Cleansing is key, whether for mind, body or your soul. But what about cleansing your wardrobe? Have you ever thought about detoxing your closet? As we move through life transitions, we accumulate. But things change, we move on and evolve, and it is here that we need to reevaluate, remove the excess and build anew. This couldn’t come at a better time then after a pregnancy. Not only do our bodies, and emotions go through a major shift, but we are also adjusting to a ’new normal’. Having a baby requires a lifestyle (and style) overhaul. That all said, I was super excited to partner with Beyond Mom founder Randi, who recently welcomed second baby Zarah for a Postnatal Closet Cleanse.
Randi knows first hand the importance of self-care and was eager to dive deep into her postpartum style. Like most mamas, once settled into the rhythm of motherhood (for the second time around), she recognized the need to direct some focus back on herself. True to her own brand’s philosophy, going “beyond mom”, means paying attention to emotional health and well-being, and this includes how we show up. Even though physical change continues months post birth, we shouldn’t neglect day-to-day personal style. Setting new expectations however, is necessary, along with applying key styling strategies. Taking care of yourself is part of the empowerment process, but it takes a little extra effort when entering motherhood. Time is of the essence so carving out space to pull yourself together from the inside out is essential.
Randi’s Postnatal Closet Cleanse began with an evaluation, discussing her physical and emotional state and how that reflected her wardrobe. Having just been through a pregnancy, Randi, like most women, had a combined closet of pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and post-pregnancy pieces which left her feeling lost in the abyss of of her closet. She needed to set a new baseline. So our second step was sorting through each piece asking questions like, “does this still fit?”, “do you still like this?”, “will this work for your current lifestyle?”, “does this align with your personal style?” and we ultimately decided whether to keep or toss. We were sensitive to Randi’s postpartum shape since it is still changing, but I offered styling tips on how to wear current ‘on hold’ pieces in a way she felt comfortable. Throughout the exercise, we also created a running list of items to purchase for this transitional period. Pieces that will work for now, and later. While I don’t recommend breaking the bank, I do advise my clients on investing a little bit during this time too. It’s just about making smart choices, and buying items that flex with your changing shape. After going through Randi’s closet in totality, her items were merchandised by category and then color, a layout that allows for ease of dressing. I offered further styling strategies to keep top of mind over the next few months and I left her with a list of closet/wardrobe tools she will need to tighten things up even further (think lint brush, slimline hangers, fashion tape, and more!). As a follow-up, I sent on a few recommendations of items that took her through the Spring/Summer season, and we plan on putting a Personal Shopping trip on the calendar to further develop her evolving wardrobe.
I know motherhood is busy, I just joined in the party myself just about a year ago. I get how hard it is to think about pulling a head-to-toe look together, and I’m a stylist! That said, it’s critical to dedicate that time to ourselves. It is part our job to set the right example for our children about confidence, self-esteem and feeling empowered, and that begins with taking care of you first. Whether you’re back to your pre-pregnancy weight or navigating new curves, feeling good from the inside out is essential to achieving your best self, for you and the little ones you are running after!
Here’s a peek at the Closet Cleanse experience from Randi’s perspective, along with a few things she was willing to share about her own postpartum personal style….
How do you describe your postpartum style?
Modern with touches of feminine (a piece of jewelry or a beautiful handbag). I love finding comfort with a stylish edge right now- funky sneakers with boyfriend jeans, a cute spring jacket, sparkling earrings to spice it up. When you’re a new mom, comfort is a must.
How has your style changed/evolved since having baby #2?
I suppose I’m attempting not to adjust or change my style but to simply accommodate this new phase. I like pieces that flatter my body but possess something unique- an unexpected cut, a threading that’s special, something asymmetrical perhaps. Only now I’m accommodating a slightly fuller figure postpartum and the need for nursing access. I’m finding it easier this time around to find nursing clothing that’s stylish as well as regular clothes that work for my current lifestyle. Maybe I just have a better idea of what I’m looking for this time around.
What does your morning getting dressed routine look like?
It depends on the course of events for the day. If it’s a morning I workout, I throw on my workout clothes (I had to invest in more supportive sports bras!) but I try to wear athletic wear that’s sleek and not sloppy. If I have meetings, many are at home these days, so I try to find looks that are casual but polished- slim jeans, a blouse, and pretty earrings.
What does a daily head-to-toe outfit look like right now?
Gap girlfriend jeans
Loyal Hana blouse (a pretty print with hidden zippers for nursing)
Givenchy Pandora Bag
Rose gold stud earrings
What has been your go-to piece while nursing?
White button down tank blouse- polished and goes with most pants and easy nursing access. Also good for a spring vibe and layering.
Who are your favorite maternity/nursing brands?
For maternity, Egg by Susan Lazar sold through diapers.com and for maternity through nursing, Loyal Hana– super cute, modern pieces with hidden zippers for nursing. Pricing wise neither brand breaks the bank which is important during this time.
What are your postpartum style challenges?
My hips widened (obviously) but haven’t gone back yet. So many of my pants don’t fit. I’m also normally blessed with a flat stomach so it takes me some getting used to the belly roll that accompanies postpartum and nursing- so my tops are more blousy than usual. I’m also wearing more loose fitting, cotton pants but have been lucky to find some pairs with cute prints that can be dressed up or down. Reminding myself that this part is temporary!
What made you decide on a Closet Cleanse?
I wanted to bring the beyond mom community a glimpse into my own postpartum challenges and needs since I had a sense that we can all relate to so many of them. Jenny is not only incredibly stylish herself (I wanted some of that to rub off on my style approach), but she gets how awkward a time it can be after you have a baby (she’s been through it herself!). The closet cleanse seemed like the perfect moment to gain something personally but share that gain with my beyond mom readers.
How did you feel before the Cleanse? What were your goals? What were you trying to accomplish?
My closet was a total mess. My pre-pregnancy clothing, maternity clothing, and post baby wardrobe all mushed together. It made me feel confused and sometimes nauseated- like I couldn’t map out my day because everything was such a mess! I knew there was stuff I needed to get rid of, store away, and purchase for my current needs- I just couldn’t see the forest through the trees. Not a nice feeling.
How did you feel while we were going through your closet? Was it hard to purge items?
I was excited by the process- I was ripe for a fresh perspective. Jenny helped me make quick decisions when indecision took over (should I hold onto an item or not), and was so compassionate when I decided to hold onto something here and there because it brought me back to a special time or memory. There’s a balance between purging and respecting the meaning of certain things- we found that balance.
Once the Closet Cleanse was over, how did you feel?
Amazing!!!!! Jenny touched every item in my closet (no joke), refolded each thing and color coordinated the entire closet. I felt like I could see my clothes for the first time in a very long time. My only anxiety was around keeping things this organized and beautiful. I’m still working hard at that, every single day since!
What are the major changes now that you’ve had your Closet Cleanse?
Firstly, I’m wearing things in my closet that I forgot I even had! So in some regards, I rediscovered items that in fact work for me now. I also got more clarity through removing what I don’t want or need on what’s missing from my wardrobe for this current stage on my life. I also loved Jenny’s insight on how to pair things differently to make them exciting. For example, I have a short little jacket that has a bit of a polished, sleek look. It seems to hang there in the closet without use. Jenny suggested I pair it with ripped boyfriend jeans, creating a juxtaposition of looks- it looks great! This got me thinking about other ways I can juxtapose looks in my closet- an eye opener!
Advice to women on their personal style during the postpartum period?
To be kind to yourself. This is one I’m working on personally. It’s tough to experience your body softer and rounder, to realize that the clothes you once defined as your “big clothes” barely fit. I’m reminding myself that this is a moment in time, a transition. My body is different but it changes month by month. In some ways it’s an opportunity to redefine this period with confidence. I’m working toward, “I just had a baby. I’m nursing. I’m growing a business. There’s a style that beautifully accommodates all of this.”
What is your advice to new mamas on how to embrace individual style?
Not to deprive yourself of a key few new items that you will enjoy wearing. This time can be hard on the mind and self-confidence so it’s incredibly important to have a few items that you enjoy wearing and you know flatter you now. Invest in those items and perhaps you will even continue to enjoy them when you’ve gotten back to the body you know and understand.
If you’re having a baby, or just had a baby and looking to discover your style from the inside out (for the first time or again!), reach out and connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org! There has never a better time to start taking care of yourself than now!