STYLE: How dressing for my life brought me closer to style heaven

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WHEN it comes to reinventing yourself, there is no easier way of doing so, than changing your look.

Clothes, make up and hair styles are the quickest, simplest ways to change both how we and look and feel about ourselves. But yet how many of us are stuck in a rut, still wearing things that do not suit who we are or our lives?

Last year I was forced to change my image. Not a lot, but enough to make me feel a little panicked. I had to get to grips with dressing my post pregnancy body which was heavier and rounder than my pre pregnancy one. And I had to learn how to dress stylishly whilst caring for a little baby, fast growing into an active toddler.

As I mourned my old wardrobe, I realised that I needed to get a grip, embrace the changes and adapt my image to my lifestyle. To my reality.

Now you might think this is obvious, and in a way it totally is, but here’s the thing…I’m a self confessed glitz and glam addict who falls in love with anything covered in sequins or the most delicate and prettiest lace. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this apart from the undeniable fact that is – these things just do NOT mix with looking after a baby/toddler. So what the hell was I gonna do?

After facing the harsh reality that I am not a Hollywood movie star and therefore cannot dress like one, I stepped back, took a long, hard look at my life and the contents of my wardrobe and made some changes.

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So out (into storage) went my many, stunning disco-tastic dresses and in came more pairs of skinny jeans, in a variety of colours. I sadly pushed my beloved heels to the back of the wardrobe and even ditched a few pairs to make room for – takes a long, deep breath – flats. I always said I’d never be parted from my heels but the little lady had other ideas!

Let’s face it pushing a heavy pushchair up a steep hill in killer heels just isn’t fun or practical so I stopped the denial and tried my best, for the first time in my life, to embrace flat shoes. But if I had to buy and wear flats, they had to at least be a little glamorous. So naturally I only bought flats that were covered in sequins or shiny studs.

I started to wear more prints which I now love – brilliant at disguising baby vomit, marks left by sticky fingers and dribbling mouths (Elsie’s, not mine!) – and purchased dresses that were stylish but also comfortable and practical to wear during the day. Seriously, thank heavens for ASOS!

I swapped delicate tights for 100 denier black tights from M&S which go with practically anything (and are now firm favourites) and when it became too hot to wear them, I ignored the many fake tans bottles lingering in my bathroom cabinet and embraced my pale skin.

When it came to make up, I swapped my daily love for smokey eyes (and saved it for the evening) and instead started to concentrate on my lips. I now wear lipstick pretty much every day. Not only has this made me fall back in love with my pout, but it’s also makes me look groomed in mere seconds. Plus, applying it, just makes me feel so grown up!

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Hair wise, it was whatever I could do to look presentable, least like I’d been dragged through a hedge backwards, in the shortest time possible. So out the window went my daily blowdrys and in came, plenty of Batiste dry shampoo, numerous packs of kirby grips and many a hurried up do.

And finally, wherever and whenever possible, I wore leopard print. On a cardigan, on a collar, on skinny jeans.

Really looking at my life – a mum and stay at home freelancer, in the middle of messy house renovations – and recognising my style needs, forced me to make many image changes, most of which I was hesitant to embrace.

But I’m truly so glad I did. I have learnt new tricks, embraced different styles and now wear things I would never in a million years have done so before. And because of this, I think that my image has changed for the better.

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For me, the key to dressing for my life, but managing to hold on to a little of my glamorous fantasy, was to first think practical and then think, me. What makes me tick? What styles do I love? How can I inject my personality into my image, into my reality of getting dressed super quick with a toddler clinging to my legs?

So yes my daily attire is mainly jeans and tees or jumpers, but I do my best to make sure my outfits aren’t boring. I wear coloured skinny jeans not just plain ol’ denim. I introduced statement necklaces when Elsie started to make a grab for my chandelier earrings. I ditched the silk tops for prints. I accept that for most of the week, my glamour will have to be low key but have decided that I’ll make an extra effort to look good on a Friday.

So, if your image and your wardrobe doesn’t suit your life, I urge you to sit back, take stock and make some changes. Being your true self and dressing authentically has to go hand in hand with accepting your reality and dressing for, not against, it.

Ironically, for me, recognising my style needs, instead of concentrating on my style dreams, has brought me even closer to style heaven.

That and a hell of a lot of leopard print too.

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Here’s wishing you all a magical – and glamorous! – start to the week.

Katie

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P.S If you want to see how my style evolves this year, do pop over and follow me on Instagram as this is the place where I post many a style pic. x

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17 Discussions on
“STYLE: How dressing for my life brought me closer to style heaven”
  • Fab post sweetie and I wrote one for Seraphine a while back on how children made me stylish-I think so, so much more about my look and actually creatively restrictions (kids, practicalities of having them) allows us to more free. Check out the post if you fancy-you know I’m your sister in style when it comes to leopard print and prints generally! http://www.seraphine.com/life/2013/09/pregnancy-made-stylish-honest-mum/

    You look beautiful as ever darling! I think kids have turned back the clock for us too-honestly (all that happiness counteracts sleeplessness) mwah x

    • Really enjoyed your post Vicki, especially as it was pregnancy that ‘made you more stylish’! Thanks for sharing.

      I’m not sure if Elsie has turned the clock back for me, but she’s certainly brought a smile to my face and real happiness sure is one hell of a beauty booster! ;-) X

      • Back again from #allaboutyou …yes pregnancy and generally kids really have changed my style, or at the very least helped me hone in on how I want to present myself to the world-a mum yes but a rocking one at that (haha!).

        Kids have made me get ruthless with my wardrobe, spend more wisely on select investment pieces that will (hopefully) last forever and splurge on cheaper high street every day pieces which can take a bashing better as they inevitably will with little ones!

        • Love your point about investment pieces Vicki! I’m always very conscious now about when I buy an item, more so now, because of Elsie. She’s going to be a very lucky girl when she’s older and ‘inherits’ my treasures! ;-)

  • I wish I could dress stylishly all the time too Kate and like you I had to sadly come to terms with the fact that I cannot wear beautiful dresses and nice shoes in a place where dust and other clothe damadging tools & substances are about (in my workshop) but then I suppose it makes dressing up even more special!
    Loved this post, & love those sneakers

    • Thank you Jess! I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment – you have to come to terms with it! I personally find it very hard to buy say key wardrobe pieces over pretty dresses, but slowly but surely I am getting better. x

      P.S I bet you look sensational even in your workshop scruffs! ;-)

  • Fabulous imagery – and yes, I whole heartedly agree with the way we have to adapt to a new style once we have children. There’s nothing worse than clinging on to a trusty look that was for a different time and a different body – I love a bit of sparkle on a trainer / Converse as well btw! Though my current footwear passion for child-friendly footwear is Nike Air Max! Thanks so much for linking up to #AllAboutYou, just off to pin your post now x

  • i have worn mascara forever but have only recently started wearing the rest of it as in foundation etc. and i feel soo much better for it. not a lot but just enough to give my confidence a boost. great post, as ever. x

    • Brilliant! So glad wearing a little bit of make up is making you feel much better about yourself. I think some people think that women only dress up and wear make up for men. But as we know, this is nonsense! I dress for myself and myself only, as it cheers me up and boosts my confidence. What could be better than that?! x

  • Thanks so much for linking up to #AllAboutYou gorgeous lady! I love that you have simply evolved your look and not lost any of the glamour though making the pieces more practical. Fab pictures too, you are such a pro! I fear I still hold on to most of my towering heels, and cocktail frocks – even at 5 my daughter loves pulling things out of my closet to ask me when they will one day be hers! And I am living in hope of that invite for the Oscars one day showing up….

    • Don’t ever ‘fear’ holding on to your towering heels and frocks! And fret not, I still have ALL of mine, I just don’t get to wear them as often! ;-) Love how your daughter already knows that Mummy’s wardrobe is full of treasure and as for the Oscars, I live in hope too :) x

  • Total inspiration – I did this post a wee while ago because I didn’t understand why I had nothing to wear despite having a cupboard that was fit to burst (http://www.mumsdays.com/what-to-wear/) and by the power of the pie chart I realised that what I have no longer suits my lifestyle!

    But that’s as far as I got really. I did update my wardrobe but it’s a bit dull…! Someone recently asked me to do an update about what I did about my wardrobe but I’ve shied away! You’ve inspired me to finally do it – with these tips, I think a few tweaks here and there and I should be ready for the post – perhaps for next week’s #allaboutyou link up! xxx

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