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I finally shed my baby weight. So why can’t I find anything to wear?

My pregnancy experience was hardly romantic and frankly, my style identity went missing altogether. While I loved the feeling of being pregnant with my future love of my life, I was desperately nauseous and exhausted. I never realised how many hours could pass where I would lie flat on my back, awake and not moving. And yes, those hours would usually end with me sitting up to eat the McDonald’s chips my husband bought me, which would in turn buy me 40 minutes of relief. I have nothing but admiration, respect and a bit of fear for women who can endure such illness for longer periods of their pregnancies or while raising other children too. Having to share my cheeseburger with my cat was hard enough. Digression aside, I put on a LOT of weight in my first trimester. And it has taken me all of 11 months to shed this to a point where I can wear sleeveless tops without cringing. 

This sounds like great news right? So why can’t I find anything to wear and why on earth am I still not quite feeling like myself. Turns out, there are a few reasons for misplacing my style identity:

I’m out of the style loop

I spent the first 9 months growing a tiny human and then another 11 months trying to keep him alive, fed, healthy, happy, clean, managing the house, returning to work, keeping my relationship afloat, managing my extended family, hygiene, health… ARGH. Of course my time on fashion sites was limited and of course my style identity took a hit. And I don’t regret a thing.

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My body has changed in different ways

While my waist is sort of back to its previous width but other things have shifted. Firstly, I can’t explain it, but my bras feel really uncomfortable. I have a C-Section shelf, so I have a little bit of skin that hangs over my waistband, making midriff showing a big no no for me from a self-confidence point of view. My thighs seem bigger generally. And generally my strength and endurance is reserved for picking up and delivering what my baby needs. 

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I’m dressing for convenience

I’ve had to iron something… twice. In the last 11 months. Otherwise you’ll find me in whatever I can throw on. This is a real sticking point for me right now as the clothes I just throw on make me sad. They aren’t my first pick, they aren’t stylish and they really don’t feel like me. This is one area I need to work on.

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There are some colors I can’t wear anymore

There’s something calming about wearing white, pure and calming, like I’d wear on holiday. Except last time I wore white on holiday, I had equal parts of strawberry and marinated steak smeared joyfully on my white linen dress and face.

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Here’s how to get your style identity back in just a few hours

Rather than wallowing in a pool of hopelessness, it’s a chance for a fresh start utilizing the skills that mamas do best: plan and organised. You’ve grown as a person and as a human being, so honor that by dressing and styling yourself in your new era. With a little bit of planning, you’ll not only feel great about yourself but you’ll feel great for doing this for yourself too.

Ready? Grab a coffee, tea and your laptop and let’s get started:

  1. Criteria: Plan what criteria you need your clothes to meet to make you feel good. 
  2. Days: Plan what your days look and what criteria I need my wardrobe to meet.
  3. Own your size: we don’t all bounce back. You are your size and while you can try and lose – or gain – weight, accept the number and use it to find clothes that fit. It should be clear to you by now: you are NOT defined by the size tag you were.
  4. Budget: While the influencer life is magical it’s not realistic for everyone. Many of us have budgets to stick to so this is a consideration. 
  5. Find your colors and stick to them: Are you a monochrome girl? Don’t waste your time looking at florals or colors. Prefer leggings? Find a few you love. Know what you love? Buy it in a few colors.
  6. Get back into the style game: Sign up for fashion emails  (like The Mama Style), enjoy reading the style section and mix up your algorithm by following some great fashion blogs, pinning your looks and shopping
  7. Check yourself: If some days you feel amazing in a pair of jeans, and the next day you feel awful? Hint: It’s not the jeans. Make sure you have variety in your closet for days you feel like you have nothing to wear. Eat something healthy, sleep early and exercise, give yourself a big hug and try again tomorrow. 
  8. Start with a capsule, then puncuate as you start to feel more confident.

What are your tips? Let us know and we’ll publish them in our next blog.

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