Monday, August 1, 2011

What (Not?) to Wear

I never thought I would miss my business casual uniform.  But to be honest, I kind of do.

There's something so simple about it.  Pair of pants.  Button down shirt.  Maybe a sweater, or a dress that went to the knees.  Apart from the once a month jeans day, my wardrobe was pretty predictable.  (*Author's note - have you ever been at a law firm when it is jeans day?  The twinkle in the attorneys' eyes, the spring in their step... truly magical).  Now?  I don't have much use for the business casual clothing anymore.  They sit in a box in the attic.  

So what do I wear?

When Casey was born, it was pajamas.  I have a lot of pajamas, none of which are particularly cute.  Picture some kind of pajama pant with mismatched torn, decade old sorority t-shirt, and that was pretty much how you would find me October - March of this year.   Then the sun started staying out longer, and I started feeling more comfortable leaving the house with two children in tow.  And I have to say, my clothing and style generally leave a lot to be desired.

There is a fine line between not caring and caring.  And I have to say, I have fallen below that line more often than not.  It's not that I'm sloppy.  It's just that I don't make much of an effort.  Hair is generally pulled back in a ponytail, because I usually shower at night and fall asleep on a wet head and there's not much else I can do in the morning.  Make up?  Ha ha ha ha ha ha.  I barely wore any pre-kids, so that has gone to the wayside.  Contacts?  I pretty much only wear those if I am going out on a weekend, and that doesn't happen too much.  And in terms of my clothes, it is generally jeans or one of the three pairs of shorts I wear, and an assortment of Old Navy t-shirts.  I never really saw that much of a problem with this.  After all, by the end of the day I will generally be sweaty, spit-up on, and overall disheveled regardless. 

But last week I hit a new low.  I had to pick Braden up from camp, and time got away from me.  I was feeding Casey lunch and all of a sudden I realized that I had to leave NOW.  Still in my old sorority t-shirt pajamas, I threw on a pair of jeans and ran out the door.  No make up.  No bra.  And halfway there, I realized that I had not yet brushed my teeth.  Jeez.

Honestly, I don't know how some moms do it.  I see them at the park, or a playdate, and they look so good.  So put together.  Hair has clearly been blown dry and straightened.  They even have mascara on.  Mascara!  They have cute outfits with shoes that aren't flip flops and manicured nails.  It's not that I can't look like that, or don't want to look like that.  It's just that in midst of chasing kids around all day and making food and changing diapers and exercising and blogging, primping myself is the last thing on my mind.  As much as I hated having to get dressed up for work everyday, at least it forced me to do just that - get dressed up, put on some make up, and look a bit presentable.

In addition to the lack of time, I also have to say that I don't even know what is appropriate to wear these days.  The last time I wasn't pregnant and wasn't working and was fully outfitted for the summer was the summer of 2005, when I was newly engaged, childless, and weighed about 110 pounds.  Now that I am a mom and over 30, what is appropriate?  Can I still wear a bikini (please answer yes, because I still do).  What about shorter shorts - like to the mid-thigh?   And going out (on the rare occasion that I do) is a whole other story.  My former nighttime Manhattan slut shirts purchased from Forever 21 are no longer appropriate for sure.  This past Saturday, I went out in a new shirt I had recently bought - a strapless halter type shirt.  We got IDed at dinner, and my friend commented that it was probably because of the shirt I was wearing.  I laughed at the time, but in retrospect I have to wonder: when is it time to stop wearing shirts like that?  The Britney Spears song keeps echoing in my head:  "I'm a girl, not yet a woman..."  (Remember classic Britney?  Love that song).  I'm a woman, not yet a middle-aged woman....  Or maybe I am.  Maybe I'm just a few years away from a boy short haircut.  

In the midst of this identity crisis, I went shopping last weekend to buy a dress to wear to a wedding we are attending in Santa Barbara in September. It is a black tie wedding, and will probably be one of the nicest I ever attend.  I want to look GOOD for this wedding.  So I bought an awesome dress.  I bought way too expensive shoes.  I plan to lose four more pounds (ha!).  I plan to get my hair done for it.  Maybe even get my make up done.  Maybe even a spray tan?  I plan is to prove to myself that I still can look hot if I really, really try. 

Until then, I'm going to pick up my son today rocking my pony tail and t-shirt, with freshly brushed teeth.


  1. New reader here. So true, so true. I bow down to those moms who look cute. I don't know how they do it, but more power to them. Kudos to you for working in exercise - I have not yet managed that on a regular basis (more accurately, I'm not willing to give up my Real Housewives time, which, itself probably has damaged my fashion sense - I mean, does anyone actually dress like Teresa Giudice?).

    I'm also an attorney mom in the D.C. area, am married to an attorney, and have recently decided that I'm going to give up big-firm life to stay home with my 1-year old son starting this fall. I can relate to so much that you have to say, and your blog has really been an inspiration for me. So thanks, and please keep it up!

  2. @ K- Thank you so much for your comment! I too am a huge Housewives fan. :) And don't be too impressed about the exercise. It doesn't happen on a regular basis, and only consists of Jillian Michaels DVDs (which kick my ass - I highly recommend the 30 day shred).
    Congrats on making the decision to stay home! I wish you the best!!!

  3. I figure it's the same type of women who always looked put together, even during finals week in law school. By finals week, I looked like I'd been hit by a bus and smelled like I'd been laying in the road for a few days after that. And yet, there were still girls in full make-up and cute clothes, and I'm like, WTF? Are you an alien? I can't compete with alien pod people, I just can't.

  4. And now for an original perspective, i'm a DC mother, have a law degree, married to a lawyer...and I quit my job after child no. 2, only to emerge 5 years later as a public policy analyst with a speciality on the economic impact of motherhood! You are in part of a longer process. Shifting identities are part of it, but don't be overly worried, there's a new phase around the corner. Lots of people talking about what you're going through - follow me on FB & Twitter as Your Woman in Washington, Follow Jen Kogan on FB as Counseling and Support for You and Your Family, and Allison Stevens and her MomAgenda at Womens Enews. Motherhood - it's not rocket science. It's harder!!!!

  5. LOVE this post! Was just thinking the same thing myself. I am an attorney who is staying home for a year-long maternity leave to spend time with my 2 year old twins and 3 month old baby. Like you, I could look put together if I wanted to but it is such a low priority when there are so many other things to take care of first. I can't think of the last time I did my hair or put makeup on. I figure life is too short to worry about how I look at the park, as long as my kids are happy!:>)


Copyright ©2011 Small Bird Studios| All Rights Reserved |Free Blog Templates at Small Bird Studios