Jake is a saver. By that, I mean he faithfully socks his money away like a squirrel hoarding nuts. Me? I’m a spender. The regular comment in our home is that if Jaime has $11, she’ll look around and say, “What costs $11?”
If I have a few dollars to my name, I like to buy lots of different things: wine, beer, manicures, haircuts, and gifts for other people. But my real weakness is clothes/shoes. Whoa nelly, do I like me some fashion.
The irony is that I don’t dress with any particular flair, nor do I dress with any consistency. Some days, I’m all about the jeans, Converse, and hooded sweatshirt. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a summer dress and flat sandals. Or skinny jeans, ballet flats, and a leather jacket. It’s really not too exciting, but it’s never exactly the same.
That is, not until Seabass wriggled into my life.
Moms talk a lot about succumbing to sweatpants, giving in to the beauty of soft, shapeless cotton and an elastic waistband. And I get it – oh, do I get it. There is nothing better than putting the baby down for bed at night, climbing into my jammies and sipping a glass of wine. Truly, I can think of few luxuries I enjoy more.
But at about three weeks post-partum, I vowed never to wear my sweats/yoga pants/PJs all day long unless I was sick enough to require a doctor’s visit. And I’ve managed to keep that promise to myself with the following little set of rules.
- Shower before Seabass’ first nap. This forces me not to wear anything with an elastic waistband. I put the little guy in his jumper in the bathroom and he happily (usually) bobs while I bathe nearby. We have a clear shower curtain so he can see that I’m there with him, so he doesn’t get too upset. (The creepiness of being naked in front of my young son isn’t lost on me. Never fear: Parental nudity is an upcoming Controversy Wednesday topic. Stay tuned.)
- Buy a basic uniform and spend money for quality. My uniform is a $5 tee shirt, a pair of 7 for All Mankind A-pocket jeans I bought for $100 at Marshall’s and Ariat Western Heritage cowboy boots I bought online for $160. Have I ever spent that much on jeans or footwear? Never. But that leads me to my next point.
Wear the same thing every day. Having a baby requires the elimination of trivial decisions such as what to wear. I wear my jeans and Ariats nearly every single day, and feel great in them every single day because they are quality. My friend Jenny has coined the term girl math which entails justifying expensive clothing based on a per-wear basis. For instance, if I buy a skirt for $100 and wear it every day for a year, that is only 27¢ per wear. And that’s quite a deal.
- Go cheap on the rotating stuff. Notice my tee shirts are only $5? I have about a billion of them for when Seabass spits up or flings applesauce all over them.
- Accessorize, accessorize. I recently bought a super cute polka dot cardigan from Target with Christmas money that looks terrific with my uniform. I also have a couple great headbands, scarves, jackets, and earrings I can tack on to the uniform at a moment’s notice to lend spice. Oooh, look at these earrings I’m lusting after currently. These will be perfect for Seabass to grab at and rip my earlobes through. Hmm.
These rules aren’t hard and fast, by any means. In fact, as I write this, I am unshowered and wearing an elastic waistband while Seabass takes his morning nap. BUSTED! But I certainly do try. I’m also thinking of adopting one day per week to wear something a little nicer than usual. I love Lisa Leonard’s blog and her posts entitled “What I Wore Wednesday.” Maybe we can all start wearing our Wednesday Best and sharing the results? What will you wear tomorrow, mama?