When I first became a mum I didn’t really give much thought to how much it would change my sense of style. How different I would become in every sense of the word. I think you know that things will change, that you will change, but not really to the extent that you do.
I don’t look at my clothes and think “I can’t wear that now it’s too revealing/young/fashionable/whatever” – I’ve never really bought into that way of thinking. I remember being larger when I was younger and someone telling me I should dress more for my size, but what does that mean? You’re a size 18 so you can’t wear hot pants and a tee? Bye bish. In fact I think my body has seen so much change over the last 6 years, from being a size 20 shortly after having Reuben to dieting and forcing myself down to a size 10 and now to slowly climbing back to a 14/16. I’m currently in the process of starting the big dip again because man do I feel rotten and unhealthy at the moment. It’s not size that dictates our sense of clothing style, it goes beyond that.
It’s not age either – the notion that someone of a certain age shouldn’t wear certain colours or patterns is absurd to me and it just isn’t something that I believe it. I was never a big fashion lover before and I can’t pronounce half of the things on the catwalk BUT I do think that fashion is something that becomes a form of self expression… and I don’t have that at the moment. My expression is… tired, convenient and stretchy.
No, it’s not the body shape, though that has defo changed let me tell you, it’s not the age, it’s losing yourself a little bit in motherhood and struggling to find it again. It’s growing as a person but not really knowing yourself outside the parameters of motherhood. I look at my wardrobe and 9/10 the first thing I will say is “what is going to be comfy, easy to jump up when someone spills milk and convenient to wipe snotty snouts on?” Shortly after I had Toby and I was at my thinnest I developed a real love for White Stuff and their jeans, I used to live in them, revelling in the way they made me feel but never really knowing what to shove on my top and always, always looking at what other people were wearing and wondering why I didn’t have that item or something similar.
This lack of “style”, lack of knowing yourself from a fashion perspective and confidence became really apparent to me when I went to the Next Spring/Summer fashion reveal in London last week. I was looking at the glorious clothes on offer and I turned to my friend Craig to say that these things were beautiful but they wouldn’t suit me – to which he replied (and not just to be nice) that he could really see me in them. I was thinking on the way home, why is it that I couldn’t see myself in a jazzy pant suit, couldn’t see myself in anything that wasn’t… well I guess *safe*. It is a lack of confidence in my body and my ability to know myself well enough to wear my personality, wear my… me-ness. I would LOVE to wear near enough everything in their collection (which by the way was fecking gorgeous – you should check it out) but I lacked the body confidence, self confidence and self awareness to really realise that yes I could wear these styles and it would be very “me”.
Becoming a mother has certainly made me feel like I have lost a knowledge of myself over the years. When asked to describe myself my first thoughts are usually that I am a mother. An easy pass off as it links me to someone else, making it more about them than me.
So next time you think to yourself, “I don’t have a style anymore” is that because you don’t really know yourself anymore?