Why is it so hard to find pictures of attractive women on the internet?
July 11, 2007 6:41 PM   Subscribe

Are there any online resources where I can find photos of women my age, dressed well? I'd like to get some updated ideas of what kinds of clothes look good on a 40-something woman of average (I think) weight.

I want to buy some new clothes, and I have to admit that I don't have much of a fashion sense. I don't want to dress like a model, just in a way that I like, and that expresses a bit of who I am. Are there any sites that will show me clothes that I could consider buying? They don't have to be actually selling clothes; I just want to get some ideas.

I'm 41, and to give you an idea of my body type, this and this are recent photos.

I find myself drawn to more natural, almost hippy styles, though I like some sophisticated styles too. But looking in magazines and online seems to turn up mostly stuff that I'd never wear. I don't care for skirts much, should probably wear jeans less, and am not super "girly," but I'd like to look good. I just need some clothing role models!
posted by TochterAusElysium to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
You might want to look into MORE magazine which is targeting 40-somethings and has a style section.

Also, for a casual but maybe preppy look you might want to check out Eddie Bauer. A lot of their women's styles are comfortable and casual to business casual but nicely tailored and often have some really pretty details. Check out their website!

J. Jill is a store that sometimes has stuff that leans more towards hippyish, but they often have some really great pieces that would be age appropriate. I think their target age group is 30's-40's.

I would look at their websites, and maybe some others, like Ann Taylor Loft's, and look at the outfits they are showing off. Better yet, go to the store with a girlfriend whose style you like and start trying things on!
posted by tastybrains at 7:45 PM on July 11, 2007

I apologize if this is so painfully obvious that you've already considered it and rejected it, but what about online clothing catalogs and department stores? Chico's, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor, Spiegel, Stein Mart, Coldwater Creek ...I checked and all these clothing-store sites show women in stylish clothing, almost all with full-length shots.

These are also all stores that cater to grown women, i.e. you aren't going to find designs aimed at teens and juniors.

I don't know what your price point is, but some designers you might want to check out are Dana Buchman, Laundry by Shelli Segal (linked above in Nordstrom), and Ellen Tracy, all of whom I feel have sophisticated lines and colors that are stylish without being trendy or gaudy.

The trick for me, regardless of what I can afford to spend, is to peruse the designers at all price points and get a feel for the styles I like, and then go out and try to replicate the styles themselves while shopping, rather than any one look or designer.

And, you're definitely of average weight! From those Flickr pics, you appear to have a figure that would be super-easy to fit and would be flattered by almost any style.
posted by pineapple at 7:54 PM on July 11, 2007 [1 favorite]

Dana Buchman and Ellen Tracy are great suggestions. You also might like Eileen Fisher and Canvasbacks (though the latter can be too matchy-matchy, so you might want to buy, say, the jacket or the skirt but not both).

As for websites, check out Trinny and Susannah's site, which is full of advice on what to wear and what not to wear for all ages, shapes and sizes (literally), and they use photographs of average women to illustrate their advice.
posted by bijou at 8:20 PM on July 11, 2007

I don't know about online resources, but if you watch tv, you should check out "What Not To Wear" on TLC. (It's like a makeover show, only it's not stupid) They have women of all ages on the show, and you really end up learning a lot about what kinds of clothes look good on people. It also doesn't try to fit everyone into a mold...they really try to focus on letting the person's personality come out through their clothing. On top of that, it's also highly entertaining.
posted by gueneverey at 8:34 PM on July 11, 2007

I buy stuff from Lands'End.
posted by brujita at 9:06 PM on July 11, 2007

In my opinion, Chico's, J Jill, and Coldwater Creek are marketed more towards women in their 50s and 60s. The clothes are nice but sooo boxy. I often get tempted by these stores (prints! bright colors!), but have to be very, very careful, because most of the tops (and many of the pants) have cuts that make me look dumpy. The Chico's salespeople are very helpful, though, and will show you how to accessorize a whole outfit.

I get a lot of compliments on the tops I order from Soft Surroundings. I like a little bit of embellishment to my knits. You can also search by the type of fit you want. They have an outlet website as well, with good bargains. I generally stay away from the skirts there, as that much fabric makes me look huge.

Another vote for both the British and American versions of "What Not to Wear." There are rules for different body types, but generally, they stress that well-fitted clothes (not to big or too small) will look best, as will trying to make you legs appear longer and wearing clothes which fit well around your thinnest parts. And you'll get tons of ideas for combining colors and separate pieces. My personal advice would be to not overlook how important a cute pair of shoes are to finishing off an outfit. I buy interesting colors or styles at places like DSW to liven up dull work clothes.

And MyStyleDiary is a website where people post their outfits, and you can search for them by age.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:35 PM on July 11, 2007

You might find myShape useful. You put in your measurements and it tells you what shape "type" you are, what clothes will flatter you and what to avoid. Then the store shows you different outfits and pieces that suit your shape (obviously you don't have to buy from them, you can just get ideas for what would look good on you).
posted by Melinika at 9:44 PM on July 11, 2007

Response by poster: Wow - so many great resources! I appreciate it so much. I have looked at some of the stores mentioned, but have had mixed results, along the lines of what Squeak Attack mentions; the clothes look good in the store, but aren't cut quite right, or are a little too much and I end up not wearing them (though Coldwater Creek is one I've had better luck with). It really helps to see clothes on someone.

So, many thanks for all the links to the online stores; I hadn't realized so many had full-length photos. The link to More magazine looks particularly interesting! And MyStyleDiary is pretty much exactly what I was looking for. Again, thanks to all of you!!
posted by TochterAusElysium at 9:57 PM on July 11, 2007

Response by poster: Oh, and I really like Soft Surroundings, too. Thanks, Squeak!
posted by TochterAusElysium at 10:03 PM on July 11, 2007

Judging from your words and pictures, I'd guess the Isabella Bird/Territory Ahead lines might suit you.
posted by tangerine at 10:12 PM on July 11, 2007

Yes! Isabella Bird has great stuff.
posted by la petite marie at 10:43 PM on July 11, 2007

I'm a Banana Republic girl myself. And a fan of Trini & Susannah too.

Gotta say, I looked at the link for More's fashion section... and if I read the words "age appropriate" or "your midlife body" one more time I was going to scream. Honestly... 40 IS NOT GERIATRIC. Jesus.
posted by miss lynnster at 11:32 PM on July 11, 2007

Nice pix. Talbots has some pieces that're clearly bad, but I'm in my 30s and like "natural, almost hippy styles, though I like some sophisticated styles too," and I keep returning to them.

Their linen stuff's great. They tend to put out nice neutrals and some odd colours, odd colours which sometimes dig me out of a neutral rut. Nothing's slutty, which I find can even be a problem at the Gap these days.

2nding Ellen Tracy, but I can't make it through a Coldwater Creek catalogue without nausea over the flowery copy for artificial-fibre clothes.
posted by kmennie at 12:23 AM on July 12, 2007

Cute guy. :)

I'm in my 30s, so take this with a grain of salt, but I find that a lot of the clothes at target are very nice. Just stay away from their Junior's line, which is cut for people with no hips.
posted by miss tea at 5:02 AM on July 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

JC Penny. Seriously. Not as dorky as you think. (I'm 37, and we look a lot alike.)
posted by selfmedicating at 5:32 AM on July 12, 2007

I'm too fat for their clothes, but I walk by Ann Taylor every morning on my way to work, and I covet almost everything I see. A lot of classic looks, with a few trendy/seasonal items thrown in.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 9:20 AM on July 12, 2007

Hi again, TochterAusElysium. I had another thought about a place to find pictures of women wearing outfits. Flickr runs rather young/trendy/edgy, so be warned, but here's some groups of people there who post their outfits:

I wear you wear
What the hell are you wearing
Wardrobe fun
World fashion
Wardrobe remix

Some more digging there might be worthwhile.
posted by Squeak Attack at 11:17 AM on July 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

You have a great figure, so you can wear a lot of styles. I'd recommend buying tshirts in some different colors, and testing responses; you might find that new colors will make a difference.
posted by theora55 at 2:06 PM on July 12, 2007

Eileen Fisher. Lovely clothes, heavy emphasis on natural fabrics.
posted by jokeefe at 2:25 PM on July 15, 2007

Erm, I should have also mentioned: a bit pricey. But quality is worth paying for.
posted by jokeefe at 2:26 PM on July 15, 2007

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