Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Out With The Old..........

So.............I've reached that point that most women who've just had a baby go through.  You know, the point where you think "who am I?" "what is my style?".  I remember going through it not long after The Monster was born and I don't think I answered either question.  My problem is I loved being pregnant.  I loved the clothes I could wear, the glow I had, everything.  Being a curvaceous girly I felt like I had a reason for being bigger than average, my growing bump hid a normally wobbly tummy and allowed me to wear tops that clung to my middle as opposed to skimming it.  I loved it.  I miss it.  I want it back!  Now, after having two children my middle is wobblier than ever.  The Bruiser is now 12 weeks old and I've lost most of the baby weight (back to my pre pregnancy weight which is still overweight) so the maternity clothes are just too big, however my old clothes are just that little bit too snug.  They fit but give that little bit of a muffin top which I hate.

My other problem is I feel stuck in a no-style rut.  Working in a secondary school (although on maternity leave) I am very conscious about wearing so-called "fast fashion" as it's so embarrassing bumping into a student who's wearing a similar outfit to you yet rocking it so much better than you.  However, I don't want to be a boring mum either.

I find myself veering towards country styles due to my love of Country Living magazine and the fact that I still dream of owning my own little cottage (like Kate Winslet's in the Holiday) with chickens and stuff - think tweeds, knits and layers, tea dresses, wellies with chunky socks etc.

I also love Red magazine and the style of the women who appear in it's features.  To me they are smart and often attractive but normal looking (not the stick thin model fashion feature bits). 

My next love is Holly Willoughby,  when I think of her I think of lovely dresses.

Next is Louise Redknapp, to me she is smart casual and I love that she often wears tops that are loose and flowing not skin tight.

Now, my current girl crush is Zooey Deschanel, I'm loving her style in New Girl.  To me she is all about vintage style, little tea dresses, skirts and blouses etc.  A little short for my legs though...........

I really envy people who can wear true vintage items.  Unfortunately they do not seem to come in my sizes (I don't think people ate toast and cakes in the olden days.............) but I long for the day when I can go into a charity shop, spy a vintage item and it actually fit.  I guess I'll just have to stick to trying to find cheap alternatives in shops.

Another lady who's style I am in love with is the lovely Kat from the blog kat got the cream.  It amazes me the bargains she grabs in charity shops yet she still looks stylish and fun.  I'm so envious.  I think the only people who donate clothes in my size are granny's (and not stylish granny's either).

So,  I took a long hard look at my wardrobe.  It seems for far too long I have been buying clothes because they are cheap.  I can't remember the last time I purchased an item of clothing because I really liked it.  It also means that when I buy the cheap item I am not thinking about what other items of clothing it would go with in my wardrobe.  Don't get me wrong,  I am all about a bargain so I have nothing against buying clothes in sales but for me, the money monster seems to take over and I find myself buying the item because of how much money has been knocked off the original price not because it goes with anything else I've already got or I really really like it.  Quite often the item doesn't fit properly either. 

The other thing I find about my wardrobe is that most of the clothes don't fit properly and I don't feel "nice" in them yet I'll wake up in a morning and still throw on one of these items.  All this does is depress me when I catch sight of myself in a shop window or glance at my reflection in the mirror whilst sorting out the washing etc.  Why do I keep wearing these items though?  I can only presume it's because they're still in my wardrobe............

So, yesterday whilst The Monster was at nursery I took the opportunity to raid my wardrobe.  First of all I separated all the clothes that I didn't wear into a "car boot" pile and "attic" pile.  Then I went through the clothes that were left in my wardrobe and thought long and hard about each item.  Am I keeping it because I really like it and it makes me feel good when I wear it or do I just wear it because it's there?   If any of the items fell into the second category they got moved to the "car boot" pile.  Then I went through the "attic" pile.  Most of the clothes in this pile are there because they are either not suitable to wear whilst breast feeding or they don't fit.  Again, I took a long hard look at these clothes and moved a lot of them to the "car boot" pile.

I am now left with a nice selection of tops, trousers, dresses and cardigans/jumpers that fit and I do feel  comfortable in.  I am also more aware of the items of clothes that I have so if I do spot anything that I think is a bargain it is easier to remember if it will go with the stuff I already own!

Well done you may think..............ah but I didn't stop there.  I also went through my shoe box, make-up bag and nail varnish bag!

So, have I answered my "what style am I" question?  Well, no but at least I know my style is not ill fitting clothes that make me feel bad!

I would love to hear if you've felt the same way about your fashion style, do tell.......................

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Visit to Ripon

On Tuesday I had a little trip to Ripon.  It was actually a trip to Ripon Community Hospital to take The Monster for an eye test (luckily her eyes are fine).  Visiting the hospital itself was an experience.  It is straight out of the 1900's and very quiet inside.  Not like most hospitals these days.  My mum (bless her) came along to look after Bruiser whilst I was in the appointment with The Monster.

Anyhow, after our little outing to the hospital we took a little walk into Ripon Town Centre, we had a wander to the Cathedral and then took The Monster to the park for a short while.  We then went for an early lunch (as we were starving and freezing) at a little Tea Room called Morgans.  Mum and The Monster had cheese on toast with bacon which was lovely and I had prawn sandwiches.  I had a lovely pot of Taylors Tea and mum had a nice cup of Taylors freshly brewed filter coffee with cream.  After our lunch we spotted the homemade cakes behind the counter!  I haven't mentioned this before but mum and I have a little addiction to coffee cake.  So much so that we have set ourselves the challenge of finding the perfect coffee cake.  Of course that involves sampling each cake we come across!!  However it was a little early for cake so we decided to take a piece out.  The staff at Morgans were very friendly and were only too happy to wrap a piece up in foil (as they don't actually do takeaways) for us.  The price was also very very reasonable and mum had to ask if they'd remembered to charge us for everything!  On sampling the cake it was lovely but the coffee flavour was not strong enough for my liking so the hunt goes on.

One of the other things I liked about Morgans was the fact that I breast fed The Monster whilst in there and was not made to feel uncomfortable.  Don't get me wrong, I do try to be very discreet but sometimes a nipple pops out here or there..............  Anyhow, the tea room soon filled up with regulars and I was worried someone would disapprove but there were no funny looks or comments so it was all good.

After our lunch we went for a look round and chanced upon a charity shop and found some bargains.

I spotted these building blocks.

Whenever I've seen any before there have only been a few blocks in a box but this is almost a complete set and was only £2.99.

The Monster picked an old Thomas the Tank Engine book and mum picked up the most beautifully illustrated book of poems that was in fantastic condition. (Such a shame I didn't get a picture of it).

Well, I was very pleased with our little trip but both me and the mum commented on how quiet it was in the town.  Lets hope it was because of the freezing temperature and not the economic climate.................

Today I managed a quick peek in my local charity shop before picking The Monster up from nursery and found this..........

Not the height of fashion but it's in really good condition and I think it's really pretty.  Also, it was only £1. Bargain!