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Help! What do middle aged women wear to an evening do?

(20 Posts)
neolara Mon 07-Dec-15 14:45:51

Just properly looked at the invite to my dh's Xmas works do this Thursday. Turns out that instead of a quick bite to eat down the pub its a 3 course meal plus dancing in a posh venue, dress code "party wear".

So.... I literally have nothing to wear. I'm a SAHM / student who has one pair of jeans I wear every day with alternating tops. I don't have any dresses, party shoes or boots. I am middle aged and a bit podgy. 5'7". Had a style day a couple of years ago and was advised not to wear anything with defined a waist as "why draw attention to something you don't have". Lady had a point. Small boobs. I look like a boy at the best of times - straight up and down. Black looks dreadful on me.

Any ideas would be fantastic. I really don't know where to start.

patterkiller Mon 07-Dec-15 15:23:51

I bought this from warehouse. It's blue with a subtle sparkle. It is very flattering.

BrendaandEddie Mon 07-Dec-15 15:49:52

do you like trousers?
if so get some slim black trousers and some kind of top.
Interesting shoes

Its not hard

niminypiminy Mon 07-Dec-15 16:48:30

This is where Marks and Spencer comes into its own - it's everywhere and full of reasonably priced stuff that you can wear out. Don't listen to people who say it's all horrible, that's quite untrue.

Personally I would choose something like slim black trousers and a top such as this with sequin bomber jacket but there are lots of very wearable choices on their partywear page - and many are reduced.

Floisme Mon 07-Dec-15 17:02:39

What are your arms like? If they're still good, I'd go for trousers and a sleeveless sequin top. There are lots of them around: quite high necked which would probably suit you if you've small boobs and the sequins mean they're quite forgiving of lumps and bumps.

Or if your legs are in better shape than your arms (as mine are) I'd try a sequin skirt - A line mini if you can carry it off or otherwise a knee length pencil shape.

I wouldn't spend a lot. It's a party; the lights will be low; most people will be pissed; no-one will remember.

carrie74 Mon 07-Dec-15 18:21:02

I'll be wearing a knee-length sequin skirt (cheap from H&M), but they had loads of cheap party wear that was great, and a black top for Xmas parties this year. I'm very boyish in shape, and try not to wear black too often, but...I'd go for something high-necked (looks good on small boobs) and a bit floaty. What is your style?

I'd probably wear a sparkly mini-ish skirt, black top, black opaques and heeled shoes or ankle boots. Otherwise I'd do slim black trews, a silk shirt and heels, or same trews, a silky cami and a fabric biker plus heels.

SuperFlyHigh Mon 07-Dec-15 19:08:39

You're lucky in the sense that with small boobs you can wear vest/strappy tops.

I'd go for separates - not jeans for a work do but skinny black trousers or Capri pants and yes to sequin knee length or above knee length skirt.

Also go for stuff you will wear more than once.

Mint Velvet always gets a Thumbs up here for evening wear also try asos.com.

CakeMountain Mon 07-Dec-15 19:44:36

Maybe something that you can wear again as a student/mum - black trousers and sparkly top?

What about this top with trousers and sparkly earrings? www.phase-eight.com/fcp/product/phase-eight/all-sale/dora-dip-hem-top/301799050

Or a plain black dress in shift shape that you could wear for interviews another day - but have a sparkly clutch bag and jewelry?

or this may be cheaper than trousers and top www.phase-eight.com/fcp/product/phase-eight/all-sale/darlene-necklace-dress/203271050?

This would double for interviews, a wedding with bright accessories and even (sorry to be morbid) a funeral! www.phase-eight.com/fcp/product/phase-eight/all-sale/monroe-textured-dress/203298351

This would cover a tummy: www.phase-eight.com/fcp/product/phase-eight/all-sale/gail-woven-knit-dress/203095050

DickDewy Mon 07-Dec-15 20:47:24

I too am middle aged (45) and also 5' 7.5.

This weekend I have a party. I am going to wear New Look coated skinnies, a slouchy dark grey top (old, from Zara) and a new skinny black scarf from Top Shop and shoe boots.

BrendaandEddie Mon 07-Dec-15 21:12:17

Dick. You are me!

friedafilmer Mon 07-Dec-15 21:26:16

Fit-and-flare dresses.

Nettletheelf Mon 07-Dec-15 21:41:08

Don't go for yawny old black trousers and a sparkly top, zzzzz.

Wear a frock! Not some polyester spaghetti strapped abomination. You don't say how old you are, but you're quite tall and boyish figures are easier to dress than large bums etc.

Floisme Mon 07-Dec-15 22:50:01

Right so that's trousers and top or skirt and top. Or a dress. Either sparkly or not sparkly. Cheap n' cheerful or maybe made to last. Pretty unanimous then grin

Are you still there, op?
Does anything inspire you at all?

WhataRacquet Mon 07-Dec-15 23:53:01

What about something like this? www.newlook.com/shop/womens/dresses/ax-paris-red-textured-midi-dress_365197061

That style lady doesn't sound very helpful by the way!

BrendaandEddie Tue 08-Dec-15 06:40:14

I hate dresses.

FishWithABicycle Tue 08-Dec-15 07:08:10

Sparkly top from m&s, casual non-jeans trousers (also available from m&s). Fantastic necklace.

ItGoesWithoutSaying Tue 08-Dec-15 08:45:23

I'm with Nettle. Can't wear even smart black trousers on a night out as they remind me of work wear and therefore are boring. I don't suit jeans and the never feel dressed-up enough anyway. The only trousers I do wear on a night out are my disco pants - obviously not work wear. I suppose coated skinnies would give a similar look and feel.

So I'd go for the dress or skirt options outlined.

Whatsername24 Tue 08-Dec-15 09:09:01

46 here and this is a dilemma I have every Christmas. My husband's office do is always somewhere fancy, and I don't do fancy!

Last year I decided to give up trying to find the perfect dress (which I'd never wear again) and bought some black coated skinnies and wore them with a red sleeveless top and black jacket which I already owned, along with stiletto ankle boots. This year I've gone for skinnies again and running through Tesco a couple of months ago I spotted a lovely sheer and floaty teal coloured blouse which I can put a cami underneath. Just to bling it up a bit I've ordered a black sequinned clutch from Ebay which was only around £4.

neolara Tue 08-Dec-15 13:31:01

First, thanks for all the advice, conflicting as it was. grin

I have spent the morning scouring the shops, bearing everything everyone said in mind, going into shops I literally haven't visited for 10 years. I looked at sparkly tops, sparkly skirts, sparkly dresses and I was just about to give up when TKMax came up trumps.

It's surprisingly flattering for a middle aged woman with a boyish figure. And also ridiculously cheap which was an added bonus.

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