Several months ago my cousin told me, “You’re not dressed like a Mom.” I asked him how I was dressed, and he said, “Like someone kinda young, like in their early twenties.” This is funny because he is 21 and I’m 28. For reference, I was wearing dark pink leggings, a jean skirt, a black and white striped tee shirt and black Mary Jane shoes. I felt pretty in that outfit, like I had actually dressed like I wanted to and not like I threw on clothes in a hurry (which has been standard practice since having kids).
Before I had kids, I had a pretty good sense of my own personal style. I felt confident when I got dressed. I had fun. I have never felt such a conflict of self image in fashion before becoming a Mama. My physical dimensions have changed so much over the past two pregnancies and even now, nearly three years since our second daughter was born I find that I only have two or three pairs of pants that fit at any given time. I actually wear holes in my jeans from kneeling on the ground or playing on the floor with the kids.
Last week, my self image doubting set in and I thought I needed some new clothes. Two pairs of pants don’t really fit, again. And, it’s cold. I was cold, and cranky. I wanted clothes that fit. I wanted to be warm and enjoy walking in the brisk winter mornings with lined pants, nice boots and a thick sweater. But, I did not want to go shopping. I did not want to have to look at clothes and deal with people. Instead, I sat myself down with a hot pack, some tea and thought about all the things I have to keep me warm and clothed that I do like. I have more than enough in my closet. I just need to start wearing skirts again. The next day, I dressed up on purpose, and made the effort to work with what I have in my closet.
This week, I stumbled upon The One Dress Protest via one of my favorite blogs, RowdyKittens, which inspires me as I try to embrace a more simple life with less stuff. The One Dress Protest is a project of a twenty-something woman to wear one dress for a year. Why would she do that? Well, she calls it her “fashion fast” and is using what she has to protest the garment and fashion industry as well as challenge herself. While I don’t feel compelled to join her protest, I do appreciate the values and points she is trying to make. It makes me question how my self confidence is tied to what I wear. I’m still sorting out what style I have, and to simply feel confident when I get dressed.
For now, I’ll enjoy my jeans with holes in the right knee. And, lucky me, it’s still kinda in fashion to wear torn up jeans. For added warmth, I’m now wearing them with those dark pink leggings underneath. Because, nearly everyday brings me to my knees as I dry some tiny tears and comfort my little kids when they fall down running around.