Becoming a mom changes your body and your wardrobe. From the time you start showing until months, sometimes a year or more after you give birth, you can’t wear most of your clothes, and while you’re in maternity waistbands and nursing shirts, the fashion world keeps plugging right along without you. It’s more than your body that changes—silhouettes, shapes, and hemlines change too, and once you try to get back in your old clothes it can be totally overwhelming, even when they do fit. They just don’t look the same, because nothing is the same as two years ago.
We get totally blinded by our kids and overwhelmed with life at times, because there is so much going on that is way more important than how we look at the moment. But when things settle down and we can start paying attention to our appearance again, there are a few bad habits we may have settled into that need immediate attention. Here are my top five mom-style faux pas.
- Wearing workout clothes when you haven’t been near a gym – I get why women do this. Prioritizing your fitness is a moral high ground. So if that’s why you look a mess, you’re less likely to be judged. But it’s easy to pick out those who just really like the comfort of workout clothes versus those who are serious about fitness. It’s OK to use gym clothes as an emergency reserve, but you don’t wear coveralls all day just because you unplugged the toilet, so gym clothes should be treated the same way.
- Baggy tops – For many women, after childbirth your posture, your boobs, and your midsection can end up just a total mess. Couple that with giant shirts having been your only option for that last month of pregnancy, and it can feel like a safe option. But baggy tops just make things worse by adding extra bulk. If you feel self conscious, layer tanks and tops with cardigans and scarves. If you’re in an awkward size or still losing baby weight, grab a few inexpensive solid tees that will go with everything while your body adjusts.
- Bad bras/grundies – This is the worst! After pregnancy, some of my cotton undies would sag off my hips or even slide down while I was running or working out! Panties aren’t expensive. Just throw them out. And as soon as you are up for it, get a professional bra fitting to figure out where the girls have landed post-pregnancy. Good support is essential to looking your best. And don’t go to Victoria’s Secret. That’s where I went after my first pregnancy, and their fitting consisted of asking me my bra size and throwing me in a dressing room with a box of bras in that size. Apparently, they are all about helping you get pregnant, but you’re on your own afterward.
- Keeping too many pre-baby clothes – I never thought I was sentimental about clothing until I didn’t fit into it anymore. Whether it was an item with special memories attached to it or something I had just purchased before I got pregnant, I had to think long and hard about what it was worth to have all these clothes hanging around that I couldn’t wear. My suggestion is to pack up everything that you haven’t worn in the past six months and just box it away. Then, after a cooling off period, go through the clothes again. What did you miss? What did you not even remember you had? Keep a few things that you are sentimental about and get rid of the rest. They’re just clothes!
- The giant purse – It’s tempting to buy the giant bag just so you don’t have to carry your kids’ stuff around, but giant bags aren’t flattering on everyone, not to mention it’s less than graceful to have to dig through a giant bag of junk to find, well, anything. If you like a big bag, buy a clutch and keep your essentials in that for easy grab and go—make up, wallet, keys, phone. You can do life with kids with a normal-person sized bag. It’s possible!