Group Chat: New Year, New You?

Do you know that even after all this time on the internet (going on 9 years!) I still get a bit apprehensive to see my style change? It’s a subtle change; a natural progression that has quietly lead me to become more and more casual each day. Being a mom has changed my style more than I thought it would and our work is at a warehouse most of the day so I don’t need to be prancing around in hard to wear heels or dresses. (Now I just prance in sneaks.) As we were shooting this outfit yesterday, I told Bryan I love this but I get so nervous to post outfits that are so casual. He countered with ‘but do you like your outfit?’ and I knew where he was going to go with the conversation, so I didn’t press on. He offered the same encouraging words he has had for me over the last 9 years: it’s okay to be you now.

***

 The other day I saw a couple walk out of Starbucks as I was getting my iced coffee and my head instantly turned. I usually see the same people at this particular spot so it’s usually a quick run in and out with rushed hellos. But I’d never seen this couple before and they caught my eye; the woman was probably mid-20s and dressed in exactly something I would have worn in my 20s. She pranced out of Starbucks with that only-annoying-because-I-don’t-have-it-any-longer 20-something youthful energy, dressed in a beautiful dress and stylish heels; honestly and absolutely overdressed for McKinney, Texas on a Tuesday at 8 am. I smiled as she walked off, happily overdressed. I looked down and saw my yoga pants and sweatshirt and in comparison, I felt dull. Not necessarily in comparison to her, but in comparison to how I used to be. Seeing this stranger catapulted me into thinking about my past style versus where I am today and I instantly became nostalgic. But does nostalgia mean regret or remorse? No, not necessarily. I let myself think about this for a while. I definitely have things that I miss about my past style; a beautiful dress, impractical heels, and perhaps competing to be the most overdressed in the room. And of course, there are always pieces of clothing that I’d love to invest in this year that I haven’t in the past few years because of pregnancy + the days of infancy. By the end of this conversation in my head, I realized my nostalgia was warm and kind. Memories wrapped in outfits past, reminding me of days that I’ve truly loved and have been incredibly lucky to have lived. I looked back down at my yoga pants and thought: it’s okay to be you now. 

***

The thing I’ve always loved that about style and fashion is that it changes with you, even if you don’t realize it. I like that I can look back on my blog and see exactly where I was in each stage of my life. Expressing myself subtly through a piece of clothing, even if I didn’t realize it at the time. Now as I feel myself settling into a daily style that is quite different than how I used to be, it scares me a bit. The word settling is actually quite unsettling. A lot of fashion blogging over the past decade has been built on the outrageous or the bold, and I find myself reaching for things that couldn’t be closer to the opposite. I wouldn’t say I ‘struggle’ with my style in my 30s but I feel the pressure to be more definitive with my style than I was in my 20s. I find that there is something less experimental about your 30s and more ‘expert’: you should know who you are by now, shouldn’t you? But the truth is, I’m just now finding out who I am — or maybe that sentence should read: I truly like who I’ve become. I’ve tried on a lot of hats, for lack of a less on-the-nose term, over the years and the ones I’ve found in the last 17 months (mom + shop owner) are my favorites. Well, and also: blogger. But that feels more like a soul mate than a hat.

As I find myself being drawn to easy pieces like this outfit for my every day, I hope you can find the same inspiration you have in the past. but I understand if you don’t. I’ve built our life with Kendi Everyday and — how do I put this into words? Since I’ve built my blog with a different style, it’s scary seeing your style change and wondering if that will change everything else. And not only my style but the content on KE, I’d love to write more and share more. That’s actually one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to pull my phone out and share more. (I’ll write more on this later.) But changing something that has worked for the last 9 years feels like trying to move a mountain with your bare hands.

At the beginning of every year, I like to start with a clean slate. Literally. I wipe my computer clean of files that are bogging it down and I move the important files of the past year to a hard drive. I literally start with a fresh computer. (I actually haven’t done it yet and it’s driving me insane. December 31st, it doesn’t bother me but come January, that desktop better be empty.) And I’d like to do the same here. I don’t want to erase my proverbial hard drive of Kendi Everyday; I’m proud of what this place has become, but rather I want to move forward with a clean slate. And maybe this post was more for me than for you; which truth be told is why I don’t write a lot on here anymore because I absolutely hate sharing my personal life. If you know me in person, you know I’m extremely private. (Don’t remind me of the irony that my profession is a blogger.) But I’d like for us to get to know each other again and the only way I can do that is the way I do with true friendships: opening up and sharing. And I hope you feel comfortable to chat as well. I’d like to move forward with more engaging posts and I’d love to hear your thoughts too.

So since you’ve made it this far and while this post was more cathartic for me to write than probably for you to read, I will offer this again to you and me: it’s okay to be you now. 

***


This post started off as a daily style post. This is what I originally wrote before I stopped and went another direction. 🙂

I bought this sweatshirt on sale and you can too! I love when that happens because usually if I get something on sale it’s long gone by the time I get around to blogging it. You can find it on sale here at Nordstrom or at Madewell here. It’s also adorable in this beige color, too!

I told you that I am living in these sneakers. I am having to slow my roll every morning to not throw these pups on. I do giggle every time I see photos of them because they photograph so white. Like holographically white. I promise they aren’t ghost shoes, but they do look nice and crisp in person and they’ve stayed clean for the first 20 days I’ve had them. They are by the brand Greats and you can find them here!

Shop the post:

Editor's Notes:

The sweatshirt runs big! I’m in the medium but it’s super roomy in here. The jeans are true to size. Shoes — read the reviews! I’m good in the 10s but some suggest sizing up a half size.

35 Notes

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  1. Shari says:

    Oh girl! I understand. I check your posts, make up shopping carts, have even checked out makeup and I’ve never been big on it. But I just had my second child (have a 5 year old). I’m still on maternity leave and all I can comfortably wear is joggers and leggings (which I feel guilty about because they aren’t pants). Life changes us and fighting it is pointless. We’re moms and we just need to keep it moving. So if it’s a cute pair of sneaks and a sweater. So be it. I guarantee that overdressed 20 year old you mentioned isn’t a mom lol. She has time, energy and the will to be overdressed. We got bigger things to get done daily. Motherhood changes you more than anything else and it is okay to be you right now because that’s who our kids need. Have a wonderful day!!

    01.10.19 · Reply
  2. Kristy says:

    Love your style, your blog and your shop – and you may not realize it but I bet many of your followers have changed their style over the years as well and are happy with the changes they see here. For me you are “right where I am” in life so I enjoy your outfit posts. That being said, I am definitely open to hearing more/different things from you! Please be brave and continue with your resolution of starting over. Just please keep giving outfit recs every now and then too so I know what to wear! 😉

    01.10.19 · Reply
  3. Colleda says:

    Long time follower and I just want to say, I applaud your authenticity. I started reading fashion blogs because I wanted to figure out how to dress for work, but still be myself. For me, it was never about rushing out and buying everything I saw, but about being inspired. I miss that about blogging some days. I wish we’d see more repeats, and restyling, but I get that that’s not exactly what gets the clicks. I’ve followed for years because I always enjoy your humor, your practical approach to fashion, and your affordable finds. Looking forward to continuing to read your blog in 2019. Thank you! C

    01.10.19 · Reply
  4. Leanne says:

    Yes! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    01.10.19 · Reply
  5. Julie says:

    Hi internet friend 🙂 I’m happy to chat back atcha! If it’s any encouragement at all – this style season you are in is my favorite ever. (I started reading about nine months after you started KE) As a mom to 3, I have related the most to your “mom style”. Your blog mommin’ outfits and inventory at Everyday & Co. is practical – and I’m serious – anything but boring!! I recognize some readers won’t be as excited with the laid back and casual style as they were when you were more fancy heels and dresses 😉 but I’d be surprised if you lose readers over it. Even when I didn’t identify as much with your style posts, I still visited because of the colors you put together, your writing style, etc. All that to say, *cheers to a new year and just being YOU!

    01.10.19 · Reply
  6. Teresa Krammer says:

    I love and relate to this post so much! I’m a runner and also coach once a week, so between my own workouts and coaching, I find getting dressed sometimes feels pointless. Somedays I have my sports bra on under my work clothes, and try to take leggings from Pilates back to the office. Days like today I washed my hair, did my makeup and pulled out my fuzzy pink vest for work. I love both looks because they’re very much who I am at this point in life, and I’m pretty ok between the quick change between the two.

    01.10.19 · Reply
  7. Lisa says:

    Kendi! I can relate to 100% of everything you just wrote. I’ve been a long time reader (maybe since your office days and bright tights??) and I love how your style has evolved over the years. Maybe because my life has followed a somewhat similar path? I’m a new(ish) mom, my son is 14 months old, and I’ve also struggled to find my new style identity. I went from working in an office full time, to working from home part-time. So, yeah, my daily style has changed, a lot. I still like getting dressed up, but those days happen once or twice a month now, not daily/weekly. My new daily uniform is jeans and a cute sweater/sweatshirt/t-shirt. Knowing this, I try to find shirts that have some kind of unique/fun/different element to them. Ruffles, (stripes and ruffles!), lace, off the shoulder (only one shoulder, let’s not get too crazy), cut-outs, etc. And let me just say, you are killing it with everything in that last sentence. You are a great example for moms on how to be cute and stylish while still being able to play on the floor with your kid, or go on a play date, etc. I’m really excited to see more of this new Kendi in 2019!

    01.10.19 · Reply
  8. Erin says:

    Love this and love your blog. I used to follow tons of blogs, but now in my 30s I only follow the bloggers that appear authentic 😊

    01.10.19 · Reply
  9. Jess says:

    Thank you for writing this post today 🙂 I think I’ve been following your journey since … 2011 (I really can’t remember) but although I’m probably not your key demographic (my baby is my retired greyhound) I read here because of you really as a person however much of yourself you wish to share with the world and although I’m going through a stage of Maximalism in my own personal style I still love reading your posts and seeing your everyday style because as other commenters have pointed out it’s authenticity and that shines through above all else. In terms of moving forward however, I think starting more conversations whether they are deep or just weighing up the pros and cons of a latest trend vs more mom-friendly pieces I think the key is talking again. We have so many ‘influencers’ now who don’t seem to be able to do more than a caption and a sales link it’s nice to come back to people like yourself who can actually write and do it well with a personality and opinion! So I’m all for your new you and your new style! 🙂 happy new year as well to you and fam!

    01.10.19 · Reply
  10. Samantha says:
    01.10.19 · Reply
  11. Beverly says:

    I have followed you for years, I actually think yours is the first fashion blog I ever read, somewhere around 2011/2012, and my style has evolved too! It’s just a natural part of life and I think a beautiful reflection of where we are in our journey. As a mom of two young boys, my style these days looks a lot like yours, so I personally love this shift and still love you, as I always have. Keep doing you, Kendi.

    01.10.19 · Reply
  12. Anna says:

    Hey Kendi,
    I came across your blog when I was a senior in high school and your 30 for 30 challenges and the way you combine patterns and colorful tights and wore skirts were inspiring for a 17-year-old girl who only wore skirts for church on Christmas and Easter because her mom made her do it.
    Your style has always been amazing, your blog is the only fashion blog I’ve consistently followed, and I credit you for my being consistently the most colorful dressed person in the office on a regular basis.

    As I look around me I see this natural progression you also talk about in the women around me and I think it’s natural to dress according to the point you are in life. And I love it, I think it goes to show that we are always a work in progress, that we are not inflexible, that we are revolving. We are dressing for where we are in life. 😊

    You talking about a clean slate on the blog is what prompted me to write this (waay too long) comment : the blog has documented your evolving style. It shouldn’t be missing chapters.
    That 20something year old you saw in the coffee shop might draw inspiration from a place like this. I know the 20something writing this does. From all the chapters. Xx

    01.10.19 · Reply
  13. Anna Kay Cope says:

    Love this, Kendi!! I’ve been reading since the 30×30 remix of Target pieces days – our styles change with our lives and that’s just part of living! You can’t stop living your you now just because your you of 2, 5, 9 years ago is on the web for all eternity. Personally, I’ve loved following your journey from Target to Chloe and from desk girl to shop girl to girl mom. Cheers to embracing Now You in 2019!

    01.10.19 · Reply
  14. Lucie says:

    Okay, this story is amazing! I absolutely loved readint this post, and having a glimpse of what can go through your mind (because I can totally relate!)
    Lucie,

    http://thefrenchpier.blogspot.com/

    01.10.19 · Reply
  15. Jenny says:

    I’ve read your blog for years and I’m a 40ish Mom of 3 teenagers. I love your current style the most! You are such a great combination of stylish, beautiful, and funny. I have stopped reading so many blogs but yours has stayed true and relatable. You definitely have a gift so I hope you are always yourself here 🙂

    01.10.19 · Reply
  16. Mireia says:

    I don’t think it’s a new you, you are the same person, but with more experience, and that helps you to start a new year harder and better every time!

    Mireia from TGL
    https://thegoldlipstick.com/

    01.10.19 · Reply
  17. Lauren says:

    Long time follower here:) I think I first found one of your posts while googling some cute work outfits as I headed back from my second maternity leave in 2012. I’ve loved following along on your style journey and was so excited to follow along your pregnancy because I was pregnant with #3 at the same time:) My style went more casual a few years ago and I so appreciate the process of finding a new “you”. Your new casual looks are totally giving me new inspiration. Glad to be here, happy to stay, and here’s to new followers looking for new inspiration!

    01.10.19 · Reply
  18. Jo says:

    Isn’t part of it also that minimalist casual clothes are more trendy right now? As is being “honest mom” (I’m 34 and have a toddler too.)

    I’ve been feeling the same way recently, but actually came to the opposite conclusion: I don’t like the minimalist style, sneakers aren’t my thing, and those high-waisted and mom jeans make me look frumpy.

    So I’ve been dressing up more (not 8:30 coffee run in heels, but, you know, more.) I actually just bought some really cute 60s-inspired stuff (cat tank top with bow, bright blue button-down, louder floral print than I ever wore in my 20s, orange velvet loafers) from the tag sale at Anthro, all of which makes me feel more “me” than this casual androgynous neutral thing going down in most stores right now–which I’ve been trying to do for like a year.

    And for me, that feels brave, too. It’s less trendy, and it makes ME afraid of being judged as “trying too hard” or (heaven forbid) less stylish when everyone else is in Nisolo mules, ripped denim, and huuuuge sweaters. And, it’s funny, I’m also pretty private, and recently the “honest mom” thing has also been making me feel “inauthentic” because I’m not really into that whole joking-complaining thing. (Yes, I do go crazy, too, just quietly.) I’ve only recently realized that complaining does not exactly equal really being honest or open.

    Anyway, just some honest thoughts back to your honest thoughts. I can really see that you’ve become more comfortable in what you’re posting now than a year or so ago, even if I actually think you’re also become more during jour than you think. 😉 (Hey, it’s great when trends go your way! I’m just glad curtain bangs are back ’cause I’ve had them since like 2003.) And I do have to say that, as your style has changed, I’ve also appreciated the more relatable price tags, and constant shoe rewears (even if they are mules). 😉

    Which is all to say: you’re the only fashion blog I’ve read for 7 years, and the only one I keep reading even when the style isn’t something I’d do myself (but sorry for your current lack of kickback, ha) ;).

    01.10.19 · Reply
  19. Marla says:

    I like your more casual style! But I get what you’re saying, about sometimes looking back on where you’ve been and maybe feeling a tinge of nostalgia. Sometimes I do that too (I’m 36). But then after a little while I think, I wouldn’t want to be 20 again, not in a million years! I wouldn’t even want to be 35 again… I like who I am right now and what I’m doing right now. Also, if it feels like too much to “open up” and “be relatable” then don’t push yourself to do it, unless you want to. I really like you just how you are right now. You’re hilarious and pretty great 🙂 Hopefully I didn’t freak you out by my almost-love-note but just wanted to say that!

    01.10.19 · Reply
  20. Traci says:

    Funny this is what I love about your blog! Its relatable and it feels more authentic than a lot of bloggers. I buy a lot of the pieces you suggest not only because we have similarish builds but it doesn’t look impossible to rotate in my everyday life, but its a elevated enough where I know people will still comment on my outfit and ask “where’d you get that?” Please keep an authentic voice in this space – you’re very valued by many even if we don’t comment all the time!

    01.10.19 · Reply
  21. Christine says:

    Long time reader, (probably) first time commenter – I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading this post. I love the more personal nature of the post and appreciate your willingness to open up a little more – so I hope you keep writing more like this.

    I started following you in the early days of your blog – when you were still at your office job. I was in my first or second year of college at the time, and now in my late 20s. I have loved reading your blog through the years. I used to follow many more blogs, but it’s tapered off significantly and now there’s only a handful that I read. But it’s been so fun to follow all the life and style changes you’ve gone through over the years, and I’m so glad that you’re still blogging!

    Regardless of how your style has changed, I am still inspired by the way you style your clothes. I also have to admit that I actually like how your style is now – it feels more realistic and relatable. But I hope you don’t take that to mean you can’t ever go back to beautiful dresses and impractical heels 🙂 Keep on keeping on!

    01.10.19 · Reply
  22. Kate says:

    Thank you for this post. I often feel bad about how stylish I used to be, but my current situation (work from home writer) just doesn’t call for the same skirts, dresses, heels, etc. From now on, when I’m overcome with those feelings, I’m going to remind myself that “it’s okay to be me now.”

    01.11.19 · Reply
  23. Kelsey says:

    Motherhood totally changed my style, too (to the point where my style blog turned into a family blog), so I’m personally (selfishly) thrilled about your style shift. I basically live in jeans, Vans, a sweatshirt and a beanie. But you know, throw in a front tuck and rolled sleeves, and I feel like I can still be trendy/fashionable/myself.

    I love your longer, more personal posts (you’re such a good writer!), and I’m excited to see where you take KE this year!

    01.11.19 · Reply
  24. Jennifer says:

    You hit the nail on the head!! My pride is dressing my kids and trying to piece together something for myself.
    You rock Girl

    01.11.19 · Reply
  25. Hi Kendi… I people watch when I can,checking out style etc . I am 60 with grown daughters and I am redefining my style. As we move through life,we change and our sense of self,and style change. Embrace where you are because it will change as Gemma grows up. Enjoy!

    01.11.19 · Reply
  26. Jenny says:

    Love this! Would love to hear more from you and see how things are evolving for you.❤️

    01.11.19 · Reply
  27. Angela says:

    Just shared this on my social media. Been following you for several years and love it all! Not just because we are almost exactly the same sizes and height — but also because I loved your mix of accessible but also high end clothes. You took me from sportswriting in Florida to joining the ministry and becoming a Lutheran Pastor and author – and mom of two! Keep doing what you’re doing and being you.

    01.11.19 · Reply
  28. DANIELLE AUGUST says:

    Love this! You are one of my favorite bloggers from way back!! But as I’ve grown up from a student to now a wife and mom, my style and priorities have changed. I still love a good remixed outfit, but in the post I want to hear something real or important or meaningful or even just fun. It’s not about the clothes, it’s about a real connection and feeling a little less alone in these times. Looking forward to hearing more from you in 2019!

    01.11.19 · Reply
  29. Amy says:

    I love your style pre and post baby. People always ask me where I shop and I’m always like, I don’t shop I just follow this blog and buy things she posts. Sent many people here. I’m a working mom of two teen boys, love to look cute. When I was a work at home mom (it’s all work whether you work in or outside the home), love to look cute. Hate shopping and the effort in real stores. But, being a mom does change your style. Babies and toddlers are messy and active. Now that I’m in my early forties, with kids that don’t throw up on me anymore and I don’t have to physically chase anymore (and let’s not forget precious sleep), my style is changing again. You be you! We are grateful for Kendi, all versions.

    01.12.19 · Reply
  30. Beth says:

    I’ve followed your blog for a long time (several years), and I’m really liking your new style! I live in a really small, rural farming town, and your “casual” is actually pretty fancy here! I’ve also seen my style change quite a bit over the past few years (I’m 25). I actually got rid of almost all of my clothes this summer (after living abroad for two years- it was a good clean slate) and have been slowly creating a new wardrobe- only clothes I really love, feel good in, and that match my lifestyle (which means mostly pretty casual). Thank you for sharing your thoughts and being vulnerable!

    01.12.19 · Reply
  31. dee says:

    I’ve followed you for most of those 9 years and I’ve changed a ton too 🙂 You inspired me, then lost me as I fell into the pit of parenthood, and now I’m so happy that we’re on the same page again.

    01.13.19 · Reply
  32. Jess says:

    I’ve been following you since you were taking pictures in the parking garage and had the red heels! I’ve loved watching your style evolve with your life. I’m 6 months post partum and my current style is leggings alllll day every day. I do miss my cute outfits, but they’re just not practical for this season of life. I love that you’re willing to open up and show us more of your real life. Even if it includes repeat outfits, remixing & messiness. Thank you for being willing to put yourself out there…or out here I guess. <3

    01.13.19 · Reply
  33. Cindy says:

    Interesting thing about becoming a mom and one’s style evolution. I’ve loved fashion as far back as I can remember- 45 now. Mom to two teenagers, and I know my style has evolved over time. Based on practicality, based on the day’s activities, based on what life has thrown at me. I can honestly say that I’m the most comfortable in my skin now, and my style choices then I ever was. I was a bit worried when my daughter was younger, that she’d associate my interest in fashion with an unhealthy view of women’s bodies, etc. And it’s completely the opposite- she is body positive, confident, and has a unique eye for fashion between what’s “now” and vintage and is her own person. As I continue to be my “own person”, I’m more adventurous than I was before and I love it. Embrace the sneakers, jeans and sweatshirts- wear what you want, and don’t apologize for who you are today, who you were before, and who you will be in the future. It is an evolution, and it can be your revolution.

    01.14.19 · Reply
  34. Courtney says:

    I’m super late to the this party, but wanted to still chime in and say that I (too) have been following for years now (back when you’re ‘About Me’ was centered on being non-preggers in a small town). 🙂 I love your blog and your wit, not to mention your style. Keep on keepin’ on…with the blogging. Also, totes cool to Joe Alwyn-like with your personal life, but do let us know if you and Tay hang out. 😉 okay, bye

    01.17.19 · Reply
  35. Raluca says:

    Lady, you’ve got yourself one smart husband. I need to get “it’s ok to be you now” tattooed on my brain.
    And to be honest, I’ve actually started visiting the blog less ever since you started focusing less on the life and more on the outfits. Maybe that’s just me, but I admire the community feeling a blog can start.
    Also, on the other hand, it makes perfect sense that you wouldn’t want your personal life all over the interwebs; I’m obsessively private myself. So basically just ignore me and carry on :))

    01.20.19 · Reply