I told my sister I was writing a piece about how my wardrobe helps me as a parent. As a mother of three beautiful but boisterous boys she said that sounds like a bit of a stretch, but I persevered.
You see in every other aspect of our lives we use our wardrobe to make us feel a certain way; more powerful for an important interview, more attractive for a first date, less hungover the morning after.
Yet ever since procreation, I have found myself in an apathetic rotation of jeans and navy Uniqlo jumpers. I am alarmed at how quickly I have abandoned my wardrobe post children.
It is probably why I felt a jolt when I pulled out a soft pink coat for the school run recently.
It wasn’t waterproof, stain-resistant or in any sense practical, but it instantly made me feel more capable and put-together.
Suddenly, as I negotiated the morning wrestle of scooters, schoolbags and pushchairs – a piece of toast between my teeth – I felt less harangued.
I tried to remember at what point I stopped trying to create (at least) the image of a competent, able person and have become a bit sartorially, well, un-done.
It’s not as if I have ever thought of clothes as superficial and short-lived – Net-A-Porter is my happy place – and yet here I was in my delicious pink coat enjoying a hit of pure, quixotic joy – it impacted me and in a small way it did my girls.
So I have resolved to make a few simple changes – here are the ones already making a difference.
1. Making more of my shower
Even through their incessant chatter, (my little ones like to dangle their feet over the side of the bath every time I try to bathe/shower) I am trying to savour a therapeutic hot shower every day. I have always used Aromatherapy Associates (it smells like showering in a five star hotel) and my favourite is the Relax – Restful and Tranquil body wash from the Self-Care Is Your Healthcare range, (£22, netaporter.com). I then have a quick skin brush. I let my mind wander – come up with great ideas, quickly forget them and feel set up for the day.
2. Adding even a hint of make-up
I am not ashamed to admit I enjoy watching Trinny Woodall’s Instagram-live beauty videos while vigorously massaging various emollients along with her in a bid to “wake up tired skin”. I have yet to join the ‘Trinny Tribe’ but her can-do approach to beauty has left me resolving to wear more make-up. For every day, I have always loved Guerlain. The Terracotta bronzer in Clair (not biased), the Maxi Lashes mascara, and The Eye Pencil, which just glides on (guerlain.com) are all in my make-up bag. And when I conceal my greys with my Color Wow Root Cover Up I even do my brows too (sssh).