01/08/2013 07:58 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Marriage? COMPLETELY Changed My Style

I can't quite pinpoint when it happened, but somewhere between getting married last year and getting dressed this morning my style has changed. In a huge way.

I used to say to everyone when I was planning my wedding that it was "just a big party" and a "bit silly, really". Nothing would change except my left hand, I promised.

Carlene Thomas-Bailey

Yet here I am, 11 months on with a wardrobe full of new clothes and hair. Why? Because I used to dress to look good for men, not myself.

I thought being married would make me less independent - less like myself - but actually it's helped me rediscover what I really liked before that teenage time when suddenly dressing to get a boyfriend became the most important thing in the world.

So here's the before and after. Any of it sound familiar? Tweet us @MyDailyUK.


Before: long, always long. And if possible curled. If I had to make up a word to describe it (and why not?) I'd probably go for poodle-esque.

After: Short mussy bob. Argh, aren't I a cliche? When I saw a former colleague last month, he said my kind of haircut is a precursor to getting pregnant, which is insulting AND untrue. The last time I had short hair, I was 14 and it wasn't cool. People at high schools in small towns in Scotland in the Nineties didn't get girls with short hair. Girls had long hair, full stop. But I really wanted to look like Natalie Imbruglia and didn't care if my peers got it or not. I thought I looked cool. And for the first time since, I feel that way again.


Before: Dresses - the shorter the better. Look, I wasn't like Helen Flanagan or anything but I definitely liked getting my legs out. I was also a huge fan of florals, sweetheart necklines and am ashamed to admit that, yes, I owned a pair of super-high nude peep-toe platforms. Even when a rather high profile telly presenter told me they were "a bit TOWIE" I didn't throw them away. I thought she was an idiot, and I was tall.

After: Aren't trousers great? I mean really. I've got printed ones, brocade ones, skinny ones and baggy ones. Also, a midi-skirt is a thing of grace and total elegance. I'll admit I still like a big heel, but flats are chic too if you get the right ones. I've discovered tailoring, fine knits and slouchy shirts. And, in retrospect I can see your woman who was the telly presenter was doing me a favour and nude heels are actually a poor reason for height.


Before: Rimmel, colour, Barry M. I'd spent a good hour on my eyes before a night out. And do you remember when Cheryl Cole started doing the whole "my-face-is-CAKED-in-make-up" thing circa 2007? Well, that was all the encouragement I needed. My make-up bag over-flow-eth-ed with products to make my eyes bigger, lips fuller, cheeks brighter and lashes longer.

After: Do you know what is really sexy? A red lip. On its own.