Updated: Jul 30, 2019
At 5’4” my genetic code was stacked against me.
Spawned from a mother who needed a stepping stool to effectively peer over the kitchen counter, my lofty dreams of being a model-esque 5’8” someday belonged in a fantastical universe. The same fantastical universe where I might rescind pending marriage proposals from Taylor Hanson, the androgynous pop tween who stole my teenage heart and periodically made me question my sexuality, was the same fantastical universe where I would not be thwarted by my gene pool and I could be 5’8” for eternity.
5’4” was a curse… until I discovered the platform wedge. In a matter of seconds, I transformed from a stout goblin of angst to a towering Asian Queen. At 14, dreams were realized, life once again had meaning, and I never looked back.
Here is the sad logic of my desire to be tall.
Tall means that legs are longer; longer legs means less general fatness; less general fatness means more general kindness; more general kindness means better things. Therefore, tall means better things, and I absolutely wanted better things.
Running, jumping and spinning in random circles of excitement were no longer safe viable options with the path I had chosen, and comfort became a dirty six letter word. At 14, this small sacrifice was worth the eternal gains of what I assumed would be a taller and better life.
For the next seven years, I did everything in heels. Most notable of my accomplishments includes moving a loveseat down two flights of stairs without a sprain or twist in sight.
No, I was never comfortable. Yes, my feet were in a state of perpetual pain. And yes, I lied often and unapologetically about how invigorating it was to walk a city mile in stilettos.
My day of reckoning came when I was assigned to an elementary school to satisfy my field work requirement for graduation. Heels were forbidden, while running, jumping and spinning in random circles of excitement with a colony of school children was a requirement.
We had a problem.
It had been almost an entire decade since I felt the ground completely level beneath my feet and the idea of forgoing my feigned but envious height was non-negotiable. I researched platform tennis shoes for weeks in search of a height adding loophole, but only stumbled upon shoes appropriate for would-be Korean pop stars. I contemplated the stupidity that would be my life if I failed to graduate college over a controversial pair of heels and decided in favor of a non-stupid life.
With my alternatives exhausted, I pulled out a musty pair of sketchers I bought years ago in the event of a catastrophic walking emergency and strapped them onto my feet. I shivered in disgust as I heard the primitive sound of velcro snapping and unsnapping. I watched as my beautiful toe cleavage instantly disappeared with these clunky modern-day clogs. And yet, when my bare feet met the sole of these shoes, I felt like a vat of butter had been melted and spread across them. For the first time in 7 years, I was a short goblin of a woman, but I was comfortable. Suddenly I was on time, and intermittent walking was no longer required to get across town. But I looked helplessly clunky in my comfort. Was this the only way? Would I be destined to always have to sacrifice style for comfort or comfort for style?
For all the mothers out there, it’s likely you have asked yourself the same question. Are style and comfort mutually exclusive? While you may not have been forced to give up toe cleavage for the sake of comfort, I am certain you likely have style staples that have been retired for the sake of chasing around your little human. As a mother, comfort is certainly not a dirty six letter world - sometimes it’s the only word.
When you have the demands on your life that come with raising little ones, the goal is to think of creative ways to reinvent and reinvigorate comfort instead of bringing your past impractical style loves out of retirement and into the dangers of diapers, mud, and regurgitated baby food. This week we will focus on the age-old hoodie. While it is a must for casual and athleisure style alike, I will show you how to transform this look into something colorful, classy and ladylike.
The classic hoodie comes from humble beginnings. Originally designed for its ability to protect industrial workers from the elements, it was adored first for its utility. Eventually this utilitarian worker’s staple was grafted into the throws of modern style and eventually spearheaded the way for casual wear, making its way into every closet in America. Yet often in the early years of motherhood, you may be tempted to revert to the hoodie’s humble origins and exclusively wear it for utilitarian function. With spit up, boogers and navigating the world of mystery colored poop, I don’t blame you. That’s why I have come prepared. With these three simple add-ons to your hoodie, you can look fierce with comfort in mind.
Look 1: Pullover Hoodie + Skirt
I adore the pairing of a bright summertime skirt with a dark colored hoodie. It is the epitome of balance. The look brings vibrancy and life back into the dreary pending winter season. For this look, I have taken a fitted faux wrap skirt and paired it with a blue hoodie. Pairing a feminine summertime skirt will instantly dress up your day to day hoodie. To ensure that the look is polished, tuck your hoodie into your skirt and pull 2 inches of the tucked fabric out so that it sits against the top seam of the skirt. If you do not have a thin t-shirt hoodie in your closet’s arsenal, a regular sweatshirt will work and can be tucked into any thicker faux leather skirt.
Look 2: Hoodie + Fitted Blazer
The hoodie and the fitted blazer are an unlikely couple, but the two belong together. The fitted blazer adds instant structure and polish to your hoodie while you remain comfortable in the process. For this look I have chosen a fitted camel blazer that hits at the waist and paired it with a grey pull over hoodie. What I love about this look is that it instantly looks like you made a premeditated style decision, when all you really did was throw a blazer on for the day. The pairing elevates your day to day hoodie and instantly makes you appear simultaneously sleek and comfortable.
Look 3: Thin Strapped Dress and Hoodie
I am summoning the majesty of all that is Jennifer Aniston circa Friends 1995 for this unconventional yet comfortable ensemble. In recent years, the look of layering t-shirts and tank tops has made its way back into the style world and pairing a pullover hoodie with a spaghetti strapped dress will take this look to the next level. When choosing colors for this look, contrast is key as it will help to distinguish the layers you are displaying. To best replicate this look, a thin pullover hoodie will be ideal. For this look, I have paired a magenta pink dress over a black pull over hoodie. Finish this look with a pair of leggings and booties, and you will have breathed new life into your conventional hoodie. If you are looking for a way to wake up your hoodie, this is the boldest and most avant-garde option you can choose. Yet with the comfort and familiarity of your hoodie and leggings, I have ensured that you will be cozy as you take over the style world.
Your Hoodie’s Goodies
Sleep, timely bowel movements, Netflix marathons, and the motivation to wear pants are just a few things that come to mind in the long litany of sacrifices mothers make for their little humans. With all that you willingly forgo for the sake of rearing a well-adjusted child, style and comfort does not have to be one of them. With three new and inventive ways to help you rethink how to style your age-old hoodie with items already in your closet, you can be at ease knowing there is one less thing you need to sacrifice.
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