With Fashion Week in full force and all the beautiful people out strutting the streets, it's a nice reminder that the fashion industry continues to get moms all wrong. From styles to affordability and general disdain for motherhood, I can't help but feel that fashion is leaving a large part of the population out.
Tube tops — a term which, along with low-rise jeans and butterfly clips, I honestly thought I'd never have to think about again — have made a splash in the Ralph Lauren show. These barely there shirts were a favorite of mine in high school, but as a 33-year-old, there's no way I can tolerate having to adjust my outfit constantly while chasing after a 2-year-old.
Besides the attire featured in a runway show, most stores' options are clearly borrowing from motherhood culture while not making it acceptable for moms to participate. Take, for example, the dreaded mom jean.
The one-time laughable pant has had a resurgence in the last few years and continues to be au courant for teenagers and other flat-stomached individuals. It's OK for models to look schlubby, but not a mom.
Yet, even though I'm thin, there is no way you'd catch me in the dreaded mom jean, even if the name suggests they're for me. My pooch, small but present, would immediately turn this supposed fashion do into a fashion don't.
Crop tops, complex straps, and other overly complicated styles are not designed for chasing after babies and toddlers. Is it too much to expect clothes to be stylish and accommodating to an active lifestyle without having to resort to activewear?
Besides the overwhelming designs, the affordability issue is still a problem. As much as I'd love to just waltz into Urban Outfitters for some seriously cheap fashion candy, as an older millennial, it feels a little ridiculous for me to still shop there. When the sales clerk starts referring to you as "ma'am," it's time to shop elsewhere.
Caught somewhere between Forever 21 and Chicos, the options for quality and relatively inexpensive clothing are limited. Moms would probably be willing to spend more money if there were more places to buy functional clothes they actually liked.
But, of course, simply having a place to spend money and styles that are good for moms aren't the only hiccups when thinking about fashion as a parent. The largest challenge is time, of which there is a limited amount.
Whether a mom works from home, goes to an office, or is a stay-at-home mom, they are strapped for time. Any free time is usually channeled into errands, exercise, or chores, not into shopping for themselves. Part of the reason Target's clothing line is so successful is because it's an easy one-stop shop.
Stores need to do a better job of catering to mothers. Waiting areas for kids would be great, but at the very least it would be nice to take my child into a store and not have to worry about getting 1,000 dirty looks if my son says something slightly loud.
I hate that my sense of style has gone the way of basic, but with limited time, resources, and styles to choose from, what else is there? I'll keep my tried and true staples, even if they're not the most stylish. After all, no one expects anything from a mom.