Like most women who have ever had children, dressing myself is no longer the walk in the park it once was. The carefree days of waltzing in to Forever 21 and spending $150 on an entirely new wardrobe are far, far behind me. Sure I can still find the occasional inexpensive and “on trend” piece there, but it’s not where I want to do the majority of my clothing shopping. Now more than ever I see the value in investing in timeless but still cool, sexy, and effortless clothing.
Since having kids I have literally despised fitting rooms and shopping. Just around the time my body started to feel somewhat “normal” from my cesarean and diastasis recti with Sophie, I got pregnant with Ellie. What remained of my closet became even more unwearable and my self esteem went from super low to completely nonexistent. It’s just not always fun trying to dress a post-baby bod. There a lot of “extra” where you don’t want it, and a lot missing from where it used to be (I’m talking about you, post-nursing breasts.) What used to work for me, doesn’t work anymore.
I used to love clothes and cared about my appearance. In fact, I was “best dressed” in highschool. HA! I kind of lost myself in this way after kids. So much of you changes post-baby. Not only the obvious physical changes, but mental and emotional changes, as well. For me, this spilled in to almost every aspect of my life, including my body image. I am glad to report that through some serious self love and time, mostly, I have really learned to love my body for what it is. Right this second. Not when my cellulite goes away or my bleeding eczema all over my hands from food allergies disappears. Right now. I really do. It has been a long journey and I certainly still have my bad moments of self criticism and low self-esteem. For the most part though, I realize all my body has done for me. It grew and nourished two beautiful children and helps me raise them every day. And for that, I’m pretty dang grateful! I know my self worth isn’t tied to my appearance, but I’m just kind of tired of looking like a haggard mom most days. How I feel and how I am caring for myself just aren’t aligning. So, I’m taking a step towards that with caring again. Reinventing myself, if you will. It started with my mindset, and now with my wardrobe.
Finding brands that fit all my specifications has been hard, until I found…..Madewell. I had never shopped there until our nearest “big town” got one. On that day, the clouds parted and the heavens shone down upon me, blessing me with the straight up freakin’ goodness that is Madewell. I say I have a love/hate relationship because I love every single thing in the store. Which doesn’t sound like a problem. However, I seriously have almost no self control when I go in there. I kind of just black out and wonder what happened afterwards. Here are some pieces I recently picked up and a few I am currently putting on my “wishlist” Enjoy!
one // perfect basic blouse // you can dress it up or down // so multi-purpose its ridiculous// a staple for sure.
two // skinny jeans are usually an absolute no for me // these are perfection // buttery soft, perfectly distressed, well made perfection.
three // the picture doesn’t do it justice // i think at this point i’ll buy anything embroidered
four // you will be seeing this beaut a lot // effortless but still cute // reminds me of that Free People dress everyone was coveting at the beginning of the season, anyone know what I’m talking about?
five // i am usually not a fan of pink but I couldn’t pass this one up // looks so adorable on
six // the perfect basic tank top // i will be getting this in more colors // will easily transition to fall with a light cardigan on top
seven // bought this perfect little pouch to keep oil bottles in my purse // pretty stoked on it
eight // wishlist for sure // i want this embroidered with my initials so badly // perfect for “work days” for my laptop or a small diaper bag for my not so little babies (mostly for the constant snacks they eat)
nine // i know this is kind of the trend right now and will probably be on it’s way out, but i for one will be rocking it way past it’s expiration day because #classy
ten // i can’t wear jewelry anymore because of my pretty severe nickel AND gold allergies but if i could i would rock these
I also want to make one thing super clear. I don’t share stuff like this because I want to just stand on my soapbox and “preach it.” I am saving this as a reminder to myself, my girls, and you. I always debate on sharing this kind of stuff because I don’t want to come across like I ever have it all together or that my self esteem is just through the roof. I don’t always love every “flaw” on my body. I’m just learning to care a whole lot less about them. I have suffered from anxiety and depression off and on for most of my life. I am learning. I am growing. My hope in sharing this is that someone else who really needs to hear it, who is at the lowest of lows where I used to reside, will read this and it will be just what she needed to hear. That the new mom who is looking down at her “post-baby” body wondering if she will ever be the same, will know that it won’t, but it will be even better! Mindset, first!! If you can learn to love your body at any stage, what a gift that is! Freeing. Not only for you, but your children. Dig deep. We live in a society that places “beauty” above all else. They also define what it means to be “beautiful” and it’s a disguisting standard that has to be stopped. That starts with us. We need to give ourselves a little grace and recognize the amazing creatures that we are. God created us and loves us no matter what we look like. Take comfort in that. Shed the need to feel like your weight, your hair, etc defines you. It doesn’t. Don’t let it. You are beautiful just the way you are. Mean it.
I also realize the irony of posting this with a shopping post, BUT I only post about once a month. It’s a real two birds with one stone kind of a situation. Plus, its my effort to maybe keep it a little “lighter?” I don’t know! Can you tell I’m still getting the hang of this….send help! Back to keeping it light…
Where is your Madewell? That store that just gets you, ya know! Comment below & Happy Pre-Friday, babes!
*image via Pinterest