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The styles in shops seem to be aimed at every age group but mine! Argh!

29 replies

QueenCess · 16/01/2012 12:46

I don't like jeans, esp loathe skinny ones. I don't like tunics and leggings as I am rectangle shaped/apple and I look pregnant if I wear these. I am on the petite side for height at 5"3 and a size 16.

I don't want clothes that my Mum would wear ( per una, Kaliko and Hobbs) and I don't want fussy stuff. I favour classic monocrome stuff in a grey/ black/ red / navy palette.

I am 37 and not interested in fashion but rather style suitable for my age. There seems to be little between trendy twenties and the stuff that those women wear from 'Loose Women'. Neither are looks I wish to emulate.

Where the hell can I shop? Anyone else experiencing this?

OP posts:
QueenCess · 16/01/2012 12:48

Stuff huff.

OP posts:
Gillybobs · 16/01/2012 13:06

I hear ya! Age 38, size 16 (taller mind you) I do get odd things from Zara, Topshop,Oasis but often find much of it is a bit young (or doesnt fit : / )

I love Mint Velvet and Great Plains, not sure how Id manage without them. Fit the gap perfectly imo. Id definitely recommend you take a look at both. Great PLains is a t the end of their clearance sale at the moment, so it might be disappointing but give it a week or two for new season stock to come in

Karbea · 16/01/2012 17:02


I've no idea what I should be wearing either! I'm 38, size 8, 5ft tall, but agree nothing is targeted at our age group.
I don't want to wear mini body con dresses, nor do I want to wear M&S. I would say I am interested in fashion but something that is fitting of my age!

Bienchen · 16/01/2012 17:41

The White Company and Gap fit the bill as well. Toast if you are slim. And there is the odd bit in M&S that is not frumpy or Per Una. Dare I say Boden if you ignore the garish prints.

I think a lot depends on your attitude and what you are confident to wear. I totally get that you might give the sequinned minis a wide berth but there is plenty of choice of dresses ending just above the knee. Woollen trousers with a slightly wider leg for winter. Good quality jewellery and accessories. Could you book an appointment with a personal shopper?

FWIW though I struggle with the concept of size 16 being petite; is it a new euphmism for being short Confused?

Karbea · 16/01/2012 17:50

I always thought Petite was short (under 5ft4), I always wanted to open a petite shop called "short and stumpy"!

QueenCess · 16/01/2012 18:08

Hi, thanks for all the tips. Will enjoy having a good browse later.

Petite as in height obviously Bienchien.

I have a fair old rack and love a dress if it is cut well without all that poofie empire line nonsense.

I think Paula Reed and Angelina Jolie have great style.

OP posts:
henrythecat · 16/01/2012 18:11

Yes yes to white company and love Great Plains too for workwear.

novelsituation · 16/01/2012 18:15

I love Jigsaw clothes. They last / wash well. ££ but worth it imo.

Karbea · 16/01/2012 18:24

Jigsaw dont have a petite range though, do they?

novelsituation · 16/01/2012 18:28

No, sorry - they don't. Should have thought of that. I'm 5' 5" and I often get hems altered. The branch near me has a one hour tailor just round the corner.

QueenCess · 16/01/2012 18:33

I like a lot of Boden things this season of the pattern free variety.

The quality of the items has deteriorated over the last three years although maybe that has been rectified this season? The cuts can be a bit iffy so it is a bit hit and miss. More miss really.....IMO.

OP posts:
scarlet76 · 16/01/2012 19:18

OP, you are petite - it refers to height - 5ft 3 or under. I am 35, 5ft and a size 8-10. There are some good petite ranges about - Next, M&S online, Boden, Dorothy Perkins, Topshop

Agree that it is a hard age to be. Much of the stuff I used to buy in Topshop feels too young and I find myself being increasingly selective with what I buy from there. I have had odd bits recently from M&S Limited Collection which is a bit more funky than per una!!! Agree that some of the plain Boden stuff is nice this season - like the boyfriend cardigan in natural, the navy stripe merino jumper, some of the chinos could work.

QueenCess · 16/01/2012 19:31

For some reason I don't normally have to go down the petite ranges route. I have 30inch legs- it's just my middle is a bit scrunched up! I have to buy a 16 for the waist rather than hips. My hips are more of a 14. I have always been blessed with this shape no matter how thin! I know how to dress for it don't get me wrong it's just there is very little out there. I have trawled around Cambridge to no avail.

OP posts:
MosEisley · 16/01/2012 19:39

Yes, I have the same problem. White Company are quite expensive though, aren't they? I buy stuff in New Look quite often. You have to be selective but it is cheap.

SianBB · 16/01/2012 20:59

I will second Toast and found Whistles and Reiss helped to ease me into my 30s.

I also get the odd bit from Topshop and Mango. For all Mankind jeans are also a must. Even the skinny ones flatter!

Haziedoll · 16/01/2012 21:03

QueenCess - You say you know how to dress for your shape, what do you like? I'm similar height and shape and don't know what to wear either.

QueenCess · 16/01/2012 21:07

I like Toast.

Laura Ashley doesn't seem too crusty......

OP posts:
Haziedoll · 16/01/2012 21:12

Laura Ashley has improved over the past couple of years. Don't know Toast will have a look.

QueenCess · 16/01/2012 21:17

Haziedoll I like good quality wide leg trousers with a bit of stretch in them so they keep their shape. Flat fronted.

Maxi skirts with a slim A-line, side zip.

Maxi dress with a flat empire and cropped cashmere cardigan.

Slash neck/deep scoop or v neck to hip level, three quarter sleeve in merino wool or cashmere.

Layering tops in fine stretchy material so they don't add bulk or wrinkle up.

Deep scoop tank.

No details at waist level on top. Fitted but not clingy. HTH.

OP posts:
Eggy75 · 16/11/2018 19:56

I am 43 and I buy a lot of clothes from
Oasis but I read recently that the target age for Oasis is 18 to 35. It may have been an old article but since I’m almost 10 years over that threshold I’ve started thinking perhaps I need to shop elsewhere? I think I’m overthinking it and that it depends on the actual garment rather than the label but I just wondered if there are any other Oasis fans out there that are in their forties and beyond. I’ve never though of it as a particularly young shop.

Ifonlyiweretaller · 16/11/2018 20:22

I'm a size 16 hourglass at 5'1" of a 'certai age' and I struggle too. Often have to have stuff altered which is frustrsting. I have actually found a few things in the (very limited) petite range at Matalan - I love their fur colour biker jacket and weear it all the time! Dotty Perkins can have good stuff too, more-so online. And Top Shop online is also okay if you choose carefully.
I've always found Great Plains sizing too small for me -probably because of my generous hips!
I dont really have a style as such, just buy what I like and accessorise it well (I hope!).

Floisme · 16/11/2018 20:55

Lord above do you seriously believe you're the only age group that has this problem?
Do you really think your mum has it easier?

I don't imagine you want advice from a 60+ year old but I suggest Uniqlo, especially their collaborations, some Cos if you can get to a real shop, possibly Toast although it's very marmite, Kin at John Lewis, Me and Em (spendy but very good sales), & other Stories and Arkett (H&M's bigger sisters), Whistles although the quality's shite, some very selective M&S.

If you're looking for a change of style I would try and get to real shops if you possibly can and just try loads and loads of things on.

I find that if I wear decent underwear I can get away with cheaper fabrics.

You're welcome.


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Eggy75 · 16/11/2018 21:36

Do you shop in Oasis? Is it ok for over 40’s?

Elledorado · 17/11/2018 10:11

What Flo said. Although the last 5 things Ive ordered from Whistles have been absolute terrible so I would personally avoid. Also Uniqlo is mostly miss for me. Prefer H&M. I'm 38 and havent changed where and how I shop for 10 years though so what would I know.

Elledorado · 17/11/2018 10:17

^actually this is a lie because my figure and budget have gone up and down with children ... so I have changed my shopping habits based on these things and also fashions and the stores themselves go through good and bad periods. My point is that your age has nothing much to do with it though.

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