Instagram stars Mother and Father of Daughters (real names Clemmie and Simon Hooper) share their family’s unique spin on this season’s denim, from mom jeans to cute looks for their four girls
Instagram may sometimes seem like an endless stream of carefully crafted cappuccinos and women doing yoga next to infinity pools, but Clemmie Hooper (@mother_of_daughters) has racked up a following of over 420,000 with her down-to-earth glimpses of life as a busy mum of four kids, and a hectic career.
Simply getting two-year-old twins Ottilie and Delilah, plus older sisters Anya (10) and Marnie (seven) ready in the morning must be a challenge, but Clemmie and her husband Simon (@father_of_daughters, more than 750,000 followers and counting) also hold down demanding jobs – she as a midwife; he as a management consultant – as well as being social media stars. Oh, and they always seem stylish and well-dressed too.
The family has recently relocated from London’s Crystal Palace to coastal Kent. Luckily, that means Clemmie’s mum Judith is on hand one day a week to help with childcare. Together, they’re full of life, embracing all the noisy possibilities of a snare drum and maracas on set, and it’s easy to see that in such a full-throttle and fun family, clothing has to be able to take the pace. No wonder denim fits the bill…
Like many mums, Clemmie describes jeans as her go-to look. “I’ve got about 40 pairs!” she jokes. “I like to wear them with trainers. Mom jeans are great because they’re high-waisted, but with some give, so you don’t feel like you’re being cut in half.”
Has moving from the city to the seaside influenced her style? “Our new house is quite cold and draughty, so I’m into cosy knits at the moment. I often buy men’s jumpers, which I like to wear slightly oversized as I have a large bust.”
And what about if she gets a night off from the kids? “If I’m going out I’ll wear a dress, and I have lots from M&S, including the sell-out constellation-print dress from the autumn.”
With a massive following on Instagram, Clemmie is often spotted when out and about with her family, although her fans are frequently reluctant to introduce themselves: “I often receive messages saying ‘I saw you today in Sainsbury’s with your kids’, which I haven’t really got used to yet!”
Since the big move, Clemmie’s mum Judith has taken a more hands-on role in the care of her grandchildren. “I look after the twins one full day each week and so I always wear trousers, or trackie bottoms, because I need to be able to move about easily – and with two of them it can be difficult!” she explains. “These jeans are great because they have give at the waist, and the cut is really flattering,” she says.
Does she ever have any difficulty telling the twins apart? “Yes, but I’m better than my son-in-law, their father!” she laughs.
Has Judith been tempted to launch her own ‘mother-of-mother-of-daughters’ Instagram account? “It has been mentioned to me before, but I’m not sure there’s room for three in one family!” she says.
Simon may have his hands full with twins Ottilie and Delilah, but still puts thought into his style. “I try not to dress too ‘daddy’ if that makes sense: my style hasn’t really changed since I was 25 and I try to keep things really simple.” His wardrobe staples? “Crisp, well-fitting shirts, a great pair of jeans and a few nice jackets. Being surrounded by kids means I rarely have time to try things on in shops, so I stick to fail-safe, quality pieces I can mix and match.”
As for the trend for dressing twins in matching outfits, Simon and Clemmie have chosen to give their little ones unique styles instead. “They’re developing distinctly different personalities. Ottilie is a lot more confident and outgoing, whereas Delilah is more sensitive – if they are squabbling, Delilah is usually at the bottom of it. You could say that sibling rivalry is starting to kick in.”
Simon and Clemmie find shopping for stylish yet age-appropriate clothing for the older girls tricky. “Anya (10) gets lots of outfit inspiration from magazines and the internet so is much more trend-aware, but we want her to look her age too so there has to be a compromise,” Simon explains. “Lots of retailers switch to more grown-up fashion as soon as you hit the 10-11 age bracket, but M&S always seems to get the balance right.”
Judith agrees. “I think Marnie’s outfit is absolutely adorable and just right for her age (seven) – not too sophisticated,” she says of her granddaughter’s denim look, a light blue dress with a frayed fluted hem. Layered over a long-sleeved jersey top in January, it will easily transition into spring with the addition of a fun bag and sandals.
As for Anya’s verdict on her hoodie-and-jeans combo? “The jeans fit really well even though skinny jeans often look baggy on me because I’m tall for my age and my legs are quite slim. I love the rose gold zip on the hoodie, and the trainers are cool because they’re silver and glittery, more out-there and fun than normal shoes.”
For Clemmie and Simon, life at home is every bit as chaotic as you would imagine. “There are tiny moments of calm when the children are in bed but generally it’s pretty full-on, busy and loud,” says Clemmie. “We’re a good team, Simon and I, and every day is a bit of a merry-go-round, but it’s become our norm. It’s only when other people come to our home and ask, ‘How do you do this?’ that we sometimes realise how hectic it can be!”
Working from home four days a week means that Simon can get away with a more casual look, but getting dressed in a hurry still has its risks: “I accidentally wore a pair of Clemmie’s jeans to work once. They were slightly ‘spray-on’, but to be fair, I did get dressed with my eyes closed.”
And when it comes to ‘his and hers’ style, Clemmie has a few tricks up her sleeve: “I shrunk one of Simon’s jumpers by accident recently – so now it’s mine.” Now that’s a good tip.
Editor: Dulcie Emerson / Creative director: Nicola Rose / Photographer: Jonty Davies / Stylists: Lauren T Franks and Louise Carmel Hall
Hair stylist: Ben Cooke / Make-up Artist: Karina Constantine