Summer is just around the corner and I have no idea what to wear. I left working full time when my daughter was born, so for the months leading up to having her and the many months after I didn’t want to purchase any new clothing until my body returned to “normal”. It’s been 2 years and although my body didn’t return to its former shape, it has found a new “normal” so I feel confident in buying clothing once again. The last time I bought a lot of clothes I was working on the design floor of a major fashion retailer, so I knew what the new trends were, saw them up close and helped determine how they fit. A couple years out, I still know what the trends are but wouldn’t be caught dead in most of them. Has motherhood changed my perspective? Am I just that much older? Have I lost all sense of fashion and style? (also, when did “music festival fashion” become I thing?)
One thing is for sure, my expectations of clothing have drastically changed. Some of my new self imposed clothing rules include:
- Everything I wear must be washable. Bye-bye hand wash cold, line dry in a cool breeze. If it can’t be thrown in the wash after a Go-Gurt spill, then it can’t be in my home.
- Everything I wear must fit. I no longer have the patience for “someday” pants or buttons that could pop off at any second. That also includes the “only fits with a belt and if I’m standing” trousers.
- Everything I wear must fit an active lifestyle. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t call myself active — but my 2 year old sure is. And by active I mean: it has to cover me when I move, bend, sit, lift and be modest for the inevitable moment when my little one puts her hand down my shirt (I’m not breastfeeding, she’s just 2 and is looking for pockets).
- I would like to look like a someone who cares. And showers (even if I haven’t had one in a few days) or that I’ve stopped caring about my appearance. I do care, I just can’t find a t-shirt that doesn’t have cut outs in the shoulders.
A couple other things to keep in mind:
Not every trend should be followed. I know crop tops are trending. My Instragram feed is flooded with images of beautiful moms rocking cute crop tops with their tiny kids in towe. If you feel like wearing a crop top then please no one is stopping you. But I am stopping me. I’m approaching my mid-thirties. I have a child. I would like to maintain the appearance of a responsible adult. I need to look like I make good decisions and for me that means…not wearing a crop top. Or a shirt that could fall off at any second. Or jean shorts where the pocket bags peak out the bottom. If you feel like you need to wear any of those things this summer, then I am jealous because you can shop at every store this spring, because there are piles and piles of selections waiting for you.
Buy for your body shape, not the number on the tag. I used to fit clothing for a living. It was my job (yes it’s a job) I was the reason your size “6” was a size “6”. Let me let you in on a little secret – the number on your tag is all made up. Each brand sets its own rules. Don’t get caught up in what that number says. Instead find a brand that is trying to sell to your body shape. For example: if you are over 21 and shopping at Forever 21 and upset that the pants don’t fit, don’t write an angry letter to their customer service. Their vast majority of customers are in highschool and that being said their fit models probably have the frame and psyique of a high schooler. Another example: I used to work for a retailer that marketed their products to “active women in their late 40’s”. Guess who the fit model was? An active women of average height in her mid 40’s. She had the build and muscle tone of who they thought or wanted their customer to be.
That being said, with this new clothing rules I find myself having to find new places to shop. Another thing I have to keep in mind is: budget. In a post baby stay at home world, budget is always on my mind. So for this summer outfit ’round up/wish list I’m only looking places I know I can afford (thanks for making me fall in love with an $88 t-shirt anthropologie)
So here are my outfit picks for this Spring and Summer:
Shorts: Bermuda Roll Shorts
Sweatshirt: Reversible Tunnelneck Pullover
Shoes: Floral Print Sneakers
Jeans: Distressed Roll Crop Jeans
Tshirt: Striped Studio Tshirt
Shoes: Slingback Espadrilles
Short: Stripe Linen Drapey Shorts
Shirt: Ruffle Sleeve Linen Top
Sandals: Leather Lattice Sandals
Shirt: Softest Dolman Tee
Sandals: Birkenstock Arizona Sandal
Dress: Short Sleeve Roll Cuff Dress
Jacket: 1969 Denim Jacket
Boots: Double Gore Rain Booties