I was chatting (texting) with some girlfriends the other day about fashion trends. Much to our aghast, many things we wore as teeny boppers are coming back in style. You’ve officially hit middle aged when your 9th grade wardrobe is cool again. To be honest, I’m not racing back to snap crotch bodysuits and acid wash jeans with open arms just yet. (Although I did some googling/online shopping on the ‘mom jeans’ trend and man, those things look comfy! I may have to try a pair and write about it…this is the Mama Jeans blog after all! Haha!)
To be clear, my mom-bod is not what it was 20 years ago. Nor should it be, it’s tackled college and jobs and marriage and babies. It’s not what is once was, nor am I. And all in all, I’m grateful. Like many women, I’ve dealt with (and continue to deal with) my fair share of body image issues. But I feel myself finally inching towards a really good place of self-acceptance and appreciation for my body.
One of my girlfriends commented that all of the recent conversation about fashion had surfaced more body issues than she realized she had. Don’t you hate that feeling? When all of the sudden insecurities you didn’t even know you had show up and catch you off guard? It broke my heart a bit because she said that she just didn’t feel good in her clothes. I’ve mentioned this before, but I think there is an early years motherhood fog. You emerge and realize you’ve been wearing the same basic thing for the last 6 years. You’ve been dressing for comfort and baby messes and have no idea what a woman your age and life stage is supposed to wear, what’s in style, or what even fits your body now. Where do you start?! I don’t know that I have an exact answer, but here are my thoughts…
- What part of your body are you most self conscious about? (Listen. Before people lose their minds and accuse me of body shaming or something. Finish this blog. Or go read my thoughts on here.) No matter your super model status, all of us probably have at least one area of our body that gives us the most grief. It might be a real or imagined “flaw”, but if you don’t dress your body for that one area, do you ever really feel confident and comfortable? To reiterate, pick only one area. For me it’s my tummy. It’s soft and squishy and while I admire it for housing two beautiful children, I don’t want to expose or highlight it for the world to see. IF I dress so that this one area is covered, minimized, and comfortable, I feel soooo much more confident and can deal with legs, arms, and double chins.
- Now. Name AT LEAST 3 parts of your body you love or can at least can embrace (and eyes and hair don’t count.) That’s right, THREE. If you’re low on self image, this is where the real work might begin. It’s ok to admit you like things about yourself. That things about you are good and beautiful. It doesn’t make you prideful or conceited. It means you appreciate your body for the wonderful creation that it is. For me, it would be my legs, my upper back, and shoulders. In general these areas I feel are strong and I can bare them and feel ok about it, if not feel downright good.
- Find a realistic style inspiration. And by realistic, I mean someone whose body type somewhat mirrors your own and you admire the way they dress and carry themselves. Follow them on social media, go on a coffee date with them, ask them where they shop, tell them you think they’re the bees knees. I mean, not all crazy stalkerish, but most people would be flattered to know someone admires them. There is one particular person I follow on social media whose style I love. She’s very open and honest about her style. And following her has really given me courage to try new things and find a fashion life beyond yoga pants and t-shirts.
- Try, try, try. Do NOT assume something won’t work for you or that you can’t pull something off. You might surprise yourself! Life is all about trying. We don’t always win or succeed. But the important work is in the trying. Now that you’ve identified the one area that’s a non-negotiable (your clothes have to work for that area) and you’ve got at least 3 areas you comfortable with, find clothes that work with you to boost your confidence and mood, regardless of trend. For example, body suits might be making a come back, but I know my tummy is my area of concern. A long sleeve body suit would be the opposite of what I said above would make feel good. It would highlight areas I want to downplay and downplay areas I’m ok with extenuating.
To end…can I make a confession? I haven’t worn jeans in forever until I started this blog. None of mine fit since my last daughter was born (ahem…almost 3 years ago.) I feel sad about that. My low self image and unwillingness to move up a size and change shapes is taking me YEARS to get over! I wasn’t trying. Only another mom’s post about finding jeans motivated me out of my rut and to try some new styles. As silly as it sounds…it has been so refreshing and uplifting to add some jeans back to my wardrobe. Life is sometimes found in the letting go, the accepting, the moving on…in the trying mamas.
Gray tank – ZSupply / Cardi – Target / Jeans – Abercrombie / Necklace – Evereve / Boots – Tevovas