Finding my style again after kids

Kinderling News & Features

Photo: Daniel Guerra. Styling: Amelia McFarlane. Clothes:

Since having kids, fashion has not been a top priority. Sleep. Now there’s something that jumped to the top of the list.

Finding time to eat has also been quite important. Only this week I wore a skirt to work back to front, so that gives you a pretty good idea of where I am in the fashion stakes.

Don’t get me wrong, I like nice clothes, but there was always something I wanted to spend my money on more.

Before kids (when I had expendable income - ha!), I wanted to do dance classes, go overseas, do short courses. After kids, well… there are a few other costs to consider (like childcare, doctor’s appointments, new clothes as they grow out of old ones, childcare, trips to the zoo and family holidays, have I mentioned childcare yet?)

But here’s the thing, stylist Amelia McFarlane says you don’t have to spend a lot of money to refresh your wardrobe. She also believes that clothing is an important way of expressing ourselves, particularly after a big life change (such as having children).

Listen our interview with Amelia:

Amelia generously offered to take me on a little styling journey, to find out who “I” am now that I’m a mother of two boisterous children (and am no longer inclined to wear the things I wore in my 30s).

Here’s what I learnt:

1. Get new undies!

Most of our bodies change significantly after having babies. Particularly if you were breast feeding and then you stop. Getting fitted for new bras and buying new underwear means that you feel comfortable and look great even before you put your clothes on.

Tip: go to a factory outlet that has an experienced fitter. You can get find bargains and still get some great underwear.

2. Exorcise your wardrobe

Grab a good friend (one that will be honest with you) get some chocolate and a bottle of wine, and rid the demons in your closet!

  • Donate anything you haven’t worn for two years to charity
  • Get your friend to tell you what items you should keep, and ones that need to be recycled in someone else’s wardrobe
  • Feel free to hold on to different items you love, but only keep those you feel great in.

*Why? Going through your wardrobe is a healthy, cathartic experience. You can say goodbye to those saggy old maternity jeans, remember the style you have and love, and create space for new possibilities.

3. Decide what pieces you need, and your budget

  • Make yourself a mood board of the styles you feel inspired by, that you’d love to wear.
  • Make a note of what you already have, that would be resuscitated by a new skirt, or pair of pants.

Tip: Have a look around. Sometimes good quality, Australian-made staples can be a versatile addition.

Celia Morris from Dragstar designs her clothes for what she calls a “continual wardrobe”. Many of her pieces (like the denim skirt, pictured) will match ones from previous or future collections, so you don’t have to spend a fortune straight up but can build your style over time!

All photos by Daniel Guerra. Styling by Amelia McFarlane from Colour Me In Styling. Clothes by Dragstar.