JACKET (H&M) | TOP (Flippa K) | WATCH (Casio from Australia) | PANTS (H&M) | SHOES (Nike)
We took a little break on this Secrets of Stylish Moms series during the holidays, but I’m excited to bring it back! Today, we’re featuring a friend of mine here in San Francisco, Sandra, who has such inspiring style shaped by her half Nigerian/half Dutch ancestry and years living internationally. She and her husband worked in advertising for fancy brands like Nike in London and Amsterdam, a brief stint in Manhattan, and then recently moved to San Francisco where she now stays home with their two adorable children, Olana and Theo (ages 4 and 1 1/2). Here are her tips and advice she has for fitting style in as a busy mother, and the one thing you should splurge on for your postpartum closet…
Your style is so amazing. Tell us about your wardrobe!
I find that my wardrobe is a true reflection of who I am and how that has changed over the course of time; from the places I’ve lived to the fashion I was into, and now more recently the changes both my body and mind have gone through since becoming a mother.
What would you consider your go-to ‘momiform’ to be?
Jeans, sweater, sneakers in the winter. Jeans, shirt, and Salt Water sandals in the summer. I have a closet full of beautiful pieces, but if I’m honest I pretty much just wear this 90% of the time. I’m not working at the moment, so that makes a difference. I bust out in a cool dress or skirt every now and again though, just to keep my kids/husband on their toes.
What advice would you give a new mom who is struggling to feel sexy again with her postpartum body?
Give it time. It takes 9 months to make a baby, allow your body AT LEAST the same to get back to where it was. Doing anything too quickly or too drastically can’t be good for you. Be kind to yourself, you’ve just made the most incredible HUMAN BEING, yes that person was just made by YOU. Surely your body (and your hormones!) have been through a lot to create this miracle, so trust it will sort itself out in due time. Patience! And ok, it doesn’t hurt to get that adrenaline pumping through your body so just stay healthy and get your body moving and grooving. Whatever exercise feels good for you at that point, do it. It always helps to make me feel better about the way I look, even though I look exactly the same as I did the day before.
What is something you do for yourself everyday?
Have a shower! At the end of the day, all by myself (with hopefully no interruptions from the kids) before going to bed. I know, it’s crazy, the little things. But it was my little “me time” after both my babies were born, and somehow I’ve just decided to hang on to it. Hold on, that is crazy right, like since when are mothers not allowed to have a shower?!
For moms on a mission to rebuild their wardrobe, what are 5 staple pieces you’d recommend?
1. A good pair of jeans that show off your good bits and can hide the other bits you’re still a little more self conscious about.
2. A great jacket. Especially if it’s winter or you live somewhere colder. You wear it every single day, so definitely something to splurge on.
3. Some comfortable flat shoes, naturally.
4. A great pair of sunglasses, because come on, who doesn’t feel fabulous in a great pair of shades?
5. Buy yourself a gorgeous new dress or skirt, something for those “I want to feel more feminine” days.
Have you splurged on any item in your postpartum wardrobe?
Well, when I moved to NY I was 7 months pregnant and hadn’t bought myself anything new to wear for ages. So when I was browsing through this cool store called Bird in Brooklyn, I spotted this gorgeous Rachel Comey jacket in the sales. I think it was a size off, but a boy-friend style winter coat anyway so I really didn’t think anyone would notice it was too big/small. Plus it was discounted by like 70% so I wasn’t going to leave without it. Perfect to cover up the bump in what was broadcasted as the “worst winter ever” in NY and because it was an open-front style coat, I (the baby!) could literally grow in it. Funny enough, the one thing I bought to cover me up when I was pregnant has ended up being the item I still love the most now that I’m back to my old self postpartum. It doesn’t matter what size you are, as long as you feel great wearing it it’s going to be a hit. I’ve been stopped and asked about my coast on the street more than any other item of clothing I’ve bought postpartum.
favorite sneaker: Nike’s or Converse
favorite comfy boot: Love my studded, but still feminine black Filippa K boots
favorite casual dress or skirt: I just bought a beautiful light cloud blue dress from Black Crane
old reliable pair of jeans: I’m still waiting for my H&M jeans to die on me before investing in another designer pair. Or I might just carry on buying these H&M ones, can’t knock them.
favorite place to vacation: There is a whole world of favorite places out there, why choose just one?! I’m more about continuing to explore and discover new places. Though, I’m still waiting to go back to Brazil again one day… it was dreamy. And, of course Marrakesh is the most enchanting place I have ever been, so much so that we decided to get married there – it was magical.
band on permanent rotation in my spotify: Oh man, I still just listen to this one playlist my husband’s best man played at our wedding five years ago (he’s a DJ), I kind of live through my husband’s music taste. It was part of his first appeal, and he has a record collection to die for so why not (as in old school vinyl).
your go-to accessory: I can’t leave the house without wearing simple gold bar earrings these days.
Thanks so much Sandra! I’m hunting for a fabulous coat right now I can ‘grow in’. See more in our series on Secrets of Stylish Moms right here. Or, to nominate a friend (or yourself!) to be featured in this series, send us an email at email@example.com.