I’m not the best when it comes to shopping, but I’m desperate to go from a fashion-killer to fashionista.
Far from your ‘typical’ (ha) woman, I have to really be in the zone to shop, otherwise I scan the rails for all of two seconds before deciding I don’t like anything.
And this was before I had a baby.
Now, shopping is even more difficult because it’s a complete hit and miss. Half the time, what I do like doesn’t fit me. Or look right. Plus, plenty of styles are now entirely off the menu since I’m not terribly keen on doing the weekly shop in a crop-top and frayed, denim hotpants. It’s a great look for the 18-year-old-me, not so much at 27.
For the past 8 months, I’ve been surviving somewhere between a few larger items in my pre-pregnancy wardrobe and some tents bought from Primark in desperation. Grey, bland and boring – my figure, along with my pride, self-esteem and sensuality has been all but smothered in cheap, over-sized fabric.
I’m like a walking duvet
But it’s time to step away from the drab, unflattering garments of cloth strung over my tired body.
Hiding myself in giant t-shirts is not doing me any favours. I look old, worn out and horrendously frumpy.
Poor Gok would have a heart attack if he saw me. Trinny would likely collapse on Susanna.
Since the summer weather in the UK makes staying in your onesie unbelievably tempting, I’ve found that it’s only since booking my last minute holiday that I’ve suddenly developed an interest in looking good again. I checked in the mirror and noticed that my body shape has finally returned. A little larger and rounder than before, but there nonetheless.
I dug out my bin bags full of beautiful, pre-baby clothes and found that although some things don’t fit, some do. They fit me! And so begun the excitement of wearing normal, human clothes again.
But I don’t have enough to get me through my 4 days of baby-free bliss. So it’s time to do what I’ve been putting off for the better half of a year…. go shopping!
From fashion-killer to fashionista
So folks, where do I start?
I’ve had to actually sit down and think about how I’m going to do this – firstly, because I’m on a fairly tight maternity leave budget and secondly, because I struggle to put outfits together in my head. I can’t picture the outcome and so often end up looking like I dressed in the dark. Even when it actually took me ages to style myself.
Not a great start.
I’ve come up with a few key ideas to hopefully get my outfits back and on-point in time for my holiday (2 weeks today – not that I’m counting!):
Don’t just pin things willy-nilly because they look nice. Actually use those nice-looking pins and Insta pictures to identify how people put decent outfits together. Notice key items of clothing and invest in those to bring your old clothes up-to-date.
2) Plan out actual outfits
I’m terrible for buying one random item of clothing and then realising when I get home that I’ve got nothing to go with it. Which inevitably leads me to looking mis-matched 95% of the time. So this time, I’m going in prepared. I’ve identified all of the clothes I currently have and am now aware of what’s missing. Staples like denim shorts (but not too short), a maxi dress and an evening blazer are a few keys things that I need to invest in. Hopefully this approach will keep costs down and maximise style.
3) Shop the high street sales
I’ve banned Primark and supermarket-brand clothing from my search because although I love them, I need a bit of quality and trend in my life. I can’t hide from the high street forever. The one thing that was worrying me about leaving behind my cheap and cheerful outfits was price, but then of course, I remembered that sales exist! So I’m being brave and trying out some items from the Topshop sale* to bring my wardrobe back to it’s best.
4) Buy the size that fits
High street shops are notorious for having hugely inconsistent sizing (I don’t think a size exists for me in H&M trousers!) – but I’ve come to accept that it’s all about the fit. I could be wearing size 12 from one shop and need a size 14 in another, as long as it sits well on my body, it doesn’t matter. I’m not about squeezing into something because it ‘should’ fit. After all, we don’t want a muffin top now, do we…?
5) Get honest feedback
My mother is the queen of honest feedback. She relishes the chance to tell you how terrible you look. Usually, this is a pain in the derriere. However, while trying to finally get it right, this might actually come in handy. There’s no point shopping with a ‘yes man’ who’ll tell you everything looks great. Half the time, my husband tells me it’s fantastic without even looking up from his phone! So find your harshest critic and get completely honest feedback so that you’re absolutely confident the outfits you choose are the right ones.
So there we have it, 2 weeks and a whole lot of shopping to do. But I’m feeling prepared and ready for it! I know the look I want and the clothing that’ll take me there.
Once I’ve got it all styled out, I’ll share my pictures with you lovely people and you can decide… did I go from fasion-killer to fashionista, or am I still a massive, fashion fail?
Oh, and let me know in the comments below if you have any more tips!
* via love the sales.