Tips on how to look less frumpy (without spending a fortune)

posted 3 months ago in Beauty
Post # 2
676 posts
Busy bee

anonee008 :  Look at what you have in your closet, and go to Pinterest for ideas on how to put outfits together in ways you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. I wear scrubs now, but my last job was for a big player in the jewelry industry, so I had to put extra effort into my appearance. I am one of those people who wears jeans, a tank top, and Rainbows on the weekends—I’m not fancy by any means! I used Pinterest to keep my look updated using pieces I already owned. You can search for “black pants outfit” and you’ll get hundreds of ideas. I cut and color my own hair (I come from a hairstylist family), so I save lots of money there. My hair is long, and easy to layer. I use hairstyling instructional videos for reference on YouTube. Look to Pinterest for new makeup ideas too. If you feel put together, your confidence will come back quickly. Best of luck to you in your job search! Just walk in to your interview telling yourself you are marketable, and your potential employer will be impressed with what you have to offer. Your confidence will come across in your interview. 

Post # 3
2416 posts
Buzzing bee

I don’t think it takes a lot of money to look put together. I find that little things add up to make a big difference, and many of them are things I can do at home for free or with relatively inexpensive one-time investments.

I feel most polished when I give myself a blowout, am taking decent care of my skin (could be as simple as moisturizer/sunscreen and exfoliating), wear natural looking makeup (concealer, bb cream or light foundation, mascara, eyebrow pencil, and a little color on my lips & cheeks), and give myself a DIY mani/pedi in a neutral color or a classic red.

A put together casual outfit can be as simple as dark jeans, a tee or blouse, and neutral or black flats/booties/heels; simple jewelry (my go tos are stud earrings, a stainless watch, and my wedding set) and a structured bag also help pull together the look. Make sure everything fits well, is clean and properly maintained. Don’t underestimate the power of getting things tailored, ironing/steaming wrinkles, using a lint roller, and cutting loose threads – simple but a huge impact. None of this is the most exciting but I think that polished looks are usually simple and streamlined. 

Also, in the interest of feeling strong and confident, working out (could be free at home with yoga videos or taking up jogging!) and eating well (this is a great time to learn some healthy new dishes) can have a huge impact! 

Post # 4
2409 posts
Buzzing bee

For hair (and maybe nails) do you have a good beauty school nearby?  Several years ago when I was stuck in an underpaying job and money was tight, I used to get my hair done at a beauty school.  It was very cost effective but the downside was a hair appointment sometimes took a lot longer than usual.  (I’ve been a demo model for an instructor as well.)  

As far as clothing… I like solid black with pops of color, maybe some cute scarves.  You can nearly always find pretty scarves on clearance or even nice silk onces as thrift/resale shops.  

Post # 5
382 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2021 - British Columbia, Canada

misslucy :  Yes to scarves! They can dress up any outfit (basic solid colored tee or other shirt, jeans or other slacks/dress pants depending on your workplace, maybe a light cardigan as well). When I worked in a more formal office setting I used to get all of my work pants at thrift stores, so many great bargains with a bit of legwork to hunt them down!

Post # 6
8723 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

anonee008 :  I do my own nails. Classic red, dark burgundy, or a dark neutral make me feel confident and like a bawss 🙂  The only thing is, you have to be really diligent in redoing or removing as soon as it starts to chip. Mine usually last a good week, then I redo Sunday night.

Post # 7
1672 posts
Bumble bee

Not clear to me why you need to spend money to look good at all. 

I get my hair cut like 3x a year, and just keep it simple and brushed. I leave my nails natural, and get compliments somewhat regularly on them. I don’t wear any makeup. My clothes fit me. I don’t think anyone would call me frumpy. 

I think it’s more about the confidence you feel and people sometimes use beauty products as a crutch to feel confident. Which is fine because people can do whatever, but something to keep in mind when you’re on a budget 

Post # 8
1465 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Honestly, neutral clothes go a long-ass way. I second Pinterest! Jeans can do SO MUCH for you. 

When it comes to fashion, less is more. Simple black tops, jeans, and a simple pair of black booties, paired with a neutral handbag, a golden necklace, golden matching earrings, and just some mascara – that, to me, is a really lovely look. And you can use that black top with ANY type of bottom. Those jeans with ANY type of top. Those booties can go with a dress! Neutral items are your friend. 

Post # 9
930 posts
Busy bee

anonee008 :  like above, scrves work wonders. It can be a short square scarf thet you can tie around you neck and it really put everything together. Try putting rollers in your hair at night or towel/pat druing hair and putting in a fun high bun.

eyeliner and lipstick go a long ways along with curling eyelashes. 

lotion and perfume! 

clotehs ironed and lint rolled off. 🙂

Post # 10
769 posts
Busy bee

I always think a nice blouse with a pencil skirt and nylons looks really nice. Depending on the field you’re in, a nice necklace can also be a statement piece that pulls it all together. I also recommend scarves like PP! 

Maybe YouTube some five minute face makeup routines for a nice polished look in a hurry. That’s all I can think of for now! 

Post # 11
45 posts

I envy the ladies who always have their nails done, but for a variety of reasons that just doesn’t fit in my lifestyle. Instead of painting my nails, I just shape them. All you need is a nail file, and it’s super quick and easy to maintain. My shaped nails always look nice. Personally, I alternate between round and almond shapes depending on my nail length.

Post # 12
779 posts
Busy bee

Lipstick and heels. It will make you feel and look more put together and confident. Pair with neurtrals. You say that you are dressing for comfort – take the effort to do your hair or put on makeup, if you feel comfortable doing any of those things. Get out of the house – volunteer, go just go to Starbucks and work on something. You’ll feel better. 

Post # 13
10415 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

ladama :  

I would skip the scented lotions and perfumes for work.  Many people struggle with allergies and others just find scents irritating. Being fragrance free is just good work manners and showing consideration for others.


Post # 15
536 posts
Busy bee

“Not clinically depressed but struggling” is a good way of putting it and I can relate to that and dressing for comfort 100% of the time was a big indicator of this for me. When it’s a struggle to just show up and be present, it’s easy to gradually stop taking an interest in appearance. Which leads me to my next question (I’m asking myself this as well as you). Are you sure you’re not, in fact, depressed? There are different degrees of depression and different ways of showing it. I hope you can get your groove back, but if you continue to struggle please consider speaking with someone. 

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