Ask an Expert: Do I Replace My Wardrobe To Fit My "New" Shape?
With Stylist Jenny Greenstein of Your Soul Style
by Alexis Barad-Cutler
Not Safe For Mom Group recently received a query from a member who was struggling with a sartorial question. But as these things often go, there’s usually more to it than just “fashion”. I knew I would need more than a straight-up stylist to help out this Mom Group member. That’s why my friend Jenny Greenstein of Your Soul Style came to mind — she approaches fashion from a very different perspective than most. Jenny works with her clients holistically, using emotion as the starting point of the conversation, with a focus on helping women through transitional periods in their lives. ( I like to think of her as a therapist for your wardrobe.) Read on to find out how Jenny approaches the tricky challenge of postpartum dressing on a budget, with lots of feelings mixed in:
Hey Mom Group:
Can I ask a question? My whole body shape has changed since having kids. And I have largely kept my original wardrobe, mixing in maternity trousers to make it work. To be honest, it depresses me; looking at clothes in the closet that no longer fit me and actually, I don’t think ever will again. My hips have widened permanently, same with my rib cage, and boobs. Do people just dump their old wardrobe and replace or do they keep it? I’m battling with feelings of guilt for spending money on clothes that I already own . . . but don’t fit me. Arghhhhh. — N.
Part of embracing the postpartum newness of your shape and style, is releasing and letting go of what doesn’t work anymore. It’s a cathartic experience, and one we must practice in our everyday lives — including in our closets. It is toxic to hold on to clothing that doesn’t suit us from a fit and style perspective and creates a negative relationship with your clothing. If you are constantly trying to access items that bring you back to a former self that no longer exists, feelings of shame and insecurity start to rise.
While I don’t believe you need to get rid of your entire wardrobe, I do think it’s vital to start detoxing what truly doesn’t work and what won’t anymore. I give my postnatal styling clients about 1-2 years postpartum to find there “new normal;” and if their items don’t work after that time period, we shed and begin to create a new foundation of style from the inside out. It’s incredible what emerges when you actually create the emotional and physical space to welcome this. Clothing can be expensive — so my recommendation is once you detox and cleanse, build a list of essentials to introduce back in, in the style and size that works. Over time, and season over season your wardrobe will start to build to align with your current self. Setting aside a budget to invest is a practice of self-care and style is an essential part of a confident sense of self.
Do you have a Hey Mom Group query that could use an expert’s point of view? Submit it here, via Direct Message on Instagram, or via email to email@example.com with the subject line, “Hey Mom Group Expert”. I’ll do my best to get it answered!
Jenny is a NYC-based personal stylist, style coach, and founder of Your Soul Style: a platform where style meets mindfulness. To book an appointment with Jenny, or to find out more, go to Your Soul Style or @yoursoulstyle.
Photo of Kim Bassinger, 1995 via Elle.com.