Monday, April 19

Style Shifts

When I first got married, a whole lot of my friends and acquaintances were also getting married. And I remember telling Adam that I was not going to start wearing Khakis just because we were married. I think he was surprised by this, as guys do not generally change how they dress for decades, but releived, since I only wore khakis when the Choir director made me. It would have been weird for me to suddenly change my style.

However, most of the girls I knew acquired a subtle shift in their outfits once they became Mrs. Not too unusual, as we ladies have a tendency to dress for the occasion, and all occasions feel a little different after such a big life change. But I noticed a positive swath of khakis! And there was just some kind of re-arranging that made the same old clothes they had before look somehow more wifey. I reiterate that these were mostly my friends. I had nothing against anyone, just a sudden desire to make sure I still dressed the same once I got married.

I think that, for me, what I wear is so demonstrative of how I feel and who I am that to change it at all seemed like some kind of betrayal of self. Let alone the guy who liked my weird outfits enough to marry me the way I was. I felt unspoken pressure to conform to an unwritten rule that wives dress a little differently. It was probably all in my head. But it got to me.

Recently I've been noticing moms. I see a lot of them where I work (at a major retailer). And I have noticed two styles of moms: Those who have given up on style and are wearing baggy yoga pants and ponytails, and those who seem to be over-compensating for momdom by having their hair, nails, clothes and face primped and polished to the extreme. (To be fair, I know a lot of moms personally who don't share in these two extremes. But what's life without a little wild generalization?) And I caught myself thinking, "I don't want to change how I dress in order to be a mom, either. (No, there are no big revelations coming up. cool it.) And I realized that I am probably going to be one of those hippie moms I knew when I was a kid that didn't fit in with the other moms in their denim jumpers. These days it's not denim jumpers, but you get the idea.

As a friend and I discussed yesterday, personal style changes with time and circumstances. I didn't make any changes to my wardrobe when I got married because I truly felt more like myself, married, than I did before. I'm sure when I am a mom, I will make style changes to reflect not only what clothes are necessary, but also the different way I'll feel. But the essentials that make up who I am will still be the underlying factor in what I wear.

Because I am really comfortable with my style. I feel like myself in my clothes. One of the perks of spending so many years married without kids is that I've had time to really decide what my style is. It's relaxed, a little retro, and recycled. So there.

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