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funky not frumpy - fashion faux pas to avoid

(57 Posts)
CurlyhairedAssassin Mon 09-Feb-09 20:54:05

Tell me what the worst fashion crimes are!

Bit of background as to my question: After 5 years living life as a slummy mummy (think jeans, a jumper, scratched boots and cheap supermarket hooded coat), I've decided it's high time I at least made an effort to be a bit more of a yummy mummy. I am still only 35 so think I could still wear some "younger" fashions.

The problem is, I have not got the best idea of what's in fashion. Have just got out of the habit of clothes shopping for myself, and haven't had money to spend on fashion mags up to now. My worst problem is that I have up to now bought things with a whingeing toddler in tow and ended up buying something out of desperation and never worn it again as I've soon realised I've just got it all wrong and it wasn't at all fashionable, and made me look either ridiculous or frumpy.

What are the top mistakes I could make? eg is it terrible to carry a black bag when you're wearing brown boots. Should you wear a long coat if you have a long tunic top/jumper on? Does a certain style of top scream "frumpy"? etc etc. You know the type of thing.......basically the type of fashion error that you might see on a woman in her mid 30s that make you snigger behind your hand and want to run up and accost her a la Trinny & Susannah?


ThePinkWorldOfSeptimusSchmaltz Mon 09-Feb-09 20:57:48

Never, ever do double denim. You will immediately be arrested by the fashion police and go directly to jail without passing go.

suwoo Mon 09-Feb-09 20:58:15

Just don't buy anything from Boden....

<<runs away very very fast>>

Jewelsandgems Mon 09-Feb-09 21:17:08

Make sure your trousers/jeans are long enough. Too long is better than not long enough.

Agree re double denim

Matchy matchy stuff is also an aging look - colours can match even if they are different. Do not go the way of shoes and bag must match. You can have a tan large leather bag and wear black shoes....

Accept layering and play around with it a little bit wil you find something that fits your style. My mum still buys a beautiful blouse and covers it up with a cardigan, instead of wearing a long sleeved plain top underneath etc...

CurlyhairedAssassin Mon 09-Feb-09 22:02:40

I do not currently own any Boden stuff, and having looked at their stuff online to see what the MN obsession is with it, I don't think I ever will.

Oh dear, I suspect none neither of my jeans (only have 2 pairs) are quite long enough.......slapped wrist.

Last time I wore double denim it was probably ok to do that. It WAS 1986. grin

Well, I didn't know that about shoes and bag not having to match. One to remember, thanks!

Am slowly getting into the layering thing. Mainly to keep warm, like, but I think I'm finally doing it right. Just need to get some more plain long sleeved tops really.

Anything else, oh wise ones? Oh, I know! How short a skirt could I wear? Or, really, what I mean is - is there a dowdy length of skirt that is neither long nor short nor just right? (can't you tell I only own one skirt - and THAT is for job interviews. blush)

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 09-Feb-09 22:07:36

Mid calf gored skirts are a bit [meh]

A-line, on the knee, with bright tights (£1 primark ones are supposed to be great) and flat boots looks great

Dont wear brown, EVER

CurlyhairedAssassin Mon 09-Feb-09 22:10:49

What are gored skirts or is that a typo? I've got this strange image of a tranny bullfighter in my head now......

I've got very skinny legs - would A-line knee-length skirts make them look even skinner?

Don't wear brown what? ANYTHING?!

fishie Mon 09-Feb-09 22:21:54

jackets with short sleeves [shudder]

long skirt with knee length coat [edwardian]

brown is ok if it suits you. black ditto.

ThePinkWorldOfSeptimusSchmaltz Mon 09-Feb-09 22:30:21

Forget fashion. Just find out what colours & shapes suit you, stick to them, and you won't look frumpy.

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 09-Feb-09 22:30:28

Gore = panels (sorry I am erm Old)

Pannelled midlength skirts in brown - yeuch unless you are a middle aged Art Teacher

yy to skinny legs envy and shorter skirts, especially with thick tights and flat boots

A tip - go to charity shops in Affluent areas eg for me Monmouth and Westbury-onTrym are great hunting grounds, for quality second hand gear to get to try out a new look without spending £££s

Pannacotta Mon 09-Feb-09 22:30:44

Agree with all the others.
Why not go somewhere like H&M where they have decent but inexpensive basics so you can try out a few looks without spending loads of money. They have excellent plain tops for layering, in a good range of colours in simple stretchy styles.

Try and find yourself some smart but comfy boots and a decent coat and scarf. At the moment outer layers are the most important things and even if you are wearing quite simple clothes underneath if you have a good coat and boots you will look good.

DOn't forget to get some decent accessories to finish off a look, pretty earrings, bright scarves, leather gloves, nice hat etc

MaplePecanPlait Mon 09-Feb-09 22:37:20

agree on denim suits - big no no!

I like brown but it depends on your colouring. Try stuff on and be adventurous. Probably avoid flourescents?

Your coat would need to be as long as your tunic/long top.

MaplePecanPlait Mon 09-Feb-09 22:38:28

Also try not to do fake leather handbags as I think they give themselves away. Get real leather or if not in the budget go for canvas or something else?

Miyazaki Mon 09-Feb-09 22:39:33

Never do that horrible dark lip liner make up thing.

Re BALDs skirt thing - basically if you never ever buy anything from Per Una you should be ok

Pannacotta Mon 09-Feb-09 22:39:43

Oh yes no flouro colours, or horizontal stripes.
Also say no to padded jackets, very unflattering.

Miyazaki Mon 09-Feb-09 22:42:29

Oh no disagree about stripes. Stripes are cool. Fo sho.

Pannacotta Mon 09-Feb-09 22:44:40

Stripes are cool if you are size 8 or 10 at a push, otherwise they are usually not very flattering...

Molesworth Mon 09-Feb-09 22:46:59

Some padded jackets look good - I've got a fitted one (padded but not to michelin man levels). Looks nice with long tops and jeans.

Miyazaki Mon 09-Feb-09 22:49:15

you are free to wear stripes, science says so

Miyazaki Mon 09-Feb-09 22:51:00

but wine doesn't help when doing links

Molesworth Mon 09-Feb-09 22:51:50

Stripes are definitely funky not frumpy. How about a breton long sleeved stripey t-shirt? Never go out of fashion.

hermykne Mon 09-Feb-09 22:56:45

you need basics to start and then funkup with accesories or some items of clothing that can be cas/dressy.

if you want to invest in a good book get
lucinda van der posts @things i wish my mother told me" , far more sophisticated than T & S but totally honest and genuine advice whether you ve 10 or 100 to spend.

maybe you'd get it in a library or just pop into to a bookshop and have a look!

brown works with black but not navy underneath the coat.

throw all you stuff on the bed and play dress up! is my advice. decide what u like and what u dont and dump it. make outfits and change the looks around, with bags/shoes/jewellry.

then go online and read the times fashion pages, get hints for a cpasule wardrobe and build on it,
in these times a great haircut and a freshening up of makeup can do u a world of good, and add your rearranged wardrobe.

white tshirts - fitted no matter what size you are
some fitted cardis
funky top from allsaints! looks good at the coffee morning or a night out !
nice coat - grey might be better than black.
and a black bag works with grey and black boots.
nice shirt dress ! banana republic
good for day or night depending on accessories.

go to a "good" shop and just try on stuff for the fit / look and suitability, take a friend so oyu're not pushed into buying.

have fun

CurlyhairedAssassin Mon 09-Feb-09 23:49:12

Molesworth, I have about 2 tops that I feel are reasonably unfrumpy and one is the stripey type you mentioned. It was actually from Primark so qquality not that good and looking pilled now. But it's nice to know I'm along the right lines (scuse the pun).

Oh dear, I have had a look around Per Una recently and nearly bought a few things - have I made a mistake going there? No good for a 35 year old?

Some great advice there, Hermykne, thanks! Can you do me a massive favour and post a link to some unfrumpy fitted cardis. I feel the cold so would naturally be a cardi fan but have got it so terribly wrong in the past and just looked grannyish.

saramoon Tue 10-Feb-09 08:39:07

They have got some great,cheap cardis in H and M at the moment. look cute and are only £9.99.

Nontoxic Tue 10-Feb-09 08:49:03

You could try seeing an image consultant - as Septimus said, it doesn't matter what's in fashion, you need to wear what suits you and then you'll always look okay.

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