Feeling Frumpy

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 3
671 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

First of all, how very rude of your boss.

Second of all, if my appearance was more important than my job performance, I would seek work elsewhere.

Best of luck to you.

Post # 4
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@Songbird29:  I think that was totally inappropriate for your boss to say. Your husband can be excused because he’s a man and sometimes they don’t get it. However, I am a manager and unless one of my girls comes in with club gear on, I’m not going to say anything to them. There is nothing wrong with black pants and a nice shirt – that is professional and totally work appropriate.

I know what you mean about feeling “frumpy.” I am currently at my biggest and I am not wanting to replace all my nice suits (I intend to lose the weight – I’ve already started). You should not have to feel like you are putting on a fashion show at work and so long as you are dressed professionally, I wouldn’t worry about what your boss says. Not everyone has the money or inclination to spend a fortune on work clothes.

Post # 5
2571 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

I thought her husband was being pretty rude, too. 

Target always has cute stuff for cheap – maybe buy a skirt to change things up a bit?  I have my go-to black pants but heels and accessories tend to jazz things up a bit.

Post # 6
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@Songbird29:  OP, please do not feel insecure.  I think anyone whom has to ‘dress up’ for work acknowledges that for the most part, we end up wearing the same kinda look to work each day.  Or, at the very least, eventually get sick of having to dress the part every day, and finds putting wardrobes together tricky from time to time!!

I am guessing that the added conversation around your wardrobe today is in how YOU are wearing the clothes, and not the clothes themselves.  When any of us feel we look particulary nice, or have a new outfit, or feel good in our clothes, we carry ourselves differently.  Period.  I am guessing due to the added color, you are standing out a little bit more as well, and people are taking notice that you are walking more confidently, then when you are on the ‘same ole’ work attire’.  It does not mean that what you wear every other day does not look good/professional or put together, but rather they are just used to you dressing in that same fashion.

Casual work attire is expensive.  Black pants are a staple in MOST wardrobes, and can be re-worn with a plethora of tops.  I say keep your head held high today!! 🙂

Post # 7
534 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

Black pants are totally appropriate for work.

I personally put essentially no effort into my work wardrobe.  I have a few suits (I bought them at JC Penney, so they aren’t terribly expensive) and then an array of nice shirts I wear underneath.  I put no thought into what I wear every day except, “What shirt am I going to wear?” and then I throw the skirt and jacket on top.  People comment on how “dressed up” I get, but it’s really just sheer laziness.  If I cared, I’d put together cute outfits every day.

My point is that it’s totally acceptable to have a few staples in your wardrobe – like black pants! – and then some nice tops to go with it.  That’s very professional and there’s nothing wrong with it.

Post # 8
249 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Hey, don’t feel bad. You sound fine. Some suggestions though-



Old Navy


All have great plus size stuff at great prices. I would also check out the blog “Girl with Curves”. She always looks fantastic, and has great suggestions.


Post # 9
396 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

@Songbird29:  I’m sure you look really nice every day. I wear a lot of grey & black pants to “play it safe” at work and different tops with jewelry to dress things up. Your husband sounds like mine, last week I bought a new dress for an event we have coming up, (mind you I had just finished at the gym and my hair was pulled back and I was sans make up) he told me “wow, you look like a mom who has just let herself go, that dress is way too long, it’s past your knees!” …….I replied with “says the man who wears tshirts every damn day.” he did feel bad and apologized after. I’m married to the sweetest, most caring man, but honestly they don’t get it! lol

Post # 10
42101 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Don’t forget about consignment and thrift stores. When I was losing my weight they were a godsend to be able to keep in current styles in my size at the time.

Post # 12
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

@Songbird29:  I second the suggestion that you consider thrift stores. Over the years, my weight has gone up and down, and thrift stores are a lifesaver for finding professional clothes on a budget! You can definitely find plus sizes, too. You could also look for another color of pants (maybe dark grey), to add a little more variety to your wardrobe. Good luck!

Edited to add: I noticed your mention of losing the cardigan and others thinking that you’ve lost weight. You  might want to consider a more structured jacket, or maybe a stylish scarf. Depending on the type of cardigan you typically wear, it might be “dressing down” your look… and other options (even if not quite as comfortable!) might help you feel more dressed up!

Post # 13
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Don’t let what your husband said effect you.  My husband makes fun of my clothes on a daily basis.. yesterday during breakfast he called me Mozart because I was wearing a shirt with ruffles, and today im “Strawberry Shortcake” because I’m wearing a pink necklace with round beads he thinks look like berries *sigh*!  I think he does it to be funny and sometimes its cute and I laugh.. so I’m sure your husband didn’t actually think you looked like a tourist 🙂

Also, your boss, perhaps she didn’t mean that you needed to start dressing better, maybe she just said it without thinking.. people do that sometimes.

If you do want an instant wardrobe “makeover” I definitely second what a PP said about accessorizing.  Places like Target & Kohl’s have some great affordable chunky necklaces and statement pieces that would jazz up black pants and a cute top you already own.  Also, maybe invest in a few other than black colored cardigans?  I have a bunch of neutral & different colored cardigans.  I throw them on with anything and it can really change a whole outfit, kind of doubles your wardrobe!

Post # 16
3538 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Yes!! You can find some great things in thrift stores!

I have to dress up for work, even though I never see any outside people unless it’s a pre-planned meeting.  I am on my feet all day, so heels are out, and the chemicals and products I work with can ruin my clothes and shoes pretty fast.  I go to the thrift store to buy my dress pants, or nice comfortable skirts. 

My advice, if you can, just get out of the black pant rut! I rotate between black, grey, brown, khaki colored dress pants…I even have 2 pair with a pattern on them.  In the summer I try to find nice dressy capris or appropriate skirts to wear.  I have the opposite problem, my lab is hot!! 

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