It’s no secret among my close friends and family that I view the wearing of yoga pants 24/7 to be a terrorist act. Some of you may love your yoga pants and be unwilling to give them up. But for those of you who are looking to branch out, allow me to assist. I write a lot about fun ballet wear and pretty cosmetics that are gluten free. But obviously I don’t spend my every day in just leotards and lipgloss! I do have to wear other things. And as I’ve mentioned before, I’m a mother. Some women do use this as their excuse to just let themselves go. Don’t believe me, just check out some of the mummy blogs that routinely bash any women who admits they want little to do with the sainted yoga pants (yeah, I’m sure I’ll get flack for this post, and no I won’t be approving any negative comments). I don’t know what’s wrong with women today that they feel it’s acceptable to leave the house dressed like they just rolled out of bed. It’s one thing if you’re sick or injured. If that’s the case then please, don’t dress up on my account. But to show up at the Children’s Museum or the zoo? Come on now. It’s just not this hard to get dressed, I promise. And I’m not just going to tell you it’s easy and walk away, I’m going to help you.
I’ve mentioned before on here I have a capsule wardrobe. There are many variations on the capsule wardrobe, and you don’t have to limit yourself to just one. I myself have two. One for my everyday clothing and a separate one with clothes I wear on vacation (think my crazy Disney Bound skirts, and dresses I won’t be crying over if they’re trashed at an amusement park or lost by the airline). You may wish to have one for work and another for your off days. Do what works for you. Here are some links to great blogs and blog posts about capsule wardrobes.
This one is one my friend sent to me. It was a really entertaining read and this woman is also a mother. She had been living in yoga pants when she’d finally had enough. She asked a stylish friend how she did it and now she’s looking great everyday too, with minimal effort!
The blog The Daily Connoisseur is a great resource for living well. The author, Jennifer (mother of two) has actually made a living promoting the capsule wardrobe (among other things). Her blog is one I’ve followed for some time and I highly recommend it. She also mostly vlogs now, but the videos are really informative. She and I seem to be on the same page about a lot! I really loved one of her more recent posts about dressing up daily (5/18/15). If nothing else you should watch that video.
Un-Fancy is another great blog to look into whether you’re just starting out or are looking for outfit inspiration. She has a 37 piece wardrobe and posts photos of how she creates different looks. She also has a great beginners guide!
I truly believe that capsule wardrobes are the way to go. If you only have things you love and fit in your closet it really takes the guesswork out of what to wear on a daily basis. I have about a dozen dresses in my closet (since I mostly wear dresses, I have very few separates) and many can be dressed up or down. If it’s ever hard for me to pick what to wear it’s because every choice is a good one. And I don’t fret over spending a lot on a single dress since I know I’ll wear it every chance I get. I dropped $200 last fall on this little beauty.
Totally worth every penny. It’s very sturdy, thick enough to wear even in the dead of winter, and so comfortable. I wore it with a cardigan from J Crew (in my signature orange color, everyone should have a signature color- or two!), tights, and my favorite brown leather knee length boots. I also wore hunter green, decorative knee socks with them most days. So while this dress was a little pricey, it ended up costing me very little per wear. And because it wasn’t competing for attention with 30 other dresses, plus as many pants and skirts it got the amount or wear it deserved and I didn’t feel bad about spending the money.
Beyond just reading blogs I love to look for outfit inspiration. Like I mentioned above, Un-Fancy offers just that. But she’s not the only one. There are lots of blogs out there that are devoted to just that. Here are some that I like.
Classy Girls Wear Pearls is run by Sarah Vickers, a New England native. She runs the blog partly as her own creative endeavor and partly as a means to advertise the company she and her fiancé own, Kiel James Patrick. They carry a small range of apparel and shoes but are mostly devoted to accessories. For some inexplicable reason I’ve never bought from them, but I really should try and remedy that soon. Blogs like this are great because they tell you not only what they’re wearing, but where you can buy the same items (or similar). So if you like that persons style, you can get a replica of their outfit.
The College Prepster does a little bit of everything, but she does have a fashion section. And like Sarah’s website she tells you where you can buy what she’s wearing.
Now I’m only going to show a couple of blogs that I follow because not everyone has the same taste in clothing that I do and I don’t want this post to get bogged down with links to sites you may have no interest in. So what I recommend is, identify your style. Once you’ve done that, hit up Google. Type in “preppy fashion blog” or “hipster fashion blog”, or whatever your style is. Or even just the name and brand of your favorite dress. That alone can actually lead you to a lot of sites run by individuals who share your same taste in fashion. It’s always worked for me! Most brands also have blogs. J Crew, Kate Spade, and Anthropologie all have blogs dedicated to their brand. And these blogs will often feature other bloggers who are loyal to their brand, it can be a great way to find new style blogs that fit your aesthetic. In addition to all of this there’s Pintrest. I cannot stress the importance of creating a board where you can pin any outfit you want to try and recreate. It can also be helpful if you have a board where you’ve pinned all the clothes you own. I have one for myself right here and it’s been a big help to me when I’m shopping. I can look at it and ask myself if the item I’m considering fit’s my current style. And I have everything on there, summer clothes, winter, all of it, even shoes. I created an inspiration board last fall to help me flush out my fall style, it being my first fall in several years. It honestly made a difference and I incorporated many of the things you see in that board into my wardrobe.
Okay, so now you’ve looked at photos, you’ve gotten some ideas, and you’re inspired to clear out your closet. Hopefully. Maybe you want to track what you own a little more closely. Or create your own looks with things you already own. There’s a great app for this called Stylebook. I bought it ($3.99) last month and I’ve already used it quite a bit. It really does it all. You can create a virtual closet with only your clothing items (you can either save the images from retailers or take photos with your own camera/phone and edit them right on the app). You can put together entire looks, complete with shoes, accessories, and makeup. You can plan your clothing for the week, month, and beyond in their calendar. And it even keeps track of how often you wear items from your closet and the cost per wear! Definitely my favorite feature. There’s lots of style inspiration to be found right on the app and you can even shop right on it. If you’re utilizing it properly it can really be a huge time saver. because the time you sink into using this app is going to come back to you ten fold when you’re not scrambling last minute trying to decide what to wear or suddenly realizing you have an event and you never went to the dry cleaners. It helps you plan so much more than just what tops you want to wear with your new pants. It’ll also help you be more efficient when it comes time to clear out your closet. You’ll be able to see exactly what you did and did not wear in the past six months. And you can save brand and style info because they have a notes section for each and every garment. So write down all those important details like care info and brand, because over time they can wear off or you may remove them. And if you’re wearing something three years after you bought it and it’s still looking like new, then you’re going to want to keep shopping with that brand! So don’t forget where you got the item!
Hopefully this post helped anyone looking to change up their style a bit or scale back. It can be hard to break out of the casual wear rut. And I totally understand it can be frustrating to dress a postpartum figure. You’re a totally different shape and weight, nothing fits right, and if you’re breastfeeding there can be additional issues. I really struggled when my son was breastfeeding. I’m a life long fan of the shift dress and well, you can’t really breast feed in those. I had no idea what to wear in the beginning (fyi, wrap dresses are your friend) and when he finally weaned it was sad, but also a huge relief! I could go back to form fitting clothes, oh happy day! But some people do struggle to shift the weight, and they don’t morph back to their pre-pregnancy shape. Starting fresh can be intimidating. You’ve gone your whole life knowing what works and suddenly it just doesn’t anymore. It’s almost easier to just pull on some stretchy pants and just give up, but don’t. Everyone deserves to look great, especially mums.
Here are just a few real suggestions to get you started if you just had a baby and don’t know where to begin.
This dress would be great for hiding a bit of a tummy if you still have one. It’ll just look like the dress which is designed to be boxy and swingy. It also has stretch built in so you won’t feel restricted.
This one would be fantastic for breastfeeding mums because you can just push the top aside. It has an asymmetrical hem so you won’t be tripping over it when chasing older kids. The print will hide a multitude of sins so if you haven’t shifted all the weight it’s no biggie. And it’s a stretchy jersey so you’ll look chic but will feel like you’re still in your yoga pants. It’ll also stick with you as you loose any extra weight.
Now maybe you’re already down to your pre pregnancy weight, or you’ve just accepted it’s never going to happen. There are still lots of easy ways to dress your new body that don’t rely on spandex alone.
This dress from J Crew is great because it’s more structured than one made of jersey. So it’ll hide any extra you might have and lets be honest, wrap dresses look great on every woman. Whether you’re a shapeless string bean like me or a perfect hourglass like my sister. If you’re super busty just wear a camisole underneath it and you’re good to go!
This featherweight cashmere sweater is perfect for anyone. If you’re breastfeeding just wear a tank underneath and pull the sweater up. It’s loose fit will drape nicely over any shape and they’re sooooo comfy. You can pair it with jeans on a cool day, and if it’s warmer pick a pair of shorts. Classics like this top never go out of style.
Speaking of shorts, these are the famous Lilly Pulitzer Callahan shorts. They’re famous because they flatter most everyone and the reason is simple. They’re made of a stiffer cotton and have an inseam of 5″. That makes them not too short, not too long. You generally want shorts to hit you right where you’re thighs are thinnest, and for most women that’s about 5″ down. Any of the prints these come in would look just darling with the sweater I showed above.
Hope you all enjoyed this post and you’re now feeling inspired. Honestly, yoga pants and a tee shirt are easy to pull on in the morning. But you know what takes the same amount of time? Jeans and a cute top. They’re not harder to wash either. A dress is even easier because there’s less guess work. And there are so many different fabrics and styles of clothing out there these days. Don’t limit yourself to seriously boring clothes that probably aren’t doing you any favors. Every woman deserves to leave the house feeling confident in herself and what she’s wearing. So just take a little time for yourself, spend that time thinking about what you want to look like first, then start shopping. I truly believe every body shape can pull off any style be it a classic preppy style, or a trendy edgy one. It’s just a matter of finding the specific pieces and brands that work for your body. And just because you’re a mother does not mean you can’t wear cool, or funky, or beautiful clothing. Just because you became a mum doesn’t not mean that you have to just become some blob who exists solely to serve her husband and kids. So take some time to yourself, you’re important too. 🙂