Women should never compromise on style or lose their own identity, no matter what stage they are in their life. That is my opinion.
I have struggled with my own body image, like countless other women, hearing unkind comments from my husband, work friends, as well as from people who I barely know. I remember looking in the mirror and filling up with tears at my reflection.
It was only when I listened to powerful comments from a good friend that I was able to have that lightbulb moment. I woke up and decided to embrace and accept how my body has changed. It is not like how it used to be, I have grown 3 children inside me and I am ok with that. I made some positive changes.
We all need that special friend.
Create a capsule wardrobe for changes in weight
Creating a capsule wardrobe really helps with focus and creating a positive mindset. I have go-to pieces I can match and wear which include a mixture of clothes that cater for post-natal fluctuations in weight. For new mums tops for breastfeeding, tunics, floaty dresses or leggings that are comfortable if you have had a c-section. It is my style therapy, and most importantly saves time – which is the one thing you never seem to have enough of as a new parent.
Functionality and fashion – why can’t we have both?
New mums seem to have to make a choice between functionality and fashion – why can’t we have both? I remember getting back into my old clothes, that were unflattering, but at least they fitted.
I have made lots of changes and compromises becoming a parent but I refuse to let go of my own style and identity. I enjoy finding new clothes and accessories that reflect my personality, that make me smile and that I not only feel great in but are comfortable.
Sustainable fashion – buy less and buy smarter
I am finding more and more sustainable fashion brands and have the view that it is our duty as consumers to not only buy less, but to buy smarter. There is nothing better than stumbling across independent shops that showcase this concept. There are a selection of shops that I love to browse that sell ethically sourced bags and jewellery, hidden away along London Southbank, just before the Tate Modern.
I love a bold slogan top and can’t get enough of ‘Punks and Chancers’ who make t-shirts using organic, recycled cotton from garment waste; recycled polyester, from plastic bottles and use water-based inks to print the slogans. Clever use of what is available.
For activewear Bam clothing and Sweaty Betty use eco friendly fabrics such as bamboo cotton and biodegradable merino wool. They have a waste reduction mission to reduce clothing landfill, something we can all play a part in.
With consumer awareness at an all time high, it looks like sustainable fashion will come into its own in 2019. I really hope so as the sky is the limit.
It does not matter what others think, it matters what you think
There are a plethora of clothing brands out there for women of all ages and sizes. Women encountering different stages in their life, where they are more conscious of their own body image. It takes time, laughter and tears, but as cheesy as it sounds, there really is only one you. I am still getting there, taking little stepping stones and uncovering another life lesson. It does not matter what others think, what matters is how you feel and think about yourself. I remind myself every day.
I wish you all the best in finding your own style and identity, whatever that may be.