Would You?

Would You?

Sustainable fashion, slow fashion, recycled fashion, repurposed fashion, upcycled fashion; all terms that have been at the forefront of my mind lately. I’ve spoken about this topic many times before so please bear with me while I explain why I’m talking about it again now. Before I do that from here on in I’m going to pile all those terms together under the umbrella of ‘slow fashion’ as anything that contributes to slowing down production, reducing waste, improving conditions to workers and consumers to me is slow fashion. Ok so last year I was having a crisis of inspiration. If you need a reminder read about it here. This lead to an unexpected personal shopping ban and despite my love for shopping, surprisingly I managed well. Then came pregnancy, during which I relied heavily on hand-me-downs, charity shops and borrowing clothes. Again if you need a reminder click here. Now post-pregnancy and breastfeeding I find I’m in a similar position. Some clothes in my wardrobe either don’t fit or are not breastfeeding friendly and I have no intention of spending money on clothes that are not going to be permanent features in my wardrobe, so I continue to look and not buy. I’ve bought the odd thing of course but my shopping habit continues to be somewhat subdued and I’m rather happy about it. Continue reading

Advertisements

Maternity Fashion

lovetomtom

 and a maternity wardrobe

I started writing this post months ago and haven’t been able to finish it because well, things change so quickly during pregnancy, so honestly it’s been hard to keep up! I’m entering another phase now (that’s code for getting bigger) and while I feel like I’ve been wearing the same clothes for weeks now I’m going to share what I’ve learned about trying to dress my bump before it changes again.

When I first found out I was pregnant there were of course a million things running through my mind and one was, how was I going to dress like me with a bump? I started looking at maternity clothes and decided I was having none of it! I turned to Pinterest and felt a little reassurance in other people’s creativity and I was able to develop an image of how I was going to style myself during pregnancy. Are you laughing already? I now laugh at myself as you can probably guess that things didn’t go to plan. The other thing that didn’t go to plan was that I wanted to capture my ever-changing body and style with some beautiful photography but life has moved so quickly that you will have to put up with some less artistic selfies.

I made a few mistakes early on that have had a big impact on how I felt during the first few months. Normally, when I shop, I treat every piece like an investment but being pregnant meant it became the complete opposite. I couldn’t get my head around this and it didn’t seem financially sensible or practical to buy clothes that I would only be wearing for a few months or even a few weeks! As a result I didn’t buy any clothes. I persisted with what I had, squeezing (literally) into my existing wardrobe, leaving buttons open with the help of a DIY hairband-come-expander. Most days I was uncomfortable and very conscious that my options were getting fewer by the day. What I should have done, and this was my first mistake, was to buy a few basics such as leggings and vests. This would have allowed me to be more comfortable and get more wear out of a number of items already in my wardrobe. Lesson learnt.

By the time my bump was an actual bump and not just the result of a carbohydrate-fuelled meal I was a little more relaxed and happy to show it off. Like my ‘buy as an investment rule’, I had to reverse how I normally dress as my body shape was completely different. My waist had vanished so no more high-waisted skirts and I found that figure hugging clothes created a nicer silhouette in comparison to something a little looser which I was more comfortable with. This is where some basics came in handy. A decent pair of maternity jeans are a must, however I would suggest buying these once your bump is established. Any earlier and they just won’t make sense. I also bought some stretchy bodycon type maternity dresses (H&M, Lidl and New Look) which I have gotten the most wear out of as they have stretched with me. I initially wore them on their own and now in the cooler weather I layer up with leggings and cardigans.

Other pieces that have been huge fashion-savers have been some outer wear. If you can get your hands on a blazer, do so. I was fortunate enough to be given a black blazer with silk trim and it has worked wonders to give the illusion of a figure. Similarly I got my hands on a maternity coat in my local charity shop that is double-breasted and warm with a lovely exaggerated collar that doubles as a hood. It’s not waterproof or even anything I would buy if I wasn’t pregnant but it does the job.

People had suggested buying a size or two up and for some things this worked but for the majority of the time I found there was room for the bump but too much material everywhere else. I did buy some non-maternity items that have been useful in my maternity wardrobe that I will be able to wear once bubs is here. A few dresses and some plain stretch long sleeve tops that act as a base under blazers have been practical and also give way for a bit of fun. This blazer I mentioned earlier is great with a tee and one I wear often as I can mix things up with shoes and accessories. Speaking of which in an attempt to recreate my wardrobe I have relied heavily on existing accessories and some of my favourite pairs of shoes. At least these for the most part are non-pregnancy related and help me feel like my style hasn’t completely vanished.

Just when I was feeling on top of things, my body has changed again and so too has my wardrobe. When talking to other women, I get the sense we are lucky that maternity fashion is now a ‘thing’ and more stores are jumping on board. But not enough. Imagine, there are only four reasonably priced brands available to you and each brand has the mentality that all women look the same and wear the same clothes. For me that sums up maternity fashion. I’m looking to brands that I would never normally buy and none of my shopping decisions have been based on style or quality, mainly price. That is no way to shop. Thank goodness for charity shops and people’s generosity. I have been given some great pieces and I look forward to returning the favour when I’m done with them.

No doubt things are going to change again and again in the last ten weeks. I have a sense that the ‘loungewear’ part of my wardrobe is going to be worn more and more.

If you are pregnant and want a few more specific tips please get in touch as I have a lot more to say on the topic. Even if you aren’t pregnant and want to revise your wardrobe or need some styling for a particular event you can contact me at lovetomtom@outlook.com.

xo

Shopping for a cause

I broke my ‘no shopping ban’

But for a very good reason

I knew it wasn’t going to last forever. Actually I managed my personal no shopping ban for longer than expected but it has come to an end and all for a good cause. For the next few months I’ll be shopping in the maternity and children’s section! Baby B (that’s what I’ve named it) will be joining Mr B and I in early March and we are both thrilled and terrified. Continue reading

Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable Fashion

lovetomtom style

Some of you may have heard about Stiall, a fantastic creation by Linda Conway. Stiall is a place that looks to ‘de-mystify sustainable fashion.’  It really is such a clever, informative and necessary tool in today’s world of high-speed fashion and well worth your time. The reason I’m talking about this is because Stiall, more specifically the Stiall Challenge has put my brain into overdrive. Continue reading

When in doubt turn to vintage

When in Doubt Turn to Vintage

You know I have been rather stuck for inspiration these days when it comes to fashion. Never did I think I would look forward to the summer season ending (only in fashion terms of course) but I can’t wait to see what is coming next. I realised I haven’t bought anything new in quite some time and while that is good for a number of reasons, I have missed playing dress-ups.

When I get stuck for inspiration, I always turn to vintage. I know vintage is not for everyone but I love it and I mean proper vintage not something from last season.  Often I prefer the shapes and silhouettes of vintage pieces and I love imagining the story behind the garment. I have a few places in Dublin I head to when I’m in a vintage mood and it is a challenge not to buy everything I see. Thankfully I had my sensible head on (sort of) and hit a few charity stores first. My first stop was Vincent’s Charity Shop on George’s Street and I needn’t go any further; I struck gold! Continue reading

Wish List #28

Wish List

#28

 

Have you been following my Wish Lists? Well you should. I tell you I feel like have really curbed my natural instinct to shop. My wish lists seem to be providing a false sense of reality in that I feel I actually own all the things that have caught my eye and therefore don’t need to shop!

This week has been no different. Check out what goodies I’m pretending to own here.

xo

A lovetomtom Christmas

A lovetomtom Christmas

It’s that time of year again. Christmas is here which means catch ups, too much food and PRESENTS! You all know by now I’m not that fond of Christmas but boy do I love getting presents! And buying them for that matter.

I started this year’s gift guide by going back to my very first Christmas post and my feelings remain the same. So whether it’s a phone call or a cookbook, a toy or clothes I’m throwing a few ideas your way.

Be sure to click the photographs below for all the details, photographers, prices and why I think these would be great gifts.

#alovetomtomchristmas

alovetomtomchristmas

alovetomtomchristmas

#alovetomtomchristmas

#alovetomtomchristmas

#alovetomtomchristmas

#alovetomtomchristmas

November's Beauty Bag

There are a few I haven’t included so for my family members, look away now. Everyone else click here to see what other goodies are in this year’s gift guide.

xo

 

I got married!!!

I got married!!

The outfit!

I have been bursting at the seams to share this post. I can’t believe I have kept quiet for so long! Put the kettle on, I’ve got a lot to say.

For anyone who has gotten married and knew exactly what they wanted to wear, lucky you! I had no idea. I knew what I didn’t want to wear. No white, cream, off white, nude, champagne or any version of this colour palette. Actually I knew quite a lot of things I didn’t want. No strapless ensemble, nothing that required special underwear, tape or anything that would need an army to dress me and no to a full length gown. I did the usual ‘wedding‘ board on Pinterest for ideas. This board was started long before I knew I was getting married and if I’m honest, when I’m pinning it’s usually dresses I think would be great as wedding dresses but not necessarily on me. While you’re there take a look at my ‘Let’s get fancy‘ board as most of those outfits could be potential wedding attire but I had no intention of spending a year’s salary on a gown. So, other than a bit of fun daydreaming about Valentino, Pinterest was no use to me.

Shopping was what I needed and that’s exactly what I did. Even though there were a few things I knew I didn’t want, there were two things I knew for sure. I knew that I wanted to be able to wear my wedding outfit again and again and again and I knew who I was going to take shopping with me. This very dear friend I had in mind is honest, knows me very well and in this case, she was pushy. I mean that in the nicest possible way of course but she made me try on things that I maybe wouldn’t have and in this situation it was what I needed. The other thing I’m very grateful for is technology. How great that you can try something on, take a picture,  go home and look, analyse, look some more and send it to those that may be too far away to come shopping with you to do exactly the same.

I’m going to get to the juicy part now and my visit to Costume, the place where it all happened.  Somehow without me even opening my mouth the staff knew I was looking for a wedding outfit. Psychics? They asked all the right questions and gave me the time to browse. They looked at what I picked out for myself and they added to it. I tried on two outfits that I was happy to buy then and there. They were nice and as my friend said, she would expect me to wear something like that but she reminded me this was my wedding and not a bbq. Then the sales assistant came towards me and said ‘try this on’. Me: ‘Oh no I would never wear that colour.’ She: ‘Just try it on’. I’m glad I listened.

Somehow the combination of the satin Dice Kayek  midi skirt and Roland MouretEugene‘ top made me feel absolutely incredible and that was just standing in the shop! I loved that the two pieces were different fabrics and textures and that they were slightly different shades of blue. I loved the contrast in shapes of the two pieces. The angles of the top against the feminine skirt created a silhouette that I couldn’t believe was mine. I loved that the top despite its angular lines was fluid and the tiny black ribbon at the back holding it together to reveal a sneaky glimpse of skin, was a tiny detail with a big impact. I loved that the front was equally as interesting as the back and I loved that the skirt had pockets! I took a chance and left the store, empty-handed to mull over this stunning ensemble. I think I was in shock that with just one day’s shopping I had potentially found my wedding outfit. All I kept thinking was, could it be that easy? Somehow the weeks flew by me and nearly six weeks later, I decided I had better get this sorted. I tried on another dress, surprisingly in the same colour which went to the top of my list and before I made my purchase I said to myself while I’m out I’ll go back to Costume see if the first outfit I tried on was still there. It was and it was just as fabulous! Then and there, I bought my wedding outfit.

Getting ready!

Photograph by Alex Feld

Getting ready

Photograph by Alex Feld

Just to add to the success of this experience, after I bought it I went across the road to one of my favourite spots in Dublin, Om Diva. Not looking for anything wedding-related, I was having a great poke about when I saw this gorgeous vintage blue satin purse and it immediately became mine!

Something old

Photograph by Alex Feld

With that sorted all I had left to do was sort out my shoes. I think I tried on every shoe in Dublin and drove everyone around me crazy with my shoe dilemma. My dilemma was that I wanted to wear dark shoes as I’m not a fan of nude shoes and I wanted to be able to wear them all day and wear them again after the wedding. I thought black heels would be too harsh against the blue, so I searched and searched and searched. In the end, I realised I was being completely ridiculous and if I wanted to wear black shoes I should. So I did! With a week or so to our New York wedding I found a fabulous pair of black textured heels in Zara and they were perfect and I’ve worn them since.

New York wedding!

Photograph by Alex Feld

With all that said there is still more to come. April’s beauty bag will be my wedding beauty bag and the final part to ‘I got married‘ will be all about our amazing wedding day in New York. I’m saving the best pictures until last.

First stroll as husband & wife

Photograph by Alex Feld

xo