You’d be forgiven for thinking every day is a catwalk for model and TV personality Abbey Clancy , but when we catch up with her as she launches her fourth collection with Lipsy, she laughs, “I say I like getting dressed up, but I’m sat here in trackie bottoms and a T-shirt.”
In fact, balancing life as a working mum-of-four is something the 34-year-old admits she’s still trying to crack, but her warm and witty sense of humour no doubt helps when things get hectic.
Abbey and her husband, former footballer Peter Crouch , 39, are parents to daughters Sophia, eight, and Liberty, four, and sons Johnny, two, and nine-month-old Jack.
Here, the star tells OK! about finding confidence in fashion and breaking the household rules…
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How’s life changed in your household since the arrival of little Jack last June?
Well, whoever said you don’t notice one more baby after three was lying [laughs]! He has just fitted in an absolute dream. I’m so blessed that he’s such a good baby. He never cries and is always so happy. I feel like he’s growing up too quickly. He’s desperate to get involved with the others. They all play so nicely together. The two girls are in school, so it’s quite nice just having the two boys at home to give them as much time as possible.
How do you make sure you get quality time with all four of the kids?
I’m still trying to figure the whole work and mum-of-four dynamic. I think for any mum who has to or chooses to go to work, you still get stuck with that mum guilt. But for me, I feel like it’s important to set a good example for them. I want to work and still be me while being the best mum I can be. They are into different things and have different schedules now. Poor Sophia gets dragged along to more baby-ish places than she’d probably like to. But we do try to split them up when we can. It’s a juggle, but I feel like we do it quite well, and we’re often all together doing something fun, like going to the farm.
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Has life changed a lot since Pete retired from football last year?
He sold me this dream of him retiring and being around more so we’d go for lunches and spend more time together than we were able to when he was on a strict schedule with the football. But his schedule is actually even more demanding now! I’m so proud of him and he’s enjoying what he’s doing. That’s my main priority because I think, for footballers, it can be quite a hard transition from playing football for 20 years to suddenly not playing at all. I haven’t listened to his podcast because I’ve been hearing his stories for years already [laughs].
How often do you get to spend time as a couple away from the kids?
We try. We constantly book the cinema but by the time we’ve got all the kids to bed, we’re like, “We’re too tired!” However, I feel like it’s important to spend time together and we love going to see live music. Sometimes it’s just nice getting the kids to bed and sitting on the couch together. We have a rule that if we start a box set, we’re not allowed to watch it if the other is away. But I broke the rules recently, so he’s not very happy with me.
You started your career at a young age [aged 20 on Britain’s Next Top Model ]. How do you deal with the pressures of the industry?
I don’t really feel too much pressure from outsiders. I maybe put pressure on myself sometimes or feel guilty about going to work, or sometimes when you’re tired your confidence might be a bit low, but I haven’t really suffered too much negativity from others. I have been quite lucky in that sense. I feel like I’m in a privileged position where I can do the jobs that I love doing and then come home and be a mum and have my four kids around me. I feel really lucky about that.
You look amazing in this shoot in South Africa. Is exercise part of your daily routine?
I’ve got four kids – that’s all the exercise I need! Both Pete and I don’t sit down until we go to bed at night. All of my babies are huge and very, very heavy so I’m constantly lugging babies and bags around. I’m quite an active person anyway, I’m constantly on the go. If I do exercise, I’ll do Pilates or a HIIT class. For me, it gives me energy and gets the endorphins flowing. It helps me feel ready for the day.
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Tell us about your fourth Lipsy collection…
I’m really excited about this one. I know Lipsy are renowned for party dresses, but now I’ve got four kids I wanted to adapt it slightly. I put in some more versatile pieces, which are great for every day or day to night. The faux leather skinnies are amazing and a wardrobe staple. I wear them every day!
Would you say this collection is a reflection of where you are in your life, then?
Yeah. With four kids, I have to be realistic about what I wear. I can’t go to the shops in a ball gown, but at the same time, I still want to look and feel good about myself. If you look good, you feel good and I think it’s great for your confidence – especially as a new mum… again! You can get stuck in a rut just in your pyjamas at home, so I think easy-to-wear pieces that you can throw on and not look too dressed up are just really good to have.
Would you ever ask Pete for fashion advice?
Well, he’s not really into fashion that much. He’ll just wear what’s clean [laughs].
Abbey Clancy x Lipsy is available at next.co.uk/lipsy
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