Let me just preface this with the fact that I’ve never 100% felt confident about my style. Thankfully I grew up as a teenager in the era where “Sweater Shop jumpers” were actually a thing. But I took it to the next level and wore them all year round. I was horribly scrawny as a kid, so I did my best to cover up as much as possible… Please note that wearing 15 pairs of black tights will not make your legs look thicker!
I probably only found my “style calling” when I wore business suits and tailored work attire all day. This I felt comfortable in. It was easy to pair up, you could go from day to night in it and ultimately it was a smart safe wardrobe. I didn’t roll onto the supermarket from the office or even nursery runs thinking “gosh, I look awful”… Totally safe for every eventuality!
Now that I work from home, I have the ultimate pleasure of not having to wear anything other than loungewear (AKA jammies!) and when it does come to the school run I’m left reaching for jeans and jumper look. Well in winter in the North East of Scotland, that tends to really be jeans and jacket… No one can see the jumper! Dare I say also, that I have one of those faces that really don’t suit the “no make up look” either. Some people can pull off the hair up, plain face and wearing a bin bag look… I don’t posses that skill at all! So I tend to feel really conscious and I really need the outfit to back me up.
If age has taught me one thing, it’s that I know what is achievable for me. Before I would scour instagram and pinterest and fall in love with everything, but a lot of it was “high maintenance”… By that I mean I would need a week’s notice to build up the self tan, wax and paint toe nails. So, I now fully know exactly what I’m after… Something easy to wear, easy to interchange with other pieces and doesn’t require an unrealistic amount of preening before hand.
With that in mind I am 100% looking to Jess Soothill, Kerri-Ann Hargreaves and Emma Martin as my style influences during this over haul. I think they each possess a natural flare for different styles and occasions, but all compliment each other and can pull together to cover my week to week eventualities of school runs, meetings and the once in a blue moon night out.
Jess Soothill caught my eye, because she has managed to take my staple jeans and jumper, but executes it in a way that just hits the nail on the head for me. I asked her what she looks for in clothing pieces as a busy mum:
“My heroes are jeans, sweaters and trainers, I look for comfort first but also stylish too. The challenge is to find the perfect balance between the two.”
Kerri-Ann always looks bang on trend and someone who definitely knows what she like and what works well for her. Anyone who can rock a pleated skirt to the school drop has style goals in abundance! I aksed her how she goes about putting together an “easy” outfit (AKA one that doesn’t need 10 hrs of preening):
“By having a few key simple pieces that always make me feel comfortable yet stylish. Ones that are mood boosting and guaranteed to make me smile and make me feel like I’m walking through the set of Sex & The City. A girl can dream right.
In all seriousness, each season I try to have 3 or 4 key pieces which I can turn to should I need to put an outfit together quick smart. For me that’s a pleated skirt, a pair of trainers and an over the shoulder bag to allow my hands to be free for holding a small person.”
Emma Martin does everyday just to perfection. Whether it’s a dress, jeans or a skirt, she has an enviable way of piecing an outfit together that ticks both the easy and the interchangable box. I asked Emma what her “must have” clothing pieces were:
“I’d say there are four key clothing pieces that I base my wardrobe around. Firstly, good denim. When you have the perfect pair of jeans I feel like you’re pretty much set for most occasions. I love Topshop denim for affordability, fit and on-trend styles. Next up, I’m a huge advocate of an everyday accessory. Jewellery that you can wear on the school run, out for dinner and to more special events too, is always a winner in my book. My go-tos are Missoma and Monica Vinader for pretty options. I think you can get away with most things underneath (even pjs! 😉 ) if you have a good coat and, living where we do, it often gets the most air time out of any of the other pieces in my wardrobe. It doesn’t have to be expensive either, I’ve recently picked up an amazing khaki green one from Primark! Lastly, ‘go with everything’ footwear. I’m a huge fan of black loafers (and have an amazing Gucci-esque copy from ASOS!) They work as well with cropped jeans as they do with skirts and dresses, and are super comfortable for racing after children too!”
So, watch this space as I try my hardest to bear my style guru’s advice in mind as I enter the rather daunting wardrobe of mine… Maybe this Cinderella shall go to the school run afterall!