During this quarantine business, lives are shifting and changing. Undoubtedly, you’re feeling a ripple effect of some kind. So, I felt like taking the time to work on at least one aspect you can control may be helpful.
The guest today, Kay Birkner, discusses how a few minor tweaks can make all the difference in your style, wardrobe, and the way you are feeling??
Go ahead, give it a shot…
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Having a tiny human is hard, especially in the toddler stage. They have a massive amount of energy, and just enough independence to make you really nervous (stairs, anyone?) You have so many things to worry about and keep track of, sometimes your own clothes are pretty close to last on your priority list, along with sleep and me-time.
I get it. After your little bundle of joy was born, your body was suddenly different. You might weigh the same, you might even wear the same size, but things don’t fit like they used to. And you may feel like your pre-baby style just isn’t where you’re at in your life right now.
What if I told you there was a way to feel good about the way you look every day (okay, most days) even if you’re breastfeeding, constantly running around, and have less than five minutes to get dressed in the morning?
Step 1: Clear Your Closet
It might feel backward to start by getting rid of things, but I promise this is going to be really helpful. Right now, you have a closet full of clothes that were for your old life. If you want to build a stylish wardrobe for the (mess, amazing, beautiful) life you have right now, you need to get rid of the visual clutter of all the things you’re not wearing.
First, start by getting throwing out anything that is ripped, stained, smelly, or otherwise unsalvageable. If you would be embarrassed to loan it to a friend, get rid of it. Second, take everything you haven’t worn in the last six months and everything that doesn’t fit and either donate it or pack it up. If you’re recently post-partum, feel free to keep those things in an easily accessible place if you think you’ll want to wear them again, but NOT in your closet.
Okay, now you’re left with the things that fit and that you wear. Do these things make you feel good when you wear them? Do you feel confident, attractive, and stylish? If so, great! You have a place to start. If not, it’s time to go shopping.
Step 2: Start With a Capsule
A great place to start with a new or updated wardrobe is by building a capsule wardrobe. It’s definitely gained in popularity over the last few years, and there’s tons of inspiration out there. The basic idea is that you’re going to curate a small but highly flexible wardrobe. You’ll pick some key colors, a print or two that you like, and put together your capsule.
The benefits of the capsule are that it’s much easier to get dressed in the morning (even in the dark, even before coffee) and still look great because your colors and pieces pretty much all go together. It’s the ultimate mix-and-match. A capsule is also a good way to try out a color, style, or cut and determine if you love it as much as you think you will before you spend a lot on an investment piece or buy something in 4 different colors.
Toddlerhood is a time of transition for everyone – your littles, your family, and you personally. It’s completely fine, and in fact, probably a good idea, to fill your capsule with things that are what I call “mid-level” quality. They’re not going to fall apart after 3 washes, but they aren’t very expensive. Go ahead and buy most things from Target, Walmart, H&M, Ross, or some of the bargain Amazon items.
With the number of times you’re going to get spilled on, spit up on, and sit in the dirt to play, you want something that will hold up to washing and that you will be able to throw out and replace with minimal regrets when it gets in rough shape.
Want some inspiration? You can go here and download the Postpartum Capsule Wardrobe Visual Guide and Checklist.
Step 3: Check the Label
This part is really important and really easy to forget about when you’re shopping. Check the label for washing instructions! You have plenty of laundry to do, you don’t need to add a lot of “Dry clean only” or “reshape and lay flat to dry” or, heaven forbid, “hand wash only” to your life right now.
You’re looking for “machine wash with like colors” and “tumble dry” to make your life as easy as possible. The occasional “lay flat to dry” isn’t the worst, but in general, you want easy things that won’t wrinkle too much if you forget them in the dryer for a day or two. (Guilty!)
Step 4: Add an Accessory
One of the simplest ways to instantly elevate your outfit is with a well-chosen accessory. I have three necklaces and two scarves that I always reach for depending on what colors I’m wearing or the vibe I’m going for with my outfit.
Infinity scarves are an easy upgrade. I would highly recommend getting ones that are cotton or a nice knit, not the cheap polyester blend ones that a lot of big box stores have. They dry a lot more nicely if you have to wash them, and they’ll be more comfortable. There are even some that have a little zip pocket if you want to toss your keys, cash, and phone in there instead of in an extra bag!
The key to making necklaces work when you have real little kiddos is to put them on AFTER you leave the house. Whether you’re going to work, going out with friends, or just taking the kiddos to the grocery store, it can be a pain to have your little grabbing at your neck while you’re trying to put on shoes and coats and carry three bags and a toddler to the car. Instead, just stick your necklace in your pocket, or in your purse and put it on when you get in the car.
And that’s it! Four easy steps.
You don’t need to sacrifice form for function. Looking great can be low-maintenance and work for your life right now. There is no reason that you can’t easily look great every day if you do a little bit of planning around what you put in your closet. You give to others all day long, do this for yourself. You’ll show up more confident and you’ll show up happier, and you deserve that, mama.
Kay Birkner is a style coach who teaches busy moms how to style themselves so they can look and feel great easily every day. Visit her at www.kaybirkner.com
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And grab your freebie on how to Get Lost in Your Child and really engage with them even on busy days. (I’m off to enjoy movie night with the kiddos and relax after a long week.)