So in the last 6 months I have been on the cusp of turning quite a major fashion corner. I did a fashion degree and have always loved it. I’m not one of those who would sell my left arm for a bit of Marant, or dress my boys in all black, but I’m very partial to a Zara, Cos or Topshop treat once a month or so. I’m not a slave to the trends as I do know what suits me and makes me feel confident. I also know exactly what doesn’t suit me and am definitely not going to spend mine or my husband’s well earned money on anything that’s going to make me look like a twerp. (anything maxi… even midi)
Even though I’m 38 and have carried 3 large babies, in my head I’m exactly the same as when I was 26 (my tits and tum might not agree). When I go shopping I’m still drawn to the same things. I’ve never decided to dress any differently just because I’m a mum or I do the school run.
I am lucky enough to have inherited my mums skinny legs…. not so lucky for my 6ft2 rugby playing older brother (chicken legs I hear you shout). So my lower half is always the bit I want to show off and not my lager/cheese, 3 baby boys jelly belly. My day to day silhouette is generally some kind of skinny/slim jean and oversized shirt or jumper. Then on London work days or a night out I will deviate that formula to a mini skirt and thick tights or a nice little tunic dress, even a jumpsuit. ALWAYS with a flat or very small heel. I won’t go into my issues with heels on this post…. But man in drag springs to mind.
Anyway, the point of this post is to say that just recently my formula seems to be changing and I have started to worry about looking like mutton, as in “mutton dressed as lamb”. When you think of that term you probably think of a lady of a certain age dressed in a crop top and a pvc mini skirt. That definitely isn’t me. Even my baby Charlie wouldn’t let me out the house in a crop top. I mean I suddenly feel too old for some of my dressing formulas and even my favourite, reliable brands. It’s come as a bit of shock.
Just last week I did a Topshop order online. I wanted some new bottom halves. As I had a baby 9 months ago, my body has been changing so I made do with my old jeans. I wanted some new slightly trendier straight leg jeans and as I was browsing I spied a lovely little let down hem denim mini skirt, very similar to a homemade one from the noughties. I love my trusted leather mini skirt (even though the zip only goes a third of the way up). Same formula, or so I thought! Thick black tights, a baggy knit and a nice little Chelsea boot or sneaker that is totally a bit of me. Turns out It TOTALLY isn’t.
In fact none of the 3 items I bought from toppers on that order were. The nice trendy straight leg jean didn’t even go over my bum. Right size, but where the hell has the lycra gone? The standard skinny Jamie jeans were exactly the same as a pair I already had, and as for the denim mini…. I wasn’t JUST teetering on the edge of Mutton!
I have recently discovered the joy of dungarees. After the birth of my 3rd baby I decided to treat myself and they have kept my confidence on the edge of cool mum (just, mind you). I am also partial to a trainer. In my head a trendy trainer definitely keeps me from falling off the edge. I also love a jazzy sock. All of the above definitely means I’m teetering on an edge of Mr Tumble/Timmy Mallet, but hopefully in my head I haven’t fallen (just clinging on for dear life). But the denim mini was a step too far. I think it looked ok, but it just felt wrong.
In conclusion, what I have realised from all this, is that its ok for your style to change and evolve. Its not about age or the fact that I’m a mummy, its just about time and self esteem. I think I have actually just grown up a bit. On Saturday I bought a pair of Cos skinny jeans and deleted the Topshop app from my phone. I had had 4 beers and a large amount of sake but it was still a high cliff to fall from. I used to feel confident in a denim mini, now I feel confident dressed like an extra from Cbeebies.
For the record, you will be pleased to know my husband does still fancy me…… luckily.