I have never been fashion savvy.
In middle school, I lived in preppy clothes from the GAP that were two sizes too big and made me look like a small boy. In high school, I got angsty, discovered eye shadow and blue eyeliner, and wore Batman shirts at every opportunity.
By the end of college, I got really tan, put scrunch gel in my wavy locks and wore tube tops from Hollister, because, well, I was young and skinny and I could (and I didn’t mind the male attention, either).
Finding my “Mom” confidence
I would never, in a million years, have expected to find my passion for fashion in my 30s. But you know what’s always in style? Confidence.
Confidence, self love and self respect are deeply beautiful, and no outfit can ever replace those dazzling qualities.
Being comfortable in my own skin
A couple of years ago, I attended an event with other Austin mom friends called Fashion Meets Faith, hosted by the lovely Susan Seay. Christian speaker and author of Help Me Jesus, I Have Nothing to Wear!, Shari Braendel, taught me to embrace my own unique style and beauty by dressing to flatter my God-given skin tone, size and body type.
I’m no longer looking for attention with my appearance. Instead, I’m learning to love myself and celebrate the skin I’m in with wise, discerning fashion choices. (And, last week that “mom” confidence even led me to create my own shirt design for flood relief and become an internet sensation overnight, go figure.)
Editing my closet
A very important part of my spring cleaning this year has been cleaning out my closet, and I mean that both figuratively and literally.
I’ve found that quality over quantity is a good motto for refining your commitment to stuff, whether you’re editing your clothing, your craft supplies or even your calendar. You can’t enjoy (or even find) the great stuff you have if you keep all of the mediocre stuff cluttering up your space (and life).
As I learned from Christian blogger and author Kathi Lipp, if an item is no longer meeting your needs, if you wouldn’t buy it again today, then, for Heaven’s sake, don’t keep it.
There are plenty of people who would be happy to have it, I’m sure. And giving stuff that is weighing you down away to others in need is such a gift for both of you.
Embracing my size
My biggest recent confidence booster was giving away all of my bottoms that were too big and buying new jeans! I have lost quite a bit of weight since my last pregnancy, so I had been mourning the loss of my butt and wearing frumpy, baggy jeans all the time. (Mom jeans, gasp!)
My sister in law wisely noted that I might stop being asked why I was so thin all the time, if I started wearing pants that fit me, and she was so right! Not only did people stop asking, I started feeling comfortable with my body again.
Reinventing “Mom” fashion
I think I have been to the mall twice in the last year. Very rarely do I actually go to a store to purchase clothing. (Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially a mom of little ones.)
These days, most of my shopping, except for fresh groceries, is done online, with the occasional purchase through friends in direct sales.
Here are a few of my favorite sources of savvy “Mom” fashion…
After filling out my very detailed style, sizing and pricing profile, I receive a “fix” with five hand-picked items every other month. The $20 styling fee counts as a credit towards anything I decide to keep, and shipping is free both ways. Trying out new brands and styles is entirely too much fun. I even get to put on a mini fashion show for the hubs.
StitchFix is growing so rapidly that four of my friends now work as stylists out of their new Austin office. I will earn a referral credit if you use my link to schedule your first fix.
My best tip for getting a great fix is pinning styles and colors you love onto a fashion board on Pinterest and putting the board link in your StitchFix profile. You can even pin specific items you’d like to receive from the official StitchFix Pinterest boards.
And be open to discovering new favorites! I have ended up keeping several of my fix items that I never would have picked up in a store because I instantly fell in love when I tried them on.
I am a sucker for comfy, flattering knits, and Lularoe fits the bill. My friend Michelle introduced me to the world of Lularoe last year when she became a consultant for the brand new startup. I’m in love with my “butter” leggings and super soft Randy baseball tee.
The beautiful Julia dress is on my wishlist. Looking forward to earning free clothes at my pop-up boutique!!
My Jamberry girl and longtime close friend, Jessica, introduced me to American Eagle Outfitter’s amazing lingerie brand a few months ago when my post-breastfeeding chest needed some help. Their bras are so cute and comfortable (and affordable)!
Chloe + Isabel
Gosh, girls, have y’all seen this gorgeous stuff? I swoon.
The Mo’orea collection is my absolute favorite. But really, I love it all. So much turquoise, so much timeless, vintage-inspired elegance. And they have a lifetime replacement guarantee on every piece!
Can’t wait for my pop-up boutique and seriously considering becoming a c+i merchandiser…
This is my newest fashion favorite. Budget and eco-friendly, ThredUp buys and sells gently used, current in style and season, high-end clothing from brands like J. Crew and Banana Republic. I sent in some of my “too big” pants for a credit to get more appropriately sized shorts. Both of us get $10 off if you use my referral link to place your first order.
Summer of fashion
I guess this is the “summer of fashion” for me, as I’m hosting a Chloe + Isabel pop-up boutique in June and a Lularoe pop-up boutique in July. And we might even fit an online Jamberry Nails party with my gal Jess in there somewhere. I mean, the July hostess exclusive is pretty dreamy…
Side note: Those silver shoes in the featured image are the highly versatile Esma braided sandals ($15.99) from Target, that I bought last summer and can't live without.
What’s your favorite savvy “Mom” fashion source?
Let me know in the comments.