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cookworm 10-26-2006 01:30 PM

OT - Fashionally challenged! Help!
I need some help from my knitting diva friends!!! :heart: I'm in a "fashion crisis". I'm a stay-at-home mom, "thirty-ish", and I guess I figured that jeans and T-shirts were going to be okay to wear forever. Well, I'm feeling more and more like I need some "adult" style as I get older, but I don't even know where to begin to start to find out what is out there. My stuff in my closet is SOOOO outdated (not even the point of being a neat "vintage" look--just plain ugly, and not updateable by adding accessories)...I have stuff in there from like 9 years ago (why I'm hanging onto it, I'll never know!), and I'm about 30 pounds more than I'd like to be, so I guess I figured if I dressed baggy, it would somehow do me a favor (it doesn't). Although I'm 30 pounds heavier than I should be, I'm pretty well proportioned, so I can carry it off a little bit, so I don't know why I'm going with the burlap sack look! I'm tired of being frumpy and feeling like I look disheveled. I mean, I'm a stay-at-home mom, and yeah, we have a very tight budget, but it doesn't mean I have to look like a bag lady, does it? :( Where can I go to get an update or a fashion "makeover"? Are there magazines that are out there to help (any ones in particular?)? What about free websites? I have more "classic" taste and I'm not really into trends, so anything geared along those lines would be really helpful.

brendajos 10-26-2006 01:35 PM

ooooooooh you want us to nominate you for TLC's What Not to Wear?

That could be fun but they are kinda meeeeeeeeean! (mostly it seems mean to the people who have NO idea that they are out of know and would probably not take it as

KellyK 10-26-2006 01:39 PM

Why dontcha try Ann Taylor? "The Loft" is their discount store... they have NICE, adult clothing... conservative, good quality, stylish, stuff that will remain in style for a while. Or, Talbots is nice, too... Or, The Limited... or Limited Express... Im thinking if you are just "upgrading" fom a 10-yr old wardrobe, you may want to stay away from the "trendier" stores that might scare you! :teehee:

cookworm 10-26-2006 01:39 PM

I've thought about what if I went on What Not To Wear, but the comments I could hear them saying about my wardrobe...well, it wouldn't be pretty! :teehee: You're right though--I think if you're aware that you need fashion help, it helps you to manage their criticisms and suggestions better. For me, I do know what kinds of styles of things work on my body type (most of the time), although I don't have a lot of those clothes currently in my closet, and also, sometimes, those types of clothes aren't always in style (like maybe a person looks good with an empire-waisted, bell-sleeved blouse, but those go in and out of style).

cookworm 10-26-2006 01:40 PM


Originally Posted by KellyK
you are just "upgrading" fom a 10-yr old wardrobe

It's pretty pathetic, isn't it? :oops: :rofl:

gardenmommy 10-26-2006 01:42 PM

You could just window shop the fancier department stores and see what is on the racks and mannequins, making notes or lists of what you like, then go to the second-hand/thrift type stores to see what you could find in similar styles that you like.

I think a nice crisp white blouse and black pants are always classy and stylish! You could change it up with different scarves or pins. You will always look better in things that fit you well rather than trying to disguise figure faults with bagginess.

Do you know how to sew? Even if you don't, again you could look through current pattern books for things that you like and seem practical and then look elsewhere for similar items.

Stiney 10-26-2006 01:43 PM

I like Gap's new store, Forth & Towne. They're stylish, but not trendy. But they're pricey. Like Banana Republic and up prices. Geared towards women in their 30's and up, I think. But I like it even though I'm 23.

Target has some nice stuff that kinda skirts the stylish/trendy border. They've got good basics, though. And they're prices are good. I don't have a WalMart near me, but I've seen some commercials and it looks like their new women's clothing line is similar to Target's. And Kohl's is supposed to be good like that, too.

H&M is a bit on the trendy stuff, but the prices are good.

You know the show "What Not to Wear" on TLC? It was originally a British show, and the British hosts wrote a book called What Not to Wear. I haven't looked through it too much, but if it's like the show, it's got tips to make sure you dress to accentuate your features and stuff like that. B&N has it in the Health section, with the makeup books and stuff like that. They're also a Lucky's Guide to Shopping (or something like that.) I've flipped through this one, and while some of it's basic wardrobe "requirements" are excessive, it has good tips and explains, for instance, why you should have a blazer, and what you can wear it with for which occasions. That's in the same section as "What Not to Wear."

I personally wear a lot of sweaters over t-shirts or camis or button down shirts. Cardigans are good, too, especially if temperature is an issue. Add pants or a skirt or jeans, and boots or sandals or sneakers, and voila! Instant outfit. And since I can change the dressiness of my outfits by wearing jeans or black pants, my weekend wardrobe is similar to my work wardrobe.

The best thing to do might be to walk around in different stores (mall would be great for this) and get an idea of what people are wearing and just look and see which stores look heinous to you and which you might want to come back to. Don't buy, just look, maybe try things on, if you want to get an idea of which styles would be flattering. (I have big hips, big boobs, and a small waist, so I tend to stay away from high-waisted, flowy shirts because I think they make me look fat. I want to accentuate my curves, not hide them behind a shirt.) Flattering clothes make you look better dressed than pricey clothes that are "in" but don't do anything for you.

cookworm 10-26-2006 01:53 PM


Originally Posted by cawthraven
You know the show "What Not to Wear" on TLC? It was originally a British show, and the British hosts wrote a book called What Not to Wear.

Yes! I have this book at home, actually (Trinny and Susannah are hilarious!!!), and when I see that their show is on, I'll watch. That book has helped me A LOT to understand that well-fit clothing does more to flatter a figure than baggy clothing--a person can actually wear fitted clothes and look great, and, it can be done in colors other than black! :roflhard:

kemp 10-26-2006 02:10 PM

I would just watch WNTW's on TLC...even though they tailor different shows to different people/jobs there are a few things that run through all of them...looking for fit, tailoring to fit, age appropriateness, matching your personality and buying classic, quality pieces. I think that is great advice for anyone and I don't' think I've ever seen anyone on that show that didn't look fabulous in the end no matter what their size or age.

janelanespaintbrush 10-26-2006 03:08 PM


Originally Posted by cookworm
Yes! I have this book at home, actually (Trinny and Susannah are hilarious!!!), and when I see that their show is on, I'll watch.

I like the BBC show, too, though they do get awfully repetitive and can be too way dogmatic -- I hate when they make people cry. Sometimes, though, I just think they're just off the mark... whenever Trini does her dress and pants thing I want to groan. :wall:

I agree with you that it's a great strategy to stick with "timeless" apparel that fits well, and looks good on you. I've got a closetful of suits that I haven't touched since I started working at home, but if I ever do have an office job again, I know I won't need to buy a new wardrobe. More than that, I know that I'll feel just as terrific wearing those outfits years from now as I did when I bought them. (That just goes to show that "timeless" doesn't have to mean boring -- Audrey Hepburn's style was a great example of this.)

I don't think you necessarily need to get a huge overhaul right away. Why not just buy pieces as you find them? I think I'd rather take my time and build up a solid wardrobe than trying to get everyting all at once and possibly making some compromises by doing so.

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