Angela’s Story: I don’t want to be invisible (By Angela Varlow)

 

There are days when I realise the only people I_ve spoken to are Siri and Alexa (2)

I love clothes. I really do. I’ve felt like this since I watched Alicia Silverstone pick out her outfits in the opening scenes of the film, Clueless. Oh how I wanted that wardrobe with its rotating rails.

I spent my teens working weekends in the Faith shoes concession at Topshop. Yep, Faith shoes. Remember them?! It was here that my love for all things fashion was confirmed. I was fully immersed in what was hot and what was not and my wages were spent on the hot.

Through my GCSE’s I bought long length skirts and chokers and then my A Levels years saw me in combat trousers and midriff baring tops. I heart the 90s.

On Thursdays my best girls and I would head to West One, a shop in the precinct near our college. Its main attraction was the array of ‘going out dresses’ they had on offer. They were cheap and nasty but we loved them. So much so that I remember buying a new dress pretty much every week. We’d get super glammed up and then head off to town feeling fabulous.

I continued to enjoy playing with fashion throughout my 20s and then when I was 29 I fell pregnant with Elliot. This was wonderful. For obvious reasons. I also had a whole new genre of clothing to explore.

And then I had my son. I was a mum. And I had a new love.

I also had a new body. Which made me lose my way when it came to clothes. Because once upon a time I had been a natural (don’t throw things at me) size 8. And everything I put on fit me. And so I only really worried about whether I actually liked it or not.

Both the inside of me and the outside of me had changed. I didn’t know what suited me and what didn’t and so stopped caring what was on trend and what wasn’t.

And it made me sad. I remember talking about it at work with a colleague and pretty much starting to cry. Because I wanted to get me back and I didn’t know how.

I’m not sure if the old me has ever come back. It took a good few years to feel confident again. Maybe it was priorities, maybe it was time, maybe it was age? It was definitely acceptance. Of who I am today. My body has grown a baby (two actually but that’s another story). It birthed an actual human being and that is pretty amazing.

I wear a size 12 up top and a size 14 down below and I’ve stopped trying to get into clothes that will never fit or suit me.

I do like to be noticed. I don’t want to be invisible. But I also don’t want to be intimidating. I share my #ootd for women to look for inspiration. I want them to think ‘yes I can wear that and when I do I will rock it’. I want them to see a real woman who has her own insecurities and body hang-ups but still owns her look.

And that is why my first love won’t end. It will nestle right in below my new love. Because the right outfit makes me feel fierce. In the right outfit I can achieve anything.

You can find Angela on Instagram @mother_of_elliot

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