By: Julia Seidl
Confession time: I’m a fashion editor and when I became a mom, I didn’t know how to dress. Like many of you who worked outside of the home before having kids, I knew how to dress for work. I knew how to dress for meetings, after work drinks and Saturday nights but I didn’t know how to dress for the playground, marathon stroller sessions or the krippe run. Sure, jeans and sneakers made the most sense but I didn’t feel like myself when I wore those things, at least not when they became my uniform.
I knew that I didn’t need to dress a certain way for any of those activities and that my daughter certainly wouldn’t care but I cared. Dressing in a way that reflects my personality makes me feel good and suddenly, I didn’t recognize the woman behind the stroller. I felt like someone else. And that did not feel good.
I’m sure many of you would agree that when you become a mother, you (temporarily?!?) lose so much of your old self. Keeping that one side of myself was important to me. Over the past two years since my daughter was born, I’ve slowly started to regain my old identity and I have learnt how to dress stylishly with a side of practicality for my new lifestyle. That doesn’t mean you won’t still occasionally spot me in jeans and sneakers but now it’s not an everyday occurrence. Here are my top three tips for regaining your stylish self post-baby.
1) Make it a challenge:
Since denim became my de facto uniform, I challenged myself to go a week without jeans. I substituted my skinnies for skirts, dresses and cropped trousers. It’s true that I often wore those with my sneakers (thank god Stan Smiths are still trending) but just stepping into something besides my favorite jeans made me feel better. After the seven days were up, I no longer used my jeans as a crutch and started alternating them more frequently with other pieces.
I challenge you to do the same. For one week, ditch the leggings or t-shirts or whatever it is that you rely on and watch what happens.
2) Shop for yourself
After my daughter was born, heading to Zara to raid the baby department became much more exciting than heading to the women’s fitting room so I barely bought myself any new clothes after my daughter was born. I figured that since I wasn’t working, what did I need new clothes for? That was a big mistake. Sometimes something as simple as a new sweater or cool pair of boots can make you feel really good so why deprive yourself of that? Now, each season I add just a couple of new pieces to my wardrobe and every time I wear one of them, I honestly get excited.
You don’t need to spend a lot to try this one. Even something as small as a new necklace can change a once tired top – and in the process change what you see in the mirror.
3) Stop caring about what other people think
This may sound silly but some days I would dress one way at home and then change into something else to take my daughter to the playground. If on a rare occasion I was wearing a dress and cute flat booties, I would change into the aforementioned jeans and sneakers to push her on the swing. I felt like the other mommies would judge me if I was “dressed” up. In hindsight, that’s crazy. So long as I was comfortable and happy, who cares what the other moms’ think?
If you feel more comfortable chasing your little one in ankle booties than Converse, don’t let other people’s preconceived notions stop you. Your choice of attire is not correlated to the kind of mother you are.
Julia Seidl is a fashion editor, writer and stylist from Toronto, Canada whose work has appeared in Elle Canada, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Grazia Middle East, Hello! Canada and more. She loves letting her 2-year old wild child Beatrice raid her shoe closet and reading “When You Give a Mouse a Cookie” to said child about ten times a day. When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found roaming the streets of Munich hunting for cool new boutiques and offering her personal styling services at Adelene Personal Styling (http://www.adelenestyling.com).