Motherhood & Fashion: Not Mutually Exclusive
I am very fashion-conscious, and when I discovered I was expecting, I envisioned nine months of tent dresses and frumpy maternity jeans. I remember when I ripped the belt loop on my favorite pair of jeans and realized that I would have to bite the proverbial bullet and buy maternity clothes. Surveying my wardrobe, I felt as if I were parting with dear friends.
When I first started looking through the maternity sections of my usual fashion stores, I was disappointed with almost everything I found. I grudgingly bought a pair of jeans that were completely out of style and a couple of blouses, but was unhappy with these purchases before they were even made. Then I lucked out at a couple of stores and found some really cute maternity fashions! I purchased jeans that were comfortable for my expanding belly while still being stylish, and tops that accentuated my femininity, rather than making me look like a walking beach ball in a shirt.
I am a teacher, so professional clothing is a must, but I was able to find slacks and dresses that were not only suitable for my professional environment, but also for going to church on the weekends, where I teach Sunday school. Maxi dresses are versatile enough to be appropriate for these settings and comfortable for weekend lounging. I am on my feet all day, resulting in swollen ankles and feet, but I wear flip-flops and sandals most of the time. Of course, heels are a thing of the past (for now), but I don’t even miss them.
The real challenge is going to come after my babies are born. I am expecting twins and plan to return to work as soon as I am able, so I need to find fashions that are easy and versatile, and that will accommodate my plans to pump every opportunity I can, which may include at church before or after Sunday school. Thankfully, wrap dresses are back in vogue, and there are all sorts of post-maternity tops that are designed to facilitate the lives of new mothers.
It used to be that women had three styles from which to choose: before baby, during pregnancy, and after baby. “Mom jeans” terrify me, and while these are still apparently fashionable in some circles, I am relieved that I no longer have to pretend that I’m still eighteen in order to be stylish. Nor do I have to pretend to be pushing retirement to show up at church. It’s fairly widely accepted that women be fashionably dressed for church services. Modesty no longer has to mean a high collar and ankle-length hemlines. Women’s fashion is constantly evolving, and fashions seem to stay in vogue for a lot longer than they used to be.
Because of this, I am confident that most of my pre-baby clothing will still be in style when I am able to fit into them again. In the event that I am not able to get back down to my old size, there are cute fashions and respectable professional and conservative styles to choose from in all of my favorite stores.
Becoming a mother is a life-altering event. My life will never return to its former carefree status, but I am okay with this. In fact, I am ecstatic at the changes I foresee in my future! However, my sense of style is not something I am willing to let go of, now or ever, and thanks to a fashion world that is finally taking the needs of mothers into account, I won’t have to.