Today’s guest post comes from fellow Minnesotan and blogger Shannon Hyland-Tassava! Shannon’s blog, Mama in Wonderland, is a fun read and a great resource for moms. Since she’s a stylish gal to boot, I asked Shannon to suggest a few easy outfits for moms on the go. Read on to find out more!
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When Sally recently offered me the opportunity to write a guest post about stylish, go-to outfit “formulas” for busy moms, I jumped at the chance. Many people think that “mom style” is an oxymoron. What kind of “style” works for a daily life filled with the nonstop, hands-on work of caring for children—let alone the endless laundry, cooking, and cleaning of many a busy mom’s schedule?
Well, but wait. As a busy mom myself, I believe that we moms can do better than yoga pants, ill-fitting jeans, faded tees, and workout wear as everyday wear. I believe this so strongly that I devoted an entire section of my book to the idea of workable style for moms. Yes, you CAN be a stylish mom, even if you’re home all day with wee ones, your days begin at 5 a.m. and end at never, or your budget is tight (or all three).
My guiding principles for pieces that work for a busy mom’s wardrobe are that clothes need to be easy, washable, practical, and comfortable. Keeping that in mind, here are a few go-to looks for the stylish, active mom. I think you’ll see that “mom style” is NOT an oxymoron, but instead it’s often downright drool-worthy. (No pun intended, moms of babies!)
*Outfit #1: jeans, cute flats, striped tee, bright scarf, big bag
Image via Polyvore
This is my most frequent and beloved mom “uniform.” Striped tops are more popular than ever this year but are also perennially in style, and can be found at every price point, so update your regular jeans-and-tee look with a classic sailor tee that you’ll wear for years to come. I tend to go for cute flats (think: leopard-print ballets, patent driving mocs in a fun color) rather than flip-flops—more practical for running around town (or after toddlers)—but the idea is the same. Note the use of vibrant accessories to punch up a very casual, basic everyday look, and the large, luxe-looking bag that elevates any outfit to hip-mama status yet still accommodates diapers, extra toddler clothes, sippy cups, toy cars, snacks, and the like. (Target has some inexpensive similar bags right now.)
Here’s the fall version of my favorite mom look: similar, but with skinny jeans tucked into tall boots and a jacket thrown on top. So stylish, yet as basic as can be.
Image via The Daybook
*Outfit #2: dress, flats or boots, cardi
Image via Target.com
Listen, moms, don’t save dresses for special occasions! A washable, knit dress is the ultimate in easy dressing: throw it over your head, add shoes and a bag (and perhaps a cardigan if it’s chilly) and you’re done. Stick with a knee-length or just-above-the-knee hemline and a shape that’s both comfy and flattering; for most moms, that’s something slightly A-line, perhaps with a wrap top. Experiment! A dress is just as easy and comfortable as yoga pants and a tee—but it’ll make you look stylish and put-together at school pick-up even if you’ve been up all night with the baby and haven’t showered in two…oops, make that three…days. Try a casual dress with ballet flats in spring, sandals in the summer, and tall riding boots in the fall. If you add a cardigan, keep it lightweight and fitted for the sleekest, most polished look.
*Outfit #3: casual skirt, tee, skimmers/driving mocs/flats
Image via J.Jill
Another fun look for warmer weather is a casual skirt in place of your usual shorts or yoga capris. Again: just as easy as those less-polished pieces, but much more stylish and grown-up. Go for knee length, and consider chino, lightweight denim, or cotton twill fabrics for just the right combination of structure and comfort. Pair your skirts with basic tees, ruffly tanks, button-front shirts, cardigans—anything you’d normally wear on top with shorts or jeans. To keep the look “busy-mom-casual” rather than overdressed, add cute and practical skimmers, driving mocs, comfy sandals, or ballet flats. In the fall, try boots instead of flats for a little more warmth and coverage.
I can attest that the above “stylish mom looks” are all completely doable; on any given day, you’re likely to find me in one of the three, even when I’m taking my kiddos to the playground or spending all day cleaning the house and planning playdates. When one of my friends confided that her husband had called me “the best-dressed mom at preschool drop-off,” I knew I was doing something right. And all I’d really done was swap out sloppy sweats for a few simple dresses and a scarf or two here and there. You can, too—you stylish mom, you.
*** Shannon Hyland-Tassava is a college-town writer, blogger, and busy mom. Her first book – The Essential Stay-at-Home Mom Manual: How to Have a Wondrous Life Amidst Kids and Chaos – was inspired by her popular motherhood blog, Mama in Wonderland. Shannon holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and operates a private wellness coaching practice. For more info, visit www.ShannonTassava.com. ***
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