2 years ago I traded my heels in for a pair of twins. Quite a shock to the system as I had spent close on 12 years working in the clothing industry as a Fashion Buyer. Suddenly my life was vastly different, probably more so than I had ever expected.
Putting our children first is a thing we do as mothers. It’s not something we begrudge, it just happens naturally. One day you wake up and you realise you are no longer the star of the show. They have firmly taken centre stage.
But as natural as it is, it’s important not to forget who you are. It’s important not to lose yourself in your little ones. I recently took a look at myself prior to having children, and then reflected on myself now – I quickly realised it’s time to get myself back.
I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. There are plenty of other moms out there wanting to regain their confidence, so I thought I’d share a few pointers to help us all on this journey.
When it comes to my style, I live by the motto “It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it!” A lot of women think that in order to be “in fashion” you need to wear all these over-the-top designer labels, and spend fortunes. When in actual fact, the trends are already sitting in your own wardrobes just waiting to be put together.
So that’s exactly where we’re going to start – in your wardrobe! Here it goes:
- Always start with a wardrobe “clear out”. Stop hoarding those clothes you think you’re going to wear again. I can promise you, you won’t!
- Put the things you haven’t worn/don’t fit/have had since the 80’s aside in to a “chuck out” pile.
- Sort your “basic” items apart from your more “styled/smarter” items. This doesn’t mean they can’t be worn together, but it just helps clear the path.
- Pinterest! I use this app to get looks that I love together on one board, and it also helps you have a focus and an end goal. I usually do boards for day-to-day stuff, as well as the slightly smarter looks for evenings out. These are few and far between these days, but important to have nonetheless. Be realistic when you are selecting the looks you love, don’t get caught up in the ‘fashionability’ of the items. Look at practicality and ease.
- Referring to your Pinterest boards, put the looks together with what you have in your current wardrobe. Often you’ll find that you have very similar items that have been shown on the boards you’ve saved, but you’ve never explored the option of putting them together the way they suggest.
- Fill the gaps. By this I mean look for the common item that comes up that you’ve saved that you don’t have in your wardrobe. Once you’ve identified the missing items, it makes the whole shopping experience more focused and avoids the “shoppers block” that a lot of us experience where you come out of a store with absolutely nothing you need and land up with a pile of unwearable items. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. The gaps are often something that is a “core” wardrobe piece such as; a good casual white vest/t-shirt, a pair of washed skinny leg denims or the essential item that will be around for a while – the casual denim shirt.
- Money doesn’t need to be pouring out of your wallet when you are doing your gap-filler shop. There are many retailers out there that offer the same product and the price differentiation can be massive. Because fashion is forever changing, I don’t believe in spending loads of money on items that are in today gone tomorrow. So instead, “invest” in those core items that are going to be around for a long time so that you get your money’s worth.
- Once you’ve sorted out your looks – try the clothing on. Don’t be surprised if some of these “looks” look ridiculous, just realise that this is the process where you are finding your comfort in each outfit. Swop things around until it looks and feels good.
- Shoes –I handed over my heels the day I found out I was pregnant, I then buried them when I realised I was having twins. An outfit is often make or break depending on your shoe selection. Repeat your clothing regime on your shoe cupboard, and rid yourself of any scruffy shoes that have chips or worn down soles. Invest in a good pair of casual trainer type shoes (the Sports Luxe or Active Wear look is big and very well-suited to moms), a good pair of winter boots and a great pair of neutral sandals
Hair and make-up: I loathe washing my hair – it’s always an hour affair which, when you have kids seems impossible to achieve. But it can make a huge difference to how you feel if it’s clean and blow dried.If you’re a make-up girl and don’t find much time, my best recommendation would be to find a BB cream that suits your skin tone. This is essential – IT MUST MATCH YOUR SKIN TONE! Get a professional to help you match it up. Then invest in a good mascara and of course a blusher. This regime immediately freshens your face and hides all those sleepless nights you’ve had
I personally have never been a fashion leader, and I never aspire to be. I am a happy follower, with a personal interpretation that is true to who I am, what I am and what I am doing every day, which right now, is being a mom.
The moral of the story is you can be a mom and still look great and be on trend. You don’t need to spend thousands to revive your wardrobe and look good, how you feel in something outshines the actual outfit itself. And, of course, “It’s not what you wear, it’s HOW you wear it!”
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From designer, to buyer, to mother of twins and back to fashion – Leigh Hollis’ love for clothes is out of control, as is her love for her precious twins, Ben and Sophie. Her goal is to be the best Mom she can be and to do it fashionably. After a couple of years of ‘momming’, Leigh is putting her manicured foot back in the fashion industry as a personal stylist to help moms find the confident, sassy woman they were before their gorgeous babies entered the equation. Give her a shout on firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like more info about a Wardrobe Rejuvenation.
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