Fashion for Moms

I added another board to my Pinterest page. I decided that I'm not losing weight fast enough to be a vastly different size before the summer is out, and I'm tired of wearing the same old clothes I've had since I last bought anything new the summer of 2009. Those sundresses are seriously threadbare, I've mended one of them in so many places it looks like a crazy quilt if examined closely. And last summer I knew I wouldn't be leaving the house much while nursing a baby every few hours, so my stash of $3 Walmart T shirts was adequate.

But M no longer spits up, W can be instructed to wash his hands before he comes near me, and I leave the house several times a week at a minimum. And I feel like stepping out in something more fashionable than I have. I'm sure I'll find things in my closet that will be fine, but maybe just update one part of the outfit to bring it up-to-date, you know?

It's hopeless to try to figure out what's fashionable by observing the women in my area. Charlottesville is in its own little world, untouched by fashion trends for the most part. If it's a floral dress and flip-flops, it's in. In NYC the trends were so obvious, because everyone on the street seemed to be in-the-know. If you walked down the block, and 50 ladies of 100 were wearing black platform sandals, well, you knew that was what's in. Or if you all of a sudden started to see a lot of red bags, then that must be the hot look du jour.

But since I'm not going to NYC anytime before I need new clothes, I do what everyone in the country who doesn't live in NY needs to do, and that is to examine fashion magazines.

It is a fortunate coincidence that I have several fashion magazines coming to the house now, since I had to use up expiring airline miles, and magazines are available for that. At first I despaired that I would find nothing suitable for my lifestyle, but I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong about that.

I don't have the figure of any of the models, but there were still some outfits that would be reasonably flattering in my size, and also suitable for my daily life. I don't need clothes for lounging at the resort in Anguilla (although I wish I did. . .), but for the more prosaic activities of my everyday life. Which is basically: hanging out around the house or the yard, taking the kids to a park, running errands, attending church, and once a week some sort of family outing. So I looked at all the fashion in the magazine and asked how I would look wearing it to these places. And if I could see myself in the outfit (not the outfit exactly of course, I'd twist an ankle wearing 5" heels in gravel or crossing the field) then I ripped the page out of the magazine. It's not like the fashion will be relevant later, so no need to save the magazines (I save ones like "Hobby Farm" when I just get a one-year subscription, since the advice is generally still useful in future years. Raising chickens is always just raising chickens, and all that). I found a lot more items than just those I posted on my Pinterest board, but those were the only ones I could find photos of online.

Today I made pretty good progress toward updating my look. Actually, I started yesterday! I forgot about that. One of the looks I deemed do-able involved cargo pants. And wouldn't you know it, the Sam's Club had some Calvin Klein cargo capris in my size. So I'm still buying my clothes at the grocery store, but at least now I have a plan other than just pairing everything with plain colored T shirts.

Today I went looking for accessories, and scored. I found a Ralph Lauren orange leather sporty purse at TJ Maxx, and also an orange faux leather tote bag (very much like the one I pinned, but with thicker straps). One of the photos I ripped out showed two ladies wearing black and gray (same colors I wore yesterday) but carrying bright bags which gave them a springtime pop of color. Now I've got my pop! This will freshen up my look instantly while I shop for clothes, which will be a slower process.

I tried on bunches of ballet flats, but none were perfectly comfortable. I'm searching for a pair that I won't need to break in, that I'll be able to wear with bare feet right out of the box. I already have a cute pinkish-red suede pair that are still stiff enough to give me blisters if I were to wear them all day, even with hose. So I'm breaking those in and hopefully they'll get soft enough to be useful, but I'm still hopeful that I'll find something that I can wear every day if I wanted to.