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Please stop me dressing like a child

(17 Posts)
BikeRunSki Sat 20-Dec-14 18:43:24

I can dress fine for work. I am never going to look like the contestants on The Apprentice, but it's not that kind of job. I have a couple of dresses from Phase 8 and Me&Em, and some knee length, slightly flared wool skirts from Jigsaw and Boden which I wear with plain long sleeved tops of cardigans. This works ok for me and my job.

But when I am not at work, I have realised that the clothes I wear could equally be worn by my 3 yo dd or 6 yo DS! I seem to live in jeans (straight leg, calfs too big to fit any skinnies I have ever tried), stripey Ts and hoodies. I occasionally ring the changes with knee length cord skirt instead of jeans.

I manage to feel both frumpy and childish at the same time. Please help me dress somewhere in the middle!

I am 44 (but often told I look 10 years younger), 5'8", size 12-14 and have a 3 and 6 yo running me ragged.

BikeRunSki Sat 20-Dec-14 20:03:53


Solasum Sat 20-Dec-14 20:08:11

Buy some proper well fitted trousers (she says, slobbing on the sofa in jeans).

Accessorise with jewellery, scarves etc.

Ditch some of the hoodies in favour of wellfitting jumpers. Patterns can be very youthful, so maybe try and have only one patterned thing on at a time.

Decent quality well polished shoes and/or boots.

Decent handbags.

Solasum Sat 20-Dec-14 20:09:22

Nothing wrong with looking 10 years younger, though!

I guess what you really want is to look more polished.

BikeRunSki Sat 20-Dec-14 20:27:02

I want to look a bit less..... Generic.

My hoodies are naice - lambswool knitted grey one from Gap, cashmere one from Boden (birthday present a few years ago).

Solasum Sat 20-Dec-14 20:41:40

My mum always used to tell me to look at what people were wearing when out shopping, and when I saw someone I thought looked nicely dressed, to work out why. Copycatting...

MrsGSR Sat 20-Dec-14 21:53:44

Solasum's tip can be transferred to pinterest. Search for "outfit ideas" or similar and make a board of the ones you like the look of. Then go through and work out why you like each one. I found that my board was full of simple pieces put together with accessories, whereas my wardrobe was full of crazy patterns!

IvyMay Sat 20-Dec-14 22:08:07

Your hoodies sound as if they're great quality but personally I think actual hoodies are something for kids/teenagers (unless you're doing something like walking the dog or going to a British beach). I do wear jeans and a striped top a lot ( as do my 2 kids) but if it's cold I'm more likely to put a blazer on top or maybe a v neck (or other) jersey while they'll have a hoody on,

Sorry - don't mean to offend any hoodie lovers...but they're just not for me!

bluesbaby Sat 20-Dec-14 22:34:23

Have you tried different kinds of dresses and skirts?

Unless you're really into fashion forward stuff most clothes are quite boring.

It's mostly shoes, accessories and bags that make an outfit look special.

One thing I have noticed is a great cut will last a long time and never really looks frumpy.

homebythesea Sat 20-Dec-14 23:36:02

Have a look at some fashion blogs aimed at our age group- midlifechic, mymidlifefashion, doesmybumlook40, notdressedaslamb etc etc. I have found them inspiring as I've tried to get to grips with age appropriate non muttony style

Skinheadmermaid Sun 21-Dec-14 00:23:26

I have massive calves and have found comfortable, stretchy skinny jeans in New Look. I have a black pair and a khaki green pair.
Perhaps just try out some different jeans-a darker wash or colour?
Swap the stripy t-shirts for a nice top, perhaps embellished?
Swap the hoodies for a nice jumper?
Read some magazines and blogs for inspiration. I also enjoy people watching when i'm out and about and seeing what other people my age are wearing (and judging them harshly grin ).

BikeRunSki Sun 21-Dec-14 08:46:47

One thing I have noticed is a great cut will last a long time and never really looks frumpy.

Ah yes. I forgot to mention my hair. Thick and frizzy, shoulder length chaos. I've had very £££ cuts, which have been awful, I've been turned away from Toni and Guy who "don't do curly hair" (3 branches) and I've had a brilliant cut for £6 - this lady did my wedding hair she was so good with my hair, but I no live in that city.

WildBillfemale Sun 21-Dec-14 08:59:20

I want to look a bit less..... Generic

This is a problem all of us with a high street budget face, even if you go down the accessorise with scarf/jewellry/nice bag etc you end up looking generic.
Maybe to avoid this you need to scout for items away from the high street, say look at etsy for unusual one off bags, or little independant shops for an item that isn't clearly identifiable as from a chain store. Jumble sales, car boots, e-bay for vintage stuff, learn to adapt clothes. I've altered many a dress into a skirt or tunic and I'm no great sewer.
Fabrics and fit are hugely important.
Wear a patterned scarf with a stripe top (So many walk around with that safe standard uniform of stripe top, trench, skinnies........)
Play around with proportion - long top/short jacket or fitted top/full skirt etc.
Mix prints and stripes or prints and prints, clash colour hues. Don't just wear one patterned item in an attempt to 'brighten things up'.

FWIW your lambswool and cashmere hoodies sound fine, and less boring than jumpers, if they were sweatshirt material I'd say burn them but the fabrics elevate them to something else.

sleepwhenidie Sun 21-Dec-14 09:05:21

I think you first need to have some idea of what kind of 'look' you want. Of your current wardrobe, casual and work, what things (clothes and accessories) do you feel great and most 'you' in? Go through everything and put all these together to see if there is any theme, even if it is just colour. Then put those themes into Pinterest and pin the things you could imagine and would like to wear to a board. Again, look for the things that appear there repeatedly and work on building a new wardrobe from that?

Rivercam Sun 21-Dec-14 09:06:03

Buy clothes to suit your shape. The best dressed people dress to their shape, not too fashion.

( I also live in a staple diet of striped t shirts and jeans!)

BikeRunSki Sun 21-Dec-14 09:24:45

Thank you for all your ideas. I think I do dress fairly well for my (bottom heavy) shape. Love the idea of trying to find themes amongst my clothes and putting them into Pintrest. I have recently started wearing some of my work cardies/jumpers with my casual clothes, which made me look surprisingly grown up! They are mostly cashmere or fine knit lambswool picked up in sales.

I have never really learnt to accesorise, and can't stand things round my neck. I have a purple felt baker boy hat from a flea market that always gets loads of comments. I might take that as my starting point.

WildBillfemale Sun 21-Dec-14 12:11:32

The blog 'The vivienne files' is good for looking at colour and accessorising. I like that the clothes aren't on people so you can get ideas for what may suit you.

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