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Blogger Hollie talks finding her confidence after having a baby

Having a baby, it’s safe to say, is a life-changing moment. Blogger Hollie of Pretty Big Butterflies talks honestly about how she’s dealing with the changes in her body and her wardrobe in this new phase of her life.

When I talk about myself years ago, I always refer to myself as the Cardigan Queen. I didn’t wear colour and all I wanted to do was cover up my body with loose clothing. Then I started blogging and found an amazing world of beautiful and confident plus size women and a whole host of brands that offered fashionable clothes that fitted me.

Slowly, I came out of my cardigan shell and was a bit of a fashion minx (even if I say so myself!) I felt so confident in my outfit choices and wearing what I wanted became effortless. This continued when I became pregnant last year. I found that my confidence grew… along with my bump! I wasn’t afraid to show off my size. I felt totally comfortable in my own skin. Fast forward months later and here I am with a gorgeous little baby boy. But I feel like I’ve somehow sacrificed a bit of my confidence. My body has changed. You might look at me and think how? You seem the same. You’re right… I’m the same dress size. But my shape has changed. My belly has dropped and everything just feels different. I put on one of my favourite dresses the other day, looked in the mirror and just felt deflated.

I started to feel that Cardigan Queen in me return and I couldn’t shake it off. But you know what? I refused to let the change in my body shape defeat me. Sometimes in life, your body shape changes and you have to work with it. So I’m rebuilding my confidence. It’s taking its time but I’m remembering the clothes I loved before I was pregnant. The ones that I put on and made me feel good and I’m just changing it up a little bit.

SHIRTS

I love shirts, especially with the top button fastened (I just feel like it adds an edge). My favourite pineapple-print shirt from navabi has been a real confidence booster lately. It floats over me, and right now, I want pieces that feel flattering. Even if I’ve tried really hard to defeat that word and that idea… right now that’s what I need, and that’s OK. I’ve worn it so much I’ve learnt to make it more versatile with a jumper over the top or under a denim shirt. Generally I’ve been opting for longer length shirts and as the weather gets warmer I’ll be opting for off-the-shoulder tops too. Both of these styles are quite free-flowing. Perfect for skimming over the parts of me that I’m getting used to again.

DRESS SHAPES

I’ve always been a fan of dresses, but some of my old favourites just seem to sit so differently on me now. I like my dresses with a bit of a fit and flare design, but I guess as my shape has changed. The ‘nipping-in’ area has also moved itself a bit and most of my dresses sit awkwardly now. So, I’m opting for dresses that are more of a swing style than fitted. That makes me feel more comfortable. Once I get the shape right, I’m still a floral fan so I’m sticking with that because I know it makes me happy. I love a good block colour too, so I’m trying to swerve towards bright colours to enhance my mood. I believe that works!

Dressing down

Finally, I’m replacing the baggy tunics and leggings of yesterday with sweatshirts and skinny jeans. They bring the same comfortable feel as leggings but with more of an edge; or rather, I don’t feel like I’m constantly wearing pyjamas.  Especially with the patch details that are everywhere right now, I still feel like I can wear this and be part of the fashion crowd.

Confidence is about finding what works for you. I’ve realised it’s great to follow trends and what’s hot, but at the end of the day: wear what makes you happy. You don’t have to stick to the same thing forever, across your life. Likewise, bodies do generally change shape over time so it’s OK for your style and fashion choices to change with it. One of the reasons I love navabi is because they understand that cut and fit is so important. They appreciate that bodies have different shapes and we aren’t in a world where one size fits all. I feel like they are a brand that are there as I progress as a person because they offer so much in terms of plus fashion. I appreciate that they are a part of helping me find myself again. That’s where confidence comes from. Making you happy. 

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