A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with one of my best friends about the dreaded “mom” style. You know the style rut that overcomes moms and without knowing it, they realize they wear the same things all the time and the effort to get dressed is just that…an effort. For stay at home mom’s the rut becomes worse, because who wants to get up in the morning, put on a nice outfit only to have it ruined by 10 am?
So what’s the solution? Stylish, Washable, Affordable, Timeless, Comfortable or for shorthand SWAT-C. The traditional meaning of SWAT is used in police forces as shorthand for Special Weapons And Tactics. So, my style SWAT-C is sorta the same thing, right?
Lets break down SWAT-C and do some shopping!
Ok, moms, repeat this to your self every time you get dressed: “Just because I am a mom does not mean I lack style” Seems silly, I know, but when your life changes and your focus becomes making sure your kids are cared for to the absolute best of your abilities, it’s easy to forget about taking care of your self. Looking and feeling great, includes what you wear. You deserve to feel and look your best.
Buy a couple trend pieces each season to match your taste. Check out style blogs* to get inspiration and ideas that you may not have considered. I preach this often, but accessories are a great way to incorporate trends and new styles into your look. Fashion jewelry from places like Forever 21 is inexpensive and help create that extra special touch to your outfit. Plus, if your child accidentally, or on purpose for that matter, breaks your Forever 21 find, you have a much calmer reaction than if they broke a $100 piece. Scarves and hats are other great accessories to think about while you are shopping (By hats, I don’t mean baseball caps. They are called “baseball” caps for a reason).
When it comes to your handbag or diaper bag two of the best options are quality leather, nylon and coated fabric. While non coated fabric bags can be less expensive, they stain easy. If the apple juice spills on your leather, nylon or coated fabric bag, you wipe clean and move on. My first diaper bag was fabric and got dirty so fast I had to purchase a new one within a year. The second one I got was a quality nylon. Once my daughter was potty trained, I went back leather bags since I didn’t have to hall around diapers and wipes all the time.
Mom Chic Style Inspiration
For Stay at Home/Work from Home Moms
Sweatshirt $25, Target | Pants $30, Old Navy | Sandals $9, Forever 21 | Necklace $8, Forever 21
“To the Office” Moms
Jumpsuit $70 JCPenney | Shoes $109, Ninewest | Necklace $42, Bauble Bar | Ring $26, Bauble Bar | Blazer $39, Romwe
Let’s face it; kids are MESSY. God bless their little hearts, but if something is on their hands, it’s bound to get on something else before hand washing time. Having an item that is dry clean only is not practical even for working moms. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked into the house home from work and my two year old runs to me and yells “Hi Mommy” followed by a big hug and hands coated with food, chalk, marker or worse, mucus. When shopping, always check the care labels. Anything that says “DRY CLEAN ONLY” is just not for you, at least until your kids are older. Don’t think to yourself, “Oh, I’ll just wash it.” Manufactures put the “DRY CLEAN ONLY” label on the garment for a reason. Cotton becomes your best friend when you are a mom of small kids.
Affordable is a relative term. $50 for one item may seem cheap to one mom and expensive to another, but you should always shop within your means. Fashion is not something to go into debt over. If there is a more expensive item you want, save for it. The great thing about the retail landscape of 2014 is that there are lots of stores selling clothing that is affordable and stylish.
Coco said it best. While shopping trends is good, there are some items that will never go out of style. They may come in an updated color or pint, but the basic design doesn’t change.
Make sure your spring wardrobe has these 10 things
1. Black Wedge Sandal
2. Cropped Jeans
3. Sunglasses to Fit Your Face Shape
4. Maxi Dress
5. Statement Necklace
6. Diamond Studs (Real or Faux)
7. Striped T-Shirt
8. Lightweight Blazer for cool nights
9. Durable Tote
10. Short Sleeve Button Up Shirt
Mom’s do a lot of moving around and if you have child who can walk, you have probably had a chase or two. Never buy anything that is not your size. I have lived through this thinking that I will someday fit into it after I lose my “baby fat.” Baby fat is still hanging around and I still can’t wear those clothes. Choose items with 1%-4% Lycra for a bit of stretch for some extra comfort. On the other hand, after you have recovered from the birthing experience, don’t wear your maternity clothes. I am asking this of you with a sincere “Please”. Although they are comfortable, maternity clothes are made for a belly with a baby in it and therefore don’t fit a non-pregnant woman properly.
A special thank you to my friend Meghan Ten-Brink for the article inspiration. Our friendship is everything and I am super proud of you for being a stay at home mom of three gorgeous kids!