Charlotte Kewley is a 32-year-old fashion stylist, writer and Contributing Fashion Editor at Mother & Baby magazine. She lives in East London with her husband and 14-month-old daughter Isabella. We had a good old gossip with Charlotte about new motherhood and cool kids fashion…
Charlotte, how has your life (and attitude) changed since having your daughter
Dramatically! Nothing actually prepares you for life with a baby. I was certain that my baby would sleep most of the day and I’d be able to crack on with some work on the laptop plus have all this new spare time because I’d be at home more. I ambitiously ordered loads of books and DVDs to get stuck into because I thought I’d be so bored. Ha! In fact I thing you slowly become a master juggler and eventually (I’d say around the 12 month mark) adjust to the ‘new you’ that is a (in my case working) mother. My attitude has changed in that my daughter is now clearly my number one priority. I don’t worry about the small things quite so much. I think being a mother gives you a clearer head – and you have way to much to worry about, you simply don’t have the headspace for everything! Don’t sweat the small stuff and all that…
What has surprised you most about becoming a mum?
How emotional it all is. Every milestone feels like the biggest event ever. I’m constantly overwhelmed with love and just emotion (hormones!). I well up at anything now. And how hard it actually is. Being a mum. Juggling work and life. The constant guilt. The lack of time. Yet you wouldn’t change it.
What do you love so much about kidswear?
It’s just SO fun. And unlike adults, babies and kids look good in everything. Which actually makes them harder to shop for as we tend to buy what suits us, where as everything suits them. Dangerous!
What are your top kidswear picks for autumn/winter 2015?
I have a bit of a split personality when it comes to dressing my daughter. I love classic childrenswear – beautiful corduroy and wool pieces from Caramel, La Coqueta and Elfie London, little blouses and vintage style dresses. But then I love the really cool fun stuff like Mini Rodini, Little Marc Jacobs and all the leopard print Mar Mar Copenhagen pieces! So I tend to mix it all up.
I always check out Tootsmacginty, Baby Gap and Zara Kids. And the new River Island Mini collection has some very cool (and very affordable) pieces. There are also some great collaborations happening at the moment too. My favourite right now is the Mamas & Papas x Liberty one which is just beautiful. Then for basics I always go to Boden for cardigans and pointelle bodysuits, Next have such a good all round collection and the H&M Conscious collection is great value.
And I wish my daughter was big enough to fit into the I Love Gorgeous faux fur heart coat, it’s amazing but only starts from 2 years (she’s 13 months). It’s expensive but the coolest coat ever.
(Clockwise from top left) I Love Gorgeous coat, £139 // Mini Rodini sweatshirt, £38 // Caspar jumper, £55 // Zara dungarees, £12.99 // Zara corduroy pinafore, £10.99 // Liberty Thorpe Frill Neck dress, £38 // Next ecru star print blouse, £10-£11
What’s your favourite kids’ book and why?
My personal favourite from when I was little was Each Peach Pear Plum. I still know all of the words. To read with Isabella now, she’s just over 1 so is getting quite into books but she loves pulling up flaps and being a bit interactive so we read a lot of Spot The Dog books, we also have a Room On The Broom sound book which is great and she loves Goat Goes To Playgroup by Julia Donaldson, she just started nursery so I started reading it in preparation and now she makes a beeline for it before bedtime. I keep trying to get her into Guess How Much I Love You and The Gruffalo as I love them but she isn’t overly keen at the moment!
What’s your favourite kids’ toy?
I love classic wooden toys but obviously we have a lot of plastic too! For Isabella’s birthday we bought her a teepee from Moozle which I love. We do a lot of hide and seek and I’m hoping it’ll become a reading den… it’s also a good place to store all her bits and bobs at night so the lounge doesn’t turn in to one big toy room!
I also love the Galt wooden baby walker – we stack the bricks, knock them down, run around with the walker, push dolls in it… hours of fun. I’d say it’s our most used toy at present.
How do you manage the work/life balance?
When Isabella was younger I worked a lot in the evenings and whenever she was asleep during the day (which wasn’t often). But now she goes to nursery a couple of days a week, I have a little more time – so obviously I take on more work so I still end up working in the evenings! But I do love working, thankfully. Also, actually the main way I manage is because my mum is so amazing that she comes and stays with us in London (my parents live in Lancashire) for a few days every other week! She then looks after Isabella. And erm, cooks for us! I know, I’m so lucky.