The changing of seasons, especially summer to fall, has me and many of the women I know digging through their closet and assessing what stays and what goes. This year I’ve been especially aware that about 70% of the items in my closet reflect a style and lifestyle that are no longer mine. When did that happen? I like what I’ve got going on now, so why is it that I have such a hard time letting these clothes, shoes, jewelry and the “old me” go?
The answer is that it happened gradually. When I opened the store in 2011, I was a single mom of one who shared custody of my daughter 50% of the time. I had time to be at the store 50+ hours a week AND have a life that included restaurants, charity events, running & working out, and … fashion. Fast forward to 2017 and I am now a married mom of two (including a toddler), a homeowner with constant renovations in progress, a volunteer firefighter and, while still very much a shop owner, I spend significantly less time at the shop than I did, or should (or would like!).
Seven years ago, I dressed for work. Usually head to toe black, fairly dressy, heeled shoes, a face featuring makeup that took a good 20 minutes to apply, dangly earrings and layers of necklaces. Aside from workout or running attire, this was my personal daily style and it totally worked. I felt great in it and it took me from my workday as a boutique owner (who often had meetings then networking events) to evenings out downtown with friends.
In 2012, I became a certified firefighter and I think that's when the shift began. It no longer made sense to get my nails done and it delayed my response to fire calls to have to take off jewelry and heels. And, let’s face it, jumping into turnout gear is not super fun when wearing a dress.
Once I met my now-husband and we decided to add to our family, that shifted my style even more. Being pregnant and then being a sleep-deprived mom to a newborn translated into “be-as-comfy-yet-presentable-as-possible.” Also, the 40-something post-baby body is a work-in-progress, to say the least. The tight-fitting back dresses from just a few years before were no longer practical … or flattering. And that’s okay.
My lifestyle now is busier than ever and my personal style and wardrobe reflect the day-to-day activities and values that are in place right now. That will change again as life changes naturally occur, but understanding and appreciating exactly where I am at this moment is important and right.
My style these days involves joggers (oh, happy day that these are trending!), sneakers or flat boots (thanks, plantar fasciitis), a comfy tee shirt, a hooded jacket or cashmere cardigan and maybe my leather moto jacket or vest depending on temps. No earrings (sensitive ears mean limited options), a silicone black wedding band (a raised diamond is not compatible with firefighting) and my brother Mark’s USMC dog tags (keeping his spirit always near my heart). Makeup? Sometimes. If so, maybe just a dusting of blush, some mascara and a swipe of clear lip balm. Dressing up means jeans and a dressier tee shirt or blouse and adding some lip and eye color to the face palette. Possibly some fun shoes, but only if they are really, really comfortable.
Seasons change and so do our lives. When that happens, it’s okay to let go. Let go of old expectations, old habits, and yes, your old style.