This style hyper-consciousness is partly triggered by getting my figure back after baby number two. There won’t be a baby number three, so presumably the body I have now will be with me for a few years, opening the door for more enduring investment pieces.
But motherhood has changed my approach to style in other ways too. While the shortest, tightest dresses in my closet finally fit my body again, they don’t fit my style anymore. I’m no prude, but anything too revealing now strikes me as tawdry and one dimensional. Too much leg or cleavage feels beneath me, and not because I’m too modest but because I have better taste. Fashion’s top icons are seldom overly exposed.
I’m also contemplating my role in making the world a slightly better place (or at least not overly contributing to it’s demise). Disposal fashion, which is essentially buying large quantities of inexpensive apparel designed to be tossed after a few seasons, is one of the biggest problems with consumer culture. The endless production of cheap clothes sucks up precious environmental resources and pumps out carbon emissions. These short-loved items soon get tossed into the garbage and end up in landfills as we replenish our closets with more disposable duds.
I’m not saying it’s immoral to buy inexpensive fun, trendy items (and even Chanel apparel needs to be tossed eventually), but I do think there’s something to be said for refocusing our apparel desires from quantity to quality instead. Perhaps it’s better to buy one phenomenal dress than three average ones. After all, we make our mark on the world one outfit at a time. It’s inconsequential to our image how many items are stuffed into our bloated closets back at home; the impression we make is determined by the thought, effort and quality that goes into the single outfit we’re wearing on a given day.
My mom style doctrine can be summed up by the following principles:
Buy Less/Buy Better: This is the principle of quality over quantity. If I buy less “things” over all, I can focus on more impressive, standout items. This in turn equates to better looking, higher-quality outfits and special pieces that I will enjoy a lot longer.
Edit, Edit, Edit: I crave a streamlined, high-functioning closet. I’ve written before about the dangers of closet kibble and how a cluttered closet drags you down psychologically. I don’t envy massive, overflowing closets at all (and I don”t have time to wade through one every morning); I want a serene closet space that makes putting beautiful outfits together easy so I can get back to the business of parenting.
New to Compliment Existing: I buy new items that compliment the things I already own and love. It’s much better to pay more for an exquisite pair of shoes that make three of your favorite outfits even better than it is to buy a pair that requires finding a whole new outfit to go with.
Every Day is An Occasion: I used to be the kind of person who lounged around the house in pajama pants. Given I’m currently on maternity leave, it would be very easy to fall into a fashion funk putting little effort into the way I look, but doing so would deprive me of some of my confidence and motivation. Being a mom is great. I’ve always wanted this. Why should living my dream home with two little girls be any less worthy of dressing for than my desk job?
Body Pride: After many years of extreme body shame, and decades wasted to “if only I were 15 pounds lighter” syndrome, I’m finally proud of my body and not trying to lose weight. My body is not perfect, but it has great attributes. Overall I’m blessed to have a healthy, well-proportioned body that bounced back from two babies in two years. Today, I buy and wear clothes to enhance and celebrate my curves.
Are there guiding principles to your mom style? I find they help me make better purchasing decisions and spend less time thinking about what to wear.