Becoming a mum seriously messes with your identity. From pregnancy onwards, our bodies becomes unrecognisable – inside and out – and that can mean we no longer even know what shoes to wear, let alone how to take care of ourselves and feel good. No matter how much you love motherhood and accept the changes to your mind, body and soul, it can majorly dent your confidence.
Tamu Thomas, founder of the Three Sixty brand, totally gets it, and was on hand last night to chat live with Supermushers about all things style, confidence and wellness. Supermushers are mums who subscribe to Mush to get expert advice, personalised content and access to exclusive live chats every Monday evening. You can give it a whirl here.
In the meantime, here are a few highlights from Tamu’s brilliant session.
Q: I’ve lost the sense of who I am now I’m a mum, how do I move forward?
Tamu: We lose the sense of who we are when we are disconnected from the present. When we say we have lost the sense of who we are, we often mean that we were no longer who we were but are unable to acknowledge who we are now, as we are either hankering after the past or to fixed on the future.
I know the summer holidays have just begun (send help) but I invite you to think about what you do in an “average week”. Who we are is defined by what we do rather than what we think. In my mind I should be wearing Temperley-esque floaty dresses and floating around life looking Florence (and the Machine) is my BFF. However that version of me only exists about six times a year if that!
I travel on public transport quite often, I operate a mums taxi service, I “pop” to places like the shops and post office so I need comfort, which leaves little room for prancing about like Florence’s mate. However I can bring an element of that style to my day to day, for example jeans, Converse and a floaty top.
So I invite you to think about what you actually do in an average week and think about how you can fuse that with the style you enjoy/feel good in.
Q: How can I look stylish when I have no time? (And a mum tum!)
Tamu: The best time-busting way to look stylish when you are time-poor is to create a uniform! Now wait one minute, it is not as boring as it sounds. Think of people you know that look great all the time, they know what works for them and they make it their look. You don’t have to wear the same thing every day, but establish your silhouette and make your style a play on that. Olivia Palermo is a great example, I regularly see her in midi skirts with slouchy shirts/ jumpers. She transforms the look with her footwear. A pair of long boots, strappy sandals, mules or trainers make all the difference.
A slouchy top is great as it skims your curves and creates a great silhouette without adding bulk. The neckline and shoulders are one of the most underrated, attractive parts of the body. A slouchy shirt with a 2 – 3 buttons undone at this time of year is very sexy without being revealing. A French tuck works well with slouchy tops.
A uniform/signature style takes the stress out of getting dressed, saves time AND can save you money as you begin to purchase items that work with your style rather than impulse purchasing or getting swept up in trends. Stress is one of the main precipitators of physical and mental ill health, from headaches, anxiety, heart disease and hormone disruption to name a few. Parenting is stressful and time consuming enough. Looking at places where we can reclaim our time and reduce stress is a radical act of self care with far more benefits than a face mask on a Sunday!
Q: My body has changed, nothing looks good anymore. Help!
Tamu: We are multifaceted beings. I believe that our style is a vital part of our wellbeing, I don’t think it’s frivolous or superficial. When we look good, we feel good, but more importantly when we feel good we look good.
First things first, are you buying clothes in your actual size or are you buying the size that is more cognitively palatable? Also are you taking into consideration that different shops use different measurements so your dress size may alter depending on where you are shopping? I always say that it is better to pay attention to the fit rather than the size in the label. Clothes have a better chance of looking good if they are the right size and have room for life’s essentials such as breathing and eating!
“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely” – Roald Dahl. This is the same for your style. The world has gone crazy for the singer/ rapper Lizzo and of course there are many that are judging her, but when you look at her in all of her curvaceous glory she looks authentic, she looks like she is really being herself and that is the key to everything, be yourself.
Life is too short to set unrealistic fashion goals, doing that is like sending your child to nursery in lace-up shoes knowing they cannot tie their laces, you just wouldn’t do it.
Dress for the body you have rather than the body you want. This creates space (pardon the pun) to enjoy your clothes and yourself because you are not being hemmed in (sorry I can’t help myself!).
Every Monday night we do a live chat for Supermushers with an expert (and a few special guests you might have heard of) on the topics that are keeping you awake at night (sometimes literally…). Find out more and sign up here.