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what to wear - 40 and frumpy!!!

(8 Posts)
hopehopehope Sun 07-Apr-13 15:50:33

Hi, I would really appreciate some advice on clothes. I'm going to be 40 in a few months time and feel fed up with my non existent wardrobe! I've got three small children and am currently a sahm so money is very tight. We're moving house shortly so all our savings are being wiped out with solicitors, valuation, removals etc. Used to have lovely clothes from Boden, Joules etc pre children with full time well paid job but have worn these to death and they are ready for for the rag bag! As are undies etc.

I rarely go out in the evenings with dh as we have no family anywhere near to babysit so really just need day wear for taking children out and about. I'm a petite 8 on top, 10 on bottom but am quite flat chested. Had been wearing 34a but according to the bra thread should be a 30c. I tried this size on but found the cups a bit small, yay! Will need to go bra shopping without children and try on more styles and sizes. Feel self conscious of flabby arms which seem out of proportion with my top half so prefer short or 3/4 sleeves rather than sleeveless tops.

I've found some flattering lift & support jeans at next which I love and plan to buy another few pairs next pay day. Skinny jeans make me look dumpy. Have also bought 4 pairs of new leggings from Sainsburys luxury range.

I need lots of tops that will flatter a small chest/flabby arms and tunic tops to wear with my leggings. A casual jacket and cardigans would be great too as would some summer dresses but I don't know where to start. Love vintage floral styles but don't want to look too mumsy. Would love a new bag that would fit in my purse, nappies etc, have seen the city kidston biker bag but don't know if it would be a bit tacky?

I really need to keep to a tight budget but want to buy clothes that will wash well and not fall to bits. Any ideas would be appreciated, seem to have lost my way a bit. Many thanks.

cornygrigio Sun 07-Apr-13 16:35:27

there's always loads of boden on there if you know your size

h&m are great though and a good price

cornygrigio Sun 07-Apr-13 16:35:57

also there are some dresses in the sale at brora

MarathonMama Sun 07-Apr-13 17:02:02

search google for the blog 'does my bum look 40 in this'. You may get some ideas, she mixes expensive clothes with cheapies!

ToastedTeacakes Sun 07-Apr-13 18:07:58

First of all, 40 is no barrier to having fun with style, so don't fall into that trap! In the general scheme of things we are still pretty young (IMO) and I would say turning 40 is a very good time to enjoy a rethink about our existing wardrobe. It doesn't have to be hard work, or a painful comparison to the past.

What about some decent 3/4 sleeve dresses and tops? I am small norked too and many blouses simply billow and hang off me, and I do prefer to cover my arms. Warehouse often have tops in this style, fairly affordable with a decent shape. You could also try a round neck Breton tee (long sleeve) from places like GAP. I have one from Oasis (25 quid) which is good.

Button down shirts sound like a good option for you, too. I like them slightly fitted, and you will have no issues with popping buttons! A nice checked shirt worn with straight leg or boyfriend cut jeans could look great for day to day stuff.

I am lowish income, but tend to buy only occasionally so that I can purchase more expensive things (bags, coat, etc). Make these your good quality basics and perhaps spend more on them than easily replaceable stuff like tees and cardi's, etc. Good shoes are also important. Have a look at ankle boots to wear with jeans all year round, and a nice pair of leather sandals for summer. You can get away with spending much more on the important things if you resist buying copious amounts of cheaper ones, if you see what I mean. It depends upon what you prefer.

ToastedTeacakes Sun 07-Apr-13 18:14:13

And having read your description about a bag, I thought of these:

Some floral, decent quality.

majjsu Sun 07-Apr-13 19:16:03

I am with you there! It's not easy. Have you tried Phase Eight, Hobbs, Mint Velvet and John Lewis and their websites have sales on or outlets available.

QueenCadbury Sun 07-Apr-13 20:24:33

I'm the same age and size (although bigger norks) and also a SAHM. I buy a lot of my basic tops from Dorothy Perkins as they seem to wash well and have even survived the tumble dryer. I have many cardigans, h&m do cheap ones although I'm not convince thy will last well as after a few washes they're looking a bit sorry for themselves. I've always found cardigans good in oasis and warehouse. If you sign up to emails at the shops you like you'll often be sent discount codes.

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