My eyes were ready to take a giant lap around my forehead when I saw this headline in today’s New York Times style section: “Mommy Blog or a Glossy Fashion Magazine?”
I took a sip of my breakfast tea and prepared myself for a delicious hate-read of the story in which, I imagined, shiny-haired socialites would talk about their $3000 diaper bags and which pieces work best on their postpartum “cleansed” (starved) bodies.
Instead, I found that I liked what these fashionable mamas had to say. Julia Restoin Roitfeld, daughter of former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, said she had the idea for her blog Romy & The Bunnies after she had a baby and was struggling to feel attractive and fashionable.
“The light-bulb moment came after I had the baby,” she said. “When you think your body is going to get back right on track, which it doesn’t. It takes nine months to stretch and nine months to get back into shape. So it’s more like how to adapt to this little disappointment and how to still feel good. For example, we had the best swimsuit to hide the belly for the few months after you have a baby. That’s more of what I want to share,” Roitfeld explained.
Wait!?! A member of the fashionable crowd admitting that dressing the postpartum body and losing the baby weight is, for those of us not named Jessica Alba, a bitch? I could get into this. As of now there are few sources providing style tips for new moms, as if once you have the baby you will be inevitably sucked into the magnetic field that are yoga pants once and for all. Of course, not all moms care if they wear yoga pants every day, nor should they, but for those of us who did want to return to feeling at least somewhat fashionable sooner than later, it is nice to get a little help.
Other mothers interviewed for the story talked about how their blogs are an attempt to meld their pre-baby fashionista lives with their post-baby desire to still look a little cute. One blogger, Trina McNeilly, gives her readers tips on potbelly friendly outfits and home decor that won’t offend you or hurt your toddler. Another blogger Violet Gaynor, a fashion editor, interviews hip moms like designer Rebecca Minkoff and “Girls” star Jemima Kirke to hear what clothing they found most useful before and after pregnancy.
“They were sort of examples to us because we had really fulfilling careers and great relationships, but we couldn’t really figure out how to fit in motherhood,” Gaynor says, on her impetus for the blog.
So maybe stars really are just like us? Merging our pre-baby and post-baby selves is a challenge for many of us, and while focusing on fashion might seem a little shallow, we also have to be realistic about the fact that how we look is deeply connected to how we feel. This isn’t just about giving up light colors, silky tops, or heels, but finding a look that manages to include the old you and the new you.
For me, the answer to post-baby fashion was stretchy pants and the conveniently en vogue flowy tops, which I wore basically every day. (Really, ask my friends or family.) Now I didn’t necessarily have the time or money to purchase more, but it would have been nice to at least indulge in a little semi-realistic fashion fantasy, which is something this new spate of blogs provides.