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Clothes for an evening meal

(28 Posts)
DarkDarkNight Sat 29-Aug-20 12:54:21

I need some ideas of what to wear for a meal out, particularly flat shoes as I am a trainer or flat boots person really and don’t want to wear heels. So if you were going for a meal out in the evening what would you typically wear? I normally only eat out with my Son earlier in the day so am in jeans and t shirt.

I currently look so frumpy, I’m about 2.5 stone overweight and stuck in a rut. I feel so uncomfortable in anything remotely different from my usual style. I love jumpsuits for example but feel like everyone would be talking about me if I wore one.

I like labels like Hush and admire Sarah Clark’s (Little Spree) style.

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PerditaProvokesEnmity Sat 29-Aug-20 20:43:25

Who's "everyone"? They'd have to be remarkably dense not to have grown accustomed to seeing women in jumpsuits over the past couple of years.

Do you actually want to go to this meal, given the people you're eating with don't sound terribly nice?

But if you insist - what's your size and budget?

Heels are extremely not fashionable, even for going out, at the moment - so you could put that worry to bed.

DarkDarkNight Sat 29-Aug-20 21:54:46

It’s not everyone really, it’s just what’s in my head. I’ve become extremely self-conscious, I feel so stuck in a rut I feel I stick out like a sore thumb if I wear anything different. I would feel extremely out of place in a jumpsuit, a dress, anything that is not jeans, t shirt, cardigan.

I have no idea anymore of what a nice flat shoe is, ballet flats were still a thing when I used to go out more regularly to give an idea of timescale. I haven’t been on a night out in years. It’s a meal out for a retirement, just our immediate team due to Covid. They’re all very nice, the problem is me not them.

I’m a 16, and out of proportion. I just want to be able to go and say goodbye and not cancel because I feel awful.

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VioletCharlotte Sat 29-Aug-20 22:05:49

How about a midi dress with white trainers? That's my go-to outfit for meals out at pubs, chain restaurants, etc.

Lurkingforawhile Sat 29-Aug-20 22:10:53

I struggle with outfits for this kind of thing. Usually go for dark black skinnies, a 3/4 sleeve top, and either flat chelsea boots or sandals in summer. I assume bottom half isn't going to be looked at much so make effort with hair, makeup and earrings! Also works if there are photos, as I look better than normal!

cherrypiepie Sat 29-Aug-20 22:40:42

Also a 16/18.

Midi dress (or gathered elasticated skirt and t shirt) with tights and flat ankle boots,denim jacket (or blue velvet jacket dependant one occasion- it's years old and a trusted favourite) and leather bag with chain strap, belt. Or sandals if warm.

Or peg trousers and top tucked in loafers or sandals.

But I don't like wearing jeans. So I would probably wear these during the day anyway and just have nicer hair and makeup. I can't do jeans and a nice top.

Rainallnight Sat 29-Aug-20 22:48:43

If you close your eyes and try to imagine something you feel comfortable and look nice in, what do you see?

DarkDarkNight Sat 29-Aug-20 23:33:59

Thank you for the suggestions. I hate my calves so don’t like to wear dresses anymore, I feel like a midi dress will cut me off at their widest point. I think the problem is I want to literally be covered up in a cardigan all the time to cover my arms and try to disguise my hips. It just ruins an outfit to put a cardigan over everything.

I like peg trousers, and dresses with flat boots but things only look nice on other people.

Sorry to be so negative, things look nice on other people but not on me.

OP’s posts: |
ThreeTree Sat 29-Aug-20 23:46:01

If you typically wear a cardigan why not look for a fancier alternative (if you feel the need to dress up). A kimono, a blazer, or just a cardigan but in a nicer material blend or perhaps something long so it’s more of a statement piece?

It obviously depends on the restaurant but for 90% of the places I go I’d wear jeans, a top/blouse in a nice material, and ankle boots. As PP said, fancier earrings/jewellery helps. I also find a swipe of red lipstick does too!

Pipandmum Sat 29-Aug-20 23:49:09

I'd wear a long black skirt, black cami top with a nice jacket over - kimono style maybe. The key is to keep the skirt slim but not clingy.

Tangelo Sun 30-Aug-20 01:03:57

If you’re not keen on your calves, how about a pair of palazzo trousers. Mine are a white pattern on navy, and I wear them with a cami top tucked in —the trouser fabric flows so it’s very flattering over hips and tummy — and excellent earrings and flat sandals.

You could wear a cardigan with this if it made you more comfortable. I think it probably needs either to be cropped so it hits at the waist, or knee length so it looks very meant. Hip length is difficult for the same reason wearing a top untucked is not great - you start to look like your whole body is as wide as your trousers!

Btw: I’m a couple or sizes larger than you OP and I’m pretty sure nobody is at all bothered by what I’m wearing. I know it can be tough not to feel self conscious, but everyone is too busy worrying about themselves, or wondering where you got your lovely top/trousers/necklace from

PerditaProvokesEnmity Sun 30-Aug-20 06:58:05

Now ... If only we knew how tall you are we could judge proportions better. 16 is an easy size to find in any decent shop.

You didn't say how much you want to spend - so I'll try to find a variety!

PerditaProvokesEnmity Sun 30-Aug-20 07:10:20

First, a dress that doesn't really look like a dress, and could easily and stylishly be worn with bare legs, tights or trousers beneath. (I'm usually a bit wary of Toast dresses, but this one's good. And their sizing is extremely generous so a 14 might work better than a 16.)

flatoutpanic Sun 30-Aug-20 07:20:26

I think the Hush Kensington dress would suit lots of body shapes. There are short and long sleeved versions and look great with a nice pair of trainers.

PerditaProvokesEnmity Sun 30-Aug-20 07:35:47

Alternatively, splurge on this fabulous jacket which really would make the rest of your outfit effortless. I rather like Arket's elastic waist wool trousers (elasticated waist trousers are extremely fashionable this year) and they'd look great with the leather and a simple t shirt.

(I realise not the cheapest things, but trying to furnish you with a new long term wardrobe, rather than a throwaway thing for one night only.)

PerditaProvokesEnmity Sun 30-Aug-20 08:21:30

This is very like a cardigan but would look wonderfully sleek worn open at the neck with trousers for an evening out. Lovely plain background for your best hair, make-up, jewellery and some flat sandals or trainers ...

cherrypiepie Sun 30-Aug-20 08:33:51

@PerditaProvokesEnmity that toast dress is fabulous.

OP I hope you find an outfit that makes you feel happy. If you are feeling self conscious about dresses and skirts, how about a pair of elasticated waist ankle lenght trousers and a tucked in top (t shirt to make it a bit less officey) hm have loads and won't be budget breaking.
Would also be nice change from jeans for a retirement dinner. You could wear with trainers or loafers.

Have a look at #midsize fashion on insta.

PerditaProvokesEnmity Sun 30-Aug-20 08:47:13

On the other hand, if you'd rather spend your money on grooming and footwear then this little dress is glorious. Up to you whether you add just your own legs or some sharp, contrasting trousers.

littlecatfeet Sun 30-Aug-20 08:54:34


Thank you for the suggestions. I hate my calves so don’t like to wear dresses anymore, I feel like a midi dress will cut me off at their widest point. I think the problem is I want to literally be covered up in a cardigan all the time to cover my arms and try to disguise my hips. It just ruins an outfit to put a cardigan over everything.

I like peg trousers, and dresses with flat boots but things only look nice on other people.

Sorry to be so negative, things look nice on other people but not on me.

OP, this is exactly what blazers are made for. Don't just think black or navy, what about white, cream, camel, green. Something that really flatters you.
There are a ton of YouTube videos about finding the right cut and length for your shape.
If you are most comfortable in jeans, flats, and a T shirt, wear that! Just smarten it up a little - this could be a good opportunity to upgrade your basics.
You could wear a spotless fresh white T shirt, add a belt that matches your flats, flattering blazer, and maybe a statement necklace.
Or swap for a T-shirt shaped top in silk or satin, and some thrilling earrings.

PerditaProvokesEnmity Sun 30-Aug-20 09:05:39

Regarding footwear - if you're feeling in the dark, I suggest clicking Zara's shoes page to get a general idea of what's being worn right now. And then searching for similar things of slightly better quality elsewhere. (Unless shoes are something you take a throw away attitude to.)

Zara has the prettiest things and coolest styling on screen. It's frustrating that so much is disappointingly thin, limp, poorly made in the flesh.

Ginfilledcats Sun 30-Aug-20 09:12:35

Hi Op, sorry to read how self conscious you are. As PPs have said, fortunately casual is in at the moment so don't worry about heels with dresses etc.

I'd have suggested midi skirts and tee or midi dresses too but I see you don't like the idea. Have you actually tried any on? I really would try it - order something from ASOS and send back if no good.

Otherwise, some nice jeans and a nice T-shirt will be fine and classed up with a long line blazer with sleeves rolled up. I have a mustard one I throw over a white tee and blue skinny high waisted jeans (currently in a size 16 in jeans) and white trainers, do my hair nice and I feel quite smart but comfy and not self conscious.

Good luck and come back and let us know what you wear in the end! X

Missc2001 Sun 30-Aug-20 09:24:09

What shape are you OP? I am 5.3 and def 3 stone overweight. Pear shape (very wide hips) so cannot do dressy trousers with tucked in shirts or short jackets. Skirts also no good. But I feel good in a dress with slightly higher waist, midi or even maxi sometimes. White converse and a little denim jacket or similar. I have an Oasis Nancy jacket and only got it last year as before I felt my body shape didn’t go with it and now I love it

DianaT1969 Sun 30-Aug-20 13:25:03

Don't be put off by the website, but Cos is your friend for this occasion. A black dress, black opaque tights and M&S leather block heel loafer with chain (currently on sale). I guarantee nobody will look at you for the wrong reason. Once you find a dress, ask the store assistant to help choose a statement necklace. They have minimalist and slightly over-sized accessories which help break up the cleavage - as most of their dresses are round or slash neck. Very good fabrics, they glide over the body.

thedevilinablackdress Sun 30-Aug-20 16:11:49

Lots of great ideas upthread. I hope you find something you feel good in and have a lovely time.

DarkDarkNight Sun 30-Aug-20 18:04:40

Thank you for the suggestions. A cardigan alternative would be a great idea as I still need to feel ‘covered’. Hush had a lovely short kimono-style one in the sale but it’s gone now, I will have a look and see if I can find anything similar anywhere and wear maybe wear it with a plain t shirt underneath. A blazer is a good call if I can find one I feel good in.

I love the short Zara dress but I’m big around the middle and that shape often makes me look like I’m trying to (unsuccessfully) cover up. The cord Toast dress is lovely, I’ve tried similar from Fatface in the past and like the style.

I have a jumpsuit on the way from Fatface in my size and the size up to try so will see how I feel in that.

OP’s posts: |

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