Jan 13 2014

Rediscovering my style as a mom (Guest Blogger Autumn Bonner)

 

Hello Everyone!  We are so excited to have Autumn Bonner from Tailored Fitness here today to share how she has rediscovered her style after becoming a mom.  Regardless if you are a mom or not, she has some awesome tips and a great list of essentials for your wardrobe.  


 

Hi Ladies! I am so honored to get to share on Marissa and Alisa’s fabulous blog. I have been following the blog for some time now and have been pinning away their posts for my next crafting session.  Marissa and I were in the elementary education program together at Point Loma and we reconnected a few months ago when I spoke at the moms group at her church.  As life would have it, neither of us are actually teaching anymore, but we both have the joy of being moms and sharing our passions online!

My passion lies in the area of health and fitness. I was fortunate enough to grow up in an active family where my mom taught me the value of exercise and eating healthy. It was such a gift for me as a child and I am now striving to help other moms learn to live healthy so that they can bless their children in the same way. My company, Tailored Fitness, allows you to create a custom workout that you can stream to your computer, tv, or ipad and squeeze in at home during nap time or while your kids play nearby. We also have a fabulous community of women that all support each other as we strive to find health and balance in the midst of motherhood. If you are interested in learning more, you can visit our website to sign up for a free trial, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest. Today I am going to share a little bit about how I re-discovered my style as a mom. Hope you enjoy it!

It’s no secret that having a baby changes everything! One of the most obvious changes is of course your body and what you wear. Here was my experience:

  • First I had to figure out what to wear during the first few months of pregnancy when I didn’t really look pregnant yet, just like I had eaten a big lunch.
  • Then I had to figure out how to “style the bump” during those last few months of pregnancy.
  • After I had Sienna, I pretty much lived in yoga pants and sweatshirts for a month or two as I adjusted to being a new mom and worked on getting something that resembled my pre-baby body back.
  • Then I went through an awkward phase where my maternity clothes were too big, but my regular clothes were too small.  I bought a couple things to tide me over, but I really didn’t want to get comfortable at that size.  If you read my journey to post-baby best posts know that it took 10 months of hard work to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight where I really felt like my clothes were fitting again.
  • To add to the complications, I was nursing, so every top had to have easy access for feeding time.
  • Plus, as a stay at home mom, my clothing needs weren’t the same as when I was working, since I wasn’t exactly sporting my pencil skirt and heels around the house.

I have always enjoyed fashion and trying to find my style. I even got to meet with a fashion consultant a few years back for an experience similar to “What not to Wear”, which was amazing!  But for the past 2 years while I was pregnant and nursing, I really had a hard time figuring out what to wear.  I’m not into brand names or trends, I just want clothes that make me feel put together, but are practical for my everyday life as a mom.  For my birthday this year, I received some spending money and I decided to put it towards building my new “mom wardrobe.”  I did a little research before hand and looked at a few fashion blogs for inspiration.  I even started a Pinterest board! Then I headed to the mall for some shopping (kid free thanks to my awesome hubby).  I found some great pieces that I have been mixing and matching over the past month and I finally feel like I have clothes are a good fit for my new mom lifestyle!

I know from talking to friends, that I am definitely not alone in the struggle to figure out what to wear as a mom to look cute, but be able to run around the playground, and not worry if your pants get covered in your baby’s snack food.  So I thought I would take a moment to share what I have found and maybe it will help some of you who are going through the same phase of life!  (By the way, I would totally wear all of these outfits if I didn’t have kids too, so they are great ideas for anyone looking to build their casual wardrobe.)  Here are some of the key pieces that have become staples in my “mom wardrobe” and how I mix and match them to make outfits!

Leggings

I probably love leggings so much because they are just like workout clothes (which are my all time favorite clothes to wear), but lately I have been seeing leggings everywhere!  I loved the idea, but had trouble finding tops that were long enough to wear with them.  My friend Kyle introduced me to the blog Pinterest told me to and right about the time I started reading it, she did an entire post about how to style leggings. If you have time, you should read it, she is hilarious and gives a ton of great ideas!

So to start, I ordered a good pair of leggings! I had other leggings in my drawer, but they were either too see-through or I ended up pulling them up all day because the elastic had worn out. This pair I ordered from Nordstrom have been fabulous! They even help smooth out the muffin top area to minimize bumps. Now, what to wear with leggings:  I had 2 dresses in my closet that worked, but they were both a little fancy and I wanted something more casual. I ended up getting this tunic and this shirt from Nordstrom, both of which have worked great!

A quick note on Nordstrom.  Before meeting with the fashion consultant a few years back, I had never set foot in Nordstrom. I just thought that everything at Nordstrom was expensive and I figured there was nothing there I could afford. I was totally wrong and now Nordstrom has become one of the places I shop regularly. Especially because I can shop online with free shipping and they have a great return policy. Shopping with Sienna is challenging, so being able to look through things online instead is so much better.  The other reason I love Nodrstrom is because they do alterations, sometimes for free. When you are only 5’4 like me, every pair of pants you buy needs to be shortened. Nordstrom will usually hem them for you for free. I also almost always need the waist taken in.  Part of being a pear shape is that you need a bigger size for your thighs, but then the waist ends up being too big.  Nordstrom does charge for this alternation, but it is well worth it to have a pair of pants that fit you well.

So here are two of my legging outfits I wear regularly!

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Boots

Another thing I wear all the time as a mom is my boots (as seen above).  Tall boots are so practical for a mom because they are comfortable (no heels), yet stylish. I always feel dressier wearing boots, but I can run around with Sienna no problem or walk a good distance without getting blisters.  I pair them with leggings and skinny jeans and in the spring and early fall when it’s warmer, I wear them with dresses.  These exact boots were ones that I got several years ago when I met with the fashion consultant. My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw the price tag on them and I almost didn’t get them, but she convinced me that they would be worth it and she was right. I am totally ok with having fewer quality pieces in my clothes than lots more clothes that are less expensive. There really is a value to a quality piece.  If you don’t have a pair of flat boots in your closet, I would definitely recommend checking out the sales and picking some up!

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Scarves

Have you ever noticed how celebrities are always wearing scarves?  They know that this simple accessory can make an ordinary outfit look great.  Take a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, then throw on a scarf and you instantly look fashionable.  For moms, scarves can serve an alternate purpose of covering unexpected food stains or even nursing leaks :).  My favorite kinds of scarves are the light weight cotton ones. Now I know those of you who live where you actually have winter use scarves to stay warm, but since us San Diego ladies use them as an accessory, we can stick to the light weight kind.  They lay flat and don’t feel too bulky so you can wear them all day. Infinity scarves are my new obsession. My friend Jessica bought me the one in the picture below for my birthday this year and I love it! It makes me want to sew the ends of my other scarves together to make them all infinity scarves.  Scarves are a great compliment for boots and leggings and the best part is that they are cheap!  I have my eye on this one from Nordstrom.  If you choose a non-infinity scarf, there are tons of ways to tie it.  You may have seen this video that shows 25 ways to tie a scarf in 4 minute.  Awesome right? Overall, scarves are a great cheap way to dress up an outfit and are definitely practical for life as a mom.

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Jeans

No surprise here, jeans are a staple for every mom!  My favorites are skinny jeans because they allow me to wear them either with flats or boots.  Side note, the leopard print flats I am wearing in the picture below are actually crocs!  They are SO comfortable! I originally bought them for our trip to Egypt and Israel a couple years ago and I have been so pleased with them! Crocs have come out with some really cute styles lately.  Ok, back to jeans, I am really enjoying these distressed jeans I got from Nordstrom because they are so casual and work well with a lot of tops.  I also love these dark skinny jeans because they have a ton of stretch (almost as much as my yoga pants), which makes them great for playing on the floor with Sienna.

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Corduroy pants

Another super comfy option for pants are corduroys.  I found this pair at the LOFT, another one of my new favorite stores.  They are just as stretchy as the jeans and a little warmer. Since they are skinny too, they work with flats or boots. I see myself getting a lot of wear out of these and maybe even picking them up in another color for spring.

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Well, I don’t claim to be a fashion expert, but I hope you have enjoyed this post and come away with a few fun ideas for your wardrobe.   For more ideas, follow my Pinterest board and if you are interested in exercise and recipe ideas, you can follow my blog here. Have a great week ladies!

 

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