When I was pregnant I put on 2 stone. Not bad going at the time I thought, considering I certainly didn’t deprive myself and everybody tells you about how much of it is not just baby but placenta, fluid and the rest (I’m sure my boobs weighed an extra few pounds each…!) Post baby I lost 1 stone in the first 3 weeks, then it appeared the second stone wanted to come to Florida with me and was staying put.
At 3 months post birth, I wasn’t feeling too bad about it. Sure, if I looked at myself too long in the mirror I wasn’t that keen on my new shape, but equally, I was too busy and too realistic to expect anything else. Nor did I have any interest in dieting in those early weeks of breast feeding in case it affected the quality of my milk for Bea. That left me with a small problem. What on earth do you wear on the beach when you have just had a baby and are not feeling as confident as you usually would?
It wasn’t just about my weight, but the huge breast feeding boobs I was now lugging around, and although the stretch marks I had are largely faded, I didn’t want to show them off and add to any insecurities I had, or get them in the sun for that matter as that could have added to any lasting scarring. So I looked for a high waisted, bra-sized bikini (I really hate swimsuits as I get too hot in them) and headed to figleaves.com
Happily they had several high waisted styles and even strapless styles like I chose that are made for BIG boobs. Throw in a floaty sheer shirt for hanging round the pool and my maternity shorts (my itsy bits pre-baby cut-offs were just not going to cut it,) and I was sorted.
I wanted to share this mainly to suggest the bikini style I went for and recommend Figleaves (I bought a few styles, including a fold down bikini too that was nice but not quite as stylish, and their delivery/returns service was fab,) but also because there are lots of bloggers on the internet pinging back into shape post baby, which is great if you happen to be one of the lucky few who do the same. But if you’re not, then I wanted to show you how it really is and how you can feel good still in that amazing body that just made a baby, and one day will look like it never did.
It’s been 2 weeks that I have officially been wearing my capsule wardrobe now, or at least since I revealed it to you all, so I thought it was time to share some outfits on the blog. This isn’t what I have worn everyday as I don’t always have Pete around to snap a photo, but it;s a good representation of the styles I have worn so far. I hope to keep bringing you new outfits every couple of weeks or so throughout the capsule period showing you different ways I wore it.
So let’s start off with one of my favourites… probably because it feels the most ‘me’, baby or no baby. I wore this outfit shopping with Pete and felt pretty presentable. Dare I say, normal!
This outfit was for swimming! It was a miserable day (as you can see,) and I was dreading being all cold and wet in the changing rooms afterwards so I pulled out something cosy and comfy. Somehow these trainers always make the comfiest outfit look like I made a lot more effort than I actually did. As you can see, I’m LIVING in this jacket.
Here comes the jacket again! And my go-to uniform… a tee and boyfriend jeans. A lot of the combinations in this capsule are a variation on this theme. I love the metallic trainers and sequin embellished tee giving this outfit a real kick of personality though.
This one was worn for a family get together for Pete’s Mums birthday. I wanted to dress up a little and it was still warm, so the point flats added a bit of extra smartness too. Do I love this photo? No. Can I see the extra baby weight and mum tum? Yes. Am I trying to give myself a break 12 weeks on? Yep, trying. *Grimace*
And lastly, this weekends outfit – a perfect Sunday outfit in my book. Skinnies, flats, a chunky knit (worn over a layering top with buttons for feeding access) and no coat as it was warm enough to go without. I like wearing knits layered instead of coats in the winter.
So what do you think readers? How are your autumn wardrobes going?
It’s not me sharing outfits today but Victoria. I saw her recent escapades on Facebook and just had to ask her to share her outfits, pulled together for what looked like a fabulous Indian wedding. Victoria is always glamorous and her four (yes, four!) outfits didn’t disappoint so I hope you enjoy looking and perhaps get some ideas for weddings you are attending this summer (or share some of your own outfits.)
I’ve been to a lot of weddings. 37 to be precise, not including our own, and I have four more over the next 12 months. I therefore have a lot of practise in putting together wedding outfits. Some of you that follow me on Instagram may have seen me in my wedding outfit planning efforts. I treat them in the same way I treat work projects – lots of preparation, diagrams and chat about the final product, but all thrown together in a panic in the last few moments, that often works out quite well, but is very different from the original plan. Shhh, don’t tell my boss!
I used to buy something new for each one – a new hat or dress, shoes or clutch… but then I totted up 12 invites in one year, some of them being two or three day events (so you know, you also need a special outfit for the big “night before” dinner and then something fancy-but-hangover-comfy for the morning/day after “survivors” gathering) and seeing as I’m neither a Kardashian nor a Middleton, it all got a bit much for my bank (in)balance and so I started recycling. I now have a pretty good suite of “occasion wear” from which I can mix and match future outfits.
So for 2014′s five weddings I sorted all my outfits out at the beginning of the year and knew exactly what I was going to wear…. and then I realised one was an Indian wedding and I had literally no clue where to start.
Thankfully the bride was on the ball, arranged a number of shopping trips for us less-clued up guests, provided a handy “what to wear, when” guide for the girls and boys for the various events and was kind enough to pick up little bits and pieces for us on her numerous trips to India.
So, here’s a run down of what I actually wore…
Civil Wedding(Friday afternoon)
For the Civil Wedding, the guideline was “British summer wedding” and having checked out the venue (One Marylebone) and spoken to the bride about her colour schemes (soft colours, white and pale pinks) at length I knew exactly what to wear. I pulled out a dress (special edition Olivia Rubin/Dorothy Perkins collaboration), a white Whistles clutch, some H&M hair clips (as I couldn’t fit a hat in my overnight bag) and my old faithful pink Louboutins (my wedding shoes – still the comfiest heels I’ve worn in five years!) and a fussy H&M pale pink necklace. I had intended to wear some new baby blue ankle strap shoes from New Look, but it was far too hot and I didn’t fancy “ankle-muffin top”.
Sangeet/Mehndi party – Friday evening
For the celebrations on Friday evening the guidance for Indian clothing was a trouser suit/Salwaar Kameez/Anarkali or Lengha (a skirt and a top with a scarf) and for western clothing, something bright. On a shopping trip with the bride, I found a nice hot pink and rose gold anarkali (a long floaty dress/top, trousers and a long scarf) which I dressed up with a pair of neon blue pointed courts (super cheap but super comfy from Linzi), some large gold chandelier earrings, some hot pink and gold bangles (a gift from the bride) and a rose gold evening bag from Mulberry.
We were performing a dance to Jai Ho as a tribute to the bride and groom at the event, and as it was incredibly hot and sticky that day, it was a no brainer that my hair was glued up and off my face in a bouffy beehive. It may look fancy, but let me assure you it’s not, I got dressed in a corridor and my hair is held up with a ton of dry shampoo, a gallon of elnett and quite a lot of sweat. Gross! Sorry!
Saturday was a day of rest and recovery for me, not so for the bride who had another two outfits to rock!
Hindu Wedding – Sunday day
The guidelines for this included “any type of Indian clothing, most guests will be in a sari” or if I chose western clothing, to be respectful and make sure it wasn’t too short or revealing. I was worried that wearing Indian clothing might have seemed odd, or offensive, seeing as I’m not Indian, but the bride assured me it was a good idea and even lent me one of her saris – in a beautiful pistachio green, embroidered and embellished in gold. It consisted of a petticoat, a blouse and a long, loooong piece of material which you fold, wrap, gather, tuck and drape around your body.
Thankfully, the bride’s mother had pre-folded and sewed the pleats at the front, so when I arrived (in essentially my underwear at a posh five star hotel (The Grove) it was only a case of wrapping, tucking and draping in the nearest toilet cubicle (which was thankfully rather plush, considering the venue). I found someone to pin everything in to place so I flashed no tummy (too soon in the year for that!) and to keep everything secure. I accessorised with big gold earrings, a sparkly hair band, more bangles from India (another gift from the bride) and some gold sandals I wore as a bridesmaid 7 years ago, from Faith, which are still going strong! I took along my trusty Lulu Guinness lips clutch for a pop of colour!
Reception – Sunday night
The instructions for the reception, the big finale, were “think black tie – go glam”… now those instructions I had no trouble with! I wore a bargain ASOS dress, that looks way more expensive that it was. I also have it in white, but I thought for the evening’s decor and theme, Art Deco London, the black would be better, as I last wore it at a Claridge’s Christmas party. You may have also seen it on the wonderful Rebecca as well. Great minds think alike and all that!
I accessorised with a box clutch (a fiver in an Oasis sale years ago, and until now, unused, due to its rather unuseful size!) pewter peep toe heels from the Ted Baker sale, also years old but dead comfy, some Swarovski earrings which were a 30th birthday present, a super-bling chunky bracelet – also a 30th birthday present – and again some bangles from India, given away as favours at the Sangeet/Mehndi party.
On Monday I wore pyjamas, lots of Sudocrem and Vaseline on all my sequin chafe and allergic flare ups from all the safety pins and soft, soft socks on my dance-weary feet.
I can’t publish photos of the bride without her permission, but rest assured, no matter what effort we put in, we paled in comparison to how stunningly breathtaking she was. Her outfits (designed bespoke to match each venue, theme and setting), accessories and make up had my jaw on the floor.
When she’s back from her well-deserved honeymoon, perhaps I’ll convince her to give you a sneaky peek.
How do you plan for wedding outfits? Or is it just me that’s this bonkers about planning?
ASOS maternity strapless dress, £18, worn with silver birkenstocks and silver Zatchel, aviators and Christy’s Nimbin hat
A couple of weeks ago we went to Italy for our friends wedding. I’ll share the travel aspect soon but I realised recently that I haven’t shared much in the way of what I have been wearing maternity-wise. Frankly, this has been due to the fact that we have been so busy in the house, painting, DIYing and running to places like B&Q and IKEA, that there hasn’t been much int he way of dressing up. However, on holiday I got to wear a few new pieces that I thought I’d share today.
In summer, I think strapless styles are a must as I can’t stand tan lines, even if they are inadvertently picked up whilst sight seeing. Unsurprisingly given the amble bust that arrived with pregnancy for me, strapless maternity styles are few and far between, but I love this Sea shell print white dress from ASOS. Unfortunately it’s no longer available but this similar style is.
Everyone needs a maternity maxi and this Striped GAP maxi is super comfy and wasn’t expensive. The only downside is that a strapless bra is required, due to the racer back straps. It’s currently on sale too.
For the wedding, I decided I’d be too hot and bothered in something clingy (like the body-con style I wore at 28 weeks to another wedding.) I had spied this Seraphine Maxi and wanted to buy it for general wear in summer, but realised the luxe jersey draping and elegant front knot were suitable for a summer wedding and I felt a million dollars in it. I wore it again this weekend at the black tie do I went to and loved it again.
Lastly, and slightly oddly, I’ve been back into some of my ‘normal’ clothes! You might remember this favourite Whistles dress of mine (seen here and here before.) – Now that my bump has overtaken my boobs, looser t-shirt and shift style dresses that I love but were super unflattering hanging straight down from my larger chest are now comfortable and fashionable, still showing the bump!
Obviously, I know this is all very warm weather appropriate, but I thought it was time for a bit of maternity outfit inspiration!
This year I have had 3 weddings to attend, 1 in March and 2 in May. I thought for the first one I would fit regular clothes (at 22 weeks) but looked dreadful in most, didn’t fit the things I thought I would and fortunately had popped a bump decent enough to show off. I ended up looking at maternity styles and opting for this bright pink asymmetrical dress from Isabella Oliver which I have now worn twice, again just over a week ago at 28 weeks, when we remembered to take some pictures.
Back in March I toned down the bright summery shade by teaming it with a black fascinator, clutch and heels but for this weekend, I wanted something fabulous (it was a rather glamorous affair!) and summery. I borrowed the clutch and fascinator that my mum wore at my wedding and teamed it with crazy purple sequinned heels and a vintage look beaded jacket (not shown, see here,) for an eclectic look.
The dress is £115 but I bought it with 15% off and intend to wear it for another wedding yet, so I’m happy I will have got reasonable wear out of it. I am very impressed with Isabella Oliver so far too. The jersey is thick and luxe-feeling and their service is great – items invariably arrive after only a day or two and packaged beautifully. I imagine this would pull down quite easily for breast feeding post-baby too.
One of the hardest things about being pregnant has been trying to retain a feeling of being fashionable. So many maternity styles are either standard (i.e. stripes or tunic tops,) or not my style at all (empire line swingy or full dresses,) that it’s hard not to feel that you have lost all of your personal style. I was pretty excited to find these trousers and snapped them up for my birthday dinner, to make up a spring-appropriate pale and interesting outfit.
I know a lot of people don’t want to splash out on maternity clothes but I think it’s worth it. You wear the items you buy in much heavier rotation when pregnant as there’s nothing else you can wear. Plus I want to enjoy this amazing period of my life rather than feeling rubbish about myself because I don’t feel good. It’s worth thinking ahead too, I’ll be wearing these for a few months after baby arrives I imagine, with their comfy elastic waistband and a few months of summer yet to go.
Recently, I’ve seen a real trend for Aztec prints and patterns on the high street and I really love it. You all know I’m a sucker for a print, but I also love a drapey knit to cocoon myself in and so when I saw this Aztec Cape I was sold.
When I read all the feedback on Friday about fashion posts, a few of you mentioned missing seeing what various items look like on me, a real person, not a model. I haven’t done an outfit post for a while for various reasons, but it made me think it was time to bite the bullet and get them going again. I wanted to wear this as soon as I bought it so immediately dragged Pete into the garden to snap it and share with you all.
Aztec Cape, Warehouse // Jersey Top, M&S (old) // Skinny Jeans, New Look // Belt, GAP (old) // Boots, Office (old)
It’s an absolute steal at £30 and perfect for layering on in colder weather over a jersey top as I’m wearing it here or a blouse or shirt. I even think a heavier polo neck (making a comeback this year) would work in colder weather. I also think it’s a great transitional piece if you’re pregnant or post-baby and wanting something to wrap around a bump or tummy.
I hope you like it readers, and enjoy the return of What to Wear
Last weekend was Jessica’s wedding and I missed sharing a friday frock with you all as I was running around like a headless chicken, picking up last minute items, decorating the marquee, practicing my walk down the aisle and preening Jess, (In another life I should have been a nail technician…) I hope I can make it up to you all today by sharing my outfit.
Fortunately Jess and I agreed that something grown up and elegant was what she wanted her bridesmaids in. All three of us are married ladies (and two are mummies,) so it seemed more appropriate to look for a thoroughly grown up dress. We’re all pretty different shapes and sizes too so it needed to be flattering for everyone (the usual bridesmaids issue,) and I was really hoping for comfortable, for eating and dancing.
In the end, once Jess decided on peach as her colour scheme, I spotted this. Luckily we all loved it, including Jess, as it was the first and the last dress I saw in an appropriate shade and style all summer. I ended up accessorising with a beaded sparkling headband, crystal deco style earrings, a matching bag and a grey enamel floral cuff that I can’t find a picture of online anywhere. Unusually, I went for sandals, as a full shoe wouldn’t have been appropriate with the dress and managed to keep my almost 5 inch heels on all night.
When Jess is back from honeymoon I’ll share all the details – I can’t wait. But for now, you can see a sneak peek of the wedding on Julia’s blog. I hope you liked it – I loved every minute.
There are a few things that I think everybody needs in their wardrobe. Items you will come back to time after time and save you from any sartorial dilemma. A great go-everywhere dress would be one of them, a pair of killer animal print heels and a black leather jacket but right up there on the list is a special white top.
I bought this one before my honeymoon and have worn it countless times since. It’s simple with just enough detail to elevate it slightly from a plain shell top and works equally well with a pair of jeans, as a statement skirt.
The reason it’s a wardrobe saver however is that it rescues so many other items that might otherwise never see the light of day. Being neutral it can be worn with any colour, and always works with those new printed trousers, or that bright skirt that you don’t have anything else to go with. Even better, if you have an interview, throw on a jacket and it looks polished too.
Having been on the look out for a replacement for a while, I spotted this one in Topshop a few weeks back and snapped it up. At a mere £40, the beading looks Jenny Packham worthy and the back detail is interesting without being overtly sexy. The only problem I had was finding a bra to work with it, and I ended up going for a multiway from M&S that worn strapless, had an adaptor that wound the back strap around my waist under the cutout back.
This one doesn’t work that well tucked in, hence me leaving it out, (because of the cut out,) but I wasn’t going to leave it there just for that reason. It’s going to be a real wardrobe workhorse and I’m sure you’ll be seeing a lot more of it here.
Have you got a favourite top that you wear again and again?
*Unfortunately this top is no longer available online, but if you happen to be pregnant – the maternity version is still around and a good investment I think to take you right through to the Christmas season, if you have that long to go!
You might have noticed we’re having a bit of a holiday theme this week as I’m currently in Cornwall enjoying the sea views. Today I wanted to share something that made me ridiculously happy, the perfect summer short. Like many of my outfit posts, I’m not claiming that this is revolutionary or super stylish, but it’s been a good few years since I have found a pair of shorts that feel flattering, are just the right length and really comfortable so I thought you guys might be interested.
Of course, they’re from good old Gap and actually a touch longer than they appear on me, as I have turned them up an inch. I do have some denim cut offs but they are in the realms of cheek skimming which is not a look I would sport anywhere other than in my own garden, or perhaps on holiday far far away. I really dislike the very top part of my legs and whilst I have slimmed them down a bit and toned up (courtesy of the 30 day shred) I still prefer them well covered. These shorts are the perfect length to show off enough leg that it’s flattering, and no more!
There are a ton of colours available, although you might have to track them down online (or as I did, in the GAP outlet – These cost me just £10) and I was also pretty pleased to finally add some mint to my wardrobe. I love mint but it doesn’t love me and looks pretty bad next to my face. Here’s a top tip if you have a similar shade predicament – wear it on your bottom half and away from your face, it’s much more flattering.
The shorts are also stretchy and give a little for a slouchy fit with no unattractive digging in when you sit down. Run, don’t walk reader, I hope you can track some down!