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Forum > Plus Size Sewing > Crisis of confidence - help me with my style decisions! ( Moderated by JEF)

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Crisis of confidence - help me with my style decisions!
LornaJay
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LornaJay
Advanced Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 9/30/06
Posts: 576
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Date: 5/5/10 4:39 PM

I am stuck. s-t-u-c-k

I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask these questions, so if you want to just point me in the right direction, I'd be grateful. Otherwise, any and all advice/comments/suggestions/roars of laughter will be appreciated!

I am basically a classic/conservative dresser. I am happiest when I feel "put together" and appropriately dressed. I am 34. I am a work-at-home mum to a 2.5 year old - and my home is a hotel.

I have no clothes. Well, not many. I have two pairs of corduroy jeans (casual but comfy) and two pairs of black pull-on trousers. I have 5 knit tops. Nothing smart in the jacket or waistcoat or coat department. One knit dress.

I have NO idea what to do to get a wardrobe that I am comfortable wearing (emotionally, not physically - you've all been great with getting things to fit the body) AND one which works with a toddler-mummy lifestyle.

I am very tired of feeling like a beached whale with no sense of style, but equally I don't want to look old and boring and scary (general reaction when I wear suit-type things).

In terms of fit, I have had best luck with Ottobre recently, though I am fatter than when I last made anything. I tend to start with a European size 50, for what it's worth.

Vital stats:
1m68 (about 5'7 I think)
93 kg (205 lb)

Bust: 122cm - 48 inches (I wear a 38DD)
Waist: 110cm - 43.5 inches
Belly: 125cm - 49 inches
Hip: 120cm - 47 inches

dfr2010
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dfr2010  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
Florida USA
Member since 3/27/10
Posts: 1780
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Date: 5/5/10 6:13 PM

One place to start with to liven things up is color ... what kind of colors do you have? What colors look best on you? Which colors do you avoid like the plague?

------
I don't really make mistakes ... I create "learning opportunities"! Murphy says: The better you match the thread to the fabric, the more likely you will need to rip some stitches out! I spend more quality time with my seamripper than I like ...
Yes, I DO love fabric!!
Happy owner of a band of Brothers: LX-3125, CS-770, CE5500 PRW, a PE-770 emb ... and now Kenmore 158.18032 and 148.12190
Blogging my "learning opportunites" at http://sewingmissadventure.blogspot.com/

tr1c14
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tr1c14
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Posts: 672
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Date: 5/5/10 7:33 PM

My suggestion would be to start with a smart jacket or waistcoat, since that's what you've specifically mentioned you don't have. A smart jacket or waistcoat can put a whole different spin on jeans and a t-shirt. "Smart" doesn't have to mean office-ish, though. If you go with a non-somber colour and/or not entirely traditional shape, it can still be plenty smart but not stodgy.

Make yourself a statement piece. Imagine the qualities of your perfect jacket: length, fit, pockets, and so forth, and find a pattern that's close enough that you can tweak it towards perfect. Find a really nice (but washable!) fabric to make your ideal jacket out of. You don't have many clothes to match with right now, so my suggestion would be to pick something like a multi-colour tweed that has lots of your favourite colours in it that you can match stuff with later.

After that, you can start building your new wardrobe around your fabulous statement item. Maybe you need some stylish (yet practical) trousers or a skirt to wear with it. And then a knit top that you can wear with the new bottoms, and with or without the jacket. And then... There was a contest called "Endless Combinations" a while back that shows the idea really well.

I hope this is helpful!

------
Tricia
----------------
The advantage of being a beginner is, nobody has told you "That can't be done." This is also the disadvantage of being a beginner.

KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Michigan USA
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Date: 5/5/10 7:58 PM

Look at princess style blouses and jackets. They add shape and can be altered easily. I like Burda 7670 . It is easy to alter fit and add shape.
A vest might be nice to mix into the existing wardrobe.
I recently discovered that a "shirt tail" hem on my t-shirts is more slimming than the straight across hem. This after tshirt shows what I mean.
And I agree with color by using a simple scarf
-- Edited on 5/5/10 8:03 PM --

chicaem29
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chicaem29  Friend of PR
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New York USA
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Date: 5/5/10 9:51 PM

I agree with the suggestion of a statement piece. I would also suggest maybe starting with just nicer versions of the kind of stuff you wear already - a classier version of casual but comfy. Maybe try making some jeans in a nice dark denim, even black or khaki-colored for variation. Do a few knit tops with some pretty details (like a cowl neck) and in pretty colors and prints. A pretty knit top with some 'dressy' jeans and a nice blazer is a great casual but comfy and classy option.

The Jalie 2908 jeans pattern is a favorite here, and there's a trouser pattern with the same cut, so that might be a good option. Vogue has recently put out some nice knit tops, and the Jalie scarf top has lots of fans, too.

I think once you get used to seeing yourself dress up just a little bit more on a regular basis, you can incorporate more things you don't wear quite as often, like dresses and skirts.

MapleCandy3
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MapleCandy3
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Member since 11/13/07
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In reply to LornaJay


Date: 5/6/10 0:30 AM

Start watching What Not to Wear. I have learned SO much from this show, and I think it has really helped me to know what works for my body and how to look both professional and stylish.

Riesie
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Riesie  Friend of PR
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Virginia USA
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In reply to LornaJay


Date: 5/6/10 1:09 AM

You might try going out to the shops to try on different styles - and by different, I mean shapes and colors and pieces you would normally pass up. That way you can experiment and see what flatters you without the effort of sewing up something only to have it be unflattering. Just be sure to leave the credit cards at home, LOL!!

I also second the idea of making yourself some dressier versions of things you already are comfortable wearing.

I think shoes make a big difference in how you feel about your outfit, too. Get yourself at least one pair of stylish shoes - I know you're on your feet all day between the hotel and the kiddie, so I'm not suggesting heels, but something nicer and more stylish than trainers or ugly loafers (no offense to loafer-lovers).

------
Marie

visit my blog: www.madewithintent.blogspot.com/
or my Etsy store: www.etsy.com/shop/Riesie

Thanks!

LornaJay
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LornaJay
Advanced Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 9/30/06
Posts: 576
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Date: 5/6/10 4:44 AM

Thank you all. I have put in an order for some shoes (how did you know I had nothing nice in that department?!) - black leather trainer-type shoes which I hope will not be too matronly.

Footglove trainers

Footglove lace-ups

Of course, that assumes that they fit!


I will think about waistcoats as a first step towards smart dressing. I had actually been looking at Simplicity 2520 (picture below) but I can't quite visualise it on my figure.




-- Edited on 5/6/10 4:51 AM --

LornaJay
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LornaJay
Advanced Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 9/30/06
Posts: 576
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In reply to dfr2010


Date: 5/6/10 5:52 AM

Quote: dfr2010
One place to start with to liven things up is color ... what kind of colors do you have? What colors look best on you? Which colors do you avoid like the plague?

Colours:
I have worn hot pink in the past, true blue red, royal blue, blue-grey, burgundy/aubergine, ummm. Right now, my tops are 1 red/black print, one grey/blue-grey print, one black, one green (not sure about that one) and one white.

I don't like earth or olive/drab colours to look at. Never tried them on, so I don't know if they'd suit or not. No orange! I've never worn brown before, and I'm not sure about the corduroy trousers - but as I've got them I wear them.
LornaJay
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LornaJay
Advanced Beginner
UNITED KINGDOM
Member since 9/30/06
Posts: 576
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In reply to MapleCandy3


Date: 5/6/10 5:54 AM

Quote: MapleCandy3
Start watching What Not to Wear. I have learned SO much from this show, and I think it has really helped me to know what works for my body and how to look both professional and stylish.

I've been reading "What your clothes say about you" yesterday and today. Oh dear! I've got some serious mental adjustment to do, it seems, before I feel good about myself.
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