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glamour holiday. I need serious help

(57 Posts)
frumpyOnHols Wed 27-May-15 00:31:48

NCd for this as personal appearance details would out me.

Going on ultra glamourous holiday to a resort on an island. The climate is cool-temperate (i.e. not freezing, swimming weather, but not short sleeves weather in the evenings either).

The family members we're going with are appearance-obsessed, vain, shutter-happy and will take a bloody million photographs and then distribute them to the rest of the family and the world, along with a commentary on everyone's appearance. There is little i can do to change that situation without causing pointless conflict (if I try, I'm not going to change their point of view, just the atmosphere on holiday, and not for the better). So instead of trying to escape the sodding cameras, damnit, this time I am going to be in the photos and not hating myself and my appearance.

I routinely look terrible in glamourous contexts, and have always hated dressing up. Because of the glamour aspect, this really wouldn't have been my choice of holiday, despite the island being amazing.

I am 163cm (5'4"), weigh about 57kg, have muscly legs, not much of a waist, and a very untoned upper body, have blue-white freckly skin, loads of moles, wrinkles, grey-blue eyes, thin blonde-red hair, untamed blonde eyebrows, blonde eyelashes, bad teeth. I wear glasses and can't wear contacts (or see without the glasses). I have no idea what to do with makeup, it always looks ghastly.

Suggestions please, for:

Shorts that fit over chunky thighs but still look glamourous
Tops that cover my untoned flabby upper arms
Sun dresses with non-frumpy cardigan or something
Sandals that i can walk in
Sunhat
Bathing costume
What to wear to drinks before dinner
What to wear to dinner

How to fix hair, eyebrows, teeth, confidence, desire to not go on holiday because of fecking paparazzi MIL

frumpyOnHols Wed 27-May-15 01:24:27

For summer I gravitate towards black linen trousers, plain grey t shirt, plain grey cardigan. At a pinch some plain navy blue or navy with white stripes.

I've never owned a hat, a dress, a swimsuit or shorts that looked anything other than frumpy or functional (and I've always worn the functional stuff happily - the frumpy stuff has been worn once and promptly donated to a charity shop)

Turquoiseblue Wed 27-May-15 03:49:34

If I were you, i would stick with some classic shapes that suit your figure and a neutral palate of colours but use scarves/ cardis/ wraps and belts and bags and accessories to add a pop of colour or individuality. That way lots of your wardrobe will be easily mixed and matched.
Pinterest is good for capsule wardrobe or holiday wardrobe and packing inspiration.

I would suggest
Well cut shorts in a style that flatters- actually being a little disingenuous suggesting this as I only own 2 pairs of shorts myself and am not really a fan unless I feel in super shape! However they are a classic summer staple for most so a visit to gap or an online order of a few of their styles to try on and decide what works for you is a good idea maybe - chosing something neutral like denim/ white/ khaki / navy/ black/ beige that will work with lots of different tops is a good idea.
T shirts - I tend to bring t shirts - tank tops from h and m/ zara etc as they do get ruined with sun cream etx. I choose colours in neutral shades plus if I add a colour I'll try stick with one or two similar colours that works with everything else.
Again I have a few cardis and wraps/ kimonos for the evening s that work really well as an extra layer - I have two light blazers one cream/ white that work well as a smarter extra layer.
Wrt dresses and skirts I have a few summer dresses - hush, h and m,me and em, that get taken out annually for the holidays too that work well, however not sure they quality for smart enough so many be someone else will be along in a while to help with that- again mine are one white one black one patterned grin enjoy the holiday

Zorion Wed 27-May-15 08:16:46

What is your budget? I think that you wouldn't need too many clothes if its a hot island holiday, but would invest in really lovely big prescription sunglasses (worthwhile as you will wear them after the holiday), go for a haircut (just a trim so your ends are really neat), have your eyebrows waxed and maybe tinted and get a gel manicure and pedicure, which will last all holiday. If you go to some of the big salons, they often do all of this in the same place (not the sunglasses).

Sandals - birkenstocks are super comfy and actually fashionable for now. Otherwise the sam edelman gigis are by far the comfiest pretty sandals I've ever tried.

Swimsuit - I'd spend on this - better to have one well fitting one than lots of shapeless ones. A nice fifties style hoikey in one with proper bust support. Figleaves.com, Bravissimo et al are good for these.

My holiday staple is a silk patterned kimono I bought from topshop unique years ago for my honeymoon. I wear it over a bikini, over shorts and a strappy top, over jeans and a t shirt, belted as a dress in the evening. It is the most useful item of clothing ever. It was expensive (had to be silk so not see through but still a cool fabric) and I love it so much. I wholeheartedly recommend you find similar. Long enough to cover bum so can be a dress.

Sun hats - they totally depend on your face shape - Zara Home (of all places) have some really lovely ones in at the moment. A case of traipsing round and trying them all on.

Dresses - I've just bought a couple of these (I had a discount code) and they are really flattering and have sleeves!! Actual sleeves!

For the teeth, this is an issue that you have to see a dentist or orthodontist for. I saw one as an adult and it was well worth it. Braces are invisible now.

ArgyMargy Wed 27-May-15 08:21:02

I suggest large, dark sunglasses. Prescription, obviously, so that you can keep them on all the time. You won't be so conscious of people looking at you and you won't need to worry about makeup.

isittheweekendyet Wed 27-May-15 08:26:37

Argy beat me to it - my prescription sunglasses are a godsend. Wear them all the time on hol! You won't need to worry about daytime make up and you'll look paparazzi cool in all photos grin

Other suggestions....get eyebrows threaded and lashes and brows dyed. Gel mani and pedi. Fake tan before you go. Invest in the best most supportive bikini or swim suit you can afford. Maxi dresses and sparkly flip flops or sandals for the evening.

cathyandclaire Wed 27-May-15 09:11:54

It has taken me years to realise that I don't have to wear shorts on holiday, I have been gifted a pair of short stocky legs and shorts always make me look like Lofty from 'It ain't Half Hot Mum' (pic attached for youngsters grin) I tend to wear little dresses, maxi dresses or skirts. A maxi dress would be perfect for wafting around looking glam in your new prescription sunnies smile

MadisonMontgomery Wed 27-May-15 09:13:29

What about a spray tan before you go so you don't have to worry about looking pasty in photos?

GoodToesBadToes Wed 27-May-15 09:18:16

Are you going away with the kardashians?????

cathyandclaire Wed 27-May-15 09:18:25

Also, I really noticed a difference in a really short time when I did daily press-ups the week or so before holiday. I was useless so started at 2 blush and worked up to ten or so, definitely toned my bingo wings.

Coconutty Wed 27-May-15 09:21:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PennilynLott Wed 27-May-15 09:31:25

Eyebrow dye and threading seconded, mine are also blonde and it makes a huge difference and requires nothing for a few weeks after. Get it done a few days before you leave so any redness has faded for photos.

When you say "bad teeth" do you mean they are discoloured? If so you could start using some teeth whitening toothpaste, mixes with some bicarb of soda...invest in an electric toothbrush too, if you don't have one...the use of all three really made a difference to my teeth in a mere couple of days.

frumpyOnHols Wed 27-May-15 10:08:27

Crikey thanks everyone.

Answering from most recent up...

Bad teeth: they're crooked, and two front incisors are broken off at the tops and grey (knocked them out doing somersaults in a swimming pool aged 12, they ony decided to die on me a few years ago). i use whitening toothpaste, can't really afford dentures at the moment and capping apparently won't work on the broken ones as they're too likely to crumble to nothing. So I guess there is little I can do about teeth in the time/budget available.

Eyebrow dyeing/threading - what do i need to ask for? I've never done anything at all to my eyebrows! Don't want to suddenly have gigantic black pointy caterpillars on my forehead smile. Can you ask them to just do the bit under your brow ridge (i.e. in your eye socket)?

Shorts: are a necessity for this island, which involves bushwalking up mountains and birdwatching and fairly frequent torrential downpours. Not walking up a mountain in a wet skirt! The North Face made the last pair of shorts i've owned that I liked -fairly slim cut, below waist, very plain, very very faint pale green Prince of Wales check on beige background- might look for more like that if anyone knows of any?

T-shirts to wear with shorts: does anyone wear polo shirts these days or would I look like a leftover from the early 1990s? I like having a collar to not get so sunburnt. I could probably afford a couple of nice ones.

Bingo wings: yes, I'm doing pressups, planks and chair lifts* grin I have 18 weeks left to acquire arm muscles and lose the underarm/boob flab that makes tshirts hang weirdly. *not sure what they're called - where you lower yourself off a chair using your arms.

Kardashians: grin erm no. Can't quite imagine them liking this place. Think more glamourously understated resort where everone looks like Cate Blanchett in their terribly simple and well-tailored clothes...

Spray tan: giving it serious consideration. What do I ask for given that I'm almost blue I'm so white, so pretty much anything is going to look unnatural?

Maxi dresses: have never owned one. Will I look frumpy if I wear it with glasses? What do I do with my hair?

Hair: it's currently a bit above shoulder length. Looks awful short, looks ratty long. Thin, slightly wavy... should I grow it longer?

Prescription sunnies: good idea. Will do that.

Swimsuit: argh. I always look dreadful in swimsuits, partly because my quads are huge, partly because I just feel self-conscious. Has anyone tried the Boden boardshorts this year? Could i get away with those and a tankini top? I'll probably need a rash shirt as well as it will be mega-sunburn territory. Otherwise could go with the 50s boyleg boden one maybe?

Sandals- birkenstocks could be good.

Kimono - will keep an eye out, sounds useful.

Hats - have never found one that doesn't look dumpy. But have never really looked. I tend to think women look cool in their husbands' fedoras but no idea whether that would work for me.

frumpyOnHols Wed 27-May-15 10:25:00

OK - maxi dress:
www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Dresses/Day-Dresses/WH752-NAV/Womens-Navy-Jersey-Maxi-Dress.html

Swimsuit:

this? (more practical and I'd feel less self-conscious, but perhaps not glamourous enough)
www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Swimwear/Bikinis-Tankinis/WB067-DBL/Womens-Sailor-Blue-Knot-Front-Tankini-Top.html
with
www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Swimwear/Bikinis-Tankinis/WF001-DBL/Womens-Sailor-Blue-Board-Shorts.html

or this?

www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Swimwear/Swimsuits/WS042-STP/Womens-Sailor-Blue_Ivory-Stripe-Sorrento-Swimsuit.html

Sandals - these in navy?
www.moshulu.co.uk/ladies/sandals/wasabi_poppy.htm

frumpyOnHols Wed 27-May-15 10:29:49

Also - to wear with beige shorts (if I can find any) - plain white or navy linen shirt?

Does that work or am I deluded?

HappyGirlNow Wed 27-May-15 10:38:22

You need this very glam and hides crap hair grin

ZeroFunDame Wed 27-May-15 10:44:26

Oh - you're going to have so much fun.grin

Good advice re prescription sunglasses.

Now for the rest - this is what the Toast brand was made for. Do not run around like a headless thing grabbing shorts from A and sandals from B and hats from C. None of it will go together.

Go to Toast. An actual shop if possible - otherwise online. (This may involve some sending back, things come up large.) Their clothes and accessories are made for people who are way too cool to be try-hard and don't wish to compete with the Kardashians. (I really don't have anything to do with them! But you seem like their ideal customer.) Ignore anything you don't like. Drill down to the simplest shapes that can be worn morning noon and night with varied accessories.

Stick to colours and shapes you feel comfortable with - though you could possibly leave out the grey. A black and white wardrobe would be very chic and no worries about putting an outfit together. I always think their swimwear is gloriously retro and flattering.

I do envy your weight. envy

MadisonMontgomery Wed 27-May-15 10:46:02

Oh I like the sound of a linen shirt with shorts - what about a Breton top as well?

ZeroFunDame Wed 27-May-15 10:47:13

(Very quietly - do not buy anything from Boden. Unless you are already a fashionista and know how to pick out the two acceptable pieces from every season. It is not considered stylish by stylish people.)

frankietwospots Wed 27-May-15 10:50:48

Sounds like you are doing tricep dips which are great for toning up the arms. Do you have a local kettlebell class you could join? They work bloody magic for arms and legs, and you get results pretty quickly.

Re: shorts - I would go for a smart chino short. I've got navy ones from Next but you will probably need to size down as they come up big. Do not wear with a polo shirt. You'll look like an American tourist. Instead, get something like this (you seem to be building up to a Boden order anyway!):

www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Tops-T-shirts/Short-Sleeved-Tops/WL900/Womens-Lightweight-V-neck.html

Whilst we're on Boden tops, I've got the Heather top in the ecru and the blue and it's one of the most useful tops I own. Really lovely cotton, airy and looks great with either shorts or rolled up chinos. For example, I wear the ecru one with these khaki chinos from H&M and tan sandals. Really simple and chic.

www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Tops-T-shirts/3_4-Sleeved-Tops/WA557/Womens-Heather-Top.html

www.hm.com/gb/product/89665?article=89665-D&cm_vc=SEARCH#article=89665-D

I personally think a swimsuit looks more glamorous than a tankini top with shorts. Unless you are supertoned, there's always that risk of belly peeking out in the gap between shorts and top.

Re: spray tan - definitely have a trial run. Do you have a local salon that does St Tropez? You ask them to do a light tan. Just go along making sure you wear loose clothing and black knickers that you're not bothered about, and they will talk you through it. The spray is a bit chilly when it first hits you and it's stinky, but the results are worth it.

Re: sandals - I've just bought these from Mint Velvet and they are gorgeous on, really soft against your skin. Good for evening wear and neutral so go with anything: www.mintvelvet.co.uk/cream-india-low-wedge-sandal/shoes/mint-v/fcp-product/5102

frankietwospots Wed 27-May-15 10:52:52

Erm, I'm stylish and I buy from Boden, although I agree that it's all about knowing which pieces to pull out from the sea of prints and potential frumpy gaffs...

frumpyOnHols Wed 27-May-15 11:16:16

ooh. I'd forgotten all about Toast. I often like the general look of The White Company's clothing but find it disappointing on closer inspection.

Thanks for all the advice!

I tend to find Boden prints and decorated stuff deeply frumpy, but I quite like their plainer things, like the swimsuit and maxi dress above.

Polo shirts are out, OK then. Bummer. I would like to go back to age 18 when everyone I knew, when not in school uniform, was wearing boat shoes, navy jeans, either a polo shirt or a gingham linen shirt, and a Canterbury of New Zealand rugby jersey. And a nice matching hair ribbon. It was all so simple and easy to match, because everything was navy, pale pink, red, pale blue or white. Everyone supported Scotland in the rugby because the jerseys were better... grin

goodnessgraciousgouda Wed 27-May-15 12:14:58

Lady, whatever you do, do NOT wear shorts with a polo shirt. Ever.

If you can't style your hair, then just tie it back. Not with a hair scrunchie. With a plain band. Practise before you go until you can do it nicely, without it just looking scraggy. Or practise blow drying it so it looks nice in the evening. As other have said, get your eyebrows waxed or threaded. You just go to a salon and say that you want them shaped. Ask them about eyebrow tinting - it's not something I have done, but I can see why it would make a huge difference.

Have your nails done. Have your feet done. It won't be overly expensive. Make sure that your bra's all fit your perfectly (even the nicest clothes look shit if your underwear is completely the wrong size and shape). Make sure you have pants with no seams (VPL is awful).

Prescription sunglasses sound like an amazing idea.

For make up, get a BB cream, as it will double up as sun cream. Clinique do a good one. Look at pinterest and try and find styles that you like and think would work with your shape. If you have large legs, then to be honest, maxi dresses sound like your friend. They also hide any mosquito bites.

Rather than just trying to hide everything under baggy clothes, it's much more flattering to try and add structure.

For example, in the evening:

Oh for FUCKS' sake now Mumsnet won't let me paste!

PHASE 8 ANTOINELLA SKIRT IVORY/GERANIUM (it's on john lewis' site), paired with a pair of red ballet flats (you can get them dirt cheap from new look), a white vest top and a plain white shirt (tucked into the skirt) would be a great evening look. Don't wear birkenstocks with the skirt though. That would be weird.

I still can't paste, but another good day look (when you're not hiking or whatever), would be a maxi dress, with a light weight cardigan on top. For example, Planet floral maxi dress in blue/multi (again it's on john lewis' site) and a plain white cardigan (unbuttoned).

I normally hate the White Stuff but they have a nice maxi as well - Athens printed maxi dress in blue.

Avoid wearing pinks or reds on your top half as it will only make any sun burn look ten times worse.

Shorts. No-one except supermodels and lithe teenagers look good in shorts. Or people who just have phenomenal legs. We are not those people. If you INSIST on wearing shorts, then go for either something like FAT FACE JANKE CROPPED TROUSERS in Chambray (in blue, as the khaki green is dowdy), and a plain white t shirt, or vest top or whatever.

kelly3coloursrule Wed 27-May-15 15:15:49

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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