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Live webchat with Mary Portas on Monday 10 May (1-2pm). PLUS, if you're over 40, a chance to take part in her next C4 series

(327 Posts)
HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-May-10 10:11:03

Retail guru and television presenter Mary Portas will be joining us for a live webchat on Monday 10 May from 1-2pm to discuss shopping, style and her brand new fashion crusade for women over 40.

As a mother of two, Mary juggles a television career and writing a weekly shop review column in the Telegraph with running Yellowdoor, her successful retail-branding and communications agency.

Mary's about to start filming a new Channel 4 TV series that will follow her quest to fill the gap in the fashion market for fabulous, forty-plus women.

She particularly wants to know:

* Do you think your fashion needs are served by high-street retailers?

* When you shop for fashion, is it as fun and easy an experience as it was when you were younger or do you find it a trial?

* Is there a brand on the high street that gives you what you want?

* What are the brands that are failing you?

* Would you rather see a picture of a woman your own age marketing the brands you buy or are you happy to see youthful, perfect faces?

Mary knows shops and shopping better than anyone and she'll be ready to answer all of your shopping quandaries, from where to find the best service to where to shop for the best one-offs.

Television cameras will be following Mary as she takes part in the live webchat. Your comments may be used in the television show but we won't identify you.

As part of the television series, Mary is also looking for opinionated women who will be part of her focus group, advising her on anything from where to buy the best-fitting dress to road-testing whole fashion collections.

This will involve a number of days filming in London over the next six months and will cover travel expenses for these days.

If you're interested in being involved please email with your name, your MN nickname, your contact details and why you think you should be part of the show.

Thanks, MNHQ

WilfSellOut Thu 06-May-10 16:49:25

God, I totally WORSHIP Mary Portas and want to be her. And a splendid idea for a programme. Not sure I want to be on telly though, although having lost two stone, could do with a bit of a brisk shake-over by a fashhag.

sfxmum Thu 06-May-10 16:59:38

oh I like her she can do bitch with class that is a compliment

WilfSellOut Thu 06-May-10 17:00:32

Actually, what I'd like even more than having Mary shake my wardrobe out, is a Portas v Cod standoff.

Like Celebrity Deathmatch. But with Prada gimp masks.

sfxmum Thu 06-May-10 17:01:00

and as someone over 40 shopping for clothes is a pain all so samey and badly targeted just don't get why retailers seem to think that only the youth market is worth their while

sfxmum Thu 06-May-10 17:01:38

LOL at Prada gimp masks

SparkyMalarky Thu 06-May-10 17:25:25

I love Mary too. I'd especially love to know where she gets her hair cut!

LoveBeingAHungParliament Thu 06-May-10 17:32:23

I love mary and will go away and think of my question.

Fimbo Thu 06-May-10 17:43:23

Oh good. She looks sooooo like my hairdresser.

I don't mind Kew or White Stuff but it's all pretty samey. I don't want to be wearing a top that 20 other mothers my age at the school will be wearing though.

BigBadMummy Thu 06-May-10 17:51:24

Mary Mary


No, the High Street does not cater to my fashion needs. I am a fattie curvy lady and everything in Evans is poorly made / tent like or short sleeved (have you seen my bingo wings?). Or M&S is frumpy.

So I have to buy stuff on line. Which I can't try on and is hardly "on trend".

So I end up in black and stuff that fits rather than the colours I should wear (autumn colours of greens / mustards etc) or stuff that suits me.

Would love love love some help with finding a new wardrobe.

Will cancel all plans so I can be in the same internet space as Mary "the God" Portas.

squeaver Thu 06-May-10 18:13:21


Back later to respond in full but she MUST have an old ducker from S&B on!

Not me, mind you. Where's Cyb? Bet she'll do it.

squeaver Thu 06-May-10 18:14:19

Lolol. Bloody iPhone. Obviously I mean old Fucker

ahundredtimes Thu 06-May-10 18:16:24

Oh good, I love Mary Portas.

The only brand I like at the minute is Comptoir de Cotonniers - but they're NOT high street prices. However, shopping there is good and it is fun and I like the clothes v much indeed. They are well cut, not frumpy, fashionable without being try too hard to pretend I'm twenty. And they don't show loads, so don't have to wade through stuff. But ££££

Hobbs - too officey and frumpy and I might as well die. White Stuff - too young. Top Shop - not suitably fashionable to walk in there with confidence and convince myself the jacket is working on a 41 -y-old. Ditto H&M and French Connection. Jigsaw - I liked for a while, but like C d C expensive, and the clothes fall apart, and they used to have nice twists but now are a bit 'unusual tunic' M&S - you have to look hard and I hate the shops because they depress me and I might come away with elasticated trousers if I don't concentrate.

I'm unloading. Now I've read Helen's OP and I'm wondering whether she actually wants all these answers now? grin blush

ahundredtimes Thu 06-May-10 18:21:36

Oh - and I quite like Cos too.

SelkirkGrace Thu 06-May-10 18:27:17

Well as someone who is almost 40,6ft tall and fluctuates between and 18 and a 16, I fins it hard to buy clothes that aren't too short, too frumpy or too tight. i can get jeans and torusers ok, but have a serious problem with affordable top half things that are fashionable. being tall, big and 40 (almost) does not mean I don't like to look good
I have a health problem, and have also started to get fitter and lose a bit of weight, and ant to revamp my wardrobebut cannot find anything anywhere!!
I do not think high street retailers cater to my needs, yes many do a tall range but its either up to size 14 only or not quite tall enough

WilfSellOut Thu 06-May-10 18:32:11

The dilemmas I have shopping are many. Too fat, though less than recently, to shop in the shops I used to love. And now too old probably. I would have lived in Reiss and Karen Millen and French Connection were I not too fat from having too many babies in my 30s. I basically have lived in Florence and Fred grin for ten bloody years. And I LOVE fashion, despite all my <ahem> femmo right-on credentials. And now I'm in my 40s, it is impossible to find clothes grown-up enough AND that fit (I'm now a rounded 16, aiming for a 12-14) AND that are in the right cost/taste bracket. I'd love to buy a wonderful sculptured dress, or marvellous dramatic tailoring, like yours Mary, and wear it with tights and big jewellery and heels (except for the killer bunions obv...] but a. with three kids and a mahoosive mortgage I can't afford more than the upmarket end of the high street on a regular basis; and b. oops, wrong size, and c. where, exactly, do I shop?

But I think the bigger issue is that having children and putting on weight somehow 'demolishes' ones style thing, and so all these women rock up in their 40s and just stand looking dazed into the glittery lights. And instead of having a go they retreat to disengage. God, I used to love clothes. And now I have no idea who I am, fashionwise...

RubysReturn Thu 06-May-10 19:33:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

OurLadyOfPerpetualSupper Thu 06-May-10 19:45:11

Ooh can't wait for this - even more the series.

Was just lamenting this very thing with friends yesterday - it's not that there aren't things out there, it's just you have to troll endlessly round so many shops to find One Thing that fits and suits you and doesn't make you look like a)mutton b)frumpy c)your granny d)try-hard.

And if you live in the sticks it's even worse.

So, does her 'quest to fill a gap in the market' mean she'll be bringing out her own range any time soon?

Fimbo Thu 06-May-10 20:20:47

I think Mary should look at the stick thin models in the Next catalogue. It's gross.

I want to see real women in clothes that fit.

Fimbo Thu 06-May-10 20:27:04

example, dress is hideous too.

sungirltan Thu 06-May-10 20:42:04

right then mary - i may not yet be 40 but i think becoming a mum has pigeon holed me into shopping at stores which arn't a nightmare with a pram but the clothes are too mumsy! example; next is a pram friendly shop but i bloody hate next - its so fashion watered down to a cosy level stuff euw. But....i also feel like i have outgrown topshop etc.

i know i can buy everything online but i don't because the trying on/deliberating part of the shopping experience is missing.

i absolutely do not feel my needs are met by the highstreet!

fishie Thu 06-May-10 20:49:02

i'd love to get more boutiquey stuff, the chains are so disappointing. all the shops are the bloody same whereever one goes or else hellish expensive.

it is useful to see a body inside the clothes. don't care how old they are.

SuSylvester Thu 06-May-10 20:58:03

HI mary
can you suggest outfits that dont involve dressing as if you live in london
sounds stupid but tbh most women dont wear dresses and 6 inch heels all day.

Earthstar Thu 06-May-10 21:02:26

I passionately love the Scandinavian labels, not really mainstream fashion, but they make over 40's look interesting and stylish and have good colours if you are of Scandinavian descent (ok going back a few hundred years).

Layering really us the key to looking good when your figure is less than perfect IMO and the scandis know this...

WilfSellOut Thu 06-May-10 21:03:14

Hey Su. What dya think of my Prada Gimp mask wrestling idea? wink

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