Show Some Shoulder.

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.

BR Navy.jpg

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?!

Outfit Details:
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.

Fuchsia Silk & Navy Wool.

Spring has sprung! I don't know about you, but spring clothes always feel so refreshing and peppy. This little number is no exception, and I wore this out on a little day date with my man when the weather was just right. Clothing has been a little bit challenging lately, since I feel like a stranger in my own postpartum bod. I am continuously having to change the way I think about what I see in the mirror, to the point where I speak out loud positive things about myself. I sound like a self-help dweeb in my bathroom, but I'd rather be that instead of getting into a negative slump. Over time, feeling bad about your look can seep into every part of your life, and I am determined to keep my mind healthy while I have grace for my body as it continues to evolve.

It's easier said than done.

But let's talk more fun things! Like day dates and beer flights and cute clothes that make you feel like spring has arrived. I love this look because it's a fresh twist on some really solid classics. I am a big fan of blazers (I have a few too many in my closet) because they always feel appropriate and versatile and chic. This navy shade of the 1-button peplum blazer is ultra classic, with a preppy pattern and a tailored cut. And you can't really see it in these pics, but the collar has a gray felt lining underneath - if you're bold enough to pop a collar, this is the one you do it with! The mega bright fuchsia shade of this silk tank is my favorite - it's a great confidence booster when you need some lively color therapy! I know silk isn't really practical to wear around messy toddlers and babies, but that's why it's a good reprieve from my normal mom clothes. It's fun to wear something on a date that feels like you're on a date. These baby blue jeans (yes, they're maternity, still rockin' the maternity wear...) gives this outfit a playful edge, which I'm always a fan of. And of course, I had to pair it with my new golden flatform sandals because, well, my sister told me to.

When it comes to clothing, my sister is always right.

I love when clothes make me feel. This particular look made me feel confident, put-together and playful. Banana does a bang up job of creating pieces that look classy without going stodgy. And of course, they always hold up like a dream. Stevie has Banana shirts from when we were dating - and they look amazing, still. 

We spent this particular afternoon exploring a nearby downtown square, taste testing beer flights and sliders. And letting the season's pale sunshine warm our tired hearts. We are eagerly trying to soak up all the rest we can get these days (living with a toddler and a newborn is like getting your beauty sleep punked every single night), but since the shut eye is minimal, we figure the least we can do is steal a few hours away for a break every so often. And day dates really are my favorite!

What are your ideas for day dates? I would love some new ideas, especially since spring has emerged! Picnics, parks, flying kites - what do you do when you go on daytime dates? Would love to hear from you! xox

Outfit Details:
Banana Republic Peak Lapel Peplum Blazer
Banana Republic Easy Care Double Sleeve Tank
Paige Maternity Jeans (past season, similar here and here)
Mossimo Nonie Metallic Flatform
Anthropologie earrings (sold out, similar here and here)
Stella & Dot "K" Necklace
Stella & Dot Engraved Necklace (Chain + Tags)

Many thanks to Banana Republic for sponsoring this post. All opinions expressed are my own.