Tuesday, 16 February 2016

She'll be Wearing Striped Pyjamas

London Fashion Week is nearly upon us and so I feel it is as good a time as any to step inside the wardrobe - the maternity wardrobe, that is.

Before I had my daughter I did not consider myself a fashionista by any means, but I enjoyed getting dressed. I would plan outfits to suit occasions, sometimes going so far as to coordinate accessories and shoes.
But since she was born I have been enveloped by the uniform of the breastfeeding mother. Leggings, trainers and a stripy top, with a flap that opens to allow my baby direct access to her private all-you-can-eat buffet at any opportunity.
Occasionally, if we are going somewhere other than the supermarket or the Children’s Centre, and if she has deemed to let me have a few brief minutes to myself, I may wear a stripy dress, also fitted with said flap, and some mascara.
My earrings and necklaces are gathering dust - she frequently yanks my hair hard enough to warn me that jewellery is no longer an option.
Getting dressed in the mornings is much quicker and easier, and I’m long past caring about what I look like. But why do all maternity clothes have to be striped?
Are they marking us out? Like prisoners?
Meanwhile, the milk bar flap may be extremely convenient for my baby, but it has its draw backs.
In the first few weeks of motherhood I resorted in desperation to an online laundry service that collected your soiled garments from your door and returned them clean and folded.
When the doorbell rang, I halted the endless feed and staggered to the door with a bag stuffed full of baby grows and blankets, covered with various bodily fluids.
The delivery man recoiled in horror as I opened the door, but I assumed he was just shocked by my eye bags and bird’s nest hair, and I asked him when my laundry would be returned. My mind was focused on calculating how many outfits I had left to get me through, allowing for leaking nappies and sick spurts.
The man averted his eyes and made an awkward gesture towards my chest before muttering uncomfortably.
Looking down I realised that in my hurry to answer the door I had forgotten to close the flap and was now flashing the Laundrapp man.
I was far too exhausted to be ashamed and absentmindedly tugged the flap shut, only for mortification to gradually creep up on me as I awaited his return with my clean clothes.
Two days later when I buzzed him in, the Laundrapp man left my bag on the doorstep and crept away before I could cause either of us any further embarrassment.
Fashion is a closed door to me now.
On the few occasions I have attempted to pop into a clothes shop with the pram, I have found myself blocked in between rails, becoming increasingly entangled in garments, as I try to back up awkwardly. While young girls in outfits I wore the last time they were fashionable roll their eyes and push past me impatiently.
I’ve experimented with a few vest-under-shirt alternatives, but it’s easiest to stick to the trusted flaps.
All I ask is that the producers of these practical garments branch out a little on the design front. Maybe I’m being crazy, but how about spots, just for a starting point?
Any creativity and style I have left goes towards matching my daughters tights with her smocks, playing dress-up with my little dolly.
On a recent day out to a designer outlet store I didn’t even bother to admire any of the adult clothes, devoting all my attention to coveting the adorable little pinafore dresses with matching frilly knickers.
If I had any cash to splash it would go on Mini Boden or Bon Point these days. Though, I cannot quite justify spending £60 on a dress that will end up covered in dribble and God knows what else, and be outgrown in a matter of months.
As Anna Wintour sits front row at the catwalk shows next week, considering the latest in haute couture, I will be sitting in the laundrette, watching a rainbow of stripes go round and round, and praying my baby doesn’t wake up until they are dry.


  1. WOW I didn't know people came to your house to take away your laundry - although they'd have to come and put it all away too as that's the worst job by FAR.

    You won't be in awful breastfeeding clothes forever...my son is now 9m and I am wearing a high necked top today.

    Still stripy though. #Chucklemums

  2. I accidentally exposed myself to the postman once. He always knocked after that, even with just letters. Funny that...#chcuklemums

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