“You know, it’s not easy being a parent!” You heard it a million billion times throughout your pregnancy. It was the ubiquitous answer to a question you never even asked. Everyone from your Mom to your friends who has kids to the woman who packed your groceries at the supermarket has been quick to chime in with well-meaning but unsolicited advice about the intricate balancing act that is motherhood. Moreover, when your time actually does come and your baby is born absolutely nothing can prepare you for the experience.
Not just because the life of a new Mom is far more hectic than you dared to expect, but because the love you feel for your child is so enormous and so profoundly rearranges your entire brain chemistry and psychology that you find yourself not even minding. Yet, as we throw ourselves headlong into motherhood, devoting each and every fiber of our being to raising our children to be as happy and healthy as possible, there’s a vital part of that balancing act that’s in perilous danger of getting lost in the shuffle…
Just because your baby has become your number one priority doesn’t mean that you should neglect your duties to yourself and your own wellbeing. You not only deserve to look and feel good about yourself, you owe it to yourself, too. New parents have a tendency to prioritize function and comfort in their couture when they become pregnant, especially as their bodies recover from the experience of childbirth itself. But if we’re not careful, parenting can force us to become insular creatures. When we do venture out it’s likely grudgingly and wearing sweatpants and a hoodie or a baggy tee. While this low maintenance ensemble may feel comfortable, it doesn’t make you feel good. It makes you feel dowdy, undesirable and like your best years are behind you. You deserve better. After all, you demand excellence in every other aspect of your home life. You insist on a clean and tidy home (as much as possible with kids, anyway). You insist on only the best for your baby. It’s time you started to apply those principles to yourself.
Why dressing right matters
“What’s the point of wearing something nice?” I can hear you saying it now, “It’s just going to get spit up on anyway!”. But if we cling to that mentality, we’ll never get to wear anything that makes us feel good about ourselves. After all, a car could splash a muddy puddle on us. A pigeon could poop on us. We could spill marinara sauce on it. None of these reasons is good enough to neglect our wellbeing. The clothes we wear do more than make us look and feel good, they change the way we think, act and behave. They can make us feel empowered, sexy, confident, alluring, powerful, clever, professional, formidable and desirable. All qualities that nascent mothers could do with feeling a little more of.
Even if you don’t relish the thought of adorning your post-pregnancy body with your pre-baby nice clothes, this shouldn’t prevent you from leaving the home feeling empowered, beautiful and confident. Even if you can’t squeeze into a single one of your post-pregnancy garments, you should embrace this as an excuse to reinvent your look. With these fashion essentials, you can take yourself from dreary and dowdy to yummy Mommy in minutes. Even with the busiest of schedules and the most demanding kids, you can pull off a range of looks with ease as long as you have these essentials…
It’s all about layers
We all know that layering is an important part of fashion, but we tend to forget just how potent it can be. If you’re still a little self-conscious about your postpartum body layering can unlock a whole host of clothing combos to flatter your figure while giving you comfort and reassurance. Don’t bury your body under a big baggy hoodie, instead layer a plain loose fitting tee with wrap shirts, tunic sweaters, and long cardigans. Layering can also save your life if you find yourself in a spilled sauce/baby puke / leaked formula bottle scenario. Pack an extra top layer wherever you go and you’ll be forever free of baby mess worries ruining your ability to step out with confidence.
If you really don’t like the idea of your after baby wobbly bits being subjected to public scrutiny, there’s no defeat in wearing a corset or a nursing tank. We highly recommend the mother tucker which gives you shape and support without compromising on comfort. If you want to afford yourself a wide range of options while also giving yourself the confidence you need to get back on the social horse, don’t underestimate the power of layers.
It’s also all about the shoes
We all know that you can never have too many shoes, but finding the perfect shoes for your busy life as a Mom can be tricky. There’s a balance to be found here. Avoid wearing the same pair of comfy sneakers for everything as they’ll quickly start to wear (and they won’t smell clever either). Likewise, as important as comfort is, there’s absolutely no excuse to wear Crocs. Seriously, don’t. Ever. Sure, they may be comfortable, but they look horrendous, no matter what you’re wearing, they make your feet smell and they don’t give you adequate arch support which can lead to some pretty crippling foot pain.
Check out the Alegria Shoe Shop and you’ll see that you may not have to compromise style for comfort as much as you may think. Sure, your 5 inch heels are unlikely to see that much wear over the coming months but you still have a wide range of options open to you from sandals to boots to moccasins. Wearing the right shoes is more important than you may think. Wearing the right shoes can make your movements more graceful, your legs look longer and slimmer and even help to correct your posture. The wrong shoes, on the other hand, can not only make you look shorter and less elegant, they can lead to severe foot pain which is the last thing you need on your busy schedule.
Just for now jeans, not leggings
Leggings, yoga pants and the like are understandably appealing to new Moms offering both comfort and support. And while these certainly have their place (they are slimming and flattering not to mention inexpensive and versatile) they are not the be all and end all of the legwear. Just because you will likely have different proportions in 6 months’ time doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t treat yourself to some “just for now” jeans that will give your outfits a little more variety. Or how about some drawstring pants or even a pair of black skinny jeans which will give you the comfort of leggings but with a little extra support.
Keep on wearing those leggings and they’ll do just that… Wear. And you don’t need the neighbors to see the holes worn in the seat and inner thighs when you bend down to pick up your baby.
A leather jacket
A black leather blazer or biker jacket is the perfect accessory. It’s so versatile that it can work with just about any top/legwear combo. It can be dressed up for a night out or down for dropping the little one off at daycare. It can lend any look a more flattering silhouette. Moreover, with time it will stretch and mold to fit your body, giving you comfort and style in equal measure. Don’t do animal products? No problem. There are plenty of equally gorgeous jackets made out of vegan leather, faux leather or vinyl which will behave in the exact same way as the cow based version.
Seriously, it’s okay to wear a dress
As spring bleeds into summer, it’s only natural for new Moms to desperately want to wear dresses. There’s no greater accompaniment for a sunlit stroll in the park on a warm Saturday morning or a barbecue in a friend’s back garden. But those of a body-conscious disposition or those who simply don’t have a great deal of time to their appearance may think that their dress wearing days are well and truly behind them. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The right dress can be an extremely empowering garment. It can cling to you in all the most flattering places while giving you a little more freedom where you need it. If you’re looking for something you can just throw on and hit the road, a jersey knit dress is ideal. If, on the other hand, you want to inject a little color and glam into a summer’s evening a bold printed maxi dress is a great way to make a statement while cladding you in flowing elegance.
Motherhood shouldn’t mean resigning yourself to live as a disheveled worker drone. With the right fashion essentials, any woman can throw together a quick and easy look that makes a statement while still letting them feel great.