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are you late 40s, early 50s and stylish? If so, please help!

(72 Posts)
racingheart Sun 16-Sep-12 10:48:37

If you are, do you have any tips? Lots of the things I think I like look great on 20-something models with rake thin figures but frumpy on me.

I need a new basic wardrobe for autumn for 5'4" 10-12 pear shape. Would really love some ideas that stop me looking mumsy but avoid mutton dressed as lamb.

Thank you.

nkf Sun 16-Sep-12 10:50:19

Thanks for posting this. I need help too.

I'm 42 and not v stylish at all but I tend to wear:

For weekends -

M&S skinnies (indigo or black) with one of these combos depending on the temperature:
- fitted top to about below zip length and a looser short sleeved longer length cardigan over
- longer fitted top with a biker jacket over
- fitted top with a blazer over
- longer looser top with a cropped Chanel-esque jacket over
Worn with ballet flats, heeled ankle boots or leather Converse-alikes

For going out, the same except the top would probably be silk and I'd wear the blazer not the cardigan or biker jacket and possibly wear heels instead of the above shoes.

Or on a day when I don't fancy skinnies -
Oasis Scarlet bootcuts with a fitted jumper or top and/or biker and heeled boots

Or - jersey dress with denim jacket or biker jacket and knee high boots or heeled ankle boots, depending on the length of the dress

Or - navy or grey opaques with a denim short but not super mini skirt and a jumper/biker

I have to be smart for work, so I won't bore you with that unless you want me to!

racingheart Sun 16-Sep-12 12:05:10

Remus you sound v stylish, but also much younger than me. I gave my beautiful vintage biker jacket to my niece (weep) because every time I tried to wear it, I just felt silly.
Where do you silk shirts or tops come from?

noddyholder Sun 16-Sep-12 12:09:58

I am 47 in November and love clothes. I mostly wear skinny jeans with boots/heels/plimsolls sometimes with t shirts and jackets scarves etc. I think buy what you have always loved just maybe a bit less fuss and better quaitiy/fit. 3/4 trousers with loose silky blouses and heels is nice for evenings. I have lots of dresses very plain usually Cos and Zara good for these. Today I am wearing stone coloured jodphur type trousers frye boots in tan and a cream linen gap boat neck blouse thing with a stone scarf with butterflies on it. Dresses with boots is a staple in winter.Also get a coat you really love and make sure it a good fit over your clothes.

iknowwho Sun 16-Sep-12 12:10:59

I can't believe you gave a jacket like that away!! You could have had another 20 years with it!!

GeorginaWorsley Sun 16-Sep-12 12:25:07

Am 45 and wear
Marks and Spencer skinnies(called jeggings on website) with long tops,either slouchy cowl neck type from French Connection or shorter but with long vest layered underneath
Baby bootcuts with fitted top/cardigan
Dresses,again French Connection,some Boden if plain,Phase Eight.
Cigarette style trousers with silk shirt,slouchy top.
Lots of scarves,chunky jewellery
Always wear some make up
Stylish bag,not expensive,usually Zara,River Island,Marks and Spencer.
Wedges ,ballet pumps and flat gladiator sandals in summer
Ankle boots,riding boots with dresses or patent shoes in winter,usually Clarks /New look/Topshop/Marks.
I like to look in independant boutiques for brands like Sandwich,Noa Noa,etc for unusual tops etc too

Silk tops usually from Warehouse and v occasionally from M&S Autograph (though these are much more 'classic' than the Warehouse ones.

I tend to wear very plain clothes and then a patterned scarf - H&M often have good cheap scarves, Warehouse again, Hobbs sales, TK Maxx.

Noddy is spot on re: getting a coat which you love. My biker jacket makes me happy every time I wear it; I also have a nice grey peacoat type thing from Hobbs which I love. And yes to a nice bag - doesn't need to be expensive (mine was Hobbs sale) but you do need to love it! I'm planning on getting a bright coloured one this year too, maybe red.

GW - could you possibly link to your FC tops? Am desperate for some long sleeved cowl neck tops and have hardly seen any so far this year.

Well I try my best.

Mostly wearing skinny jeans, boots which may be ankle or longer, a variety of tops, lots of scarves because they suit me, and little jackets like the ones from zara.

And also find good skincare essential as I get older. Makes a real difference to how I look.

Am probably older than you.

racingheart Sun 16-Sep-12 13:03:17

These are good tips. So: plain tops, patterned scarves - sounds perfect.

iknow - the jacket was mine all along - it's just become vintage, like its owner grin. I wore it non stop in my 20s, that's probably why I feel so silly wearing it now. It's beautiful though. I hope my niece wears it. Bought in Soho for £50 thirty years ago, which felt like a fortune then.

Yes, please GW link to these slouchy tops

Are there shops you avoid because you think they are mumsy or shops you have grown into as you got older?

racingheart Sun 16-Sep-12 13:04:22

Georgina - what sort of dress do you put with riding boots? That's the kind of thing I get wrong and end up looking like I'm half way through simultaneously baking and mucking out the stables. I just look like a farmer's wife.

iknowwho Sun 16-Sep-12 13:44:50

I avoid BHS except if I am buying light shades.
I avoid Boden and Jules. Boden in paticular looks like it tries too hard to be quirky.

I buy from Yoox, Top Shop, Reiss, Therapy, Diesel, Vivienne Westwood, Nicole Fahri, Whistles and Karen Millen and Mango Cotswold (for outdoor gear)
I am 47.

I too have a fantastic jacket that I have had for many many years that I got from Hein Gerlick motorcycle stuff that I wear to death, manly at gigs. I have a Belstaff and Barbour for every day autumn and winter wear.

I have a load of blazers, mainly from River Island and Next that are great with jeans and t shirts or if I'm going out, silk tops. I have three tops that I wear too death. I Jeager one that cost £295, a Nicold Fahri one that was £150 and one from Top Shop that was £35. I'll never stop wearing them, even if my friends and DH's eyes get tired of seeing them!!!

GeorginaWorsley Sun 16-Sep-12 14:15:01

On phone so can't link but French Czonnection tops called Renoir and some on eBay at moment.
Also got slouchy top in Phase Eight and snakeskin one in Primark.
Have bought Boden slouchy jumper this season,not worn yet as too warm but am planning on wearing with Whistles animal print jeans that were talked about on here alot over the summer!
Also bought drapy top from Sandwich in midnight colour which I love.
The bum lady blog has lots of slouchy tops on it too.

iknowwho Sun 16-Sep-12 14:20:20

Oh I forgot to mention me and Em
I buy a lot from there.

noddyholder Sun 16-Sep-12 14:22:15

The top bumlady wears from cos with lime stripe around bottom is lovely. My friend bought last week and it is great on her

faustina Sun 16-Sep-12 14:22:17

racing heart, what kind of budget do you have in mind? i'm 52 and the same height as you, but a bit smaller and I tend to shop mainly in Gap, J Crew for tshirts and trousers, Brora, TK Maxx occasionally, NAP in the sale, sometimes The Outnet, also Whistles (but they are a bit hit and miss). I wear either skinnies from MIH or Gap sexy boyfriend jeans - also Paige cropped skinnies (which actually aren't that cropped on me!)

I haven't found a winter coat for the past few years which I liked, but have been rummaging in my wardrobe instead, and found a sixties vintage suede coat in brown which works really well, and an old burberry in black - not the trench style, which I find too fussy - the single breasted one. I also have a reefer jacket from Gap.

Scarves don't suit me, nor does big jewellery (maybe my height?). I think it's important to wear good shoes and handbags. I've found as I get older that less is definitely more.

theDudesmummy Sun 16-Sep-12 14:37:43

I am 49, size 12, short.

For work I wear M&S black trousers, bootcut or straight leg, all year. High heel black mules (summer) or black ankle or calf boots (winter). In summer: White Stuff or East tops in floral patterns. In winter: Lands End or other v-neck jumpers, scarves in bright colours, long cardigans or jackets.

For home I wear NYDJ jeans, flat mules (summer), flat calf length slouch boots (winter). Summer: floaty tops or plain T-shirts from many places inc M&S. Winter: the same v-neck jumpers i wear to work, and long cardis.

Winter coat: long, fitted, single breasted, very plain, and either red or black (chnage every 2 yearsand alternate between red and black).

No jewellery apart from single pearl on a gold chain and wedding band.

racingheart Sun 16-Sep-12 14:48:45

faustina my budget is more high street than designer.

I do need to lose about a stone, as I look better at size 10 not 12, but what some clothes that look good in the mean time. I love long jumpers and layered looks but can short people get away with these? Or do we look like extras from Oliver! ?

BorisJohnsonsHair Sun 16-Sep-12 14:56:35

Just to add my thoughts; I buy lots of accessories (mainly long necklaces and scarves) from charity shops. I've bought 3 scarves this week - a fat face stripy one (75p), an ivory silk one with navy pattern (50p) and a a lovely peacock feather patterned one (also 50p). They can really add to your outfits, without having to cost you a fortune. Also bought a lovely shift dress (£1.80).

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Sun 16-Sep-12 15:07:28

I am 52, 6 feet tall, size 16 top and 12-14 bottom, with very long legs, so am automatically limited for choice as sleeves/legs are often not long enough.

I suit skinnies, a jacket and longer length top.....or a long tunic/thick tights/riding boots look. I need a straight look as opposed to A line.

Rarely wear a dress or a skirt as I feel overdressed.

I usually wear plain ie not patterned.

MissBoPeep Sun 16-Sep-12 15:12:51


I think sloppy long jumpers are a no-no for short types ( me!)

I used to wear leggings the first time round- with long baggy jumpers and when I see pics now I wonder why no one stopped me sad

I much prefer neat trousers/jeans and waist length fitted cardis.

Do you like the White Company?
Some of it's bland but they do occasionally have nice knits, tunics and drsses which look good with chunky boots etc.

I tend to buy plain trousers- skinny type- from Boden, White Stuff and Uniqlo, and buy tops from White Company, Boden, White Stuff ( plain not print), and this year I am much more into dresses ( plain like this one thick tights and boots.

Also- do you like Jigsaw? Some of it's frimpy but the quality IMO is good- and I like some of theri knitwear and dresses, but wait for the sales.

Rather than sloppy jumpers, I tend to buy fitted jumpers but in a size bigger than normal. That way they still skim curves because of the shape of them, don't cling but don't add bulk/make me look bigger than I am in the way that a really baggy one can. I have a wonderful old cowl necked one from Urban Outfitters that is really flattering and easy to wear but am struggling to find anything similar and it's really on its last legs.

faustina Sun 16-Sep-12 15:33:36

remus - I look stupid in anything too tunicy. the does my bum look 40 woman looks fantastic but I think she is v v tall and has long legs. I like sloppy jumpers so long as they aren't too long. I bought this the other day, and I think it looks really nice with skinnies - it's v thin so not too bulky

faustina Sun 16-Sep-12 15:34:30

oops, sorry not remus - racing heart!

racingheart Sun 16-Sep-12 15:49:06

I really like this but have no idea if it is frumpy or not. Honest opinions?

I tend to prefer slouchy stuff that covers my bum as, to be fair to the world, it really doesn't want to see my bum. But it can't be too long.

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