What Should a Mom Wear? Meet Katie

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meet katieAs a 20-something and young 30-something, I spent my life living as a carefree woman thriving in the dynamic energy of NYC. A lifelong fashionista, the city, and all its activities were the backdrop to the outfits I spent time creating. 

The best shopping was at my fingertips. My body was slim, slightly curvy, and untouched by the changes of pregnancy, and I easily took whatever wardrobe concoction I threw at it. And time was on my side. 

Dreaming of outfits for my upcoming social calendar filled my alone time after work, yet to be replaced by packing lunches, splashing at bath time, and 100 nightly readings of Pete the Cat. Style was easy, fun, and exhilarating.

Somewhere during my sartorial NYC adventures, I met a guy who didn’t mind that I took over every closet in our first apartment. We got him a lovely armoire to make up for it. Soon, my armoire guy (sorry dear) and I fell in love, got married, and decided to move to the Westchester suburbs to have children. 

We found a wonderful home with better closets and were blessed with two beautiful, budding fashionistas. Life was humming and happy. However, there was a part of me, the creative, confident, stylish me, my outward expression, who was totally lost. 

My body felt wrecked post pregnancies. It was several sizes larger, and there was a new softness. A round tummy and wider hips didn’t look ravishing in the body-con dresses or fashionable crop tops and shorts I’d wear out in NYC. Can a mother even wear body-con dresses and crop tops?! 

The sky-high heels I loved and would easily navigate around the streets of NYC didn’t fit with my new social calendar of chasing children in the parks of suburbia. Old gym sneakers for dusty playgrounds were now for me. 

Lastly, I was zapped. Working a demanding job in fashion marketing and taking care of my babies left me little time or energy to creatively dream about clothing. I’d go for what was easy and comfortable, afraid to push the limits on what might stylistically work for someone who was now a mother. Leggings or a trusty pair of jeans and a coverall tunic was the uniform.

I’d gained the privilege of my life in being a mother to my daughters, but I lost my personal style and confidence in the process.

A small price to pay. Maybe so, but as someone who would never want my daughters to lose themselves in this way and as a daughter to a veraciously supportive mom, accepting this new reality didn’t sit well with me. 

As mothers, we deserve to honor our personalities, emotions, and bodies in clothing that make us burst with energy and confidence. Style is a form of self-care and self-expression, some may even call it art.  

To get a little researchy for a moment, studies have shown that getting dressed nicely can impact your confidence, behaviors, and mood. It may even affect how productive you are throughout the day. This couldn’t have been truer in my case. I wasn’t showing up for anyone how I wanted to.

During the pandemic, my style and mood were reaching a new low. I knew I had to solve this issue and start showing up as myself. As someone with a background in fashion and studied style my whole life, I knew some of the key steps to take. 

First, I needed to realistically evaluate my new body and find silhouettes that balance my areas of consideration to help me love the way I look in clothes—then cleaned out my closet of all that no longer served me (and yes, this included some of my faves from those carefree days back in NYC), which led to crafting a wardrobe that was easy to navigate and stocked with creative pieces that made my heart sing on those rushed mornings.

Lastly and probably most importantly, I created space for ME in my wardrobe. I lost the list of things moms can’t wear and took those creative fashion risks that lit me up again. I created a style that Katie wanted to embody as a mom, wife, boss, friend, and person,

So compelled by my own experience with personal style post-motherhood, I left my corporate job and now spend my time helping other creative, boss moms reclaim their style and confidence. And I won’t hesitate to recommend a crop top…maybe just paired with high-waisted, wide-leg trousers this time.

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After spending over ten years living in NYC, Katie moved to Westchester County with her husband in 2016 to start their family. They have been blessed with two beautiful girls Eva (2018) and Carolina (2020). Katie began her career working at some of NYC’s top advertising agencies leading strategic media efforts for Fortune 500 clients in the fashion/beauty space. After a series of events, Katie decided to pursue her lifelong passion and work more deeply in the style realm. She honed her chops, training to become a certified personal stylist under two industry vets. Soon after she founded her personal styling company, Style Outside the City (@styleoutsidethecity). Her business focuses on helping moms who have lost a bit of their creativity and confidence in dressing with all of the changes motherhood (and suburbia) brings. Katie loves to help women truly understand the mental side of style as a way to express themselves and hone their visual identity. She also brings a technical eye to personal style by educating on body shapes, fabrics, closet organization techniques, and shopping skills. She works with clients one-on-one to help them build style and a wardrobe that makes them shine.

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