I tend to become very motivated about taking care of myself after having a baby; more than ready to shed the weight, try a new hairstyle and dive back into my closet.  
I will confess, it’s all about comfort when I am at home and pregnant.  Sweatpants and snug cotton tops.  I only wear maternity jeans when leaving the house for errands – those thick elastic bands are NOT recommended by midwives.  The looser the better for your baby’s positioning…
But now, with 24 of the buttload of pounds I want to lose gone I am ITCHIN to wear normal clothes again.  I am in that stage where I am wearing black yoga pants everyday…yuck.  Thankfully it’s winter and I can still hide in the house because I have a long “weigh” to go.  I gained my normal amount (a-lot) but want to lose more than that…just for the fun of it!
Recently my SIL and I had am enthusiastic conversation on a subject where I think we really connect – fashion.  She has great taste and is, I think absolutely beautiful.  We talked about the frustration of being Midwest girls.  We live in the land of corn bread thighs and a serious case of “business-super-casual.”  We both experience the frustration of friends asking, “Why are you so dressed up?” when all we have done is put on something other than a pair of jeans.  We sorted and sifted thru our feelings about fashion, what we like, what we don’t like, hilarious fashions for this year (high healed tennis shoes???? and hooded dresses and the shirt dress?).  I shared with her and she agreed that it is a frustration to want to be able to dress a certain way but to be inhibited by our social status…IE income.  Yes, there is an extent to which you can be creative and shop frugally but there is only so far you can go…
Sometimes it’s sad because I feel like I have waisted my “youth” making poor styling choices, not appreciating the figure I was born with and disrespecting that figure at times by carrying extra pounds…this year I will turn a certain number on my birthday (I still can’t believe it) and I hope that I have not wasted years of fashion as now I feel like I am getting a handle on the look I would like to express.  I suppose that is how it goes – things “coming together” in ones thirties ‘n all.  And that is what it’s all about; Expression.  What I wear is a direct form of self expression.  And it IS frustrating when you can’t express yourself the way you want to.
Victoria shared with me a couple of the fashion websites that she enjoys; websites where normal everyday women share their outfits and combinations for fun.  We talked about each doing something similar.  At first you may cringe but hear be out – why is fashion any different from design?  I have no qualms about sharing some new display in my home so why not share a new outfit that I have put together from my closet?
I shared with her my new addiction – thesatorialist.blogspot.com.  I am totally addicted to this site!!!!  A fashion photographer who CONSTANTLY posts photos of those in the industry and everyday people on the streets in Paris, Milan, New York, etc.  Now, there is a lot of stuff I would NEVER wear but if you peruse this sight (I’ve exhausted his archives!) you will find inspiration and if you, like me struggle with the LAMENESS of what is acceptable to wear in the Midwest, it will challenge you to think outside the box and be bold with this fascinating form of self expression!
Soon, I hope, as soon as I can fit into some of my clothes I think I’ll start posting some outfits just as a way to challenge myself and not get stuck in a mid-thirties-midwestern-rut!
Here are some of my recent favorites from The Sartorialist.  (Pay little attention to my “analysis” – I am not expert.)
Enjoy!

I don’t even know what to say about this guy.  It doesn’t hurt that is is good looking but I have seem him a couple times on the Sartorialist.  His ensembles never disappoint.
Yum.  What is not to love here?  Fingerless gloves, tights, fur capelet or shrug…whatever you want to call it?  Lovely shaped eyebrows and a elegant, simple hair.  She could have been lost in the crowd with a cliché black purse…but cobalt blue!  AWESOME!

Touling and Christian Louboutin…need I say more.  I covet those shoes.

I used to be an Image Consultant for BeautiControl, back in the day when they focused on body types and seasons…I was always a “Classic/Dramatic” personality when I would take their tests and that still holds true (though thanks to ladies like Nada Farm and A-la-Parisienne I find myself very attracted to the new “romantic” look).  But this outfit sums it up for me.  You have the drama of the hat, oddly lengthed pant and oversized scarf but you have the classic with the shoe style and color, the navy pant color and the trench.  I love this.


Again- Classic/Dramatic.  This ensemble is so “me” and I think I actually could have come up with this one myself…I LOVE to wear jeans with a white blouse and jacket.  The shoes say, “I’M NOT FRUMPY” the hair says, “I didn’t over think this outfit” and the purse says, “HEY!  Don’t underestimate me!”  Don’t be surprised if you see me try to imitate this one.

Ok, I could never wear these shoes but I hope I have this much class when I am sixty.  What “mature” woman would not want to look this stylish?