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Size 14, early 40s - what the flip am I supposed to wear (casual)

(25 Posts)
Notgrumpyjustquiet Fri 04-Sep-15 12:39:39

Where do they sell stuff that fits and flatters, isn't frumpy, doesn't cost a fortune? I'm about to give up on jeans because of spare tyre issues. I'm nowhere near ready for elasticated waistbands and gold buttons. I find clothes shopping so depressing these days! Bigger, younger girls and older, slimmer women seem to be able to get away with so much more than I can. Everything I try on just doesn't seem to work for me. And I can't stand all this polyester stuff, makes me feel sweaty just looking at it. What can I do? <sobs>

patterkiller Fri 04-Sep-15 12:42:48

I'm about to go shopping and I'm sitting at home in a panic trying to look at blogs for inspiration, sorry not much help but I'm with you in spirit.

victoryinthekitchen Fri 04-Sep-15 13:05:57

maybe have a look at Wrap online, it's quite expensive but there are similar things coming into the shops.

BernardsBum Fri 04-Sep-15 13:08:19

Watching with interest - I'm in a similar state of despair OP!

Nonnainglese Fri 04-Sep-15 13:11:17

I'm 20 years older than OP, I too despair.

Seeking inspiration on here smile

PrimalLass Fri 04-Sep-15 13:14:05

I'm 41 and manage to find far too much to buy blush

I live in skinnies or rolled-up chinos, with a hippyish blouse and sandals, or a jumper, or a lace tshirt. Ankle boots in the winter.

Whatthefoxgoingon Fri 04-Sep-15 13:30:29

Honestly, I find loads to buy in my 40s and I'm not a beanpole. Unfortunately, I have to pay for good fabric and cuts, and I can't wear cheap fashion without looking ridiculous.

I buy from baukjen, toast, jigsaw, whistles, temperley, massimo dutti, ghost, jaeger, kooples and the like. I don't wear trainers, dungarees and jeans with holes, nothing ages you more than trying to look 20 years younger than you are.

I have great expensive accessories and handbags. I invest a lot in the classics.

I can't stand polyester. For cheaper bits, I sometimes look at Boden, Cos, People Tree or Finery, very occasionally Zara. But you have to sift through 99% synthetic crap!

Liveinthepresent Fri 04-Sep-15 14:19:36

Another early 40s 14 here - I too find tons of clothes I like and seriously have to restrain myself. The change in weather is making my debit card twitch at the moment !
I have always been quite a 'classic' dresser so nothing too high fashion.
I don't do much high street shopping - most of my wardrobe is white company, whistles, hush and Baukjen. Occasionally odd bits from mint velvet and Boden - but they are the ones I sometimes realise too late are a bit frumpy !

Liveinthepresent Fri 04-Sep-15 14:21:52

Oh and haven't worn jeans much for a while but have crops / cigarette pants / boy friend jeans/ harems / jumpsuits so feel like I have more choice than when I was in a skinny jean rut.
Oh and the occasional maxi dress when it was warmer .

Notgrumpyjustquiet Fri 04-Sep-15 15:10:15

Thanks ladies, this is really helpful and I'm asking in all seriousness. What makes it seem daunting is that I'm not the girliest girl in the world so frocks and heels really aren't me. Add in bingo wings, a spare tyre and an OH who's too terrified polite to say anything other than 'no, you look great' whenever I ask him for feedback and I've just lost my way. I know I'm not thin 25 anymore and I'm completely fine with that I was even contemplating using the personal shopper in Debenhams or somewhere just for some clues.

Elemental Fri 04-Sep-15 16:44:03

I'm 41 and sound possibly like a similar shape to you. I could never find jeans that worked for me, but this article introduced me to Gap's Girlfriend Jeans which are the best that I've ever tried -

BabyGanoush Fri 04-Sep-15 16:55:00

I buy cheap skinnies at Dorothy Perkins (no muffin tops, they are cut for curvy shapes. Order 6 different types and send back the ones that don't fit (free returns)

I then pair it with a nice top from the Anthropologie sale.

Wear that combo loads (43 and a 12-14)

Millymollymama Fri 04-Sep-15 16:57:57

Cos - synthetic crap? Really? Not that I have seen. I would actually recommend Cos (owned by H and M) and Massimo Dutti (owned by Zara) and Banana Republic (owned by Gap). Also & Other Stories, Atterley and Finery. Mint Velvet suits a more boho look. More expensive: Jigsaw, Whistles and Jaeger. Cotton shirts and wool separates are available at loads of places - Cos very much included!

Sparebutton Fri 04-Sep-15 23:37:46

Yes, mama I agree about Cos. plenty of cotton, wool and silk there.

ouryve Sat 05-Sep-15 00:00:02

The M&S fit and flatter type skinnies are good for those of us with a 40s tyre.

I'm 45 and over the past 5 years I've been forced to move on from a slightly fitted waist preventing me from looking like a brick to something pretty freeform that ignores the insurmoutable fact that I am a brick. Styles that are lightly gathered just under the bust with a tidy shoulder line help with that. M&S indigo are quite good at the right shape and I've had some success with the more unfitted styles from Fatface. Joules have some nice stuff but the neckline tends to make my hormonal pre-teen boy blush. Laura Ashley are really good if you're selective.

I like the look of mint velvet, but the grey is too pale for me and the tops are too short and there is far too much polyester for me to say "yes! that's the one I want 3 of!"

Whatthefoxgoingon Sat 05-Sep-15 00:32:15

No I meant synthetic crap in Zara, not the rest!!

Whatthefoxgoingon Sat 05-Sep-15 00:39:32

Cos is ok, but I have to work hard to avoid the 1930s communist bloc look...

YonicScrewdriver Sat 05-Sep-15 00:42:12

Place marking.

BabyGanoush Sat 05-Sep-15 09:25:15

I can't wear Cos

Too shapeless.

Indeed, communist block style grin

burnishedsilver Sat 05-Sep-15 09:33:55

Mint velvet have some great skinny jeans for hiding muffin tops. You need to try on lots because some of them actually accentuate the muffin top but when you hit on the right pair you'll feel fantastic.

Salsa jeans are also worth trying.

Cheapest option is Gap Girlfriend. They're a very flattering pair of jeans.

Notgrumpyjustquiet Sat 05-Sep-15 16:50:02

Some brilliant suggestions ladies, in particular I like the idea of ordering from Dotty P and just sending it all back if it doesn't fit. I looked round Whistles, Zara, Jigsaw yesterday but didn't see much that I fancied. Maybe I do seriously need to start to like spending heaps of cash on flowery patterned polyester...

BabyGanoush Sat 05-Sep-15 16:53:26

Step away from the polyester!

BikeRunSki Sat 05-Sep-15 16:58:42

Also 13 and early 40, with a sticky out tummy that is never going to be flat or firm again. I love these jeans so much I have bought 2 pairs. They are high enough to hold in my tummy!

rookiemere Sat 05-Sep-15 17:02:35

I could have written your post myself OP. I thought I was fairly stylish yesterday until I realized that when I moved there was a slight gap between the end of my top and start of my jeans - luckily I had a long scarf on.
Must take a look at Gap girlfriend jeans next time I'm there.

I tend now to head straight for John Lewis when I'm in town, they have a better selection of items of clothing that tend to work for me. I find that now I'm a bit fuller round the tummy I have to go for slightly longer, not so fitted tops. JL has a nice range of linen ones that were good in the summer.

I've been experimenting with Boden tunics and leggings. It's probably a terribly out of style look and everyone will poo poo it, but it works for me as it sweeps over that middle area.

Somewhere else that I tend to buy stuff from is Captain tortue, their stuff is unusual and stylish but tends to be natural fibres. Unfortunately it's one of those home party sales things, so I can only stock up at our school fair, but it's worth hunting out if you can.

hiccupgirl Sat 05-Sep-15 17:15:39

43 and size 16-18 and I have to restrain myself from spending far too much tbh.

Find some time to go to a shopping centre and town when it's not too busy. Go to shops like Dorothy Perkins, Debenhams, M&S etc and choose loads of things to go and try on including shapes you're not so sure of. Or order tons of things into store so there is no delivery cost. I've done this lots recently after I lost 3.5 stone and dropped from a size 22. I had no idea what suited me and had been living to flowery tops and boot cut jeans circa 2002. I know have a pretty good idea of what does work and what really doesn't.

Dorothy Perkins jeans are great if you are curvy and some of the M&S ones are good too but a bit more hit and miss. I've just go a fab pair of grey relaxed skinnies in M&S and their 5 pocket jeggings are good too.

Boden and Fat face are worth looking at but I only buy in the sale or with free delivery and returns.

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