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How to Look Like You’ve Made an Effort With Your Appearance When You’re Secretly Covered in Spit-Up

trench coat and high heels

classic spring outfit featuring camel trench coat and black trousers

walking in high heels

trench coat and heels outfit


K, this is another one of those posts I have approximately 5 minutes to write before the baby wakes up – and, funnily enough, that’s roughly how long I have to get dressed in the mornings these days*, so here are four things I use to make myself look like I’ve made an effort, even although there’s probably a giant patch of spit-up on my shoulder that I won’t find until five hours later. Hashtag WINNING, hashtag MOMBOSS. Hashtag NONOTREALLY. Ahem.

(*Very slight exaggeration.)

High heels

Yeah, yeah, I know you’re all shrieking in horror at the very IDEA of wearing high heels, but honestly, they’re the easiest way I know to instantly dress up an outfit. And, OK, when I’m out somewhere with Max, I’ll generally go for flats or sneakers instead, because even although he’s not mobile yet, heels don’t feel particularly practical for wrangling a small baby in. For those times when I only have myself to wrangle, though, you better believe it’ll be heels all the way. I will NOT go gentle into that good night.

Red lips

Even if I’m wearing no other makeup – and I’m frequently NOT – I always feel like red lips make up for it. They’re like the facial equivalent of those killer heels, actually: they kind of dress up the face, and make you look polished, even if that red lipstick is currently the only piece of makeup that’s been out of your makeup bag in DAYS. My go-to is MAC’s Ruby Woo – it’s a complete pain to apply, but nothing beats it for that old-skool glamour look.


I’ll let you into a secret: 9 out of 10 times, when you see me wearing sunglasses in photos (Which, yes, is ALL the time, basically…) it’s because my eyes are so light-sensitive that they start watering as soon as I leave the house, even on days which “normal” people wouldn’t consider particularly bright.

At least one out of ten times, though, I’m wearing sunglasses purely because I didn’t have time/was too lazy to put on mascara, OR I’m just having a Bad Face Day. Oh, don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about – we’ve all been there, right?

(These photos were taken on the one day out of ten, just FYI. And yeah, I DID feel a bit silly in the shades when it wasn’t really sunny, but not as silly as I’d have felt posting a bunch of photos of myself blinking constantly, so…)

And finally…

Great accessories

I’m fortunate to have been able to amass a small collection of awesome handbags, thanks to my ongoing partnership with Shopbop, and they’re another great way to make a really basic outfit look a bit more interesting. This one is by Kate Spade, and is a few years old now, but I’m constantly seeing great handbags on the high street, so you really don’t have to spend too much, and if you go for a good quality leather, it should last you for years. Or possibly for EVER.

I’m not joking about the really basic outfit either: underneath my trenchcoat, I’m basically wearing loungewear here: my trousers are stretchy jersey ones (So, fancy leggings, basically…), and my top is… well, it’s an old maternity top from Gap that I haven’t stopped wearing yet, might as well admit it.

(I don’t actually NEED to wear maternity tops now, by the way – but this one was one of the few that didn’t have a big, baggy panel in the front, so not only did it stretch to accommodate my growing bump, it also seemed to stretch back down again when the bump disappeared. It’s a unicorn top, basically.)

So, when I got home to Max, and took off my shoes, I was appropriately attired to change nappies and crawl around picking up the toys he likes to throw on the floor, but at least while I was out, I looked like I’d made a little bit of an effort.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I really should go and wipe the spit-up off my shoulder, shouldn’t I?



ZARA trench

ASOS trousers

Office heels

Kate Spade handbag


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  • Sora
    April 16, 2018

    I can’t agree more! That’s exactly what I do when I have little time to dress-up or something comes up last minute! I also like to add, in winter, a good hat or a statement scarf ^^.

    Sora | http://dangerouslyme.com/

  • Debs
    April 16, 2018

    You look fabulous! You’re right, killer heels and red lippy make all the difference.
    I often can’t be bothered to wear makeup, but I’m religious with my eyelash extensions. It makes you look like you have a full face on when you haven’t. Paired with red lips, you’re good to go.
    I don’t have kids though, so the expense and time it takes to get them done each month might be unrealistic? I’m not sure? What do you think?
    Debs @ tiger-mint.com

    • Amber
      April 16, 2018

      I had them done a couple of years ago and absolutely loved them, but they did wreck my own lashes a bit, so I’ll probably go for LVL Lashes next time!

  • Ali
    April 16, 2018

    5 mins seems a long time to get dressed these days! I have to get ready while chasing toddler around flat! Enjoy the non mobile period……

    • Amber
      April 16, 2018

      Oh, we’ll probably just have him adopted by then, if it’s going to be as bad as all that.

      • Alice
        April 16, 2018

        It’s also much more fun! But yes, most mornings I am chasing toddler while half dressed.

        Apparently some children sleep beyond 6am though, you might be lucky and have one of those!

  • Linda Libra Loca
    April 16, 2018

    Red lips are a great way to dress up the face, and they distract from the spit in an efficient way. Doesn´t work two days in a row though, once the spit starts smelling, not even Ruby Woo can save you.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

  • Myra Boyle
    April 16, 2018

    Still looking fabulous

  • Teresa
    April 16, 2018

    My guess is, if you have style, then you’ll always look great! And you always look a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

  • Fiona
    April 17, 2018

    I also love a good pair of sunglasses. I get the watery eyes too – why IS that? My dad is the same. You look fabulous, the coat is lovely too.

  • Lucy
    April 17, 2018

    I love the coat so. Ugh love this blog I am so in love with it making me feel I need to do more on my blog I am a bag lover too 8 feel the6 can ma,e a statement to every outfit thank you http://lucyakaos.blog