It’s true what they say – “motherhood is the toughest hood you’ll ever go through”. Having access to the right information and support makes a huge difference to our confidence as mothers.

Recently, seven Melbourne mums came together for a fashion photoshoot with a twist. Each one is on mission to help mums survive and thrive in motherhood. They want you to know that “you’ve got this” and if you feel like you don’t, they’d love to help.

Let’s meet the Mamas of Melbourne who can help you through different aspects of your motherhood journey and their kids who inspired them to act.

The shoot stylist – and owner of Personalised Style, Karina Dyer – will be sharing practical tips to help you nail Melbourne Spring fashion and feel confident trying new looks.

Motherhood Melbourne
Chief Mama – Holly Brunnbauer

Holly started Motherhood Melbourne to give everyday Melbourne mums a voice and a place to tell their own motherhood story. Holly says, “when it comes to motherhood, honest is the best policy” and that “it’s important that all mums are afforded the opportunity to share their real experience of it.” Motherhood Melbourne also promotes and hosts Mama-friendly events to encourage me-time and celebrates local businesses that make the Mama gig easier. A podcast has recently been added to the mix which features mighty Melbourne mums who are on a mission to help others.

STYLE TIP – The art of illusion dressing
Something that I discuss a lot with my clients is illusion dressing. This is how you can minimise or enhance certain areas of your body and you can control where people’s eyes go, including your own. It is really important to look at all of the positives of our bodies and absolutely love them! By creating distraction in your most loved areas, you are instantly taking away any urge to look at areas of your body that you might be wanting to minimise. You can use accessories or a statement hat, lipstick, or even just a lighter colour in that area. This way, your eyes, and other’s eyes are drawn to your favourite areas. It will make you feel more confident and a lot more comfortable. Plus when you’re creating outfits, you will understand what you need to add, which will make it so much easier for you and save you time.

Editor in Chief – Sarah Cavalier

What initially began as a magazine for mums living in the Bayside area, has grown into an iconic FREE resource for all Melbourne mums. Whilst it has allowed Sarah to use her design skills and carve out a career she loves, it’s become so much more than she imagined. Sarah says “MamaMag has allowed me to meet so many amazing mums and locals in business and I love having a platform to be able to help showcase their ideas.” Sarah is proud to recently celebrate the 4th year of MamaMag and reach over 40,000 mums per issue.

STYLE TIP – Adding a hero piece
When you’re creating your outfit, it’s a really good idea to think about what will be the hero piece. Is it a stunning print dress or top? Is it a bold feature on your outfit? Is it your accessories? When you have this in mind it is so much easier to create the rest of your outfit. It takes the hassle out of figuring out what will go with what, because you already know what you’re starting with, then you only need to add your essential pieces to it and you have your outfit sorted. Next time you’re putting an outfit together, start with the hero and go from there!

MumLife Australia
Lead-Mama – Ani Kumaralingam

MumLife Australia helps expectant parents begin their parenting journey with confidence. Ani says, “everywhere I looked, I was faced with images of Perfect Mum. From Instagram to Mother’s Group – It seemed like there was a competition for that elusive title!” It was clear to Ani that she wanted to spread the message far and wide that perfect is not the standard when it comes to motherhood. Ani has made it her mission to prepare mums-to-be with realistic expectations. As the host of Beyond Birth, a fully immersive event experience, MumLife Australia arms expectant parents with the skills, resources and knowledge from a range of experts to help parents-to-be prepare for bringing their baby home.

STYLE TIP – Choosing the right formal outfit
When you’re heading out to a formal event, remember that you need to still be comfortable. As soon as you don’t feel comfortable, you also won’t feel confident. It shows in how we walk, how we talk, and how we hold ourselves. When you’re looking for the perfect outfit, the cut of the dress is incredibly important. It needs to fit you in the right places and be designed to work with your figure, not against it. I was so impressed by the range that Revoque offer. Their dresses work so well with all different figures and they are really comfortable to wear because of the fabric and quality of each piece. Plus, they have the cutest dresses for your girls too!

Founders – Jodi Geddes and Kate Pollard

Jodi and Kate met through work and felt connected by their shared experience of parental leave. They both found that when they returned to work, their confidence was shaken and that this was a common feeling among mothers. So together they have created a community that supports women to have careers and family. As a working mother you’ll find real stories, resources, podcasts and videos that can help you with the juggle. They’ve also launched Circle In for Business which is a stay in touch program that empowers and educates employees throughout their parental leave journey and beyond.

STYLE TIP – Supporting local mums in business
Both kid’s labels, Tiny Finery and Frankie + Roy, are Melbourne mums who understand exactly how important it is to have kids in quality clothing. Tiny Finery have a great focus on using fabrics that are organic, and locally sourced where possible. Tiny Finery are available for boys and girls in sizes 00-6. Frankie + Roy, who Oliver and Finn are wearing, are incredibly high in quality and their fits are perfect for kids. Frankie + Roy are made entirely in Melbourne and are available for boys and girls in sizes 1-12.

Natalie Roberts-Mazzeo

Natalie provides soulful support for special needs mums. After her youngest daughter had a stroke, Natalie says, “I’ve since been on a mission to help her reach her full potential and in the process, she’s helping me reach mine.” Through her work as a writer, speaker, coach and advocate, Natalie has created a community and sanctuary for mothers raising children with a diagnosis or disability. It’s a place to feel supported, empowered and inspired through this unique motherhood journey.

STYLE TIP – Rocking a maxi dress
This Spring and Summer is all about the maxi dress! You will be seeing them flood the stores and that’s for a very good reason. They can be really flattering, comfortable and look absolutely stunning. But you want to make sure that you are choosing the right one for you. Look for one that comes in at the waist, and if it doesn’t, all you need to do is simply add a gorgeous waist belt to it.  Maxi’s are also the perfect piece to dress up or down, you can wear them with casual flats, or a beautiful strappy wedge to take you through the night.

Australian Birth Stories
Founder – Sophie Walker

Despite planning for a drug free birth, Sophie ended up having a long labour with multiple complications and medical interventions. This experience led her down a path of seeking out birth stories. Whilst there were plenty out there, Sophie found there was a lack of podcasts that featured Australian women. After achieving a beautiful birth with her second son, Sophie decided to create the Australian Birth Stories podcast. The show has been downloaded over 500,000 times and is helping Australian women to find comfort in their birth choices and experiences.

STYLE TIP – Creating a versatile wardrobe
We all want that stylish, versatile, comfortable and practical wardrobe, but how do we get it?  When you’re adding to your wardrobe, think before you purchase. Can it be dressed up and down? Can you wear it with other garments to create different looks? Is it comfortable and does it match your personality and style? And most importantly, does it make you smile and feel good when you wear it? This is something that is really important, especially when you’re pregnant, because it’s best to add pieces that can be worn during pregnancy, but also, well after birth. Luckily, there are some beautiful pregnancy/breastfeeding and beyond labels, like Emilia Elliott and Max & Mee, who have gorgeous pieces that can easily be mixed and matched into your current wardrobe and will end up being your favourite go-to pieces!

#mamasofmelbEDIT credits

Photography – Jess Worrall Photography
Concept – Holly Brunnbauer (Motherhood Melbourne)
Stylist – Karina Dyer (Personalised Style)
Hair & Make-up – Tamarua Beauty Academy
Clothes, shoes & accessories: Finding Allyse, Leesie, Emilia Elliott, Max & Mee, Revoque, Cammino, NC Label, Puggle Baby Australia, SmallPrint (Inner South East Melbourne & Bayside), SS Designs Handmade, Tiny Finery, Frankie + Roy, Just Ray, PaperKrane, Jack and Lu’s, Little Designer Club, The Loot Lab and Lucas Loves Cars.

Written by Holly Brunnbauer and Karina Dyer