by Ann Waterman
I have never been a fashion maven. I was loath to give up the safety of my beloved uniform upon graduating from high school. Most of my outfits come pre-fab — already styled and coordinated — from my favorite tried-and-true stores, like Ann Taylor Loft, and I only just jumped on the skinny jeans bandwagon — albeit reluctantly. All of this is to say that I won’t be offering any fashion advice here anytime soon, leaving that to real blogger fashionistas out there like Jessica, Audrey, and Anna.
In spite of my inability to style my own outfits, I care about looking good and keeping up some semblance of appearances. I try to put make-up on in the morning and do my hair, even though most of my outings these days are to the grocery store, a school function, or a date with my bathroom for a good scrub-down — and I’m likely to be accessorizing with baby spit-up. I don’t always feel like making the effort (though I almost always feel better when I do), and some days it just doesn’t happen — which is OK, too. My fallback is to throw my hair in a ponytail and slip into some gym clothes, so at least people will think I was trying to make it to the gym. But I always try again the next day.
Sometimes I wonder why I bother, but the answer is that, at the end of the day, I love my job as a mom and I feel that my clothing and image should reflect that. Whether we moms like it or not, clothing and appearance are visual indicators of our mood and what we think of ourselves and others. We wear fancy clothes to a wedding to reflect the celebratory mood of the event and honor the newlyweds. We wear black to a funeral to express our sorrow. We wear work-out clothes to the gym, but we’d never dream of walking into the office in spandex. Clothing has it’s own language, and because I take pride in my family and my work, I want my clothing and appearance to share that story with others — including my spouse and children.
As every mom knows, parenting is a physical, hands-on job, and it’s rare to get a second wear from clothing because it’s bound to be stained. My clothing needs to be functional, comfortable, and easy to wash, but that doesn’t mean I have to look dumpy. It also doesn’t mean I need to be on the cutting edge of fashion, but I do think giving an appropriate amount of attention to what I wear and how I look does a world of good for my self-esteem and tells people — including those I love — that I enjoy my life.
What do you think? Does clothing or appearance matter to you? Did you start dressing differently when you became a mom?
Image: Ann Waterman