“After reproductive health issues, a C-section and subsequent surgeries, I’m just amazed by what bodies can do,” says Emily Testa LeMaster, a Savannah-based entrepreneur. “When I was pregnant with Hank, now two, I felt tired but fine, and this pregnancy was a different adventure – nausea, reflux, sleeplessness, the whole nine yards. Getting dressed has been a wonderful distraction from not feeling so great. ” Here, she shares five looks, including budget picks from Target and comfy shoes for date nights…
Button down: Gap. Leggings: HeyNuts (“a super soft lululemon dupe”). Shoes: Zalo, similar. Sunglasses: “a kids’ party favor I found in my car,” similar.
“Parenting has been a lesson in letting go of expectations. Yes, my son might run behind my Zoom call in pajamas and cowboy boots. Yes, I might answer work texts from the playground. Yes, I might work too late. I try to remember that it’s okay. My only work / life balance tip is to be easy on yourself, especially in the beginning. People love to tell new moms that life is short, but it’s also pretty long! Sometimes a day is just a day, and we’re lucky to get another shot tomorrow. ”
Dress: Frances Hart, similar. Shoes: Schutz, similar.
“Beyond this dress, I haven’t really ventured into maternity brands. Instead, I’ve been sticking to a rotation of loose dresses from Old Navy and Target, layered with a leather or denim jacket I’ve had forever. I embrace repetition. Everyone who knows me has seen me wear these things one million times. ”
Denim jacket: J.Crew, similar. Bangle: similar. Cuff: similar. Necklace: similar.
“As my body became less familiar, jewelry was a nice constant. Every day, I wear bangles and my wedding rings, plus an evolving collection of charms around my neck. Some are gifts from my husband. He knows me well enough at this point to know that a small gold thing will always work. ”
“After having my first child, when I was recovering from a C-section and learning how to be a mom, I needed a way to move around that took care of us both. A carrier that looked and felt great on my body didn’t feel like too much to ask for. Still, it feels scary to say you’re developing a product when there are so many in the world already. What makes yours different? What makes you different? Cub doesn’t have investors; my husband and I are trying to fund this business ourselves, and on less confident days, I wonder if we’re nuts. But I try to remind myself that everything was new once – and probably required a measure of delusional optimism to get off the ground. ”
Dress: Modern Citizen. Shoes: Vans. Artwork in background: Trish Andersen.
“I don’t skate, but I always had crushes on skaters! Vans Old Skools are comfortable and add a fun pop of color. I went to college in the early aughts, so there were many fashion missteps. I once left my house wearing not one but two wide elastic belts over a very long T-shirt. I’m thankful Instagram didn’t exist then. ”
Dress: Ganni, similar. Jacket: AllSaints. Boots: Rag & Bone on sale. Baby carrier: Cub.
“Between working long hours, parenting a toddler, navigating a global pandemic, getting pregnant, and birthing a newborn, my energy for date nights has been… scarce. But my husband and I have fallen into a weekend routine: most Fridays, we have dinner at Starland Yard, a food-truck park near our house. It’s fun and kid-friendly. A heeled boot makes me feel like I’m on a date, but I can still chase after Hank; I set email alerts on eBay and The Real Real for Rag & Bone Rover boots in my size. ”
Dress: Old Navy. Bangles: Meredith Sutton.
“And on Saturday nights, my husband cooks, while I set the table and wear a swishy dress with bare feet. Spending time together as a couple feels like a nice way to celebrate surviving our first two years of parenting in quarantine and then starting all over again with a newborn. ”
Thank you so much, Emily, and welcome to the world, Phoebe! Find Emily on Instagram, if you’d like.
PS More women share their weeks of outfits, including a Detroit-based art curator and an antiques dealer in Maine.
(Photos by Adam Kuehl for Cup of Jo.)