I've never really shared why I think clothing matters.
Clothes aren't vain or shallow or silly. Clothes are powerful. They speak, breathe and feel. They encourage and inspire, they challenge and surprise. One of my favorite quotes about fashion, hilariously enough, is from Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl (judge me all you want, that show was my guilty pleasure), "Fashion is the most powerful art there is. It's movement, design and architecture all in one."
Since becoming a mama, I've actually gravitated more towards fashion and developing my own sense of style. By default, when you become a mom, you enter into a season of endless sweatpants and topknots and tennis shoes that accompany the naptimes, sleepless nights and hectic newborn routine.
There is nothing wrong with this "momiform", this is normal. But I have learned through my own experience that if you aren't careful, the sweatpants will eat you.
Okay, they won't eat you. But they will eat up something inside of you, very slowly over time, this tiny little bit of self-worth that says, "I am worth the effort of 5 minutes of hair and makeup. I am worth wearing a cute shirt and necklace instead of the same nursing tank 4 days in a row. I am worth a new pair of shoes every now and then."
The level of sacrifice that mothers faithfully give everyday to their families absolutely astounds me. Women are amazing. My mom - she's absolutely amazing. She never made me feel like I was an inconvenience. And yet, she did a great job of taking good care of herself. She exercised. She ate healthy. She and my dad worked extremely hard to send me and my sisters to every cheerleading camp and chorus trip and a yearly summer beach vacation. And my mom was always, always stylish.
She showed me that she was important, that her self-worth wasn't a selfish endeavor, and that enjoying beauty wasn't frivolous. My mom's style is ecstatically bold and bright, stocked with armfuls of silver bangles and botanical scarves and strappy sandals. She has shown me that fashion, cultivating one's own style - this is an art to be enjoyed. A lifetime journey of tweaking, growing, changing and discovering one's own style. Allowing yourself to grow. Allowing your body to change shape. Allowing yourself to feel beauty, inside and out.
Clothing matters because it is an intimate insight into who you are.
And also, clothes are like, really really fun.
I am currently getting re-acquainted with my body. My fleshier postpartum size can be frustrating, but it is also an invitation into a greater depth of self-love. Instead of disliking what I see in the mirror, instead of clinging onto the past with a fear grip, I am invited to see what will be compatible for me in this fresh season. I don't want the body of 18-year-old me (okay, I admit that might be nice here and there), but honestly - knowing what my body is capable of now is incredible! It's endured childbirth and overcome surgery and it is continuing to nourish and sustain a human. I don't know what could possibly be more miraculous and sexy and sensational - it's powerful. And sometimes when I feel powerless, clothes help to remind me. Remind me to give myself grace and celebrate.
I am absolutely loving the cold-shoulder and off-the-shoulder trend this season. I think it is one of the most flattering ways to highlight beautiful parts of every woman's figure - the shoulders, decolletage and neck. These are elegant lines on virtually every woman, and if you're feeling a little bit uncomfortable in your skin these days - this trend is for you. And for me. I am hoping that the off-shoulder look sticks around for a bit because I adore how flattering it is. Banana Republic sent me this butterfly-esque top and this lasercut dress, both sporting the off-shoulder detail, and I am loving how I feel in these clothes. With Easter just around the corner, a few other Banana Republic spring pieces that I am loving are this tropical top, this chambray dress, and this scallop top - their entire spring line is giving me goosebumps lately. I love all the super feminine details.
And now I have to ask - what does clothing mean to you? Do you find your style evolving in different stages of life? And also - have you found the perfect Easter dress yet?!
Look 1: Banana Republic Structured Off-Shoulder Top c/o, Free People Rolled Crop Skinny Jean, Anthropologie Sparkle Slides (similar here and here), Stella & Dot Covet Initial Necklace
Look 2: Banana Republic Lasercut Crepe Cold-Shoulder Dress c/o, Franco Sarto Wedges (similar here and here), Gap Round Frame Sunglasses, Stella & Dot Freya Fringe Necklace, Stella & Dot Ansley Cuff
Many thanks to Banana Republic for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are my own.