Monday, 24 April 2017

Top Tips for surviving your Pregnancy Wardrobe

Even though my pregnancy wardrobe can fit in a carry-on suitcase this doesn't bother me: I'm building a baby which ultimately is bigger miracle than a wardrobe full of clothes. Here are my top tips if you are struggling with a limited pregnancy wardrobe and what to do about it:

  1. Split your wardrobe into 2 halves - maternity wear and 'other'. I have an Ikea PAX wardrobe and one half is all the things that fit, the other half is full of things that don't fit right now but can be revisited after baby is born.
  2. Don't look back in anger - your body will grow out of stuff over your 9 month pregnancy journey. FACT. When you have gone through a cycle of growth and that top that did previously work now looks like a crop top with your baby bump hanging out the bottom of it just let it go. Move it into the other side of you wardrobe and thank it for what it did for you, thank it for fitting you when you needed it to. 
  3. Edit, Edit, Edit - Getting hot in a particular dress? Feeling itchy in a top? Felt crap whilst wearing it? Even though you are pregnant you still have the right to look and feel awesome (and comfortable) in your clothes and if they don't make you feel awesome, time to move it on.
  4. Raid your clothing stashes - that suitcase of summer clothes under the bed and your husband's shirts and jumpers are now all up for grabs. I have a couple of dresses from Whistles which are usually too corporate for Wardrobe Angel work but a few months ago they came up trumps for a number of speaking gigs I was booked to do. They gave me a polished look that I felt I'd been missing since my bump popped out and I felt amazing wearing them.
  5. Don't knock a gift horse in the mouth - my sister Penny gave me a suitcase full of maternity clothes before Christmas. Were all of them to my taste? Nope. Can I style the items I do like so they match my style and personal brand? Yes. 
  6. Save what you would have spent - I think any pregnancy wardrobe boils to down money. I have certainly been loathe to buy a shed load of maternity clothes because I am growing and changing over a 9month period but with no indication of how big my bump will get at what rate. Sustainability is one of the pillars of my Wardrobe Angel business and if I'm only go to wear an item of clothing for a few weeks that doesn't fit with my ethos. HOWEVER there is life after a limited pregnancy wardrobe and I have had my head turned by lots of shiny new season goodies. In these instances instead of buying the clothes with fingers crossed I'll be able to wear them once I've birthed this human I'm growing, I have saved the money instead. When the time comes after the breast feeding and my body has re calibrated I can happily head to the shops with a fistful of cash and shop until my wardrobe is content.
  7. Stick to a colour palette - if you are investing in a maternity wardrobe then stick to 3 colours max. This means everything goes together and you give yourself more outfit options. 
  8. Just COS - My new clothing best pregnancy-friendly friend. I LOVE YOU COS THANK YOU FOR MAKING AWESOME PREGNANCY FRIENDLY CLOTHES!! Stylish tops and trousers with elasticated bump friendly waists. Buying a couple of pieces from COS last week lifted my spirits no end: I felt chic, awesome and capable when I wore the outfit to a client appointment. Pics to follow!
  9. Don't do a hatchet job on your wardrobe - Pregnancy can be a frustrating time, style wise. None of the maternity clothes you see may float your boat. But don't take it out on your other clothes. You may be armed with bin liners, tempted to rip into the pre-pregnancy clothes and send them on their merry way to the charity shop. This may even be part of the nesting instinct but avoid it if you can. You'll welcome getting back into your own jeans, your favourite tops and shoes post-pregnancy. Put the bin liners down and step away from your wardrobe because
  10. This too shall pass - It's just a phase. Yes I have found some aspects of pregnancy hard: the tiredness, the sickness, the effect it has had on my business, generally feeling like a ball of mozzarella. It ain't all sweetness and light. But clothes are just clothes and right now your body, and my body, are performing a miracle - growing a baby. 

How are you managing your pregnancy wardrobe?

Til next time...x

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Pregnancy Style 101 - Ode to The Denim Doctor

I haven't been able to stand anything pressing on my bump for the past 6 months so whilst Baby Brown has been growing I have been wearing 90's low slung jeans. The ones above are my trusty Diesel jeans from 2002 bought for £110 in the Manchester Diesel store with my second wage packet from Marks & Spencer. At the time they weren't called Boyfriend jeans but after years have passed in the fashion industry, they are now.

When they went through on the arse (the gusset to be precise!) I was mortified!! Hardly glamorous is it?! I contacted Michael The Denim Doctor with an email dripping with shame. He reassured me that was the most common area to go as it is an area of higher friction. I packed up my jeans and posted them off to him for tender loving jean shaped care. 3 weeks later they are back and I am thrilled. I have been living in my Topshop Leigh Maternity Jeans and it'll be lush to get these Diesel bad boys back into rotation. Here's the after pic:

He's done a reet good job. The mended area is a lot stiffer than the jeans themselves (it has been 'fused') but James reassured me that this will ease over time and not be so stiff in the future. No-one will be looking at my gusset so I'm not bothered what it looks like, as long as my arse isn't hanging out!

This repair cost £19.95 plus postage so £25 altogether. WORTH IT. I could easily have gone out a bought a new pair of boyfriend jeans but these have lasted 15 years and they have only needed 1 repair so cost per wear I reckon I'm gaining interest now. If you have a pair of jeans for Michael to fix or alter check out his website The Denim Doctor.

Til next time ...x
The Wardrobe Angel

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Taking care of business....and a baby

Wearing Nike High Tops from the kids section. Oh yeeeaaaaah!

A few months ago I drew out a huge brain map of all the things to consider when going on maternity leave from The Wardrobe Angel: networking memberships, tax and my accountants, my monthly column in Sew Now magazine and my radio show at Phoenix FM. Now the bump is just shy of 6 months old all this planning has come swiftly into real-life reality.

This month I stepped away from my radio show for the rest of the year. Producing, writing and presenting my show each Tuesday morning on Phoenix FM for the past year has been an absolute pleasure. I honed skills which had lay dormant since my university radio days: driving the desk, choosing the playlist, back-timing songs and writing jingles. I've even added to my skill base by learning how to use Cool Edit (yep, that's a real thing) and after having an hour long interview with a business guest each week my interviewing skills are pretty damn sharp now. As a side note I have felt extremely honoured that members of the local business community in the Leeds City Region have gotten up early and trekked over to Halifax to join me in the studio each week.


Having an actual print column YOU CAN HOLD IN YOUR HANDS in Sew Now magazine has been a dream come true this past year. Each month I have been taking the trends and translating them into ways-to-wear which has fed into the sustainable aspect of my business. I have also upskilled myself in the world of sewing, fabrics and print journalism.

This year has been chock-full of business opportunities and I am grateful for each and every email and phone call that came my way heralding the sound of my professional dreams coming true. So naturally I have felt anxious that when I take my foot off The Wardrobe Angel pedal in June that things will change. Well, of course they will - I'll be a mum and have a completely new focus and love of my life. But I take heart in women like Annie Mac who was back at work on her flagship Friday night Radio 1 show after the birth of her first child and I thank my lucky stars that I have such a wonderful network of awesome women who have answered my emails and sat face-to-face with me over a brew to re-assure me that my business will be intact when I return in 2018.

If you look closely you can see my finger marks on the mirror in this pic!

So for now I have my Wardrobe Angel pedal to the metal and I am fully booked until mid-May. Absence certainly does make the heart grow fonder for my wonderful clients!

Take care ...x