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I've finally got time for style now my kids are older – but which fashion tribe do I belong to?

Rich Mom v Frazzled English Woman: which are you channelling? asks HELLO!'s Second Act columnist Rosie Green  

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There are two trends circulating in the fashion sphere which speak to me. The ‘rich mom’ look and the ‘frazzled English woman’ aesthetic. 

The frazzled English woman is big with twenty-somethings and takes its inspiration from nineties characters in Richard Curtis films. Its main muse is Bridget Jones. I know, I know, an unlikely style heroine. It’s all claw clips, shrunken cardigans, short skirts and opaque tights.  Slightly haphazard, a little dishevelled and eclectic.  

All this is very cute for today’s youth, who are wearing it with more than a pinch of irony. They are taking time to put it together, curating the clothes carefully so they actually look good. 

Woman in floaty pink dress
Rosie dabbled in the frazzled English woman trend in her thirties

Now as somebody who sported the look for real for an entire decade when my kids were young, I can tell you the reality was neither so joyous nor so considered. In fact, I was just picking up today’s clothes from yesterday’s pile. It felt as far away from fashion trends as it could be. 

I had zero minutes to myself and all my funds were spent on things like Infacol and nursery fees. My clothes were slightly too tight on my postpartum body. My hair in need of attention, my coat pockets bulging with raisin snacks. Constantly flustered. 

It wasn’t how I had envisaged myself looking in my thirties. I wanted to look sleek, expensive, sophisticated... basically today’s 'rich mom' look, which for the uninitiated is about stealth wealth.

Show me you are rich without showing me you are rich. It’s sleek lines, big shades, a classic handbag, ballet flats and a trench coat. Oh and some chunky gold jewellery, a blow dry and skin that glows post chic mini break.

READ: Why I'm absolutely not 'dressing for my age' at 54 

Rich mom icons are Angelina Jolie, Gisele Bündchen and Katie Holmes. And the queen of it is Kelly Rutherford, the actress who played Lily van der Woodsen in Gossip Girl. Go-to designers are The Row, Loro Piana, Khaite and Toteme. 

Woman sitting on steps in pink shirt
Rosie has more time to dedicate to her style

As the name suggests if you are a mum of small children you would require serious funds to carry off the look. As well as the wardrobe spend, you’d need a nanny/housekeeper to ensure you didn’t come in contact with your kid’s messy little hands and to look after them while you attended your standing hair appointment. 

INSPIRATION: How to get your fashion mojo back in your 40s and beyond

The good news for me? Now my kids are almost grown, I have more time and a bit more cash so I can actually channel this look. 

It’s part of the joy of reaching this second act stage. I don’t have millions in the bank, but with careful shopping and some time spent on self-care I can achieve something approximating the vibe of Jolie et al. 

Woman laughing on a boat
Rosie Green likes the rich mom look

Here’s how I get the rich mom look…

  • You need a classic, roomy handbag in quality leather or suede, preferably designer. I like See by Chloé for the luxe feel at (slightly) less eye watering prices.
  • A white ribbed tank top is a rich mom essential.  Reiss do great ones.
  • Big shades = non negotiable. All the C’s - Chanel, Chloé, Celine. 
  • Gold bracelets add interest. Check out Missoma’s chains, just about affordable. 
  • Ballet flats. Chanel’s are the ultimate, but Loeffler Randall offer great alternatives. 

 Visit HELLO!'s Second Act hub for inspiration on living your best midlife.


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