Fashion has never been my forte. I’ve never been super trendy or perfectly accessorized or anyone’s style icon, but at one point in time I had a full wardrobe of work clothes, casual clothes, going out clothes, fancy clothes, workout clothes, pajamas and even lingerie. The wonderful blessing of motherhood has given me so many gifts, but it has also crushed any shred of style I had and pared down my wardrobe to one basic essential that I never leave home without- the yoga pant.
When I think back to four years ago before I became a mother, I don’t even think I owned a pair of yoga pants. I’ve worked out regularly since college, but I was a fan of workout pants. My love affair began when a good friend who was a few months ahead of me in pregnancy (thanks a lot Leslie!) told me about Old Navy yoga pants and how great they were because they could be folded up or down and stretch easily to accommodate the growing bump.
My first trip to Old Navy to hunt for these awesome pants was the beginning of the end, and there was no turning back. The transition from loungewear at home to casual outings to all-purpose uniform didn’t happen overnight, but yes, I became an addict. It’s not hard to see why. For starters, they are so incredibly comfortable. In my life where I am lucky to get 10 minutes to change clothes between crying fits and diaper changes, comfort is key. Versatility is also something that can’t be underestimated- it’s not often you can find an outfit suitable for bed, grocery shopping, working out and a casual dinner, but yoga pants fit the bill.
And finally, when you’re weight swings like a pendulum, yoga pants are an investment piece that can stick with you through thick and thin and thick again. I’ve gone through three pregnancies and been anywhere from 130 pounds to 215 pounds with my old trusty pants and they fit like a glove (sometimes a pretty tight one) and do the job just fine. I have a closet full of clothes that I will likely never wear again. Even when the pregnancy weight is gone, my body will forever be changed- my hips are a bit wider, my c-section pooch is here to stay and things just fit differently. Yoga pants are a great transition tool … that I unfortunately used and abused.
Maybe because I’ve gotten more than two consecutive hours of sleep a few times in the past week or maybe because Gabriella has decided to start sleeping in until after 8 a.m., but I’ve decided to overhaul my fashion routine. I started by deciding that I would do my hair every day. Yes, it’s true, most days I don’t even brush my hair. And 99.9 percent of the time I wear my hair in a gym-class style ponytail. Again, it’s versatile- bed, gym, store, church- it works!
My hair is wavy, frizzy and doesn’t ever look great down so a ponytail is so much easier. I was inspired by my sister who has amazing hair. Long, beautiful, fresh-of-the-California-beach waves. I started to think that we have the same type of hair, so why can’t mine look like that? Well, it can if I cared enough to put in a little effort. So about a week ago I started doing my hair. I’m talking about anything spectacular, but just doing something other than a standard ponytail. I went and bought a few hair accessories to spruce up my pulled-back looks and have spent about 10 minutes each day brushing and styling my hair.
Once my hair is done, it actually feels weird to wear yoga pants out of the house, so for the past week I’ve actually gotten dressed each day. Like into real pants … with a button. I admit to wearing tights a few times too, but I put those a few steps above the yoga pants because I wore cute dresses with them.
The next step after the yoga pants were kicked to the curb was the shoes. My standard fare of flip flops or tennis shoes won’t work with put-together outfits so I’ve actually worn more of my shoes in the past week than I have in the past year. No outfit is complete without accessories, and I’ve been inspired to change my earrings, wear a few necklaces and bracelets, I even carried a purse once this week (I ditched the purse in favor of the diaper bag three years ago).
In addition to getting lots of compliments, which are probably just because the change is so shocking in comparison to my yoga pants look, I feel energized by this change. When I get dressed, I feel more motivated and excited about the day. Changing in and out of my pajamas gives the day a beginning and an end, which with small children and all-night nursing sessions can be elusive as the days can drag on and on and on. It’s also sometimes the only task I may accomplish all day.
When I feel good in my own skin (and clothes), life is easier and my days seem a bit brighter. Yes, I’m an exhausted, sleep-deprived mom with heaps of laundry piled on the couch who can rarely find two socks that match and usually has a bit of poop or vomit on my shirt. But that’s not who I am, that’s just my life right now.
I’m giving myself a pass to go back to yoga pants and ponytails anytime I want because let’s face it, some days that’s the best this weary mother is going to be able to do. But I’m also giving myself a pass to spend a few minutes a day on myself, which I’m learning is a luxury and a necessity to be the best me I can be.