shopping mantra: only buy dreams

my sister and i had a great shopping trip last month (she got 8 new things!), and i asked her to share her experience with y’all: the purpose of the trip, where she’s at in finding her style and how being a mom affects what she wears.

My sister is a woman of few words. She’s a blogger, I get that, and those of you who read her blog every day may think that she has a lot to say, but in general, she’s concise and to the point. We had some really great conversations during our shopping trip, though several of those exchanges were prompted by questions she asked me (two to be exact) and her shopping mantra*, which she shared with you a couple weeks ago: We Only Buy Dreams.

Question #1: What do you hope to get out of today? What will make you feel like we were successful?

Let me preface my answer by the work I had done in the leading weeks. I went through my closet and purged six boxes of clothes. Clothes that I had bought in college, clothes that I wore after I got married but before I got pregnant the first time, clothes I wore in between pregnancies, and clothes I never wanted to see again because they were too big, too small, too stretched out, too short or too something else. That felt really good!!!

My closet was immediately much more manageable and much less overwhelming. I think there are a few things that I can still get rid of, but that time will come. After the purge, though, I came up with a wish list of sorts. It was/is as follows:

  • a sweater dress
  • jeggings (depending on how they look on me)
  • leggings (that aren’t see through—and again, do I look good enough to wear them in public?)
  • knee-high boots

It’s short, but it’s a start.

So…my answer to Kelsey was that I feel like I dress like a mom and that I need a few nice/fun/practical pieces that I can pair with what I already have to make it more fashionable/colorful/put together. (FYI—we scored on the sweater dress.)

Question #2: What do you mean when you say you dress like a mom?

What I mean is that I carried twin girls for 36 weeks and I have stretch marks to cover up, thank you very much! My husband leaves in the morning at 6:15 and I have to be to work by 7:45, so…it means that by the time I get three kids up and out of bed, get them dressed, socks and shoes on, hair combed, nurse the baby, pack my lunch, and take a shower, I have 10 minutes (if I’m lucky) to get dressed and style my hair. No exaggeration here. I grab a pair of average pants and the nearest shirt and go. I’m always presentable, but far from perfect. It’s usually an easy outfit with few-to-no accessories (I still need help in this department), and sometimes has a spit-up spot. I rarely (less than 10 times a year) wear makeup.

I started running about a year and a half ago. I was in the best shape of my life, and then we decided to get pregnant again. It’s taken me 7½ months (post baby) to get back to that place—well, I’m almost there, anyway. I exercise because it makes me feel good and I want my daughters to see me exercising so they will be encouraged to do so also. This mentality is starting to roll over into the fashion part of my life. I want to dress well because if I know that I look good, I will feel good, too. I want my girls to know that their mom takes care of herself, is proud of herself and carries herself confidently. When I got home from the shopping trip, they couldn’t wait to see what I had bought, and they told me several times that they definitely approved of the items, which was a great sign since they have to be seen with me all the time. :)

I. am. a. mom. I’m a lot more than that, too, but first and foremost, I’m a mom. And I’m proud to be, but I have recently given myself the permission to spend just a tad more time on myself. Women are too hard on themselves, and I definitely think I fall into that category, and I don’t really see that part of me changing, but I know there are some steps that I can take to make it easier for myself to look and feel good. I can set myself up for success by having a well-stocked closet instead of a mediocre one (at best).

Which is why Kelsey’s mantra of We Only Buy Dreams has really hit home with me. I have a lot of things to spend my money on. So I don’t want to waste it on things that are just OK and will only get lost in the closet and not work because I won’t really wear it that much. When I do have some money to spend on myself, I usually have my three daughters with me in the dressing room and they aren’t very patient and I feel rushed.  It’s not a relaxing experience at all. When Kelsey and I shopped together, we had armloads of stuff and she made herself comfortable on the little padded bench in the Maurices fitting room. We were there for an hour and a half, and it didn’t even seem like half that long. It was so much fun. We got to analyze each item, laugh at a few of them, like the ‘idea’ of a few of them but pointed out why it wasn’t quite right, and fall in love with a few of them. And that sweater dress I mentioned, it is a dream!

Thanks for letting me share this experience with you!

*my shopping mantra was adopted from my friends emily and megan
**images from maurices and old navy