Charma Chameleon

I remember all through high school having a love-hate relationship with my school uniform. I loved the fact that it gave me one less thing to think about in the mornings yet I loathed the way it stunted my individuality. I was always trying to get away with altering something- the style of shoes, the colour of my socks the hemline- anything! Oh how I longed for the weekends when I was free to rock my Bubblegum jeans and Benetton t-shirts. Where I could wear my ra-ra skirts and lace fingerless gloves. (I was a child of the 80’s remember).

Then at uni I discovered another uniform – the poor student look. Ripped jeans, baggy jumpers and army boots. I would spend my weekends at op shops looking for just the right outfit that said…struggling student. Of course I was nothing of the sort. I came from a very middle class, eastern suburbs family. The only struggle I had during my uni years was trying to find the closest car spot and the best pizza on Lygon street.

During my 20’s I adopted many looks. Just like Barbie, I had a wardrobe to match my many roles in life. Office worker Chrystal – black slacks & sensible shoes. School teacher Chrystal – mix and match of jeans, shirts and jackets. Night club Chrystal – hot pants and pirate shirts (don’t ask). And lets not forget Holiday Chrystal – Birkenstocks and fisherman pants.

Do you see a theme here? During every stage of our lives – we seem to adopt a certain look. It’s like belonging to a club – even bikies are made to wear double denim. Poor things. That’s one tough look to pull off.

Which brings me to the mummy uniform. Becoming a mum is without a doubt a most fulfilling experience- but my God does it wreak havoc with your body! Some women escape with only a few war wounds while others take a bigger hit.

I am thankful to have escaped stretch marks (nothing to do with applying any mumbo jumbo creams, its all genetic), however my body shape will never be the same again. My hips are fuller and my breasts are not.

So in those early days of motherhood I too wore the “just had a baby” uniform. Leggings, ballet flats, loose t-shirts and cardigans.  Usually in beige or white tones, to disguise the vomit that was always on our shoulder and down our backs.


(Image of Jessica Alba courtesy of

There are many variations to the mummy uniform and I think its all dependant on where you live, your interests and who your favourite Spice Girl was.

There’s the short bob, skinny jean and fitted blazer brigade that does the school pick up looking effortlessly glam. Usually in a SUV of some sort. Black.

There’s gym mum- decked out in her Bonds leggings and hoodies with her hair in a ponytail. I envy these mums because whenever I’m decked out in Bonds I’m more Roberta Williams than Sarah O’Hare (love you Roberta!)

There’s the Hipster mum – designer jeans, great shoes, usually wears a hat and scarf. These mums are either writers or designers and work from home.

And what about eco- mum? Hemp trousers, organic cotton T-shirts and a fair trade soy latte in hand. Eco-mum is always sensibly dressed and usually in tones of browns, greens and orange. Which makes her hard to spot in Autumn.

And the list goes on. Whether we like to admit it or not we all belong to a group of some sort. As for myself – I think I’m chameleon mum. I look great in green and can lick my eyeballs.  X


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