Have y’all heard of Wardrobe Remix? It’s this Flickr group where people post photos of their real, everyday outfits.
For me, daily fashion isn’t about buying new outfits all the time — it’s about figuring out different ways to shuffle around the clothes you’ve got to create something new. I’m less interested in OMG I MUST HAVE EXACTLY THAT THING, and more interested in getting inspiration from others to help me build my own ideas and fashion courage.
Anyway, I used to submit Wardrobe Remix photos religiously a few years ago (here’s a link to my photos, although you’ll only be able to see ’em if you join the group), but it took time that I prioritized in other directions after a while.
Now that I’m pregnant, remixing my wardrobe has become oddly sanity saving for me…
There aren’t a lot of indie designers cranking out affordable maternity designs, and it’s hard to justify spending big money on clothes you can only wear for 9 months. When I tried to go the easy route and go to Old Slavey, I found a tiny picked over maternity section with about three tshirts and four tank tops. Maybe I hit them on a bad day, but it felt like the fashion gods were conspiring to keep me away from mainstream clothing options. Back to Etsy for me!
Sadly, I did buy a few swanky maternity clothes from Isabella Oliver. Oddly, I don’t wear them all that often because as styley as they are … they just don’t feel quite like MY style. Most days, I do my best with the non-maternity clothes that better match my personal look, which I guess could be described as “comfy colorful layered love”? I don’t know — I suck at naming styles.
It’s easy to get in a rut with maternity clothes, especially as options diminish. Other than some maternity hand-me-downs I’ve gotten, I’m down to about 3 pairs of comfortable pants, two skirts, and a handful of shirts. It’s hard to justify getting anything new since I’m looking at less than three months of maternity left.
That’s why doing Wardrobe Remix photos through these last few months is helping me stay sane. When I really start to mix and match and remix and shuffle things around (…Can this skirt be worn as a strapless dress layer stretched over the belly? Can I use a scarf to cover the fact that this tank top is 2 sizes too small for my ridonkulously enormous preggo boobs?) I realize that oh hey! I’ve still got some fun shit to wear that lets me feel like ME.
It’s also keeping me from feeling like I’m losing myself completely as I watch the body I’ve known since puberty disappear into a blooming belly and swelling butt. I look at my newly-dark nipples when I get out of the shower and think “Who the hell’s boobs are these?” But when I wrap them up in my lettuce-edged elf hoody, I remember “Oh right: they’re still my boobs. Just different.”
Finding ways to remix the existing clothes I’ve got instead of going on shopping trips for clothes that I won’t be able to wear next year, also makes me feel good about my budget.
This is all to say that while yes, I’m doing all sorts of more meaningful things to stay sane through this pregnancy (things like dance, yoga, acupuncture) sometimes it’s the silly superficial shit that helps me feel like I’m maintaining a core of ME-ness through the disorientating process of becoming mother-ness.
Oh and by the way: Please please pleeeeease share YOUR inspiration! I would loooove to see your maternity remix shots in the Offbeat Mama pool so that we can feature them here on the site. Add your styley-ass belly shots and tag em maternityremix and let’s see whatcha got!
Photo taken with a Canon Digital Rebel from http://amazon.com