We all know what it’s like to look at a closet full of nothing to wear. We know how it feels to show up at an event or meeting or date night and lack confidence because of the way we’re dressed. We know what’s it like to feel frumpy and unmotivated around the house. Or how about that mom guilt around the simple desire to just feel cute in our own clothes? And have you ever become completely overwhelmed when simply trying to get dressed? I’ve been there with you.
As a former Hollywood stylist turned mom stylist, I get excited helping mamas find their personal style. There’s nothing better than a mom who feels sexy on date night again, who walks into the meeting knowing she’s gonna crush it because that power dress gives her the confidence boost she needs, or who simply feels amazing on her weekly grocery store run.
With more than ten years of styling under my belt, I’ve learned a few things about cultivating personal style. I hope to help change the negative narrative that exists sometimes – I’m just a mom – into style that’s simple and attainable. I’ve put together five tips you can implement now to build the perfect momiform.
1. Let it go!
With 2019 came the craze of Marie Kondo on Netflix sparking joy in households across America. I read the book years ago, and although I love her overall concept, I think a lot us got lost in knowing if a pair of pants actually sparks joy or if we simply need them for running errands. So I like to take a slightly different approach to editing closets.
Instead of asking if it sparks joy, ask these three questions: Does it fit me today? Does it make me feel great when I wear it? Can I make at least three outfits with it?
Motherhood is marked by life transitions, but somehow our closets don’t always reflect that. If you have items from another season in life that don’t work for your current season… Let it go, mama! We essentially start our day looking in the closet for something to wear, so getting rid of items that don’t fit anymore or remind us of harder or happier times eliminates negative energy and self-deprecating talk. It makes for a much more positive start to the day.
You also want to store seasonal items (that you love and fit the style and size you are today) somewhere else. Sifting through summer clothes in the winter or vice versa can impose on your time and add to decision fatigue.
2. Create a vision.
Who do you want to be and how do you want to show up for life in all of the roles you fulfill? We get seven seconds to make a first impression – what do you want that to be? How do you want to be perceived by your kids, friends, partner, employer, employees, and co-workers?
Narrowing this down to three words is helpful. For example: Confident. Approachable. Powerful.
With your words in mind, create a vision board with images and quotes that reflect how you want the world to perceive you and how you want to show up. This could be a physical board using magazine cutouts or a digital Pinterest board. You might look at different areas of your life – work and casual style, for example.
3. Find your outfit formulas.
Once you’ve cleared your closet of the past and created a clear vision for where you want to go, you’ll notice a few common themes on your vision board: a color scheme and a lot of the same or similar outfits. These are what I like to call outfit formulas.
An example of an outfit formula would be: skinny jeans, basic tee, layer (jacket, cardigan), and flats. Knowing what formulas work for your lifestyle and which ones you love will make it easy to shop and more importantly,
4. Shop with intention.
Now that you know your outfit formulas, you will have a better idea of what you actually need. This puts a stop to wasteful spending or grabbing the one-off shirt at Target or Marshalls when you might not even like it. Not to mention that those purchases take up precious real estate in your closet. Having a plan helps you to stay on budget and build a cohesive wardrobe that reflects your personal style.
5. Now … get dressed!
This might sound super simple, but the fact is that it’s often overlooked because of a plethora of excuses: I’m too busy. I’m going to have to change later. No one sees me anyway. It doesn’t matter if no one sees you! It’s amazing what putting on a bra, a little bit of makeup, styling your hair, and getting dressed can do for you and your attitude. Yes, it may take a little extra time, but once you find your style and build your momiform, you can easily create a daily rhythm. You will find that your day is much more productive, and you will feel so much better about yourself, no matter what your to-do list includes.
It’s true that once you become a mom, there is less me-time. But it’s also true that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Self-care isn’t selfish – it’s necessary! Not only do you deserve to show up as your best self and feel good in what you’re wearing, but your people need you to. Mornings are less frustrating when you love everything in your closet and it all fits – not having to waste time trying on eight outfits you hate before finding one that you kind of like. And I don’t know about you, but I love having the extra time for a hot cup of coffee… alone!
photo: Scott Schwartzkopf