Once kids come along, fashion can be the last thing on your mind. All you want is to feel comfortable! Besides, bodies change and so do tastes. But according to stylist Amelia McFarlane from Colour Me in Styling, summer is a great time to embrace your own style.
Amelia is an expert in helping people discover their own style again after major life changes (think new babies, divorce, retirement). Here she gives us some tips on how to get our summer groove on, plus her favourite labels of the season.
Listen to Amelia’s interview on Kinderling Conversation:
I know. Who wants to go shopping for a swimming costume after having a baby? Amelia says she found the perfect answer. While pregnant with her third baby, she stumbled across a stall with fifties-style bathers.
“The fabric was super thick with a double layering, moulded cups and elastic beneath them, to give your bust a boost and the winning ticket, gathering across the tummy…. I felt supported, womanly and free, knowing if I felt like going for a dip I could without feeling self-conscious,” she says.
Siren Swimwear is one label that offers a service where you can order five pairs online, try them on at home and send back the ones you don’t want (though you will need to pay a deposit and postage).
Back to basics
When you’re re-building your wardrobe, basics are a great place to start. Choose T-shirts or tank shirts (depending on what’s most comfortable) in white, grey and black.
That being said, Amelia loves colour. She says it has the double benefit of boosting your mood and lifting your outfit.
“Add in a bright coloured t-shirt or tank top in a hue that works beautifully with your skin tone. If you are unsure what works for you colour-wise, try holding different block coloured tops close to your face and you’ll soon be able to decipher what is making your skin and eye colour pop,” she recommends.
When it comes to shorts, denim or chambray are great staples. Choose the length that you feel the best in and a style that suits your body type (e.g. pear shaped bodies look great in A line skirts). That may even mean cutting up your old maternity jeans (a good way to recycle!). A pair of navy or black shorts can really open your wardrobe, too.
Pear - Choose an A-line skirt. It will flatter the smallest part of your body (i.e. your waist) and balances out your lower half.
Apple - High-waisted, flouncy skirts work best for this body shape. This will draw attention to smallest part of your torso and flows over your stomach as a good disguise. A short hemline is also a good option if you have slim legs to show off.
Banana - Opt for a straight or mini skirt as the straight line will emphasise your shape. Choose a style that is high waisted or from the hip. You can also choose a short hemline if you have slim legs to show off (and no children to carry or pick up!)
Hourglass - A pencil skirt will highlight a small waist (particularly if high-waisted) and fits smoothly over the hip area. This skirt will create a nice sense of balance highlighting hourglass shape.
And an option for everyone is the LBD of the skirt world; the circle skirt. The circle skirt will create shape for a banana figure, hides the lumps and bumps of the apple figure, highlights the waist for the hourglass figure and balances out a pear figure. It’s fool proof for all body shapes and can take you from day to night. Consider the fabric and hemline you go for before purchasing. A better quality fabric is more likely to drape elegantly and a hemline that rests on the knee or slightly above is a length that works for most women.
Dress for success
There’s nothing like having a ‘go to’ dress that makes you feel amazing.
A flattering waistline is what you want to look out for in a summer dress, and natural fabrics that allow your skin to breathe.
Amelia thinks yellow is a good way to go, “The Raisin Did It make a gorgeous lemon yellow dress in a 50’s Grace Kelly style that I’ve got my eye on. Yellow is such a happy, optimistic colour, and with sunshine comes happiness. So a shade of yellow depending on your skin tone is a great colour to gravitate towards in the summer months.”
Ditch the thongs!
We all love the ease and comfort of the good old Aussie thong, but Amelia says they can be the best way to kill an outfit, preferring sandals instead.
“Saltwater Sandals are amazing in terms of comfort and durability. There is also a fantastic array of colours to choose from. Red, purple, orange, green, black, yellow, rose gold, tan... A metallic pair or tan pair of sandals are a great wardrobe addition as they go with everything.”
Stylish sun smarts
You know what they say; role modelling is the best way to teach our kids! So, if you’re trying to get your kids to keep their hats on, you may as well have some rocking headgear yourself.
Hats can be a stylish, feminine, and not to mention practical, addition to your wardrobe.
Amelia recommends Sarah J Curtis, but if you need a cheaper option, ASOS and Sportsgirl have a good selection of hats.
A touch of bling
Earrings aren’t the most practical accessory when you have small children. You may be more worried about losing an ear lobe, than having a splash of sparkle. But a little infusion of shiny bling can give a girl an extra spring in her step.
Amelia has found a great jeweller called Each to Own, who may have the answer.
“I stumbled across a great Etsy store the other day called Each to Own. The pieces are made from Perspex and are therefore are a safer option around children. No need to worry about beads falling off, [and becoming a] choking hazard. There are amazing colours and shapes to explore with their necklaces and earrings.”
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