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Please define 'frumpy'.....

(158 Posts)
LaContessaDiPlump Wed 16-Sep-15 15:03:12

This is a TAAT, in case you were wondering! I saw the 'Phase 8 - frumpy or not?' thread and realised that I like quite a lot of stuff in there blush

I'm 33, 5'5 and a size 18 (hoping to drop a bit soon though). Big mum tum and bum, arms and legs on the larger side. I do have curves though.

Please steer me right Mumsnetters!

flanjabelle Wed 16-Sep-15 15:07:53

To me frumpy is something that an elderly woman would be comfortable in. That may be stereotypical, and I'm sure there are plenty of fashionable elderly women, but the majority go for comfort over style, very bland colours, boring shapes etc. Or curtainy patterns.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 16-Sep-15 15:14:41

So basically my whole wardrobe then blush

I never wear anything 'interesting' because I'm convinced that it looks like utter shit on me. Safe, dependable, reliable, dull. Not hilarious to behold.

Bunbaker Wed 16-Sep-15 15:15:52

I never wear anything uncomfortable. So that makes me frumpy as well.

Gruach Wed 16-Sep-15 15:18:20


To me frumpy is something that an elderly woman would be comfortable in ...

What utter nonsense.

claptomania Wed 16-Sep-15 15:21:45

To me frumpy equals beige, shapeless clothing in bad fabrics, things that are baggy or otherwise ill fitting. Wearer looks like they don't care.

RiverTam Wed 16-Sep-15 15:21:52

There's been a huge thread about frumpy in the last couple of weeks, can't link because I'm in my phone but have a look.

I think frumpy us a state of mind. Personally I couldn't give a fuck what some people on the S&B board in MN think about what I wear. Well, I do, but I don't want to as who the hell is anyone to tell you that just because you like to wear X from Y shop that means you're a frump??

IsabelleEberhardt Wed 16-Sep-15 15:22:13

Frumpy is yet another patriarchal stick to beat women with. Wear what you bloody like!

squoosh Wed 16-Sep-15 15:22:49

It's all very subjective but frumpy to me is something like polyester slacks, a floral blouse and a pastel cardigan.

But even a lot of so called frumpy things like 'mom jeans' for example are back in fashion with the normcore cool kids.

You should always wear what makes you happy. No point dressing like the love child of Lady Gaga and Anna dello Russo if you secretly ache to wear some comfy jeans and trainers.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 16-Sep-15 15:26:50

Hmm. I have belatedly realised that this thread has a good chance of making posters shout at each other. Sorry.

Perhaps it would be better to ask posters how they would define 'stylish'?

EmilyPunkhurst Wed 16-Sep-15 15:27:38

This question has been posed before and there are hundreds of personal answers to it. "Frumpy" is often described as wearing clothes that are too conservative, unflattering or put together with no sense of personal style. I think there's maybe something too about dressing to "hide": which I think most of us have done at some stage in our lives for all sorts of reasons.

What matters most, I think, is wearing clothes that make you feel good about who you are and that are dictated by an internal voice not an external pressure. So if Phase 8 clothes suit you, you feel good in them and they help you to feel that you're the best version of you, then bloody well wear them!

I absolutely don't think you just lose your sense of style as you get older, I think personal style (of whatever kind) is carried through life.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 16-Sep-15 15:28:55

I should point out that anything I purchase usually looks stylish and exciting in the shop but morphs into an ugly unflattering piece of shit as soon as I leave the shop.

Maybe it's because in the shop I am full of hope that this may make me look good and at home the reality becomes evident.

nottheOP Wed 16-Sep-15 15:29:14

Shapeless, dated, beige. Most overly comfy shoes!

Sandals like this, teamed with knee length beige shorts and a lemon yellow M&S cotton round neck t-shirt = frump

I think it doesn't matter what size you are, or your age. Dressing in colours that don't wash you out, in clothes that fit and are cut well should keep you out of the frump zone IMO.

triathlon Wed 16-Sep-15 15:29:43

I think there's no such thing. If someone wants to wear beige/patterns/florals then that's their chosen style that they are happy with. No need to be disparaging about it. They're only clothes.

nottheOP Wed 16-Sep-15 15:31:04

I absolutely don't think you just lose your sense of style as you get older, I think personal style (of whatever kind) is carried through life

I have a very stylish granny. She has a great eye for what suits her - I haven't inherited this.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 16-Sep-15 15:35:51

nottheop that dress is the sort of thing I used to wear, and I have a pair of those sandals....

It's not fair. My younger sister wears things like that and somehow manages to look quirky and fun and like she believes she looks good. 'cos she does.

I tend to look at myself in the mirror and think 'That'll do - all covered up and not too ridiculous, revealing, tight or ugly'. I then avoid looking at myself for the rest of the day.

Do others actually consider how they'd like to appear, or do they just throw clothes on each day?

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 16-Sep-15 15:36:51

me possibly

I think it is very subjective. A lot of more stylish people would describe my dress sense as frumpy I guess. Jeans, tops, lots of long cardigans. The odd fleece thrown in for good measurewink

I think it's a hideous term though that really has no place in the English language. We should all be confident to wear what we choose and that should be that.

MagicalRealist Wed 16-Sep-15 15:37:01

Whenever this question is asked on MN, there's a wide range of responses going from "fleeces and crocs" to "trench coats, blazers and skinny jeans" - basically, most things that most people wear will get labelled frumpy by someone.

squoosh Wed 16-Sep-15 15:37:46

OP it sounds as though.....<cheesiness approaching> need to love your reflection a bit more. You sound very down on yourself.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 16-Sep-15 15:38:54

I have some sandals or dissimilar to those linked. They go nicely with my technical quick dry walking shorts and t shirtwink

They are also incredibly comfortable and practical for long walks. I love them and genuinely don't feel frumpy wearing that stuff at all!

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 16-Sep-15 15:41:44

Maybe you're right, squoosh. It would be so much easier to love if it looked nice though.

I am naturally drawn to comfy things that look nice and safe. I received an order today from a company called the 'BeautyBay' and was honestly a bit embarrassed that anyone might think I had a right to order from it. That's silly, isn't it.

EmilyPunkhurst Wed 16-Sep-15 15:46:47

Do you have a friend IRL who you think is stylish and whose opinion you trust? What about doing a huge try on session going through your wardrobe and maybe putting together some different combinations (that you might not otherwise choose)? Or ordering some things online and trying them on with a friend there?

We are always much harder and crueller to ourselves than we are to others. I think a friend might help you to see your good points: you'll have loads, we all do, but we're so willing to focus on the bad.

squoosh Wed 16-Sep-15 15:50:31

That really is silly to be worried that people would be mocking you for buying from Beautybay.Emily is right, we are SO much more critical of ourselves than anyone else is. Take it from me LaContessa, you're at least 42% more attractive than you give yourself credit for!

Go on Pinterest and look for styles you'd like to try. Start out by wearing a colour or pattern you'd normally avoid and gradually build up your confidence.

It's fine to wear Phase 8 if that's what you love but I get the feeling you'd like to try other looks. Can your sister help you out?

fabulousfanny Wed 16-Sep-15 15:55:17

OP it sounds like you're in desperate need of a 'Style Day' by House of Colour or Colour Me Beautiful or with an independent stylist (John Lewis/Selfridges etc..)

No, I don't work for any of them but I think they're hugely helpful to people who don't have an innate sense of their own style or who have lost their way, style-wise for whatever reason.

If you're only 33 then you should be making the most of your youth (!) and figure. If you tell us what type of body you have and what kind of image you want to project, maybe we can help.

shouts 'oi!' to Travelincolour

MNetter15 Wed 16-Sep-15 15:59:50

I remember a poster absolutely nailing it on a previous thread. She said something like, bootleg jeans that are a few cm's too short over round toe boots (I'm picturing brown, faded from being worn) and a fleece jacket. That is my definition of frumpy too.

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