The Maternal Style Dilemma « Stylelogue

The Maternal Style Dilemma

March 22nd, 2013

Anna and the kids in Letna ParkHello again. It’s been a long and interesting hiatus but I’m back, in the hope of enriching your lives with my opinions, experiences and ideas, once again.  

It’s been a thought-provoking time. Over the last year I’ve had a second baby and I’ve moved my family to Prague in the Czech Republic. My priorities have completely changed, even more than they did after becoming a mother for the first time and life has been a whirlwind of everything I thought it wouldn’t be. 

It’s a funny thing, contemplating style and fashion because it suddenly became the last thing on my mind. At least that’s what I told myself. After Eadie (baby number one) was born back in 2010, I still had the time to look after myself, my appearance, think about style and how I put outfits together. I managed to go to the gym, get out a lot, still work a bit and keep something for me that resembled a life. Getting out and working- once Eadie was six months old- whether it be writing articles or doing shopping sessions was incentive enough to care about my appearance which was empowering and made me feel good. Thankfully I was blessed with a wonderfully easy baby who adopted a routine very early on. She slept like an angel, ate and drank everything with the heart and soul of a starving man, and was extremely placid- she just didn’t cry. I thought this was all down to my expert parenting skills and that I just “got” being a mum. How wrong I was.

Don’t worry, I’m no longer smug and I now know the truth. Babies are mini people. They have their own character, disposition and temperament, even when they’re too young to know it. With the best will in the world, what works for one baby does not necessarily work for another. My point in all this being, that without the luxury of time and the ability to control what, when and how I did things, I was totally lost and didn’t care how I looked anymore.

So, the issue of personal style and appearance became a whole lot more complicated for me. I never dreamt I’d be someone who didn’t care about their appearance. Style and fashion started to annoy me. I avoided all social media, anything fashion related and started to become obsessed with all the reasons why I didn’t need anything new. Instead of trying to look good, I became fixated on the practicalities of my situation. I wore my current wardrobe to death then relegated the majority of it to the bin, as it was sadly no longer fit even for charity.

It turned out that this was actually a rather savvy approach. My shape had changed tenfold after two babies and being already acutely aware of the amount of baby related substances, gels, foodstuffs and excrement that somehow find their way onto your clothing, whether you take care to prevent it, or not, buying new pieces would have been a waste of time and money.

And before you shout, “But what? This is a style blog. Shouldn’t you be living and breathing style?”

Looking back, I think I still was, in my own way. I was adapting my style to fit in with life. That meant first and foremost- comfort, followed by comfort, followed by- yes you’ve got it- comfort. I avoided expensive fabrics, pale colours and anything that was liable to rip because it was either too tight or too old to survive my frantic attempts at mothering two children under two. That and spending far too much time on the floor on my knees (changing nappies, that is). Loungewear became my look de jour. I preferred that term as it sounded better than bin-end remnants from my wardrobe.

As time has passed, though, and as the babies are getting older (and in some ways easier); it has started to become more important to me that I feel better. I know that when I feel I look good, I instantly feel better so moving to Prague and having a completely fresh start in a different country with new people has injected a bit of chutzpah into my life. I’m still working with (what’s left in) my tiny wardrobe, continuing with my mission of no unnecessary purchases- do I really need that pair of boots or do I just want them? It’s still extremely cold so there’s another reason why I shouldn’t buy anything new yet. I’ve also joined a gym, as well as doing a yoga and a cardio workout twice a week so my body shape is changing again, this time for the better. 

Style is a very personal thing. It’s not always necessary or as important as other things, but when you have the desire to improve it, it can change the way you feel, for the better. That much I know to be true.     

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