Once when I lived in London, before I was a wife, a mother of three children and an owner of an apparel company, a close friend of mine said the very famous sentence “you can’t buy style!”
We were sitting in a corner café and a woman walked by our window wearing an oversized long heavy coat, high heels, lots of expensive looking jewelry and a very tight skirt. Observing her, she did not look comfortable or happy, there was a real disconnect from her overdressed, constricted appearance and the foggy, busy street of the inner city, the reason for my friend’s style comment, I guess.
I believe style is a very personal matter, it often reflects how a person feels wearing his/her clothes and that expression is often noticeable. My friend who was sitting with me in the London café happens to be a person that by my definition “just has style”. His clothing always expresses and reflects his life style! When he went clubbing he would wear flattering sports clothes, jeans and fashionable sneakers so he could dance all night long and when he went to work he would wear the casual, but smooth ironed collar shirt that could carry him comfortably to a drink afterwards at the nearest pub without sacrificing style or comfort.
Most people look great if they feel good, and feeling good often has to do with comfort which translates into the fit of the garment, the quality of the fabric and the right function to support the person’s lifestyle. Fashion has always been a big passion in my life, but I am very hesitant to follow trends which sacrifice comfort. I can not deal with heels that are too high for walking, or a jean that is too low cut and exposes too much skin, and I generally refuse a fabric that is too constrictive or synthetic. The discomfort associated with some clothing leaves me feeling stressed out!
I like to move in clothes that feel like a second skin on the body. As a new mother, my craving for stylish clothing that enhanced my new lifestyle led me to seek clothes that helped me to be active while raising small children, while also accommodating my body as it adjusted first to a growing belly and growing breasts and then the whole way back!
When my first daughter was only a couple of weeks old, that same friend visited me here in NYC. We were now sitting in a restaurant in Soho and I was struggling to breastfeed my newborn with a regular nursing bra. I hated to expose my post partum belly and I was fumbling around with the weird slits in my nursing shirt until I gave up and just lifted up the entire shirt. My friend felt my discomfort (it was plain to see!) and a couple of days later when he was back in the UK, I received a post card from him with a photograph of the model Jerry Hall, lounging on a couch with a fur coat paired with a black, cotton slip dress, with one strap of the dress pulled down as she breastfed her son Gabriel Jagger. On the post card he wrote “They all do it!” Jerry Hall had her belly covered in a fashionable way (simply her dress), just what I wanted, but she needed to actually remove the top part of her outerwear dress in order to nurse. Staring at the photo, I began to realize that I needed to somehow make the outerwear discretion function as a nursing bra as well! She looked so comfortable and at ease, - her task of breastfeeding was integrated into her lifestyle at that time of her life in the photograph, she looked like a true “glamourmom” to me…!