I know I am not, and will never be, a style icon. I am way too frugal, and just not quite that cool. I do have goals of looking put together when I leave the house, though. It is so easy to fall into a rut of comfortable yoga pants and a t-shirt (which is what I wear at home most of the time), but I know that I feel so much better when I leave the house if I look like I took some time on my outfit.
Buying clothes is so much harder than it used to be! When I was 20, I could walk into Charlotte Russe or Forever 21, grab whatever XS shirt was on clearance, and know that it would look pretty good. Now, at 29, I am differently shaped and have to buy shirts that are compatible with breastfeeding. Plus, I am no longer an XS at those stores. . . I’m not going to say that breastfeeding has given me massive mammaries, but I’m at least not the leading member of the Tiny Ta-ta Troupe anymore, and that makes shirts fit a little differently.
I’m trying to be much more mindful of my purchases now that we are a one-income family, so I made some rules for myself for buying new clothes so that I don’t end up with a closet full of random items.
- Must be breastfeeding friendly. My little guy is almost one year old, so hopefully he’ll transition to cow’s milk smoothly and we can wean. Until then, I use the two-shirt method. He HATES being covered because he is such a sweaty little baby, so I mostly wear flowy tops over a cami so that the draping shirt can help keep me modest.
- Grab and go. I want my outfits to require as little effort as sweatpants and a t-shirt. That means no ironing. I’ll iron something on a special occasion, but 99% of the time, if it needs to be ironed, it won’t leave the hanger. I need to be able to just go to the closet and pick out a cute outfit without any more effort than taking it off the hanger. This also means that I can wear the outfit with whatever underwear/bra I am already wearing. White pants and strapless shirts are not going to make it into my closet!
- Comfortable, but not frumpy. THIS. This is huge for me. I don’t need to look edgy like the moms over at The Mom Edit, but I do NOT want to look like I have no clue what my body shape is. I have fallen into the trap of buying shirts too big because I overestimate my size postpartum. The shirt will work for a while, but then the larger size ends up looking worse than a more fitted shirt, and makes me feel frumpy. Comfortable also means that I have to be able to chase kids, kneel on the floor with them, and carry the baby without constant adjusting or worry about modesty.
- Durable/ machine washable. I have two small children. At any given time, there are 1-4 sticky hands coming at me, threatening whatever feeling of cleanliness I had. Wearing an item multiple times in between washings just doesn’t happen, unless i get lucky with my jeans. I do hang a lot of my “nicer” (read: not $2 t-shirts) items up to dry to extend their life a little bit.
- Affordable. I have always been, and probably always will be, very frugal when it comes to clothes. Most of my closet comes out of the off-season clearance rack. It is just so hard to justify spending too much on clothing when there’s always a chance of it getting ruined by the kiddos. Also, I don’t want to spend too much on one item when I might not be that same size (due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, nosediving metabolism that is probably coming soon. . .) the next year. I’ll spend a little more on the staples, but anything too trendy is going to be under $10. This year, I grabbed some end-of-summer clearance tops that I can layer with jackets and sweaters during the transition to fall and winter!
Do you have any “rules” for your closet? Share them in the comments!