No Yoga Pants! 7 Easy Tips for Being a “Stylish Mom”

Since having a baby, I’ve been getting a lot of requests to share how to dress “fashionably” as a mom. It’s hard to be fashionable as a mom… your life consists of getting vomited on, crawling on the ground, taking extra long walks and NOT getting a full night’s sleep. Hey, it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to take a shower without a baby in the bathroom.

However… just because your life has changed, it does not mean that you have to give up looking fabulous, or at the very least– presentable. Sure, you’ll probably have to leave the sequins in the closet, and save those stilettos for special occasions, but don’t give into yoga pants just because you hear that’s what all the other moms wear.  Yoga-pant wearing moms probably wore yoga pants BEFORE they had kids and were just looking for an excuse, because I see no reason, comfort, convenience, time or otherwise, why a mom can’t look put together. Take it from me, I’m a wimp. I do not take discomfort well (the woman who complained through my easy pregnancy and threw up at 5cm during labor). Being comfortable is always more important than looking good.

Ground rules for “stylish mom” dressing:

  1. Don’t be precious: Yesterday I was on a call and my son puked all over my jeans. You have to be a mom to understand this, but I just wiped them down with a wet cloth and still wore them. I’m not precious about my clothes. They don’t smell, they’re not stained, so why change? I try to stay away from “dry clean only” clothes so anything can just be thrown in the wash. So don’t make a big deal about getting dirty.
  2. Wear clothes that fit: Moms complain about jeans being uncomfortable. I don’t understand. If your jeans are uncomfortable, they are too small. Period. Go up a size, get a pair with a bit more stretch, for for a pair with a 9″ rise,  high enough to get rid of muffin top, low enough not to pinch at the waist. With your tops, if you’re nursing, wearing anything tight is  probably a no-go.
  3. Have a few quality pieces: I know, I know, your “disposable income” has probably flown out the door the minute you found out you were pregnant. Daycare, toys, clothes, baby gear, it all adds up. Personally I find it hard NOT to spoil my baby. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to look like a pauper. Have a few quality pieces (I’lll go through them below.)
  4. Trendy or classic? Err on the classic side: When deciding what to wear, or splurge on err on the classic side. Don’t fall for this season’s “It” color (unless it’s your favorite color), or splash out on pattern mixing or whatever. However, certain things like ankle boots, skinny jeans, slouchy skinny, are all things that will stay around for a while. You still want to look like you live in this decade, but you don’t have to give the street style blogs a run for their money either.

The easy “mom” uniform:

I pretty much wear the same thing every day. Different pieces yes, but the same logic goes behind every outfit (which is why I quit personal style blogging).  Slouchy top (tee shirt or sweater), jacket,  jeans, ankle boots or flats, and special occasions– heels. There are millions of combinations that can be done with that, so I’m going to share the examples below:

Slouchy Top:

slouchy topOne of the things I always have to keep in mind is “easy access” for nursing. That pretty much means either very low cut or stretchy enough on the bottom to lift up the top. I found that slouchy tops, either tee shirts or sweaters work the best. Make sure your tops have either a raglan sleeve or drop shoulder to avoid looking too frumpy. I also like boat necks and scoop necks to avoid the frump. This Vince sweater is wool, but also machine washable. Bonus!

Splendid makes amazing tee shirts, I have the slub tee shirt (with a raglan sleeve and scoop neck) which fits amazingly and usually I wear it as soon as it comes out of the wash I love it so much.

slouchy_examples

Skinny Jeans (but not too skinny)

skinny_jeansI tend to like my jeans with a little bit of slouch. Even my skinny jeans. As much as I like wide-legged jeans, they’re hard to pull off. Boot cut jeans are hard to pull off as well without looking like you stepped out of 2005. Stick with skinny jeans just to be safe. You can riff of that and look into “Lazy Jeans” or boyfriend jeans, but like the boot cut, they’re really for people who know style well. I don’t even know how to successfully style boyfriend jeans! Eek!

jeans_examples

  • Paige Hoxton High Rise $178: Was sent a pair for review, and they are very comfortable and great for hiding the post-pregnancy pouch.
  • J Brand 811 Mid Rise $198: I have several pairs of 811’s in my wardrobe, they’re a classic mid-rise skinny jean that doesn’t cling too tightly.
  • Levi’s Demi Curve $98: If you can get these on sale, you can get them as low as $50 ish… for the money, they’re the best jean I have ever had. The Curve ID program really works to get a perfect fit, and my pair has held up well over the years.

Ankle Boots

ankle_bootsAs you can tell from these boots, they get A LOT of wear. These are actually my second pair of Rachel Comey Mars booties. The first one I wore until they basically need to be resoled for the second time. I love these in particular because they’re so comfortable. How comfortable? I once got lost in the woods Blair Witch style for four hours, made it out ok, and what was the biggest thing on my mind? Was it my feet? No! I was thirsty and starving. Yes, after four hours… I’ll be one of the first to go when the Zombie Apocalypse hits. You don’t have to get a pair as pricey as these and get the Ash Spiral booties, or if you can splurge for the Isabel Marant booties. Either way, they’re trendy enough to look up to date, but classic enough to last a few more years.

bootie-examples

Accessories

This is where I leave it to you. The uniform I shared with you is merely a base. I wear accessories to be fancy or casual. The good thing about this, is that an edgy cuff or a statement necklace can go a long way. Just make sure you’re not wearing anything your baby can choke on!

What tips do you have for “mom” dressing?

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8 Comments

  1. October 9, 2013 / 6:03 pm

    I love the idea of the slightly slouchy skinny jeans with ankle boots. So comfy but looks so put together! xo

  2. Terra
    October 9, 2013 / 6:18 pm

    Great post! Azalea in Hayes valley has some really great basics that are really well cut from their own label (reasonably priced) that I just bought. Fit is everything right now!

  3. Terra
    October 9, 2013 / 6:22 pm

    And the Splendid ankle zip leggings are great! They have subtle patterns and kind of fit like a skinny jean.

  4. October 10, 2013 / 3:55 pm

    @terra Oooh I haven’t been to Azalea in AGES… actually I haven’t been to Hayes in ages either! Great tip!

  5. November 9, 2013 / 9:30 pm

    Loved this! I often find myself advising my mom (and non-mom) clients about the no more yoga pants rule.

    They certainly have their place, but they shouldn’t be your only option.

  6. February 12, 2014 / 7:17 am

    Some great picks! Super cosy but super stylish!

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