Life After Jeans

Look around you. How many people can you see wearing jeans? Well, if you are in an office where formalwear is de rigour, probably not that many, but out in the street, in the playground, in the mall I bet you run out of fingers trying to count those in sight.

I owned several pairs myself in shades of blue plus few black ones. Mostly skinny which went with pretty much everything in every season. Teamed with everything from slobby sweats to smart chiffon shirts my jeans were my go-to article of clothing.

madmumof7 in jeans at Warner Bros Studio Tour

But after developing a grim medical condition called Lichen Sclerosis last summer I was advised to avoid tight fitting clothing which meant my skinnies had to be relegated to the back of the drawer along with leggings and tights.

At the time the weather was balmy and it was relatively easy to swap from jeans into the summer dresses I usually saved for holidays and smarter work events.

Madmumof7 modelling silver pleated skirt and yellow top

But as the temperatures dropped I found it more difficult to find things to wear which protected my delicate lower regions and kept me warm.

The discovery of over the knee socks and dropped crotch cotton harem pants to wear under dresses and skirts really helped. The discovery that making a little more effort into my outfits makes me feel good about myself really, really helped.

After a few weeks of panic buying anything which was long enough to protect my dignity I have now discovered my new style. I love pleated skirts and have lots of those which I can team with jumpers, sweatshirts, blouses, T shirts and vest tops making them endlessly versatile.

madmumof7 in Harry Potter Hufflepuff sweatshirt and yellow sun ray pleated skirt

Most of the dresses I already owned were a bit "mumsy" so now I have a core wardrobe I've been replacing them with pieces which are more me. I seem to have a penchant for stripes and animal print.

The biggest change to my wardrobe has been a little...draughty. TMI WARNING > Again, because of the grim autoimmune condition I was advised to ditch underwear during a flare-up. The first few days it felt really weird but trust me, now wearing underwear feels odd.

OK, Backing away from my underwear might feel nervous about abandoning your jeans but I'm not saying you have to ditch denim. I have loose fitting dungarees in two shades, one a wide-legged light denim cropped style plus traditional dungarees in a dark denim which are great when I want to be casual. I also just bought a pair of loose, paperbag-top jeans which I will wear when the occasion really does demand jeans. Otherwise if the occasion calls for my legs to be covered or I have to climb a ladder I wear loose (often colourful) trousers.

madmumof7 in denim dungarees

no jeans -madmumof7 in South Africa

So you might be wondering why I'm so keen for you to explore other outfits. It's just that after decades of taking the safe option I am loving exploring my personal style and enjoying how wearing different clothes makes me feel. I always thought I didn't enjoy wearing skirts and dresses but Ive surprised myself.

As I approach my 50th birthday with a variety of health conditions which are making me feel quite old it becomes more important to me to grasp every moment, enjoy life and indulge myself a little in being the me I want to be, not the me I think people want or expect me to be.

madmumof7 in animal print dress and leather-look biker jacket

A simple change of wardrobe has gone a long way towards helping me do that so I am keen to encourage others to step out of their comfort zone and explore their real selves. I just hope none of you are forced into it by nasty health conditions like I was!

madmumof7 in colourful trousers and Hotter plimsolls

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