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I'd start with a pair of jeans or two in your preferred style, layering vests and tees in neutral colours, a dress, either tea dress or wrap style, leggings and/or opaque tights and a nice pair of boots. Dorothy Perkins and New look are good starting points for the dresses and jeans, Primark is good for cheap layering vests and tees. That's where I'd start myself.
Depends on your style really, I agree with oneLittleLady & would start with your preferred style of jeans & work from there. You need to try on some jeans, perhaps New Look? Personally I don't see why you can't still shop in the shops you used to shop in as a student- I do for some things & it's 20 yrs ago for me!! I will make my confession now...I like a little bit of Boden plain stuff with no patterns, as I've found it good quality & worth the money, I like their straight leg jeans & I had a jersey blazer last yr that's lovely I think it's a good idea to devote a few hrs/a day to go shopping & try stuff on, perhaps look on Pinterest to get some ideas of stuff you like. Sometimes the things you think will look crap can be fab! I'm 39, curvy 12-14 & there's not 1 default shop I go to, my stuffs a mixture of Boden, phase eight dresses (in the sale!) topshop, monsoon, Dotty p's & loads more but for me Zara doesn't work - I just look too norky in everything! I also don't have much luck in h&m but I still go in sometimes just to see
I know what you mean OP, I havent have the time or money to just browse around the shops post DC so end up if I am not careful buying boring crap from M&s in my lunch hour. Getting properly fitted for bras in Bravissimo has been almost life changing for me, being rather large of nork. Tops look 100% better. Check out the bra intervention thread if you haven't already done so!
pinky thank you for the suggestion. I've already gone up 3 sizes thanks to sc and sorrel
I do like the stuff in Dorothy Perkins and was just a little concerned that, at 33, I'm a bit too old to shop there, but I think DP and Primark may well be my staples when I finally(!) get my afternoon's shopping!
I've not come across White Stuff before so will have a look.
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I always buy my jeans from Next but they fit terribly and (embarrassingly) my fat legs wear through them in about 2 months. I suspect the only way around that is diet and exercise but that is going to have to wait right now.
I'm 30 size 18 and same height as you. I have: 1pair jeans (dorothy Perkins) 1pair jeggings (sainsburys) 1pair leggings (sainsburys) 1 1950's dress from lady v 2 tea dresses (new look) 3long cardies (dp and primark) Variety of long vests some with decoration on neckline (peacocks, primark, new look) Several tops (new look, next primark) 2 1950's cardies (peacocks and Asda) 3 going out dresses (pepperberry, Dorothy Perkins) Lots of scarves! Two tunics That sounds loads!! But I wear for work aswell! Some I buy from ebay too to keep it cheaper. Then I'll wear long cardies, scarves, vests with leggings/jeggings, normal tops with jeans, tunics with leggings/jeggings, dresses with tights . Oh my god i'be rambled. Apologies!
Trazzle I hope you are not too old for Dorothy Perkins, because I'm 42 and still shop there! They have up to 30% off everything until midnight tomorrow, so perhaps have a look online for some basics like leggings, jeans, t-shirts. I noticed they had some really nice tunics and dresses as well when I looked this morning.
Seriously, free yourself and enjoy shopping! Don't allow all that sort of crap to interfere.
For mid thirties onwards I would suggest: Dotty P's! Hobbs. Oasis/Warehouse. Toast (if you're tall and wealthy!) Net a Porter (if you are even wealthier) Cos. Whistles. Next (it gets a lot of hate but there are occasional gems)
And to be in your 30's....is impossible to be 'mutton dressed as lamb'. In fact, this is a bloody horrible term and only serves to restrict women (never men) from enjoying life with fashion and their bodies.
Wear what is appropriate for your lifestyle and body shape, and NEVER sell yourself short. Picture yourself looking back on your mid 30's body from the grand old age of 80, you would probably wish you had experimented and made the most of it all!
I second Uniqlo! Never used to get anything in there, now love the basic tops and colourful scarves (wearing a nice dusky blue top with a bright banana yellow scarf just now!). Nice quality, nice prices.
I still shop in Topshop because I love it. They always have good quality, cool looking cardigans and jumpers and I like their jeans.
Oasis and warehouse occasionally but I think some of their stuff's a bit cheap looking and I'm sick of frigging florals.