How do some women always manage to look so put together and downright gorgeous?

(276 Posts)
Beigecurtains Tue 18-Feb-14 22:32:48

Is it just 'inbuilt' style that they're born with? If so, I'm incredibly jealous!!

My friend always looks amazing and really stylish but I find it really hard to put my finger on what it is that makes her look special. She's not overly tall, and is slim but not skinny (size 12), and certainly doesn't spend a fortune on beauty treatments/products or clothes, or having her hair done.

Her outfits are usually fairly simple; just jeans with a nice top usually, and she wears accessories such as a necklace or a large scarf. She always wears make up, but again it's fairly simple, nothing garish. And hair in a bun or just down and wavy.

So on paper she doesn't dress particularly differently to probably 90% of other women, but she always manages to stand out.

How do some women do this? I'd love to know the secret so I can stop looking like a bag lady

cloudskitchen Tue 18-Feb-14 22:36:36

I think sometimes its just a confidence. That being confortable in your own skin thing however from what you have said perhaps it's the way she accessorises that's the key. Accessories can elevate a fairly plain outfit to something more put together.

MrsLettuce Tue 18-Feb-14 22:37:43

A combo of two of the following is usually the answer, unfortunately.

Genes. Time. Money. Sleep.

MrsLettuce Tue 18-Feb-14 22:38:09

Oh crikey, yes, confidence above all else.

Contemplates Tue 18-Feb-14 22:38:19

I bet you any money she thinks she's lacking! wink

Beigecurtains Tue 18-Feb-14 22:41:19

Ah yes, she is quite a confident person. At ease with herself, I'd say. Good genes, yes. Time, I'm guessing not as she has two young boys lol. Money, no, she always says they are skint, especially as she is a SAHM now. And sleep, definitely, her boys both sleep really well.

smile

Chottie Wed 19-Feb-14 05:26:43

I'm always trying to perfect this look myself. I would love to have that effortless stylish look. Any more advice / tips from MN?

GemmaPomPom Wed 19-Feb-14 05:42:04

You have described exactly how she manages to look so put together:

- slim
- jeans and a nice top
- accessories
- make-up
- hair in a bun or wavy.

I think anyone would look good with that combination.

RudyMentary Wed 19-Feb-14 08:11:16

Try to wear a minimum of 3 colours

Ensure your clothes are crease free - they may require ironing shock and footwear clean/polished

Maintenance - keep nails tidy, brows straggle free, skin moisturised etc. This is more important than spending ages doing your makeup.

schmalex Wed 19-Feb-14 08:13:19

I always feel more put together when I wear a statement necklace or scarf. It's such a simple thing to do. I really should do it more often!

BlueStones Wed 19-Feb-14 08:16:03

I dunno Gemma, that describes me (minus the accessories - can't stand them) and I manage to look like a hedgemonster half the time grin

I reckon a lot of it is how you carry yourself. Deportment never seems to be considered in the style magazines, though.

RudyMentary Wed 19-Feb-14 08:19:50

Yep - it's all in the walk

MrsPeacockDidIt Wed 19-Feb-14 08:21:42

From what I've seen and read "fit" seems to be important too. I feel much more polished if I'm wearing something that fits perfectly. Probably why we all seem to spend a ridiculous amour of time searching for that perfect pair of jeans !

Tenalady Wed 19-Feb-14 08:22:15

Sleep I never had and still don't get, I had a very challenging little boy nothing much changed just older now. Always complimented on my turnout at the school gate. Never went out without make up and a brush through my hair and nails painted and earings. Wore clothes that complimented my shape and the right colours. I was an older Mum too, so cant say youth played a part. It was a chore but it was my thing to make me feel better for the day and also didn't want to let my little boy down, looking like something a bus had run over. grin

Use your evenings effectively, watching your fave tv programme, get those nails painted. Too pushed to wash the hair in the morning, do it the evening before, failing that put it in a neat pony tail or up in a clip.

I think that other people probably look at you and think the same. I can name quite a few people who I consider to have mastered this look of effortlessly stylish. I was shocked when a friend said the same to me. In my mind I always look cobbled together due to the effort of getting ready with a toddler.

Posture makes a big difference I think. Also not looking cluttered - people with short necks and wavy hair that sits close to the neck (like me) can look cluttered in scarves unless they have a very simple neckline and hair up. The same for dangly earrings. I also have to wear my hair off my face if I am wearing glasses.

Unfortunately my hair is the sort that looks like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards the minute I step out the door in anything stronger than a very light breeze, so unless I wear it up (when I get cold ears) I can end up looking a right state.

greengiraffe Wed 19-Feb-14 08:40:47

This fascinates me as well. The other day I was gawping at a woman at soft play who was the sane kind of height and build as me, and similar colouring as well. She was only wearing jeans, a top and a scarf but she looked stunning.

I think being slim helps but I think it's a lot to do with nine structure. I'm slim but have no cheekbones and a baby face.

greengiraffe Wed 19-Feb-14 08:41:10

*bone structure!

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 09:18:55

Rudy surely you mean a maximumof 3 colours?

OP: I would say, wearing fewer colours is one key to looking "put-together". 3 is an absolute maximum, and only if one is a neutral. Anything more looks cluttered and busy.

Good quality accessories make a huge difference, IMO! A smart leather belt, or a gold necklace or bracelet. Natural fibres for clothes. Well-made leather shoes. All kept in good condition - shoes polished, clothes ironed etc.

And I would say that it does actually take time and effort to obtain that "effortless", naturally groomed look! She may look like she just threw it on in the morning, but I would be willing to bet money it's actually carefully thought out and planned in advance or at the time of purchase so it all works together wink

Same with grooming - her hairstyle may be simple, but do you really know how many hours a week she spends doing treatments, how often she gets it trimmed, coloured etc...?

Bonsoir Wed 19-Feb-14 09:29:58

Looking good takes organisation. You need a wardrobe of tightly edited flattering clothes that suit your figure and lifestyle and you need to make sure they are clean, ironed, repaired etc as necessary.

And you need a grooming routine, an exercise routine, a diet routine... It all becomes "effortless" when you are so practiced at maintaining it that it is part of who you are.

FrugalFashionista Wed 19-Feb-14 09:33:00

Chic neutrals, good materials, attention to proportions, good grooming and ironing a lot.
Plus feeling good and smiling a lot.

StyleOverSubstance Wed 19-Feb-14 09:38:57

Fascinates me too - a couple of mums I know always look great, no matter whether it is the school fayre, sports day or just the morning/afternoon school runs, good weather or bad - they always seem to manage to put together the 'right' look.

Was trying to analyse what it is about them that makes them always look so smart and polished, as I could do with taking a few tips and upping my own 'look' now DCs are a little older and I have a bit more time for myself.

The main points I can think of are that they always look groomed and tidy - hair done, make up on but it always looks exactly the same each day so it seems that they have found their look. One mum who has longer length hair sometimes styles it differently, but by and large wears it in the same style. Their hair always looks healthy and shiny and the colour is always immaculate, no growing out showing etc. They all have one of the popular hairstyles around at the moment, eg, asymmetric bob or longer length with side fringe.

Wouldn't say that they dress in the height of fashion, but seem to have a knack for filtering what is around in the current trends that suits them and put a 'look' together from it. They have a style that is very much their own and suits them and looks fashionable and ££s. Wouldn't say that they have a massive wardrobe of clothing, or lots of expensive labels yet always seem to look 'right' for the occasion. They are all slim/average build and have good facial bone structure.

Wish I could do that - I just seem to have lost the knack since having the DCs and it is pure luck IMHO if I get it right! <sigh>

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Wed 19-Feb-14 09:40:59

It's time spent on maintenance rather than decorating.

Things you think you haven't noticed, but you have.

Her 'simple' hair is probably well maintained, no split ends.

Her 'ordinary' clothes are probably good quality even if she buys them on ebay - yes, it makes a difference after one wash!

Her 'understated' makeup is enhanced by good skin, well shaped brows etc.

etc....

claudeekishi Wed 19-Feb-14 10:38:06

Bonsoir is right about the edited wardrobe.

I think this is actually the key thing. These women probably have fewer, nicer clothes that they've thought about before buying.

Increasingly, I am also of the belief that decent quality shoes, especially in autumn/winter, are extremely important. If you wear slip-ons from Primark they're going to look very ratty very fast. I notice this now with the younger women I know -- they still buy their shoes in Primark and it's very much a student/intern look. (I used to do the same when a student/intern etc. too of course!) A mother of young children needs good shoes. Also, they're an easy thing to solve, really. Feet don't have fat days or spotty days smile

babybarrister Wed 19-Feb-14 12:03:31

grooming is important - agree with multi tasking .....ie watch TV and do something else

Timetoask Wed 19-Feb-14 12:11:56

The very first rule has got to be keeping a healthy weight and body shape through excercise, size 12 maximum int opinion.
Having lovely skin helps, but I think this is down to genes!

ProjectGainsborough Wed 19-Feb-14 12:37:12

I think almost anyone can get lovely skin. If you look at pictures of famous people before and after they were famous, one of the most noticeable things is the difference in their skin.

I think it's because they have people on hand to advise them on nutrition; they exercise and they look after their skin because it's in their interest to do so. I've recently started to get compliments on my skin and it's only after I started paying attention to what I eat/drink, Clarisonic-ing, regular masks etc.

...Obviously with celebrities, you have to factor the makeup artist and shit loads of fillers and stuff ... but I still think the other things make a difference grin

Tt1803 Wed 19-Feb-14 12:40:35

Clean hair, make up, black jeans, good shoes, breton stripes

Tt1803 Wed 19-Feb-14 12:41:35

also moisturising

DesignBod Wed 19-Feb-14 12:42:11

I'm one of those people... apparently...

My tips are:

Exercise and diet routine to keep slim. I know it sounds a bit obvious, but if you have a streamlined figure it helps your clothes to sit well and opens up your options on finding clothes that actually match. You don't have to be a tall size 8, I guess you just need a neat compact figure. And know how to dress for your shape! there are plenty of books and websites that can advise.

Have your colours done if you have no idea what suits you. It makes a massive difference. And wear one or two neutrals with an accent colour or one neutral with max two accent colours, but as someone has said, no more than three colours at once.

Have your hair highlighted and cut to a style that suits you and keep it maintained regularly. On bad hair days (We ALL get them) wear hair in bun / sleek ponytail or reach for the straighteners to get rid of frizz! Make friends with serum.

Choose make up carefully. I think that over made up during daytime = a bit grubby looking. Go for as sheer a foundation as your skin can take, highlighter / bronzer, mascara and Vaseline for lips. That's all you need. Keep your eyebrows and any other visible body hair in check. Don't wear coloured nail polish on fingers unless you really must, and if so keep it looking neat and immaculate. Otherwise, neutral fingernails but deffo dark colour on toenails. Makes toes look less stumpy.

Have a compact wardrobe which is culled regularly. If you buy clothes from H&M and Primark etc, be prepared to only wear them for a couple of seasons as they wear quickly and look shabby. Update your shoes with the best you can afford each season. Shoes and bags DO make a difference. A Mulberry handbag can make you look passable if the rest of you looks like a hungover shit on a stick that day. Scarves, scarves and more scarves; BIG ones! Jewellery keep to a minimum during day (studs and a couple of rings plus watch) but wear just ONE statement piece on evenings out along with your usual minimum stuff.

Tt1803 Wed 19-Feb-14 12:44:40

definitely agree on the scarves and the finger nails. Nail varnish in colours only works if kept immaculate which I think is nigh on impossible.

DesignBod Wed 19-Feb-14 12:44:41

YY to good skin - means less make up = natural, effortless impression

Lucked Wed 19-Feb-14 12:51:04

Yep I have a friend like this. Partly I think she 'gets style' whereas I have to read lots, search out blogs and try to recreate, often failing. Her accessories are amazing, now I have noticed I realise she always wears jewellery. A lot of the time her clothes are a very classic cut but perhaps more interesting colours. She is also clean and neat with hair, nails and make up looking immaculate.

She gives the impression of having no time to herself with two young children but then will mention Pilates or a conversation with the girl who does her nails etc. so she is taking care if herself.

And yes she is slim. I think this helps because she doesn't have to worry about clothes concealing or camouflaging her shape so has much more choice.

Sad51 Wed 19-Feb-14 12:57:06

A lot of good advice on here.

I agree that there is an art to looking groomed. Most of those women plan their clothes daily.

I am not a fashion victim but always look presentable before leaving the house. It makes me feel good and ready to face the world.

I try to stay slim as even the cheaper end of clothes look ok I.e. New Look, H & M.

I admit to wondering why some women in the school . playground look so thrown together I.e. dark roots showing, hair looking scraggy greasy, scruffy/unflattering clothes. Lack of money is no excuse.

greengiraffe Wed 19-Feb-14 13:07:53

So this three colours maximum thing - does that include shoes and bag? And jeans as a colour? Suppose I was wearing jeans, top, cardigan, scarf, bag and shoes, can anyone give me an example of colour combinations that would work?

bettykt Wed 19-Feb-14 13:07:57

I also think some women do have an in built sense of style and can look good in whatever they Re wearing. 2 women can wear the same outfit but one may look more 'put together' than the other. This could be down to grooming, height, build, weight or simply just how they wear the clothes. As someone said further up thread confidence plays a big part as well as posture.

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 13:10:31

I don't think genes play a huge role, to be honest. Anyone can make the best of what they have by looking groomed!

I personally don't have great skin, naturally, but I spend a lot of time and energy trying to take care of it and it does look much better now, at 40, than when I see old photos of myself in my 20s!

I buy 99% of my clothes and shoes in the sales, often at heavily discounted prices (I don't care if they're last season's, as long as they're good quality, classic pieces), but I'm happy to spend more on facials and face creams and make-up.

A healthy lifestyle is also a factor. I rarely eat processed foods and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables at every meal. I also make sure I get 8 hours sleep at night. Any nights I don't manage that, the difference is noticeable on my skin the next day!

I think too many women feel guilty about doing anything for themselves, however even putting your husband/children first doesn't mean you have to forget about yourself completely!

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 13:18:13

giraffe Jeans are navy, which is a neutral. Accessories would definitely be included in the colour count.

I rarely wear jeans, but when I do, I often wear a navy top and a contrasting cardigan or jacket. Scarf, bag and shoes can then be a contrasting colour (or one of the previous colours) - although I would usually match the scarf to either the navy, the jacket or the shoes/bag.

Very occasionally I will wear a black polo neck or white t-shirt with the jeans and coloured jacket. In that case, the scarf would need to match one of the other items (or if it's patterned, contain one of those colours), but you could probably get away with black or brown shoes and bag.

I quite often wear just one colour of clothes, but then add contrasting shoes, bag and scarf/necklace. Much as I love colour, my chicest looks are often when I wear all neutrals (Navy/tan or black/tan, for example), with gold jewellery.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Wed 19-Feb-14 13:20:21

I would love to be this person and do make an effort. I always do my hair and make up and maintain eyebrows, nails etc but I'm not a naturally stylish person.

I recently wore a shirt with jeans as opposed to a long sleeved t-shirt (my unofficial uniform) and got loads of compliments. Maybe that's something to look at.

I always wear simple jewellery (studs, necklace, watch)

NaffOrf Wed 19-Feb-14 13:21:08

As others have said - posture really helps. Even if you're not slim, you'll look better if you work on your posture. Even if you ARE slim, if you slouch you'll look scruffy.

I got loads of compliments on my appearance after I started doing Alexander technique. 'Poise' is nothing to do with clothes, after all.

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 13:31:26

Farmyard T-shirts always look scruffy and casual, no matter how much you pay for them!

You need the structure of a collar or v-neck to frame your face, IMO. You can achieve that to some extent with a statement necklace or scarf, but a shirt or blouse with gold jewellery or pearls always looks smarter, I find.

Bonsoir Wed 19-Feb-14 13:34:53

I agree - clothes with some structure to them are a must when you aren't 15 anymore!

deepest Wed 19-Feb-14 13:41:33

loving this -- sounds like you need a sort of prescriptive "uniform" or "template" for your most frequent occassions - which means that on top of continually needing to invest time up front in body maintenanace & grooming and you have to make clothes decisions so that for "school pick - up" " dog walking" "going to the gym" "going to work" "daytime coffee with friends" - you have your "uniform" all thought through...and then you have no decisions to make on a daily basis. I agree that it is all in the polished glow of grooming and then accessories -- on top of well fitting, neutral classy clothes. Sometimes this sounds a bit dull - stepford wife -- but you can express your personality it accessories...So where do can you but the nice bits?

DesignBod Wed 19-Feb-14 13:43:39

Giraffe, today I'm having a bit of a dress down day. I am wearing:

Mid blue Hudson skinny jeans
Puma suede trainers in blue
Navy and white checked shirt
Crew neck jumper in mid purple

Then over the top:
Big navy and light green scarf with star pattern
Dark olivey brown leather jacket.

So underneath there are three colours going on: mid - dark blues, purple and white. On top is then the green in the scarf and the olive greeny jacket. With the scarf over the top you can't see the white, just blue, a hint of purple, green and dark olive brown.

It all sounds v complicated but it's just about having lots of neutrals to layer with and trying to match up or properly contrast accent colours, e.g. purple goes well with green, yellow goes with everything but looks fab with navy, orange and green look good, red and cream, hot pink and dark grey...

DesignBod Wed 19-Feb-14 13:47:07

Shirts and v necks always look good. Collars are great.
Jersey blazer cardigans like this are fab if like me you like the structured look but comfort is important too.

Artandco Wed 19-Feb-14 13:53:03

For me I say organisation is the key:

Ie when I get my hair cut, I book the next cut as I pay, have in diary etc before I leave the salon. Means I don't leave it longer as already scheduled. I get my nails done at the same time, just a French manicure.

When the kids are in bath playing, I will use that time to double cleanse face

A blazer makes everything smarter. Ie I might just wear navy fitted jeans, and white long sleeve top. If I add a casual blazer I look more put together. I have a few now in different colours and materials ie linen for in summer etc

HappyAsEyeAm Wed 19-Feb-14 14:11:18

I have been really tring to make an effort to look more groomed and put together for the last year or so. I am finding the advice from Designbod and VitaminC really useful! I think I look a bit more together now than I have looked since my teens/early 20s when I was young enough to get away with minimum effort.

What I do now is to think in terms of outfits whenever I buy something. So whatever I buy, I either need to already have whatever I need to complete an outfit, or I need to buy whatever I need at near enough the same time. Otherwise I know that I will end up with a load of separates that I have nothing to wear with. So I always think whether I already have shoes/boots/scarf/whatever to go with the clothes I like in shops, or whether I can afford those extra things or whether I know where to buy those extra things in my size.

And I try to have things that can be mixed and matched in the same types of colours.

I also buy decent quality stuff, always iron my clothes and hang them up, and plan what I am wearing the night before and put it out ready.

None of this is a big thing, and I'm certainly not looking perfect, but it helps me, as I find that if I feel I look decent, I have more confidence and don't fret about whether I have an outfot to wear to a particular type of place, which takes away from me enjoying going there.

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 14:35:40

I tend to think you can only wear well known brands that get faked a lot like Mulberry bags, if you are well groomed - otherwise it looks fake - no way can a bag with a label on it make you appear classy - quite the opposite in fact!

Beigecurtains Wed 19-Feb-14 15:26:36

Wow thanks everyone! Loads of great advice on here!

ShatzePage Wed 19-Feb-14 15:35:25

I am a size 16 and am always getting compliments-often from complete strangers-on my style. So I arf at the idea you have to diet or be skinny to look good,

Hair done,bit of make up,eyebrows threaded,heels-et voila!

cressetmama Wed 19-Feb-14 15:45:46

Many years ago, in New York, I asked the best-dressed of the office secretaries how she always looked so spiffy. "Starch and an iron!" came the answer... this from a 19 year old. I hung my head in shame, but have learned to agree with her. No point in having lovely skin, hair, nails and teeth or beautiful/expensive clothes, unless the details are perfect too. Oh, and cleaned shoes!

santamarianovella Wed 19-Feb-14 16:48:21

bettykt summed it up,some people have it naturally,and can look great in anything,and its a result of many factors,good posture,good looks,fit physique,nice hair and skin,that with knowledge of what looks good on them,they just have their own unique style and it works, Some can wear really beautiful clothes,but somehow end up looking overdone, For me itsVB ,never saw her wearing anything ,and thought wow I need to have it,and she wears beautiful clothes ,but somehow I think it looks too much,like she is trying to be someone she is not.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 17:09:11

Interesting thread.

I agree with some but disagree with others - vaseline on lips and no coloured varnish on your nails is most definitely not something I do. I like colour on nails and lipstick - and I look much better for it.

I do agree on the 'uniform' thing which to me translates as someone having found a look that suits them and works for them.

I also spend more on my clothes now and get regular haircuts/threading etc.

But I do think fashion is about having fun and shouldn't be too prescriptive hence I personally shy away from the colours thing. But then I think I know what suits me and that has changed the older I've got hence I wear very little black nowadays.

But some people just have it - and it does help if they're tall slim and naturally gorgeous. For the rest of us it takes a lot more work.

mewkins Wed 19-Feb-14 17:09:55

Wear clothes that fit and make sure they are clean, ironed and well looked after. Same with shoes. If you look after your clothes you will have to spend less on replacing them.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 17:11:59

I so agree with ironing but I know its an unpopular view on here wink

I also think smell is important, I always notice if someone is wearing lovely perfume and their handbag - but I am a handbag obsessive.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 17:12:37

Oh and never underestimate the power of a good pair of sunglasses.

Lottapianos Wed 19-Feb-14 17:14:23

I'm a big fan of coloured nails but they are also short and well shaped and never ever chipped. Chipped nails actually make me feel a bit sick. Just take it off!

Agree with laying out clothes and make up the night before rather than scratching around in the morning.

Bonsoir Wed 19-Feb-14 17:20:20

You need a good routine for laundry. Staying on top of laundry (including ironing and putting away) and dry cleaning is a fairly mammoth task in our household.

You also need to regularly sort through undergarments and hosiery and replace them. Ill-fitting bras and saggy tights are not helpful if you want to look effortlessly glamorous.

Another fan of nail colours here, but agree that they must be short and never chipped.

The thing is, I know a lot of the rules and it fascinates me, but I will always put comfort and practicality first, so no heels for me, I find it very hard to buy shoes that fit, so I only buy black and neutral and they have to go with everything, in fact I really don't wear shoes, just boots and sandals. Bags must be roomy, comfortable to carry and with enough pockets. Only then does appearance get a look in.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 17:30:38

God, the laundry, the laundry - I honestly think I'm going another familys as well as my own sometimes.

Bonsoir Wed 19-Feb-14 17:35:07

I have seriously contemplated buying a second machine! I ogle laundry rooms on Pinterest with three washing machines and two dryers <sad>.

And I outsource all the difficult ironing!

RudyMentary Wed 19-Feb-14 17:38:53

No - minimum 3 colours!

RudyMentary Wed 19-Feb-14 17:41:26

Honestly - it's the best advice I was ever given.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 17:44:16

I obsessively look at laundry rooms too. Have just sorted out a basket of ironing to be collected.

greengiraffe Wed 19-Feb-14 17:47:20

So Rudy give me an example of an outfit and accessories, with colours. I want to know how this works!

Lottapianos Wed 19-Feb-14 17:53:35

Rudy, I love it! Colour is under rated

No heels here either. I don't own a single pair. I don't drive so always on my feet and I can't be arsed with the pain of heels.

tshirtsuntan Wed 19-Feb-14 17:54:18

I wish I could do it, I do iron but still manage to look like a burst couch with shoes on by about 10 am grin

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 18:08:33

I think one man meat is another's poison. Trying to copy someone's style can leave you looking dull and lifeless or completely overdone. It's important to know what style suits you - classic is great on the right person, on me it's dull and frumpy, I can't do very feminine stuff either....so while I admire style in others I am self aware enough to know that there is no such thing as a look that works on everyone and colour makes a huge difference.
What's important? - good quality shoes...bit of make up especially the right shade of lipstick will add instant smartness. Accessories are so important they will make or break an outfit. They turn a classic item from boring and dull to chic. A well cut jacket/coat will do wonders for a cheap top and pair of jeans.

RudyMentary Wed 19-Feb-14 18:10:33

Ok smile
You don't have to wear blocks of differing colours.

Today I'm wearing
Charcoal skinnies and a relaxed charcoal grey jumper with a teal'long vest layer underneath. I have taupe wedge ankle boots and a grey/brown biker jacket. My scarf is light grey and purple stripe and my bag dusky pink. My nails are clear but if painted I would probably opt for a bright pink.

None of these colours shout out at you as they all blend.

The temptation would be to go for a grey or brown scarf and a brown handbag but you are missing the pportunity to introduce colour and style.

AnaisB Wed 19-Feb-14 18:19:46

I don't suppose there's any chance of a photo Rudy?

I agree with Snowdown that one person's rules don't work for everyone. Lipstick makes me look tonnes better - even with no other make-up.

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 18:20:46

I think context is a big part of it. You would need a very exuberant personality to pull off such an eccentric look where I live hmm

I like the putting me together blog and the way she uses colour but while it is probably great for her Californian lifestyle, I would get stared at and feel like some kind of clown if I left the house wearing that much colour round here!

bettykt Wed 19-Feb-14 18:23:05

santa I was going to mention VB. Obviously she wears some beautiful clothes but she doesn't have IT. For me I like the simplicity of Sofia Coppola's style and to me she has IT.

Bonsoir Wed 19-Feb-14 18:23:49

I agree Snowdown. I look truly dreadful in a palette of muted tones!

bettykt Wed 19-Feb-14 18:26:44

I think it's all boils down to having that je ne sais quoi.

coffeewithcreamm Wed 19-Feb-14 18:35:59

Good hair/teeth/eyebrows/nails/hands/shoes & bag/make up in corals & nudes, (I'm blonde, these colours are mine!)

Organisation is key. Just be ready, then it all falls into place, ie hair colour upkept. Know that a scarf looks great with hair up, classic jewellery. I live by the saying: Take one thing off before you go out - it pares things down.

This is just what I do.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 18:39:44

So everyone posting on this thread - do we all secretly think we're gorgeous and uber-stylish wink

Bonsoir Wed 19-Feb-14 18:40:22

I try grin

RudyMentary Wed 19-Feb-14 18:40:37

Eccentric!
feel like some kind of clown if I left the house wearing that much colour round here!

Really? It's hardly colourful just greys and browns with accents of teal, purple and pink!

Bonsoir Wed 19-Feb-14 18:40:58

I think I need to outsource more...

coffeewithcreamm Wed 19-Feb-14 18:47:08

I think I'm holding up up pretty well, I'm not ashamed to think that. Not that I'd ever be arrogant enough to Real Life that thought, of course!

Bonsoir Wed 19-Feb-14 18:48:41

I have a first appointment with a celeb dermatologist - highly recommended by a fab friend - tomorrow. Am hoping for results!

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 18:48:57

I am outsourcing as much as I can since going back to work.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 18:49:42

I swear by botox administered with a very light touch of course.

Bonsoir Wed 19-Feb-14 18:52:38

I have no issue with outsourcing per se but can find if hard to identify suppliers who live up to my exacting personal standards...

FrugalFashionista Wed 19-Feb-14 18:54:26

I observe people a lot, at airports for example, and Northern Europeans have a tendency to choose comfort over style. Tricot/t shirt material in tops rarely looks very good (it shows every lump and bump) when you are a bit older. Italian mature women tend to wear tops that have to be ironed (shirts, blouses) and they have things dry-cleaned a lot. Northern Europeans love cardigans (easy to get wrong - too tight or baggy) and voluminous scarves, Italians prefer a more structured approach to jackets, coats and accessories. Northern Europeans pick jeans based what is the current prevailing style, and theirs tend to run a bit short or are very tight. (I never saw anyone here wearing cropped jeans, whereas up North 7/8s and capris are normative.) Italians pick jeans based on their personal shape, wear them ultra long and balance them with footwear. Northern Europeans wear trainers and flat, rubber-soled shoes - Italians suede and heeled boots. Northern Europeans rely a lot on black or brown as a neutral, Italians use navy-gray-camel-cream-forest green. Italians tend to balance their shape and are very precise about hem lengths - the length of your top is enormously important - Northern Europeans wear a tight top with tight bottoms or everything is loose and baggy and bunched over hips to add a Michelin tyre. Italians often also have key basic items tailor made (ever wondered why Italian men look so good? It's relatively affordable here!) and they use cobblers and alterations tailors a lot as well.

These are overgeneralizations and of course there are exceptions on both sides. I haven't fully mastered Italian style and have my personal comfort-oriented leanings, but these details can make a big difference.

CerealMom Wed 19-Feb-14 18:54:42

Bonsoir, whose the derma? I'm going through second puberty and a paper bag is not 'grooming'.

I'm in Herts and can travel. PM if you don't want to out.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 18:55:59

Yes, finding good people to out-source too is hard. But I'm in a village and neighbour knows everyone which helps a lot.

santamarianovella Wed 19-Feb-14 19:00:35

bonsior is your dermatologist in paris or London?. I just saw a celeb dermatologist a couple of weeks ago,and I'm very happy,with my consultation.

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 19:02:40

Oooh what did he say Santa - any top secret tips? And did he accidentally mention which 'natural' celebs have a lot of 'help'

Ruralninja Wed 19-Feb-14 19:05:11

I think it's good to balance your hair with your outfit, so loose/flowing hair with tighter clothes and bun/up-do for unstructured outfits.

FoxyHarlow123 Wed 19-Feb-14 19:05:20

Tshirt - Lol!! I feel the same. I have the attributes that many of you mention. I'm tall and slim, look after my skin, hair and nails, spend a bit of money on clothes and a lot of money on shoes yet I always look a bit dishevelled. I think I'm naturally just a bit scruffy. I have a friend who's in her 50s, a size 20 and can't afford to buy clothes unless they come from the charity shop or primark and she always looks groomed and smart and lovely and well put together. I've pretty much given up to be honest. I'm resigned to looking scruffy!!

Cheesyslice Wed 19-Feb-14 19:09:04

I'm far from 'put together and groomed' however have loved that everyone has added stuff to his thread so I will pipe up too.

I work full time. Work wardrobe consists exclusively of fitted dresses (I'm five ft six and size 12) from Warehouse, French Connection, Oasis etc. I chuck on a long necklace and a statement scarf to bright them up. They are almost all black, however most of them have detail. The one I wore today is a Warehouse one with ruching to the shoulders and part way down the arms I'm no good at describing it but it's fab . Tomorrow will be a black French Connection batwing style dress. So basically simple and smart but funky but brightened with scarf and necklace. I always wear heels unless I'm travelling around London all day in which case I wear black leather boots from Aldo. Black mac / trench coat.

On my 'off' days I wear skinnies with a pretty simple top, again with some detail to make it more interesting. My favourite at present is a simple long line navy one from H&M with 3/4 length sleeves and ruching (again) on the hip. I throw a scarf on, normally wear tan ankle boots with buckles more French Connection or tan mid length boots from Mango. Parka to keep warm.

Hair (blonde, medium length) I always pile on top of my head in a messy but controlled bun. Pinned to tame if necessary. Make up consists of Bare Minerals foundation (light application...I don't trowel it on), blusher, highlighter and mascara. Eyelash curlers are your friend.

Cheesyslice Wed 19-Feb-14 19:09:28

Shit that was way too long. Sorry. <cringe>

passata Wed 19-Feb-14 19:12:06

Brilliant thread! I've learned a lot smile

CursiveLetters Wed 19-Feb-14 19:12:45

I'm surprised there hasn't been more talk of fit! I think it's absolutely the most important thing. I think most people just buy whatever even if the fit isn't quiiite right because honestly well-fitting clothes are really time-consuming to find. But once you find the brands that suit you well, you can just stock up. My rule is I don't buy anything unless I feel stylish in it, a tshirt will make you feel stylish if the fit is perfect for you.

I've also learned to pay attention to fabrics - I look for only natural fabrics. 100% silk or 100% cotton still look fab years later.

FoxyHarlow123 Wed 19-Feb-14 19:13:17

Bonsoir, please report back on your derm appointment. I do lots with my skin (bit of botox, hard core peel etc) but I've never had great skin. It cant be coincidence that all the celebs typically have amazing looking skin. Kylie for instance may have a bit too much of a frozen look going on (depending on your views) but the quality and evenness of her skin is incredible.

Lottapianos Wed 19-Feb-14 19:14:31

Rudy, that outfit sounds fabulous! Ignore the clown comments.

Back2Two Wed 19-Feb-14 19:16:34

I haven't read the thread yet but I will because I look like plop at the moment and can't begin to think what to do about it. sad

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 19:17:53

Yes, cursive, fit is important. I get most of my clothes altered to fit. All department stores offer it as a free service over here and anything I buy elsewhere gets taken to a dressmaker near my home.

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 19:19:56

The clown comment was about Audrey on Putting Me Together, not Rudy! Sorry if that wasn't clear from my post.

LizzieVereker Wed 19-Feb-14 19:25:56

Can I ask about scarves - colleagues look lovely in these, and I would really like to invest in some. But how do you tie or fasten them? And could anyone recommend a good place to find them, please? Also statement necklaces, where to buy? I am quite small and when I try scarves or necklaces I always feel a bit drowned.

santamarianovella Wed 19-Feb-14 19:25:57

mrsCB I wanted to start a good skincare regime,now that I'm 30,so booked with one of the best, ones ,the biggest shockers is how useless facial are,also how bad bad coconut oil is for the skin, nars makeup was recommended as one of the best,i stopped using most of my beauty product and was prescribed with retinol,vitamin C drops,and a moisturiser that the dermatologist swears by.so far so good,

I was very pleased when I was told how good the elasticity of my skin is,being olive skinned has its perks grin

GeorginaWorsley Wed 19-Feb-14 19:32:02

For me make up is key,I wear primer,foundation,brow zings from Benefit,brown eyeliner,mascara,Bobbi Brown lipstick in a rosy nude,blusher.
I always wear splash of perfume,keep nails short and usually painted a taupe colour for daytime.hair is coloured and discreetly highlighted regularly,and I use weekly treatments for extra shine.
I try to do some exercise at least 3 times a week,usually walking but aerobics and gentle weights too now.
Am trying to lose half a stone by upping exercise and using My Fitness Pal to calorie count,as I know I would feel better if a bit more toned and slimmer!
Clothes wise I love dresses,especially for going out and in summer,but I like jeans,jersey jackets or blazers and always with scarf or necklace.
I also always wear two silver and diamond bracelets that were anniversary gifts.
It may be a cliche but I feel underdressed or unfinished without accessories!

RudyMentary Wed 19-Feb-14 19:32:44

Thanks lottapianos

Ok vitC smile sorry.
I'm off to check out that blog now!

mrspolkadotty Wed 19-Feb-14 19:32:46

LizzieVereker

This is a great video tutorial on how to tie scarves loads of different ways

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LYAEz777AU&feature=player_embedded#%21

passata Wed 19-Feb-14 19:37:44

I agree facials are useless and I used to be a beauty therapist. It's not what you do to your face once every 4 weeks, it's what you do everyday.

LizzieVereker Wed 19-Feb-14 19:40:05

Oh thank you Mrspolkadotty - that's perfect smile

MrsCampbellBlack Wed 19-Feb-14 19:42:11

Curses own pallor and wishes for olive skin.

RudyMentary Wed 19-Feb-14 19:42:16

I've now checked out that blog and I'm still confused by the clown comment! grin

theQuibbler Wed 19-Feb-14 19:50:19

My friend, Louise, invariably looks as though she's just stepped out from a high end fashion magazine shoot.

I can vividly remember meeting her, after work, for a drink last summer. She was wearing a white linen trouser suit, perfect swinging bob, light, discreet make up and she looked pristine. It was boiling and everyone else looked as though they were about to melt. Not Lulu.

I would never even think about wearing something like that. I would end up with make up all around the collar, food down the front and, no doubt, would sit down in chewing gum or something smile

How does she do it? She is terrifyingly organised, ruthless about good hair, good shoes, well cut clothes, manicured hands. She is on best terms with cobblers/tailors to make the right alterations. I've known her for over 20 yrs and I cannot remember her ever looking less than well groomed. It's important to her and part of her character. She's super pretty as well. I don't think that hurts wink

santamarianovella Wed 19-Feb-14 19:52:16

passata, that's exactly what I was told,Its a waste of money,if you
Are going spend an average of £80 a month for facials,better have your skin diagnosed by a dr who knows how to treat your areas of concern.some facials can ruin the elasticity of the face,and make skin more saggy,

Hebburnisaplaceonearth Wed 19-Feb-14 20:09:29

If you are HOC summer you are told to wear minimum 3 colours in every outfit smile
I am really enjoying reading this thread-really useful stuff. With young children I often find I let eyebrows/nails get scruffy, but it's so worth doing them!

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 20:11:21

I can only take this so far though...style is important to me but it's not the essence of my being - I have other interests and passions. I don't mind looking like shit for 4 days on a multi day hiking trip through the mountains, I don't need to be made up all the time...I don't mind getting my hands dirty in the garden doing a bit of digging. I don't wear make up while boot camping in the park or running 10k.

I feel a little bit sad for people who need to be fully made up at all times even in front if their partner...I see woman running in full make up, almost scared to break into a sweat because they might look a bit red or drip a bit! Growing older must be especially hard for the people who really obsess so much over their appearance, how do they cope?

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 20:16:22

Rudy if you re-read what I wrote, I didn't say that she actually looks like a clown, but that I would feel like a clown if I wore as much colour as she does.

I think she looks great, but while her style is fine for California, where she lives, it would look very out of place here, where most women my age seem to wear 90% black and too much colour is seen as vulgar or attention-seeking!

Crazyhours Wed 19-Feb-14 20:20:23

My Mum was one of those people Snowdown - she's now in her 60's, lives abroad in a remote area, and rarely - if ever - leaves the house. It's very sad.

RudyMentary Wed 19-Feb-14 20:21:10

That's interesting though VitC as she dresses normal to me and I don't live in California.
Am I wrong to assume you don't live in the uk?

Shenanagins Wed 19-Feb-14 20:24:55

There have been a few threads recently in a similar vein and I am loving them! I am still in the process of loosing the baby weight so these are helping keep my resolve to really think about each purchase, whether it suits me and is stylish or whether its just an impulse buy. Saving a fortune especially as I'm desperate to buy stuff after loosing a lot of the weight.

Cheesyslice Wed 19-Feb-14 20:30:45

lizzie I've got a MAHUSIVE scarf collection. I've built it up from all sorts of places - Oliver Bonas, Accessorize, Next, H&M, etc. House of Fraser are great for a wide range. Key for me is a mix of colour and pattern. Single colour scarves do nothing for me; they need to be bold to make the right statement and pull an outfit together.

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 20:36:01

Rudy No, I live in large city in France!

canyourearme Wed 19-Feb-14 20:38:34

My feet do have fat days sob

42notTrendy Wed 19-Feb-14 20:38:54

One of my best friends is like this. I've been shopping with her and it seems her key is that she knows exactly what to buy. She can pick something up that to me looks plain, boring, shapeless and when she puts it on, it looks perfect (for her). My clothing choices are pot luck, sometimes I pick something up and it looks fab, goes with lots of things, other times I buy something and wear it once because I don't like it or it's uncomfortable to wear. I just wish I could shop smarter. Which btw, is my tip - being able to shop for things that fit and suit you. And if anyone can tell me how to do that I'd be most appreciative grin

Dancergirl Wed 19-Feb-14 20:46:39

Interesting thread.

I have a couple of questions. I wear jeans quite a lot but what constitutes a 'nice' top? I wear a lot of Boden cotton stripy tops, comfortable but probably not in the 'nice' region.

Also, I have long hair which I always wear down. How do I put it up in a sort of casual, half messy style that looks stylish?

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 20:48:58

I think the putting me together woman is quite conservatively dressed.

I love living in the uk - there's so much freedom in what you choose to wear. I feel suffocated when I read about the French or the Italians and their rules. The Brit's acceptance of all tribes of fashion is worth celebrating, really it's so liberating...yes we sometimes get is wrong but at least we're not too scared to put a foot wrong, I've lived somewhere like that before and I'll take old blighty with its wonky and essentric approach to fashion in an instant.

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 20:52:12

There are plenty of people over here who do rebel and wear what they want, but this thread was asking about "women who always look put together and gorgeous", not women who dare to wear what they fancy and don't give a damn what others think wink

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 21:03:40

Vit C I disagree that the women who play it safe are the only ones who look gorgeous. Putting me together woman - looked perfectly gorgeous and you thought her use of colour was too much!! I think beauty might be in the eye of the beholder - and you have a very straight laced eye!

vitaminC Wed 19-Feb-14 21:11:06

Like I said upthread: it very much depends on context. The woman on the blog looks great, but she would stick out like a sore thumb where I live!

As it is, I'm already known among my friends for being the "extrovert" (which I'm not at all, really) because I often wear colours and not just neutrals like everyone else! But if I wore as much colour as she does, I would feel very conspicuous and uncomfortable walking around and I'm pretty sure people's attitudes would be very different from usual!

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 21:16:05

Vit C that sounds awful! I have friends that wear all sorts of things, their clothing is of no consequence to me, unless they ask for my opinion I never give it.

passata Wed 19-Feb-14 21:22:01

Personally speaking I think the most put-together look is predominantly neutral and not much print. I can't see a full-on printed dress looking 'together' even though it might look fabulous.

I'm thinking jeans/blazer/crisp shirt and accessories. It would be a classic combination for me that said 'groomed' rather than a high-fashion statement.

Not sure that made sense - it did in my head confused

LizzieVereker Wed 19-Feb-14 21:32:11

Thanks cheesy that's a good tip. I'm finding this thread so helpful, don't really have anyone in RL to discuss it with, and am a bit scared of personal shoppers.

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 21:37:56

Whereas the blazer/jeans thing would just safe and fairly inoffensive, almost like a uniform - definitely not gorgeous or standing out like the OP suggests.

MarshaBrady Wed 19-Feb-14 21:45:59

The friends who look the best - and I see often - have a very good sense of their own style. They do tend to be slim and tall for some reason, but they look very good.

Put together part- only if it's their style. Not overly done at all.

libertychick Wed 19-Feb-14 22:02:23

If I could afford to outsource laundry it would change my life <dramatic> - the days I look rubbish are usually those when I am not on top of it and I can't put a decent outfit together because I don't have various items washed or ironed.

Looking after clothes is important too IMO ie polish/clean shoes and bags, de-bobble knitwear, remove stray threads etc. I keep a lint roller in my desk at work.

sugar4eva Wed 19-Feb-14 22:06:26

Snow don- I like what you said re British clothes wearing ; interesting! What are the rules you say Italian and French people refer to I'm curious ?ive never thought about cultural fashion before much and am intrested. I wonder if fashion / dress sense is culturally influenced and is it frowned upon to use colour and why in some environments ?!

TheFarSide Wed 19-Feb-14 22:39:02

I feel the need for some pictures so I can see what need's doing (to me).

MarshaBrady Wed 19-Feb-14 22:40:43

And thinking about it that applies here too. Style over fashion.

Obviously new season stuff can be both. New and fresh plus own style.

Dontlaugh Wed 19-Feb-14 22:48:43

Buy the best you can of the following:
shoes,
bags,
coats. (For me personally this means no PVC/Primark shoes or bags). I would rather (and do) buy one pair of leather shoes on shoeaholics. com than 10 pairs in Primark.

Keep nails and brows tidy.
Hair! Hair is key. A lot can be forgiven if the hair is good, trimmed, no roots, brushed/straightened.
Dress to suit you, not fashion.
Confidence, as PPs have said.
Finally, FINALLY, at 37, I may have cracked this! am getting lots of compliments since last return to work, after baby, and truly have just decided to implement the above.

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 23:02:16

Frugal's observations on Italian rules for dressing. And there has been quite a long post recently on how to dress like a French woman.

This extract from the author of Madam Le chic in 2011 is interesting

My time in England is coming to a close and I will be back home by the end of the week! While here I have been paying very close attention to the vibe of everyday style. I love doing this. When I lived in Paris I noticed the paired down, minimalistic effortless chic clothing that comprised so many women’s daily wardrobes- A line skirts, colorful sweaters, neck scarves, low heeled sandals. In California it is a whole other matter- Casual luxe reigns there- designer jeans with a deliberate rip in the knee, James Perse t-shirts, sandals, pedicures and sunglasses.

British style is a whole other beast. I would best describe the style I’ve seen here as ‘eccentric chic’.

British street style is whimsical, eccentric and edgy. The women here are not afraid to take risks or go for trends. Having said that a lot of them march to the beat of their own drum and ignore trends all together.

Allow me to elaborate.

Edgy Fashionistas: When in London shopping on New Bond St. I noticed several women in what I would call 'extreme harem pants'- a slouchy pant with jutting angles at the hip. One woman paired her extreme harem pants with maroon suede ankle boots, a white tank top and grey vest. She had her hair in a messy top bun. She wore edgy eyeliner and sharp pink nails. She looked as though she had just been styled to walk down the runway- but I think she was just walking to work. Imagine wearing that to the office!

Free Spirited Eccentrics: I’ve noticed a lot of black opaque tights paired with bright ballet flats: this look is either worn with a dress or shorts. I’ve noticed a lot of tight leggings and high riding boots. Colorful bra straps peeking out of see through crochet tops. Messy up-dos. Feathers and bows pinned in the hair. Eyeliner and bright lipstick. Pretty floral dresses worn with something quirky like a chunky sweater or a leather vest.

Sophisticated Statement: The most conservative looks come from the women of a certain age that wear timeless, sophisticated clothing- cashmere sweater sets, Hermès bags, driving loafers and statement jewelry. These women are always well groomed and usually wear le no makeup look as well. It is this group of women that seem to take their fashion cues from Paris.

Around every corner there are surprises. There doesn’t seem to be a ‘uniform’ for British women- and based on my above descriptions you can see why I have labeled their look ‘eccentric chic’.

I admire many things about British style- the women here seem to have a lot of fun with fashion. They don’t appear to dress for sex appeal like they do in L.A. and I don't see the minimalistic elegance (from the younger generation anyway) that I saw in Paris. There is a mad, artistic vibe that prevails here- an originality that is very fun to observe.

Of course out of all these styles my favorite British style icon is one who I haven't mentioned yet- Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge who is inspiring the world with her ladylike and sophisticated sartorial choices. She is in a category all her own.

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 23:07:15

Roots are bad aren't they? Cover ups with semis are bad too, doesn't matter what you do if your roots are showing and/or you've got that over-dyed look.

RonaldMcDonald Wed 19-Feb-14 23:17:57

For everyone who has said colour and a cut

I present Kate Moss and Debbie Harry...both look amazing, utterly stylish and both often have 4 inch roots and bird's nest hair

Style has frig all to do with perfect colour and a good cut
Screams middle class frumpy mum

Snowdown Wed 19-Feb-14 23:29:19

Did Debbie and Kate have grey roots - it's the grey roots, dyed with a too dark semi that looks particularly awful.

Sunbeam18 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:43:23

I think it's all down to organisation. Put outfits together (including scarf etc) and hang it complete in your wardrobe so the thinking is done and you can just pull it on in the moment.

Decent haircut and colour is vital, and quality skincare and make up. Also brows are v important.

Does anyone have good advice on how to make jeans and trainers work if you are under 5'8?? I am 5'5 and no matter how cool the jeans or trainers I always look like a stumpy short arse!

passata Thu 20-Feb-14 09:48:44

sunbeam a fair chunk of us don't know HOW to put together an outfit - that's the point grin

If we knew how to put it together then we'd look put-together! We need 'how' lessons smile

passata Thu 20-Feb-14 09:49:44

I have an issue with 'quality' make up - no one knows if it's Bourjois or Nars once your blusher is on - providing the application is good confused

Sunbeam18 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:53:16

Sorry, Passata! IMHO the silhouette of an outfit is important; for example, wearing the right coat length for wide-legged trousers/a dress. A long silhouette works best - height can be gained by wearing trousers that are a little too long with heels underneath.

Sunbeam18 Thu 20-Feb-14 09:55:16

I think some make up needs to be quality: foundation, shadow, mascara and lipstick. Cheapies don't matter for eyeliner, blusher. Good brushes help.

Snowdown Thu 20-Feb-14 10:28:27

I don't think expensive make up matters....no one can tell! I can't tell on my own skin.

claudeekishi Thu 20-Feb-14 10:30:56

Sorry to hijack but santamaria can I ask you: did your dermatologist explain why coconut oil is bad for the skin? I've been OCM-ing with it for about a year now and it's so much kinder to my (extremely sensitive reddish oily yet dehydrated hmm) skin than any other cleanser I've used.

Bonsoir Thu 20-Feb-14 10:43:04

OK - for those who asked - I just got back from my celeb dermatologist appointment. He is in Paris.

He didn't do anything today other than examine my face and make suggestions/give me a quote. He thought I needed laser treatment for my nascent broken veins and I think I probably agree with this. He also thought I should have my wrinkles (I am 47 so there are some) injected with

Bonsoir Thu 20-Feb-14 10:48:02

... hydralaunic acid, have some kind of revitalising treatment that involves injecting a cocktail of vitamins and other things into the skin, and Botox between my eyebrows (no 11s).

Since the whole lot will cost about EUR 800 I am going to think about it! I shall also talk it over with the friend who recommended him and who has had similar treatments.

passata Thu 20-Feb-14 11:17:05

bonsoir He didn't mention any skincare regime? Just gave you a quote for invasive therapy? shock

Bonsoir Thu 20-Feb-14 11:20:38

He's not that kind of dermatologist. I have one of those - she sees the whole family for things like acne, verrucas, peri-oral dermatitis, suspect moles etc and recommends appropriate skincare if you want.

passata Thu 20-Feb-14 11:23:22

Ah, that makes sense, you had me worried smile

Hogwash Thu 20-Feb-14 11:26:05

Bluestones 'hedgemonster' grin That's the look I'm sporting today, actually!

santamarianovella Thu 20-Feb-14 11:35:14

claude coconut oil is so heavy and comedogenic, it sits on surface of skin,and clogs pores, so if you are acne prone it can trigger cysts,the dermatologist recommended adding it to food instead,as it has many benefits,its much better to eat and nurture your body from the inside out,your skin and hair will look healthier/fresher if you eat food rich in good fat,like nuts,avocado and oily fish, its very much like try disguising dark circles with makeup,when you know the answer is a good night rest,

Some creams help because the concentration of certain components are higher than what is found in natural remedies,

If you want a very gentle cleanser I recommend cetaphil,I have sensitive/combination skin,with a tendency to be dehydrated.and its fine

RonaldMcDonald Thu 20-Feb-14 11:57:48

sunbeam

jeans and trainers...well I have worn Ash trainers <both heeled and flat hightops> with skinnies very often over the last few years

I look appalling in Nikes and I know they are fashion but I still look a fright in them

I sometimes wear converse with boyfriend jeans or wide legged jeans <throwback but great with little tops>

Lottapianos Thu 20-Feb-14 12:39:47

santamaria, I was also surprised to hear about how awful coconut oil is supposed to be. Like claude, I've been doing OCM with it for about 2 years and my skin looks and feels great, much better than when I used olive oil or avocado oil. No spots whatsoever. My skin is dry and dehydrated and seems to love it. I do agree with adding good fats to diet though, that makes a huge difference.

evelynj Thu 20-Feb-14 13:31:53

I defo don't look like one of those women as I'm too overweight & too lazy to put in the effort every morning. However, since having my colours & style 'done' at house of colour & working towards an 'autumn' wardrobe, my clothes pretty much always go together without any effort as now everything in my wardrobe tones well together & compliments.

I have also bought a lot of scarves, (so many that dh has had to put a waist height curtain pole in my dressing room to accommodate them!), & think these add to most outfits providing the colours are good.

I think I'd find it hard to have 3 colours max as top, bottoms, shoes, coat, bag, belt & scarf would be difficult to have 3 in same colour, or is e.g. 3 different shades of brown ok & count as one colour?

Need to work on losing weight, dressing for my shape & lazy lifestyle & finding decent flat shoes!

HelloBoys Thu 20-Feb-14 13:48:35

Trust me a few mums I know who look like your friend DON'T think they look great and can't wait to dress up and out of jeans, but it suits their SAHM lifestyle etc.

But I agree - she's working her look the best way re a few edited tops, jeans, scarves and adding the makeup and hair bit. I think the latter things really make all the difference - makeup for me - if I'm feeling down. And a nice bit of jewellery (can be junk). Just gives me an extra edge.

HelloBoys Thu 20-Feb-14 13:53:55

snowdown - I'm kind of laughing at your descriptions of London women.

My SIL is none of those, neither is her SIL. In fact the latter woman (L) always looks stunning and invests in designer pieces or things she knows looks good.

My SIL is tall, slim, and likes classics but modern classics think Comptoir des Cottoniers, Cos etc - she likes the odd bright dress but lots of black blazers, printed dresses etc and she doesn't or won't wear blue or navy.

I tend to have my own style would never dream of showing bright underwear, having zany coloured eyeliner etc.

and I've got a 3rd friend whose an old school (before it got popular) Portobello rd girl who does very mixed style but very stylish, with an edge.

Snowdown Thu 20-Feb-14 14:15:23

Helloboys it was the observations of the American woman who wrote Madam Le Chic. I think outsiders often see things we don't, we tend to live in such bubbles only seeing what we want to see.

Sunbeam18 Thu 20-Feb-14 14:35:42

Thanks Ronald! I'll look into Ash trainers now!

HelloBoys Thu 20-Feb-14 14:58:58

oh Snowdown those Americans... grin

from the American girls I know... well 2 have their own unique styles but they can hardly talk. it just made me laugh that's all.

LoopyDoopyDoo Thu 20-Feb-14 15:11:41

My tips (though I'm not sure if I count as being 'put together'):

Live in a hot country
Get your hair relaxed
Buy lots of cotton dresses
Pay someone to iron them

smile

NazMedusa Thu 20-Feb-14 15:15:49

I'm a working mummy and everyone always comments on how well put together I look (which is a lovely compliment) and other mummy friends ask me how I do it but I don't really tell them much because I find it embarrassing to talk about myself!
But here are my personal top things:
1) grooming. I keep my eyebrows, tasche etc groomed all the time by doing them at home by myself. I've got into the routine of tweezing every other day and therefore there aren't many hairs growing out all together and takes a maximum of 10 mins. Tidy shaped brows make a huge difference!
2) I invest in good skincare, my fave range is Liz Earle and it's all very quick to use. I put the creamy cleanser on and get into the shower, wash my body then take the cleanser off with a face cloth (leaving the cleanser on for a few mins allows it to act like a mask) then wash and condition my hair. All takes 10 mins. I don't have time to faff about with cotton wool and toner, I just spritz toner all over my face then apply moisturiser, done! I also never go to bed without washing my face and applying a serum.
3) easy, quick makeup. Concealer under the eyes, quick foundation- Laura geller balance and brighten, then eyeliner and mascara with a subtle sweep of blush. Takes 10 mins to do while son is eating, playing or napping.
4) non-iron clothes. My staple outfit: Black tights or leggings with a figure flattering skater or swing dress and calf boots. I pick dresses with fabrics that don't need ironing or only require a quick steam.
5) accessories. I always wear simple studs, a nice Michael kors watch and add a scarf or pendant to my outfit. Scarves dress up a simple outfit and look really stylish and sophisticated.

There's nothing here that's a big secret but I think everyone needs to just find products, clothes, routines, etc that suit them and keep it up. I feel confident when I'm looking good and I think that makes me look more put together. Getting kids into a really good routine helps a lot because you know when you can spend time on yourself and how long you have.

issimma Thu 20-Feb-14 15:16:06

Basic tips (from a not particularly well put together poster): If your ears are pierced, wear earrings (better than holes), if you have belt loops, wear a belt. (I do this)
Have enough money and time for grooming - manis, hair trims, eyebrows. (I wish)
Have good coat, shoes and bag. Will cover a multitude of sins. (I have one of the three).

santamarianovella Thu 20-Feb-14 15:17:00

hello I was gonna say that the extract should be taken with a pinch of salt, seeing that the author is an American, I live in London and I've never seen,anyone remotly dressed like what was described by the other,and I'm not British ,so I do pay a lot of attention,in fact the only people who dressed in a similar manner,but with more flare and creativity are the Japanese fashionable tourists,

If I could sum up the some of dominating looks in London that stand out Its something like this, almost everyone near the bluebird cafe was wearing a fedora hat.

santamarianovella Thu 20-Feb-14 15:27:42
Sunbeam18 Thu 20-Feb-14 15:50:40

Naz, do you dry and style hair? That's what takes me ages. How long do you all take to get ready in the morning now you have kids? I have real trouble coping with this with an 8-month old who doesn't nap well. I wash my hair every second day and it takes about 50 mins from stepping in the shower to being ready. The other day (no hair wash) takes about 30 mins. I struggle to get it down from this and it causes arguments with DP!

Destinysdaughter Thu 20-Feb-14 15:59:17

I don't know if I look 'put together ' but I do get compliments on my style and I put that down partly to having my colours done ten years ago. I used to wear black all the time as I thought it was slimming and was horrified to be told I was an Autumn. It took a while to make the transition but I absolutely love my colours now! I never wear anything that isn't in my palet no matter how fashionable it is. Everything matches and it has made it much easier to shop and dress. I'm also quite busty so have often had to ignore fashion and stick to the styles that works for me, long, flowing and elegant. I wish sometimes I was tall an skinny to be able to wear high fashion clothes but that ain't never gonna happen so I've tried to see it as a challenge to look good. I do downs a lot of time hunting for things that look good but I'm pretty pleased with my wardrobe now.

Also love shoes, jewellry and scarves, they can really add something to an outfit.

So I would just say, find out what suits you, don't be a blind follower of fashion if it doesn't suit your shape or colouring and enjoy it!

HelloBoys Thu 20-Feb-14 16:47:59

santa grin

NearTheWindmill Thu 20-Feb-14 16:54:09

Has anyone mentioned good taste to go with the good bone structure, good posture and good genes.

AnaisB Thu 20-Feb-14 18:28:35

Re the London thing, I guess it depends which area of London you are in, Chelsea, Dalston, Islington.....

Also, I imagine the author is focussing on people who embody a certain style - I mean we have an idea what French chic looks like, but most people in France don't walk around looking constantly chic, ditto Italian style and English style. Most people don't dress like that, but there are certain national traits that can be noticed.

TheJumped Thu 20-Feb-14 19:19:30

I hate accessorising - I wear as few items as possible. So for work - always a dress, a watch and plain black shoes. The dress will be good quality and possibly patterned, but fitted and demure. For casual - you lot are terrifying me with your talk of lots of colour, earrings, belts and so on. Well fitting and simple clothes don't need extras. Minimise the number of clothes you wear! Jeans, top, scarf if you want - done. Simple shoes like ballet flats that don't compete with the rest of your outfit. The minute I have layers or multiple colours or lots of accessories, I feel prematurely middle aged! So many British women wear too many things all at once and don't coordinate them, especially coat / shoes / bag / scarf. Not every item has to shout!

SnowBells Thu 20-Feb-14 19:31:58

Seriously... I know this will be controversial, but I think being SLIM makes you halfway there.

I used to be slim a few years ago. People thought I always looked well put together. They asked where I got my clothes. But I put on quite a bit of weight since, and it's hard to look good at all. Most clothes simply look better on slim women. The same clothes I wore back then would look frumpy on me now.

I am trying my hardest to lose weight… can you tell???

MrsCampbellBlack Thu 20-Feb-14 19:45:31

I totally agree with you snow. I need to lose the winter podge and I know nothing looks as good as when I'm slimmer.

TheJumped Thu 20-Feb-14 19:50:32

Totally agree Snow sad

<pregnant and fat atm>

HelloBoys Thu 20-Feb-14 19:59:33

SnowBells - yes I agree with you, get more compliments when slimmer and with a light tan!

SnowBells Thu 20-Feb-14 20:02:56

I'm 100% sure it's the being slimmer thing.

I got STOPPED by freakin' fashionable people in Italy who asked about my clothes. Got loads of compliments. Always freaked DH out. Clothes were fairly simple, but I always had a statement accessory (scarf, sunglasses, etc.).

No chance of that now, unless I get back to my old weight...

Alaska77 Thu 20-Feb-14 21:11:07

Agree, I'm always complimented more on how I look when I'm slimmer. I guess that's because my clothes 'sit' better, but also perhaps that I am more confident?

Sad51 Thu 20-Feb-14 21:11:31

The jumped I agree that 'too much going on' can look too try hard.

I tend to avoid looking too colour coordinated as I feel it is dated. A woman I used to work with matched her outfit, shoes and bag nearly every day. She rarely looked stylish.

I find prints can be hit or miss too.

The women I admire keep it classic, clean and simple. I spotted a woman recently wearing fitted jeans, a silk/see through blouse, satchel bag, ballerina shoes, hair up and stud earrings. Simple but very effective.

Jigsaw do amazing scarfs at the mo.

Jewel coloured wool-silk ones, quite big. Not cheap (£59).

I bought one last year and another colour this winter.

Skinny jeans, ballet flats or ankle boots , any old top and That Jigsaw scarf ALWAYS get me compliments, always. And it is the scarf. mobile.jigsaw-online.com/products/pom-pom-scarf-7889

It is magic smile

Unless you are really adept with scarves they can send you totally the other way though. I went shopping in a fairly upmarket town yesterday and looked at all the women I passed, lots of scarves but not a single person who wouldn't have looked better without them, they all looked too busy, cluttered with hair, coat collars etc. If you can't get it exactly right they are better left off.

SnowBells Fri 21-Feb-14 09:11:32

If you wear scarves you have to keep the rest of your outfit simple. Just look at www.maitaispicturebook.com. Classy.

mammmamia Fri 21-Feb-14 09:46:17

Great thread.
I think I've got clothes, makeup and skin sorted but what lets me down is my hair.
Has gone really grey since having the DC and I've been trying to cling onto my natural colour by using a semi perm dye every 3 weeks. My hair is dark brown and grey comes through after a couple of weeks.
I know this is not looking good. I need to get some lowlights and a proper colour at the hairdresser. But I don't even know what to ask for and I don't want a dramatic change. Help!

mammmamia Fri 21-Feb-14 09:52:36

FWIW, my tips for clothes and make up:

For work - dresses only. Less time consuming than separates. I have a variety of fitted black dresses, jackets and jewel coloured cardigans. Always heels but not too high. Dresses are from Cos, banana republic, Sisley, Hobbs, Lk Bennett. I work in the city but part time.
I always wear a watch, wedding rings, diamond studs and simple necklace like a Tiffany one or similar.

For non work days - skinnies, ballet flats and a nice top - I love the White company, massimo dutti - I always buy in sales. Or jumper dress.

Make up: BB cream, cream blush with powder blush on top, Benefit lemon aid, lip balm. I can't leave the house without that benefit product!

vitaminC Fri 21-Feb-14 09:52:37

You may find that taking it a shade lighter, with highlights and lowlights, the roots are not so noticeable, mammamia.

In any case, go to the best hairdresser you can afford (at least the first time - you can use a more junior one at the same salon once they have your details in their records) and ask for their recommendations.

vitaminC Fri 21-Feb-14 10:12:25

Yes, I agree with Snowbells that MaiTai does the scarf thing very well indeed!

This is pretty close to the way I usually dress. One neutral, one bright colour, plus a patterned scarf with mainly another neutral (navy) and hints of the bright colour to pull it all together.

Hopefully Fri 21-Feb-14 10:42:36

MaiTai does her scarves beautifully, but they also work really well for her (very classic 'look' about her). I look like a pre-op transexual if I try to do similar. I need much bigger, more textured scarves, and if I do print it has to be way bigger scale (although I am not a massive print fan generally).

I think working out what suits you and having the confidence to run with it all the time instead of being convinced by your mother/best friend that actually you should be doing something different is key. I have a friend who always looks really put together and stylish, but her style is far more classic and country than mine, and I would look awful if I copied her clothes.

Agree with the slim thing though, sadly. I know full well I look better at the lighter end of my normal range than at the heavier. No getting around it for me. I do think some people carry a bit of weight more effectively than others - my sister is a classic hourglass and actually she continues to look like a glamorous extra from Mad Men even if she gains a few pounds (as it all goes on in a perfect hourglass shape), whereas on my more angular body it looks horrendous, as it all sits on my thighs.

vitaminC Fri 21-Feb-14 10:50:20

Oh, I'm the opposite - I tend to wear plain or textured scarves, rather than the patterns Mai-Tai wears. I rarely wear silk squares like she does, either, but the overall look is similar.

I don't know about weight, but exercising and looking toned is a big factor for me in looking (and feeling) good!

sugar4eva Fri 21-Feb-14 11:55:34

I'm trying to make best of what I've got on the income I have; expensive teens etc! I have very pale skin and mid blue eyes and I used to be white blonde. As child then went mid pale red naturally in teens . I am now grey / mouse! I pay to have a really good cut. My roots show v quickly. I really cannot justify a salon colour as it wd be just too expensive. I have bought copper reds from Sally's prof shop which supplies hairdressers and as my hair is so thick it takes two lots per time so that is 18 per month and my cut is 30. It doesn't sound a lot but if I pay more i really can't buy clothes. We are not hard up but we are trying to be sensible after years on overdraft. So I buy good undies, take cares kin, have good cut . I'm worried that at a young looking 50 ; folk say I look early 40 I look too artificial with copper one tone hair and I don't want to look mad! I look a bit like the curvy lady off mad men : but not as good looking and older but that sort of strong look if you see what I mean .i have hourglass figure and am a spring . I once had an ash blond dye ash and I looked completely washed out so I know I don't need pale and need but of vibrancy or at least colour contrast but wd like to look grown up but red ish! Not like a henna student look. Can this be done at home and what dye wd be best , I just need to make bat I can ;) !

sugar4eva Fri 21-Feb-14 12:38:26

Also what to wear on feet with skinniest and ballet??bare feet but chilly? smile

burnishedsilver Fri 21-Feb-14 14:28:27

Good posture makes women look very elegant even if they're dressed the same as is slouchers.

It can be little things too, long sleeves pushed up to just above the wrist but not right up to the elbow for example.

When I was little my mum had an old book from the 50s or 60s called "In Search of Charm", it was full of all these little tips, how to stand, how to walk, how to hold your gloves, how to get our of a car without showing your knickers, absolutely fascinating. It was also full of sexist shite about "accidentally" dropping a napkin on the floor in a restaurant so a man has to dive to your rescue and feel all masterful. I wish I'd kept it.

Hopefully Fri 21-Feb-14 16:58:27

I don't think DH would feel terribly masterful. He would just laugh at my clumsiness grin. But yes, it is lots of little things I think.

Chacha23 Fri 21-Feb-14 17:05:30

the thing is, "wearing jeans and a nice top" can look very stylish OR very frumpy - depending on your ability to pick clothes that actually suit you and your body type, in terms of tailoring and colour.

Hopefully Fri 21-Feb-14 17:10:26

Definitely - I have learned I am much better in, say, leather leggings, slipper flats and layered long plain t-shirts than skinny jeans, ballet pumps and a longline breton. Similar kind of silhouette, totally different 'look'.

Chacha23 Fri 21-Feb-14 17:31:37

yes, that's one thing my DH doesn't get, because he's tall and skinny and everything looks good on him - it's not enough for a piece of clothing to be "nice", in itself. It also needs to work for me and my body.

SnowBells Fri 21-Feb-14 18:47:01

The rule is actually quite simple: if you have curves, go for a tailored, structured look. Think Mad Men. Incidentally, that's also what a lot of successful women go for. Definitely do not go for Boho chic. That look only works on very slim women. No frills - or anything else that 'expands' you.

When you are slim, you can get away with a lot of things. It's more about posture, etc. But you also have to be wary of 'drowning yourself' in fabric (which I have seen some women do).

Snowdown Fri 21-Feb-14 18:56:01

How do you work the mad men look into a casual wardrobe? Tailored sounds great if you work in a formal environment but it would leave me looking ridiculously over dressed - which isn't exactly well put together either!

sugar4eva Fri 21-Feb-14 20:24:47

Nnowdon I have that look or at least a nod to it. I wear a lot of shirt or vintage dresses with flats and hair in a semi beehive . It's just pop it on doesn't have to feel formal . I'm trying to wear skin ie jeans for a change but it feels odd. Look at some of the sixties boden dresses on e bay then just tights ..enjoy! P

DownstairsMixUp Fri 21-Feb-14 20:30:49

I get told this (even when I'm in my shitty work uniform which is the ugliest uniform in the world) I don't think I am attractive, I'd give myself 3 out of ten for looks and I am not skinny, I am slim, a size ten. I have improved over the years though. I just always make sure I look clean and tidy so day to day make up is always;

One layer of foundation
concealer for under bag eyes and the shadows on nose
two layers of mascara
some high beam dotted on cheeks
blusher
rosy lip balm

i then tie my hair back with a side fringe and just manage to look presented all the time.

Usual wardrobe is usually like your friend, skinny jeans, a nice top with natural make up and or dresses/leggings with dr martens and tights. I am quite keen on fashion but know what suits my figure. I think for me it was getting older that made me realise what suited me now I can put an outfit together within seconds and look put together. smile Shame I can't get surgery for the face!

Snowdown Fri 21-Feb-14 20:41:50

Thanks sugar Shirts are a disaster on my hourglass figure - they are not cut for big boobs and small waist - they might have been in the 50's but certainly not now. Bursting buttons is not good. I do 50's in a way during the summer fitted top circle skirt and a pair of pumps ...but that's not really tailored.

I like the 50's style but I wouldn't want to wear it all the time....it's just not me. I don't get on with dresses much either, they never fit - I'm too tall and too hourglass....I guess what I'm saying is rules are a bit pointless when it comes to people dressing as we all have our own challenges. Learn to dress for your body and style and to hell with the rules!

fififolle Fri 21-Feb-14 21:19:26

Bad Mumsnet for making me spend money again. That's two scarves this week blush

sugar4eva Fri 21-Feb-14 22:53:32

Snow I think bravissimo do shirts especially for diff bust proportions .

SnowBells Fri 21-Feb-14 23:48:39

Snowdown

Classic casual look for an hour glass figure with tiny waist is the bootcut jeans with gathered jersey top. Look at the set on the left in the image below.

Snowdown Fri 21-Feb-14 23:51:54

Thanks sugar, I know bravissimo do shirts but they aren't to my taste, I'd feel like someone 20 years older, they are too formal, too straight laced. I don't think the tailored look is something that works for me on a casual basis - it's too much. We are all different - even us hour glasses can carve out our own style, no need to follow strict rules.

Snowdown Fri 21-Feb-14 23:54:02

Thanks Snowbells but that's not my idea of casual!! That's very dressed up!

sleepdodger Sat 22-Feb-14 00:02:41

Decent hair cut / care and good skin, with minimal make up and clean single colour plain nail paint

Grennie Sat 22-Feb-14 01:38:30

I used to work with a woman who looked stylish and stood out. I still don't know how she did it. She was far far less groomed than many of the women round about her. But with a very plain jumper and jeans, she still syood out. She was good looking, but not stunningly so. Perhaps it is charisma?

RudyMentary Sat 22-Feb-14 04:45:43

Snowdown.
I too have big boobs and a small waist. The only way shirts work for me is to buy them to fit my waist and then wear a fitted top underneath and leave the buttons around the boobs undone. If you can find a shirt with some stretch even better.
I wear vest tops underneath or the uniqlo long sleeved heattech in a co-ordinating or contrasting colour.

Yes, for scarf or accessories yo work the rest of the look has to be quite minimalist.

Snowdown those clothes look very smart, but very work- like, no ?

Snowdown Sat 22-Feb-14 08:43:26

Yes those clothes look smart and very bright but I don't need a smart wardrobe - just a casual one I'm trying to think of the reaction I'd get if I turned up at the school gates wearing those kind of clothes!

But if I did need a wardrobe like that -there's too much colour, even for me, the tied in the middle peach jacket would not work at all with my shape, tied in the middle never works - Gok Wan was obsessed with it, my waist looked too small and my boobs looked too big, this is not a good look! The purple ruffle shirt is interesting I would assume putting loads of fabric around an area and drawing attention to an area that's already over sized wouldn't work....but I'd need to try it on just to be sure. Bootleg trousers are just a plain no, as are the killer heels.

Sunbeam18 Sat 22-Feb-14 09:40:14

You shouldn't be worrying too much about what other people think - it's about feeling confident in your own skin and with your choices. A fitted look doesn't have to be formal - it's how you wear it (ie choice of shoes, accessories).

Snowdown Sat 22-Feb-14 09:53:47

Sunbeam was that comment directed at me? I don't worry about what other people think, if I looked at me dressed in the clothes Snowbell posted I'd think I looked ridiculously over dressed at the school gate or meeting friends for coffee - I wouldn't look put together, I'd look OTT, it's not what I'd call casual but for other people it might be, who knows.

Tbh I don't need fashion advice as such, but ideas are always worth considering, I'm perfectly happy with the way I dress, I know what suits me, I don't know if other people would say I look put together, I'm not a classic dresser, more edgy ...I was just intrigued by snowbell's assertion that all hourglasses should wear structured clothing all the time, I was curious how she would interpret that into a casual wardrobe.

RudyMentary Sat 22-Feb-14 09:59:39

snowdown I put a post to you about shirts just further up thread. I'm hourglass and don't really wear structured.

Sunbeam18 Sat 22-Feb-14 10:02:22

Cool; wasn't attacking in any way. I'm hourglass too - what sorts of looks do you go for? I'm looking for new ideas as feel my shape has changed a bit (as has lifestyle obviously!) since having baby last year

Snowdown Sat 22-Feb-14 12:19:46

Today I'm wearing boyfriend jeans with brogues - they are long and narrow looking - I like long feet!! A jersey grandad shirt under a slightly slouchy jumper in lime green, green and black - it probably shouldn't work but it does.
I refuse to stick with the rules for big boobs, they are do limiting, so I end up trying on a lot of tops - some work, most don't but I expect that and it's worth the effort. Bottom half tube skirts are good, skinnies are fine, hard to find a good pair - I try on maybe 50 to find the right ones. Recently discovered real straight by gap - lots of finishes, and a great fit but you need to try on the different pairs of the same size same because I find they vary. I like biker jackets - clearly not zipped up. I struggle with cardigans and I really want one but they never deliver. Dresses are a nightmare...I have good shoulders and arms so I can do the slouchy dress, most waisted dresses feel horrible - waist is too high or emphasis my shape more - I don't need that. I do sometimes wear a shirt open over a vest, I like checked flannel with jeans. And after searching high and low for the perfect fitted tailored shirt I have worn it once in 2 years! Don't know if that helps - I find blogs, Pinterest and s&b a great place for inspiration - when I was stuck in my mummy rut - I used to go shopping and expect to be inspired, it doesn't work like that for me, I now know what I like before I shop and it makes the experience so much more enjoyable.

GeorginaWorsley Sat 22-Feb-14 17:23:19

I don't do shirts really although I like the look.
I hate anything too constriction or that creases up too much.
Love thought of soft boyfriend or rolled up jeans with a white shirt of somekind for summer though.
Must seek out jersey options.
I did see a nice one in Fat Face recently.
Doubt that would impress some Mn ers though.

trainersandaches Sat 22-Feb-14 18:05:22

Snowbells I LOVE the yellow skirt in that picture - where is it from?

thewatchfuleye Sat 22-Feb-14 21:09:57

I am a size 14 hourglass whether I work out 5 times a week (pre children) or never (now). I always get compliments. Was a hopeless dresser before Susannah and Trinny! Their advice worked for me. Well fitting underwear; best haircut/colour/shoes/bag I can afford (doesn't matter if clothes are cheap). I have to work hard at it, though - read fashion columns in newspaper/look at what other people are wearing/find brands that fit well and stick to them. Hope that helps.

PoshPaula Sat 22-Feb-14 22:56:15

watchful I agree, Trinny and Susannah gave good advice. I took their advice as follows :

Keep your wardrobe pared down, get rid of any old stuff, anything stained, anything that you just don't wear.

Don't put colour with black. Wear black with neutrals or on it's own.

Good shoes, good supportive and well fitting underwear, good handbag.

Paintingrainbowskies Sat 22-Feb-14 23:22:10

Have really enjoyed this thread.

There's been a few comments about the importance of 'good shoes', what are we talking about here? Not trainers I take it but what else makes a good shoe?

Walnut8 Sun 23-Feb-14 02:15:55

Like others have said, there is a difference between being groomed and being stylish. What is the question here - what is the secret of being groomed? Or being stylish (much harder). Have known many women who are very well groomed (nails, hair, makeup, clothing all very well maintained) but not stylish.

cloutiedumpling Sun 23-Feb-14 07:55:35

I would add a good coat or jacket to Trinny and Susannah's list, but that is maybe because I live in Scotland and it is always freezing.

I think a good shoe is clean, in good condition, in keeping with the outfit and occasion and most of all well fitted/comfortable. The most fabulous shoe looks bad if the person wearing it shows any sign of discomfort or difficulty walking.

Unfortunately for me the comfortable factor rules out about 99% of shoes, so I can't get the in keeping with the outfit part right except in very casual dress mode.

FoxyHarlow123 Sun 23-Feb-14 08:00:13

Painting - a good shoe is usually an expensive shoe. Cheap shoes have the wrong 'ratios' (heel height, heel position in relation to the fall of the shoe, too much shoe covering the toes etc). Look at Christian Louboutins Pigalle 85mm shoes and lkbennett florette and then try and find that shape in a cheaper shoe. It cannot be done.

FoxyHarlow123 Sun 23-Feb-14 08:03:14

By contrast, Irregular Choice shoes are NOT a good shoe and neither is anything in New Look. They're badly designed, the material looks cheap and nasty and they look scruffy within 5 minutes if being worn. They are not stylish or sexy, nor do they have any other redeeming qualities.

BeginnerSAHM Sun 23-Feb-14 08:30:21

Totally agree with the Trinny and Susannah advice not to wear colour with black... Makes the colour look quite cheap, I think. Much better with creams, beiges, grey or brown/tan.

RonaldMcDonald Sun 23-Feb-14 08:35:11

I adored Trinny and Susannah but thought they were better on the Beeb. I have all their books ( blush )
They are very wise and no nonsense and made excellent sense in a way that Gok Wan simply never could.

Snowdown Sun 23-Feb-14 08:35:15

Trinny and Susannah were brilliant, first time I realised how to dress my boobs to make them look less matronly, I didn't even know it was possible, I still hear them in my ear when I shop. I see so many woman hide in black....it can be a very cool but I think it's very easy to slide into very drab.

Good question about the shoes, leather usually upper and lined.
Good shape, so many shoes even expensive ones are not cut very well. A good pair of shoes, polished if needed and clean, heels in good condition etc at the very least will not take away from your clothes. Make sure you can walk in them. You can probably get away with a cheap pair a few times but they will wear badly and you need to be ruthless about chucking them out...I also think a good quality bag is important but I don't think it's a given that a designer bag will upgrade your look, if the rest of your outfit doesn't scream money - the bag will scream fake, even if it doesn't scream fake, it looks out of place. I don't believe a designer bag upgrades an outfit.

Just googled that Louboutin shoe, the heel position looks totally wrong to me (admittedly I'm no expert), but the heel looks too far back and as if it would snap off when you put your weight on it.

Snowdown Sun 23-Feb-14 08:54:52

Oh dear, dh just caught me checking out the Louboutins - and was puzzled as to how I needed more shoes - the man knows nothing. However beautiful the Louboutins are, they'd be like wearing razor blades, my skin is too soft for patent, I can just about manage suede. I wouldn't spend money on LK Bennet shoes - from experience they aren't up to much.

TheBuskersDog Sun 23-Feb-14 09:08:26

Foxy, they are beautiful shoes but irrespective of the cost they are not shoes most women would wear on an everyday basis, and I think this thread is about looking good all the time not just on special occasions. I guess some people on here work in an environment where they might wear heels like that everyday but I think they are in the minority.

Walnut8 Sun 23-Feb-14 09:16:10

There is no way I would wear trainers anywhere but the gym (however I am quite conservative). I'm not sure they look stylish unless you are under 30, then possibly with the right outfit? Otherwise I agree what everyone says about shoes & always buy leather.
I think British corporate women are among the most stylish in the world. Not sure whether they do "casual" as well though!

GretaWolfcastle Sun 23-Feb-14 09:17:30

that colour with black thing - shit advice.
plus they said no heels with trousers iirc and started that RIDICULOUS wrap dress with tits thing, that, IMHO makes any tits look like two huge pointy zeppelins

Nocomet Sun 23-Feb-14 09:36:36

I think either, you just have confidence, decent skin and hair that looks nice without doing anything. We had a 50 ish Guider who looked elegant in a gortex in a thunderstorm.

Or you care and spend time on your appearance. DD2 may be 12, but she looks more elegant than I ever will.

She's more comfortable in her skin if she makes an effort and I'm sure she knows without being told, that she is seriously pretty.

Me, I will never look elegant and can't be arsed. Being clever gave me confidence as a child and a teen. I scrub up well enough if I have too, but it would feel utterly fake to do it every day.

thewatchfuleye Sun 23-Feb-14 09:38:41

Thank you for the kind reception, ladies. I was a bit nervous as was my first post. I'm glad there are a few more Susannah/Trinny fans out there. Their most useful advice to me was what shapes/cuts/jewellery to wear for my bodyshape. Re good shoes - Kurt Geiger or Clarks (I know). For clothes, I do a lot of browsing and buy stuff from Pepperberry (always sale stuff) and Next with discretion. Also, surprise bargains in Peacocks sometimes (hefty discretion needed) And M and Co (more discretion) Also, wearing good makeup helps and posture. I'm no ballet dancer (!) but people have commented on my posture, which just makes me look more confident and thinner than I really am! Plus, get eyebrows waxed every 3 weeks.
Hope that helps someone out there. MN Style and Beauty is great for tips/hints too. Unfortunately, as has been mentioned, looking as good as you can takes work and research.

Hopefully Sun 23-Feb-14 10:03:34

IME LK Bennett floretes are the most comfy heels ever. It does totally depend on foot shape etc as well I suspect, as my sister loathes them - she has much slimmer feet with a high arch.

I do think good shoes, whether they are heels or flats, makes an enormous difference. Even in biker boots, I feel better about my appearance when they are newer, in good condition, well maintained etc. Even high heels don't look amazing when I am aware that they need resoling and reheeling and look a bit tatty. One of my missions for this year is to own more shoes so I stop wearing them out so quickly! I am not good at buying shoes.

Sunbeam18 Sun 23-Feb-14 10:08:22

Colour with black looks dreadful, end of! I think whoever made the point about being stylish being different from being groomed was right. Most of the tips are about being groomed; anyone can do that. The stylish could look amazing with dirty hair and no make up - it's about having an eye.

BeginnerSAHM Sun 23-Feb-14 10:09:38

T&S often put heels with trousers... (Maybe they changed their minds??) The colour and black thing is subjective. Well - suppose it all is wink. Anyway, I don't think it looks great normally. There are exceptions, obviously.

Sortyourmakeupout Sun 23-Feb-14 10:11:46

Its the make up more than likely. It transforms you and puts a spring in your step and you feel great.

works for me anyway.

just because you have kids it doesnt mean you have to live in your tracky.

get your clothes out the night before when kids are in bed.

MarshaBrady Sun 23-Feb-14 10:16:10

Agree on difference between grooming and style.

It's also hard to copy style. I remember French chic was emulated in Boston but it didn't transfer well. Obviously I mean to my eye, as foreigner, they would have like it I think. But it looked over done.

Style is refreshing so needs your own input.

mammmamia Sun 23-Feb-14 10:37:19

I am good at clothes but not very good at buying shoes. I find it really difficult and a real chore. I have no decent shoes at all so they probably all look cheap although I wouldn't realise. I don't enjoy shoe shopping so resent spending money on them.
So - where do you buy decent shoes? I tend to buy them from Nine West, Clarks.
I bought 2 pairs from Office 3 years ago and they fell apart within 2 years which I don't think is good value for money for what I would consider quite a lot of money.
I find Russell and Bromley hideously expensive and don't like much in there.

Namechangeforamo Sun 23-Feb-14 10:55:48

I think looking put together takes an investment of time. Unless you are unconfined by budget, not many of us. You have to start by looking at what bits in your wardrobe are worth keeping. Then buying only things you completely love, but also making sure it matches something you have. Having a wardrobe full of random things that dont match is a disaster. Don't feel that you have to stay on trend either. More important that you dress for yourself than to look of the minute.
I spend ages shopping, really looking for something thats perfect. When i have it I take it home and spend an evening taking clothes out to make up outfits, seeing what shoes, accessories go with it. No one steps out the door looking stylish by chance.

GeorginaWorsley Sun 23-Feb-14 11:18:59

Am feeling a nostalgic fondness for Trinny and Susannah now.
Perhaps its time they came back with updated show,on BBC. Of course.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 11:29:23

I think its a natural thing

FoxyHarlow123 Sun 23-Feb-14 11:37:51

Mam I'll help! I'm crap at clothes but brilliant with shoes! What do you need them for and what's your budget?

RonaldMcDonald Sun 23-Feb-14 11:47:42

Trinny and Susannah had no problem with heels and trousers
I think that colour and black very often looks like shit...I immediately think black trousers and satin type shirt bleughh...and I think that that was their point. Try to use tonal colour mebbe instead of not thinking - stick it with black.
They showed lots of women that high necked t shirts made their tits look awful and inspired lots of us to get decent bras
At the time wrap dresses were ubiquitous and they were advocates when dressing certain bodies...I thought that they were brilliant- in books and on the BBC

Apatite1 Sun 23-Feb-14 11:54:56

I find louboutins the most uncomfortable shoes ever. I tried and failed to wear them on my wedding day. I like chie mihara, she makes shoes that fit my foot well.

FoxyHarlow123 Sun 23-Feb-14 12:03:30

Ah but this isn't a thread about comfortable shoes. This is a thread about looking great and there is no denying that the right pair of CBs look great.

Apatite1 Sun 23-Feb-14 12:14:10

Completely pointless for me if I can't walk in them. They'd be laughable at work too, I don't have a desk job. But yes, they look great!

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 12:15:52

I have some chie mihara shoes love them and think they are better looking than CB more individual less Wag

Apatite1 Sun 23-Feb-14 12:27:39

I agree with you noddy! I also prefer manolos over loubs, I just can't get on with them. For formal occasions, I like miu miu, prada or aruna seth. Daily wear is flats though, I'm on my feet all day.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 12:35:24

yes manolos also nicer

Sunbeam18 Sun 23-Feb-14 12:41:03

Wish I could afford shoes like that. However, style is not about expensive labels. Did anyone see Fabulous Fashionistas on Channel 4 a few months ago? It was about a bunch of about 6 women in their 70s and 80s who looked amazing and each dressed in their own unique style. One shopped only in charity shops and looked fantastic.

JohnCusacksWife Sun 23-Feb-14 12:42:59

There's been lots of mentions of skinnies and a "nice" top. But what tops do people think constitute "nice"? I always seem to have loads of tops in my wardrobe but nothing I really feel brilliant in. In particular I mean casual tops just to be worn around the house, at weekends etc.

Hopefully Sun 23-Feb-14 12:43:31

If Trinny and Susannah did nothing else, they did inspire thousands of women to start wearing better fitting underwear, for which they deserve much applause. Am not sure about the colour and black thing, can see how it looks cheap if you mindlessly pair everything with black, but it really works with some colours.

I always envy people who look amazing from charity shops sunbeam but all I can think is 'they must have spent HOURS trawling through crap to find that'. I am basically too lazy.

Hopefully Sun 23-Feb-14 12:45:27

John for me a 'nice top' is a cashmere v neck (better on me than a round neck), or a shirt, either silk (hand wash ones seem to survive my children fine) or something like this shirt. I never feel amazing in plain t-shirts, but my preferences there are either american apparel v necks or Splendid thin layering tops.

BoffinMum Sun 23-Feb-14 12:55:49

Capsule wardrobe here

Parisian Style, Pauper's Budget

Pepperberry clothes are expensive and ghastly, IMVHO. You are better off buying normal clothes and putting in a dart here and there, or moving the buttons across. One or two dressmaking lessons can transform how well dressed you appear, and save you lots of money. Most of the clothes for sale on the high street are designed for hanger appeal or to look good for magazine shoots, and sit badly on the female body.

Designer clothes are usually made in China etc and rarely worth the money as well. Better to be fussy about fabric and go out on the hunt for something from the high street that is made from quality wool or cotton or silk, with a tiny bit of artificial fibre to help it wash better, and good linings if you can find them. Then adapt them a little.

Change buttons if you want something to look classier, and consider having an outfit made by a dressmaker if you have something special coming up. Or have a go at making something yourself - Burda do easy patterns and you can get the sizing exactly right.

Namechangeforamo Sun 23-Feb-14 14:02:49

Agree with the dressmaker thing. I've had loads of dresses made for weddings/black tie do's. It seems to be a lot more common to do that here and not that expensive though. Last dress cost me £70 to be made. I got my own fabric. I'd imagine it would be an arm and a leg in England

Namechangeforamo Sun 23-Feb-14 14:04:17

Another tip is if you see a dress/skirt in a fabric or colour thats really you, buy it in a size up and have it altered to fit perfectly.

Namechangeforamo Sun 23-Feb-14 14:13:14

That capsule wardrobe thing is a bit boring imho! Sorry but fashion and style is so much more than a good coat, 2 pairs of neutral this snd so on and so on.
Of course good basics are the backbone of any wardrobe, but honestly its the flair to an outfit, sonething different to everyone else, that takes it up a notch. A vintage piece, your mum's old velvet jacket, an unusual scarf you picked up on holiday. If you really want to be stylish, your outfit should have purpose, be intentional. Be safe with the bits that flatter your shape, but then add something extra. Neither do I agree with the clearing out thing. If its worn fair enough, but I keep stuff for years, building it up into a catalogue of more and more outfit combinations.

BoffinMum Sun 23-Feb-14 14:28:52

Namechange, they are all things you could go out and get very easily. You can't buy tasteful vintage jackets etc on demand - those are things you would add on to such a collection.

MinesAPintOfTea Sun 23-Feb-14 14:49:05

foxy you can't put well put-together if you can't walk in a confident manner. Good-quality shoes that you can walk in will look much better overall.

Namechange a decent backbone of a capsule wardrobe is something that makes it much easier to look put together. Its easy to add the extra things as you go. I certainly have a "work" capsule wardrobe, a selection of dresses, blouses, tops, skirts, trousers and jackets that I can pretty much dress in blindfold and still look co-ordinated. If I get something and after a few wears decide it doesn't suit then it gets culled.

SnowBells Sun 23-Feb-14 14:55:54

Namechange

I compare the capsule wardrobe thing to cooking - the staples (potato, rice, etc.) are boring on their own. It's the spices and herbs that make us like food.

In other words - a capsule wardrobe does not exist on its own. You add a nice jacket, scarf, etc. to your wardrobe. Some of the best-dressed women wear fairly 'boring' clothes (OK, they also have the right figure), but they add a nice handbag, coat and Hemes scarf to their outfit, and suddenly, they look a million dollars...

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Sun 23-Feb-14 15:04:50

Another one who thinks it's hard to look well put together when you're overweight. I'm a size 16-18 who is stocky with short hair. I do my best to buy flattering clothes, and therefore look much better clothed than nude, but it's no accident that plus size models are all tall, with slim arms and long thick swishy hair. There's a type of overweight woman who can still look groomed, and it isn't me.

I just don't know how to incorporate heels into my life. With straight jeans my feet look like trotters.

Any tips for us porkers?

Namechangeforamo Sun 23-Feb-14 15:19:44

I suppose really it comes down to what you perceive to be stylish. Even my most staid pair of black trousers have a black ruffle along the length of one leg. My wardrobe definitely resembles Carrie Bradshaw as opposed to a capsule one.

SnowBells Sun 23-Feb-14 15:38:53

Namechange

grin Lol. I'm more of a Charlotte… maybe we should ask everyone what SATC they are??? grin

Sunbeam18 Sun 23-Feb-14 16:58:09

Carrie here !

BoffinMum Sun 23-Feb-14 18:39:05

Marvellous, I think it all comes down to tailoring. In days of yore, one lot of patterns were made for young women, who had not had children, and another for older women, who had. Natural changes in the female body were accepted, and there was more variety of style and cut. Now we all try to fit into some sort of homogenised shape that doesn't really fit anyone properly.

In terms of dressing well as a size 16-18, you have to think where your best bits are. Do you have a decent waist, or ankles, on arms or whatever? That gives you the clue as to what to emphasise. Then think about the bits that aren't so great, which might be your bottom or something. That needs to be carefully disguised. Short legs look best in one colour tights/trousers, possibly with a crisp pleat, and the same colour shoes. For a large waist, wear nicely fitted trousers and then a floaty top. For a dumpy bottom, think about wearing bias cut or floppy skirts - the length will depend on what sort of knees you have, but you can't go too far wrong with on-the-knee with some opaque tights and shoes the same colour. Remember to wear an under slip if this skirt isn't lined and is a bit clingy.

Also if you get a decent haircut and blow dry your hair on a Sunday night, you will look good for a few days each week even if you don't have much time.

Snowdown Sun 23-Feb-14 18:56:01

Aspire to Carrie...I agree that it is the few pieces I have that stand out that make all the difference, but they are hard to find. I also think some woman suit being Charlotte - I'd look and feel dull and frumpy but clearly Charlotte doesn't. I love to know a Samantha though...I've never known anyone like her!

cithkadston Sun 23-Feb-14 20:43:02

I often wonder the same thing about a friend of mine; she's stunning but appears to dress very simply.

I think it's due to the fact that she's half Spanish and so has lovely colouring, and is also blessed with lovely, glowing skin.

Walnut8 Sun 23-Feb-14 23:58:17

Good skin really does add something special in terms of style and the way we look!! Sigh. Very envious of anyone who has it.

BoffinMum Mon 24-Feb-14 09:19:37

Decent underwear, daily fresh air and a disinclination to smoke and drink to excess are very powerful beauty tools.

Lycra is another.

noddyholder Mon 24-Feb-14 09:24:13

Agree about alcohol!

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Mon 24-Feb-14 09:39:01

Thanks Boffin. Of course, the best solution would be weight loss, but it's good to have those suggestions whilst I'm working on it!

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