By Ashley Alt
When I had my son, getting dressed again got my mind right again. After battling postpartum depression for what felt like an eternity, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and started advocating for myself. The easiest way for me to do that was through fashion — the ultimate expression of freedom, independence, and authenticity — core values I was desperately missing as a new (and terrified) mother.
I had always utilized style as a confidence tool, and still do to this day. Good fashion sense came naturally to me as a kid, and it evolved organically through my college years and beyond. I took advantage of that dress-myself-confident feeling by being fearless with my looks — experimenting with vibrant makeup, standout outfits, and edgy hairstyles.
Possessing “outrageous” style had become what I tied my identity to, so when my sparkly jumpsuits and twirly dresses were replaced by mom jeans and white t-shirts, I quite literally lost it — because I lost sight of who I was.
You don’t realize how good something (or someone) makes you feel until you don’t have it anymore.
That’s what happened when I became a mom. It felt like I wasn’t allowed to enjoy fashion anymore because of its superficial implications — even though it was the one constant in my life that made me feel like me.
Learning To Embrace What Makes You Fabulous
I am now making it my mission to give fashion-focused women a space where they feel free to adorn themselves in bold, colorful clothing that makes them feel exactly like themselves. This is the reason I’m starting a clothing brand — to give millennial moms the encouragement they need to reclaim their identities in an uber cool, fiercely fun way.
Fashion has the potential to not only be a symbol of style, but plays a major role in our sense of self. For that reason, I want to create something that doesn’t just look good, but makes a difference in how women feel about themselves on a daily basis.
This is what I mean when I say fashion improves your mental health. I’m living proof that getting dressed again can and will get your mind right again. I’m here to guide you on the path to being who you want to be by way of fabulous outfits and feel-good mantras.
While mental health should be taken seriously, the way we approach it doesn’t have to be so heavy. I believe our weirdness is what makes us great. Whether that’s through distinctive style or a quirky personality, I think the world would be a better place if we all just owned it.
I would love to know your thoughts on this topic! I’m super accessible by email, and love gaining new perspectives from readers: email@example.com
Keep up with Ashley by signing up for her Mindset Health For Moms newsletter, a weekly dose of mental wellness tailor-made for the boujee-cool mom.
Ashley is a writer based in Connecticut specializing in mental health. She has been featured in PopSugar, Modern Parent, and other major publications for her insights on modern motherhood and trends in wellness.