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Boots and trousers- drag me up to date

(7 Posts)
Polkadot1974 Wed 11-Jan-17 21:30:16

I need overhauling. I've got awful clothes and my uniform of jeans and boots screams "Mum who's given up caring what she looks like"- not all mums look like this, but I do.
My work wear is where I need to start- my office is smart casual- no jeans, but suits and dresses invite "ooh, got an interview?" type comments. I wore a linen grey long sleeve t today with black trousers of a fit which was neither wide legged, nor straight legged, but too baggy to be good. Awful Clarks wedges which look orthopaedic, but lost my ballet pumps I would wear normally and too warm for knee boots under them ( I know, I know- awful awful).
I need to know please:
Trousers- what cut should I look for? Happy to wear heels if needed and buy new ones
Shoes/ boots- saw that kitten heel coming back, but I look beyond bad in them. Brogues/ loafers gone or still ok? Ankle boots and slimmer trousers? What will look younger? I'm mid-40s but student in my head and a bit indie in my clothing leanings. I was a docs and denim skirt and cheesecloth top at uni type if that helps!
And weekends- I'm pear shaped and skinnies look ok with knee boots, but not sure knee boots are ok? Can I wear an ankle boot with a skinny? I like some stone coloured ones I saw on here a while back- kind of mushroom colour. I need taking in hand please!! I also like a scarf, but see this needs to stop...

LadyOfTheCanyon Thu 12-Jan-17 08:41:58

First of all: don't panic. You sound like you're in a downward spiral of "Aaaaaarrrrgh!"
Secondly - how many truly " fashionable" people do you see when you look around? Not many, right? What you see is people who look nicely put together, and we can all do that.
If you've got the money right now, go and buy a couple/few pairs of skinnies/straight legs in quality fabric and dark colours. If you like ballet flats, fine- they look fine with skinnies. Try a more pointed toe for a more current shape.
You could try tapered/Capri type trousers that cut off just at the ankle for a smarter more work look.
Loafers/brogues/DM shoes all work with capris, skinnies and straight legs. For boots try Chelsea boots with interesting textures/colours or suede pixie boots.
Tops- you're down to personal preference here but you can't go wrong with heavyweight jersey long sleeve t shirts with a smart jacket over the top.
If in doubt - dark colours and use accessories like a bold necklace / belt/shoes to add colour.
If you can afford it, buy enough of everything ( trousers, tops, jackets, shoes) in a few shades that work together like black, Grey, cream, navy so you can swap in and out without making mistakes. Buy the best you can afford and will look after.
Throw everything out that you hate or makes you feel a bit Meh. Life's too short for shit shoes. Buy a handbag ( if you like handbags- I'm biased!) that makes you smile.
If in doubt - and again, if you can afford it, go to websites that you like the look of ( Boden is a bit marmitey but they know how to put outfits together that are pretty but not screamingly 'on trend') and buy outfits wholesale that you like the look of.
Honestly it's not hard. I know it sounds daunting when you start doubting that you look good in clothes but you're just having a wobble.

LadyOfTheCanyon Thu 12-Jan-17 08:48:04

I've actually seen less people this year wearing knee boots with skinnies now that you come to mention it. I think it looks fine, although more people seem to be going down the ankle boot route.
And scarves - what happened?? The trend this winter seems to be for young women to wear huge tartan thin knit woollen numbers just hung round their neck rather than wrapped round for warmth. WITH THEIR COATS LEFT UNDONE.
I cannot fathom the young. <gimmer>

Gillybobs Thu 12-Jan-17 09:44:27

Can i recommend a few blogs that might give you some ideas? A life to style and My fashionable forties..both work in a semi smart office and post outfit pictures.

Good dark neutral trousers are worth paying for. Gap bi stretch are really popular if you like fitted styles. Boden Richmonds are straight leg and fab quality. You can be lucky in m and s but tread with caution!!

I like jersey or knitted tube skirts or jersey dresses for work too. Easy to wear and look after.

Tops wise i prefer blouse type fabric over jersey which can veer towards too casual. You could try Dorothy Perkins, Warehouse, Oasis??

Clarks have office appropriate shoes that are reasonably stylish and comfy. I also like m and s shoes for work, really reasonable prices.

PNGirl Thu 12-Jan-17 09:47:55

I'm a Docs wearer (thankfully working in fashion I can wear mine to the office) but if I were to need to wear smarter clothes I'd go ankle grazer slim trousers, brogues, shirt or 3/4 sleeved t shirt, and a cardigan or blazer. Kind of on the masculine side. I think knee high boots need to be worn over trousers or tights but that can make them hard to wear to work. You could try flat knee boots, tights and a smart casual dress?

Weekends I wear skinnies (currently Topshop Jamie) with Docs, biker boots or rolled up skinnies/boyfriend jeans with ankle boots. I also like black or white trainers but mainly for spring/summer.

Polkadot1974 Thu 12-Jan-17 19:21:35

That's so very helpful thank you and gives me the pep talk I need. I'm not trying to be super on-trend but am not happy with how I look either. Will get shopping online tonight then try and book a few hours on my own without the dc to actually try stuff. I think new ankle boots may be a good start!

FootBone Thu 12-Jan-17 21:19:27

My best tip from MN when I felt like this is to shop somewhere that is more current than you would naturally look.

Then even with my inevitably crap styling of said current item, I can't really fuck it up too badly. In theory.

So I buy in Cos, &Other Stories and Zara and also look at TopShop etc for ideas.

Luckily for you (and me) our natural 90s inclinations are fashionable right now... so you can confidently revive your cheesecloth and DMs for weekends.

For office basic stuff Uniqlo can be good- quality generally OK and not expensive for work. If a bit lacking in personality.

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