When it comes to what I like to wear, comfort is top of my list. Well I might as well feel comfortable as I stress my way through the day, from the school run with runaway two year old twins, to my sacred few hours ‘working’ then back to playgroup, back to school, off to swimming then… I think you get the idea! But I certainly don’t let my need for comfort hinder my style.
But there was a time, when the idea of wearing anything other than the nearest clean, non-clingy clothes, was not even close to my radar. Even as a stylist, whose business is fashion, I lost my way and I fell prey to the dreaded style rut. And it took me quite some time to get out and see the light again. But once I found that spark and my confidence came back, and I had the brain space back to see just how easy it is to actually devote just a little time to me and what I like to wear; I felt like a new woman.
Comfort is still key. But I re-found my style mojo and my new uniform. I know what I feel good in and what I feel confident in, I know how to hide my mummy tummy and flatter my new shape and I know how to put the pieces in my wardrobe together for an effortless, functional and comfortable style for my everyday life. And I want to help others, feel like this too. It is a good feeling. It is comfortable, and it perks me up every day.
So if you are in this infamous ‘style rut’ 1. You are certainly not alone and 2. There are so many ways you can start the climb out. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
- Take a cup of tea (or wine!) to your bedroom and look through your wardrobe to see what you’ve got and what still works and what doesn’t – declutter and organise.
- Treat yourself to something with a splash of colour to give yourself a lift.
- Put on some lipstick, mascara or an accessory for an instant boost.
- Get yourself a cool little cross body bag (no kiddy stuff allowed!), which you love and is just for you, and which will give your outfit a stylish, personal finish.
- Make sure you have good fitting underwear – get the foundations sorted, feel comfortable and the rest will follow.
- Invest in some comfortable key wardrobe essentials for easy mix and match dressing.
So what are these key wardrobe essentials that will help boost your confidence and style this spring, which you can wear again and again? I have chosen five items, which are likely to work for most people, whatever your style, as you can mix and match and wear them your way…
1. Good fitting tees and sweaters
Basic I know, but so important. For the ultimate in comfort dressing, nothing beats jeans and a tee. You most likely have your go-to jeans, but may be missing those flattering, tummy skimming, wash-well tees. They are not only fab to just throw on with jeans or your luxe joggers (see below), but with skirts, pleathers, shorts, culottes and wide legged trousers, the list goes on. Grey marl is a great option, especially for when white is a little impractical, slogan tees are fun and can really brighten up your mood and once you find a style that works for you, get it in lots of colours. The same applies to sweaters and fine knits and with spring on its way, get those colours popping! Candy shades, brights and neons are going to be everywhere. For a great fit try IVY tees (online) and for multi colour options, the M&S straight fit tees.
2. Luxe joggers
If you are fed up of always wearing jeans, why not try a pair of super comfy yet super stylish luxe joggers. Who would say no to wearing something by day that feels like your nighttime pjs!!! Look for a tapered and cropped slim leg for the most flattering fit and a heavy ‘luxe’ fabric. Wear them as you would a pair of boyfriend style jeans in general, with a half tucked in tee or sweater, or a white shirt, or cami and jacket (blazer, denim or bomber) and wear with trainers or flats by day and heels (shoes and ankle boots) and a clutch by night. ME+EM, and Hush have some great styles.
3. Blazer or go-to jacket
If you don’t own a blazer, or a jacket you can just throw over everything, please invest in one. A blazer is a timeless classic, effortlessly chic and works across the board and as part of most peoples’ styles. Alternatives would be a denim jacket, biker or silky bomber, all of which are also great additions to any wardrobe too, but focusing on the blazer, it is so versatile and one of the simplest ways to up-style every day basics. Go with a classic neutral such as black, navy or grey for the ultimate versatile wear, or have some fun with bright colours and prints. Bodega in Cheltenham always has super blazers.
4. Midi dress
The midi dress is going to be my go-to wardrobe piece this spring and summer. Why? They are so easy to wear, comfortable, a great length for running around whether at work or with children, can be layered easily and dressed up or down. So many women shy away from dresses, thinking they are too formal for the day, but to me they are made for the school run, the office or the weekend. With trainers, ankle boots, brogues or summer flats (when the weather improves); with a blazer, denim jacket, biker, bomber or trench. How about a slouchy sweater? Button down styles are great, especially if you are still feeding, while empire and A-line styles great for hiding the mum tum. Choose a colour, print or pattern that you love, and style it your way. Trawl the secondhand rails for some unique and retro vibes or Zara, for some great styles and prints.
5. Elasticated waist midi skirt
Who doesn’t love an elasticated waist? They are so comfortable and so flattering. You just have to find the right fit of skirt to flatter your shape. Pleats can be a little awkward to wear, as they can add bulk around the middle and hips, but if you wear the elasticated waist on the thinnest part of your waist, you will achieve the most flattering fit. These skirts are everywhere and as with midi dresses can be dressed up or down. Half tuck in a simple tee or slouchy sweater and throw over a blazer or your go-to jacket. Again, choose colours that work for you and your existing wardrobe for maximum mix and match wearability. These skirts are literally everywhere, so take you pick!
A Guest Blog from My Stylish Friend, AKA Sophie Jones-Cooper
Mother’s Day weekend style sessions…
Sophie will be hosting a weekend of private 1 hour personal styling sessions for mums and daughters in the Cotswolds, to celebrate Mother’s Day, from 29 – 31st March. The sessions are for two people (mum and daughter) and can be tailored to suit your requirements, and include a glass of Prosecco each, tea/coffee and cake. The ideal way to treat your mum (and you!) this Mother’s Day… and get armed with unique style advice to help you both feel confident, stylish and inspired for the spring season ahead.
Sophie will be in Cheltenham on Saturday 30th March, at The Style Lounge above Harper & Cooper Opticians, 5 Ormond Place from 9.30am – 5.30pm.
For more information and to book your session go to https://mystylishfriend.net/blog/
Sophie Jones-Cooper is a MumBoss, personal stylist and ex-fashion and beauty editor who has worked in the fashion industry for over 10 years for magazines including HELLO!, Cosmopolitan and Time Out. She is also mummy to Leo aged 5 and twins Amelie and Archie aged 2. She is now offering her styling skills to women in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds as My Stylish Friend, helping mums and mums-to-be feel confident and look stylish throughout pregnancy and motherhood. She offers one-on-one personal styling consultations, personal shopping sessions both in stores and online via Pinterest, wardrobe workouts/de cluttering and fun and affordable group styling parties as well as hosting style events, workshops and talks.
If you’d love to hear from Sophie on different fashion related topics then leave a comment below and we’ll see what we can arrange!