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Clothes advice please ladies...

(29 Posts)
LobstersLass Sat 12-Jul-08 20:23:00

I am a hopeless case. I don't really know what I'm doing with clothes. Where should a mid 30s professional woman be shopping?

For work I always wear black tailored trousers, a black top and a jacket.

Away from work I wear jeans or linen trousers teamed with a cotton top (like a posh t-shirt).

I make random purchases when I desparately need new clothes, but am never convinced that they're particualry great decisions.

Anyway, I need style advice. I want to feel good. Dammit, I want to look good! smile

Here's the challenge...
I am 5'3'', size 16/18, apple shaped. Good tits, legs ok, midriff appalling.

Please help!

I need to know which shops I should be going to and what kind of stuff I should be wearing. I need a total overhaul. I have money to spend on clothes, just no idea what I should be buying.

Many thanks in advance.

Jewelsandgems Sat 12-Jul-08 21:14:56

how about this as a work/drinks out suggestion:

dress, fitted, would create nice hourglass shape
www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/BERLIN/Black-pleat-neck-dress/8002

nice jacket
www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/BERLIN/BLK-STONE-SPOT-JACKET/8056

Or
skirt (work again)
www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/BERLIN/Grey-belted-skirt/7971

with top
www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/BERLIN/Black-bardot-top/7966

Any of these shapes/styles take your fancy?

LobstersLass Sat 12-Jul-08 21:31:26

Love the jacket and the top.

Really like the dress, but worried that I'd look dreadful in it due to stomach-phobia.

Not too keen on the skirt. I think that it looks a bit frumpy?

Principles?! I would never have thought of going in there.

Thank you so much!

More ladies, more!!

OllieWollieWoo Sat 12-Jul-08 21:35:19

Do you go shopping with friends? I find that when I do, they make me try on things I would not go for if I was on my own. I got stuck in a real rut of buying the same old things - I mean how many white t-shirts or black polonecks do you really need (in my case a lot apparently)!!! Have brought a few things recently I had to be persuaded to buy but now I love! Make yourself try on something new - skirts if you wear a lot of trousers or just something in a new colour!

Agree with Jewels recommendations - Principles does seem to be good for buying a new capsule wardrobe if thats what you are after. Also - have you thought about booking a personal shopper slot in somewhere like John Lewis? Never done it but sure another MN has??? Hope all that helps and isn't me spouting the obvious!

fin42 Sat 12-Jul-08 21:46:01

I think the new Laredoute collection has some great pieces but don't know how to post the actual pages up here.
I'm an apple shape and find longish tops great with a little gathering either just above or just below the bust.
Also I've just got really into chunky necklaces as a way to add a little something to most outfits even quite casual ones.

Jewelsandgems Sat 12-Jul-08 21:50:21

the personal shopper is a brilliant idea ollie!

I know what you mean about the skirt, but I was adding it because that belted look could give you a waist and, in autumn winter, worn with some black knee boots could look nice too.

Definately agree with ollie about colours too - for example, I do not wear black tops anymore because I just look so much better in colour (though I did buy a black top in mango sale so there are exceptions). Maybe just wearing the shapes you do now, in colour (like adding red to black and white) could make an initial difference.

I think principles are good for classic items that are made to flatter various shapes, however, some of their items can be suited to a more mature customer

LobstersLass Sat 12-Jul-08 22:01:21

I would love to go to a personal shopper, but I am embarrassed about being fat and would be mortified if they couldn't find anything to fit me!

I've never tried to find anything that gives me a waist. I tend to try and mask it by wearing separates - not tucked in I hasten to add!

I am rubbish with colour, but would love to wear more. I have 23 black tops!!!

I really like the jewellery suggestion for jazzing things up a bit.

This is fab ladies, real food for thought. Thank you!

Jewelsandgems Sat 12-Jul-08 22:07:38

how about something like this for casual?
www.oasis-stores.com/fcp/product/Oasis/All-Tops/Tropical-embellished-kaftan/4490069567

with - as fin42 suggests - a chunky necklace

and this is nice too?
www.monsoon.co.uk/invt/32317692

JackieNo Sat 12-Jul-08 22:10:13

Lobsterlass - don't be embarrassed - you're a perfectly normal size. I went to Debenhams, and had a fab time, and they found me something to wear, and I was a size 22. You're only a 16/18. It's free, no obligation to buy, and it's great.

JackieNo Sat 12-Jul-08 22:10:52

THat's about the personal shopper service, obviouslyblush. Sorry - too keen to postblushgrin.

Pannacotta Sat 12-Jul-08 22:24:17

Agree that a personal shopper is a good idea if you could do with some input/suggestions.
I am a bit apple-y myself and find these shops are best for my non-waist:
Principles, Monsoon, H&M and Phase Eight.
The Monsoon top Jewels linked to is a good shape. I find pleated tops which drape from the neck line and skim my middle are the most flattering and tend to wear them with knee length skirts with some pattern or detail, which are good if you have decent legs, as most apples do.
Have you looked here?
www.trinnyandsusannah.com
Also the Gok Wan book is good for advice on shopping for different body shapes.

Pannacotta Sat 12-Jul-08 22:28:38

These might work?
www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/PETITE-SKIRTS-SALE/Petite-Chocolate-Belted-Linen-Skirt/7223
and
www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/PETITE-SKIRTS-SALE/Petite-Navy-and-White-stripe-skirt/7288
Thought the top linked to before from Prciniples was really nice and a good shape for winching in your waist.

OllieWollieWoo Sun 13-Jul-08 08:05:50

23 black tops is very impressive Lobster! V similar to me former collection of white t-shirts!

Meant to say that I was in a Principles concession yesterday and their new range has some lovely navy blue stuff in there - if you can't face moving away too much from black, maybe navy is the way to go? There was a lovely silk top with short sleeves which was a good length (ie not too short which a lot of tops can be) - will try and find a link! They had a few navy pieces with that dark olive green that looks like it will be ín'this winter - a lovely combination.

I've picked up a few things in that pale grey which is popular at the moment - decided to take a few baby steps away from white! Brought a lovely grey v neck top from H&M with lots of pleats around the neckline and got a beaded necklace from Accesorize which has white, gery and pale blue beads. Also brought some silver ballet pumps. Looks good with jeans or white linen trousers - even DH noticed and approved!

OllieWollieWoo Sun 13-Jul-08 08:07:03

Here is the Principles top - also comes in pale green

here

girlnextdoor Sun 13-Jul-08 08:56:03

unwelcome advice I am sure- but can you start losing weight?

If you feel that size is an issue, then why not tackle to problem?

There is loads of support out there, from either classes or personal trainers.

LobstersLass Sun 13-Jul-08 10:10:24

Thanks ladies, all very helpful. I'll even given the personal shopper a go now that JackieNo has reassured me.

Loving the suggestions you're linking to, I can even see myself wearing most of them - although the kaftan may be a bit of a shock to the system...what with it being very pale and most definitely not black!

And girlnextdoor, not unwelcome at all. Absolutely right in fact. I kid myself it's not an issue, but then it stops me from doing normal things. Hmmmm.

JackieNo Sun 13-Jul-08 10:53:08

Maybe take a friend along to the personal shopper for company/moral support? Go for it - have fun. Hope you find lots of stuff you love smile.

JiminyCricket Sun 13-Jul-08 12:12:35

buy spanx as well! helps my tummy no end, my father in law who once said I looked 'dumpy'(he has no judgement about when to shut up) actually said he couldn't get over how slim I was the other evening!
I fancy giving the debenhams personal shopping a go, I really want advice but friends are not blunt enough

NumberJill Sun 13-Jul-08 12:20:06

LL, you are the same size and shape as me. I find that I MUST wear a low or V neck - high neck tops look appalling. High waisted trousers with a hip length top over works well, it actually gives me a waist.

Wide leg trousers are very balancing, and those summery flary skirts look nice.

Depending on your complection, brown and navy make good alternatives to black and can be 'accessorised up' nicely.

so something simmilar to this with a brown v neck t shirt, a belt to cinch your waist, and some nice amber coloured beads, with a 2 inch heel (higher if you can) would look both summery, smart nd flattering for your shape

OllieWollieWoo Sun 13-Jul-08 12:38:06

I think the thing with personal shoppers is that they (should) know their stock really well and must see all shapes and sizes! If you stick with Debenhams or John Lewis, you will probably see a PS who is used to dealing with someone who doesn't really know what suits them - as opposed to somewhere like Harvey Nicks who probably only see wealthy stick thin types with money to burn. Remember reading an article where varous women tried various department store PS's and weren't pressured at all to buy stuff which is good.

Also agree with above comment re Trinny and Susannah - know they come in for quite a bit of abuse but (whispers this bit) I actually think most of them they talk sense when it comes to styles which suit various shaped bodies!

lumpsdumps Sun 13-Jul-08 14:05:17

I work for Principles and it is our job to know what suits different shapes and sizes. I agree that some stuff is a bit frumpy, but considering we have 16 year old girls working for us and having to wear our stuff, it's not too bad. The new collections that are coming in to the store at the moment are fab and we have picked up on what women want, we cater for women aged 30's onwards. I personally love the stuff in the Siren collection and have at the moment in my wardrobe from that collection this and this:www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/PETITE-SIREN/Petites-Flower-Print-Dress/8006

www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/SIREN/Green-wrap-cardigan/7987

lumpsdumps Sun 13-Jul-08 14:05:17

I work for Principles and it is our job to know what suits different shapes and sizes. I agree that some stuff is a bit frumpy, but considering we have 16 year old girls working for us and having to wear our stuff, it's not too bad. The new collections that are coming in to the store at the moment are fab and we have picked up on what women want, we cater for women aged 30's onwards. I personally love the stuff in the Siren collection and have at the moment in my wardrobe from that collection this and this:www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/PETITE-SIREN/Petites-Flower-Print-Dress/8006

www.principles.co.uk/fcp/product/-/SIREN/Green-wrap-cardigan/7987

Pannacotta Sun 13-Jul-08 15:04:08

There is some good info in this book on apple shapes, detailing the most flattering shapes and styles and giving examples and pics
www.amazon.co.uk/Body-Shape-Bible-Discover-Transform/dp/0297844547/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1 215957758&sr=1-16

LobstersLass Sun 13-Jul-08 19:02:23

Thank you all for taking the time to reply!

So, other than Principles, where else should I be shopping?

Please don't say Next. I used to buy all my clothes from there, but the last few seasons have been dreadful and I think the quality has really gone downhill.

Pannacotta Sun 13-Jul-08 19:53:13

I suggested a few places in one of my posts yesterday (at 22.24) HTH

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