Mom Genes

Where I grew up, moms looked pretty much the same everywhere you went. From the hairstyle to the shoes, the momdrobe was in full effect so it was very surprising, even horribly upsetting to arrive at my 4th grade Open House with my parents only to see a red-lipped woman clad in leather mini-skirt and matching halter top, resting her exposed thonged-ass on the seat next to my desk. My seat. Which was reserved for Guess? Jean shorts and Hypercolor ONLY. 

"Mom, that's Becca's seat," one of the boys in my class moaned. 

Apparently this teased-hair leather-chick was someone's mother? Fuck. That was some SHIT right there. I was stunned. And judging from the looks on their faces, so were my parents. 

It just so happened that this particular mother was a former Playboy bunny retired to the suburbs to raise her kids. She just happened to still dress like she was partying it up with Heff, which may have been disturbing to everyone else (myself included) but judging from the way she walked, talked and tossed her giant hairdo-- was just the way she rolled. No big whoop. 

It took me approximately fifteen years to appreciate her for what she was: a unique character and personal-drum percussionist. Sure, it might have been a leeeetle overboard to show that much cleavage at a school function but hell! Isn't that what makes life grand? It certainly made my memories more colorful! 

I can't speak for her children of course. 

Like I say in the following Momversation, my perception of what I thought a mom "looked like" changed drastically when I became a mom myself and realized I didn't want to look like this:




(The above picture is the #1 result that comes up if you google image "MOM"Ahhhhh! Help!)

I don't particularly want to look like this either but I do appreciate a woman who has the guts to rock pleather and thigh-highs in the land of yoga pants and sneakers. (I blame Juicy Couture for chicifying sweatsuits. Coco Chanel would NOT be stoked.)

Avec NO!

And furthermore? Although the message may be distorted with too much T&A, there is a little something to be said for modeling to one's children, the importance of dressing according to one's personal style*.



That (and everything discussed in the above video) being said, I'm very interested in hearing your thoughts on the subject. How has your perception of what a mom looks like changed since you've become one? Do you present yourself differently than you did pre-baby? What is your typical "momdrobe" or do you dress the same way as you always did? 

Interesting discussion, me thinks. Then again, I really like talking about clothes.

GGC

*and look, if Juicy Sweatsuits make you feel like a million? Rock that shit. 

59 comments:

JJ Keith | 11:29 PM

I hear you, but also? At some point I was LIBERATED to realize that I didn't have to try to be "hot" anymore. I'm actually relieved to look a touch matronly. But I have my limits. Mom jeans can fuck themselves.

Claudia | 11:36 PM

I wear the same stuff as before...nothing was that terribly bad, except for some of the sayings on my t-shirts ;) I wear jeans but they are SO NOT MOM JEANS with that horrific front-butt.

Michelle Horton | 4:16 AM

I had my baby 6 months ago, and I was DETERMINED not to let it change my style -- and I'm young (23) so the thought of wearing "Mom clothes" was/is absolutely horrifying. Granted, I never dressed wild -- jeans and T-shirts -- but they're skinny jeans and fitted tees. And I'll rock heels carrying a diaper bag and an infant. What DID change was that I've become really uncomfortable wearing anything too revealing. It feels inappropriate. Suggestive looks or unwanted comments makes me want to scream, I'M A MOTHER! There are WORKING breasts!"

But that's about all that changed!

Capital Mom | 4:33 AM

I totally dress for comfort because I spend half my day sitting in the park playing with the kids. And I want to be comfortable for that.

Having said that, I could stand to dress a bit nicer. I can't fit into my pre-baby clothes a year later and I don't want to spend a ton of money on new clothes so that contributes to my schleppy look.

One day.

Courtney | 5:20 AM

I never really thought about it but i guess i dress a little more modestly than i use to. I had my first child at 18 and when the stretch marks appeared the belly tops went out the window. Now at 23 and having my 3rd kids a tend to gravitate towards comfort instead of style!

Neena | 5:24 AM

I feel just a bit different. Having children and becoming a mother helped me to embrace my individuality and find my style. Before I had kids I tried really hard to 'look like everyone else.' But, now I want to embrace my personal style and not look like everyone else. It just feels good to do it!

Tiffany | 6:00 AM

Don't you think you are being a little harsh towards the clip art mom? I mean cheese she is wearing a neon belt to match her super awesome neon pink shoes. She obviously, took something old and rocked it with some H&M gold (neon). And I am pretty sure I have the same haircut right now. Dang it growing out awkward stage.

Anonymous | 6:06 AM

I definitely tone down a little, but I stay in my "me" zone. My husband's mother was "that" mom with the all the leather and the low cut tops, she looked a stones throw away from being featured in one of those biker chick magazines. I know it embarrassed him a lot, and it still does. I think there is a point when you have to let go of those really wild wardrobe choices when you become a parent. In a few years when my son is old enough to understand, i don't want him seeing me in snake skin pleather pants doing a keg stand.

Nadia | 6:20 AM

This is something I thought about quite a bit while I was pregnant with my first child. I was afraid I would lose myself when I became a mother. Not that my clothing defines me, of course not, but I was afraid I would lose my personal style. I am happy to report that hasn't been the case at all. I find motherhood has given me more confidence in myself. I am more "sure" of my clothing choices since having my children.

I don't think the term "mother" should have a picture which goes next to it. Our actions, our values, our mothering is what matters.

That being said, I personally don't think its appropriate for a mother to dress like an ex playboy bunny. I think it sends the wrong message to a child as they grow up.

Great topic!

Emery Jo | 6:44 AM

i dress the same, although my style is constantly evolving. i put on what makes me feel good. getting dressed in the mornings is one of my favorite times of day because its an opportunity to be CREATIVE. it's like an unacknowledged form of art. if i blend in or look sloppy, i feel out-of-sorts ALL DAY LONG. Because I don't feel like myself... like I've betrayed me somehow.

Brynn | 6:48 AM

While I had a healthy appreciation for fashion before my baby, I was never really a participant. My style was pretty much jeans, practical shoes, and if my husband was real lucky some lip gloss and blown dry hair. Maybe styled.

Then I had my daughter and suddenly my brain switched on to "You're a mother now, dress like it dammit." And the archetype I had for what a mother looked like was set by my own, who dressed like someone out of the fifties.

I've now come to a compromise, I wear higher quality jeans, I style my hair on a regular basis--much more put together than before. If anything becoming mother made me more stylish. Go figure :)

pea ess: You rocking those tattoos has helped bolster my confidence to get my sleeve done. Danke.

js | 7:27 AM

I actually present myself better now that I've had a child. My daughter is 8 and before her I never really cared what I looked like. Now I do. I'm not sure if it's that desire to not fall victim to the "momdrobe" or what, but I take a lot more care with my appearance. I'm one a handful of "young" moms at my daughters school (I had her at 21). Anytime I have to go there for functions, I stand out in the sea of plaid Lands End momdrobes and have been mistaken for my daughters much older sister more than once. Typical styles for me are jeans, snakeskin heels with a rocker tee and leather jacket or camo cargos with a tank top, or cute little sundresses dressed up with awesome sandals and jewelry. Lots of skulls too. Unfortunately, while my daughter may have playdates with the kids, I'll never have them with the moms, because I don't fit in to their Mom stereotype. It's frustrating to me when women forget about themselves after they've had children, they forget they have their own identity.

Beth Noel | 7:37 AM

UGH. I wear Yoga pants and sneakers. But let me explain. Not only am I a new mom (who happens to be exactly your age) I'm also an athletic trainer and my options for work are mesh shorts, khakis, sweats or, ya know, yoga pants. We are allowed to wear jeans but that is rare in the AT world. I do rock 'em occasionally with my most professional looking message T. But, sometimes, when I have 10 minutes to get ready and I have to quick nurse the baby before I leave, I throw on the mom-iform and that's that.

I'm going to try and do better. For myself! Thanks for shining a light on this for me, GGC!

Steph | 7:39 AM

I was THRILLED to not only be back to my pre-baby weight a few short months after I had my baby, but with extra night waking and feeding at 6 months have lost a little more... This is relevant as I had spent a few years mentally preparing myself (and my husband) for the big changes my body would go through after having a baby. And now I'm in better shape than I've been since my teens!

I'm still quite shocked by this. My mum is overweight and I guess I assumed that would happen to me despite my being much more active than she was at my age. I didn't expect to feel so comfortable and confident in how I looked only a few months after giving birth.

I would think that your attitude about your body would reflect in what you wear and how much time you make for yourself you put yourself together before you leave the house.

There are two factors which have changed my dressing ability since having my baby. Firstly, that we live overseas in a HOT tropical climate on an island with very limited shopping. So. I just don't have the clothes that I want to wear. I very recently spent a month at home during winter and LOVED wearing all my old, pre-baby woolen skirts, funky trousers, jeans, mini dresses with leggings, boots and jackets... These clothes have been collected over the past 10 or so years and are the clothes I love and I there's no reason why I wouldn't wear my usual clothes with my usual style now that I'm a mother. Although my style has always been pretty comfortable, albeit with unique pieces.

Except. That I'm still breastfeeding and I have to have (relatively) easy access. This is also frustrating as I have spent a fortune on nursing bras and haven't yet found one that's supportive enough that goes well under the singlets (vests) that are a staple here in the tropics.

I guess, given that I fit in to my pre-baby clothes, there is no reason for me not to wear them. And I didn't assume that I would wear a different style/look, only that I thought I may want to hide my post-baby body more.

Also, I spend as much time now with my hair and make-up as I did before. I never spend a lot of time on it, but I have ALWAYS worn eye-make up and just don't feel myself without mascara and eyeshadow and eyeliner...

Maybe the practicalities of dressing may change with more children and a busier day? But the idea of changing my style or presenting myself differently now that I'm a mother never occurred to me.

lonek8 | 8:16 AM

if anything, looking stylish and put together is more important to me now, after having kids, than it was before. When I was single, bumming around in sweats and tees was just that, and no big deal because I could always do it up when I went out on the town. But now, I feel like if I go to the store all sloppy with three kids in tow I just look like a mom. And of course, being a mom is an integral part of my identity, but I feel like looking nice and polished helps people see me for me as well, instead of seeing me as the tall person standing behind three adorable urchins. And I will NEVER give up my designer jeans for mom jeans!

Angie | 9:10 AM

Aaahhh! Fashion choices have never been much of an issue with me. I've always been a jeans-tshirt-ponytail kind of girl. This look, while not so flattering BC (before child), is even less flattering now. I have found myself trying to make an effort with what I wear, but to no avail. Anyone want to give me a "hot mom" makeover? I'd be thrilled! lol.

Allison the Meep | 9:16 AM

I always thought that being a mom meant that you had to be overweight, hate your body, and dress in Wal-Mart clothes. I grew up in a small town in Florida though, definitely not a cool fashion oriented place. It's how my mom was, and how all the moms of my friends seemed to be too. Like once you became a mom, you had to lose any sense of fashion or sex appeal, or taking care of yourself in any way.

My definition of how a mom looks has absolutely changed since having a child of my own. When I lived in L.A., I saw all kinds of cool moms that didn't change themselves because of having kids, and managed to keep their style. Now that I live in a small-ish town in the South, the conservative mom look is definitely in here. And I absolutely will not succumb to wearing a cardigan wrapped around my shoulders and a tennis skirt, with some white Keds to complete the look. I dress the same as I always did because being a mom doesn't mean that I have to lose myself, although it really did take me a while to see that.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 10:11 AM

Super interesting comments and I LOVE what you say, EmeryJo (who is my fashion idol, btw. Move over, Kate and Sienna!) about dressing being a creative outlet.

I feel the same way. Motherhood can certainly limit your creative endeavors, especially when you have young children. So getting dressed in the morning can be artistically fulfilling for sure. Touche!

Babing at High Altitude | 11:00 AM

I dress pretty much the same way I did pre-baby, with two exceptions; it has to be a breast feeding friendly get-up, one where I can easily pop those suckas out, in public, (making all the nannies in Aspen nervous!) And secondly, I agree with Michelle Horton, I don't wear cleavage revealing tops anymore. They are working boobs now, so they dress for the office, not the club. I have no qualms getting back into those sexy heels and tight pants, though.
Here in Aspen, I could pretty much get away with ANYTHING. The town is crawling with women who are 50+ (parts of them are only a few years old) in tiny miniskirts, low- cut tops that reveal the "doctor's finest", and shoes worth more than my college education. Most of them are moms, too. Yikes!

Amy | 11:30 AM

Having my son has not changed my fashion. I still am rocking a nose ring, and had my Monroe for a while.
Jeans and T-Shirts I hardly wear. I love vintage style 50's dresses so I wear things like that. Lots of skirts, and layering.
If I don't have time to do my hair and makeup great, I should still have time to put on a cute outfit.

Anonymous | 11:35 AM

I grew up with parents who had children later in life so I was always getting "are those your grandparents?" So I am 27, have a 1.5 year old, I want to be the vision of how my mom would dress. I love my mom and I appreciate her beauty as we both age but I am the 'me' I always was, I was never on stage waiting to get off and be a mom. I adore the fact that my daughter has become not only a beautiful accent to my personality but I realize I need/want to be the same for her.

Emily | 12:30 PM

It seems that no matter what I wear, I still look like I'm somewhere between 12 and 18 (I am THIRTY-ONE!!) and since my kids are fair-haired and light eyed and I have dark hair and brown eyes, people often assume that I am the babysitter!

Margaret B | 12:32 PM

OMG I TOTALLY agree with Steph. I just had my baby 8 weeks (I'm 25) and I feel 100% hotter than I did pre-baby. I went to the gym this afternoon and I wanted to yell, "Look at me I look great and I JUST HAD A BABY!" I'm not that self-centered, really, haha. And I don't look like a super-model or anything. But there is something incredibly fulfilling about what your body has done as a mother. I. MADE. LIFE. And I still look great. Sure, I'm not flashing my stretch marks or anything, but I am making sure I get up and shower every morning (even when my husband is at work and it's me and the baby) and get dressed. I get dressed even if all I'm doing is running to Target for more diapers.

I was thinking about this topic this afternoon, and if you want to rock the Mom jeans - if you really think they hide your belly all that well - then go for it! It's all about choice. But if you're just running to the closet to put clothes on so you're not naked, then don't give in! When I was pregnant, I edited my closet and shopping for post-baby so that even just grabbing the nearest clean clothes meant wearing something that was not sweats/t-shirt. I have no Mom uniform clothes in my closet, so I have no choice. And sure, I don't brush my hair every day, but I look my age. I am 25 and I still have my life ahead of me. It is way. way. way too early to give up on my appearance.

Anonymous | 12:50 PM

GGC: I have been reading your site for many months now but never felt compelled to leave a comment until now. This topic for some reason really spoke to me. After my first child I felt I needed to still dress "young" so to speak and then I had my second child and I decided that the jeans when you bend over and your ass hangs out where no longer worth it. I have two kids to run after and I am constantly bending over. They aren't comfortable and to me just not worth it. Instead I went out and looked for a new style of jeans. To my surprise there are jeans out there that are cute, form fitting, stylish, yet cover my ass! I am much happier wearing these. They even passed the husband test as he tells me my "ass looks great in those jeans!" So I thought, yeah!! Exactly the reaction I wanted.

Kay | 2:16 PM

I'm 30 - and refuse to dress like the typical suburban housewife does in my area. Today, I have on cutoff shorts, flip flops, a skater fitted tee, and a pink bandana. Yesterday, it was jeans, a wife beater, and heels.
My son is 15... and some of the time he appreciates the fact that I'm "not like the other moms". Other times, I'm sure he doesn't. I try not to be TOO extreme (like the Playboy Bunny mom you mentioned) so that I don't embarrass him. But I won't change who I am to fit in with the masses, sorry :)

Lauren | 2:32 PM

The only difference in my wardrobe is that I show more cleavage than I did before having my baby - all about the easy access to the kid's lunch these days. I did however make my babydaddy buy me a string of pearls as a "birth" present. Moms should own pearls in my opinion, and since I grew and delivered the child from my body, I thought it was the least he could do.

I do get a bit of a thrill when I'm walking the baby (can you say that? Walking the baby? I make her sound like my dog) wearing skinny jeans and converse though.

Tammy | 2:43 PM

Thank for writing your blog Rebecca, it's hilarious and thought provoking at the same time. Love opening up Google Reader to see:
Girl's Gone Child (1)

Leslie | 4:09 PM

Pre baby, I was a jeans/T-shirt/flip flops kind of girl. I'm still the same now. To me, uber casual (and maybe a little sloppy) doesn't mean that I'm not making an effort. I have always dressed for comfort, but of course I like to be cute, too (and I do pull it off most of the time, I think). I'm not the type who will wear dresses and heels every day. It's just not my style.

It's important to me, like someone else said here, that I fix my hair and wear makeup every day. Even when my son was a newborn, I made it a priority to get ready for the day. It made me feel like crap not to, even if I wasn't going anywhere.

Anyway, I have no idea if I look like a mom or not. I do notice guys checking me out sometimes - that makes me feel really good when I'm pushing my son in his stroller. I'm a MILF now, I guess. ;)

Emma Jane | 5:03 PM

Wooooah, I just google image searched "mom"..... and apparently my safe search is off! Those are not exactly the types of wholesome images you're talking about here. Although, I suppose one could BECOME a mom while performing some of these actions...
:D

Amber, The Unlikely Mama | 5:43 PM

I'm only 6 months out from the birth of my daughter...and my wardrobe has taken a hit. Right now I'm still rockin' the baby fat (not phat, lol) so my daily outfits consist of workout pants, and layered tees with tanks for the breastfeeding.

For now, I'm lucky to get a shower in, let alone time to get dolled up. I did just start a new diet plan, so hopefully my old chothes will fit again someday (soonish?).

My tatoos and septum ring keep me feeling like the person I was before I had Alexa...but man do I miss my pink hair (way way way too much upkeep right now).

mamadorkiness | 5:44 PM

Pre baby, my mindset was business suits or a forever apron for moms. post baby, I'm definately my own person. I am only 21 so, I just like I'm 21! Lol. even when I hit my 30s and 40s I'm too dorky to be conservative. I gotta messege in my clothing that say fuck society, I'm me!

Steph | 7:40 PM

Oh, I just realised there is one fashion-concession I have made to motherhood. Owing to the fact I have a tendency to trip over while standing still, instead of my standard flip-flops (hot climate & always taking shoes off for inside) I have to have something more sturdy and supportive so I switched to Birkenstocks. But the cute silver or patent black ones!

Brittany at Mommy Words | 8:08 PM

Steph - I too have given up heels for motherhood of a 2 year old, a 1 year old and one on the way. I am finally getting back to the funkier me that really started to get lost when I moved to this conservative place more than when I had Sophia. Still, I do try to have the funky good mommy look and not funky groupie look! I think my style will continue to change but I am happy that I no longer feel the need to fit anyone else's mold. (I do wear jeans or bermuda shorts a LOT - my tush gets burned if I wear my retro skirts to the park and slide down with both kids!)

pamela | 9:02 PM

for me, my outfits have always been a challenge. i'm a high school teacher and at 27 am sometimes mistaken for a student. i love fashion. i love being creative with clothes. so when i was pregnant and even after, not much changed. i actually related to your photos. thinking, hey i wore "dresses as shirts" too! i visit daily blogs where most of the clothes mentioned are UO, Mod Cloth, H&M, Forever 21, etc. and i don't care. i rock those clothes and take the looks from other "soccer moms". the only thing that really makes me mad is when i'm not taken serious because of my clothes. to some it means i'm immature. that bugs me.

Anonymous | 11:01 PM

Oooh, my now 15 year old went to a groovy preschool co-op, then a groovy K-8 private school, and now attends an arts high school (where at least half the parents are artists who dress creatively). My entire mom career I have been surrounded by moms who dress way cooler than me. (And the school auctions? A way for people to dress even more outrageously. Srsly.) It has never been an issue for me needing to tone it down in any way.

And even though I don't make the effort, I really appreciate the people who do! I love seeing the looks creative people put together.

Stacy | 2:45 AM

I find that I dress better now that I have a child. I was always kind of embarrassed by the way my mom dressed when I was growing up - she's 6'2", a police officer, and definitely a tomboy, so she's always dressed kind of macho, either slacks and a shirt or jeans and t-shirts...you'd never catch her in a cute dress, or heels, or even jewelry. I love her more than anything, but I always kind of wished she dressed nicer so she would fit in better at functions. So I try to dress in a nice, current style so that I won't embarrass my kid(s) in the future.

Anonymous | 9:24 AM

Only two differences in my style post babe (who is one year today, woot!) - #1 -Though I have lost the weight, my tummy is not as flat (still working on it, though) and so the nonchalance with which I wore low jeans that exposed hips/lower abs is on hiatus. I still wear ridonculously low rise jeans, just with long tops.
# 2- unless I have a sitter, heels are out the window.

Maybe I am vain but it was really important to me not to let my femininity and sexuality go out the window with motherhood.

Amanda | 10:35 AM

Post-baby fashion for me hasn't changed much. I'm rather young, so it is always evolving as Emery stated. I don't dress for my son so much as the weather down here. Arizona heat=lots o' sundress. Arizona winters=lots o' sundress con tights and boots. Tweak things here and there with accessories, shoes, etc and there you have it.

TaraB | 1:14 PM

Now, after having kids I definitely wear everything under a cloak of "confidence". I find I push the envelope a bit more than I did BC (before-chaos). My choices are a bit more edgy, not necessarily revealing... but if I want to put some red streaks into my hair and rock out a t-shirt from the junior's department, I go for it. But if you want to wear some sensible capri's and a light pink sweater set, that's cool too, I'll still hang out with you in the school parking lot.

Twwly | 2:13 PM

I indulge in Lochers.com shirts. Nice. AND naughty.

I love naughty.

Amie | 2:36 PM

Um, yeah my wardrobe has changed a bit since having a child. I worked outside the home before and I really don't think blouse, skirt, heels goes particularly well at the park or pool. Running errands in a suit would be kinda ridiculous. Also, most dresses don't pass the easy access test for breastfeeding.

That said, I think my style is still essentially the same. I like smart, fitted clothes. Am I still throwing down $200 on a pair of jeans? Hell no. I have more important things to spend my money on now. I don't think that is a bad thing. But I still know my body and I am learning how to bargain shop and I think that is a good life skill.

Furthermore, I recenlty moved to the desert and it is HOT here. I'm talking REALLY REALLY HOT. You kinda have to give in to weather sometimes and so I've embraced shorts and flip-flops this summer.

And sometimes I just wear whatever is clean. And you know what? I rock it.

krista | 4:47 PM

oh,man. i'm in the thick of it with this issue right now. i always used to dress so cute, vintage and funky and whathaveyou. now? i'm still carrying lots of baby weight. (although she's 18 months old so i'm not sure it's still considered baby weight.) i tend towards comfortable and cheap. i look like every other target mom.
i did, finally, start thinking for myself and have started my half sleeve. it's also forcing me to want to dress better in general. show more style.

AlbertaMom | 6:38 PM

Hey...about the google mom image, add some polka-dots and retro heels and she could be rocking that vintage 50's look you love! The hair is brutal though...

jammysongs | 9:31 PM

I was thinking outloud to myself the other day in Tar-jay.. if they were really, REALLY smart, now that I have even less time than I did before, they would make really awesome clothes available so I can shop while I pick up tampons, deoderant, and onesies.

Unfortunatley a little of my wardrobe (ok, a LOT!) is now from Target due to the time factor- and I just am always buying my little girl SOMETHING.

my point: I dress the same, now on a minimum (time) budget. I just don't have TIME to shop!

Sabrina K. | 5:55 AM

My mom always had the big hair, shoulder pads, frighteningly pleated skirts, and the sunglasses. Sunglasses permanently attached to her face. More than anything those sunnglasses embarassed me! And guess what? My sunglasses remain permanently glued to my face.

I will admit that I dress differently than I did before kids. That might have to do with the distinct lack of money to buy clothing though, more than anything to do with my figure. I think I dress better. I slobed it up in oversized black t-shirts with political statements, old blue jeans, and hooded sweatshirts every single day for years. My wardrobe has a touch more style, and definitely more variety now. No "mom jeans", no button down shirts with 3/4 length sleeves in "girly" colors, although I've been known to rock a pair of kahki capris on occassion.

Jena | 6:53 AM

I have always dressed like I stepped out of a pin up calendar or an ad for 50's Chanel... Being 8months pregnant has altered how I dress significantly, only because pencil skirts and heels are just not practical when you're a whale.
However, I expect to essentially go back to my original wardrobe post-pregnancy... although I may wear flats a little more often and add in a few things that I can nurse in.
But, then again, through most of my childhood, I had a mother that generally seemed to exude a personal style of her own (She too was a retired playmate who married a retired rocker and moved us 'Green Acres' style out on to a farm...). So, my Mother never fit in with the other farm wives and I know my Grandmother and Greatgrandmother still make a significant effort to be stylish, while not looking like they're trying to be 20.

makyo | 10:56 AM

this is something i'm struggling with now. i'm pregnant with my first and i'm completely distressed at how unflattering most maternity clothes are. hello, my cleavage is BANGIN' at the moment and while i'm not throwing it in anyone's face i also don't think i need to hide it under the frigging peter pan collars i see on everything. i feel like anything that is remotely stylish is also crazy expensive. add that to the fact that i'm really uncomfortable in anything other than sweatpants and, well, i'm not exactly having a fashionable pregnancy so far.

i'm hoping that i can go back to my regular style after the baby is born, but i guess a lot of it depends on how much of the baby weight i can lose and what shape my body is in. but my style tends to be bohemian-chic, flowy sleeves and empire waists and that type of stuff so it's not like i have to sausage myself into skintight jeans anytime soon. but i actually LOVE to see young hip mamas on the street with their babes in tow, rockin' out some really nice clothes whether it's super high heels or silk blouses or low slung hipster jeans. power to the mama!

http://leball.wordpress.com | 2:52 PM

I had Joey at 24 and was very aware about how I looked pregnant. I didn't want to look like a "mom" right, now. But I've very petite and curvy, and when I put on my little shorts I think, hmmm...to short? So I find myself wearing longer shorts than freak when people tell me I look like my mom! Who is only 20 years older!

I think we make the pressure on ourselves. I wish I could go to he park in a cute dress and heels. but damn, bring on the flip flops, jeans and t-shirts!

Becky | 6:19 PM

I know I'm a bit late to the discussion, but your post reminds me of that song about the "Harper Valley PTA" that I LOVE (older song about a mom in miniskirts and showing cleavage tells off the PTA for all their indiscretions).

I'm going to become a mom in February, and I'm kind of afraid of what my wardrobe might look like (not that it's that great anyway). My sisters are great examples, though - they all have kids and they look fabulous all the time. Hopefully they'll have some good advice. ;-)

Alyxherself | 9:38 PM

comments are closed on the sk8 punk post but i just wanted to let you know: me too. also bikers, whatev. had a kid with one of those, organ donor so to speak. she's 17, he's been always gone, she's strait edge. her and her friends make fun of the druggies, she can't stand the smell of smoke..m okay? archer will never.

my dad died when i was 6. i remeber my mom showed up to one pta function after that, scarfed up with the beatnik sweater and the flowy slacks that looked like a skirt, i thought she was bitchin camaro man. but she never went back.
i never had to ask why...those other women didn't want a widowed, young, hella woman around. they labled her "fast", "on the make". she didn't want a man. she died alone, no friends, never could get back in. i dunno, i just needed to share that with you, i feel like you get what i'm sayin.

Cave Momma | 11:09 PM

I'm a bit late in posting but I felt the want/need to because I think about this a lot. I see a lot of moms dressed like.. well... a mom. And I don't feel like I do, nor do I want to dress like that myself. My style hasn't changed. Jeans that make my butt look good (as good as it can get) and a slightly fitted t-shirt that shows curves but not too much cleavage or the extra flab I have yet to lose. Plus a pair of cute flats that I can easily run after kids in but still look good doing it. I like to look good but I have never been one to overdo it. I have become more conservative over the years, not wanting to show as much cleavage but that's just me and has had nothing to do with becoming a mom.

I don't understand why one needs to change ones style when a baby is born. Maybe tone it down a little like the mom you spoke of but otherwise, wear what you want!

RachelDenbow | 2:08 PM

Rebecca,
You've definitely come to mind when I want to go a few days justifying the unwashed hair and flip flops. Seeing another young mom who looks so stylish without making it look really difficult has been an encouragement to put a little more effort into it.

Having a boy, I never worried about him looking cuter than me but with a girl on the way, I'm starting to think about stepping up the wardrobe a little!

Fabienne | 9:26 PM

Great blog, I really enjoy what you do. I think the whole dressing like a Playboy bunny/sex worker = grrrrl power concept a complete crock. Female power doesn't come from getting your "girls" out or constantly reminding eveyone around you of your sexual attributes/availability/adventurousness. I think personal style and dressing for your own pleasure and in things that seem cool and comfortable to you is extremely important - and a lesson we should be teaching our kids. I don't think it's ok for women to sexualise themselves through their wardrobe for attention or affirmation from men, society, whoever - or teach their daughters to do so. My goal is to model for my absolutely gorgeous little girl how to be feel comfortable and attractive in her clothes without making herself look like she wants to be propositioned for sex. And that our true female power comes from within us, not our T & A or what we package them in.

Nena Stopnik | 10:33 PM

I dress the exact same way I did before I had my son. It's part of my identity. I would never change that about myself. By the way..you have great style :) Fable is already following in her mom's footsteps.

writebrite | 5:52 AM

When I first had my kids I stayed pretty much the same: T's and tanks, lower jeans and shorter shorts. The kids always got a kick out of my printed T's featuring some adolescent cartoony thing. They're young, it works. But now that I have step-kids, specifically a step-daughter who is in her early teens, I've noticed I watch more what I wear. There is something about trying to be a parent type to someone whom you totally envy their wardrobe that doesn't mesh well with me. And the short shorts and low cut shirts around them (teen boy and girl) just seems somehow wrong. It's uncomfortable for them and uncomfortable for me. I just wonder if I would have felt the same way over years of my own kids growing up.

Catutes | 7:08 AM

The only thing that changed about my style after becoming a Mom was the size.
I was not going to modify my style for some weird view of how a Mom should dress.

I certainly don't want my kids to think they have to conform their styles for anyone else, based on my trying to fit into a stereotype.

Summertime | 9:09 AM

Years ago, I used to take more time with my fashion, and then had gotten a little lazy. Pegged jeans and some band t-shirts, flip flops, etc.-- that was kind of my daily uniform. Then, when I got pregnant-- and now after I've had my son (he's 18 months)-- I pay way more attention to how I look. It's important to me that people see that some of us that like to cut up our shirts on occasion, and have tattoos, are moms, and good ones. I felt the need to represent a little, I guess.

Kendra | 8:18 AM

I was never a clothes horse, but I liked to wear things that flattered me. And I worked in a relatively casual office, so jeans, slacks, low heels, fitted tees, that was more or less how I dressed.

Now I've had three kids, all by C-section (I was lamenting the state of my belly this morning!), and I stay at home. There was a day not long ago when I was running late, feeling crabby, and saw a pair of workout pants and thought I'd just throw those on. They're comfortable, and really, who cares what I look like? I'm home with small children all day. Fortunately that thought was kind of a wake-up call for me; I realized that if I start letting go, I may never stop.

So though I'm not as put together now as I was pre-kids (in terms of my wardrobe or my body), I try to work harder to make sure I'm not letting go. Maybe for some moms, "mom jeans" would be a choice driven by comfort, practicality, even looks. But for me, it would be sheer laziness, and I'm trying hard not to head down that path.

Sarcastica | 2:29 PM

I need to go shopping because I've obviously gained weight and now my pre-baby clothes don't fit comfortably, I mean I can force myself into them but at what cost? For my rolls to roll out the top? heh.

But once I get some more money coming in I fully intend on dressing like I did before I got pregnant. When I'm at home and lazy, I were sweats and a tshirt...just like I did before becoming a mom.

I used to think mom's had to dress in faded purple flower shirts and black jeans (ewwww), but I SO will never buy black jeans or a purple flower shirt. ;)