When you fall pregnant, you turn your attention mostly towards maternity fashion and how you will dress the bump. I focused a lot on this too (clearly given my current line of business) – but I hadn’t anticipated the changes in my wardrobe post-pregnancy.
I experienced a fashion regression after pregnancy where I started to dress more like I did before I started my working life. I was dressing like I was 18 again except now I am a lot older than that…
I was dressing like a student again.
I was a student again.
BODY: The first reason for the ‘regression’ was the obvious change in my body shape. Some loose bits had replaced some tight bits and some hanging bits made some trousers look less flattering than I would like. I had to put away a lot of my tight-fitting things (especially dresses) that I wore pre-pregnancy because they were too clingy around my post-baby (and post C-section) paunch. And I have to admit that I became self-conscious about that ‘new bit’ of me and a lot of my old clothes just didn’t work anymore.
WORK: The second reason for the change was that I no longer had to go to work and conform to a dress code. Sneakers could be worn again! Jandals were liberated into daily wear! I could wear whatever I wanted without a dress-coded environment! I could wear whatever I liked. So I did. And what I liked was super-slouchy, comfortable and quirky.
I really liked not having to dress up anymore.
AUDIENCE: Another aspect of my new wardrobe choices was that I no longer had a daily audience. (The joys of working from home!) Working at an all girls’ school had meant that every aspect of my dress was scrutinised by a different set of 30 eyes that changed every hour. They would notice my accessories, the cut of my hair, my shoes, the colour of my socks, the colour of my nail polish and some would even be able to say which day I last wore the same outfit. (?!)
Becoming a mummy away from all of that was liberating to say the least. I could wear anything more than once (provided my baby didn’t spill on it) and I could choose whatever ‘style’ I wanted from day to day.
But accidentally this turned into a regression where I barely dressed up at all.
I hadn’t anticipated it, but I missed the ‘glammed up’ me and I couldn’t work out how to get her back.
In the early days dressing slouchily was liberating. Later on it became more and more difficult to dress up because I felt like I was in costume.
I didn’t like any of my old work wardrobe.
I didn’t like the way my old clothes fitted my new body.
And I couldn’t work out what the new ‘mummy-me’ wanted to wear.
My problem was that my regression back to studentdom was because I had not really assessed how I could be in mummydom.
A personal assessment:
My student look didn’t really fit with me as a mummy full time. Although it was great to begin with, I grew tired of it and wanted to dress more appropriately for a Mummy. I also wanted to be taken a little more seriously and dressing like a student meant that I was often mistaken for the babysitter.
How should a 30 something year old mother dress?
Too much bling gets in the way of everyday life, heels are hard to handle toddlers in and, drops in income mean that a lot of shopping is not really on the horizon.
I have found three words that describe me as a me as well as me as a mummy:
Stylish, Funky and Practical.
With these three words in mind, my fashion fix was easy.
My solution: Fun Dresses in fun fabrics
These dresses have become my new Mummy uniform and I really love them.
Some days I can still wear jeans and jandals and go for my student slouch-look but most days I want to wear something fun yet funky that still allows me to move, bend, jump, run after my toddler. My Batwing dress was originally designed for everyday wear but I altered the design so that it is perfect for nursing as well as maternity (handy for me now!).
I have four of these dresses and I love them all – and depending on the fabric and the colour combinations I choose, I can dress them up or down easily with easy accessories, tights, pants and footwear choices.
The second design is a bit more flouncy for wearing out and it is so comfortable. It comes with an adjustable tie so it can be worn cinched in under the bust nicely whilst still having floating layers of fun fabric. It doesn’t get too hot and is also a maternity as well as a nursing-suitable design.
The regression is over!
Outie came to be because I made the t-shirts for myself and other mummies wanted them too. The brand is about sharing the things we have come up with to solve our own parenting problems and now I can share my dresses too.
These stretch-dresses are fun, versatile and practical. I have made TWO designs that are tried and true that can now be custom made for you.
Parenting has re-invented me and brought about some fun solutions.
I am still me – I am just a new ‘mummy-me’ and it has taken me a while to find my new style. The fashion regression has turned into a fashion progression and my next step is sourcing a mummy model so that my photographs do the dresses justice.
Check out my Everything Batwing and Kerchief Dress designs for maternity and general mummying at http://www.outie.co.nz