Friday, 16 October 2015

Wardrobe therapy



c/o milesanthonybespoketailoring.co.uk
Along with the decluttering recently, I've had a bit of a style change-up. This time last year I was rocking pink hair and wearing skinny jeans, converse and band t-shirts. At the moment I've cut my hair into a bob above my shoulders, and am favouring skirts like the above with polo necks in autumnal colours...

I'm as perplexed as you are. The pink hair was a bit of a crazy experiment, like a second adolescence, and one I don't regret doing. But I'm still growing out the hair that was bleached and dyed and became frizzy and tricoloured. So the bob is a way of hurrying up the process, getting rid of all the hair that's been annoyingly hard to style without looking frizzy and unkempt. It also feels right, more chic and dare I say it, grown up.

Ditto the clothes, I feel like I'm not even going to pretend I'm near my 20s any more (I'm 37), so I want and need to dress like a woman of my age now. I'm a mother of three. It feels nice. Like I've given myself permission to be elegant and womanly, and not trying to desperately hang on to my youth. I'm retraining as a Nutrition and Lifestyle coach, and I feel like it's a rebirth of sorts, new baby, new career, new me!

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I've had inspiration from numerous sources recently, permit me to share in case any of you want or need to do the same thing. A couple of phrases I heard, the first "you are reborn with each child" or words to that effect. I'm definitely feeling different to the "me" of 4 years ago when I had my second child, and I've almost nothing in common with the "me" of 7 years ago after my first. I've learned so much and matured, thanks to these kids for the most part, and I want my style to reflect that. Another phrase that sparked the haircut in particular was "if you are still wearing the same clothes, hair and makeup as ten years ago you are sure to need a change" or words to that effect. It's true. I had clothes in my wardrobe from 10 or more years ago, and they just didn't reflect the person I am now, so they're gone. The last phrase, one from a book I read by Jennifer L. Scott, was "look presentable always", and I love that. I now get dressed in the morning, into a retro dress and cardigan or skirt with polo neck, and that outfit can take me anywhere and everywhere, and I never feel underdressed. I got some great flat ballerina pumps which go with everything (Yosi Samra, see photo above), they've replaced my Converse, and I feel "done" when I wear them.

I'm not saying this is the best way to dress, or that these styles are going to suit everyone, but I think it's important to feel good in our skins everyday, not just on special occasions. I remember coming across a Youtube video some years ago where a mom was sharing her style tips, and she suggested dressing formally every day (i.e. no sweatpants / exercise clothes unless you're actually exercising) she said you need to think of your "job" as being a SAHM. I found that really awful at the time and actually hated her for making me feel "less-than" in my tracksuit and baggy hoody. But the fact is tracksuits and baggy hoodies look awful on my curvy body, and I feel and look ten times better in a little more structured clothing. I'm taking inspiration from some great 70s photos of a chic family member in her polonecks, and also from vintage photos of chic ladies in the 50s and 60s.

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After I had the baby nearly 4 months ago I was at a total loss for what to wear. My pre-baby clothes didn't go near me, I couldn't live in my maternity clothes any more, and I got really sick of stretchy black lycra. I picked up a "Colour me beautiful" book last week in a charity shop and realise how much black drains me and what colours do suit me. So I'm trying to slowly build a wardrobe of clothes that fit and flatter my colouring, nice quality ones that I will wear for years. I'll keep you posted.

I'm searching for the perfect pair of trousers, the perfect blouse that doesn't need ironing, a few printed day dresses for autumn and a neutral coloured bag... looking online and compiling a mental wishlist for the day when I have money to spend! I'm also realising some shops' clothes will never fit my shape (bye bye Zara...) and seeing what shops are making clothes in styles that appeal to me and will look good. So I'm keeping an eye on their sales and will be slowly filling my wardrobe with classic staples. That all sounds so boring but it's actually really exciting and freeing for me! While I'm still bigger than my usual size I'm going to invest in the accessories, and save buying the fitted clothes until I'm back to my regular size.

How I look is a direct influence on how I feel, and I feel good every day since I stopped wearing clothes that half-appealed, and replaced them with clothes that actively excite me to wear, and I'm no longer keeping things "for good". You might just see me in the supermarket in my party dress!

It's wardrobe therapy and I like it.
Nee x

4 comments:

  1. You look amazing having had a baby on board so recently. I have been following your blog since I first saw you on THAT tv programme - several years ago now - and I love it and how it has evolved. This post is great - it reaffirms what all know really...we change with each child and it's ok, its all good!

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    1. Thanks so much Anon, you do realise none of the photos in this post are of me, yes? ;) I'm so happy you enjoy my blog and it's fab to hear from a long-term reader. Yes, I feel a bit like a butterfly slowly emerging from the cocoon, and unsure just yet what I'm going to end up like! Thanks for your lovely comment xx

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  2. Hey Niamh, love your blog - do you have any advice on west to get nice dresses for breastfeeding! I'm at a loss & sick of my ill fitted jeans! Hope your lil princess is doing well xx

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    1. Thanks a mill Jojo! I'm sick of the ill fitted jeans too. I've some lovely breastfeeding dresses from Boob Design, they are pricey but great quality, and have an outlet online too. Most recently I've purchased dresses from Lindybop.co.uk, great for special occasions, retro styles. There are also some nice wrap front dresses on Asos.com, I've been stalking online recently. There's a FB group called Nursing in Style with lovely members who post great shopping tips too, I'd highly recommend.

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