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Style recommendations for a short hourglass?

(7 Posts)
MakingMerry Thu 12-Jan-17 08:33:01

Help me Mumsnet, I’m in a style rut!

I’m 40, 5ft 3/ 160cm and a size 12-14 hourglass (ie 12 on the waist, 14 on the hips and chest.)

It’s a shape which looks good in evening-wear, but less so in casual-wear. I could probably coast along in wrap dresses with three quarter-length sleeves for the rest of my days, but I would like something with a little more edge. Skinny jeans have been a disaster for me, as anything which fits over my thighs and hips are at least one size too big at the waist. The current trend for tight ankle grazers is even worse as they make my short legs look shorter. I’m desperately hoping for the return of the Mumsnet-despised slim bootleg!

Two further restrictions are that I have low contrast colouring and don’t suit black, and that because of my height, full length sleeves hang over my hands, which I hate – it’s a cute look on waifish teens, but not the image I’m going for.

Looking through what’s on offer the past few weeks, I’ve found a couple of navy blue V necks in Gap petite, but that’s it. Everything seems to be high neck, which doesn’t work with my shape, and/or long sleeved, which doesn’t work with my height and/or black, which doesn’t work with my colouring (or grey, but half my wardrobe is grey.)

Does anyone have any suggestions? I don’t think I’m unusually short, or have an unusual shape, or colouring, but I can’t seem to find anything.

Sonotkylie Thu 12-Jan-17 11:00:55

Hi, I am slightly taller than you (5'5) but similar size and shape. If you want to wear jeans, then I really recommend French Connection Rebound skinnies. Only jeans I have ever not needed a belt with. Just buy your usual size. Otherwise try straight leg? Asos has a fair selection.
I share your pain with ankle grazers, but might they work with a sock boot (Topshop or Zara) so you don't get bare skin. Funny how it's supposed to be leg lengthening but just makes my legs look stumpier ... The boot trick seems to work though.
Obviously, if you don't want jeans that's wasted!
3/4 length sleeves should start appearing from now for summer, but I have some 3/4 sleeve scoop neck tops from Uniqlo (not really 3/4 length on me but not over long normal sleeves) which are fab. Kettlewell colours always does them too. Uniqlo also has v neck knitwear and tops which are good. Sizing generally OK but check reviews. Boden relaxed v neck knitwear is perfect on me - right length and slouch and sleeves.
Not sure what you would class as edgy but thought I would give you some random tips of things I have found ...

GingerHanna Thu 12-Jan-17 12:24:43

It all depends on your personal style. I'm 5'6" and an hourglass - 38/29/39 (12/10/12) and tend to gravitate towards 50s inspired clothes.

Pencil skirts or big circle / swishy skirts - not A-line as that looks crap. Fitted is key for me. Not tight but fitted. I also have a tiny narrow back and huge boobs which doesn't help... I learnt to sew as a teenager so I could adjust off-the-rack to fit.

A lot of the modern vintage places will also have nice casual trousers and tops/blouses. Quite often the models are real sizes and real heights. You might find the capri pants/trousers quite nice for warmer weather as they go to mid calf. Quite easy to alter as they're usually not heavy thick denim.

Levi do a good range of jeans that I find aren't too gappy at the back. You just have a try a few pairs to find the right fit.

PhyllisWig Thu 12-Jan-17 12:32:21

Marking place

nickEcave Thu 12-Jan-17 12:57:35

I also a 40ish 12-14 hourglass who doesn't suit black but I'm even shorter at under 5 foot. I gave up on jeans a number of years ago as I never found a style that looked good. In the summer I wear slim ankle grazers or chinos but I have pretty much given up on trousers in the winter. In the winter my staple is a jersey tube skirt (cheap in H&M or pricier from Boden or Kettlewell) worn with wool tights or opaques and brogues or biker boots with a drapey (but not clingy) 3-quarter sleeve knitted top (I've got ones from Cos, J Crew and Monsoon). Because I am so short, I can wear tunics as dresses and I have some from White Stuff and Joules that I wear for a more casual look with thick tights and biker boots but I generally find casual quite difficult.

Shukinskaya Thu 12-Jan-17 16:25:06

OP I am almost identical in size and height to you! I have taken to buying ankle length skinnies in size regular, which means they are the proper length on me. Also have become a big fan of trapeze tops and slightly oversized jumpers thanks to my csections I'm happy enough with this casual look in the winter but do struggle a bit in the summer. Oh and I just either put up with tight jeans on my gut or wear a belt. Currently do weight watchers to see if dropping a bit of weight will help with that.

Shukinskaya Thu 12-Jan-17 16:28:19

I'm surprised you're struggling with arm lengths at 5ft 3, mind you. Do you think you have particularly short arms? In all seriousness dh has this, he is average height but is forever having to get sleeves altered.

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