Sorting Myself Out

(120 Posts)
hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 08:59:20

I am fed up sad

I have 3 wardrobes full of clothes but feel like crap. I keep buying more and more stuff and nothing seems to hang or sit right on me.
I have been on dressipi and have dressipi set up on my ebay account also. I have done an online colour analyzer so I could try to buy the right colours.
But I still feel crap and uncomfortable.

I think its come to a head because I have been invited to a Halloween/40th birthday party on Saturday, I never go out I have been out twice in about 10 years. Its fancy dress ....

I have spent the last month looking for something to wear and have found nothing, I hastily bought this

Its going to look crap I know I feel an idiot and I haven't even tried it on, it will be a sack hanging off me.

I try to look after myself, I use anti wrinkle cream, I do my nails, I keep my eyebrows in trim, its the rest of me that looks like crap.

Dressipi puts me in clingy clothes, which I wouldn't wear in a million years, every bloody pair of jeans/jeggings I own and I own loads as I keep buying them to find a decent pair shows my bum or keeps rolling/sliding down, so I hoiking them up all the time.

Can you stylish people give me some tips on feeling better about yourself and dressing well - I would most appreciate it.

What size, shape, age are you?

Please send the Halloween thing back - it's hideous and you can deffo do better, I promise! smile

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 11:56:12


I'm a size 14, hourglass and aged 37

I'm 5ft 5in if this helps. Thank you for replying xxx

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 11:58:32

hedwig - I'm 42 hourglass and size 12 but could be edging towards 14.

what sort of styles do you like?

do you LIKE trendy stuff or suit certain styles/colours etc?

Okay - hourglass friendly jeans include Topshop Jamie (I think these might be cropped though: I'm a short arse so they are full length on me), the M&S dark indigo five pocket jeggings, and various pairs from Oasis. I also have a v v bargainous pair of Current Elliots (£30 reduced from £210!) that are good too. Out of all of those, the Topshop ones require occasional hoiking on me, but the others don't need any. You might need to size down on the M&S ones.

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 12:10:15

Helloboys I don't mind any styles really, I tend to wear black mostly and nothing to clingy or short. I have recently bought these:




I tend to wear leggings/jeggings and a long top, but have recently bought a couple of dresses to wear with tights, but the dress above seems not to sit right the waist seems to high up and the skirt part too short?

Thanks x

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 12:16:04

I have also bought this and worn it once with leggings, and felt ok in it


I wonder if its to do with confidence? I've just had a telephone conversation with my DH. I've been a bit down lately and I've just said I don't like the halloween dress we've bought, it'll look like I'm wearing a sack, he replied its all about how I carry myself he's noticed I hide behind my hair and look down a lot and don't seem to like myself at the moment, which is true ......

How do you feel about your legs? Personally I think a dress with tights will always look better than a dress with leggings.

What about something like this as a basis for a Halloween costume?

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 12:27:38

Its Lovely Remus, but looks like it clings?

Yes, probably - but it won't swamp you!

A simple black dress in a shape you're happy with would be easy to turn into all manner of costumes and then wear again later.

Or how about cigarette leg black trousers, a dress shirt and a cloak, to be Dracula?

Or if you have a wedding dress, shove it on with lots of gothy make up and a bunch of dark red roses, to be bride of Dracula?

Or be a black cat? Dead easy.

It sounds like it could be a confidence issue tbh.

As far as Halloween costumes, a great idea is to go as a jewel thief.... Black trousers, stripey Breton top, black gloves, black eye mask and strings of plastic gems hanging from your pockets. Not too much effort, can be played up or down and fairly comfortable. This is what I'm doing for trick or treat this year with the kids.

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 12:38:12

Remus & Butterflies

Thank you for the ideas, I'll have a look online now. I've been thinking I need a "costume", I never thought of a dress I can use again and then dressing that up or trousers as you say, which is more comfortable for me.

Thanks again xx

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 12:51:25

Ha yes I like the cereal killer smile

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 12:58:47

hedwig - I did actually like the floral dress you linked to. not hallowweeny but nice.

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 13:03:28

what you've bought is great.

however (jmo) I am not mad keen on DP - prefer Oasis/Warehouse etc.

will try to link to a fab Warehouse top I got recently that you may like and worked with norks/hourglass.

what colouring are you or colours you like?

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 13:08:10

Hello I have a few oasis tops, I bought a soft pink fluffy jumper from there a month or so ago, I do like their clothes. Although I've never bought anything from Warehouse.

I am according to an online colour analysis a soft summer, light brown hair with pale skin and blue eyes.

I'm willing to wear any colour although maybe not yellow or orange

Thanks xx

MerryMarigold Tue 29-Oct-13 13:09:45

Remus, I don't get the pantone one!

Love the Wednesday outfit, very chic.

Hedwig, something I recently discovered was high waisted jeans. I used to hate anything high waisted, but now I find they hold my tum in a bit and are skinny enough (I have good legs) to show them off without being too 'jegging'. I always get a lot of compliments when I wear them. No hoiking, plus you can wear them with shorter, more fitted tops. I always have to wear a long and therefore baggy top with hipster items and they make me look a bit pregnant oh yes, i had them when I was pregnant.

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 13:16:05

Merry I think its too do with the shades of grey book, as all his bits of paper are colour swatches of grey

I have one pair of high waisted jeans from New Look, but the 14 is too tight so I went for a 16 and they are too baggy so again hoiking them up all the time, I didn't however think of putting a shorter top with them I wore them with a longer tunic top like I normally do. Where do you buy yours from?

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Tue 29-Oct-13 13:22:45

Three wardrobes and nothing to wear sounds absolutely miserable. Particularly when you seem to have an "ideal" figure for clothes. thlsmile

I know nothing of Dressipi - but I do wonder why you need an EBay account for clothes ... I'm sure it's fine if you're a confident, knowledgeable dresser but if you're not happy with how you look - well I wouldn't start there.

How often do you go into actual shops? (If you're able to obviously...) Whatever you're doing isn't working for you at the moment so you do need to try something new. I suggest you stop buying clothes completely for a time. Could you find time to go into every shop you can and try things on? Without buying?

MerryMarigold Tue 29-Oct-13 13:26:08

I got mine secondhand on ebay. They were topshop ones and I am dee-lighted! Been wearing a year and they still look nice. They are proper denim. If they are a little tight when you first try them on (or after washing), they do stretch a bit to be more comfortable after an hour or so.

Oh, I get it now. 50 shades of grey? I was wracking my brains for the Halloween connection!

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 13:28:15

Sthing Ideal? I would have thought a size 8/10 is more ideal tbh

I know the clothes situation is ridiculous, I keep buying hoping to find stuff that looks good, its all lovely stuff but as soon as I put it on it just doesn't look right [sigh]

I have a dressipi account and you can then allow it access to your ebay account to recommend you items through ebay. I do buy through ebay sometimes, usually the discount shops, littlewoods, dune, etc all have discount ebay shops.

I currently have 5 things in my basket from the Jane Norman shop on ebay recommended by Dressipi - BUT I haven't bought them yet, as I am sick of buying things and they don't look right.

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 13:29:13

Merry Thanks I'll have a look on ebay then, maybe spending a bit more money on some high waisted jeans, might pay off.

pantsjustpants Tue 29-Oct-13 13:39:55

I've just gone from a size 16/18 to a 12, and it's confidence. I'm struggling at the moment, so I feel your pain. I don't know what suits me anymore!

Can I just say that there's a difference between fitted/clingy and too small/clingy. I've just learnt this!! The black Top Shop dress linked to earlier, would be lovely. You can vamp or witch it up, get a great wig!

I'm thinking (if I can pluck up the nerve!) of going to personal shopper in Debenhams. As long as I don't have to buy the things suggested. I just want some ideas! Or even a childfree day on my own or with dh to try loads of stuff on....

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 13:53:51

pants congratulations on your weight loss xxx

I would love to do a personal shopper day, but I don't think I've got the confidence yet, I know Oasis do one too, which I would love as I like most of their things.

I think the dress Remus linked too is really lovely, but I'm not sure if I could wear it tbh. I would be pulling it away from my stomach and bum all the time.

I am at home this week with the DC, (half term), so I'm thinking of having a major sort out and trying to put outfits together in the wardrobe, but I have this stupid thing where I think everyone's looking at me if I wear something "out of the norm". I.e, not jeans and a t-shirt.

Ridiculous really as people are far too busy to be looking at me

I have a pinterest board, which I have just started to add more to if anyone wants to give there opinion on what I have bought - I don't mind if you don't like, I need a kick up the bum smile

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Tue 29-Oct-13 14:04:30

OP You've asked for ideas for sorting yourself out but actually you are answering your own question.

What on earth does Dressipi know about your feeling that you are the wrong size for clothes? Or that your Dh has noticed your (hopefully temporary) slump in confidence? I am sorry to repeat myself but you need to forget EBay.

Do you not know anyone (other than your Dh) who might go with you to browse in some new shops?

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 14:13:08

Sthing I don't I'm afraid, I think that's why I just but something because I like it and its pretty, rather than trying it on and thinking does it look good and go with something I already have.

I don't ever try anything on in the shops.

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 14:19:44

here is the print I bought - they don't show the top - the top was long sleeved but with a sort of dropped hem and it had a light jersey back, got it about 2-3 weeks ago so may be in a store, department etc.

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 14:22:43

hello its lovely, I do like that, especially with the black as on the model.

Shame someone doesn't do dress up models on their site which you can change to your specifications, it would give us all a more realistic idea of how the item would look on us.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Tue 29-Oct-13 14:22:46

Sorry , only half a thought. Your Pinterest board looks perfectly fine but what I was going to say was that it might be helpful to allow a little randomness into your strategy.... If you find just one thing that makes you feel amazing it can really help your confidence. And you're more likely to do that in a real shop rather than on a screen.

It's not easy I know, if you feel that you might be judged for stepping out of your normal dressing habits.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Tue 29-Oct-13 14:26:20

X posted. Slow typing and crossings out because I keep sounding negative when I really want to help.

Why can't / won't you try things on in shops. (I mean is it a "real" reason which you may not want to set down here - or just stubborn refusal to .......engage?)

Hopefully Tue 29-Oct-13 14:26:23

I know you've said you wouldn't have the confidence for a personal shopper, but would having a RL colour and style analysis help? I'm biased (I'm an image consultant) but I was so low in confidence when I first had my colours done and it really gave me the information to shop confidently (and to realise why I felt crap in 99% of high st clothes - I have unusual colouring and an unusual style). I have had clients who are at rock bottom in terms of self confidence, but because they can see and understand what I'm doing rather than me just saying 'go and buy x y and z clothes' they have the confidence to go and do it after seeing me.

I know that sounds like a complete sales pitch, but I really recognise myself five years ago in your post! Best of luck with it smile

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 14:36:59

the jacket I'm not sure about. I got it for an event but then realised I like the print and colour and can dress with black or dark blue skinny jeans etc.

also would look nice with nice jacket on top. that is what I am TRYING to do more only as I was a bit like you, buy lots and then stuff in wardrobe (though my case dresses) that I didn't like etc.

also sometimes I go for styles that are not me and then they get donated. it is a very good idea either with stylist or yourself to get a sense of what suits you and what you like and look good in.

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 14:38:34

SThingmust - in shops it can sometimes be daunting I know what OP means.

for this reason but mostly for speed I buy and try on at home (if I know I can get a refund).

btw OP like a few items on your Pinterest board - the pink sweater etc.

Maybe you should follow some bloggers (fashion) as they have good ideas.

pantsjustpants Tue 29-Oct-13 16:44:52

hedwig you're not in Hampshire by any chance are you??? I'd love a shopping buddy.....

I think the dress would look great on you, what about some "suck it all in" knickers?? Would that help?

I'm now trying to wear things outside of my comfort zone i.e. not black all the time. So today I have some wine coloured skinnies on. Not convinced. I struggled with what to wear on top, and on my feet. Not sure I'll wear them again! Dh, on the other hand, said it was nice to see me in something else. I got them from a friend, so at least it was a cheap mistake wink.

MerryMarigold Tue 29-Oct-13 16:48:17

Sorry, the ebay thing may not be a good idea for you. I do like to try on too (in proper changing rooms that have individual booths). It's amazing how many things you can try on which look awful on you, and then one thing, which you didn't think was that great, actually looks amazing on. In the summer I tried on a range of dresses for a wedding in my size and some were huge and some were really too tight. I couldn't believe they were all sized the same (it was a department store so they were different brands).

I always try on for an event. The jeans was just a lucky punt, really. Have occasionally bought on ebay and generally don't wear the stuff!

MerryMarigold Tue 29-Oct-13 16:49:16

Oh, and do also agree with finding one thing you LOVE and then working round it.

GeorginaWorsley Tue 29-Oct-13 16:59:46

I know the 'too many clothes but nothing to wear' feeling well.
However I wnder if you would be better moving up a notch so to speak shop wise.
I love a bargain but I have realised that the things I feel best in,in the main,are the more quality items in my wardrobe.
I'm not talking designer here,just perhaps moving from Dorothy Perkins/new look/asda to the likes of Mint Velvet,Phase Eight,Whistles,jigsaw etc occasionally.
Obviously more expensive ,but better one thing you love than three you don't.
Plus search out more upmarket brands on eBay too.

Oblomov Tue 29-Oct-13 17:04:43

I struggle to find clothes. I know what I want but can't find it. I too think that eBay is probably not for you ATM.

peasypeeler Tue 29-Oct-13 18:06:35

I can't buy anything online because I have to try things on. I'm an hourglass shape and hate anything clingy but I'm learning that my style is neat and tidy so I'm looking for fitted rather than clingy stuff - there is a difference.

I really echo the thoughts about ebay I think you're in a bit of a clothing spiral and it's only going to get worse if you keep adding to your wardrobes without trying things on.

I pretty much chucked out everything and started again. You already have a few things you like so wear them the next time you go shopping and try on other things with them and only buy things that you love.

Buy a book from amazon called Frumpy to Fabulous 'Flaunting It' by Natalie Jobity. I bought the kindle version and it's brilliant. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Fuckitthatlldo Tue 29-Oct-13 18:37:18

I honestly think buying clothes online is a mistake, unless you are very organised and ruthless about sending things back which don't fit/suit.

You need to try clothes on. Sample sizes are just that - sample sizes. We women come in all different shapes - two sample size 14 women could still look completely different in exactly the same outfit.

If you are having trouble finding jeans that fit, might I suggest Levi Curves? They are cut to fit different shapes, aswell as different sizes, and I really rate them. But again, you need to try on.

I would also suggest a major sort out. Nobody needs three wardrobes full of clothes. Have a trying on session and ebay things you know you won't wear. Use the money to go towards new things you do like.

Have a look at style blogs for inspiration too. I love The Sartorialist. Link here:

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:10:36

Sthing I don't take it as your being criticizing honestly I need and asked for some advice and I've appreciated everything everyone's took the time to say. As to trying on in shops, I start sweating, rushing the mirrors always make me look crap, I can see every bit of cellulite and lumps and bumps the lighting's really glaring, so I just thought it would be better to take home and try on in comfort - but then I settle for things and never take anything back

Hopefully I just don't think I have the confidence at the moment, I would be pressured into buying things I wasn't comfortable wearing.

Hello I have tried to look for a style blog, but there seems to be a gap in the market, I can find 8/10 size women's blogs and plus size, 20 onwards but there doesn't seem to be any in between?

pants I'm in Birmingham - I would have definitely taken you up on your offer I obviously need someone who would say it as it was to take shopping with me. I also have a pair of wine coloured jeans, (skinny) but I've only worn them in the house smile I think there's a neon sign pointing at me - look, look shes wearing something brighter than black grin

Georgina I have tried to go up a bit in the price I pay and where I shop, I just have this ingrained thing inside me that I need to get as much for my money as possible, my DH keeps taking me into "naice" shops and I look at the price tag and think "nope no way"

Oblomov I am getting the point I think that ebay isn't a good idea at the moment - unless I'm selling things.

peasey I think I'm realizing from everyone's helps that I need to go and try things on and not buy he first thing that actually fits, I need to have a feel for the cut and fit - I'm not sure how to do that, I think its from experience?? I'll have a look for that book, I too have a kindle - thanks for the suggestion.

Fuckit I will take a look at the blog, thank you.

I think that I have realized that just because I'm a size 14 and its lovely to look at not everything I pick up and but - in fact most things I pick up and buy will not and do not suit me.

I don't think I have a "style" tbh, but I would like to feel comfortable in what I wear and not be worrying all the time what everyone's thinking.

My DH has read this thread and is nodding along to most points especially about spending a bit more money on key pieces, but I'm worried that once I spent out a lot of money on an item, how do I know I'm not making an even more expensive mistake?

Thank you to everyone who's taken the time to reply.
I'm off to have a look at some blogs.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Tue 29-Oct-13 19:18:52

Dear MrHedwig

I note that you are in Birmingham. Please say if there is a reason why you cannot drag accompany your Dw to Selfridges and Harvey Nichols (Mailbox) this weekend? She will not be buying anything. But you will be encouraging her to be adventurous in trying on lots of beautiful things (most of them out of her price-range. (You will be making notes for Christmas...)

Have a lovely time.

peasypeeler Tue 29-Oct-13 19:19:43

Bless you - and your dear DH! We're all rooting for you xx

I like value for money too and would buy 10 x £5 teeshirts instead of a £50 blazer.

I drive myself nuts grin

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:25:41

Sthing grin He's laughing, he would love that, but I wouldn't I don't think I belong somewhere so posh.

I will definitely be going for a wonder somewhere and not to buy, just to try on, maybe not somewhere like the mailbox though.

peasy thank you x I am a bit of a tightwad smile

Hedwig - I am in Birmingham too, and am far from posh! Selfridges is fine - Whistles is on the very top floor (occasional good bits in the sales) and Warehouse, Oasis and Topshop are on the first floor. Go when it's quiet, if you can, and just try loads on.

Harvey Nichols does nice coffee and cakes, but the clothes are all far too expensive for me - besides, I hate the Mailbox.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Tue 29-Oct-13 19:36:43

OP I say this with kindness - you are still missing the point.

There is a disconnect between the idealized things you are looking at on screen and your real life reluctance to make contact with any actual nice clothes.

You appear to be obsessing over model-sizes when you are a perfectly average size and can shop anywhere. I see lots of blogs and it's never, ever occurred to me to consider the dress size of the person writing it. In fact I considered linking some blogs earlier but I think you need some fresh air.... Having said that I would second looking at The Sartorialist - purely because it might persuade you that people can look wonderful in all manner of ways, regardless of there size or shape or imperfections.

Someone with a harder heart than mine might be inclined to suggest that you are spending at least as much energy rejecting routes to well-dressedness (too much money, don't like mirrors, don't want to be noticed, etc, etc) as you might spend silencing your inner critic and diving in.....

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:38:06

Remus I've never been to the mailbox, never even thought of it, I usually shop at the Fort, if you know it. I do like Oasis, but Topshop seems to be for the skinnier people.

I'm a 12, Hedwig, and sometimes a ten. I wouldn't wear most of the things in Topshop, but there are occasionally some good things - jeans and tube skirts for example.

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:45:31

Sthing Ouch, I don't think I am dismissing things purely on size, although it may come across as this.

Its more the thought that some things definitely look better on model sizes and some have been designed for this.
I thought that the blogs I have seen where tailored for the size of the person running the blog, as obviously she is the one wearing the item and has spent time trying on and deciding whether to include the outfit/picture on her blog. It stand to reason that the same outfit, item of clothing won't sit the same on someone like me who needs to make sure the top covers up the hammock sized bra, and the mum tum.

Which as people have pointed out is what I'm essentially doing buying online and buying without trying on, as although the item I'm buying is available in a size 14, it doesn't necessarily mean it suits ME.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Tue 29-Oct-13 19:46:24

X post...

their not there....

Remus No-one likes The Mailbox but actually I think their Harvey Nichols is cute. So tiny it doesn't need half a day to browse. And the point is to jolt the OP out of thinking that what she's been looking at is all there is...

OP I should stop hassling you but if you insist on rejecting stuff you're not going to get to where you want to be.

I strongly suspect that - without knowing it - you have a very individual style; which is not catered for by the impossibly lowest common denominator sources that you "think" are appropriate for you.

Stop thinking. Just go. Try.

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:47:39

Remus I've also noticed the sizing is different in Oasis, Wallis and Topshop, I seem to be a size 16, or large in these shops whereas in Dorothy Perkins, Asda, etc, I'm a 14 - this shouldn't matter, but for some reason it does to me.

hedwig06 Tue 29-Oct-13 19:49:38

Sthing X-post again!!! I know what you are saying I'm shopping safe, and narrow minded, and I'm not happy, what can happen if I step out of the box, so to speak. Nothing bad I'm sure.

You've given me loads to think about - thank you xx

Yes, Harvey Nic's is nice enough, but I personally just think that telling Hedwig to wander around looking at super duper expensive designer stuff and terrifying shoes isn't actually going to help her much right now.

If somebody is already low on confidence, they don't need to be trying to squeeze themselves into the latest Victoria Beckham triumph, yours for only £800, or whatever. They need to be seeing how things in 'normal' places can work for them.

I agree that going and trying lots of things on is the only thing to do, but don't think HN is the place to do it, tbh.

peasypeeler Tue 29-Oct-13 19:59:43

Hedwig I think if you're anything like me - you know what you don't like but aren't confident in what you do like. Make sense?

I have a very vivid idea in my head about what I should look like and nothing persuades me to veer from that path so I stick to what I feel comfortable in. Trouble is, it keeps me dressing 'safe' and conservatively when I keep thinking I maybe should look a bit more sassy. However - being sassy doesn't suit the vulnerability side of my personality so I'm ok with that.

Are you outdoorsy? Frilly, romantic, dramatic, love vivid and asymmetrical stuff? Would you like to see yourself in a long line as in a teeshirt, trousers and a long-line cardi that skims your hips? Do you want to downplay your bosom? Accentuate a part you like? Do you like boxy styles? Formal or casual?

No need to tell us, just keep asking yourself questions about what you do and don't like.


hattymattie Tue 29-Oct-13 20:02:31

Just came on to say - not very good at fashion advice but I think the Dorothy Perkins dress is gorgeous - and thanks to you I've discovered that they send to France.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Tue 29-Oct-13 20:17:19

Oh good! What you've said peasy leads very nicely into my probably slow and clumsy reply to Remus.

It's a good point - that HN might be scary. I am mindful of problems with a lack of confidence - my only concern is to point the OP in the direction of a far wider range of clothing ideas than she might have come across so far. Particularly because she hinted above that she really doesn't want to be trapped in dressing to suit other peoples' expectations.

So - would it be wrong to suggest that the OP tries "browsing" in The Barber Institute? Less scary? No measurements. No prices. And almost certainly a more diverse selection of ways to be.

Art galleries are actually a great place to look for style inspiration - brilliant idea! smile

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 22:18:21

Remus - I think you and Hedwig should meet up for a shopping trip! eek

Whistles can be gorgeous but sales are a good idea, the dept store where I work is constantly reducing items.

I DO know what you mean Hedwig re sizing. Can you look past it for now?

I think I will try and look at a few blogging sites for you.

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 22:21:23

Hedwig - I put 14 hourglass blogs into google and got few results only bloody Mac I forget how to link properly... will do it properly at work tomorrow! grin

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 22:22:01

oh I think it was

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 22:22:26

they may be American (unsure there) but had nice ideas from what I could see

But then Hedwig would see that I know nothing at all about style!

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 22:24:21

oh oh! great ideas there in those blogs.

and I just remembered - asos curve.

they have some LOVELY items. seriously. not too dear either.

HelloBoys Tue 29-Oct-13 22:25:08

Remus - you have advised me for style - I am reincarnated!


BelaLug0si Tue 29-Oct-13 22:31:52

I've found that wearing a slip under dresses which are fitted or even drapy, helps them to skim rather than cling, especially if you're wearing tights.
The JL one here has been really useful.

Good luck on your quest.

Boys - advice on here, when I can link to lovely pics of lovely people is one thing: trying to advise somebody who can see me in all my scruffy Minnie Mouse crossed with a mad old goth inspired chaos is quite another!

feelingood Tue 29-Oct-13 22:51:10

Hi OP same age as you but a bit bigger and slightly taller same shape.

I have stopped buying mid range and the cheaper clothes stuff. I discovered mint velvet is great for my hourglass figure. I buy their silk front to short/long sleeves. Jeans I struggle with but I just belt, then accessorise from there. I have several dresses from there which I love, the bubble hems and swing dresses are great for me.

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 08:10:44

Hello Thanks for the links to the blogs I spent until 10.30pm last night looking at some here are the ones I have bookmarked:

Bela Thank you I never thought of a slip, I will be investing in one I think, I spent last night as I said looking for blogs and also looking at some of the clothes retailers that GeorginaWorsley recommended on page 2, I pinned some amazing dresses to my pintrest from Phase Eight.

Feeling Some of the Phase Eight dresses I looked at last night are beautiful, I do think Jeans are a pain to shop for, I must have at least 30 pairs, honestly!! I don't think one pair fit me properly or are comfortable.

Thanks again everyone, I'm having a sort out today, and then going out tonight when DH gets home to sort my Halloween costume, the one I linked to in my OP is being sent back.


peasypeeler Wed 30-Oct-13 08:33:43

Enjoy your sort out! Even if you're left with ten things it's better than three wardrobes of 'stuff' that you don't feel good in.

Good luck!

impty Wed 30-Oct-13 08:56:12

Get yourself to Selfridges! Head to the top floor... soak in all the designer clothes, look at what the mannequins, and other shoppers are wearing. Go down two floors wheres its Oasis, topshop etc again look and see what you like.

Save some money and gead to that top floor and Harvey Nicks and go in the sales... you'll be surprised what you can get in there!

I think everyone has bits of themselves, they dislike etc and its quite easy to lose your confidence, but you can get it back.

My big tip is to buy less, but buy better quality. A top from higher end high street will often hang better than something from New Look. The fabric will be better quality and skim across your body better etc etc. So think Reiss, Hobbs, Karen Millen. It can seem expensive but better to buy something you love and which looks great that you wear to death than sonething you wear once and shove to the back of your wardrobe. I set some money aside each month for clothes, and I do often have to save for something I really like. But that gives me time to consider whether it really is great!

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 09:29:07

peasey Thank you x

impty I agree that I due impulse buy, to try to find stuff that feels good, maybe the saving for an item will learn me to slow down and only buy things I really want and actually fit properly and hang nice xx

peasypeeler Wed 30-Oct-13 09:40:47

Great advice from impty I should follow it. No more grabbing 5 teeshirts, let's grab one 'top' that works with a blazer/cardi/whatever.

Are you up for that hedwig? Shall we make that our goal for November?

No more 'stuff' for stuffs sake!! grin

How's the sort out going? Do you need tea and toast yet?

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 10:10:24

peasey I am definitely up for it grin

I have so far only kept my wine coloured jeans, 2 pairs of Dorothy Perkins Jeggings, my newest pair of black leggings, (I'm ashamed to say I have 15 pairs of legging!!!!). I have kept a black maxi skirt from Miss Selfridge, that I love it has big orange flowers on it and sounds hideous, but I like it smile

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Wed 30-Oct-13 10:47:31
HelloBoys Wed 30-Oct-13 11:10:41

ooh - another thing - do some more PInterest boards or magazine clip stuff, THEN show us.

put stuff you think is unaffordable - we need ideas.

I would have never for example have tried a tube skirt/dress before coming on here. I got the most gorgeous Whistles pyramid bracelet and also a sort of Eagle statement diamante Accessorize necklace thing (not on website now) 2 weeks ago.

The Eagle necklace I wouldn't normally go for but I thought it is different, a bit rock chick and I like it.

I have small bones/wrists etc so generally huge jewellery looks awful on me.

Got a lovely Oasis orange and gold squares necklace quite statement but brightens up black etc - and normally I run screaming from gold and orange. My mum when she saw me in it said "ooh that's nice".

It's all about doing something a bit different. with our help. smile

HelloBoys Wed 30-Oct-13 11:11:09

also put a mix of cheap, mid end and super duper expensive stuff.

LordPalmerston Wed 30-Oct-13 11:18:50

OP stop shopping at dorothy perkins = you are too old

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 11:28:00

Lord Thanks for that hmm

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 11:58:27

Hello Here is the link to "My Love it" board on pinterest, I have added some things to it, and I will continue to add things as well.

Thanks xx

feelingood Wed 30-Oct-13 12:40:03

hedwig I didnt actually mention phase eight but yes there stuff is great I have two dresses from there. I like a lot of your pinned items, especially the colour schemes of the grays and tans.

What I look for with dresses for my shape:

Wrap and cross over styles (I have to be slimmer to wear shift and thenthe have to be well cut - cant beat a well cut shit with what ever shoes are in fashion and on trend colours in a neck scarf plus bag)

I stick to knee lenghts (I stopped buying tunics for leggings) and longer, follow your line as Gok says - never but yourself across with a horizontal hem at a wide point.

I buy plain fabrics OR patterns that are subtle in the colours or style.

I buy fabrics that are heavy/drapey and not clingy.

I only wear two colours, a third colour would have to be splash or tonal.

MOST importantly for me as I accept that there are lovelt lovely outfits that just dont suit me no matter how much you jiggle/hold/accessorise. I dress to suit my shape, function and colours that suit ME. I broadly stay on trend - if I cant do a garmet I can always find footwear/bags to lift a plain outfit. Im much more measured in what I buy.

I cant recommend trying some stuff on from mint velvet then you can just order online from sales once you get an idea for your size.

Avoid boxy drapey knits - if you look carefully some knits are tapered. It took me a while to find a cream cable knit.

feelingood Wed 30-Oct-13 12:41:03

omg shift not shit lol

peasypeeler Wed 30-Oct-13 12:49:26

Just glancing at your pinterest I think you like quite a romantic/feminine style. Quite a few ruffles and dresses. Maybe read up a bit about that style and see where it takes you?

You're doing really well - keep going! smile

HelloBoys Wed 30-Oct-13 13:26:57

i can see your style more now - some of the stuff I love - the Mint Velvet and Oasis items especially.

I don't think you'd Instagram would you? if you could take selfies (you don't have to do face) we could rate them for you?

I have a sort of idea. Why don't you invite a friend/neighbour/relative round when you try stuff on? Maybe your DH (he sounds adorable, a keeper! smile) and get honest opinions when you order/buy some stuff.

this way you would I think keep/send back stuff that didn't suit you.

I am only suggesting you DO DO this until you're more confident with shopping and finding your own style.

pantsjustpants Wed 30-Oct-13 13:27:17

I think someone mentioned Phase Eight earlier? I love their dresses! They are beautifully made and worth spending the extra.

I'm currently hankering after this , which I think would be so useful and versatile.

Keep an eye out on Debenhams, I bought my last one (a beautiful purple draped one) for £30 in the sales!!

HelloBoys Wed 30-Oct-13 13:28:03

oh how about Ash Spiral boots to go with the skinny jeans? they could give you height if you're after that. much loved here too

pantsjustpants Wed 30-Oct-13 13:34:06

In the interests of helping both Hedwig and myself....... Wine coloured skinnys, what do you wear on top??

I tried a skinny black jumper and felt daft, end up with longish cream shirt with a vest underneath and felt rubbish all day tbh.

When you've lived in black or navy for your entire life, colour is scary!!

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 13:36:50

Feel I've never really bought anything wrap around as although all the style websites say they are flattering I've never really thought so on myself.

Hello I tried to take a picture of myself earlier, but the lights not great, and all you could see was flash smile My DH is going to come with me soon, after a sort out, he has always said I look nice in different things, but I've thought he was being tactful! When normally he's really not, he calls a spade a spade, so I think trusting him more might be on the cards.

pants I looked at that dress last night - its lovely. Thanks for the Debenhams idea, I've underwear from there but I've never looked at their clothes.

Hello I've had my eye on these boots for a while, what do you think?

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 13:37:52

I agree pants, I have worn them in the house with a loose floaty cream t-shirt, but I didn't fell comfortable in the outfit at all, shame really as the jeans are lovely.

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 13:55:40

Hello I have put three pictures on my profile, not the best but all I have xx

Fuckitthatlldo Wed 30-Oct-13 14:47:26

Gah! You've got an amazing shape! What are you on about, everything looks shit!?

Ok, so first things first. And I hope you don't think me too familiar...

But. You have amazing breasts. So I think it's worth really making sure you have a properly fitting bra that makes the most of them. Most women need to go tighter in the band and fuller in the cup than they've been led to believe.

You also have a small waist that goes in and out in all the right places.

Plus, good legs.

I think a knee-ish length wrap dress would look stunning on you. It would highlight your best features, while being forgiving around the tummy area (I can't see any real problem to be honest but you've stated your not comfortable with it and so I'm taking that into account.) The thing with wrap dresses is that you can tie them in such a way as to create a little ruching around the tummy area. Very forgiving. Wear with heels and knock 'em dead.

Deep v-necks will also work well on your figure. Think soft sweaters in beautiful colours that suit you.

You absolutely can wear skinny jeans. There's no pear shape to balance out with a wider leg, so something simple like skinny jeans with a v-neck sweater or fitted open necked shirt with either knee lenth boots, or some sort of heel (doesn't have to be majorly high) will look lovely.

Think fitted, not baggy. Start with the basics and think quality over quantity. Beautiful accessories always fit! And they make us feel good. A really expensive pair of sunglasses always does it for me. Scarves and bags too.

HTH Hedwig. xxx

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 14:57:58

Fuck That's very kind of you, but I really don't like my arms, legs, tummy or bum at all. My boobs are the only thing I don't mind smile

I have been on the bra intervention thread and am now wearing a 32H [gulp]

I never wear or buy shirts as they gape over my boobs and if I buy a size to fit my boobs then they are like a sack around my middle. Is there anywhere you recommend for shirts as I do like them.

I already own a lot of scarves - they are a weakness of mine, although again only from Asda, New look etc.

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 14:59:31

P.S I never wore the dress out of the house, I felt huge in it, although I still have the shoes just to look at grin

Fuckitthatlldo Wed 30-Oct-13 15:04:03

Also, perhaps we can use your top picture to highlight some things that don't work.

The skinny style of jeans looks great. No problem. It's just going to be a question of you finding a fit you're happy with. Again, Levi Curve jeans cut for shape as well as size and I've had a lot of joy with them.

The tops you are wearing don't flatter your lovely shape. Firstly the cardigan doesn't fit and so it is straining over the top half of your body. Wearing anything that's too small and has to be pulled and stretched to fit will always make you look and feel bigger than you are. Also with just the top buttons done up, what's happening is that the rest of the fabric is pulling back towards your waist. This creates a kind of triangle which exposes an area you're not happy with and makes it look, again, bigger.

A fitted (not skin tight) sweater with a deep v-neck would streamline your figure and look lovely with the jeans. If you have a cardigan and want to do it up, make sure it fits well enough that you can do it up comfortably over your entire body. Then you have the option of only doing up one or two buttons, but doing them up over the tummy, rather than the chest area.

Do you have any blazers? A well cut blazer nipped in slightly at the waist would look fabulous and you could wear it with jeans, skirts, and dresses.

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 15:12:01

I don't have a blazer, I always thought I would look like I was dressing up if I wore one, crazy I know.

I like the idea of a v-neck sweater, although I thought it would be better if they are long line to cover the bum area?

Fuckitthatlldo Wed 30-Oct-13 15:13:17

Ah sorry, cross posts. Ok, so you're not comfortable with your upper arms, tummy or bum. That's ok.

I would choose sweaters, layering t-shirts and blazers that sit at the hip rather than the waist. Always more flattering as far as the rear view is concerned.

I'm not comfortable with my upper arms either. That's easy - I just make sure stuff has sleeves! Experiment with elbow length and three quarter lenth sleeves though. Depending on where they end compared to the rest of your body, they can work well.

You need to buy decently fitted shirts. This may mean spending a little more. You can try places like GAP and Hobbs, and Reiss. The point is that they need to be cut with a nip in the waist. You can also try the 'front tuck' with shirts ie you tuck in the front and leave the rest free. This can create a relaxed but slightly more defined shape.

You know what bra size you are - that's great! And you like your boobs. Ok, so buy yourself some beautiful flattering underwear that makes you feel and look fabulous. Some t-shirt style bras are always necessary, without any lace or bows or obvious seams, as these can be worn under fitted clothes and t-shirts with stretch in the material while still retaining a very streamlined shape.

Fuckitthatlldo Wed 30-Oct-13 15:16:02

Blazers can be dressed up or down, no problem. Worn with a t-shirt, skinny jeans, a scarf and flats, they really can look very casual, but stylish too.

hedwig06 Wed 30-Oct-13 15:28:37

Thanks Fuckitthatlldo

I'll have another mooch on Pinterest tonight, I am writing a list of the "key" items I want to have a look for when I go window shopping with DH, I want to try some things on and walk away without buying, just so I know I can do it - sounds silly but I have this idea that I need to buy something, anything.

So far ....

Jeans - 1 pair, dark blue
Soft v neck sweater, maybe grey?
Shirt - plain
Nice scarf - cream?
Boots, not sure what style yet
T-shirt bra, I have some lovely bra's but no plain ones.
Decent flat shoes, not New Look ones!!

Also maybe a cord skirt, I've seen one on another thread that's nice from Boden, but I'm not buying online for the moment, so have a look for a similar one.

peasypeeler Wed 30-Oct-13 15:32:48

My 2c ... The first pic is all a bit bosomy - didn't realise that was a cardi - it would look better undone - I'm just the same as I, too am blessed with a bosom (34E) and I hate feeling bosomy so I avoid smocks and tightly done up cardis and shirts at ALL costs. I always wear a cardi open instead of done up and I wear shirts undone over tees or cami's like a blazer in Summer.

Some shirts with a bit of stretch I wear with 'tit-tape' - it's like doube-sided sellotape.

John Lewis have a fabulous V-neck cashmere sweater selection in plain colours - not the stripes. It's their 'collection' range and is £69 I bought it in cobalt and purple and it looks amazing with jeans.

One major thing - with the sweater I tried on a 12 but looked better in a 10 (ridiculous considering my bosom but you have to see which fits best. You (one, not YOU you) don't 'know' what size you are in anything unless you try it on.

You look good in jeans, I would also encourage you to buy skirts/dresses ON the knee or an inch below. It's more flattering.

You have a fabulous shape! You just need to learn to work with it smile

I'm genuinely excited for you Hedwig you're getting great advice and I can relate to all of it. I'm emerging from feeling like a sack of shite myself and have waited until now (49) to address it so I can really relate x

impty Wed 30-Oct-13 15:46:31

I love the dress. You have the perfect shape for v neck hour glass fitted dresses, which of course you can dress up or down.

Chuck the cardie, you look like your trying to cover your fabulous boobs. Don't! Agree with all the advice above re tops, shirts (try Lauren by Ralph Lauren, house of Fraser or outlets) blazers etc.

Do you feel self conscious being smart? I think its easy to, especially if you are at home. However, as you get older smarter does equate to looking more put together, I think.

Your dog looks very beautiful!

HelloBoys Wed 30-Oct-13 15:51:41

Hedwig - you seem to have a similar body shape to me. which is hourglass and 28FF (you read right) boobs.

I bought a terrific dress a while back (spring) from Warehouse - black but with deep v and shorter - similar to the one you're wearing.

I do like the boots. very nice. not sure if you'd get much wear with the colour but they look a good basic.

You do have a good shape though. You also have nice hair and seem to look good in white blouses/shirt things - which I do not look good in!

Have a look for tweedy sort of jackets from Jigsaw/Joules/Toast - you can ebay for these, some curvier friends of mine wear these very well with the sort of white blouse and jeans combo you are wearing in one pic also those nice boots would work well too.

HelloBoys Wed 30-Oct-13 15:52:51

oh and re your lush wine jeans - WEAR THEM OUT! please.

even if just food shopping with kids... but preferably to meet friend for lunch at Bullring in Birmingham! smile

sod it if people are looking at you if anything it'll be with envy in a nice way!

peasypeeler Wed 30-Oct-13 16:17:37

Saw a good look yesterday - tight grey jeans and boots, fitted grey tweedy-type blazer left open and a shirt underneath that had a 'tail' like a man's shirts which flapped beautifully over her plumptious backside. She wasn't very tall and she was very curvy but she looked absolutely fab because the look made her go in and out in all the right places!

hedwig06 Thu 31-Oct-13 07:33:30

peasey Thanks for all your help, I can't wait to go and try on some things with DH, I just hope I can actually force myself to pay the prices smile I've had a quick look for a shirt, but not found one yet that stands out.

impty Thank you my Sally, my dog is part of our family, she follows me everywhere, even though shes getting on a bit.

Hello Thank for all your advice I have a list pinned onto my fridge with all the retailers you and others mention, I have added, Jigsaw, Joules and Toast to it.

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Thu 31-Oct-13 08:29:59

I can't wait to go and try on some things with DH,

Is this the same person? thlshockthlgrin You are going to have so much fun - eventually. Take your time. There's no need to rush; most shops have months and months of sales. (Toast in particular. Their clothes are usually enormous so try lots of sizes.)

It's great that you're feeling enthusiastic and filling up your Pinterest board. But the most important thing is to remember that you don't have to look like anyone else - and there is no need to try to do so. I'm sure you'll find a fantastic style all of your own.

HelloBoys Thu 31-Oct-13 09:38:17

OP - with Jigsaw and Toast the tweedy jackets - I'd hold off for now until you're more confident as they got their jackets from Ebay or in sales.

I think you need to invest a bit. Maybe take your eldest DD (teenager) with you OR DH too? Don't know if your eldest teen interested in clothes for you rather than her though!

Seriously, like others have said once you get a few nice bits your confidence will come flying back.

HelloBoys Thu 31-Oct-13 09:42:18

oh I forgot - H&M right now are doing some nice blouse type things - romantic and with frills etc - where I am (Wimbledon) they seem to have them at the front of the store (near doors). try on, as very reasonable price wise.

Shamelessly joining this thread to mark it & read later.

I came on here this morning to post about the same thing.

I'm 5'4, size 14 (16 in some shops) and HATE the way I dress sad

I have wardrobes full of clothes but only seem to wear the same 4 or 5 outfits (at a push - it's probably more like 3).

I WANT to buy clothes that I look good & feel good in but can never seem to find them. I veer towards hiding my curves, rather than showing them, which I think probably makes me look (and therefore feel) worse.

At the moment I'm looking for an outfit for going to a couple of gigs. I love the Topshop dress linked to towards the top of the thread but I don't know if I'd be brave enough to wear it. And I can't find it in stock in any stores local to me.

Love the pics BTW OP - you do look fab

hedwig06 Fri 01-Nov-13 10:02:05

Having Glad you joined smile

I was having a really off day when I wrote my OP. I am just the same, people are always saying I should wear clothes that show off my curves, but I really can't see it.

I think I look a bit rotund if I do.

We seem to be the same height, ish and size.

Maybe we can swop ideas?

From this thread, I have realised I don't need to buy something when I go out, I can window shop, take my time, make sure I really want an item and make sure it fits properly too, so I'm going to try and make sure I go back at least twice and try the item on before I buy.

The one good thing I have done is make my Pinterest board, so I can see what I like, most of it I wouldn't wear in a million years, nor have the opportunity to wear, but it has given me ideas on colours and styles I seem to pin over and over again.

Good luck xxx

feelingood Fri 01-Nov-13 14:08:09

Hello again hedwig - id second the thing about the holding one outfit and wear it out a few places when you confident with new looks and waht suits add more like the tweed jackets.

I recommeded mint velvet (though I know some dont like the muted tones) phase eight and I would also add supprt for joules - I have just bought a full length English Tweed coat from their and I love it but I've been back into the whole clothes thing for 6 months now.

Once you get a few compliments re an outfit your confidence will come flooding back - dont forget for strong looks you may need to adapt your make-up - if you wear it make sure you go with make up and hair done when you shop it makes a difference to how you see the whole you.

There are two nice (wearable lengths 57/59cm) tween skirts on phase eight in sale one ise charcol/black so easy to match up and not to out there but is £59 (i think)

Boots have a points event on 14th from midday til late spend £50 and get £12 point back - I going to overhaul my make - up bag to go with new clothes.

Thanks for the welcome smile

A few years ago I had some lovely jersey tea dresses, deep v neck & knee length, from warehouse that I wore to death with tights or leggings & shoes or boots.

I find lately that it's hard to find dresses with a good neckline & not too long.

I've admired phase eight ones linked to on the S&B boards but I always find them an inch or two too long.

I bought a gorgeous cashmere jumper in TK Maxx a couple of weeks ago. It's a really pale grey & looks nice with skinny jeans & a scarf.

I want to get back to being complemented on my outfits rather than choosing things to hide myself!

hedwig06 Mon 04-Nov-13 07:12:29

Well I stuck to my plans, sort of ...

I only tried on the 2 items I bought once, but did walk away and then Sunday we went into Sutton's John Lewis, and I bought, after trying on for a second time:




What do you think?

SthingMustBeScaringThemAway Mon 04-Nov-13 09:13:46

It's good that you've ventured into a changing room! How did you find it?

Your second link doesn't seem to be working. Do you want comments on the first dress?

hedwig06 Mon 04-Nov-13 10:31:29

Sthing I don't think I do want comments please. I really like them so that's what matters ... I think.

The second was a mint velvet black stripe jumper. I can't link as I'm on my phone.

Thanks again xx

peasypeeler Mon 04-Nov-13 11:36:31

Well done you! You don't need any comments, have a little faith in your own judgment - as long as they make you feel good then that's perfect.

Glad you tried them on, the changing room isn't that scary is it? x

Good for you grin

I really like them both.

I spent ages browsing for dresses on ASOS over the weekend. I've found 4 or 5 that I love. Now to find the money to pay for them grin

BranchingOut Mon 04-Nov-13 18:25:13

I know that I might get booed for this, but have you looked at Boden?

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