I am Style Director of Heat and CEO of my blog, The Mumday Times.
I have two delightful daughters who say things like, “Mummy, why are you wearing those silly earrings and that waterproof top?”
My oldest Beatrix is 6 and youngest Mathilde is 2, so you would think by now I had kind of got the knack for dressing myself.
There’s the spitting, shouting whirling dervish me that exists from 7am to drop off at 8.45am, the work me who is required to look vaguely put together and fashion informed and then the chilled out, loads of fun mum that I am for pick up on Thursday and Friday (Rescue Remedy gummy stars are very good).
Sometimes I leave for work with wet hair, porridge down my front and shoes that cripple me by 2pm.
Other days – when I have planned things out the evening before and made sure all the vital components are washed/not lost under an avalanche of teddy bears, books and board games – I can get the balance just about right and I feel all the more confident and capable for it.
Both the girls have just gone back to school and nursery so I’ve put together a diary of my own back to school looks. Plus, my top tips for perfecting a stylish look, even if you feel anything but.
CREDITS: Pink Mohair Jumper – H&M (in store now); Jeans, Topshop; Boots, Office (Was a bit hot in this but couldn’t wait to wear the jumper as it is new. Was fine in the Siberian air-con of the office)
CREDITS: Elephant print shirt, ASOS (still available on sale); Topshop Denim shorts (not too short!); Vintage Coach bag
Wore this with Russell & Bromley taupe ballet flats to school and changed into H&M heels for work.
CREDITS: Topshop Blouse (not current season), H&M skirt ( not current season), ASOS bag (online now), H&M sandals
Again I wore this with Russell & Bromley flats in the morning and changed into heels later. I went to a party wearing this straight from work. See who I met at the party here!
CREDITS: All Saints jacket (not current season), H&M Digital print dress (in store now £39.99), H&M earrings (bought 2 months ago)
For day I wore with the Russell & Bromley flats (not current season). I would be lost without these and will need to find a replacement soon. For a smart lunch I added green Jimmy Choo heels and an Anthropologie clutch.
Friday (My Day off! Hooray!)
CREDITS: Gap top (not current season), Rip Curl shorts, Converse Trainers, Market Basket
How to get a gold star when you’re dressing for school and work
- Plan Ahead Recording a week’s worth of outfits has reminded me what a good idea setting aside some time to plan a few outfits out from shoes, to coats and bags. I haven’t done it for ages, but knowing I was putting this post together forced me to think ahead. As a result I had everything I needed to hand and got dressed calmly and serenely
- Dry Shampoo Definitely invest in some of this. It is great for perking up your do and so much better than turning up to work with wet hair that you haven’t had time to run a brush through.
- Lipstick I advise putting this on just as you leave the house otherwise it will be smeared off by your enthusiastic puppies grabbing your face. A bright geranium is my current favourite colour (see pic) and it really does give you a shot of confidence and make you look pulled together. I’ve noticed that a couple of other mums wear a red lipstick in the mornings and no matter what they’re wearing they always look like they’ve made an effort.
- Opaque Tights Make sure you have a huge stock pile. Not only do they convert a summer outfit into an Autumn one they conceal stubbly legs and are super flattering.
- Flats Invest in a pair of plain black ballet pumps and a pair of taupe/tan pumps. They go with everything and you can slip them on as you run out the door. If you want to dress your outfit up later you can always add heels but if you forget them you’ll still look great.
- Tailored jackets Throw one over the plainest outfit and you will look much more pulled together.
- Jumper over shirt I love knits over shirts at the moment and they are the perfect cheat to looking smart in a hurry. Just iron the collar (you can use your hair straighteners to do this!) and cover up the rest with your jumper.
- Jewellery Everyone knows that dangly earrings and babies/small children don’t mix but pop them in the side pocket of your handbag before you leave the house and put them on at the bus stop.
- T-shirt dresses A jersey dress that never needs ironing is a really good buy. There are loads in Topshop, H&M and Whistles at the moment and you can dress them up with heels or wear them with Converse.
You can catch up with Ellie at themumdaytimes and follow her on Twitter @themumdaytimes