I’ve been receiving quite a few questions about how my style has changed after baby. This is a topic I addressed briefly earlier in this post, but I think you guys want more details…so I sat down and wrote down some more thoughts about how my style and shopping habits have changed after having a kid. While doing this, I had some general before/after thoughts as well, so put them all together in this post. Please share what’s changed for you before and after kids as well….I’d love to hear!
1. I machine wash everything now. Yes, everything. I basically only send things to the dry cleaner twice a year now, after each season, for one big cleaning, but otherwise, everything needs to be able to be cleaned by machine. This includes all my expensive cashmere pieces like Saint Laurent and Chanel, which just gets dumped in a delicates bag and then air dried over the tub. It’s worked out fine so far, and one of my Saint Laurent sweaters even has suede (!) elbow patches. I just brush them out after they dry. Speaking of Chanel…
2. I have not shopped the Chanel RTW sale for at least two seasons. Normally the Chanel sale is like an event…you prepare for it the week before, noting down everything you want, your size in them, and which stores have it stocked. Then the day before, you go on a crazy email/texting spree, trying to secure everything before the salespeople give it to their super VIPs more important than you. It’s kind of an adrenaline rush, and I’m the sort of loser who normally finds this kind of event fun. However, I’ve come to terms with the fact that Chanel RTW is not practical for my daily life (except for those excellent cardigans and sweaters), and thus have taken a pass the last few sales. Naturally then, this is the season that out of a blue, a sales associate contacted me with all kinds of fabulous goodies they had on hold, including that classic gold tweed jacket from Paris Rome. But I was strong and passed. Sigh.
3. You all know I love and watch Real Housewives by this point, right? You know that part in the beginning when they introduce each new housewife, and do a little intro? Well before I had a kid, I never listened to when they went on about their household staff…I just wanted them to shut up and go straight to the closet. Now, I’m the most interested in their staff…that’s what I really want to admire and go gaga over. Skip the Birkins…I want to hear about how many nannies, housekeepers, and cooks you have. That’s the real good stuff.
4. I pay for return shipping. It used to be that I would do anything to avoid paying for shipping…to or from. Paying for shipping I felt, was a major crime and one that I would never be guilty of (except for ordering chocolates from Christopher Elbow, but I justified that because they need all those ice packs and expedited services). Instead, I would save up all my packages and go to the mall at once for one big spree. Now, since time is at such a premium, I’d rather just pay and avoid the mall altogether. That’s why I do most of my shopping now at Nordstrom – free return shipping, yahoo!
5. When I really like something, I just buy it. I don’t want for a sale, because by the time I remember, it will have likely sold out. That doesn’t mean that I don’t sale stalk anymore of course (I do quite a bit of it) but the stuff I really want, I just snap up. Again there’s a money/time formula at work here.
6. If I have to go out somewhere after 8 PM, I need a week to prepare myself. Both from a household perspective (lining up a sitter, having dinner made for little Feather), and a mental one. If I will need to be out after midnight, I will ideally have had several days of mental preparation and earlier bedtimes immediately beforehand. I’m sure I would have reached this point with or without kids, but I feel like having a baby has aged me even faster in my night time habits.
7. I always look for pockets. I’ve always liked pockets, but before baby they were always kind of a fun extra to have in a jacket/dress/sweater…like a cute little space to stick my hand into for photos, and that was about it. Now I actually use all my pockets. I put my keys in them, tissues (so many tissues), chapstick, hand sanitizer, whatever. Pockets are a must.
8. Different clothing descriptives now attract me. The words which used to interest me were: velvet, fur lined, high heel, cashmere (OK I still love cashmere), silk bias cut. Now they’ve all been include magical wardrobe words such as: circle cardigan, stretch waist, stacked heel, machine washable, and deep pockets. If I’m looking at a piece of clothing which has at least two of these descriptives, I will likely purchase if I like the design.
9. There’s guilt! So much guilt! now about buying pricey items. People always told me to “buy everything I wanted before baby came,” which was advice I never understood. I mean, how can it be responsible to blow all your money before the kid comes? How does that make sense in any long term scenario? Whatever you didn’t spend before would just carry over to after, right? So if you held off on that Cartier purchase before kids…you could just buy it after right? Didn’t that just make logical sense?
Now that I have little Feather though, I feel like I understand this sentiment so much more. The best way I can explain it given my own scenario, is that I’m the sort of person who has to feel like I’ve reasonably accounted for all my major expenses before I splurge on a goodie for myself. So if I think I’ll need a new car in a year, or a new roof, etc, I need to have all that set aside and accounted before I indulge in those excellent Chanel strappy shoes I’ve been wanting so much.
The thing with kids are…they are this huge expense! I mean, when I see little Feather I’m of course filled with love and awe and wonder, but I’m also experience this sensation of, childcare + tuition + university + everything else…basically up to when he graduates from college but beyond, too. I need to have all of that! Preferably right now! And what if we want to have more kids? Then that all has to get multiplied? How many times? And then you start to have this enormous sum in your head…which ideally to feel like a super good, non selfish parent I need to have all right now…so do you really need that new VCA piece?
That’s the best way I can explain the guilt I feel….I’m not saying it’s correct, but I wanted to share my experience. Of course what I’d really love is to hear yours, as I’ve learned so much from the collective wisdom of readers over the years. What changed for you, style wise and beyond, after having kids?