WHAT WE WORE: A Mom’s Style Evolution

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

There were quite a few years in my life where I took great joy in carefully planning out my wardrobe to be as perfectly creative and cute as possible. Lots of thought went into each outfit, as I was always trying to add some element of interest to any outfit that seemed too simple. Then I became pregnant. And I thought, gee, I’m not going to be one of those moms who sacrifices her style just because she has a child. But when I gave birth, started breastfeeding, and became really frustrated with my weight, it wasn’t as easy as I thought.

Becoming a mom sort of threw me into a style evolution that made for some awkward times, sartorially speaking. For a while, I tried to wear the same kinds of clothes I would wear before pregnancy, but they just never felt right. Not completely because of my new body, but also because I was a new person. I needed to feed a tiny person with my breasts. I needed to bend over without mooning the world, and  I needed to have complete mobility of my arms without stressing (or straight-up ripping) the seams of my clothes. Fitted vintage dresses just weren’t cutting it any more, but I stubbornly refused to change my ways. My “mommy style” got to the point where I would wear sweats at home, and then get all gussied up every time I left the house, inevitably making myself very uncomfortable and not unlike I was wearing a costume instead of an outfit. I just felt awkward most of the time, which was strange because I had always felt confident in my style before motherhood.

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

It’s taken me about two years to get to the point where I’ve realized that not only has my lifestyle evolved, but my style has evolved too. I still love vintage styles, but my love manifests itself in looser shapes, comfortable materials, and simple outfits. The easier it is for me to get dressed each day, the better. I find myself gravitating towards more classic styles with modern accents, but usually a hint of the 1960s mixed in somewhere. I wear a lot of the same clothes every week, which doesn’t make for exciting fashion blogging, but let’s be real— that’s my life! And I’m proud that I’ve gotten better about simplifying my wardrobe and my spending habits.

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

So no, my style didn’t have to change just because I became a mother, but it did— and that’s okay! I still care about the clothes I wear, but I’m also more frequently found in jeans or simple Gap clothes than I never would’ve imagined would take over my wardrobe. I mean, two years ago most of the items in my wardrobe were at least 50 years old or plucked from a the scant racks of a cutesy boutique shop. Now they’re packed away in storage boxes, and I finally feel more like myself again— but not the self that you would’ve seen on my blog in the old days. Interested in where my personal style iss headed? You can check out all of my newest style inspiration here and my style wishlist here at Pinterest!

My wardrobe is just a small reflection of the changes I’ve been making in my life these days to move towards a more purposeful and pragmatic way of living that allows me to enjoy each day and each person in my life to the fullest. I’ll share more about other changes I’ve been making soon (hopefully)! As you can see, blogging less frequently is one of those changes, but as always, you can see my more frequent posts at A Beautiful Mess in the meantime.  Thank you for stopping by and checking in on me!  I do miss you all and enjoy keeping up with everyone on Twitter and Instagram.

Mandi of Making Nice in the Midwest

O U T F I T   D E T A I L S :

dress: Toast / shoes: Zappos / jacket: Marshalls / necklace: thrifted / tights: Hue

13 Responses

  1. Heather says:

    Super cute as usual!!!!

  2. Bonita says:

    I found this post so interesting; mostly because I’ve been struggling with similar wardrobe issues myself. Namely, being a mother really affects the way you can or can’t dress ~ whether you like it or not!

    I do the same thing you did ~ mom jeans during the weekend, and gussied up in vintage whenever I go out. I think it’s been a little bit of a different journey for me, however, because I usually don’t feel like myself at all when I’m not wearing vintage. So finding the wardrobe balance for the rest of the time when I *can’t* wear vintage has been hard. And I tots. wrote a post
    about it too, because, you know ~ identity crisis caused by clothing problems! :) ?

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  3. Bonita says:

    *week I meant. “Mom jeans during the week.”

  4. Bambi says:

    Love the dress! Red is a great color for you!

    Greetings from Italia



  5. Courteney says:

    Oh man! I’m at that same point in my wardrobe. I used to wear vintage all the time and since becoming a mom I’m struggling to find a balance between the classic vintage stuff I like, and practicality. Whenever I put on my old clothes I feel like I”m wearing a costume!
    That jacket is beautiful, by the way. I love the cut of it.

  6. I can definitely relate to not wanting to change style just because I became a mother, but it totally happened to me as well! I understand now, too, haha! Breastfeeding has been the biggest style-changer ever– everything has to be easy-access for that, and comfortable, and easy to move it, and baby-friendly (aka fabrics that can be easily washed and aren’t delicate.) I think your style still has a similar vibe to what it was pre-baby, but it’s definitely simpler these days. And I love it either way!

  7. patty says:

    That coat is to die for and your style is still amazing!!

  8. I think you have such a strong sense of personal style – no matter what you wear you look so pretty!

    You manage to look like Mandi regardless of whether you’re wearing vintage, homemade or shop-bought clothes. Definitely something for me to aspire to (especially as a new mamma).


  9. Katya says:

    You’re so wonderful!

  10. battymom says:

    I am a long time lurker.. but as a full time mom I love this post. I will try and comment more…

  11. Jessica says:

    Yes! A million times yes. At a certain point there is just no way I can get down in the floor at library storytelling time with my little one with a skirt and heels. I am cold all the time anyway so I’m in pants quite a bit. But yes! We can find ways for simplicity to be perfect. You look perfect!

  12. Laura says:

    the dress and the coat look perfect on you! xx

  13. I love that jacket! I’m so into check/gingham black & white jacket right now :)