**Updated with winner, below!**
I don't do sweatpants. Not that there is anything wrong with sweatpants, I just made a decision long ago that becoming a mom wouldn't strip me of style. Shallow? I prefer to call it "old fashioned" because back in the days of yore, people dressed well. Better than the whole lot of us. Even the poorest of the poor wore petty coats and linen dresses with bonnets to match. People took pride in their appearance. Men and women of all ages looked "respectable" and therefor demanded respect. Clothes have always had a huge effect on the person wearing them and an equally potent effect over passer-bys.
Just look at one of the many makeover shows on television. My husband, who has made his living working in (reality) TV for the past four years, perfectly exemplifies WHY dressing well changes lives. Not only for the women who get made over but for the families whose bills these makeover shows pay. Whether they realize it or not, "going from drab to fab" is what puts food on our table (and cute-ture on our soon to be daughter, who will probably grow up to hate fashion, clothes and me for dressing her up like a doll every day of her infancy and childhood).
See??? Dressing well changes LIVES!
My last pregnancy I wore heels right up to the day my doctor told me I was to be bed-ridden for the remainder of my pregnancy. And this pregnancy, although I have opted for flats (and the occasional wedge), I have been choosy with my footwear, wearing flip-flops only at the end of the day when my feet are too swollen to fit into my "cute shoes." Fashion over function? Indeed. Looks over comfort? Absolutely. Although, comfort is entirely relative. (I feel much more comfortable in ankle boots than I do in sneakers.)
I decided long ago that motherhood would never stop me from overdressing. Which I totally do, but only because everyone else is underdressed. Obviously.
This pregnancy I have managed to wear 90% non-maternity clothes, thanks to some of the styles at stores like Anthropologie. Two good pairs of maternity jeans are all I've really needed to complete a look I would normally wear sans bump. Throw on a long flowy top from A-Po, a simple black wife-beater from the dude's section at Target, some kooky accessories and BAM! Instant materni-chic.
I even bought a pair of trendy gladiator sandals this summer (with cankle camo in mind) which I've been happily rocking on a daily basis. That is, until Tuesday when I came home after an afternoon of walking the Elay streets only to find that removing my shoes was a total no go.
My feet had somehow managed to grow around my shoe straps. I had to pull apart the folds of foot flesh to get the damn things off.
Don't believe me?
Oh, believe this mofos. Believe this!
I posted the above photo on flickr as soon as I snapped it, hoping to lend some much needed comic relief to a friend because there is nothing more hilarious than a pair of sad, ugly, deformed feet. Am I right? Then I realized that this particular photo needed to be seen by the masses. Because sometimes a girl needs to be laughed with. And then laughed at for her silly need to dress unpractically , knowing quite well that her body does NOT care about trends, no matter the occasion. And especially not at 36 weeks pregnant.
My body said sweatpants and flip-flops. My brain said "No fucking way would I be caught dead..." and here I am paying for my wicked (and inescapable) inner fashion-witch
Oooh la la!
And now I have no choice but to point out the obvious: my lack of pedicure.
Please note that the last time I had myself a mani-pedi was over a month ago which means that contrary to the tone of this post, I'm not completely high-maintenance. I may put way too much time in outfit-planning but my feet look like that of a High School point guard with athlete's foot so there you go! I absolutely will not write the "Pedicure Addict's Handbook" ... And I'm okay with that. I really am.
I'm also okay with the handbook I write daily in my head: Trying to Dress Like I'm Not Pregnant by: Rebecca Woolf; a practical look at a woman's unpractical obsession with maintaining a somewhat impressive wardrobe, regardless of how much fetus she's packing.
Because charming as it might not be, this is who I am.
The title might not be as catchy as Michelle Lamar's refreshingly comedic The White Trash Mom Handbook (St. Martins, August 2008) but it'll suffice for now.
Want to win a signed copy of Michelle Lamar's hilarious, no-nonsense, every-mother-needs-to-read-this book, "The White Trash Mom Handbook"? Just tell me what you would name YOUR handbook and why by Monday, September 15th either in a blog-post (send me the link and I will link your post, below) or in the comments. One winner will be picked at random.
Good luck! And please, for the love of what's hilarious, go pick up Michelle's book. It's a breath of fresh air, laugh out loud funny -- a delightful read and reminder for mothers everywhere to embrace our inner white trash.
Congratulations to Stacy! Her handbook? "How to Catch Frogs and Make Mudpies (without ruining your manicure): The Girly-Girl's Guide to Raising a Son." Please email me to claim your prize and thanks to all of you who participated!"