The Style Challenge officially ended on Sunday. For this week's post most of the bloggers will be doing a recap, talking about their favorite outfits/pieces and there might even be some special appearances by non-blogging style challenge participants. For all of those reasons, I encourage you to check out all of their blogs (below).
I'll be honest here, I wasn't organized enough to contact other participants in time to have them be a part of my post. I love the idea and I know it's going to make for some great blog posts, but that's clearly not the direction I'll be going this week.
I'm going to keep it relatively simple (I'm all for simplicity these days, the less complicated, the better) and tell you about my experience and share a few of my favorite outfits from the challenge.
Style Challenge Recap: the pregnant perspective
It's really no secret that I have loved Alison's Style Challenges since they started last Spring. I've talked about the 'why' numerous times. A quick recap: money saving, direction for shopping, learning to mix and match, creating a clothing budget and MOST importantly, meeting lots of super amazing women who always have the nicest things to say.
Despite my love of the style challenges, I truly debated participating this Spring. Obviously, I'm pregnant. 29.5 weeks to be precise. I definitely wanted to see what pieces would be included but I was worried about how I could/would make them work on my growing body. I was pretty sure I would sign up just to see what was on 'the list' but was not sure how active a participant I would be (in the Facebook group).
fav look #1 - printed top and colored jeans - I learned I can still rock colored pants EVEN when pregnant and they're much more fun that wearing jeans ALL of the time!
I, somewhat dutifully, tried to post my picture daily. I noticed, once again, how sweet and kind perfect strangers can be. I observed, once again, how women sometimes go out of their way to say or do something to lift someone else up. It was remarkable to see women share their challenges and successes (both in fashion and life in general) and to see others relate.
fav look #2 - print skirt with black t-shirt and coordinating cardigan (and bonus: the only piece that's actually maternity is the t-shirt!)
I didn't see one negative comment. Not one.
Now, how this challenge impacted me directly? Let me tell you.
Again, I'm pregnant. My belly seems to be growing daily (and I regularly get asked if I'm sure there's only one in there - yes, only one, thank you). Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, a miracle; however, it doesn't come without some challenges. Moving into the third trimester I am back to feeling tired, my back is sore, I've had issues with my sciatic, and there's all of these other aches and pains that I won't bore you with. I can live with all of these things and I'm reticent to complain because it's time limited and, let's be serious, I'm creating a human being which is pretty freaking awesome. BUT, sometimes, creating a human makes you feel like crap. Sometimes, being asking if there's two babies in there, makes you feel just plain large.
So there were a few days during the challenge where I just felt 'yucky'. There were a few days here and there where, despite following the challenge, I left the house feeling crappy. There were a few days where I was tired from being up with a toddler and multiple trips to the loo (small bladder + pregnancy = multiple wake-ups). On these days, this challenge was particularly helpful to me. Not only did it help motivate me to at least attempt to put myself together but it always gave me some confidence when I needed it most.
fav look #3 - striped dress - I was really unsure about a striped dress and a protruding belly but I ended up kind of loving it especially with some pops of color.
Those lovely ladies I mentioned earlier never failed to lift me up on days where I felt like absolute garbage. The sweet and thoughtful comments on my pictures really changed my frame of mind some days. Not just because someone had paid me a compliment, but because I was reminded of what a precious (and time-limited) thing pregnancy is. Not just because someone said something super sweet, but because my belly pictured served to remind someone of when they were pregnant with their little one. Sometimes, it takes something so little to make someone smile, even if it is from behind tired eyes.
At this point during my last pregnancy I don't remember feeling put-together at all, ever. This time around, with the help of the style challenge and these super sweet ladies, I really feel like, even if only sometimes, I'm doing okay with this whole pregnancy/non-frumpy mommy thing. It feels good. It's kind of nice to still feel like I have some semblance of some kind of 'style' even though I look like I swallowed a beach ball.
Looking back, I'm so so happy I decided to participate in this challenge. I have a cute maternity wardrobe to pass along to some lucky lady AND despite all of the physical ails of being pregnant, I'm actually really enjoying being and looking pregnant (the majority of the time).
fav look #4 - I said it before but the camo leggings/pants were the biggest leap and surprise for me. I found a fairly inexpensive maternity pair and once I finally got the nerve to wear them, LOVED them! Plus, the lovely ladies in the group made me feel like a million bucks in them :)
Stay tuned for future challenges, and again, don't forget to check out the other challenger's post (especially for that whole non-pregnant perspective)