I've realised I wear a subtle variation on the same clothes every day; it's my 'mummy look', you could say. Skinny jeans, Converse-type trainers and a t-shirt.
I've had a uniform before. Working in an office in Wellington, it wasn't long before I found myself dressing in black from head to toe, just like most of my colleagues. It suited the city, I felt, and black certainly dominated the clothing shops in the CBD.
Yet outside the office, I'd try to be more adventurous. I experimented with different looks and new trends, I wore colour, and spent a bit of time putting together interesting outfits to wear at the weekends.
Things have changed dramatically since then. I now pull on a pair of jeans every morning and pair them with a t-shirt and cardigan. I've bought myself a floral print bomber jacket to bring my look up to date, but it's hardly an exciting fashion statement. Neither are the patterned trainer-style flat shoes I slip my feet into each day.
It's taken a bit of time, but I've decided I like my new look. It's the first time I've worn clothes day in and day out that are really, truly, comfortable. They're all good quality and cut well, and they're definitely what you would call safe. They look good and wash easily. And with a baby and a toddler to run around after, this is the stuff that's important. I don't want to be rearranging a low-cut top or hitching up hipster jeans all day. They also need to be practical and things I don't mind getting splashed with mud or paint or baby sick.
I haven't had much money to buy lots of clothes now that my maternity clothes are far too big, but I have spent a little on a few pieces that I can mix and match to wear together. I have three pairs of jeans: two are different shades of blue and one pair is red. They're all the same style because I know it's a look I like and it works for me. (And the high waist is necessary after two children!)
My t-shirts and jumpers all match all three jeans options, and my trainers and jacket all work equally well together too. When I'm rushing around in the morning trying to get the kids fed and dressed before my toddler's daycare drop-off, I don't have time to spend on sorting out an outfit for myself or trying on different combinations of things. With my wardrobe as it is now, it doesn't matter that I'm time poor. Everything works together.
I've not completely given up on fashion. I still love it and I long for the day when it is practical for me to be more experimental with my look again. For now though, I make do with wearing a statement scarf and this helps add a bit of interest to what I'm wearing. So does the odd bit of bling I wear. (I might have given up on fancy clothes but I'm never giving up my bling.)
I don't think I'm being a lazy dresser by choosing to wear the clothes that I put on each day. I still want to look good - I just also want to wear clothes which are practical.
The only thing I do really miss each day, however, is wearing heels. I used to wear heels all the time, but now putting them on is a rare occasion; they just aren't practical for the park, the long muddy walks and the running around I do each day. I never thought I'd become a mum who lived in flats. I guess it's just another one of the surprises that motherhood brought my way, and another one I'm more than happy to accept.
- © Fairfax NZ News