafers/brogues/
Find both a good jacket and coat that does wonders for you. Spend more than you think 'right' on those things
Get the jacket to fit your shoulders
Add great scarfs in silk wool cashmere
I head a service. This is my work look pretty much ( slightly diff shops due to size but same principle)
It makes work dressing easy, stylish and on
Wide calf boots here for a reasonable price and they fit my huge calves very well!
Agree with what Ronald said.
I am a tall and curvy size 18. For work I wear mainly Boden, M&S, Phase 8, Monsoon and a bit of Joules. Unlike Ronald I like a bit of a pattern in my tops and dresses, but usually size down in lyocell dresses to minimise the 'ship in full sail' look. I also find sizing in general at all these retailers to be all over the place . Given this, IME, it is worth spending the time ordering/ trying different sizes to make sure the fit is right. HTH
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