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what to wear and how to wear it with confidence, please?

(20 Posts)
Newbiecrafter Wed 01-Jul-15 10:22:51

Hi everyone

Today I am in jeans and my only light weight blouse. I asked yesterday for help on finding more floaty tops and i got some good ideas which was great.

Driving back from the school run today, everyone I saw, was in lovely summery clothes, shorts,dresses, skirts etc and I realise I really don have a clue about how to dress or what to wear.

I feel ridiculous in my jeans butt very conscious of my body in anything else.

I am large busted (32GG) size 16-18 have big thighs, fat knees and big calves that turn into cankles :-( I also have a c section pouch.

Driving back I was amazed at all the different clothes women had on. They were all different shapes and sizes and all of them looked lovely. I didn't find myself looking at anyone and noticing anything other than them looking cool. When I look at myself though I am often ashamed that I am as big as I am and that I am clueless about clothing. I have two dc and would love to be a cool mum for them, in all senses of the word, but I am a frump and look ridiculous esp in this heat.

So, I am looking for advice on what sort of things I could wear and where I should by them from.

I like covering up and the idea of maxi dresses. Long skirts I love too but never know how to team that up with tops. I find dresses that are fitted uncomfortable, and make me very self conscious but the baggier ones don't feel right or make me look like a big rectangular lump.

I am 47 and have this same issue every single year when the weather gets hot. I sometimes think I will never get this right. I wear the same stuff all year round. In spring, autumn and winter I live in jeans and jumpers. I am very boring. But when I go shopping I struggle with liking anything. I have tried a personal shopper in JL and even she was stumped.

So, how can I dress more appropriately for the weather and how do I get over this consuming negativity I have about myself and the crippling self consciousness.

Hoping this makes sense. Thank you for reading and I hope someone can help me, a bit.


Judydreamsofhorses Wed 01-Jul-15 11:32:20

I don't have any real advice, but your post made me feel a bit sad - I bet you actually look great, you are just really being hard on yourself!

I also struggle with dressing for the heat, because my natural uniform is either skinny jeans and a top, or dress and opaques, both options worn with brogues or Chelsea boots. Today I'm in a midi-dress and bare legs, and had to pretty much force myself out of the door because I felt so self-conscious - however three separate people have said how nice I look, so it must be okay. This probably sounds trite, but sometimes you've just got to front it out - and remember some of the other people you think look lovely are probably feeling negative and self conscious too.

In terms of buying things, could you do a big ASOS order with free delivery and returns, try everything on at home, thus avoiding changing room hell, then send back what you don't like? Sometimes it can be good to just pick up stuff that you instinctively like the look of without pre-conceived ideas of "oh, that shape won't flatter me" or "I have to hide my arms/tummy/whatever" and it might just surprise you.

Waywarddaughter Wed 01-Jul-15 12:30:35

No advice I'm afraid but I just wanted to let you know that I feel exactly the same - I'm 35, larger than you but with a smaller bust and feel completely lost. I'm fine with clothes in theory and helping others choose but when it comes to me I just feel that everything is wrong hug. I think the Asos idea is a great one x

Maverick66 Wed 01-Jul-15 12:44:03

I love your post Newbie

I would say a lot of us will identify with you.
I too am great at picking for other people and know exactly what suits them but when it comes to myself I have so many requirements I'm stumped.

I am a size 20/22 and I can't even seem to get sandals to fit ;-(

Hope Tethersend comes along she always gives good advice regarding clothes for us plus size ;-)

FredaMayor Wed 01-Jul-15 12:56:11

OP, I can understands your concerns. I think it's worth mentioning getting your underwear right so that you can avoid your clothes looking ill-fitting. There are some effective waist high knickers in lightweight fabrics (say from M&S) that will minimise a tummy issue like you have quite well.

What area of your body do you like? Perhaps neck, shoulders or hands? Flatter these with the right sleeve length or neckline for you. I have found I was able to get alterations made to some of my clothes quite cheaply and it really made a difference so that too could be worth your while.

Skirt lengths and heel height of shoes change with fashion but there may be an optimum for you, so my advice is to go with what looks best and not to bother too much about the latest look. Could you find a buddy who will tell you like it is, like a sister or good friend? The mirror doesn't always tell you what you need to know.

SuperFlyHigh Wed 01-Jul-15 17:51:05

It's really strange ive got 2 friends who are larger ladies and 1 really suits monsoon stuff the other doesn't.

Anyway the other day we were in a local gift shop/boutique and it had floaty but fitted 3/4 length sleeve tops etc. When I go there I'll tell you the brand the shop doesn't have a website.

It's a question of try on and suit what suits you. Maxi dresses often suit my friend too with straps, short sleeves etc.

Sonotkylie Wed 01-Jul-15 18:06:26

Hi there. I too have a comedy bust. Not great for hot weather clothing. I love wearing really thin cotton shirts (pop a vest under if cooler) and got a couple from Mango last year. Not too uncovered but cool. Gap can also be a good place to look.
I am also wearing cut off denim shorts. A new departure for me as I hate my knees and thighs but found that buying them shorter than you think (mid thigh - don't go too wild!) and bigger so they are slouchy, works for me. Also good for a friend who is more your size. I'm afraid its trial and error ... But Asos, Mango and Gap are good on returns - free and prompt to refund.
Good luck

Newbiecrafter Wed 01-Jul-15 20:15:06

Hi everyone

Thanks for your help thanks

Judydreamsofhorses, I didn't mean to make you feel sad. I didn't mean to sound down. Just monumentally confused is how I was feeling when I wrote that.

I really appreciate everyone's help and It's also reassuring (in a selfish way blush ) that its not just me that feels like this. The other thing I struggle with is attention. so if I wore something different and someone noticed I'd be mortified, but because I am soooo predictable in what I wear, if it was different, someone would notice so that's me scuppered.

I know it's a confidence issue, but I don't know how to 'get over' that. Also I don't know if I don't find it easy to buy stuff because I don't want the attention or just because I don't like the stuff I try. its very confusing being in my head at times. confused

Judydreamsofhorses Wed 01-Jul-15 20:40:00

newbiecrafter not sure if it makes any odds, but I'm a size 10/12 so the lack of confidence (particularly with summer clothes!) seems to transcend shape/size in a lot of people. For what it's worth, baring my legs today felt like a massive "thing" for me, even if it was really just my lower legs, and quite a few people commented - but the sky didn't fall in!

ppolly Wed 01-Jul-15 21:03:50

Yes, so grateful to above poster. I have terrible trouble dressing myself in the summer and everyone else seems to know how. So glad I am not alone.

I agree with Judy. I'm a 12 but really, really struggle with summer clothing - and summer work clothing is virtually impossible.

I don't like the tops of my arms and also hate showing any cleavage. My legs are okay-ish, but even so I don't really like having them out without tights on (unless I'm on holiday, in which case I don't care).

One look I do quite like is a skirt with a camisole and then a fitted-ish denim shirt on top, but worn open. This is no good for work but okay for weekends.

Also, I think sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and remember that most people are far too busy worrying about themselves to think about you. I walked up to the local shops this evening wearing (very) short shorts, and nobody pointed or laughed and nobody died.

ppolly Wed 01-Jul-15 21:12:42

changing what you normally wear is probably more embarrassing for you than for anyone else. I always wear trousers but ventured out in a long skirt yesterday, feeling daring. I had two comments over how nice and coolI looked. Now I just need to find a few similar items.

Newbiecrafter Wed 01-Jul-15 22:38:49

I know I'm silly and i know that the sky wont fall in or that no one will die. I guess what your all saying is I just have to do it.

sorry to be such a numpty.

Judydreamsofhorses Wed 01-Jul-15 22:58:53

newbiecrafter I don't think anyone reckons you're silly or a numpty - we all feel the same! Could you buy a couple of cheap items from sales/Primark or similar that you could try out without breaking the bank? I have things I've bought which have ended up as house/garden clothes because I've realised they're not quite me, but if they're not too spendy I can just chalk them up to experience and think that at least I tried! (I don't know if this is useful to anyone, but one of the best tricks I was ever given was from a friend who transitioned from female to male who told me he always wore a tight vest under everything before surgery which holds everything in. I buy them one size smaller than my usual clothes (mine are Topshop ones) and unless it's boiling hot, wear one every day - it's amazing how much they smooth things out.)

Newbiecrafter Wed 01-Jul-15 23:19:18

Hi again smile

I feel that way myself. No one on here said anything to make me feel that way. I really appreciate the help and advice and even statements like those put things into perspective which I need to remember.

I think if I had some things I might actually give it a go but I stumble at the first hurdle and never get around to buying stuff if I go shopping. But I did order a few tops from amazon yesterday, as suggested on my other thread, so will do what you suggest with wearing them around the house to just get used to them. I hadn't thought of trying that. Maybe if I get used to something myself it would make it seem less new and then maybe less of a big deal.

I also like the idea of the slightly tighter vest. I can see what you mean.

I am trying to deal with the excess weight too with 5:2 which is going okay. I have tried and not succeeded with lots of other diets before so hoping this one works.

Mentally I think I have been the same even when I was a slim size 12, so being bigger just adds to it, but I do agree that it is an issue that I have irrespective of my size.

Thank you again. I will have a look in primark too. I think that's a really good suggestion as sometimes the cost of new things really surprises me and i dont have that kind of money to spend or I don't think its worth it for me, if that makes sense.

There are some good ideas on her so thank you again. thanks

squizita Thu 02-Jul-15 09:44:55

Your bust doesn't sound unusually large op. smile If you feel it is you might want to get measured!
For example I'm a size 10 (8 in some shops) and am a 30G/GG. My boobs don't look unusually large and I can buy high street tops. I was 32E/F a while back and again surprisingly that's not huge!

A well fitted bra might well open up a lot of clothing opportunities!

Iliveinalighthousewith2friendl Thu 02-Jul-15 09:49:02

I will say this to you as I do not think you're fishing for compliments.
You've got a figure a lot of women would envy and men would admire.
You're curvy with big boobs. Embrace it.

SunnySomer Thu 02-Jul-15 09:58:14

I think the biggest thing is not to wear things that are trendy, but that fit - whatever your size, you will look smaller if the clothes you're wearing fit you properly. Quite often baggy stuff emphasises the very things you're trying to hide; clothes that are too tight again emphasis your lumps and bumps. You can get clothes altered to suit your body shape.
I am far from a style icon, but am a very similar age and not totally dissimilar size (less norkage) but today I am wearing navy chino shorts from Boden (come to just above the knee, I would NEVER wear a skirt this length, but somehow longish tailored shorts look fine) and a Gap boyfriend shirt with sleeves rolled up. It somehow makes me feel presentable, and the moment you feel presentable I think you hold yourself better, so you look smarter and more confident. If that makes sense?
Sorry if I'm wittering..... You can totally do this!

ppolly Thu 02-Jul-15 18:09:30

I do not think this has anything to do with size, but everything to do with confidence. One of my work colleagues is large and always looks fabulously well dressed and co-ordinated.

hiccupgirl Thu 02-Jul-15 19:05:39

I'm a 16-18 and a 36F so similarish shape...also carry all the weight on my stomach on hips....think major pear shape!

I've recently lost over 3 stone due to health issues and I'm having to relearn how to dress myself. 1 thing I've really found this week in the heat, is that wearing loose, long tops and baggy trousers, shorts etc like I used to, actually make me look bigger than I am now. More fitted things and shorter tops really look better and no-one faints if my wobbly arms come out.

I've had to do lots of going to clothes shops and just grabbing piles of clothes that I sort of like the look of and might be ok and then trying everything on. Things that I never expected to work have been great. Today I've got on girlfriend shorts from Sainsburys which are just above the knee together with a flowery sleeveless top from Dorothy Perkins which is much shorter on my body than I've worn in the past but it works well.

I've also started taking photos of my outfits each day. These has really helped me sort out what looks good, what's ok and what is pretty awful. This then helps me feel more confident because I know I look ok.

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