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How do I get sexy stylish fashion sense back after baby?

(43 Posts)
uberconscious Sat 26-Dec-15 19:23:18


Writing the heading for this felt a bit unintelligent...maybe because sexy chic style used to feel natural to me before becoming a parent. I have been sporting greying pyjamas dressing gowns and ill fitting lingerie for so long that I have actually forgotten how to dress to look chic. It's embarrassing yes. I dislike it yes but I seem to have gotten into a rut and I am interested to understand this and figure a way out.

I think it started during weaning when I got infant food all over my hair and clothes. Then the not getting dressed got worse from the prolonged lack of sleep. Now it feels like it is the result of running out of savings / not working in a paid job (full time parent) so I cannot genuinely shop in normal high street places.

I've started to enjoy charity shopping as the ones I visit tend to have good brands, sometimes designer but with that comes the fact that I cannot buy coordinated pieces / outfits so I'm trying to get more creative with styling and hoping to build a capsule wardrobe that might be O.K. for work when I am back in a day job again (hopefully soon).

I like looking effortlessly stylish and I used to have a cool edgy fashion sense. After months of PJ's leggings, UGGs and fleeces I feel like I don't have an identity and I don't have a sense of style that I think I used to have. What to do? Any ideas?

PavilionGrey Sat 26-Dec-15 21:02:47

Honestly? I found that losing weight after having DD was the most effective way of making myself look stylish again.

It was as if there was nothing wrong with the clothes per se, they just looked frumpy on me as I was a bit on the plump side.

It wasn't drastic or anything, but 10lbs or so made the difference between the same jumper looking cool and edgy or mumsy and frumpish.

I guess it also gave me back my confidence to pull off an edgy look that I just wasn't quite brave enough for with the additional padding.

amarmai Sat 26-Dec-15 21:29:01

also hair and make up and alterations to ensure a good fit.

Luckystar1 Sat 26-Dec-15 21:34:26

I don't think this is what you will want to hear, but I found after I had DS that I just felt I couldn't carry off the styles I had before.

He's 14 months now, and (like you say) I'm constantly covered in food, snot, dribble and am on the floor playing etc. I found it was better to have nice, but more practical clothes. I also have nice accessories (especially my LV scarf) which I can put on to make something bog standard look a lot better.

I too have found it very hard as I am relatively young (29) and so I don't want to fall into the frump trap. But the single best thing I did was cut my hair to a manageable length.

Good luck- I'm assuming normal order resumes in a few years!

ShortcutButton Sat 26-Dec-15 21:35:07

Would love to know the answer too. I think its weight for me tbh

Callthemodwife Sat 26-Dec-15 21:40:28

Agree with pavilion, I found shifting the baby weight made the biggest difference for me, I could get back into all my old clothes so I didn't need a whole new wardrobe, just some updates, and I felt good about myself. Apologies if you've done that already! I'm now 4 weeks post natal with number 2 and the 'not pregnant' novelty has worn off - I've got just over a stone to shift and I feel fat and frumpy as hell, can't wait to crack on with getting my figure back in 2016 and getting back into my nice clothes!

If weight isn't an issue maybe look on Pinterest for some style inspiration and shop around that, if you're still running round after a crawling baby or toddler then jeans are very practical, an array of tops and a couple of decent jackets. Boots are my vice - a nice pair of ankle boots and a decent jacket pull together plain jeans and a fine knit at this time of year for me, it's a bit mumsy but hopefully more on the stylish end of the scale!!

uberconscious Sat 26-Dec-15 22:14:33

thank you ladies! I used to be in top shape and proud of my figure and you all guessed right - still carrying baby weight 19 months on... I've never been over weight and I must say it really affects my self confidence. Having said this - knowing you're out there gives me motivation! xx

uberconscious Sat 26-Dec-15 22:15:46

I mean knowing you all understand what I am experiencing :-) is comforting and motivating

Buttwing Sat 26-Dec-15 22:28:51

Agree that losing the pounds helps (I'm not quite there yet but working on it) I think you need to have a look at what you've got in wardrobe and maybe adapt it? I've got 4dc (10,5,2 and 1) and I still wear things like mini skirts, (I have thin legs only bit that is!) but will put opaques with it and a slouchy jumper maybe ankle boots with a couple of inch heel. It's more dressed down but I still feel a bit put together, a lot of what I wore pre kids just isn't going to work now!

Twinklestar2 Sat 26-Dec-15 22:37:18

Felt exactly the same and posted a similar thread myself.

What worked for me as getting some new clothes. Understanding what I needed from my wardrobe now as opposed to what I needed from my wardrobe before.

I've found pulling on a plain Primark top and jeggings became the norm - I try and put a shirt on now instead. Small change but makes me feel better.

Also make time to do your make up every day.

I cut my hair - sort of regret it but hated the scraped back into a ponytail look that I did every second day.

Quodlibet Sat 26-Dec-15 22:43:38

I remember this rut. For me too a lot changed when I shook the weight. Then;
- bought two pairs of really good (££) jeans
- a few nice tops which I can wear on their own or layer over/under
- some eye-catching shoes and earrings (distracts from the mess in the middle!)
- hair cut!

I started buying fewer but higher-quality clothes which I think is a better route as you are likely to get a better more flattering cut that keeps its shape.

BrendaandEddie Sun 27-Dec-15 07:54:26

It's a long time since I had tinies. I'd say lose weight. Dont buy cheap clothes. Don't buy stretch waistbands. Wear make up every day. Even if at home.

IdentityRequest1 Sun 27-Dec-15 09:39:57

Well, if you have a cool and edgy sense of style, then you haven't lost that - some people just have a way of putting things together (not me, but I covet that skill)

Get on Pinterest and start finding styles that you like, and cherry-picking the pieces that will work with your lifestyle and then use your stylish eye to re-create the look with charity shop finds and bargains. Accessories are your friend.

Jambonandjerusalem Sun 27-Dec-15 09:46:28

Actually, I would disagree with the notion that as a parent to young DCs you need fewer pieces of good quality clothing. This advice works well for a 'work wardrobe', but when DCs were young, I was so worried about getting vomit/food on good quality clothing that these items seldom saw the light of day!

I second (fourth?) the advice to lose weight, especially if your style is edgy. IMO, this works well on a more androgynous body shape and can look incongruous on a well rounded, womanly figure (which looks great in a more tailored/glam style IMO)

I honestly think that at this stage of your life, you are better off buying many easy care/wash garments from Topshop/Zara etc. You won't be afraid to wear/wash them and it won't matter if you have to have several outfit changes in a day.

CakeInMyFace Sun 27-Dec-15 09:47:26

I'm nearly 4 months post dd2 and agree with others about losing weight. Ive shifted about 10lbs and am in a size 10 to 12 (was a size 6 to 8 before) but feel much better already. Makeup every day for me, I try to keep my nails painted *I do this in the evening) and wear above the knee casual dresses with tights and boots. I had a c section and had wound complications that are still sort of ongoing so can't really do jeans but also have a few long jumpers and well fittting tunics that work well with leggings and boots. I usually pop on a simple bangle bracelet as well. I find it really helps to feel more alive during the day when you feel ok about yourself!

PontypineNumber9 Sun 27-Dec-15 10:12:28

I agree with those who have said it helps to lose weight and reassess your style. After having DD1 I found much of my wardrobe didn't feel right anymore. It may sound weird but I just didn't feel that as a mum I could wear a lot of my old clothes! Its hard to work out what style did feel right and 3 years (and anothe baby!) later I'm still working it out. I have found I feel best in classic shapes, some colour and good quality clothes (not necessarily expensive but nice, natural fabrics rather than synthetic). I don't have time to and don't want to wear makeup every day but I find the Clarins gradual self tan for face makes me feel better at this time of year.
Good luck. I think having a baby does change how you see yourself and your body and it takes a bit of time to adjust to that.

WhatamessIgotinto Sun 27-Dec-15 10:20:33

I fell into a total rut after my second DC and it was 8 years (yes dear reader, EIGHT years) before I realised that no one was buying the 'I don't care, I'm happy' line - least of all me. I lost the extra weight and got my mojo back. I also started to realise that taking the time to do my hair and make up did not make me a crap mum because I wasn't spending those seconds with my DC's and that it was important for ME to feel good about myself too. I can now stick on a pair of black skinnies, h & m plain jumper and accessorise it so that I feel nice and not frumpy. I'm not confident, I never will be but I realise now that its OK for me to feel good. Whose style do you like?

taybert Sun 27-Dec-15 10:33:17

I've found a mobile hairdresser and beauty therapist a god send after my second. You can get your hair done without finding a babysitter and it's cheaper than a salon. My hair and brows are actually probably the neatest they've ever been because I rebook at each appointment so I've always got one in the diary and it always gets done. At least if I'm totally knackered and beauty is the bottom of the list then I look basically tidy.
Agree about not buying really cheap clothes because they go out of shape quickly, fade and get little holes and quickly look tatty (especially as things need to be washed so often with little ones around!) Better quality actually means they wash better and last longer but I would say decent highstreet is fine, just not really cheap stuff.
I don't really know why I'm advising as I don't look glam at all and have definitely got in a bit of a rut myself, but these things stop me from feeling really rubbish about the way I look. After my first losing the weight was what made a difference, this time that has been more difficult because we still don't get anywhere near a full night of sleep at nearly 15 months so that impacts on everything. I've signed up to do a 10k run in the summer though so that'll be my motivation and I should have the last bit of baby weight shifted pretty soon. Correction, I WILL have the last bit shifted soon!

uberconscious Sun 27-Dec-15 12:09:58

Wow I had not expected so many useful tips! Luckystar I have started to look out for LV scarves too now, love your idea to use accessories. I usually love chandelier earrings too but find it a real health hazard these days as my child loves to pull on them as if they were cot hanging mobiles toys! I've also started checking out jeans. What brands do you buy / like?

WhatamessIgotinto - I used to have a combination of looks, sometimes clean lines and classy such as Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, but break it up with something less formal like red funky shoes or one item that contradicts the look. Other days, easy flirty and effortless looks such as Blake Lively, Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen.

I totally bought into Pavillion's post...when in good shape - anything can look cool. Seems that weight shifting is the overall key. What did you do to exercise? I mean when? What type of workout? Did you gym or home workout? Also did anyone feel like the body was all a bit weather beaten after pregnancy? What did you do? I was super fit before and these days it's hard to tell I ever trained before. The body just seems to flubber around and feel it'll never be the same again. My admiration to all you ladies that shook off the weight and got glam again!

Jambonandjerusalem Sun 27-Dec-15 12:47:49

I know its an unpopular view on MN, but just eating less food is really the key.

I just ate smaller portions and drank lots of tea. Personally, I find weight loss and fitness to be separate goals so to try to pursue them separately.

Jambonandjerusalem Sun 27-Dec-15 12:49:38

NB. You won't have to eat small portions forever - just create a calorie deficit when you want to lose weight. Once you are at the size you wish to be, calculate your TDEE and eat to that every day.

DinosaursRoar Sun 27-Dec-15 13:09:06

Losing weight helps. But also for me I found it hard to think of casual styles as I was used to doing cooler/more stylish work wear and going out clothes. Casual stuff was just for a few hours with hangover on Saturdays/Sundays before going out. And a shoe-string budget means I can't just throw money at it anymore.

I agree accessories help, dumping uggs (not flattering) and getting smart but easy to walk on boots. I always feel more "together" in skirts or dresses rather than jeans /tunic&leggings. If you pick up nice skirts in sales/charity shops, buy plain long sleeved tops so no fear of finding things that "go". Long sleeved dresses are perfect for that "no thinking" dressing, dress, tights, boots, done.

Pick an afternoon when your DP can have dc and go through your wardrobe, try stuff on and work out what goes with what - easier than when you are getting ready in the morning.

Buy underwear that fits, the bra intervention threads will help you measure correctly then you can pick up flattering underwear in the supermarkets. This will make everything look better.

BrendaandEddie Sun 27-Dec-15 13:13:14

Don't eat unless it is a meal and you're sitting down. Easy.

Give up silly cal like sugar in tea. Only snack is fruit.

BrendaandEddie Sun 27-Dec-15 13:14:17

Agree with mobile hairdressers (but one who has worked in a salon).

Timetable brow treatments for every 6 weeks. Only takes 20 min

Flingingmelon Sun 27-Dec-15 13:30:00

I think it's in your head (in the nicest possible way). Assuming you fit in your pre baby clothes and your style was minimalist rather than Kim Kardashian style hair and make up, the average person on the street wouldn't be able to tell. Would they?

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