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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!

NumTumDeDum Wed 05-Jun-13 20:54:58

Gah the typos I'm making today! Fat fingers + iphone.

HelgatheHairy Wed 05-Jun-13 21:09:13

Can I join the frump club please?

I'm currently 31 weeks pregnant and today ended up wearing one of DHs t-shirts IN PUBLIC!!!! It was the only thing that fit. Ended up desperation buying 2 maternity t-shirts I don't think really suit me and a dress as its REALLY hot here (south west Ireland)

I know there's not a lot I can do till PFB arrives but if I even managed to get a skin care routine in place it would help. DH has decided to try to get a bit healthier as well and is talking bout one or two low/no carb dinners a week - anyone know if that would be safe for me?

xTillyx Wed 05-Jun-13 21:28:27

I think if you're planning on losing weight you should start putting whatever you can to one side and save a little bit for new clothes in your final size. I'm a bit in between sizes at the minute so I've been wearing quite plain clothes like a long vest and jeggings but a nice pair of sandals brightens it up. Maybe give youself a 'uniform' for day to day wear such as plain tee, skinny jeans and blazer so you don't get stuck what to wear. If your hair,nails etc are nice you will feel loads better x

howiwonder Wed 05-Jun-13 22:03:42

drank 2 litres of water today thanks to this thread - havent stopped weeing all day!

NumTumDeDum Wed 05-Jun-13 22:26:36

I've had a lot of water today too, but I've had a headache all day, and I'm wondering if that's caffiene withdrawal as I normally drink tea. I don't think it can be a bad thing to cut down though.

ivanapoo Thu 06-Jun-13 09:10:20

Some great suggestions here. I couldn't sleep last night as kept thinking about how young I looked 10 years ago. Sob. Even 2 years ago I looked way less frumpy.

Anyway my advice is:

Stop wearing black. It does very few people any favours.

Wear more fitted stuff. Baggy clothes aren't flattering on anyone.

Charity shops are your friend. A lot of stuff in fashion at the mo is unflattering (crop tops, 90s revival, dungarees?).

If you want to de-frump, by on-trend accessories. I might get one of those giant statement necklaces to wear over plain tops.

HandMini Thu 06-Jun-13 10:00:24

Yes yes to charity shops. I bought a really nice Hobbs denim skirt last week and I do not even live in a naice area full of women emptying their spring/summer 2012 wardrobes into Oxfam. I wish.

Thanks for the Gap and MS tshirt tips. My other t shirt tip is don't expect them to last that long. Three or four mid price ones will see you through the summer, wear them under jumpers in winter, then chuck them. T-shirts have to be pretty fresh to look nice, even if they're expensive ones.

Lets start a frump club. Everyone must chuck out an item of clothing every week, including ratty knickers and bobbled PJs.

NumTumDeDum Thu 06-Jun-13 10:24:12

I've added tartan shirts and a massive white overshirt which makes me look pregnant to the charity shop pile. White looks rubbish on me, no idea why I kept it. The tartan shirts are rejects from my mum. I really think that ought to have told me something... Not much left in wardrobe now but I love this idea of a uniform of sorts until I lose the weight. I can totally see how that is going to help me reduce stress in the mornings getting dressed. And yes to the on trend accessories. My sister does this and always looks amazing. Mind you she has the budget and no children.

HandMini Thu 06-Jun-13 10:35:46

Right, my plan for shopping is this:

Things to buy with wild abandon, in crazy colours, from cheapo shops, to try and appease your inner hipster: Sandals, necklaces, scarves, earrings, lipsticks, belts, bags.

Things to buy from M&S or Gap or similar following careful consideration and only if the item fits well: jeans, tshirts, long line cardigans, all in plain colours and shapes.

Nothing more exciting than that. Once I have got the basics of jeans and tshirts sorted, I will venture on to more exciting dresses, skirts, shirts etc. I will report back if anyone's interested.

HandMini Thu 06-Jun-13 10:36:17

Well done Num, your local charity shop will love you.

NumTumDeDum Thu 06-Jun-13 10:43:51

Next problem is my bras. I put on a t I know suits my shape except that today it looks crap. The reason being that my boobs are about an inch and a half too low. Damn nursing bras. Are underwired nursing bras any cop? I don't want to waste money if they're not. I

hattyyellow Thu 06-Jun-13 10:45:21

Your outfit can be fairly simple if you have good haircut, nice bag that fits baby stuff in (accessorise do some fairly cheap but on trend ones) - my SIL introduced me to bag inserts for carrying nappy stuff as I always felt really frumpy with a big baby bag. They are a waterproof zip bag which goes inside a normal bag. Might be just me that had never heard of them!

Oh and I get my toenails pedicured and painted at my local salon and that works wonders (my one beauty expense). I always tell my hairdresser that my haircut needs to last and my pedicure lady that my nails need to last and she puts about 6 coats on! My last nail paint was last month and it's still intact!

Gap & H&M shirts I find work wonders with skinny jeans and flats. H&M do good, cheap straight legged trousers in cotton. Comfortable for running around after small children. I feel more pulled together in a cotton shirt than a long sleeved breton t-shirt as I still have a bit of a tummy 4 years on from last DC birth and the t-shirt tends to cling. Shirts have to be at least semi-fitted though, baggy ones I think can make you feel more frumpy.

HandMini Thu 06-Jun-13 10:47:05

Num, are you still in the midst of breastfeeding? Honest answer is don't spend a fortune trying to buy amazing nursing bras. Not worth it as they are (or should be) soft and not designed to mould or shape you, but just to support the nork close to its natural position/shape. Do you know / plan how long you will bf? Just wait till you're done, then buy lovely bras, as your bomb shape will prob change quite a bit anyway. Mine are way smaller having bf one baby for 8 months and another for 3 months.

HandMini Thu 06-Jun-13 10:48:41

Hatty, awesome tip on the haircut, I'm going to get mine done on Tues, hurray.

Where do you buy your shirts? Apart from the fact I have to iron them, I prefer shirts too.

xTillyx Thu 06-Jun-13 11:00:40

Sounds like you ladies are on the right track. I feel much better having a smaller but more wearable wardrobe. I only really go clothes shopping now to stock up my basics or if I need something for an event and its more enjoyable because I can focus on what I need.

Good luck updating your wardrobes, I think you'll enjoy it x

Laquila Thu 06-Jun-13 11:01:54

New Look skinny jeans are excellent (and I've tried zillions of pairs!), wash well, and are fairly cheap.

I would say try to only buy things that look as if they could feasibly be expensive. They don't have to BE expensive, but this is a rule that has served me well over the years. If you're unsure of fit, err on the side of caution and buy th bigger size. There's not much more unflattering than seeing someone squeezed into too-small clothing.

As a general rule, I find colours such as beiges, blues and greys are most flattering to the majority of colourings, and also easy to mix together without too much clashing. In my experience, bright or "artificial" colours rarely look expensive. Again, I find that more natural fabrics generally wash better and are more flattering - avoid pure nylon or polyester, but remember that a bit of Lycra can be a godsend!

I second the advice re comfortable, supportive bras - these will make a big difference to how you feel and look.

Paint your toenails, tidy up eyebrows (I tint mine every few weeks) and moisturise all over daily if poss (or use Palmers Body Oil in the bath or shower). Work out whether your face suits silver or gold jewellery better and buy a small pair of everyday earrings in that colour - I find small drop ones best - the right ones will help light up your face. Mine were little gold feathers from Oliver Bonas - £8 and they make such a difference!


hattyyellow Thu 06-Jun-13 11:02:49

Thanks handmini (have just chucked out some bobbled long sleeved tops in your honour!)

H&M are worth digging through to find good shirts. They feel enough on trend without feeling like mutton dressed as lamb (am 38). With straight/skinny jeans and trousers it's a fairly easy uniform! I went into their Oxford street branch last month and tried on a massive pile of shirts - check/dots/plain and found 3 that fitted really well - fitted at waist without being clingy..they brighten up skinny jeans without feeling over the top

As someone else said, worth looking in Gap as they permanently seem to have a sale, their fitted shirts are cotton and wear well..i have gap jeans too and would not live without them, they're often on special offer - plus in my opinion, gap are vanity sizing gone mad, i'm often a size 8 in jeans there and i'm certainly not anywhere else - i know their sizes are a bit crazy but it does make me feel better!

Laquila Thu 06-Jun-13 11:06:33

Just had another thought - I bought a half-price jersey blazer in Zara a few months ago and it has been soooo useful! It's cream/beige marl, but washes quite well, and I think marl fabrics tend not to show the dirt too badly anyway. It doesn't crease much and worn open with rolled-up sleeves it smartens anything up without actually looking formal. Recommended!

NumTumDeDum Thu 06-Jun-13 11:07:18

I am bf, but longing to wear clothes that don't require access. I have some nice sundresses but I can't wear them as I'd have to get undressed. I'm trying to get baby to take a bottle (without any success) because I have a friend's 30th birthday party coming up in July which requires an overnight stay. I very much doubt I'll be able to express enough and DP is very stressed at the prospect so I want ds to be happy to drink formula occasionally plus I really think I'd like to do away with bf now because he won't go to sleep unless it's on me and I would really like to be able to go out for more than two hours without worrying about feeding. Anyway, that's a whole other thread but effectively you've nailed what I was thinking, which was a trip to Bravissimo once he's stopped breadtfeeding and get two really good bras.

Startail Thu 06-Jun-13 11:17:20

If you Carry in BFing, ditch the nursing bras.

It's way easier just to push an ordinary non wired bra up out the way and flick it back than fight with ford evil clips.

After a year or so I just retuned to perfectly ordinary underwired ones, which just take a touch more practice to flick out the way.

DD2 hated underwired bras and used to tell me so, at great length. She wasn't keen, a) because she couldn't just turn any cuddle in to a feed and b) if I did let her feed she had to keep still and be sensible or the bra bonked her on the nose.

xTillyx Thu 06-Jun-13 11:24:55

I want that Zara blazer now it sounds perfect. I need a neutral one. I just got a jersey one from New Look in a blush/nude kind of pink. If anyone is interested they have it in a mint colour and navy.

IWillDoItInAMinute Thu 06-Jun-13 12:02:11

Frump club joiner

warning the shred is a killer!!!
Did it for 4 days, everyday something new ached!!
Then DC were ill and then away for half term and now hiding under duvet due to D&V and excessively MNetting grin

Continuing the badger theme - as rough as a badgers armpit

Laquila Thu 06-Jun-13 12:05:37

Tilly was it the unstructured, slightly textured one from New Look? I saw that in a green but knew it wouldn't quite suit me. Next have a nice one in grey and navy and I've seen a couple in BHS too. A jersey blazer is the kind of thing I used to look at and think, WHY would you buy that?!, but know I have one it all makes sense ;)

xTillyx Thu 06-Jun-13 13:43:03

Yes that one! Hehe I know I used to think they're horrible but the smarter ones don't look right on me x

HandMini Thu 06-Jun-13 14:43:32

This one? Lovely.

Right, I'm already breaking my shopping rule above...must get the basics right first.

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