When I became a mom I had an identity crisis.  I wasn’t sure who I was or what my style was prior, then I was pregnant and that is a category all it’s own.  And then suddenly I was a proud, new mom of this little human who wanted to eat all the time.  My body was different, nothing fit the same and I had no idea how to get dressed.  I gravitated toward clothes that I thought hid me and strayed away from anything that would make me stand out.

Anybody with me yet?

I am all for comfort and function, especially as a busy mom, but I found that when I kept choosing baggy shirts and yoga pants that I just didn’t feel like myself.
I was caught in yet another #momlife oxi-moron – wanting to hide but also wanting to be noticed.  Wanting to pour all of me into being a mom and also wanting to just say “I quit!” and go on an extended vacation.
Suddenly,  I didn’t have make time for myself.  I felt frumpy and gross the majority of the time, and while some of that comes with the territory of new mommydom, I honestly didn’t know that it didn’t have to be my reality for the rest of forever.
I didn’t know how to put an outfit together anymore and the only accessories I was wearing were a breast pump and spit up.
If any of this made you eek out “omygosh that’s me!”, then keep reading because I promise that you can be a good mom and feel good about yourself ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

On learning to get dressed again

My personal story involves a heavy dose of poor self confidence style-wise pre-babe, and a life-crisis of sorts post-babe.
I literally did. not. know. how to get dressed anymore.  Nothing fit, things weren’t where they used to be (and I’m not talking about the clothing in my closet), and in general nothing was working.  
Somewhere along the way, I came out of my new mom fog and realized that this is not what I wanted my life to look like.  That I (and my guys) deserved better.
I started to schedule time for things that were life-giving to me.  Learning, writing, time reading the Bible.
I began to learn to only say yes to the best things and no or not now to the rest.
I started exercising regularly and being more mindful of what I was putting in my body.
I also learned about this new body shape that I had acquired (thanks, Logan) and how to flatter it.
Now, I definitely don’t have it all figured out.  I wouldn’t call myself a fashionista by any means.  BUT, I know what to look for when I shop now, I am learning what looks best on my body type, and I am spending far less time crying in my closet.
I teach women a simple two-part formula for getting dressed in my More Than Jewelry Facebook Group.  If that sounds helpful to you, come join us by clicking here!
I think that when we look good, we feel good.  It takes a layer off and helps us breathe a little.  It clears some of the mental and emotional fog so that we can deal with some of the deeper things going on inside our hearts and minds.
Because I’m not wasting valuable brain power on what to wear or letting my emotions get the best of me because nothing looks good, I have more energy and love to give to my people.
Plus, I look good, feel good, and can get ready super quickly.

6 tips to take the stress out of getting dressed: 

Give yourself grace.

If you just went through a major life change (like having a baby!), things may fit differently.  That’s okay. You are strong, beautiful and deserve a little grace!

Know the working parts of your closet.

Especially in seasons where things feel like they are fitting differently, knowing what works and what doesn’t in your closet is essential.  Take some time to go through your closet.  What do you like?  What do you never wear?  Are there things in there that probably won’t fit again or are out of date?  Don’t be afraid to get rid of things!
If you’d like some help with this, head to my More Than Jewelry Facebook group for free tips, tricks and encouragement!  You can also learn more about individual coaching and consults there.  

Look for layers.

Having basics that play well with other things in your closet maximizes your wardrobe without minimal effort.  This is why capsule wardrobes are so popular!  Plus, layers can work in almost any season (think super lightweight kimonos and flowy sleevless vests in summer and jackets/cardigans in the cooler months).  They add texture and help you look pulled together with minimal effort!

Stock up on good quality basics that fit.

Not all tees are made equally.  You don’t need to spend $100 on a tee, but investing in more high quality pieces is going to pay off.  They will last longer and be more flattering.  There are countless bloggers and vloggers these days that tackle these topics, so maybe a little “fashion research” is in order!   Use something like Pinterest to hold all your ideas and what you’re drawn to.  It’ll help you get a picture of your style and help you remember what you needed next time you shop. Here’s one of my favorite articles on a good white tee!

Get yourself some hard working accessories.

No, baby supplies are not accessories. 
Seriously though.
Once you have a few basics that are flattering on your figure and you have a few layers to throw on (vests, jackets, scarves), it’s helpful to have some accessories to pull your look together!  Jewelry is the missing piece that take all outfits from pretty good to great in less than 30 seconds!
As a jewelry stylist, I love Premier Designs because it’s so versatile and is great quality.  I also love Noonday Collection because their products are gorgeous and support an amazing cause.  Local boutiques and even Target have fun pieces to try.  Just remember – jewelry is what pulls your look together (and it’s okay to wear it even when no one else sees you!).  

You’re a great mom and it’s okay to feel good about yourself.

I just wanted to let you know, in case no one’s told you today.  You’re doing a great job raising those tiny humans.  It’s hard work but good work!
Mom guilt is real!  But taking time for you makes you a better mom – a better human, really.  It is okay to feel good about yourself, to take care of yourself, to find what makes you feel pretty and to make time for those things!
When you feel good, you look good.
That confidence and beauty shines through from the inside out.
You’ll have so much more to pour out to your people if you take care of yourself!  Whether that means scheduling time to shower, keeping make up in the car, mastering a few cute 4 minute hair styles, or learning how to look pulled together in 30 seconds!
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Anna Seeley is wife to Josh and mom to Logan and Loralei.  She created Graceful Journey with the mission of encouraging women to live into the hope and purpose they were made for through storytelling and tangible tools. She believes every woman has a purpose and a story as unique as they are and that we are all beautifully and wonderfully made. No one is too old or too young or too busy to live life on purpose.  If you were getting coffee together she would remind you that there is hope in every season, something to be learned in every heartbreak, and that there is always - always - grace to be found in the journey.  Join Anna on IG @annajseeley for more encouragement and a peek at her everyday life (aka - coffee, kids and chaos)!


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