I suppose the first thing you should know about me is that I have always loved fashion, for as long as I can remember. I feel a lot of us as little girls can relate, right? I was breaking my neck in heels before I was even old enough to walk in them! Of course they were not my own heels, they were my mums, but the obsession with fashion never left me and at twenty seven I completed a Masters in Fashion Journalism. What I have always known and what became even more apparent whilst studying fashion, is that what I find far more intriguing than fashion is style.
“Style is the process in which we select from the trends what we like and that we feel works for us and then how we fashion them for our bodies. The selection process is the ‘what’ and the manipulation process is the ‘how’ and combined this creates our style.”
Of course our choice in what we buy, what we wear and how we wear it is entirely reflective of our time, our bodies, our budget and our lifestyle, all of which changed dramatically for me after I had Allegra (my little girl). I resigned from my job, so my household was down an income, time was cut in half and always running out (as it does when you have children), my body seemed a lot broader and was carrying weight in areas it never had and I really didn’t know what my lifestyle was at the time, because at that point I really had no idea WHO I was.
All of this has an impact on our style. Motherhood has an impact on our style. I mean let’s be honest, motherhood has an impact on EVERYTHING. What it mostly impacts is ourselves and our identity. Our self identity is important, but it becomes even more important when we lose it or at least, feel as though we have lost it. This is how I felt. Before I became a mother I attached a lot of my identity to my career and I was very proud of my career, but with my resignation, I was momentarily very scared about who I was going to be and HOW resigning from my job might be perceived..
At this point it became very important for me to, for want of a better word, ‘find’ myself and be proud of myself. So, I started with some of the things that are paramount to me in terms of MY identity, my style and my career.
I got on Instagram, I set up a blog AyeshaAmato.com and meanwhile I was working on my wardrobe, selling everything I knew I would never wear again. My first ever Instagram post was a fashion post and my content in the initial stages was relatively fashion focused.
However, the more I familiarised myself with Instagram, the more I started to feel as though I had nothing to offer in terms of fashion. I just felt as though I couldn’t compete and I could not keep up. I never had the Gucci Marmont bag or the Chanel chunky trainers. I never had the M&S dress that broke the gram and I didn’t care to know what was in Zara because none of it fit me! I wasn’t shopping luxury because I couldn’t afford to and I wasn’t shopping the high street because not only was I ‘waiting’ for my body to return to it’s pre-baby weight and shape, but I really had no clue what I wanted to wear and what I wanted my clothes to say about me. When I did shop, I was shopping time pressed and because I needed to, it was never for enjoyment and I rarely ended up with anything I loved.
With a lot of trial and error I started to figure out the key factors I need to consider when shopping as a mum, with my lifestyle, with my budget and with what I wanted my clothes to say about me. It was the understanding of this that helped define my style. What we want our clothes to say about us, if anything, is respective to each of us, but it’s the how we get to that point that I struggled with and what I think most mamas will face, especially when emerging from our maternity leave uniform.
I want Mum a Porter to be the place where women, especially mothers, are able to shop edits and read style guides curated and written with them in mind and a place for new mamas and mamas with newborns come to figure out HOW to start their journey to discovering their style. x