My two pairs of black yoga pants are almost like members of the family. They are a permanent fixture, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they called and asked for money once they reach college age. In fact, I’m thinking of sending them a Valentine’s Day card this year. My fondness is undeniable.
They are worn, washed, rotated, and match everything–I think. At the very least, they match my life right now. I’m usually playing on the ground with my little one and covered in applesauce and yesterday’s oatmeal.
I’m a mom, and yoga pants seem to fit. They say dress for the job you want and I have always wanted this one.
Even so, I can’t help but miss the old me who dressed up and got out of the house. Or the me who had a full-time job as a middle school teacher and dressed with slightly more style. I felt better about my daily appearance, even though everything still needed to be washable because–little known fact–sixth graders leave glue and food scraps on most surfaces. (Oh, those were the days!)
Now I walk past rows of sweaters and racks of dresses without any idea what might work for me. On the rare occasion I get to go shopping alone, I come home empty handed because I have literally forgotten how to buy clothes for myself. The other day I stood in a store wishing that adult women’s clothes were sold like toddler clothes: Multicolored leggings, next to a hundred different matching tops all on one table with tags indicating the ideal height and weight. Then I could just grab and go.
When did shopping become such a miserable experience?
If I could go to the store and buy pants like my husband buys pants, I would probably be less hesitant to give up my current wardrobe. He says, “34×34,” and magically, they fit him. I say any combination of various numbers, and nothing happens, except leaving the dressing room in a huff and vowing to only shop for activewear from this day forward.
Because I just can’t manage to leave my easy, practical, monochromatic clothing in a pile on the floor, I have a strikingly similar conversation with myself everyday.
This goes with yoga pants, right?
Shimmery, long-sleeved top? Sure!
Stripes? Solids? Floral pattern? Absolutely!
Until one day I thought that I looked more tired and less confident than I actually felt. When I realized it wasn’t the newfound wrinkles springing from the corners of my eyes, I decided it was time for a change, and it probably needed to start with my worn out, beloved, black yoga pants.
I’ve heard that clothing has a tangible impact on identity, so this could be a good way to find my new post-baby purpose. It’s also an excellent excuse to go on a shopping spree with one of my best friends–the one who tells me the truth about my fashion sense and urges me to try new things. We actually have a date on the calendar to go to the mall together without our kids.
Maybe I’ll find a few new pieces or maybe I’ll stick with the stretch pants. Either way, it will be like old times, which is probably exactly what I need to find the old me.
Special thanks to Moana, who kept my toddler entertained while I wrote this article and for helping me realize that I, too, have been sitting at the edge of the water.