We are all about to experience some serious culture shock. As the pandemic subsides and we venture more safely into society again, it’ll be time for actual face-to-face interactions. Zoom meetings will give way to roundtables at the office, playdates won’t be online chats, and girls' night out will once again be a thing (thank freaking goodness!). So, it’s fair to say that we moms will need to brush up on our in-person social skills. And some of those social skills are more visible than others. Specifically, clothing.
Yes, I’m talking about begrudgingly folding up the one-size-fits-all leggings and tucking them out of sight; trading in the worn-out slippers for stylish slips-ons; and coming to terms with the fact that we can’t work in our pajamas forever. The ways we non-verbally communicate with our peers, colleagues and friends can be just as important as the way we deliver a presentation, dig into gossip or converse politely. So, fellow moms, let’s pull ourselves together and get intentional about what we wear.
Here, we’ve gathered some tips to help you transition to a post-pandemic world in style.
Comfort still rules.
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it is that nobody’s sad that we got a break from wearing a sweaty nylon blouse to the office, or that — *sigh* — we had to put on a bra just to drop the kids off at school, so we don’t want to abandon that freedom. What we do want is to merge comfort into styles that fit great, look good and feel comfortable. Wide, loose-fitting clothing and softer fabrics are what we’re after. The best thing is that clothing companies know this, and are releasing styles that do just that. Wide-leg pants are back in fashion, so we no longer have to squeeze into uncomfortably tight skinny jeans. The jardigan (a blazer made of soft cardigan material) is another new option that looks stylish but feels comfortable.
Your future self will thank you.
I personally spend so much time worrying about my kid's clothes that I pay little or no attention to my own attire. So, take some time to intentionally dress! This is a good step toward some normalcy, you’ll look confident, and you never know who you might meet or what opportunity might present itself.
Sharing is caring.
One way to freshen up your wardrobe and clear up space is to prune your collection while donating to your local thrift store, charitable organization or Buy Nothing group. Buy Nothing groups are also a great place to find clothing for free. Neighbors tend to offer gently used clothing on a regular basis. And trust us: There are a lot of moms in those groups — you’re bound to get and give some goodies.
Give yourself grace, and then more grace.
If you can’t fit into your favorite office slacks, if you have no idea what jeans fit you anymore, or if you didn't even know that jardigans are even a thing, give yourself grace. When you see the mom with messy hair and pajama bottoms, give her grace. When you look in the mirror at the end of the day and you have no idea if you want to keep your grey or even wear mascara, give yourself grace. We get to shape how we move forward in the post-pandemic lifestyle, and sometimes that can look like two steps forward and one step back, even if it means we choose to express our style in a way that is completely new, completely familiar or somewhere in between. Style is a spectrum, mama, and we can do whatever we want.
Buy a little somethin’ special.
This one’s simple. Treat yourself. You deserve it! Snag that sundress you’ve been thinking about. Freshen up your eyewear. Get that haircut. It'll help you feel a little more confident about getting back out into the world.
Our kids need a good reminder.
If none of these ideas stick and you’re still rolling your eyes and committed to wearing your Crocs (I mean, they do offer a high-heel version, so there’s that), then do it for your kids. Remember, they’re watching, and it’s up to us to practice good hygiene with clean laundry, presentation and self-care. Some days it may be easier than others, but trust us, when you take the time to pick out something to wear that makes you feel truly lovely and lively, your kids will notice.