With busy schedules and a changed body after babies, it can be hard for mums to find a style that works for them.
With the help of three Kiwi mums, Jackie O’Fee from Signature Style shows how to get your groove back.
Melanie Dale, 41
Dale, mum to 14-year-old Isabella, is a very busy woman with a full-time corporate role alongside her own sports massage business. She laughs when asked about the challenges she faces when dressing.
“Where do I start?” she says. “With being 1.8m tall or being pear-shaped? Or is it being a size 16-20 depending on where I shop? It’s all a challenge!”
And though she has size 12 feet, she loves wearing heels. “So what? I may be 1.8m tall but I’m happy to be 1.9m.”
Jackie O’Fee says: “While being tall is a definite asset, being 1.8m can be challenging. I dressed Mel in gorgeous long pieces that skim her body and flatter her fuller hip.
“The striped duster worn over the asymmetrical print dress draws your eye inwards through to her torso, while the statement necklace creates another strong vertical.
“A great trick if you’re bigger through your thighs is to add colour at your feet, drawing your eye past your thighs and balancing everything with a punchy shoe.”
Anne Mathieson, 32
Mathieson, mum of Jackson, 16 months, says: “Although I’m back to my normal size, my body shape has changed and clothes don’t fit me the way they used to.”
As a busy mum who also juggles her role as a GP two days a week, Mathieson says she finds it “challenging to dress to cover both work and being with Jackson”, and that her greatest challenge is actually time to spend on herself. She even admitted she’s had only two haircuts since her son was born.
O’Fee says of Mathieson’s style: “It was important to me to acknowledge that Anne is young – I often find that after their first baby, a lot of women start dressing too old. Yes, her shape may have changed, but her only real challenge was having a slight post-baby tummy.
“I wanted to dress her in great colour, which really made her eyes pop. I have also chosen a softly draped top with a cropped bomber; the relaxed silhouette camouflages the tummy, and the neckline detail draws your eye up to her face.”
Hayley Govorko, 38
Govorko is mum to two little boys; two-and-a-half year old Ante and four-month-old Rocco. While most of her time is spent with the boys, she also runs an event venue adjacent to her home and a successful school holiday performing arts business.
Says Govorko: “I try my best to turn out well and usually leave the house with makeup on, but I live in wrap dresses most days to hide my tummy and increased bust line and I’d love to know what else might work for me. I’m also only 1.6m tall so that just seems to make it all worse!”
O’Fee felt Govorko needed to adjust her style to suit her busy child-focused life-style.
“Wearing dresses is to be applauded, as you’ll always look smart, but if you’re spending all your time racing after a toddler or nursing an almost newborn, you probably need a more casual feel.
“I love the versatility of a denim jacket which you can wear over a dress or with pants. They also provide great shape. The relaxed top in a great print keeps things soft through the bust and tummy, while being long enough to add a little length to her torso.
“Teaming this with the relaxed navy pants keeps the colour combination cohesive, and the cropped fit teamed with a sock bootie appears to lengthen Hayley’s leg. When you’re a shortie, you can’t beat a heel, but you need to choose a solid one if you’re on the go.”