The other day I opened my wardrobe doors and decided I hated pretty much everything inside.
When I was pregnant I didn’t buy much or pay a great deal of attention to what I was wearing: I had a few necessities and work and casual outfits that I wore in circulation (and was completely bored of after eight months).
A few weeks after the baby was born I decided that, after not really buying clothes for the best part of a year, I was back in the game big time and subsequently went on a fairly big (for me) shopping spree.
One of the things I bought was this pink stripe patch shirt from Zara, which I wore for my first night out with the girls, when the baby was eight weeks old. I teamed it with a pair of white jeans and these super-cool black and white geometric mules, which I bought last summer. I think they look like they could be by Sophia Webster – but I actually found them in Matalan.
// pink stripe patch shirt, Zara / white jeans, Gap / black and white geometric shoes, Matalan //
I can’t quite explain why, but somehow becoming a mum has changed how I feel about what I wear.
Of course, there’s a new impetus on convenience, and maybe that’s what’s pushing me to throw out 90 per cent of my existing wardrobe. Now I usually have about 10 seconds to decide what to wear every morning, whereas before I might have taken 10 minutes and tried on three or four different outfit combinations. I don’t have time any more to trawl through hundreds of poorly-fitting throw-away fashion items I bought years ago.
I’m not saying I want to replace trendy party wear with sensible attire suitable for soft play. I don’t think what I’m wearing post baby is vastly different from what I did pre-pregnancy, but I think I’m valuing quality over quantity.
I follow some brilliant blogging mums who could in no way be described as boring or frumpy. For starters:
- Zoe from Dress Like A Mum who says she wants to change the bad rep that mums lose their sense of style and passion for fashion. She’s fun and fearless.
- Laura from Wearing It Today who basically manages to look incredible without fail, even though she’s just had her second kid.
- Also on my reading list is The Grace Tales from across the pond.
I also love that motherhood has made me even more aware of how brilliant, supportive and empowering many women are.
- Check out Tease + Totes statement tops for women and children. I especially love their ‘Girl Power’ and ‘I am woman. What is your superpower?’ tees.
- Selfish Mother is a cool, honest, all-welcome blogzine from which you can also buy #GoodTees – statement T-shirts and sweatshirts bearing words like ‘Winging It’ and ‘Strong’ – that have raised thousands for charity.
- The Fourth Trimester magazine is a community of mums supporting other mums during life after birth.
- Hypnobirthing guru Hollie (a.k.a. @theyesmummum) sells these great affirmation cards as a daily reminder that you are doing the best parenting job you can, promoting calmness, confidence and self-belief.
I’ve digressed slightly.
I know some women sometimes feel that they lack confidence because of their post-baby body, or that they lose their identity because this tiny person dictates their days now.
I’m lucky that my body went more-or-less back to normal within a couple of weeks – except for the new-purpose boobs and muffin top (appropriately named, given that there does seem to be truth behind the cliché that women on maternity leave eat more cake than normal).
And I’m also lucky that – perhaps because I waited so long for it to happen – I’m enjoying (almost) every moment as a mum and have embraced my new lifestyle.
I made a human and gave birth to it and that officially makes me awesome!
For a while, I didn’t think I was able to do that thing women are made for – now that’s what I call a confidence kicker. The fact I’m here and I have a healthy baby and I’m someone’s mum and I’ve kept another human alive for more than two months makes me feel brilliant about myself, actually.
Despite the interrupted nights, demands of breastfeeding and baby sick deposits on my shoulder making me feel less than glamorous some of the time.
There’s no denying that how we look plays a big part in how we feel about ourselves and – being no supermodel – my personal style has always been important to me.
So maybe I am in fact wanting to re-assert and reinforce my style to strengthen my own identity as a person rather than just as a parent?
Maybe the changes I’m feeling about what I want to wear simply reflect the big changes that have happened in my life and the fact that the last 12 months have seen my greatest and proudest achievement?
Whatever, I feel a massive wardrobe clear-out coming on.