Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Style Icon - One Hot Mama

It seems that there are really only two types of Mums around here. Either you fit the mold of the Stay-At-Home mum, wearing your 'good' jeans for play dates and hair in a scrappy pony tail every day, while hanging out for a little 'me time' to do more scrap booking. Or those trying so (obviously) hard to be a 'Yummy Mummy', wearing so much bling they can barely lift their arms, and with acrylic nails so long it is surprising their children still have their eye sight. Now, I'm not knocking these mums for what they are (maybe just a little), but it can be a somewhat lonely journey as the only one wearing a fur trimmed coat and 4 inch Westwood style heels, to a winter play date. I do see some wonderfully stylish mothers in blog land, and in the fantasy that is celebrity-ville, but where are the rest? Should I be the only one at the supermarket with children in tow that doesn't look like I have been dragged backwards through a hedge?
Women of the past seemed to manage having children and dressing up in the same breath. What happened? It seems that comfort has become the enemy of style.

When it comes to stylish Mama's, one of my favorite gals is the indomitable Esther Williams. While she has a long list of film credits to her name, it is her private life that interests me more. Married four times, Esther was not shy is chasing what she wanted. Her autobiography, "Million Dollar Mermaid" is a wonderful read into the scandalous and surprising world of Hollywood at the time, (I highly recommend it). But not only is Esther an actress, world class swimmer and stunning beauty; she is also a mama to three. She is a wonderful example of just how glamorous a mother can be, while still having fun with her kids. Even while teaching them to swim she still manages to look gorgeous and put together. Although I have to admit that she has a lot of practice at looking fabulous in the water.

These days, at 86, Esther is still a model of polish and poise. I can only hope I look this immaculate at her age.

So my call to all the mamas out there is this. Having children does not negate you having a sense of style. Whether you wear cashmere or cotton, you will still get cereal on both, but only one will make you feel like a million dollars. So worth the extra laundry.


Times of Glory said...

Thank you darling for stopping by and your lovely comments. I really love Esther Williams - a great style icon and a great mum on the go!

I believe you are already a super stylish mum. At least it is hard for me to find one in London who loves her childen and has a classy yet quirky style!

Tizzalicious said...

Pretty Mama's!

Amy G. said...

Aaah! I forgot how much I love Esther Williams until now. She's delightful! She is also one of the women who spearheaded the movement in women's sports and fitness here in the US. She strongly felt that girls should be encouraged to take up sports and pointed to herself as a model of good health having been a swimmer since early childhood. Then she grew up and showed the world that "jock girls" need not be un-feminine.

I didn't know she was still with us! Hooray!

enc said...

I guess it can be difficult to muster the energy and wherewithal to look as good as possible with kids in tow; they are a lot of work. I don't need to tell you that.

Even with no kids of my own I can barely be bothered to get out of my gym clothes half the time. At least I have an excuse: I work in the gym.

Not much of an excuse, I know. I'll shut up now!

Danielle said...

"Whether you wear cashmere or cotton, you will still get cereal on both"

Love it.

K.Line said...

You are so on the mark, SKM. It's important - nay vital - to retain one's sense of order, grooming, creativity and self-respect by staying stylish after kids. And - as I know you know, being so in the thick of things with such young ones - it's tough to work up the effort after sleepless nights and fits of eating fattening comfort food. Well, maybe that's just how I was :-) I find it much easier now that my baby is 8!

Those mums of yesteryear had a much more fashionable approach. Then again, they weren't expected to be CEOs of corporations as well as CEOs of life maintenance...

Super Kawaii Mama said...

times of glory: Thank you! There must be more stylish mums in London than in suburban Melbourne.
Amy G: A great extra piece of info to add to the Esther picture. What a woman.
enc: I think part of finding the energy to do it is about my 'play time'. Getting dressed up is kind of like a grown up version of playing dolls and for me it is fun making the time to do it. The Power Puff Girls also come in very handy with their child minding prowess.
K.Line: You are right, it can be tough on those days, but it goes along way to helping me feel better. (I'm thinking cashmere lounge suit for those days)
And while it is true that women of the past weren't expected to do it all, their day to day lives required a lot more physical work than ours do today. I'm referring to things like washing without machines, microwaves and all the other technology that helps us make it through, we now take for granted. (I know in the US, women had some of these things much earlier than we did here. Technology took awhile to filter through down here, back then.)