I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but sometime when I was pregnant with G I lost interest in my appearance. Maybe it was the massive weight gain and growing bump that forced me out of my clothes and into unflattering maternity gear. Maybe it was the horrendous morning sickness that had me dashing off to the ladies every half an hour. Rather than getting up to wash and blow dry my hair I pulled it into a ponytail and enjoyed an extra twenty minutes sleep. My make up bag was shoved in a draw. I felt awful, I wasn’t bothered that I looked awful too.
When G was born I was very overweight. I continued to wear my maternity clothes. I didn’t care. I was too tired to care, too busy with my new baby. If I was going somewhere special I’d pop a little mascara on. I bought a few new tops. My mummy-drobe consisted of practical clothing I could pull on in a hurry. Jeans, shorts, tee-shirts.
I wasn’t suffering from low self esteem. Or at least I didn’t think I was. I simply had other priorities. Sometimes I’d see a beautifully dressed and fully made up ‘yummy mummy’ and wonder where on earth she found the time.
Years passed. I lost weight. I got new clothes, but on the whole I chose comfort and sensible. Breastfeeding meant I needed easy access to my boobs. Baby wearing meant supportive shoes. Sometimes I’d see myself in the mirror and look away. I told myself it didn’t matter how I looked.
When I finally cracked and joined Twitter earlier in the year I stumbled across fashion and style bloggers like Kimbalikes, Fox in Flats, Styling You & Redcliffe style. I clicked the links, I looked at the pictures. It felt voyeuristic and intimidating, I didn’t think I belonged there. I didn’t think it applied to me. I made jokey comments. I clicked away.
But blogging is a funny business. Click, click, click. A link here. A link there. Little seeds were sewn.
It started with the Fox in Flats Redlipstick dare. I wore my lippy and pouted for selfies, tagging my way in to the challenge. I kept looking at the photos, or catching myself in the mirror thinking "Hey! I scrub up ok!". Over the course of the dare I started making a little more effort. I put on a dress. I blow dried my hair. My children eyed me with suspicion.
It was the beautiful Kimba who told me about Frocktober (which is a challenge to raise money and awareness for Ovarian Cancer). When I say ‘told me’ I mean ‘I read about it on her blog’. Wear a dress every day for a month? My first instinct was to make a joke. But the more I thought about it the more I wanted in.
Frocking up has given me a massive confidence boost. It’s inspired me to experiment a little, to dig out my make up bag, to file my nails and… er… shave my legs…
I’ve started looking a little more like my old self… (not that my old self ever wore a little black dress to do the weekly grocery shop… ) and I feel good!
If you would like to find out more about Frocktober or sponsor me please click here.