The Mom Dressing Rut

Once you leave your 20’s behind, dressing becomes a challenge. Suddenly whatever crazy things are in style no longer look good on you just because you’re young. Instead of ugly pretty boho chic, you just begin to look ugly ugly crazy bag lady. You can no longer walk into the junior section and pull off whatever the mannequin is wearing.

But you can’t just stroll over to the women’s section either. That section can be filled with everything from shiny track suits favored by elderly mall-walkers, to smart polyester pant suits, to sequined tunics the ladies who lunch wear to dinner. There is a very very steep drop off from what the kids are wearing, to what the sassy ladies of a certain age are wearing. The rest of us are left floundering somewhere in the middle.

Then, you add kids to the mix. Oh boy. I went through years and years of hormones and surgeries just to get pregnant. My belly is scarred and lumpy and quite a bit heavier than I started. Then I actually got and stayed pregnant and had a C-section, so now I have stretch marks, rolls, saggy skin, saggy breasts, etc. etc. etc. Sigh. My now four year old son is in a wheelchair, so I bend and squat and lift and every single thing I wear is filthy by the end of the day.

Like so very many of us, I caved to these seemingly insurmountable obstacles, and for my son’s whole life I have had a larger wardrobe of pajamas than anything else. I own my favorite yoga pants in three different colors. I have four pairs of my back up yoga pants. I actually have a ranking system for my yoga pants so I know exactly which ones I’m talking about when I say “back up yoga pants”

I kept telling myself I would get it together once Atticus was older. Once we were leaving the house more often, once he was more mobile, once he was out of diapers, once I lost some weight. Excuses are ever present when you need them. Finally last year I faced a bit of a health crisis that forced me to take a hard look at the life I was living. If infertility taught me anything, it was that you do not put your life off for some magical day that might never come. So if I was going to be some good looking, put together, stylish person and present myself to the world in a way that reflected who I really was, I had to stop waiting for the day I suddenly shrunk back to my college size.

I became obsessed with fashion blogs. I read my favorites every day, combed through all their blog rolls, asked friends for recommendations, and I found endless inspiration but nobody who was really addressing my dilemmas. Nobody who was struggling to redefine their style as a newish mom with a whole new body and no longer in the youngster demographic. Nobody with my body type or lifestyle. So I figured I better start my own.

I’m a lot thicker than I was in my previously stylish life, and I feel no need to apologize for that or try to disguise it. These pounds were hard won thanks to hormones and shots and hot flashes and surgeries. Despite my best efforts, they don’t appear to be going anywhere, so … oh well. I don’t buy into the advice of stylists that you have to dress for your body type and obey a bunch of rules so that you bend your body as close as possible to some silly idea of one “appropriate” kind of beauty.

I have three rules for dressing.


This means that if I, as a large chested woman, want to wear a turtleneck, I am going to wear that turtleneck and dare somebody to say something about it. But I’m also going to make sure that the turtleneck is somehow cut to fit my waist appropriately without smashing my chest down and straining the knit until it’s transparent.


Stylists love to dress moms in “practical” outfits of a knit top and khaki slacks, with sensible loafers and maybe a sassy little jacket. Fine. But every day? Anything, worn everyday, looks sloppy. Because no thought was put into it and it shows. I will prove to you as I go that I can wear an outfit that breaks every “rule” of how a thick-waisted, large-breasted woman should be dressing, and I’ll look better than the generic mom worried about her laundry in some commercial. Thought counts. Creativity counts. Way more than optical illusions to disguise the body I have into the body somebody somewhere thinks I should have.


I am a mom after all. I’ve got a few responsibilities beyond that gorgeous pair of shoes.

I’ve been blogging for ages at where I write about a creative approach to life. I use my creativity to come up with recipes, parenting tips, and loads and loads of craft designs. It’s time I set that creativity to work on myself, shake off the mom rut, and use personal style as another creative medium to express myself to the world.