Gosh – is it really that time already..? Be festive and beat the Autumn chill, we say – these ones are too fab to just be worn on 25th December.
Boden today launches Wear It Like A Mum, a campaign to lead a conversation about the experiences of women and their attitudes towards style after having children. The campaign comes after the brand conducted a major piece of research into the negative representation of mums’ style in the media and the expectations many women feel are placed on their appearance and choice of clothing after becoming mums.
Boden has partnered with Dr. Michael Farrelly, who works in the fields of discourse analysis and language at the University of Hull, to conduct a diagnostic of the relationship between the word ‘mum’ and style in the nine major British newspapers over the past 20 years. To assess the impact of this media presentation on women, the brand commissioned leading pollster Opinium to survey 1,000 U.K. mums to reveal modern-day attitudes towards how mothers dress.
Wear It Like A Mum is Boden’s response to the negative responses – aiming to reclaim the word “mum” as a moniker of style and substance and showing that being a mum isn’t a term to be judged against when it comes to choice of clothes.
Boden has teamed up with a host of influential and inspirational women for its Wear It Like A Mum campaign, highlighting the spectrum of roles mums play and demonstrating the idea that ‘wearing it like a mum’ is about women choosing what to wear, on their own terms. The group includes influential business leaders, tech innovators, models, designers, authors, charity executives and social media stars.
What unites these women is that they are all mums and they are all forging their own paths, pursuing their own ambitions, enjoying raising a family as they go – while also being enormously stylish. The list of ambassadors proves that being a mum can be about being stylish, that mum style is timeless and relevant across generations. Being a mother doesn’t preclude anyone from dressing elegantly and with gorgeous style on their terms, despite what the media might have us believe.
Thoughts on the campaign:
Penny Herriman, Global Brand Director at Boden, commented: “Wear it like a Mum campaign celebrates Mum style. We found there is a perception that Mum and style do not go together. We want to start to change these perceptions and to champion stylish Mothers.Why should becoming a Mum mean you have to compromise on your style?”
Mumsnet CEO and Founder Justine Roberts: “Many women wrestle with their self-image after having children, feeling that somehow they have ‘lost themselves’ along the way; it’s a theme we see repeatedly in discussions on Mumsnet. All the pressures experienced by mothers of young children (career worries, mind-boggling childcare costs, relationship glitches, tiredness, bodily changes, friendship shifts, societal judgement) can sometimes culminate in an epic changing-room meltdown over an ill-fitting pair of jeggings. As with so many things when it comes to parenting, self-acceptance and good night’s sleep can go a long way; but a good frock or the perfect pair of sneakers can help too, so three cheers for the retailers who are making stylish, affordable clothes available for all body shapes and all age groups.”
Clemmie Hooper, midwife and creator of Mother of Daughters, commented: “The word mumsy and mum do have negative connotations. I think the meaning of mumsiness comes more from previous generations – who would worry about mumsiness. Things are really changing for women in society and social media – you don’t have to dress a certain way just because you’re a mum.”
Dr. Michael Farrelly, Lecturer at the University of Hull, commented: “We carried out research into the language that has been used to describe mums in the UK press over the past 20 years, and the results show that mums have a hard time. The press, which influences so much of public opinion, is signalling to women that they should avoid looking like a mum, or at least, a particular sort of mother: a ‘mumsy’ mum. It’s no surprise that the research Boden has conducted with mums themselves reveals a trend of mothers feeling an expectation placed on them to dress or present themselves a certain way – given the negativity directed towards their style choices in the British press.”
Johnnie Boden, Founder of Boden, commented: “Boden has been dressing mums for 25 years and that’s why I’m so excited to be celebrating stylish mothers this season.”
Our Slick Mummy pick of the Boden collection: grab yourself a bargain with the Lyon Crossbody bag in super cheerful pink leopard, reduced to £77 from £110!
Big enough to hold your keys, phone, lippy etc and you could sneak a nappy and some wipes in there too…
Shop online here.
We ummed and aahed about the perfect School Run coat. Classic styling over fashion, how warm does it need to be…? There were lots of considerations, but here are a few reasons why the Boden Mac came out tops:
- It has a hood, which means your hands can be free for road crossing, carrying shopping, buggy pushing and eating toast on the way…
- The colourful design makes you visible (great when your walk to school takes you down a country lane on a misty morning)
- The pockets are roomy enough to hold larger items (Fruit Shoots/baby bottles/commuter coffee cups, packs of wipes, half eaten toast…)
- It keeps the rain off (and you can wipe off sticky handprints or jam…)
- It might not be the warmest fabric, but the straight cut means you can layer a jumper underneath.
- You can roll it up in your bag and it doesn’t look creased afterwards…
- It looks great with jeans, works as a colour pop over a suit -or as a cover up over pyjamas…
To vote for the Boden Mac in the #MMHA16 on social media use hashtag #MMHABODEN
This year’s awards will be voted down to a final ten winners via likes on Instagram and retweets on Twitter – so show some love for the ones you rate highest and there will be some incentives and competitions along the way to make the voting more exciting 😉
Editor writes: this year’s shortlist was actually something of a challenge as we had so many fabulous submissions and suggestions. Our criteria for the #MMHA has always been quite broad in terms of category, but infinitely comes down to one simple fact: this product is bl**dy brilliant! Big thanks as usual to all the input from our writers and celeb mums and congratulations to all included in the shortlist…
The #MMHA16 Shortlist is as follows – in no particular order:
Lilly and Sid Baby Blankets: in a world of blankies, these are the ones that kids would choose for themselves. Soft, washable, durable, ethical – you’ll find these well loved and still on the beds of pre-schoolers. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHALILLYANDSID
Nuna Leaf Baby Seat: This clever baby rocker has a one-of-a-kind side to side floating motion and grows with your child to become a comfy toddler armchair. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHANUNALEAF
Chillipeeps: we love these little teats and spouts, which can be popped in a handbag or changing bag and are the perfect size to fit into a ready mix formula carton or a bottle of water. Reusable and dishwasher-proof, they are possibly the best £7 you’ll spend… To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHACHILLIPEEPS
aden+anais Muslins and Dream Blankets: with a constantly evolving range of gorgeous but understated designs, these muslins and blankets really do get softer with each wash and are roomy, for snug as a bug swaddling and snuggling. We love the latest Disney collaboration prints as well as the chic classic designs. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAADENANDANAIS
Pacapod Jasper: loved by celebs ranging from Benedict Cumberbatch to Zara Phillips, the Pacapod’s unique pod system means that you can just ‘grab and go’. We adore the Jasper’s chic leather outer, spacious interior and general elegance – and the fact that it crams 35 litres of baby clobber into one hardworking handbag. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAPACAPOD
Tiffany Rose: celeb mum Becky Mantin told us “I love Tiffany Rose for pregnancy & nursing clothes” and we fully agree; stunning designs, flattering fit and the occasion wear really does make one feel ladylike and special (even in the third trimester). To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHATIFFANYROSE
Boden Mac: we had great deliberation about the perfect ‘school run coat’, but in the end (thanks to the unpredictability of the British Summer) the Boden Mac was the clear winner. Showerproof, with a hood to keep your hands free and pockets big enough to hold Fruit Shoots, car keys, wipes and bits of toast – this coat comes in a range of vibrant or classic colourways and means you’ll always look ‘together’ no matter how late you are running… To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABODENMAC
Bambini & Me Rompers: we think Bambini & Me is definitely a ‘one to watch’ brand and we fell in love with the adorable range of rompers and bodysuits, made with skin-friendly bamboo. The range also includes swaddles and sleeping bags – all very unisex and deeply delightful. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABAMBINIANDME
Bee Good Plump and Firm Moisturiser: made with British wildflower honey and hyluronic acid, this day cream packs an absolute suckerpunch of tightening, glowgiving and nourishing – so much so that we swear you can go without makeup. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABEEGOOD
The Organic Balm Co Baby Mother and Baby Nourish Balm: a one stop solution for stretch marks, rough elbows, sensitive baby skin, dry feet, eczema… You name it, this delicious blend of vitamins, omega 3’s and hemp seed oil can zap it! The pump dispenser makes it changing-bag friendly too… To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAORGANICBALM
Bobux Shoes: designed for little feet to have the freedom of being barefoot, this range of padders, first walkers and toddler shoes is not only created to allow healthy development but the comfortable fit also ensures ‘stay-ability’ if you have a child who insists on throwing their footwear off in the supermarket…Check out the latest collaboration with Solene Roure also. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABOBUX
Belly Bandit Tummy Tucker: your new best friend when it comes to blitzing the baby belly, this postpartum secret is made from medical grde, latex free elastic and is recommended by doctors – as well as being loved by celeb mums including Camilla Rutherford, who called it ‘Mother’s Little Helper…’ To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHABELLYBANDIT
Mon Breton: we’re big fans of the Breton top as a ‘throw on with jeans and you don’t notice the yoghurt stains’ mummy-dressing solution. Mon Breton have pushed the boundaries of a timeless classic by allowing you to personalise with initials or cute emojis. Go matchy-matchy with their men’s and kids’ range too… To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAMONBRETON
Oh Arthur: This trio of ladies have put together a ridiculously cute collection of childrenswear and accessories – making them undoubtedly one of our favourite boutique startups. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAOHARTHUR
Baby Bjorn One Outdoors: real game-changer if you like to a) babywear b) yomp or c) want no limits on where you and baby can explore. Festivals, hill climbs, fun runs… this carrier can take on the elements and is ergonomicaly designed for comfortable carrying from birth to three years. Lovely colourways too! To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAONEOUTDOORS
Laurence King Colouring Books: Jasmine Guinness told us “, you can never go wrong with a colouring book and pencils, it’s such a nice thing to do and luckily the kids agree. Creativity is so important.” And when it comes to fabulous, innovative colouring books we adore the range from Laurence King Publishing, such as ‘To the Moon, the World’ Tallest Colouring Book’. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHALAURENCEKING
Doona: this carseat-come-stroller really has broken the mould when it comes to practical design and out-of-the-box thinking. Laura Hamilton told us “this is one of my all-time favourites. It is so convenient for travelling or even if you need to pop out quickly. So many people comment on it when they see it because it’s such a clever invention.” To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHADOONA
Nappy Grab bags: wipes, cream, nappy and mat all in one pocket-sized solution. Biodegradable, simply roll it all up and bin it afterwards. Keep one in the car, under the buggy, in your coat pocket – life suddenly got a whole lot simpler! To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHAGRABBAG
Splashabout Wetsuits: the brand that brought you Happy Nappies now has a range of wetsuits for children and babies (including one that integrates the famous nappy pants), meaning that kids will stay in the water for longer without getting cold – and easing the transition from warmer baby pools to regular/outdoor pools (or English seaside paddles!). Adorable designs and a range of lengths/sizes – Beyonce’s daughter loves the ‘Apple Daisy’ one. To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHASPLASHABOUT
Smalls: layer up with these merino wool tops and leggings that are so pretty they work as outerwear or PJs too. Brilliantly breathable, your kids will be warm and toasty (but not uncomfortable or sweaty). Merino stays cleaner for longer (less washing) and it doesn’t sag, bag or shrink. Fab underlayers for flights, camping trips and puddle jumping…To vote on social media use hashtag: #MMHASMALLS
We hope you like our selection and will show your support by giving your favourites some social media love. The votes will be counted on August 4th and the final ten winners announced.
One last thing: we have two extra award categories this year, both of which will be voted for by our editorial panel and guest judges. They are Buggy Love (our stroller category) and Better World (our charity and ethical partnership award). Watch the site for more details on both of these.
Off the back of the Cambridge’s family ski-holiday shots we (like you probably) clocked that George and Charlotte were decked out in John Lewis and Decathlon ski suits… Conservative choices for celeb kids? Maybe Kate just needs a bit of shopping inspiration…?
For ultimate ‘ski royalty’ bling, how about this gold and white Moschino snowsuit, on sale at Alex and Alexa..?Made with cozy duck down and comes with matching booties (if this wasn’t enough gold!). Accessorize with a crown…
Kids just love wearing Boden’s bright and distinctive snowboard jackets. Their ‘Royal Blue Flower Stamp’ design has lovely bold daisies and definitely won’t get lost on the row of pegs at nursery if Mummy forgets to sew in one’s HRH nametapes…
Daddy might take to the skies in a helicopter but you can fly down the slopes with a funky aeroplane helmet cover from Little Skiers.
Or you can’t beat the original Moon Boots – available in dinky sizes in headline-grabbing colourways…
Whilst they might be scarce in January (Granny used to say being able to put one’s foot on seven daisies at one was a sign that Summer was here) we can’t get enough of simple, chic daisies.
From the Marc Jacobs floral scent – which actually has its heart in gardenia and jasmine rather than the humble yellow and white bloom – to the Instagram of super hip Daisy Finetto (formerly lead singer of Mausi, now rocking some sultry solo French electro sounds), daisies can only make us smile.
Boden’s Harriet dress is on sale right now – snap it up in 60’s inspired blue daisy motif…
Match with Monsoon’s lemon Daisy Walker sandals…
Whilst we’re debating in the office that black isn’t the most positive colour, there’s no denying that tomorrow will make for many a happy shopper.
Need some inspiration?
How about Boden, who are offering 30% off EVERYTHING? Timeless, quirky English chic – and how adorable is this wool blazer for dandy little mini chaps?
Or a faux leather waterfall biker jacket from Jolly Chic for less than £10..? Very Kate Moss – and great for layering over a chunky sweater or knitted dress.
Mac have even gone so far to create a lip polish for the day! Order their limited edition deep plum ‘Berry Black Friday’ and pout like you got a great deal…
Or see how the excitement of saving £20 affects your heart rate with a Fitbit from Very – in a choice of lovely colours…
Can it be done? A capsule wardrobe that will see you through the whole 40 weeks, from the ‘my jeans feel tight’ stage to the ‘I can’s see my toes…’
We take on the challenge to find the essentials that will work together to cover every scenario from the boardroom to the babymoon to the big day…
Underwear: we chose the Blooming Marvelous lace support bras (£28 for two from Mothercare) as our basics as they give rigid support, come in duo-packs (one black, one white) are wire free for comfort and have a chic lace trim.
If you’re a swimmer, the Seraphine multiway costume can be worn tied at the side or skirted, for a little more poolside modesty.
Basics: a cosy pair of lounge pull ons will double up as Winter PJs, Sunday Brunch wear, yoga class and for ‘I just can’t pull my own pants up’ days. Rosie for Autograph cashmere bottoms are divinely soft and the loose waistband with flattering bow will sit comfortably under your bump, despite not being designed as maternity wear.
Formal: Isabella Oliver’s wrap dresses have been an iconic choice for years, but we prefer the ruched bodycon style as it lasts longer into the pregnancy. The Balfour dress in black is your new LBD.
Outerwear: a cape or a coatigan is a good ‘all weather’ option. We love the range from Celtic and Co…
And if you’re looking for a smart maternity jacket try Dressing for Two’s classic drape blazer.
Jeans: if you’re a skinny jean lover then the Isabella Oliver Zadie ones are a good bet, or the stretch skinnies from Seraphine – both loved by celebs and with an ‘over the bump’ band. The current Boyfriend jean trend is a godsend for the pudding club though, check out JoJoMamanBebe straight legs as an option.
Shoes: Kate Middleton might have teetered on her Nine West nude heels at 8 months, but we’d suggest a great pair of boots as a more comfortable, multitasking option. These gorgeous fringed boots from Zara are sassy enough to make a statement, but the square heels are easy on the swollen ankles…
As a great pair of flats we love the Lulu Superglitz from calf-toning brand Fitflop.
Accessories: a pair of cosy socks is a must have and we love the rainbow of cashmere hues from Brora. A statement scarf doubles as a wrap and detracts from wobbly thighs and bingo wing arms – check out the playful festival scarves from Boden.
One minute the skies are blue, the next there’s a month’s worth of rain catapulting down.
Here are our pick of ‘nearly Autumn but still a little bit Summer’ transitional outerwear pieces…
Celtic and Co’s hooded cardie is made with alpaca and linen and is a wearable version of the 70s kaftan trend that seems to be everywhere at the moment. With a big cosy hood to pull up in a shower (or on a bad hair day) and wide, drapey sleeves this one pulls over anything and doubles up as a stroller blankie or shade to boot!
Jungwon make wrinkle free, breathable rainwear and chic outerwear inspired by city life. With a huge range of colours and styles celebs such as Sam Smith have been rocking them at festivals…
The Boden Charlotte cape is a playful cover up with a really flattering collar – team it with a breton top and heels or over a dress – it comes in sensible black but we adore the striking pink and orange colourway.
Monsoon’s Jenna Print jacket is a lightweight cover up with a subtle colour pop. Looks fab over jeans and a plain tee, or give that maxi sundress a last wear of the season with this thrown over your shoulders.
If parallel lines scream ‘no!’ in the language of fat-wardrobe-geometry, or the thought of faded colours makes you think of the last accident you had with the washing machine, take a look at our pick below and redefine your stripes.
Think vintage deck chairs, narrowboats, Hammam towels… Oh, and did we mention all of the below are all on sale, so grab yourself a bargain!
This linen jersey tee is hugely reduced at Toast, so get in there quick to snap up this wearable, versatile piece.
Add a light layer for long beachy nights with this subtle kimono from Fat Face
We love the alternative colourways and lime green pop that Joules have given to this scarf – a bargain at just £7.95
Espadrilles are having a moment and they have come a long way since their last one! These ones from Boden make us think of morning sunlight or dancing in the buttercups…
Snuggle up after yoga in these playful 100% cashmere knee socks from Crumpet…
Or keep it sweet and chic with this Breton tunic from Not on the High St…