Whilst I was standing at the train station in Leeds this morning, waiting for my Starbucks and daydreaming about how little sleep I’d had last night (thanks 8 month old) a woman came up to me and said ‘I just had to tell you, you look amazing. I love your outfit, not many people can wear something like that, you look great.’
Honestly, I felt like giving her the biggest hug, because she can’t have known how much I needed to hear that, and I really did.
You may think that as someone who advises people on what they should wear to make them look and (more importantly) FEEL great, I would be pretty confident in the choices I make for myself when getting dressed each day. However lately this has not been the case.
After having my second child almost 8 months ago I have struggled to shift the baby weight. My tummy is now wobbly when it was once taut and flat, my hips and thighs have spread and, whilst I can squeeze into a good portion of my pre-pregnancy clothes, most of them are tight and uncomfortable. The result? Most days I don’t feel particularly happy with how I look.
So last week, when faced with a night out to celebrate the birthday of a dear friend I was forced to face the fact that I’d completely neglected my own image and sense of style. I had nothing to wear. Literally, not one thing that (a) fit properly and (b) was appropriate for the occasion.
It made me take a step back and I realised that since having my two children I had taken no time to review and refine my own style profile. I used the fact that I’m carrying a little extra weight as an excuse not to really bother too much with my clothes and image. As anyone with littles will know, its a HUGE lifestyle change so inevitably your style changes to fit the ‘new you’.
Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been slobbing about in hoodies and joggers with baby sick on my shoulder! But I have been feeling a bit down on myself and that’s largely because I haven’t been wearing clothes that reflect my personality. It actually doesn’t matter that I’m not at my ‘ideal’ weight, its about feeling good as I am now, accepting that I’m a work in progress and that I deserve to look and feel my best.
So last week I conducted a style consultation on myself. I created Pinterest boards, I chose my ‘style mantra’ and put together a list of items I needed so I could conduct a personal shopping trip on myself. Just going through the process of clarifying who I am now and the image I want to present to the world made me feel more confident and comfortable.
I took myself to get measured for a properly fitting bra (always start with the foundations, more on that in another post) and I shopped till I dropped. I didn’t get much, but what I got fit me beautifully (wobbly bits and all), fit with my style mantra and made me feel great. One of the items was an American Vintage jumpsuit from a boutique in Ilkley called Attic. I wore it out for my friend’s birthday and am wearing it today for work meetings in London. I love it. Its been a long time since I’ve had an item of clothing that I have worn and loved.
I feel comfortable, I feel confident and I’m finally starting to feel like ‘me’ again. There’s still a way to go until my whole wardrobe fits with my new lifestyle, but its a process I’m excited about and glad that I’ve started. Sometimes you have to invest a little in yourself in order to add value to others. As a Mummy to young people it can sometimes feel hard to carve out time to do that, but its so important that we do.
So theres my confession! Please don’t judge me too harshly 😉 its always so much easier to advise others than it is to take your own advice I find!
And to the lady at Leeds train station this morning – you made my day/week/month. Thank you for your kindness, I will certainly make sure I pay it forward!
You can read more about my style evolution since having children here.
To find out how I can help you rediscover your style vibe take a look at my website here.