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I think I need more structure! Can you help?

(11 Posts)
TheHappinessTrap Wed 29-Jul-15 13:14:15

I've been struggling lately to put some outfits together that don't look too lazy. I think perhaps my shape has changed with age, or my perspective on myself has changed. Whatever it is, I've always shied away from structure. The closest I get is work-suitable capris or ankle skimmers. Otherwise it's been loose tops and skirts, cardigans and scarves. I don't think my capris/skimmers suit my top choices so I don't wear them often. However I do have a casual top that has a collar and I always think the structure suits me, so, I've bought a blazer. It's a tweed-like jersey thing. It arrived today and I do love it though it will take some getting used to for it to feel like me. I've also got a few button down collared shirts on order. How do I wear structure without looking 1) like a man and 2) like I work in law or something? I'm public sector and need to look approachable. I'll have a look on the belt thread as that's been a concern of mine, and also on the tucked or not tucked thread as I think un-tucked might help with my concern about looking softer! Oh, and I tend to wear sandals, brogues and loafers. Do I need to locate a style icon?

TheHappinessTrap Wed 29-Jul-15 17:43:42

Ok, so I realise I'm talking to myself here, but my OH won't be interested either so.... I have skimmed websites for inspiration. I have found two more blazers. I've gone for jersey ones. The button down shirts arrived and are great, if too starched, so they're in the wash. I'm sending the white one back as it just looks too formal. And I might pair these with my ankle skimmers, but I'm preferring it with cords with a small roll. I've ordered belts but they may go back. Basically about £200 on 6 shirts, 3 jackets and 2 belts has completely set me up I think!

pinkfrocks Wed 29-Jul-15 17:48:29

Shirts can look very 'manly'.
What age are you and what shape- and size?

What about tailored dresses, or neat cardigans over a silky type T-shirt?

What sort of job/ role do you have? Is it customer focused or in an office?

MilkThistle187 Wed 29-Jul-15 17:49:13

I'm similar, I look much better in more fitted, structured clothes, I just look wrong in oversized, slouchy clothes no matter how much I admire them on other people.

Sounds like you have a good capsule wardrobe there. I also find slightly A line dresses and skirts are good, shirt dresses, fitted jumpers with skirts or ankle skimmers in winter.

MilkThistle187 Wed 29-Jul-15 17:50:16

I like shirts with a round collar rather than the standard pointy type. Harder to find though.

pinkfrocks Wed 29-Jul-15 17:57:39

Your wardrobe does sound quite masculine- trousers, shirts, belts and brogues.
Is this a 'look' you like?

What about pencil skirts, court shoes, or A-line skirts and knee high boots for example? Or ankle boots?

MilkThistle187 Wed 29-Jul-15 18:01:23

Could you wear a t shirt under your blazers for work or would that be too casual?

TheHappinessTrap Wed 29-Jul-15 18:02:19

Hi Pink and Milk!

I'm 42. Don't want to really say what I do but it's a softer profession. I find my shape hard to describe because essentially I'm a pear and this is significant when I'm over weight, but I've gone down a dress size which leaves me between a pear and an hourglass, size 12 ish. Essentially now I just have a large bottom but everything else has pulled in a bit!

The white shirt that I'm returning was manly, and bland on me, and formal. The others are blues and greys in prints and solids. The prints are very feminine without being fussy or floral.

I'm curious to know what a round collar is, but I have now spent my budget really so I don't want to become tempted! What do you wear Milk if you also need to wear more structure?

MilkThistle187 Wed 29-Jul-15 19:56:52

I am a similar shape to you, but I'm a sahm, so don't often need to dress formally, but the crucial thing for me is that everything fits properly, especially on the shoulders and I also often end up taking up hems and sleeves. I'm not overly fond of my bum and thighs, but I have a small waist so like to empathise that.

For you for work maybe something like Capri pants, good t shirt (got some good ones in Hobbs recently) or a silk sleeveless top maybe, Jersey blazer. I think the shirt and blazer sounds a bit masculine. I have a lovely lace top that I wear with a structured blazer, softens it, but it's not flouncy.

In winter I wear a lot of A line skirts, above the knee, opaque tights in the same colour as the skirt, ankle boots, fitted cashmere or merino jumper. You could put your blazer with this or a neat, Chanel style jacket. If I wear jeans, I go for straight leg and I have chopped mine off above the ankle and wear with ankle boots.

I like dresses like this, again make sure the fit on the shoulders is good. Me and Em have great clothes, they have goods sales and the occasional 20% off if you sign up for emails.

What I mean by round collar is a Peter pan collar, they look softer, they can be hard to find though. I spent years looking for a denim shirt with one, eventually found one in Zara.

Hope that helps!

daftbesom Wed 29-Jul-15 21:21:26

I have similar issues OP.

At risk of outing myself, have just bought this skirt at H&M and this blouse in grey to go with.

Skirt very structured. Blouse less so but looks good on top (I think it does anyway!) Or you could wear a skinny top like the model does.

I fit a medium skirt but I bought a large as it was longer and it comes to just above the knee on me - it's made if elastic so is not falling down!!!

I can't wear pencil skirts as running about a lot.

TheHappinessTrap Thu 30-Jul-15 17:45:06

I can report back that I appeared taller and thinner today advising to my own point of view as well as some feed back. I didn't wear the jacket, think I will sAve that ti wear with a tee as it did feel too masculine. I was surprised by how comfortable I felt today too.

I do have a few pencil skirts daft, but mine have to be below the knee to flatter, and I find them too restrictive in hot weather.

Love that dress milk but I may now abstain from looking into the links is temptation! Thanks for your tips both. It feels like I have a lot of options now!

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