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.