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Fuck. I look like a middle aged frump.

(270 Posts)
NumTumDeDum Mon 03-Jun-13 23:50:54

Have just video'd myself discussing cheese (I'm not mental it's for a consumer feedback thing). Anyway, just played it back and to my absolute horror I look rough as a badgers arse, about 10 years older than I am, and like I had a hard life. I'm overweight, and my hair is clearly the wrong colour and style (well actually there doesn't appear to be a style unless you count crap as a style). My clothes are ill fitting and don't suit me.

I have tried to remind myself that I only had a baby 6 months ago and I'm sleep deprived but it's not working.

Just talked to DP mainly to berate him for letting me go out in public and he says he doesn't like what I'm wearing and that it ages me. I have on a pair of awful bootcut jeans from Primark that I bought after birth for the awkward transition from maternity jeans to normal clothes, and a black sort of smock top. A lot of my jeans are cheap bootcuts. I may be stuck in a 90s timewarp (I'm 34). I do have a pair of skinnies in black and dp likes those.

My budget is extremely small as we've only the one income and two DC.

Where do I start?! Help a desperate woman please!

deleted203 Mon 03-Jun-13 23:56:09

Have no help to give (except to shout 'Hooray, I'm not the only one') but wanted to say I haven't heard anyone, barring my own family, use the expression 'rough as a badger's arse' for years and I am wildly excited to see it does still get bandied around!

(Good luck and I may lurk for advice from the sartorially proficient).

OneLittleLady Mon 03-Jun-13 23:56:43

30 day shred dvd (i got it for £4.99 in debenhams) that should help with the weight, i warn you, it is very hard.

Can you home colour your hair? What colour is it now? is it too light or too dark?

Primark do cheap skinnies or if you can stretch a bit further, New Look do good ones and they aren't too pricey

Grab a few cheap vests from primark for layering and some t-shirts in different lengths and colours

Don't go overboard with clothes if you're going to lose weight though.

RachelHRD Mon 03-Jun-13 23:59:41

I had to do some videos for market research and I ended up doing them with my sunglasses on as I just couldn't look at all those grey hairs for that long...
I feel your pain x

NumTumDeDum Tue 04-Jun-13 00:00:27

Yay solidarity for frumps! Frumps unite! And er, go shopping, hopefully. And come back with things that look nice.

aftermay Tue 04-Jun-13 00:03:11

You only need a good top for the videos, I imagine. So don't worry about the jeans. Make up, tidy eyebrows (but not in the caterpillar category), smile. Just get the money and forget about it smile

NumTumDeDum Tue 04-Jun-13 00:07:20

Yes I think my hair is too light. Last time I dyed it I went for dark brown but that made me look sallow. I can't work out what my colours are. I think I need to go for a brown but a cool one rather than one with red tints if that makes sense?

I do really want to lose a bit more weight. I'm back to pre pregnancy but I was overweight to start with. Not sure when I can fit the shred in but I'm marrying DP in September so I think I had better find the time!

OneLittleLady Tue 04-Jun-13 00:20:06

If you need a cool toned brown, you need to look for something with ash in it I think. Try a semi permanent first so if it's wrong, at least it will wash out! I believe you can google what the numbers on dye boxes mean which might give you a better idea of what to look out for.

Also, tidy your eyebrows (it will make a massive difference, I promise)

Before you decide on make up, sort your hair colour as you might find the colours of your make up change as you change your hair.

Shred is a 20 minute workout. doesn't sound like much but it's hard, it really makes you feel it! Even a couple of times a week will make a small difference but obviously, the more you can fit in the bigger the difference.

Get fitted properly for a bra if you haven't already. if you need help with that, head over to the bra thread, the ladies there will help you.


NumTumDeDum Tue 04-Jun-13 00:30:49

Thanks! I will need the bra thread, that's another thing - I'm stuck in these awful nursing bras which don't hold me up very well and I'm in an f/g cup - probably wrong, didn't have a lot of faith in the bra fitter at M&S.

Right. Off to Boots tomorrow and then to make an appointment with a hairdresser.

Pusspuss1 Tue 04-Jun-13 05:30:33

What about setting yourself a weight loss goal and saving up a bit in the meantime, then making an appointment with a free personal shopper in one of the department stores? I did it once and it was great - you can try on loads of stuff and they'll suggest ideas and help you pull together an outfit or two for when you need to look good.

You might also get your colours done or buy the CMB book which is cheaper and will mean you can work it out yourself.

Don't go on film again without a trim and professional blow dry, at the very least! :-)

Sunnysummer Tue 04-Jun-13 06:29:55

Have you got any good hairdressing schools nearby? You can get cuts and colours for feee or very cheaply from trainees - most of these will be pretty good (and fixed by the teachers if not) and if you hate your current style then the risk is low in any case!

For clothing - agree that primark etc can be great in the short term, but its also nice to have better quality things that will last more than a few washes, especially as from the sound of it you're not a frequent shopper. Do you have brands that you like but maybe can't afford? Save a search on eBay and gumtree, and if you're patient you'll see loads of good quality second hand or new but unworn bargains come up :-)

Last but not least... Before you start any big transformation, there are some great style blogs to look at for inspiration, or just go on Pinterest and make yourself a look book, it can really help direct your hairdresser and clothes search! hope it's all fun :-)

Callycat Tue 04-Jun-13 08:56:07

I'm sure you look better than you think. I know on me badly fitting clothes can add a good few pounds (more so 'cause I'm short). And a poor night's sleep adds a good five years.

A good night's rest (easier said than done with a 6-month old, I know) and a new outfit will do a lot to make you feel better.

DoctorRobert Tue 04-Jun-13 09:38:29

Re jeans, I found jeggings (good quality ones, not thin ones) a life-saver after I had DD. Elasticated obviously, so perfect for that pre-baby transition back to normal jeans - but as long as the waistband is hidden, it looks like you're wearing skinnies. You might feel a bit less frumpy than in bootcuts?

Startail Tue 04-Jun-13 09:49:02

Sainsbury's tops are much better quality than Primark, they wash really nicely.

I second jeggins I live in M&S ones (they actually have jeans waist bands, but very stretchy).

NumTumDeDum Tue 04-Jun-13 10:36:56

Thank you all! There is a college salon down the road but having enquired I can't take my son with me as no children allowed on site so that's out. Might be an option when my mum comes to stay. For now I've got a medium brown dye to try at home until I can decide on a style and arrange a cut.

It's definitely a case of starting to look around me and see what other people are wearing. I popped in New Look earlier but had no clue. Pinterest is a good idea. I love French Connection but don't think it suits - think short and dumpy hour glass with a short body and long legs.

Hazelbrowneyes Tue 04-Jun-13 10:37:04

Get thee to Tesco if you have a limited budget. I've bought dresses, work clothes, jeans, tops, jumpers, shoes, etc from there a few times in the last year and weirdly, the only time I get complimented is when I'm wearing a Tesco purchase! You can even browse and order online clicky

HellonHeels Tue 04-Jun-13 12:42:15

What kind of hair do you have? Mine is a mess if I leave it unattended (wild, frizzy). Five minutes of blow drying or a quick run over with straighteners really helps me look a bit more put together but I know it can be hard to do if you've got a demanding baby.

I also like a bit of serum or moroccan oil to calm it down without getting greasy and that takes only a minute to do.

I agree with those who said eyebrows make a huge difference. I get mine threaded; if you're in a place with a reasonable-sized Asian population you should be able to find a cheap place to get them done - around £4 or £5.

Get a couple of tops that fit nicely, maybe a more fitted style. If you're carrying some extra weight a closer fitting top (not skin tight) is more flattering than a smock top which (IMO) frumpifies by making you look bigger than you are. V or scoop neck is flattering for larger boobs.

Get the new bra fitted somewhere decent. Bravissimo? Just get one to start with if you're short of cash and losing weight / changing shape, wash it out overnight.

NumTumDeDum Tue 04-Jun-13 14:00:17

Hellonheels, it's very thin and prone to break. I have it just below my shoulders with bad layers which I've been trying to grow out along with a fringe that didn't suit me either. I have blowdried today to try and feel better and it does look a bit better. For some reason my hair always looks terrible straightened. Plus I tend to burn myself. I need to find a good hairdresser. The last one did a terrible job.

NumTumDeDum Tue 04-Jun-13 14:02:11

Smock top will be burned ceremonially well sent off to the charity shop anyway along with the nasty bootcut jeans. If I get rid then I won't be tempted to wear them or make do. Been making do for a long time.

5madthings Tue 04-Jun-13 14:04:30

I just got two new pairs of jeans from next, both skinny jeans, one pair is high waisted and they are great! Have had lots of compliments.

One pair was £22 and the other £28

5madthings Tue 04-Jun-13 14:07:10

Oh and I have done couch25k and continued running and lost a stone, I have another half a stone to lose and am going to get the shred DVD to help but couch25k was great, free and really easy to follow and fit in with kids etc.

HellonHeels Tue 04-Jun-13 16:58:18

Walking is really good exercise and something you can do with the baby in the buggy. Tackle some hills / inclines. It will tone your legs and I find it pulls in my stomach if I walk a reasonable distance regularly.

Sounds like you've made some progress already though, OP!

Clothes-wise, have a look at ebay - I've just bought a pair of Gap jeans for a fiver. If you can get into a Gap and try different ones on you'll know what size and shape you need then you can search for them. There seems to be a lot of current styles on ebay. Same probably applies for M&S or Next jeans.

Absy Tue 04-Jun-13 17:10:18

This is another simple, effective, and free thing that you can do.

Practice standing up straight, shoulders back, stomach in. People ALWAYS look better when they have good posture, it can make you look slimmer and apparently standing in an authoritative stance can make you feel better about yourself and more confident.

Start when you're pushing the buggy around or just walking around at home, and slowly it will become habit rather than something you consciously do.

unapologetic Tue 04-Jun-13 17:28:51

My favourite stretchy skinny bright blue jeans are from Asda! I tried on a pair recently in Karen Millen and they were about £100 and not as comfortable as the Asda ones (comfort being important when you are a frump.) But they actually quite stylish.

howiwonder Tue 04-Jun-13 18:06:48

yes yes yes, are you me? could have written your post - minus the cheese research part. also 34 with a 6 mo ds2, feel like i have really aged in the past year...
Problem is, lately I feel like I maybe should just accept it and be a frump. like im not actually that bothered. thats not good, is it? am losing the will to clothes shop....shall go and check out some of the links and tips above in an effort to get my mojo back

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