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After welcoming her son into the world five years ago, Sunshine Coast mum Natalie Angel found she felt clueless when it came to confidently dressing her different body shape and knowing what to wear, now that she was a mum.
It was this feeling of self-doubt which lead Natalie to launch Let Me Try Before You Buy, where 41-year-old’s videos showcase herself trying on collections from brands, like Target and KMart, to boutique labels like Ada + Lou and Arnhem. The videos help women to see honest reviews on flattering, functional and beautifully fashionable clothes for real bodies that are sized 14, 16 or above.
Natalie’s authentic reviews, styling advice and quirky fashion lingo quickly has helped her grow a dedicated tribe of followers.
“I want every woman to feel welcome, appreciated and to know there is absolutely nothing wrong with her body. Most women don’t have the figure of a 21-year-old, size six fashion model. That kind of content doesn’t resonate with women who are 40+ and size 12-18 yet these are the women who have disposable income!”
Natalie attributes her incredible growth – her daily video are receiving 3.5 million plus IGTV post impressions a month since going live in June 2020 – to a lack of body representation by fashion brands. Women want to see how clothes will look on their bodies, and she can offer them that, where advertising and marketing doesn’t.
Bounty Parents caught up with Natalie Angel to talk body confidence, motherhood and finding a mumming wardrobe that works for you.
Natalie shares her fashion review videos on her online website, Instagram, YouTube and a closed Facebook group under the name Let Me Try Before You Buy.
How did the birth of your son lead to the beginning of Let Me Try Before You Buy?
It was through my experience with childbirth and how my body changed. Pre-baby, I was very similar to how I am now – very confident, loved fashion, happy to show my shape. Then, I had an emergency C-section and my stomach changed dramatically. When I came home from the hospital, I literally had no idea who the woman was standing in the mirror, I could not recognise her and I had no idea how to dress her.
For me, I’d always been so confident with fashion and I was struggling mentally and emotionally. It was a dark time and I wanted to get back into a positive mindset. I could see beauty in other women but I could only see negativity when I looked at myself. The whole concept of my Instagram account came about because I wanted to help other women feel good about themselves.
It took about six months to get my confidence back. This is going to sound crazy but I wore a hair band around my wrist and anytime I had a negative thought about my body I flicked the band and said, “I don’t talk to myself like that anymore.”
Was motherhood anything like you thought it would be?
I was struggling with everything. I came into motherhood with a certain level of arrogance. I was a working woman and I thought being a mum was taking it easy. I’d go to the park and have coffee and what I thought was going to be easy was the toughest three years of my life. There is no consistency. My son is five now.
Aussie women can’t get enough of watching Natalie’s real reviews on fashionable clothes for real bodies.
Do you think a lot of women face and identity crisis when they become a mum?
A lot of my followers are new mothers or mothers of two-to-three year olds because their old wardrobe doesn’t work. As they’re not leaving the house, they wear their husband’s old shorts and T-shirt. Because they are not valuing what they are doing, they’re not seeing that they’re worthy as a mum to look and feel good. They also need help identifying what an appropriate mumming outfit is.
For example if you love boho, go for a midi length skirts so you can walk upstairs holding a baby and know you’re not going to trip over. It’s all about having those little hints and tips to help women achieve a style they want that is also practical. It’s like, we’ve still got to pick up the Lego and clean the toilet and stack the dishwasher, so our fashion has to be practical. That’s what I try and help women to so they can live their life as a mum, but still look amazing and feel modern and on trend.
How rewarding is it to be able to give so many women a confidence boost?
As women we just put ourselves down so much as though we are not worthy, like “I can’t swim because I don’t have the body for a swimsuit”. Women are missing out on all of these wonderful experiences with their children. I show my body a lot in my videos. I’m in underwear and I’ll do swimwear and I’ll turn around and walk away from the camera because the more they see me my lumps and bumps, I want them to understand that that’s totally normal.
To watch Natalie’s refreshingly honest video reviews visit: @letmetrybeforeyoubuy