I don't know about you, but I gave up trying to look cute a looooong time ago. With the kiddos and life and trying to adjust to all the changes...well, fashion fell to the back burner. Not even the back burner...the trash? The dump? Don't get me wrong, I have a good day here and there, but not every day. Every day is more of a jammie "just wear what I slept in and hope I make it through the day alive" sort of look. Shower? Nonexistent half the time. Hair? Pulled into a bun or ponytail. Usually dirty and messy. Makeup? Ha!
I've hit the schlump wall. I can't take anymore of myself looking like I crawled out of a dumpster.
I've spent the past several weeks consulting magazines and websites on what I should be wearing these days. But, most of the stuff I've found is focused on the working woman. Cute things. Dry-Clean Only things. Form-fitting and restricting things. sigh.
I haven't found much advice for moms. Specifically, stay at home moms or work at home moms who want to know what might work for our specific lifestyle. I decided to take on the challenge myself, dammit.
I'm now doing a new line of posts from time to time called "Stay at Home Mom Style." Where I will feature an image of myself how I usually look, how I might look if I put in minimal effort, and how I look when I plan out an outfit and actually TRY (without trying much...ha!)
First, I had to come up with a list of clothing requirements/at home mom fashion problems. Here's my list specific to me:
1. Clothes must be comfortable.
This is obvious, but not just for comfort's sake. What do we do all day? Bending, cleaning, wiping (hello spit up!), picking up toys, playing with My Little Ponies on the floor, changing diapers, playing tag, putting strollers together, crawling on the floor with baby...the list goes on and on. Clothes that have tight seams or stiff edges are not comfortable in these listed situations. Is it any wonder that sweatsuits and work out gear are the choices of many?
2. Clothes must be machine washable.
Much of the day I'm covered in spit up, marker, food, drool, snot, tears (not only my own, haha!) My clothes must be washable. I can't afford constant dry cleaning. Nor do I have the time to schlepp my stuff to said dry cleaner.
3. Clothes can't be easy to wrinkle
You know, I hate ironing. So I don't bother. I wear wrinkly clothes all the time. Oh well.
If I can, I try to find non-iron shirts and clothes made of fabrics that don't easily wrinkle. Problem semi-solved.
4. The neckline can't be low, loose, or revealing.
I have an 8 month old. He pulls! Plus, I'm always bending down and I don't feel like showing the ladies to everyone in the room. Nobody wants to see them anymore anyway, trust me.
5. Clothes must be flexible to wear different seasons
I live in northern New England. It's a long-ass winter. I need things to work from fall, through winter, and into spring. Thanks to leggings and thick tights, I can wear a lot more for longer. Yay! Thank you layering! Thank you cardigans!
So, that's my list that has helped me figure out what need to be wearing.
So, let's get on with things! First, let me show you what I would normally look like when home sitting around the house all day and not going anywhere. Try not to scream. I'll try not to cry.
I wore those jammie pants and tshirt to bed. I threw on the workout shirt over that so I didn't freeze to death when I brought Paige out to her bus. I wear contacts, but of course don't make the time to put them in. Shower? Ha!
So, not long ago, if I decided to "get dressed" to run to the store, I might have thrown on an old pair of jeans and a cute top. Slipped on some easy shoes and off I went. Just grabbing groceries. You know the drill. But, I still felt frumpy. What? A wet hair bun isn't stylish?
I decided that showering at night is the best solution to staying clean. Once the kids are in bed, I have more time for self-care. I even blow-dry my hair so that there's not much to do in the morning. Innovative, right? Ha!
I've always heard that accessorizing was key when it comes to looking more pulled together. But I didn't know what the hell that meant. On my own, I've discovered that a little extra detail takes no real extra effort but makes an outfit looks more put together.
Here, along with my cute Downeast Basics top from the last photo, I added a yellow leather skinny belt, trouser jeans (jeans, but they look dressier), and fun yellow flats.
For good measure, my hair is dried AND I have deodorant! It's the little things.
Just the belt alone was the trick to adding more sass. No real effort! The trouser jeans are the same effort, but they seam more expensive and dressy, don't they? (shh, they're not!) A better look would probably be skinny jeans or jeggings but I don't own them. That's that.
This outfit fits the bill for a day at home and running errands...your average every day. It's in the upper-seventies for the high temps today, so I won't be totally sweating in this outfit. I'm in air-conditioning in my house anyway.
Here's an image of the outfit with different shoes...a platform wedge. I don't normally wear high heels, but the platform in these makes for a lot of support. My feet don't hurt in them. But, I wouldn't wear shoes like these all day. Maybe out to lunch or for shopping? On a movie date?
And finally, here's another version of the same outfit where I tuck the shirt in and put the belt around the jeans. I like this too, but I still have a tummy from having Noah (remember my crazy-huge belly?) so I prefer the untucked look. The jersey knit to the shirt is smooth, stretchy and comfortable, but not very forgiving around the belly when tucked in!
For good measure, I added a chunky bracelet, a bit of mascara, and a bit of plum lip stain.
So, the jersey knit shirt: comfortable, machine-washable, wrinkle-free, simple neck, good under a cardigan when cold. CHECK! I got it from Downeast Basics (they aren't sponsoring this post or anything, I just found their clothes and love them).
Trouser jeans: comfortable, machine-washable, wrinkle-free, CHECK! These are KUT brand from Nordstrom. I'm short so I had to have them hemmed (FREE at Nordstrom when you buy them full price). These jeans weren't expensive either, wooo! Another bonus is the denim is stretchy and soft. So, they hug my curves and I can bend, run, sit on the floor...whatever and they feel nice. They don't dig into my skin or feel stiff at all.
Shoes: The yellow ones are old. They were from the Gap.
The platform wedges are new and from Aerosoles.
Yellow Belt: Banana Republic
Chunky Bracelet: Coach (a gift!)
So, that's it! I hope you liked my first little style post. I didn't study fashion. I'm just a graphic designer who likes color. I'm a regular gal who has real life fashion issues. I'm not trying to create a style statement or win a fashion award. Obviously.
I'm simply trying to look a little more together in my daily life so that I feel good. I feel more confident and happy when I feel like I look my best. And, let's be honest, it can be FUN to look sort of cute! (or at least DRESSED)
Do you have any style tricks you love? Wanna play along and do before/after pics of yourself? Feel free to do your own Stay at Home Mom Fashion posts and put the links here! Let's inspire each other.
And if you've got fashion all figured out? These posts aren't for you. Revel in how lucky you are!
P.S. Don't make fun of me.
P.P.S. I'm sucking in my stomach like mad in all these pictures. I thought I'd pass out.