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Help me avoid descending into Boden cliche...

(12 Posts)
Annner Sun 27-Sep-09 21:53:58

OK, so I'm as happy as a pig in poo as, for the first time since my early twenties, I am a nice pear-shaped size 14 once again.

In May of this year I realised that the size 16s were getting a big snug, and I woke up to the fact that my delicate curves had, in fact, become serious amounts of lard, and I had become an unhealthy apple with no discernible middle.

Even worse, my baby was 2.5, so I couldn't even call it baby fat any more.

To cut a v long story short, I have lost a stone, started running and have the fabby task ahead of replacing my wardrobe.

I am an unashamed Boden fiend, but don't want my entire wardrobe to come from there. Let's face it, I'm already a teacher, I live in Hampshire and one of my children has an officially poncy name. I cook in Le Crueset pans and have a John Lewis card. Blimey. Is there any hope for me?

I need to diversify but haven't a clue where to start. I know what I don't like: cheapy looking fabrics that lose their shape after one wash; tarty looking stuff; obvious designer marks on clothes (yes, I know that every hotchpotch top screams louder than any label ever could...) and I'm not over smart but don't like sports wear except for sport.

My old wardrobe came mainly from M and S and Bravissimo with a bit of Boden but I rarely bought clothes, as my general feeling was that everything looked crap on me so I didn't bother too much. Having realised that if I didn't like how I looked it was no good waiting for something to happen, I'm delighting in having a waist once more.

I haven't a clue where even to start. I quite like the look of Hobbs but can't afford it. I like to wear skirts or trousers, but have little call for the v smart. I'm not one for serious accessorising and can't wear heels (Mother kept be cruelly in Clarks till i was 14, so never learnt!) I work four mornings a week and hang around with a 2 and 4 year old the rest of the week. My arse is still proportionally huge and I have mahooosive norks (last cup size a 34G, and although this is now wrinkled and therefore in need of replacement Gawd only knows what I have become. It does mean that many of the floaty tops from Fat Face etc just look like maternity wear on me. I used to like Talbots and Liz Claiborne from outlet places, but they seem to have disappeared. Oh, and I'm only 5 foot 2, so petite fittings are a favourite as I can wear them without having to saw half the legs off first.

So, good laydeez of the Style board. Where else should I look? I have an internet addiction and so can shop by post. I'm not loaded.

shopalot Sun 27-Sep-09 22:09:10

I want to help but to be honest I buy from Boden (not the obvious bits though), M&S, Gap and bits from Next. So I am no help at all!!!!!

purplepeony Sun 27-Sep-09 22:13:51

What do you like? Trousers? skirts?


I am your height and always make sure I wear clotehs that FIT and show my waist. If you are snmall you need to avoid smocky and drapy as you will just look square and shapeless.

I don't buy all my stuff from 1 shop- mix and match.

I shop from
Boden- quite a lot but nothing patterned- all plain- jeans, skirts, tops etc.
Jigsaw White STuff
White Company

You need to look at things that are fashionable but not too trendy- layering is good- little camis under a cardi or V neck top.

Try V neck or crew cardis over a longer T or cami. how off your waist!

A line skirts with flat boots and chunky tights.

Straight leg jeans with a tunic might suit you- and learn to accessorise with beads, scarves, chunky jewellry.

Dark bottoms if your bum is big-but don't cover it up with long tops or they will cling and make it look huge!

Annner Sun 27-Sep-09 22:20:24

OOh, thanks! Lots of names here already.

I'm 37 (and three quarters...)

Fashionable but not too trendy- How to know the difference??????

I wear lots of v necks and have occasionally ventured towards a scoop neck.

I'm so frustrated by the sheer quantities of empire line/ floaty tops at the moment as I know that they are a no no.

How do you get tunics to look the right length and not like dresses? (I'm short) Do any of the petite labels do them, do you know?

I wear lots of skirts and trousers and the odd dress. My cliched look is a Boden knee-length A-line skirt or boot leg cords. With a marl top and cardie. I'm a big fan of opaque tights and big Notfan of doing me pins in winter.

How can you teach yourself to accessorise without ending up in colour matching hell - I'm such a numpty at it all; I look like I've escaped from the 70s when I try to do it, with it all the same colour (shoes, earings, necklace, etc!)

Annner Sun 27-Sep-09 22:22:28

I kind of know what looks crap - but not how to look good. Sigh.

PutDown Sun 27-Sep-09 22:22:34

Like Purple peony I am 5 FT 2,AM A SIZE 10/12
Boden,again less obvious bits
White Stuff
White Company
occasional Fat Face
Sweatty Betty for relaxing at home
Great Plains
I check out small boutique type labels like Sandwich,Avoca,Noa Noa,etc,I trawl ebay for these too!
I have some fab heels and flats from clarks from the past couple of seasons.
Dresses from Warehouse/occasionally Topshop
Long sleeved tops from NewLook or Uniqlo.

YaddaYaddaYadda Sun 27-Sep-09 22:37:48


I'm a completely different shape to you so I don't know if this would work but I bought these black jeans from Oasis last winter and they're fab, v flattering. I wear them with ballet pumps to work and then with converse outside work. As for accessorising, the secret is to wear one fab accessory. So I'd buy a lightweight scarf like this and a great necklace (accessorise has some great chunky necklaces) and you can easily throw one or the other one with a fairly plain outfit and brighten it up. As for shoes, I'd buy some patent ballet pumps (try Clarks - half the price of boden), some bright converse trainers and some black flat knee high boots. Does that help at all?? Oh and if you're going to spend money on one thing, buy a really good fitted winter coat that shows off your waist.

bloss Sun 27-Sep-09 22:47:01

Message withdrawn

Mimi1977 Mon 28-Sep-09 09:59:00

I too shop a lot at Boden but to be honest I don't think you should be ashamed! They do great basics but like you I'm often conscious of shopping there too much.

I get quite a few things from:

White Stuff
Coast (more dressy stuff as most stuff not machine washablewhich not great with young children!)
Monsoon do nice dresses and tunics

Pre Children I used to get loads in Hobbs and Jigsaw but now I really need stuff I can wash in the machine and that I don't mind getting sticky fingers on but like you, isn't so cheap it will look crap. All the above seem to work for me.

chattermouse Mon 28-Sep-09 10:10:53

Have a look at M&S' new Indigo range. Lots of smart to casual looks at pretty affordable prices. It's all online too. Just got a gorgeous boyf cardi from there for £25. I also loved a pair of bootcut jeans they had -£25 and made my legs, thighs and backside look really good. Sadly though even the 'long' option was too short for me.

CNyle Mon 28-Sep-09 10:11:53

LOl at OP
very drole.

GingGangGillyGilly Mon 28-Sep-09 10:32:45

I am similar size and would have to say on such a figure/height as I have I don't think knee/below knee A-line skirts and chunky tights are a great look.

I do think:
v-neck and v-hemline tops, with waist cut to show but not detailed (ie not belted)
do show waist
if you show hips you have to show legs back again (hence no A-line) so better pencil skirts / straight skirt to knee

I love the knitted dress/chunky tights/biker boots look but alas I look like a knitted pudding in it.

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