Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Mummy Makeovers

Oh dear.  It has been months, hasn't it?  I am a teensy bit prone to flights of fancy, and the critic in me is already smugly crowing "See, I knew you didn't have the staying power for this blogging business".  Still, if I've learned anything from my faddishness, it's that some things are best left abandoned and some things deserve to be picked up, dusted off, and enjoyed once more.  So here we are.

I had big news last month - I hit my target weight after around 2 years of slimming.  2st 8lb off, hoorah!  I still feel like there's more I could lose, so the journey goes on, but hitting target meant the Great Wardrobe Purge could finally take place.

I have never been particularly into fashion.  Aside from the early days in my career, clothes have tended to be about camouflaging wobbly bits or having a quick and cheap mood boost.  Initially as I gained weight, and then as I adjusted to life at home with children, there seemed little point in buying expensive clothes, or indeed in thinking about clothing much beyond whether it did the necessary.  However, as the fog of the baby years started to lift, I looked at myself with fresh (ish) eyes.  I was adrift in a sea of waterfall cardigans and baggy jeans.  No wonder no-one could tell I was losing weight.  No wonder I felt so...beige... And so, for my birthday and Christmas presents, I asked my family if I could possibly have clothing vouchers.  When I hit target, I hit the shops.

My first stop was a personal shopping appointment, where my new shape was identified and revealed.  I am now <play triumphant fanfare here> a Column <fanfare to trail off in slightly deflated manner>.

May I humbly suggest that whoever is in charge of naming women's body shapes (who is it these days? Did Trinny & Susannah get the old heave-ho?) finds some slightly more feminine / flattering / aspirational terms.  I mean, honestly, a Column? Could they find anything, well, girthier?

Anyway, once I'd learned how to dress my Column physique, I powered down Oxford St, spending my vouchers with gleeful abandon.  Well, sort of.  It turns out that quality capsule wardrobe pieces cost a lot and require careful choosing  So I now own approx 8 items of clothing.  But, capsule was what I wanted, and capsule is what I have. It certainly saves time in the morning.

The whole experience has made me start to enjoy fashion just a little bit more.  I still don't have the time / inclination / budget to follow every trend, but I'm more aware of what works for me and feel far less...invisble, really.  It has also opened up some really interesting chats with friends about our relationships with clothes these days.  Friends who had amazing workwear wardrobes admit they have lost their way post-motherhood.  Friends who used to be very feminine have found that the need for practicality has forced out the girliness they used to enjoy.  Friends who are used to receiving compliments now find that centre stage has long gone to their kids.  We all see it, from the clothes we wear to the hair and make up styles we sport.  It's no wonder women talk about struggling with their identity once they become a mother - very often the frazzled creature staring back at us in the mirror is a world away from how we think of ourselves, and how we are used to others thinking of us.

I sometimes wonder whether there is a business idea in Mummy Makeovers.  Then I consider how incredibly perfect I would have to be, before I dared suggest to anyone else that a blow dry and dash of peplum would work wonders. Hmmm.  Time to mind my own column-shaped business.