In just over two weeks the Parent Pause will be welcoming Zoë de Pass from‘Dress Like A Mum’ to Rugby, where she will chat to us about finding more confidence in our own style and dressing like a mum. So, it got me thinking, what is dressing like a mum? What does that actually mean?
Frumpy, baggy, easy. Comfy, hide insecurities. Easy to wash. Prioritise other things above their appearance – these are just a few answers I got when I asked this question to a selection of people. But is that unfair? Is it that actually that Mums dress a certain way because we feel we should, and that the lost days of grabbing something trendy to wear are as much about the box that society and the media wants us to fit in, as they are about our lack of self-confidence?
When I asked friends and family, they all agreed that there is a certain ‘mumsy’ style category that appears to be acceptable for mothers. It also became apparent that there seems to be some kind of stigma placed upon mums who appear to spend more time on their appearance; or who step outside of the usual mum-dress code. Almost like there’s an un-spoken agreement that looking good and dressing well somehow means you aren’t as good a parent, instead of the fact that that mother is actually making a positive statement.
I have certainly felt like this at the school gates. If I’m dressed in my ‘mum-uniform’ of jeans and a sweater, with little or no make-up and bedraggled hair, I feel comfortable in that situation. It’s almost as though my lack of personal effort is worn as a badge of honour, saying “look how dedicated I am to my kids and my busy life, I have no time to look good.” Equally, when I’ve worn something more creative to school, I feel super self-concious and can feel the eyes upon me as I walk in. On those days, it seems as though looking good is not something to be proud of.
Zoë de Pass started Dress Like A Mum because she wants to change all of the perceptions and negative associations that come with dressing like a mum.
“ I started my DRESS LIKE A MUM project because I frequently receive comments such as ‘you don’t look or dress like a mum’, ‘I can’t believe you have 2 kids’ and I couldn’t work out if this was a compliment or not and if it is, why is it?
There is no such thing as a ‘normal’, ‘proper’, ‘ordinary’ mum as there is no such thing as a ‘normal’, ‘proper’, ‘ordinary’ person. And there is no ‘proper’ way to dress regardless of if you are a mum or not.
I am aware that when you become a mother you have A LOT less time for yourself and your priorities change, I am also aware that some women once they become a mother struggle with their fashion identity and feel that they should change the way they dress. I think mums should wear whatever they like, whatever they feel confident and happy wearing – I believe a good outfit can make for a better day!”
For anyone that doesn’t already follow Zoe, just looking at her Instagram account can give you a burst of colourful positivity and make you feel more confident to wear whatever you like.
Come along and hear more from Zoe at our ‘Style Confidence’ event on 10th May, and learn how to overcome whatever fashion fears you may have from the master of Mum style.
Rugby’s premier boutique, Sass, will also be there to tell us how they can support mums in finding their style.
‘Dress Like A Mum’ Style Confidence Workshop – Wednesday 10th May, 10.30am, Bacco Lounge, Rugby.