Time flies when you're having fun! It's been two years now since I joined YLF, and I thought it would be fun to share my YLF story and show you my style evolution (or revolution, given how rapid and radical a change I went through!).

I joined YLF in Aug 2011, after I realized I should stop wearing fleece jackets and maternity clothes all the time, especially since my youngest was already 1.5! The rest of my wardrobe was mostly from the 90's, with a lot of mock neck tops, cardigan twinsets, and bias cut printed skirts (3-4). Other than maternity clothes, I had not bought any clothes in the last five years and very little in the last decade. I found YLF from an online mommy board--someone posted a link to Angie's NAS picks. I found the forum here and was instantly hooked!

No lurking here--I joined Team Dive and plunged right in! I went on a major wardrobe overhaul and bought a bunch of stuff at NAS and Anthro & elsewhere. Angie and all of you were so patient and helpful with all my many questions and endless K/R's. I learned my body type (apple) and how to flatter it. I learned about fit and obsessively tried on everything until I found the perfect version...I tried on at least 50 pairs of jeans to find the right size and fit. I was a serial orderer and returner. I was definitely picky and persistent (although not very patient!) I posted my before and after YLF pics. I traded in my red fleece jacket, mom jeans and Merrell mocs (1) for red corset trench, hot mama jeans and leopard heels (6). And instead of wearing a maternity top and jeans like I previously did for our anniversary dinner date (2), I upgraded to a Kate Spade polka dot dress and black trench coat for the symphony (7). I wore belts for the first time and learned that I liked fitted waists (8-9). And with Mrseccentric's and all of your help analyzing my new signature outfit from NAS (10), I developed a style persona--Demure Bombshell. I even developed a shadow persona with UWP/rocker chick looks (11, 12). But my primary style is still very polished and ladylike, with lots of fun prints (13-15). I developed a style rubric: Color or Contrast, Matchy Matchy, Patterned, Fitted and Flair. I purged my closet and honed my style while being inspired by all of your styles as well (I love doing copycat and twin days!) By the end of my first year here when I became a Veteran in Aug 2012, I felt confident in my style and with the state of my wardrobe.

But just when I was feeling like I had finally reached Closet Nirvana and had a handle on dressing, then came a huge monkey wrench--I became pregnant with #3! I was really happy, but totally freaked out about losing my whole new wardrobe that I had just spent the last year cultivating. Plus I was trying to hide my growing tummy for the first trimester. Fortunately, what I had learned from dressing as an apple really helped me during pregnancy. Structure and waist definition (16, 17) really helped camouflage the growing bump. Pics 17 and 18 were actually taken on the same day at 11 weeks! I was still into matchy matchy (16) and bright colors (19-20).

I really enjoyed showcasing the bump during 2nd and 3rd trimesters (21-25). I was really lucky I could use so much of my non-maternity wardrobe by wearing the stretchier dresses and skirts and embracing a more body-con fit. I bought very few maternity pieces--mainly a few pairs of maternity jeans and a couple of maternity tops. Most of my purchases, like the peacock tunic, were non-maternity pieces I planned to continue wearing afterward. Postpartum dressing was another upheaval, and more adjustment as I started losing weight and dressing to camouflage the tummy again.

Now at 5 months out, I'm within 5 lbs of my pre-pregnancy weight and can pretty much fit into everything again. But even though I'm back into my old clothes, I'm finding that I'm still evolving. Some of my latest outfits have been looser, more relaxed, and ALLGO (a little less going on) (26, 29, 30) than my usual fitted, hyper matchy, ALGO style (27-28). I used to think that at some point my wardrobe would be finished once I plugged all the wardrobe holes. Now I know that that isn't how things work, and that it's a constant process of style evolution. I'm happy that I get to continue to be creative with my wardrobe and have fun with fashion! Looking forward to what the coming year brings! Thanks Angie and thanks to all of you for all your help and advice and encouragement and inspiration!

1-5. Pre-YLF
6-10. Right after joining YLF--Aug 2011
11-15. Year 1 favorites
16-20. One year Veteran--Aug 2012 (1st trimester)
21-25. Year 2 favorites--2nd/3rd trimester
26-30. Two year veteran--Aug 2013

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