I often get asked about my perfect "mom outfit." I wish I was that ideal: the mom who maintains her high style even after babies enter the picture. But I'm a realist. I want to be the kind of mom who is down on the floor playing and making a mess with play dough. So remaining super stylish feels to me like a lofty goal.
Still, over my few years of motherhood experience, I've been able to concoct a go-to outfit that makes me feel good both as a mom and a woman. It's maybe not completely on-trend, but it is versatile, functional, and stylish in its own way.
Here are the basic pieces for my mom-perfect outfit:
1. A Good Pair of Jeans
This has to be your foundation, and I think it's where a lot of moms fall short. If you miss this step, you're bound to miss some others. While there are a couple silhouettes in fashion as far as bottoms go, I like the skinnies and ankle skimmers. They're easy to move around in and don't get caught up on shoes.
My favorite jeans are the Always Skinny from GAP, which is good news since they're rather affordable. Not only will they make you a frugal fashionista, I think the fit is great, with just enough stretch to not stand in the way of any and all mommy duties.
2. A V-Neck Tee
A v-neck tee is such a simple thing. But, like a strong jeans selection, a simple v-neck is a great base. You can make it girlie or grungy and wear in multiple colors. And a v-neck is functional, particularly if you're a nursing momma. Rather than pull your entire shirt up, just whip your boob out the top.
3. A Trendy Second Layer
This is where you can play with pattern and bring a fun trend into your outfit. If you're heading to the mall and want a dressier option, add a structured jacket; or if it's a day for play dates and grilled cheese sandwiches, a soft cardigan will do the trick. Layers are great for style, warmth, and, let's face it, as blankets, cover-ups, or spit-up rags, too.
I always try to select second layers that have pockets. That way I can have my phone (camera) easily accessible and always know where at least one pacifier is.
4. A Smart Shoe Choice
I've mourned the loss of most of my high heels and found some great alternative options. A good shoe is important to a mom. It can make or break your outfit — but it can make or break your day, too. Nothing kills a fun day at the zoo like a blister on your foot. You want to be able to play and keep up with your kids. In the spring and summer, sandals and girlie ballet flats are easy; in the fall and winter, a good ankle boot is a great option. And, I'm not going to lie: I like to keep my Ugg boots and a fun pair of moccasins around the house so I have a good "they're like slippers but I can still jump in the car and run out for diapers without changing shoes" option. Sometimes comfort and function have to win.
5. A Stylish Coat with Lots of Pockets
What I'm loving right now are the military-inspired coats out there. Denver, where I live, is always chilly enough in the winter that I have to have a coat, and these jackets, with their multiple pockets, have proven handy for not only warmth, but also mom duties! I like pushing my stroller and having everything I need within arm's reach.
6. Cute But Fast Hair and Make-up
Whatever you do, even if it means enduring some fussing from the nursery or a toddler impatiently tugging on your shirt, give yourself ten minutes in the morning. Powder your nose, add some mascara, dab gloss or a bright shade on your lips. You don't need a lot of time to pull your face together in a cute, everyday sort of way. And, when you can, do something fun with your hair. Maybe it's just a glorified version of a ponytail; but that extra minute or two of effort will help you feel more glam.
7. Bomb Accessories
I've saved this for last because this is where you add your flare. I have a little dish on my nightstand with my "every day" pieces: small silver studs, a necklace with my daughters' initials, and my extra wedding bands. I always wear this jewelry as a part of my daily routine. But when we are going out or I need something extra, I pack on the accessories. Big necklaces and dangling earrings aren't ideal with toddlers and babies, but I've started collecting really striking bracelets and earrings that wear like studs. Old Navy has some really affordable and unique pieces, particularly earrings. And don't be afraid to branch out with accessories; add a fur stole on top of your jacket or a wide-brimmed hat for a sunny walk in the park.
A fashionable and functional mom outfit is all about balance. Give yourself the grace to be a mom with easy-to-wear foundational pieces; but don't be afraid to have some girlie fun as you layer on top.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.