The Stylish Mommy
Creating the Perfect Wardrobe … Mommy Style
One of the most unexpected parts of becoming a mother was that it finally forced me to identify my own unique style and build a wardrobe with simple, easy-to-wear pieces that take me from work to weekend brunch to Target for an unexpected diaper-run. It was all part of a simplification process – with endless feedings and diaper changes, coupled with an all-around lack of sleep, I no longer had time to keep up with all the changing trends, nor did I really want to … in case no one’s told you, and you have yet to actually experience it yourself, motherhood does a number on your priorities. As much as I still love fashion, an afternoon shopping trip can’t begin to compare to that time spent playing and giggling with my two little girls. Even as I write this, my two-and-a-half-year-old just walked over to our pantry, grabbed the Nutella, and handed it to me with a big grin on her face. Apparently, she wants some. These moments may sound mundane, but they’re not. When you’re a mother, they’re everything.
But, I also take pride in my appearance, and I didn’t want to fall into the dreaded frumpy mommy category. That’s not me … in fact, I find that I’m far more positive, productive, and comfortable when I look my best. So, how do you find the time to actually be supermom and look amazing doing it? You need to build a streamlined, ready-to-wear wardrobe that reflects who you are and what you love … here’s how.
first, identify your own unique style
This requires a bit of legwork, but it’s worth it. Put your little one down for a nap, grab some tea (or coffee, if you’re like me, and need 3-4 cups each day to survive), and get to work. Browse through a stack of catalogs or magazines, or skim through your favorite social media sites (Instagram and Pinterest are wonderful for this), and collect 20-30 images of looks that you love. Be sure to choose looks for a variety of occasions. Once you’ve found your favorite images, identify what they all have in common – are they preppy, classic, flirty? Settle on two to three adjectives that describe your images … and THAT is your style.
clean it out and keep it consistent
Now that you’ve identified your own unique style, it’s time to toss all those pieces cluttering your closet that you have no intention of ever wearing … I know, I know, that old green dress could be the perfect piece that you mightwear …one day … except you haven’t worn it in three years, and right now, it’s taking up valuable real estate, and basically serves as a distraction every time you open your closet. Seriously, how many times have you opened your closet door, to find it chockfull of tops, skirts, dresses, and shoes (oh my gosh, the shoes) and your standard response is, “I have nothing to wear!”? Been there… it’s frustrating, and really counterproductive.
So, do an inventory of all your clothes, and make two piles – one for pieces that fit your style (and get to stay), and one for those that don’t (and get donated to goodwill). And going forward, buy only pieces that fit your style…nothing else.
fill in the gaps
Now that you’ve probably donated half your closet, you may find that you’re missing some key pieces. Make a list, and start shopping some sales to fill in the holes. This may take a little time, and that’s ok … be patient … don’t get ahead of yourself financially, and don’t pull the trigger on any old item just because it happens to be a steal ... make sure all your purchases fit your newly discovered style.
It also helps here to view your new wardrobe as a capsule collection – look for pieces that are versatile, both in terms of color and occasion. For example, a basic white tee – you can wear it with jeans and ballet flats on the weekend, or with a pencil skirt and jacket to work. Also be mindful of lifestyle – your choices will look different depending upon whether you’re a stay at home mother or a full-time working mom in a professional, formal setting. A little planning can go a long way here – choose pieces that give you the most bang for your buck … it’ll streamline your closet, simplify your daily decision-making, and save you time and money.
put the pieces together
Now comes the fun part … start experimenting with your new wardrobe! Spend some time mixing and matching … figure out what goes with what, and how to use each item to the fullest extent possible. This is when your own unique style really starts to take shape … it’s really easy to throw on the latest trendy outfit, it’s much harder to build a wardrobe from the bottom up and make it your own … that’s style. And having a closet full of easy, ready-to-wear pieces (and nothing more) that reflect who you are and what you love … that’s mommy style.