Fashion & Wellness

Ever consider fashion and wellness to be connected? Katie of @thriftywifehappylife joins me to talk about how a mama’s wellness is directly impacted by how we dress. A mama of two, Katie aims to educate and empower others to have self-confidence through their daily wardrobe choices. Good personal wellness equates to the sum of many variables, and I appreciate Katie sharing how fashion can absolutely be one of them.

THE KNOWN MAMA: Katie, can we start off by you telling the community a little about yourself?

KATIE: Sure, well I’m Katie! I live in Grand Rapids, MI. I’ve been married to my husband Kevin for almost 10 years and we have 2 children. Jack is 5 and Anna is 9 months. Right now I’m stay-at-home-mom, but before that I worked as a “Head Start” preschool teacher. I loved teaching, but it’s been really nice having the opportunity to stay home with my little ones.

I have a blog called “Thrifty Wife Happy Life.” It's about inspiring women to look and feel their best on a budget. I share a lot of effortless outfit ideas, beauty tips and I also share my journey through motherhood. I’m really passionate about helping moms rediscover their style. It can be hard to put yourself together while taking care of your little ones and balancing everything else in life. So, I want to help moms learn how to put together affordable, practical, effortless outfits to help them feel confident.

TKM: Your mission to support mom wellness via fashion is unique. As you’ve alluded, wellness is an intentional state of being, and with life’s demands and responsibilities, fashion is an area we don’t see as priority. How has fashion been important to your personal wellness?

KATIE: Yes, fashion is 100 percent connected to a mama’s wellness. When you wear something that makes you feel good it puts you in a good mood. It makes you feel happy, motivated and confident. I’m not saying that you need to get all dolled up everyday. You can be stylish in leggings. You just need to find clothes that make you feel good on the inside. And that’s what it does for me--adding certain colors or pieces to my wardrobe makes me more confident and happy. My wardrobe helps me feel more “me.”

TKM: Mamas often don't have time to get dressed the way they want to, let alone have clothes that fit them they want they want them to. What would you say to these women or tips you'd give?

KATIE: I totally get that it’s really hard to find time to put yourself together when you are a mom. Moms are busy, but I always say that you need to prioritize yourself. Putting on clothes should not be that time consuming. If you can find time to unload your dishwasher or vacuum your living room, then you should be able to get ready everyday.

I think the biggest obstacle for most moms is that they are over thinking what they wear. I get a lot of questions from people asking me what color shoes they should wear with a certain top or what color leggings to wear. I think that simplifying your wardrobe is key to making the getting dressed process easier.

Body image is a huge roadblock for many moms. I don’t care how small or big you are, after you have children your body changes. You need to have clothes in your wardrobe that fit your new mom body. You don’t want clothes that are too big and you don’t want them to be too tight, so you might need to figure out what your new size is and buy clothes that will fit your new mom body.

TKM: You’re so right about how big a deal it is for women to accept their postpartum body. While intellectually we [women] know our bodies change after pregnancy, we still tend to chase after our “old” body which is impossible to achieve! That’s a great tip to minimize the wardrobe and go shopping for your postpartum body. That way, your mind’s less likely to play tricks, telling you how your clothes should fit.

TKM: What's one staple mamas should have in their wardrobe, or as an accessory that would help them feel good about themselves?

KATIE: This is a hard question for me because I feel like there are a lot of important staples to have. For me, I think every mom should have a denim jacket in their wardrobe. You can wear them with almost anything! I also think high waisted jeans are a great staple! A good, comfortable pair with stretch in them.

Another important, helpful staple is a supportive pair of underwear and a supportive bra. A lot of people overlook the importance of what you wear under your clothes, but the right undergarments can make any outfit feel comfortable and look good. Shapewear can also give you that little extra boost of confidence postpartum.

TKM: Huh. Now that I thinking about it, a pair of undies does make you feel refreshed, and somehow makes you aware of how comfortable you are in them!

TKM: What do you hope your littles take away from your passion for fashion blogging?

KATIE: I hope that my children will see that they have a mom who not only loves them and takes care of them, but also loves themselves too. It’s important for children to see that. I hope that they learn to take care of themselves, understanding the importance of self-care.

TKM: And if you could empower mamas about fashion and their wellness in a sentence or two, what would you say?

KATIE: It’s okay to make yourself a priority. You can still be a good mother and take time for yourself. Don’t make excuses for yourself anymore--just do what makes you feel good!

TKM: Preach! Which is such the anthem of “The Known Mama”: To take away stigma the society created regarding mother self-care. We can only love to the extent we’ve experienced love with ourselves.

TKM: Anything else you want to say to the readers regarding fashion and wellness?

KATIE: Just remember it doesn’t need to take extra time nor a lot of money to feel and look cute in your everyday “mom outfits.”

TKM: And, what I ask every mama: What do you want to be known for as a mama?

KATIE: I want to be known as a loving, understanding and compassionate mom. I want my children to know that I’ll always be there for them.

TKM: Lovely. Thanks, Katie, for sharing your skill set and heart with this community!

You can follow Katie to learn about affordable everyday style & motherhood on Instagram at @thiftywifehappylife and visit her blog at