The mum jean. That high-waisted, crotch-ruffling, saggy-bottomed trew. In my mind it’s something I could pull off. In reality I end up looking like I’ve borrowed my granddads painting/DIY jeans – complete with post-Sunday lunch paunch. While it looks stellar on the right person (mainly – and solely – Alexa Chung), it’s not a kindly silhouette, which makes me wonder why it’s been lumped with the ‘mum’ tag.
Probably because mums are daggy, saggy, naggy and sometimes a bit haggy. Well, that’s been how the media seems to have shoe-boxed us over the years. From gargantuan maternity tent dresses in the 60s to paisley unflattering frocks in the 80s, a mother’s style has not been pegged up there with Versace’s all-in-one gold jumpsuits.
No, to be a mum you have obviously had some form of style lobotomy. To counter this misconception and to push back against this routinely-Weetabix-smattered image of ‘us’, here’s my thoughts on styling it out like a mum for Boden:
I think this a question of confidence. Before, mums were branded as lacking in confidence – dressing a certain way, that mum uniform of baggy shirts and leggings – but it was the media branding us in that way. And shops thinking ǲoh we won’t bother with them. Now I think mums are confident – mums are starting to think this is what I look like. I’m doing it my way. That’s what mum needs to mean – confidence, doing it your way.
On styling it out like a mum
I’ve tried to keep my wardrobe the same in terms of colour, style. But obviously there’s been adjustments. I’ve got to be able to get my boob out. It’s a question of practicality + personality. You know, I can’t be in stilettoes in the playground – but I still own stilettos. Gosh that makes me sound ninety. I still have my heels for when I go out with my friends.
On getting ready
I don’t miss it, actually. It was such a waste of time. Now I use my downtime in the evenings to actually relax. That time I used to spend on make-up was wasted – you know my hair used to be poker straight. And styled within an inch of its life. Now it’s a massive eighties bouffant – and people keep on saying how much happier I look.
On being a supermum
Before I had kids, I had the fear that I would become a bit grey. Not necessarily in aesthetics, but in confidence. But since becoming a mum I’ve realised the reverse – I can pick pasta off a floor whilst following a podcast, whilst breastfeeding whilst shouting at my husband to take the bins out. If you can do more than an octopus can do, then you’re doing alright.
On being a new mum
I think for new mums reclaiming their confidence and identity, it starts with laughing. This is where it started with me – laughing at myself. Going into a changing room and laughing at my saggy bits. The minute you start laughing, your entire face lifts. That changed how I dressed and looked – it all started with laughter.
On feeling like a mum
Do I feel like a mum? I feel like a woman. A woman who happens to be a mum.
This post was written in association with Boden. AD
My Alexa Boots
My mum’s Richmond Trousers
My mum’s Esmerelda Trainers
My mum’s Classic Shirt
Mae’s Collared Jersey Dress
Eve’s sleep suit