Who said looking good had to take a lot of time? Six busy moms shares some of their style tips for moms on the go.
Since becoming a mom I’ve noticed how many of my fellow moms talk about how they live in their yoga pants. Don’t get me wrong, yoga pants are just about the most amazing invention when it comes to clothing (second only to maternity jeans, in my opinion). And when your life revolves around other people — little people who are often covered in food and all kinds of bodily fluids and things that you only tolerate because they are yours — it makes sense. Who wants to take the time and effort to look nice when you’re exhausted and there’s a good chance your adorable little cherub is going to wipe her snotty little nose all over your shoulder as soon as you get dressed? Besides, getting dressed takes time, something you’re probably lacking.
This made me think, though. There has got to me something a busy mom can do. Not to mention, looking good makes you feel good. Heck, I know I have a little extra pep in my step when I have on an outfit that makes me look good even if I’m crawling around on the floor with Eve or I’m exhausted from lack of sleep (ok, and a strong cup of coffee may help as well).
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Since I am by no means a style pro myself and am in no position to be dispensing style advice (other than suggesting to you some lovely handmade jewelry with which you can accessorize) I reached out to some women who know a thing or two about style. These women are busy moms themselves so they get it. But man, do they make looking good seem easy! Here are some of their top tips.
1. Create your own signature look
Amy Olson, the founder and owner of Kuhfs and the mom of two boys ages 10 and 13, recommends putting together your own signature look so you don’t have to think too much about what you are wearing. “The key is to create the look with a few staple pieces and then you can vary it slightly with accessories.”
Jennifer Trotter, a makeup artist and beauty expert at Lip Service Makeup and stepmom to four kids ages 11 to19, has created her own signature styles for both warmer and colder weather. In the summer she wears a maxi dress with flat sandals that she can dress it up with nicer jewelry, a cardigan and wedges. If it’s cooler out she’ll add a denim jacket. In winter, she wears tunics, leggings, and boots (one of my personal favorites as well!) For both seasons she has several dresses and shoes that she’ll rotate through.
Melissa Baswell Williams of Bubby & Bean (and former owner and designer of an eco-conscious clothing brand) and mom of a toddler also suggests the tunic/legging combo for cooler weather. For warmer weather she suggests kimonos which she throws over t-shirts and shorts.
Samantha “Jade” Minor of My Legendary Style and mom of seven children ages 1-17 adds that this uniform goes for hair and makeup as well. This uniform will soon become second nature to you. “What may start out taking you 30 minutes can become 15 once you’ve mastered it.”
So what about that inevitable stain that is bound to show on your clothes? Samantha’s number one tips is to layer. “As a mom we can be out of the house for hours running errands. We need to be prepared for anything. Our clothes get messy just like our kids’ can and depending on where you live the weather can change out of no where. I recommend buying camis and cardigans in pretty colors and a few pairs of jeans.”
Lindsay Narain, a designer and the founder of VAUGHAN which specializes in silk shirts for women, and a mother of a toddler with a second baby on the way, adds, “I love to wear my silk shirts under sweaters & cardigans. They’re thin enough not to add bulk and it makes the whole outfit look more pulled together. You can also peel the top layer off if there’s any stains from the little one.”
3. Invest in high-quality clothing
It may seem counter-intutive when you know there is a good chance that your clothes could get pretty grimy by the end of the day, but Lindsay suggest buying the best clothes you can afford. “Buy pieces that fit well and make you feel beautiful, they’re bound to last longer and you’ll get more use out of them than an impulse cheapie purchase.” Some key pieces she recommends are:
- A great coat to instantly pull any outfit together
- Tops with pretty patterns (which can more forgiving of unfortunate things like breast milk leaking!)
- Comfortable / stylish flats and low heels
- Layering pieces
Jennifer suggests investing in cute flat sandals for summer and comfortable leather boots for winter. While it might feel like a lot of money in the short-run, imagine how much money you will save buy not having to constantly replace the cheaper versions!
4. Buy a few makeup essentials
Jennifer suggest buying a few makeup basics such as mascara, concealer, powder, blush and lipstick and keeping them in a little pouch. “You can zip on a super quick face anytime, or toss the bag in your purse and do your quick face while in drop off line at school, bank drive thru, etc. Keep it simple!”
Melissa recommends wearing a little blush when you’re pressed for time or you don’t have energy. “Sometimes I’m so sleep deprived that I look like a zombie, and it’s amazing how a couple of swipes of a blush brush on my cheeks and forehead can make me appear at least somewhat rested.”
5. Invest in a stylish bag
Samantha recommends buying a great purse that is more durable and one that can double as a diaper bag. If you have a little one in diapers like me, consider investing in a stylish diaper bag that can also double as a a purse. Melissa explains, “When I was looking for diaper bags, I was disappointed to find so many that looked like, well, diaper bags. I ended up getting one that looks more like a handbag (and one that I’ll use well beyond the diaper stage), but with all of the useful diaper bag compartments. I get more compliments on it than anything else I own.” I don’t buy them often, but when I see a bag I can’t stop thinking about I will splurge and I have yet to regret it!
6. Have a few key accessories
It’s pretty amazing how something as simple as a scarf or a bold bracelet can transform an outfit. “Your new best friend is an exciting accessory item. Jewelry, scarves, unique hair pieces and shoes make outfits happen and pump up the way you feel about yourself,” explains Lee McClary who works at Steel Pony, an Artisan Clothing Company, and is a single mom to a 5-year-old girl.
Lindsay Narain recommends having a couple statement necklaces readily available that you can grab on your way out. She adds that scarves can be a great way to make an outfit look more chic. Bonus? They can be used to hide the inevitable stain that happens doing your mom duties.
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Looking for more easy style tips? Check out my Pinterest board for more inspiration!