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Work wardrobe help

(15 Posts)
MsMermaid Fri 12-Aug-16 15:57:46

I need some help in buying some new things for work.

I'm a teacher so it doesn't have to be smart office wear, I've always worn black trousers and a smart top, which I'm happy with really.

My classroom is incredibly hot all year round so short sleeves are essential. No cardigans or jackets to finish off an outfit, I would cook.

I'm size 18 and apple shaped so have large boobs and tummy. I'm losing weight, but an unlikely to change shape drastically in the next 3 weeks.

I'm also tall so tips need to be slightly longer length otherwise they ride up when I'm writing on the board, showing the kids my midriff which is not quite what I want to do.

I also hate shopping with a passion, because everything looks awful on me. I'd like to just order some things online and then not bother again for a year or so (or when it becomes necessary because I've lost some weight).

So I'm hoping some of you will have some bright ideas for fabulous work outfits that will make me look amazing and professional. I really need the help.

RaisingSteam Fri 12-Aug-16 17:23:21

Have you tried the Boden Ravello tops?
Also don't forget that outfits are massively improved with good shoes, necklace/scarf and make up, also adds some "authority" to your look which is probalby no bad thing in teaching.

MsMermaid Fri 12-Aug-16 18:28:02

My feet are awkward too. Very wide toes and high instep, so good looking shoes are even more difficult to find than clothes. And I don't wear make up either, and don't intend to start. I think the grey steaks in my hair and slight wrinkles on my face give me plenty of authority grin I really just want clothes, that I can just throw on in the morning with minimal effort and look great (or at least passable)

I'll have a look at those tops now, thanks for the suggestion.

SheHasAWildHeart Fri 12-Aug-16 20:40:27

OP I find it hard to dress for work. I've got into the bad habit of blurring the lines between home clothes and work clothes because it's a bit casual wear I work. But I'm starting a new more senior and serious job so have booked an appointment with a personal shopper at John Lewis. I have a budget and will stick to it and hopefully I'll learn some tricks on how to find stuff that suits me when out shopping.

Pisssssedofff Fri 12-Aug-16 20:44:43

The teachers in our school are incredibly polished, look like they'd happily slide into any office. Wouldn't you feel better with a smarter look ? There's some nice tops that look like jackets in Asos and a bit of lippy does wonders to just look a bit more pulled together.

trinity0097 Fri 12-Aug-16 20:50:25

I have moved over to wearing shift dresses for work (am also a teacher), often with a jacket or cardi. You can wear the jacket out and about but take it off in the classroom. Mi tend to live in black tights, flat shoes a cheap shift dress from sainsburys or Asda and a black jacket or cardi. I often wear a short sleeve bolero cardi under the jacket so that I don't show off the top of my flabby arms when I take the jacket off.

Why is your room so hot though!? Turn off/down the heating and get in early and open all the windows as wide as they will go, and the door! In the summer think about ways of blocking out the sun, so creative displays on the Windows if it's solar related heat issues.

MsMermaid Fri 12-Aug-16 22:17:15

Thank you for all the suggestions. I'm looking at all suggestions this evening. I'm open to the idea of dresses, but I find it very difficult to find a dress that fits properly. I have thought of getting a personal shopper to help me, but then I'm limited to that one shop rather than being able to mix and match.

There is a real mix of polished and casual in my school, the ones who are incredibly polished are senior management, ordinary classroom teachers tend to be more casual. I am somewhere in between those extremes. I would need a LOT of time, energy and money to pull off an incredibly polished look, I didn't even look particularly polished on my wedding day.

My classroom is very hot because the building was badly designed in respect to temperature. All 8 classrooms are controlled by a single switch for the heating, with no thermostat so the options are just on/off. My side of the building gets a lot of sun all year round and has floor to ceiling windows that only open 15cm (I have measured), the other side of the building get no sun at all. So the 4 of us on my side boil all year and the others freeze all year. It's crap.

I'm genuinely not trying to be awkward, I just have a very awkward body shape to find clothes for, and stupidly shaped feet don't help either.

Pestilence13610 Fri 12-Aug-16 22:27:43

Have been rocking these as my summer boots Wide toes, high arches, comfort.
Go for tunics, once failed an observation for showing tummy when writing on board.

BeJayKayven Fri 12-Aug-16 22:31:18

Mango Violeta (and their outlet) clothes are great for Apple shapes. Tops just that bit longer and trousers in slightly higher waist with slim not flappy leg shapes. And plenty of natural fabrics too.

MsMermaid Fri 12-Aug-16 22:49:51

Pestilence I've got some boots very similar to those but mine are from Clarks. They are my winter boots though (and I still sometimes change into sandals when I get to school)

BeJay Thanks for that recommendation. Ive not heard of them before but apparently there is one near me so I may go in and have a look one day. Their website puts me off tbh, because even in the plus size section the models they seem to use are stick thin with no boobs so I have no idea how the clothes would look on somebody my size or even with a little cleavage.

BeJayKayven Fri 12-Aug-16 23:09:54

Oh, ikwym, a sz 16 or 18 model is a different creature indeed.

But for example I got these recently and wore them with a jersey blazer and sleeveless longer top under, all bought from the outlet.

RaisingSteam Sat 13-Aug-16 10:21:18

I think we're all looking for the holy grail of clothes that look smart and professional and flattering, but need no significant effort to put on or look after. I haven't found that yet!

I would second personal shopper. You don't say your budget so maybe Debenhams or John Lewis depending, but it helps if you are stuck in "everything looks awful on me".

In your situation I would put together five outfits and rigorously rotate them. Two pairs of comfortable shoes with a bit of a block heel - Fly London, Clarks etc.

Also don't go too loose or unfitted - either top or bottom should be a slimmer cut.

so... loose black tunic over not-black slim trousers, chunky silver necklace, black shoes
Dress and opaque tights (you can get "cool-tech" ones from M&S)
Slightly fitted top over slightly looser/bootcut trousers and pendant necklace
All black outfit but with a sheer top over a camisole
loose blouse and stretchy knee length skirt

If you don't wear make up then have you a good haircut and glasses if you wear them?

RaisingSteam Sat 13-Aug-16 10:22:00

Oh Pinterest is good for specific looks if you look up "plus size workwear"

MsMermaid Sat 13-Aug-16 10:33:35

I do have good glasses, but my hair is not great, it is straight and flyaway so frizzes no matter what I try to do with it.

I'll have a look on Pinterest today.

TheSpottedZebra Sat 13-Aug-16 10:48:12

What about a thinnish shirt or tunic over the trousers? Left untucked, so not the most fashiony choice, but cooler. But that would mean that you need to iron. Are you an ironer? grin short or 3/4 length sleeved ones.

I'm tall, and Gap Tall often have some surprisingly good, natural fibre, long shirts. Boden do 2 lengths also, I think.

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