Today’s post is from my amazing cousin, April, who blogs at A Study In Contrasts. She was actually our wedding photographer, and so even though we’re living hundreds of miles apart between Indiana and Texas now, I still think of her every time I see one of our photos from that day hung around the house. Funny story about April: On our wedding day, she was VERY pregnant with her second son Finn (she now has three kids so that tells you we’ve been married for a while now!), and in the midst of all the commotion, she started to feel lightheaded and had to lay down for awhile. I remember April laying in the church pews mere hours before I was supposed to be walking down the aisle and worrying if she was going to make it! It turns out she’s one tough cookie though, because she pulled it together and made it through the rest of the day. Now that I’m pregnant with my second, I totally appreciate that she was willing to do that for me. Besides being a talented photographer, April also has a fantastic sense of style. She’s talking with us today about the importance of maintaining your fashion mojo, even AFTER you have kids. Enjoy!
I’ve always loved fashion. Seriously. Even when I was three, I remember having a favorite dress that I would wear all the time. I know that to many, fashion is considered a frivolous exercise in vanity, but to so many of us, it’s a form of self-expression, almost an art form even. I’m not just talking about haute couture (a true art form), I’m talking about what we choose to dress ourselves in, day in & day out. When you’re young and you have all the time in the world to peruse your closet & get dressed in the morning, it’s so much fun. However, once you get a little older & add a kid (or 3!) to the mix, it can be hard to find the energy & creativity to exert towards fashion in the ways that you used to. I’m here to tell you that if you were a style-maven before you had kids, that it’s worth it, one thousand percent, to put a little effort back into your fashion routine again. Not for anyone else, but for yourself.
Trust me, I know how tempting it is to stay in your cozy pajama pants all day. I mean, I live in the middle of Indiana, where it’s currently in the 20’s! But the thing that I’ve noticed is that if I put the effort into getting dressed & doing my hair & makeup each day, I’m happier. And we all know that a happier mama is a less stressed mama. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that the days that I get up and either don’t change out of my pajamas or just put on yoga pants & a gross topknot are my least productive & sometimes crankiest days. I don’t know what it is, but somehow getting myself officially ready for the day just makes me more efficient. I’m not saying to pull out the sequins and tulle, but put on something that makes you feel great. Even if it’s just mascara or your favorite cute sweater! Some days I like to put on a cute (comfy) dress & some flat boots, but most days, at least in the winter, I’m in my favorite jeans, a great sweater or t-shirt, and either a cool pair of sneakers or some cute boots. The key for me is that I still have to be comfortable.
So, I’m challenging you to find your fashion mama comfort zone. Find those great outfits that you can wear while playing on the floor with a toddler, but that also put a little sparkle in your eye when you see yourself in the mirror. As the old saying goes “You’re worth it.”
This outfit is the perfect example of something very low-key, but with enough fun details to keep your my stylish instincts happy. Cute tennis shoes + great bag = win. [click to continue…]