Becoming a mum is a life changing experience, and one part it does affect is our style – new research shows that 78% of women fundamentally change the way they dress when they have their first child.
The new “mumsy” dress code sees 40% drop their heel height by two inches,18% cut their hair into a practical bob whilst 7% stop colouring their hair altogether.
But thankfully it seems this overhaul is just a phase as women realise they miss the “old me” and rediscover their style mojo before their child’s fourth birthday.
Commissioned by Shoe Zone, the study of over 2,000 UK mums revealed that most women have no time for fashion after becoming a mum, 42% blamed looking after children as a messy job, and nearly a third admitted they stopped trying to look glamorous as speed and comfort became a bigger priority when choosing an outfit.
The Mummy Style Code
New mums confirmed certain elements they changed about their style, and it seems there is a ‘Mummy Style Code’ that women feel pressure to adhere to.
Top ten items of clothing women said they ditched as soon as they became a mum are:
- Short skirts
- High heels
- Skinny jeans
- Crop tops
- Plunging necklines
- Bodycon dresses
- Leather fabric items of clothing
- Animal print
The Mummy style must haves:
- Flat shoes, 45% opt for ballet pumps or trainers
- Comfy tops
- Neutral coloured clothing
- Simple patterns on clothing
- A decent coat
Some new mums admitted that they changed their style because they wanted to fit in with other mums, 7% said they were influenced by what celebrity mums were wearing, while 4% wanted to look more ‘mumsy’ for their children.
On average women who are not parents spend £612.44 a year on clothes, yet the research revealed this spend typically drops to £340.60 a year on clothes after having children. In comparison mums spend an average of £523.16 on clothes for their kids every year.
Three is the magic number
Naomi Shefford, Marketing Director at Shoe Zone says: “For most women, having children completely changes their pattern and routine, and in turn they find themselves revamping their wardrobe to fit in with their new lifestyle. While mums might not be dressing up, they’re still looking great!
“However, despite the initial style changes, our research has shown that most mums reach for the high heels and start dressing to impress again when their child reaches three years and nine months. This typically sits in line with women wearing their old wardrobe when they went back to work, and one in ten said they rediscovered the style of their old self when their child went to nursery.”
Why? Nearly a third of mums confirmed they missed their old clothes and old self, 22% were fed up feeling too ‘mumsy’, and 17% missed their high heels which made them feel glam.
Tracey Warmington, 31, a mum of two, and part-time employed from Witney, Oxfordshire says: “When you first become a mum it can be daunting and you start to re-think who you are and what your purpose is. You take your ‘new job’ very seriously, and like with all jobs you start adapting elements like your wardrobe to ensure you are dressed for the part.
“I personally got my style mojo back when I went back to work. I needed to look professional and like I meant business again, so I ditched the comfortable jeans and practical top for more sassy items such as a skirt with high heels.”