Since having Daisy, it has become my very strong belief that an image crisis, even in the most self-assured woman, is all but inevitable. Nobody likes to admit this, why would you? But when you are suddenly heavier, bigger, less fit than you used to be, not to mention in need of a post pregnancy wardrobe, I think new mums are more than allowed to encounter one or two wardrobe meltdowns.
I've always been quite confident in my style, the one thing that's remained the same since I was able to think 'fashion' for myself, is that I've never wanted to look like anyone else; i've inhabited my own style - from my heady college goth days to my current vintage-inspired rockabilly look. But it has surprised me just how many near-panic attacks I've had at opening the wardrobe and not being able to wear everything in it, just yet. I'm dressing for a slightly different body shape and they say it takes up to a year for a woman's body to return to normal, after giving birth. To add insult to injury, my first night out is coming up and I don't know what I'm going to wear! So, what to do in the meantime?
REGROUP, DON'T CHUCK
I'm not quick to chuck out clothes, I've purchased and gained some fabulous items through my years in fashion retail and I do treat my wardrobe as a long-term investment. Cheap and cheerful works sometimes, but I love to hunt out classic, timeless pieces that will suit me for years to come. However depressing it is that only about 30% may fit me right now, it is incentive enough that my other beautiful items will be kicked back into action, in a short while. In the meantime, I ask myself, what fits, what doesn't fit and what am I missing to emulate my style for now?
WHAT DEFINES YOUR STYLE?
Are you a dress fan? Do you feel most comfortable in trousers? Is there something missing in your wardrobe? I took a good, hard, look at my wardrobe and, at the time, the answer was glaringly obvious. I spent 99% of my time in my black skinnies, but all I really want to wear are dresses! So it was time to start looking for practical dresses, with a vintage twist, to re-ignite some yearned-for femininity.
A FUSSY MUM ON A BUDGET
Bargain hunting has become something of a passion for me, I love the thrill of finding bargains for house, home or wardrobe but have not always had the inclination to root through charity shop, some people have 'the knack' but it's something I'm still working on. eBay is always a great place for clothing bargains and I've had some success with both buying and selling before, but it can be hit or miss depending on when you're looking.
The High Street offers great clothes at competitive prices, but I'm not feeling a lot of the 90s fashions right now, they're not very 'me', neither do they flatter my shape (before or after birth, to be honest)
Luckily for me, the vintage shop COW, in Nottingham offers a fantastic range of vintage and upcycled clothing in their new-ish two storey store. They saved my bacon with this lovely upcycled vintage playsuit, priced at a very reasonable £17 - which I have paired here with a pair of chunky platform heels to contrast with the feminine florals.
My other half affectionately refers to this as my 'Goodnight Sweetheart' dress, which I take as a compliment. The buttoned front is great for feeding and the frilled top creates a cap sleeve as I don't like to show off too much of my upper arms. All in all, a very comfortable number that I can pair with flats or my clogs (loves of my life) during the day or dress up for the evening. It's a lovely light fabric, perfect for Summer or layering in winter.
Well done COW - you are now my one-stop shop for post-pregnancy style! Shop COW's latest collections online or, if you are lucky enough to live near one of their stores in Notts, Birmingham, Manchester or Sheffield, make sure you pop in.
Stay tuned for more post-pregnancy inspiration on Life is Peachy. Do you have a go-to style or a favourite shop? Where do you think is good for post-pregnancy clothing?