I like my face, I rarely consider my hair and my body seems to tick over ok so I don’t have much cause for concern or complaint. The only rough spot I have had with my body image was in pregnancy and the months after. To help track the morphing of a pregnant body, I have identified the distinct stages:
You feel sick and you want to kill everyone but also cry about how bad that is.
You’ve got a poochy tum, epic wind and nothing fucking fits anymore. You better hope you’re in the early stages of pregnancy in a season that affords oversized jumpers and a steady supply of Rennies.
All hope is lost. You’re enormous. You’re in leggings and a stretchy top even though you vowed you never would be.
You’re a few weeks/months post-natal. You’ve got to find an outfit that you can whip a boob out of, wipe puke off, has a generous waistline, doesn’t ruffle your stitches, and also kind of gives the impression that you’ve got your shit together with motherhood. It doesn’t exist so you stay in New Look maternity jeans- or ‘eternity’ jeans as they’re starting to feel like.
Nothing fits or looks right. Your ‘going out clothes’ seem ridiculous or are already out of style. You feel self-conscious about going out anyway because you still feel puffy, hormonal and slightly pissed off with your husband because HIS body is FINE and all unmangled.
I wallowed in stage five for about a year. A year after my second child that is. So nearly four years really. At this point, my sister-in-law stepped up and in and sorted me out. She hired a personal shopper for me. Now, as you may have twigged, I am a raging feminist and having body confidence, genuinely liking how I look, is my biggest form of rebellion against a system that tells women we shouldn’t like how we look. But I love clothes. Love ’em. And my SiL knew this and knew I had some birthday money saved up and needed some time to feel ‘seen’. In steps Lesley Clarke: personal shopper extraordinaire. This woman spent five hours with me and found me the perfect pair of jeans (no mean feat for a woman who has a small waist but a hearty bum) and the perfect selection of tops, jumpers, scarves and shoes to go together for any occasional in an almost dizzying array combinations. She took me to shops I’d never thought of, shared tips, hints and clever ways of pulling together outfits. It was glorious. I felt like a new version of old me: I’m calling that Stage Six.
Lesley ‘the magician’ Clarke has kindly agreed to write a guest blog for me to share some of her ideas for post-natal outfits. She works mostly in MK but has offered to come up to Norwich to host an event or meet with people for a personal shopping session. If you are interested, please comment below or email her at Lesley@lesley-Clarke.co.uk or tweet her at @LesleyStyle.
Also, let us know in the comments if you have any questions about personal shopping or how to transition from young to mum!