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To ask how not to be frumpy

(378 Posts)
Moomoomango Sun 08-Jan-17 11:54:26

I feel like total mum frump. I'm overweight (working on it) I rarely put on make up and I generally feel like a frump. I'm only 29, two children 5&1. Please tell me how mums at soft play look so put together and gorgeous- whilst I am just straggling along delighted we've made it out the house? What simple routines / things should I do / buy to look less frumpy?!

BeanAnTi Sun 08-Jan-17 11:58:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Oysterbabe Sun 08-Jan-17 12:05:40

I've just embraced the frumpiness. Maybe I'll reassess when DD sleeps for more than 3 hours in a row. 1 year and still waiting.

NewPantsforaNewYear Sun 08-Jan-17 12:10:55

Become a regular reader of the Style & Beauty threads smile

Come and ask a slightly more specific question on S&B and everyone will be more than happy to help. (It's not quite as scary over there as AIBU can be)

LiveLifeWithPassion Sun 08-Jan-17 12:12:09

Nice hair makes a difference.
Find a good hair conditioner and run a wide toothed comb through your hair after you've applied the conditioner.

Randytortoise Sun 08-Jan-17 12:16:50

a simple easy hairstyle has really helped me. I asked my hair dresser for an easy quick hair cut that will make it look styled every day. I now have a really nice short cut which looks good, rather than my long hair that I always wore in a pony tail.

also eye brows tidy and shoes/boots rather than trainers.

BatFacedGirl Sun 08-Jan-17 12:17:59

Join Mrs Gloss on fb as it's really good

NavyandWhite Sun 08-Jan-17 12:20:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YelloDraw Sun 08-Jan-17 12:20:19

What was your style before kids?
What style do you want?

Having a look that suits you and you feel confident with is a big help.

MargaretCavendish Sun 08-Jan-17 12:23:06

Does it matter? That's not a flippant question. One of my biggest light bulb moments in my whole life was one of the many times I was wishing I was prettier/thinner/more glamorous, but then suddenly thought: 'but what would change if I were?'. I couldn't name an area of my life that would improve if I were more attractive. Now, that's not the case for everyone. My job is in a sector that it is perhaps unusually unfussy about appearance, and I also imagine I might feel differently if I were single and looking. But for me, 'I wish I were prettier/thinner' was a sort of smokescreen stopping me thinking about things that might actually improve my life. What would actually change if you were?

NavyandWhite Sun 08-Jan-17 12:25:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Spl0ink Sun 08-Jan-17 12:26:55

Something that has taken me decades (and is probably still arguable to be honest) is finding clothes that suit me. I make a point now of looking what other people are wearing and spying people with similar body shapes and similar colouring to me and then having a bit of an experiment. I order clothes online so I can try on stuff at home and with my other existing clothes, which means you can order more than you intend to keep ie order three jumpers with the hope of keeping one you really like. ASOS is good although to young for me really, and the House of Fraser sale is always good value. Good luck smile

Cakescakescakes Sun 08-Jan-17 12:28:37

I just want to add that all this has become much easier since my youngest turned two. We are all sleeping more, he can eat independently, entertain himself a bit more etc so stuff like putting make up on is much easier.

UnbornMortificado Sun 08-Jan-17 12:29:08

Makeup for me.

I find no matter how stressed and what shit I'm going through, putting my face on makes a massive difference to how I feel.

Friendinneed2016 Sun 08-Jan-17 12:29:57


MargaretCavendish Sun 08-Jan-17 12:31:21

I get that, navy: I'm just asking why it matters. I think a lot of women (like me) are so used to society's message that being attractive is the ultimate achievement for women that it is easy to fix on your appearance as the source of unhappiness or as a route to greater happiness. Apparently it's common for very overweight people who lose weight to go through a period of depression because they thought losing weight would improve everything but it doesn't, and the same with people who have cosmetic surgery. I acknowledged that being more attractive might actually improve some people's lives, I was just suggesting that it might be worth thinking about.

Whatabloodyidiot1 Sun 08-Jan-17 12:35:13

I think a few of the major frump crimes are as follow:
(Disclaimer before anyone starts whingeing, I am/have been guilty of some/all of these. There isn't always time to look exactly as you would like, that's what life with children is like! BUT on the whole try to avoid)

Boot cut jeans, it's not the 90's.
Black leather knee high boots
Fleece jackets
Scraped back hair
Unruly eyebrows
Clothes that are obviously too big or too small. Know your size and shape and dress accordingly.
Stained clothes, no need.
Wearing your husbands jumpers. Yes, rugby top wearing mums I'm looking at you.
Jogging bottoms, fine in the home, out of the home no, just no.

I disagree with other posters who say being overweight is frumpy, it's not if you know what shape you are and dress to flatter that shape.

YelloDraw Sun 08-Jan-17 12:36:41

I get that, navy: I'm just asking why it matters

I think it matters to almost everybody, to varying degrees, both men and women!

Notcontent Sun 08-Jan-17 12:39:23

Yes, lose a bit of weight if you can.

Be realistic about your current lifestyle (going to soft play etc!) and develop a bit of a uniform to go with it. Stick to a few colours that go together. Don't buy lots of cheap polyester tat.

Whatabloodyidiot1 Sun 08-Jan-17 12:42:10

Thought of another, but quality clothes. Better to spend £30 on one quality too than three cheap primark ones that will go out of shape and look shit after a few washes.

BoredOnMatLeave Sun 08-Jan-17 12:48:36

Agree with whatabloodyidiot. Doesn't matter if your a size 8 or 18... If your clothes aren't fitting well or not the right shape for you, they won't look good.

Sorry if this offends anyone but if I see dress and leggings I immediately think frumpy mum.

Play around with hairstyles and make up to find something that is easy and works for you.

TheVeryHungryDieter Sun 08-Jan-17 12:50:08

I'd agree with the jeans one. I ditched my bootcut jeans for M&S skinnies last year and it's made an immediate difference to my look, especially paired with boots instead of my usual falling-apart trainers.

I went for a smart lightweight padded jacket and a few tops from uniqlo in different colours (straight into washer then dryer and no ironing - useful when you pick up your sobbing toddler and she wipes her nose on your shoulder) and that's my mum-uniform. It's not particularly sophisticated but it will do until my kids stop smearing everything in sight with crumbs, spills and snot or drool.

Corneliagoescamping Sun 08-Jan-17 12:54:09

This is probably controversial but I do think it matters because personally I think your partner is less likely to fancy you longer term if you don't make some effort, as you would have at the start. Obviously appearances are only one small aspect of relationships, but I try to make an effort to look nice because I like it if my husband looks fit and healthy and makes an effort too. We have several small children and there are many other more important aspects of our relationship but I don't want to assume that he will find me attractive if I completely change how I look after having children, in the same way as if I totally changed personality.
In answer to your question though, I think not being frumpy is almost all about confidence and being happy with yourself. Exercising, even just walking or doing a DVD fitness thing helps. Have a hair cut and wear a bit of make up. Stand up straight. Wear leggings and a dress or skirt, and things that fit well. If you're curvier get inspiration from curvier role models. But try and eat healthily, adding lots of fruit and veg to your diet and be proud of yourself. There is only a reason for being less frumpy if it makes you feel better about yourself! Good luck.

rollonthesummer Sun 08-Jan-17 12:58:52

Decent jeans, decent boots and a well-fitting bra are essentials.

Basic make up and regular hair cut/trims plus conditioning hair well.

Have a nice (by nice I mean pretty not necessarily expensive) bag/top every now again.

Make sure your eyebrows are controlled!

latedecember1963 Sun 08-Jan-17 13:06:16

When I hit this stage after having DS1 I went and had my "colours" done at House of Colour. One of the best investments I've ever made in myself. Having a colour that flatters you near your face is a good starting point. The colour assessment also includes advice about good shades of lipstick or lipgloss for your skin tone. Once you have an idea of what works for you you'll feel less frumpy.

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