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Friday 4 October 2013

WIT mama Friday: Style dilemma, new mum on-duty uniform

Pre-baby I remember getting asked what’s the perfect stylish/practical on-duty mummy uniform and thinking: ‘What’s the fuss, just wear your usual clothes, with flats’. Well, one year and one baby later I can safely say it’s not that straight forward.
About this time a year ago I remember venturing out of my flat for the first time in 10 days with my newborn baby to go on our first walk in the park. I even dressed up for the occasion hoping to befriend another sleep-deprived mum (one year into this mum business I now know I needn’t bother clothes are only secondary, pram style and nappy bag being far more important - mine was the Anya Hindmarch Oakley nappy bag £495.00).
I was wearing my grey soft wool Joseph belted coat, a Chinti and Parker cashmere jumper and Russell and Bromley brogues. Yes my lace up brogues took a while to tie and perhaps I had one layer too many for the 3pm feeding session, but surely I would be fine.
Well I wasn’t. I came back from that disastrous walk soaked wet being caught in the rain, holding baby/pram and bag with one hand and feeling mortified at having had to get practically naked on a bench to feed my daughter. Wardrobe re-addressing was needed, urgently.
Since then I’ve learnt a few things about stylish/practical mum uniform...
Nothing I repeat nothing that is to be hand held. Opt for something tini tiny that can be wear across the body (I loved my Coach mini  cross body bag in a flash of red) or even better a style with an adjustable strap that you can sling over your pram handle. Treat yourself to something you will love, your bag won’t get as trashed as you think.
Contrary to popular belief flat doesn’t necessarily equal practical. Opt for a closed shoe, with no laces or ties and a rubber sole. I never thought I would care about any of those things in my life, but my indestructible Zara rubber soled biker boots, worn over leggings and jeans were virtually all I wore for ten months.
You must be able to throw it one and look fabulous no matter what you are wearing underneath. I opted for a waterproof Zara parka with a detachable fur gilet inside for extra warmth. Pockets are your best friends too, so choose a coat that has plenty, I counted 10 in mine.
If you are breast-feeding, your round neck shrunken sweater is not going to cut it. Opt for cardigans and remember that hormones make you feel hot all the time so keep it light.
I wore slightly loose fitting T-shirts. Opt for good quality ones that will stand the test time of relentless washing. I love J.Crew Vintage Cotton styles.
Leggings and jeans are really practical and with the huge choice of colour/print/washes it needn’t be boring either. I lived in my black J.Brand skinny jeans and Boden leggings.
Until you are breast-feeding, forget them. Afterwards, think about how much chasing and kneeling you’ll be doing on that day… then wear trousers.

Read all of my blogs for www.redonline.co.uk here


1) J.Crew Vintage cotton tee £29.50
2) J Brand Maria Power Stretch high-rise skinny jeans £200
3) Woolrich John Rich & Bros. Literary fur-lined Eskimo parka (171332) £555
4) Marc by Marc Jacobs Blizznezz small leather shoulder bag £175
5) Fiorentini and Baker Eli Eternity rabbit-lined leather biker boots £380
6) Zara grey wool cardigan £35


Anna (South Molton St Style) said...

What a refreshingly honest post, will be bookmarking for when I need some mumma tips! xxx

South Molton St Style

Anonymous said...

Love your mummy wardrobe suggestions! I bought a parka on your suggestion when my daughter was 7 months old and it was the best buy ever. The pockets are the best part!

And you are right about skirts - I always look fondly at skirts and dresses in shops now and think how impractical they are for my current life :(

Anonymous said...

Made me laugh out load Laura, so true - very helpful for first timers!!

Lucy S

Erin said...

Definitely true on all points - though I would add I found quite a few tunics or dresses that had buttons down the front, and I lived in those with a cardigan, leggings and boots. I would also say not to invest too heavily in your t shirts initially, mine got so stained by breast milk it was impossible to rescue them by 4 months. As much as I loved the ease and naturalness of breastfeeding, I was so glad to stop smelling vaguely of yoghurt when we stopped!

Rona said...

Hi Laura

It's great to see your casual non-work wardrobe.

I wondered how you'd feel about occasionally featuring weekend outfits?

Thank you very much for writing your blog...it's wonderful to see you back as it's such a treat to read your blog posts.

I've been SO inspired by all your posts and my wardrobe is now, thanks to you. looking very stylish :-).

Best wishes

WIT said...

Thank you for following WIT and leaving comments I always LOVE hearing what you say. For those of you who asked, I often Instagram my outfit at the week ends.. but hey, I need a Sunday too! ;-) xx

mnl0520 said...

Thank you so much for posting this. As a mom of a 3 year old and a 15 month old, I remember reading with some amusement, your post about the beautiful cream Chloe dress you had picked out as your going home outfit. Those first couple of months after the baby is born are so hard. It's so easy to lose yourself. No one ever talks about how tough it can be to find a balance between style and practicality, particularly when your self-esteem is at a low ebb.

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