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How do some women always manage to look so put together and downright gorgeous?

(276 Posts)
Beigecurtains Tue 18-Feb-14 22:32:48

Is it just 'inbuilt' style that they're born with? If so, I'm incredibly jealous!!

My friend always looks amazing and really stylish but I find it really hard to put my finger on what it is that makes her look special. She's not overly tall, and is slim but not skinny (size 12), and certainly doesn't spend a fortune on beauty treatments/products or clothes, or having her hair done.

Her outfits are usually fairly simple; just jeans with a nice top usually, and she wears accessories such as a necklace or a large scarf. She always wears make up, but again it's fairly simple, nothing garish. And hair in a bun or just down and wavy.

So on paper she doesn't dress particularly differently to probably 90% of other women, but she always manages to stand out.

How do some women do this? I'd love to know the secret so I can stop looking like a bag lady

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Mon 24-Feb-14 09:39:01

Thanks Boffin. Of course, the best solution would be weight loss, but it's good to have those suggestions whilst I'm working on it!

noddyholder Mon 24-Feb-14 09:24:13

Agree about alcohol!

BoffinMum Mon 24-Feb-14 09:19:37

Decent underwear, daily fresh air and a disinclination to smoke and drink to excess are very powerful beauty tools.

Lycra is another.

Walnut8 Sun 23-Feb-14 23:58:17

Good skin really does add something special in terms of style and the way we look!! Sigh. Very envious of anyone who has it.

cithkadston Sun 23-Feb-14 20:43:02

I often wonder the same thing about a friend of mine; she's stunning but appears to dress very simply.

I think it's due to the fact that she's half Spanish and so has lovely colouring, and is also blessed with lovely, glowing skin.

Snowdown Sun 23-Feb-14 18:56:01

Aspire to Carrie...I agree that it is the few pieces I have that stand out that make all the difference, but they are hard to find. I also think some woman suit being Charlotte - I'd look and feel dull and frumpy but clearly Charlotte doesn't. I love to know a Samantha though...I've never known anyone like her!

BoffinMum Sun 23-Feb-14 18:39:05

Marvellous, I think it all comes down to tailoring. In days of yore, one lot of patterns were made for young women, who had not had children, and another for older women, who had. Natural changes in the female body were accepted, and there was more variety of style and cut. Now we all try to fit into some sort of homogenised shape that doesn't really fit anyone properly.

In terms of dressing well as a size 16-18, you have to think where your best bits are. Do you have a decent waist, or ankles, on arms or whatever? That gives you the clue as to what to emphasise. Then think about the bits that aren't so great, which might be your bottom or something. That needs to be carefully disguised. Short legs look best in one colour tights/trousers, possibly with a crisp pleat, and the same colour shoes. For a large waist, wear nicely fitted trousers and then a floaty top. For a dumpy bottom, think about wearing bias cut or floppy skirts - the length will depend on what sort of knees you have, but you can't go too far wrong with on-the-knee with some opaque tights and shoes the same colour. Remember to wear an under slip if this skirt isn't lined and is a bit clingy.

Also if you get a decent haircut and blow dry your hair on a Sunday night, you will look good for a few days each week even if you don't have much time.

Sunbeam18 Sun 23-Feb-14 16:58:09

Carrie here !

SnowBells Sun 23-Feb-14 15:38:53


grin Lol. I'm more of a Charlotte… maybe we should ask everyone what SATC they are??? grin

Namechangeforamo Sun 23-Feb-14 15:19:44

I suppose really it comes down to what you perceive to be stylish. Even my most staid pair of black trousers have a black ruffle along the length of one leg. My wardrobe definitely resembles Carrie Bradshaw as opposed to a capsule one.

MarvellousMechanicalMouseOrgan Sun 23-Feb-14 15:04:50

Another one who thinks it's hard to look well put together when you're overweight. I'm a size 16-18 who is stocky with short hair. I do my best to buy flattering clothes, and therefore look much better clothed than nude, but it's no accident that plus size models are all tall, with slim arms and long thick swishy hair. There's a type of overweight woman who can still look groomed, and it isn't me.

I just don't know how to incorporate heels into my life. With straight jeans my feet look like trotters.

Any tips for us porkers?

SnowBells Sun 23-Feb-14 14:55:54


I compare the capsule wardrobe thing to cooking - the staples (potato, rice, etc.) are boring on their own. It's the spices and herbs that make us like food.

In other words - a capsule wardrobe does not exist on its own. You add a nice jacket, scarf, etc. to your wardrobe. Some of the best-dressed women wear fairly 'boring' clothes (OK, they also have the right figure), but they add a nice handbag, coat and Hemes scarf to their outfit, and suddenly, they look a million dollars...

MinesAPintOfTea Sun 23-Feb-14 14:49:05

foxy you can't put well put-together if you can't walk in a confident manner. Good-quality shoes that you can walk in will look much better overall.

Namechange a decent backbone of a capsule wardrobe is something that makes it much easier to look put together. Its easy to add the extra things as you go. I certainly have a "work" capsule wardrobe, a selection of dresses, blouses, tops, skirts, trousers and jackets that I can pretty much dress in blindfold and still look co-ordinated. If I get something and after a few wears decide it doesn't suit then it gets culled.

BoffinMum Sun 23-Feb-14 14:28:52

Namechange, they are all things you could go out and get very easily. You can't buy tasteful vintage jackets etc on demand - those are things you would add on to such a collection.

Namechangeforamo Sun 23-Feb-14 14:13:14

That capsule wardrobe thing is a bit boring imho! Sorry but fashion and style is so much more than a good coat, 2 pairs of neutral this snd so on and so on.
Of course good basics are the backbone of any wardrobe, but honestly its the flair to an outfit, sonething different to everyone else, that takes it up a notch. A vintage piece, your mum's old velvet jacket, an unusual scarf you picked up on holiday. If you really want to be stylish, your outfit should have purpose, be intentional. Be safe with the bits that flatter your shape, but then add something extra. Neither do I agree with the clearing out thing. If its worn fair enough, but I keep stuff for years, building it up into a catalogue of more and more outfit combinations.

Namechangeforamo Sun 23-Feb-14 14:04:17

Another tip is if you see a dress/skirt in a fabric or colour thats really you, buy it in a size up and have it altered to fit perfectly.

Namechangeforamo Sun 23-Feb-14 14:02:49

Agree with the dressmaker thing. I've had loads of dresses made for weddings/black tie do's. It seems to be a lot more common to do that here and not that expensive though. Last dress cost me £70 to be made. I got my own fabric. I'd imagine it would be an arm and a leg in England

BoffinMum Sun 23-Feb-14 12:55:49

Capsule wardrobe here

Parisian Style, Pauper's Budget

Pepperberry clothes are expensive and ghastly, IMVHO. You are better off buying normal clothes and putting in a dart here and there, or moving the buttons across. One or two dressmaking lessons can transform how well dressed you appear, and save you lots of money. Most of the clothes for sale on the high street are designed for hanger appeal or to look good for magazine shoots, and sit badly on the female body.

Designer clothes are usually made in China etc and rarely worth the money as well. Better to be fussy about fabric and go out on the hunt for something from the high street that is made from quality wool or cotton or silk, with a tiny bit of artificial fibre to help it wash better, and good linings if you can find them. Then adapt them a little.

Change buttons if you want something to look classier, and consider having an outfit made by a dressmaker if you have something special coming up. Or have a go at making something yourself - Burda do easy patterns and you can get the sizing exactly right.

Hopefully Sun 23-Feb-14 12:45:27

John for me a 'nice top' is a cashmere v neck (better on me than a round neck), or a shirt, either silk (hand wash ones seem to survive my children fine) or something like this shirt. I never feel amazing in plain t-shirts, but my preferences there are either american apparel v necks or Splendid thin layering tops.

Hopefully Sun 23-Feb-14 12:43:31

If Trinny and Susannah did nothing else, they did inspire thousands of women to start wearing better fitting underwear, for which they deserve much applause. Am not sure about the colour and black thing, can see how it looks cheap if you mindlessly pair everything with black, but it really works with some colours.

I always envy people who look amazing from charity shops sunbeam but all I can think is 'they must have spent HOURS trawling through crap to find that'. I am basically too lazy.

JohnCusacksWife Sun 23-Feb-14 12:42:59

There's been lots of mentions of skinnies and a "nice" top. But what tops do people think constitute "nice"? I always seem to have loads of tops in my wardrobe but nothing I really feel brilliant in. In particular I mean casual tops just to be worn around the house, at weekends etc.

Sunbeam18 Sun 23-Feb-14 12:41:03

Wish I could afford shoes like that. However, style is not about expensive labels. Did anyone see Fabulous Fashionistas on Channel 4 a few months ago? It was about a bunch of about 6 women in their 70s and 80s who looked amazing and each dressed in their own unique style. One shopped only in charity shops and looked fantastic.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 12:35:24

yes manolos also nicer

Apatite1 Sun 23-Feb-14 12:27:39

I agree with you noddy! I also prefer manolos over loubs, I just can't get on with them. For formal occasions, I like miu miu, prada or aruna seth. Daily wear is flats though, I'm on my feet all day.

noddyholder Sun 23-Feb-14 12:15:52

I have some chie mihara shoes love them and think they are better looking than CB more individual less Wag

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