Dressing for Confidence at Any Stage of Motherhood

In this video/post, hosted by my favourite local fitness expert, Kim Holmes, we discuss how to dress your body through the different stages of motherhood. This post was originally shared on her blog over at MyFitCoach.ca. Kim’s fitness challenges, classes, and online training are all geared to help mom’s look and feel their best. Learn more.

Our Interview

Today I’m taking a break from the usual fitness/healthy mom thing to talk about something that ALL Mom’s can relate to…Your ever changing body and how to feel GREAT in it right now.

Let’s face it, your body changes a lot from the time you get pregnant to the time you’re done having kids. You own like 4 different wardrobes, not to mention bras. And while it can be a tad awkward and uncomfortable, I believe that its important to love, accept and basically ROCK the body you are in right now!

So I met up with the lovely Christina Proctor, a Certified Style Coach and owner of  “Wear Out There”. I had a lot of questions (of my own AND for you too) about how to dress your ever changing body as a Mom. I want YOU to take care of yourselves from the inside out and sometimes you just feel better about yourself when you take off your leggings (don’t worry there is still room for leggings!) and put on an outfit that makes you feel amazing.

You can check out my interview with Christina here and read on for some of her best style tips for busy mamas at 3 stages of motherhood:

Christina what style tips do you have for the Mom who has just had a baby but is sick of wearing stretchy pants? She’s ready to look and feel good but doesn’t know how to dress her new body.

When you just have a baby, of course your body has gone through some changes and that’s very exciting! While style is important, comfort is also key. Here are a few of the essentials I recommend:

  •  Wide neckline Tops (e.g. deep v’s) which still allow you access to breastfeed if you choose that, or simply move with ease, which is essential.

  • Flowy tops, which skim your silhouette over a camisole are good options as they will help disguise a tummy.

  • Wrap over shirts with some ruching over the tummy look great as well. Button up shirts are another great option. They are versatile, can be dressed up or down and are visually slimming.

  •  Draped cardigan, which is comfortable, of a decent quality and rather form fitting.

  •  Maternity jeans with an elastic side panel is also useful as they will likely fit your body so much better. 

  • Accessories also will be helpful in brightening up a basic outfit. Choose great stud earrings – nothing dangling for baby to pull, or a statement necklace with some weight to it. An oversized scarf is another great option. It can be used as a nursing cover, when needed, but really adds some style to any outfit.

So what about the Mom who’s trying to lose the baby weight? How can she dress her changing body without spending a fortune on clothing?

The most flattering way to dress after pregnancy is to make sure your clothes fit your body NOW. This will also help you love and accept your body just the way it is – which gives you confidence in any situation. It honestly can be so hard to focus on tasks, when you’re worried about your outfit.

Christina’s tips:

  • Straight leg or boot cut jeans are the best choice, worn with a belt so you can bend and move about with ease.

  • Outfits that are monochromatic on the outside can be super slimming. E.g. black pants, black jacket and a colourful top. All you see on the outside is the long slimming silhouette and then this pop of colour.

  • Invest in shape wear  for those form-fitting outfits can help you feel confident in anything.

  •  Find a really great tailor and have them help you adjust your current pieces. They can work wonders and keep your costs down as well.

  • Check out the consignment stores – there are so many in Waterloo Region and the quality of the garments are great. You could also consider taking your own clothes here that you no longer wear, and potentially get some money off of them. .

So what about Mom’s who are done having kids but feel like they’re body is totally different and they have no idea what’s in style after living in the Mom bubble?

Style is a form of self-expression and really is something that should be fun. I think sometimes it really is overcomplicated, but at it’s core, it’s about helping you feel good about your body. Creating a style that works for you is really about 4 things:

1) Knowing your body shape

I truly believe the best first step is to do a body shape analysis, with a professional, or take your own measurements at home. It is incredibly useful after you’ve gone through a change in your body, to determine which of the 5 body shapes you fall into. This helps give you guidance on which areas to play up on your figure and which to downplay. Each and every shape is unique and beautiful.

2) Knowing which colours work for you

It’s helpful to know what colours flatter your most and the ones that don’t. I offer a colour analysis service to help you find the best colours for you

3) Knowing your Style Personality

Get inspired. Pinterest is amazing for outfit inspiration. Start pinning looks you love and have fun re-creating them. You can look at street style photos, or look in magazines. Think of your style as a tool in your tool box to help support you in reaching your goals, and helping you feel great. Style is personal. Have fun with this new chapter.

4) Knowing your lifestyle and goals

When you’re going through your wardrobe really ask yourself, does this suit the person I am now? Life is constantly changing around us and we’re constantly changing as well. Regularly cleaning out your wardrobe is key to making sure you’re actually wearing everything you have in your closet.

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Choosing a Paint Colour for Our Master Bedroom

Dear readers. It’s been a while since I’ve written on the blog consistently, and a lot has been happening in the past year.  I launched my wardrobe styling business (in-person/virtual), traveled abroad, and purchased a house with my boyfriend. Being a homeowner is new for me, as is living with another person. I hope to explore some of these changes on the blog, along with my style posts, with the hopes of learning from you. This is a big step and a big responsibility, and while I have lots to learn, it is also an exciting new adventure.

With bedroom furniture arriving on October 25th, our first task was to select a paint colour for our master bedroom. It’s currently a soft green, which is lovely but won’t work well with our duvet and furniture.

I fell in love with this gorgeous bedding from Simons, a collection created by interior designer Samantha Pynn. It’s sophisticated, neutral, and will allow us to pull in many different secondary colours. The duvet cover is a natural linen and the tassels are black, white, and grey. My boyfriend was convinced we needed to purchase a wooden bed, so after comparing prices, and looking at store after store in our community, we purchased the Quinden bedroom set from Tepperman’s. To be honest, I’m not thrilled it’s a full bedroom set we purchased. I’m not a fan of everything matching, especially in a small room. But you can’t really beat the price, especially as we got a significant discount. As a first-time homeowner, price does matter, and I will do my best, over time, to layer in some more vintage and unique pieces.

 

From the colour decks provided at Benjamin Moore, I narrowed down our room choices to two colours: Violet Mist and Abalone.

According to their website, Violet Mist is described “as fleeting as the mist hanging over a garden in the early morning hours, this sweet shade of violet has the softest grey undertone.”

violetmist

From the photos I could find on other design blogs, this colour is absolutely gorgeous. It is slightly feminine, which suits my personality. I also love how crisp the colour looks against white, but also seems to work with wood tones.

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{Walls} Violet Mist by Benjamin Moore {Ceiling} Whisper Violet by Benjamin Moore at The Decorologist

Abalone is described as “a never-fail neutral that is an instant classic, and is as charming in a cottage as it is distinctive in a grand estate.”

abalone

When I placed this colour next to the Samantha Pynn bedding, it looked stunning. It pulled out the subtle brownish-grey undertones in the linen while complementing the overall look.  It also looks great with blues, which is a colour I hope to layer in throughout our entire main floor.

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{Walls} Abalone by Benjamin Moore at The Creativity Exchange.

After going back and forth, I finally chose Abalone for our bedroom. While I haven’t painted yet (stay tuned for a photo on Instagram), after reading about the colour more, it also seems to have a subtle lavender undertone. I’m excited to give this a try, and it if doesn’t work out, at least it’s just paint. I can choose again, and learn from my mistakes.

Which colour would you have picked? Violet Mist or Abalone? Comment below.

Express Yourself: Using Clothing to Showcase your Unique Characteristics.

Since the earliest centuries, clothing has been used by people to characterize themselves. Textiles have represented our development as a society, reflecting which materials were available and the technologies mastered in each decade. This is as true today as it was in the past. Clothing even has a social significance suggesting characteristics of an individual’s lifestyle before ever starting a conversation.  For example, some occupations can be identified by their uniforms, celebrations by a guest’s attire, or ambitions by an employee’s chosen garments.

Moral of the story?

Express yourself. Who do you want to be? What do you want to become?

We are all individuals with unique facial features, body shapes, and lifestyles. We must dress to suit our own personalities. As such, it is important to study the self. Determine what suits you and what does not; find the colors that flatter and emphasize your uniqueness; and, when shopping, pay particular attention to the fit of your garments.

According to Christian Dior, “simplicity, good taste, and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing and these do not cost money.” It is possible to be elegant without spending a fortune on clothes if you choose items that suit your personality. The rules of fashion? There are no rules, only guidelines that aim to flatter your singularity.

So take charge lovelies. Wear what complements you. And do not be afraid to mix your mall finds with those pieces that are completely individual.

You have a story to tell. Share it with the world.

Video: Making You and Your Style a Priority

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Making yourself a priority is so important. In this video, I talk about how style is a form of self-care and why it’s important to give your attention to.

Dream Big!

My current read, aka “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You,” has a harsh title, yet is surprisingly full of inspirational tidbits. The book is a biography of Kelly Cutrone, American fashion publicist, television personality and author, detailing her rise to the top and struggles along the way (reality TV fans, you may recognize the name from MTV’s The Hills or The City!).

At the age of 21, Cutrone moved to New York City with few possessions and little direction. While she pursued a traditional job initially, it did not suit her personality. It took losing her job, her apartment, and her identity to finally set her on the right track. By facing these hurdles, and accepting the unique opportunities she was given, Cutrone found her strength and worked hard to prove herself in the fashion industry.

“Sometimes, if not most of the time, you find out who you are by figuring out who and what you are not.”

These “rising from the ashes” stories permeate our culture, and while the common response may be that these kinds of things don’t happen to people me, or I can’t live the life I’ve always dreamed, you would be wrong. We’re born dreamers. Everything of value in our world started as a dream. They are necessary for us to see the world how it should be rather than how it is. If you can dream it, you can live it. It’s about making things happen for yourself and pursuing your passions full throttle.

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Personally, I’ve always had an interest in fashion. While it is not what I studied in school, I’ve always wanted to help others look and feel their best. This is why I studied to be a Style CoachTM and why I do what I do. My blog has turned into an amazing career where I get to help others dream big, and use style as a tool to help them achieve their goals.

Our community is full of everyday heroes, actively shaping their futures and rolling with life’s punches. They view setbacks, e.g. losing a job, as opportunities to pursue their passions. Readers, I am here to tell you that you can do the same. Whether you want to study abroad, learn a new language, visit all 7 wonders of the world, or start your own business, you can do it! You just need to start by taking small steps towards your goals. Take Jessica Burman, owner of local skincare line Cocoon Apothecary for example. After losing her job, she pursued her passion for natural beauty and launched an amazing skincare line which continues to grow each and every year. Bravo!

If you’re looking for inspiration, look to those around you. With a support network in place and a little bravery, you can do anything you set your mind to.

“Dreams won’t always take you on a straight path to destiny, but they’re usually related to what your soul wants for you.”

Here are a few pieces of advice I’ve learned along the way:

  1. Believe in Yourself
  2. Find and Listen to your Inner Voice
  3. Focus on Building a Tribe
  4. Work Hard
  5. Give Back

Be excited about your life, enjoy the journey, and most of all, dream big!