Like most moms, I have a uniform. It takes no thought to throw on and may or may not solely consist of leggings, yoga pants, skinny jeans, tank tops, and cardigans. There are scarfs in the winter and the occasional skirt or dress in the summer. Sometimes I wear shorts, if I’m feeling brave. For shoes, I have a pair of flip-flops for summer and a pair of shorty boots for winter—I have other shoes, but I don’t have time to consider them.
I go out in public in this uniform almost every day, without thinking. No big deal that I’ve been wearing the same pants for 7 days straight and they have yogurt from three days ago smeared down the left leg—it’s mostly flaked off at this point anyway. I’ve also worn that tank top twice, but this cardigan is clean because the one I was wearing yesterday had snot, mac and cheese grossness, and possibly blood on it. I had no choice but to toss it into the mountainous pile of dirty clothes.
On occasion, I put actual thought into my outfit. It takes considerable brainpower, and I marvel that I used to compose outfits nearly every single day, with jewelry, which I would sometimes spend 5 minutes or more contemplating. But then I got pregnant, and I slowly cared less and less about choosing the perfect necklace and all my shoes left angry marks on my swollen feet, so I started choosing whatever was comfortable and easy. When Margaret was born, I stopped wearing jewelry all together, unless it was chewlery, and leggings and I became BFFs.
Basically, “Mom” and “fancy clothes” aren’t often paired together, unless you happen to be going to a professional conference for moms who blog and influence and are generally setting the mom trends we all come to know and love, and I AM. Next week. (Don’t tell anyone I don’t do any of those things I just listed).
For the past two weeks, I’ve spent precious brain space and money on making sure I bring it, which is difficult since I haven’t accessorized with more than preschooler-made bead jewelry in roughly half a decade and the LBD (little black dress) I own is from pre-baby days, and there’s a heavy emphasis on the “little” part. Maybe I shouldn’t be focusing so much on what I’ll be wearing and more on what I hope to accomplish at the conference (have fun with my friends…I mean…network and be professional AF), but this is my first trip sans kids in I can’t remember how long, which means I have all the suitcase space to myself.
To start my fashion awakening, I headed out all by myself to one of my favorite places on Earth: TARGET. I’ve spent countless hours walking the aisles of Target and an unquantifiable amount of money on things we’ve definitely needed (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). To say I love Target is an understatement, but even the greatest loves can hit a rough patch.
I don’t know what’s going on with fashion right now, but every time I give a cursory glance at the latest trends, it appears I have teleported back to 1994, and I’m waiting for someone to tell me about how they’re crushing hard on Jared Leto a al My So-Called Life. And Target, oh Target, what the fuck is this even?
I don’t know what fresh hell this is either, but we’ve teleported past the 90s and have gone straight to finding the golden ticket because we’re about to visit Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. There are actual bunny heads on the collar of that pale pink “dress.” What. The. Fuck. I’m officially old.
Sometimes clothes look weird on the hanger but transform into awesomeness once you slip them on. But nothing I tried on was awesome and nothing transformed once I slipped it on. Target, you did me wrong.
This dress actually tried to strangle me with its super tight collar. I didn’t know I had a chunky neck, but apparently I do. There is literally no body shape that could be flattered by this dress, unless you are literally a toothpick, like literally a wooden toothpick. If you have a pulse, this dress is not for you.
Moving on I thought, “Maybe this dress will be awesome because it’s kind of cool looking.”
I love a flowy dress as much as the next mom person, and in theory, shirtdresses should be my jam. I like shirts. I’m not particularly fond of pants. So a shirtdress sounds kind of awesome. But no. I have no words. And I’m pretty sure this dress could strangle me, too, with its weird neck ties. This picture doesn’t really capture how bad this dress failed at being cute. You had one job, shirtdress.
I was so disappointed; I handed over all the murderous and hideous dresses to the fitting room attendant and walked out of Target WITHOUT EVEN BUYING ONE THING. I didn’t even stop at the Dollar Spot. I texted Henning some of the hardest words I’ve had to string together in quite some time: “Target is dead to me.”
I headed to Marshalls because my professional AF friends told me that’s the place for dresses. They were right. And these dresses didn’t try to kill me at all. Three out of the seven dresses I tried on, made me look like a normal adult person who wears adult people clothes.
And this little number *almost* makes me want to vacuum while drinking a martini and throwing my kids in a playpen.
I bought these dresses (there’s also a new LBD that’s just the right kind of little. No dressing room pic and I’m too lazy to put it on now to show you. You’ll have to take my word for it that it’s pretty rad). I texted Henning that I was going to Ann Taylor LOFT because Marshalls was overwhelming me with all its racks and racks of random discount brand-name clothes. I just don’t have the energy for that kind of shopping.
Now, LOFT can be a bunch of grandma clothes if you don’t know how to shop it, but I’ve spent years combing the racks, carefully steering clear of anything that says, “I’m sort of hip, but also have my AARP card.”
And the service! I forgot about the service! “Do I want you to start a dressing room for me?” HELL YES, PLEASE! “How am I doing in here?” Imma need a different size and do you have anything that will go with this skirt? (And please for the love of all things holy help me because I have no idea what I’m doing…I have small children).
And then I tried on a jumpsuit. A motherfucking jumpsuit. I snapped a pic and sent it to my professional AF friends who would be
partying with me seeing me at the conference. They had the nerve to tell me I looked hot. And then I really looked at myself, and said, “Well, I’ll be damned. They’re right.” I bought the jumpsuit along with some other items, and how much I spent is irrelevant and talking about money is rude.
Target might’ve tried to kill me with its murder dresses and brain-meltingly heinous styles, but don’t fear. We’ve made up. I returned to my love and bought this clutch to go with all my new beautiful adult people outfits.
I also bought new shoes.
(Please, someone, make me stop.)
I’m going to be professional AF, y’all, when I’m hanging with my friends….I mean, networking and being a badass professional mom.
Psssst….I’m going to be in another book! It’s a bunch of hilarious parents sharing real stories and advice about how to be a totally normal parent. It’s call But Did You Die? and it’s part of the New York Times Bestselling (!!!) I Just Want to Pee Alone series by the lovely hilarious and sweary Jen Mann. It will be available June 11th! You can pre-order it online soon, but I will have books you can get from me with my
autograph signature!! Stay tuned!