I Need to Dress like a 40 Year Old, Not 70 Year Old

Updated on February 03, 2014
M.S. asks from College Corner, OH
24 answers

I have lost 45 pounds so I need new clothes. I am expected to lose another 70 because I had weight loss surgery and am following the diet exactly plus exercising. My friends took me shopping after pointing out I lost five pants size and I look awul wearing those baggy clothes. I still feel too fat to wear sleeveless things and short dresses. I prefer knit shirts and knit pants with elastic waist bands. I HATE JEANS.

What stores and type of clothes would be better for me? I am a SAHM. I am a 12/14 misses petite. Also I need to find shoes beside Crocs, tennis shoes, and flip flops. Do you know any stores or have any advice? I have gotten my hair dyed and started doing my nails.

I have bought some clothes at Dillards and some cheap workout clothes at Kmart. I found nothing at Sears, Penneys, Cato, Bucklehead, Ross, or Marshalls. I find huge stores overwhelming and I find making mix and match outfits very hard. I can't keep buying black either. I have $2,500 set aside from gifts and garage sales but since I am losing I don't want to blow it all now.

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answers from Chicago on

I wear jeans about twice a year. I'm loving Sahalie. They have amazing pants and fun skirts with built in pockets!

I love t-shirts from chico's. I find the other clothes too " old" for me, my 76 year old M. shops there, but the shirts are of great material. Love them.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I love the clothes from New York and Company. It isn't a department store--just a regular mall store.

They have a great range of dressy and casual clothes, and have TONS of elastic waist banded pants and skirts.

I shopped there a ton before I became a plus size girl and had to start going to Lane Bryant. I can't wait til I lose enough to go back there again.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

If you have one, Nordstrom's. They are not cheap, but they do have twice a year sales and more importantly, personal shoppers. Make an appointment with one and she will help. You are not obligated to buy anything (although if you love something and get some good ideas it is nice to).

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answers from Honolulu on

Go to a department store, and have a "personal shopper" help you.
I know Macy's does this. It is a free service. You tell the Personal Shopper your budget etc., and what you need, and they go and find it for you and put together outfits for you.
You are NOT obligated to buy what they show you.
And, it saves a LOT of time, on your part.
Its a great service.
I know people who have done this, at Macy's.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Cold Water Creek has wonderful clothes and good sales. Their petite section is great.

Talbots also has great basics, again I always start at the sale rack and have found some beautiful pieces.


If you have Marshall's up there also check them out.

When our daughter was getting ready to graduate from college, I needed all new things to wear. I ordered a lot of things online, because I was just too darn busy to go to the stores. I sent back what did not work for me and I was thrilled with what I was going to be able to actually use. No stress.. and on my own schedule, it was awesome.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

Target! They have a lot of stylish, inexpensive options.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

If you can, try to find a department store (like Nordstrom) where they have personal shoppers. You can call ahead of time, tell them that you're a SAHM, you need clothes that work for your lifestyle, but that you've recently lost weight and need a style makeover. Tell her your budget. Try everything on that she presents to you, even if you think you won't like it. You never know how things will look on you, until they're on you! As you try things on, put things in a "yes" pile, a "no" pile, and a "maybe" pile. You don't have to buy everything in the "yes" pile, but you'll soon start to see a pattern as to the things that flatter you, and you can narrow down your choices from there.

Aside from Nordstrom personal shoppers, I also really like White House Black Market. For whatever reason, their employees tend to be great stylists (the fact that everything in their stores matches everything else doesn't hurt, I'm sure!). I have always had great experiences shopping there, and I know they do carry petites.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I like Eddie Bauer.

Congrats on the new you. Awesome!


3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Everyone I know swears by Torrid Jeans for a fantastic and flattering fit. Torrid starts at size 12. They have other styles of pants as well.
I think putting on a nice pair of jeans instead of yoga pants or other type style goes a long way to bring up an outfit and make you look put together. Yoga pants to me isn't much of a step above wearing your pajamas out.
For shoes. Sketchers makes some great "mary jane" style shoes that are still like sneakers. Other companies make them as well. You get the comfort and practicality of sneakers while taking it up a notch. But even a fun colored pair of Sketchers etc can be good too. I save dress shoes for special events, and then I never wear heals, even for formal events. I don't like them for every day.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

what is your budget? Lets assume you can splurge a little. Its clear from your post that you have no confidence or experience with putting together outfits for your new body. And thats okay. And by the way, good job! The easiest thing would be to go to Nordstrom and explain the level of help you need. Their sales staff is different from any other store in that they are neither commission nor hourly, rather they participate in profit sharing. While the clothes there are expensive, the help is free and they are more helpful than any other department store. Also, they have a petite section.

Ann Taylor Loft has some nice petites and the stores are small so that you will not be overwhelmed and the staff is generally helpful. Especially if you ask for help with styling an outfit. Price point on this store is medium.

I think Macys will overwhelm you unless you just find a sales person to pull looks and sizes for you. This is probably your best bet. They have great prices and sales. Plus, you can even get help with shoes from the person who helps you with clothes.

You could also ask a friend to help shop with you.

If putting looks together is not your thing, stay away from the clearance rack and thrift stores. It takes a certain talent and vision to dress well on the cheap. There are those who can do it, but my guess is, you won't be able to pull it off.

If you are able to invest in your wardrobe, and you don't have to shop the clearance rack, Then try shopping the front of the store. There you will always find the nicest ensembles stocked in many sizes and current for the upcoming season.

When I want cheap and stylish, I shop Target and Old Navy. But honestly, their clothes are not well tailored and can be very ill fitting.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Modell's has great fitness wear for all shapes and sizes.

One of the shows I love to watch is TLC's What Not to Wear. It takes contributors on a journey to learn what clothes look great on them while fitting their lifestyle. One of the things you learn is to try things on, different things. Another thing you learn is about getting things taylored to fit because one size truly doesn't fit all.

Getting clothes that look great on your body type is key.

If you don't want to look like a 70 year old please stay away from elastic waist pants. LOL. You should consider pants that fall straight down from the hips. High end jean are amazing because they have stretch and give in them. Please try some. Your body has changed and so should your thoughts and notions of clothes. I thought I hated jeans too but have recently discovered I love high end jeans. They just fit and feel differently than cheap jeans.

Congrats on your weight loss.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I prefer to shop thrift stores, that way I can afford expensive brand name clothes, as opposed to cheap Walmart clothes. If you need to wear elastic waist pants you should probably stick to yoga pants. You can pair yoga pants with a cute top and look put together. You can also pair tights with a long tunic, sweater or blouse. Try some jeans with a high lycra content. Otherwise, elastic waist pants are not for 40 year olds. As for shoes, Sketchers makes lots of casual shoes that are not gym shoes, a cute pair of ballet flats will go with just about anything, and a nice pair of boots to wear with your tights.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

Personally, I love jeans because they have pockets. I prefer my clothes with pockets.

Have you tried leggings with tunic length tops? They are verstile and can be worn with sneekers, heels or boots. Because they are knit they are forgiving if you gain a little weight or lose weight they still look good. As your weight goes down you can belt the top to show your shrinking waist.

I would recommend going through a few fashion magizines to find ideas. They also have tips on body type vs style; how to hide figure flaws and enhance what's good. When you find some looks you like either copy or tear out the pages and take with you when you shop. It would help a lot to have a fashion savy friend go with you. Your friend can show you why some things look good and others don't.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Kmart & target are for clothes to workout in, clean the bathroom, hang out around the house, etc. You won't generally find their clothses to be great fitting unless you are built like a mannequin.

Check out Kohls, Marshalls, TJ Maxx for bargains. Dress Barn offers lots of basic separates - many of the pants have elastic waists without looking like they do - and they have petities. If you're still losing weight you don't want to spend a lot of money - you want some standards - black pants, black tank shirts for underneath, colorful top shirts / sweaters / jackets. that way the top and bottom of the same dark color (black, brown, dark blue) and a sweater/jacket or shirt over it you'll draw a straight line from collarbone to ankel which will be slimming - but you'll add color with the top.

It's a good idea to pick a color and add everything around those colors - you'll have more options. Black pants, skirt, tanks, shoes then colorful jackets/sweaters, scarves, jewelry, wraps to interchange. As you lose weight you can gradulally buy new black pants to wear with the same accessories. It'll look like you have a lot more clothes.

Only go to Department stores if you have coupons or if they are having sales. Most of the time you can get good accessories anywhere. Go early in the day when you're not tired, frustrated, hungry, etc.

I don't know about outlet stores by you - but I started wearing NYDJ pants (Not Your Daughters Jeans) - they're very expensive - but there's an outlet store not too far from me and I buy all my jeans there. I've gotten a lot of compliments on them and I spend between $20 - $45 depending on the sale and what they have in the store. They fit wonderfully and I don't feel like I'm squeezed into the waist.

Congrats on the weight loss! You go girl!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I love White House Black Market. They are not the cheapest out there but they do have good quality clothing and I have 1 friend at one of the local WHBM stores who I call on when I need something. We are a lot alike as far as sizes very petite size 0-2's, ages late 40's, children the same age, neighbors, etc and I have tried on things and LOVED them when there were times in the past I would never have tried on a certain style. She helps me a LOT.

Be open minded and try on a lot of variety and see what looks best on you.

I have a hard time finding something in my size that is not for teens since I can also wear Juniors (but don't).

Nordstrom is great as well. Stick to some classic styles and learn to let go of the knit, elastic waist that will date you. Be proud of yourself and dress accordingly!!

I get shoes at Nordstrom, Neiman's and DSW.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

old navy and target have good prices, but much as i love target, the clothes aren't great quality. of course, since you're still losing weight, you may not want to invest much in your transitional wardrobe.
i have come to hate jeans too. i used to love them but it's hard for me now to find ones that fit AND are comfy. sigh.
i like the sales racks at the high-end stores. because their seasons are wonky, you actually end up shopping for the season you're in. macy's and nordstrom have fantastic 90% off racks stashed in back corners. i was amused and furious to find a cardigan on sale for $9.99 after the season when i'd bought one in a different color for a fancyass party 2 months before and paid almost $100 for it.
ross and marshalls aren't reliable, but keep checking back, their stock changes constantly and they have amazing deals on excellent brands. i like thrift stores but they're not for everybody. love dress barn!
i no longer EVER buy cheap shoes. SAS and birkis are the way to go.
congrats and good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

-I find Ross to be cheaper than Kmart.
-You might be able to find some cute things at Target.
-For shoes, try cute flats. Just try to find what is comfy. Even a small heel.
A pair of tennis shoes, a pair of sturdy flip flops w/a slight wedge heel.
-Buy at least one pair of each: capris, stretch jeans. You can find comfy
ones. Jeans w/the stretch in them are comfy.
-one blazer in a neutral color
-make sure t-shirts you buy have some kind of graphic so they are not
too plain
-try different things w/your hair (1/2 of your hair up in a clip

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Albany on

I'm a 43 year old. I find a lot of options a little too frumpy. For casual clothes I do well at Eddie Bauer or Eddie Bauer Outlet.... Which can have some great deals. Also do well at Marshal's and Macys. Try to focus on 1 fabulous piece or one outfit... So you 're not overwhelmed. And don't buy anything you don't love just because its cheap. If you're anything like me you 'll end up not wearing it. I bought a super chic hip length trench coat at Banana Republic for about 125 bucks. I loved it and I still wear it 10 years later. So I'm not afraid to invest in something I love, especially if I'll get a lot of wear out of it . Like a great pair of jeans. For shoes I shop Zappos and Amazon free ship both ways or Marshals/macys. I'm a tall size 12/14. Congrats on your weight loss.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I used to absolutely hate jeans!!! I didn't even own any. I wore skirts all the time or cute shorts with black tights. That was my style. The first jeans I ever got that converted me were from Chico's. And I got my M. hooked on them too. What I like about them is that they are made for a woman's body, not some young woman who has no hips. All their pants and shirts have their own sizing system 00 to 4 (00, 0, 0.5, 1, 1.5 etc…. vanity sizing). This way you are not stuck on the whole 'size' thing (like if you are a size 12, but a 12 is too tight, most women won't want to go up to a size 14). And, their jeans are all stretch denim (LOVE the stretch!). They have some jeans that are wider in the waist for women who are thicker in the middle too (I don't remember the name of that style since I didn't wear that kind), as well as petite, regular and tall sizes. The prices are anywhere between $70 to $110 I think. Trust me, find a store and try them out. The sales ladies in there are very helpful too. I have no advice on shoes. The only ones I can wear are Birkenstocks because I have a problem with my one foot and if I wear anything other than my Birks, my foot tingles and hurts like crazy. I do see a lot of gals wearing flats. Just a matter of finding ones that fit you right and breaking them in. I got 3 pairs of flats that I was slowly trying to break in but my feet give me too many problems to give my shoes a chance.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New London on

Congrats ! I lost a huge amt of weight just before going into middle school. Exercise is my key to keeping it off !

I love wearing black leggings w/ a long (kinda fitted) shirt. I can go grocery shopping w/ this look and then go for a speed walk w/out changing my clothes all the time.

I get ideas from the Soft Surroundings clothes catalog.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

If you want to go the do it yourself route, get your hands on the what not to wear book based on that show by TLC. A hard look at your body shape, will help you make better choices.

Congrats on the weight loss. Congrats on recognizing that you need some clothes that fit you. I say buy a few items at a time. 2 or three head to toe outfits that work well either with what you have or what you plan to get, until such time as your weight stabilizes. Unless you've got that kind of cash, don't buy a wardrobe at 12/14 only to find you need one at 10/12.

Oh yes, for shoes, you might try Aerosoles. Comfy, and stylish.

F. B.



answers from Oklahoma City on

I buy almost all my clothes at Cato. They have plus sizes up to 28, women's sizes, and some kids sizes. They have clothes, shoes, boots, lingerie, and accessories.

If you look you can find slacks that have stretch to them. I never even look at denim. I hate it too. I buy a lot of tops there that are longer and cut looser around the hips. What I am wearing today is so comfortable I feel alseep in it last time I wore it to work, yes, I wore it to work then came home and when I was watching TV later laying on the couch I slept all night in my clothes.

I mentioned to hubby that these pants are more comfortable than jammie pants.

I only buy what "I" like. If there are 50 different styles of pants at Cato and not one is comfortable enough to sit down in the floor in then I don't need them. If they stretched out and didn't look nice I wouldn't need them either so that's why I go for a nicer work style slack. I can wear a black pair with a long sweater or top and I can wear a skirt or jacket over them too. I can go casual or dressy. The top makes it all look like what we want.

This is the top I fell asleep in.


I also have these tops.




This sweater


I wear this, but in a neutral color, over tank dresses, short sleeve dresses or tops, all sorts of things. It is nice for covering up my upper arms.


I think these are a pair of pants that I have. I know I have a pair that button but mine stretch when I bend or sit. They are really comfortable.





answers from Jacksonville on

Congratulations that is amazing. On another note, I just saw where you are from and have to tell you my parents are from that little town. I still have quite a few relatives there, too. I only get back there occasionally for a family reunion at "the grove" or a funeral. Good luck on your wardrobe! I am sure you will be fabulous!



answers from New York on

Congrats on the weight loss -- that's fantastic.

Ditto the suggestions of Ann Taylor Loft and Aerosoles. I've also found clothes I really like at the regular old Gap. One thing to be aware of, you can get semi-clingy jeans in soft fabrics these days. I don't mean skinny jeans -- I never go near those -- but jeans with some stretchiness -- those often have a flattering, un-frumpy fit. Sorry, not explaining this very well.

Finally, I really like Twice.com. I've gotten clothes there that I'd never, ever be able to justify paying full price for.

Enjoy the shopping! This sounds like some well-deserved fun ;)

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