I spent roughly three years pregnant. Maternity clothes are uber expensive, so that means three years of black yoga pants. Three years of oversized cheap Ts from Target and Old Navy. Shirts with breastmilk stains and puke up stains.
Isn’t motherhood glamorous?
As my body starts to resume something nearer to its old shape, I’ve got it in my mind that I’d like to invest in new clothes: clothes that make me feel feminine, clothes that make me feel pretty, clothes that make me feel like less of a hot mess than I really am.
Truth be told, I’ve never been super stylish. Putting together a solid outfit is one thing, but then adding shoes and jewelry and a bag seems so far out my realm of ability, it’s not even funny.
But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try.
For many years, I’ve been a mama with no style, but no more! Here are some things I’ve learned as I’ve tried to rethink what it means to live in my skin now that I’m done having kids.
1. For heaven sakes, add some color
When I look at my pregnancy wardrobe, I see blacks, grays, and maybe a dark blue or olive green somewhere. All of which are perfectly fine, but one thing I’ve noticed looking back is that I felt as “blah” as I looked.
Add some color. There are many, many ways to do this.
First, you can do it with your clothes. Think about picking up some colored pants or leggings. A neutral-looking shirt will really make for a fabulous outfit if you match it with some color on your bottom half.
If the thought of bright red pants is more than you can handle (and even if you want to go this route) think about bright shoes or a statement necklace to really make your outfit pop.
Dress bright and you’ll feel bright…. Even when you’ve been up all night with a sick baby.
2. Layer like it’s your job
Jeans and a t-shirt can look frumpy. But jeans and a t-shirt with a blazer and a statement necklace are fancy as hell.
Does it require expensive clothing? Nope.
Does it require a shopping spree? Nope.
Does it require you to be fashion savvy? Nope.
Simply start throwing together some of your favorite pieces and see what sticks. If you’re a mom like me, chances are that there are some pieces living in the back of your closet that haven’t seen the light of day in nearly a decade…. Pull those bad boys out into the sunlight.
3. Black on black can be hot
So I mentioned in the beginning how gross I felt in my black clothes, but if you go full on black on black, that can be a really sexy look.
It’s so simple, but that’s what makes it perfect. Black leggings and a black t-shirt are so easy to dress up, dress down, make fancy, make hipster, make boho…. Or whatever your style is today.
I’ve found that the key to pulling this off is adding a funky pattern or texture and being conscious of your accessories.
(In a world where our accessories are typically run of the mill, nothing is more fun than a pair of red heels or shiny silver flats.)
Motherhood may not feel sexy, but girl, you held a child (or several) in your body. You delivered that creature, which we can all agree, is no easy feat. You stay up late, get up early, and take care of everyone around you.
You are a warrior. It’s time to dress the part.
4. Wear something you’re not comfortable in
For so long I wore jeans or leggings and solid tops. That couples with the same old earrings, run-of-the-mill flats, and my massive diaper bag made my transformation into the most bland creature alive complete. (I basically had “MOM” stamped on my forehead.)
Crazy thing though…. As much as I adore being a mother, I still always want to be seen as a woman first.
Previously out of my comfort zone was….. Ba ba ba…. Heels! Every day I get some kind of comment from people I know—and people I don’t—about how crazy it is that I chase around my littles in a pair of heels.
You know what? I’m a pleasantly plump little 5 foot 2 inch woman, and I adore the way those heels make me feel.
I don’t do it for my husband. I don’t do it to project a certain image to the world. I do it because I love the way it looks, and I am the only person who matters.
Would it be easier to chase my toddler around Walmart in a pair of flats? Hell yes. But do I want to? Nope.
Granted, heels aren’t for everyone, and that’s cool. All I’m suggesting is to search for that piece of clothing, jewelry, or makeup that you’d like to try but aren’t 100% sold on it and try it. You never know how it might make you feel.
Another thing that I’ve started doing to “up my style game” is to incorporate patterns into my wardrobe. Now, I’m not a person who likes wild patterns or colors, but adding one that doesn’t feel outlandish—on my shirt, on my leggings, or even on my shoes—gives my outfit some personality that isn’t possible without it.
And I’m nothing if not FULL of personality….
5. Rethink your diaper bag
Again, for years I’ve carried this massive Skip Hop number around, chock full of diapers, spare clothes, more diapers, lots of wipes, my eldest’s spare sweatshirt, and a plethora of toys. While this bag is sturdy as can be, it’s certainly not the most feminine thing I own.
The shape was unique, and I wasn’t confident that it was me…. Until I pulled it out of the box. The leather is smooth and there is more room than I ever could have imagined inside. I haven’t yet found an outfit that it doesn’t fit.
Instead of transitioning to a big bag post-baby, I took the leap and decided that I was going to use this Barrel Crossbody because I just adored it. I started getting crafty and was able to fit baby diapers, an extra baby outfit, spare toddler panties, a sandwich baggie of wipes, chapstick, my cards, my phone and charger, and even my keys.
Yes, there was a lot more crap in my actual diaper bag. Apparently, I didn’t need any of it, because I haven’t had any issues since I started using it!
After years of purchasing plastic-y crap from Target or Kohl’s that falls apart within a year, I’ve realized how important it is to have a bag that can withstand the strains of my mommy lifestyle. Now that I’ve carried honest-to-goodness leather, I don’t think I’ll ever go back.
Yes, as a parent, you do need to carry around stuff for your child. No, you don’t need to carry it around in something designed for a child.
You do you, mama
The truth is that there are a lot of things I won’t do anymore now that I’m a mom. I work hard so my kids can have everything they need and sometimes, even the things they want!
When it comes to style, however, I won’t compromise the way I want to look and feel for anyone.
I’ve been that mama who feels like she has no personal style, but now I’m a big fan of the way I look. I focus on making little tweaks to my wardrobe so my “mama” style actually represents the woman I am.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, this was a sponsored post by Urban Southern! I don’t do reviews because those can get boring, so in exchange for product, I whipped up this article featuring their bags. You can learn more about them at UrbanSouthern.com or by emailing their marketing director at Meg@UrbanSouthern.com