It’s hard to be a mom, right? There are the endless snotty noses, the massive amounts of diapers to be changed and laundry to be washed and folded and washed and folded, lunches to be made, healthy snacks to hunt down or create, and don’t get me started on the whole nurturing a child who can function in and contribute to society bit. It’s no wonder, then, that time and time again I hear mothers say they feel like they are in a style rut. It is literally as if one day, amidst the laundry, the wiping noses and butts, the sweet kisses, and the sticky hands, women pass a mirror and gasp at the woman staring back.
They shudder in horror for surely this cannot be the same woman who once rocked the flannel shirts, glittery eye shadow, baby doll dresses, and Doc Martins or platform Steve Madden sandals. That girl had her S(tyle) together; this woman’s wardrobe is a desperate cry for help. And then, just as quickly, she is pulled away from this reverie by a nightmare unfolding in her pantry as the kids have found where she stores the flour, and the vague thought that maybe she should do something about the current state of her wardrobe gets pushed aside for another day.
Mothers, I am here to tell you I totally get that focusing on your kids, your husband, and your job has helped you justify not having enough time to focus on yourself or your clothes and thus leaves you going for what seems easy: a worn in pair of jeans, a comfy t-shirt, and a broken in pair of shoes. Hear me loud and clear, though, your kids, your husband, and your job are going to be perfectly fine if you focus on you occasionally. In fact, I dare say, the kids, the husband, and the job situation will all be better for you having taken some time to take care of you!
Let me give you some practical advice, advice that applies to any woman, my Great Gran gave me when I was entering junior high school, an awkward period when so many of us make a multitude of fashion sins. She said, “Always remember it takes just as much time to dress nicely as it does to dress poorly.” In other words, it takes just as much time to don the stereotypical mom “uniform” before jetting out the door as it does to put on something with a little more style and creativity. Please note, I did not say you have to sacrifice comfort for style or ease of dress for style. In fact, you don’t even have to ditch the notion of a mom “uniform”, you simply need to ditch the notion of what a mom “uniform” looks like.
I know for many of you it is hard to let go of how you are currently dressing because you simply don’t have time to consider another way, let alone time to actually hunt down those items. Never fear, Style Tutor to the rescue! We are launching a new series called…wait for it…cue drum roll…Mom Style! (Super creative right? The brain trust worked overtime on that one!) The premise of the series is that I (Jennifer) will show you outfits that I wear when taking my kids on outings: outfits I think you could easily adopt to your lifestyle as well! All outfits are mother approved and tested out in kid friendly environments!
First up, what I wore on a recent visit to The Children’s Museum of Phoenix. The museum is full of all sorts of hands on activities that are truly fun for young and old alike, so comfort is of great importance. I had a style consult earlier that morning, so what I wore that day needed to serve two functions: I needed to look professional and put together for a few hours and then I needed to be ready to get hands on with the kiddos. (A quick shoe change was all it took to transition from a mom at work to a mom at play! Simple, right?)
If you break down what I am wearing to the most basic of parts I am really wearing the typical mom “uniform”. I have on a shirt, pants, and a comfy flat, yet nothing about them is basic or typical! I chose a neutral pallet (black and white) with a small pop of color with the belt, pattern mixing, and an adorable flat to take a basic look to another level. So easy, you can do it too, I promise.
Granted, maybe you aren’t ready to take a plunge into pattern mixing like the plaid in my pants and the dots on my shirt, but you can find a great fitting white shirt, a pair of black skinny pants, a colored belt, and a fun flat and you will have instantly ramped up your style (with a little Parisian flare) for a day with the kids!
Style Notes: Forever 21 shirt (summer 2012) / Loft pants (summer 2012- picked up for 50% off; similar style) / Skinny belt via Last Chance (spring 2011; similar style) / Madewell skimmers (summer 2012- picked up for 50% off!) / Marc by Marc Jacobs bag via Last Chance (summer 2012) / Kate Spade bracelets (spring 2011, fall 2011, spring 2012, spring 2012 / Kate Spade (fall 2011; similar style) and Madewell rings (summer 2012; similar style) / Michael Kors watch via Last Chance (spring 2012; similar style)