Well folks, I’m now 25 weeks along (23 weeks in these photos) and things are going totally fine. Every morning I wake up and get a surge of excitement knowing that in less than 4 months I’ll have this little baby girl and our family will be complete. No more trying/failing to get pregnant and no more BEING PREGNANT. Just Four. More. Months. I’m not pregnancy’s #1 fan (I am however, motherhoods #1 fan) and in this one I’ve felt way more frumpy and just kinda ‘meh’ than when I was pregnant with Charlie. That’s probably because with him I didn’t have a toddler already, let alone a toddler going through separation anxiety (why now at 18 months!!??) that didn’t want me out of his sight. The first time around I had so much more time. When I wasn’t working, I was working out all the time, sleeping a ton, shopping constantly for adorable maternity clothes and doing silly things like lotioning up my belly to reduce stretch marks (which I’ve done maybe once this pregnancy). It was just so much easier to feel good and look good because I had one less MAJOR thing that I wanted to give my attention to. I see the cycle of looking/acting like ‘a mom’ so much more with 2 kids. Its rather terrifying how fast you slip into the ‘not caring’ phase of your life. At times it’s liberating and yet generally terrifying – because lets face it, you do care, you just don’t have time to follow up with what ‘caring’ requires from you.
Meanwhile when we brainstorm blog content my staff is always like ‘what about maternity fashion posts?’and I instantly respond, ‘I know, I know, I should but I just don’t feel like it.’ What I’m really thinking is I feel gross, my body is soft, I’m not a model, my last fashion post was humiliating, I work out once a week at most, I’m not a fashion expert or even particularly fashion forward, let alone the fact that fashion is not interior design related (although it’s obviously style related).
But then I thought about how much I love seeing what some design bloggers that I follow are wearing (Joy, Erin) and so I tried to change my game and thought to myself Calm down, you don’t have to do anything fancy. Just go to your favorite stores in an afternoon and then pretend you are 26 again and, you know, TRY for 15 minutes to pull together an outfit that you don’t hate. Then call Steph and have her shoot 5 of them in an afternoon. So that’s what I did.
Before I get into it, the point of this whole ramble is that by taking 3 hours to shop and then another hour or so to actually plan the outfits, I felt WILDLY better about myself and my pregnancy (fine, the spray tan didn’t hurt). I was feeling seriously frumpy, wearing mainly muu muus and just feeling like giving up looking cute til six months after the birth. Every now and again I would feel sorry for Brian for marrying such a slob and then my inner irrational demon would say Feel sorry for HIM? The guy who gets a free family????? The guy that can eat philly cheesesteak sandwiches every night for dinner, and never gains weight??? And then I was like, Screw it…. Where is that tent dress? But I was the one suffering more than him because I was just letting myself feel gross and sad and then taking it out on him. I seriously wouldn’t want to be married to me while I’m pregnant.
I know this job kinda forces me to do things that are a little outside my comfort zone (like these posts) and many of you don’t have this kind of job. But I am hereby asking, begging, giving permission and more importantly encouraging you to get out there and just put a tiny bit of time and effort in when you are feeling blah, because most of the time its just a matter of having some new on-trend pieces that are flattering to make you feel so much better. Spend some money on yourself, please. Combine just a few new pieces with what you already have (or in my case buy some clothes that actually FIT) and I promise you will feel better.
This outfit is clearly not revolutionary but I love it for my lifestyle right now. Its extremely comfortable, easy to wear, is totally my style and I feel good in it. Every body is different so i’m not saying this is universally flattering, but that shirt (this one is AWESOME, too) has these little cute sleeves that exaggerate the width of the shoulders THUS decreasing the visual width of the rib cage (and making you look slimmer through the middle). But it doesn’t hug the belly so its comfortable and flattering (pregnant or not).
The shorts are maternity and are super comfortable and affordable (although I wish that those elastic panels were light blue instead of dark blue). Those Rachel Comey shoes (I can’t find those online right now) are my current favorite everyday shoes – although the color of the leather has changed A LOT since I purchased them 6 weeks ago, so be warned. Nude shoes are always flattering (they make your legs look longer). These have a 2″ chunky heel which makes my legs actually longer, and they are so comfortable I can wear them walking/standing all day long, even at the flea market. I’m not a shoe person, but I will probably buy another pair of these before they leave the stores (of course, now I can’t find them) because in LA you can wear these year round and I love them that much. Although frankly for $280 they should last a few years without me needing to buy two pairs, right?
One of the other ways I convinced myself to do these more fashion/lifestyle shoots was to get some more photos with that kid. Sharing the camera with him makes me FAR more comfortable, and then I don’t “pose” quite so much (not to mention its easier to smile naturally around him).
My encouragement really goes out to all of you ladies – moms or not, working in the home or away from the home. Please. Take an afternoon to make yourselves look/feel better. Go get a spray tan, get your hair highlighted or blown out (or grays covered – OR ALL OF THE ABOVE), your nails done, your makeup done at a blush bar and buy (or borrow) a couple new ‘go-to’ outfits that flatter your body. Sure, you may not be able to swing all of that at once, but man, I had been neglecting myself really bad. And when you neglect yourself you feel gross and ugly and when you feel gross and ugly you get resentful and look for someone/something to blame – at least I do. I can’t blame this little innocent baby in my belly that I already love so much, nor can I blame that innocent toddler that yells ‘mama, up!’ with his arms reaching towards me all day, so instead I was blaming Brian or my job – neither of which were to blame.
While most of you won’t do all the above and then book a photo shoot to shoot your outfits I HIGHLY suggest that you pull together a few outfits that you love and then take photos of them with your phone for reference. I did that before we started the shoot (mostly to not waste the photographers time), and now I have these photos to reference for whenever I think, ‘UGH I HAVE NOTHING THAT LOOKS GOOD’. I have five outfits that I like, and if you guys are into these posts I’ll post the rest of them. If you aren’t at least I now have five outfits that I can throw on when i’m feeling frumpy and I plan on wearing these 5 outfits all summer … as in you might get sick of seeing them over the next 2 months. 🙂
*Photos by Stephanie Todaro, Makeup by Danielle Walch (I did my hair this time due to time – I’m telling you because I don’t want you all thinking that she would ever let my hair be that messy on purpose, its my fault:))