By Lisa Naumann, ASI Graduate and Brisbane-based Personal Stylist www.styledbylisaj.com.au
What does fashion have to do with confidence?
As a personal stylist and a mum to three young kids, my goal is to help women find confidence in their style again after having children. We spend a lifetime building up our sense of self. This includes identity, personality and self-esteem to reach a point when we know exactly who we are and what our purpose is in life. You may not realise it, but the fashion choices we make (from childhood) play an important role in determining our sense of self. We match design and colour preferences with our personality and lifestyle to help form our ideal image. We use clothes to express how we feel about ourselves and how we want others to feel about us.
When we become ‘mum’
Then we have a baby! Suddenly, what we know about ourselves and how we look completely changes. Nothing can really prepare you for what happens when you have a child and I believe this is because we don’t talk about how our sense of self has shifted. One day you are an individual and the next you are forever known as ‘Mum’. We embrace this new role as best as we can. Motherhood is glorious and life-changing, however, I want to acknowledge the identity crisis some women face. Feelings of uncertainty and a sense of loss of who you were versus who you are now. Add to this, when your body experiences significant changes during and after pregnancy, the impact on self-esteem and confidence is often underrated.
Why we struggle to find our style again after kids
If you struggle to understand your style after kids, I can identify two reasons for this. Firstly, the change in body shape cuts down your wardrobe choices. In those early post-partum months, fashion mainly consists of maternity jeans, oversized dresses and breastfeeding friendly tops. Your body feels like a baby feeding machine and clothing seems more functional than stylish. Suddenly those leather pants are no longer fit for purpose.
Secondly, your lifestyle has changed. Clothes are at constant risk of stains by pumpkin puree or blueberry covered fingers. Rhyme time at the library followed by a sandy playground calls for strong, hardy clothing. Denim to the rescue! I love denim but its main purpose for me, for many years, was to disguise dirty handprints. I’ve been in the depths of parenthood for ten wonderful, hectic years. My style is constantly evolving. After three kids, my post-baby body isn’t perfect, but I don’t need it to be. I have learned how to be kinder to myself and dress in my own way to feel confident. My style is not dictated by trends or what fruit my body supposedly resembles. I balance out my proportions and choose colours to complement my complexion.
It may not seem like the most important issue in the daily life of a mum, but understanding your personal style has immeasurable benefits. When you understand the body you are dressing and what you are dressing it for, you become more focused with your choices, more purposeful with spending and have a clearer, more positive mindset.
How to feel confident again, today!
Confidence starts with understanding your shape. From there, fashion can be fun!
When you are comfortable in your clothes, you exude a confidence that is contagious. Your sense of self strengthens.
My tips as a Stylist and Mother are:
- Accept who you see in the mirror. Be kind to yourself.
- Focus on your attributes, not your flaws.
- Prioritise the fit of your clothes, not the number on the label.
- Choose fashion that makes you happy.
- Listen to the compliments people give you. Accepting a compliment is the first step to acknowledging your worth.
- Stop comparing your beautiful, unique body to everyone else’s. Comparison squashes individuality.
I want you to wear clothes that suit you, today. Not a future version of yourself who you haven’t met yet. Not the version of you from two years ago. Who you are today matters!
Q: Why did you decide to become a Stylist?
A: I spent ten years studying and working in public health with a passion for skin cancer prevention. When I turned 30, I had my first child. I spent seven years as a stay-at-home mum before returning to public health, but longing for a change. I wanted to combine my love of shopping, fashion and helping women feel confident in their clothes. I discovered the world of styling and soon realised this is exactly where I am supposed to be!
Q: Why is it your mission to help mums to get their style back?
A: I had three children in five years so I understand the rollercoaster ride your body goes on during and after pregnancy. I recognise the loss of confidence, change in identity and confusion around personal style while juggling everything parenthood involves. When women feel confident and self-assured, even for a moment in their day, they are unstoppable! I want to show women how they can achieve this through styling.
Q: How can women work with you personally?
A: My styling packages include wardrobe makeovers, personalised shopping sessions and event styling. Visit my website www.styledbylisaj.com.au to view styling packages. Follow my socials @styledbylisaj on IG and FB for styling tips and outfit inspiration. If you are ready to invest in yourself and your style, please contact me. I would love to hear from you!