Advanced search

Whether you’re a beauty novice or a confirmed fashionista, this topic is for consulting Mumsnetters on all things style-related. Plus, check out our Swears By page for the inside track on the next Mumsnet must-have.

OK. Define 'mutton'.

(154 Posts)
AFierceBadRabbit Wed 15-Mar-17 19:32:40

Because I just don't get it, unless we're talking a 60 yr old wearing a mini bodycon dress with low neckline?
'Booty' shorts on the over 50's?

If you have the figure who really cares?

Isn't it just another way of looking down on someone - similar to having so-called 'chavvy' tastes?

Or is it a deeply ingrained fear of shocking someone from the front after tempting them from behind?

I think it is a derogatory term that I can't imagine ever using against myself. Why do women even engage in this?

Lweji Wed 15-Mar-17 19:34:28

Jealousy. wink

AFierceBadRabbit Wed 15-Mar-17 19:36:32

What about anna dello russo?

Apart from really exaggerated stereotypes I can't even picture when I ever saw an older woman looking like 'mutton'.

phoolani Wed 15-Mar-17 19:37:59

Do they engage in it much anymore? I haven't heard it said by anyone since my grandma died 20 years ago. I'm not saying we don't still judge older women for their clothes, but I think what's considered 'acceptable' has expanded a great deal .

Aderyn2016 Wed 15-Mar-17 19:38:30

In theory I agree that people should wear what they like, so long as it is occasion appropriate.
That said, there is something a bit sad about people trying to recapture a lost youth by dressing like a kid. Thinking of midlife crisis men etc. There is nothing wrong with ageing and perhaps the question should be why society only values youth.

Floisme Wed 15-Mar-17 19:39:02

I think it's a really offensive term about all women, whether young, middle aged or old. It has its roots in the butchery trade and it's basically a reference to a woman's market value.

I hate seeing it on here and I don't understand why we talk about ourselves like that.

MollyHuaCha Wed 15-Mar-17 19:40:54

Oxford English Dictionary definition. Why is it only for women though?

DrScholl Wed 15-Mar-17 19:41:22

* when you choose clothes for comfort ALONE*

Eg the mums dressing for a sahara trek with crag hoppers back packs and walking boots to take a toddler to the science museum

Anyone in baggy linen trousers and bireknstocks
White stuff

DrScholl Wed 15-Mar-17 19:41:47

I am a wally
I defined MUMSY

* turns off rantlock*

I need wine

AFierceBadRabbit Wed 15-Mar-17 19:43:43

Haha, mumsy is another!

Floisme I fully agree. Been reading MN for years and hear it all the time here, depressingly, but thankfully never in real life.

AFierceBadRabbit Wed 15-Mar-17 19:45:28

I wonder if it comes from a time in history when there were more marked differences and sartorial signifiers surrounding female clothing? I know that such 'rules' applied to hair.

Doesn't make it any less offensive though.

AuntieStella Wed 15-Mar-17 19:48:41

Ageism is now against the law.

The phrase unfortunately won't die out because of that.

But the idea that age is an important factor is (fortunately) routinely challenged on MN.

You can look dreadful and unstylish whatever your age.

Floisme Wed 15-Mar-17 19:49:48

I think it dates from the time when an older woman without a husband was pretty much done for economically speaking so her only hope was to try and pass herself off as younger.

RebelandaStunner Wed 15-Mar-17 19:51:58

Meat that my dogs like to eat.
It's 2017 btw.

Floisme Wed 15-Mar-17 19:52:20

I don't think it's just ageism - and I've been told off on here for 'having issues' about that. I think it's pretty vile to talk about any woman as if she's a piece of meat.

Judydreamsofhorses Wed 15-Mar-17 19:52:52

I absolutely hate this term. I think it has connotations of a woman looking "tarty" which is horrible, and ties in with the meat reference mentioned above.

I think everyone has different ideas on what they fancy wearing at whatever age, and their own style. I'm early 40s and love pinafores and dungarees - I'm probably what a pp described as dressing like a kid - but there are certain styles I would never wear, for example ripped jeans, cold shoulder things amongst others.

I am equally not down with "mumsy", tbh.

Eliza22 Wed 15-Mar-17 19:54:16

Good grief, so disparaging. There's no male equivalent. I hate "all fur coat and no knickers" as well.

taybert Wed 15-Mar-17 19:55:22

But DrScholl, what would you call someone in one of those outfits if they also had blue eyshadow on and their hair in pigtails? Hmm? Also, leave Birkenstocks alone, it's not even summer and my footwear is being abused.

I'm in the "who cares?" camp. There are some amazingly stylish women in their 60s (or 70s or 80s) who pull off stuff that I can't in my 30s. There are terribly dressed 20 year olds. We have to try harder not to ask those questions about ourselves though- the question should be "do you think this looks good?" If you want an opinion, not "do I look like mutton in this?"

Disclaimer: Birkenstock wearer.

furlinedsheepskinjacket Wed 15-Mar-17 19:56:01

isnt it showing too much old flesh??

OCSockOrphanage Wed 15-Mar-17 20:03:15

I wonder if the contemporary concept of mutton is "trying too hard" to look now. I don't think I do, but occasionally trends occur that suit me and that I wear that are definitely not routinely adopted by women aged 60 in Devon and Cornwall.

OCSockOrphanage Wed 15-Mar-17 20:05:50

Too much old flesh, or too much flesh generally? I have seen some appalling visions of lardy teenagers showing everything bar the genitals in our small market town. TMI laydeez.

Oblomov17 Wed 15-Mar-17 20:12:17

I know someone who was described as "mutton dressed as lamb", by a very conservative older gentleman.

She is a teacher, in her 60's who wears very very tight fitting clothes, like a spray on dress that clings to every part of her body, with very very high heels, or thigh high very high heeled boots.

It's like being 60 and trying to dress like a 21 year old.

And despite the figure, there is something not quite right about it.

That's not a jealousy thing. I love appreciating gorgeous figures on other women. So I don't think it's a jealousy thing.

It's not as common these days. But it still happens occasionally.

taybert Wed 15-Mar-17 20:20:15

So if the teacher was in her 20s and wearing thigh high stiletto boots or a spray on dress would that be completely un noteworthy? Is it her age alone which makes the outfit unsuitable?

OCSockOrphanage Wed 15-Mar-17 20:29:32

IMVHO wearing the outfit Taybert describes is unprofessional at any age, unless one is on the game. I would prefer my DS is not taught by anyone dressed that way, as it would distract his attention from Victorian poetry.

taybert Wed 15-Mar-17 20:32:36

Well OC, if you read oblomov's post you will note one horrifying detail: the dress clings to EVERY part of her body. THAT MUST MEAN YOU CAN SEE THE SHAPE OF HER ANKLES!

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: