Friday, November 30, 2007

Keeping Your Fashion in Mind

Once upon a time I was a twenty something who cared about what was in and out of fashion. I am sure I wasn't the perfect model of what to wear but I had a clue. Then I was a wife and I still had a fashion sense, and the freedom to shop for me. (The good ole days.) Then came the day I was given the title of Mommy. My focus was on baby clothes, baby gadgets, diaper bags, baby toys, and this dynamic continued through every stage my daughter faced. Every growth spurt demanded more clothes. Sure, I was in need of an updated outfit or two, but who has time for an outfit or two when your newborn child is outgrowing her clothes. Plus, it is so fun to shop for your baby!! I mean really - the clothes are SOOO cute.

Thanks to a second pregnancy, the demands of life and the passage of time I now wonder... "What happened to my wardrobe?!!" How did my shoes become so out?? I know there are some moms who sport stilettos while running in the park with their kids, but I am NOT that mom. I find myself in over sized t-shirts and jeans or elastic waisted pants. Last year I finally bought a few pair of the jeans with flared legs to only read in the latest fashion magazine that straight legged jeans are back! This can be exhausting.

I have tried to buy a few key staples, with every season, so that at least a few of my outfits are not "from the 90's". Unfortunately I cannot keep up with trends like I used to. What to do??? How can we keep our kids clothed (since they seem to outgrow everything every 6 months) while maintaining a little style of our own??

My solution is to buy a few key pieces every season. I tend to be at the park or on play dates more than I am around professionally dressed people, so I look for bargains on the latest casual wear. I make a run, and I do mean a run, for a bargain store. I grab 3 or 4 tops and then head to the register. I still wear my flare legged jeans and my sweat pants with these tops and I feel great! I buy a pair of shoes, when I find something practical, and when I am really up for a splurge I buy an entire outfit.

But I must warn you, since we have limited time for us - beware of the juniors section. Nothing is more infuriating than to buy a Medium top KNOWING it will fit, to only find that you are now dressed like a hussy. They should put a Jr-M or something in the tag. I do NOT have time to find a shirt I like AND try it on in the store. Most of the time I have my kids with me and I am lucky to find something I like. :) The same goes for pants. I have found a Jr. size pant thinking it was a normal size I wear and brought it home devastated that I couldn't get it past my thighs. :) They (the junior sizes) need to have a neon green tag in the clothes so we will KNOW when we are in the wrong area.

I think remaining in touch with fashion is vital to my emotional health. I don't mean that in an obsessed way but in an effort to avoid the "I am a zombie person wearing only t-shirts because the kids will either spit up on me or get me dirty so why bother" mindset. We need to be comfortable and we need to feel good too. I have found one key to me feeling I am not lost in the title of Mom is to buy a few shirts each season and to keep a fresh hair cut. It isn't perfect but at least I am still in the picture.

It is so easy to sit back and care for everyone but me. Having a balanced plan gives me permission to take care of me without feeling like "Oh, I should have bought something for the kids." I feel good about me and I feel good about my 'Mom-ness'. (And can I get an Amen or a Yippee for longer shirts being IN!!! Didn't you hate the belly shirt phase???? Especially while trying to wear maternity pants - the shirts showed the blue bands on the pants. Ick! Ick!! Ick! Loved the belly bump, just hated the blue maternity bands showing.)


Wendy said...

After nearly back-to-back pregnancies, I've been in desperate need of a wardrobe upgrade. Thankfully, my husband took my shopping last Saturday and let me put on a fashion show for him trying on new things. It was the BEST time! (And yes, you'd better believe I posted all about it on my blog! LOL) It's amazing how much better one decently fitting pair of jeans and a few new shirts, skirts and shoes can make you feel! :)

Rachael said...

Amen!!! I completely agree with you about the junior sizes. How depressing it can be to try on a junior shirt or pants by mistake and feel like you have gained 20lbs!!! You really should pitch this idea of neon green tags to someone!!! I bet it would fly!

try2bAsunbeam said...

What a great post! At 28, I could get away with dressing like everyone else, being comepletely in style, blah blah blah but I think that "classy" is better than "in-style". I try to buy clothes that won't age. ANd then you don't have to feel bad about them costing a titch more (although, i LOVE thrift stores) There are certain things that just never go out of style. A well cut skirt (only wear skirts) and a nice shirt/blouse with a sweater...can't go wrong with that, I think!
And AMEN to the whole juniors thing!

MorningSong said...

Amen Sunbeam!! I agree 100%. I try to buy basics and things that will last. Truly a great tip!

Ole Miss Mom said...

I guess I'm still that 20 something that likes to dress trendy! :-) Clothes make me feel good and keep me getting up everyday and looking cute and presentable! I want to dress cute for my husband too...I refuse to be that mom who lets themselves go! I love makeup and's fun for me! But I guess it's all where you come from! My mom still dresses so cute and up to date and always wearing makeup too!! She the one always wanting to take ME shopping! :-) But I was always reminded (and still reminded by my mom) that it wasn't about the outer appearance that counts! It the inner beauty!

MorningSong said...

Go Wendy!!! Shopping trips are the best!

Ole Miss Mom - I do like to dress trendy. The budget just doesn't allow it anymore since adding two others to our home! :) If you can dress trendy - by all means go for it!!


Anonymous said...

Oh yes. I know exactly what you are writing about. 15 lbs down and 25 more to go!

Lisa H said...

Great post! I can totally relate to this one. Especially dashing in the store, grabbing a few tops and checking out without even thinking of trying them on!

And amen to the longer shirts being in style--my favorite trend! :)

Anonymous said...

Going from either looking like my kids or looking like a grandmother. I hate clothes! Thankfully my girls keep my in line with fashion, at least to a point.

The short shirts were a nightmare at my house. I have very tall daughters. When #3 was in high school it was so hard to make sure she was always covered. I love the longer looks.

Marsha said...

The best post-baby fashion advice I received from my fashionable younger sister was "It is just as easy to put on something CUTE as it is to put on something UGLY."

That is SO true! This means that if you don't love it when you buy it, then take it back since you won't like it any better tomorrow. This also goes the other way. If you try something on that you absolutely love and feel gorgeous in, you need to think about splurging and getting it. Rare is the outfit that makes you feel fabulous!