We can’t all have stylists on speed dial and designers desperate to dress us like busy mums Kate Middleton, Blake Lively and Victoria Beckham.
And when you’re a new or expectant mum, figuring out what the heck you’re going to wear every single day is enough to make you want to declare your dressing gown your signature look.
Help is at hand; Celebrity fashion stylist Alex Longmore, who’s dressed the likes of Zara Phillips, Jodie Kidd and Claudia Schiffer, has partnered up with Ecover to share her tricks of the trade.
Before baby, detox
A wardrobe detox is essential before giving birth. Getting organised in your nesting phase as you prepare for a new baby shouldn’t mean neglecting your own wardrobe. Take the opportunity to diligently clear out clothes that you no longer wear or like, so that you’re prepared when your baby arrives. Store away anything that you aren’t likely to wear for the next few months. That way, when your baby is here, you’ll have a clear head and a streamlined tidy wardrobe where you can quickly find clothes that you want to wear and know will fit – perfect for peace of mind.
Brighten up with colour, literally
Colour can really help to boost your look, especially if you’re feeling sleep-deprived. Reds and light blues reflect light, helping you look more radiant. Bright colours can also help to lift your mood, so that you look and feel more on the ball. Block colours are very on-trend, as are bold prints, so don’t be afraid to mix unusual colours together, like red and pink, or colour-block with your baby.
Style on standby
For busy or tired mums, having a streamlined capsule wardrobe where you can mix and match different items of clothing is essential, especially after a night of broken sleep, when you can’t quite think straight.
Don’t shop on a whim – everything should go with everything – a bit like a uniform, but more fun. Look for versatile items in fabrics and colours that co-ordinate. Jeans and leggings can easily be dressed up or dressed down, for example with the addition of a smart blouse or kaftan. Ideally, look for fabrics that can be thrown in the washing machine together, such as cotton – that way you’ll know you have an alternating wardrobe that can be easily washed and ironed.
Mix maternity with high street
Take a leaf out of the celebrity mum style book and mix up your specialist maternity-ware with everyday high-street items in larger sizes. These are often less expensive, and can help to make functional items look more stylish. Specialist maternity tops like buttoned-down tops can be great for added convenience if you’re breast-feeding on the go, as you can operate them with one hand quickly. For added style, simply layer an unbuttoned shirt from the high-street over your breastfeeding top, or pair with a loose-fitting blazer or cardigan.
Flats are your friends
Flat shoes must become your friends, both through pregnancy and afterwards when you’re kept on your toes, chasing little ones around the house or down the street. Flat shoes shouldn’t mean your style suffers – there are a wealth of gorgeous flats to indulge in. Trainers are still having a moment and as a new mum, surely there’s no better time to try out the sports-luxe trend.
Add accessories with caution
Keep accessories to a minimum. You don’t want children pulling at your earrings or necklaces. Instead, why not show off your pre-baby fashion flair with a bright manicure, a colourful scarf (also handy if you’re breastfeeding), or use a bright head-tie to keep your hair back. Carefully selected accessories can help you feel more polished and show off your unique personality. If handbags are your thing, invest in a small over-body bag for yourself to keep your personal items like keys, money and make-up in, and look for a larger bag that can double up as a stylish undercover nappy bag for your baby. Anya Hindmarch and Cath Kidson have some great choices.
Invest in jeans
Some luxury jeans brands like J Brand and AG at Trilogy Stores and at Harrods will alter their styles for expectant mums. This is brilliant as it means you can still look and feel fashionable with your growing bump. They’re an essential purchase for your maternity wardrobe.
Make up-cycling your default
Follow the Danish lifestyle trend of Lagom – the Lagom-way is to buy quality first-time around, shop second-hand where you can, and repair things when they are broken. So why not check out your local charity shop, sew on your broken jacket button, and fix the hem of your trousers to get your Lagom fashion fix. Try your hand at up-cycling or knit a scarf that’s unique to you. Then with your savings you’ll be able to splash out on a stellar wardrobe item that will get years of use.