As my readers will know I gave birth to my first child, a little boy, Albert, 7 weeks ago. Before my pregnancy I'd just achieved a 4 stone weight loss, and was feeling very positive about my achievement. I'm pretty sure that it was losing the weight which aided the conception of little Bert, and I was relieved to be going into the pregnancy a much healthier weight that I'd been in a long time. Now, 7 weeks post-delivery I'm back on the calorie counting regime, and trying to get as much exercise as possible in order to help shift some of my baby weight.
Anyone who has had children will understand what I mean when I say I couldn't wait to see the back of my few staple maternity clothing items - I was so fed up with my limited wardrobe, and was eager to get back into my old clothes, and to finally be able to clothes shop in 'normal' shops once again.
Once Bert had arrived I tried squeezing into some pre-baby clothes with not much success, only my loosest items fitted, and anything with any form of structure wouldn't do up over my tummy! :-(
I also had a new problem - what is suitable clothing for a new mum? I need to wear things that are comfy and practical - clothes that allow me to sit on the floor to change Bert's bum, as well as being suitable for long walks with the buggy. They also need to make me feel good, flatter my shape, and I need to be happy to wear them out and about, as well as at home with my little man. That's quite a big ask! I didn't know where to look, and then I saw a post on one of my favourite fashion blogs The Ramblings of Mrs Bebe all about a new plus size luxury sports brand for women called State of Mind who make clothes in the UK (rare these days!) in sizes 14-26.
"We created State of Mind to give women the clothes they need to get out and feel confident. Sometimes, every woman needs to be in the right ‘state of mind’ to get something done – be it walking the dog, challenging a new exercise or just relaxing at home wearing something comfy and attractive. In effect - “wear everywhere clothing”. " (State of Mind website)
Their clothes really did seem to be just what I was looking for!
I approached the lovely people at State of Mind, and they kindly sent me some items to try out. I'm glad to say that I am so pleasantly surprised by the clothes they sent.
I cannot adequately describe just how high-quality their clothes are - they use heavy 'performance' fabrics which basically suck the moisture from your skin while working out! The weight of this special fabric means the clothes hang so well on larger frames, flattering your lumps and bumps while being incredibly comfortable to wear. The quality of the finish on the clothes is impeccable. It's not often I even notice the quality of the clothes I wear, until that is, I find myself wearing something awesome, and then it puts all my other clothes to shame.
my gorgeously wrapped State of Mind package :-)
The first items I tried post-birth were the All Wrapped Up top, and the Wishful Shrinking kick flare bottoms, both of which were unbelievably comfy! Unlike other joggers and sports tops I've tried before, they fitted me perfectly (usually a sports size 16 is really tight, and above a 16 is impossible to find), and flattered my baby belly, rather than showing it off! Because of the weight and quality of the fabric I didn't feel like I was dressed just for sports, and so I happily wore the outfit out to lunch with friends, as well as for long walks with Bert in his buggy.
All Wrapped Up & Wishful Shrinking - a few days post-birth.
A few weeks after Bert arrived I decided to try a slightly more 'fitted' look - and, truth be told, I just couldn't wait to try on this awesome Pirouette Wrap Around Ballet top. I think nostalgia kicked in with this item as I remembered fondly the pink wrap around tops and cardigans I used to wear when I was small and did ballet classes!
proof that I did ballet!! ;-)
The Pirouette top can be worn in a variety of ways, with the material wrapping in different combinations in order to achieve a different look. What I love about this is that it will still fit me well (and probably just keep looking better) the more weight I shift, so it won't be sat in the back of my wardrobe once I've lost my baby-weight. I'm a huge fan of wrap-style clothing as I think it's a very flattering look for anyone who is busty and has a bit of a tum!
Pirouette Ballet Top - a few weeks post-birth
one of my favourite items from State of Mind
I wore the Pirouette top over another item from State of Mind called the All Ruched Up cami top. I must admit when browsing the website I saw the price tag on this vest top (£28) and I was gob smacked - I'm used to paying a few pounds for vests from Primark or some similarly cheap shop. But once the top arrived I knew instantly why it was a higher price than I usually pay. I will literally never need to buy another vest again. This one is such amazing quality that I know it will last years. It's not flimsy and misshapen like its Primark contemporaries, it has hidden support for your breasts as well as extra-strong adjustable straps which feel secure and don't fall down every 10 seconds like other vests I've tried. It really is made to flatter with its ruched up sides, perfect for helping to hide your lumps and bumps!
All Ruched Up Cami top with my very round post-bubba tum!
Ruched bits and plum design logo
Finally, six-weeks after Bert's arrival, and once I was physically healed up from the birth, I started my weekly swimming session. This gave me the chance to wear State of Mind's swimming costume and wrap set. 'Skinny Dipper' is made up of a black all-in-one swimming costume, and a flattering patterned tie at the front cover up/wrap.
The costume has a tie/bow at the front over the breasts which gave me an awesome cleavage, while still managing to support my ample bosom! The cover up was just perfect for me as I always feel self conscious in swim wear, especially at the moment with my changed mummy-figure. It's water proof too, so I could keep it on in the water, or simply leave it at the side of the pool or on the sun lounger if I wore it on holiday. I was so pleased with the swimwear that I'm even willing to share a picture of me wearing it!
Skinny Dipper swimming costume and cover up
I have washed all the items multiple times on a standard 40 degree wash, and they have all air dried without the need of an iron (massive bonus!). The quality of the products haven't been compromised with washing, and they still feel like-new despite having worn them loads already. They've been subjected to baby sick and poo, (sorry!) and I've walked miles in the joggers and they haven't bobbled at the crotch like others I've worn in the past.
Without a doubt I'll be purchasing from State of Mind in the future, and I know I'll be wearing and re-wearing the items I've already got!
Now is a really good time to shop on their website as they have a brilliant sale on, and some clearance items! Grab a bargain today, you won't regret it!
You can also find them on Twitter at:
Or, on Facebook at 'State of Mind'
I will leave you with some 'feel-good' ethos from their Facebook page earlier today....
Amen to that!
Disclaimer: I was sent the clothes mentioned in this post free of charge from State of Mind for the purpose of this review. All words and images are my own, except the final 4 inspirational pictures, which are sourced from the State of Mind Facebook page.