Reprinted from Preview July 2010
There comes a time in the life of every fashionista when she asks herself if her clothes are worth it. This weakening of resolve is obviously brought about by many things, but lately I’ve spoken to a lot of new mommies who are ready to throw the gauntlet in. When you are single, the money you make is yours alone and the fashion world is your oyster. You can collect any number of Louboutins and no one will raise an eyebrow—as long as you can afford it. Once you have a child, your world changes and you realized that your savings towards what would have been an It bag, like Chloe’s insanely hot, 70’s-inspired Louise shoulder bag, go to unglamorous consumables such as diapers and milk. Aside from finances, there is also the matter of shape to consider. Many new mommies turn a deaf ear to the pretty silk shorts calling to them from the Zara window to avoid having to try them on and leave the dressing room in despair because they don’t look anything like the way you pictured they would in your head. I still remember what it’s like to ask for a garment two or three sizes up from your original one only to be mortified because you’d have to ask for a double-digit number. The last thing you want to do when money’s tight---and your body’s not—is indulge in the latest trends.
Some mommies completely let go; others develop a uniform. Former Preview Society Editor Kit Gordon merrily let out a peal of laughter as she admitted to prescribing to the staple mommy outfit in Xavier: jeans, a collared and logo-ed pique shirt, South Sea pearl earrings, and a Longchamp nylon tote. “I don’t have time to think about what to wear,” explains Kit, “so I end up reaching for these staples again and again.” Other savvier mommies choose style over fashion. They cull inspiration from Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O., or some other style paragon and recreated a classic, timeless look. The trouble with going down this route is that you end up with a look everyone’s seen before, and because you’re channeling dead ‘60s icons, you start to look their age too.
True, fashion takes bloody effort. But I’m here to tell you mommies to take heart. Remember what it was like when you dared to wear your first padded shoulder since the time of Tears for Fears? Fashion is fun—and there are quick and cheap fixes all around. The coolest looks are not about labels anyway. Go out and start an exercise program. If a peek-a-boo, bodycon dress from Ivarluski Aseron’s last collection won’t entice you to sweat away the pounds, do it for your little ones. Chances are a slimmer you is a healthier you. Being able to go bodycon should just really be a fringe benefit of being fit. While you’re waiting to shed the pounds, you’ll be glad to know that you can choose to wear a slouchy silhouette this season. Fabric is falling away from the body in easy, soft layers that don’t cling.
All mommies have to make themselves happy, and the high you get when someone says “I love your dress,” or “You look great today”—especially when it comes from a fellow fashionista—is enough to make one’s day. You can’t forsake fashion. The way you dress tells your story—especially if you love fashion. And we should show the world that there’s more to us than just being harried moms.