Dear Fox and Hanger,
I work as a preschool teacher in an affluent community. Most of the parents are into brand names and these kids wear clothes that cost more than my entire wardrobe! At school, I wear clothing that is appropriate for working with kids. This consists of my favorite sweats and some sort of t-shirt. Also, I love to wear zip-up sweatshirts. When I’m at work, I like to feel comfortable. Comfortable has its downside considering im dozing off in the book corner! I’ve always dressed this way when working with kids.Now that I’m not in college or dating anyone that isn’t my home-body husband, my sweats to jean ratio is totally unacceptable, coming from someone that was voted best dressed in ‘98! Please help me.
Teacher Sleepy Sweats
Dear Teacher Sleepy Sweats,
It sounds like you’ve got a fashion crisis and could use a foxy friend to hang with! Thank you so much for reaching out . It took guts to share your story and ask for help. Please know that you are not alone. This is something that millions of people struggle with at some point in their lives
Your letter gave me a clear window into your daily life. You work as a preschool teacher in an affluent, image-obsessed community. That being said, you are a dedicated teacher who has her priorities in check… you are there for the kids. This means getting messy, playing on the floor, and being fully immersed in everything that is colorful, germy, and developmentally appropriate.
However, your clothing choices aren’t in alignment with the population you work with. Since you are so tuned in to the kids, it’s easy to forget that your life’s work is also a business. These parents have high standards and “looking a certain way”, is important to them.
Please note, I am not suggesting you stop focusing on the children, and morph into a materialistic, people pleaser that pairs slacks with nude pumps! I am asking you to adjust your image .
The clothing you wear to work makes you feel sleepy. Also, your style is sending out a message that you don’t care. This is farthest thing from the truth. Unfortunately, this is what your look portrays. It’s the energy that is pulsating from your sweats as they are falling asleep in the book corner (hopefully, your mascara doesn’t end up where your blush should be 😉
As an Early Childhood Educator, you have a reputation to uphold!
The first steps I want you to make are small but will make huge difference. You ready? Ok….instead of sweats, I want you to wear pants with an actual button (don’t forget a belt is a pants best friend). Even though there are thousands of different amazing leggings out there, I want you to at least try pants for at least a month before transitioning to leggings! Think of pants as the shot of espresso you need! Make sure these pants are clean and fit your body like a glove. Also, make sure that they don’t have those over-the-top crease marks (Sooo 2000!!)
Next, loose the hooded sweatshirts and come up with a cleaner alternative. For example, a classic denim jacket or a sweater. Instead of a cheap t-shirt, invest in quality tops that represent your authentic style. What kinds of looks are you drawn too? Do you have a favorite accessory that just makes you happy? What colors make you feel awake, creative, inspired and alive? How can you use clothing as a way to honor your best self?
You are important Teacher Sleepy Sweats! I wish you well on our journey as you transform your sleepy attire into a whole new look and life for yourself. Remember turtle-dove, you have to teach people how to treat you. So treat yourself kindly …
Please stay in touch and let me know what life looks once you are out of the fashion vortex and back in touch with your fabulous self! You weren’t voted best dressed in ‘98 for nothing!
All my love doll face!
Dear Fox and Hanger,
I feel like I lost myself to the yoga pant ! Ever since I became a mother I’ve forgotten how to get dressed . Some days , I’ve forgotten to brush my teeth! Honestly, I can’t remembe the last time Ive put time and effort into caring for myself. I’m so drained!
Oh God. Admitting that to you feels exposing My baby is a couple months shy of a year and I feel a shift . I guess that’s what made me realize I had a problem. Please help me.
-Lost in Babyland
First off, I want to mention how much I appreciate you reaching out for help. Before I offer you my advice, I’d like to congratulate you on surviving the most emotionally and physically challenging time of your life. Talk about draining!
As a mother myself, I look back on those early years as ,”Heaven mixed with Hell”. The good news is, it DOES gets better. Hang in there ! Something DOES happen at that one year mark that feels like a restart button.
Until then, you are in survival mode . So focus on the time period you are in as apose to where you are going. Remember , until you reach a year, you are in survival mode . What I am going to suggest doesn’t involve a list of ten basic wardrobe rules. It doesn’t entail you creating a clothing budget or coming up with a fashion inspiration board .
The first step involves getting rid of all those maternity clothes that live in your closet . Toss em! Don’t worry, If your having another , you’ll want to start fresh. This includes: ANYTHING that was packed in your luggage to-and-from he hospital. Also, crusty nursing bras, granny panties , ratty sweats …. Basically, any clothes that hold toxic memories from those first eight weeks .
Once you are rid of all trauma pre and post babe, it’s time to admit that your self-care is in a state of emergency. You must be your biggest priority ! Remember, you take care of yourself and everyone benefits.
This may involve purchasing a journal and jotting down all those grooming rituals that have disappeared ( or perhaps never existed !) By reintroducing( or birthing) these simple forms of self-care you will be able to tackle that wardrobe by one year .
Next, you will want to make sure that you have all the tools in your uterine tool belt! I want you to make sure you get a great under eye concealer . Mac has a great one, or bare minerals ( three step kit) can do wonders for them bags .
Also, make sure you own a tinted sunscreen and a colored gloss or tinted Chapstick . It will make you feel like a million bucks . Don’t forget to savor and luxuriate in the shower. It’s amazing how much a momma can experience in just five minutes! (Wink wink) At night , make sure you aren’t forgetting about your nightly groomingroutine(wash,tone,moisturie ) .
These tips can make a world of difference . Woman can age tremendously during these first couple of years . Remember this mantra : Mother yourself, so you can mother your children.
As for that yoga pant problem of yours, be gentle with yourself. Until you reach that one year mark, I want you to focus on the skin your in! (like literally…a Clarisonic brush is magical and worth every penny !)
treat yourself to the little things: a scented moisturizer, a pedicure , waxing , or blowout. Whatever a treat means to you, make sure you gift yourself daily .
I hope my letter helps. And I hope you know what a wonderful job your doing… Like an A+. The fashion vortex is real girlfriend …. But you don’t need to take that on just yet . Good luck mamma and please don’t hesitate to email me anytime @firstname.lastname@example.org (even if it’s at 3’in the morning !)
Fox and Hanger