This is a collaborative post.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I proudly declared recently that after thirty years, I finally own my first pair of black jeans. To some of you, this may sound ludicrous, as I know how many people consider them to be a pretty basic wardrobe staple. But I’ve held this long-standing irrational belief that black just doesn’t suit me, and so owning black clothes in general was something I generally steered well clear of.

Stripes, Florals, Blues and Greys

As you can see from this selection of 2017 photos, there’s a definite colour palette I used to stick to. Straying far from this was weird, alien and was such a shock to the system that I immediately hated it and wondered what on earth I was thinking.

A Push in the Right Direction…

This outfit from just a few weeks ago, couldn’t be more different from my previous wardrobe. Whenever we contemplate trying something new, I think we all need a little nudge in the right direction. A sign or a little bit of encouragement that forces us to take the path that’s not so familiar to us. For me, that came in the form of Simply Be.

They got in touch to ask if I’d like to try out some of their clothing, and initially, I wasn’t sure. All I knew about Simply Be was from outdated TV adverts from years ago so I didn’t think they’d carry any lines in my size – so it was quite a pleasant surprise to find out their sizes range from Size 8 up to a Size 38. If you’ve read my previous post about Body Positivity, you’ll know that I’m all about celebrating companies that sell their clothes using a real range of body shapes and sizes. So I was sold.

Being offered to work with a company like this is a great excuse to try something new (albeit, a very public experiment), and boy, did I really go for it. A red polka dot shirt and black jeans is about as far from my normal as I could get. To ease my concerns, the clothes themselves offered some great confidence boosters – the jeans are a Shape & Sculpt fit, with a hidden panel in the front to help conceal that Mum-Tum, and the shirt has a couple of extra hidden buttons to help prevent any gaping. I honestly don’t know why all shirts don’t offer this! Total game changer.

Why Am I Doing It?

I’ve been purposefully challenging myself in all sorts of areas recently. From joining a hockey team, to offering friends and local companies photoshoots, from becoming a little obsessed with Hotpod Yoga to buying a royal blue leopard print skirt. But why?

It’s definitely a conscious decision. It feels like I’m in a precious little time bubble at the moment, where Pickle is now old enough not to need me as much as he once did, giving me a little bit of freedom to enjoy new and old hobbies and a chance to reclaim my body back before we start to think about the possibility of expanding our family again. I’m exploring who I am and what it means to be me, but as a mother. And a working mother at that. One that’s just turned the other side of thirty. I’m being inspired by those around me and feeling a surge of new found confidence that is allowing me to be a little bit braver.

I wonder, is this a form of self enlightenment or is this what they call a midlife crisis?

What’s Next?

The biggest question left to answer is… am I convert to black jeans? Yes and no. In all honesty, it still feels a bit weird catching a glimpse of myself in black. I still naturally reach for my dark blue jeans or a less bold print, but I can definitely see me working these pieces individually into my everyday wardrobe, mixing it up with my usual, safe palette and letting myself get a bit braver and a bit more comfortable moving outside of my comfort zone day by day.

It’s somewhat liberating to be breaking the mould I’d set for myself. I can look back now and realise how I’d pigeonholed my fashion sense and how those self-imposed regulations had stopped me from exploring so many new things. I told myself certain looks or styles ‘weren’t for me’, and challenging that feels pretty exciting.

I’m throwing out my old rule book. And starting a new chapter. One that includes this black (faux) leather jacket too. I told you, I’m really pushing my own boundaries. And I’m having lots of fun with it. I wonder what on earth I’ll be trying next! Is there anything in particular you’d like to see me give a go? I’m all ears.

Disclaimer: I received a selection of clothes from Simply Be in exchange for a blog post featuring the items. All content, opinions and views remain my own.