If you haven’t caught up on my previous Style Evolution posts, you can find them here: My Style Evolution: The Early Years and My Style Evolution: My 20’s. So, now we are up to my 30’s, which brings us to 2007 – 2017.
Oftentimes, my style is influenced by my job and during my 30’s I worked as the Marketing Director at an accounting firm, followed by working in higher education at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. Both jobs had ‘business casual’ dress codes with jeans on Friday’s. Also, the accounting industry was a little conservative and higher education was a little more creative… but lots of blazers for presentations.
I also had Jack in February 2012, which absolutely influenced my style.
I started Pocketful of Joules in 2011 and my Instagram account in 2012, which makes this post a little easier since I can find photos. However, I used those dang dark pre-set filters on Instagram WAY too much, which you will see in some of the photos.
Here’s a couple ‘before Jack’ photos from 2008 – 2009. (Reminder, in the photo gallery you can click on any photo to see it larger)
I was still into tank tops with colorful skirts for my work looks (even though this photo is from our honeymoon). For the office, I would have added a cardigan. I did most of my shopping at Loft with the occasional Banana Republic splurge. As for my casual style, I was very into knee-length cargo shorts. I have no idea why – but I’m pretty sure I owned those exact shorts in like three colors. I mean, cargo pockets ARE very handy.
Let’s skip to my pregnancy style! Here we are in 2011/early 2012:
Both photos are from a babymoon we took when I was about 5 months pregnant. I mostly stuck with stretchy non-maternity clothes for most of my pregnancy. I remember wearing Loft empire-waisted dresses to work before I announced my pregnancy — so people probably just chalked up my belly to bloat and/or an unflattering waistline. Also, I was laid off of my job when I was around 5 months pregnant, so I wore lots of workout pants and t-shirts for a month or so.
Once I fully popped, when I returned to work (new job started in December, so I was only out of work for about 4 weeks) I either wore a pair of black Gap maternity trousers or dark wash ‘skinny jeans’ from Gap with a maternity panel. I would pair them daily with a Target maternity tank top and various non-maternity cardigans. I also bought a few dresses to get me through the start of a new job and our cruise.
Here’s me at my baby shower, 2 weeks before Jack joined us… so about 30 weeks, or 7 ½ months pregnant:
Now, let’s move on to after-pregnancy style. These are from 2013 – 2015:
I remember trying that red dress on at Banana Republic, not buying it and then calling my husband in a haze of hormonal tears asking him to go and pick it up for me on his way home. I also bought one in a striped version– they were my magical dresses and I wore them to work regularly with various cardigans. I also wore it for our family photos in 2013.
THIS SKIRT I wore So. Dang. Much. It was from Loft and a stretchy jersey material. I was still thinking pencil skirts were my thing, but starting to get more into the crazy patterns.
I also bought a pair of red skinny pants from Stitch Fix and tried to convince myself that they were “me”… but really every time I wore them I felt like I was trying too hard. Oh and I was mid dance-move in this photo…
Here’s a few more photos from that era. I had bangs for a hot minute and was very into the look of knee-high boots over pants.
And here are a few from the end of my 30’s where I’m merging more into my current style:
All-in-all, my 30’s style was mostly Loft, Banana Republic and the occasional outlet J.Crew. Lots and lots of cardigans and blazers. I also used Stitch Fix to help me determine what I wanted my style to be — so there some hits and misses as I tried to figure it out. I also started my sleeve tattoo in 2015/2016, so all work outfits after that avoided sleeveless tops.
For much of my mid-30’s, I was more focused on the kid that I grew and popped out, rather than what made me feel good about myself. I also wasn’t super happy with my weight, so I didn’t want to buy a bunch of clothing when I felt like I needed to be skinnier. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get any thinner.
The real fun begins once I get into my 40’s. I started secondhand shopping a bunch more and it gave me the opportunity to experiment with less risk of spending too much money on something I might not love.