Finding My Mom Style

For many of us, there come seasons of life where we look at our closets and realize we really want a WHOLE NEW STYLE. That season came for me a few years back when I entered my 30s and then again, even stronger, when I became a mom. It’s something Laura and I have often commiserated about—wanting a new style that fits this season in life, but still wanting to feel cute and like ourselves. It’s a thing that so many women go through, multiple times, throughout life.

Two years ago, I looked at my closet and felt I had nothing to wear. There were a lot of issues. I had tons of colorful, patterned clothing that I bought more for blog photos than for real life. I had mainly short dresses/skirts and big heels which I liked to wear in photos, but didn’t always reach for in daily life. I had clothing in so many different sizes, as I have frequently gained or lost weight but was never able to part with my “goal clothes.” At one point, there was probably 50% of my closet that I couldn’t fit into—how sad is that?! I also had a lot of clothes I wore ONE time, whether for a party, a photo, or a vacation, and after that they just took up space in my closet. I shopped a lot of fast fashion, which made it feel easy to buy a lot of clothing that I didn’t necessarily value. It was definitely a quantity over quality situation. I had probably four times the clothing I have now, but every day when I went to pick out my outfit I felt I had nothing to wear and would end up wearing the same pair of jeans or yoga pants. Womp womp.

I was constantly discouraged trying to get dressed, so I decided to basically start from scratch!

First, I did a HUGE clean out and got everything that didn’t fit me out of my closet. This was HUGE. It felt like a weight lifted off me. I didn’t realize how much stress having a closet full of clothing I didn’t actually want to wear was causing me.

I did save one bag of “goal clothes” (shoved in the back of my closet where I couldn’t see it), but what’s funny is that by the time I did lose weight, I didn’t want to keep hardly any of the clothes. So there was no point! Moral of the story: Don’t keep goal clothes. It’s too sad, and when you lose weight, you’ll probably want a new outfit anyway.

After my big clean out, I felt instantly better. It was life changing. Next, I spent the past two years doing capsule wardrobes for each season (I sometimes did fall/winter and spring/summer together, or just a smaller version for winter and summer). This helped me rebuild my wardrobe with basics I could wear multiple ways. My closet became full (although not as full as before) of all QUALITY clothes.

It took me a few cycles to feel like I had all my basics covered, but I finally feel like I have basic outfits for every occasion and most importantly, denim that fits and is flattering for every season. Since I’m good on basics now I’m switching to a different plan for 2019 and am really excited to see how it goes!

I am a person who loves change, but it’s been surprisingly challenging for me to break out of my style ruts. I learned I had a lot of assumptions about what “looked good” and what “looked bad” on me that weren’t even accurate. I definitely believe in dressing for MYSELF so the most important thing is to wear what makes me feel good. With that said, I found that a lot of the clothing in my “comfort zone” was not actually making me feel good (at least not anymore). It was just what I was used to wearing, and a lot of it turned out to be old styles/habits I didn’t even know I was totally over.

(details: Top/Zara (old), Pants/Everlane)

I read and did the homework in The Curated Closet twice (I did it two years in a row as I was trying to redefine my style). It helped me to narrow down my closet (aka purge), try lots of new styles and attempt to branch out and also to be super selective when adding new items. I can’t recommend it enough if you are in need of a closet overhaul.

Now that I let go of the baggage and spent the time and energy to FIX my closet, I am so much happier. I actually enjoy getting dressed 90% of the time.

(details: Dress/Reformation, Sweater/Madewell, Mother Necklace/Gunner and Lux)

Another big lesson I learned is to lower my expectations. I know that may seem strange or harsh, but I realized I was holding myself to standards that were too high and that I wasn’t actually willing to make the kind of effort it would take to look that polished every day. I LIKE not wearing makeup half the week. I LIKE wearing ‘boring’ outfits most of the time. So why was I disappointed in myself for doing those things? Well, it was a choice. So, I consciously changed how I thought about these things. I lowered the bar for myself and, to be honest, it felt amazing!

I still like dressing up in cute dresses. But I also like wearing the same sweater twice (or more) in a week. Now I can do both and feel OK either way. I realized I didn’t need to put so much pressure on myself. I needed style goals that mattered to me personally and fit my current lifestyle.

(details: Sweater/Madewell, Jeans/Madewell, Booties/Seychelles)

It’s now been quite a while since I’ve been living with a closet that makes me happy every day. It’s a great feeling and it was totally worth the long process it took to get to that place. It’s still a work in progress, but I feel like I am figuring out how I want to dress and am slowly building a wardrobe that’s useful, easy and makes me feel good about myself. What more could I ask for?

If you have any questions or just want to vent about your own closet issues, I’d love to chat in the comments. xx! Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • I’ve definitely been feeling the style rut lately! It’s so easy to shop at the same old fast fashion stores since I know it’ll fit and I can afford it, but I’d really love to start investing in more quality (AND change my style a bit!) I’m not sure I’m financially in a spot where I can really invest in the best quality clothing, but this year I’m going to try harder to shop outside the box. My friend promised to help me out with Goodwill/vintage shopping, since I feel like I have a hard time finding great pieces that way. I’m really excited to follow along with your yearly goal too!

    Thanks for the reminder that redefining your whole style can take some time 🙂

    • Hey Lexie! Have you checked out resale sites such as Thredup or Poshmark? I’ve found a lot of quality pieces on those for a fraction of the price – and all in great condition. For example, I had my heart set on some good Madewell denim, so I tried on in store and then kept my eye on Poshmark until a pair in my size popped up. 🙂 Plus, it’s so much more curated and easier to search than in-person thrifting. Hope that helps!

    • If you happen to live in the south, Belk has the most amazing clearance sales. I recently bought a beautiful $115 dress for $2.97!!! The same deals are often on their websites, too. I tend to shop clearance racks and won’t buy unless it’s at least 50% off. I might be a season behind, but I feel good in what I wear. Solids are always in trend, so I do try to keep it simple when possible.

  • I love this, Elsie! I’m also in my thirties and have spent the last several years trying to build up a closet that focuses on quality, not quantity. However, I have so much trouble clearing out old things that I’d love to fit into again or just feel bad giving away (they were gifts, I only wore them once or twice, etc.). This year, I’m determined to start off fresh and really pare everything down to just things I love. The cleanout starts tonight! 🙂

  • My comments are really geared towards both this post and the post about thrifted clothing. I’ve worn thrifted clothing almost exclusively for decades. When I was young, I was poor and had to (for the most part). While my financial situation changed for the better over time, I simply could not ever find a reason to go back to retail. There is always a very large selection, under one roof, of every style and item of clothing I would ever need, at attractive prices. I couldn’t justify ever spending more. Contrary to what people think, thrift stores are NOT vintage shops. They want to make money just like every other business and mostly you’ll find items in good shape and/or current styles. Environmental causes are perhaps the biggest reason I stay in the thrift camp – I simply want to reduce my carbon footprint, and the fashion industry leave a HUGE one 🙁

    That said, thrifting lets me make some mistakes and mis-steps when planning a wardrobe. If I buy something and wear it only once a year, or just once, I don’t feel nearly as badly about keeping it around or throwing it away (i.e., re-donating it). If I’m in between sizes for the millionth time, I can keep a few different sizes on hand without too much guilt or sunken costs. I can take chances with an item — and therefore my personal style — without too many consequences. As I learn more (or evolve), I can weed out and re-donate anything. It’s so fun! Thank you for your candor in this and every other post, Elsie!

  • ModCloth is my undoing. So many cute dresses in my very plus size. Yet most days I reach for flowy pants and a T-shirt. Especially for school runs and housework days.

    I also buy so many patterns I end up with nothing plain to go with them. And when I see a quality plain piece I tend to skip past it.

    I am getting better. I’ve been on the hunt for a baby pink leather jacket for over a year now because I haven’t settled for anything less than exactly what I want.

    • flowy pants and a t-shirt sounds fantastic to me! I think if you’ve found a good outfit “recipe” or “formula” that works for you, go for it. There are so many ways you can wear that & feel good in it.

  • I loved reading this! I’m currently 8-months pregnant and working. I didn’t realize what a struggle it was mentally getting ready but I have also been toying with what my mom style will look like. Thank you for posting this; it really struck a chord with how to move forward.

  • I recently “Marie Kondo’d” my apartment and have felt the best I ever have about my wardrobe and self since. I thought I would miss the 10 massive bags of clothes I got rid of, but I can’t stop emphasizing to everyone I know how getting dressed in the morning is such a positive experience when you aren’t seeing things that make you think, “I wish I’d fixed that button” or “dammit I want that to zip”. I didn’t even realize how those thoughts had impacted me everyday until I removed them completely. Yes, I wear the same pink sweater multiple times a week, but I look and feel great! For anyone looking to cut a massive chunk out of their wardrobe, I really recommend giving things you love but just don’t wear anymore to friends. My pal took an entire bag of dresses home, things I had LOVED and was hesitant about parting with, but I loved seeing her fashion show them on instagram and it felt good to see them loved by someone else. <3

  • I feel this so much right now!! I turned 30 this year, and I’m now pregnant, and having to pack away all my cropped sweaters and tops (which, combined with high-waisted jeans was my signature everyday look) was more devastating to me than it should have been. I’ve always had cuts nip in at my waist to show that off, and now I feel like I’m drowning in long tops that have to cover the bump, and I just don’t feel like “me.”

    I know that’s not exactly what you’re addressing, but it’s so comforting to know I’m not alone in dressing for a new season of life. I’ve gone through a lot of wondering if many of those clothes will even fit me again after the baby is born and if my style will evolve into something more “mom-like” since I’ll be running around after a little one. I’ll definitely have to check out the book you recommended.

    Thanks for your openness and honesty as usual on topics that aren’t usually talked about 🙂

    -Molly
    http://www.callofthestyled.com

    • Sending you the biggest hug and good vibes for finding your pregnancy style and beyond. Even though I haven’t experienced pregnancy I think all women go through seasons like this in life and it’s good to know there’s still cute clothes in your future! :)) Oh and congratulations!!!! xx

      • Thanks so much, Elsie!! I’m very excited about the baby, I just need to get a little bit of “me” back into how I dress! Even if it’s only after baby is here! 🙂

    • Cropped tops or knitted t-shirts, paired with a skirt worn up over my bump, were my favorite things to wear this last pregnancy & those same tops work well (like over low necklined tank tops), for easy nursing later!

      • Anna, I love that idea! Unfortunately, my office is freezing and I don’t think skirts will be viable for me until at least mid-April where I live, but maybe I’ll really find my pregnancy style in my last month when I can bust out skirts! 🙂 Glad to know those tops will be useful for breastfeeding too!

  • Love this! I don’t have kiddos so I’m not in the changing “mom style” season, but I do feel the transition of 20’s style — probably the decade outside of your teens your style changes the most. I still have some items from the year I was 21 that don’t feel so “forever” to me now. 😆It’s a constant evolution! I’m wearing those tan Everlane pants you linked today and they are 100% my current obsession. Feels good to have some flattering basics.

  • Girl…I feel you on all of this! I just had my second son last September, and I was really excited to fit into my pre-baby clothes. Which was pretty much a collection of smaller t-shirts and tighter fitting athletic pants.

    My oldest son is almost 5, and I haven’t had nice clothes since before I was pregnant with him! For some reason, every time I’m pregnant, I decide to give all my nice things away,… It always just seems like a good idea, then after the baby’s born, I’m wondering what I did! But I’m sure my friends love it bc I’ve given away all my nice clothes.

    I was so excited to finally purge and start a complete wardrobe haul. Especially bc I just recently added fashion to my blog, so I had so many ideas on what I wanted to do.

    I’m finally starting to get a sense of identity back as my collection grows, and I feel more confident now. The only problem with this, however, is that I only prefer to wear these clothes during a shoot to avoid getting baby puke or other fun children messes on them!

    I’m also the same way with not wanting to dress up every day or wear makeup every day. If I’m not going out, I really don’t care to put on much more than some sweatpants and a sweatshirt! I also only really do my makeup on days I’m doing a shoot or if I’m doing a makeup tutorial/blog post. There’s just too much to do in a day with kids and running a business, so if I’m not seeing anyone, I’m probably not spending the time I do have on it!

  • Any suggestions for separate work and non work style? My work wear is business casual and regular life wear seems to be just yoga pants and baggy jeans and nursing friendly tops (new mom) but I feel like I’m getting lost in between work and loungewear and now dont really have my own style

    • This is me! I have clothes I like and wear to work, but that means at weekends I dont want to wear “work wear” but then I’m left with gym clothes or jeans and baggy jumpers and I feel a bit crap about them. I don’t really know my style! And in work I also feel like I dress more “fuddy duddy” than I’d like- I can’t seem to get the balance between professional but yet me/fun right. Almost all my clothes are from charity shops (thrifted) or second hand (ebay). I’d just like to be a bit more excited getting dressed and less time to think about it- I take my clothes with me every work day to the gym and get dressed there before work, so has to be ok being in a bag and getting dressed in a communal changing room….

  • I’ve definitely had a binge-and-purge style approach over the first few decades of my life. Shopping was usually an emotional quick-lift for me so I’d end up with things I shouldn’t have bought, but did on a whim to help my mood. Then I’d get stressed about having a full closet, nothing I wanted to wear, and tons of regret! My short-sighted shopping would usually steer me towards trends that truly weren’t right for me, but they were just everywhere and I probably wanted to feel hip.
    Although I don’t have kids yet, the year I turned 30 I had major mental shift. I mentally let go of trendy styling and accepted that I neither really like nor look good in many of the trendy pieces! I also don’t like the idea of being so easily influenced by advertising and social media culture, and the constantly changing image of what we’re supposed to like and look like. It’s possible to keep up.
    I honed in on what I truly like and feel good in— basic pieces, neutrals, solids and stripes, classy/timeless cuts, a little hint of Parisian, with a dash of librarian and prep. Some days I do question whether I look too boring or matronly, but then I quickly remind myself that I don’t care! People tell me that I always look “professional” and “put together” and those are two descriptions I’m happy with.
    Amusingly, I sort of thought I was alone in this transition but this comment thread proves me very wrong! Maybe it’s an early 30’s rite of passage after all 🙂

  • Hi Elsie! I have loved hearing all about your style journey over the years. You always look adorable!!

    I was wondering if you’d ever be willing to do a loungewear with style post. I’m almost 30 and I’ve been struggling with my health for years but now I’m mostly housebound (leave the house 1-2x/month in a wheelchair). Now I’m in a rut on how to dress in a way that is super comfortable but still makes me feel cute.

    Much love! 💕💕

  • I’m totally there right now! Not with the polished capsule wardrobe but 30 with a baby and hating my closet! I’m big into thrift stores and I do pretty descent but do you have any tricks on how to not buy lemons at the thrift store? They’ll look great next to the ugly shirt next to it but when I get home it doesn’t work! I need to read that book though and soak on some staples.

  • I have been struggling with my wardrobe for a looong time. I recently became a mother and this has started another cycle of hating everything I own. Whether it’s because my size has changed, or something makes it difficult to breastfeed the baby, or I just feel ugly in a piece of clothing, basically 90% of my wardrobe makes me so unhappy. I’ve gotten rid of a lot, which feels amazing. But there are still a few items in there that I try on and go, “I can’t get rid of this!” even though I NEVER wear it. I’ve recently picked up sewing more, which is a super fun way to customize my wardrobe. I like that a lot. I think part of my problem overall is that I don’t know what my style is. How do you figure that out? I feel like I always default to a t-shirt and jeans, over and over again.

  • My biggest struggle getting dressed is my size. I’ve gained some weight and it’s just so hard to feel motivated and good when I don’t feel good in my body or my clothes. Would love to hear more about your weight loss or how you stayed motivated to put effort into dressing your bigger body.

  • I’m in the last year of my 20s and about to be a first-time mom through adoption (how I was introduced to A Beautiful Mess), and I have been feeling this 100%! You articulate it so well.

    I was inspired by capsule wardrobes and minimalists, so I did a huge purge of my closet last year and it was a major reset for me. I’m much more mindful now of what I buy and how I use it. Work clothes are tough because I hate spending money on business casual clothes that don’t translate into my super casual style, but I’m getting better integrating those pieces as well.

    Wishing you all the best this year! I’m excited to see how your secondhand clothing challenge goes, and most definitely your second adoption! Sending lots of love and good vibes.

  • I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Funny thing is my husband encourages me to keep the too small items as he knows I liked them once so thinks that I’ll definitely want to wear them if I lose weight. But I’m not so sure they’ll suit my current lifestyle. And they take up so much room. I dont know if I want the hassle of packing them up and moving them when we sell and buy a new house later this year.

  • This makes me breathe such a sigh of relief. I used to have such a defined sense of style and after becoming a mom between body changes and lifestyle changes I’ve STRUGGLED! I turned 30 this last year and my first born is almost 6 and I still struggle with this. It’s been a goal of mine for awhile to rediscover what clothing makes me feel great and this is really encouraging! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to starting the process! Xo

  • Love this article! You go girl, lower those self imposed expectations! 🙂 I can relate! I loved everything you just said, so relatable and real, and there is so much beauty in being honest with yourself and others!

    I love your shoes in the first and last pic! Comfortable and classy looking 🙂

    -Lilly @ http://www.theoccupiedoptimist.com

  • When my kids were at home it was so fun to dress them up. I preferred buying for them instead of myself. My clothes at that time were more functional. Because I was a teacher most of my clothes were school appropriate. Once retired I was free to finally by clothes without any restrictions. Then working with Mallory has opened me up to more color and styles. My only criteria now is how I feel. So great!

  • The 30s can be so confusing especially as a mom. You still feel young but not so young to wear certain things and not old enough to wear other things.

    I’m so glad I’m not alone in this “ I have nothing to wear” with a full wardrobe of clothes syndrome, which drives my husband mad.

  • I totally relate!!! I am a mom to an almost 2 year old now and I literally have the exact same sweatshirt in 5 different colors and I wear them all every week!! 😂 it’s just easy and I love how cozy they are and how long the sleeves are (to fit my lengthy arms). But i really would like to get more of a variety of clothes that looks cute. It’s SO hard finding clothes that looks good on me and feels comfy and versitile at the same time.

  • I totally get this! Im 28 and feel like I need to stop shopping at forever21 because I really want to change it up and look more like my boring 28 yo self if that makes sense

  • Elsie, I totally relate to this 100%! I always struggle with finding my true personal style. I bought the book “The Curated Closet” about a year ago and did an ultimate clear out of my closet but I still have bad habits and deal with weight fluctuation so I continue to purchase items I am not crazy about or will only wear once.

    The part in which you discussed having high expectations on what to wear, I feel like that is completely me. I love wearing jeans and a t-shirt yet I push myself to dress up even though it makes me uncomfortable and I don’t feel confident in what I end up wearing. Thank you for sharing this and encouraging us to be more of our authentic self when it comes to our clothing style. This post motivates me to do some serious closet revamping this weekend.

  • For me becoming pregnant made the biggest closet change for me. That was when I found out (AKA didn’t want to spend so much money on clothes I was only going to wear for such a short time) I didn’t need so much clothes to get dressed. 4 years later I still don’t buy more than I need. This year though I want to buy more quality pieces, since I have more trust I can buy what I truly need, fits my style and my tone.

    I am very curious about your new journey you are going to undertake this year, it made me inspired to maybe go down the same road in 2020.

  • This post has great advice for every season of life! I’m only 20 without kids and still in college, but it’s relatable to have a jam packed closet and only wear the same 5 pieces of clothes. It’s even worse because I have some of my wardrobe still in my parents house and some with me, so there is no effective way to tidy it all at once!! I’m excited to at least go through what I have at school!!

  • I’d love to hear more about your weight journey – not sure if you already have posts on it, but I can totally relate to having fluctuating weight and am working hard to figure out how to reach goal and maintain it without the constant yo-yo-ing!

    • Hi Kristyn, I am always happy to talk about it among friends or in person, but online I don’t feel comfortable talking about weight loss anymore. Mostly because it’s SO different for everyone and so easy to have your words taken the wrong way. It can be a triggering subject for so many people and it’s really not at the heart of what we want this blog to be. I will say that my journey to getting healthier is just as much about accepting myself as it is about creating better habits. I had to find what worked for me and what I could stick with. Anyway! I hope that makes sense. :))

  • I always loved the style side of ABM, I’m happy to see new blog posts on this subject. 🙂 It’s true that before I liked to get inspired from the outfits you posted, but couldn’t really implement it in my everyday and work life. (I laughed a little about too short skirts, high heels and blog-outfits).. To be even more honest, I used to also almost a bit dissapointed for not being able to pull smilar things off, but it just wasn’t fitting with my lifstyle. A bit glad to see that it rarely really does. 😀
    Two years ago I stared to build my warderobe from basics by mostly tailor-madking my clothes – even the basics (almost completly gave up jeans). It felt amazing, haven’t had much clothes but everythng I made was designed and color-coordinated to fit with one another. I wore now this same clothes through all seasons with exception of summer. Slowly I am also adding some colorful, thrifted and fast-fashion peaces but I don’t feel stressed anymore to search and find something.
    Anyway, longest comment I ever posted. Really loving this style (and life) relatable posts. Thanks for sharing! LoVe!!

  • I definitely can relate to this post! I became a mom almost 2 years ago, and noticed a change in my “go to” items in my closet. I started gravitating towards items that were easy to move in, walk, or carry multiple things in. I even noticed a change in the bags I used.

  • Hi Elsie,
    Thanks for sharing your style journey… I love reading about it so much, and it’s so fun to read mixed in with the rest of the ABM content. Keep it up.

    After I had my kid (now 6!), my style was all over the place! It took me 18 months to fit into my “regular” clothes, and once I did, I didn’t vibe with the flouncy skirts and sweater dresses I used to wear all the time. So I basically wore leggings at home and jeans and a random sweater at work for 4 years. Ughhhhh. After doing the “Curated Closet” workbook two years ago (thanks for that recommendation), I shifted from living in jeans, plaid shirts (I do love in Seattle!) and army coats to becoming a more dressed up version of myself and my west coast casual style, purchasing cool jewelry and clog boots to up my style. Two years in, I think my style is much more me and though I haven’t fully nailed it yet, I feel more like a cool mom rather than a blah mom. I’m going to participate in your 2019 second hand style challenge (after I buy some new socks) and I’m excited to see how it turns out.

    Style is such a fun and positive way to make yourself feel good and the less time we spend stressing over how we look, the more time we can spend with our families, friends and giving back to our communities!

    Love from Seattle xoxo

  • Yes! I love this! I am nearing that stage. I’m about to graduate college. I need some work clothes, some going out clothes, adventure clothes..etc. You get the picture. I’m on a budget but need an absolute with my wardrobe. This was a good read and I’m right there with you. Thanks!

  • Hey Elsie,
    what a great read! I cleared out my closet big time about 3 yrs ago and set up rules, what could stay in. To be honest I was shocked how many clothes I had in there that i hardly or even never wore for different reasons.
    In order to stop my closet from overflowing I clean it out every six month. Everything I haven’t worn in the past 12 months goes to a charity store. So far I never regreted giving something away.

    One big closet-rule these days for me is: Everything in there can be worn any day. Why keep a dress for a special occasion? So now ppl at work sometimes say stuff like „Wow, you like great today. Are you going on a date tonight?“ and my most favorite answer is „no, I just put on that dress for me today.“
    My biggest trouble was this issue – to realize: I don‘t need a special occasion – being alive, healthy and happy, is special enough. 🙂 I can relate to other parts of your text, too – the „keeping stuff that doesnt fit anymore…“, the heels / make-up parts…

    Thats why I loved your part about accepting, that sometimes the picture we have about ourselves and what we should dress like and what we actually like to wear can need some adjusting. Thinks for that tip. I think I can still work on that a little.

    xo

  • I am really pumped about your thrifting year that you posted about on instagram – I did the same and it has changed my way of shopping for sure. One of my biggest issues with it though is i tend to REALLY want to nab the good unique finds. If I find something incredible at a thrift store and I know it may be the only one ever, I want it, even if it doesn’t really work in the rest of my wardrobe/style. So that’s something I’m thinking about right now as I try to clean my closet. I love unique items and sometimes wear them like crazy, but not always!

  • Yaaaas! Love these posts on your style Elsie. I’m all for lowering our daft self-imposed expectations and going with whatever feels right :). There’s no shame in wearing the same outfit twice in a week – not in my world anyway! You always look great whatever you’re wearing and I loved your look before, but I’m also loving seeing your new comfy/casual/ practical look. I tend to get stuck in a rut with jeans and layers so some inspo is always welcome, and I’m trying to cut down on fast fashion too. I’m still reading ‘The Curated Closet’ and going through my wardrobe (ongoing since last year!) but you’re inspiring me to push on. Thank you! xx

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.