All throughout high school and even for many years after, I had the worst fashion sense. I would buy things just because I thought they were cute (and mostly cheap) while not really thinking about how I would wear it or what I would wear it with.
My closet grew bigger and bigger but each time I walked in there, I felt like I had nothing to wear. Before heading out the door, I would try on so many different outfits and nothing seemed to work well together. Finally I would just give up and either wear jeans and a t-shirt or just not go out.
Now that I’ve grow up and started getting older, I’ve been getting more and more into fashion (and beauty and skincare… haha, this under eye luggage seriously needs some help). I’m definitely no fashion guru but I’ve learned a few tricks along the way on how to style certain pieces and what works well together.
After having 4 kids, it’s easy to slip into the “mom wardrobe” of leggings and tunic all day everyday… which is my usual go to… but I can’t let that dominate the wardrobe. Also, since working from home, it’s become less frequent that I leave the house (and no, I don’t consider a grocery run for milk leaving the house). Many of my clothes go unused and with the tags still attached for months before I’m able to make it out of the house to someplace worthy of “dressing up.”
Now that I’m officially done having kids and I am working on getting back to my “happy weight” I’m letting my inner fashionista shine a little more. I want to be able to be stylish but still functional even if I don’t get out much and don’t have many fun places to wear things.
Though hopefully that’ll change once we make a big move in about 8 months!
Anyway, I’m finally starting to feel more like myself again instead of just a baby making machine. So here’s a few little tips I’m following to help me find my style again.
Embrace Your Body – At Every Stage
When I was in between kids, I made the mistake of not buying anything that fit and just tried to stuff myself into things that I already had. I used the excuse that I was going to lose the weight and that I would eventually fit into them and I didn’t want to spend money on something that would only fit for a short time.
This was totally wrong thinking.
Not only did this make me feel worse about my body but I also didn’t end up losing the weight like I had wanted before I ended up getting pregnant again. And that’s ok (not the feeling worse part).
Looking back, I should have embraced that postpartum body a little more and learned to love it as it was… which is what I am doing now. I have carried and birthed 4 babies and that is something to celebrate not beat myself up about because my stomach still looks like a bowl full of jelly.
This time around, once I felt healed enough from my c-section, I headed out to TJ Maxx and found some seriously stretchy jeans that actually fit my giant hips. I only bought 2 pairs, that were around $20 each, but those two pairs lasted me more than 6 months before I had to buy the next size down.
Plus, it made me feel so much better about myself. Once I felt like I could walk out of the house in something that fit instead of feeling like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, my confidence skyrocketed. I wanted to start dressing up again now that I had a great fitting pair of jeans.
I also realize that after 4 kids, my body is not the same as it was when I was in my twenties. Would I love to be a size 2 again? Sure. But is it realistic for me now? Probably not. My hips are wider and my belly still has a little pouch from all the surgeries. I still have all my size 2 jeans in the closet waiting for that day but if it never comes, then so be it. I’ll buy all the Abercrombie jeans in my new size. Haha!
Lock the Door When You Get Ready
Ok so this one is super hard when I’m home alone with the kids but if the hubby is home then I love to lock the door and get ready in silence and peace. Not having to field kiddos pulling out all my makeup and hair tools while I get ready just makes it so much easier, better, and less time consuming.
I can get so much more done when they are not all at my feet… it’s amazing.
Have A Seasonal Uniform or Build a Capsule Wardrobe
If you look in my closet, it may look like I have a huge wardrobe and I do have a lot of things but they are all close to the same style. Now that I know what works with my body I can stick to it to keep it simple and just change it up with colors, textures, shoes (I love me some shoes), and accessories.
You can also build yourself a capsule wardrobe so you don’t feel overwhelmed with the clothes in your closet. Audrey from PuttingMeTogether.com does a seasonal challenge where she gives you a list of clothes and how to style them in tons of different ways. I haven’t done one yet but it look like a great way to help start a capsule wardrobe.
Clean Out Your Closet
This one is easy for me and something I do regularly… usually every 2-3 months. Also, if I pull something out of my closet to wear and it doesn’t look or fit right anymore it immediately goes into the donate bin. The only exception is that it’s something I loved and I’m hoping will fit again in a few months. Then I’ll hang it back up and re-evaluate in said few months.
However, I do a big clean out once a year on the first of the year. You can read more about it here… but basically, on January 1st, I wash all my clothes and the hang them in the closet backwards. Yes, you read that right. Then as the year progresses, I wear the clothes, they get washed and hung back in the closet the regular way. At the end of the year you’ll have a visual representation of exactly what you’ve worn in your closet and what you haven’t.
Usually if you haven’t worn it in a year then you probably won’t and it should go into the donate bin or sold. The only exceptions I have made for this were the years that I was pregnant and didn’t actually fit into any of my regular clothes or many of my formal and cocktail dresses. Dresses get cleaned out every year too but I don’t use the reverse hanger trick, I just try them on and see if they look good or not.
This year, however, I am super excited to get in there and pull out all the still-backwards hangers and try everything on (with a pair of jeans, this is important) and get rid of what doesn’t work anymore. Then I’ll have a ton of new closet space for all the new things!
Buy a New Bra
I actually just bought all the new bras just a month ago and shared them with you here.
But seriously, when you are pregnant, you buy a new bra for your pregnancy… why not buy a new one for after? You girls are not the same as they were and you deserve something pretty and new.
I hear your supposed to replace your bras every 6 months or so anyway. I don’t know if I’ve ever followed that rule but I do love finding a great new bra that fits properly.
Just Buy the Dress
I read somewhere recently that if you’re out shopping and you see a great dress, it fits and flatters, then you should buy it even if you don’t have anywhere to wear it right now. Why? Because when the day comes that you do need a great dress you won’t be stuck scrambling trying to find something. You’ll already have a great one in the closet that you know looks and fits great.
Find Your Stores
Everyone has a store that they walk into and almost everything they try on is just amazing. Find one of those. It can totally be Old Navy, Target, H&M (which by the way is seriously taking all my money this season), American Eagle, Abercrombie, or whatever.
I recently discovered Abercrombie jeans and I am in love. I used to be a die-hard AE jeans fan just now I’m split evenly between the two. Both are so buttery soft, true to size, and stretch just the right amount without bagging out by the end of the day.
I also recently discovered that Aerie has the best bras and bralettes ever. Once you find a store that has great stuff that looks amazing, keep shopping there.
Don’t Feel Guilty
I used to feel so guilty for spending money on myself. I don’t even know why. However, I’ve learned that if I don’t spend money on myself occasionally then I won’t look and feel great.
I don’t have to spend a ton of money either… I absolutely shop at all the stores I listed above, usually only buy when something is on sale, use coupons, use Ebates, and a reward credit card to get all the money back I can. But no matter the cost, it’s worth it because when momma feels good, everyone else will feel good too. Promise. ?
There you have my top tips for how to find your style again after becoming a mom.
I’m still learning along the way just like a bunch of you… so what are some of your tips? I would love to see what you do different. Let me know in the comments below!