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I have NO idea what I'm doing

(19 Posts)
saladsmoothie Thu 02-Feb-17 12:51:54

I've always been fat. I've never cared much about clothes. I've spent the last decade living in the middle east where you have to cover up in loose clothes anyway, and shoes = flipflops. I've also had three small children.


I lost a buttload of weight. I'm a size 10. I'm really toned. I'm training to be a zumba instructor. And I'm moving to a big city in Europe. (I still have the three small children!!)

I used to fantasise about what it must be like to fit into everything in the shop and be able to wear anything. But now i can I'm totally lost. I've been shopping twice recently and just felt overwhelmed and clueless. I pick up a top or a jacket and i don't even know if i like it...

I have literally no idea what i should wear. I don't even know where to start. I think that's what I'm asking - how do i even start to work out what suits me, what flatters, what my personal style is?

Swimminguphill Thu 02-Feb-17 13:01:04

saladsmoothie well done on losing the weight! I really like the advice on this blog: she's more about simplifying your wardrobe but i think the principles could work for you.

And remember - this is supposed to be FUN!

So, first, write a list of your daily activities e.g.
- dropping kids at school
- work (what type)
- working out etc..
Note any specific clothing requirements for this - e.g flat shoes, layers to take on and off etc

Now think about the weather where you live now but mainly where you are going to be living - check out temperature averages, rainfall etc. So you can plan if you need coats, which kind of coats etc.

Now think about colours - which colours do you really like, which colours do you always feel happy in? I think it's easier to start with a neutral base e.g. black/brown/navy for most things, and then highlight with specific items like a jumper, top or (whisper it) scarf.

Think about shapes. Now I expect that if you are thin and toned skinnies will fit you nicely now. There are lots of threads here recommending perfect skinnies, but i don't really think you can go wrong with at least one pair of skinny jeans.

Caroline on un-fancy usually says if you have volume on top you should go slim on bottom, if you have wide leg trousers you should go skinny on top.

Don't underestimate the importance of basics - white/grey/black short and long sleeved t-s, vests you can wear on their own in summer and under other tops if needed etc. Some good basic jumpers - I love Uniqlo extra fine merino, which are only £29.50 each and wash brilliantly. They come in loads of colours so you can try them next to your face and see which jump out at you.

I would probably not buy loads of jazzy prints, interesting dresses etc, until you have figured out your style a bit. Maybe think about one thing - like a nice shirt/top or an interesting skirt and keep an open mind, just trying on everything that catches your eye, but keep a basic t shirt or basic skinnies on bottom so you don't get style overload.

Hope that's a little bit helpful?

saladsmoothie Thu 02-Feb-17 16:13:23

That's a LOT useful. Thank you Swimming. Umm... will you please take me shopping? You seem to know what you're talking about.

My daughter has volunteered to come shopping with me tomorrow. Nothing like the brutal honesty of a pre-teen to set me right!

Swimminguphill Thu 02-Feb-17 16:30:09

Yikes! Ask her to be nice! But also remember that you need to dress for you and she might think something is lovely but if it doesn't feel right don't bother. Also I'm a fan of if you find something you like buy it in a couple of colours. It's so hard to find the right shape trousers etc, that when it clicks I always buy a couple even if i stash one for a while, because when it works it just works!

Have fun and report back...

ChinUpChestOut Thu 02-Feb-17 16:39:49

If you're still in the middle east, be careful about the colours that you buy. Unless you're going to Spain, your skin colour will change from the complete absence of sun in the winter, and most of the summer...... Also, you may be tempted to buy much stronger colours there simply because that's what people wear, and it looks different in bright light. Believe me (and swimminguphill) the basics of white, grey, black/navy are what you need, and should form the backbone of your new wardrobe.

Are you coming into the UK at all? Would you be able to book in a session with a personal shopper at John Lewis or Selfridges? They might be kinder than a pre-teen......

Swimminguphill Thu 02-Feb-17 17:06:07

great point chinupchestout and also be prepared to be influenced by the country you are moving to - they all have slightly different style emphasis so perhaps just a basic capsule for now, which you can add to when you get to your destination?

saladsmoothie Thu 02-Feb-17 17:27:53

This is a good point. But it's not very exciting to buy grey t-shirts.

I did actually buy some black skinny jeans and a silver v-neck jumper a couple of days back, but they are not exciting and I've not even tried them on yet. I like my bright colours, yet also want to be stylish and timeless and elegant...

Very good idea to see what the fashions are where I'm going. Although... I don't know how much I just want to be me, and how much I want to fit in. I might be getting a bit too old to care if I'm fashionable or fitting in. I want to look good in my own way.

Also, I have to go to a friend's bbq tomorrow and I don't know what to wear. What would you wear to a family / friends bbq?

Swimminguphill Thu 02-Feb-17 21:21:57

I would wear a cute top and crops. I just bought a Bardot top from h&m for £7.50 and can't wait to wear it to a BBQ or similar (in like 6 months time!!) or perhaps a nice maxi dress I always like jersey material but with some shape (I.e. At the waist). But I have to say i am the opposite to you. Used to be a total magpie and wore only things that caught my eye in bright colours. Now my palette is much more neutral. I get really excited about grey t-shirts, it's actually difficult to get the perfect cut/neckline etc. Having said that I think you have to dress for you and if colour makes you happy - go for it!

oldlaundbooth Thu 02-Feb-17 21:29:20

Great advice, swimming smile

saladsmoothie Fri 03-Feb-17 07:44:41

Is this a basic sort of capsule thing? I love it.

No idea if it's the right shape for my new shape.

cathyandclare Fri 03-Feb-17 07:49:12

I love that skirt, with your black skinnies and silver jumper all you need is a white shirt/top and a black polo/other top and you've got a capsule wardrobe going already!

cathyandclare Fri 03-Feb-17 07:50:03

I'm not an expert in any way, just clicked and saw that skirt and had to comment grin

saladsmoothie Fri 03-Feb-17 07:56:27

Non-experts utterly welcome!! It is lovey isn't it. I wonder how the sizes come up. I think I need it.

I also briefly considered this blazer (not the trousers) but decided I was veering off path and didn't get it. The style was really flattering on new me though.

cathyandclare Fri 03-Feb-17 08:32:16

Also lovely and would also be good with jeans, depending on your lifestyle. On here everyone always recommends getting a personal shopper, but maybe a stern pre-teen is better!

Thegirlisnotright Fri 03-Feb-17 09:14:14

'Styled by susie' has a Facebook page. She does online personal shopping if you're not local to her. She's very down to earth and talks a lot of sense.

MumBod Fri 03-Feb-17 09:20:06

I think you've got bloody great taste, judging by what you've linked so far!

Well done on losing the weight, and changing your life! Enjoy clothes - and don't be too afraid of making the odd mistake. That's all part of the fun, and how we learn what works for us!

Swimminguphill Fri 03-Feb-17 11:38:19

Love the blazer!

saltydogandme Fri 03-Feb-17 18:25:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

saladsmoothie Mon 06-Feb-17 16:52:56

I went shopping today (see skinny jeans thread) and did quite well on casual clothes - jeans and tshirts.

I also need something quite smart to wear to a thing I've got coming up. I need to look dressed up, and also have my knees and shoulders covered.

I tried on these trousers with this cardi. The trousers were just appalling. Words cannot express the dreadfulness of them. I'm afraid I quite like the cardi but I didn't buy it because a little voice was whispering in my ear that it wasn't a sensible capsule basic.

I also tried this skirt but the turned edge frill made it look cheap. And I couldn't find anything to go on top. It was really flattering though, and I love that colour.

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