JUNE 2019: Mom Style

Mom Style

This month is gonna to be fun! There’s self-care/self-love work in there, too (as always!) but our goal is to explore, experiment, find our groove, & elevate our MOM STYLE!

Mom Style is so cliché…yoga pants & mom bun? Is that all there is? #momuniform Truthfully I love yoga pants and mom buns, but sometimes I want something a bit more. Wearing clothes I love or styling my hair or doing my makeup makes me feel “more like myself.” The issue is, I feel like I don’t always have time to put in the effort to get more “dressed up,” (especially on days I don’t want to leave the house!) but this month, I’m going to MAKE TIME…and I’m excited to explore mom style along side my yayas!

There are entire magazines, sites, and stores dedicated to telling us how we “should” look…but we are not going to pay attention to any of that. This month isn’t about trends (unless you absolutely love a particular one and feel gorgeous in it, then own it!). We’re not going to be swayed by advertising or limited by sizing. We’re going to take complete control of our personal style from a centered place of SELF LOVE.

Loving ourselves as we are can feel like an uphill battle at times (for societal &/or personal reasons)—that’s why #bodylove and #selflove movements started in the first place. We’re going to be part of those movements because loving our bodies and ourselves should be normal. That doesn’t mean you have to announce it (unless you want to!), it’s simply going to be a SHIFT we make inside ourselves. We’re going to shift our inner dialogue to a loving one and find the space to be & love ourselves…and then bring that to life on the outside through our individual style.

We’re going to practice self care, love our whole being (including our body!), and start each day with confidence that isn’t defined by clothing sizes or trends, but by what brings us joy and makes us feel beautiful.

There are so many changes that happen to our bodies when we have babies. And our energy can feel zapped to the point we don’t even want to try to pour into ourselves when it comes to fashion. But we have the time and we’re going to take it. We’re going to focus on us for a while…and that’s okay! It’s not selfish! It is absolutely okay to focus on your needs, take care of yourself, and work on loving beautiful, amazing YOU!

When we work on ourselves, we are modeling healthy self-care and growth for our children. We don’t want our kids to have to work through all of these social constructs that have left many of us feeling “less than” simply because we weren’t wearing what others think is “cool” at the time. But this made up idea of what’s “cool” changes all the time (we just didn’t know that as kids). It’s created and morphed by the fashion world to increase sales. We’ve got to drop the emphasis on “cool” and shift to true beauty, which comes from within. We need to model inner beauty & acceptance—especially for our daughters who are going to grow up one day, too. We don’t want them to have to struggle with the same things we’ve had to struggle with and they won’t, because we’re going to be the ones to break that self-conscious cycle!

We need to normalize mental/physical/emotional/spiritual shifts that happen when we enter motherhood. We need to normalize self-care and a sense of pride for what our bodies can do for us. They grow babies, nourish them, carry them, comfort them, move mountains for them. Our bodies are incredible! Love your body for what it does for you! Let’s honor ourselves by wearing clothes that make us feel as incredible as we are!

Loving yourself and embracing where you are on your journey can look like figuring out what you feel beautiful wearing. Pay zero attention to sizes on clothing this month. They don’t define you. Go up 3 sizes if that’s how you want to wear a top, go down if it makes you feel stunning. Sizes mean nothing, they are bogus guides that vary so severely from brand to brand that the only thing they are really good for is trying to figure out if you need to go up or down when trying clothes on. Sizing means nothing. This whole month is going to be filled with similar suggestions and tips for how to move past social constructs and move toward accepting ourselves and working from where we are.

The goal is for us to stop being discouraged and start being encouraged to be our beautiful selves and let that beauty shine by our own standards! Feel free to set goals or just go with the flow. One of my own personal goals I’ve been working toward is to get rid of my “goal clothes” and just deal with “what is.” I have a post-baby body x3—I want to feel good NOW instead of constantly feeling that I’m not “good enough” to fit into those pre-baby clothes that don’t define me. I want to give myself a break and honor where I am now while I work on better overall health. Living in the moment and working with “what is” is so, so freeing!

How We’re Going to Do It:

The Guided Journals are easy. They are published one at a time every day during the month of June. Read the prompt of the day, give it some thought, then answer the questions for yourself and take action. This can look like you writing in a journal (which I recommend! Pen to paper is VERY powerful!) or simply answering the questions in your thoughts. The point is to take the time to reflect and figure out what is important to YOU when it comes to style.

There will also be a lot of conversation happening over on the yayamamasblog Instagram and Facebook pages. That’s where we can share tips and good finds with each other. (Be sure to watch the IG Stories, too!) Pop over there if you haven’t already & join the conversation!

This month we’re going to acknowledge & honor our bodies by honestly looking at where we were before babies, during babies, and post babies—without judgment. There’s no looking back or forward this month…we’re going to embrace our bodies in this moment, experiment with different styles, and find our style groove so that we can take that confidence and love we feel on the inside and bring it to the outside.

Some thoughts before we get started:

1. Consider getting rid of clothes that don’t make you feel like the amazing woman you are. Sell them, donate them, trade them with friends. I have clothes in my closet that have been there for decades. True story: I have a men’s shirt from high school in my closet…Lord help me.

2. Pour into yourself. Feel good about the way you look. I want you to wear what makes you happy. Spend time figuring out what that looks like to you, regardless of what the “sections” of stores, ads, or random sizing on clothing says. You do you, mama!

3. Don’t limit yourself. Try everything. You might be surprised at what styles or colors light you up and make you feel beautiful.

4. Look for inspiration without comparison. There are a lot of ads, catalogs, brands, and Pinterest boards that are filled with limited body types. Ignore that fact. Don’t compare yourself to the one body type. Look for woman who truly embrace who they are (these women who are making a difference!) or try looking at the clothes themselves instead of the models. No one looks the same as someone else in the same outfit. We are all individuals. Embrace that and work from that space. There is no “one size fits all” anything in life (including clothes…I don’t care what the tag says).

5. Know that people are going to notice. When you start to radiate confidence and joy, people take notice. They can’t quite put their finger on it, but they’ll try. For whatever reason, people love to chat about the weather and appearance. It feels like every time I see folks I haven’t seen in a while, there’s always comments of “Have you lost weight? Something is different? Did you cut your hair?” And I swear in those moments I’ve probably gained weight, look the same, and my hair is longer. People are just looking for a way to connect and start “casual conversation” but at a huge disservice to the person on the receiving end if you have any sort of insecurities about looks. This is a lesson I need to work on, too, and that is: people are going to notice that “something looks different” when you are living from a place of self love. Come up with a response that serves you and supports your style goals. If you receive compliments this month, say “thank you!” Try to avoid making excuses or brush off compliments. Embrace and accept them with a gracious “thank you” or whatever feels right to you.

So what’s this going to cost?

The good news: the guided journal is FREE! The clothes? That’s up to you.

What is the cost of change? Well, there’s a few ways to look at it. The literal cost and the personal cost. Change brings all the emotions…discomfort, challenges, frustration, happiness, ease, inspiration, freedom, and pretty much #allthefeels Just know this going into change…even when that change is clothes. And then the literal cost. You can acquire new clothes in your style journey for free or cheap through clothing exchanges, selling clothing, or thrifting. There is a budget curve when we are adjusting to parenthood and/or when our bodies change. Just know that this doesn’t have to be expensive. Come up with a budget that truly works for you and your family. Do what feels good on a personal and financial level.

Here’s the weekly breakdown of topics for Style Month:

Week 1: Where We’ve Been + Where We’d Like to Go
Week 2: Clothes
Week 3: Hair & Makeup
Week 4: Pulling it All Together

June Week 1: Where We’ve Been + Where We’d Like To Go

Pre-Kid Style

Describe your style before kids, including various seasons of your life. What did you love to wear when you were a carefree kid? What about high school? What did you love to wear the most growing up? (I had a pair of light pick high tops in 7th grade that I wore into the ground…hahaha). What do you cringe at looking back? What was your style like just before deciding to have kids?

Today is about taking a trip down memory lane. Looking at where we’ve been can help us on our journey to where we are going. After you’ve made your list, take a few moments to look at how you’re viewing it—with humor? judgment? embarrassment? appreciation? yearning? Jot down a few thoughts about what lens you’re using when viewing your past style choices.

Pregnancy Style

Describe your style during your journey to motherhood (this can include maternity clothes, postpartum transition clothes, etc.). Whether you were pregnant or on a different path, the emotional and physical changes that happen to our bodies on our journey to and through early motherhood can be intense. What was your style during that time? Are you still wearing those clothes? Were your choices out of necessity? Did you enjoy them? Was that time challenging or fun? Were you sick of your clothes by the end or do you miss them? Think about which questions are relevant to your journey and write about them.

Current Closet

Where are you now? Describe your current mom style. What is your biggest clothing influence at the moment? What’s driving your current style? (As an example, my breastfeeding journey dictated what tops I wore for over 5.5 years…high neck shirts, here I come!). How do you feel about your closet? Love it? Half love it? Hate it?

Do you ever have the urge some days to throw it all out and start over?

If you answered yes, I’ve got great news…that urge is totally normal! Our bodies can change a lot from so many baby factors…sleepless nights, pregnancies, nursing, hormones, etc. Huge shifts in our life can make us feel like we want to make huge shifts in all areas.

If you answered no, what do you think is your “secret sauce” to loving your current wardrobe? (Write it down and then go share it with the rest of us on yayamamas IG and FB!)

Trends

What trends have you loved (past or present)? Which ones have you loathed? Were there ones you participated in? Which ones did you want to go along with but didn’t? Were trends important to you in the past? Are they important to you now?

For today’s journal entry, please answer those questions…and then forget them for a moment.

Instead, imagine a world without “trends.” Imagine walking into a store and looking at clothes as if trends didn’t exist and all you had was your own personal preferences driving your purchases. What would you choose? What colors would you be drawn to? What would you avoid?

Now back to reality…trends do exist, but so does the reality that we can make choices based on what we actually like rather than what an advertisement tells us is “cool at the moment.” Sounds simple, but it’s a truth that’s hard for many woman to believe. We don’t have to be “cool.” We don’t have to be “trendy.” We don’t have to fight it either. We can just be ourselves and choose what we want, trendy or not. Do you feel free to do this now or is it something you’re working on? Write about it.

Hair & Makeup Evolution

How has your hair and makeup changed over the years? What styles, cuts, and colors have you loved? Which ones did you regret?

What about make-up…what have you tried and loved? What did you hate? What were your first make-up products like? Who taught you how to use them? What you even taken a class or been shown how to apply makeup or style your hair? If not, have you ever wanted to?

Create a Vision

What would you like to change about your style? What’s your number one priority moving forward? A complete overhaul? Hair? Makeup? Taking more time to put in the effort?

Spend some time today looking at where you want to go! Be clear about what YOU want to look and feel like and try to avoid other people’s opinions or reactions to that vision. If you were to “just be you” and really shine, what does that look like?

*Bonus action: create a vision board or Pinterest board with styles you love and admire to really bring your thoughts to life.

Intentions

What is your goal with personal style really? Is it to love yourself more? Feel more like yourself? Feel like more of a woman and less of a mom? To be more cool? To feel like you fit in with a certain crowd?

Look at what your intentions are behind this journey and see if they align with your values about self-love and self-expression. Then put on something that aligns with your values and vision…something that makes you feel like you—beautiful, genuine, & amazing!

*Bonus: list your style role models. Whose style do you admire most?

June Week 2: Clothes

Brands

Zeroing in on one brand can help bring a clearer vision to your sense of fashion. When I first started searching for a way to refresh my style after becoming a mom, I started looking at various brands and studying them. What did I like about them? What didn’t I like? Could I see myself wearing one “style” of clothing? I ended up loving Wren & Ivory and decided to focus on buying pieces from only one brand for a while to start solidifying what felt like a sense of style…and I loved it.

Today, give this method a try. Start studying a handful of brands that catch your eye and start asking yourself questions: What do you like about them? The patterns? The solids? The way they layer pieces together? How bold they are? Describe each brand’s style (romantic, dark, classic, floral, casual, etc.) and then use those descriptive words to do a search for similar styles as a way to brainstorm new style ideas.

By the way, I reached out to Wren & Ivory and they generously offered the yayas a discount code: yaya10 (10% off your entire purchase, one time use only)

Capsule Wardrobe

Is a capsule wardrobe for you? Ever tried it? Never heard of it? Spend some time researching what a capsule wardrobe is and if it seems like it might be a good fit for you. Many mamas swear by this method. Research it and write your thoughts on how or if the idea could fit into your new style.

Sizes

Sizing on clothing is bogus. Repeat after me: sizing is bogus. It’s a whacked out guide that clothing companies cannot seem to agree on. One brand’s XL is another’s M.

You are not defined by a tag with a bogus size printed on it.

It’s time to clear our minds when it comes to sizes! Our notions from junior high about sizing being important need to go! So many mamas hold onto these thoughts in a way that doesn’t serve them and that all comes to the surface after having babies. There’s a strange pressure to “get back to pre-baby size.” Mama, please. Embrace physical changes that happen to your body—whether they happen because of pregnancy or not. It’s better to work with what is as you’re working on your health and fitness goals than to beat yourself up from the inside every day. Remember, those sizes are totally subjective and all over the place. Figure out what you need in this moment so you can find peace in this moment.

Today we free ourselves from sizing & labels! Today I want you to simply start looking at clothes that are beautiful to you and find a fit (regardless of what the tag says!) that makes you feel as amazing as you are! Give yourself (and your children!) the gift of freedom from size shame.

Write about how sizing has affected your self-confidence over the years. Write down your views on sizing, society, and stereotypes. Finish with affirmations and positive messages that will encourage you to break free from those chaining thoughts.

Bottoms

What types of bottoms do you like most? Capris? Jeans? Leggings? Skirts? A mix? Neutrals? Patterns? What bottoms could you toss from your closet that aren’t serving you? What style of bottoms would you like to try more of or for the first time?

Write about it! Give it some thought today so the next time you go shopping, you have some (self-guided) direction!

Bonus Activity: do an image search for your favorite style of pants or skirts to see how other mamas pair them with tops!

Tops

What types of tops do you like the most? Long-sleeve? Tanks? Button down? Sweaters? Neutrals? Patterns? Layers? What tops in your closet could you toss from your closet that aren’t serving you? What style of tops would you like to try more of or for the first time?

Write about it! Same as yesterday, give it some thought so the next time you go shopping you’ll have some (self-guided) direction!

Bonus Activity: do an image search for your favorite style of tops to see how other mamas pair them with bottoms!

Dresses

What style of dresses do you love the most? To you have a variety or one style you lean toward? Do you prefer patterns or solids? What dresses do you have in your closet that aren’t serving you anymore? What style would you like more of? What styles have you never tried on before but would like to?

Write about it! Give it some thought so the next time you go shopping you’ll have some (self guided) direction!

Bonus Activity: do an image search for different styles of dresses for your body type to see how other mamas are rocking dresses!

Out of the Box

Make a commitment to try on at least two different styles/colors/sizes/etc. this week that you *think* are “not you.”

I did this recently with patterns and colors and quickly discovered that I was missing out on a whole world of cute and flattering clothes simply because I had told myself that I couldn’t/wouldn’t/shouldn’t wear certain things. I was mistakenly limiting myself. Try out this experiment and see if this applies to you, too! Then write about it.

June Week 3: Hair & Makeup

Make Peace with Past Styles

Reflect on what your hair and makeup styles have been in the past. Go back to your June 6th entry and make peace with where you’ve been. What did you love? What makes you cringe? Laugh? Where would you like to go? What are your hair and makeup goals?

This one can bring on some good memories, depending on what decade you grew up in…haha. I was there for the spiral perms and side-swept, tall bangs at the end of the 80s/early 90s. I’m glad to be on the other side of those…my only regret was that I didn’t make peace with those looks sooner. In hindsight, I can see that I wasn’t defined by my ability to fit in with fashion trends.

Love Your Face!

We are going to embrace our face and shine with grace! We just are! Your face is the one your child looks up to and loves so, so much! See yourself through your child’s eyes and love your face as much as your child does.

Figure out what you’re working with and shine from there! Don’t waste any time wishing that things were different…that your skin wasn’t as red or you had zero pimples or less wrinkles or whatever. It’s a waste of time and energy! Life is too short and your kids love you too much (just as you are!) for you to waste any time wishing you were anything other than your beautiful self! The world needs unique you, not some cookie cutter look.

You are beautiful!

One way to begin practicing self love and acceptance is to figure out what you’re working with and make choices from there: What eye shadow colors look best with your eye color? What blush colors or foundations look best with your skin tone? What face cleansers work best for your skin’s unique needs? Don’t know? Ask a friend or consultant to help you figure these things out!

There is no shame in narrowing down your choices or choosing items based on what you need…I’ve heard mamas feel embarrassed because they have to choose products for oily skin because that’s what they have. No need to be embarrassed or ashamed! Oily skin is not a flaw, it’s a fact! Choose what you actually need, not what you wish you would need. I’m telling you, mama, the sooner you embrace your face and love it with all you’ve got, the sooner the freedom and self love start rolling in…and the brighter you shine because our beauty comes from our inner thoughts & love of self more than products or makeup.

What are your favorite features on your face? Which ones have you had to work to embrace? What do you need/did you need to get over those negative thoughts? What mottos, mantras or quotes can you put up on your bathroom mirror to remind yourself that you are beautiful, unique, and amazing? Write about it! Consider posting a photo of your child at a moment where they are beaming at you to remind yourself that that look of love is for beautiful YOU.

Daily Makeup & Skin Care

What are you doing for skin care? What is your routine? Is it working? What are your favorite skin care products you’ve used? What ones have you always wanted to try?

What about your makeup? What are you doing for makeup? What is your routine? Is it working? Are you wanting to switch it up? What are your favorite makeup products? What ones have you always wanted to try? Is there a specific make up style you’ve wanted to try but haven’t been able to figure out?

Mama, you are a gift. Your children love your face. They look up to it, admire it, and receive so much comfort from it. It’s the one they trust and love with all their hearts. Keep that in mind when you’re taking care of it. Let the thought of their love and admiration for it be your mantra as you wash it, care for it, and make it up in a way that makes you feel radiant!

Today’s the day! Make the commitment to head to the store and try that red lipstick or make the appointment for that bold hair color you’ve always wanted to try!

*Please note that I do NOT think that makeup is necessary to be or feel beautiful. It’s something that some women don’t do and that’s great! I’m all about “you do you!” It is a fun habit/hobby for a lot of women and this type of prompt is meant to encourage those of us who do play around with makeup and hair to take it a step further and have even more fun with it.

Brows

What do you know about brows? Shape? Color? Texture? Today is the day we research brow techniques: everything from waxing to microblading and shading to styling.

Write down how you currently take care of and style your brows…what’s working? What’s not? What could you use some advice on? Have you talked with your girlfriends about them? A professional? Just ignored them up to this point? Write about what you’d like to know about brows and then seek out some answers!

Love Your Hair!

Today we’re going to love our hair and shine from there! This is the day that we let go of the myth that the grass is greener on the other side when it comes to curly vs. straight hair, which color is best, etc. We’re going to embrace our current hair situation and then see if there are any changes we’d like to make from there.

What is your hair like now? Color? Length? Texture? Style? Make a list.

Now look at that list…do you feel good about it? Are you frustrated with anything that’s on it? Do you love your hair? Has it been a battle your whole life? Write about what your current feelings are about your hair and how this has or hasn’t changed over the years. Do you talk negatively about your hair to others? Do you make excuses on good hair days or do you accept compliments when you receive them?

My best advice is to embrace the hair you have at this moment. Then work with a stylist or find people who have hair similar to yours to figure out what moves you’d like to make next, if any. The point of today is to love your hair as is and appreciate it. We can move forward with the best style and color choices once we write down what we’re working with and embrace it!

Bonus Activity: Since it’s hair day, feel free to take a shower today, do a hair mask, or deep condition…something that makes you feel good about your hair TODAY!

Braids, Pixie Cuts, Etc

What hairstyles have you always wanted to try? Which ones have you tried? Which did you love? Which were a no go? How often do you experiment with different styles? Are you stuck in a style rut? Is there a style you admire that you’d like to try? Write out your answers or look up ideas for inspiration!

Today write about hairstyles and commit to trying new styling techniques, clips, braids, a new cut, etc. in the near future. Start watching those “how to” videos now so that when you’re motivated on a random morning to try something new, you already have a bit of information to pull from!

Affirmations

What saying or quotes give you confidence? Which ones make you feel beautiful or give you a sense of strength?

Don’t have one? Look some up! Write down which ones speak to you and keep them written down nearby as a reminder of this journey toward more self-love and body positivity!

June Week 4: Pulling It All Together

The Shoes

Let’s pull it all together with a good pair of comfy shoes! What’s your shoe collection like? Do you like shoes? Are they important to you? Do you have a favorite pair? Are all of your shoes comfortable? What requirements do you have for shoes in order to buy them? Have you ever looked up photos for various outfits/styles to get inspiration for shoe pairings? Write down your answers to see where you are and/or where you’d like to be when it comes to shoes.

Bonus: Option to take action! Throw out, sell, or donate any shoes that don’t serve you…if they are uncomfortable or you just don’t wear them, get rid of them!

Accessories

That little extra…the bangle, the headband, the necklace, the bag. the sunglasses. Do you have favorites? If so, write about them. Why do you love them? Do you find accessories practical or a pain? Write about it!

Are there some accessories you’d like to wear more? New ones you’d like to try? Ones you’d like to get rid of or replace? Figure out where you are with accessories…then research new ideas and inspirations for how to dress up your outfits!

Be Bold

Try something daring today. Put on the dark lipstick, try the thick eye liner, wear your hair a new way, step out in more accessories than you ever have before…do what feels bold to you. Write about it. Take a photo. Give it a try.

Bras

Is there ever a time in our lives when bras are the best and worst things ever at the same time than after you become a mother? How are your bras doing? Do they fit? Do you love them? Despise them? Do some from your collection need to be banished? Do you have a collection of pre-baby bras just lying around in a sad heap? (I do).

What do you need RIGHT NOW? New bras? A fitting? Have you ever been properly fitted and measured? Recently? What do you * think * is your current size? When was the last time you had that confirmed? Write about where you are and where you’d like to be when it comes to bras.

Jewelry

Do you wear jewelry? If so, what do you wear? Does it have meaning to you or do you do it for fashion (or both)? Do you like to wear jewelry? Would you like to wear more but have little? Are you more yellow gold, rose gold, silver, or a mix?

Write about where you are when it comes to jewelry. Are there styles you’d like to try? Pieces you’d like to toss or sell? Broken ones you’d like to have fixed? Does your jewelry need a good cleaning? Today’s the day take a look in your jewelry box, figure out where you are and where you’d like to be. Write about it…and plan to take action!