Style is an evolving, ever changing representation of where we are in life and how we feel inside. The impermanence of style is where the excitement and interest lays; what is next, who am I today and who will I be tomorrow? These questions are what I find fascinating about fashion.
I recently wrote a piece discussing the ways in which becoming a mum changed my style. I think it has shifted once again. As my son enters his last term at pre-school, we have settled into a different phase and are preparing for full time schooling next year which will completely change my lifestyle as well as how I dress. I will be moving from working 2-3 days to going hard on my business 5 days a week and suddenly find myself with lots of extra hours. This will mean more meetings, more styling clients and more opportunities to collaborate on projects which I am so excited about. It will also mean more effort and less being at home which will inevitably change the way I dress.
Fighting The Conservative Call
I am not conservative in any way, shape or form. Just that word makes my skin crawl. At heart, I am a big hippie/tom-boy/kid, chasing the moment and looking for ways to dodge around what might be expected of me. But I have felt the pressure, often coming from myself, to tone it all down now that I am a mum. I have been known to change my outfit for school pick up so my shorts are not too short, so my outfit says "respectable", so I appear more serious than I actually am and to try to present myself as a legitimate mother (as if an outfit has anything to do with that, oh how silly it all sounds!). Logically, I think that is completely messed up but I struggle with it most days. School pick up is probably the only time I actually feel conflicted in this way. I am still waiting for the day I feel like a real mum, my son is almost 5, surely it has to happen soon hah.
I love nothing more than my role as mummy to my little boy but I never woke up and felt like I had it all figured out, I never felt like an actual mum. So within me, most days, there is a battle happening between who I am and the pressure to be a little more conservative. It drives me NUTS! Recently I have been pushing myself to shake this notion of dressing older than I am or proving I am one thing rather than another. Lately, the real me has been winning more often that not. I spoke to another mum recently who related to this completely - she tones her style down to appear more "mumsy" for school drop off and pick up and while we could both admit how ridiculous it is, she says she feels pressured to do so. I might have to re-watch Bad Moms again or make an effort to surround myself with mums who I relate to, mums who embrace the idea of remaining who you are, young at heart, a little wild and still free - no ones slave, no ones house wife, just a loving, fun mum who is still the same person she always was. We don't need to lose ourselves.
I Still Live In Gym Clothes But I'm Working On It
I have been making more effort to ditch the gym clothes after my workout or after walking my son to school because after a while it becomes a hazzy space where I almost forget what normal clothes I actually like. When it comes to dressing up, it takes more thought than it once did because I don't reach for my "good" pieces every morning. Working from home, I could live in my active wear all day if I wanted to and often I do but I miss getting dressed for the day ahead the way I once did. Don't get me wrong, I love gym clothes and by love them I mean I have drawers full and a PE Nation or Nike sale gets me all kinds of excited. But I still want to stay in touch with my creative, vintage loving self and am making a conscious effort towards this each day.
Feeling Like A Fish Out Of water
I have lived in many different cities and the ones I love the most are the ones I feel the most free to be me. That sounds quite obvious but it is amazing how easy it is to miss this, to lose touch with that feeling. It's a great test to ask yourself, in any time and place, does this fit? Am I bouncing with confidence, am I embodying my real self? Whenever I am at the beach, on the road, kicking back with my friends or my little family, something clicks and I breath a sigh of relief. It feels like me to wear easy, relaxed clothing. It feels like me to be a bit of a tom boy, to strip it all back. I often feel a little tightly bound here, a little misunderstood. It is difficult to exist in a place where this ease is tested. Having said that, my son has helped me to live in the moment and an inner confidence has developed from that. So, while I often feel like I don't belong here, I also embrace living here for what it is and compartmentalize my life into the week and weekend - the career me and the coast me. No one is just one thing. I am becoming more comfortable with this notion after feeling so torn for so long.
Giving Zero F's
I am bored of princess, bored of prissy. You can keep your squeaky clean image, flawless face, appropriate words and acceptable behavior. It is utterly boring to me. I adore the rebels, the wild ones, the silly ones, the ones with something to say. Every day I care less and less for bland, for palatable. It is better to be loved for you are by the few who completely understand you than be adored by the many who actually don't know the real you at all.
So that is where I am at as a mum. I am 32 next year but I still feel like I am in my twenties in many ways, in fact I often still feel like the naively ballsy girl who decided the day she turned 18 she would pack all her belongings in her crappy little car, drive for 14 hours to move to the Gold Coast without knowing a soul. I still feel like the girl who dreamed of being an actress in Hollywood (hah, pretty sure that ship has sailed, right?), I still feel like the girl who is learning as she goes, the girl who harbors a secret plan to one day be a stand up comedian, the girl who doesn't want the picket fence and rat race. I still feel like the girl who is ridiculously silly, passionate, adventurous and wildly in love with life, annoyingly positive and bubbly. I still feel like the girl who took risks and shunned the safe path, often into peril and often straight into disaster, the girl who never wanted life to be easy.
On the flip side I am much calmer, softer, settled. I have grown into my life as a mum in away that has been absolute magic for me - the most fulfilling journey, more so than I could have ever imagined. Becoming a mum was the greatest thing that ever happened to me and I have never been so abundantly happy and content but I refuse to buy into the notion of changing the person underneath to fit some societal expectation. Why should we have to act, speak, live and dress differently just because we are responsible for raising a tiny little human? They need love, not a parent in a twinset and a pair of pearls. To all the mums out there who might relate, I say keep it real, stay a little wild and continue to be you. Break the mold, we need a little more crazy, a bit more honest and most of all, a lot more fun.