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

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Pregnancy Style 101 - In the Hood

It is my pleasure and honour to be invited into the homes and wardrobes of hundreds of women.

One pearl of wisdom I have picked up over the years of working in womanhood has been that when you have a baby you need a waterproof coat with a hood and I quote 
"for when you are out with the pram." 

For a while I did question this wisdom until I realised you can't manoeuvre a pram and an umbrella, well, you can but not easily, hence the waterproof coat with the hood. So not only have I added more flats and trainers to my wardrobe, the floor length 80's wool camel coat I call my winter coat will only be let out occasionally later this year.

In January I actually looked on the Go Outdoors website for such a coat, I even ventured into a Milletts for wardrobes sake. I spun around on my heel and left as soon as I'd arrived; the camping gear looked too menacing. On a cursory glance of the Zara website I spotted my coat. It said "WATER REPELLENT" on the item description. That was it, I was SOLD "get your coat, love, you're coming home with me," I thought. I couldn't stop thinking about said coat and if I can't stop thinking about an item of clothing that is a sure fire sign I need to buy it. I went into Zara a week later and unearthed the coat from amidst the throng of sale shoppers. I tried it on, loved it, paid for it, cut the tags off and wore it home! Like an excited kid! If you fancy purchasing one for yourself click here to be transported.

The hood is pretty frickin' EPIC. And clearly got the better of me here. Silver metallic jumper from Topshop, leather jacket old, GAP trainers, ASOS socks.
The coat is khaki, not poo brown as my photos suggest.

It has 2 deep pockets which are just the right height kind of beneath my burgeoning chest but above the hips. It's warm. Sleeping bag warm. And yes, waterproof. I wear it ALL THE TIME. I even took it out for a Wagamama's to meet my German friend Stefan, that's just the kind of classy, knackered looking lady I am.

That's Stefan hugging a tired, pregnant lady

Now this isn't my first foray into waterproof 'sensible' coats. I ordered a Parka London parka a few years ago and just couldn't find one to fit. I have ogled the Woolrich ones many a time but never committed to a purchase. So Zara it was. I'm sad that I'll have to retire the coat as the weather heats up (unless I want to sweat my way through the summer) but looking forward to the first hints of autumn when I'll dig it out again and head out, this time with a baby in tow.

Til next time...x

The Wardrobe Angel

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Pregnancy Style 101 - a square cut top for the WIN!

So I'm 19 weeks pregnant and find myself amongst esteemed ladies also "with child" - maybe Beyonce wants to come to NCT classes with me? I'm pretty chuffed as I feel I've hit my pregnancy style stride: black skinny maternity jeans, t-shirt or top and a jacket. Sitting here right now I'm wearing a vintage silk Escada blouse and my trusty Helmut jacket, paired with - correct! Topshop maternity skinny jeans!

Sleeve me up Scotty!

I had a business function to attend last week: my dear friend Sue Hanson who was launching her new business Your Lamplighter and I wanted to be there in full support. Pre-pregnancy there would have been a pencil skirt and stiletto heels involved and I certainly wouldn't have worn jeans. I have only ever done a client appointment in jeans once and felt too casual so going to a swish business launch at The Mansion House in jeans filled me with trepidation. However a square cut Topshop Boutique top with a faint whiff of Vivienne Westwood about it saved the day. It's 100% cotton and fairly rigid but the beauty of it is in the side vents - they give the fabric more room to breathe around the lower torso which is where Baby Brown is starting to show now. The top also has epic sleeves which I tucked out of my Topshop longline blazer in pearly dazzling white. I felt great in the outfit and in a white blazer and shoes I really stood out in the room - not a bad situation to be in at a business event!

Side vent-tastic. A great tip to get more wear out of your clothes if you have gained some weight on your hips and your tops won't fit is to get some side vents put in. You gain so much room!

Feeling nautical. Ahoy there!

Let me tell you, I am one tired, pregnant lady and have energy for about 3 hours out of 24 a day so trekking over to Roundhay in Leeds on a Wednesday evening took a herculean amount of effort. I left promptly as the event ended and hot footed it bed to be awoken at 6am by Baby Brown making their presence felt for the first time. That natural alarm clock made my week.

Til next time.....x

The Wardrobe Angel