Dh says I look frumpy others say classy and we'll put together. Help.(178 Posts)
Just after an opinion. I like the way I dress, have a nice capsule wardrobe , am a reg lurker here. I am not a jeans and converse type of girl , which dh seems to prefer.
For example, last week I wore the grey Janice phase eight dress, tights, knee high brown boots and tan leather jacket. Dh said it was frumpy and I would be better in jeans. I like casual day dresses, have another phase eight Elsie dress , still on web, which I thought was flattering and with a cardigan and pointed heels. At work I wear ted baker jumpers, pencil skirts, jumper dresses etc. last year I saved up and bought the lovely navy wool Hobbs kasia pea coat and can't wait to wear it
Women at work will often say I look nice, my colour palette is navy, grey, black, deep purple sometimes. I have no intention of changing my wardrobe but just wondered if it did sound frumpy. As I said, lots of compliments from other women, just not from dh. What do you think. I am 38, size 10 to 12.
You have a DH problem by the sounds of it.
I'm all for honesty but I'd neuter DH if he referred to me as frumpy, whether true or not.
As the guy in Sideways said - 'there was a nice way of saying that'.
Is he always a dick? You sound like you look nice btw.
I'm guessing you have a fabulous derriere and your DH likes to see it
My DH loves me in trousers but I love dresses and skirts so I please myself but he always comments positively when I wear trousers.
I am sure you look fine but he just prefers you in jeans, maybe you have a lovely bum. He says frumpy but probable means that the smarter outfits look less young and up for it.
Has your style changed a lot since you and dh first got together? Not that that makes his behaviour ok.
Your outfits sound lovely to me, really elegant and stylish. And I'm the same age and size as you and don't consider myself to be a frump.
I've just had a look at the elsie dress. I think it's a bit frumpy, but your overall look sounds lovely.
I think your outfits sounds really stylish and chic. I am 37 is November and am a skinny jeans and converse kind of girl, and think I look a bit of a scruff! Horses for courses.
Your dh sounds like a bit of a numpty.
Hi, I have always dressed like this. Have just bought some berry cords and black jersey blazer. I think maybe like rush said, he feels I should dress younger than I am . I feel really ordinary in just jeans and a v neck jumper, he seems to think I am too dressed up all the time when we go out. Tbh I think he is a scruff who lives in jeans and polo shirts. I like to make an effort.
Thanks for your replies. I didn't think I was frumpy, just we'll dressed.
I think your look sounds understated and classy, but irritatingly that might not be what appeals to your husband! I would chalk it up to agreeing to disagree - I suspect he is not usually a style guru so I'd ignore him!
I wish I had your wardrobe!
Having just googled the items you've named I would have to agree that in my opinion they are quite frumpy and safe.
But my opinion or anyone else's doesn't matter. If you like them then you wear them. Your DP doesn't get to tell you what not to wear. What a tool.
I'm not too keen on the two dresses you named, they seem more like work dresses to me. However, it sounds like you make an effort with clothes and look good.
What do you wear at the weekend? Still dresses or anything more casual? Do you wear jeans with boots, or sandals in the summer?
It doesn't really matter what others say though. As long as you like what you wear and feel good, that's all that matters.
I think it sounds frumpy and dull, but I am a converse woman who likes alternative clothing and bright bold colours and prints, so I would say that.
Horses for courses really.
I probably wouldn't date someone who wore
boring classic clothes, as I wouldn't find them attractive.
I had a look at the Elsie dress, and actually think it's quite nice, but I'd be teaming it with an interesting patterned scarf, 50's style cardi (in yellow) and biker boots.
Otherwise it's a bit boring.
Sorry but you did ask. It's a matter of taste isn't it?
Sorry, well dressed. The Elsie dress does not look great on the web but is above the knee, and ruched so quite flattering I thought. Yes, dh can be a bit of a numpty at times. I will ignore and carry on I think
Your style sounds lovely. And more important, you like it. Ignore your DH.
You are a gorgeous, elegant woman, married to a scruffy, critical git.
Tell him to fuck off, seriously. If he wants a young, 'jeans and converse' girl, offer him a divorce so that he can go and get one. Twat.
It sounds as though he wants to be younger than he is and therefore wants you to have a younger look. He's a twerp.
Yes, normally wear the ruched dress with boots and leather biker. I do wear jeans at weekend but with a jumper that has a twist like buttons on the sleeves or something unusual. Not really into patterns. I just think he prefers jeans and converse type of woman and I am more boots and pencil skirts and ruched dresses. While converse and jeans and hoodies look great on some girls, I just feel it looks scruffy on me. Of course I do wear jeans when out and about at weekend, but would prefer a dress if going out to a restaurant or something
Yes he is a critical git at times. Thanks all am feeling better and will enjoy compliments I get from others and ignore his. I love fashion and clothes, and shoes, but he put a dampner on it all with these comments.
Also, I am saving for the grey mercy ankle boots from Jones. Please tell me they are not frumpy too. I want to wear them and be ready to ignore any comments. I will wear with jeans or berry cords, promise.
The thing is, how many of us have suggested things our ohs might wear? Things we think will suit them? Thing we think look attractive to us?
I know I have.
My dh is a jeans, t-shirt and hoody guy - with a chunky knit fair isle jumper here or there. I like his clothes.
If he was to suddenly start wearing slacks and a v neck jumper over a shirt, and shiny shoes, I wouldn't like it. I'd think "how boring".
However, and this is very important, if you have always dressed the way you do...and he was happy enough with your style when you got together, he has no business at all trying to change you now. You're not a dolly!!
I think it all sounds lovely but a bit safe.
I doubt most men would even notice a sweater had buttons. They certainly wouldn't think that made it unusual.
How about trousers (trousers don't have to be jeans folks!) and an interesting top. Introduce some patterns. Go into a shop that you don't usually visit. Buy something a bit more throwaway. Not everything has to be a quality investment piece. Shake it up a bit.
I would say from your brief description that you dress like a Friends character, maybe jennifer Aniston.
Not frumpy, but nice and presentable. Nothing wrong with that at all. Surprise your OH by telling him whilst you are out that underneath your allegedly frumpy skirt you are wearing no knickers.
That will shut him up and he won't be calling you boring or frumpy again.
Not wild about the boots, lupo, I have to say. Have you considered biker-style boots? I think they look really good with jeans and smarter top halves (maybe a fitted jacket on top?) and just toughen the whole look up and bring it right up to date without "scruffing down".
Thanks for that little gem sunday I just dropped my toast in shock
I would not describe the Elsie dress with point heels as a casual day look I think your dh has a point, it's the sort of style that suits a more formal environment, for casual it's overkill, sorry!
Well it is Friday I guess. Any other opinions on the grey ankle mercy boots, I love them.
Mercy boots by Jones. Sorry cannot do links
Snow, Elsie dress was for evening restaurant. Would only wear with flat boots and leather biker in the day
Let's face it, you can't win whatever you wear.
You sound to me perfectly ok and if you started wearing converse or more casual clothes then you would be accused of trying to look like a teenager. If you wear something shorter, tighter, low cut then you will be accused of looking tarty!
If you are happy, not causing any offence to anyone then be happy in what you are wearing.
The only man I would heed clothing advice from in a relationship is from the wonderful Andre Leon Talley and that will be unlikely as he is gay!
Just checked out the dresses you mentioned - your style is very similar to mine, I have a hard time dressing casually because I always like to look neat. Both dresses are a bit office-y and smart but I'd be wearing them anyway as they look really smart and put-together. I'm 50 though - nuff said
Mercy by Jones
Once again my apologies...but those boots are mum boots to me. Sensible and uninspiring.
Would only wear the Elsie dress with heels in eve otherwise with flat books and leather biker for day. Honestly, only wear dresses when going out, otherwise cord,jeans with smart coat and nice jumper. Maybe should look to make it more edgy with brown bikers. But I am quite petite with small size 4 feet and sometimes biker boots look a bit too chunky for me. Will have a look around
I can see both points of view here, I prefer the jeans/converse look both on myself and other people, but can see that people dressed in dresses, boots etc also look good. To me yours are the sort of clothes I would wear for work, and then change out of into jeans when I got home. Maybe you are just making hime feel scruffy.
Oh I've just remembered, many years ago I had a long purple suede coat with a huge black faux fur collar. Original 1970s piece and I loved it. My then boyfriend said I looked like a dirty hippy in it and he purposely allowed his mothers miniature Yorkshire terriers who stank to high heaven, to sleep in my coat so that my coat picked up their smell and I gave the coat to a charity shop, such was my then boyfriend's hatred of the coat!
We split up and many years later I was informed that I had been the one and he always regretted splitting up with me.
Strangely enough I wouldn't care what had happened or him, but I do lament the loss of my wonderful purple coat!
Moral of the story, men are fickle idiots. Wear what you want to wear.
Fair enough! My dh goes the whole hog for work, he has to...tailored suit, cuff links, collar stiffeners etc and at the weekends he dresses like a complete scruff....because he can and it's liberating. If I dress up for an evening out, he always feels bad that he hasn't made an effort and feel almost compelled...I wonder if your dh feels the same way?
I wear dresses at the weekend - I would wear that Elsie dress for a walk in the woods, with flat boots and big scarf. I often wear a fitted or ruched dress for casual purposes, and rough it up with accessories.
I don't think jeans are the be all and end all - I prefer dresses too. Comfier and more stylish.
I think you'd hate biker boots. I hate clumpy shoes, I have size 4.5 feet and they look ridiculous on me - mainly because I like neat and tidy, not clumpy/blokey.
You see - I totally love clumpy boots, and find neat little pointy shoes send me catatonic with boredom.
It is ALL a matter of taste!
I'm waiting for kitten heel court shoes to make a comeback and refuse to buy non-pointy shoes/boots until then pictish
DH always says I look nice in my scruffs, yoga trousers, leggings etc.
It's only so he can hug my arse.
Totally off topic OP, but where did you buy your tan leather jacket? I'm looking for one and can't find one.
In a recent survey, 100% of all men questioned, preferred their wife/girlfriend to wear
Men generally like women to wear clothes that are a bit brighter and tighter than the sort of clothes the OP is describing...
My DP tends to say I look lovely wearing anything tight. DP is particularly keen on the M&S purple thermals I bought!
It's entirely up to you what you wear, but I can also understand a partner wanting you to make the best of yourself (I'm always trying to do this with DH who dresses from the 80s but is a very attractive bloke who could look amazing). I agree that your DH could have worded it better though!!
You're 5 years younger and a lot slimmer than me but I'm afraid your wardrobe would send me screaming for the hills. Navy, black, grey....I wear grey for work but always teamed with something contrasting...chartreuse green, turquoise, shocking pink. Being a redhead I very rarely wear black (though have just ordered a beautiful black corset to wear with jeans and biker boots or heels for going out with DH) and I wouldn't touch anything navy with a bargepole, it just says middle-aged sensible mumsy to me. I'm sure it's very nice, but also very very dull. BUT that is my opinion only.
If you're conscious that you're looking/feeling a bit mumsy then why don't you accessorise a bit more...bright scarf, big colourful jewellery, a bright bag?
The grey Mercy boots. Personally I think they are boring but it's not me that's going to be wearing them. If you're happy with them, go for it!
"Frumpy" is not a very nice word... I dress quite scruffily/quirkily so I don't share your style but you sound smart and well-put-together to me.
My DH knows better than to call me frumpy but he is enthusiastic about things he likes. They are basically the things that show off my bum, ie jeans or body-hugging dresses.
By "frumpy" he probably means "doesn't immediately make me think of sex". I would discuss with him calmly and explain that calling you frumpy is a bit rude. Plus you can have a chat about how you find his attire.
I would only jazz up/experiment with your wardrobe if you fancy trying it and in a way you feel comfortable with. It's horrible wearing something because you think you should be, and feeling awkward and not yourself.
I'm petite with size 4 feet and love chunky clompy biker boots! But that's not the point. If your
DH likes you in more casual stuff that's fair enough, but he's totally out of order to be criticising your clothes and using words like frumpy. He should be complimenting you when you do look nice (to him) and shutting up or at least being kinder about it if he doesn't like something.
FWIW, I think those boots would probably go with the rest of your wardrobe so buy them. I too am petite with size 4 feet and I totally get what you mean about biker boots being too chunky for you: they feel like I have huge elephant sized feet. But you can buy biker style boots that are narrower and that look smaller.
Your style sounds great by the way. I would love to be put together as well as you. Funnily enough, sometimes my DP and I look like we are going to two different events because he is is ultra casual and I am not.
what does your DH wear?
What sort of clothes, what brands/makes?
How does he look in general?
just asking in case he dresses like Russell Howard (stripy
kids t-shirts and jeans and trainer) or Boden man (red or mustard trousers, wool v-neck and a comb-over) or leisure-man (shorts and crocs) , in which case he can f$ck right off
A tricky area. Much as we can all call out "sexist pig" on your DH, there's always a bit of give and take and pleasing the other in a relationship.
I generally like what my DH wears, but some things I don't like. And I let him know. I've even completely "banned" some things - I remember a particularly nasty yellow checked shirt which, for some reason, he liked.
I know he likes me in some things and not others. I know this because he will compliment me when I wear things he likes but will probably say nothing when I wear something he doesn't. Soemtimes I care what he thinks, sometimes I don't.
(I only recall him once being negative. I had a beige dress which I thought was classic and elegant and, after I'd worn it a few times, he said "That dress looks like a sack on you". I was but on refelection decided he was right.)
There is nothing wrong with your style as ITS YOURS. You favour classic cuts, tailored garments and neutral colours and many many people love that. Your DH means that you don't dress for him/men in general which is true of any stylish woman in my view! I think its great that you have such a strong sense of self.
I am an accessories queen and go from elegant (i.e. midi length pencil skirt and silk blouse) to funky (i.e. biker, skinny jeans, ash trainers) to dressing like a demented six year old (i.e. hightops with batman on them, t-shirt with Labyrinth film scene on it, flump earrings) depending on where I am. and I love it all!
I do really hate the boots though - sorry! But again, I own shoes with superheros on them so am perhaps not the target demographic
Has he always said this about your clothes / style?
If not, what's got into him now? Expressing a preference for a particular outfit is fine, even pointing out clothes he thinks you'd look good in but it's quite rude just to tell you he thinks you look frumpy.
I love the grey Mercy boots. FWIW I'd wear them with skinny jeans or a breton-stripe dress with leggings (a huge Mumsnet faux pas...), and my black leather biker jacket.
Gingerstuff it's very interesting to read your post...I wouldn't wear chartreuse or shocking pink if you gave me a thousand pounds - they'd just look plain wrong on me, and probably a bit cheap! I know they'd look fantastic on some people though. I'm just the sort of person who looks waaaay better in natural colours such as greys, beiges, navy etc. In fact, 80% of my wardrobe is those colours....I do buy prints and patterns, but they tend to be in greys, beiges, navy etc...;)
OP have you considered getting your colours done? I've never done it, but people on here are evangelical about it - might be worth a try. TBH I reckon if you feel you know what suits you then you're sorted, but if you're unsure then maybe give it a go?
And lastly, have you tried the John Lewis Weekend collection for slightly more casual clothing in your preferred styles and colours? Lots of nice cashmere and merino, jersey dresses and soft cords there at the mo, in lovely understated colours.
Oh and I like the sound of your clothes. Love neutral colours and classic styles and dresses with boots. I'm not a great fan of directional fashion but I do wear the jeans and converse thing.
I'm a bit at people suggesting that the OP alter her style just because her DH thinks she should.
It isn't as if he is taking her out somewhere smart and she is wearing jeans with her arse hanging out or a skirt that lets everyone know where she buys her underwear.
OP your style sounds great. I do wear jeans and converse, and jeans and boots, and dresses with boots or brogues - whatever I fancy basically. I dress like you are describing at the weekends, more jeans etc during the week because I've got a toddler and find them more practical.
I think this is probably more about him realising that he should probably smarten up. I can't stand that scruffy student look on blokes once they are in their late 30s/40s, most of them just look like ageing twits trying to avoid the inevitable.
You looking as put together and elegant as you do shows him in an unfavourable light and he'd rather make you feel self-conscious and change your style than be bothered to make an effort - maybe a grain of truth in there?
alibaba, yes we need to know how DH looks.
I think this is quite unusual op. If you haven't made any major changes to your look recently, then why is your dh saying you look frumpy now?
Aside from the fact that's very rude (I tend to tell dh he looks lovely in the stuff I do like rather than critisize stuff I don't like), do you think he's having a midlife crisis type worry?
Does he feel he is getting old, or is he in skinny jeans with a quiff like the 18 yrolds and feels you should be too?
I think you must dress for you and you sound very thoughtful and happy with your look (I tend to dress in my very young dressing Mum's cast offs so can't comment!). I have a couple of friends who only wear dresses and, like you, they dress them down at weekends with flat boots or converse.
I couldn't ignore this...I would be interrogating dh until he told me exactly what the problem was because I think it's more than you favouring dresses over jeans.
To add more food for thought, might he have a crush on a young hip colleague?
Dh is 6.2 and good look great in smarter stuff but instead wears jeans and stripey polo shirts that make him look like a deck chair. I think Ali and other posters are right when they say maybe I am showing him up. Sometimes, when we get ready to do out he says , 'oh you look smart and now I feel scruffy.' He then follows this up with but 'you look like you are going to a wedding not just a restaurant ' I wouldn't describe him as scruffy but more casual. I always prefer to wear a day dress with nice shoes for a restaurant, not Coast wedding dress! He wears jeans and another bloody polo shirt so not much different from his day casual wear.
To be honest , he would prefer me to wear jeans, tshirt and converse or biker boots for dinner, I would prefer to make a distinction in going to tesco with ds and going out for dinner to a nice restaurant , which only happens on special occasions anyway. Maybe he is just a scruffy oik
None ofd us want to grow up. I suppose he see you looking like a sophisticated, smart lady and he realises that neither of you are going to be teenagers again and perhaps he fancies a rebellion before you both enter dare I say, middle age!
Unfortunately, that rebellion often sees men and women dressing in a desperate attempt to recreate their youth but only serving them to look older or in some cases, ridiculously inappropriate.
The kind of look that is more befitting on a Children's TV presenter!
Maybe a chat about his feelings rather than appearances is on the cards. He may be thinking of ditching the family car and buying a two seater sports car, or something equally frivolous to hang on to youth!
He sounds insecure and you need to get to the bottom of it because whilst constructive comments may be useful, some negative ones can lead to issues developing, hence your asking for opinions/support on here.
No, according to him I have always been a frumpy dresser. When we met I was wearing tight jumper dress and boots , about fifteen years ago. I just think he prefers jeans and tight t shirt on a woman. Some girls can pull this off, I can't, I look like I have been cleaning the kitchen floor when I dress like this. I do have slim jeans that look good, but with a plain tshirt I look like a scruff
I say: Don't take fashion advice from a 40 year old man in a stripy polo!
Have you thought about slim jeans, silk top and a cardi combo? Might combine a bit of everything
It really sounds like he's like you to drop to his level of casual rather than for him to aspire to yours. I'd buy him a casual yet smart shirt for the restaurant nights.
So he met and married you despite him thinking you dressed frumpy and now many years later has the cheek to complain!
We are what we are and changing for other people never works.
This is my personal opinion, some of his male friends or colleagues have got divorced from their wives. Wives who are very much like you, grown up, responsible and classy.
These men now find that single women their own age are not looking for boys and pass these men over, leaving these men to date dolly birds who are impressed with the cash these older guys have.
This is a case of your man loving you the person but wanting you to compete its his mates dolly birds.
I may be completely wrong but I have seen this scenario myself.
I agree that he sounds like a scruffy man being shown up by his beautifully dressed wife. Your description of your day to day outfits sounds lovely.
I don't know what your relationship with your DH is like but in our house, we have a robust, plain speaking kind of marriage, and my DH uttering similar comments, would be told to Fuck off and had the finer points of his sartorial style pulled to pieces.
Frumpy, my arse. I bet you look fantastic.
Is your DH a fahion guru? I'm guessing no. What does he know. Nothing.
He dresses like a deck chair, yet you would never say that to him, neither would I. You and I would either accept it or subtley suggest it's not his best look. Yet he feels free to criticise you. It's more than criticise.
I am appalled that your DH calls you frumpy. I have had plenty of
humdingers of rows "words" with DH, he has never called me frumpy boring dull etc, and I know I am at times.
Not that it matters, but I think you sound well thought out and put together. You have your own style.
Thanks all , next time he comments I will tell him that I am not sure I want advice from a 40 year old dressed as a deck chair.
My husband would love me to dress like you. He complains because I am always in jeans and converse!! I would love to dress smarter too but work from home and there doesn't seem any point!
Really cheap shot of your DH to say you look frumpy. Very, very occasionally my DH has head-tilted at something in particular I'm trying on and has made a small comment along the lines of 'is it a bit old/shapeless for you?' etc. It's said in the spirit of 'you're better than that item of clothing', not levelled at me as a personal criticism.
Unpleasant. Pull him up on it.
Very quickly,.. Phase Eight Janice is NOT a frumpy dress. It's fantastic. I wish I had bought it.
I tell you what you could do.
mix in a few on trend items - eg the odd sexier skirt etc or fitted jumper. charge to his CC of course...
I've been doing this a bit though, got a jumper with button up back and sheer animal net part at top half. ITA it can be the way you style it.
Top Shop can have nice skirts, jersey, pencil etc... some men like e.g. keyhole details in tops (so they can see norks) - I was told this by a boyfriend!
Tell your husband that he should be a male model.
For Man at C&A!
Sorry, what I meant to say was we need to see pictures of you. Then we can judge. Which sounds bad, but if you wannabe judged...
FWIW OP you dress a lot like me (and you're the same age and size). On certain threads we would qualify as looking French/chic/understated....
But the point here is your DH I realise, and I don't have anything to say that has not been said above.
"Frumpy" was a bad choice of words I suspect.
I do wear jeans a lot more than you in fact (SAHM - practical) and my DH loves it because my bum is my best feature. I don't do scruffy though - dark, slim-cut jeans with ballerinas or boots, nice knitwear and a scarf. I'm not dressing young or particularly trendy, but that's because it's just not "me".
I would wear all you said to work...but probably not out of work. I'm early 40s. I would wear the boots to work but they're a little safe for my liking. I dress for myself.. you are never going to win..one ex said i was too frumpy and needed to do jeans and trainers more (i don't do trainers or sporty clothes unless i'm doing sport!) another said he wanted me more 'ladylike' and to dress like a woman and not a girl.. grrr! Accept you will never win... be yourself, please.
Thanks all , next time he comments I will tell him that I am not sure I want advice from a 40 year old dressed as a deck chair.
A most excellent comeback
Noooo! We don't need pictures! OP dresses the way she dresses, she likes it and feels she looks well. Other women here and IRL have told her so too.
He dresses like a deckchair and she's the one that should change???
Wear whatever you like and feel comfortable without caring what other people think including your husband.
If I was to wear what my husband thinks I should wear, I would be a totally different person.
TBH, since you asked, I would wear the kind of clothes you wearing right now when I am 90 years old. I am 36 and probably I dress 'very young' for my age but I can't help it and I am happy like this, so that is what matters.
The best outfit of all is a nice honest smile.
Could it be that you have never found the right pair of jeans maybe? Do you spend a lot on them? I would say that the fit and design of jeans varies massively and generally the more you pay the better they look. I don't mean £400 a pair but £100 as opposed to £20 can make a massive difference.
Not saying that you should change to please your DH but maybe a compromise?
I do think that the dress (Elsie?) is a bit over formal for wearing on a normal day and the boots are definitely leaning towards boring - sorry! I can't imagine hoovering or taking the dog for a walk dressed like that?
Look, OP dresses well, it's well thought out, carefully chosen and put together, She's happy with her look and receives plenty of compliments. It sounds like she looks great.
Like I say: He dresses like a deckchair and she's the one that should change???
FWIW, there are worse things than a man who looks like a deckchair. I had one ex who couldn't be parted from his £2.99 jogging bottoms, and another who rarely judged a football shirt to be inappropriate for the occasion.
I don't think you should ever change the way you dress for a man. Fine to choose things you know he'll like if they are your natural style and you love them as well, but not fundamentally changing yourself.
However, in the interests of marital harmony and mutual respect and blah, could you agree that you will dress down a bit more during the day, and he will step it up when you go out in the evening?
MissDD WTF? Why on earth should the OP wear clothes with cut outs so that her DH can see her breasts?
As for animal print net clothes, jesus wept.
noooooo, no animal nets - never,ever,never
OP is clearly a classy, conservative, stylish woman - I bet she doesn't own an animal print
Has he just recently started saying this to you? Bit strange really if you have always dressed this way. Do you think he could have noticed some woman at work and he likes her look ? I don't think there is anything wrong with dressing in a way that pleases your husband, after all you want him to find you sexy don't you? I would be asking him a bit more about how he would like to see you dressed and why, then maybe compromise a bit.
Ask him why he thinks what he wants you to wear is more important than what you want to wear.
Unless he really does want her to dress like that because some woman at work has turned his head Rules!
You keep saying 'he likes women who...' - he should like you! I hope he doesn't point out women who he does like the look of?
He is being really horrible, he's picking on something about you which you are confident about and enjoy, and is putting you down. I hope he's a great husband in other ways - please pull him up on this, a proper chat about how it's not on to criticise and undermine you. You sound like you dress beautifully and are confident, there is no way in hell you should change. Some posters are saying some of the stuff you like isn't their style - the point is, it's your style and he should back the fuck off.
Make time to properly talk to him, not blowing up at him if he looks at you funny before going out, but a neutral time in the evening, and explain it's hurtful and that it makes you feel not wholly accepted by him, which you always should. Hopefully he'll be mortified at making you feel this way and only ever offer compliments in future. Please don't change the way you dress for him!
this thread is great, no animal print here though. just to say that in the day I am normally casual in smart jeans, nice jumper or berry cords with flat riding boot, leather biker. he normally comments when/if we go out in the eve and I have a dress on etc ie. why you all dressed up, are you going to a wedding?
I am 5.4, olive skin, small bum, slight tummy, dark natural curly hair at jaw line cut. he is the only one that says I am frumpy.
ok, think I will stick with my current wardrobe, mr deckchair clearly hasn't got a clue...thanks all
You don't sound frumpy at all.
Well that's what I was thinking Agatha as why else would he suddenly mention it after all these years. Wondering if he is having a mid lifer and fancies someone else and is trying to turn his wife into the woman he fancies in the hope that he will find op attractive again??? Just a thought.
Hmmmm, there is of course the other side as to why he is demeaning the op in this way. By undermining her, is it because someone has made a comment to him about how lovely his wife is and how on earth did he manage to catch someone as classy as her?
He could well be be feeling jealous and want her to be at his level and not look classy and therefore be the object of other men's attentions!
This could possibly be at the root of it, he wants his wife to look ordinary and not the sophisticated classy lady she is, so that he feels safe with her.
Men! whatever the reason he feels the need to become an amateur fashionista and make disparaging comments to his wife's appearance, I can assure you one thing, he will never think he is in the wrong! ;)
OP, one day my ex husband started to criticise the way I dress, my hair style (which he was loved) and even the shape of my calf (he suggested that I went to the gym 7 days a week instead of 6, and suggested that I should wear weights around my uncles to and from and during work, to fix my 'thin' calf.
I used to use a VERY BASIC make up to work, and he would say I looked like a clown. Also started to criticise my nails shape and the nails varnish colours I was choosing.
I had to have a pixie hair cut (had my hair in the middle of my back), I had to let him pick the clothes I would have to wear when going out with him and let her chose the clothes I would buy. I had to try them on and see if he approved them or not.
Turned out he was in love with somebody else (with a pixie hair style hahaha), and he dumped me out of the blue to be with her.
Obviously I am not saying your husband will that to you, but don't you ever go changing for somebody else.
Know who you are and be yourself.
Hop one that sounds horrible. Must have been awful for your uncles! too!
Seriously though, what a cad! Hope you are happy now.
I agree about not changing, it never works.
Sorry my last post is full of mistakes.
He suggested weight around my ankles but I didn't do it, it was one step too far for me.
Ignore the other mistakes please and have mercy as I am still learning English.
Hopemore, read my posts, they are littered with mistakes! Mainly typos because of predictive text and typing too quickly!
I was laughing with you about you typing uncles instead of ankles. If English isn't your first language then you put me to shame!
Sound like you went through a horrible time with your ex and it is lovely that you can post support to another poster. Xxx
OP, I'm 35. Similar height dark hair etc.
I wouldn't wear jeans, converse and hoodies ever. Not even on down days.
Nor would I wear your clothing TBH.
I think you may look a little old before your time.
Those clothes seem to be suited to someone 15-20 years older than we are.
You can be smart and comfortable without looking like lamb dressed as mutton. Those dresses and boots are very, meh.
Sorry but I think your DH has a point. (But he should also lose the stripy polo shirts, they are not a good look on anyone beyond the age of 3 and a half !)
Your style doesn't really sound like my style, each to their own and all that, but your DH loses any right to have an opinion on anything aesthetic if he wears polo shirts!
My dh doesn't really like the way I dress either op so you are not alone. He liked the way I dressed when we first met-very short skirts,low cut tops etc but that was 20 years and 3 dress sizes ago!
Now as suggested by my user name I wear a vintage/retro/rockabilly style. Although I know dh likes the femininity of it-petticoats,stockings etc-I think he some times finds it a bit much.
But given he spends his entire weekend slobbing about in jogging trousers and superhero t-shirts-I don't listen to his advice on fashion!
I think the actual clothes you are wearing are no ones business but your own, as long as you are not causing offence by having your bits hanging out or are wearing slogans with words or pictures that may cause upset.
The issue is that your husband has gone out of his way to put you down. Even if he thinks he is joking or even being helpful, his comments are negative and not very kind.
Jut as you are going out the door is not the time to ask if you are dressed to go to a wedding. That is more than just being insensitive, that is downright rude and even a complete oaf would realise that you would be upset and dwell on it to the point of it possibly spoiling your outing.
He doesn't woke as a stylist so cannot even claim to use his professional qualities as a justification to say what he is saying.
Ultimately, he is saying things to make you feel bad about yourself and that is what needs to be tackled, not what you are wearing.
If it's just for meals out etc, it sounds like he just feels a bit shown up when he has only got a slightly smarter than usual polo shirt to wear.
This is his problem.
When I go out with my DH he basically wears jeans and a shirt/jumper. I wear dresses because otherwise I'd never get to wear them at all. If he moaned I would have words!
Methinks you need to be on the relationships board. This is not a style and beauty issue.
FWIW I think you sound like you look fantastic - chic and elegant. But like I said, that's not really the point.
I've googled the phase eight dresses & I would look frumpy in them but that's not you say you do. I'm 40 & wouldn't shop in phase eight.
Those dresses are lovely. I'm 27 and I'd wear them! I bet you look great in them.
I've never been a jeans and Converse type - I have an hourglass figure and prefer the way it looks in dresses. I'd team either of those dresses with lace up wedge ankle boots and a chunky, outsize necklace in tortoiseshell or something similar. Miuccia Prada is my style icon - she knows how to do elegant while throwing in a touch of freaky or eccentric to make it interesting!
Is she or isn't she frumpy isn't the issue. If we polled a hundred people we would get diverse comments about her clothing ranging from frumpy to trendy and everything in between, such is the subjective nature of clothing and personal style.
The husband thinks it's ok to make these remarks to his wife because for whatever reason he doesn't feel secure in how she looks. Possibly because he is worried she is a fantastic catch for someone who unlike him is rather more fashionable, or he is trying to bring her down because he has some ideal of what a woman should look like and quite frankly he sounds quite rude and cruel.
Lupo, it sounds like your style is conservative and classic (what I consider a bit dull TBH, sorry) and if you're happy with what you wear that's all that matters. However, you are only 38, which IMO too young to be dressing quite so safe. I would not call it frumpy though. If anything it's your DH who dresses frumpily.
Having googled the clothes I agree with your DH tbh.
You sound as if you are too formal.
I am 10 years older than you and would wear those clothes on occasions where I had formal meetings and appointments.
They certainly wouldn't be my everyday wear. I would wear the Elsie dress to a funeral if I wasn't expected to wear blac.
If you want to dress like my mother it's up to you.
I think perhaps OP's DH doesn't really know what "frumpy" means.
My DH once said he liked a particular photo of me because it made me look "mumsy."
Turned out he liked the way I was posing with the 3 DCs with my arms around them all. He sort of meant maternal / protective but it came out wrong (apparently). I never let him forget that!!!!
Formal is a good description flipchart
I really elate to the OP, it's quite hard to be casual and relaxed when your style is conservative and classic. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how we can dress down whilst staying neat?
I am a lot older than the op and I wouldn't wesr the same clothes as they are not my style. The point is that there are ways and means to talk about your partners appearance and just after the op has got ready to go out and they are about to leave, he chimes in with a rude remark.
Why not surprise her by getting a babysitter one weekend and taking her out to lunch and going shopping with her and looking at clothes together, a far nicer way of suggesting a different look if he is that opposed to how she dresses.
But he isn't out to change her clothing, it sounds more like he is trying to make her feel bad about herself, most probably because he has some kind of issue and we all know how easy it is to take our bad feeling out on the ones we love.
Some of the comments here about DH and his comments are verging on LTB!!!
DH will say things to me like ' What the fuck have you done to your hair Shirley temple' when I attempted to curl it.
I have said things back equally ridiculous.
I have put on outfits that in a certain light have made me think I would give Kate Moss a run for her money only to have DH stare at me in disbelief. (Quite rightly when I have seen photos!!)
If your partner can't be honest and say what they are thinking who can?
I have friends, people on talkboards and my own insecurities for brutally honest style assessments. What I want from my boyfriend is to be told I am the sexiest, most beautiful woman in the world. And for him to truly, sincerely mean it
Oh what nonsense fipchart , anyone with sense would realise the issue isn't her clothes when her style hasn't changed and her dh isn't cutting edge youth fashion himself.
Whether your Mum wears stuff like that is irrelevant...my 65 yrold mum wears skinny jeans and trainers, as for a dress for a funeral...what an awful thing to say. Any simple dress could be styled with courts/smart coat to wear to a funeral, as it equally could be put with biker boots etc for a casual weekend look.
I have just been thinking about this and if I was wearing some of the clothes you were wearing round the house in the evening after work I just wouldn't be able to relax at all.
I would feel like I was about to take some minutes or start a new case load or something.
Maybe your DH feels that you are too formally dressed in your down time that he feels uneasy and not completely relaxed.
It would be the same if DH came home and kept his suit and tie on all evening when he wasn't going out again.
Sounds like you dress well but maybe you need to add a few more pieces with a bit of edge! After all you have not yet reached 40 phase 8 and hobbs are def more classic workwear. Have you tried the NW3 range in hobbs? The grey boots with skinny jeans and some kind of smart blouse/top with some statement jewellery may be nice for a change?
This is probably all going nowhere. They have been together a long while and she isn't going to change her style and he isn't going to change in the way he chooses to make unhelpful comments at inappropriate times.
The best the op can do is laugh at his stupid remarks and either shrug them off and carry on looking as she does and feeling great or think of a few choice replies to shut him up.
Him, "you look like you are going to a wedding, 'snigger'".
A. Op, "thank you, I'm glad you appreciate the effort I make to look nice", smile sweetly and off you go.
B. Op, "Thank you, I love my outfit. Now what about you? Are you going to get changed into something nice, I'll wait in the car", smile sweetly and off you go.
C. OP, "Thank you. I wasn't sure what to wear and on this occasion think I will just have to wear this outfit. But I am glad you mentioned it because I have been looking at my clothes and think I need some new pieces. I'm going to withdraw £x,xxx.xx from our joint bank account and have a shopping splurge on Saturday. You don't mind looking after the kids, I'll be out all day." smile sweetly and off you go.
No need to be arsey defineme I was asked my opinion like everyone else.
TBH, flipchart, if lupo's DH feels 'uneasy' because she's wearing a nice dress, he needs to get himself some real problems. She should wear what she wears for her own pleasure, not his.
All of those replies sound really pompous.
All the DH has said is that she looks frumpy. There is no need for stupid comments about going on a shopping spree.
All she needs to say is that he looks like a scruff.
Nothing left to discuss!
Does nobody dress down when they get in and are staying in for the rest of the evening then?
That was the point I was trying to make Profondo
It's like I said, if DH stayed in at night in formal clothes, which looking at the pictures and the descriptions, I would feel like the work day hasn't come to a close.
Flip chart, my comments may not be agreeable to you but every comment on here is valid as we all have our own personal opinions and takes on matters from personal experience and just having minds of our own.
It would be sad if we all agreed.
"Surprise your OH by telling him whilst you are out that underneath your allegedly frumpy skirt you are wearing no knickers."
love this advice, brill!
I'm your age and I wear ripped skinny jeans and hoodies if
Like it. But mostly very casual clothes There is a girl near me of similar age and dresses like you . I do think it's ageing to be honest . I still look
Young and have messy curly blonde hair so smart doesn't really suit me . I can do it but as I'm very hourglass I look like Jessica rabbit and I feel too sexy . I expect he fancies you when you are dressed
Down but doesn't have the words to say it
( hopeful )
Sunday I just thought some of the comments on here, like I said earlier, were verging on LTB. All the stuff like 'he's clinging on to his youth'
For all we know it could have been just a throw away comment.
DH doesn't always like the way I dress. For example he hated it when loose flowing tops were in. He said they look like maternity wear. He doesn't like tunic and leggings. Never mind, I do.
I hate casual shirts being tucked in on a bloke. ( I think he does that one to annoy me!)
flipchart who are you to comment on what the OP is wearing? She has already said that she is wearing dresses to go out in in the evening, not for day to day. But even if she did - so fucking what?
We are all at liberty to wear what we like.
Who am I to comment
A regular MN poster like every fucker else here offering an opinion and conversation.
But you are being vile about what she's choosing to wear, which is just horrid and unnecessary.
Flipchart, I don't do acronyms, what does LTB mean, please?
In fairness, I probably do come across as sounding pompous as I do get on my high horse sometimes and because of my own past experiences, I can't stand to see or hear about anyone being the subject of disparaging remarks or comments that reduce their self esteem.
I hope I am more motherly but appreciate my bolshiness may come across as being pompous, so apologies for that but I hope you can see that I am well meaning and only want for the op to have a positive self image. X
OP I think the dresses you mention do look formal, but I bet you look lovely in them.
I am a scruff when I'm not working, and so is DH (in fact he's a scruff all the time!), but as I get older I am becoming less enamoured with jeans and converse (although I do own both!) and more into dresses and boots.
I would be seriously pissed off if my DH called me frumpy. Although I have the opposite problem, if I ever wear a skirt and high heels DH won't leave me alone, so sometimes I wear jeans just to get some peace .
I'm not being vile.
Other people have implied that the outfits that she has picked are older than what an average 38 year old would wear outside a formal setting.
Personally I think people were being vile about her DH,but as others have pointed out it's a good job we don't have the same opinions!
sunday I see your question about LTB has already been answered but it is commonly used on the relationship board and occasionally on the AIBU board (sometimes, IMO justly, other times hysterically!)
I've just remembered something! My second ex, who is my children's father was younger than me and a wannabe rock musician. He was attractive but boy did he know it and think he was gods gift to women!
Well, when I was only a couple of weeks away from giving birth to our second child, he inadvertently walked into the bathroom where I was completely starkers and sat rather ungainly on the loo!
I've never been one to share my toilet activities with a partner in the bathroom and I suppose he was a bit taken aback and slightly embarrassed at seeing me like that and said rather crossly, "you look like an orangutan!"
Ye ladies, he really was a charmer. My revenge at being so insulted was to get ready and take our toddler son to play group where most of the mums stayed and chatted. Naturally I told them all what a rotter my partner was by saying I looked like an orangutan whilst heavily pregnant. Eyes narrowed, lips were pursed and there was much mutterings of how dare he!
In between his rock star wannabeing my ex dossed around for much of the day and was able to meet me at the mother and toddler group. On this occasion he didn't swan in expecting all the mums to gather round and listen about his latest gig, instead he was met by the silent glares of the other mums who like me, didn't really appreciate the sacred beauty of a pregnant woman being compared to an orangutan! Ha ha
If I allowed my DH to dictate what I wore all my underwear would be leopard print polyester <vom>. I'm happy to be told that I look lovely but any other comments or suggestions are not welcome mainly because I don't trust his judgement on clothing matters and also he'd tell me that I looked lovely anyway whether I did . My Dsis always looks lovely so I value her opinion and she's accurate and honest.
Thanks for the explanation of LBT. No I didn't mean that at all. I meant that the problem of him thinking it's ok to say things like that just as they are about to go out of the door should be dealt with and resolved. Certainly not leave him!
...whether I did or not
Was distracted be Millionaire Matchmaker
Sunday That's funny - Not you supposedly looking like an Orangutan but the collective silence and the, I imagine the group of cat's bums faces!
Sunday It wasn't you that was verging on LTB (that acronym again!) A poster was suggestion the relationship board, another one was going on about his possible insecurities and there was talk about control.
To me it sounds like it was a throw away comment.
Like when I got a new outfit once and I asked DH what he thought about this particular one and he said ' are you doing your best to look like your mum!'
There was an easy answer to that one but I won't say because some people may take me too literal and say how wrong I was and if a man did that to a woman blah blah blah!!
Yes Flipchart, it was rather amusing!
I guess that many people are tactless and make comments about other people's appearance without deliberately setting out to hurt them, although there are just as many who do want to cause upset, but the ops husband does need to know that his comments are upsetting her.
If he doesn't realise or understand then he is not being given the chance to thick before he speaks or chooses a more appropriate time to mention her clothes.
flipchart has been given a hard time, for, as far as I can see sweet fa! She has just voiced her opinion like everyone else and think she made some valid points.
The op didn't ask for an opinion on whether her husband was a twat or not, she asked for help with regards to her DH saying she was frumpy.
It really gets on my nerves when just because a DH or a boyfriend makes a negative comment it is assumed they are bastards, are these men not allowed an opinion like everyone else?
Sorry but I agree with the op's dh. My dsis also dresses beyond her age & it just doesn't look right.
I'm the same age as you OP - 38 - and am also a classic dresser. The majority of my wardrobe is in neutral colours, and I'm most often to be found in slim cut black trousers, a neutral coloured fitted polo neck, heels and a trench. I like to think I look chic, stylish, and dressed appropriately for my age (some would disagree, clearly!) Personally I wouldn't be seen dead in trainers (or any sportswear) unless I was actually going to the gym.
It's horses for courses I know, but I really think people are delusional thinking 38 is still really young and we should still be dressing like 20 year olds. I don't want to look like a young girl anyway - I'm a woman who's earned her stripes!
fuckit nobody was kidding themselves about still being able to wear stuff that they could when they were 20.
Crikey I looked great then in skimpy numbers and all the latest fashions. I wouldn't dream of that now!
However when you are 38 you don't have to dress like you are paying homage to Margaret Thatcher. There is a compromise so you don't look like you are still trying to cling on to your youth or fast forwarding the years.
Personally I wouldn't be seen dead in trainers (or any sportswear) unless I was actually going to the gym.
Neither would I.
I personally think that Elsie dress and heels are too 'formal' for a relaxed meal out at a restaurant - think smart jeans and a nice top better for most restaurant outings - and so I guess I can understand that remark a bit, though it certainly sounds as if it wasn't tactfully put.
But that's just my personal opinion.Your wardrobe is clearly on the safe/ conservative side and that's your choice.
"looking as though you're paying homage to Margaret Thatcher."
Now that is the most heinous insult I've ever heard on Mumsnet.
Flipchart I challenge you to a duel!
I said it upthread,
You don't need to look like an old woman some posters seem to think its frumpy wrap dresses or childish converse and gym wear.
I'm 35 I wear neither but still manage to look age appropriate
The clothes / boots don't look that 'cool' or trendy but not necessarily frumpy either. They remind me of stuff a friend of a friend wears and has done ever since uni (ahem, looong time ago!). She looks very very hot in sleek and classy clothes and they really suit her.
Thanks all, I like my wardrobe but will try and add a bit of edge and less formal. Some posters have asked what I look like, I get told a lot that I resemble angela griffin when she is in Waterloo road. I don't watch it but did once and I guess I do but would say I am a smaller build with same hair and colouring
Forgot to add have olive, Asian skin, not as dark as hers
You also bitched about your DH.
Pot and kettle
You sound very elegant OP. Nothing wrong with what you are wearing.
Although my MIL dresses like that too and she really looks good in it..she is 62.
I'm 36 and I'd look 10 years older if I dressed like that, but that's because it's just not me. Jeans, converse and hoodie really suits me and the British way I look. My smarter looks are cute mini dresses, skinny trousers smart boots etc.
My DH would love it if I wore dresses more often!
If you like to look elegant with a bit of edge, lupo, have a peep at Cos - really gorgeous, unusual stuff for we dress lovers! Cos
I think you probably look very smart OP.
It would be a bit Kate Middleton for me (who I think dresses decades older than she is) but all very groomed looking.
I second Cos. I've been getting stuff from there for ages.
I don't think people look older dressed smarter-they just look wealthier.
I personally don't think skinnies and converse equates to youthful. It's just your taste in clothes. It can rapidly look mutton on both men and women though to my mind.
Love those boots OP.
Your husband sounds like he needs to concern himself with his own sartorial efforts, not you.
steppedon. The example that was used before was Kate Middleton. When she came on to the scene in her 20's she looked way older when she was dressed in classic stuff.
She looked miles better 'off duty' or when he was doing an informal engagement such as the time she picked up a hockeystick and had a photo opportunity with that.
I think Kate Middleton knows her style and looks good, on or off duty. I don't think she looked older in her twenties -just very stylish and classic. Nothing wrong with looking classic. I disagree that it ages women.
I think what turns me off about Kate Middleton's on duty dress style and the OP's is that it was the way my nan insisted I dressed when I was 17.
She would have been in her late 50's then and dressed like that (and did until she died at the age of 96) Who wants to dress like their nan when they young
No bloody wonder I rebel against formal clothes!
I don't think you sound frumpy OP.
Being frumpy isn't just about what clothes you wear, more about how you mix/ accessorise things, your figure, your posture and the general way you conduct yourself.
Different people suit different clothes and feel comfortable in different clothes. Personally, I never wear converse or other trainer type shoes except if exercising. However, my sister and daughter look great in them. They just have a different style.
I do wear jeans but always with boots or ballet pumps. I frequently get compliments and am told that I look a lot younger than my age so I disagree that classic clothes are necessarily ageing.
I think Kate Middleton ages herself more by wearing too much make up and she seems to have a fair few wrinkles across her forehead for someone her age, maybe too much sun. I think that she mostly selects clothes that suit her figure, role and style.
Kate Middleton doesn't choose her own clothes, she wears what the Royal stylists are instructed to dress her in - whatever say she has will be minimal, and fwiw, I think she is dressed like a woman 20 years her senior.
Interesting reading, I have been told that I look younger than my years so maybe what I am wearing it not ageing me too much then. I think will keep as I am but maybe dress down a bit when we go out in the evening, or add flats rather than heels to a dress.
I don't think classic clothes are ageing either. I am often mistaken for being much younger than I am (late twenties when actually I am in my late thirties.) This is down to long term use of retinoids. I can't recommend them enough - my skin is in such excellent condition now and I used to battle with hormonal breakouts which were a nightmare. These days I look like a foundation advert and I love the confidence it gives me. Fine lines have significantly reduced and even the deep 'elevens' I once had have shown dramatic improvement. I never need to wear foundation or much concealer these days. Tretinoin - I heart you.
But I digress. I agree with Steppedon. Dressing classically doesn't make you look older, it makes you look understated and wealthier. This was never a deliberate thing on my part - I'm not materialistic and never set out to look 'rich'. I just wanted to look stylish. But it's a definite by-product of wearing the clothes I like to wear anyway.
Personally I think that dressing really young when you're not is ageing in itself. Like that woman on does my bum look 40. I'm sorry, I'm sure she's a great woman, but she looks ridiculous in those high top wedge trainers. Really really try-hard.
Clemence Posey, on the other hand, almost always looks amazing. A young woman who dresses classically, is always understated and elegant, and stylish in that effortless French sort of a way.
Wouldn't catch her in baggy jeans and a hoody ;-)
OP, dress how you want.
I sometimes get a comment from my DH that he feels a bit under-dressed if I have made an effort. But he will always compliment me and tell me that I look good - and if he feels very under-dressed then he'll go and change
Although he is honest and if he thinks that something doesn't look good, then he will say so.
It's not very kind to make digs at you. You need to tell him that.
Wouldn't catch her in baggy jeans and a hoody ;-)
Maybe she should!!!
Ha! Ok. That was a bad day, for sure.
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