For most first-time mothers, fashion can often be relegated to the bottom of the priority list thanks to the comprehensive change of pace that comes with caring for a newborn. But not in Phoebe Burgess‘ case. For this former magazine-journalist-turned-TV-commentator, her renewed appreciation for clothes (and shoes!) has come hand-in-hand with sleepless nights, providing her with renewed energy and something tangible to life her spirits.
Being married to a high-profile sports-star has meant that Phoebe’s new-mum life has been lived in the spotlight – but thanks her penchant for colour and print her personal style has shone through. Be it on the red carpet for an awards night or being papped on the street in their beach-side suburb of Coogee, Phoebe always looks like a stylish breath of fresh air. Which is why as one of Parlour X’s most dedicated fans of cult label Mother Of Pearl, we thought it only natural to ask the refreshingly candid mum-of-one to test drive the British brand’s new arrivals. Here, she lays down some home truths about style and motherhood, and also why she’ll always be a Mother Of Pearl devotee.
You wear Mother of Pearl on high rotation – and look great doing so! How did you first discover the label?
I found the heavenly Mother of Pearl at Parlour X. I walked in one day and Renee was wearing a piece that I just had to own. The prints are divine and timeless, the cuts are flattering and classic with an edge, and most importantly I can wear all the pieces with sneakers – which is a must for me!! Being a mum, I look to fashion to transport my mood, so it’s safe to say that MOP is my new go-to.
Has your style changed at all since giving birth to your baby girl, Poppy?
Since having Poppy my outlook on fashion has changed slightly; I have started to ‘collect’ pieces that I can pass on to her. So my eye is skewed toward classics and big-ticket items that will stand the test of time and still look divine in 20 years. When it comes to my style, I look for more comfort than I used to (suiting, blazers, a looser fit, flats), and I go for colour to transport my mood and uplift me when I’m exhausted or rundown. I also choose to wear my gorgeous clothes more often, even if it means wearing Valentino sandals to the park with Poppy. Why waste them?!
You were a journalist for womens’ magazines prior to having Poppy – do you have any tips for to-be mums who want to retain their career after kids?
It’s a tough one because you feel like you’ve jumped off the professional merry-go-round but the most important thing is to enjoy the time with your baby. It goes quickly and while you’re in it, it’s tough. But once you pass each phase, you miss it. I have gotten creative with the work I do in order to stay relevant and keep up with the landscape of my career. It’s about figuring out new ways to kick butt if your old job no longer works with your little one’s needs.
You currently manage TV commentator commitments, being Bobbi Brown’s first Australian ambassador, a one-year old and a husband with a high-profile sporting career. How to do it all?
By juggling! Sometimes successfully, sometimes poorly. As a parent, I’m always learning. I look and sound a lot busier than I am. I find time for work but spend most of my days with Poppy. We get to a lot of Sam’s games, we travel a lot, I interview a lot of babysitters to help me manage work commitments, and we are tired – a lot. But it’s all part of the fun of having a young family!
What is the best piece of advice you could give mums-to-be?
Don’t compare you baby to anyone else’s. Ever. Your challenge (whether it be eating or sleeping) might be their success and vice-versa. Talk other mums. And try to enjoy the ride no matter how tough the day, because all of a sudden that baby will give you something back – whether it’s a smile or a cuddle, and suddenly it’s all worth it. And find something that lifts your mood or gives you energy. For me, it’s fashion.
You have a keen eye for style – have you always been a lover of fashion?
For me, style has been all about evolution. It’s always been a source of happiness, creativity and expression in my life. I’m a tomboy at heart who loves a bit of drama when it comes to my aesthetic. I look back on my TV days and I was all about the Burberry trench coat and a structured dress with heels. Mag-land saw me go to suit pants with slogan tees, Céline sneakers with cross body-bags. Now I love dark florals from Mother of Pearl, or a statement piece like my green Acne trench paired back with denim and mules. I love classics for night, like my Valentino jumpsuit, and I’m all about the flat shoe – in all its forms.
What new season pieces do you currently have your eye on?
You live your life somewhat in the spotlight, thanks to Sam’s career. Is it as glamorous as it looks on Instagram?
Instagram can be a major trap. A photo is a moment of an entire day/week etc and it’s essentially a highlight reel. While I enjoy Instagram for the creativity, the community and the ability to get lost in it, it’s also important to be aware of where social media ends and reality starts. Whether that be appearance, lifestyle or relationships, Instagram cannot replace your true-self or true connections. I’m learning that more and more. People aren’t always as they appear to be, especially when it comes to social media. We try to be pretty transparent and ‘real’ but there are plenty of days and moments that aren’t Instagram-worthy. Injury, losing, travelling with an infant, time spent apart… but it’s life and it’s our reality and no, it’s not always glamorous but I wouldn’t change it.
What are you looking forward to in 2018?
Everything ! I’ve stopped being so Type A because I have no idea what the toddler stage will throw at me. Work-wise; more writing, and continuing to work with my amazing families at Bobbi Brown, Johnson’s Baby and Parlour X of course – bring on winter fashion!
You can find Phoebe on Instagram @mrsphoebeburgess.
Shot on location at Coogee Pavilion.