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Whether you’re a beauty novice or a confirmed fashionista, this topic is for consulting Mumsnetters on all things style-related. Plus, check out our Swears By page for the inside track on the next Mumsnet must-have.

Share your best style tips please :-)

(135 Posts)
Hamwidgeandcheps Sun 28-Jul-13 19:33:31

I have seen some really glamorous, put together mums in the last week, out and about. I can't seem to dress myself for when I am with the dds anymore hmm

If you look amazing at soft play and such like please tell me what you wear and where you shop. Tia

SundaySimmons Mon 29-Jul-13 15:22:44

Iron your clothes, nothing looks worse than an item of clothing that looks obviously unironed.

Dirty and well worn footwear also looks grim. No matter how much you love them or how comfy they are a grubby pair of shoes or sandals looks revolting. As does dry skin/calloused feet in sandals.

lifesgreatquestions Mon 29-Jul-13 15:24:02

I second, etc., the wardrobe edit. Don't keep things that you don't like, that don't fit or flatter you AND that you never wear. If everything you keep 1) you like, 2) fits and flatters you and 3) you actually wear then what's left in your wardrobe should be safer for those times when you have to throw something on quickly.

misssilverwings Mon 29-Jul-13 15:33:45

any tips where to get a good fitting navy jacket? am 42 and a size 14....

Hamwidgeandcheps Mon 29-Jul-13 15:58:55

Thanks everyone lots of sage advice I needed to hear grin
I hate throwing stuff out it feels v wasteful but I did manage 3 bags to the charity shop last week. I vowed every item that makes me feel crap when I put it on is going grin
It's scary though I have a huge wardrobe and chest of drawers with now hardly any clothes in them hmm
I seem to manage capsule wardrobes with dd1 quite well - then I have a mountain of various unwearable hand me downs....there is a theme of chaos and clutter that infects every area of my life!
I will endeavour to carry on with the wardrobe thinning - thanks for the nag about that I need it grin

My hair is stress itself. People will say oh get a shorter style - which would equal more styling time I don't have! Think I need to invest in and practice with a load of stuff from accessorise - maybe I will ask the girls in there grin
The rest of I accessories I'm scared to even tackle I have lots of things but somehow they are psychologically attached to my divorce somehow - I still wear my wedding earrings most of the time - god that's unhealthy isn't it! I think it's cos I think I don't have any other nice things. I'm not even that hard up I just have almost no independent shopping time and I don't know what to buy. I don't know what I want to even look like exceot im quite conservative and i dont like revealinh clothes. i did like a lot in the new boden book but its dear and I'm scared I will waste cash if I end up not wearing things enough. I def veer toward 60's inspired stuff.
It's just day wear I'm struggling with I was quite happy dressing for dates recently grin

neriberi Mon 29-Jul-13 16:19:58

I'm a huge fan of "the scarf" they have the ability to make a boring outfit look polished and can make you feel a bit more glam especially if the scarf is silk (imho), besides my mum always told me that it's not what you wear, it's how you wear it!

I work in London and see lots of polished ladies everyday, however there's one in particular who gets the same train as me and always looks effortless come rain or shine, she also has the most amazing collection of shoes and bags and great hair.

Paintyourbox Mon 29-Jul-13 16:27:35

Sounds like you need to try some online shopping OP. I take advantage of free postage offers and then try everything on when DD is asleep.

Also, if you find something that you really like, buy the same style in a few colours.

My biggest change was to stop keeping things for "best" and wear nice clothes every day. That and learning to properly blow dry my hair has massively changed how I look.

Parmarella Mon 29-Jul-13 16:32:10

I think accessories are a bad idea with small kids, they pull them!

For me wearing dresses was a discovery. I buy machine washable ones (mainly cotton or viscose). Underwear on, dress on, shoes on. Done!

Then again, I am not the sort of mum who ever went down the slide with her kids, I sort of watch from a respectful distance with a cup of tea!

I have some fab dresses from Whitecompany, Joules, Phaseeight, Mint Velvet, people tree (lovely stuff, a bit retro) etc.

If I want to avoid looking too mumsy, I wear them with cool ankle boots (not mum boots natch) and oversize scarf or card or leather jacket for warmth.

In winter, add tights and thermal vests.

Personally I like to mix it up (floral dress with biker jacket for example).

It has taken me years to find my own style, and now I stick to it. I rarely wear jeans as, actually, they rarely flatter me and are not actually that comfy.

YorkshireTeaGold Mon 29-Jul-13 16:59:53

Totally off topic op but can I just ask why 2 c sections have affected your stomach muscles? Just that I've read a couple of similar comments on here and, as I'm having my second section soon am a bit scared! I looked fine after my first, am not a skinny Minnie and didn't "snap" back into shape but after a year and some diet and exercise I was ok. Did your second make a big difference?

Back on topic! Don't be afraid to unshop... I take back half the stuff I buy. If you love something get it and hang it on your bedroom door, if you don't still love it or wear it for a week or two, take it back. It takes the pressure off shopping.

Wibblytummy Mon 29-Jul-13 17:00:41

Any tips for an alternative on the blazer/jacket for big boobed? Blazers no matter how beautiful always make me look like Ms Trunchbull with these huge norks and a cardigan never feels groomed or pretty...

Hamwidgeandcheps Mon 29-Jul-13 17:14:51

Yorkshire - actually I'm in much better shape than after dd1 - but I paid for a pt to sort out my figure - he has been amazing but my stomach skin isn't v firm despite being able to see my abs through it. I am worried I get a muffin top even if jeans are quite loose unless they have a higher waist. I need stretchy stuff to pull me in hence leggings under dresses make me feel quite slim but jeans and shorter tops make me quite paranoid.

Parma - I looked up people tree they are quite promising I liked lots of the clothes thanks grin

williaminajetfighter Mon 29-Jul-13 17:22:33

I think structured clothes make all the difference especially as we get older. Floaty skirts and tops look too dishevelled and far too 'Stevie Nicks'.

I also think dresses look best on me rather than trousers so go for a combination of Long sleeve dresses and some short sleeve with matching cardi but always good quality and with some structure. Wool or cashmere cardi where possible worn with tights and boots or heels is always an easy look.

For weekends I go for jersey dresses from the white company with leggings and boots or loafers.

Be careful with patterns as an be hard to pull off especialy some of the bonkers boden patterns Block colours are more classic and ensure you have some good block navy, black, beige and grey.

Good shops for classic clothes: Hobbs, jaeger. It's worth paying a bit more for quality than having loads of flimsy stuff from George at Asda. That's not meant to sound snobby it's just that ultimately you'll get more wear out of quality items.

Invest in a good quality coat for winter and mac for summer.

Good quality shoes and bags are key - that are well looked after.

Hamwidgeandcheps Mon 29-Jul-13 17:35:52

Oooh I like the tunics at white company grin I'm finding this thread v helpful grin
I think more tunics and dresses and some boots are what I need to but this autumn

Pixiepie Mon 29-Jul-13 17:49:52

People always comment about how i am well turned out. Tbh, i love clothes but probably have had a few fashion mistakes. I dont bother with my eyebrows - plucking them that is. They have a good shape. I do take care of my skin and try to eat a healthy enough diet although i do have times of temptation but we all do! I have a full length mirror to check what i look like from behind and experiment with things. I love jewellery and always wear earrings or a necklace with my clothes and agree that this looks like you have made an effort.

dirtyface Mon 29-Jul-13 18:09:09

my one is more beauty related, but has changed my life

i had semi permanent eyebrows done (as mine have been almost none existent all my life)

i just look so much more groomed and put together, even when i have no other make up on.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Mon 29-Jul-13 18:19:26

I once read that the most important things are (in this order): hair, skin, figure. I'd agree. Skin probably includes good make-up and eyebrows.

I look better now in my thirties than I ever have before and I think it's down to finally sorting out the above.

Hamwidgeandcheps Mon 29-Jul-13 18:29:10

Where did you get your eyebrows done and how much?

dirtyface Mon 29-Jul-13 18:46:36

a place called infinity hair and beauty in northampton

i think they have a few different branches though

just amazing, honestly, would recommend to anyone with shit eyebrows grin

goodjambadjar Mon 29-Jul-13 18:47:49

I get my eyebrows done at a benefit brow bar. They can normally be found in the beauty department of big shops like Debenhams and House of Fraser.

goodjambadjar Mon 29-Jul-13 18:48:19

Sorry, forgot to say about 12 quid.

FairyTrain Mon 29-Jul-13 18:55:18

Brilliant thread!
I had my "colours done" by House of Colour, sounds slightly middle aged (which I'm not!) but helped me work out the best colours that work for me. I now have a scarf that I can wear with fairly casual clothes and look amazing and dressed up as its exactly the rights colours for me. Was he best £99 i have spent.

Steamedcabbage Mon 29-Jul-13 19:21:43

Wibblytummy I am huge of nork and the trick to finding jackets is to find one that fits your shoulders (not your bust) and then wear it open (poss with a scarf) with dark toned top underneath. Has to be shapely fit though and not square or short or boxy in cut or it will flap open ifyswim and not lie flat to your sides. Also, always buy in dark colour or you end up looking like a baker well I do anyway. Wierdly, my best buy this year has been an M & S navy blazer for about 79 quid! Fits really well. Pepperberry is another option (I've never tried them personally- but lots of Mnsetters have recommended them.)

I second Wilheminia's recommendation of Hobbs and Jaegar and wearing more structured clothing as you age. YOu have to be more ruthless once you reach your mid-forties and cut out the froth and be wary of fly away hair and crumpled linen.

Am envy of your abs Hamwidge I think one of the best tricks of all to looking smart - whatever one's size - is keeping a good firm figure which I have singularly failed to do

mameulah Mon 29-Jul-13 19:26:06

As I am sitting in slippers, black leggings and an over sized top I don't think I have much to add.

Just to say, this is an awesome thread!

ShoeWhore Mon 29-Jul-13 19:34:57

My neighbour always looks very groomed - she always looks expensive even though I know she mixes very cheap and more expensive stuff together. She has quite a classic, neutral style (dare I say it, perhaps a tad boring?!), knows which shapes suit her and which don't and sticks to a fairly limited palette (lots of navy and tan, a little white and very occasional splash of red) which again is right for her colouring. She always always has immaculate blow dried hair and subtle makeup on too.

I'm a bit more adventurous and slapdash personally grin

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 29-Jul-13 19:56:39

my best style tup - make a flipping effort fgs.

You aren't dressing up " for something" you are making the best of yourself - you might decry it as shallow etc but jeez having kids isnt the end of your life.

LadyMilfordHaven Mon 29-Jul-13 19:57:04

agree - brows, brush your hair. iron your clothes. Plan what you are wearing etc

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