Feeling frumpy? Easy changes to help

Feeling Frumpy? Easy Changes

I appreciate each and every share. Thank you!

After a discussion in a recent email about feeling frumpy, I wanted to explore not only some ideas from all of you but also some comparisons.

Quote of the day: “Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears.” Les Brown

We all have different ideas of what constitutes the idea of looking or feeling frumpy. And I’ll share them with you below.

I’ve been pondering the notion for some time. And one of the issues besides not caring how you look is the fact that we can be fearful.
Fearful of styling something new, fearful of looking different, fearful of color, and even fearful of dressing too young.

These fears end up having us wear the same ole same ole, that other women are wearing. At other times the fears will create a look that blends in or brings back memories from 20 years ago.

I’ve written other articles and considerations on feeling frumpy. Make sure you glance at those too.

How Frump Happens

The truth is the frump can happen to all of us because we get immune to our own looks. This is especially true if you hang around others who dress the same way. The way you dress seems normal even if it’s not stylish or intentional.

For example, my incredibly stylish mother who grew up sewing her clothes and creating masterpieces with fabric lives in an independent and assisted living community. Yet even she has given in to matching capri sets that can give off that frumpy feeling. In fact, I took one of her sets and experimented with ways to change it up.
I understand how it happens. Even my mom who has a stubborn streak a mile long will look at unique clothing items and comment that she would stand out too much at dinner.
What I would love to conquer is that fear of standing out. That fear of being different. That fear that stops us from wearing the things that are fun and bring us joy.

When the words, “But where would I wear that” come out of our mouths when someone shows us a stunning clothing item, that’s how frump happens.
What happened to the strong woman who would be open and adventurous? Why can’t we wear fun and fancy things even to the grocery store?

Sure we may not be going to as many late-night parties anymore, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look amazing.
I realize that life has gotten a hundredfold casualer than when we grew up, but that doesn’t have to dictate our outfit of the day.

It’s hard. I know. Many times I feel like I’m swimming upstream and that I’d make more money if I showcased the clothing that all the other older women are wearing.
But my goal is to have women realize it’s not too late to look great. To be free from the worry that “will this make my butt look fat” or any such hogwash.

What You Had to Say About Feeling Frumpy

I figured since I shared ideas about feeling frumpy from the Millennial’s perspective years ago, it was only fair to share it from our Boomer’s perspective.

Those words “Feeling Frumpy” conjure up different images for each and every one of us. Thank you to each one of you who contributed to this.

  • The blouse that isn’t tucked in-Wendy
  • Bought the outfit off the model in the window-Tresi
  • Prints-Em
  • Practicality issues-Tresi
  • Wearing clothes vs styling them like tucking in a shirt, adding a belt or accessories as well as cute shoes-Mireille
  • Always wearing tunic-like tops that supposedly hide issues but really don’t. Like there is a secret rule that all butts over 40 should be hidden-Sandra
  • Doesn’t show the dirt-Tresi
  • Some colors like lavender-Em
  • Wearing zip up fleeces or hoodies in old weather on all occasions rather than a proper coat unless you are going to a hockey rink or camping or walking the dog-Sandra
  • Making sure the clothes fit-Mireille
  • Still plenty of wear in it-Tresi
  • I’m much too ugly/fat/stupid to be pretty-Tresi

So with all of those opinions in mind, I wanted to showcase a couple of examples as well as 3 easy changes.

Will a Floral Dress Have You Feeling Frumpy?

Floral dress

After reposting an older article about feeling frumpy in my emails last week, Wendy from the UK shared a photo of this dress along with her thoughts.
Her words: “So saying yesterday, I wasn’t sure about flowery material. I saw this dress today in a charity shop. Brand new £8. I think, sold to the lady who said she didn’t like flowery material.  Horizons being broadened daily.”

It’s a beautiful dress yet I can see how it could end up making you feel frumpy. The dreaded black flats and *yawn* black purse reminds you of a non-stylish grandma.

Floral dress feeling frumpy

However take this exact same dress and add more modern elements like a metallic belt and white sneakers, and you have a modern outfit.

Make sure to wear some statement earrings that bring the focus to your face instead of small hoops or stud earrings.

Modern floral dress outfit

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Floral Top Made Modern

Floral top that could be frumpy

I was looking at the Stitch Fix site because I had a credit to use up. And I saw this particular floral top.

Even my first thought was it might have me feeling frumpy.

But then I saw how they put together an outfit using it, and realized it’s not just about the one piece. As I know and say all the time, it’s part of the whole picture.

Outfit modern and stylish

Versus matchy-matchy with items that aren’t as modern.

Feeling frumpy outfit

Even if you don’t appreciate distressed jeans, find a pair of wide-leg jeans at Old Navy or Target to update a top that may seem old-fashioned.

Insider tip: If you have an item that could possibly feel outdated or off, pair it with a trending item. You may not be a fan of distressed denim, cargo pants, or some of the wide-leg pant styles, but having these trendier things in your closet can go a long way to counteracting feeling frumpy.

Easy Changes to Counteract Feeling Frumpy

Change is never easy, is it? But there are a couple of things I see on women that instantly gives off a non-stylish grandma look.

1-The boring neutral purse.

I know, I know, you need a purse that will go with all of your outfits. And while I realize that your purse is only an accessory of a look, it can make a huge difference in the overall vibe.

So what’s the answer?
1-Analyze the colors you wear the most or that dominate your closet. And then look for a purse in a contrasting color that will stand out and be a fun focal point. Or think about a print purse that has a multitude of colors in it.
2-Find a neutral purse with a whimsical or interesting detail. Remember, you want the opposite of boring.

2-Makeup and hair.

Here’s something that is incredibly hard for women to change. We get into habits of how to style our hair and/or apply makeup. But these are the details that can age you tremendously.

And I’m not talking about white hair. Gone are the days when white hair instantly makes you an old fogey. No, I’m talking about keeping the same hairstyle that you’ve had for 10 years.

So what’s the answer? Most of us aren’t our best critics for hair and changing it up. Remember the photos of my mom when the wind styled her hair? She got a boatload of compliments about it on Facebook, yet she doesn’t agree.
When our hairstyle changes, our whole identity takes a curveball, but that can be a good thing.

I suggest getting ideas from others, especially your hairstylist. The best thing? Even if it doesn’t turn out, hair grows and you can easily cover it with hats or scarves until it grows out.

Updating makeup ideas is another easy change if you’re feeling frumpy.

The easy thing with makeup is if you don’t like it, you can wash it off within minutes.
My suggestion. Try something new and wear it out for a day. Once you see it over and over that day, you might realize it looks fabulous (or not).

Insider tip: The thick, black eyeliner under the eye is reminiscent of the 80’s. And it’s too heavy. We want lightness and uplift with our makeup, so try a small cat eye instead. Here is a nice video with someone our age with options.
Notice she talks about softening the liner after applying it.
Hot and Flashy has a great video too. Notice that she used a lighter color for under the eye.

3-Try at least one clothing item/color that you wouldn’t normally wear.

This could be incredibly scary for many of you. You think you have a style, and that “new” item doesn’t fit with your style, right?

That’s the whole idea. Your style is fluid and should evolve not only with the trends but also with your personal growth.
And clothing should NEVER be scary. It’s just a piece of material sewn into a shape. It won’t bite you or cause a rash.

If you continue to wear the same things you’ve always worn, you may fit into that frumpy vibe sooner than you think.

Here’s a couple of ideas:

  • Do you always rely on black clothing? Try a colorful shoe, accessories, or earrings for a spot of color
  • Think that cargo pants are going to make you look fat? Make sure you pair something more fitted on the top half or at least tuck in your top.
  • You worry that tucking in your top will show off your tummy too much. Then try shorter shirts that end above your crotch. Depending on your height, you might shop for crop tops. The description of the shirt is not what’s important. The length is.
  • Feel like you’re dressing too young? Mindset is key. If you’re worried about dressing too young, Don’t, because your common sense will take over if dressing too young is on your mind. YET adding in a trendy item will help counteract that idea of feeling frumpy.

Insider tip: The easiest way to try new clothing without spending an arm and a leg, is to visit the secondhand stores. Or reach out to me, and I’m happy to search for budget items for you. Most likely they will be from stores you aren’t used to visiting…that’s a good thing.

Ways to counteract feeling frumpy

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Welcome to Jodie’s Touch of Style. I’m here to prove that it’s never too late to look great. Clothing and style are meant to showcase your inner personality. So let’s have fun and try new things.

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