It’s a word used to describe when something is daggy, out of style. It’s something no one want’s to be, mum or not. But it’s time we stopped saying things are mumsy. Just because someone happens to be a mum, doesn’t mean they are daggy. It doesn’t mean they have no interest in looking nice, in wearing nice clothes and making an effort with their appearance. Some of the most stylish people I know also happen to be mums.
Over the past few weeks I’ve heard people use the term ‘mumsy’ a couple of times.
The first was when I was trying on a pair of jeans. Clearly, the three children hanging off me were a give away that I had in fact produced small humans but when I picked up a pair of jeans and asked to try them on I was told that I might find that particular style ‘a bit mumsy’.
What exactly does that mean 16-year-old-shop-assistant-who’s-been-out-all-night? Does it come with pockets pre-stuffed full of snotty tissues? Perhaps the legs are already smeared with avocado and vegemite?
Not to mention, if a style is considered ‘mumsy’ in a store which charges $40 for a basic singlet, why are you selling it?
Beyonce happens to be a mother. She obviously didn't get the memo that it's yoga pants and oversized t-shirts featuring disney characters. Image: Getty
Then my husband got it while he was shopping for a Mother's Day present. I had asked for some new sunnies. He took himself off to a well known shop that I happen to like very much and was deciding between two styles of sunnies. The ones in his left hand were described as 'mumsy' and so he purchased the right.
Why do we insist on using the word 'mumsy' to describe something daggy? Like being a mother automatically removes any trace of style about you and you no longer hold any hope of appearing well put together. You lose a lot of things when you have a baby; dignity, sleep, non-stretch marked skin. But you do not lose your sense of style.
Most mothers I know still get up in the morning, get dressed in something that makes them feel good and still put on a little bit of makeup if that's their thing. Sure, the outfit of choice may no longer be heels and mini skirts but it sure as hell doesn't have to mean track pants and crocs if you don't want it to.
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All my friends with kids still enjoy shopping for new clothes and take interest in current fashions. In fact, I probably enjoy it more these days because I can actually afford to buy clothes I like rather than when I was a struggling uni student. Looking at my wardrobe now (I'm 30) I can see far more 'style' than I did when it was cheapie shops and 'vintage' in my early 20's.
Stylish women are stylish women, regardless of whether they have children and style changes. It evolves with you, it grows and matures but it doesn't just go away. I'm not wearing the same clothes I was when I was younger because they wouldn't look good but that doesn't mean that a 20 year old looks any better than I do now.