Confidence to dress differently

(39 Posts)
MadameLeBean Fri 04-Apr-14 15:37:48

I used to think I was quite a confident person even had a pixie crop at one point, sexy dresses, etc but I've recently realised my attempts to look "classic" don't render an average looking English girl into phoebe philo, but rather just make me look a bit frumpy and boring!

I sold lots of my cool clothes on eBay, leather jackets, DM biker boots, and threw out my washed out ripped skinny jeans and regret it now!

I now have a "uniform" of cashmere jumpers and blue jeans and have shoulder length brown straight hair. I am a size 6-8 but look quite chubby stocky as I have thick legs and a big bum and 30D boobs although my waist is small.

Any ideas how I can revive my style?! I think I may want to cut my hair short again but will get a fringe first because I need to lose some weight before the pixie looks good again. But what about clothes? I just feel so boring!

(I mean off duty clothes in general - my work outfits are generally suits/shift dresses and I'm sorted in that dept)

Hebburnisaplaceonearth Fri 04-Apr-14 16:22:35

Why did you throw out your old clothes if you liked them? Nothing wrong with cashmere and jeans but if you're not a classic dresser naturally it will feel boring to you. Have a crop if it suits, get done interesting accessories - bright bags, jewellery etc. there is no way you can look overweight at a size 6-8 by the way, so stop being hard on yourself and have a bit of fun with your clothes smile

MadameLeBean Fri 04-Apr-14 16:27:37

Thanks! I know that's the case however I still feel like I'm carrying about 5-10lbs of excess and it doesn't help that I have v stocky legs (big calves and no ankles to speak of) so it really shows. I feel like I'm trying to achieve French casual and failing miserably!

MadameLeBean Fri 04-Apr-14 16:28:53

I sold a lot of stuff on eBay when I was short of cash a couple of years ago - I didn't wear the stuff enough and it was expensive (incl a beautiful - v short - purple acne shift dress which I really regret!)

MadameLeBean Fri 04-Apr-14 16:30:02

I like heels but they are way too much effort. I do look better in dresses and heels than jeans though struggling to accept it

Hebburnisaplaceonearth Fri 04-Apr-14 16:52:47

What about googling gamine clothing style? That together with your pixie cut sounds like what you're aiming for. Might give you some ideas

MadameLeBean Fri 04-Apr-14 16:59:16

Thanks.. Will do

Latraviata Fri 04-Apr-14 17:05:19

You would be better working on your self esteem rather than buying a wardrobe full of new clothes. Someone who is a size 6-8 has no need to lose 10lbs at all.

Floisme Fri 04-Apr-14 17:08:13

If you're size 6-8 then I very much doubt you're 5-10lb overweight. But, if your legs and bum aren't your best features then maybe jeans, particularly skinny jeans, aren't a good look for you? What's the problem with dresses when you say yourself you look better in them? You can dress them down (so to speak!) so that they don't feel too formal and you don't have to wear them with heels.

MadameLeBean Fri 04-Apr-14 17:08:49

Perhaps you are right but I was slimmer at uni and a lot happier with my body then. Perhaps it's toning more than anything

MadameLeBean Fri 04-Apr-14 17:10:09

I'm really not used to wearing dresses for casual wear. Only shift dresses at work or evening dresses for going out. I never got into that 50s day dress trend, I just feel a bit silly!

Why not start with a leather jacket in your new size? Buy clothes to fit you now. And there's no rule that you have to grow up when it comes to clothing choices!

TheBuskersDog Fri 04-Apr-14 20:54:12

If the OP is short and was a size 6 and has put on half a stone and is now a 6-8 it's perfectly possible that she feels she would be more comfortable if she lost the extra weight. She isn't saying she's overweight, just that she is a little heavier than her ideal, nothing wrong with that.

You sound a bit like me OP - I'm a naturally quirky dresser but the feeling of responsibility after I became a parent combined with a loss of body confidence in the post natal wilderness meant I started to attempt to dress more in a more grown-up, classic way. It wasn't a huge success but what I found really liberating was having my personal style analysed. Not for everyone I know, but I was diagnosed a Dramatic Gamine which basically means the quirkier the better. It felt like id been given permission to be who I really am and I have since embraced the mad things I like to wear. Woah, that got a bit heavy there, but it's true.

I also understand where you're coming from body-wise. I'm not as slim as you (8-10) but I'm slim up top and carry my weight on my legs and arse. It is a tricky body shape to dress, but rest assured you almost certainly look much better than you think you do.

Agree with buying one lovely piece that is really you, like a biker jacket, which will work with your existing wardrobe and take it from there. Maybe follow it up with a hair overhaul. Life is too short to pretend to be Parisian!

charitygirl Fri 04-Apr-14 23:00:00

Amber's last sentence = true genius.

Spookey80 Sat 05-Apr-14 12:07:02

Oh my, I could have wriiten yr op, but I'm there now and because it works with my life as a mum I am trying to be so classic and think through every purchase really carefully, but actually I feel totally boring! What has happened to me?! So jo advice, but watching with interest.

Coumarin Sat 05-Apr-14 12:09:43

Life is too short to pretend to be Parisian

I'd quite like that on a t-shirt. (A grey one with fluorescent pink lettering.)

MadameLeBean Sat 05-Apr-14 13:04:11

Love that Amber! Life is too short indeed. If one is not naturally twiggy and French, it can only lead to heartache!

Buskersdog - YY that's exactly it.
And I have a v slim top half and carry all weight on hips and legs.

I find skinny jeans and a big jumper looks better than a fitted jumper bc the small jumper just accentuates my petite top half and highlights the chunkiness of my lower half in jeans. But wearing big jumpers doesn't really solve it cos then I hide my waist boobs and arms, which are my best bits.

Going to experiment more with day dresses...

MadameLeBean Sat 05-Apr-14 13:06:27

And I know this is crazy but I am going to email the girl in Australia who I sold the acne shift dress to two yrs ago and ask her to sell it back to me!!! It's purple and short and made me feel like Audrey Hepburn smile

Theoldhag Sat 05-Apr-14 13:16:23

Sometimes I feel that as we grow older we loose our sense of play and fun, I sometimes suggest to other women who feel that they have become 'stuck in a rut' and 'not confident' with regards to clothing, that in order to break this feeling to go out with a friend and have fun trying on all different clothing items, try out different looks in shops. Have fun and play dress up. Nothing has to be bought but the feeling of freedom this can give is positive.

Have fun and play!

I've spent SO long hating my legs. This year I decided to do something about it, so I started running. Nothing will change my fundamental body shape but they're more toned and I feel happier. As a result I am today wearing a Paul and Joe playsuit with little white rabbits all over it.

MadameLeBean Sat 05-Apr-14 13:26:00

Thanks theoldhag! smile

Amber - that's great. I am doing Bikram yoga once a week and it's helping but also gonna try to run and cycle more (used to do it lots).

And I'm going to bring in lunch to work (which will save me £150 per month!) and use the spare cash to buy myself some new clothes... Not classics only!

charitygirl Sat 05-Apr-14 14:17:02

Agree with Amber again - over the last 2 years I've massively toned up my legs and am so much happier in skirts and dresses.

I've had the same analysis as Amber and am a Ingenue Natural. Basically I haven't a 'classic' bone in my body - put me in a A line skirt or a Breton top and I feel frumptastic. So liberating to know I can just stop trying with all those 'wardrobe essential' items.

FrugalFashionista Sat 05-Apr-14 19:01:35

Mme I went through this a couple of years ago when my children were very small. Dressing in a dull, safe way that had nothing to do with who I was. But a lot of it was also just general midlife stagnation.

There are two ways to come to terms with it.
1. Start doing things that you have always wanted to do, aiming for a fuller life but also small daily sensory pleasures (for me: delicious coffee, great perfume, good food, buying flowers every now and then, engrossing novels, cuddling my children, a poem on the subway...). When you see more people and do more things that you really enjoy, your style will fall in place naturally. (I find that dressing stylishly will not necessarily make me happy - it can even make you extremely unhappy if you are constantly comparing yourself to impossible norms. However, being 'me' and savoring all those tiny moments of happiness does make me happy.) Exercise in a way that makes you feel great, but not with a weight loss as the main goal. Hope this does not sound to new agey but also spend a few moments contemplating yourself and others in a loving, accepting way every day.

2. Check out a few fashion magazines, spend an evening on Pinterest, or pay attention on the street what people whose style you admire tend to wear. Then start implementing the changes step by step. Dress the body you have today, not a fantasy body - everyone has some great bits, make them the focal point, and nobody will notice the rest. Think about what makes you feel great / flirty / sexy/ confident (lots of us somehow let that part of us languish when we get a bit older). Make a list of clothes that you think you will feel good in, then go and try them on. Some of them might feel wrong for various reasons but many will feel great. Go for those!

Good luck!

ADifferentKindOfMum Sun 06-Apr-14 10:26:30

This thread really cheered me up last night. At 41, I've spent the last year in some kind of perimenopausal funk (hair loss, peri oral dermatitis, food cravings). As a result, I've become bizarrely uncomfortable with the image I project.

Like Amber I like non-classic bits of clothing. I wouldn't say I look "out there" but ppl often say I look "young" and I think it is by virtue of my cclothes more than anything else. The last week or so ive felt like I look dreadful, daft, wacky etc. Truth is, I like the clothes I choose (denim and trainers being at core) and while I wish I could carry off very classic style, it just makes me look like I'm dressing up in my Mum's stuff!

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