Busy moms who are in constant motion getting kids here and there or running errands need to have a wardrobe that is comfortable and stylish, while always having several options to choose from, no matter what the occasion. Setting up your wardrobe is key to taking that added stress out of the equation of life when you are being pulled in several directions all at once. If you are a working mom it is even more imperative that you have your outfits easily accessible and outfits that are easily managed.
1. Order – Your first step is to get your closet in order. Depending on what area of the country you live in you need to separate your summer and winter clothing and not have them all hanging up together. That is sometimes hard in warmer winter climates because most days are warm but some days still get quite chilly in the south and require that you have both on hand during the winter season. The same is true in the north, I’m told, in reverse. Nonetheless, have your clothes separated into seasons and then into categories. Pants with pants, jeans with jeans, blouses, casual shirts, dresses, skirts, etc, as this will make finding an outfit much easier.
Clean out anything you have not worn in the last year, box it up and give it away. That does not include your party dresses and things you wear on special occasions but do this with your everyday clothes. It will eliminate a lot of stress and extra clutter. You have to do this even with things you might love that you do not fit into any longer. If you really are already working towards the weight loss then you can put those things into a storage bag for later use, but they do not need to be in your closet. I know that sometimes you have that one special outfit that you want to keep to give you incentive to keep going. So, yes, that one piece can stay right in front if that helps motivate you, but that needs to be the extent of it.
2. Practical – When you have tossed or donated everything you aren’t wearing and you have all your clothes organized into separate sections, then look over what your selections are. Are the clothes you have comfortable, easy to slip into, and easy to clean? If they are not, then think about getting rid of them as well, because it will really help you to have only these types of outfits. As a mom it does not have to be a choice between style and comfort, because you can have both if you plan and choose your wardrobe right.
With so many women it comes down to either being stylish or not caring at all. Many women who are trying to be stylish while being a busy mom get themselves real stressed out about it. The other type of moms are the ones who give up totally on style and just throw on their sweat pants and tee shirts and take off for the day. There is a middle ground if you get your closet organized and put a little thought into it.
3. Mix and Match – Some of you may think it is easier to buy already put together outfits that you see on the mannequins at the stores. Then you line up those few outfits and change into them day after day and week after week. If they are easy to clean and you are not bothered by wearing the same outfits repeatedly, then that is okay. I like a little more versatility in my wardrobe. which is not as daunting to do as you might imagine. It is important to have key pieces in your wardrobe that you love for inspiration.
4. Jeans – What you need to have are a couple of comfortable, well-fitting pairs of jeans. And unless you are blessed with a perfect figure or a flat tummy, which I know many moms still are, then you need to purchase jeans that are cut higher and not the ones that sit below the belly and let it all hang out. Muffin tops are not pretty or stylish. They do not have to be expensive jeans; as a matter of fact I just found a wonderful pair of jeans at my local resale shop that I just love. They have these wonderful waist bands now in some of the jeans that hold you in and yet are comfortable. The elastic does not need to be on the outside of the pants, it is concealed on the inside and it is a thick elastic type band that holds you firm and yet does not cut off your ability to breathe. I can run around all day and never feel uncomfortable in these types of jeans.
5. Pants – On days when jeans are not practical, or if you are a working woman who cannot wear jeans, then what I suggest is to find a comfortable pair of dress pants that fit you well and buy them in black, brown, blue, and perhaps a khaki color. Get pants that are easy to launder and that do not require ironing. Or, if it is practical for you financially, buy slacks that can be dry cleaned; clothes tend to last longer and look better over time if they are dry cleaned.
6. Tops – Check your closet and make sure that you have enough blouses to mix and match with those slacks for a couple of weeks. It makes you feel so much better when you feel stylish and comfortable. It is so nice to have a couple weeks worth of blouses to interchange with your basic slacks, making it look like you have tons more clothes than you actually have. Adding a couple of interchangeable sweaters or comfy jackets and a few nice accessories like a necklace or a scarf can also change up your wardrobe and make you look like the queen of style. You can do the exact same thing with skirts and tops.
7. Dresses – It is always good to have a few nice dresses for work, school functions, meetings, church, etc. Make sure they are not too low, not too tight, and not too short or too long. Keep your particular figure in mind when buying dresses. If you are a tiny frame, or short and a bit plump, then shop in the petite department. When things look like they do not fit, it is not flattering whether they are too big or too small. Look for material that does not wrinkle easily or stain easily, as some dresses can even get stained by water depending on the material. If you are a mom that has small children at home and you will be picking them up or carrying them around, careful selection of material is a must. And think long and hard before buying “Hand Wash, Dry Flat Only”.
8. Shoes– Shoes are equally important for comfort and style. As with my philosophy of having several pairs of pants in the basic colors you should do the same with shoes. Find a comfortable pair of shoes in all the basic colors to go with all your outfits. When you find a shoe that works for you in the comfort and style department, then stick with it. Shoes can be a nightmare if they are not comfortable. If you find a stylish, comfy shoe then get them in all colors! And by all means have that perfect pair of tennis shoes, running shoes, or whatevercasual shoe you like to wear on hand. When running errands these type of shoes are indispensable!
9. Purses – The last thing I am going to touch on is your purse. A long time ago, in a far away galaxy when I was not a mom, I had a different purse to go with the different colors of my outfits. My nails, my purse, my clothes, and my lipstick all matched. I have no time for this now or even the desire. I have found that it is important to have that one perfect purse that works with everything, something neutral or multi-colored. And it is not just the color but the practicality of the purse. It can not be so small that all your necessary mom items will not fit and at the same time it can not be one of those bottomless bags that you could carry the kitchen sink in. These types of bags have been known to cause melt downs of catastrophic proportions. When you are running errands with your children and there is a line of people waiting behind you, you are already a bit harried. That is when you do not want to be the one digging around in the bottom of one of those over-sized purses looking for your wallet or trying to stuff everything back into a too small purse. I know how it is, I have purchased both before. It is not better if it is too small or too large. Find a purse that works, that fits everything you need in an organized way with a little room to spare. That is all you need.
It is important to keep everything simple and easy when you are on the go with children. And it is NOT impossible to be stylish and comfortable at the same time. If you have your wardrobe organized and have the basic tools to work with, it is easy to be a mom who is stylish, while not having to be concerned about taking too much time or becoming overwhelmed when getting ready. Moms do not need to let themselves go to be moms, yet we do need a basic routine to get us looking good and feeling good that does not cause added stress. This has worked for me, and hopefully it will give you a few ideas to get started.
Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for www.babysitting.net. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to rachelthomas.author @ gmail.com.