Alex Longmore’s top style tips for new & expectant mums
Alex Longmore is one of the UK’s top fashion stylists with over sixteen years of experience has become a key player within the British fashion industry and worked with top celebrities including Zara Phillips, Jodie Kidd, Little Mix and Claudia Schiffer.
She gets a lot of questions from pregnant clients and new mums on how they can adapt their style to suit their changing lifestyle. We sat down with Alex to find out her top style tips for new and expectant mums. Here is what she told us.
DETOX YOUR WARDROBE BEFORE BABY ARRIVES
A wardrobe detox is essential before giving birth. Getting organised in your ‘nesting’ phase as you prepare for a new baby shouldn’t mean neglecting your own wardrobe. Take the opportunity to diligently clear out clothes that you no longer wear or like, so that you’re prepared when your baby arrives. Store away anything that you aren’t likely to wear for the next few months. That way, when your baby is here, you’ll have a clear head and a streamlined tidy wardrobe where you can quickly find clothes that you want to wear and know will fit – perfect for peace of mind!
COLOUR CAN REALLY HELP TO GIVE YOU A BOOST
Colour can really help to boost your look, especially if you’re feeling sleep-deprived. Reds and light blues reflect light, helping you look more radiant. Bright colours can also help to lift your mood, so that you look and feel more on the ball. Block colours are very on-trend, as are bold prints, so don’t be afraid to mix unusual colours together, like red and pink, or colour-block with your baby. Bold colours can sometimes fade in the wash so make sure you use a detergent to protect them like Ecover’s Colour Detergent, and wash on a low temperature setting.
HAVE A CAPSULE WARDROBE ON STANDBY
For busy or tired mums, having a streamlined capsule wardrobe where you can mix and match different items of clothing is essential, especially after a night of broken sleep, when you can’t quite think straight. Don’t shop on a whim – everything should go with everything – a bit like a uniform, but more fun. And with the help of an abdominal binder, you might also be able to wear some of your favourite pre-pregnancy clothes too. Look for versatile items in fabrics and colours that co-ordinate. Jeans and leggings can easily be dressed up or dressed down, for example with the addition of a smart blouse or kaftan. Ideally, look for fabrics that can be thrown in the washing machine together, such as cotton – that way you’ll know you have an alternating wardrobe that can be easily washed and ironed. As you’re likely to wash your capsule clothes more often, it’s good to use an eco-friendly detergent like Ecover which is still tough on stains at low temperatures.
Mix it up
MIX SPECIALIST MATERNITYWARE WITH HIGH-STREET
Take a leaf out of the celebrity mum style book and mix up your specialist maternity-ware with everyday high-street items in larger sizes. These are often less expensive, and can help to make functional items look more stylish. Specialist maternity tops like buttoned-down tops can be great for added convenience if you’re breast-feeding on the go, as you can operate them with one hand quickly. For added style, simply layer an unbuttoned shirt from the high-street over your breastfeeding top, or pair with a loose-fitting blazer or cardigan.
MAKE FRIENDS WITH FLATS
Flat shoes must become your friends, both through pregnancy and afterwards when you’re kept on your toes, chasing littles ones around the house, or down the street. Flat shoes shouldn’t mean your style suffers – there are a wealth of gorgeous flats to indulge in. Trainers are still having a moment and as a new mum, surely there’s no better time to try out the sports-luxe trend. Flat boots worn with leggings also look great in winter.
BE SELECTIVE WITH YOUR ACCESSORIES
Keep accessories to a minimum – you don’t want children pulling at your ear-rings or necklaces. Instead, why not show off your pre-baby fashion flair with a bright manicure, a colourful scarf (also handy if you’re breastfeeding), or use a bright head-tie to keep your hair back. Carefully selected accessories can help you feel more polished and show off your unique personality. If handbags are your thing, invest in a small over-body bag for yourself to keep your personal items like keys, money and make-up in, and look for a larger bag that can double up as a stylish undercover nappy bag for your baby. Anya Hindmarch and Cath Kidson have some great choices.
INVEST IN JEANS THAT ADAPT TO YOU
Some luxury jeans brands such as J Brand and AG at Trilogy Stores and at Harrods will alter their styles for expectant mums. This is brilliant as it means you can still look and feel fashionable with your growing bump. They’re an essential purchase for your maternity wardrobe. To protect your denim for longer, wash your jeans inside out on the lowest temperature and on a slow spin cycle to avoid shrinkage and fading, and use a gentle but thorough, denim friendly detergent like Ecover Non-Bio.