Fashion and Motherhood: Why Do Clothes Make the Mother?
In becoming a mum, I left behind a lot of my old life. However, do I have to leave behind my old style?
Illustration by James Boyle
It’s a bright day in late autumn, and I am in my closet, grasping for something to wear. Any minute now, her stroller will roll up my driveway for our walk. She’ll be in sneakers, or another outfit suitable for forcing on babies around suburbia at three in the day. I rake through my closet again: a sequined pencil skirt a small number of caftans, the turban that is odd. Shit. I can not wear some of this. I will seem absurd. I grab studded slides, a kimono and harem trousers. Suitable … ish.
My clothing have often been the subject of side-eye — on SEPTA, at my schoolteacher husband’s job events, at the lobby of my Center City office building — but me never bothered. By what I wear, I have always defined myself in some small way. For many years I wrote about buying and style for this magazine, and a lot of my closet is inextricably linked to career landmarks: the antique silk robe given to me by my very first editor; the necklace in the winner of a citywide fashion-design contest I generated; the YSL heels I bought after writing my very first feature narrative. I have spent years creating a wardrobe of pieces that make me happy, so I’ve loads of intriguing clothing but nothing that I could utilize to, say, the park or park. Before my child, Quinn, was born last spring, so I’d steeled myself for the identity crisis with a baby could spur: Who am I today? However, I hadn’t relied on a sartorial catastrophe, also. How do I balance my awareness of style my feeling of self — with lifestyle, football games, along with lanes?
Oh my God, ” I text my editor, a buddy and fellow mom. Do I need to buy yoga trousers? (Her response comes swiftly: RESIST. )
Paradoxically, the yoga pant. The fad that occurs to dovetail with my descent into practicality, athleisure’s star player. I’d pegged the rise of athleisure to off-duty versions photographed appearing gloriously but I am convinced they are not those behind the staying power of the trend. It’s mothers.
“I’d like to love high heels,” says my friend Christy, a mom of two. ” I cannot fathom wearing a shoe that is tough to walk since I have to carry so much crap or, you know, a kid.” And here we are, regulated by means of restraint. (Hey, actually Kim Kardashian wears sweatpants today!)
However, I do not possess a, or jeans, or yoga trousers. While I would love to be a exact Chic Woman who resides in a number of white shirts and pants with costly flats. I felt like a fraud and’ve tried that person on for dimensions.
I see there are new milestones that the robe as I look more carefully around my closet. The 15 pairs of hospital panties I uttered. My kimono’s shoulder, today gently stained with avocado that was mashed-up. (I really like it all the harder for it.)
A week, I found a pair of ankle boots that were low-heeled comfy enough for extended walks — my variant of sneakers. I think I am getting, and I personally do not understand what that looks like yet — although I am still searching for the middle ground between old me and me. If you see me walking with Quinn, say hi. I will be the woman from the caftan.