Photo of the author by Jamie R. Doyle Photography

I recently came across a “get ready with me” video where a new mom was getting ready for her first post-baby date night — in full glam. I was happy to see she was prioritizing herself, getting out with her spouse, and feeling good about her mom style. But I know many of us feel the opposite in the first weeks postpartum.

Becoming a mom did a number on my style, and I know it happens to many others. Before motherhood, I enjoyed buying clothes for myself and loved how I looked in them. I had fun putting together different outfits with shoes, jewelry, and a bag to match. While I was in college, I learned how to color, cut, and style my own hair to look my best. It didn’t bother me that it took hours to wash and style my hair, because I had plenty of time! But after becoming a parent, finding time to care for my hair and clothes wasn’t high on my to-do list. This means my style was one of the first things to unintentionally change. 

I did make some intentional changes, like cutting off two full inches of hair before the end of maternity leave. Many moms get a “mom cut,” but no one tells you it’s because your hair will be such a mess or because you’re trying to hide hair loss. Eventually, I started wearing hair wraps and styling those for work, which gave me a bit more of my style confidence back. And I started to buy clothes that fit my postpartum body at the stage it was in, and that made me feel the absolute best. (Of course, that stage rounded back to pregnancy, and the entire process started over again!)

Thankfully, by the end of my second maternity leave I had become self-employed as a doula and no longer needed business casual clothes. I decided to choose an easy “uniform” for myself — a T-shirt, leggings, and a sweatshirt (in case the hospital or home is cold). Depending on what my day looks like, it makes the transition to mom or doula and back again very easy.

Creating a uniform for work allowed me to focus my out-of-work wardrobe on comfortable, fun clothes that leave me feeling my best. First, I went directly to Google and looked up “shirts for broad shoulders” and turned up an assortment of shirt styles that look great! Then, I went to Target to try on a few styles in person, which allowed me to more easily commit to the items in my online shopping carts at places like J. Crew and Old Navy.

Now, each season I go through my clothes and make sure I’m actually wearing the things I own, and I add a few new items to carry me through the next season. I’m still figuring out exactly what “my” style is these days, but I love this season of figuring it out. 

Dashanna Hanlon
Dashanna was born in Michigan and raised between there and Virginia. She moved to Massachusetts in 2011 after getting a bachelor’s degree in English and gender studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She married her favorite Massachusetts native (Tom) seven years ago. Together they have two sons, Lucas and Isaiah, born in 2018 and 2019. Becoming a parent ignited a passion for supporting others, and Dashanna became a doula before the birth of her second son. She is now the owner of Caring for Mamas, working with families all over Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She loves fresh-squeezed lemonade, good music, and helping and supporting families.