Of course, you might look exactly like this on the school run/whilst hanging out with your children. In which case, move along; there’s nothing to see here.
However, judging by the emails and comments you send us, you might not quite be hitting such sartorial highs. These are typical pleas: “Just because I am a stay at home mum [SAHM in mumsnet parlance] doesn’t mean I don’t want to look stylish. But how do I do that in a rush, on a budget and with zero time?” and “Help! I have lost my style mojo!’
Oh, we hear you. Alex and I both love fashion and shopping, and even when we’re bumbling (or, let’s face it, running) around with our small people, like to make an effort. (Alex rocked up to my house last week, bearing gifts for me and the babe, wearing skinny grey jeans and a splendid navy cardigan from Cos – one of her go-store stores.) I have even dedicated mental space to my ‘maternity leave look’. But we also know what it’s like to pull on the same pair of jeans Every. Single. Day. To think that no one is going to be looking when you’re at Musical Munchkins (note to self lest I forget: this is not the case. The West London mummyhood are by and large a seriously chic bunch). To become entrenched in baby/child world and suddenly think, ‘Hold on a cotton-picking-minute. What the bejesus are the trends this season?’ I took a year’s maternity leave with my daughter, and definitely got lost in the sartorial woods at one point.
So, when I had the chance to ask fashion stylist (and mum of two girls, Rose Bay and Martha) Jemima Bradley from Musings from a London Mum about her Style File, I rather cheekily threw a few extra questions at her about how to rock a great SAHM/school run look.
Here she is, with her girls this summer…
First up, pregnancy…
“Embrace the bump: it’s only for 9 months! Also, I tended to stay away from maternity clothes and just went up a fair few sizes on the high street (look for smock dresses). I fully embraced accessories, too. My body was changing, but at least I knew my accessories wouldn’t let me down by not doing up!”
And thereafter: Jemima’s top 5 classic buys for stylish mamas
1. “A great pair of statement flats. It’s all about a statement flat this season, everyone is doing one. A good statement flat can be game changer. So think a bejewelled flat from Boden (trust me they are amazing) with a boyfriend jean and a classic white t-shirt is ideal. For a bigger budget, a Charlotte Olympia leopard flat is always going to make even the simplest outfit look chic and pulled together.”
Bejewelled flats, £129, Boden (available from early October, our sources tell us… Alex and I both have our eye on these. She’s opting for black; I’m leaning towards gold but then I want the black too… Help!)
2. “Accessorise. A little detachable collar is a great thing to buy, it can be worn over your favourite cashmere sweater and change the look of it. I always love wearing a sparkly vintage earring with a dressed down outfit too.”
3. “A great selection of nail polishes. A good manicure always adds a great touch to a look. I do my nails every Sunday night: it’s a small thing, but it always makes me feel pulled-together.”
For AW14, look for the deepest reds, greys, metallics and pops of ’70s colour…
5. “A plaid, over-sized shirt. A great purchase. This will be a big trend for AW and it’s amazing for an off-duty look with jeans – or throw it over a dress, too. An instant nod to knowing what’s on-trend.”
“Also one more! A midi skirt either in neoprene or leather.”
Feel like you’ve lost your style way?
“Oh, it is so hard, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Like everything in parenthood, it is all a phase! It is okay to have a day where you don’t quite feel like you and you don’t get it together; fast-forward a week and you will be fine. Having children is such an incredible blessing, but we do get lost and loose sight of ourselves, but sometimes I wish we didn’t put so much pressure on having it all. Our babies are only little for a small while so for a while I think its okay to be a little bit messy with cornflakes in our hair etc!
That said I am a big advocate of getting a good haircut: just to sit for two hours and drink a hot coffee is a treat. With both my children there was a point where I said ‘enough is enough’ and I handed them over to Mr B, took myself off for day of hair cuts, manis, pedis, waxes and a good shopping session. I think it has to be when you are ready to go for it. Women are the lynchpins in families, we do the organising, the nurturing, the feathering – so we really have to look after ourselves so we can fulfill all the crazy roles we dish to to ourselves. So I always think I am doing myself a disservice if I don’t take time out for me. No guilt needed either, that is just a giant waste of time.”
What to wear for AW14 so you look – and feel – on trend…
A great pair of flats/boots. (We dream of Isabel Marant’s Dicker boots, in the meantime, try these from good old Toppers…)
Annette Western boots, £65, Topshop
A great Parka/Coat ( I spent my maternity leave wearing coats all day! You spend so much time out and about so a great coat it a must! Bomber jackets are a big A/W trend, they have had a super chic make over, so look out for boucle one or a fab wool one.)\
Red lipstick! (Why not treat yourself to a little something by Chanel?)
A good hair cut
Thanks Jemima! (Don’t forget to check out her blog – it’s terrific and we love it.)