You can do it. You can recapture a sense of style!
Moms, I have something to say to us all. Staying stylish as a busy Mom is NOT that hard to do. Eek!! Mad at me for saying that? I know. But keeping a sense of style isn’t hard, per se… it’s just that losing your style (losing your whole self, really) is sooo darn easy!
Mothers since the beginning of time have placed themselves second, third, last, and we don’t think twice about doing it. We have a million other things to do before we can even begin to focus on ourselves.
Moms are freaking rock stars…
in the beginning of Motherhood, we're just trying to keep helpless little humans alive while cleaning their butts and running on very little sleep and very little sanity. They grow a bit and we become the snot rag, the boo-boo healer, miracle worker, all the while still wiping butts.
Here are my guys, of course in fun matching sports outfits. I am behind the camera, likely wearing days-old sweats. That's just the way it is for most Moms in the beginning.
This is the oldest photo I could find for this "Mommy post" that I wasn't too embarrassed to have on the internet. The boys are 3 and 4! What the heck? Why did it take so long to get in a picture?
They grow a little more and we become taxi drivers, the cook, the therapist, maybe we become a semi-decent spouse again but we’re still the housekeeper, the coach, the sideline cheerleader, we work, and so much more. And if all goes as planned we’re probably not wiping butts anymore.
But for such a long stretch of time, it’s easy to lose yourself. You're focused on their happiness, not yours!
It’s easy to put your personal style on the back burner.
Heck, we don’t even think twice to put hair washing on the back burner! So forget a sense of style, the easiest thing to grab is the yoga pants (that I didn’t actually use for yoga) or the comfy over-sized sweats. They were my favorite, to me they were like the giant hug I needed in order to make it through the day (second only to the other giant metaphorical hug we need to start the day, COFFEE).
At some point in early Motherhood, lots of us adopt a Mom uniform. Or at least I did! The uniform consisted of the same old sweats on rotation and the 2 pairs of yoga pants I would reserve for playing in our front yard in case the neighbors were out. Those pants were the go-to pairs for stroller walks throughout the neighborhood because that’s when real people might see me. Semi-clean black lounge pants were the best I could do. My dirty hair screamed “crazy lady” enough, old oversized sweats would have made it worse!
But we’re so hard on ourselves, I guess. I love what Leena says over here about yoga pants and the Mom uniform stereotypes,
"it isn’t because we aren’t stylish. It’s because we’re exhausted! We’re so busy dressing everyone else that by the time we reach ourselves, we’ve given up on making an effort."
Amen! I think I lost my sense of style the most in my boys’ toddler/preschool ages (those photos above that I am not in). Those were the days when they went to preschool only 3 times a week. Every. single. time I would wrestle my 2-year-old into clean clothes so he could attend the 3-hour preschool program I NEEDED them to go to so I could maintain some semblance of sanity!! It was a crazy phase he had for about 8 months. There was full-on wrestling while he was screaming and I was sweating. Just to get the kid to wear some fresh clean clothes!
So you bet I didn’t give a sh*%t what I was wearing when I got my 3-day-a-week 3-hour break! And you Moms know how fast that “break” goes, right? After a long battle or two, you finally get the kids into their car seats and complete the drop-off. After a quick trip to the grocery store, put groceries away, throw in a load of laundry, clean up from breakfast, it’s time to go out and get them again.
So I didn't care at all how I looked. I cared the most about creating moments like this. God, I was proud of myself for making this moment! Edited to add: I pulled them over to the computer to share this photo and they're making gagging sounds and going "blechk"! Boys...
I didn't really make the time for self-care. At least once a month for a couple years there, my husband would say, “Do you think you’ll change out of those sweats at all this week?” Or, “Isn’t it day 4 for that sweatshirt?” And one time, “Jaim, um, your hair smells”. Sidenote: I’ll know that he actually reads my blog when he calls and says, “Hi, I read that article about the 4-day-old sweats. That wasn’t just years ago, you know I still stay that right?” Busted.
And then there are Moms who did all of this morning wrestling with a toddler while simultaneously getting themselves ready to be present at their outside jobs! In real grown-up pants!! Can’t even imagine.
But eventually, low and behold, the kids grow and you have a few more minutes to yourself and you might begin to think about your own self and your needs. By now we all know the whole “put your oxygen mask on first” thing, right?
Allow yourself some focus on your style. It will make you feel good!
If you do come up for air and notice that your personal style took a backseat to everything else in life, you are not alone. Every single week a Mom reaches out to me to get her style groove back. We all do it!
And look, that makes sense for a period of time. It really does. But there will come a moment where you can breathe a little and shift some of the focus back on yourself. That's where I come in tp help.
Is this you today? Do you have a few minutes of sanity and you’re noticing that your style took a back seat for a few years?
Who else better to ask for help than me? A trained listener, a Mom in transition myself, and a trained personal stylist. And if somehow you need permission to care about fashion and personal style, I give it to you! You are allowed to buy a new pair of jeans or a pretty “going-out” top without feeling guilty. ~Insert oxygen mask analogy again~
But where do I start?
If you feel a little lost and unstylish since you’ve become a Mom, you are not alone. I know personal style can feel a bit elusive when there are more important things going on in your world…. but the good news is, you can put forth just a little effort to get back on the right track. Make one little purchase. How about a great dress or a flattering jumpsuit?
Probably my first, and favorite, self-focused purchase was a versatile jumpsuit. I was a SAHM at the time with absolutely no events on the calendar and no date nights in sight. I really had nowhere to wear any real clothes. But I came across a People Style magazine ad and a coupon for “officially the most flattering jumpsuit ever” so I gave it a chance. It worked out great. I have had it for 4 years now and I still use it!
I first wore it first to a friend’s baby shower 4 years ago. I’ve used it for date nights since and even a friend’s casual house party for the launch of her business. I just used it a few months ago for my dear friend’s 40th birthday, again just last week for networking, and that jumpsuit is not going away anytime soon!
How many pieces have been in your closet for that long that you actually use, over and over?
If the answer is zero, I can help you. I can teach you how to buy for longevity and versatility. Unfortunately, the exact one from years ago that I'm referring to is old and sold out. But you should keep this brand in mind as they're always adding new pieces. It's Veronica M and this link takes you right to their jumpsuits page.
I recommend a jumpsuit as one of your first purchases because they can easily be dressed up or dressed down. Even the almighty LBD (as much as I LOVE one) isn’t my favorite staple piece because I’m not always in the mood for a dress with legs all exposed.
How to choose a jumpsuit.
You should focus on some key features:
- Make sure it’s a knit (aka stretchy to accommodate changing bodies)
- Machine-washable because someone is going to wipe something on it eventually- could be baby snot, could be Mommy’s cocktail, who knows?
- I recommend black or navy since those colors usually make us feel our slimmest
- V-neck, a universally flattering neckline
- A faux wrap-style or surplice top (very flattering without the wrap/tie annoyances) for a few reasons like breastfeeding access; creates a deep v to flatter most body types, accentuates the natural waist, and with the v-neck you can vary between a flirty/flaunt of the breast area or you can pull it closed more or add a cami for a more modest look
- And maybe find a style with pockets which offers a comfy vibe!
What do you think? Ready to buy for yourself yet?
What to do about style if your littles are still really little? I remember the snot-wiping days Moms, I really do. I remember the exhaustion all too well. And if it’s too much to think about right now, I get it. Bookmark this page and come back later. I’m not going anywhere!
I remember the days when the only accomplishment you could make all day was to keep the little 2-foot maniacs alive! Trust me, mine are 9 months apart and I remember but it will get better… now my kids are finally both school-age and I am just beginning to come into my new sense of style and re-focus on my own next steps in life. Just some food for thought…
Don’t wait for an occasion to buy a great piece.
Especially if you are a stay-at-home Mom. I used to say it all the time when I was home, “where the heck am I going in this?” Or “I never leave the house, I can’t buy this”. And then you know what happens? An event appears on the calendar and before you know it you’re left saying, “I have nothing to wear! Help, Jaime! I can’t find anything in the mall!” Believe me, I have the weekly SOS texts to prove it.
Tell me, has your style changed since you became a Mom? In what way? Maybe your style hasn’t changed at all, good for you! Either way, tell me in the comments below. What phase of Mommyhood are you in? What can I help you with regarding personal style? I’d love to hear your thoughts and answer your questions.
P.s. Inspired to add more style to your life but would rather start out small? How about some shoes? All on sale here.
Disclosure: some links are affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. This is a small amount that helps support my time spent on the hunt for stylish pieces, these are NOT items sent to me for free. I have created these posts on my own to share with you.