Whether you’re a mama, mother, or mum, it’s an amazing job – but it’s also hard. Many women feel like they struggle with their identity after having a child, and it’s easy to lose ‘yourself’.
Zoe De Pass, who has a five-year-old son and three-year-old daughter, juggles family life with keeping her popular website, Dress Like A Mum up to date – and says the inspiration for her blog stemmed from this emotion.
‘I started Dress Like A Mum because when you become one people are so quick to judge you without realising,’ explains Zoe. ‘”You don’t look like a mum” was the comment I received the most, and for me that was a huge shock. I’d never been judged on how I dressed or what I wore before.’
The mum-of-two said she looked into the term ‘dress like a mum’ and noticed that it was linked to so much negativity.
‘That’s what I wanted to change,’ she adds. ‘That perception. My blog has and always will be about other mums, I wanted to help other women.’
Following the success of her blog, Zoe also kickstarted an Instagram account, which now has a whopping 89.8k followers.
During her time on Instagram Zoe noticed a lot of mums like her, and soon the hashtag #dresslikeamum was born. ‘This hashtag encouraged women to post their own pictures to show that they are all mums and they dress anyway they like,’ she says – and its popularity grew quickly, with over 69k images now attached to it.
It was during her first pregnancy that the 35-year-old realised that she’d already started losing her identity.
‘I was very much just grabbing jeans and a tee but it was all about ease, it wasn’t until my second pregnancy I was a bit more on it,’ Zoe admits. ‘I thought to myself I’m not going to live in jeans and t-shirts everyday.’
She also wanted other mums to know that breastfeeding or you can wear what you want without having to fork out for maternity clothes, adding: ‘There’s nothing wrong with wearing your maternity clothes after your bump has gone.’
However, she’s also quick to remind you not to worry if you do need to spend: ‘Just do it on a budget. And have fun with fashion – don’t be scared, wear a dress with a pair of trainers – don’t be afraid to try things.’
The fashionista is well known for her love of bright colours and edgy outfits and admitted that she wasn’t sure if she did get funny looks at the school gates from other parents.
‘I might get funny looks, who knows, one day I did the school run in black PVC trousers, a fuchsia pink coat and a beanie with a net on it, some people might not have done, but it’s just what I was wearing that day.’
Zoe’s biggest piece of sartorial advice is: ‘Tap into your inner toddler – enjoy fashion… fashion is to enjoy it’s just an easy way to express yourself to the world.’
And it’s not just fashion where her love of bright colours lies… ‘I’m a big lipstick fan,’ she admits.
‘But I only actually started wearing it three years ago after my daughter was born. And that’s only because a make-up artist once said that red lippy draws the attention away from tired eyes. And that was it – I was a lipstick convert!’
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But like most women, Zoe admits lipstick can be a pain: ‘You’ve got to commit to a lippy. Lipliners are good, they make a lot of difference. Colour the whole lip, like a base, and then apply the lippy.’
And, her my main advice to any new mum: ‘Buy a bright lippy! If you need extra oomph for confidence or to hide tired eyes, just whack on the lippy!’