No overly produced blog photos here! This past week I tracked everything I wore for 7 days to see any patterns and trends in what I was gravitating to, and documented it all with my trusty iPhone in my hallway mirror. While the images are symbolic of everyday on-the-run life, I did find a higher meaning to my daily quest for the right outfit (as was the point of this article). While the takeaways are pretty obvious, I still found that doing this exercise provided some useful insight into the psyche and self-esteem issues of this new work-at-home mom.
Almost everyday I struggled with picking things that I could wear all day but would satisfy my breast-feeding needs, which meant more often than not I changed outfits, which was a huge waste of time. I also realized that my wardrobe and my overall ‘look’ has two polar opposite sides: completely put-together or hot mess. If I just wanted to take Marina on a morning walk for coffee, I found that my instinct was to reach for my baggy sweatpants with paint stains on them, which is fine except made me feel like a lazy schlump and then affected my mood and self-esteem as long as I had them on. So, I’ve decided to fill you in on not only what I wore and for what occasion, but how I felt while wearing it, which to me, at least, is eye-opening.
What: Dodo bar Or embroidered tassel top, Zara mom jeans, ASOS belt, Birdies slippers
Why: Cleaning out my bedroom at my parents house (they’re moving) and grocery shopping. The top was easy to breastfed in, so I figured I would run some errands and also do a little work when she napped. Good all around outfit.
How I felt: Bleh. I continue to buy myself jeans thinking ‘this will be the pair that makes me like jeans’ only to look at this picture and realize they look horrible on me. Will I wear them again? Probably, they are at the top of the pile. Will I continue my quest for the perfect pair of jeans? Definitely.
Typically I hate a top-and-jeans combo as it is so uninspired but I dig the embroidery on this top and the belt to add a little more flair to the look. I am not throwing away all possibility of making this combination work, but it still needs more tweaking. Fine for a monday.
What: Koral activewear sweatshirtand leggings set, flip flops and barre socks (not shown)
Why: The nanny works on Tuesdays so I can get a workout in and get some work/errands done. I put this on right after I breast-fed Marina in the morning and wore it to class, and changed out of it when I showered around 11am.
How I felt: Awesome. I love when people think I look a little over the top, because that means I’ve done my job well. Plus I hate blending in (hence the distaste for monday’s look). No really, this camo set might look to be a little much for a Tuesday morning barre class but I remind you that I didn’t design or make this myself, meaning at least one other person in the world validated that these pieces are awesome. Did they recommend wearing them together (also I have a matching sportsbra on under there…)? No, but that’s my creative license.
What: Zara stretchy floral dress, Zara rhinestone sandals
Why: Don’t need to breastfeed so give me alllll the pullover dresses. I worked from home the rest of the day but like to be put together and comfortable at the same time, so this type of dress does the trick. It’s not practical when I have to breastfeed every few hours, but on a nanny Tuesday I can really go for it ;)
How I felt: Great! This is such a flattering and comfortable style, and since I was creating a new watercolor fabric print that day, I was dressed the part of ‘creative’. You don’t want to work out if you aren’t wearing work out clothes, right? So it’s the same for me in my creative clothes. I know this isn’t really pushing the limit, but it satisfied my need for something bold.
What: Pajamas (not pictured)
Why: I wear pajamas every day obviously but on Wednesday I stayed in them longer than I should have because when the nanny doesn’t come sometimes I forget to get my life in order.
How I felt: I don’t even remember what I did all morning, so that’s not a good sign. I understand the reality of wearing pajamas when you work at home with a baby, but the truth is that most likely nothing good or productive will happen with your pajamas on. I have to make a better effort of putting on real clothes if I want to be more productive!
What: Printed H&M Conscious Collection Dress (with pockets and snaps up the front!), New Balance sneakers, Sugarfix by bauble bar earrings.
Why: I had a business meeting at 1 and needed to get some work done after, so I threw on this loud but flattering dress, as it’s breastfeeding friendly and looks professional but with an attitude.
How I felt: Like me. This dress makes me feel like I am fully ready for wherever life takes me, but I still know that I will be noticed. It’s comfortable and flattering but looks like I have a point of view (which believe me I do) which is how I need to portray myself in this industry.
Thursday (aka the day it all falls apart)
What: Outdoor Voices leggings, Athleta top and cover up
Why: This was my look for my barre class workout, but instead I got locked out of my house and wasted my morning. Not a great start to the day…
How I felt: Obviously, not good. I like the fun mix of pinks (wait- after 32 years am I becoming a pink person?) but the fact that I wasted half my morning sitting on my porch without my phone completely derailed my cute outfit.
What: Uh-oh, same jeans again, Free People Blouse, Zara sandals
Why: I put this outfit on around 12 for a meeting with a contractor, a meeting with a new interior design client, and breastfeeding (nanny only works half days on Thursdays).
How I felt: Frumpy and Dumpy. I wore this for about an hour and realized that I felt completely unprofessional in these jeans and sandals. I stared at my wardrobe for a good 20 minutes trying to find something else to wear…
What: Same dress as Wednesday, with Everlane flats and this time I put my hair up since I haven’t washed it in days.
Why: It worked for the business meetings the day before, so if it ain’t broke, why fix it?
How I felt: Much better because of all aforementioned reasons. Worse because is this the only item in my closet that makes me feel professional these days? Yikes. Nevermind the fact that I was meeting with a client who wants an all white, neutral home… this dress doesn’t exactly give off the vibe that I can deliver.
What: Coach Leather Jacket, Rag & Bone Tee, Zara skirt, New Balance sneakers
Why: Business meetings in San Francisco followed by a hair appointment.
How I felt: Put together! I love creative layering of stripes on stripes, and know that anytime I put my leather jacket on I feel cool. I don’t understand my obsession with sneakers this week though… I could have put on a cool boot instead and made the outfit look a little less like 80’s power mom…
What: Made by me gingham Dress, Sam Edelman gingham heels
Why: Date night with Mr. R and Marina
How I felt: Like a bombshell! My hair and makeup were done, I had on a cute flirty dress and wore heels for the first time in a week. It felt amazing to be done up for a change. We decided to snap a few pics before going out to dinner… but then as they usually do it took forever and we ended up eating at home on our couch. So our date night may have gone awry but at least it actually felt like date night because I looked the part!
What: Old Nike sweatpants, Nike jacket, Joe Fresh striped tee
Why: Take Marina on a walk to the hardware store and finish some projects around the home
How I felt: Disaster. If it wasn’t for my hair being done from the night before, you would really realize was a hot mess I was. These are the mornings I realize that I just want to be comfortable (no squeezing into workout leggings) but that I don’t want to look like dumpy mess. I may need to upgrade my sweatpants game?
What: Ulla Johnson dress, Birdies slippers
Why: Host wine tasting event at our house.
How I felt: Chic and sophisticated, hostess with the mostess. My Birdies are slipper shoes, so it’s a double whammy that I got to have this much of a look going on and still be insanely comfortable!
What: Rebecca Minkoff suede skirt, stripe tee from the top of the pile, animal print belt, Everlane loafers
Why: Breakfast with my parents, grocery shopping and errands
How I felt: Surprisingly good considering I put on a suede mini skirt at 8am on a Sunday morning! The easy thing to throw on would have been my loose jeans or leggings, but forcing myself to dress up a bit more actually did boost my self-confidence later in the day!
What: Lululemon leggings and sports bra, Target tank
Why: Afternoon barre class, playing with Marina
How I felt: Mostly disgusting, truthfully. I just threw on these leggings out of necessity really, as your knees have to be covered for barre but I wanted a pair that wasn’t too hot or tight (since I drank way too much the night before). It was a sort of crappy way to end the week of outfits, but I have a much better vision of how I want to dress for my upcoming week!
After 14 outfits in 7 days I definitely have some takeaways. While not all of my weeks are as quiet as this one, I have definitely settled into a comfortable/chic/feminine outfit formula that is very different from most of the clothing in my wardrobe. I can definitely edit a few categories in my closet to streamline my life. Jeans, namely, as well as quite a few of my more tailored pants and pencil skirts that I used to wear for work. And as much as I wear heels for date nights, I certainly don’t need the collection that currently occupies one of my guest closets.
But on the flip side, I spent a decent amount of time in very casual clothing as well, whether it be for working out, lounging around the house or playing with Marina. Having a few cute outfits that are functional but chic will definitely help me feel more put together in those instances where I really want to be in my pajamas but take it up a notch.