It’s safe to say that my sense of style was expelled, and presumably disposed of, alongside my placenta.
It was probably incinerated, or else is sat rotting in a landfill somewhere in a yellow bag with a black skull on it. (Funnily enough, something I’d now wear, and an indication of how fashion lost I am).
Since the Small People came along I have struggled to get into my mum-style groove.
Not that pre-kid me was all that groovy either – but she most definitely wore less yoga pants and black leggings. Also, less shapeless cheap tops with easy boob access – the ones I swore I’d shrink out of when, you know, I stopped breast feeding lost all the baby weight. LOL!
I’ve basically got no idea what suits me anymore – largely because my boobs, waist and stomach are either not where I left them, missing in action, or generally migrating south.
Plus I don’t have the time or inclination to shop anywhere outside of Tesco, and I dress each day at random from a disorganised pile of unsorted, un-ironed washing that never makes it back into my wardrobe.
The 5 year old has a better (admittedly eclectic) sense of style than I do.
But I have recently discovered online a phenomenon that I feel sure will lift me out if my style rut and propel me into ultimate yummy mummy-dom!
And I haven’t just discovered it – I’ve become obsessed by it. It’s basically turned into my new hobby, and I’m pretty sure it’s why the whole internet was invented. You heard me, lolcats! Move on over.
It’s called Mummy and Me,,. (or Mommy and Me, because it started in America, OBVIOUSLY) and it’s either super damn cute or super bollickingly awful – I can no longer trust myself to tell which.
It preys on your womb-maddened hormones, your sleep-deprivation, your night-feed surfing addiction, your post-partum identity crisis – and your maternity leave budget.
It’s cheap, cheerful, and EASY, because you don’t have to do any thinking – you just wear exactly the same as your kids! Amazeballs, right?
So let’s explore this brave new world of wearable opportunity! We’ll ease ourselves in with the leggings.
Fed up of black? Shows up the milk spit, toothpaste and snot, amiright? If they’re anything like mine they’re also getting bobbly and/or threadbare and losing some of the elasticity. Invest in some funky patterned numbers! Perfect for the British summer! And available for your mini-me too. What is not to like?
I am genuinely tempted by these….
Already got semi-ironic family Christmas jumpers? Add in the leggings! You know it makes sense! No one else was getting the irony, anyway! (Hats optional).
Now you’ve wet your feet, why not dive in and branch out into bolder prints?
Ok, we may have gone over-patterned, now. Maybe. I’m not sure.
I do know my kids would adore and admire the hearts, and I basically need to take the compliments where I can get them these days.
It’s fine to dress like a children’s TV presenter to please your smalls, right? I mean Timmy Mallet at least had A style, which is more than I have. I say go for it. Who knows? You might break out into spontaneous family yoga!
Okay, it’s time to step away from the leggings and broaden (literally) our trouser horizons. How about these?
I love the boho style, and they’d be nice and cool for summer (give or take the possibility of thigh chafing). Could even be slimming if high-waisted enough? I’d team with a black vest, and some massive sunglasses that make me look like a fly. (I don’t actually like these, btw, but they seem to have become very popular and I think the scale will throw my vest-exposed upper arms into some sort of proportion).
Also, obvs, this is an unmissable opportunity to teach your smalls the MC Hammer running man dance, and sing the one line of ‘Can’t touch this’ you can remember! Bonus!
Let’s stay with boho, but add in a modern pattern twist. I really, really want these sorts of things to work on me. It’s the sort of voluminous garment I always convince myself will skim and disguise my bumps and make me appear smaller than I actually am.
In reality I just look like a sack of potatoes. A deluded, spotty/stripey, sack of potatoes.
The only people who can successfully pull off the voluminous style are wafer thin people, who can basically pull off tight stuff too, which seems terribly unfair.
Sadly, not even the second model kid is looking convinced by this one. That’s a ‘What the fuck, ma?’ face if ever I saw one.
Now this next one is more like it! I can see me strutting this one along a sunny promenade/plaza somewhere European – perhaps with an oversized sun hat and almost definitely with a sangria. Ole! (Note to self: may not look quite so vacation-chic in South Devon).
I love the empire line, and the Big Small would look cute beyond words in a maxi! It just needs a cropped denim jacket and bangles (neither of which I own).
Let’s stay on the beach! How about this super sunny and cool cotton* number? Although I’m worried Mommy and Me fashion is overly obsessed with pineapples…
*Warning. At £10.99 may not be ***actual*** cotton.
Don’t worry if you’re a Dad, or have a boy-child! Mummy and Me have thought of that too…
Three words for you, now. Tassle. Hawaiian. Shorts. With lace up gladiator sandals! Nuff said.
Apart from, how fucking cute is that kid??? My uterus is throbbing. Damn you, manipulative Mummy and Me people!!! You are playing on my hormones, and affecting my shit-dar – which is already on the blink.
Perhaps over leggings??
Don’t let your Mummy and Me commitment falter in the pool, friends! They’ve got you covered (more or less) there too… Channel your inner Ariel with this mermaid one piece, or go 50s Mickey Mouse with this polka dot, high-rise bow bikini…
Now there are some people out there who think middle aged women shouldn’t be wearing leopard print, or that dressing small girls in leopard print is ‘chavvy’. I am not of their number, and frankly they take their elitist fashion/class shite and bugger off.
I personally am at one with my inner Bet Lynch! I reckon this one is all about the styling. I’m going with some gladiator sandals, and a loose fitting navy blue blazer. Maybe glam it up with hair in a smooth and elegant chignon. (Don’t actually know what one of these is and have almost certainly never achieved one, but I’m sure there is a YouTube tutorial).
Natural make-up, methinks (something I DO achieve, daily, by the novel means of not putting any on. YouTube tutorial to follow).
Oh Mummy and Me, you may have lost me on this next one – desperate though I am to cleave to the horror/wonder of your genius.
I’m prepared to support leopard print, but I draw the line at this amount of pink jersey on anyone over the age of 6. Going on to decorate it with doily lace adds insult to injury, and is the haberdashery equivalent of polishing a turd.
It’s so overly girly you have to wonder what it’s trying to make up for. I imagine it’s what an alien trying to pass as female would pick to wear after ten minutes internet research on ‘girly clothing.’ It’s also probably not going to do the mummy lumps any favours. (Possibly something you don’t have to worry about if you’re extraterrestrial, so long as it hides your tentacles).
I feel qualified to attack this monstrosity mostly because I ALREADY OWN IT – admittedly in pajama form. In my defense, it was the only summer option available in size 18 from Abbeydale Road Tesco about a week after the Small Small was born. It includes labia-garroting maternity shorts, which also act as a rudimentary contraceptive due to their penis deflating qualities –
on second thoughts, this one may be worth reconsidering! There’s only so many times a girl can have a headache or be on her period, after all.
Look, I think we’ve reached rock bottom now. It can’t get worse than that.
Okay, my bad. I hadn’t considered what would happen if you added in turquoise lace. But, really, who would do this???? God, my eyes. It burns. Next please.
WTF, Mummy and Me? Just because you’re doing Mum and Daughter fashion doesn’t mean it’s okay to dress them both in romper suits!
Nope, nope, nopity nope. Also not okay to dress them in top to toe cartoon characters. That’s taking the children’s TV presenter thing too far, even for me.
Sweet Jesus, they couldn’t even get the models to put these pinstripe dungarees on.
Leaf it out, Mummy and Me! Don’t make me find another internet window-shopping hobby!
NO MORE PINEAPPLES.
Now you’re just being silly.
Mummy and Me, I am relying on you to save me from myself! To end my style drought! Don’t desert me in the fashion desert now!
Okay, this is actually better!
I mean, why the hell not? Babies get to have their professional first photo shoots, and it’s all tutus and headbands, wicker baskets and sheepskin rugs.
Don’t let the selfish little half-pint prima donna take all the limelight!
You pushed her out, the least you should get is your own bloody tutu and chance to strut your mum-stuff on camera! You work it, girl. Go full-on Sarah-Jessica-Parker-Carrie-Bradshaw! In fact, demand your own fucking cake smash. You deserve it.
We’re back on track, folks! Mummy and Me has redeemed itself!
Got more than one daughter? No problem! Many kid sizes are available, so you can ALL dress the same! And then go for long woodland walks, apparently.
The kid-matching outfits is something I swore I’d never do to my kids, having grown up with an older sister and being forced to wear the same outfits. (Only I got to wear them twice as I also got the hand-me-down. Grrrr).
Like many of my pre-kid parenting goals, however, my pledge to spare my children this particular indignity has gone and truly out the window. (Hence I’m now considering compounding the indignity by joining in).
It’s just soooooooo cute having a Big Small and Small Small trundling around being match-twins!!! Awwww. (Yes, I sort of hate myself, but the kids broke me, so they’ve got no one to blame. I never did mushy ga-ga cutesy shit until they came along).
Look, fuck it, if you’re going to escalate the matching thing to include yourself, why not go the whole hog? Get ALL of the pineapple shit for Mum, Dad, and every child! In fact, don’t stop at just immediate family members! Invite aunties, uncles and random members of the public to join your fashion cult!
I call this approach the everyday bridesmaid look. Check out that floral and stripe combo! That’s pattern clashing, that is, and I’m pretty sure it was a trend thing in like, 2012. That’s close enough for me.
I could totally pull this off. I’m thinking Dr Martin black boots and sea salt spary messy hair. Who’s with me????
LOVE LOVE LOVE this one. American Beauty meets Laura Ashley.
Perfect for a wedding! Red fascinators for all! Nude sandals – otherwise you’ll go over board on the co-ordination, AND WE WOULDN’T WANT THAT, WOULD WE? [Heavy irony alert].
Right this is the last one, I promise. (I think I may have an actual addiction – send help).
I’m not entirely sure what the rules of acceptability and taste are around putting small children in faux leather/pvc. But they do come with their own baby powder (which I’m told can help you shimmy into your chosen item) so I think that tells us that… Nope, lost it.
I’m distracted by how deeply, deeply attracted I am to this look. If this is wrong then so help me, I don’t want to be right! I haven’t been this excited by an outfit since my Mum finally relented in 1989 and let me get a purple and green shell suit from the market. (Possibly a warning here somewhere?). It speaks to everything 80s and early 90s in me. I’m thinking Grease. I’m thinking Dynasty. I’m thinking large sweaty men with axes.
Excuse me, I may have to go and have a little lie down.
I’m back. One more! One more!
Oh my God I actually proper love this! Country/Sex in the city/cowgirl-ballerina.
Important features: no breast pockets in the shirt – a personal pet hate of mine, as they now sit a good six inches above my actual breasts. I think the skirt needs heels, and I am going to conveniently forget the fact I can’t walk more than 3 metres in anything higher than a trainer.
I’m actually going to do it – I’m ordering this beauty now, and yes, I’m getting it all three fucking sizes. Me, Big Small, and Small Small. (I can’t find the boy version for Dadonthenetheredge. Something tells me he’s not going to mind).
A tiny part of me is going to brace for the inevitable online-purchase disappointment, where it’ll turn out to be made of a flammable nylon derivative and elk pubes, 300 sizes too small, stitched in broken wishes rather than actual thread – probably by enslaved puppies.
The rest of me lives in baited-breath fashion hope. Maybe all my fashion woes are about to be turned into fashion woo-hoos!
Watch me rock this down a Endcliffe Park next weekend. If you see a trio of be-tutued and denim-shirted lovelies shouting at each other by the swings, be sure to wave hello.
And make it very, very clear that you are not in fact pointing and jeering…