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Whenever I try to buy new clothes I end up going to Waterstones instead. Now my clothes are falling apart and I have to act. Totally clueless and have ishoos too.

(19 Posts)
DollyDumpling Fri 16-Oct-09 19:17:05

I really have trouble shopping. My body has changed so much since having children that the types of styles I used to wear no longer suit me. So if any kindly person can help, here is my hit list:

I have 4 children, including a 4 year old and a 1 year old, so I spend a lot of time crawling round and need clothes that are very easy to look after.

I am still breastfeeding and am about 2 stone overweight. I?m a size 14, and 5?5?, so not massively overweight but bigger than I should be for my height and build. I have huge norks (G cup, but hopefully not for ever) but as a special concession to social norms I am now wearing underwired bras so keep said norks closer to my chest than my ankles.

(the worst bit) My stomach muscles are a mess and I have an umbilical hernia, so I look pregnant, and the heavy-duty pants that I need make me very uncomfortable. Anything too close-fitting round my middle is uncomfortable and makes me look barrel-shaped. The top bit of my tummy protrudes and the bottom bit has horizontal pleats. I am extremely self-conscious about this and live in fear of being asked if I?m pregnant (which has happened a few times). I am turning into a weird woman who won?t take her coat off.

I have varicose veins on the front of one leg, going down to my ankle and foot, so although I have slim calves and ankles they need to be kept well covered up.

I used to wear knee-length skirts and boots, but seem to look very dumpy in them now. I wear jeans although I?ve never really suited or liked them much (very high waist, big bum). I used to wear suits for work but obviously that?s not suitable now I?m a SAHM.

I?ve name-changed as I know this post is a bit pathetic, so if you recognise me please don?t let on.

Thanks you smile

TheFoosa Fri 16-Oct-09 19:33:44

never mind the clothes, what books did you buy?

<sorry not helpful - but i'm the same>

AngelinaJolly Fri 16-Oct-09 19:51:46

I do think it's important that you find some clothes that make you feel good ab yourself. 4 kids- that must be hard work!

I'd start with jeans- go for something with elastane/ spandex/ lycra in. This will help to hug your curves and stops them falling down so much as well as keeping the shape. Don't go to Gap etc; go to a dept store (Debs/ John Lewis) and get a sales assistant to find you some. Don't fixate on sizes- it doesn't matter what size you need. They must feel right.

Then find some long length vests to go under tops; try uniqlo, or supermarkets. To give a smooth line and skim your tummy.

Next go for losse fit or fit and flare tunicy tops or short dresses to wear over said jeans...
like this
There are lots out there but sounds like you need some time to hunt. Try Boden, Monsoon etc.

Finish with an accessory. A nice necklace if you baby will let you! or a bangle or your baby is a puller!

HTH!

DollyDumpling Fri 16-Oct-09 20:14:44

TheFoose grin. Well, there's also a lovely coffee shop in Waterstones! Last time I bought Me Cheeta (v funny) and had a lovely time reading that instead of shopping.

Angelina thank you smile. What sort of cut does one wear with tunic tops like that? I liked the top! Is it possible (or advisable) to get jeans with a v high waist?

AngelinaJolly Fri 16-Oct-09 20:35:13

With a fuller top go for a skinny or slim cut leg.
<Just between the 2 of us- I found some good, stretchy highish waist jeans at Gerry Weber (shop beloved of stylish ladies twice my age) but it's our secret- OK?>
Seriously- when it comes to jeans it doesn't matter where they are from IMO- they must just look and feel right on you.

DollyDumpling Fri 16-Oct-09 21:39:32

.

chattermouse Fri 16-Oct-09 21:40:02

Dolly, you sound just lovely to me! All you need is some new clothes and some much needed confidence! Your clever and resourceful body has grown and nurtured 4 children, it deserves to be set free from your coat grin !

I totally think that leggings and longish tunics will be the way to go for you. The leggings will be comfortable on your hernia and and the tunic will skim the bits you are not so keen to show. Joe Browns have the most beautiful, funky tunics that will doubtless put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Check out the website, here is a link to the tunic page. My 2 favourites are the owl tunic (funky funtime dress) the beautiful patterened red one (passionate persain dress). www.joebrowns.co.uk/pp+Womens-Dresses-Tunics+DR-L. They are reasonably priced and rest assured that your 4 and 1 yr old will love the owl one on you!

Boden also do some lovely tunics www.boden.co.uk/en-GB/Womens-Tunics.html#nav. The styles are usually fitted but forgiving on the tummy,bum and hips. i have the merino ruffle one and it is gorgeous.

If you were my real life friend, i would love to take you shopping. Perhaps you know someone who could take you to the shops and give you a hand looking round?

I firmly believe that in the right clothes you will look and feel wonderful. I wish you every luck in finding them!

Boden

1)

chattermouse Fri 16-Oct-09 21:42:15

Joe browns link again

www.joebrowns.co.uk/pp+Womens-Dresses-Tunics+DR-L

If it does not work then go to where it takes you and click on womens clothes, then click on dresses and tunics option.

DollyDumpling Sat 17-Oct-09 09:25:02

Thanks Chattermouse smile.

I worry that bright and "fun" things will channel Bubbles Devere more than Boden gal? You know, that middle-aged fat bird partying kind of style? But obv head to foot grunge isn't good either.

PeachesMcLean Sat 17-Oct-09 10:11:33

I know what you mean but in my inexpert opinion, if you keep patterns away from your face, it should help.

You need time to go shopping and try on more pairs of jeans than you thought possible. Can anyone take the kids for you to give you chance to shop?

angrypixie Sat 17-Oct-09 15:42:43

If you can afford a splurge on jeans look at notyourdaughtersjeans in John Lewis or on line. Very high waisted and a very soft denim, uber comfortable.

DollyDumpling Sat 17-Oct-09 17:31:25

I didn't know John Lewis did those - thank you smile. I'll definitely try them on.

Any suggestions for skirts/dresses?

chattermouse Sat 17-Oct-09 17:35:56

I think you are being way too hard on yourself, Dolly. I am an 8-10 but my body is certainly not what it was before i had my 3 dds. The vast majority of us who have had kids have squishy bits, lumps, bumps and marks. We just hide it well grin!

Patterns and brighter colours will most likely look great on you. They have the added bonus of making you look confident!

Anyone can look great, regardless of shape or size smile. Look around next time you're out and you will see that i am right. You'll see fab looking young, model style girls but also lots of larger and older women who also look really attractive. It really does boil down to finding the right clothes that suit your shape and bolster your confidence. Also don't underestimate the power of the accessory. A fab bag, a beautiful necklace, bangle or pair of earrings. A gorgeous pair of boots or shoes. All can really improve your overall look. Also make up applied well can really help and give you a polished finish. even a spray of your favourite perfume will raise your game and lift your mood.

Maybe go to a big store and find a style adviser who can guide you towards flattering styles? also try the make up counter for a free makeover and hell, what about a new hairstyle while your on with it all?!

chattermouse Sat 17-Oct-09 17:36:48

I think you are being way too hard on yourself, Dolly. I am an 8-10 but my body is certainly not what it was before i had my 3 dds. The vast majority of us who have had kids have squishy bits, lumps, bumps and marks. We just hide it well grin!

Patterns and brighter colours will most likely look great on you. They have the added bonus of making you look confident!

Anyone can look great, regardless of shape or size smile. Look around next time you're out and you will see that i am right. You'll see fab looking young, model style girls but also lots of larger and older women who also look really attractive. It really does boil down to finding the right clothes that suit your shape and bolster your confidence. Also don't underestimate the power of the accessory. A fab bag, a beautiful necklace, bangle or pair of earrings. A gorgeous pair of boots or shoes. All can really improve your overall look. Also make up applied well can really help and give you a polished finish. even a spray of your favourite perfume will raise your game and lift your mood.

Maybe go to a big store and find a style adviser who can guide you towards flattering styles? also try the make up counter for a free makeover and hell, what about a new hairstyle while your on with it all?!

DollyDumpling Sat 17-Oct-09 17:47:43

Chattermouse - you are very kind and possibly a nicer person than I am. I think that a lot of the people I see around me look awful blush. I don't look any better, but I see people wearing things that show great lumps of mottled flesh, synthetics that cling in all the wrong places etc. I can't think of any bigger lady I know who I think looks good. I know this is mean and says more about my own body issues than my lack of fashion sense.

I guess one good thing is that I have become so scruffy that even if I make poor choices they will at least have the benefit of not falling apart.

time4tea Sat 17-Oct-09 18:54:15

Dolly, I'm in the same situation, but am a robust size 16 and with really chunky legs that I don't let out at all.

I can highly recommend the notyourdaughters jeans - well worth it (high praise coming from stingy old me) tremendously comfortable and magically slimming. Long "kickflare" skirts are also a winner.

I find WhiteStuff and Monsoon good for long-line smocks/shirts, good quality and therefore last plenty of washes.

I can also recommend wrap cardigans over long smocks, breaks the line up a bit and accentuates norks rather than belly.

Once I got a few things to wear, then it is easier to concentrate on the book shopping (much more fun than clothes shopping)

chattermouse Sat 17-Oct-09 19:37:37

Dolly, you're right. lots of people do look terrible. I think that they get stuck in a rut or refuse to acknowledge that they are older now/a larger size. In short, i think that many just give up!

I honestly do have several friends though of varying sizes (inc. size 12, 14, 16 and 18) and they do all look good. I'll ofetn see my size 16 friend in something and think 'christ, what fantasic norks!, that top looks ace'. My size 14 friend has fabulous legs. Ok, so they are a fair bit wider than mine but the overall look of them is really shapely - better than most women with size 8 legs. she looks good in jeggings and boots. I would not dream of wearing this despite being a few sizes smaller! her tummy is quite rounded though so she keeps tops loose and focuses on her legs. This works well for her. Most people can look good, with careful dressing. Tell yourself that for all the weaknesses you think you have , you have good features too. You just need to find and accenuate them smile

motherlovebone Sat 17-Oct-09 21:11:40

Boden wont do if you are top heavy.
and too £££ for what they are.
in your position i wore smaller sized maternity clothes (eg. you are a 14, buy a 10-12) over bump jeans/trousers rein in much jelly.
as you are bf, i found the (pricey) mothercare vests a good skirtedish shape, not too flarey but enough skimmy (may need to go up one size)
team with a favourite cardy/shirt/whatever.
a loud breastfeeding necklace could be a good diversion for everyone!
get a good bf bra.
this is how i cope.

jemart Sun 18-Oct-09 16:14:01

Another vote for notyourdaughters jeans - buy on ebay from America, much much cheaper that way.

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