Life since becoming a mom has been filled with so much GOOD and so many new life changes, one of which was finding a new style that worked for me. After I had my sweet little Mac, I fully expected to be the type of woman who bounces right back and is wearing her favorite skinny jeans before her baby is sleeping through the night. Not even close! What was I thinking?!? I know it's part genetics, part discipline, part desire and many other things, unfortunately most of these didn't seem to be in my favor.
First off, my old clothes didn't fit for a long, long time. Second, the things I used to love wearing weren't necessarily the most practical choices...because of course, we can be stylish and practical at the same time. And third, I just don't have the same time and energy I used to have to really dig in and figure it all out.
I've always been all about my personal style. My mom likes to tell a story about when I cut my chin open in kindergarten and I cried all the way to the emergency room, not because of the pain, but because I ruined my favorite shirt with pandas on it. So yeah, it's been a big part of me from the get-go. I digress.
Last summer, when Mac was about a year old old, I finally caved—maybe came to my senses is a better phrase—and found a wonderful babysitter/friend to help out so I could have a little time for me. Those things that make us feel like our old pre-mom self, like you know, a shower, a mani/pedi, an eyebrow wax (there should be two right?) found their way back into my tight schedule. And I started to feel better, so much better. I was catching a glimpse of old Nikki in the mirror now and then and it began to lift me up.
The more I felt like my old self, the more things started to come into focus and I could have fun with my fashion again. If you're thinking, fashion isn't everything Nikki, then this article isn't for you, and that's okay. This is for all the ladies like me who love clothes, trends and playing with new looks…and maybe lost that after a new baby or kids in general.
Here are a few tips that really helped me get my swagger back, my STYLE REINVENTION:
1. Figure it out. First, let's determine what your personal style really is. Not necessarily what you wear, but what would you wear all the time if no one noticed? What do you think looks really cool and makes you feel great? For me, I feel great in stretchy fitted jeans or leggings with bright or printed tunic length shirts. I need stylish shoes that allow me to push a swing at the park, chase a baby through Target or run into work and still look put together. My go-to shoes for my lifestyle are Converse Chuck Taylors, Nike Trainers and short booties.
2. Get inspired. Once I established what would be the key elements for my new style—skinny jeans, tunics, cardigans, my go to shoe options—I went to the mecca of inspiration, Pinterest. I started searching "casual converse style", "skinny jeans layered looks", "mom athleisure style" and collected several looks that I could see myself wearing and that also fit into my lifestyle. Only keep the pictures you absolutely love and the looks you will actually wear. Remember, you're trying to establish a style that makes you feel good.
3. Stock your closet. Look for repeating items in your Pinterest photos. My board repeats items like cropped jackets, ripped skinny jeans and striped everything (literally everything, I love stripes!) along with basic t-shirts, my black Nike freestyles and cozy cardigans. So, off to my closet I go to see if any of those items actually live in my closet. If they do, cool. If they don't, we can fix that. I keep a list of the items i’d like to add to my closet in the notes app on my phone. Then I watch for these items when my favorite stores send out emails or when I'm cruising through Target. Keep it simple by focusing on the few items that repeat the most.
4. Plan ahead. I'm a night owl, and a snooze button hitter, but the days when I wake up before Mac I notice a big difference. My look is super minimal, so a sleek ponytail, a little lip gloss, mascara and a really great bra get me off to a good start. I plan my outfit the night before (or several nights before if I'm especially motivated on a Sunday night) so I can just grab it without any fuss. Take a few minutes to get it together, so when your kids wake up it can be all about them.
Are you ready for your own post-baby style reinvention? I hope these tips help you rediscover the fashion that makes you feel good about yourself. What else helped you get your old ju-ju back? I'd love to hear about it!