When I was pregnant with Amelia, my sister Hayley was also pregnant with my nephew, who was born three months before Amelia. We’ve encountered many Mummy moments together, the milestones, the hurdles, the countless “phases”. And also the dreaded ‘Mum fashion’ trap. This meme sums it up perfectly.
We are more than okay with spending $100 on new clothes for the kids – but we’ll survive with $7 tights from KMart and a seven-year old cardigan. One pair of high heels for special occasions, sneakers and jandals for the rest. In fact – half my wardrobe belongs to my own Mum – she’s got comfy clothes sorted!
When we saw a competition on Facebook with Centre Place Shopping Centre to win a Personal Styling Session – we both found it prudent to nominate each other as Mums who needed to update their wardrobes. I honestly can’t think of anyone more deserving than Hayley to win this competition. She’s worked her butt off (literally!) over the past eight months to lose weight for her wedding in September, but she was still wearing the same, now non-fitting clothes. She needed to see herself in some gorgeous new outfits and have the confidence boost that comes with that.
We met Erena Te Paa at Centre Place and she took us to Theobroma Chocolate Lounge where for the first time ever, I had zero chocolate (something wrong with me – I know). We chatted about our lifestyles, our normal go-to outfits, the shops we normally shop at, and what we wanted to stay away from. Hayley and I had made a pact before going into this, that we would have an open mind and try on everything Erena picked for us regardless of our initial reactions, because let’s be honest – she’s the expert, and we wear hoodies and $7 tights.
Once she had a clear idea on what we thought we wanted (and what she really wanted for us) we hit the shops! Can I just say – I can’t remember the last time I visited a shop that doesn’t sell children’s clothes, or toys, or homeware. And I can’t remember the last time I actually used a fitting room. Portmans was definitely our favourite shop of the day. So many gorgeous outfits to choose from! And the lovely Manager Gabby, who had amazing customer service. I feel confident that had we not had Erena there with us telling us what to try on, she would have been great at helping us find outfits. Dotti, Glassons, Pagani and Farmers were also on the list, all for good reason too.
Hayley was on the lookout for a cute outfit for her upcoming Hens Night, and I was just looking to find some cool ideas to improve my very ‘Plain Jane’ wardrobe. We both came away having achieved what we’d set out for. Even better, Centre Place so kindly gave us each vouchers to spend, so combined with a Portmans sale we picked up some awesome outfits to take home!
By no means am I now a fashion expert, but a couple of points I picked up that I think are important to share with you all:
- The right size matters. We’ve been wearing the same clothes for years, during which time we’ve been pregnant, gained weight, lost weight, weight has shifted around our body. Some of our clothes were baggy, some were too tight. We weren’t even really sure what size we actually fitted! It’s amazing the difference it can make when you try an outfit on that is the right size for you. If you think you’re a 14 and you only ever try on 14’s you automatically turn down anything that looks “frumpy”. But actually, maybe you just needed to go down to a 12.
- A black leather jacket makes everything work. Seriously it does! In the right size of course.
- Do colour. If you have an option between colour and black, go for the colour! If you take the safe route and opt for black, be sure to mix it up with some colourful shoes.
- Make time to shop. Don’t make it a grab and dash affair. Set some time aside so you can actually try things on, and shop around. You’re making an investment in something you’ll hopefully wear a lot so give it some time to make a good decision.
- Leave the kids at home. If you can, it makes such a difference shopping without the kids! There’s no time restraint because the kids are getting restless, sore feet, hungry, tired, bored. Of course I know that can be easier said than done though.
- Wear easy to change clothes. If you’re going to be trying things on – you definitely need to wear clothes that are easy to get on and off and slip on shoes are best. Just a little tip for saving time.
The best part of our experience was just opening our eyes to what we could wear! We needed a shake up and that’s exactly what Erena gave us. Such a cool chick and a great eye for style. She also has a really awesome blog, writing about all things style, beauty and her motherhood journey.
A big thanks to Centre Place for giving us this opportunity. To make things even sweeter, they’ve given me a $50 Centre Place Gift Card to giveaway to you guys! All you need to do is like Amy McLean – A Working-Stay-at-Home Mum on Facebook, tell me your favourite Centre Place shop in the post below and tag your friends each in a separate comment. Simple as that.
This competition is open to NZ residents only and the voucher is available for Centreplace in Hamilton. This competition is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Facebook. Competition closes Friday 19th August 2016 at 8pm.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Centre Place Shopping Centre. I received the $50 voucher used for the giveaway. All opinions are my own.