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Oh dear, I've just realised who I dress like :(

(115 Posts)
mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:19:56

Just watching Miranda and I love the program and the character and of course Miranda Hart.

But I don't have a clue about how to dress and I've just realised that I actually dress like Miranda. There was the scene of her at Henly and al the other ladies were in dresses and hats and she was there in black trousers and a plain ish top. She's more 'adventurous' as I'd probably not have even gone to henly and if I did I'd have been so self concious. I wouldn't have worn any colour either, probably just black trousers and an ill fitting black top.

I really don't like the way I dress as I'm sure I'd have more confidence if I could get it right, but I've just turned 44 and am slowly thinking that I am beyond help.

I've asked for help on here, and have been to see a personal shopper both in a dept store and hired a lady to come shopping with me but I am still clueless. In both cases they couldn't help me with much as I'm actually a bit of an odd shape and clothes just don't fit me. I'm a sort of hourglass/pear shape. Big boods (34G) size 14/16. Huge 27" thighs and massive calves that don't fit in boots.

I asked on here the other day for help with tops and had some good suggestions, but when I went into John Lewis to have a look I felt totally bamboozled and like a deer in headlights. I didn't know where to start looking so I just aimlessly wondered around so that my ds could have a run around and then came home. I must have spent a fortune on parking costs the number of times I've done this. I don't actually venture into shops for clothes shopping anymore as it's too depressing as I don't really like how I look and always feel inferior to the many stylish women I see everyday. I don't read magazines or things like that as they generally make me feel even more frumpy than I do anyway.

I've asked for help maybe 2 or 3 times on here before and there have always been some really lovely helpful replies. But I just can't seem to put these ideas into practice.

I guess I feel worse as I have to leave the house every morning for the school run.

I've also ordered loads of clothes from online places and mostly send them all back.

If I look on something like Style Adviser on Boden, then I hate the shape I see that is my shape and hate all the recommended clothes.

If I see something/anything in a shop or online I might look at it but then actually question whether it's nice or not. Mostly I haven't got a clue what I like on me. I know what sort of style I think I like if I see it on others, but the fact that I couldn't get away with it is quite depressing.

How am I supposed to reconcile and accept the shape I am and then how do I go about getting help to find clothes that I feel good in and can start feeling more confident and better about myself in.

What is wrong with me? Am I beyond help? Will I forever feel inferior and never break out of this constant confusion about how to better myself. Maybe I should post this in Mental Health.

Sorry for my long post. Just needed to talk to someone about this and I don't really have anyone to talk to apart from a DP who doesn't understand. sad

Born2bemild Fri 21-Sep-12 22:23:30

Apart from the calves you sound very similar shaped to me. How tall are you?
My advice would be to stop thinking about style, and focus on occasions. What events do you need clothes for?

mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:28:31

Hi Born2bemild. I'm 5'6". I don't really have any occasions I'm thinking of. Just everyday stuff, so school run, shopping, coffee mornings, parents events/evenings. I tend to not bother going out more than I have to as I just don't have stuff to wear and I'm so so tired of feeling rubbish all the time, if that makes sense. I don't really focus on style, that's just a word for something I don't really think I have. I think I also worry about what people think/will think of me. It's all really quite difficult and is really impacting on my life. I have a young DD and DS and don't want them to be like me. So would like to feel better so I can be a good role model for them.

thanks so much for replying.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Fri 21-Sep-12 22:29:06

forget this lot, as brilliant as they are... promise me you'll phone John Lewis and ask the personal shopper to take you round. you just sound like your style confidence has disappeared, but that's EXACTLY what their job is. be honest, tell the person you need kindness and to be led by the hand a bit. and try on everything they tell you, it's just a day of dress-up. you will be AMAZED at how brilliant you can look.

Born2bemild Fri 21-Sep-12 22:37:29

That's what I meant. Events is the wrong word. No point having stuff that's nice but not used. Anyway you're about an inch taller, but otherwise similar. Personally I need a heel to make me feel more "balanced", but comfy for everyday. I'd start with a decent wide calf knee boot. Opens up dress and jean ootions.

mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:38:28

Thanks Aitch smile

The personal shopper in a department store was JL but I think I was maybe unlucky as they didn't have a lot of stuff in stock on the day I went.

I did actually call and make an appointment for a personal shopper on the day I went to have a look at the MN recommendations but started this thread as I'm feeling like I don't want to waste their time. If you're saying they're actually happy to help someone like me, then that's really good to hear.

I've just remembered that I've also had one of those sessions in selfrgidges in london. With that one I just didn't see what they were telling me that they saw and then I felt like 'they would say that,wouldn't they'.

I won't cancel the JL appt and will do as you say and tell them how I feel. Thanks so much for replying. My appt is on the 1st of October so fingers crossed they can help me.

Just so you know, before having kids I was the same. I used to be fine at work as I had a uniform of a suit, but even then I wouldn't take my jacket off no matter how hot it was as I could never find a decent top that looked okay under the jacket or by itself with just trousers. So I used to wear little snug bright coloured tops which added a small triangle of colour ( I used to feel brave about that confused) and didn't bulk me out. I was a size 12 back then but still had the same lack of confidence, which is why I wondered if I'm sort of beyond help.

Thanks for your advice. I'll definitely keep that appt now. smile

Born2bemild Fri 21-Sep-12 22:40:48

Tbh, this sounds like more than just lack of clothes confidence. It's so tiring with small children, and hard to prioritise yourself. It does make you feel better when you feel confident though.

mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:41:13

Thanks Born. Do you know of any good wide calf boot retailers that sell stuff that aren't too expensive.

I can do about an inch heel, but anything higher causes my toe bones to rub together. I hurt my foot years ago and for the last 6 years, I've been living in MBT's (the same pair) or fitflops when it's warmer.

Born2bemild Fri 21-Sep-12 22:42:35

I should add that these days I feel quite good, even though I'd like to be a bit slimmer. It can happen!

mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:43:11

I think you're right Born. But so many other mums seem to manage to deal with kids and still manage time for themselves. I am in awe of them all.

lucjam Fri 21-Sep-12 22:45:16

try Evans for boots or simply be, Duo do them but are expensive. good luck

mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 22:46:08

Hi again Born.

That's great that you feel good. I'd also like to be slimmer but that in itself doesn't really worry me. I just need to get my self 'right' in the head and either accept how I am or do something about it and I don't know how to do either. I'm starting with clothes as that's probably my biggest PITA on a daily basis. DC are 5 and nearly 3 so at an age where we have a routine so things on that front are much easier, than say even a year ago.

What did you do to feel better :-)

Born2bemild Fri 21-Sep-12 22:47:22

I don't, but someone will. I just find that the wrong footwear makes my whole outfit feel out of kilter. Have you tried dressipi website? You put your measurements in, and also stuff on colours and lifestyle. Good for a browse anyway.

Born2bemild Fri 21-Sep-12 22:49:16

I spent more time looking at clothes on websites and magazines. I also realised I didn't have to dress like a "mum".

mewkins Fri 21-Sep-12 22:53:57

Have you got a friend whose style you like and fits in with your lifestyle? even if they're a different size or shape could you ask them to go shopping with you just so you get an idea of the shops they use, etc?
You also need to set aside a whole day and not have dcs with you! there is nothing more stressful than clothes shopping with a small child!
Before you go, make a list of things you'd like eg. new jeans, smart casual tops, jumpers, coat, etc but don't be xonfined to this, just keep a look out in each shop you go into. Try on LOADS of stuff, both of your choosing and your friend's. Even if you think it's not you, give it a may be surprised! also, in most shops the shop assistants wear the merchandise. When you find a shop that feels like 'you' don't be afraid to copy the style of the assistants if you like the way they put outfits togther (you can tweak slightly to suit your own figure etc).
Then once you've bought new clothes, take them home and spend hours trying on different combos with shoes etc. Get a second opinion from a friend if you need tto. Once you're happy with an outfit that works just go for it! don't save it for a special occasion- just wear it and practise accepting compliments!!good luck!

Born2bemild Fri 21-Sep-12 22:55:15

Agree with not saving stuff. Wear it!

mirpuppet Fri 21-Sep-12 23:18:37

With regards to big calves -- many of us have hem. I have found year on year the regular retailers are responding. 5 years ago only elastic boots could fit over my calves. Now M&S; Clarks & Primark boots do.

With regards to style -- is here anything you fill marvelous in? If so wear it more; try and analyze why you like it and try and replicate.

For example I realised I like dress tops tat show off my bust (34B in old system/ 32DD in new) so not huge -- so I got more dresses and tops that do this and feel great (and get compliments).

mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:20:10

Thanks mewkins.

Right, I'll fess up as I've also asked about this on MN before. I don't actually have any friends. sad I got married when I was young and moved around alot and then got divorced and then moved around alot with work, so I've lost touch with friends from school and other than colleagues from work and neighbours. Then I met someone else and settled down, had kids and haven't worked for about 5 years so have lost touch with the people I used to work with. I don't really know anyone, outside of my family that I'm close too. My sisters are lovely, but we all sort of dress the same. My sisters are completely cool with who they are and how they look. It's just me that's sort of stuck.

You idea of taking a day out to do that is great but I just get completely stuck when I get to the shops.

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Fri 21-Sep-12 23:24:16

what is your hair like? are you spending money on it? that was SO important, i thought, with young uns to look after.
what i do, btw, is find something that i know i like and suits me, and then buy a few of them. gap sale is marvelous in this regard.
re JL personal shopper, believe me the 'lost her way' mother is their bread and butter. so long as you're honest with them and game to try stuff on.
good luck, i really hope you nail this, feeling swooshy and good is so important, regardless of how much extra weight you're carrying. <eyes dukan diet book>

LizLemon007 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:24:25

5'6'' is a lovely height. I thought you were six foot two reading your first post, and that could be hard to dress. Have you treated yourself to a personal stylist .... some will come to your house, go through your wardrobe, talk to you, ask what you do and where you go, throw out the worst horrors in your wardrobe! and then when they have a clear idea of who you ARE , then they hit the shops. I would loveto do this. a personal shopper couldn't compare really.

mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:26:33

Thanks mirpuppet. I don't really have anything that I love. I have a wardrobe which has things in it but they either don't fit or are things that I ordered that should have gone back but didn't because I forgot or I felt that I should keep something form the load I ordered on that occassion.

I've never been that comfortable with my boobs on show or in figure hugging clothes but I envy you that you are comfortable with that. It would be great to be free of the hangups I have about myself.

By the way, what changed in the bra fitting system? or am I being a bit dim ?

AitchTwoOhOneTwo Fri 21-Sep-12 23:28:32

i am going to hazard a guess that she went to Bravissimo. grin

CountryBelle Fri 21-Sep-12 23:38:08

U mention that u know what kind of styles u like, but u dont think theyd suit u. Instead of looking out for fashion styles, y not try to look out for people of a similar build to yourself, either in real life or by cutting their pictures out of magazinea etc. That way u might begin to notice what sort of clothes would suit ur shape, or equally important - what does not suit ur shape!!

In the meantime, while ur doing that "research", why not get a nice haircut or visit a make up counter and get some advice there. Treat yourself to a few new products. That might help build your confidence before u tackle clothing!

I wish u well in this, i understand how u feel. We are all r own worst critic. Sometimes i even wonder of this board makes things worse as it makes me question my sense of style on a daily basis when things i like / wear r slated!

For now, focus on pampering yourself. O guarantee the new wardrobe will almost take care of itself when u feel more confident.

Above all else - if u like something, wear it!! Life is too short to worry about what others think of ur clothes!! :-)

mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:47:13

hi again Aitch. I had my hair cut a few weeks ago after about 8 months. It's a good haircut and I feel ok about it and I also recently got fitted for a new bra. I was wearing a 32GG but got measured as a 34G and that's much better. Thanks for what you said about the JL personal shopper, I do feel better and more confident about trying that again. I like the idea of feeling 'swooshy and confident'.

Born, i had my colours done about 12 years ago and found that a waste of time. The woman who I saw looked awful. really and she seemed to be from the school of thought that you had to dress like margaret thatcher and there wasn't any allowance made for the fact that that might not be comfortable for me, at all. Also, I was given a ring boung book with lots of black and white images in with pictures of the sorts of clothes my MIL might wear, which I didn't find at all helpful. I have also tried dressipi and it's a good website and boden also use it (I think) but again I struggle when I get to the shops to try things on and also when it comes to thinking about what will go with the top or trousers or or or.

Lucjam, I'll have a look at Evans, but I don't know if something would be stylish or mumsy? How do you know?

LizLemon, hello. I have used a personal stylist before and she did come to mine and go through my wardrobe and find a few things that I could wear but for some reason I just haven't worn them. She was really nice so I also paid her to go shopping with me, but the way she shopped felt odd. She just grabbed loads of things based on the colours we'd discussed into the basket and then I spent the whole time trying them on. It must have been about 3 hours in the dressing room. She didn't really do what I'd have thought she would which would have been to hand hold and select items based on my shape, what would go with something else etc. and explain how to go about it. It was just wonder around the shop, and grab what she could. She probably had some method but I couldn't see it. Maybe I was just unlucky. I did get one thing, but haven't worn it and it was such an unhelpful experience.

So I feel like I have tried various options (and spent alot on them) but still haven't 'learned' how to shop for myself.

I know I sound so ridiculous. There are people on MN who are really going through so many problems with health or relationships that I feel bad for even dwelling on this, but it has got to the stage where I really need help, so sorry if anyone reads this and thinks I'm a silly cow for worrying over something as trivial as what to wear.

Thanks again to everyone who has replied, especially for being so kind and lovely. xxx

mumat39 Fri 21-Sep-12 23:49:20

Aitch - nope. It was actually M&S in Cornwall while we were on holiday. She was a lovely lady and I have found a new bra that is comfortable for the first time in years. Bravissimo fittings were never quite right for me. So ner ner ner ner ner grin

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