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How I Reclaimed My Personal Style After Having a Baby

“I have nothing to wear” is what I used to say to myself every time I opened my closet 

The truth is, I was standing in front of a closet full of clothes, a compilation from many years of fashion blunders, impulse buys and hand me downs. I would try on so many different outfits and nothing seemed to work well together. The sad part is my closet was comprised of special pieces, but seriously lacked the simpler staple items to help elevate them.

This all changed after I became a mother for the first time. During the postpartum period my style changed from trendy chic to basically a mom wardrobe.  Stereotypical mom clothes such as leggings, sweatpants and lazy athleisure were my everyday go to. I remember looking in the mirror at one point, wondering what happened to the woman who used to have at least some sense of fashion.

By the time my daughter was 7 months old, I finally returned to my pre pregnancy weight and shape. From then on something just clicked and I felt ready, both physically and mentally to focus on myself again. 

It was time for a change

I was getting more sleep, exercise and had established a solid routine for my baby and myself. It was time to tackle my overstuffed closet. The unwearable tight dresses and crop tops I bought years ago in my twenties had to go. Do you have pieces of clothing unworn and hidden in the back of your closet with the tags still on? I know that most of us are guilty of this. Then of course I wonder, “What on earth was I thinking when I bought that?”

I decided enough was enough. As a new mom, I have less time to get ready so I needed to find a way to put together pieces that were functional, stylish and importantly easy to throw on. 

Closet reevaluation 

The first thing I did was try everything on! It took three afternoons, lots of coffee and tons of photo taking. I know – that sounds like a daunting task, but it’s one that’s well worth it. My goal was to try on anything that I wasn’t 100% sure fits well. Asking myself the following questions about every item in my closet helped me to decide what to keep, dump or donate

  1. Does it make me feel good?
  2. Do I wear it?
  3. Does it project the image I want?
  4. Is it comfortable?
  5. Are the heels too high to walk in?
  6. Is it moldy? Smelly? Stained?
  7. Does it fit?
Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash

I found that the results surprised me. I discovered that everything I bought years ago still fits till this day! Also, the reason I found it difficult to put items together is most items were too colorful! My style changed over the years and as I’m exposed to new trends, I felt like my closet didn’t really reflect my style today nor did it fit my new lifestyle as a mother. The good news is I felt a huge sense of relief – I had finally let go of the things that no longer served me. I was letting go of memories and the visual noise for more space and a sense of mental clarity. I felt empowered to tackle that next thing that’s been hanging in my consciousness such as restarting my exercise routine, redecorating my living room space, the list goes on. 

Visual 

Figuring out my style at first seemed like an overwhelming process. What I did to get inspired was browse Pinterest and follow fashion influencers on Instagram.  Just looking at some of the innovative ways outfits are thrown together is so inspiring.  It’s really helped me define my personal style. Now shopping is pretty easy, browsing is less frustrating and honestly I feel more content with what I have and don’t have.

I Took Pictures of My Outfits for a Week

A while back a blogger friend of mine showed me pictures of her 30 Day Outfit Challenge. These were unfiltered nor edited images straight from her phone designed to record what she wore for a month. She discovered that this challenge helps her to look at her outfits more objectively and identify what works and what doesn’t.

My aim this year is to find out what I wear most, what I feel most comfortable in and how I can fill in the gaps in my outfit, so I decided to try her method for just 7 days after sorting my wardrobe. 

I started the week posting my outfits on Ig stories. With my long tripod, phone camera and a simple backdrop and 7 days of photo taking I found that I was able to be creative with my downsized wardrobe.

I also found that while outfit planning I was in dire need of accessories and staple pieces such as T Shirts, flat mules and a button down blouse – very essential pieces. I’m still taking pictures of my outfits every other day which I use to help remind myself what pieces I already have and help me figure out whats flattering.

Shop the Look

Drop The Guilt

Hey Mamas, It’s Okay Absolutely Ok To Buy Something Nice For Yourself.

You see something that catches your eye. Not something your kids need, or your partner needs, but that thing would be nice treat for yourself. You stand there for a moment, contemplating whether you really need it. Now, that used to be me. I’d let guilt chip away at me for spending money on myself. I’ve learned that if I don’t spend money on myself occasionally then I won’t look and feel great. But no matter the cost, it’s so worth it because when mama feels good, everyone will feel good, too. Wear it with pride, display it with pride – and let it serve as your daily reminder that you earned it, and that your happiness is well worth the investment.

Final thoughts

There will be days when feeling good about yourself as a new mother is difficult and all we want to do is wear sweatpants. Of course, most mothers want to be comfortable and stylish at the same time. We all want to avoid getting stuck in a mom’s fashion rut. Thankfully there are so many ways to elevate your casual everyday wear that don’t take up much of your time – I’ll be sharing my style tips in the next post!

I haven’t got it all figured out and still learning along the way just like you mamas out there… Please share some of your tips? Let me know in the comments below!

Jo

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