Need Some Women Opinion on My Image.

Updated on February 11, 2013
A.H. asks from Clearfield, UT
32 answers

Ok. I hate fashion. I am cheap, hate to expend money on clothes, and i am not looking for getting anybody's attention. I hate doing my hair. it is wavy and frizzy and nothing make it look good, unless i put tons of gel or use a flat aroning. and i amnot willing to spend too much time doing that. i am in my 30s. My husband he likes me the way I am, he says, but everytime i go to school to pick my children i see all these ladies all dressed up for a fashion show. good for them, not my style, but even though i am not that old i probably look like the grandma in the group.i am not trying to compete but maybe there is some improvement i have to do. I want to look a little more like a young woman and not the grandma inthe school. well, went to macys, got a pair of legging the other day, put it on the next day and i felt stupid. my bowed legs showed a lot with skinny pants so did not help me feel any younger but ugly. but with loose pants and my loose tops that i buy in trifts stores how can i improve?

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So What Happened?

Thank you very much for your responses and great advices. I wish I could write pesonal messeges to all you for the good tips you passed to me. but my kids are fighting now and i have a husband who needs some attention also. I will follow the haircut advice, get leave-in contiditioner and try to find new jeans to wear. only have one for 4 years .thanks for the cheering too

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P.G.

answers from Dallas on

Things that fit well and are comfortable are the key. I have a favorite pair of jeans and a couple of jackets that are cute and the right cut to be flattering. Find colors that you love and wear those. Cute shoes that are comfortable. I have found some great stuff at goodwill and Ross and Marshall's. I hate to spend a lot of money on clothes too. It might be worth it to get the help of a personal shopper at Macy's just to get an idea of what looks good on you. Decide how much you will spend with them. Then take that advice with you when you shop at other places.

8 moms found this helpful

R.A.

answers from Boston on

I've mastered the "librarian" look quite well. However, I find that if I add a scarf it somehow creates a different look. I wear scarves daily. Also, there is nothing like a good pair of jeans. I go for the flare style, or skinny. A good pair of jeans goes a long way.

Also if you have loose pants, wear a tighter shirt..same with tight pants-wear a loose shirt. It evens you out better. It makes for a less frumpy attire.

I go to TJMAXX for a lot of my clothes. Same with Kohls. You can find some really good deals.

Also-I hate leggings. For me, they just don't work. Find what works for you and go with it.

4 moms found this helpful
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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

Okay, at least in my State, Macy's has personal shoppers. Free.
They help you, choose clothing per what you tell them and coordinate it.
Maybe try that.
You are not obligated to buy, what they choose.

4 moms found this helpful

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

If you have curly hair, you're "cursed" in that you will NEVER be able to wash n wear like straight hair. Even if you blow it out, it takes time to blow it out, and then any moisture (sweat, humidity, steam, rain) will destroy it. Certain products will help it not go all 1980s on you, but it is what it is.

If you want, I can give you the 3 way lowdown on curly hair management (perfect curls...takes ages, wild curls...10 seconds but requires hot weather to air dry in, and blown out straight 20-60 min depending on length)... But that gets really lengthy.

Personally... I'm working out a lot right now, so I keep it short & blown out. Takes me 20 minutes every other day. But only because

- Expensive tools (normal dryers take me 45 min on this length instead of 10-15... And normal flat irons take me as long, instead of 5 minutes)
- Semiexpensive "schtuff" / product (without which, my hair wouldn't stay straight for a day, much less 2-3 before rewashing). I say semi expensive, because it only costs $5 per month, but its a $35 bottle.
- Practice (I can bust my hair out FAST, but I've also been doing this for 10 years)

Just ask, and I'll give you the curly hair compendium)

_______________

As far as fashion?

I learned a few things modeling.....

_____________

Ahem. Ignore the ex-model part when thinking about me. I'm not pretty (actually, Im quite ugly, I did runway work which requires thin and tall, not good features). I'm fat. I spend about 5 minutes a day "getting ready" (excluding hair days, which makes 30). In not getting all dolled up every day. (Ha!)

In those 5-10 min
- Dressed
- Makeup (my warpaint)
- Hair

But its because I HAVE them. So I just grab whatever is handy (don't keep ugly things in sight/reach), pull them on, go, & do my makeup in the car.
_____________

Anyhow... Back to ex-runway model fashion advice:

1) NOTHING looks good on everyone... For example, even weighing 70 pounds LESS than I do now, I look rubbish in skinny jeans. Like really, really, really bad. Now? Pshaw. Wouldn't even THINK about it.

2) Clothes are a "feeling" / form of art. All (errrr...most) will keep you from being naked. Phase 2 is how do you want to FEEL while wearing them? Comfy IS an answer... But ALL clothes that fit right are "comfy". If its not comfy, it doesn't fit right, period.

A tailored linen suit can be as comfy as sweats. The trick, is that its tailored. It fits right to begin with. Off the rack? Takes time to find pieces that feel like you're not wearing anything.

3) Fashion is an industry. Which may sound dumb, BUT... Clothes aren't "made" for everyone. They're made for most people. I'm an uncommon size, being over 6 feet tall. Which means I CAN'T SHOP. I may LIKE clothes I see in stores around and about, but they won't fit. Period. I have to order 95% of my clothes from the EU. There are niche / specialty boutiques for most outré sizes... But a) selection is obviously limited b) there just plain and simple ISN'T clothing for everyone

= NOT YOUR FAULT.

Clothing designers and stores are out to make a buck... Which means that they want the largest number of people to buy their stuff.

..... Which ALSO = Some of us have to look elsewhere.

If you're petite or average, though, and a woman... Then you just need someone with an eye and time. (Men's standards are different, Im not implying you're not a woman).

If you're Reubenesque ... Its patience. There are boutiques that cater to curvaceous women, but it requires a lot of patience to build a wardrobe, as you have to wait for things to be sold. Most women (average & petite) have thousands of choices in every item every year. Reubenesque women have maybe 4 choices in each item per YEAR.

Tall women, might have 1 or 2 choices every couple years.

(EX) Little Black dress
- avg or petite = thousands
- Reubanesque = 4
- Tall = 0-1

And if one of those 4 doesn't look good? Then its waiting a whole mother year.

_____________

PERSONALLY... I have a "uniform". Most women do to a degree. Its what they're generally wearing.

It can take time to build a wardrobe / uniform.

It sounds like you don't like your uniform... But feel stuck... Because every time you try something new, its uncomfy (ill fitting), ugly (also ill fitting or badly designed for your body type), or intimidating.... So you get stuck back in your "uniform" ... Which makes you feel old.

AWFUL place to be in.

But its going to take time to transition... Unless you're wealthy. (If so, PM me, and I'll give you different advice... But I'm going to assume you're on a budget).

Allow yourself that time.

DONT start small. But also DONT go but a bunch of things.

This will make sense in a minute.

Not small = trying on LOTS of different styles WITH a personal shopper to start getting a feel for
- your style
- what looks good on you

But DONT buy everything.
(Unless you are in love with them, and have the cash)
Make NOTES.

DO BUY

2 cute outfits.

Head to toe.

This is your mission.

And then wear them CONSTANTLY.

They need to be that comfy.

That you will.

Instead of passing over "cute" for "comfy".

If its not comfy. Don't buy it. Because you won't wear it.

So don't buy "looks good but scratchy/tight/gut busting/rides up/falls down/ etc.

DO buy "Wow! I never knew __________ could feel so good!"

_________

Clothes are an emotion.

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H.W.

answers from Portland on

Just wear what you like. And wear what fits.
Buy things which fit your shoulders and bust correctly, then have them altered if need be. Same with jeans. Find ones which work best for your body type and then hem.

I understand how some women are dressed to the nines, and I think "good for them". I go in my jeans, fleece hoodies and my warm raincoat and Keens. I don't look as fashionable, but I am also comfortable. I have a couple of special tops I wear on days I volunteer at the school.

What helps me feel good:
Making sure my hair feels tidy. Usually this is barettes or pigtails. Works for me. I wear a favorite woolen cap on bad hair days.

Making sure my jeans are washed often. Their shape is better.

Wearing shoes which I think look pretty. I love my cute smartwool knee-highs-- no one sees them but me, but they make me happy.

A good bra. Good bras are everything!

A smile. I would say this is The Most Important thing I can wear. People respond to a smile and a 'hi! How are you?' which is sincere.

I'm sure other people will have more specific suggestions, but I do want to say that A LOT of what people pick up about us is what we give off. Even when I'm feeling frumpy, I just smile, say hi, and ask people about them. It does make a difference.

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I don't think we have to love fashion to dress well. And I think dressing reasonably well can make us feel better all the way around. I'm a grandma of five, and have a daughter in elementary school, and some days I do take my 10 year-old to school in my comfortable "home" clothes, but I have some nicer things for those days I go out with friends, or to work.

If you are willing to do a little bit of thinking and strategizing about your clothes, this book is good: "Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Learning to Dress it Well", by Sally McGraw. Sally is not the usual fashion writer, she shops at thrift stores and does closet consults to help women find new outfits in their own closets.

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R.L.

answers from Houston on

I didn't read all the responses so forgive me if I repeat anything. I woulnd't worry too much about the fashion side of things, but find clothes you like that are comfortable and that FIT! It's very important to wear clothes that fit no matter what your size. If you were clothes that are too baggy, even though you may feel like they are hiding things, they actually do the opposite and make you look bigger than you are. I'm no fashionista myself, but wear what is comfortable. JC Penney has jeans that I love by St John's Bay. They are stretchy and comfy and they fit my curvy figure. That with a plain t-shirt and I'm ready to go. Wal-Mart has some real comfy t-shirts that are soft and won't break the bank either.

OK now for the hair, I also have thick frizzy hair that nothing seems to help. I started using smoothing shampoo, I think it's either Suave or Fructis... both seem to work on my hair. Then for extra frizz contral I use this product called Dirt. I found it at sephora, it's a Jonathan product:

http://www.jonathanproduct.com/product.php?productid=1614...

It's not cheap but it really works to help control frizz, and it last forever. I've had the same jar for 5 years already and it's only half gone. You also may want to try a hair style that is easy to do, or maybe use a head band or barrette to pull back your hair. Something that you can just throw on and run out the door. I ear these stretchy head bands every day. With young kids who has time to "do" your do right?

I also hate makeup, but I found this product BB cream, it's a tinted moisturizer and sunblock. Maybeline's is good and cheap! It evens out your complexion without feeling heavy like make up. a little lip gloss and I'm good to go!

Anyway these are just suggestions from what I do. I've always been such a tom boy, but sometimes it's fun to get a little dressed up. Or have my hair or nails done. You should treat yourself every now and then, and don't feel guilty about it!

5 moms found this helpful
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L.M.

answers from Peoria on

No matter what you choose, you have to be comfortable in it. I also see those moms and I assume they are coming from work :) and don't sit around their house in their "dress" clothes. Just today I saw a woman slopping through the slush at pick up in her dress boots and dress pants and hoped she was coming from work otherwise she would be the silly one :)

I wear mostly jeans and some type of top. Now that it's freezing, I wear a basic sweatshirt most days, but it doesn't matter because my coat covers it up when I pick up the kids. If I'm doing more than just school pick-up, I'll wear a sweater or something. Keep it simple. You don't have to dress up.

I'd recommend a cut and color (if you want to do that - but you have to keep it up though). Treat yourself to a shopping day at a reasonably priced store (so you don't feel guilty, since you said you don't like to spend the $$). You can find some jeans that fit nice and a few flattering sweaters or shirts.

I usually use a straight iron on my hair, but only have to wash my hair every other day so it's not so much trouble. If I don't feel like doing that, or I know I'll be in the whole day, then I'll put it 1/2 up and 1/2 down b/c my hair can get quite frizzy too.

The bottom line - you are clearly not happy with your current wardrobe and I sense some insecurity there as well. I would say - don't pay any attention to the other women - but if you were happy with how you were presenting yourself, you wouldn't have noticed them in the first place.

Some basic changes - a couple jeans that fit comfortably and flatteringly, a few new shirts/sweaters that YOU like (not buying something you see someone else wearing), maybe a little basic make up (I always feel better with a little mascara, if nothing else). Do your nails or treat yourself to a manicure. Try flat-ironing your hair one day and see if it makes you feel better and worth doing it in the future.

Also, exercise. It's amazing how much confidence I get knowing I can out run all those moms at pick up and who cares if I'm in my sweats b/c I'm on my way to the gym to kick your a**!

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G.L.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I, too, am not inspired to follow fashion. But a few years ago, I also decided that it was time to upgrade a little. After a few false starts, here's what worked for me:

1. I get not wanting to spend money on clothes, but do spend enough to buy clothes that truly fit and flatter. It is possible to look pretty good even in tee shirts and jeans, if those tee shirts and jeans are a size and cut that look good on you. Clothes that are too loose can make you look shapeless. Go for shapely - things that follow your figure but are not tight. Don't get clothing that you are uncomfortable in just because it's in style. You won't look good even in the most stylish outfit if it makes you jump every time you see your reflection. :-)

2. Find a few accessories that work for you - a few pairs of earrings or bracelets that you like, a few scarves, a purse (or backpack or messenger bag or whatever you carry stuff around in) in an interesting color. Choose one or two of these (no more) to throw on with your basic top and pants. It makes you look "put together" as opposed to "thrown together." Takes all of one minute of your time.

3. Splurge on going to a good salon and ask for a hairstyle that is fuss-free. Let your haircut do the work so you don't have to. (And it can be done - the stylist who does my very thick, wavy, unruly hair knows that I don't use styling products and own neither a straightening iron nor a blow dryer. I have a cut that suits my face shape and works with my hair's texture and wave instead of against it.)

4. I hate makeup. But I have discovered that a tinted lip gloss can go a long way toward brightening my face on a doldrums type of day, or for occasions when I need to look at least a little polished and put together.

5. What are your favorite colors? Use them! Ordinary, everyday clothing items can be made interesting with a pop of color. For instance, instead of buying a khaki trench coat, buy an orange one, or whatever color you like.

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J.G.

answers from Chicago on

I don't do my hair! I throw a little mouse in it and let it air dry, the curls are much softer then.

I like wearing baggy clothes. Since I Homeschool, I thankfully don't have to do that school thing. Us homeschoolers as a bunch don't waste money on clothes. I could if I wanted too, but I like comfort and I'm fugal.

I will be 41 soon. I am the grandmother of the group. I'm OK with that. Life is too short to play competition games with other women. I can't stand that stuff.

In short, wear what YOU want and just get comfortable in your skin.

4 moms found this helpful

L.L.

answers from Rochester on

Wow, you sound just like me...honestly. ;) I am 32, with graying curly/frizzy hair, and I generally wear old jeans and t-shirts that are...well...frumpy. My mom sometimes buys me "fashionable" clothes, but they aren't me and I really don't feel comfortable dressing like I'm trying to impress someone. And, like you, my husband likes me just the way I am. ;)

I feel better about myself when I make sure of a few things...

1. Cleanliness. At least I can be clean. I take a shower every morning, and for the hair, I wash it, pick through it with a VERY wide toothed comb, put on some mousse, scrunch it, and let it air dry. I don't dry it with a towel besides a few pats, and I only touch it enough to go "scrunch scrunch..." and it looks clean and manageable. Sometimes I'll pull back one side with a cute barrette, and then it looks like I spent time on my hair. (Hee hee...about two seconds!)

2. My clothes fit. They may be "frumpy" but they fit right and they are clean. It helps to complete the frumpy look...don't wear dress shoes with your jeans and tee's, etc...wear tennies. ;) Also, I don't have the time of day to iron, but if I take my laundry out of the dryer promptly and hang or fold it right, I find I really don't need it. It helps not to look all wrinkled.

3. Makeup. I don't wear it. I can't think of what can make a woman look worse than to be wearing frumpy clothes and yet have makeup caked on her face, honestly. I use Pond's facial cream occasionally, and that's it...and it's enough to give me a nice even skin tone, etc.

4. Jewelry. I don't have the time of day for earrings or necklaces (who wants a necklace hanging on top of a t-shirt anyhow?) but I have lots of cute watches and rings...the watches are all a bit out there, and my rings are nice. I keep my nails short and clean.

And all told, you probably do look like a young woman who just doesn't bother to dress to impress...and I admire you for it. Feel good about yourself!!

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P.K.

answers from New York on

A good haircut makes a big difference. Even a little makeup. I wear jeans all the time, but they are nice ones. Put with a blouse and sweater and you are good to go. Even jeans and a turtleneck sweater and a nice pair of everyday shoes. Does not have to be expensive and fancy.

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

I'm a grandma and often pick up my grandkids at school. I also volunteer. I'm sure you don't look like a grandma. lol I've noticed that most of the women who are dressed up are either going to work or coming from work. Other moms wear jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, sweat shirts but few wear blouses or sweat pants. Some wear really casual skirts, denim, knit, or a wild print with leggings. There's a way to wear yours. Seems to be the style now. Take a really good look at all the moms. Perhaps you've been intimidated by those working moms' dress.

Even the PTA president who is a SAHM dresses really casually, usually in jeans and a t-shirt. I've not noticed anyone dressing to impress. Parents are talking about their kids and their activities. Perhaps get involved by talking with other mom's so that you get to know them and will be less concerned about how they and you are dressed.

As others have said what counts is that your clothes are youthful and well fitting. I used to shop a lot at thrift stores and found good clothes that fit and I liked but usually they were out of style until I discovered Kohl's. There prices are knocked down and when on sale are not much more than thrift store prices. I also find some good deals on the clearance racks of Fred Meyer. They mark last season's clothes down and then at the first of the month take an additional 40-60% off.

Stop with the loose clothes. Try on clothes that fit until you find a style that suits you. I like to buy my jeans a little loose but they still seem youthful. They look fitted. I stopped wearing elastic waisted pants because they did make me feel like a little old lady. Belts keep them close to my waist. I wear t-shirts over my jeans because I do have a bit of an extra pouch. I've noticed other younger slimmer moms wear them both inside and outside of their jeans. And some moms wear khakis and even colored woven pants tho they're in the minority. A few wear very fitted knit pants with a long sweater or t-shirt.

Having grown up in a more formal time and having been out of the job market for many years, I, at first thought that many moms were sloppy. Over time I realized that sloppy wasn't really sloppy. It was comfortable and I didn't have to dress up either. I became more interested in looking more youthful and in the times and started shopping at Fred Meyer and Kohl's.

4 moms found this helpful

Q..

answers from Detroit on

I dont understand, if you are happy, and your husband is happy, then why are you fussing over it?
If you really want to do some sprucing, or updating, just check out some magazines to get ideas, or FFS pinterest, and go for what you like and what will make you comfortable.
I am a fashion QUEEN and it took me a long time to come around to leggings. They are tricky. Try baby steps. Get some up to date jeans and shoes and start from there.
Throw that hair back and put on some mascara, blush and chapstick.
Life is stressful enough. If it is not your thing, dont worry about it.

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G.H.

answers from Chicago on

You sound like you are ready for a little change.

Get a haircut. For my curly hair, I love recoil by AG, from Ulta.

Go back to Macys and ask someone for help. The woman there love to help put people together. Tell them you like to look casual, but want to look a little more put together.

You can also go on Pinterest. There are tons of super cute casual styles on there. Print them out and take them to Macys.

It does feel good to get out of your slump, even if it's only putting yourself together a couple times a week. But no one wants to be in their 30's and feel like a grandma. And I'm sure your husband loves you the way you are, but our spouses wouldn't mind a little change I'm sure.

I got out of my slump 3 yrs ago. I don't do it everyday, but once in a while is fun. Even my girls will say something like wow mom, you look nice.

Go for it.

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L.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I would go and get a few staple pieces so you can build your wardrobe.
dress
good pair of jeans that fit
sweater
pencil skirt
tanks
jewelry that you love
hair accessories or scarf
heels, sneakers, flats

The goal is to mix and match several different outfits so that you can look put together and like yourself but not dumpy. You can do it!

4 moms found this helpful

C.T.

answers from Santa Fe on

Hi A., I'm not a fashionista but I try to look decent in a casual way. I bet you look fine...and you know if you lived somewhere different the other moms might all look more relaxed like you do. We used to live in Alaska and now we live in northern New Mexico and most (not all) women are relaxed, wearing jeans or workoutpants or hiking pants and fleece tops or sweaters. Not many people are fancy. I guess these are my suggestions: I would color your greys if you have any and get a good hair cut. I have frizzy/kind of curly hair too. I shower and put in a mousse that tames it every day. I let it air dry so it's pretty easy. If it's too crazy I put it in a pony tail. My other suggestion is not to wear really loose clothes from thrift stores. Get clothes that are comfortable and fit well (not too fitted if that makes you uncomfortable but just the right amount) from a place that is a style you like. Kohl's is affordable and they have some cute things. I love the clothes at REI...so comfy and cute! I hit the sale rack a couple times a year for new pants or a shirt or sweater. The new price is a bit much. I hate leggings...they make my stick legs really stick out! I love a boot cut style in pants bc that is what seems to look good on me...the skinny pants do nothing for me. I guess you have to have the right kind of body for them. JAG jeans look really nice on almost everybody. I guess see if you can find a sales associate to give you some suggestions. You don't have to buy anything but you can try on things and then think about it. My one SIL is a little overweight and she makes the mistake of always wearing really loose clothes which make her look blah and older than she is. My other SIL is a lot overweight but she wears nice clothes that fit well and she always looks fantastic. I hope that helps!

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A.C.

answers from Huntington on

A., If your hair is wavy, I recommend the book "curly girl". It has great tips on how to manage curly and wavy hair. Oh! I just saw you are in Utah, so am I. If you can get to downtown, go to Aura Studio, they specialize in curly hair. They will give you a cut that helps emphasize the waves or curls and will spend a lot of time showing you how to do your hair based on your hair type. Now, they are a pricier joint- you can see their prices at aurahairstudio, but to go in one tome and learn how to do your hair- totally worth it. I buy the DevaCurl gel they recommended but I get it off Amazon.com, a giant bottle is around $25 and will last 3 months (and I have long hair). I love that gel because it holds the waves but is not crunchy. It minimizes frizz. You can also make a very inexpensive defrizzer by boiling water, adding a few drops of lavender oil and then after it has cooled down, pumping in some conditioner and adding to a spray bottle. You could go into Sally Beauty supply and ask for some recommendations as well.

Fashion wise: well, I hate shopping, and I hate spending money on clothes. But when I hang around people who are dressed nicely, I tend to push myself to try a bit harder. I work from home so I don't get gussied up much. However I have found it pays to spend the money on jeans. I have hated jeans shopping for years. I saw a blog last year that showed jeans comparison photos and saw how bad some of the cheaper jeans really look. I wrote down a few of the recommended brands and found that there is a huge difference. I still hate shopping but I will run into the specialty jeans shop and tell the salesgirl to just grab 10 pairs of any jeans in my size- almost all of them will look and fit great. They often have a buy one get one half off so I can get a few pairs for under $100- money I never would have spent before but have found now to be worth it because I can get in and out of the store in 15 min and the jeans are actually flattering.

Lastly, check out pinterest. Lots of clothing ideas and makeup tutorials (I like the blog maskcara) that help. I know I am not a fashionista, but I have heard people say that I always look put together, so I guess I at least have a few people fooled ;)

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K.F.

answers from Salinas on

Find people whose look you admire and just "copy" it. I am not always perfectly put together but I do like to look good. You can look pretty in sweat pants if they fit well. It isn't shallow to want to look attractive, I truly believe when you look good it helps you to feel good.

If you're thinking about it and it's bothering you keep trying. It doesn't have to be expensive or designer, just well fitted and current. Look around and you'll get ideas and then head for the mall. I can't wear leggings either, I Ieave those for my teen. There are tons of stylish and comfortable clothes out there. You deserve to feel pretty!

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D.C.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I don't like to spend $$. Plus, I'm very casual. I wear jeans pretty much every day. I recently starting shopping at Ross. They really do have clothes that are nicer quality and more updated in style that are very reasonably priced.

The thing I've learned is that brand names are not just for show - often they are made better, fit better, and are more flattering. You can still be casual. Jeans and a T-shirt can look good, if they fit well (and I don't mean that they need to be tight, I don't like tight clothes at all, but shaped in a way that flatters your figure).

As for your hair - have you tried a simple leave-in spray conditioner after you shower, then let air dry? And if it starts to get frizzy mid-day, another quick spritz of the conditioner spray. Not trying to insult you if you have. But I have a good friend with curly hair, and she is thrilled with how low-maintenance her hair can be now that she started using it. She jokes that it took her 30+ years to figure out how to handle curly hair.

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D.B.

answers from Fargo on

Im overweight, 40 lbs on a good day. I dress up, not to impress, but to feel good in my own skin. I wear what i love and what looks good on me. I do a lot of consignment and thrift stores, as well as kohls, Marshall's, TJMaxx. I dont have a lot of variety, but it works for me. I work in an office, so dressed up everyday. On weekends or day off, i have boots with a little heal, knee length jean or corduroy skirt with a nice fitted jacket. I usually have a scarf on. My hair is usually in a nice pony with the ends curled or a messy bun. I dont wear makeup, but do wash my face, use moisturizer, curl my eye lashes and always, always have lip gloss.

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A.V.

answers from Washington DC on

Likewise, I'm casual most of the time. I try not to wear sweatpants with elastic cuffs or pj pants to take DD to school. I will occasionally wear yoga pants, jeggings (loose fitting, for jeggings) or business casual. I keep lip gloss handy to put on in the car if I'm looking deathly. I try to at least pull my hair up if I can't find time to do anything else. The octopus clip is my friend. I keep a few pairs of slip on ballet style shoes that match anything (sketchers also sells Bikers style that you can wear without socks) so if I'm running out the house I have something to throw on. Take an objective friend to the store and try on some clothing and/or sizes you might not otherwise wear. You may not be as big as you think you are. Good fit looks better than too big or too small. You can certainly wear boot cut if you don't like leggings. I'm also in my 30s. I buy a lot of things at Target, or A. Taylor Loft on sale or Kohl's.

I don't try to be a fashion icon. But I try to look like I woke up more than 15 minutes before it was time to go to school. :)

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

First of all, be who you are! Don't try to keep up with people you don't admire. And I'm sure you don't look like a grandma - remember that many of us are older when we have kids so not everyone is 25 in that group anyway. Some women dress up for school things to impress, but others do it just to feel good about themselves and wear clothes they don't get to wear anyplace else. And it's important to model for your children that people should be judged by what they do and how they treat others, not for what they wear.

So decide what you really want to accomplish - if it's to feel better about yourself, then splurge a little. Do you not spend money because you don't like to, or because you don't have it? Or is it because you don't think you deserve it or you don't know how to proceed?

If you don't like to spend money but would like a little more of a "put together" look, try some of the consignment shops - not much investment, and lots of choices. But don't buy something just because it's cheap, if it's not flattering -- it sounds like that's what you're doing! Don't try to copy things if you are choosing things that aren't flattering. You could always go to a little store in town and ask the owner for some help - but tell that person you aren't looking for a make-over, just a little help. Maybe just an accessory or a better combination of clothes you have. You can take a couple of your own pieces in, and ask for help finding new combinations by adding from their inventory. And remember that consignment inventory changes all the time, so go back every week for 30 minutes of browsing just to see what's there.

You can also get helpful services at department stores - some have good associates who can help you with what's new and match it to your style and body type. It can be expensive, but maybe you can buy one or two decent pieces and then use the knowledge over time to add little by little.

Same goes for your hair - do you not want to do things differently, or do you not know where to start? A good hairstylist can help you manage your hair's natural curl and get you some decent products, AND teach you how to use them. You don't have to spend a fortune - just get one good haircut and one can't-live-without product.

But those are ONLY suggestions if you really want to do something different. You could also ask a friend you admire to have a ladies day with you and help you, and/or you could ask your husband for a gift certificate for your birthday so you HAVE to spend money on yourself. It doesn't sound like you'll do it for yourself.

It's not shallow to want to look a little better - and that doesn't mean you have to do designer duds and a lot of make-up.

If you're a real risk taker, write to one of the TV shows that do occasional make-overs on their fashion days. They are always looking for good "before and after" subjects - but then again, you have to be selected and you have to show your "before" look on TV! But occasionally you can find local boutiques that have a fashion night and will do some of those services for a lot less, sometimes in conjunction with a salon. Another inexpensive alternative is a hairdressing school where students work on you, with teacher supervision, and you get a really great price in exchange for providing a practice head!

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C.B.

answers from Boston on

I find that blazers and scarves dress up a plain T and jeans easily. When I was home with the kids it was Lee Jeans (Kohl's carries them and Amazon, they are the only style that fit my big but and small waist without leaving that huge gap at the back), decent T-shirts from JCPenney or Lands End, and a really good leather boot from the local shoe store (sandals in summer with basically the same outfit). Buy a few blazers in different shades and wear them as the only jacket in the summer or a layer in the winter under your winter coat. I own about 25 scarves and color coordinate them with my jackets and t-shirt. There is a woman I work with who wear motorcycle boots and long hippie skirts with a tight long sleeved top and a vest ensemble with minor variations daily, and it looks comfortable and hip on her, but I hate wearing skirts. When I was younger (before kids) I almost wore a men's uniform with black pants and a button down pastel colored shirt every day, easy to decide in the morning and not frumpy. I think you just have to find your own style. Perhaps watch "what not to wear" on tv and see that every body style can look good but the clothes do have to fit.

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S.G.

answers from Grand Forks on

I shop in thrift stores all the time. I find current fashions in styles that flatter my body type. Start with finding a good fitting pair of jeans and work from there. You can pull it together on a budget. Go to a hairdresser, get a good cut and ask what kind of product will work best in your hair. My hair isn't oily, so if I flat iron I can go at least three days without washing it and just touching it up in the morning. When I wear it curly I just scrunch in mousse or gel and dry with a diffusor.

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K.A.

answers from Phoenix on

I think wearing clothes that fit, are modern, in good condition and that you feel great in are a good thing. You don't need to spend a lot or be a fashion model to accomplish this. It's nice to take some pride in your appearance. I am kind of like you, but when I do go the "extra mile" I feel a lot better. If I were a morning person and didn't have to leave the house before the sun comes up, I'm sure I'd be more likely to take more time on my looks.

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G.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd say it sounds like you could do with a new hair style. Perhaps you can find someone that is really good at cutting your style hair. I have curly hair that can be blow dried and the curled on hot rollers. I can go the whole week without washing it or restyling it. If I need to redo it I just heat the rollers up and in about 5 minutes I am good to go again.

I keep my hair layered and that way the curl is more released. I can wash it, put in a bit of Aphogee Gloss Therapy, and then add a bit of mousse. I scrunch my hair a bit. Then I don't brush it or do anything else to it the rest of the day. It stays looking good.

But if I let it get too long or don't keep the layers a good length it looks frizzy and the ends dry out too much.

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L.N.

answers from New York on

oh honey. you are in your 30s looking like a grandma? it doesn't have to be top of the line, or even fashionable, just has to fit your body type. thrift stores? yikes.
you can get an awesome beautiful sweater for 15 bucks if you hit up sales at A. taylor or banana republic. pants too. leggings too. everything. no one has to spend a fortune on looking good. look on google images for your type of hair and see the kind of cuts they recommend. if you are not taking care of your hair, you will look like a mess. your husband loves you period. but he'd love you more if you tried a bit more to make yourself look presentable.

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T.A.

answers from Seattle on

Maybe have a fashionable friend go with you shopping? I don't dress up for attention or for others to look at, but when you look your best, you feel better about yourself, and in turn others will treat you better too! Yes to a good haircut, leave in conditioner, and some cute but classic clothes that fit your body, not too tight, not too loose. Good for you wanting to try!

And dirt by Jonathan product is amazing. I also love to do leave in conditioner or shine serum and a beach spray for texture. I use it, throw my hair in a semi-dry messy bun and take it down later to gorgeous waves.

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D.F.

answers from Boston on

I with ya here. I wear sweatpants, t-shirts, sweatshirts day in and day out. I truly do not like dressing up ......but on occasion I do put on a nice shirt and jeans that stretch. I call them my dress jeans..lol I do not wear make up. I do get my hair done because I am old as dirt and it needs coloring, when I do it well lets just say it looks orange not the nice brown like I like it.

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T.R.

answers from Milwaukee on

Just a quick response to your comment "with loose pants & my loose tops"

I LOVE thrift stores! Kudos to you for shopping with a budget. Now, find the pants/jeans that fit comfy, but look for a more form-fitted top (T-shirt, tank, blouse) & match it up with a nice, tailored blazer.

You want a jacket/blazer that allows for curves, NOT a boxy one that makes you look like a square peg over a stick. I have an awesome plum-colored cordouroy that I've matched with about 4 different tops & jeans/slacks/skirts. Makes a nice "quick" polished look when needed.

Lots of great advice below, also... I'm gonna put some of it to use myself!

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K.B.

answers from Tulsa on

Excellent question! I am reading for some great advice.
I think curly hair requires an excellent haircut so I would spend the money there.

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