mama wore: billabong dress (also worn during pregnancy), shawl c/o rvca (from a blog i wrote a few years ago), forever21 necklace; baby wore: hurley zip-up hoodie, h&m pants, trumpette "vans" socks

before holden, i thought having style meant wearing designer clothing.  i would spend hundreds of dollars on one item of clothing and end up having no money left over to actually style it.  then i got pregnant and i couldn't bring myself to spend hundreds of dollars on one item of clothing that i knew i would be wearing for small portion of a nine month time period.  i knew that i needed to create a wardrobe that could be worn during and after pregnancy instead of wasting my money on high-priced maternity clothing that i would billow and balloon around my small frame after little h arrived.  my pregnancy made me get creative with my style.  instead of blowing entire paychecks at neimans, bloomingdales, and small san francisco high-end boutiques, i perused the racks at marshalls, tjmaxx, loehmanns, thrift stores, h&m, and forever21, finding flowing maxi dresses, empire-waisted-tops, and stretchy leggings that fit snugly around my pregnant belly and now flatter my flat-again-post-pregnant belly.  i emphasized and accessorized my bump with belts, long necklaces, and comfortable wedged heels, a stark contrast from my pre-pregnancy self who would throw on designer jeans and a designer top and call myself fashionable because of the label on hanging on the back.  i loved my pregnant body and i've never felt more confident about the way i looked than in those nine months.  learning to style and dress my bump was really the start of finding my own style and feeling confident in my fashion choices.

now i'm learning how to style myself as a breastfeeding mama and there are a whole new set of rules.  can this necklace withstand holden's mighty grasp and tugging?  will this belt scratch holden's legs when i carry him?  can this neckline stretch enough so that i can breastfeed easily?  but i've learned that being creative with where you shop, the art of accessorizing, a bright lipstick, and a fun shoe can make all the difference.  i'm taking fashion risks that the non-mother in me would have been terrified to make and i'm stepping out of the constricted style box i made for myself years ago.  i am breaking my old routines like wearing nude lipstick and nothing else like i have for the past five years, feeling a sense of empowerment and self assuredness by the simple act of swiping a red stain across my lips.  who would have thought that having a baby could make you more fashionable?  dressing like a mother has a whole new meaning.