It’s London Fashion Week again and I couldn’t feel more on the wrong side of the velvet rope if I tried.
Last time Kimye, Anna Wintour et al rolled into town I was imprisoned in a uniform of striped nursing wear.
Now, seven months on, my solid-munching daughter has dropped her lunchtime feed, and yet I seem unable to break free.
I went to a friend’s birthday party at the weekend. She had a seven-week-old baby but had refused to let it steal her style – choosing to wear a glamorous dress with a sweeping floral cape at the front.
When it was time to breastfeed her daughter she excused herself, confessing she was going to have to go and strip off in the other room in order to access her mammary glands.
I, on the other hand, was wearing a red t-shirt dress with flaps at the front, in order that my 11-month-old daughter could dive in and help herself whenever she fancied it. And she wouldn’t even need feeding until bedtime.
Somewhere during pregnancy I lost my style. And I still haven’t got it back.
I don’t mean that I was ever a particularly stylish or fashionista type of dresser. But I had clothes I liked and I wore them because they made me feel confident and I felt they expressed a bit of my personality.
But as the bump grew larger I began wearing bigger and bigger shapeless tents, before eventually abandoning dresses altogether, in favour of smocks and maternity leggings.
And that was it. The leggings enveloped me and I have been trapped ever since.
Leggings and stripy t-shirts with flaps in, leggings and oversize shirts, leggings and smocks.
Summer has seen me dig out a few dresses, but only ones that have easy-to-tear-open buttons at the front and are light enough to wear a vest underneath.
And since they end up covered in food and snot and I-don’t-even-want-to-think-about-what-else, it seemed a waste of time to wear anything I actually like.
But as I stood there at the party in my wrong-kind-of-flapper-girl dress, I thought to myself, “I don’t have to conform to the mother uniform anymore!”
I’ll admit, it’s a hell of a lot easier to wake up and pull on leggings every day. And some mornings I just don’t have time to think about what would look good.
But still, I take the time to make sure my daughter’s outfits are reasonably coordinated and attractive. So why not me?
I’m not saying I’m going to be Frow-ready every day. If you see me at the checkout in Lidl and I’m still wearing leggings, don’t judge me.
But perhaps I’ll dig out a nice dress next time I have somewhere to go.
If I’m going to end up covered in food and snot, then I might as well do it in style.