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Please help, how would you style a 40 year old student?

(33 Posts)

Having spent 13 years at home, including working from home I think I have probably lost my way a bit.

I am so looking forward to studying and getting back out into the world again but I need clothes. I have binned all the mummy clothes and now I'm stuck. Do I want to go back to being the bohemian I was at 20? would it look ok at 40? probably not confused

I am 5ft5 a size 8-10 and winter colouring.

Any suggestions?

lurkinglorna Tue 17-Sep-13 15:51:43

not right away but i'm gonna be a mature student too, so GOOD LUCK smile

i assume i'll just dress my usual "casual" style which is actually quite classic - as in everything well fitting and in flattering colours - i have a youngish face but like looking every one of my years! comfortable footwear (converse and flat black walking shoes) and a big coat.

i shall admire the kids from a distance, and wipe the floor with them in class smile

GobblersKnob I think I'll join you in the first group. I'm not very organised with nails and make up. I would fall over in heels. Although I have treated myself to some bb cream and mascara this week.

roseofberlin that is a really good point. I am going to be based in the nearest city to me, so I am hoping to get some time for shopping. I will apply for NUS card, they are adding co-op which might help with wine

cafecito I have my uni email set up, so I'll do a search for UNIDAYS, thank you.

cafecito Tue 17-Sep-13 14:44:18

yes that's right. I could never be bothered with an NUS card but UNIDAYS has a website that gives you discounts and you can sign up once you have your uni email address. eg last week was 20% off asos, etc.

roseofberlin Tue 17-Sep-13 14:40:00

If you're going back as a full-time student, don't forget a lot of stores offer a student discount, so might be worth waiting until you have one. Some stores will accept your uni photo ID, but a lot of the chains ask for an NUS extra card now, which takes a bit longer to get as you need to enrol and get the union to verify your student status.

GobblersKnob Tue 17-Sep-13 11:46:58

There seems to be a split between students who look as students have always looked, bohemian/hippy/goth/ecentric etc and also a new breed of deeply polished, beautifully coiffured, 3 inches of slap (girls), duck faced, facebooking, hardwired to their phones creatures.

Their was no way I was joining the latter grin, so I just fell back in with the former. Times have not changed much. No one will even blink an eye at short.

If you are not overly IT savvy, be prepared to do some fast catching up, that was the hardest bit for me. 'You mean I can't just write my essay? With a pen? No? Oh' grin

oh, if only I looked like Anne Hathaway, but yes I am the same colouring.

GobblersKnob I'm hoping the same, but now worrying if there is a different dress code to adhere to. Years ago being a bit bohemian or hippy didn't make me stand out (arts student) I probably blended in grin

I'm going to have a look on line later for dresses, I like dresses with asymmetrical hems or handkerchief hem. I am thinking this way, I can wear short without it being too short? maybe?

GobblersKnob Tue 17-Sep-13 09:34:56

I am a mature student (38) and went back to uni last year, tbf I am doing something creative/artsy, but I am afraid I have found it a great excuse to re-release my inner teen grin I have loved dressing again in stuff that I love and not having to live up to anyones else's expectations of have any sort of dress code, it has been hugely liberating and has allowed me to rediscover my own sense of style and years of slightly mumsy/boring/practical/souless clothes.

cafecito Mon 16-Sep-13 23:56:36

I am thinking you have anne hathaway colouring, yes greys are good - even a beigey leather if you get the right shade? navy, plums, berry tones

cafecito Mon 16-Sep-13 23:55:17

if you're a 37 you can get them on thedressingroom with 10% off if you use a new sign up code

or on coggles for less too

<sad that I know this> they are a lovely colour. surely the ash jalouse boot is becoming the new mumsnet scarf grin

ankle boots with dresses is what I wear all the time for a casual look

TwuntingCrow Mon 16-Sep-13 22:58:49

Those are my go to boots - so comfy !

ooh, I like these Ash boots in woodash they are cute.

Thank you cafecito I love the rain mac and pea coat. I need to get a coat and I think either would be great. What are you studying? (being nosey now)

So no ankle boots with dresses? or maybe biker boots, would that work? I'm off to look for wonder boots, love the name.

The leather jacket is lovely, I had one very similar and gave it away to a friend. Although I have dark hair and eyes I'm too pale to wear black leather. Maybe I could try grey but black looked too harsh.

cafecito Mon 16-Sep-13 22:09:17

oooh ethics - you must be doing a masters, so your course will be filled with people from varied backgrounds, many mature students. They won't care what you look like! smile it's just getting through the first week nerves I guess, then honestly it won't matter. I have many friends on my course and can't even remember what they wear. enjoy it!

cafecito Mon 16-Sep-13 21:53:21

a very thin soft leather jacket is also nice a bit like this here I have one a little bit longer with no zips though from last year/ the year before. I really like the fact it's a bit like a cardigan it can be worn with jeans jumpers dresses

cafecito Mon 16-Sep-13 21:49:31

and yes dresses with patterns on are easy to wear with opaques I think and nice for this season

cafecito Mon 16-Sep-13 21:47:30

for ankle boots, I have kurt Geiger wonder boots, various ash jalouse boots, nine west vintage america boots, and a bunch of other boots that never get worn. I have 2 pairs of nearly knee high flat leather boots for when it is very cold. I never wear my high heels any more. I used to live in them.

I love the sound of your bag!

cafecito Mon 16-Sep-13 21:44:17

The dress, erm, it could be dressed with opaque tights and ankle boots I'd say with a long cardigan over the top or a loose knit oversized sweater.

Dont' wear the DMs with dresses (only my opinion) I love them though in winter especially with jeans. also please no to a topknot or you'll look like the apprentice candidate grin

you're a winter? I recently got some lovely jewel coloured jersey tops, in a larger size than I needed, to layer over different coloured jersey vests, with skinny jeans. It's so easy to wear and doesn't need any effort in the morning.

cafecito Mon 16-Sep-13 21:41:26

argh wrote a long post and it deleted itself

would suggest wearing skinny jeans the most with DMS or ankle boots. I like American apparel easy jeans in black (you'd need a small or XS) and topshop Leigh jeans (you'dbe a 25/26). I also like J brands and Paige which can sometimes be found cheaper

I like long cardis with things. Recently I wore opaques, a knit dress, a long cashmere grey cardigan from gap last year over the top and a scarf. It was so warm and toasty. I wear same cardigan with jeans too.

You could also wear leggings or stretchy black trousers, with oversized tops and DMs - eg today I wore an XL chunky knit sweater over a stripey vest top, thick black leggings, black ankle boots and a scarf - very warm

for jackets I like banana republic trench coats, or wool coats in a duffle coat or pea coat, or open coats - I found a nice one the other day in zara

I also like rain macs and parkas on some people - uniqlo had some nice ones last year without the furry bit

I like blazers but I wear unstructured ones now, or oversized. I wear them with anything. If you want a blazer that fits, go for one with a dress, but dress the dress down with boots and tights for instance, or go for one in a casual fabric, eg jersey

don't look smart, think chunky knits, autumn preppy, a bit all saints, a bit older and wiser chic lady from paris, understated

I have a couple of dresses in this style with patterns on, could wear with thick tights and ankle boots/Dms? long cardigan maybe?
my legs are quite good but I need thick tights.

LaFataTurchina Mon 16-Sep-13 20:56:59

New Look jeans are great I think - very good quality for the price.

TiredyCustards Mon 16-Sep-13 20:56:29

*long chunky cardigan

TiredyCustards Mon 16-Sep-13 20:56:06

To make a dress look casual, wear it with thick tights, flat boots and belt a ling chunky cardigan over it.

FoxPass I am studying ethics, what about you?

Topknots, I think I can do that but it might look dated as I have a straight blunt fringe sad

I will definitely look for some coloured jeans, any ideas where to look, would new look be ok? we have one in the town here. I don't usually venture in but see them in the window.

roseofberlin Mon 16-Sep-13 20:51:06

I'm a mid 30s student mum. I wear skinny jeans, Converse (or calf length boots in rain/winter), plain/stripey cotton tops. Parka or a warm Didrikson bum-covering coat in winter (more mum than studenty, but it keeps me warm). Mine is a practical/messy course so I buy student-priced clothes (New Look, Primark, Peacocks). We have a lot of mature students on our course and I tend to be treated as one of the younger ones! The proper young students wear slogan/retro T shirts, lots of colourful makeup and nails, some of them have a hippy style, some get very glammed up and wear miniskirts/heels but it's quite a creative course!

I use a Jansport rucksack, not very chic but fashion-y ones always fell apart with the amount of stuff we need to bring in.

Thank you all. I have found a bag, lovely soft blue leather, fairly trendy which I think is so huge I could fall in it and get lost! so that's sorted.

I don't think I can do neon on midriffsmile but I'm anxious not to look too tired and old.

Iv'e got some skinny jeans and a few T-shirts but no jackets. What sort of jackets do you think might work with skinny jeans and Dms? although I probably prefer unstructured stuff, maybe cardigans?

Good point about being too dressy? I don't want people thinking I'm in the office. But I am keen on dresses because of the comfort factor.

I'm happy to spend up to £40 each on dresses, tops, jeans (is that possible?)

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