fashion

"How my style has evolved since becoming a mum."

Westfield
Thanks to our brand partner, Westfield

As my credit card statement clearly demonstrates, I am a non-recovering shopaholic. My number one weakness is fashion – more specifically clothes, handbags and shoes. After a new season shopping spree I feel excited and empowered and can’t wait for the next opportunity to showcase my carefully-considered ensemble.

Since becoming a mum, my style and shape have significantly changed. For a while I got stuck in a feral fashion rut, yearning for my former days and looking decidedly derelict. After my prolonged postpartum hiatus I’ve recently rediscovered my fashion mojo and started to embrace my new style and curvaceous body.

Right: Jacqui's pre-baby body and figure-hugging skirt. Left: Oxford 'Darby' Leather Skirt, $144.50. Images: supplied.

Before kids, finding a great outfit was easy. I was a fit size 10 working full-time without a toddler’s sticky hands eager to imprint themselves on my impractical white jeans. I loved tight clothes that emphasised my gym-bunny booty and had a penchant for belts that accentuated my waist.

Spaghetti straps, short hemlines and ‘dry-clean only’ tags never put me off - I was out every weekend with a cocktail in one hand and a super slim non-nappy friendly clutch in the other.

After popping out baby number one, I looked in the full length mirror to discover my hourglass shape had morphed into a bloated apple, my breastfeeding bossies had migrated south for eternity, and my drawer full of belts now only fitted around my upper thigh.

Severely sleep deprived, I spent my days in breastmilk-stained maternity tops and oversized trackies that could sustain a spew-eradicating hot wash. My heels were replaced with runners (although I never ran) and my compact handbag exploded into a seven kilogram nappy bag that could sustain a family of four for weeks if they got lost in a forest.

Letft: Make-up free Jacqui in her husband’s hoodie. Right: Ripe Maternity Lambswool Nursing Batwing Top in Denim, $109.95. Images: supplied.

Eighteen months later, I popped out baby number two and ended up looking like an apple on steroids. Only this time I decided to get over my hang-ups and start appreciating my body for its reproductive magnificence.

After housing and feeding two beautiful babies, thanking my body with some fabulous fashion was the least I could do. I started compiling a new collection to caress my luscious lady lumps that I’d finally begun to love.

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My kids are now three and 18 months old, and I’ve emerged from the fog of early parenthood with a confidence that is reflected in my very diverse wardrobe. Three days a week I’m in the office, where I choose to wear tailored pants and loose-fitting tops with a scarf and luxe handbag (I am currently lusting after the Oroton Journey Shade Tote). The stripes and plaid Autumn trend is perfect for my smart casual work environment, the Cue Plaid Peplum Top or David Jones Yarndyed Check Linen Tee are great for camouflaging mum tum and a quality pair of mid-heeled ankle boots can be worn comfortably all the way through to childcare pick-up without the hint of a throbbing bunion.

Left: Jacqui's 7kg nappy bag and 8-month-old baby. Right: Colette by Colette Hayman Baby Travel Bag $79.99. Images: supplied.

On my days at home with the kids, it’s all about casual comfort and paying homage to my lost youth with some fun fashion flashbacks. A good quality denim jacket like the Wrangler Blondie Denim Jacket will never go out of fashion and pretty much goes with anything. Heels and parks don’t mix so my wardrobe is full of flats like the super trendy Adidas Stellasport Irana Women’s Casual Shoes, which remind me of the hi-tops I wore as a perky teen. I also love me some activewear, despite rarely setting foot in the gym.

When my bank account hasn’t been emptied at Westfield, I organise a babysitter and pop on my favourite red lippy for date night with the hub. Rose and rouge hues are perfect for a romantic dinner, even if you end up spending the entire time talking about the colour/size of your kid’s poop.

Left: Jacqui heading out in Camilla. Right: Camilla 'Concubine Realm' Batwing Wrap Dress, $699.00. Images: supplied.

Lives change and wardrobes evolve, but fashion remains a great way to express your personality and #ownyourstory. The confidence I have when I am well-dressed outweighs any lingering hang-ups and makes me feel like I can kick arse - whether it be in the office, at the park or on a rare night out.

How did your personal style change during motherhood?