According to the fashion world, New York City Fashion Week sets the trends for the upcoming seasons. If this is the case, Australian Women in Spring 2018 should be furiously adding to their online shopping carts:

  • Balloon sleeved blouses
  • Statement slides
  • Hoop earrings
  • Powersuits
  • Mini bags

None of those trends sounds particularly cohesive to motherhood though am I right?

If I was to rock up to the playground wearing a balloon sleeved blouse with hoop earrings and statement slides and carrying a mini bag, I would quickly regret it.

My toddler would make short work of my hoop earrings, ripping them from my ear lobes. I would be overheated in my balloon sleeved blouse, from running after him across the playground. My statement slides would be filthy from the bark under the swings. As for my mini bag, not much room for the implements required to deal with a poo explosion in there!

Australian Mums have another idea of what will suit our personal style. We are revolting from uncomfortable and often unwearable fashion trends. We have taken back the ‘term mum jean’, wearing our jeans with pride, because they are damn comfortable and damn sexy at the same time. We also understand that activewear can be worn anywhere and at any time, and in a variety of bright and fun patterns. If you can see the line of our undies through them? You are lucky. We simply do not care.  

We want clothes and accessories that are cute, comfortable and functional enough to wear an actual bra with.

The year that I was breastfeeding my baby, “off the shoulder tops”  were on trend. There are not a lot of strapless maternity bras out there on the market! And there was no way my milk filled boobs were flopping freely around in anything other than an oversized mens shirt at nighttime. They remained securely strapped in at all times.

Luckily for those of us who want to be both fashionable and practical, there are some stylish Mumma’s out there, who run their own shops and online businesses, providing a wonderful solution. Because while there is nothing wrong with shopping at chain stores, I do like to mix it up with some specialty pieces, especially ones that are designed by Mums. After all who better to know exactly what will work for our capsule wardrobes and body types than other mums.

Enter: The rise of the slogan tee and the top knot.

Slogan tees can be worn with Mum Jeans or activewear. They come in a variety of colours, lengths and fits and splashed across the front is your preferred slogan which may be funny, ironic or even feminist. They allow us to stand out out on the playground (and maybe start a conversation!). Slogans such as ‘Boss Mama Coffee Lover’ or ‘Peace Love and Lollipops’ make clothes fun and interesting and tell a bit more of a story about the woman behind the tee.

Sporting a top knot (otherwise known as a headband) with your slogan tee just makes good sense! They are an accessory that goes perfect with a mum bun, and hides the fact that you haven’t washed your hair in about a week except if you count dousing it in dry shampoo.

Many of the women behind the stores selling slogan tees and top knots are Mums just like us, who understand exactly our body types and the functionality we want from our clothes. They also boast a huge Instagram presence,  designed not just to show off their clothes, but often support a good cause and include blogs full of Mum hacks and relatable content. Some examples?

  • TopKnot Girl has some great healthy kids recipes on her blog. Her recipe for chocolate zucchini muffins are to die for.
  • Confetti Rebels just released a t-shirt line sporting the slogan “Females to the Front”. 10% from the sale of each tee will be going towards the charity WISHIN, which is a social change organisation working towards gender equality for women and children who have experienced homelessness, family violence and related traumas.
  • Three Little Boys connects to a blog on Raising Boys and includes some incredible articles to soak up with a coffee in hand.

Tina from Three Little Boys Clothing, has been designing children and baby clothes for years, and got her start after having her third little boy. Her #Mama’s Boy for Life clothes are a particular hit. She wanted to match with her boys, so released a line of ‘#Mama of Boys’ shirt which has also been a massive hit. This is not just because of the great fit, but the very catchy slogan. A whole family of boys in matching clothes including Mum? What is not to love about that!

Tina from Three Little Boys Clothing wearing her #Mama of Boys tee

While Tina said she keeps an eye on trends, she mostly just likes to chat to her friends and graphic designer on fashion and what they think her customer will love. Who better to know what Mums want to wear than other Mums after all!

Holly from TopKnot Girl has a similar story, wanting to match with her little girl. She started making topknots at home about four years ago, growing her existing business of making handmade doll and baby clothing and accessories. She now focuses on headbands and has an amazing, and often quirky, collection of headbands that you can buy for you and for your kids. Even newborns.

Holly from TopKnot girl wearing her ‘It’s a topknot and double shot kinda day’ tee and one of her gingham topknots

Similarly to Tina, Holly does a mix of following trends and doing her own thing. She has followed certain trends in the past, but mostly goes with her gut. She will see a fabric and either love it or hate and it, and choose based on that.

These are two Australian women and mums who understand exactly what we want to wear and are delivering a fashion niche that compliments our lifestyle and clothes that make us feel good.

I think the days of letting the fashion gods dictate what is on trend and what we should be wearing may be over. As a die hard clothes lover like me, this is great news. Almost as good as the news of Afterpay, which means I can purchase my slogan tee and topknot, scrolling through Instagram with a baby attached to my boob, and have it paid off in a way that doesn’t bring too much attention to my particular spending habits. It’s a win win for all really.

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Love Sally

P.S. If you enjoyed reading this article you may also like to read An Open Letter to my Mum Friends

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