Friday, November 09, 2012

Dressing like a mom, but not like a MOM

Through my experience with two pregnancies, I've found that it takes me nearly a year, or more specifically like 9-10 months, to start feeling like myself again.  Louie is ten months old, and I realized the other day that I'm FINALLY starting to feel comfortable in my own skin and more confident with how I'm presenting myself to the world.

Though it is possible the timing has something to do a few other factors.  First, the weather has gotten colder and I don't have to even attempt things like shorts and tank tops.  (On that note I just CAN'T give up shorts in the summer, ESPECIALLY since becoming a mom, even if they are not my best look... it is too effing hot here in the summer to chase my children around the park sweating my ass off in jeans or even cropped pants.  And in the same vein skirts and dresses are iffy as well, because I need to be able to move quick when Gus bolts for the street or crawl through tunnels on the playground all the while NOT exposing my polka dot underpants to the rest of the park goers.  Believe me, no one wants to see that.)  

Anyway, cold-weather clothing is just so much easier to look good in, and I love boots and skinny jeans and chunky sweaters and tucked in blouses SO much more than annoyingly thin knit tanks and cut-off shorts that make it imperative that I shave my legs every other day.  

So I'm sure the changing seasons has been a factor in getting back a little of my mojo.  As is the fact that I am not really nursing Louie much throughout the day anymore (his choice, not mine!) and I am wearing totally normal under-wire bras that lift and separate rather than create mono-boob, and I don't have to make sure that every single thing I wear allows for boob accessibility. 

Goodness, that part of reaching this milestone has been SO FREEING, even if it makes me sad that the little guy has decided he likes cheese and eggs and broccoli and casseroles and yogurt way more than cuddling and nursing with his mama throughout the day.  Speaking of, I'm also so thankful for the hundreds upon hundreds of ounces of frozen breast milk we've stored up in the deep-freeze, so Louie's day-time refusal of the breast doesn't have to cause a bunch of drama about retaining my milk supply and extra pumping sessions and all that.

Okay, digressions about breastfeeding aside, the point is, I'm feeling like me.  And that is good.

And it is making me want to buy clothes again, but the logistics of that can be hard.  I have no time to shop by myself and heaven help me, I will not be bringing those two blonde maniacs into any dressing rooms while I sweat and pant and stare at my fleshy stretch-mark ridden tummy under fluorescent lights.  

Hell no.

So I order online, and that works pretty well for me, but I wanted to share my most favorite place for finding good quality, stylish but not overly trendy, well-fitting clothing.  

Land's End and Land's End Canvas have become my go-to.  Oh, I love them so much.  The skinny cords and their ponte dresses and quality non-pilling sweaters, there's so much to love.  

It's funny, all my old "Editor" and "Publisher" pants from Express and The Limited may fit me, but they don't FIT me.  Something happened to my whole lower tummy / pelvic area when I had children (well, besides the obvious) and it's almost like it's longer, or more spread out, or SOMETHING.  Also, I have no butt anymore, which I hear is a pretty common postpartum thing.  I don't exactly know what has happened, but what I do know is that those old pants I used to wear to work every day are so freaking uncomfortable, I am pulling them out of both my butt and (eek!) the front constantly, adjusting and squirming and doing leg lunges to fix the problem all throughout the day.  And THAT is not something I can live with.  

So yeah, Express and The Limited don't work for my mom body, and that is a-okay with me (have you walked by an Express recently?  WTF is happening there, do people wear that stuff?), but then where are you supposed to shop?

Land's End.  I swear to you.  It's not just for puffy down coats and school uniforms anymore.  

What follows are some of my recent purchases.  I love them, and you might too, especially with the 30% off of EVERYTHING friends & family event happening right now.      

knit shirt

This top is a great basic, it fits and drapes so well, and is perfect untucked with leggings and knee-high boots (yes, it is long enough to mostly cover the butt), but also looks divine tucked with a simple belt and cords.

(I swear every time I look at this girl I think this she is Robin from How I Met Your Mother.)

mint cords

I am living in skinny cords this year, and they are all from Land's End Canvas, which is the brand's more "youthful" line.  I have a pair in this mint-green color as well as gray and wine.  And I want to order more but I've forced myself to stop, lest I be that crazy girl that only wears corduroy pants.  

polka dot skirt

I've been obsessing over this polka-dot skirt forever, but it started out at $80, which is totally ridiculous.  I would never pay $80 for a skirt.  But then it went on sale, 50% off, and I nearly bought it, but then started questioning whether it was very practical.  I mean will this skirt work with tights this winter?  I'm not so sure, but I want to try.  Still... I waited.  And THEN this friends and family sale popped up and I couldn't resist getting it, at 30% off the already 50% off sale price, so a total of $28!!!  It was a no-brainer.  Crossing my fingers the fit is perfect and I can make it work with my wardrobe.

colorblock sweater

Adorable color-block cardigan, a simple basic with a little twist, and this blue and green combo is seriously cute.

I love ponte knit anything because it's as comfortable as sweats but sturdier and work-appropriate and wears much better than jersey.

ponte knit pants

Ponte ankle pants.

ponte dress

Ponte v-neck dress.

Awesome and awesome.

Green blouse

This blouse is the perfect tucker, but un-tucked makes me feel a bit frumpy.  Admittedly I probably would have returned it if I wasn't so lazy.  Did I mention you can return anything you buy from Land's End at your local Sears?  That's a nice perk.  Making a return with a toddler and baby in tow is much more feasible than actually shopping.  

orange faux wrap dress

Finally, my favorite.  I am in love with this faux wrap orange and navy dress.  IN. LOVE.  I mean... it's chevron!  What's not to love?

It should go without saying that Land's End didn't pay me or have anything to do with this post.  Seriously, I'm not a real blogger that gets offers like that.  I'm just trying to write every day this month and am running out of boring kid stories, so rambling about clothes it is.  I would never make it as a fashion blogger, I get dressed out of my laundry basket way too many mornings for that.  :)


Erin said...

Yes! I love winter clothing SO much more than summer stuff. I pretty much stick to Old Navy and Gap lately... but will have to check out Lands End! It's not just for your mom anymore... oh wait. That's us now. Wow.

AND YES to the Editor pants comment!! I have 3 fricking pairs. I can make them work but... yeah. It's just not comfortable anymore. I do have 2 pairs of some kind of pants from the Limited that are higher waisted that I still LOVE (have no clue what they are called - ironically enough I only bought them because my MIL asked for them for Christmas one year and I liked them - again with taking fashion hints from the moms)

Oh and I totally only shop online. Except for when I went to Gap over lunch today and it was 30% off everything, and whoops. Definitely a hazard of working downtown. Also, Target. Ugh. Can't stay away.

val said...

As a person who only wears what people give me as gifts and whatever Heidi and Kirsten are getting rid of?

This is a GREAT post.

Shopping takes time, and static and fluorescent lights are so horrible, and ugh.

Thank you. love, Val

Berbs33 said...

I have never ordered anything online... mostly because I am almost 6 feet tall and pants are something I must try on before buying. Although I am thinking about going online right now and buying that last dress (and I dont even wear dresses that often)!!

Jo said...

I might have to give online shopping a try. I am so picky that I worry that nothing will fit and I will have to return it all so I just never do it, but my current technique isn't working. I either try to take Riley with and I end up being that mom that is half ignoring her whining child... or (rarely) I find some time alone, but never find anything I like or that fits.

And I would take summer clothes over fall/winter clothes. It's not that I don't love the look of sweaters and boots, I just can't stand wearing layers of clothing. I guess I want to be barefoot and free all the time.

OK, now I am off to check out the Lands End website.