Getting Back on the (Clothes) Horse – Who Am I Again?

I was wearing that shapeless black & white striped tunic with leggings. Again. And man did I feel miserable. I had spent 5 years helping women get dressed and feel great about themselves. Now I was stuck in a rut. How did I get here?!?

Ah yes, I had a baby.  And all thoughts of myself and of my appearance went straight out the window. Her needs came before mine and that was ok. More than OK. But around the one year mark, my inner voice started to chime in. And boy was it confused. Who was I without my business? And would I ever be able to go to the bathroom by myself again? I had lost myself somewhere amongst the diapers and the midnight feedings. The easiest way back to “me” was to start with my style.

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My body and my life had changed, that was a given. My closet full of beautiful double silk and luxe jersey seemed to belong to someone else. Life now consisted of trips to the park and the odd solo trip to the grocery store (the luxury!). The same tunic & leggings would suffice, wouldn’t they? But it made me feel so drab and so not me. I needed help, so I called in the big guns – a personal stylist.

We did some virtual online shopping together and I got to see my style from another perspective. Then came the more intensive closet clear out, where we decided what to keep & what to pitch. When she suggested a keeper, I heard myself say what I had heard my clients say countless times before: But where will I wear it? The park?” Here was where I got the kick up the backside that I desperately needed. “Yes!” she replied. Yes. Then I was off and running.  The old instincts kicked in and I started collecting some great new pieces to mix with the old to create a wardrobe that suited my new life.

So now I wear my dresses to the park (the washable ones, of course). I even wore some double silk the other day (Anna Scholz, this means you!). I figure, what the heck! It makes me feel great. More importantly, it makes me feel like me again.

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This brought me to another realization – it was time to get back on another horse. The work horse. I’ve decided to start this blog – Peonies & Paper Dolls, a place where I can talk about style & life & mommyhood and whatever else tickles my fancy. I’m also launching my own personal styling services, so I can go back to what I love to do – helping women feel great about themselves through their style.

Anyone out there in the same boat as I was? I’d love to help you find a new version of yourself, or just spruce up the perfectly good version you are now. Drop me a line and let’s get started!

 

19 Comments


  1. Yayyyyyyy Laura!!! Love this story brimming with honesty, happy to see you back on the horse! 😉

    Reply
  2. Claire

    Well done Laura. Great to hear you are following your passions once more.
    Ps. You will never pee alone again. Sorry. Kids have a radar for ‘mum needs five minuts alone’

    Reply
    • laura

      Good to know Claire! As long as I can mentally prepare.

      Reply
  3. Katie

    Bravo Laura!
    You have really captured the question so many new moms struggle with. I am so happy that you have found a way to delicately balance /marry your joy for fashion & your love of motherhood! Well done & good luck!

    Reply
    • laura

      Thanks Katie! Means a lot coming from you, another stylish mom.

      Reply
  4. Roberta

    Congrats on getting back on the horse again! We forget that as moms we need to keep our self esteem up to be good role models for our children. I will tell you that your clothing and phases in how you feel about yourself changes as your children grow. You need to allow yourself time to grow with it. As the 44 year old mother of two (17 and 21) almost grown children I’m still changing my style to fit my life. Never stop exploring!!!!

    Reply

  5. Laura,
    I am so pleased you are back! I always consider you to be the pioneer of bringing worldwide plus size fashion to Ontario and Canada even so this makes me so happy! I’m coming home to Canada for good in a few months time so will be in touch!

    Reply
    • laura

      Thanks Katie! Love to talk when you get home.

      Reply
  6. Caroline

    Amazing! I so enjoyed reading this and can relate … I had a pony tail for a YEAR after Malcolm was born 😉

    Reply

    • It takes me longer to do things, but I am on a better timeline because I have my kids as the focus this time, their happiness as the goal, and man, does it make a difference!

      Reply
      • laura

        Yes! Makes a world of difference when you have those little people to focus on. They’re everything. Can’t wait to see what’s new with you Jessica!

        Reply

  7. I have no children. (managed to stay single throughout my child bearing years) I have no beautiful curves. AND, I desperately need someone to style me. Just reading this post tells me that someone is you. Thank you. You give me the courage to take a look at my closet and adorn my body with something other than my gray flannel pajamas. (the wonders of working from home) So glad you’re back on the horse. So glad I found you.

    Reply
    • laura

      Thanks Sue Ann! I’d love to help you get out of those gray pjs. Wait, that doesn’t sound right! You know what I mean.

      Reply

  8. Jennifer

    Love reading about your new adventure! Congratulations. Looking forward to seeing all your posts!

    Great photography too!

    Reply

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