Life after a new baby is tough yet transformative - everything changes, including what you wear. When you're dealing with a new body you may not recognize postpartum, recovery from birth, and giving a tiny human unlimited access to your breasts, you'll understand why so many moms end up wearing yoga pants all the time. Trying to find the time, energy, and motivation to get dressed can be tough, as can facing a closet full of clothes that may not fit you. I hear you, mama. A question I see often is, "how do I find my style after having a baby?" Moms can still find that stylish piece of themselves in their new role with a few simple steps. Note: If you're not ready to figure it out just yet, bookmark this post for a future date when you'll be ready.
Figure Out What You Like
Pinterest is a great source for style ideas. There are thousands of photos of outfits, clothing, accessories, makeup, and more. Pin or save what appeals to you, including colors, textures, and individual pieces. You may start to see similarities or a pattern emerge. Most of my saved style pins are casual and have a slight rock and roll edge to them: skinny jeans, leather jackets, lots of black, stripes, and metal jewelry. If you regularly read a blog, follow them on different social media platforms. For instance, I participate in monthly style challenges on my Instagram, but do not often share them on my Facebook.
Figure Out What You Must Have
Is it comfort priority one? Do your clothes need to be breastfeeding or pumping friendly? Does your office have a dress code? Figuring out what you absolutely must have in your clothes is a great first step. This will help you keep focus as you start to figure out what you like. Sometimes figuring out what you need can help you come up with things that you absolutely do not want.
Purge Your Closet
Pull out the clothes that no longer appeal to you. You can even KonMari down to a few basic pieces if you like. This is a tough one for me. I never know when I'm going to magically fit into pre-baby jeans or will need a silk and lace camisole for a night out. I recently got rid of a lot of clothing: outdated business casual pieces from time spent in Cubeville, the pre-baby jeans (no more low rise for me), and shoes that had seen better days. The items in good condition were donated. I kept the silk and lace camisole.
Not only will removing old clothes help with clutter, but it will also let you see what you have that works with those outfits you saved. Removing clothing and items from your past helps you honor where you are now. I am no longer going to a 9-5 office job, nor am I the same woman I was before having children.
Put Your Looks Together
By seeing what you already have and what you like, you should be able to create an outfit. This will help you figure out any missing pieces. Use what's in your closet to put together a daily uniform. You'll also be able to see if your vision comes to fruition in real life. This will help you come up with a manageable game plan on.
You may find that some styles or trends just don't work for your lifestyle. What looks great in a picture may not be as wonderful in person. For instance, if you have older babies, dangly earrings may not be the right option for you. If you type a lot at work, bracelets or rings may be uncomfortable after long periods of time. Since I may get spit up on in my line of work, I tend to stick with knits or blends that I can launder at home. There aren't many "dry clean only" clothes residing in my closet.
Fill in the Blanks
If you find your new mom uniform is lacking a key element, it may be time to do a little shopping. Adding pieces to put it all together doesn't have to break the bank; resale sites, consignment shops, and clothing swaps can keep a budget in check. Come up with a list of your top 3 items and a budget. Enlist the help of a trusted friend and go! If getting out of the house is a challenge, there's always online shopping. I am an avid online shopper because my free time is usually late at night after the kids are asleep and the shops are closed. If it's overwhelming, remember that you don't have to get everything at once.
Take it slow
Put as much or as little time into this as you want. Remember that you may not look like Jessica Alba on your first attempt and that it's okay. We tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Fashion and style should be fun, not a stressful chore. If it doesn't make you feel good, stop and revisit it when you're ready. You may end up checking out several different trends before you find one that works for you. Just as figuring out your new role as mother doesn't happen overnight, finding a style that's perfect for you also takes some time.
My mom style took some time to develop. I thought I had great style when I worked full time, but seemed to lose it all when I became a stay at home mom. Now I'm able to pull on my mom uniform (skinny jeans, a t-shirt, and slip on flats) and add accessories based on my day and my mood. I tend to incorporate a similar formula with more formal outfits as well.