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Starting a new job - and I'm very overweight. What to wear?

(23 Posts)
flibbertigibbert Wed 01-Dec-10 18:26:10

As the title says, I'm starting a new job which requires 'work clothes' as opposed to casual everyday clothes. I'm a size 16, 5'4 and most of my weight is on the bottom half so I'm very badly proportioned. I'm 24 and don't want to feel too frumpy - difficult with my figure but anyway.

It's not a suit office but I still need to look fairly smart. Any ideas?

HuckingFell Wed 01-Dec-10 18:28:17

knee length a line skirt with top and cardies. scarfs, necklaces etc. funky tights and ballerinas.

BoysAreLikeDogs Wed 01-Dec-10 18:30:31

per una is your friend

flibbertigibbert Wed 01-Dec-10 18:31:06

Thanks hucking. Not sure about the tights as I don't want to draw any more attention to my legs but definitely like the sound of the a line skirt and cardigan. Also necklaces as I tend to forget about jewellery

llareggub Wed 01-Dec-10 18:34:59

Personally, I'd avoid Per Una.

Do you have a John Lewis or similar near you? I had a personal shopper when I went back to work following maternity leave and a big weight loss. I sat in comfort and she bought me lots of things to try on, mainly things I never would have considered.

It was great; I came away with lots of things I could put together and she was good at picking out bargains too. I actually spent less than I budgeted for. There was no pressure.

She had quite a good feel for what people wear to work too. I was impressed.

KristinaM Wed 01-Dec-10 18:35:07

Congrats on the new job

What are your good points ? Do you have good legs, boobs, neat wrists and ankles? Do you prefer skirts and dresses to trousers

What do you have already that would be suitable?

Size 16 is probably uk average, not very overweight

HecateQueenOfWitches Wed 01-Dec-10 18:36:53

I think smart trousers and a longline tunic, with same length jacket or similar over it.

Longline tunics are a fatty's friend! Every top I own comes nearly to my knees.

so just to my belly button, in other words. <sob> grin

lal123 Wed 01-Dec-10 18:41:45

per una is only your friend if you are over 50 - which you're not.


twoboots Wed 01-Dec-10 18:41:45

i think dresses can be more flattering than separates for example



this with leggings and boots/ballerina

notyummy Wed 01-Dec-10 18:56:21

No, no, no, no, no, no to Per Una.

90% of the stuff there I wouldn't touch and I am <ahem> many years older than you.

I would say wrap dresses with opaques, or trousers with skimming tops.

this over opaques, with some boots or wedges.

highlight your top half - again with boots perhaps?


Sorry - have no idea of your budget, so could be miles off!

notyummy Wed 01-Dec-10 18:58:29

Could be flattering on a pear!

flibbertigibbert Wed 01-Dec-10 18:58:48

Thanks for all the responses.

Kristina - it's difficult to find good points. I gained a lot of weight very quickly last year and I've lost my good waist and cheekbones. I do have smaller wrists and slimmish ankles. I know 16 is average but I'm not used to being that size and because I'm so badly proportioned it makes it look worse.

I've always worked in casual enviromnents (not long out of uni) so I'm starting from scratch with a work wardrobe.

twoboots - I really like the first dress. I agree that dresses are probably more flattering and I do have a nice pair of black long boots.

notyummy Wed 01-Dec-10 19:00:26

These trouers flattering on a curvy bottom half - and in your size.

HuckingFell Wed 01-Dec-10 19:25:24

only trouble with work dresses is that you need more of them to build your wardrobe. seperates can be worn more often i think.

polyhymnia Wed 01-Dec-10 21:24:16

have to agree with notyummy - lal 123, can really assure you that all/ many of those of us over 50 do NOT like the vast majority of what Per Una offers!! In fact, much of it is horrific.

On original question, flibbertigibert, I'd be a bit careful in choosing an A line skirt and cardi combo as both can look frumpy. If you're bigger on bottom than top though it might work better than on those of us wih big busts. I think the dress/ black boots combo - with a bit of interesting jewellery -definitely sounds most promising.

KristinaM Wed 01-Dec-10 21:31:45

well S&B are here to help you, because there are stylish ladies here of every shape and size smile

if you have slim arms / wrists then 3/4 length sleeves on dresses and tops flatter you. resist the urge to go big, baggy and dark everywhere

tethersjinglebellend Wed 01-Dec-10 22:04:44

Betty Jackson dresses are great for pear shapes here and here

flibbertigibbert Wed 01-Dec-10 22:12:17

Not yummy - the John Lewis dress is lovely in plum. I've also got a voucher for there as well so that's perfect.

I'm feeling better about things after reading this and more inspired to try on different things so thank you for all the suggestions

notyummy Wed 01-Dec-10 22:18:01

Oh, and good luck with the new job. Happy to be of service smile

HuckingFell Wed 01-Dec-10 22:27:47

phase 8 good for the pear sale here

anotherbook Wed 01-Dec-10 22:37:06

This M &S dress looks a bit boring but is very flattering and good for work.Wear with opaques and shoe boots .A bit of structure helps when carrying some extra weight. Jersey dresses can cling and alot of these drape at the front then are straight and clingy at the back which isn't very flattering.

Dresses are better/easier for work IMO but a good fit can be hard if you are bottom heavy.Jigsaw,have some good dresses as well.Just try lots on somewhere like John Lewis if you have one near.

ChippingIn Wed 01-Dec-10 22:40:03

My friend booked an appointment (free) with the personal shopper in JL and it was FAB!

KristinaM Wed 01-Dec-10 22:54:48

yy to personal shopper

get her to advise you how to spend your voucher

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