Putting Away the Tracksuit Pants

20120718-DSC_1338-LargeFor the most part of this year I’ve been wearing the same boring maternity clothes. All of them have stretchy waistbands, most are tent-like and none of them are items I want ever crossing my path again.

I also lived in tracksuit pants for the first few months of Ben’s life because they were the most comfortable and as I wasn’t really leaving the house, it didn’t really matter how I looked. But now that I’ve rejoined society I need to step up my game. So I took out all my Winter clothes, figured out which ones still fitted and was left with a grand total of one pair of jeans, two long sleeved tops and a few warm jackets.

Where have all my clothes gone? It’s a mystery. I swear I had things to wear last Winter but I have no idea where they are now. So I needed to go shopping but I also wanted to make sure I bought the right things. I usually buy cheap clothes that don’t last very long, which explains why my wardrobe is pretty empty at the moment. But now that I’m getting older, I want to get better quality stuff that will see my through a few years.

Enter Pippa J, personal stylist, fashion blogger and generally well-dressed friend of mine. I arranged for Pippa to come to my house and do a wardrobe analysis , which involves looking at what you’ve got and having an honest chat about what suits you and what you need to get rid of. I always thought I had pretty good taste – I may have been a little deluded in this regard. Sure, I have a few nice things but once you look at your wardrobe through someone else’s eyes you realise how much you’re hanging on to that really doesn’t suit you.

A few things Pippa advised me to give away:

  • A lumo yellow scarf that I bought because lumo was in last season, but which always makes me feel completely drab when I wear it.
  • A fitted denim jacket I bought seven years ago in London that was fashionable then, but is now ill-fitting and faded.
  • A dress my Mom bought me that is really too big (4 sizes too big!) but which I’m hanging on to for sentimental reasons.
  • 3/4 pants that are a really unflattering length and cut.
  • Dresses that are so old the material has gone all bobbly.
  • Black pants that have faded to a horrible grey.

Pippa is wonderfully honest. I tried on an olive green jersey that I thought complimented my eyes and she asked me if I was Nicole Kidman. Erm, no, I’m not. Apparently that shade of green only suits those with alabaster skin and vibrant red hair, so that landed on the “give away” pile too.

With Pippa’s help I identified things to avoid for my body type:

  • Boxy tops that make my shoulders look wider
  • Tight short sleeves and racer back tops that do the same thing to my shoulders
  • Wrap dresses or tops that wrap at the section of my waist which isn’t the narrowest – I am quite straight so I need to avoid making myself look even straighter

She’s also really complimentary and gives you a confidence boost by pointing out your strong points. She advised I buy more skirts to highlight my legs, as well as some skinny jeans. I never thought I could wear skinny jeans so this was somewhat of a revelation! I also know that I suit bright strong colours such as coral, red, royal blue and teal green and all of those colours she recommended I buy more of.

She’s given me a wonderful shopping list to get me started – I’ve just bought two pairs of skinny jeans and some black flat riding boots and I’ve already received some compliments. But even more importantly I feel better about myself, and that I think that’s the key. As parents we often completely neglect ourselves and this is one way of ensuring that doesn’t happen. You can read Pippa’s great article on 10 Winter Wardrobe Basics for Moms and start sharpening your own wardrobe up yourself. Or you can get Pippa to come to your house and help give your wardrobe a springclean. Because you’re worth it (with apologies to Loreal).

Image by Julie Leenstra



5 thoughts on “Putting Away the Tracksuit Pants

  1. So true, after having my son I went back to my pre-baby wardrobe and realised I had absolutely no clothes. I had thrown them all out as they were old and falling apart and never replaced them, I am now trying to invest in good quality stuff too – thanks for the tips!

  2. Oh my gosh, I so hear you on all of this! I recall the feeling of looking at certain “I feel fat items” from pregnancy (and beyond) and wanting them NEVER to cross my path again. I actually got Pippa’s newsletter before reading your post and thought her tips were brilliant for moms. I just need to get baby number two out in a few weeks, get back on the treadmill and I look forward to implementing your and Pippa’s advice. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: Skorts. Remember Them? | Making Mountains...

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