The new Stacey Solomon x Primark collection has been unveiled, and boy is it a goodie. The Loose Women presenter spoke to HELLO! about life as a new mum, her favourite pieces in the collection and what kind of dad Joe Swash is to baby Rex. The (unairbrushed!) photos show the 30-year-old modelling the new collection, and we think you'll agree, she looks incredible. An advocate for body confidence, the former X Factor star can be seen showing off her new range which includes cool-girl faux leather and plaid, prim skirts, a sweatshirt with 'Mother' on, and a teddy coat of dreams.
If you follow Stacey on Instagram you'll know that she's honest and open about her life as a new mum, and she admits the social networking site has helped her a lot. "I just feel really grateful to the Instagram community. There are times where I'm like 'there's something wrong with me' and the way I feel isn't that normal and I don't think this is right, and I'm struggling and I don't understand why, and so many times people have written back and been so kind and said 'this has happened to me', 'this is exactly the same as me' and it does rescue you a bit for being totally alone. If anything the reaction has been totally helpful. - really helpful."
She continued: "I think it just helps to have the conversation because you know, sometimes I can speak to people in my family but they haven't had the same experience. You don't really know where you stand and they're not too sure of the answers to give you - and it's quite a fragile time after you give birth, mentally and physically, so to get as many voices as you can and as many experiences - and to talk to different people really is a massive lifesaver - genuinely."
The decision to have her Primark pictures unairbrushed come as no surprise because Stacey doesn't buy into the filtered perfect life. Talking about the photo she posted of herself on the beach with her kids, showing off her cellulite, she said: "I can't take a picture without it. I was on the beach the only day and I took him into the sea and I was like 'Joe take a picture' and it's not like I can stand a certain way and you won't see my cellulite. I'd have to really sit there and do some heavy editing and I don't want to. And I don't feel I have to but I still love that picture and I still want to post it, so for me it's not even about doing it purposely to show those things - that's how I look, that's what I look like when you take a picture of me - you know, I haven't purposely done it and I haven't purposely hidden it either, it is what it is. And I just think to say it doesn't bother me."
Stacey is surrounded by exceptional women; from her Loose Women gang to her new-found friendship with Mrs Hinch, she said women are her biggest cheerleaders. "Most women do support other women," she said. "It's very rare that I see women dragging other people down. I think the majority of people are inherently kind, I just think we need to notice it and make sure you're focusing on it."
Talking about her fellow Loose ladies, she said: "Nadia [Sawalha] and Jane [Moore] came to see me as soon as I had the baby to make sure I was okay. Nadia came over and cooked with my children because I felt so bad about not giving them the attention that I know that they need at the age that there at. And she came over and cooked with them and I mean, they are just incredible beings. You know Nadia and Jane really did make such an effort to be apart of the whole thing. You can feel the empathy from people because as magical and wonderful and incredible as becoming a new mum is, there's also this whole other side to it that is scary and daunting and you're like 'I don't know if I can do this - help! I've forgotten everything.' And to have those people who look into your eyes and they see into your soul and they go, 'I know exactly what you're thinking, we're here don't worry we understand' is just a massive relief."
At the time of our interview, Stacey was nervous about returning back to work, telling us: "I'm nervous, I know at some point I'm going to have to leave the baby at home. I can't bring him to every job, it's not fair on him either, I can't sit him in a studio while I'm on-air and stuff and it's a long journey in the car for him. Obviously, I am privileged to have a job where they understand and they care about my wellbeing and my family, and I've been able to take these last couple of jobs because the employer I've got has understood. I absolutely adore my jobs, that makes it even easier. You know I'm in such a privileged position, it's not full time 9/5, it can be flexible and I can work all hours of the day. So as daunting as it is it's not as daunting as it is for some people going back to a job that's really difficult, that maybe they don't enjoy, that isn't flexible and don't have understanding colleagues, I don't have to deal with any of that so I count myself lucky."
On Joe Swash's dad skills, Stacey confirmed he's a pro. "He's a great dad, 90% of the time we don't feel like we're the dream team until we reflect back and we're like 'okay we did alright, we survived, everyone's alive' but yeah he's a fantastic dad, it's one of the things that attract me to him the most, that he's a really really great dad."
When we asked is they'd ever take part in their own reality TV show, she replied: "It would be so mundane! 'Ironing again, taking the kids to school...' it wouldn't be like one of those paparazzi films."
Ok, well if we can't expect a camera crew following her and the family around, how about Strictly? "I never say never," she revealed. "I'm a rubbish dancer and I would be terrible and I know people go, 'you're just saying that' - I'm not. I have no rhythm in my and my feet don't actually listen to my brain - I think I know what I'm doing but I don't. I would do it just for the outfits! I mean, just for the Swarovski crystals…"
Stacey on the dancefloor? This needs to happen…
While there are no Swarovski crystals in her Primark collection, there are plenty of things she loves, telling us: "I love the giant teddy coat! I feel like that can hide a multitude of sins, I can go out in my pyjamas and no one will know. I'm obsessed with the jeans because I live in stretchy, high-waisted, comfy jeans. I love the slogan jumper, I'll live in that as well."
Describing the moment she got the call from Primark, she said: "The best feeling ever, honestly. Because the first one was so bloody fun, I really enjoyed the whole process. I've said this before and I sound like such a geek but I just love working with a shop that I actually shop in. One that I've shopped in since I was a kid."
The mum-of-three also thinks her boyfriend Joe Swash might have inspired one print within the collection - all the tartan! "I was saying earlier, that I think it might be Joe who's inspiring me with the tartan. He always has a tartan shirt tied around his waist so he must have subliminally."
While she loves the high-street superstore for its price point and trend-led pieces, she said there are some things that drive her crazy! "Honestly, do you know the nemesis? it's the queue. If I don't walk out of Primark with a pack of bubblegum, a new pair of socks I don't need and eyelash glue, 10 lint rollers…."
Oh, we've all been there Stacey…
Stacey's new Primark collection drops on 10 October and prices will vary from £4 to £35.