While a lot of people think that becoming a mom means you have to start looking and dressing "like a mom," I totally disagree. In fact, motherhood changed my wardrobe for the better. Seriously, you guys, it absolutely did. Now, I'm not talking about stereotypes like "mom jeans" and "letting yourself go," because those are bulls*t and based on misogynistic ideas about how women ought to dress. Rather, for me, dressing like a mom means finally dressing like myself.
Growing up I couldn't care less about clothes. My standard uniform was a baggy t-shirt, a flannel shirt, baggy jeans, and combat boots. My mom begged me not to wear a Nirvana t-shirt and jeans for my senior pictures, but I'm proud to say I won that particular clothing battle. I think a lot of my aversion to fashion-forward clothes came from being different. I was geeky, smart, and liked poetry readings more than football games or the "popular crowd." Also, I was bullied and decided to stop trying so hard to get people I hated to like me.
Then I discovered fitness and lost the weight I had gained in college. I realized that I loved clothes, and I bought, cocktail dresses, jeans that made my ass look amazing, and more pantsuits than Hillary Clinton. I had cardigan sweaters in every color, enough shoes to fill a closet, and even a vinyl ballgown. I became a whiz at thrift store and clearance rack finds. I thought clothes made me happy, but really they were just filling a void. Retail therapy felt really good when my marriage was failing and my husband treated me like crap.
Since becoming a mom, my style and clothing needs have changed drastically. After going through a divorce, moving with kids fours times in four years, changing careers, and beginning a job where could work from home, I realized I had way too many clothes, and that the clothes I had didn't reflect me anymore. So, I sold or gave away much of my wardrobe and started over. Here are a few things I've learned along the way, that have changed my wardrobe for the better.
It Helped Me Dress For The Body I Have
I used to role my eyes so hard at the advice to "dress for the body you have." Then my body changed thanks to pregnancy, and I no longer fit into my size 0 jeans. I needed to buy a whole new wardrobe, but I put it off for way too long because I honestly believed these hips would be that small again (they aren't).
Plus, even if I did fit in that size pants again, there was no way the clothes I wore at 25 were going to still be in style. Honestly, once I got past the mental hump of the size on the tag, it was amazing to buy clothes that fit my new body comfortably, instead of feeling bad about my body not fitting into my old wardrobe.
It Helped Me Realize It Doesn't Matter What People Think
It's so freeing to stop caring about what other people think. I figure that if I want to encourage my kids to have their own unique sense of style, and to get creative with their clothing choices, I need to model that myself.
It Helped Me Dress For Comfort
It Made Me More Body Positive
If I want to truly love my body, the best way to show that body love is to dress in a way that makes me feel good and confident. For me that means pretty sundresses in the summer and yoga pants all year round, tank tops and cropped pants that show off my tattoos, and bikinis, because every body is a bikini body.
It Introduced Leggings Into My Life
While I used to think that leggings were for people who didn't care about their appearance, I know the opposite is true. Leggings are great. I wear them all of the time. They are so versatile, forgiving, and make my ass look great. I love leggings so much, in fact, that I would risk wearing them on a United flight. Leggings are life.
It Made Me Snarky
I have so many snarky t-shirts that I can have sarcasm and laughter in my life every day. On the plus side, wearing a geeky or progressive t-shirt is an easy way to identify like-minded people in the very red state I live in.
It Reminded Me My Job Isn't To Impress ANyone
I'm so past caring about what other people think of me. So really, go ahead and judge me. I don't care.
Seriously, I hope you reach that point in your life where you truly don't care if someone else is raising their eyebrows in your direction. It's so fabulous.
It Gave Me Boobs
I really love my postpartum boobs. I'm now a perfect size where I can actually fill out bikini tops, but can still run comfortably in an inexpensive sports bra.
It Helped Me Like What I Wear
My clothes are for me. I honor my body and myself by choosing clothes that are comfortable and that make me look and feel awesome. Everyone deserves to feel awesome in their own skin and the clothes they wear.
It Helped Me Get Rid Of Clothes
Since becoming a mom, I realized that I needed to pare down my wardrobe to better meet my needs and more importantly, to make life easier in the morning. Now, for every item that I buy, I try to donate or sell two. Pretty soon, my wardrobe might be composed entirely of yoga pants, snarky t-shirts, and one soft Nirvana t-shirt, but, you know what? I'm totally OK with that.