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<sigh> I am in dire need of growing up and no idea how to do it

(17 Posts)
Slapntickleothewenches Mon 24-Feb-14 15:14:19

I am 36, short and still reasonably slim. I have never been really interested in clothes or make up, though a blanket ban on anything masquerading as a "label" in my youth has given me a pathological loathing of cheap clothes eg. New Look, Primark etc.
Currently I am wearing a pair of FatFace jeans, an Animal hoody, a North Face gilet and a pair of bog standard walking boots. I have a uniform for work so no work clothes to worry about.
I need to grow up a bit, firstly because I feel I actually want to for the first time in my life and secondly because we are about to embark on school visits for DS and I want to not be remembered as the mother who looked like a teenager hmm So how do I do it? All advice would be greatly appreciated smile
1. Hair- short but badly cut. Quite wavy and with a double crown so not given to smooth and sculpted grin
2. Make up- never wear any and in fact don't own any. Until recently I thought this was a good thing, as I've aged I'm not so sure hmm Really minimal is what I'm after but not sure where to start
3. Clothes- I like the country look, but plain. I like FatFace and Joules and own a lot of technical outdoorsy stuff (which does not count as remotely fashionable!) Don't own a skirt but am cautiously interested in the idea.
4. Shoes- only a size 3 so often struggle to get ladies shoes that fit. Can't wear heels due to an ankle injury but would like something other than welly boots or trainer type shoes.
I sound a real catch don't I?!

frankietwospots Mon 24-Feb-14 15:51:29

Swap your hoody/gilet for a blazer - it will look much smarter. If you like the country look, then opt for a tweed blazer. Something like this perhaps?

A blazer looks good with a simple Breton top underneath. Again, Boden have good ones:

For skirts, maybe start off with something in your comfort zone such as a denim mini?

For make-up, you probably need to start with a few key products. Do you want to look a bit more perky? Try a peachy blusher and/or a tinted moisturiser (I use Boots Botanics - can't see it on the Boots website but it's featured on this blog:

Do you have under eye shadows? Try a concealer (I use Collection 2000

HelloBoys Mon 24-Feb-14 16:02:31

Not sure what to suggest but try eg Cos and maybe White Stuff.

Makeup have a free session with Bobbi Brown they're natural no hard sell at all and natural products but can add colour/brightness etc.

Stokey Mon 24-Feb-14 16:20:17

What about looking for dresses or skirts in your comfort shops? Fat face have some quite nice dresses & tunics - you could wear with leggings/skinnny jeans and some boots? As soon as I put on a dress, I feel more grown up.

& y to make-up class - Benefit also good for natural look, I got a whole load of stuff & lesson there before my wedding (having not worn much make up before)

Try swapping the walking boots for some ankle boots, lots of flat pairs around.

whereisshe Mon 24-Feb-14 16:27:49

It depends what look you like. If start on Pinterest - pick a load of looks that draw you to them and then look for themes. Otherwise you risk having a bit of a mismatched wardrobe which is hard to manage.

Basics though - spend a bit on a decent haircut, get some stylist recommendations first don't randomly choose. And my makeup basics are tinted moisturiser, lip tint, eyeliner and mascara - simple and natural.

Also: prints are tricky; figure out your most flattering colours before buying non-neutrals; decide which bits of your figure you want to emphasise/hide. Other than that, perhaps book a session with a personal shopper in a local department store to kick things off - they're usually free.

JohnnyUtah Mon 24-Feb-14 16:35:38

You don't need to wear a lot of makeup but some peachy blusher and dark brown mascara would probably perk you up a bit without making you look overdone. You could then add a tinted moisturiser or BB cream to even out your skin tone. Tidy your eyebrows with tweezers. Neutral lip gloss?

Choose a nice leather tote and make sure your shoes aren't scruffy.

Would you feel comfortable in jeans and a soft blazer style jacket? What sort of flat shoes could you manage - Chelsea boots? Ballet flats? Clarks have some nice flats sometimes?

JohnnyUtah Mon 24-Feb-14 16:37:52

Oh, and sorry to disagree with other posters, but I really don't think a denim mini is going to make anyone look grown up!

perrinelli Mon 24-Feb-14 16:39:15

I was exactly the same as you about makeup until a couple of years ago. I got a friend who's brilliant with makeup to come round with lots of her stuff and show me the basics of what to do - I wasn't at all interested as a teenager so felt I missed out on all the experimentation and learning stage! We worked out a natural every day look and a bit more for evening going out. She also told me what to buy.

I really like clinique - not cheap but worth it if you don't wear it every day and I felt I needed good products to mitigate my lack of skill in application! I love their moisture surge foundation (used to be called 'almost makeup' which attracted me!) and their almost lipstick. I also find their quick liner is the only eyeliner I can use.

Re. shoes - Next have a good selection online and nearly all come in a European size 36 if that would fit you.

JimmyCorkhill Mon 24-Feb-14 16:45:40

I am older than you and also feeling the same way!

I have always been scared of make up so I booked a lesson with a make up artist (just googled for a local one, they usually do wedding make up but often offer make up lessons too). Was about £30 for an hour/hour and a half and she showed me how to do the basics and found me a foundation that actually matched grin

HelloBoys Mon 24-Feb-14 16:48:59

Just thought how about as another poster said upgrading to Boden?

I'm not keen generally on Fat Face find it samey but maybe one of their dresses.

What about Joe Brown? Similar to Fat Face sort of but some feminine and smart casual stuff.

What's your colouring and what colours do you like?

Slapntickleothewenches Mon 24-Feb-14 20:27:47

Yes jimmy to being scared of make up grin I will definitely look at a lesson somewhere!
Some great ideas thanks smile
frankie I like the blazer you linked to (the brown one- ever a country girl!) and the tops are nice but I feel I have quite a long neck, and not in a graceful swan type of way more a scrawny giraffe kind of way so always shy away from that type. Perhaps I should invest in a couple of floaty MN type scarves grin
I also need to desperately sort my hair which is shockingly unruly. I'm embarrassed to go to a grown up hairdresser because it's such a mess so get a cheap cut (so I can see) then am embarrassed to go to a hairdresser again hmm
As for my colouring, mousy hair and pale skin but I tan easily and my hair lightens dramatically in the sun (needless to say I am very pale at the moment grin)
I favour neutral colours, browns, greens, whites, try and avoid black as it reminds me of my goth teenage years and makes me look terribly washed out.

whereisshe Mon 24-Feb-14 20:50:37

Do these colours look like you?

Amethyst24 Mon 24-Feb-14 21:05:01

I think it sounds as if you are very very close to a lovely chic look. You have good skin and a good figure, from what you say, and it sounds like your colouring is lovely. The colour palette you like also sounds very easy to style into a natural, neutral wardrobe.

Start with hair. A good cut and some subtle highlights would bring out your best features - and a long neck is NEVER a bad thing IMO.

Makeup-wise I'd try mineral foundation - it's easy to apply, kind to skin and doesn't feel cloying. Then a couple of coloured eye pencils - I like the Boots No.7 ones, they're cheap and easy to apply - just swoosh on, smudge a bit, and your eyes look much bigger and brighter. They do a nice khaki/gold that sounds like it would work on you.

Agree re switching the hoodies for jackets - a leather or leather-look jacket is versatile and doesn't look as smart as a blazer. There are lots of non-leather bomber/biker-style jackets around atm that are flattering and casual.

There also seem to be lots of coral/shell colours around right now that would brighten up the colours you wear a bit without being too challenging.

And I think a denim mini is a must - I'm 41 and I wear mine a lot (it's ten years old and a total classic IMO).

And has anyone mentioned scarves?

HelloBoys Mon 24-Feb-14 21:25:33

Also natural collection (boots) do great colours. I got one in Soft Grey and the Rimmel Scandaleyes Nude eyeliner (for rims of inner eyes).

Got above in past month and make such a difference! I also like Collection 2000 Super Size Mascara in black for everyday.

frankietwospots Mon 24-Feb-14 22:25:26

This is what I had in mind when I suggested a denim mini. Chic, no?

It would look great with a polka dot shirt tucked in, like this:

You should definitely invest in some scarves - they are brilliant for lifting an outfit. I wear a scarf pretty much every day. Gap have some lovely ones at the moment - see - but you can literally pick up a good scarf in Sainsburys!

Good move to avoid black. I too was a goth back in the day and wearing black anywhere near my face does nothing for me. However, there's nowt wrong with a pair of black skinny jeans.

Amethyst24 Mon 24-Feb-14 22:33:03

Pah, that's not a denim mini, frankie, that's a pencil skirt that happens to be made of denim. wink Still a classic though.

frankietwospots Mon 24-Feb-14 22:37:12

True! But the OP said she is short so I thought a mini would work better.

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