Why mums in Lycra is a fashion crime
With her second book, Wardrobe 101 For Mums, launching next week, the 40-something aims to get women out of the faux-gym look, which, she says, is just as shabby as the terry-towelling tracksuit.
“It is the terry towelling tracksuit of this decade,” Mulhearn says.
“After childbirth no one’s butt is sitting that high and Lycra is the last thing you should be wearing. It’s stretchy and fits but is the least flattering thing you can wear.”
With more than 30 years of experience in the fashion industry, Mulhearn has worked with retail brands and magazines including Prada, Target, Harper’s Bazaar and Grazia.
She believes fashion is about communication and, with a little direction, new mums can look good with little effort.
She even suggests they take a leaf out of Miranda Kerr’s book and put on a great maxi dress that covers everything up.
“You are so tired after having a baby that you lose your way. When you are immersed in the madness of motherhood these tips will bring you back to yourself.
“If you don’t feel yourself in what you wear, you will feel bad,” she said.
The book is a practical master class in stylish dressing, covering everything from core wardrobe pieces to the ultimate baby bag. She also reveals the formulas of famously stylish mums such as Gwen Stefani, Nicole Richie and Miranda Kerr.
“Miranda always gets it right. Her formula is surprisingly simple and you don’t have to be as slim as her to pull it off.”
But Nicole Richie wins the style stakes every time for her unique ideas that are both quirky and cool.
“She does surprising things like turning a silk dress into a jacket over jeans, or giving an arty dress a street sensibility with utility boots. I also love Gwyneth Paltrow’s minimalist style and Beyonce’s use of pattern and colour,” she says.
While there are many books about how to be a good mum, few focus on helping women get their groove back after childbirth.
“The main message is to love the way you look. It will elevate your mood and that is infectious to your friends, family and people around you. If you feel good it makes you a happier mum,” she says.
Wardrobe 101 For Mums is published by Thames & Hudson and will be available in stores from November 24.