I can’t lie, I’m not known for my love of clothes shopping or fashion. I do my best to cobble together something vaguely resembling and outfit, and I like to look my best, but comfort and a no need to iron fabrics draw me in more than anything else. I did read Vogue once – it was a Thursday in 1996.
I grew up in the 80s and did most of my nightclubbing in the 90s, pre Facebook and Instagram. It was a golden, time when you could wear three “going out” outfits on rotation, without being shamed on social media for wearing the same thing week after week. It was also golden as I was a size 10 – that’s it. I never worked out but I never put on weight. Sometimes I want to go back and hit my 20’s self in the face and tell me to appreciate my body more before it all went downhill. Oh and moisturise, I’d tell myself to moisturise.
My sense of style has always been pretty limited to boots, jeans, and a snazzy top which didn’t allow my lady lumps to pop out unexpectedly. I did have a bit of raving regression in the early noughties but cyber was in and I could go out in combats and a tee-shirt and I fitted in quite well (extending the wear out of clothes from my All Saints phase in the process).
Basically, when I’ve been trendy or had a look it’s been a bit of an accident.
The situation has not improved since I had a child, not least because my body has changed shape. I’ve been lucky that I didn’t put on lots of weight when pregnant, despite looking like a ship in full sail I also had a rough couple of months at first with a baby that wouldn’t sleep at night and a lot of issues breastfeeding, so being up for 20 hours every day did help burn off those pesky calories (*winces at memories of eating Maltesers and pumping at 3am*).
BUT my body has changed shape, largely due to having a caesarean section. The squishy bits are a bit squishier… and a bit lower. My bust is bigger. Peculiarly I’m about an inch shorter. I’m told that happens as we age.
I don’t mind though. Not really. At the risk of sounding like a cliché, my body is my history. Every scar, injury, stretchmark, is the result of something that has made my life better in the long run or has been a learning experience.
I’m also okay with aging. It comes to us all. If I tried to make myself look anything other than my age, I’d just make a hash of it and look like Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
Over the last year I have worked out what suits me and what’s comfortable in terms of clothing. I’ve had to. It was either that or keep buying stuff to give it to the charity job a month later, in tears ” because I look like a bag of washing”.
I know that I can reliably buy any dress from Joules in a size 12 and it will fit. That’s summer sorted (Seriously, when I went on holiday it looked like the Joules catalogue had vomited up Breton puke inside my luggage). My mother in law has occasionally commented that something was nice and asked where it was from. I’m okay with that…sort of.
I know I am comfortable in a sweater dress and a pair of leggings. That’s winter sorted.
But jeans? Now that’s like a game of Russian roulette, which I’d rather play than go into a changing room, with sixteen pairs of jeans in assorted sizes and styles, in order to find a pair that fits.
I’ve even taken to searching Ebay for used pairs of my most beloved styles from my past. They’re bound to fit, I tell myself. WRONG. They looked good on my at 25 because I was 25. The closest I’ve come is finding a pair of flares with a low waist which my baby pouch could rest on top of. I have found some stretch skinny jeans from ASDA George which span two sizes which are fab, but that’s one pair. It’s tough. Tough I tell you! But at least I have one pair of jeans in my wardrobe. I can persuade myself I’m down with the kids.
So what are you mums all wearing now? How drastically has your wardrobe changing since having children, or are you all still fabulous? You’re all fabulous aren’t you? This is probably why I should just stay off Instagram isn’t it?