When I was growing up, I always considered myself to be a fairly fashionable person. I usually had trendy clothes. I felt like I fit in. And even when I was pregnant, I looked pretty decent. I had some cute maternity clothes! But, for every mom, there’s that period of time post-baby when you are trying to fit into all your old clothes, so you don’t buy anything new; or if you do, it’s something to just get by. Nothing fits or looks right, and you don’t exactly feel very fashionable at that point.
Maybe it’s just me, but has anyone else had that moment after having a baby where you realize that you’ve sunk to an all new fashion low? It’s like a postpartum fashion black hole. For me, that low came after my second child was born, the day I bought a sweat skort. Yes, you read that right. Let that sink in—the sweat skort. It was a skort made of sweatshirt material that I actually wore and owned in multiple colors. But I digress. . .let me start from the beginning.
The purchase of the aforementioned sweat skort occurred sometime after my son’s birth. He was my second child, so the fashion “ummph” that had compelled me to paint my toenails while I was in labor with my first baby so I would look decent had dissipated. Fashion had given way to comfort. So, one day I was at Costco getting the essentials when I saw it—the sweat skort.
“Wow,” I thought! “It looks so comfortable! That elastic waist and built-in shorts is so practical! It even has a drawstring to adjust with my ever changing size! And it will wash up so well! Also, it fits, and it is literally right here in front of my face, so it’s a yes!”
Fast forward. My son is now a few weeks old. We are having milk supply issues, so I am attending a lactation support group like the good mama that I am. What did I wear to the group? You guessed it—the sweat skort. The lactation group didn’t care what I wore. . .they were always half dressed anyhow. It was a super casual event. Then I made the decision to run by the Brookwood Mall for lunch. All I wanted was for my recently fed baby to sleep while my toddler and I scarfed down some nuggets from Chik-fil-a in the mall food court. I didn’t think I would see anyone I knew. I was just popping in for a second, right? What are the chances??
And then I saw her.
She was a former sorority sister, and she was walking in the mall corridor with her twin girls, her perfectly put together twin girls. I’m talking smocked dresses, Mary Jane shoes with ruffled socks, and neatly brushed hair pulled back with a ribbon. Both girls were holding their mom‘s hand and smiling in perfect obedience. The mom was slender, trendy, and put together, down to her perfect make up and curled hair.
I glanced down at my sweat skort. I wonder if I should tuck in my sad, old, stretched-out boxy T-shirt. I smoothed my hair that I had pulled, unbrushed, into what I could call a messy bun, but honestly should have just been called a mess. I smiled, picked up my son, and took my toddler (still chewing on a nugget) in hand and walked over to greet my old friend.
Then I had a moment of realization. I had just birthed a dang human and, gosh darn it, we ladies get a fashion pass for a little bit! Heck, we even get a basic hygiene pass for a hot minute. So, I held my head high in my sweat skort. I’d earned my right to be wearing that delightfully comfy piece of clothing. Besides, we all get our fashion groove back eventually. (Now, 13 years later, there are no sweat skorts in sight in my closet.)
So mamas, whatever your fashion equivalent of my sweat skort is, you wear it with pride. Give yourself some fashion grace. Walk into the grocery store in your husband’s t-shirt, or wear your pajamas when you have visitors. You’ve earned it!