How to get back on your fashion feet
When I was pregnant, I never thought about how my personal style would change after I became a mother. Style expert, Georgie Abay, explains.
I’d worn the same thing for years. I had my dressing formula down pat. A Tot wouldn’t change that, right? My wardrobe and I were in for a shock. For starters, I didn’t realize I’d need to start wearing cardigans. I didn’t even own a cardigan, let alone know that this rather dated garment was about to become my new go-to fashion essential (they’re very breastfeeding friendly).
I had a collection of high-waisted skirts that suddenly seemed totally impractical when paired with a Tot who had chronic reflux. So I started from scratch and got back on my fashion feet. The new me was much sportier. I stocked up on (machine washable) relaxed basics and athletic-inspired pieces from Aussie label bassike (every stylish mother in Australia wears this brand) and bought a gorgeous Rochas tote – this was more like the old me – which became my baby bag. I booked in for lash extensions every other week so even after a sleepless night, I still looked vaguely recognizable.
The thing is, navigating new motherhood is hard enough without stressing about what you’re going to wear. Australian fashion blogger Kate Waterhouse admits her style changed after becoming a mother. “As a working mom I’m always trying to look nice for meetings, but I have a very active toddler to run after in-between. So style and comfort now go hand in hand. I definitely wear a lot more flats, wear less structured clothing and wear items that can be easily dressed up or down, as my days vary so much.” Fellow fashion blogger and co-founder of They All Hate Us, Tash Sefton says she tried not to lose her “fashionable me” when she was pregnant and after her boys arrived. “It was important for my sanity!” she says. Sefton threw all her smock dresses out and got rid of anything that made her look pregnant. So with the help of these two women, we thought we’d give you our top tips for getting back on your fashion feet after you become a mother…
- Go for a great haircut
“A great hair cut and new color is always a good way to make you feel new again. I went lighter after having my first and I loved having a change,” says Waterhouse, mother to Sophia, 2, and pregnant with her second child. Sefton also made sure she stayed on top of her hair, booking in for a weekly blow out: “I made sure I had a weekly blow out so I looked nice even if I hadn’t slept,” she says.
- Invest in a collection of chic flat shoes
A fabulous pair of flats will completely transform your look and dress up something as simple as jeans and a T-shirt. “I now have multiple pairs of brogues, sneakers, ballet flats,” says Waterhouse. Sefton adds: “While my clothes didn’t fit, I found great comfort in accessories, handbags and SHOES! I could wear my basics (or in my case a wardrobe filled with bassike) with Chanel trainers or Gucci slides and a Chanel handbag, so in my mind I was still on trend.”
- Add a tailored blazer
Just like fashionable flats, a tailored blazer will dress up a casual look. “Add a tailored blazer or a statement heel and it will instantly take your daytime outfit to a dressy evening look in an instant,” says Waterhouse. Sefton also favours leather pants and skinny jeans (“because your legs still look fab”) and her husband’s T-shirts and business shirts (“worn crushed and not ironed”).
- Stock up on stripes
Classic and cool, wearing stripes is always a good idea for the new mother. New fashion line La Ligne is all about basics, which are anything but. Founded by ex-Vogue editors Valerie Boster and Meredith Melling and Molly Howard, the brand is all about stripes. These are the kind of pieces you can wear whether you’re in mommy or meeting mode.
- Use a fashion-forward tote as a baby bag
Instead of investing in a ‘baby bag’ which I would only use for a few months, I bought a beautiful two-tone Rochas tote which I still use. I used smaller pouches/inserts to separate diapers from wipes etc. It made me feel far more fashionable than using a traditional diaper bag. Top of our wish list? A Mansur Gavriel tote. They’re utterly timeless and you’ll still be wearing it long after your Tot is out of diapers.
Photos by: Julie Adams, Trish Lee & @fifideluxeblog