Being a new mom is a blessing, but it's also challenging in so many ways. Taking care of your new baby is all-consuming--so all-consuming, in fact, that you often forget to take care of mommy. Personal style takes a back seat, because, hey, baby doesn't care what you look like, right? But at one point, YOU did.
Jenny Greenstein of Your Soul Style thinks you should again. Now. Because your style is a vehicle of self-expression and empowerment. “I'm a firm believer that we are at our best when we feel our best and that begins at our core," she says. “Mind, body and soul must be aligned."
Easier said than done, right? Not if you've got this (pregnant!) sylist extraordinaire (and lucky for us, WRNY style contributor!) on your side. Below, she talks about how a little “Style Coaching"--yes, you can actually hire her!--can make you look better...and feel way better.
Why is postpartum such a tough time for women when it comes to fashion?
During a pregnancy, women's bodies go through many changes from both a physical and emotional perspective. While most women don't expect to recover and bounce back to their 'old selves' immediately, they have to contend with embracing a new lifestyle, a new postpartum body and a new busy schedule that doesn't allow much time for self-care. Personal style is typically one of the behaviors that winds up suffering the most, as many don't feel it is a priority to worry about “what to wear" when they have a newborn to tend to. Closets become neglected, and women rely on wearing the “same old thing" daily to be both comfortable and easy.
How is this related to self-esteem?
Unfortunately this starts a downward spiral into compromised self-esteem. Many of my clients reach out to me when their baby is 6 months to 1-year-old, recognizing they have a closet full of either maternity clothes, items that don't fit, or a pre-pregnancy wardrobe that hasn't been updated in 2 years. Plus, many women are still not back to their 'old body.'
Women connect with me when they are finally ready to accept their new shape, and start paying attention to themselves again regardless. While some are still struggling to lose the 'baby weight' and others stuck with a stale wardrobe, I work with my postnatal clients, easing them through this transition to find empowerment again, using style as one of the vehicles to get there. My philosophy is based on the platform that mind and body must coexist in harmony and this includes how we present ourselves to the world. I help bring my clients back to life to become their best selves in order to be strong role models for their children.
How is this an issue that touches upon both the physical and the mental?
Women in our society pay lots of attention to keeping their bodies in check through diet and exercise, and once a pregnancy takes place (pre and postnatally) we wind up having to surrender since so much of the physical adjustment is out of our hands.
Even though the change is a physical shift, it affects every part of our being. Not feeling good in our bodies domino-effects into our moods, energy level and overall state of wellness. Getting dressed becomes another casualty. Personal style is a silent way of communicating who we are and what we are all about, and if things are not in balance on the inside, it will become evident in your appearance. Fortunately there are strategic ways of coping. I help my clients in getting back to the alignment of both, whether during a pregnancy and/or afterwards.
What is “style therapy"?
Similar to talk therapy, where a person becomes mindful and aware of their own behavior patterns, Style Coaching is a form of therapy. While style is an extension of an inner self, feeling unstable can offset the alignment with the outer self. How we present ourselves to the world is contingent upon our emotional state. Together we break down any barriers and explore the deeper layers, by evaluating body image, self-esteem, style preferences, and style choices so I can provide techniques on how to compliment your shape, personality and taste. Whether you're going through a break-up, lost weight, gained weight, recently had a baby, are pregnant or just looking to discover your “Style Personality," my goal is to help you find an authentic sensibility and provide guidance on how to use style as a vehicle of confident self-expression and empowerment.
Tell us about the style coaching services you're providing for new moms.
Style Coaching: This 1-1.5-hour session helps to create a strong foundation by assessing individual style goals/needs. I evaluate how your appearance interrelates with the emotional states you experience on a daily basis. Through a series of questions and exercises, we identify your “Style Personality." Some of my clients find themselves lost after a pregnancy and birth, and need help finding a way back to their core before they can understand how to present themselves through fashion choices.
Closet Cleanse: Here, we move through your closet together and detox, get organized and set-up a closet to feel good about. We go through your entire (seasonal) wardrobe and answer things like: “When is the last time you wore this? How do you feel when you wear this? Does this item really fit anymore or are you saving it for when you lose/gain weight?" After a pregnancy, women wind up with clothes that either don't fit, or with styles they don't love anymore since most don't invest heavily into new clothing when pregnant. Through this exercise, I provide tips and techniques on how to efficiently style what remains in your closet after removing what's 'toxic.'
Shopping: We go shopping (or I shop for you) to find those essential new pieces.
(Note: These can work a la carte, or as an all-inclusive service.)
What's the biggest frustration that your new mom clients have when they come to you?
Contending with a new body, and how to dress it. While waiting to lose those last 5-10 lbs. (or more) postpartum, women neglect purchasing anything new, putting things on hold until they reach a goal weight. This leaves my clients with an uninspired closet with clothes that don't really fit. I work very closely with my clients to teach them styling techniques that complement their new shape using their existing detoxed wardrobe, and offer shopping strategies on how to buy items that will work for now and later to ensure longevity in investments. There is no excuse for not having a wardrobe that you love and feel good in. No matter what size or shape you are. I work with all budgets, big or small.
What does it mean to “detox" your wardrobe?
Women typically hold onto clothing for emotional reasons, whether they are waiting to get back to an 'old body,' they envision themselves in styles they see on others to replicate a specific image, or they feel guilty getting rid of pieces they spent money on and have rarely worn. Unfortunately, this lands us in predicaments where we have too much merchandise that doesn't work. Either things don't fit right, they can't make the style they were inspired by work into their own 'Style Personality,' or they just don't like the item anymore.
I help women let go in order to become their full selves. This means getting rid of things that just don't work. They could be beautiful pieces, they could be expensive, and it may have looked amazing on that famous actress you bought it because of. The bottom line is that if you don't feel good in it, its gotta go! Together we discover what works on an individual basis, and this is where women start to become empowered by their own choices and feel confident in them.
Photography by Your Soul Style.