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Please help dress me! Clueless about fashion, 40 yr old, 5'1, size 16 and need a new fashionable wardrobe.

(17 Posts)
Lulooo Fri 26-Aug-16 00:22:07

I've no idea where to start. I've recently thrown other all my old clothes, some of which I've had for 15 years and now have nothing to wear. I have a budget of about £500 which is money I've put aside over a long time. I need about 5-6 good outfits that I can wear everyday.

I'm 5'1 and size 16. Short and fat. And I'm almost 40. I need outfits that I can wear at home and go for odd errands without looking like a frumpy mum. I prefer to not show my legs.

Any tips? Blogs, websites, pics that I can actually buy (and not just admire but not afford) would be very helpful please. Even better is if someone could put a few outfits together and I could just buy them and know they'll look good.

I honestly feel like not even getting out of my pyjamas on some days as I don't have anything that looks remotely passable as chic. I feel like a big frumpy blob and all my previous buys have been disastrous as they're either too form fitting and make me look huge or I bought them on impulse as I'm always looking for a bargain.

Help. Please.

AnotherDayInParadiseLost Fri 26-Aug-16 00:26:27

Seasalt bargain days? So glam-for-middle-age tunics (dresses on you) with leggings spring/autumn and tights/boots in winter?

Not fashion-forward but may suit your figure.

Lulooo Fri 26-Aug-16 00:31:49

Thanks Anotherday. Do you mean this site:

DelphiniumBlue Fri 26-Aug-16 00:42:39

Can you describe your shape and colouring in more detail? And which bits do you like - maybe you've got good legs, or decent cleavage, or delicate wrists.... So we know which bits you want to highlight, and which bits you'd prefer camouflaged. And for example, I'm short- waisted, so there are certain brands which just don't work for my shape. The more detail you can give, the better advice you'll get.

Lulooo Fri 26-Aug-16 06:05:44

Well, I think I'd say my books are okay. My legs are a decent shape (just my skin is very dry and flaky and I can't handle hair removal so prefer to cover them up). My bum and waist is where I hold most of my weight. I'd say apple shaped.

Colouring, I've got brown hair, brown eyes and my skin is quite rosy.

Destinysdaughter Fri 26-Aug-16 06:17:07

Try Curvissa, you can order a catalogue online and look at it at home.

Go to a good dept store and see a personal shopper who may be able to find some good stuff that suits you. There's no obligation to buy but it'll give you a better idea as to what works.

Make sure you are wearing the colours that suit you so you have a wardrobe that matches.

DelphiniumBlue Fri 26-Aug-16 18:50:03

Try White Stuff for flattering jersey dresses that you could wear with leggings or opaque tights. Lots of their styles have pockets, which is a bonus. You'd need to try on - I find at 5' 4 that some of the tunics are only just above the knee on me, which is a perfectly decent length if you have tights on, andlooks good with boots.
I've got this style ) but last years patterns) and I wear it with black knee length boots. Really easy and comfortable. I've got similar from Boden, which is more expensive, but which come in different lengths.
With your colouring, sounds like you could go for quite strong colours, maybe pinky reds and burgundy ( fashionable this year) might work.

misspym Fri 26-Aug-16 19:03:12

You sound very similar to me except I am an inch taller and a couple of years older.

At our size it is all about proportions. It is very easy to get swamped. For that reason I'd say avoid plus size retailers (you don't need them at a 16 anyway) as I think they mostly design with much taller women in mind.

It has taken me a while to realise that it is better to wear neater, more fitted things. I was all about voluminous tunics etc for a while and while I still love a nice tunic I also wear skinny jeans and dresses a lot.

misspym Fri 26-Aug-16 19:09:17

H&M This was my find of the summer although it is probably a bit light to be much use at this stage. I bought it in navy and the grey stripe and got loads of compliments. Lovely with bare legs on a warm day but can be layered with leggings and a cardigan too.

I love the Next jersey harem pants but definitely size down at least one size for a more flattering fit.

For going out I wear black skinnies, a dressy top and a jacket like this

BlueEyedWonder Fri 26-Aug-16 20:42:07

OP I'm 40, 5ft but a size 6/8.
With regards to being short, I think it's important to try and get proportions right so petite ranges are worth a look: Boden, Dorothy Perkins, Next, Topshop, M&S, Gap online, Banana Republic all have some reasonable bits.
As others say, I've realised I look better in fitted clothes rather than loose ones. I appreciate I'm a smaller dress size but this was still true when I was a size 12 post pregnancies.
Have a look through some fashion magazine and see what's going to be in the ship's this coming autumn. Think about what colours you like. Then head to a big department store and see what you like.
Slim / straight leg jeans, jersey harems, knee length skirts and dresses, fitted tops and knits all work well.

bingohandjob Fri 26-Aug-16 21:14:37

Take a look at some of the plain/ simple pattern bargains in the Boden sale - with your budget you can try a load of things that appeal, grab them in a few sizes to try out and mix and match. Go for classics eg there's a great denim skirt in the sale and simple tees as well as classic LBDs etc. Get a friend who you trust & will be honest for a trying out session & anything you don't want, send back...there are always free delivery/return codes online. I'm an 18 and their fitted stuff much more flattering on me and true to size than lots of other brands. Spend some of your pot on a couple of good bras from Bravissimo (they'll measure you and it will make your new wardrobe hang beautifully) and grab a fab new lippy to set it all off. Exciting!

hellswelshy Sat 27-Aug-16 16:44:44

Watching with interest! Similar size here, few inches taller though. I could definitely do with spending a bit more on a few day dresses etc - love the whitestuff dress BTW! I tend to live in a uniform of skinny leggings, tops with long line vests underneath and scarf to feel smarter.Would love to invest in a few quality outfits for Autumn (my favourite season!) smile

SauvignonPlonker Sat 27-Aug-16 20:58:05

Similar height but older here!

My good buys have been:

- m&s per Una straight jeans. They come in a short leg length & really hold my tummy in.

- next leggings under a jersey dress - they come in petite sizes in navy, black, grey for £10.

The clothes ranges which suit me best are: seasalt, white stuff, fat face, lily & me, John Lewis collection, linea at HOF, mantaray at Debenhams.

Start with a good haircut & a proper bra fitting!

SauvignonPlonker Sat 27-Aug-16 21:00:03

Ps have you thought about a personal shopper? John Lewis, Debenhams, house of Fraser all have them.

Snog Sun 28-Aug-16 03:25:28

Google project 333 and also search capsule wardrobe on Pinterest so you end up with a coherent capsule wardrobe where all the colours work together.

You start by establishing a neutral colour base for your clothes that flatters your skin tone. Back is too harsh for most people, I use navy or grey. Then add in a couple of neutral colours that work with your base colour and a couple of accent colours.
I would aim to buy a stylish coat, bag, shoes and/or boots. Then a couple of bottoms (skirt/trousers/jeans), some tops and a dress. Two or three accessories: scarf, belt, jewellery in accent colours.

This way it will be really easy to always have something to wear that looks put together, and easy to add extra pieces later on.

Having a balanced wardrobe really gets you more more for your money.

I also second getting a well fitting bra from bravissimo.

A personal shopper is a good idea once you have worked out what you need for your capsule wardrobe and your colour scheme.
Also look for some bloggers who are a similar shape for outfit inspiration.

DarlingCoffee Sun 28-Aug-16 06:18:25 this is from M&S and is a free online stylist who will email you outfit choices and links to buy. It's been really helpful to me.

Lulooo Mon 29-Aug-16 22:10:29

Some helpful suggestions, thanks all.
I'm going to spend a few days browsing online and then maybe consider a personal shopper. I'm not sure I have the courage for it but I guess I'll never choose something different unless I have someone else choose for me.

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