Wardrobe Oxygen: Style Tips for New Moms
Whether you are a stay at home mom, work from home or work out the office, it's hard to juggle a little one and your personal style. It IS possible, however, and I believe a great way to reclaim yourself, gain confidence and ultimately have MORE time.
Creating a simple collection of wardrobe staples
that will work for any occasion on your calendar will reduce stress each morning, giving you more time for your family--or a couple minutes for yourself. Buying quality pieces that fit and flatter will make the time in front of the mirror more enjoyable and the time figuring out what to wear shorter.
Here are some tips on how to create a stylish yet realistic wardrobe for a new mom:
- Choose forgiving fabrics. Ponte de Roma knit, merino wool, matte jersey, stretch denim. These fabrics are forgiving to a woman's curves--they have stretch without clinging, and can dress up quite easily.
They are also forgiving because they are relatively easy to launder. No new mom should be purchasing "Dry Clean Only" clothes when she's dealing with sticky fingers and spit-up. All of these fabrics are ones that can take a trip on the gentle cycle of the washing machine, be hung up in your shower to dry, and not require any ironing.
- Stick with solids. One may think prints are better at hiding stains, but prints quickly look dated, cheap, and you can more quickly tire of them. A solid colored garment will be more timeless, more elegant, and it's easier to find a budget-friendly piece that looks expensive if you stick to solids. Solids also mix and match more easily, and transition from season to season with more ease.
- Keep silhouettes simple. If you look at my list of wardrobe staples, you will see the silhouettes are very simple--a V-neck sweater, straight or boot-cut jeans, flat-front trousers. Sticking with classic pieces and silhouettes will give you a timeless wardrobe. This means you won't have to repurchase new clothes each season, your simple pieces will look more elegant and expensive, and new pieces you add to your collection will be more likely to coordinate.
- Have a shoe wardrobe. We don't all have the money for a closet-full of designer shoes, and really the more options you have, the harder it is to decide what to wear each morning. A pair of leather ankle-boots with a heel height that makes them wearable all day (for jeans and trousers), black leather pumps (for dressy events, or even with trousers), pair of strappy formal shoes (for weddings, holiday parties and such), sneakers, weather-appropriate boots (Wellies or snow boots, depending on where you live), and comfortable leather sandals to replace the ankle-boots in warmer months. Not much else is necessary.
Keep your shoes in shoe boxes off the closet floor so they stay looking like new, and require less time to polish and prep for wear. Label the front of the boxes (or take a picture of the shoes and paste to the front of the box), so it's easy to find the pair you need that day.
- Maintain your crowing glory. When you're a mom, you don't have much time for salon visits and length blow-outs. However, there's no point in worrying about what you're wearing when your roots are two inches long (and your split ends are competing with them for length). Work with your stylist for a cut and color that can handle more time between salon visits. A single process very close to your natural color or highlights and lowlights in a couple shades very close to one another will be less likely to show roots so soon; long layers grow out more gracefully than a short or sculpted cut.
It's worth it to spend on quality shampoos, conditioners and products that will lengthen the life of your color, prevent damage, and reduce drying time.
Keep in mind that your hair is an accessory you wear every day and people notice before the cut of your jeans or the brand of your purse. It's worth your money and time to get a low-fuss cut and styling routine in place. If your hair makes you happy, it makes the rest of your day all the more enjoyable.
What tricks do you use to simplify your wardrobe?
Alison Gary has over ten years experience as a personal shopper, stylist, and visual merchandiser. Her blog Wardrobe Oxygen provides fashion advice to all women, regardless of age, size, budget, or lifestyle. She is a full-time working mother, blogger, wife, and frugal fashionista located in the Washington D.C. area.